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Velvet Merkin - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Velvet MerkinVelvet Merkin

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,605 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,605
Reviews: 214
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 9.77%
Wants: 301
Gots: 590 | FT: 103
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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,605 | Reviews: 214 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Reagan1984
2.5/5  rDev -41.9%

Reagan1984, Feb 05, 2012
Photo of DrunkAl
2.75/5  rDev -36%

DrunkAl, Jun 11, 2014
Photo of kreg02
2.75/5  rDev -36%

kreg02, Jan 24, 2014
Photo of Devi0us
3/5  rDev -30.2%

Devi0us, Sep 30, 2013
Photo of dachp
3/5  rDev -30.2%

dachp, Feb 03, 2013
Photo of Rhettroactive
3/5  rDev -30.2%

Rhettroactive, Feb 07, 2014
Photo of mulerofthewhalez
3/5  rDev -30.2%

mulerofthewhalez, Nov 18, 2014
Photo of Huolis72
3/5  rDev -30.2%

Huolis72, Dec 22, 2013
Photo of meb3476
3/5  rDev -30.2%

meb3476, Aug 11, 2014
Photo of Rob_d
3/5  rDev -30.2%

Rob_d, Oct 15, 2014
Photo of santomark
3/5  rDev -30.2%

A - Pours a coca cola colored body. Mild off white head, about a nickels worth. Hues of brown.

S - Maple syrup, toffee, coffee, malt, fig, dates, darker fruits, splash of that classic bourbon taste.

T - light coffee up front, that watered down mocha, that iced latte taste. This empty presence in the middle. Finish with that bourbon taste.

M - Very light, silky, smooth.

O - I'm not buying another beer from this company again. No offense, but at $16 a bottle, I'd expect this to have a bigger profile. Moreover, the body is too weak for the bourbon characteristics. At times, this taste like the last few sips of a jack and coke, with a breathe of coffee to come back up. This is so weak, words cannot tell you how disappointed I am with this brew. I'm debating regurgitating what I swallowed, putting it back in the bottle, and asking for a refund. It's not bad, it's just absolutely disappointing.

santomark, Oct 03, 2014
Photo of Jwale73
3/5  rDev -30.2%

Jwale73, Feb 04, 2012
Photo of ElGordito
3/5  rDev -30.2%

ElGordito, Nov 07, 2014
Photo of Rekrule
3/5  rDev -30.2%

Rekrule, Nov 19, 2013
Photo of Odysseyalien
3/5  rDev -30.2%

Odysseyalien, Sep 29, 2014
Photo of Jasonrm72
3/5  rDev -30.2%

Jasonrm72, Dec 15, 2013
Photo of rxeight
3/5  rDev -30.2%

rxeight, Nov 14, 2013
Photo of brystmar
3.23/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

On tap for Barcade's 8th anniversary.

Dark brown pour, minimal tan head and lace. Traces of bourbon mix with the roasted malts for a pleasant aroma.

Gotta start by saying the body is unacceptably thin -- especially for an oatmeal stout. Roasty malts prevail in the flavor, somehow hiding most of the bourbon. Kinda watery throughout, but somehow finishes really strong with a bold rush of hazelnuts. Yum.

Pretty disappointing overall.

brystmar, Oct 18, 2012
Photo of SB_Brewmaster
3.25/5  rDev -24.4%

SB_Brewmaster, Apr 03, 2014
Photo of jhillwastaken
3.25/5  rDev -24.4%

jhillwastaken, Dec 10, 2013
Photo of revooner
3.25/5  rDev -24.4%

revooner, Oct 18, 2013
Photo of DoubleSimcoe
3.25/5  rDev -24.4%

DoubleSimcoe, Feb 14, 2014
Photo of Omer4176
3.25/5  rDev -24.4%

Omer4176, Jan 19, 2014
Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.31/5  rDev -23%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

Thanks to Nick Swinford for the 22 oz bottle! Poured into a wine glass; from yesterday.

A: Pours a very dark brown color; it certainly doesn't have the opacity of other big 8%+ stouts. There's a finger worth of light mocha colored head. The retention is poor and minimal lacing is left behind.

S: At first, the aroma is quite mild - this one needs time to open up. Once it does, though, it brings notes of bourbon, chocolate, vanilla, caramel, and oats.

T: The best part of the brew. It starts off with a one-two combination of vanilla and chocolate on the taste buds. Gradually, it will develop some mild oat flavor, then transition straight into pure bourbon. A touch of alcohol burn is prevalent in conjunction with the bourbon/oak note, but it's hardly bothersome. The bourbon - while showcased well - more or less swallows the base brew whole. I could use more complexity as well.

M: Very thin, almost intolerably so - it feels genuinely insubstantial. There's nice carbonation to bring the flavors to the palate, though. The finish is sweet, sticky, long, and tannic; it's an easy brew to sip at least.

O: This isn't a bad beer at all. But given it's reputation and semi-rarity, it should have been better. It's thin and simplistic - two things I don't want from a barrel-aged offering. Honestly, I think I'd like the regular Velvet Merlin more...but we don't get that in Maryland (seriously, WTF? Maryland gets all the barrel-aged offerings from FW, but not Pivo Pils or Velvet Merlin?)

ThisWangsChung, Apr 28, 2014
Photo of RandomExile
3.33/5  rDev -22.6%
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

RandomExile, Feb 04, 2014
Velvet Merkin from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 1,605 ratings.