Velvet Merkin - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Velvet MerkinVelvet Merkin

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BA SCORE
96
world-class

1,722 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,722
Reviews: 230
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 9.77%
Wants: 298
Gots: 628 | FT: 110
Brewed by:
Firestone Walker Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Oatmeal Stout |  8.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
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.

(Beer added by: t0rin0 on 11-20-2008)
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Ratings: 1,722 | Reviews: 230 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Jho3325
4.46/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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

Photo of jemarent
4.41/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of FLima
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2014 edition.
Deep black color with a huge thick light caramel head with great retention.
Aroma with predominating notes of Bourbon backed by cocoa powder, coffee and vanilla.
Likewise, flavor with notes of bourbon, cola and dark chocolate all predominating. Also, creamy espresso, some spices, earthy and mild citrusy hops, roasted malt and very light smoke. Increasingly dry aftertaste with the Bourbon further revealing itself.
Velvet body with appropriate carbonation. Alcohol of 8.5% abv is absent.
Excellent brew with good complexity. Bourbon predominates elegantly and it is far from cloying. Remember this is an Oatmeal Stout don’t compare this to any hoppy imperial.

Photo of ronricorossi
3.71/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Yeah, the complaints about the mouthfeel are pretty accurate. Much thinner than one would expect. Flavors are fine, but not exceptional. The weakest of FW's special releases (which is almost an unfair comparison, since the others are all world-beaters, or close to it...)

Photo of Dreynolds1808
3.53/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Photo of thirstyturtle
4.68/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

silky smooth oatmeal stout goodness

Photo of Hectormedina
4.49/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of mecmd
4.44/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Photo of larryi86
4.26/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

22 oz bottle poured into a teku

A- Black with a three finger light mocha head.

S- Bourbon, some vanilla, oak, cocoa powder, slightly metallic, some coffee, and sweet oats. Metallic notes are kind of off putting, if they weren't there I would rate the smell at least 4.25.

T- Mild bourbon, hints of oak and vanilla, cocoa powder, fairly sweet, some coffee, some nice oat quality, nicely balanced, no hint of alcohol at all.

M- Smooth, creamy, medium body.

O- Bose throw me off but the taste is great. Didn't feel it would be great to age, but I really enjoy how it tastes fresh, can't wait to get more next year. Bourbon is a nice added flavor but not a big flavor in this beer.

Photo of ttylicki
4.19/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of themind
2.89/5  rDev -32.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

a 96??? after having BCBS, Devils Due, Backwoods Basterd and a host of other BB beers recently, this beer is truly a disappointment. The aroma is weak, the carbonation is fizzy and the taste is below par for the standard these days. A thin mouth feel just adds to the many short comings of this beer. I am shocked as this beer to me gets smoked by many so called " shelf turds " out there. If your seeking this out, save your money. The only redeeming factor of this beer is the ABV is hidden, but it's not very hard at 8.5%

Bottom Line: Not buying this again.

Photo of pmangold
4.59/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2013 vintage - poured into a snifter. jet black appearance with a thin khaki head. the aroma was bourbon with sweet notes. The taste was very elaborate with bourbon, vanilla, chocolate, oak and even toffee. This was a thinner BA stout but I believe that was the intention since it's a lower abv oatmeal stout. I will be seeking out more of these.

Photo of EuphonicHops
4.13/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Sparty1224
4.13/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 4.25

Serving: 22 oz. bomber poured into a snifter. 2014 vintage with no obvious bottle date.

A: You know when you hear the description of some BBA stouts as pouring like "thick motor oil"? Ya, this isn't that. Pours more like Coca-Cola. Once it's in the glass, though, it's not too bad. Dark brown-black body, minimal tan head.

S: Very nice aroma. Hit with the bourbon right up front. Very clean, lots of vanilla, some almond nuttiness. Just a hint of chocolate in the background. Fair amount of oak and barrel character.

T: A little underwhelming. Soft notes of vanilla, oak, flourless chocolate. A hint of toffee near the back end. Whiskey comes through strongly in the finish, but it's nicely balanced.

M: Disappointingly thin. Very, very watery for a BA stout.

O: So my expectations for Merkin were low because I wasn't a huge fan of Merlin. I thought the base beer was unimpressive, very thin and watery, and weak in flavor. So I wasn't sure how barrel-aging would help that. For the most part, it's an improvement. Wonderful flavors of vanilla, oak, almond all come through and the beer is very balanced and drinkable. The bourbon character is very nicely wrapped around this beer. However, a thin base beer leads to a thin BBA beer and the look and mouthfeel are just so unimpressive and leave a lot to be desired.

Recommendation: Not a must-try if you don't care for Velvet Merlin, but definitely still worth seeking out just for the fact that FW is so good at barrel-aging beers.

Photo of Jofroi
4.6/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of Zekenyce
4.46/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of LouZ
4.61/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Draft. Pours dark with a slight red hue. Smell is coffee and caramel - love the smell of this beer. You can taste the bourbon, but it's not overwhelming; balanced with coffee and sweet malts. A great, drinkable barrel-aged beer.

Photo of fredmugs
4.05/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Mplsbrew
4.3/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of jonathanjones27
3.25/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

It seriously fell short of my expectation. Mouthfeel just was thin, flavor was light bodied and dissipated quickly.

Photo of ananddullabh
4.59/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of YOSHl
3.98/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of Absolut
4.31/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of kamikazeokami
3.75/5  rDev -12.8%

Velvet Merkin from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 1,722 ratings.