Parabola | Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

ParabolaParabola
BA SCORE
98.2%
Liked This Beer
4.61 w/ 6,537 ratings
ParabolaParabola
BEER INFO

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

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 14.00%

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:
#29
Reviews:
1,252
Ratings:
6,537
Liked:
6,422
Avg:
4.61/5
pDev:
7.59%
Alströms:
0
 
 
Wants:
3,145
Gots:
3,727
Trade:
278
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Ratings: 6,537 |  Reviews: 1,252
Photo of RealDeal
4.5/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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

Photo of Alexcortez426
5/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of Zbeattie6
4.48/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of osseo222000
4.59/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Chuckdiesel24
4.53/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

2016 bomber

11 characters

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

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

Photo of Bouleboubier
4.41/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

(12 oz bottle 2017 vintage; shared, split b/w two 5 oz snifters)

L: cap came off easily w/o much of a hiss, beer was carefully poured but nearly no foam formed

S: mostly the stout malts come through, with a dense essence of fresh oak, charred oak, hint of vanilla extract... not sure what the draw from then blend of multiple branded barrels adds besides perhaps a more layered depth to the bourbon character... alcohol pretty well tamed

T: thick, luscious concentrate of caramel and delicately roasty malt; notes of licorice and hints of high cacao chocolate and smoky coffee... not an over-present barrel character, its nuances nicely interwoven with its stalwart stout backbone...while its taste is rich and satisfying, I can't help but wonder about the flavors of the base beer, un-barrel aged, because it seems any more subtle, gritty grain character may have been lost to the aging and bourbon-y intrusion

F: delicately-carbonated, dry malt liqueur... smooth, quiet, polished edges, little residual sugary slickness... alcohol is relatively mellow - little heat, no burn - comes across as having 2/3 the abv

O: fantastic, a standout in their barrel-aged program... it doesn't hurt when executing a beer like this to push elements to the extreme (abv, variety of barrel sources), makes for a fuller flavor one would assume, but for me it results in some perceived static, redundant layering

 1,400 characters

Photo of Gregf51
4.44/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

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

From a 2014 bottle.

I sat on this baby for three years, and it was worth the wait. I don't have a side by side with a current vintage, so I can't really compare what the aging did. Let's just say the overall beer is quite excellent.

Interestingly enough to me, I'm more noticing the RIS character than I am the bourbon barrel effect. Oh, the bourbon is there, for sure, but it's not the first or most prominent thing I notice. Instead, I'm getting a pronounced licorice/tobacco taste, along with some dark, dark fruits, and then the bourbon coming in at the end. I think this would be a fascinating beer even without the bourbon barrel aging.

 649 characters

Photo of _nickg_
4.72/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of Eric_T_07
4.55/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Photo of FirstInLine
4.57/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Photo of thetravelguy01
4.52/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Nicholas-Drinks
4.56/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of thebeers
4.33/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a dark, rich brown that approaches black, with a fat finger of dark tan head that leaves modest lacing.

Big aroma of wood, dark chocolate, bourbon, vanilla, distant cherry and earthy hops.

Earthy, almost tobacco-like taste with bitter chocolate and hops, a hint of marshmallow underneath and a strong alcohol burn on the backend. Bitterness lingers in the aftertaste.

Thinner bodied than expected, but still with a full, mildly creamy feel that coats the mouth, and just enough carbonation.

I put this squarely in the "not effing around" category of BBA stouts. Dark and rich from start to finish. Absolutely delicious. 01/16/17 bottling date.

 657 characters

Photo of Allthingsbeer510
4.71/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of kitch
4.3/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On tap at Firestone Walker The Propagator, Venice. A 6 oz pour into a Firestone Walker tulip glass.

Appearance: It was a black to dark dark brown in colour with a one finger creamy tanned head that had good retention and left nice lacing.

Aroma: Sweet bourbon barrels, nutty chocolate, vanilla, banana cake, pretty much like dessert.

Taste: Like the aroma, there was bitter dark chocolate, cherry, vanilla, banana, nutty, sweet bourbon, oak and booze.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with low carbonation.

Overall: A little bit too boozy and on the sweet side, but this doesn’t put me off, and it was still very nice. Great for late night sipping.

 645 characters

Photo of StormAles
4.96/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

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

Photo of Vixie
4.08/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Very dark brown, almost black. Very little head, just a bit of lacing.

Seemed a bit of a boozy smell at first, then could detect chocolate, coconut, and sweetness.

Starts out sweet, then chocolate and cherry kick in. Really reminds me of a Bavarian Forest Cake with the chocolate and cherry, with a nice hint of vanilla at the finish.

Feel is a bit thinner than expected, overall a bit on the harsh side.

Very much a high quality beer. I do feel it is a bit rough around the edges, I would be interested to see what aging would do for this. Very much worth a try, and is possible, grab an extra to age it.

 609 characters

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

Photo of Ekor88
4.35/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

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

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Parabola from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 98.2% out of 100 with 6,537 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.