Parabola | Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

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BA SCORE
4.61/5
World-Class
6,638 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 Buļ¬€alo Trace.

Added by largadeer on 03-26-2008

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#26
Reviews:
1,265
Ratings:
6,638
pDev:
7.59%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
3,154
Gots:
3,756
Trade:
283
HISTOGRAM
 
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 6,638 |  Reviews: 1,265
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

Photo of MurphDog14
4.55/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

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

Photo of captaincoffee
4.51/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours very dark with a very small head that leaves a creamy ring but not lacing. Nose has quite a lot of bourbon along with some sweet caramel and vanilla, but few roasted notes. Maybe the most noticeable BA influence I've ever seen on the smell of a beer. Taste, for a whopping 14.5% ABV, is indeed full and rich, but only as boozy as a 10% beer. Again, plenty of bourbon present along with some residual sweetness, but much less cloying as some other "over the top" beers. Vanilla is prominent as well, and everything is well integrated at 6 months. Altogether, it is pretty special and certainly one of the better BA beers I've had.

 641 characters

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

Photo of smcolw
4.27/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Nearly no head from the initial pour. It settles to zero bubbles and therefore no lace. The liquid is naturally dark brown with little light shining through the edge of the glass.

Uber-sweet nose, like a barley wine. Strong sweet cherry and brandy notes. Surprisingly complex given that the smell is entirely from the malt (no hop or yeast to be found).

Very rich body (similar to whole milk). The carbonation is muted but definitely cuts the initial sweetness. The taste has enough burnt elements to cut the berry like flavors and bring a complex array of flavors. The alcohol is strong and warming. The swallow draws of this together for the complete experience. The aftertaste is similar to finishing a cognac -- warming with dark cherry overtones.

 755 characters

Photo of TBonez477
4.33/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

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

Photo of Erikshegda1994
4.62/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of gspeer711
4.71/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of deebo
4.1/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2011 version
A-Poured into a snifter, black as they come with just the slightest ringing of dark tan head.
S-Cold the aroma is fairly subdued with noticeable notes of vanilla, chocolate, bourbon barrel, big dark roasted malt. Not a lot changes as it warms.
T-Still lots of barrel and bourbon flavors prominent. Some notes of Maillard rxn sweetness, but bigger on the dark roasted malt flavors with a hint of black licorice. As it warms it tastes more like a boozy campfire smore, which is a good thing.
M-Low carbonation. Moderate body for style. Some alcohol burn both in the mouth and in the finish. More vapory then most.
O-A monster BB stout. Flavorful and bold, drinking a bomber of this is a great idea.

 718 characters

Photo of g00ey
4.68/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of nasser
4.18/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

Great stout but not worth $10 for snifter

41 characters

Photo of Jfinegan
4.09/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Photo of deweese
4.62/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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

Photo of Bryan_Schmidt
4.57/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

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Parabola from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.61 out of 5 with 6,638 ratings
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