Parabola | Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

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ParabolaParabola
BA SCORE
4.61/5
World-Class
6,653 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:
#26
Reviews:
1,267
Ratings:
6,653
pDev:
7.59%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
3,162
Gots:
3,762
Trade:
285
HISTOGRAM
 
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 6,653 |  Reviews: 1,267
Photo of GreenBayBA
4.75/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

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

Pour is black, leaking to milk chocolate brown on the edges, with a tan head. The barrel is immediately noticeable on the nose, and then immediately followed by rich chocolate and caramel notes.

The taste is sublime. The barrel comes across first, but the chocolate notes mute the booze factor, and then an absolutely decadent caramel flavor carries this home to a rich and creamy finish.

Truly a world-class Beer, IMHO.

 423 characters

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

Photo of cub7
4.71/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of xcdarrel17
4.63/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

One if my favorites.

20 characters

Photo of BeerMe8
3.77/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

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

Photo of Darwood77
4.89/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

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

2017 vintage. 12 oz bottle poured into a snifter.

Pours near black with thin light brown head.

Very complex nose with dark chocolate, bourbon, dark fruit, coffee.

Taste follows the nose but the flavors are even deeper. Phenomenal interplay between bourbon, dark chocolate, raisin, oak. Doesn’t have quite the in-your-face bourbon quality of a BCBS, but there is quite a bit more going on and it’s all balanced perfectly.

Rich, full-bodied, medium-low carbonation.

 471 characters

Photo of hcproff36
4.53/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of David_Porter
4.82/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of Rooshops
4.89/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of Clemente285
4/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

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

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

Photo of jltrovil
4.94/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance is of motor oil. Head was milk chocolate colored and quickly dissipated,

On the nose, chocolate fudge and vanilla beans take the lead. Alcohol evaporation allows the Bourbon presence to present itself firmly, yet delicately. The oak characteristic from the Bourbon barrel lingers nicely at the end of the nose in tandem with a nice cold pressed coffee note from the roasted barley. Not so prominently, black cherry notes distinguish themselves amongst what one may arbitrarily label as "dark fruit". Overall, an incredible nose. It is very subdued when cold. Let this one warm to fully take in the nose. I suggest drinking half the glass, agitate it aggressively, then take it all in.

The flavor profile is absolutely astonishing. At first it was almost too much. It took 4 sips to be able to grab the reigns of this wildly complex stout. Intriguingly so, the vanilla bean profile of the nose is indistinguishable from the semi-sweet milk chocolate charactersitc on the palate. The chocolate dominates the initial palate with the black cherry lingering right behind it. In the middle of the palate the bourbon evaporates into the naval cavity, acknowledging its existence, but does not yield an off-putting bourbon flavor and alcohol astringency. The final palate smooths with a nice cold pressed coffee in juxtaposition to a clear oak character which leaves a nice drying sensation. The finish is of coffee and dark chocolate. Absolutely splendid.


The mouthfeel was characteristic of any high quality BBA imperial stout. Thick, but not syrup viscosity. Slight drying sensation when the oak notes begin to dominate. The initial palate is overwhelming. Allow your palate to acclimate before judging this stout.

Overall, I was lucky to come across a 2017 Vintage bottle of this in one of my local bottle shops. One of the best beers I have ever had. It rivals BCBS, Black Note, CBS, KBS, Eternal Rest, and Firestone 21 Anniversary which are all examples of my highly acclaimed beers.

 2,022 characters

Photo of Filabee
4.19/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

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

Photo of Jsh987
4.48/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

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

Photo of JamFuel
4.66/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pours jet black and syrupy, with very little foam.

Smell is just insane, chocolate. coffee, vanilla, currants, fudge... wow...

Taste does not disappoint... massive amounts of charred oak, coffee, chocolate and vanilla with hints of currants and hazelnut.

Mouthfeel is thick and oily, just right.

Overall, a true world class stout.Massive in every respect.

 359 characters

Photo of al2913
4.6/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of StJamesGate
4.27/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Sticky red-black with film. 4
Rum, caramel, meat and smoke. 4.5
Fudge, bourbon truffles, hints of char, brown sugar, rum cake, and vanilla barrel + coffee bean end. 4.25
Almost full, chewy, some burn. 4

Actually manages head, which says something, and the nose is epic. A ton of chocolate, but the ABV tames it. Maybe not exactly elegant - sledgehammer more than scalpel - but man, does it work. 4.25

 401 characters

Photo of cpsfgd
4.73/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

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Parabola from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.61 out of 5 with 6,653 ratings