Parabola | Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

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ParabolaParabola
BA SCORE
4.61/5
World-Class
6,739 Ratings
ParabolaParabola
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
California, United States
firestonewalker.com

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 12.70%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
This Russian imperial oatmeal stout is aged for a full year in a blend of bourbon barrels from Elijah Craig, Four Roses, Pappy Van Winkle, Woodford Reserve, and Buffalo Trace.

Added by largadeer on 03-26-2008

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#26
Reviews:
1,292
Ratings:
6,739
pDev:
7.59%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
3,154
Gots:
3,777
Trade:
284
HISTOGRAM
 
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 6,739 |  Reviews: 1,292
Photo of Tony210
4.7/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

2017 vs 2018 vintages

Look:
2017: pours a deep mahogany color with nominal mocha colored head.
2018: pours a similar dark color with much more foamy head that quickly recedes.

Smell:
2017: massive aromas of barrel, chocolate, coffee, anise?, boozy, caramel, tobacco, old leather.
2018: Not as big of an aroma here. Has that same boozy aroma; lots of fresh bourbon barrel, blackstrap molasses, but missing many of the other aromas listed above, except that interesting anise smell - bordering on eucalyptus / menthol.

Taste:
2017: big and boozy, lots of bourbon barrel flavor, loads of cocoa, tons of coffee, ample molasses and caramel Towards the end. Sweet but an espresso bitterness on the finish cuts the sweetness short.
2018: incredibly sweet, borderline cloying. Lots of roasted malts, sweetness has a marshmallow quality to it. Brown sugar, dark corn syrup. A lot of the above flavors are masked by the sweetness. Has a similar bitter espresso finish.

Feel:
2017: fairly thick and syrupy, light carbonation.
2018: I was expecting the younger version to be a lot thicker and more full-bodied, but this is not the case here. Slick and syrupy, a little oily, a little creamy.

Overall:
2017: very smooth, abv is very noticeable but doesn't get in the way of all the complex flavors. I am looking forward to drinking this vintage in another year.

2018: I am surprised that the beer with a lower abv is sweeter, but it may be due to its relative freshness. I am curious to see what a year of aging does to it. I have several bottles of each vintage...

5/22/18
12 oz bottle
2017: 14.5% abv
2018: 12.7% abv
I enjoyed the 2017 vintage the best
4.75 rating

 1,688 characters

Photo of JamesLeung
4.85/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of Aerizel
4.6/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of JOldewurtel
4.93/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of Juggerr
4.5/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Phoodcritic
4.37/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of tsgooch79
4.25/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Jrosso
4.68/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of dafla67
4.99/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

One of my favorites. Deep black color. An incredible smell of chocolate, vanilla and bourbon. The taste is amazing. An incredible balance of the chocolate, vanilla and bourbon aging. Overall, and with no exaggeration, I think it is one of the best stouts. Certainly, underappreciated.

 284 characters

Photo of forum8417
4.76/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of JerryHelper
4.65/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of jtransel
4.5/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of chrismattlin
4.57/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Afeo
4.61/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of DenverHopHead
4.4/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz 2018 Vintage No. 009 bottle into a snifter.
Appearance- a deep black that only lets a hint of light at the bottom of the snifter and along the top of the beer where some carbonation bubbles are seen; no head and lacing is nowhere to be found.
Smell- bourbon, vanilla, caramel and black licorice mesh to form a mouth watering blend!
Taste - delicious bouquet of bourbon, vanilla bean, dark cherries, dark chocolate and caramel candy working seamlessly to put my palate in a trance!
Feel - the immensely flavorful blend and mild sweetness take any edge off what the 12.7% booze might otherwise present and makes this an incredibly easy sipper!
Overall- Parabola has eluded me for far too long, but certainly worth the wait; this is supremely crafted as I find myself emmerced in the dance between bourbon, vanilla, caramel and dark chocolate covered black cherries!

 882 characters

Photo of gopens44
4.54/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thick, foamy beige head that draws back to an even curtain of lacing. Nose big on molasses, maybe just a bit boozy but the bourbon isn’t overwhelming. Taste is simply terrific, with equal sized waves of rich coffee, vanilla and bourbon with a molasses finish dressed in a thick, silky body. Aftertaste is a sweet, maybe a finish similar to how it feels after drinking bourbon.

 385 characters

Photo of brentusaurus
4.24/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of BeerAndFilm
4.49/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of ntanner83
4.44/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Scott17Taylor
4.5/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Dr_Fox
4.76/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Nograinleftbehind
4.46/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2017

4 characters

Photo of GuyFawkes
4.25/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottled 3/15/18; drank 4/29/18 @ the Yarchives.

Black/brown appearance.

A violent pour yielded a nice tan head; decent lace.

Vanilla, milk chocolate, mild bourbon & faint oak notes in the nose.

Thick, creamy mouthfeel.

Brown sugar, caramel & oak flavors up front; mild bourbon & faint coconut notes on the finish.

Rich & tasty, if not overwhelming. Worth a quaff.

 375 characters

Photo of VforVinny
3.94/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

It is a pretty good Imperial Stout but I have definitely had better. It isn't bad by any means.

95 characters

Photo of AyatollahGold
4.24/5  rDev -8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.
Pours out very dark brown. And once the glass is filled, it looks black with brown highlights. A thin but dense tan colored crown sits on top.
The smell is bourbon first, then a lot of dark fruit, vanilla and oak.
The taste is chocolately with the bourbon and vanilla. More chocolate than I expected. The oak and barrel qualities are nice.
The mouthfeel is warming from the bourbon. This doesn't really seem "full bodied" for a Russian imperial stout. It's not thin, just thinner than expected for the style.
Overall, it delivered on being solid and balanced, but not gonna lie I did expect more from this.

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Parabola from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.61 out of 5 with 6,739 ratings