Velvet Merkin - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
Ratings: 1,274 | Reviews: 175 | Display Reviews Only:
4.18/5 rDev -2.6%
On cask at Blue Palms last Friday. There is a bit of confusion but I am now sure that the other Velvet Merkin on BA is not barrel aged.
Poured pitch black, even in the light. At first my snifter was completely filled with foam. Never had a cask over carbonated before. Lots of beautiful brown foam, very silky, great retention and great lacing.
Aroma was chocolatey, and roasty but mild in those aspects. The oak and bourbon were stronger in the aroma. Well balanced (almost) and no alcohol in the nose. Mild overall.
The flavor was so smooth it was almost rediculous. Chocolate, oak, vanilla, roast(medium), and bourbon all played a part. The oak and bourbon were heavier but not overpowering. Going to guess 8% abv on this one. Mild bitterness.
Body was very heavy, very carbonated but it didn't last. Very very drinkable and very enjoyable. At the risk of getting harassed, this was my favorite beer of the night and that includes the X, XI, and XII as well as the bravo, oaktoberfest, lil opal (probably 2nd favorite), and saucer full of secrets.
11-20-2008 08:17:47 | More by t0rin0
4/5 rDev -6.8%
On nitro tap for Churchill's Renaissance at Churchill's Pub & Grille in San Marcos, CA.
Pours an almost opaque super dark crimson brown with a foamy tan head that lasts. A thick curtain of lace forms on the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, toasted oats, wood, and slight bourbon. Taste is pretty much the same except the bourbon is very subtle and hard to taste. This beer has a nice thick and creamy mouthfeel being on the nitro tap. Overall, this is a good stout but the barrel aging is quite mild in both the aroma and taste.
03-05-2012 22:41:29 | More by UCLABrewN84
4.15/5 rDev -3.3%
Reviewed from notes.
Pours a dark brown color with a thin tan head and a few spots of lacing. Nice collar as it goes down. The nose brings a good contingent of roast and chocolate alongside the really nice barrel notes. Fantastic amount of bourbon plus some oak and vanilla. The flavor brings smooth bourbon as well as oak, vanilla, chocolate, and moderate roast. Medium body that is quite creamy with really nice barrel qualities. Very, very well done. Not surprising coming from Firestone.
05-31-2011 11:10:32 | More by Thorpe429
4.58/5 rDev +6.8%
On-tap at Oakquinox
Dark brown pour with a small tan head. The aroma reminds me of chocolate milk with a little bit of vanilla added to it. Minimal roast and coffee notes, just an overwhelming chocolate/vanilla blend. Great barrel and bourbon flavor with even more of the chocolate and vanilla going on. Moderate roast and a hint of coffee. Nicely sweet from some toffee malt flavors. So damn good.
07-17-2012 18:17:52 | More by womencantsail
4.22/5 rDev -1.6%
On tap at The Stone Brewing Bistro & World Gardens on 11/13/09 during their Firestone Walker 13th on the 13th event. Served in a snifter.
Pours black, with a thin frothy covering of mocha colored head. This stays rich when swirled, leaving a strong latticework of spotty lacing behind. The aroma is quite tangy (and even a little meaty) smelling with big notes of smoke, chocolate roast, burnt wood, and coffee. Some fresh floral tannic character gives this a distinct layer of earthy depth.
The taste is similar, with a sweet smokey tang to it from layers of chocolate, coffee, roast, a tiny bit of dark fruit, and naturally, the bourbon. This has a definite ripple of earthy feeling tannins that run through it, leaving a strong woody dryness in the finish. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a fuller creaminess to it form the oats but also retains a considerable amount of barrel-induced slickness.
I really liked how the barrel-aging worked with this. The bourbon wasn't in your face, instead working with the malts to impart that deep smokey tang, while the barrel gave the overall profile an earthy and green feeling mellowness. Really interesting and fun drinking stuff from Firestone.
12-10-2009 18:09:01 | More by Kegatron
4.15/5 rDev -3.3%
Tap at EBF from keg.
Creamy light head, brown molasses darker colored but not very dark.
Nose light bourbon and oak, oats, hint of fruit, brown malts, chewy malts, light barrel and vanilla aromas, touch of chocolate and caramel.
Taste creamy, oats, light oak and vanilla, light bourbon, brown malts, hint if molasses, bit of dark malts with hint of roast and caramel, toffee, and just a touch of chocolate.
Mouth is creamy and smooth, lush, fuller bodied, with decent carb and just a hint of booze.
Overall pretty good, wish I could have sat down with a full pour to get more out of it, but still a pretty good beer.
02-13-2012 12:59:42 | More by jlindros
4.49/5 rDev +4.7%
just fantastic, thanks to claystation for bringing this over. long anticipated for me, this pours a honey thick mocha brown color, smooth as silk in the snifter, and showing off over an inch of oatmeal foam. it smells so much less alcoholic than I expected, mostly because of how alcohol forward most of the other boxed offerings have been. this one is sweet and rich, subtle spice and vanilla from the barrel, a lot of oatmeal body and sweetness, and an aggressively bitter cocoa barley vibe. its all blends together exquisitely well, and some of the heavier flavors of milk chocolate, tobacco, raisins, and butter cream come out in the last legs. alcohol never makes an appearance, not even at room temperature, and the bourbon contributes just the right amount of flavor and smoothness. these days so many barreled beers don't taste a lot like beer anymore, this one is perfect. speaking of perfect, the mouthfeel of this beer could not be improved. its full bodied as they come, not sharp at all from booze, palate coating but not sticky, thick but fluent, everything one could ask for in a stout like this. its sensational. worth the wait, worth the money, share it with a loved one or three. amazing stuff from the top shelf firestone stuff, never a surprise. luscious and dark, dangerously easy down, balanced brilliantly. this is a must.
11-03-2013 22:22:03 | More by StonedTrippin
3.73/5 rDev -13.1%
First had: on tap at Capone's
Dark brown pour, slightly translucent around the rim, with a small beige ringlet. Aroma of roasty dark malts, toasted bread, bourbon and spiced rum, notes of chocolate and vanilla. More dark malt roastiness in the taste, notes of dark berries, coconut, bourbon-soaked oak, vegetal vanilla, bakers' chocolate. Mouthfeel was on the thin side, surprising for an oatmeal stout, body was about medium; boozy presence was felt, but it was pretty smooth and not hot at all. A decent brew overall.
12-04-2013 23:05:38 | More by Rifugium
4.19/5 rDev -2.3%
Dark color best described as raw umber. The foam is beige and not overly high in the St. Bernardus globe. Splendid scent of something more like rum than the usual bourbon blast. Slightly sweet with a lively mouthfeel and not so thick on the tongue. A delightful spritzy sensation with the touch of booze and a little cocoa.
Really a fragrant nose and flavor as well. Well balanced with just enough hoppy bitterness to go with the malt. It's all quite refined and mellow. Even the alcohol is restrained. Long, smooth whiskey aftertaste with the alcohol finally providing a nice burn for the finish.
More light and lively than than the imperial stouts by far. An excellent dark brew and probably my favorite Oatmeal Stout ever. From the bottle bought at Bottlecraft in San Diego.
10-21-2013 05:35:28 | More by mactrail
4.38/5 rDev +2.1%
From 03/12/11 notes. Had this on tap at the day session of EBF up in Boston, MA. One of the better beers of the day in my opinion.
a - Pours a dark brown, almost black color, with a little bit of white head and moderate carbonation evident. Looks exactly like the normal version of Velvet Merlin.
s - Smells of smooth bourbon, oatmeal, coffee, and vanilla. Pretty nice, the bourbon is out front, but doesn't dominate the smell. You still get all the normal scents of the Velvet Merkin.
t - Tastes of bourbon, oatmeal, oak, roasted malts, vanilla and cream, coffee, and light chocolate. The taste is a step up from the nose and amazingly complex and balanced. Really great, and the bourbon is nice but not overpowering again.
m - Medium body and low carbonation, the body is super smooth and creamy. No alcohol heat at all, most likely thanks to the low ABV of the base beer. Great mouthfeel.
o - Overall this is a really good beer I hope they bring out more often. The smell is nice, ut the taste and mouthfeel were outstanding. Would love to have again.
03-24-2011 02:08:37 | More by mdfb79
Velvet Merkin from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 1,274 ratings.