Parabola | Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

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ParabolaParabola
BA SCORE
4.61/5
World-Class
6,771 Ratings
ParabolaParabola
BEER INFO

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

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 12.70%

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

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#26
Reviews:
1,300
Ratings:
6,771
pDev:
7.59%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
3,151
Gots:
3,791
Trade:
284
HISTOGRAM
 
View: Beers
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 6,771 |  Reviews: 1,300
Photo of sulldaddy
4.41/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampling a cellar temp 2017 bottle poured into a snifter. The beer pours a light chocolate brown color with a khaki colored head of 2 cm. The foam is dense and fades slowly to an edge layer. The beer is not as dark of a pour as I expected from the beer. THe aroma is roasted malt a bit of dark chocolate mixed with some molasses and no hints of any hops. The beer is a little boozy and some black pepper notes poke through to make me know this is a sipper beer.
First sip reveals lots of dark malt and chocolate with molasses and bourbon. NO hops show through and the alcohol is noticeable on each swallow. Takes a bit to finish the bottle, but it is enjoyable . The texture is very smooth and carbonation is almost nonexistant.
This is a nice robust imperial stout and certainly worth a shot, but it does pack a bit of a kick as I am certainly feeling it by the end of the bottle.

 885 characters

Photo of Wolvmar
4.72/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a 12oz 2018 Vintage No. 009 bottle into a tulip glass.

Pour: deep, rich black with no light penetrating. One finger, tan head that quickly dissipates to a thin ring. No lacing; somewhat surprising relative to other big rich BA stouts. This is a good looking beer but not exceptional.

Nose: bourbon, vanilla, caramel, dark fruit sweetness are all readily apparent. Not overwhelming but really nicely balanced. Could smell this all night long.

Taste - sweet bourbon, vanilla bean, caramel, dark cherries, brandied fruit, brown sugar, and dark chocolate all work together beautifully. Finishes with a slight dark chocolate, hops bitterness. This is a symphony of well balanced flavors. One of the best.

Mouthfeel: smooth, milkshake like viscosity. Moderate carbonation. This coats the tongue, but finishes fairly clean. Really outstanding.

Overall: this is one of the best BBA stouts I’ve tried. More balanced than KBS, at least on par with Black Note and Bourbon County. Along with Bourbon Paradise, an ATF.

One left in the cellar. Look forward to trying it in a year or so.

 1,098 characters

Photo of Ddeck212
4.69/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of Chilmer
4.58/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of brittanylicious
4.5/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of rodlavers
4.26/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Jonnydrinker
4/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Tony210
4.7/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

2017 vs 2018 vintages

Look:
2017: pours a deep mahogany color with nominal mocha colored head.
2018: pours a similar dark color with much more foamy head that quickly recedes.

Smell:
2017: massive aromas of barrel, chocolate, coffee, anise?, boozy, caramel, tobacco, old leather.
2018: Not as big of an aroma here. Has that same boozy aroma; lots of fresh bourbon barrel, blackstrap molasses, but missing many of the other aromas listed above, except that interesting anise smell - bordering on eucalyptus / menthol.

Taste:
2017: big and boozy, lots of bourbon barrel flavor, loads of cocoa, tons of coffee, ample molasses and caramel Towards the end. Sweet but an espresso bitterness on the finish cuts the sweetness short.
2018: incredibly sweet, borderline cloying. Lots of roasted malts, sweetness has a marshmallow quality to it. Brown sugar, dark corn syrup. A lot of the above flavors are masked by the sweetness. Has a similar bitter espresso finish.

Feel:
2017: fairly thick and syrupy, light carbonation.
2018: I was expecting the younger version to be a lot thicker and more full-bodied, but this is not the case here. Slick and syrupy, a little oily, a little creamy.

Overall:
2017: very smooth, abv is very noticeable but doesn't get in the way of all the complex flavors. I am looking forward to drinking this vintage in another year.

2018: I am surprised that the beer with a lower abv is sweeter, but it may be due to its relative freshness. I am curious to see what a year of aging does to it. I have several bottles of each vintage...

5/22/18
12 oz bottle
2017: 14.5% abv
2018: 12.7% abv
I enjoyed the 2017 vintage the best
4.75 rating

 1,688 characters

Photo of JamesLeung
4.85/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of Aerizel
4.6/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of JOldewurtel
4.93/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of Juggerr
4.5/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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

Photo of tsgooch79
4.25/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

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

Photo of dafla67
4.99/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

One of my favorites. Deep black color. An incredible smell of chocolate, vanilla and bourbon. The taste is amazing. An incredible balance of the chocolate, vanilla and bourbon aging. Overall, and with no exaggeration, I think it is one of the best stouts. Certainly, underappreciated.

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Photo of forum8417
4.76/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of JerryHelper
4.65/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of jtransel
4.5/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of chrismattlin
4.57/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Afeo
4.61/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of DenverHopHead
4.4/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz 2018 Vintage No. 009 bottle into a snifter.
Appearance- a deep black that only lets a hint of light at the bottom of the snifter and along the top of the beer where some carbonation bubbles are seen; no head and lacing is nowhere to be found.
Smell- bourbon, vanilla, caramel and black licorice mesh to form a mouth watering blend!
Taste - delicious bouquet of bourbon, vanilla bean, dark cherries, dark chocolate and caramel candy working seamlessly to put my palate in a trance!
Feel - the immensely flavorful blend and mild sweetness take any edge off what the 12.7% booze might otherwise present and makes this an incredibly easy sipper!
Overall- Parabola has eluded me for far too long, but certainly worth the wait; this is supremely crafted as I find myself emmerced in the dance between bourbon, vanilla, caramel and dark chocolate covered black cherries!

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Photo of gopens44
4.54/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thick, foamy beige head that draws back to an even curtain of lacing. Nose big on molasses, maybe just a bit boozy but the bourbon isn’t overwhelming. Taste is simply terrific, with equal sized waves of rich coffee, vanilla and bourbon with a molasses finish dressed in a thick, silky body. Aftertaste is a sweet, maybe a finish similar to how it feels after drinking bourbon.

 385 characters

Photo of brentusaurus
4.24/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of BeerAndFilm
4.49/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Parabola from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.61 out of 5 with 6,771 ratings