Parabola | Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

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6,631 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

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Ratings: 6,631 |  Reviews: 1,263
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look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

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look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from bottle into a snifter

Appearance – The beer pours an almost pitch black color with a one finger of cream colored head. The head has a good level of retention, slowly fading to leave a moderate level of lace on the sides of the glass. The thickness of the brew can be seen right after pouring and when swirling in the snifter with thick fingers of liquid clinging the sides of the glass before slowly fading to the base of the beer at the bottom of the snifter.

Smell – The aroma of the beer has tons of chocolate and coffee in the nose. Along with these smells are some wonderful oaky and bourbon aromas mixed with a good dose of caramel and vanilla sweetness. Some other lighter aromas of a more dark fruit nature are thee as well with smells of cherry, raisin and plum all there. Overall the aroma is big roasty and sweet producing a nice warming aroma overall..

Taste – The taste begins with a massive level of roasty malt and sweet chocolate with a huge sweet caramel and vanilla flavor. Even from the start some bourbon and oaky flavors are detected on the tongue. While very sweet upfront, the beer incredibly gets even sweeter as the caramel ramps up and is joined by some brown sugar and a toffee sweetness with other flavors of “lighter” dark fruits of fig and raisin (light in comparison to sugar flavors; although by no means light). The roastedness and chocolate flavors fade a tad at the increase of the sweet. Some coffee comes to the tongue however and just like the sweeter flavors, the booziness and bourbon flavors get quite a bit stronger in nature as well. These transitions, with the massive increases in the sweetness and the booziness, all in the end, leave a big, massively sweet and moderately boozy warming taste to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is on the thicker and creamier side with a carbonation level that is on the lower side. Both were fantastic for the darker flavors of the brew as well as for the huge sweet and alcohol flavors of the brew with the lower carbonation only accentuating these. With its boozy and oaky flavors in conjunction with the sweet and dark flavors of the brew the overall thick body and lower carbonation really make this one a nice warming brew and a nice slow drinker.

Overall – Big, robust, massively sweet, and warming. This is a nice imperial stout. A little sweeter then I would want on any real occasion, but this one makes a dessert all in itself, being quite nice for a capper to an evening after dinner on a cooler winter night.

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A: Coffee black with a slight viscosity.

S: Roasted coffee, molasses, vanilla, mild coconut, bourbon and booze.

T: Robust, bitter roast with a sweet backbone. Bourbon and booze come in on the finish. The bitterness and char linger.

M: The flavor is thick. The mouthfeel itself is full without being too viscous or syrupy. There's a lot of heat in the throat as it goes down.

O: Absolutely a world class, barrel aged stout. Strong, bold, and not too sweet.

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Parabola from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.61 out of 5 with 6,631 ratings
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