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Velvet Merkin - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Velvet MerkinVelvet Merkin

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
95
world-class

1,010 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1010
Reviews: 160
rAvg: 4.28
pDev: 9.58%


Brewed by:
Firestone Walker Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Oatmeal Stout |  8.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
Oatmeal stout aged in a >10 year old Heaven Hill bourbon barrel.

(Beer added by: t0rin0 on 11-20-2008)
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Ratings: 1,010 | Reviews: 160 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of AdamF625
AdamF625

Massachusetts

4.16/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

A- dark muddy brown pour with a two finger khaki head, settles black with a milky lacing
S- toasted oats, bourbon, honey, vanilla, hot cacao, bit of brown sugar
T- milk chocolate, bourbon, oak, vanilla, honey, oats
M- medium body and carbonation, tilts towards the creamy side, dry on the finish.
O- very smooth and drinkable for a bourbon barrel aged beer. Take it for what's it worth, an oatmeal stout. Lacks complexity but doesn't need it.

Serving type: bottle

04-14-2014 01:38:49 | More by AdamF625
Photo of ISmith87
ISmith87

Arizona

4.48/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A - 4.75 - nice brown-black beer with a mocha head on it, head sticks for a while and leaves nice lace
S - 5 - bourbon chocolate coffee caramel vanilla cocoa oak smoke
T - 4.25 - bourbon/oak up front, coffee, chocolate, smoke and roasted malts in the background. Oatmeal stands out quite a bit too.
M - 4.25 - medium to thick. Not as thick as the other imperial stouts. A little bit of boozy taste. Aftertaste is roasted malts, coffee, toasted oak.
O - 4.5 - the smell is pretty phenomenal. But as you drink it, it thins out quite a lot. Probably because its an 8% barrel aged beer. Given the choice I'd buy a DDBA or Parabola instead.

Serving type: bottle

04-10-2014 03:29:19 | More by ISmith87
Photo of Chico1985
Chico1985

Massachusetts

4.19/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2013 Batch 001 bottle shared by Cam. Thanks Cam! Had this EBF the weekend before too, happy to get to review it now.

Appearance - (Not quite) black pour into a snifter, beige head retains well as a swirly cap, some lace left.

Smell - Oatmeal forward along with really nice coffee, bran muffin, vanilla, chocolate chip cookie goodness. Breakfast and dessert feel without being too sweet. Just a bit of bourbon spice noticeable, not much bourbon here.

Taste - More bourbon but overall somewhat of a step down from the scent for me. Oats, chocolate, caramel, coffee w/ cream, vanilla, light roast along with some toasted bread. Still noticeably an oatmeal stout which is nice. Bourbon flavor is still kinda understated but good, not much oak.

Mouthfeel - Smooth, well-carbonated, low heftiness. Pretty easy drinking and not alot of booze present.

Overall - Love the lighter feel bourbon stout while maintaining its oaty self. Delivers all around, very good.

Serving type: bottle

03-31-2014 21:42:45 | More by Chico1985
Photo of MasterfulIdiot
MasterfulIdiot

Georgia

3.88/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Super excited to try this! Thanks to Coirm for the bottle.

Appearance is pretty much black. A moderately thick coffee-colored head kicks up on the pour, but fades to a film and a frothy ring around the glass almost immediately.

Aroma is coffee, chocolate syrup, with just the faintest hint of vanilla. Bourbon and oaky notes aren't present at first, but begin to show up as the beer warms, along with just a touch of alcohol heat in there. It's actually kind of surprising that they got any alcohol heat to show up, considering the relatively low ABV, but I'm happy they figured out a way! All the flavors are working together really nicely, and it smells like it'll be right up my alley!

Taste is much the same, incorporating chocolate, coffee, oak, and bourbon notes all into one delicious whole. Nice bit of lactic tartness as well. As with the nose, there's a nice feeling of alcohol warmth at its relatively modest 8.5% ABV.

Mouthfeel is moderately thick, but I think could have stood to be a little thicker. Lots of carbonation. Moderately dry.

Overall, a really nice, smooth, and relatively easy-drinking beer. This is positively sessionable as far as barrel-aged beers go! Really well-done.

Serving type: bottle

03-31-2014 02:03:28 | More by MasterfulIdiot
Photo of cbutova
cbutova

Massachusetts

4.31/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A- Poured from the 22oz bomber to two snifters with Chico1985. Pitch black body with a fairly oily appearance as it pours to the glass. Off-white head rises to about a finger high with a creamy texture. Frothy ring leaves a web of lace with mostly spotty patches.

S- Right as it was poured, the chocolate and oatmeal stout base leads the way with deep roast malts and sweet chocolate, reminds me of a muffin with the toasted oatmeal feel. With some time, the barrel opens up with a smooth, quality whiskey aroma and oak vanilla.

T- Opens up with the Bourbon barrel coming to the palate first. Reminds me of Elijah Craig range of Bourbon flavors with some peppery hints coming with the toast oak and vanilla sweetness. The chocolate malts and oatmeal combine to remind me of baked goods, ala muffins or cookies. Deep roast grains. It all comes together to create a decadent dessert feel that trumps many higher alcohol stouts in overall flavor.

MF- Moderately thick body with slightly creamy texture. Carbonation at a medium level which helps because the body is not super oily like bigger stouts. Oatmeal adds that chewy silkiness. Slight Bourbon warming in the finish but just a tiny bit.

Pretty huge fan of what this beer brings to the table. It is like a chocolate oatmeal cookie with a dollop of vanilla Bourbon frosting on top at times. The oatmeal side of things is impressive and it isn't just a roast bomb. Great balance is the key to this brew.

Serving type: bottle

03-30-2014 22:40:04 | More by cbutova
Photo of LambicPentameter
LambicPentameter

Kansas

4.21/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to BA deschutes_fan for sending this one along as part of an great trade. Enjoyed out of a 22 oz brown bottle with some kind of paper seal around the cap, for freshness I suppose. No discernible bottling or freshness date, but the vintage, 2013, is marked very clearly on the label. Poured into a large 20 oz snifter.

Appearance - Aggressive pour hields a one finger tan head with lots of frothy, soap-like bubbles. Dissipates fairly quickly, reduced to little more than a sparse mottling of thin film and a ringlet around the edge of the glass in a matter of minutes. Beneath the not-for-long head is an inky black body that finally reveals some rich mahogany brown notes after drinking it down enough so that light can pass through the liquid. Lacing is almost nonexistent--just a few spots here and there.

Smell - Wow. Having finally tried this, I can now tell where so much of the wonderful aroma on the XVII anniversary beer comes from. A rich, sweet blend of bourbon, molasses, and Nutella-covered graham crackers fills the nose, promising a big, powerful nightcap-style beer. Notes of vanilla bean and cocoa powder are also present. I could almost sit here smelling this beer and never take a drink and be satisfied. Almost.

Taste - Hmmm. After the great first impression left by the aroma, I'm a little let down by the taste. It's not bad by any means, just less than what I was anticipating after practically drowning my olfactory nerves in the intoxicating smell. The sweetness from the smell is less present here, with the taste instead consisting of stronger characteristics of astringent bourbon and some faint caramel, roasted malt and faded cacao. A few times I get hints of that great rich chocolate ganache/fudge element that is often present in big stouts, but it's so fleeting that it just leaves me longing for more.

Mouthfeel - This is where I start to put two and two together with regards to the disappointing taste. The smell leaves me expecting a rich, viscous-and-just-short-of-cloying stout, but the body is very thin and almost watery. The carbonation, is moderate-to-low and doesn't provide enough depth of texture to make up for the thin mouthfeel. It seems like this one needs to be blended with some oatmeal stout that isn't barrel aged to give it a bit more heft.

Overall, it's still a very good brew. The smell alone carries it quite far, but it's still a bit of a letdown all the same, a little bit with the flavor, but really with the mouthfeel. There was a thread about the importance of mouthfeel the other day, and this is a perfect example of how an otherwise outstanding beer can take a serious step back without the appropriate body and carbonation.

Serving type: bottle

03-30-2014 05:10:21 | More by LambicPentameter
Photo of Scotchboy
Scotchboy

Idaho

4.1/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Review/Rating No. 800, celebrated with Batch 001 of Velvet Merkin in celebration of the birth of my first son. Split with my brother into pint glasses.

A: Nearly opaque with tan head and lace. Decent retention and lacing.

S&T: Sweet whiskey and vanilla...chocolate, some burnt barley, and oak. Toasted sugars from front to back, caramel? Definitely some toasted coconut and some almonds and hazelnuts. Coffee as it warms. Warmth on the finish but no booze really. This is a lighter body and bourbon presence than I was expecting.

MF: Medium-full bodied, but lighter than I thought it would be. Definitely smooth, but the oats aren't as apparent as I thought/hoped they'd be.

O: A good beer that didn't quite live up to the hype for me. Firestone Walker has ridiculous expectations set on their barrel-aged beers, and rightfully so as most of them are near perfect. This one, for me, was missing body and lower on aromas/flavors of bourbon than I wanted. Still an excellent BA oatmeal stout that is lower in ABV.

Serving type: bottle

03-21-2014 14:33:57 | More by Scotchboy
Photo of 01001111
01001111

California

4.78/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A: A dark but not opaque chestnut color with little-to-no head and some oil slick patterns.

S: Wood, roast, oats, vanilla, pipe tobacco, and a slight bourbon bite.

T: Chocolate, hazelnuts and walnuts, vanilla, a hint of coconut. The bourbon character comes through as it warms in the mouth. The finish is very bold and roasted; not bitter at all.

M: Velvety, but a bit thin with some syrupy character, more like a nut brown ale in body, but the robust flavor boosts the mouthfeel. The alcohol heat appears mostly in the back of the throat.

O: I'm quite impressed. Velvet Merlin is a great oatmeal stout but the other reviews had me worried about this one. While not the most amazing barrel-aged stout, this is an excellent brew.

Serving type: bottle

03-12-2014 00:05:41 | More by 01001111
Photo of tigg924
tigg924

Massachusetts

4.4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Had on tap at New World Tavern.

Appearance: low carbonation, 1/4 inch head, opaque, black in color

Smell: dark chocolate, oak, and bourbon

Taste: Deep bourbon taste, dark and milk chocolate, with touch of vanilla

Mouthfeel: sweet, oaky, and roasty, heavy body, moderate carbonation

Overall: Wow. Every barrel aged beer FireStone Walker has done has been lights out amazing and worth every penny. This one is no different. I love the depth of the barrel aging and yet this still has a lot of stout to it. One of the best beers I have had in a while.

Serving type: on-tap

02-28-2014 19:58:15 | More by tigg924
Photo of plaid75
plaid75

New York

4/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On draft at The Lark, East Northport, NY.

Poured a black hue with a two finger foamy tan head. There was decent retention and lacing.

The smell featured roasted malts a d a touch of charcoal.

The flavor was likewise roasted with a touch of sweetness and a hint of black licorice.

The mouthfeel was toward tge fuller side of the style.

Overall a tasty oatmeal stout.

Serving type: on-tap

02-23-2014 22:35:03 | More by plaid75
Photo of dar482
dar482

New York

4.25/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

The beer has a good oak and aggressive bourbon note in the front. Sweet vanilla and chocolate. It then calms onto notes of the beer with roasted malt and slightly bitter chocolate clean up the beer on the finish.

Obviously not too packed with dark sweet notes nor a really bold drippy body at its ABV.

A well crafted barrel aged beer with good amount of flavor and a beautiful finish working against the bourbon notes.

Serving type: bottle

02-12-2014 04:38:07 | More by dar482
Photo of Clints1991
Clints1991

Colorado

4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had from a 22oz bottle in a snifter. It pours a darkish brown, black color. It has a nice tan head that lasts for awhile. It has a strong nose, of oak, bourbon, sweetness, On the taste, I got some oak, the sweetness of a bourbon, some oats, vanilla and some caramel. It has a medium/full bodied mouthfeel, with a nice dry but sweet finish. Overall this is one of the nicest bourbon barrel aged beers I have had. Firestone definitely does an amazing job!!

Serving type: bottle

02-10-2014 05:14:23 | More by Clints1991
Photo of fox227
fox227

California

4.23/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Velvet Merkin poured into my mini snifter with about a half-inch of tan head with mostly fine bubbles and some large. The black liquid underneath is very dark as expected. The beer smells of oak, bourbon, possibly sherry, and milk chocolate. The first sip revealed mostly bourbon and unsweetened cola, but as the beer warmed, milk chocolate, oats, and the rest of the nose are revealed to this drinker. Each component seemed in proper balance, as the bourbon does not dominate. Sweetness is lacking, which is fine, and the mouthfeel is medium/full bodied with a bit of a dry finish.

Overall: this is yet another bourbon barrel beer in what seems to be an endless selection of these days, but Firestone, as to be expected, deliver the goods with a nearly spectacular beer.

Serving type: bottle

02-05-2014 00:56:21 | More by fox227
Photo of RandomExile
RandomExile

Maryland

3.33/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

A: opaque black; no head; gothic spiderweb lacing
S: sweet, sharp bourbon barrel, tobacco
T: decided oatmeal on larger pulls, a sweet bourbony flavor reminding me of a candy from my childhood I can't quite place ... I understand why others are citing coconut and vanilla, but disagree that they overshadow the bourbon.
M: Medium-light for a bourbon, dry side of sweet
O: Fine for a bourbon barrel. Not my variety, but this has no dischordant notes, has that decidedly sweet/caramel flavor people are looking for in this style, and can easily stand up to the richest of soups or meats.

12oz / Tulip Glass / VGP, MD

Serving type: on-tap

02-04-2014 03:13:16 | More by RandomExile
Photo of imperialbeerdude
imperialbeerdude

Colorado

4.59/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I had this months ago when it first came out and I hate to age beers, but this is a case where some age has really done the beer some good. I feel the additional time helped integrate the flavor more. I'm picking up much more coconut and vanilla in this bee, not much if any of the bourbon barrel. This is exactly what I want though, the bourbon to give some extra sweetness, vanilla and coconut. Don't drink this expecting big barrel character, instead expect a well integrated beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-30-2014 08:27:19 | More by imperialbeerdude
Photo of KFBR392
KFBR392

Illinois

4.38/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

2013 Vintage bottled on 8/23/13

Appearance: Pours with a medium brown color yet sits black in the glass. The head was light on the pour and is only present in a slightly off white ring around the edges of the glass. Very little active carbonation in the glass while drinking.

Smell: Big heavy bourbon front. Filled with vanilla, cherries, coffee, roasted malt, molasses, and medium bodied chocolate. Behind the booze is a wonderful base of rich creamy oatmeal that gives this aroma some serious legs. I love the big bourbon accents yet they are done perfectly to allow so much more to shine through.

Taste: A mesh of flavors hit the palate first. Some oats, vanilla, chocolate, and bourbon all come together to make a unique taste and start this beer off. The body opens up with a potent oatmeal taste that is brought out by the bourbon accents. The finish is a an earthy, grainy, malt, and of course some booze finish that tingles on the palate for long after drinking.

Mouthfeel: A thickness covers the palate yet not overwhelmed and still allows many of the flavors to come through while drinking. Bourbon brings some dryness on the finish but is primarily sweet and delicious.

Overall: Was in the mood for a delicious BA stout and this one did just fine. Not as heavy since it's an oatmeal stout but a ton of complexity. I'm a big bourbon fan so I loved the barrel character and how potent it was. Firestone Walker doesn't mess around with this series.

Serving type: bottle

01-28-2014 02:13:29 | More by KFBR392
Photo of gcamparone
gcamparone

Rhode Island

4.38/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 22 oz boxed bottled into an innis & gunn tulip glass. Purchased in Attleboro, MA. Thanks Eric for putting this aside for me.

A- Pours a pretty deep brown body with a generous 3 finger, fast rising light mocha head that reduces slowly to leave some thick white lacing.

S- Smells quite sweet with vanilla, butterscotch, honey, and caramel notes, the bourbon comes through quite nicely. Light coffee and chocolate.

T- Creamy, smooth, slightly sweet milk chocolate, toasted oats, caramel are the first things to show up. The barrel is present here and adds vanilla and bourbon notes. The finish is roasty and leaves a nice toasted malt flavor on the tongue.

M- Somewhat light on the tongue, could use more body.. light carbonation.

A nicely done oatmeal stout.. barrel aging is unique with an oatmeal stout.. usually it's reserved for the heavier styles like Russian Imperials or double stouts, but it worked here.

Serving type: bottle

01-21-2014 02:04:07 | More by gcamparone
Photo of BMMillsy
BMMillsy

Florida

4.28/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2013 Bottle from Tim. Thanks so much! Pours dark brown to black in my FW Barrelworks Teku with a one finger mocha head. Aroma is big oats and chocolate, vanilla, whiskey, graham cracker, toasted nuts. Flavor is chocolate up front with some big time vanilla tones on top of graham crackers. Followed by a punch of strong whiskey and long lasting oaky vanilla. The lasting finish is the real highlight of this beer. Palate is velvety smooth up front and while not a super thick beer, I see no reason to complain about thin body here. Plenty of body, especially for the ABV, and medium carbonation. This was a winner for me with just the right amount of barrel character, rather than the in your face whiskey shot I get with lower ABV stouts and porters aged in barrels. As usual, Firestone Walker kicks ass.

Serving type: bottle

01-20-2014 00:33:34 | More by BMMillsy
Photo of PicoPapa
PicoPapa

Connecticut

3.98/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

On tap at Top Hops. Pours a very dark brown with a 1/4 inch of head. Some lacing. Sweet aroma of vanilla, caramel, chocolate and some coffee. The taste is sweet caramel and chocolate with some vanilla as well. Some bitter dark chocolate towards the end. Boozey. Vanilla and caramel at the finish. Slick mouthfeel with a medium amount of carbonation. One of the boozier Oatmeal Stouts I've had. Overall, I'd get it again.

Serving type: on-tap

01-17-2014 19:09:11 | More by PicoPapa
Photo of Pahn
Pahn

New York

4.43/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

22oz bottle split 2 ways between myself and morningthief. Poured into wine glasses.

Appearance: Very dark red brown. Tan lace wall.

Smell: Nice sweet stout, with a hefty bit of vanilla oak around it. Restrained and well put together. Speaks of a good beer...

Taste: As usual with Firestone Walker, delivers. It's Velvet Merlin, a nice, unassuming, creamy oatmeal stout, elevated by several fully discernible oak-influenced notes.

Firestone Walker really knows how to make a complete beer. This flavor is beautiful; not over the top in any respect, with the barrel honoring rather than masking the base beer.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, high carbonation. Normally this carbonation level would bother me, but it puts me in mind of a very lively porter, and is just the right stage for these flavors to play out their little play. Some dryness would bring out the roasted flavors--I love what's here, but I think some husky dryness would make it even better.

Overall: Greater than the sum of its parts. Firestone Walker is a brewery of masters... Others may make showier (and excellent) beers, but Firestone perfects a recipe and then shares their brilliant work with its fans. Wonderful beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-17-2014 02:19:26 | More by Pahn
Photo of greenhorn
greenhorn

Arizona

3.54/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

2013 vintage, poured into oversized wine glass. Nice head on this one, more black than brown. Not much of an aroma - what’s there is almost off putting. Creamy taste but very little coffee and bourbon presence. I do get the chocolate and vanilla. Body is lighter than I expected and wish it was a little thicker. Overall, I expected more from this one but still a tasty offering.

Serving type: bottle

01-12-2014 23:37:37 | More by greenhorn
Photo of dirtylou
dirtylou

Washington

3.5/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

2013, batch 01

When a FW brew comes in a box, you expect great things - aroma of toasted oats, touch of chocolate, some malt. Very light bodied - thin flavor profile - oats, cocoa, some hops. For FW, this is terribly disappointing and downright boring

Serving type: bottle

01-11-2014 04:13:52 | More by dirtylou
Photo of Dope
Dope

Massachusetts

4.25/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2013 batch (001)

A: Pours black with a tall and fluffy medium brown head. Head fades out slowly with great retention. Moderate but big and fluffy chunks of lacing.

S: Heavy on the bourbon. Caramel and toasted sugars primarily with some oak. Quite a bit of smooth milk chocolate hiding behind it. Get that notable, smooth and creamy oatmeal character as well. Very nice.

T: Again with the bourbon up front. Oaky, quite oaky with some toffee, a little coconut and caramel. Creamy oatmeal in the middle with just a hint of milk chocolate. Oatmeal turns a little bit grainy and the chocolate a little bittersweet in the finish. A dry, oaky finish with more hints of bourbon lingering in the aftertaste.

M: Medium-heavy, smooth and creamy.

O: Not often you find a barrel aged oatmeal stout. Not a huge fan of the bourbon in this one but it still works pretty nicely. Oatmeal, as always, provides a nice layer of creaminess and smooths the whole thing out. Well balanced, not overly complex or hot for that matter either. Very nice.

Serving type: bottle

01-09-2014 04:02:28 | More by Dope
Photo of twiggamortis420
twiggamortis420

Texas

3.84/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

22 oz bottle courtesy of BeerHatesRob pours a rich black color with a frothy tan head. Nice lacing and decent retention.

Nose is half chocolate milkshake and half roasty stout. Very nice.

Taste shows some bold barrel character to go along with a lactose-y sweet milk stout. Its smooth and creamy but I could actually use a little more chocolate and malt depth. Its not quite as good as I was hoping, the barrel seems to overpower the malt character of the beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-07-2014 00:22:12 | More by twiggamortis420
Photo of Fcolle2
Fcolle2

Illinois

4.63/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

2013 edition

Pours dark thick black letting little to no light through. Head is thin tan and fades to a tan ring around the glass that's retains nicely.

Smell is great. Rich dark chocolate malt along with creamy oat aromas are balanced nicely with a light barrel and bourbon aromas. Smells semi sweet and incredibly rich.

Taste is awesome and follows the nose. Rich semi sweet chocolate malt is forward and so incredibly rich and creamy that it is almost like desert in a glass. Some faint dark ripe blackberry fruity esters follow along with a more prevalent oak barrel and lighter bourbon flavor.

Mouthfeel is great. Thick, creamy great body. Mild carbonation leaves this a great sipping beer, perfect for a bitter cold night.

Incredible beer, I'm glad I have another to cellar.

Serving type: bottle

01-06-2014 01:58:49 | More by Fcolle2
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Velvet Merkin from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 1,010 ratings.