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Velvet Merkin - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Velvet MerkinVelvet Merkin

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
95
world-class

1,019 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1019
Reviews: 160
rAvg: 4.28
pDev: 9.58%


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)
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Ratings: 1,019 | Reviews: 160 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of TheSevenDuffs
TheSevenDuffs

Ontario (Canada)

4.25/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

First vintage poured in to FW tulip.

A - Pitch black with a half finger of light brown head and excellent lacing.

S - Huge barrel aromas dominate the nose. Charred oak, sweet bourbon & vanilla, chocolate fudge and roast aromas are all present.

T - Intense charred oak up front with sweet bourbon and vanilla flavours also coming through in a massive barrel presence. Chocolate fudge, roast and the slightest hint of coffee are also present.

M - Medium body. Light carbonation.

Serving type: bottle

11-09-2013 17:40:04 | More by TheSevenDuffs
Photo of BARFLYB
BARFLYB

Pennsylvania

4.33/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On Tap at Teresa's Next Door. Served in a tulip glass.

Velvet Merkin pours the standard dark black color like the Merlin with a silky look. Black shade, off white head that is an inch that eventually fades, no cling. Smell is a nice and if not the best mix of oatmeal and bourbon ever. I'll admit, I am not a fan of huge beers, so i was a bit surprised at the alcohol difference between the former and the latter. I cant smell the eight some percent listed. OAts, ripe chocolate, vanilla, no oak, present bourbon. The taste is about the same with a focus of oatmeal and bourbon with a backing of chocolate. The great thing is, it's under 9%, meaning if i want another glsss, it would be a sinch. I loved the original and all the flavor and low abv, I love this version as well.

Serving type: on-tap

07-04-2012 02:54:17 | More by BARFLYB
Photo of tigg924
tigg924

Massachusetts

4.4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Had on tap at New World Tavern.

Appearance: low carbonation, 1/4 inch head, opaque, black in color

Smell: dark chocolate, oak, and bourbon

Taste: Deep bourbon taste, dark and milk chocolate, with touch of vanilla

Mouthfeel: sweet, oaky, and roasty, heavy body, moderate carbonation

Overall: Wow. Every barrel aged beer FireStone Walker has done has been lights out amazing and worth every penny. This one is no different. I love the depth of the barrel aging and yet this still has a lot of stout to it. One of the best beers I have had in a while.

Serving type: on-tap

02-28-2014 19:58:15 | More by tigg924
Photo of srandycarter
srandycarter

California

3.88/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had this at a Firestone Walker tasting at Blind Lady over the weekend. It is not retired and there is a difference between the Merlin and the Merkin. Merlin is not barrel aged and is available in bottles. Merkin is BAed and is not available in bottle.

A - No head, dark, almost black, with amber notes.

S - cocoa, roasted malt, light wood.

T - Chocolate chip cookies, burnt coffee, bitter end.

M - Medium to heavy body, heavy bitter, slightly chaulky finish.

D - Though low ABV, flavors are huge palate killers and I would tire fast.

Serving type: on-tap

11-08-2010 16:47:45 | More by srandycarter
Photo of cosmicevan
cosmicevan

New York

4.8/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

had this at an in store tasting yesterday at beer city and grabbed a few 16oz growler fills of it.

a - poured into a 6oz FW snifter. brew pours a shiny almost watery black with little to no head. has a barrel shine to it.

s - smell is phenomenal. just smells like a perfect oatmeal stout. great roasted malts and chocolate and coffee notes with a perfect balance of oats.

t - taste is just as amazing as the smell. a fantastic oatmeal stout with the wonderful barrel aging of firestone walker. it is really the perfect blend of oats, chocolate, roasted malts, some coffee and a nice barrel vibe.

m - this one is surprisingly thin. i'd want it to be more rich and creamy, but for the size of this beer, it is just surprising how watery it is.

o - overall, this should be bottled. it is as good if not better than parabola. firestone walker is an amazing brewery and this beer blew my mind (like many other firestone beers i've tried in the past). sad that i only have another 16oz of this beer and it needs to be consumed soon. worth seeking out if you like barrel aged brews, or FW, or just damn fine beer.

---edit 2012-03-24---
honestly, i'd say that i may have even rated this too low. what a f*ckin beer!

Serving type: growler

03-18-2012 00:37:09 | More by cosmicevan
Photo of Floydster
Floydster

California

4.03/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a snifter at Blue Palms out of the handpump for seven dollars, reviewed from notes

A-Practically black color but the edges are lighter for sure, so very dark brown, 1 1/4 inch full frothy medium tan head that lasted three or four minutes, nice retention, some lacing
S-Main smell at first is the bourbon and the slightly spicy scents that come from it, also lots of oak and vanilla, it has milk chocolate, roasted malts, cream, and grains as well
T-It starts off a little sweet with some cocoa, there is some light coffee in the middle, bourbon notes are in the finish with lots more vanilla than expected, like the slight twang and spice from the whiskey too, flavors mold together with this one well and I can really see why this mixed so well with a dark Belgian in a previous blend, nicely balanced and a flavorful oatmeal stout
M-Slightly dry, roasty, and faintly sweet mouthfeel, thinner body out of the cask but still medium, carbonation is obviously minimal, taste lingers
D-Could have drank lots more of this stuff, light on the stomach, smooth and very easy to drink for an oatmeal stout, could even make a session beer, taste does not get tiresome

I was excited to try this after having Saucerful of Merkin and wanting to know what those two components tasted like by themselves, this beer is right around six percent alcohol supposedly but it feels even lighter than that at times, would like to drink again, recommended

Serving type: cask

05-10-2009 17:59:21 | More by Floydster
Photo of scottfrie
scottfrie

California

4.46/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle poured into snifter. 2013 batch 1.

A: Pours a thick near-black color with a thin but dense and creamy looking light brown head that slowly faded into a fuzzy film and thick collar. Thick patches of lacing was left down the glass.
S: Rich a decadent nose with dominating notes of bourbon barrel. The bourbon is not hot, but it is definitely prominent. Behind the booze I get creamy scents of toasted oats and sweet milk chocolate, toffee, caramel, and caramelized sugar. Rich and smooth smelling.
T: Extremely rich and smooth flavors of creamy toasted oats, lightly sweet chocolate milk, and touch of caramel. The finish is full of vanilla and extremely smooth and mellow bourbon, and the aftertaste has a touch of raisin, toasted marshmallow, and more bourbon barrel spices.
M: Super smooth and rich mouthfeel, full creamy body, thick and mellow carbonation. This drinks like an awesome milkshake.
O: One of the best Firestone products to date, and probably the best oatmeal stout I’ve had. Super smooth and integrated fresh out of the bottle. Definitely need to go grab a few more of these.

Serving type: bottle

12-13-2013 03:32:32 | More by scottfrie
Photo of homebrew311
homebrew311

Illinois

4.05/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap @ FoBAB.

A: pour dark brown, pretty much identical to the base beer, decent retention, creamy head

S: like the base beer, this is an excellent aromatic showcase of roasted barley, this is paired with vanilla, cream, and mellow chocolate.

T: vanilla shows up front with mellow oak qualities, this is followed by chocolate and roasted malt, great balance, very smooth flavors

MF: somewhat thin but on par for a 5.5% oatmeal stout, medium carbonation

O: this is a great drinkable barrel aged stout. There aren't a whole lot of barrel aged stouts with such a low ABV, this one pulls it off nicely

Serving type: on-tap

11-15-2011 07:17:05 | More by homebrew311
Photo of msubulldog25
msubulldog25

Oregon

4.25/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The barrel-aged version of Velvet Merkin (name = LOL), served at Holiday Ale Festival 2008 (Portland, OR). The program description: 'A rich oatmeal stout 25% aged in bourbon barrels blended back to the original batch. ABV 5.5%'. I enjoyed this twice on-tap - once the first evening (Wed 12/3) and again as a first pour on Sat 12/7.

A: Head is sudsy/creamy khaki, maybe 1/2 finger. Liquid is a deep charcoal with a notable carbonation. Speckled lace and a clinging ring of cream.

S: Full aroma of cocoa, chocolate, a toasty breadiness (pumpernickel?), light coffee and a sweetened cereal grain. A faint oakiness, woody and sweet.

T: Husky malts, rich roastedness, sweetened coffee (milk & sugar). hints powdered spice (cinnamon?) and a subtle woodiness.

M: S-m-o-o-o-o-t-h! Creamy and soothing mouthfeel; medium body. 'Velvet'y? Yes! A slight grit, or this could be a '5'.

D: Super drinkable. Soft feel, excellent flavor, bold aroma - everything one could want in an 'oatmeal stout', with the partial barrel-aging as an added bonus. Good enough to drink several times at a festival, but one that I'd hope will be making an appearance soon in a bar near us.

Serving type: on-tap

12-08-2008 04:32:43 | More by msubulldog25
Photo of VelvetExtract
VelvetExtract

Massachusetts

4.68/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A-Pours a very, very dark brown with only minimal light penetration. The head is a thin accumulation of sand colored bubbles and foam. Dots and waves of lace.

S-Interesting! I find it to be noticeably nutty. Almost like a nut flavored coffee. Toasted coconuts, too. A respectable and well set bourbon aroma. I notice coconuts more and more and I love that. Bits of vanilla and even some tobacco leaves. Almond chocolate bars!

T-The flavor is also delicious. I like how the bourbon isn't the main flavor, it merely accentuates the other flavors. Coconut milk chocolate. Roasted oats. Medium roast almond/hazelnut coffee. Chocolate chips. Vanilla and oak. Light tobacco. Then the whiskey kicks back in on the backside. Very tasty.

M-Body is thinner than expected but it seems to fit the beer's ABV. I actually enjoy its lack of viscosity. Tantalizing bubbles. A bit creamy and spicy/hot from the bourbon. Drinks too easily.

O/D-Firestone Walker barrel aged brews are an automatic. This one may be one of the best in my opinion. Not as huge as the others but it's complexity is unmatched. This beer tastes like it was made just for me and my taste buds. I really, really enjoyed this beer. Instant classic.

Serving type: bottle

11-21-2013 01:35:42 | More by VelvetExtract
Photo of rfgetz
rfgetz

New Jersey

3.9/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a dark, copper tinted black, modest cap of brown froth, gone quickly, spotty bubbling. First whiff was solid, but not as bold as expected... light charachter from the burbon and oak blend with light roasted malt, faint creamy sweetness, minimal notes of cocoa. Taste brings a dry, oaky flavor, bourbon is present but not a star, roasty, a bit of a hop presence, light cream and sugar, minimal cocoa. Medium bodied, not full and creamy like an oatmeal stout, dry. Was anticipating this one immensely and left somewhat disapointed, expected big and bold and i got softer and milder. Still a good beer, just not great.

Serving type: on-tap

06-07-2012 13:10:45 | More by rfgetz
Photo of sweemzander
sweemzander

Illinois

4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

22oz. bottle poured into a snifter.

(A)- Pours almost totally black in color. Minimal tan froth.

(S)- A great vanilla oatmeal aroma up front. Some chocolate and caramel oak. Superb oatmeal characters on the nose. One of the most striking oatmeal stout smells I have encountered thus far.

(T)- A superb stand out oatmeal, chocolate, and vanilla combo. Some oaky char in there on the finish.

(M)- A smooth carbonation level. I dig the balance this has with a nice stand out oatmeal profile. It does get to be a bit sweet as it warms.

(O)- One of the more oatmeal forward stouts in recent memory. Very well balanced with a dessert quality to it. The barrel really showcases how well the oatmeal works with it. Fantastic now; I would be surprised if this improved any with age. I say drink now.

Serving type: bottle

12-09-2013 20:28:07 | More by sweemzander
Photo of cbutova
cbutova

Massachusetts

4.31/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A- Poured from the 22oz bomber to two snifters with Chico1985. Pitch black body with a fairly oily appearance as it pours to the glass. Off-white head rises to about a finger high with a creamy texture. Frothy ring leaves a web of lace with mostly spotty patches.

S- Right as it was poured, the chocolate and oatmeal stout base leads the way with deep roast malts and sweet chocolate, reminds me of a muffin with the toasted oatmeal feel. With some time, the barrel opens up with a smooth, quality whiskey aroma and oak vanilla.

T- Opens up with the Bourbon barrel coming to the palate first. Reminds me of Elijah Craig range of Bourbon flavors with some peppery hints coming with the toast oak and vanilla sweetness. The chocolate malts and oatmeal combine to remind me of baked goods, ala muffins or cookies. Deep roast grains. It all comes together to create a decadent dessert feel that trumps many higher alcohol stouts in overall flavor.

MF- Moderately thick body with slightly creamy texture. Carbonation at a medium level which helps because the body is not super oily like bigger stouts. Oatmeal adds that chewy silkiness. Slight Bourbon warming in the finish but just a tiny bit.

Pretty huge fan of what this beer brings to the table. It is like a chocolate oatmeal cookie with a dollop of vanilla Bourbon frosting on top at times. The oatmeal side of things is impressive and it isn't just a roast bomb. Great balance is the key to this brew.

Serving type: bottle

03-30-2014 22:40:04 | More by cbutova
Photo of AgentMunky
AgentMunky

California

3.89/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a tasting glass at the brewery. From notes. Reviewed 24 February 2013.

It smells of sweet bourbon. Like scotch and chocolate. The taste is like oatmeal with chocolate milk. Finish is ozone and chalky sweet. It's okay, but it really suffers from the mouthfeel -- it's thin and flat. Smooooth, but it kills the flavor. I'll try it again sometime, but this was not that impressive.

Serving type: on-tap

11-19-2013 06:04:48 | More by AgentMunky
Photo of BeerKangaroo
BeerKangaroo

Alaska

4.7/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

08/23/13 (stamped on the neck of the bottle)

Into a pint glass and a snifter:

A: jet black colored body with a head seems to last just a tad longer in the snifter and concaves a bit than the pint glass, its about a half finger off-white sort of tan that dies at a very nice pace, more spotty lacing is in the pint glass than the snifter

S: same amount of bourbon in both glasses, smokey chocolate comes through, slightly roasty and oaty

T: sweet roasty bourbon-ness with a slight smokey-esque feel strolling around my taste buds with some vanilla making a decent presence, bourbon sweet aftertaste, sticky yet somewhat dry chocolate bourbon finish (wow, what a complex finish, I don't think I've ever had any finish like that before)

M: for an oatmeal stout at 8.5 that was bottled in August of this year, wow, this lives up to its name - what a "velvety" smooth feel rolling around my tongue and mouth, the more I sip the more I think holey moley wow, this feels great around my mouth especially with the lack of age on it; I'd say its about a medium in body, more of a sipper for sessionability's sake, carbonation is pretty good for the style and for me, not much pounding the mouth and tongue but that's ok

O: this could quite possibly be the best oatmeal stout that I've ever had. I didn't know it was going to be this good. Thank you very much Highdesertdrinker and kudos to Firestone Walker for making an exceptional beer.

Serving type: bottle

12-01-2013 22:04:10 | More by BeerKangaroo
Photo of Dope
Dope

Massachusetts

4.25/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2013 batch (001)

A: Pours black with a tall and fluffy medium brown head. Head fades out slowly with great retention. Moderate but big and fluffy chunks of lacing.

S: Heavy on the bourbon. Caramel and toasted sugars primarily with some oak. Quite a bit of smooth milk chocolate hiding behind it. Get that notable, smooth and creamy oatmeal character as well. Very nice.

T: Again with the bourbon up front. Oaky, quite oaky with some toffee, a little coconut and caramel. Creamy oatmeal in the middle with just a hint of milk chocolate. Oatmeal turns a little bit grainy and the chocolate a little bittersweet in the finish. A dry, oaky finish with more hints of bourbon lingering in the aftertaste.

M: Medium-heavy, smooth and creamy.

O: Not often you find a barrel aged oatmeal stout. Not a huge fan of the bourbon in this one but it still works pretty nicely. Oatmeal, as always, provides a nice layer of creaminess and smooths the whole thing out. Well balanced, not overly complex or hot for that matter either. Very nice.

Serving type: bottle

01-09-2014 04:02:28 | More by Dope
Photo of popery
popery

California

3.53/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Served on tap at City Beer Store in San Francisco.

I don't know anything about this beer besides a vague awareness of some internet hype, and for some reason, the store listed the abv as 10%, which I'm very glad to see is incorrect. I would like to try the non-barrel aged version for a point of comparison and highly recommend seeking out a cask version. I can imagine thoroughly enjoying the beer served from a cask, but on tap, something was off for me. The beer pours an opaque dark-brown with highlighting along the edges of the glass. For a decidedly unhelpful point of comparison, it was nearly a dead-on match for 21st Amendment's Back in Black. The aroma, unlike the flavor, was fantastic. There are notes of chocolate, coffee, roasty malt, dry oak and a well-balanced bourbon flavor that meshed very well unlike some bourbon barrel-aged beers. The taste had all of these flavors, but they were far more muted. The bourbon flavor became almost watery. The feel may have been the real culprit. It was much too thin for a stout, much less a barrel-aged stout. A cask would likely bring out the creamy lush mouthfeel of the oatmeal stout. At any rate, it was still a good beer, and they get points for not overwhelming a relatively small stout with bourbon barrel-aging. So, seek it out in a cask if you can.

Serving type: on-tap

05-31-2009 02:56:26 | More by popery
Photo of inlimbo77
inlimbo77

Delaware

4.48/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

8oz draft poured into a Pinocchio's snifter. On draft at Pinocchio's in Media, PA.

A: Pitch black. Good carbonation. About a quarter finger of head initially that fades quickly. Some reddish hues towards the edges.

S: A lot of the FW coconut notes. Some dark chocolate. Mild coffee. Then vanilla and oak hints.

T: On the tip of the tongue, I get some bitterness: either chocolate or coffee. But then it smooths into a nice vanilla/coconut sweetness. I bow to the FW barrel program. I think the oatmeal stout helps make this nice and smooth. Second sip really gives some nice chocolate. Also, toffee and caramel.

M: Full bodied. Nice rich mouthfeel. Silky smooth.

Serving type: on-tap

05-07-2012 14:07:07 | More by inlimbo77
Photo of arizcards
arizcards

Arizona

4.38/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a bomber Reserve Series 001 from BevMo on 10-12-13 for $14.99. Bottled on 8/23/13.

Beer poured cola brown with a nice tan head that is leaving lacing behind.

Nose is wonderful, chocolate, roasted malts, bourbon.

Taste is bourbon, vanilla, chocolate, roasted malts.

Mouthfeel is disappointing, light to medium bodied and not overly smooth.

Overall this brew rocks! With the flavor and nose one expects a viscous brew but other than that this is worthy of trying if you can scarce up a bottle.

Serving type: bottle

12-21-2013 01:30:31 | More by arizcards
Photo of rlee1390
rlee1390

Indiana

4.16/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A-Black in the glass, clear brown around the edges, one finger brown head.

S-Bourbon, chocolate, oats, roasted malt.

T-Starts with some bourbon, mild oats, good deal of chocolate, some bitterness.

M-Heavier, creamy with some carbonation.

O-Need to try this one again, it was a good beer, but compared to the Utopias that night it couldn't compare.

Serving type: bottle

12-25-2013 17:08:45 | More by rlee1390
Photo of Phelps
Phelps

Arizona

4.1/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

That’s right: Velvet MERKIN. Barrel-aged goodness. Though I’ve been told a portion of the regular Merlin is aged in barrels, I never get much of it, so I’ve been looking forward to this. According to the Firestone rep on call for tonight’s tapping, Merkin is four times as expensive to make as Merlin and aged 6 to 8 months in Heaven Hill and Four Roses barrels. It wasn’t even supposed to surface in Arizona this year, but the Firestone guys owed the owner of Flanny’s a favor, and here we are.

Dead black, without a hint of light coming through. The airy, sand-colored head gets to be about an inch tall before receding quickly, leaving behind some thin lace trails and an impressive ring of froth.

Amazing aroma. The usual barrel notes of toasted coconut, charred oak and buttery vanilla are all here. Backing them up is what makes Merlin great: roasty, chocolatey goodness. Cocoa nibs, dark chocolate, marzipan, toffee, coffee beans. So smooth, so sweet. Damn near perfect.

The flavor's a bit of a letdown after that performance. It starts with sweet toffee and vanilla bean, followed by definite alcohol notes and oodles of vinous new oak. A simple wave of poor quality chocolate rolls in mid-palate, and notes of bitter coffee and sweet toffee settle in the back. Soft oats join after the swallow. There’s not quite enough of the stout flavor to back up the whiskey — which actually seems lesser quality than what it is. Overall the flavor’s still very good — it’s just not as outrageous as the nose promised.

Some fumes come through my nostrils, but overall the booze is very well-hidden. Body is just under medium, but has nice viscosity, like heavy milk. Mild, tiny fizz bubbles; sweet, nearly tangy finish.

Merlin is world-class for its smoothness and subtlety, so it might not be the best venue to showcase bourbon-aging. I wish just a little bit more of the base beer came through. Very good, not great.

Serving type: on-tap

01-06-2012 23:09:59 | More by Phelps
Photo of Rutager
Rutager

British Columbia (Canada)

4.13/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance. Pours a very deep dark brown, pretty much black in the glass and topped with a finger of khaki head.

Smell. Sweet milk chocolate, vanilla and bourbon and some fresh barrel wood.

Taste. Sweet milk chocolate again and bourbon ...but not in an overpowering boozy way, just some nice added flavour. Some oak and vanilla but the flavours aren't as big as I anticipated considering the brewer.

Mouthfeel. Medium-full body with smooth medium-low carbonation. Again, not nearly as big as I was expecting just based on the brewer's history of these type of beers.

Ovearall. A very nice beer but not as outstanding as many of FW's releases.

Serving type: bottle

10-15-2013 02:27:46 | More by Rutager
Photo of charlzm
charlzm

California

4.14/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Consumed October 9th, 2013. Poured into a tulip at 50 degrees F.

Beer is deep, deep, deep brown... okay, maybe it's black. Two finger tan head forms and subsides with reasonable rapidity. Traces of lacing on the sides of the glass.

Aroma - Bitter chocolate and raw alcohol. A dash of oatmeal and wood as well.

Flavor - Unexpectedly sweet up front. Oatmeal is more a texture than a flavor, though a trace shows up. Modest chocolate maltiness. Trace of wood. Bourbon is apparent more as heat than as flavor, though there is a touch of vanilla. Low but present bitterness.

Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy. A tad undercarbonated, maybe. Trace of alcohol heat on finish.

Not the holy grail of beer, but perhaps the holy grail of oatmeal stout?

Serving type: bottle

10-10-2013 03:42:15 | More by charlzm
Photo of CuriousMonk
CuriousMonk

Virginia

4/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours opaque brown with a moderately thick tan head with a pretty good retention that left nice lacing throughout. Aromas suggested a strong oatmeal presence along with very light notes of vanilla, bourbon, oak, toffee, and marshmallows. The flavor was also oat and chocolate forward along with a sweet moderate note of lighter caramel, toffee, bourbon, oak, and slight coconut. Medium bitterness and no hop flavor whatsoever. Medium mouthfeel with decent carbonation throughout. Overall, this beer was thinner than I expected along with low astringency and alcohol warmth. This was more of an interesting milk stout to me and perhaps too light for my taste as I am a fan of the more bold, but complex beers

Serving type: bottle

10-16-2013 19:40:25 | More by CuriousMonk
Photo of BMMillsy
BMMillsy

Florida

4.28/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2013 Bottle from Tim. Thanks so much! Pours dark brown to black in my FW Barrelworks Teku with a one finger mocha head. Aroma is big oats and chocolate, vanilla, whiskey, graham cracker, toasted nuts. Flavor is chocolate up front with some big time vanilla tones on top of graham crackers. Followed by a punch of strong whiskey and long lasting oaky vanilla. The lasting finish is the real highlight of this beer. Palate is velvety smooth up front and while not a super thick beer, I see no reason to complain about thin body here. Plenty of body, especially for the ABV, and medium carbonation. This was a winner for me with just the right amount of barrel character, rather than the in your face whiskey shot I get with lower ABV stouts and porters aged in barrels. As usual, Firestone Walker kicks ass.

Serving type: bottle

01-20-2014 00:33:34 | More by BMMillsy
Velvet Merkin from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 1,019 ratings.