Parabola - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

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ParabolaParabola

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BA SCORE
100
world-class

5,487 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,487
Reviews: 1,096
rAvg: 4.62
pDev: 8.01%
Wants: 2,761
Gots: 3,159 | FT: 242
Brewed by:
Firestone Walker Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  13.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: largadeer on 03-26-2008

Russian Imperial Oatmeal Stout aged for 8 months in circa 1990's Heaven Hill bourbon barrels.

2011
OG: 29.5p [plato]
IBU: 82 [high]
Cases: 3000 produced [LTD]
Aged: 12 mo [time in barrel]
Yeast: British Ale [house]
Color: 167SRM [midnight black]
View: Beers (84) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,487 | Reviews: 1,096
Photo of 05Harley
4.85/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottled on 4/25/11

Purchased @ Johnsons Market Place, New Durham NH
That's right, off the shelf in NH!!!

Price - $13.49/bomber

This bad boy pours midnight black with a creamy one inch tan head. This beer is dark and sticky with polka dotted lacing staining my Imperial Stout snifter. It simply looks dark and delicious.

The aroma is strong in the nose with bourbon, dark chocolate, burnt wood, tootsie roll a hint of honey and a whole lot of sweetness. The scent is powerful and addicting which keeps me sniffing the glass before each sip.

The flavor is close to a masterpiece. A wonderful balance of malts and hops that just blows my mind. Chocolate, molasses and caramel followed by vanilla bourbon. Unlike other bourbon beers I've had this one is much more subtle in the flavor and not overdone.

The mouthfeel is thick and sticky with an amazing balance between sweet and bitterness. The finish is both smooth and peppery as the vanilla and bourbon tear into the taste buds.

Overall I really dig this one. I'm confused with the release date though but at the same time delighted. I only wish I could get this on a regular basis.

Photo of InebriatedJoker
4.7/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured form bottle into pint tulip - bottle date 4/28/11.

A: Poured a deep black with three finger head that dissipated into a thin frothy tan lacing, good carbonation - Great looking stout.

S: Rosted barley with slight molasses , anise, bourbon, chocolate, toffee, caramel.

T: Roasted malts and barley , bitter chocolate with slight molasses,anise hints, coffee ,toffee and caramel, vanilla hints as well slight bourbon.

O: Overall this was a wonderfull RIS ,Just made my top five,
The sweet lip smacking taste was extremely well blended and balanced with great and complex flavors. Will definitely seek this one out again.

Photo of STEG
4.52/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

'11 Vintage. Last bomber from deciccos ardsley, poured room temperature into a snifter-esque wine glass.

Pitch black, slightly opaque. One finger fine bubbles espresso foam colored head rises just as quickly as it falls into a fine collar of microscopic bubbles. To style, but nothing speshul.

Smell is bourbon forward with vanilla, caramel and light wood notes up front. Then it moves into a more chocolaty finish.

Taste Shows a lot of barrel and heat up front then moves into chocolate caramel and charcoal notes. Finishes sweet with touches of vanilla caramel and an ever so slight bitterness.

Mouthfeel is exceptional, silky smooth, not over carbed and wonderfully warming. Truly outstanding.

Overall this is a great beer but I'm on the edge about seeking out more. I'll probably wait until next time it releases and make another pilgrimage to NY beer mecca.

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.42/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2011 vintage.

Pours an opaque black with a 1 inch khaki head that fades to a thin film on the top of the beer. Foamy rings of lace form around the glass on the drink down. The smell of this beer is very complex with toasted coconut, vanilla, wood, milk chocolate, and roasted malt. Taste is the same as the nose with more of a cocoa powder flavor coming through than milk chocolate. Mild roasty bitterness on the palate after each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a thick and creamy mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good stout with very complex smells and flavors. Some of the smells and flavors remind me a lot of Abacus which I can only assume is from the barrel aging program both beers went through. I am glad I have a few more of these in my cellar to enjoy in the future.

Photo of infi
4.74/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

b2, 2011 – #1 of 9 at the NYNENYGHT.

Poured into Corsendonk tulip.

Typical stout-colored bodied with transparency and vibrant, blood red edges when held towards the light. Half-fingered mocha colored head that also had some hints of red in it. Very beautiful looking and a sight to behold. Bourbon-barreled oak aging is something I'm truly beginning to understand. The vanilla character from the oak tannins was so incredible in this. Buttermilk sweetness all around. Also found in an '08 BCBS and the Founders CBS/KBS. It's always the first scent that catches my attention. But underneath that huge, buttery aroma are detectable hints of melted, milk chocolate; caramel, and the 13% boozy heat on the back end.

Taste began with a little, spicy bourbon kick but immediately segues into a strong and sweet malty backbone, embellished with tons of smooth and milky caramel and vanilla touches. On the finish is a burnt coffee-like astringency that leaves a lingering dryness on the palate. Great amount of balance in the beer. Seriously, a very great tasting beer.

Mouthfeel is incredible. My brother said it perfectly– it drinks exactly like chocolate milk. Same smooth and silky texture. An absolutely, incredible feel. Thankfully we were able to pick up multiple bottles of this mathematical shape. I had huge expectations for this beer, after hearing many good things about it, and it really surpassed them. Thank you to FSW for actually distributing to us in NY. A long time want for me!

Photo of CuriousMonk
4.5/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 002. Poured from bomber into tulip glass. Pours a thick, viscous black with a large dark tan head that slowly recedes. The smell is rich and chocolate. It is big and luscious with a hint of roastiness. There are notes form the barrel aging with some vanilla and oak. The flavor is a bit boozier from what I've have liked it to be, but nice regardless. Flavor also picks up chocolate and perhaps some caramel with a big dose of coffee, oak, vanilla, dark fruits, and alcohol. It isn’t ultra-complex at first, but then as you drink more and more of it subtle flavors come out. The warm alcohol sensation is a bit cloying. A solid imperial stout from a fantastic brewery nonetheless!

Photo of argock
4.35/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 22oz brown bomber into a clear glass snifter. 2011 vintage. Purchased at Wine Warehouse (Charlottesville, VA) for $15.99.

A: Black with 1-2 fingers of light brown, fomay head with decent retention and plenty of lace forms down the glass.

S: Dark maltiness dominates easily above the bourbon qualities, although the oak and vanilla are certainly as strong as the bourbon character. The dark malt notes highlight fig, coffee, dark and milk chocolate. There are some minor earthy hops contributions.

T: THe flavor is bold and unapologetically big beer in nature with a huge chewy dark maltiness including espresso, dark chocolate, and dark fruits like fig and raisin. The hops component is balancing mainly with some earthy, herbal, tobacco roundness. The vanilla and barrel qualities are most decidely oak in nature, with very little bourbon component. Alcohol mainly produces a warming effect, although there is some cherry-berry quality of it too.

M: Very smooth and chewy but not as heavy in body as you would imagine for the ABV.

O: A very interesting beer that really aims high. I still like Bell's Expedition and a handful of other RIS's better, but I plan to grab another bottle and age this as I think it has a lot of aging potential with the high ABV and complex maltiness. Parabola is an excellent brew.

Photo of flexabull
4.57/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep flat black color with a nice creamy white head.

Aromas are wonderful and quite pronounced. Vanilla, chocolate, coconut and booze notes.

Taste is of toasted coconut up front, dark roasted malt flavors, bitter bakers chocolate, and a bit smoky. Beer them settles in some creamy vanilla, toasted oak, and some warm booze and pine bitterness on the finish. Very complex and full flavored.

Mouthfeel is good, quite soft, but with good body. Wish it was a touch heavier though.

Overall, an outstanding brew. I can see how this makes a great component of the anniversary beers. Another home run barrel aged beer from Firestone Walker.

Photo of homebrew311
4.64/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2011 vintage poured into Bruery snifter.

A: Pours like I'd expect from a 12.5% stout, pitch black, viscous, minimal head, color of cocoa colored head, some lacing

S: the nose is perfect. Mellow notes of vanilla, coconut, and raisin give way to rich dark chocolate and some coffee character. The bourbon and oak character pairs with the base beer in a synergistic fashion. Amazing.

T: the stout character comes first and presents with huge roasted profile and then comes waves of vanilla and oak which build up as this brew is sipped. This brew features impeccable balance considering the high ABV and the bourbon aging. Very nice.

MF: smooth velvety texture, mellow carbonation, no issues here

O: This beer lives up to every bit of hype that has been mentioned. The only bourbon barrel beer that I can think of that has better balance is Bourbon County Rare. This one is well worth seeking out.

Photo of alalvarez75
4.21/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Dark black and brown lacing with a tan head.

S - Rum and raisins, with a hint of vanilla and almond slightly booze.

M - Very strong, yet subtle and powerful.

T - Amazing. Rich rum/raisin/spicy hop accents with a nice almond/vanilla finish.

O - Amazing Stout. I'll stock up when I see more.

Photo of starrdogg
4.12/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2011 Bottle - Figured it was finally time to drink one of these.

A: Pours dark brown/black with a pretty fluffy tan head and minimal lacing. For a beer this big, I'm kinda shocked at the level of carbonation and lack of viscosity.

S: Bourbon, oak and sweet chocolate come together with a hint of alcohol as well. This smells a bit like a chocolate cake covered in bourbon.

T: Bourbon and chocolate are the two predominant flavors up front with some hints of vanilla. The finish interferes with the deliciousness, however: the combination of oak, roasted malt and a bit of heat combine to detract somewhat from the awesome start.

M: Medium-bodied and a good amount of carbonation, not nearly as thick or flat as most beers this big.

O: This is my 2nd time having Parabola, and the first time I thought was mindblowing (but it was at a beer festival, so I didn't review it ). Upon further reflection, perhaps I overlooked a few of the flaws in this beer - most notably the odd finish. That said it's still a damn good beer, but I'm glad I sat down with it on its own to properly evaluate it.

Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.15/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

drank last nite with several friends; reviewed from notes.

poured into a snifter glass.

Appearance: dark black beer with dark brown head. This beer really is got a huge head for a barrel aged beer.

Smell: Barrel notes of vanilla, oak, and bourbon. Also chocolate and dark fruit come through the barrel notes as the beer warms to room temperature.

Taste: follows the nose of the beer really close bitter chocolate upfront that integrates with the vanilla, oak, and bourbon. Mild boozy heat noted in aftertaste and as you exhale after a sip of beer. Dark fruits, molasses and tobacco all linger in the back adding nice complexity to this great RIS.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied beer with low carbonation but, its almost moderately carbonationed. Silky, oily, and sticky.

Overall: This beer has beat the hype and still remains a fantastic beer! Taste is similiar to Older Viscosity. Really well done and really enjoyable.

Photo of ColForbinBC
4.51/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber poured into a snifter

Sits a near perfect midnight black in the glass. Some ruby highlights around the edges. No head rises, no lacing whatsoever. There's an oil like consistency to this beer.

Broad and complex to say the least. Vanilla, bourbon and oak off the bat with toffee, dark fruits, tobacco and bitter dark chocolate. Some very mild grassy hops. This is tremendously balanced. Everything in equal doses, nothing outshining anything else. Fabulous.

Follows the nose closely. Vanilla and bourbon up front. Lightly toasted oak, dark fruit, tobacco, toffee and bitter dark chocolate through the middle. The finish is of rich chocolate, dark fruit, bourbon, and vanilla.

Full bodied, rich and decadent. Oily/sticky and just plain delicious. It works really well with the breadth of flavors/aromas going on but I can really see the smoothing out with age.

Overall, this is a pretty spectacular RIS. It reminds me a lot of fresh Kate, just not as smooth. However, the barrel aging makes up for some of that. The flavors and nose are there, it just lacks on some of the finer points. An excellent RIS.

Photo of VelvetExtract
4.82/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-This beer pours absolutely black. Motor oil slick as is glugs from the bottle. A thin tan head forms and dies away leaving a film atop the viscous liquid. Tiny patches of lacing speckle the glass. Big, intimidating look from a big, bad stout.

S-Wow. Big, and frighteningly rich aroma. Powerful notes of chocolate and wooden goodness. Vanilla extract and burnt roasted coffee. Alcohol is detectable but it should be here. The bourbon aroma is not overwhelming but is at a great balance. Dark, dried fruits are also there. Smells like a chocolate brownie dipped in coffee liqueur.

T-Oh my, this is absolutely delicious. Luscious chocolate hits me first. Then the vanilla, dark fruitiness, and wooden oakyness come into play. The alcohol is big and bold but I love how it plays with the flavors. Just an unbelievably rich, and complex beer. I get some awesome toffee flavors here too. The flavor absolutely lives up to the hype here. Very happy.

M-Viscous and slick. Gentle bubbles tickle the tongue. The alcohol rounds out the feel. Exceptional feel for a big RIS. Iam a big fan of the carbonation. And the aftertaste is awesome.

O/D-Yeah. This lived up to the hype, and then some. I was worried having such a huge beer on a warm night would not be the best idea, but I loved this one. Firestone Walker seems to be one heel of a company. Double Jack and now this one...doing an unbelievable job. I love how its boxed, and for $12.99 in MA; the price is actually pretty damn good. Absolutely a great time in a bottle.

Photo of amphion1065
4.26/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Based on the information passed around on the forums, this review should have been posted a few weeks ago. 22 oz. bottle into a Duvel tulip.

The pour is... audible, like olive oil from a jug. Thick and viscous, though there's a curious soda-like carbonation. The one-finger head reminds me of cappuccino froth, and it lasts and clings to the glass. Very nice.

Plenty of fresh coffee grounds in the nose, with a hint of vanilla - cafe au lait comes to mind. Overall, the aroma is pretty restrained: even as it warmed, this didn't give off a particularly rich or full bouquet.

Loads and loads of bourbon in the taste. The -bal presence is enormous, and there's charred oak and leather to go around. That said, this isn't brash or abrasively hot, and the heat is pretty mellow. The finish is all bourbon, and it lasts and lasts. Fudge brownie flavors from the base beer counterbalance the liquor character.

I had a feeling the mouthfeel would be spot-on from the pour, and I wasn't disappointed: thick and rich, this is a modicum of the style.

Right out of the gate, I prefer Parabola to fresh BCBS. I'm very excited to lay this down for a year or so - it's a little one-dimensional right now, but it'll be spectacular in 2012.

EDIT: Happened upon a bottle of 2011 this past week. This beer has matured beautifully over the past several months. The barrel presence has mellowed without losing its bourbon bite, but the base beer has taken on an absolutely gorgeous, mellow dark fruit sweetness that complements the chocolate notes very well - it is, in many ways, quite akin to BCBS. This is drinking so well, and I am updating my score accordingly.

Photo of SFLpunk
4.3/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A huge thanks to Thorpe429 for sending this one! 22oz brown glass pry-top bottle with plastic "foil" and a box. 2011 release.

Pours super thick inky black with very thin light tan head. Nose is dominated by an espresso notes and roasted grains. Coffee, toasted oak and mild dried fruits.

Palates is slick and big, but structured. Dried fruits, black vanilla beans, heavily toasted oak, creamy cappuccino froth, woody earthy (mulch) and top soil. Sweet cream and vanilla ice cream come to mind on the finish. Long, and gripping (woody) finish.

Yum. A bit less sweet than BCBS, but in the same flavor bracket. Super tasty...I want more!!!

Photo of colforbin73
4.77/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

just about ethereal -- (i think Abacus may have the edge), but what does that say about these beers? one an imperial stout, one a barley wine -- well -- "barrel-aged" of course. and while the barrel aging provides an incredible overtone to the taste and aroma -- this beer shines on the depth of the malt base -- a simply delicious, delectable fine luxurious drink.

pours a good rich black as night with a MILKY WAY of tan swirl and froth in the middle of the glass. you sort of get a Big-Bang/moment-of-creation in the pour.

smell is amazing -- deep chocolate and roasted malt, spicy, hazelnut -- very inviting aroma.

serve not too cold and you get a smooth smooth drink -- the bitterness is sooo appropriate -- perfect bite on top of the rich filling stout. you can sense the QUALITY of this brew as you sip -- the roasted, chocolate and caramel malts dance on top of a rich base and the barrel aging provides the vanilla/liquor MELLOWNESS. did i say SMOOTH already?

SUPERB DRINK -- wowed by abacus, floored by parabola.

Photo of Docer
4.17/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Fresh 2011 bottle, 12.5% Alc. by Vol.

Appearance: (4.0)
- Nice super dark murky brown and black. Thick fingers of mocha tan head, nice and creamy looking.. slowly settles to a thin blanket and large ring ready to create more rings the whole way down the glass.

Smell: (4.5)
- Lovely sweet toffee, vanilla, oak earthiness and a tart bourbon touch. Barrel aging has worked well with the aroma on this stout. Chocolatey smooth grain and sweet creamy candy. Light grassy bitterness.

Taste: (4.0)
- Very sweet toffee, vanilla, and bourbon flavors melded very well with a candy-like chocolate and dark bitter chocolate. Big bourbon notes with fantastic flavor. Dry bitter grassy and earthy hops are quite present as well to attempt to balance this sweet beast. Super good and doesn't taste too hot. Guessing this beer will taste even better with a few years on it.

Mouth Feel: (3.5)
- Little sticky and syrupy as of now. Cloying, chewy, and drying. Pretty viscous body with a healthy amount of carbonation. Not too bad, but again, something I feel will get much better, and maybe even more creamy and less sticky with age.

Overall: (4.0)
- This is a stellar stout, and rises above many in its field. It is damn fine fresh, and is sure to be a real hit aged. I am hoping to find a couple more to cellar as I now only have one left in the cellar. Damn good, and get it while you can.

Photo of Rhettroactive
4.42/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From 22oz bomber to Jackie O's snifter on our day of Independence,
July 4th 2011
*From notes

I'm skipping ahead in my reviews a bit as this is my 200th, and thought it only right to make it a special one.

A: As expected, it's a rich and dark molasses - almost black. A gorgeous 1.25 finger head that looks like the crispy edges of a homemade chocolate chip cookie. Decent lacing rims the snifter.

S: Dark caramel and chocolate. Rich, with thick layers of tobacco and cocoa that you can cut with a knife. As it warms, that toasty coconut I love so much comes out. The alcohol is present from beginning to end. A top notch bouquet.

T: Boozy. It's apparent from the get-go that this could take some time in a proper cellar. The tanninic acid and bourbon come out right away and never let go. As it warms, the beer really opens up - the toasted coconut and melted 65% dark chocolate come out to play. A refined layer of malt balances the heat here, and the nuances of this beer really come to life over the hour-plus I consumed it.

M: The mouthfeel is good. Very good in fact, but not great. The rich feel to this one is thick and luxurious, but I've had bigger stouts. It's also a bit oily from the barrel conditioning, though it doesn't effect the overall presentation of the beer.

O: Firestone-Walker's Parabola is a wonderful and masterfully balanced Russian Imperial Stout. I feel that with some age, this could be one of the best RIS's in my cellar.

Without question, Parabola is in the upper echelon of the style. I highly recommend seeking it out.

Photo of Blanco
4.03/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from Notes

Black with thin light brown head. Lacing is more along the lines of how wine sticks as a film. Smell is somewhat mute with some dark malt and slight hint of booze bourbon. Flavor is more complex, lending some more bourbon than the smell as well as hints of chocolate and fruit. I feel like there is another liquor working here, but having trouble picking it up. A hint of smokiness as well. Slight burn from the alcohol here. Lighter mouthfeel than I prefer, but still acceptable. Overall, another unique interpretation by Firestone Walker here. It’s not your standard barrel aged stout. The complexity of the flavors keeps me guessing some.

Photo of DrStiffington
4.38/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

OK, so I had to pick one of these up, even though it's not exactly a "summer" beer. It pours very thick into a tulip glass. Dark, thin head. Black color, no light coming through at all. Smell a little chocolate, not much else going on. Ahhhh, but the taste. Roasted malts, chocolate. Absolutely delicious! I rarely comment on the mouthfeel, but I really dig the creamy, heavy taste of this beer. Overall, one of the best stouts out there. Must grab another soon!

Photo of schwaeh
4.24/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2011 22oz bottle enjoyed for hours on end.

A: Pours pitch black. No real head to speak of but some slight bubbles and whisps of foam. Standard barrel aged stout.

S: Whoa, lots of that great sweet bourbon emanating from this glass. Smells of chocolate, brown sugar, molasses, and some alcohol.

T: This is awesome! Big and bold flavors. First thing noticed was that sweet bourbon flavor, it is so well integrated into this beer. Flavors of bitter chocolate, lots of licorice, brown sugar, dark candied fruits, oak barrel flavor, and plenty of alcohol to make you slow down and enjoy the complexities. Some roastiness is left over after the swallow with a very slight lingering hop bitterness.

M: Thick and creamy. This has a lot of sugar so it leaves your mouth slightly sticky. Quite low carbonation.

O: This beer is instant gratification from the moment you pop the cap off. I would jump at the chance to get as much of this as possible. Firestone does magical things with barrel aging, this and their anniversary beers have set the bar very high with that technique. I might open my next bottle once the heat drops out some, this is a slow sipper by all accounts.

Photo of CaptainTripps
4.97/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2011 Vintage
22oz bottle poured into a Duvel Tulip, served at cellar temp.

A: Pours pitch black, motor oil thick. The pour came with a small half fingers worth of head -dark mocha in color. Little to no lacing left on glass.

S: Bitter dark chocolate followed by mocha/expresso and bourbon. Also getting some rich molasses and vanilla along with some woodyness, Oak? The nose is very rich and complex. With one sniff, this beer will have you on your knees. Very, very good.

T: Oh. My. God. FanFREAKINGtastic. Once you start sipping you just can't stop. Bitter sweet dark chocolate paired with charred oak and vanilla. also some expresso notes coming through along with a small amount of dark fruits. There is some booziness coming through in the taste of bourbon, but that is to be expected this fresh. Its actually a nice note that works well with the other flavors. This thing is like sipping on a nice scotch. Rich, complex and satisfying.

M: Full bodied, with some carbonation. Would like a little more carbonation, but that is to be expected with a barrel aged beer. There is a slight amount of heat from the alcohol but unlike with most beers, it blends in perfectly with the other flavors.

O: This beer is one for my own beer tasting history book. Completely amazing. I only bought one to try, but I will be going back TOMORROW as soon as possible to pick up some more. Worth every freaking penny spent.

Photo of zaphodchak
4.42/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Brown-beige head, about a half-finger, and opaque black body. I see only my reflection. Some nice surface memory.

Smell is of coffee and steak, some smoke.

Taste is phenomenal. Bitter, a bit hoppy, and there's a lot of sweetness to balance. Oaky, woody, and faintly boozy.

Mouthfeel is nice and punctuates the very thick body.

Incredible; I couldn't ask for more from an oaked imperial stout.

Photo of mikul93
4.85/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

22 oz 2011 batch

A Black with a small head with a hard pour that dissipated rather quickly, which is to be expected from a high ABV

S Coffee, chocolate, alcohol with sweet fruit.

T Wow! This is one complex beer. Roasted coffee, bitter chocolate, hops, booze, vanilla. Outstanding beer!

M- Surprisingly light feel. Creamy goodness

O Just an outstanding beer. This beer is getting a lot of hype and there are haters out there that dismiss it just for that fact, but this beer is all it is cracked up to be and more. I am so glad I scored a case of it.

Parabola from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
100 out of 100 based on 5,487 ratings.