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Velvet Merkin - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Velvet MerkinVelvet Merkin

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,308 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,308
Reviews: 179
rAvg: 4.29
pDev: 9.79%
Wants: 279
Gots: 402 | FT: 82
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: 1,308 | Reviews: 179 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of rxeight
3/5  rDev -30.1%

rxeight, Nov 14, 2013
Photo of brystmar
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.

brystmar, Oct 18, 2012
Photo of SB_Brewmaster
3.25/5  rDev -24.2%

SB_Brewmaster, Apr 03, 2014
Photo of jhillwastaken
3.25/5  rDev -24.2%

jhillwastaken, Dec 10, 2013
Photo of revooner
3.25/5  rDev -24.2%

revooner, Oct 18, 2013
Photo of DoubleSimcoe
3.25/5  rDev -24.2%

DoubleSimcoe, Feb 14, 2014
Photo of Omer4176
3.25/5  rDev -24.2%

Omer4176, Jan 19, 2014
Photo of Techichi
3.25/5  rDev -24.2%

Techichi, Nov 27, 2013
Photo of Jerryt0000
3.25/5  rDev -24.2%

Jerryt0000, Jun 07, 2014
Photo of ThisWangsChung
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?)

ThisWangsChung, Apr 28, 2014
Photo of RandomExile
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

RandomExile, Feb 04, 2014
Photo of denver10
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.

denver10, Oct 11, 2013
Photo of ArrogantB
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.

ArrogantB, Sep 29, 2013
Photo of schmidtmattsays
3.5/5  rDev -18.4%

schmidtmattsays, Aug 25, 2014
Photo of dirtylou
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

dirtylou, Jan 11, 2014
Photo of blabaer
3.5/5  rDev -18.4%

blabaer, Jan 24, 2014
Photo of nickhiller
3.5/5  rDev -18.4%

nickhiller, Feb 05, 2012
Photo of Massbmx
3.5/5  rDev -18.4%

Massbmx, Dec 09, 2013
Photo of ygtbsm94
3.5/5  rDev -18.4%

ygtbsm94, Oct 25, 2013
Photo of IrishColonial
3.5/5  rDev -18.4%

IrishColonial, Jan 01, 2014
Photo of Tee2Grn
3.5/5  rDev -18.4%

Tee2Grn, Jan 06, 2014
Photo of BarrytheBear
3.5/5  rDev -18.4%

BarrytheBear, Oct 25, 2013
Photo of L3MI
3.5/5  rDev -18.4%

L3MI, Oct 22, 2013
Photo of HopsintheSack
3.5/5  rDev -18.4%

HopsintheSack, Mar 02, 2014
Photo of bauermj
3.5/5  rDev -18.4%

bauermj, Jan 09, 2014
Velvet Merkin from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 1,308 ratings.