1. Extreme Beer Fest tickets go on sale Sat, Sep 27 @ Noon EDT.
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Velvet Merkin - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Velvet MerkinVelvet Merkin

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,327 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,327
Reviews: 183
rAvg: 4.29
pDev: 9.79%
Wants: 282
Gots: 424 | FT: 86
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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 1,327 | Reviews: 183 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of baybum
4.75/5  rDev +10.7%

baybum, Jun 06, 2012
Photo of sideshowe
4.5/5  rDev +4.9%

sideshowe, Jun 04, 2012
Photo of BeerForHokie
3.55/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had on tap at Varga during Philly Beer Week in a 10oz chimay glass. Not at all what I expected but not necessarily a bad thing. My friend described it best, close your eyes and sip this beer and you meet think you were drinking a not so hoppy IPA. This stout was quite hoppy, bitter and a bit on the warm side--perhaps from being aged in e bourbon barrels. However, I did not taste any bourbon or traditional notes of coffee or chocolate usually found in a stout.

Overall a decent beer, although a bit of a let down (wish i would have tried the Parabola) and definitely not to be drank as a dessert or nightcap.

BeerForHokie, Jun 04, 2012
Photo of beerMeh
5/5  rDev +16.6%

beerMeh, Jun 04, 2012
Photo of Beerontwowheels
4.5/5  rDev +4.9%

Beerontwowheels, Jun 04, 2012
Photo of Holland
4/5  rDev -6.8%

Holland, Jun 02, 2012
Photo of jwhancher
5/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had this beer on tap at Eulogy during Philly Beer Week. Met brewery owner David Walker, who mentioned that this beer will never be made again. Thus, I had at least 3 glasses of this (all served in a snifter).

Pours a jet black with nice little head that fades. Smells of chocolate & bourbon with a nice wood component to it. Tastes wonderful. Rich & creamy, it's like a beer and a desert all wrapped in one. I savored this one quite a bit and was blown away by the sheer awesomeness of a beer of this magnitude.

If you can find it, buy it and drink now!

jwhancher, Jun 02, 2012
Photo of DavyJones
4.5/5  rDev +4.9%

DavyJones, Jun 01, 2012
Photo of Dontcounttoday
4.5/5  rDev +4.9%

Dontcounttoday, May 27, 2012
Photo of DeirdreE
4.75/5  rDev +10.7%

DeirdreE, May 27, 2012
Photo of The22Lou
4.5/5  rDev +4.9%

The22Lou, May 27, 2012
Photo of sidetracked
3.9/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Acre for Faux-BAB.

Pours black with a lingering off-white head.

Aroma is some bourbon and wood notes, malty with some roastyness. The base oatmeal stout is evident, but leans toward a neutral malty smell that doesn't add much.

Upfront taste is bourbon, wood, roasted malts, a little chocolate, and a slight bitterness. Finish is more barrel-forward with bourbon, wood, and vanilla mixing with a light bitter chocolate flavor. Lingering bourbon and roasted malts.

Medium body and creamy with low to medium carbonation.

Pretty good. The base oatmeal stout still shines through the barrel aging treatment. Nice to see they didn't overpower the original beer's flavors.


sidetracked, May 26, 2012
Photo of LaChupacabra
4.25/5  rDev -0.9%

LaChupacabra, May 24, 2012
Photo of waiting4lunch
4.75/5  rDev +10.7%

waiting4lunch, May 17, 2012
Photo of dorf
4.75/5  rDev +10.7%

dorf, May 16, 2012
Photo of Sicem99
4.5/5  rDev +4.9%

Sicem99, May 13, 2012
Photo of Jammer42
4/5  rDev -6.8%

Jammer42, May 08, 2012
Photo of inlimbo77
4.48/5  rDev +4.4%
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.

inlimbo77, May 07, 2012
Photo of TimPell
4.5/5  rDev +4.9%

TimPell, May 04, 2012
Photo of PowDay
4.25/5  rDev -0.9%

PowDay, Apr 24, 2012
Photo of Murrhey
4.05/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had as part of the "Reserve Flight" at the Bruery Provisions for its Firestone Walker tap takeover. Poured in a 2oz taster. Reviewed from notes.

A- Off-white head, fairly thin especially when sat next to its less boozy brother the Merlin. The higher alcohol content probably had a lot to do with that. Dark black color, no light peeked through.

S- Chocolate and bourbon, warm and dark. Inviting smell. I like this quite a bit.

T- So smooth. Boozy and malty. Warm and decadent with a distinct bourbon taste.

M- Thin, with an alcoholic feel. Finishes wet.

O- I want more of this beer.

Murrhey, Apr 23, 2012
Photo of Rollzroyce21
4/5  rDev -6.8%

Rollzroyce21, Apr 23, 2012
Photo of Mollerina
3.75/5  rDev -12.6%

Mollerina, Apr 21, 2012
Photo of PeterIngemi
4.3/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got at the FireStone walker tap room in paso... Served in a proprietors rsv snifter.

A: served a deep black... Slight brown around the edges, little to no head... And virtually no lacing.

S: toastyney vanilla and caramel, along with chocolate.... Almost reminds me of fudgy brownies... A very inviting and pleasing aroma... The burbon is there but not overwhelimg... Just blended perfectly.

T: much like the nose I get dry fudgy chocolate accented by toasty vanilla and caramel, and a bit of burbon mixed in, but again nothing is overwhelimg, just very well balanced.... I get a but of almond and dark cherry in there as well towards the finish. A lot of the espresso flavor in this brew takes a back seat compared to the mon barrel aged velvet Merlin... But works perfectly with the barrel profiles going on.

M: light/medium body with medium crisp carbonation... Very drinkable and well rounded, indeed a velvety mouthfeel. But all the same I feel this one could have used a little more heft.

O: a greatly rounded barrel aged stout... I would love to drink this again anytime... I only wish they had it in nitro like the velvet Merlin.

PeterIngemi, Apr 19, 2012
Photo of Soxfanmcgee
5/5  rDev +16.6%

Soxfanmcgee, Apr 16, 2012
Velvet Merkin from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 1,327 ratings.