Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

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Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
California, United States
Russian Imperial Stout
Ranked #6
Ranked #133
4.53 | pDev: 6.18%
May 24, 2023
Apr 13, 2013
Notes: Parabajava ia an ongoing series exploring the infusion of coffee into our Parabola Barrel Aged Imperial Series. This first offering is a collaboration with the famed Intelligentsia Coffee Company, utilizing their El Diablo espresso blend. This beer was crated for our June 16th Father’s Day brunch at Lot 213 in L.A. The coffee brings intense coffee house espress aroma - roasty carmel, toffee, molasses and fresh ground coffee notes. The flavor melds well with the big rich character of the stout - complementary roasty flavors, dark baker’s chocolate, and more caramel which pairs well with Parabola’s rich malt and smokey oak bourbon notes. The finish is amazingly smooth and integrated.
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Photo of Grax
Reviewed by Grax

4.13/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4
Aroma is boozy bourbon with a bit of classic chocolaty stout -- jammy molasses and plum. Body is strong with bourbon followed shortly by roasty coffee, and the two combine to make something like a mounds bar with a swig of strong black coffee. One of the best examples of a good barrel aged stout out there.
May 24, 2023
Rated: 4.43 by minterro from California

May 24, 2023
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Rated by pathman from Ohio

5/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5
04/27/23 bottle @ home
Apr 28, 2023
Rated: 4.66 by Rochefort10nh from New Hampshire

Apr 07, 2023
Photo of REVZEB
Reviewed by REVZEB from Illinois

4.52/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
Pitch black pour with a full brown head. The nose is great: espresso added to usual parabola, but the barrel not cut at all. Taste is coffee and chocolate forward, barrel is rustic, roasted malt parabola base is still great. Body is a touch thinner but still earthy, rustic, and boozy with roast. This is well done but I like the original best still
Apr 04, 2023
Rated: 4.68 by eawolff99 from Minnesota

Apr 04, 2023
Photo of micada
Reviewed by micada from New York

4.25/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
2022 version poured cellar temp to a mug. Base Parabola has always been excellent. This coffee version is good, with a new profile to the base. Gone is the bright, complex, woody bourbon up front. That has been replaced with a milder, more chocolate front. The middle is “Parabola” in body and flavor. The coffee comes into play as a mouthfeel factor and an end-sip lingering dirty cup of Joe. It’s a decent coffee flavor. It’s slightly odd to me that it comes into focus so late in the flavor. No alcohol burn, and really not much warming as one might expect from this big ABV bomb. For my money, I’d stick with base Parabola or the Anniversary offerings.
Mar 13, 2023
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Reviewed by Luscious_Malfoy from Illinois

4.58/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
i has this once years ago… 2016 or 2017 in a 22oz bomber split with a friend but haven’t had it since. glad to finally revisit. this is a 2022 vintage poured from a 12oz bottle into a TG MD snifter. pours light brown but gathers in the glass a shiny dark brown to almost black with a thin mocha brown foam cap that settles into a thin collar around the rim of the glass. bourbon barrel and coffee on the nose for a beautiful mix of aromas plus some chocolate from the base stout and oak. taste follows and to me, is even better than the nose. the coffee is present but there’s still tons of barrel and i get a lot of good, rich chocolate notes from the base beer. medium-full mouthfeel bordering on full but it’s just a touch too carbonated for me. it’s still very sticky and mouth-coating and one could argue the carbonation makes it a little easier drinking. incredible barrel-aged imperial coffee stout!
Mar 01, 2023
Rated: 4.27 by dtm426 from Michigan

Feb 02, 2023
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Reviewed by Beersnake1 from California

4.59/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
Poured at fridge temp. Pours jet black with a thin (half inch) layer of light brown head. Tiny bubbles rising throughout the glass. The nose is fantastic. Intense coffee, but a really nice coffee smell. Not cheap stale coffee grounds. This is a fresh coffee smell. I roast my own beans, and this is like dipping my nose in the beans a few hours after roasting. Lovely. Other smells of chocolate, vanilla, toffee, malts, burnt wood, and some brown sugar.

The taste is absolutely insane. One of the best tastes from a coffee stout. Again, the coffee is front and center. A lovely fresh coffee taste. Not overly bitter at all. Dark chocolate, vanilla, marmalade, brown sugar, a touch of maple, walnuts, and salted caramel. The barrel comes through here for sure, but definitely complimentary rather than dominant.

The mouthfeel is thick and robust. The alcohol is there on the swallow, but definitely doesn't drink like it's 13.8% ABV! Overall, one of the best coffee stouts I have ever had.
Dec 27, 2022
Rated: 4.78 by kmoen from California

Dec 18, 2022
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Reviewed by Christianriveraaa

4.79/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75
L: Dark jet black poured on draft into a 3oz sampler. Not a ounce of light can be seen aside from looking at the very top. Looks not to heavy not to thin somewhere in the middle.
S: Heavy toasty coffee notes on the inside. Dark chocolate followed by it, can’t smell the bourbon at all in this one.
T: Dark rich malts, on the sweeter side, big coffee here mixed in with chocolate. Not getting much cherry in this one as it’s very covered by the malty coffee chocolatiness. Getting some molasses, the dark cherry comes more in the after taste the more I sip and let it sit.
F: Medium to heavy bodied, tastes are on the thicker side - oily.
O: This actually was an amazing beer. Probably the best I’ve tried by Firestone Walker by far.
Dec 15, 2022
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Reviewed by Herbabee from Pennsylvania

4.75/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75
Just scored a little stash of the 2022 release. Cap released without a hiss (despite a few days being jostled in the FedEx truck and handoffs). Pour issued a slight capper which receded into a persistent, gurgly ring at the fill line. Nose is of coffee right at the forefront, some nuances that might have me recalling oatmeal stouts (or caramel corn); no noticeable barrel burn. Taste is coffee-bitter, sweet, tangy, a titch of grapefruit-y hoppiness (should i gargle it?). Swallow is of strong bitter coffee, caramel sweetness, some ticklish carbonation, slight barrel presence.

A very fine sample! i'll be dispensing the remaining vessels most judiciously...
Dec 14, 2022
Rated: 4.5 by ElGallo from New Hampshire

Dec 12, 2022
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Reviewed by CarolinaCardinals from North Carolina

4.53/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
Received a 2022 bottle from Resistance88 today, 12-6-22 - thanks Tomas!

Beer poured black with a nice brown head with the original pour.

Nose is heavily roasted coffee forward and am getting notes of the barrel in the background - vanilla, leather, and bourbon.

Taste is a huge malt base that has notes of chocolate assimilates the heavy roasted coffee nicely. Barrel aging lends a nice touch of vanilla and leather. Finishes well balanced with a light kiss of bourbon on top of the coffee.

Mouthfeel is medium to heavy bodied and very smooth.

Overall a wonderful BBA imperial coffee stout - buy this if you are a fan of the style!
Dec 06, 2022
Photo of sjrider
Reviewed by sjrider from California

4.49/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
Bottle pour 2022 version 13.8%- black coffee with short khaki head leaving minimal lacing and a ring of tiny bubbles. Nose is a whole lotta coffee and a hint of boozy barrel wood. Taste follows with roasty malt, some dark chocolate and caramel sweetness, more coffee and lingering boozy barrel on the dryish finish.
Nov 30, 2022
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Reviewed by pants678 from California

4.32/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
Not much brown foam, opaque black.

That's coffee.

Fudgy and semi harsh, very rich coffee, would like to bring it back a notch. Lactose could balance it. Bit of sweetness, strong dark chocolate.

Dense, dense, dense.
Nov 25, 2022
Rated: 4.43 by BAsbill from California

Nov 21, 2022
Rated: 4.56 by Appearanceswc from Virginia

Aug 16, 2022
Rated: 4.1 by BarrelAgedG from California

Mar 25, 2022
Photo of TMoney2591
Reviewed by TMoney2591 from Illinois

4/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Served from tap in a flared pokal at Consume.

Pours a deep onyx topped by a finger of tan foam. The nose comprises sweet coffee, roasted malts, cocoa, and a twinge of whiskey barrel. The taste brings in more of the same, the coffee attempting to crowd out all else, though mostly in vain. The body is a hefty medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a sorta/kinda drying finish. A very nice bit of coffee-centric impy goodness.
Mar 17, 2022
Rated: 4.14 by rab53 from Washington

Jan 24, 2022
Rated: 4.54 by not2quick from Missouri

Jan 18, 2022
Rated: 4.35 by Taenim from New Jersey

Jan 08, 2022
Rated: 4.73 by beermanben from Wisconsin

Oct 05, 2021
Photo of Harrison8
Reviewed by Harrison8 from Missouri

4.45/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
Pours black with a finger of tan-khaki foam. Aroma is roasty, toasty, nutty, and caramely malts with some mild coffee mixed into the nose. Dark chocolate and molasses mingle for a little sweetness and complexity. Flavor profile is heavy stout, with roasty, toasty, caramely, nutty, and bready malts. Coffee comes in just after the start and lingers to the end. Mild coffee notes. Dark chocolate and molasses add a little further sweetness. Some bourbon and alcohol heat on the backend. Mouth feel is thick and heavy with a surprisingly still texture. Overall, heavy stout with some great coffee notes and some boozy heat too. Good blend of each, allowing the base stout to shine through the mix.

Sep 19, 2021
Rated: 4.5 by rstump24 from Ohio

Aug 24, 2021
Rated: 4.58 by SpdKilz from Illinois

Aug 23, 2021
Rated: 4.83 by CAcker from California

Aug 09, 2021
Rated: 4.25 by Rkitchen from Michigan

Jun 19, 2021
Photo of puck1225
Reviewed by puck1225 from Texas

4.53/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
Extraordinarily rich and flavorful stout. Smell and taste of stewed, sweetened dark berries. Intense dark chocolate. Subtle licorice and dark coffee. Bourbon whiskey background that is more pronounced as it warms - boozy. Excellent head and lacing atop a rich dark brown. Glad to have found it on tap.
May 03, 2021
Rated: 4.25 by ADTaber from South Carolina

Mar 06, 2021
Rated: 4.5 by mrmsmith from District of Columbia

Feb 03, 2021
Rated: 4.44 by GaryM6 from New York

Jan 28, 2021
Rated: 5 by Ziosa from Missouri

Jan 06, 2021
Rated: 4.06 by Hopelessly0 from California

Nov 10, 2020
Photo of BillAfromSoCal
Reviewed by BillAfromSoCal from California

4.69/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75
2019 vintage, 13.2% ABV, 56 IBU, purchased form the cooler at Firestone in September and refrigerated until now (about 5-6 weeks later) poured into 2 snifters from a 12 oz bottle. Off-black color, about 1/8 inch or less of head. virtually no lacing. Wonderful roasted grain and coffee smell, but not as intense as some others like this style. Taste follows the brewer's description quite well. Most excellent mouthfeel; very smooth and viscous. Overall one excellent beer marred only by the hefty pricetag of $10/12oz and I prefer a little more head retention and a little more coffee-forward smell, which I admit is totally subjective.
Oct 25, 2020
Rated: 4.54 by Duffman79 from Connecticut

Sep 17, 2020
Rated: 4.58 by Dadthew from New York

Jul 28, 2020
Rated: 4.85 by Spartie05 from Michigan

Jul 20, 2020
Parabajava from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 100 out of 100 with 944 ratings