Parabola | Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

ParabolaParabola
BA SCORE
98.2%
Liked This Beer
4.61 w/ 6,539 ratings
ParabolaParabola
BEER INFO

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

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

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#29
Reviews:
1,252
Ratings:
6,539
Liked:
6,424
Avg:
4.61/5
pDev:
7.59%
Alströms:
0
 
 
Wants:
3,144
Gots:
3,727
Trade:
278
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 6,539 |  Reviews: 1,252
Photo of madpentzer
4.82/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Photo of morrissette1
4.87/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of Biggtriksta
4.63/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours with one of the darkest black appearances I've seen in a beer. There is quite literally no head on top. It actually resembles cola that has sat and let some of the carbonation die down. The nose is bittersweet chocolate, bitter coffee, and dark fruit layered on top of booziness. The alcohol is incredibly present in the taste. It actually cleared my sinus right up the burn was so intense. Once the burn dies down, I am left with bitter dark cherry, mild chocolate, and burnt coffee lingering on my tongue. The mouth is thick yet smooth, and as mentioned, the alcohol burn is predominant. Overall, I think previous vintages of this beer have been better due to the more hidden alcohol presence. Nevertheless, Parabola remains legendary.

 743 characters

Photo of Norvelljeff
5/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of johnny_chimpo
4.77/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of beersgud
4.53/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of J_Mueller
4.66/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of JKasten988
4.92/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

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

Photo of PVMT
4.92/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Photo of 7Sport
4.5/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of DelMontiac
5/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of Marius
5/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Very dark ruby pour, with a tan head with good retention. Rich smell of bourbon, milk chocolate, cocoa, coffee, dark cherries, roasted malts and vanilla. Very well balanced taste, with notes of bourbon that do not overwhelm, followed by dark cherries, milk chocolate, vanilla and cocoa. Silky smooth texture and a very well balanced taste, not too sweet, not too bitter and not too boozy.

 388 characters

Photo of HopHunter19
5/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - dark brown black with mocha head that fades quick (high ABV), looks like motor oil. 
S - bourbon, oak, smoke, dark chocolate, espresso, vanilla, toffee, caramel, toasted coconut, big roasted malts
T - Super smooth, chocolate, coffee, bourbon, oak, smokiness, tobacco, leather, roasted malts, nice barrel flavors, caramel, coconut, burnt marshmallow
M - super thick, alc covered, aftertaste is coffee, bourbon, roasted malts, smoke, and oak barrel flavors. 
O - I've heard this is the best of all the batches so far. I can't argue with that. Probably THE best barrel aged imperial stout that I've had. Hands down amazing. Have had on tap twice and out of the bottle twice and it never dissapoints.

2017 bottle:
A - pitch black beer with a mocha head that does dissipate as expected at 14.5% abv
S - huge roasty malts, dark chocolate, bourbon, coconut, vanilla, molasses, toffee, oak, smoke/char, umami umami umami
T - again big roasty malts, vanilla, cream, dark chocolate, molasses, toffee, oak, smoke/char, burnt marshmallow, so wholesome, the bourbon flavor in this beer is so well balanced with every other flavor
M - this beer is huge, it has a heavy mouthfeel, alcohol is covered, aftertaste is more dark chocolate, smoke/char, vanilla, toffee. It's excessively good.
O - amazing beer, still 5/5 in every aspect

 1,325 characters

Photo of JBreits83
4.52/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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

My favorite stout

17 characters

Photo of LouZ
4.59/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Opened the 2014 vintage on 1/4/16. Much more impressive compared to previous tasting. Poured with a finger of short-lived head. Aroma was amazing - vanilla, caramel, bourbon, oak. Taste characteristics matched, balancing sweetness with the dark, roasty notes of a good stout. This is very smooth. Feel is medium tending toward a bit full body and a little hot at first. Feels like a sip of good, straight bourbon with warmth in the back of your throat. But as the beer warms to room temperature, the booziness evens out. Overall, an excellent BA stout and worth it's lofty status.

Had the 2013 version from a cellared bomber; label read No. 004. Poured black with no head so I had to knock the look score a bit. Scent was kinda like a wet dog, I hate to say. Taste was better; you really got the smokey oak presence, which was nice. It was a little boozy, but not overwhelming. Mouthfeel was good; not flat, as I feared, but moderate carbonation. Overall, it was a good strong stout that got better as it warmed up; didn't really blow me away as hype had me expecting. Looking forward to trying my 2014 to compare.

 1,117 characters

Photo of absoluthamm
4.62/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of jheezee
3.5/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of WillDavis707
4.96/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

One of my all time favorite. I try to scoop up as many bottles as i can when it's around.

Pours pitch black with a nice dark head. Aromas of bourbon, chocolate and tobacco. Taste like the perfect balance of bourbon and imperial stout, just boozy enough, but not overpowering.

 276 characters

Photo of Jaycase
4.65/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2014 vintage

Pours black with virtually no head. Aroma of marshmallow, chocolate & oak. Tastes like liquid chocolate with a nice boozy burn on the backend. Mouthfeel is just about perfect. First time having Parabola and it's a good one. One of the better BA stouts I've had that's for certain. Incredibly smooth & surprisingly mellow for a 14% beer, although cumulatively the ABV will still beat you like it did me. Maybe the one year mellowed it some. Will have to try a bottle fresh some time.

 505 characters

Photo of epyon396
4.5/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of saliro5
4.56/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Fahmie25
3.99/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of NJB145
4.53/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Parabola from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 98.2% out of 100 with 6,539 ratings
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