Parabola | Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

6,422 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 Buffalo Trace.

Added by largadeer on 03-26-2008

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Ratings: 6,422 |  Reviews: 1,225
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4.5/5  rDev -0.9%

Photo of flayedandskinned
4.93/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2013 Vintage
Poured into a standard tulip glass

Appearance: (4.75)
Pours an intimidating midnight black with a finger and a half of a tight tan head. It a takes a bit slower to recede to a half finger head than I was expecting, considering the 13% alcohol and the fact this aged for a year in 2nd use bourbon barrels. As it does recede it leaves zero lacing behind. Really impressive looking stout!

Aroma: (4.75)
Absolutely huge waves of toasted coconut, vanilla and molasses. Wow, I've never smelled a beer so coconut heavy! Dark, bitter notes of bakers chocolate and burnt coffee grounds; big roasted malt presence intermingling with the barrel character quite nicely. There is a earthy, herbal hop presence that plays as a perfect counterpart to the malt. Sweet, black cherries become apparent as the beer warms. Little to no alcohol is detectable.

Taste: (5)
Notes of sweet chocolate covered cherries hit your palate first with strong impressions of vanilla and coconut soon to follow. More cascading notes of deep, woodsy, dark chocolate are soon to follow and just the right amount of toasty, roasted malt to balance out this massive stout. Finishes very dry and with an assertive hop bitterness and gigantic lingering notes of charred oak, coconut, vanilla, cherries and chocolate malt. Perfectly rounded and balanced for it's size.

Mouthfeel: (5)
Robust, full bodied with moderate to high carbonation. The carbonation level is dialed in perfectly; its high enough so that it lifts the thick malt of the body off of your tongue, but is soft enough to let the subtle nuances of the beer to come out.

Overall: (5)
Wow, I knew this beer was going to be incredible, but I had no idea how amazing it would be! This enormous stout is balanced perfectly and is extremely easy to drink for it's ABV(13%). The barrel character is in your face, but doesn't steal though show at all, the malt and hops have just as much to say. Matt Brynildson is a magician. Much better than my previous favorite barrel aged stout, Goose Island's Bourbon County Brand Stout.
If you see this beer, BUY IT.

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Photo of thecheapies
4.48/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

1,000th review!

2011 Parabola. Served in snifter glasses. So excited to finally try this aged beast/beauty.

Pours oily black with a rich, yet fluffy, mocha head. Retention is seriously outdoing itself. Looks thick. Opaque. Great look.

Semi-sweet malty nose with chocolate liquor, black roast, delicate bourbon whiskey, vanilla, butterscotch, licorice, stout aging musk, and a hint of leather. Divine, yet soft. I was expecting huge, and I get smooth and ripe.

Great tone to the bourbon. Adds a buttery richness and light caramel to an otherwise decadently dark, yet creamy, semi-sweet imperial stout. More dark chocolate syrup, vanilla, licorice, sweet alcohol, espresso roast, age-rounded malts, molasses, medicinal notes, and hints of dark sugars. Faint maple and corn-iness of the whiskey. Fantastic barrel-aged goodness.

Rich and full-bodied with a bushy-tailed finish, thanks to some good existing carbonation. I feel that this is 12.5% in my head, but my mouth is being seriously seduced. Well done. Great feel.

I'm glad I saved this sucker. I mean, I just never had the reason to dig it out of the closet... then, I forgot I had it. When I saw it again recently, after hunting for some good beers, I decided I was saving it for my 1,000th review. It paid off. Not as loud and obvious as KBS, not as rich as BBPt5, falls short of BCBS, but still an elite RIS. An excellent Sunday night stout of dreams to cap off a hell of a great day.

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Parabola from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
4.54 out of 5 based on 6,422 ratings.
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