Parabola | Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

6,556 Ratings

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

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

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 6,556 |  Reviews: 1,254
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4.5/5  rDev -2.4%

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5/5  rDev +8.5%

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1.12/5  rDev -75.7%

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4.75/5  rDev +3%

Quite possibly the best Russian Imperial Stout ever.

52 characters

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4.25/5  rDev -7.8%

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5/5  rDev +8.5%

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4.75/5  rDev +3%

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

Serving Type: Bottle
2014 Vintage

A: 4.75 Looks quite thick on the pour. In the glass, it’s pitch black with a half inch tan head that lasts a couple minutes.

S: 4.75 The nose is excellent. Lots of bourbon, vanilla, and roasted malt up front, but it’s followed quickly by much more subtle aromas. There is cinnamon, berries, graham crackers, cocoa, and coffee. The roasted malt and big bourbon still dominate, but the background aromas are nicely intertwined with the bigger characteristics.

T: 4.75 Like the nose, there’s a lot of roasted malt and bourbon. At first, there’s a good amount of sweetness (though a bit less than expected). The fruitiness is a bit stronger than on the nose, but it is quickly followed by a lot’s of coffee, chocolate, and roasted malt leaving a pleasant bitterness on the aftertaste similar to eating good, dark chocolate. The alcohol presence is very minimal for 14%.

M: 4.5 Carbonation is just right. The beer is very thick, but not quite a much as BCBS, so there’s a little room for improvement. Still, it’s rich and thick and extremely satisfying. Also, surprisingly easy drinking (but still a sipper).

O: 4.75 This is a superb stout. You can tell that the base beer is high quality and the bourbon really adds to it rather than covering up flaws. I would like to compare this to BCBS, but in truth they are quite different. This is a bit more roasty, bitter, and less sweet with surprisingly fruity flavors that balance out all the richness. I once did a side-by-side with a 2013 of each, and the BCBS was the clear winner, but there’s something really special about this 2014, so I might have to give it another shot ☺.

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5/5  rDev +8.5%

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

Series No. 001 poured into a snifter glass, been cellaring this one for a while. Opens with a soft pop and pours dead black into the glass with a fleeting deep brown cap. Offers a complex aroma with some light ethanol notes generally subdued by rich malts and a pleasant blend of barrel aromas. More chocolate emerges with warming.

Taste is rich and back to basics vs. the aroma. Lots of rich dark malts, some cherry and fig, along with a touch of wood at the end of a rather long finish. Offers a spritzy carbonation which is more than expected given the light foam on the pour. Rich and full in feel without being overbearing and a hint of vanilla on the finish. Solid stuff with a couple years on it...

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look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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4.75/5  rDev +3%

Parabola from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.61 out of 5 with 6,556 ratings
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