Parabola | Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

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ParabolaParabola
BA SCORE
4.61/5
World-Class
6,852 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:
#40
Reviews:
1,321
Ratings:
6,852
pDev:
7.59%
 
 
Wants:
3,147
Gots:
3,800
Trade:
283
HISTOGRAM
 
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 6,852 |  Reviews: 1,321
Photo of mkholmes25
3.54/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

I wanted to like this stout, looked great, smelled great, but it was too sweet for my tastes. I'm used to some of the sweeter stouts, but this was too much.

 156 characters

Photo of 1koolrule
4.65/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Very smooth and unique stout.
Dark fruity, vanilla and buorbon barrel flavor. High in alcohol but not boozy.
World class in its unique style. Great stout from Firestone Walker.

 179 characters

Photo of Abross
4.75/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of Beers-es
4.59/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap, pours pitch black with little head. Smell has a wonderfully complex array of dark fruit, chocolate, coffee and a touch of barrel. Taste follows, only more so. Fairly sweet, but appropriately so. Thick, rich feel, but not syrupy. A great BA stout.

 254 characters

Photo of Stofko1992
4.64/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of onewayboogie
4.41/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Dharmelink
4.52/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

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

Photo of WhaleSlayer85
4.48/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Theogre83
4.5/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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

Photo of tranzophobia
4.05/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Looks and smells nice but too sweet in my opinion. Bourbon notes from barrels balance excessive sweetness pretty well but not enough to be excellent.

149 characters

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

Photo of codytwo
3.94/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

Photo of ian_graf
4.71/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

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

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

This is a very good beer. It's different from many of the other barrel-aged stouts that I'm used to having, given that Russian Imperial Stouts taste very fruity relative to other imperial stout styles (e.g., American Double Stouts). Here goes:

A: Pitch black. Develops a slow-to-build head that leaves a ton of lacing. Looks exquisite.

S: Lots of oaky vanilla from the barrel aging, but not as prominent as in other barrel-aged stouts (e.g. Goose Island). Also very fruity - lots of dark fruit like plum and raisins. Interesting, just wish the barrel-aging was more prominent.

T: Great oaky vanilla notes - more prominent in the taste than in the scent. Also a lot of dark fruit; the aftertaste is one of plum and raisins. Interestingly, there's no coffee bitterness at the back end of the palate.

F: No alcoholic booziness; very smooth. Great.

O: A very good beer. I go prefer Goose Island to this, but this is still an excellent brew.

 957 characters

Photo of santig0nzalez
4.68/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of kjmom2014
4.91/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

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

Photo of AmeriCanadian
4.43/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of jrc1093
4.28/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottled on 1/16/17

Pours a deep black with only a hint of light at the surface; barely a half-finger of sand-colored cap forms, only to fade quickly and leave thick, somewhat bubbly foam around the edges.

Aroma excellently intermingles vanilla and dark berries, along with some oak, baker’s chocolate, cranberry, and faint bits of barrel; a light florality also places a light veil of rose petal tones around the bouquet.

Taste welcomes darker chocolate notes to the forefront, balanced cleanly alongside gritty oak barrel, vanilla bean, raisin, and wild berry must; the berry notes evolve in the profile, while a dusting of chocolate gives the fresh, juicy tones an earthy, slightly bitter twist.

Mouthfeel brings an effortlessly balanced body with smooth, almost indiscernible carbonation; slick, with some residual stickiness that just glides along the palate; the massive ABV is completely invisible; so incredibly well-done here.

Beautifully crafted sipper, and a great standard for a top-tier Russian Imperial stout; everything is so smooth, with some great detail to the profile and bursting with refined flavor.

 1,127 characters

Photo of beersampler6
4.32/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Very nice, smooth, rich sipper of an imperial stout. Very nice deep rich, almost black color with minimal head or lacing. Smells of toffee, raisin, malt, some roast coffee and dark chocolate. Tastes similarly, along with molasses, wood, bourbon and brown sugar. Very smooth, thick mouthfeel with little carbonation. Syrupy and lots of warming heat. Can definitely taste the high ABV. A very good beer, just not sure if it’s worth the high price tag.

 451 characters

Photo of TheItalianStallion
5/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

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Parabola from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.61 out of 5 with 6,852 ratings