Velvet Merkin - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 1,285 | Reviews: 175 | 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
4/5 rDev -6.8%
On tap and served in a goblet at Barcade's anniversary party.
Velvet Merkin pours jet black, with around half a finger of mocha foam crowning the beer. Head retention is surprisingly good, though there's very little in the way of lacing left behind. The nose isn't bad, though it's more barrel than beer. There's plenty of bourbon and wood, joined by more subtle aromas of vanilla and milk chocolate. The base brew shines through some more in the flavor profile, as rich chocolaty notes take the lead here. Vanilla is the main supporting player, though oak and a very mild bourbon flavor are also present. The body is velvety smooth and not at all heavy, and is paired with an appropriately muted carbonation. Picture perfect mouthfeel. I had supremely high expectations for a 100% barrel aged version of one of my favorite oatmeal stouts, and while Velvet Merkin might not quite live up to them, it's still a damn good beer.
10-18-2012 19:52:23 | More by axeman9182
4.4/5 rDev +2.6%
1540th Review on BA
Nitro-Tap to 6oz snifter
@Firestone Walker, Paso Robles, CA
App- When the server poured this, the whole glass seemed to look like a cotton ball and he said dont worry. He was right. As things settled the beer became a very flat looking dull brown but retained the creamy white frothy head on top. A liquid reverse oreo if you will. The whole glass had some good sticky cling to it.
Smell- Its got the base for sure of Velvet Merkin. The rich oats, the little bit of malts and the little bit of bitter hoppy & chocolate for balance. Except this kicks it to another level and adds the bourbon, boozy notes. A little unbalanced on the aromatics but still a very nice smelling beer.
Taste- Like a oreo. So smooth with a big burst of grainular cookie crust. The malts tie this together with a rich oatmeal flavor but yet with the addition of the bourbon its a phenomal beer. Decadent and rich with bursts of bourbon and cookie with each sip. Would be amazing if this were bottled.
Mouth- Big and chewy with a low carbonation level. Super smooth and rich. The bourbon that I mentioned before is the residual flavors with a flaky oatmeal and cocoa powder addition.
Drink- Hot damn, this was a great beer. Another one where I said, "Really? this is on Nitro today" What a great detour.
10-03-2012 14:38:58 | More by FosterJM
4.43/5 rDev +3.3%
Pours a dark brown, almost black color with a one finger light beige head that slowly settles into a lasting ring. Sporadic streaks of lace left behind.
Boozy bourbon barrel aroma that's nicely integrated into the base beer(which is partially bourbon BA). I thought amping it up to 100% BA might kill off some of those notes but they're still there underneath the barrel presence. Strong spicy bourbon, earthy oak, vanilla and coconut followed by roasted dark malt, chocolate, robust coffee and oatmeal.
Medium bodied but a bit thinner than I expected with a strong bourbon barrel presence that's excellently integrated into the flavor of the regular Merlin version. Sweet and spicy bourbon dominated up front with some boozy heat but it never becomes to hot. Feels stronger than 8.6 but not harsh. There's also some dry oak, toasted coconut and vanilla followed by roasted dark malt, silky chocolate, caramel, toffee and oatmeal. Subtle dry bitterness but never approaches burnt or acrid. Really well balanced and although there is a decent amount of heat it's very easy to drink.
08-21-2012 01:42:29 | More by corby112
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
4.48/5 rDev +4.4%
On tap at South Philly Tap Room during Philly Beer Week. Pour into a snifter.
Pour: Deep black with dark brown around the edges of the glass. Finger and half frothy deep khaki head.
Smell: Bourbon vanilla with some caramel and chocolate. Very boozy, but it complements the rest of the beer so well that it is very welcome.
Taste: More of the nose, but roastey chocolate comes out more. The bourbon vanilla is the headline here though.
Mouthfeel: Warming but light. Retains the drinkability of an oatmeal stout but commands that you have it slowly and enjoy it. Plus, this is a rare one, so you should be already.
Overall: So pumped that I got to have this, and even happier once I tasted it. Firestone Walker knows how to barrel age like no other. If you can get this, do it.
07-15-2012 18:53:23 | More by cfrances33
Velvet Merkin from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 1,285 ratings.