Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

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Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
California, United States
Russian Imperial Stout
Ranked #16
Ranked #301
4.5 | pDev: 6%
Saturday at 08:26 PM
Feb 12, 2022
Our signature Parabola Imperial Stout achieves new heights in this limited small-batch release. We aged it in an equal selection of rare older-stock barrels for two years, specifically, 14-year Old Fitzgerald bourbon barrels and 18-year Sazerac Rye whiskey barrels. These barrels complemented Parabola's classic dark chocolate, cherry and vanilla flavors by imparting hints of stone fruits, fudge, leather and peppery spice. The result cultivates an ultra-smooth mouthfeel for this prodigiously flavorful beer.
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Photo of drdiesel9483
Reviewed by drdiesel9483 from Ohio

4.53/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
Look - perfect, black thick fantastic tan head rimming lacing
Smell - rich dark chocolate, dark red fruit, caramel woody and molasses
Taste - about the same as the smell but with some booze and more barrel
Feel - full body medium light carb, slight creamy
Overall - outstanding
Saturday at 08:26 PM
Rated: 4.54 by jakecattleco from California

Sep 18, 2023
Photo of GrumpyGas
Reviewed by GrumpyGas from Illinois

4.32/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
12oz bottle from the Extreme Stout Box poured into a taster glass shows a lightless black body supporting a thin cap of tiny chestnut brown bubbles and leaves the glass clean.

Aromas of chocolate and stone fruits dominate, with notes of wet oak and even some spice.

Flavors open up as it warms with chocolate, rye, bourbon, cherry, plum, vanilla, leather, and char all melding together.

Mouthfeel is thinner, more sharp, than expected with carbonation present, yet leaving a slight grit and sticky residue.

Overall a prime example of blending, a FW expertise.
Sep 09, 2023
Rated: 4.29 by bschmidt_37 from Illinois

Sep 05, 2023
Photo of maximum12
Reviewed by maximum12 from Minnesota

4.7/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5
Firestone Walker keeps pumping out 12 oz. Reserve bottles. I keep buying them. Already had this a few times so I know what’s coming.

Black. Low bubble count. Unlike it’s little cousin one can smell the booze on the breeze, along with hefty barrel & chocolate. Malts are somewhat subdued by the aggressive barrel.

Paraboloid is no Parabola, but what is? What it is, is delicious. Like the nose the barrel is aggressive, with both bourbon & spicy rye coming through strongly & distinctly; the spiciness really gets up into the sinuses. I don’t really want to delve further, because it’s beautiful. Sweet espresso, vanilla, moderate heat, with a drying oak finish. But this is really about the skillful barrel aging. I’d be happy with a year’s supply of this.

It’s been over 13 years since my first bottle of Paraboloid’s divine cousin, Parabola, entered my life. This isn’t quite as good…which isn’t saying much. An elite beer & a master lesson in the use of barrels.
Aug 26, 2023
Rated: 4.39 by Abstractspirit from Rhode Island

Aug 25, 2023
Rated: 4.4 by Duncian from Pennsylvania

Aug 10, 2023
Photo of Roguer
Reviewed by Roguer from Connecticut

4.6/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75
Excellent appearance, especially given the ABV and two years spent barrel aging.

Aroma is rich and powerful, showing off the bourbon and rye whiskey along with the huge malt base in approximately equal amounts. Honeycomb, chocolate, molasses, cherry, red grape, whiskey, brown sugar, toast, caramel, prune, leather, and a rather noticeable (but not aggressive) boozy bite. I'm trying to think of ways this aroma could be improved, and the answer is ... I'm not quite sure.

Flavor is much more bitter and woody than the nose, with a solid amount of char. This is in keeping with OG Parabola, honestly. The slightly more neutral grain of the rye whiskey likely plays into this bitterness, as well (contrasted against the sweeter bourbon influence). Tasting notes include cherry, chocolate, oak, char, coffee, brown sugar, vanilla, syrup, molasses, red grape, prune.

This is a fantastic and worthy amplified expression of a classic and world class BA imperial stout. I'm not certain it's better than the original, but I wouldn't argue against opinions to the contrary; it's unquestionably excellent. For my tastes, I'd prefer a bit more depth and richness to the sweetness, but I have the same opinion of OG Parabola. It's not a flaw in the beer by any means; it's personal preference.
Jul 22, 2023
Photo of StraightNoChaser
Reviewed by StraightNoChaser from Georgia

4.5/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
Look: Uber dark, nice mocha head on the pour.
Smell: richness popping. Velvety smooth dark chocolate, cherry, vanilla.
Taste: much like the nose, but the rye spice asserts here, nice spicy finish.
Jul 22, 2023
Photo of firesidewithphil
Rated by firesidewithphil from Illinois

4.25/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
Tangy yeast and experimental Parabola.
Jul 08, 2023
Photo of ovaltine
Reviewed by ovaltine from Indiana

4.6/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
Pours a dark cola brown and settles as black in the glass with a sudsy dark tan head that sticks around for a bit and then rings the glass as you enjoy the beer. The nose is an impressive mix of dark chocolate, dark cherry, spicy rye, and oak from the barrels. Wow.

The taste has all the aforementioned characteristics featured on the nose, but it’s the combination of the dark chocolate, dark cherry, and spicy rye that makes this world class beer for me, especially with the barrel providing a very nice warming note at the back of palate without slamming a boozy hammer upside your head.

The mouthfeel is very full and approaches creamy. This is an amazing BA imperial stout, IMHO, one I’d gladly revisit again and again.
Jul 06, 2023
Photo of stortore
Reviewed by stortore from Illinois

4.49/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
12 ounce bottle into a snifter. 2022 version, had 2/19/23.

Pours a dark cola color, opaque, with a half inch foamy head and some light foamy cling. Aromas of bourbon, roasted malt, oak, rye whiskey, some cherry and chocolate, light leather and char. Has a spicy aroma. Flavors of bourbon, rye whiskey, roasted malt, oak, chocolate, some cherry and leather, light vanilla and char. Has a spicy rye flavor. Smooth with a dry finish, a solid full body, well carbonated.

This is quite a beer. Robust and expressive aromas and flavors, a strong barrel presence including lots of spicy rye from the Sazerac barrels. Just delicious.
Jul 05, 2023
Rated: 4.66 by Wisconsin_IPA_Lover from Wisconsin

Jul 03, 2023
Rated: 4.13 by dshansen1184 from Washington

Jun 25, 2023
Rated: 4.5 by Mikexw from New York

Jun 23, 2023
Rated: 4.67 by Brob245 from Missouri

Jun 19, 2023
Rated: 4.75 by eawolff99 from Minnesota

May 31, 2023
Rated: 4.25 by paulish from New York

May 24, 2023
Photo of arcticsquare
Reviewed by arcticsquare from Idaho

4.92/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5
Thin head that disappears quickly. Smells like dark chocolate and dark fruit. Deep molasses-like boozy sweetness, hints of bourbon. Delicious! Definitely my favorite of the Extreme Beer Box brews.
Apr 30, 2023
Photo of jb_4226
Rated by jb_4226 from Texas

4.9/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5
#161, good stuff!
Apr 30, 2023
Paraboloid from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 98 out of 100 with 109 ratings