Velvet Merkin - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 1,291 | Reviews: 176 | Display Reviews Only:
3.23/5 rDev -24.7%
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.
10-18-2012 22:13:53 | More by brystmar
3.31/5 rDev -22.8%
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?)
04-28-2014 02:02:41 | More by ThisWangsChung
3.33/5 rDev -22.4%
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
02-04-2014 03:13:16 | More by RandomExile
3.34/5 rDev -22.1%
Pours black with a big marshmellow mocha head. Aroma is smooth bourbon and its barrel, caramel, chocolate, and a kiss of vanilla. Flavor was a bit disappointing for a FW barrel aged beer; smooth bourbon barrel comes in as I would like but the rest of the beer is quite lackluster. A little roasted barley, some caramel, and chocolate as well, and some of the sugars from the oats. A creamy, medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, I would probably have been far more lenient on this beer if it came from just about anyone other than Firestone Walker. However, knowing the magic these guys can do I was quite underwhelmed here. Not bad, and I easily finished my pour, but I would not come back to this one.
10-11-2013 01:12:28 | More by denver10
3.48/5 rDev -18.9%
22oz bottle $14.99. I was real excited to try this as I like velvet merlin a lot but I will say I was quite let down. I guess I was expecting something more rich and decadent. This truly tasted like Velvet Merlin with hints of bourbon and it was kind of thin. Aroma was bourbon, a little oats, eh. Flavor was more of the same. Honestly I was expecting something like Parabola but different and this falls short. Just too think and too much like the base beer, I didn't feel like the time in the barrel changed it enough to make it worth my money.
09-29-2013 17:26:53 | More by ArrogantB
3.5/5 rDev -18.4%
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
01-11-2014 04:13:52 | More by dirtylou
Velvet Merkin from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 1,291 ratings.