Velvet Merkin - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Velvet MerkinVelvet Merkin

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
96
world-class

1,962 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,962
Reviews: 282
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 9.3%
Wants: 356
Gots: 769 | FT: 129
Brewed by:
Firestone Walker Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Oatmeal Stout |  8.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: t0rin0 on 11-20-2008

Our decadent Oatmeal Stout lovingly aged in Bourbon barrels. Beautiful chocolate, espresso and vanilla-bourbon aromas hold your nose hostage. Rich dark chocolate truffle, bourbon and espresso create a dangerously smooth and incredibly drinkable barrel aged Oatmeal Stout. Hoarding tendencies may occur.
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Ratings: 1,962 | Reviews: 282
Photo of blues_fever
5/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Delicious does not do it justice!

Photo of unitypunk
5/5  rDev +16.3%

Awesome Beer, pours dark, with a nice head smells like liquor, tastes like it minus the bite of alcohol super solid beer dont miss it! worth the price! 9$ 9oz was worth it!

Photo of Klebe
5/5  rDev +16.3%

Brewing perfected.

Photo of Bigculp2000
5/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Amazing overall ! A must have beer in the colder weather

Photo of NickSD
5/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I really enjoyed this beer a very good oatmeal stout with the perfect amount of boozy taste from the bourbon barrels

Photo of Mckently82
5/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Really really good beer to drink

Photo of CaliforniaJohnson
5/5  rDev +16.3%

poured into a tulip glass from a 650mL bottle.'
Pour Date: Nov 29, 2014

APPEARANCE
Jet black with brown hue. Head 1-inch, light-caramel brown. Head retention shows inhomogenious lacing with a ring around the surface. The low effervescence during the pour suggests a creamy beer.

SMELL
Vanilla, Irish creme, cocoa.

TASTE
Bright and lively grains really hit the roof of the mouth, quickly overcome by creamy, marshmallowy, chocolatey, smoky goodness. You can really taste the roasted grains with the aftertaste. The flavors really work in harmony on this one; the ABV is masked.

FEEL
Although the taste is very creamy, the feel isn't so cream-like; it's pretty bubbly and pleasant.

OVERALL
This beer has everything I look for in a stout -- every aspect lacks nothing.

Photo of jwhancher
5/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had this beer on tap at Eulogy during Philly Beer Week. Met brewery owner David Walker, who mentioned that this beer will never be made again. Thus, I had at least 3 glasses of this (all served in a snifter).

Pours a jet black with nice little head that fades. Smells of chocolate & bourbon with a nice wood component to it. Tastes wonderful. Rich & creamy, it's like a beer and a desert all wrapped in one. I savored this one quite a bit and was blown away by the sheer awesomeness of a beer of this magnitude.

If you can find it, buy it and drink now!

Photo of woodyhardboner
5/5  rDev +16.3%

I took my 73 year old uncle Eddy to a doctors appointment in providence RI. It was a routine check up that told us everything was fine. SWEET. After learning this I axed him if he would enjoy a pint with me. His response was "hell yah". Since I was in Providence I took him to Julian's. A place that is known for it's draft selection. When I sat at the bar I noticed A Firestone Walker tap I hadn't seen before. I ordered one because that brewery has not let me down before. The Velvet Merkin was placed in front of me. Its blackness alone was intoxicating. The head was a thick brownish tan that stayed until the end. All I could smell was whiskey. This beer was everything I could hope for in a bourbon barrel stout. The vanilla was just right so it actually tasted like beer. the finish was to good to be true. I could have drank 10 of them but I had to drive my uncle home. Needless to say I enjoyed this fine brew to the fullest.

Photo of Hopinista
5/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

22 oz bomber poured into a rastal snifter.

A: Black. Pours moderately thick, small tan head rises and dissipates quickly leaving spotty lacing.

S: Really strong bourbon aroma upfront, followed by some vanilla and roasty malts on the back, very pleasing aroma.

T: Bourbon upfront, but not in a hot, burn your mouth off kind of way, very pleasant oak flavor. Next is straight up milk chocolate, almost like a milkshake. Some bitter chocolate, vanilla, and roasted malts on the back.

M: Thick, smooth, and extremely creamy. Very moderate carbonation, this beer is probably the easiest drinking 8.5% ABV out there.

O: There is absolutely nothing negative I can say about this beer. Up until I tried this Parabola was my favorite all time beer, and this has surpassed this. Everyone needs to seek this out and try it at least once.

Photo of erkrause
5/5  rDev +16.3%

This is probably my favorite BA Stout.. give it a year though, it ages great

Photo of BIll_Currie
4.96/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

my first oatmeal bourbon barrel. outstanding!

Photo of amart79
4.92/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - Opaque black color with a pretty big brown tinted head that hangs around for a while.

S - toasty coffee beans, some vanilla and a good smell of malts. Awesome.

T - the taste just follows right where the smell left off. The toasted malt and coffee beans flow right into a little taste of vanilla that flows beautifully into a bourbon taste right at the end.

M - creamy lightly carbonated and incredibly smooth. Even with the small bourbon bite at the end, it goes down easy.

O - literally one of the best beers I've ever had. The velvet merlin was already great and the aging in bourbon barrels just enhances every aspect of it. I'd recommend it to anyone that's gonna be around the brewery since it's only on tap.

Photo of cde1218
4.9/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Wow.... I've read all of the reviews on here about poor mouth feel of this beer.... I truly disagree with all of those reviews. This beer is fantastic! I'm thoroughly impressed with the unique flavor profile... Great chocolate, malt, dark fruit etc. True.... It's no bourbon county in terms of mouth feel but truly a great drive king experience in terms of flavor. FBGM

Photo of CJNAPS
4.83/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I love the creamy texture of this beer...and I'm a big Bourbon fan so I picked up on that goodness right away.

Photo of unclejazz
4.8/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I have been looking forward to trying this ever since trying Velvet Merlin in December. Thank you goes to Brouwerij Lane for getting this and pouring me more than my share.

A-dark brown with a half inch head tan there is great lacing went along with a decent espresso like color.

S-solid bourbon with vanilla and earthy notes which all complemented the roast malt and oat base.

T-this delivers the goods, it is not at all boozy, but wonderful bourbon carmel favors that have wonderful oak undertones. This is an amazing accomplishment.

M-thick and definitely in the sipper category. Just a touch of heat from the bourbon left a great burn in the aftertaste. I could sip this for days, so rewarding.

O-I thought I might never try this but so glad I did. This is e future of beer, some day it will be bottled and I will be there. Fantastic!

Photo of 01001111
4.79/5  rDev +11.4%
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.

Photo of Tristen84
4.79/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Firestone Walker is not capable of making a bad beer and in fact they only make good beers. If its a beer that is meant to be to style they will follow it to the T. If it is a hybrid they are willing to go nuts with it. Velvet Merkin has a good story behind it and is made with so much love and care you can taste it. I am overwhelmed by the thick dark toasted presence of this beer. Some toasted coconut is present with also a nice roasted tobacco. Some alcohol warmth but nothing as compared to their other specialty beers, This is the zenith that all beer should try to achieve. If have not had this yet, try and find a bottle to drink now and bottle to cellar.

Photo of cosmicevan
4.79/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

had this at an in store tasting yesterday at beer city and grabbed a few 16oz growler fills of it.

a - poured into a 6oz FW snifter. brew pours a shiny almost watery black with little to no head. has a barrel shine to it.

s - smell is phenomenal. just smells like a perfect oatmeal stout. great roasted malts and chocolate and coffee notes with a perfect balance of oats.

t - taste is just as amazing as the smell. a fantastic oatmeal stout with the wonderful barrel aging of firestone walker. it is really the perfect blend of oats, chocolate, roasted malts, some coffee and a nice barrel vibe.

m - this one is surprisingly thin. i'd want it to be more rich and creamy, but for the size of this beer, it is just surprising how watery it is.

o - overall, this should be bottled. it is as good if not better than parabola. firestone walker is an amazing brewery and this beer blew my mind (like many other firestone beers i've tried in the past). sad that i only have another 16oz of this beer and it needs to be consumed soon. worth seeking out if you like barrel aged brews, or FW, or just damn fine beer.

---edit 2012-03-24---
honestly, i'd say that i may have even rated this too low. what a f*ckin beer!

Photo of Flyin2Much
4.76/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This will be in my 'treat' category

Photo of HopDawg40
4.76/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

delicious. Great mouthfeel. Well balanced.

Photo of JohnG190
4.76/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

2013 vintage. Pours black as pitch with a huge, tan head that slowly dissipated into a nice cap. Dark chocolate and coffee on the nose with prominent vanilla and bourbon notes. Lots of chocolate, coffee, vanilla, and bourbon on the tongue. Smooth, velvety mouth feel, medium bodied with nice carbonation. Overall, an extremely well crafted and balanced beer. In my opinion, Firestone Walker has the finest barrel aging program out there.

Photo of Boccu
4.75/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Exceptional oatmeal stout. Full flavor to the end. Nice bourbon tones through out.

Photo of crob3888
4.75/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

L: Dark brown, nearly totally black and opaque. Some light shines through around the edges. A tan head forms, but eventually settles and disappears entirely.

S: Notice the smell during the pour. Vanilla bourbon notes dominated the sweet aroma, with dark chocolate as well. A good nose.

T: This is where the beer shines, as it should. The vanilla bourbon blends with rich dark chocolate truffle, and a hint of velvety espresso rounds it out. This is a brilliant bourbon aged beer.

F: Velvety smooth, as the name implies. Medium-full body, slightly chewy mouthfeel. Low carbonation.

Overall: A fantastic oatmeal stout. Velvet Merlin is one of my all-time favorite oatmeal stouts and Velvet Merkin is now an all-time favorite of the BBA variety. Firestone, as usual, knocks it out of the park.

Photo of hophead_87
4.75/5  rDev +10.5%

Awesome. Subtle bourbon flavor brings this to life. Doesn't overpower at all.

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Velvet Merkin from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 1,962 ratings.