Parabola | Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

6,488 Ratings
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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 Buļ¬€alo Trace.

Added by largadeer on 03-26-2008

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Ratings: 6,488 |  Reviews: 1,241
Photo of Mumbles720
4.5/5  rDev -0.9%

Photo of matt2591
4.25/5  rDev -6.4%

Photo of joegard
5/5  rDev +10.1%

Photo of BigV
5/5  rDev +10.1%

Photo of warmbier804
5/5  rDev +10.1%

Photo of daron7
4.5/5  rDev -0.9%

Photo of mattycasey
4.75/5  rDev +4.6%

Photo of kaleodrum
5/5  rDev +10.1%

Photo of Linos510
4.25/5  rDev -6.4%

Photo of mmars010
5/5  rDev +10.1%

Photo of Brian_Holter
4.5/5  rDev -0.9%

Photo of KYGunner
4.4/5  rDev -3.1%

Not as viscous as I expected it had a deep deep brown color that allowed a bit of light to pierce the edge. The head foamed to a light brown cap but then collared quickly.

Brownie, raisin, chocolate, maple and coconut meet the nose as this has glimpses of a barleywine.

The flavor is all barleywine with dark fruit, raisin, chocolatey sweetness, caramel malt, toffee malt, barley and wine. Vanilla begins to form on the palate as it warms.

The feel is velvety, with a slight alcohol heat and a touch of alcohol tang. It has a nice thickness to it as well.

Very good beer but I thought I was drinking Bourbon County Barleywine the entire time, which isn't a bad thing.

 671 characters

Photo of Petegrieco
4.5/5  rDev -0.9%

Photo of Wallycosta
4.25/5  rDev -6.4%

Photo of Walkerjgt
4.75/5  rDev +4.6%

Photo of RonBurgundyDF
5/5  rDev +10.1%

Photo of snowmageddon
4.75/5  rDev +4.6%

Photo of Nolen12
4.5/5  rDev -0.9%

Photo of Liam4123
4/5  rDev -11.9%

Photo of randyb0007
5/5  rDev +10.1%

Photo of jkball01
4.5/5  rDev -0.9%

Photo of BullDoza
4.86/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

My first Parabola called for my first rating. 2014 poured from bottle to glass.

A: Very deep, dark brown with a reddish tinge where the light hits toward top and bottom of the glass. The red tinge is subtle, but enough that I can't call this Black; maybe a few shades darker than cola. 3/4 finger, khaki, roasted tan head. Head diminished quickly to only a thin film atop the beer.

S: Wow. Depends on the stage of temperature...this one changes that much. Fresh from the pour, it was not at all what I expected. Whiskey, not bourbon is what hit me in the face. Chocolate and toffee was very faintly present. First thought was: watered down whiskey/cola drink. First thought, based on this, was along the lines of, "I let the hype get me, and this is going to be a let down." NOT SO FAST!! This one morphs as it warms; quickly, at that. What I described as "whiskey" quickly evolved into sweet bourbon, vanilla, and wood. This is what I expected! The chocolate and and roastiness remained as the vanilla became more pronounced. Amazing.

T: based on my initial "nose." I did NOT expect what I tasted. Unlike the whiskey/soda nose, a wave of chocolate and roasted malt hit me. Just as quickly, it fell and finished clean with sweet vanilla and faint toffee. This one changed and presented me with something new as it warmed, and with almost every sip. The bourbon and vanilla/woody tastes became more and more apparent as it warmed. Hints of dark fruit are detectable as well; fig? Dark chocolate and roasted malt linger in the aftertaste. The faintest bit of oatmeal and toffee remain. Vanilla, bourbon, wood continue to dominate 40 minutes later. Could swear there was some caramel in there too. Exceptionally complex beer!

M: this is where the beer could have been a tad bit better, in my opinion. The mouth feel was, though silky and smooth, lighter than anticipated. While not all bad, it wasn't as full bodied as I would have preferred. Was hoping for more "oomph"...thicker and chewier. While not what I was expecting, it certainly wasn't a bad mouth feel.

Overall: this is by far the most complex beer I have had to date. The aroma, the number of favors I picked up as the beer warmed, and the way it all worked was phenomenal. So complex, yet so well made. No one aspect of this beer felt out of place or overwhelmed any other No matter how much, or how little, each piece contributed...they all worked together to create a master piece.

If looking at style, this one tops the List of BA beers I've had to date: Black Note, KBS, Uncle Jacob's (2012), Black Crack, among others...none are this good. Wow...

 2,619 characters

Photo of aoampm
4.9/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

12 oz bottle poured into a snifter. 2017 vintage.

Pours a complete black with a head that completely vanishes in under a minute. No lacing at all.

Smell is huge on the bourbon! Some chocolate, vanilla, coffee, and roasted malt on the nose.

Taste is the bomb. The chocolate bourbon flavor is right there at first and then some vanilla, coffee, molasses, and an oaky spice in there also.

Feel is everything you want in a BA Stout. Thick, chewy, not very carbonated. Drinks heavvvvy.

Overall this is a perfectly executed BA stout in my book. Incredibly well done and always a treat to have.

 593 characters

Photo of PZBREW
4.5/5  rDev -0.9%

Photo of BabyTree
4.75/5  rDev +4.6%

Parabola from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
4.54 out of 5 based on 6,488 ratings.
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