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Velvet Merkin - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Velvet MerkinVelvet Merkin

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

1,232 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,232
Reviews: 174
rAvg: 4.29
pDev: 9.56%
Wants: 261
Gots: 375 | FT: 78
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: 1,232 | Reviews: 174 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of lilnicky068
lilnicky068

Kentucky

4/5  rDev -6.8%

04-30-2014 01:07:27 | More by lilnicky068
Photo of AndyAvalanche
AndyAvalanche

Massachusetts

4.24/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

22 oz. batch No. 001 bottle poured into a Duvel Tulip style glass. Liquid comes out cola brown during the pour and gets darker as it rises in the glass. A little bit of light sneaks through on the sides at a deep brown/red, but not much. Tan colored head, small bubbles, and I'd say average lacing. The head sticks around for quite awhile though.

Smell is pretty good, not as big as I expected, but then again, this isn't a big beer like Parabola. Some sweet, dark, chewy malts, some vanilla and bourbon oak (blended together it almost provides a hazelnut characteristic), and there's some slight hints of dark dehydrated sugar coated fruit (raisons/figs).

Taste is a slight step up from the smell. Vanilla, oak, slight light cocoa mixed with a bit of dark bitter chocolate, and caramel. Nice dark roasted, close to toasted, blend of mostly dark but some paler malts as well. Sweet but not overly sweet, sort of like coffee with cream sweet (I prefer my coffee black, so I guess I'm a little bias). Overall everything meshes really well. It hits all of the desired components of a good barrel aged stout.

Mouthfeel is unique to many barrel aged beers and in my opinion the best part of this beer. Its only medium bodied, yet the flavor lingers longer on the palate than you'd expect based on how light it feels. There is a light airy carbonation and it really does have a light feel to it, like a barrel aged stout designed for a hot summer day. Barrel provides a dry bitter finish and really only a little bit of heat. Great drinkability and not too filling even if you finish the bottle on your own. Not my favorite, but Firestone Walker is still one of my top go to breweries for barrel aged beers.

Serving type: bottle

04-29-2014 23:23:35 | More by AndyAvalanche
Photo of CHILLINDYLAN
CHILLINDYLAN

Washington

4.5/5  rDev +4.9%

04-29-2014 20:24:16 | More by CHILLINDYLAN
Photo of greenspointexas
greenspointexas

Texas

4.25/5  rDev -0.9%

04-29-2014 06:05:06 | More by greenspointexas
Photo of JWalterWeatherman
JWalterWeatherman

Virginia

4.25/5  rDev -0.9%

04-28-2014 15:24:17 | More by JWalterWeatherman
Photo of harsley
harsley

Massachusetts

4/5  rDev -6.8%

04-28-2014 13:43:06 | More by harsley
Photo of duceswild
duceswild

Maryland

4.25/5  rDev -0.9%

04-28-2014 05:52:46 | More by duceswild
Photo of ThisWangsChung
ThisWangsChung

Maryland

3.31/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

Thanks to Nick Swinford for the 22 oz bottle! Poured into a wine glass; from yesterday.

A: Pours a very dark brown color; it certainly doesn't have the opacity of other big 8%+ stouts. There's a finger worth of light mocha colored head. The retention is poor and minimal lacing is left behind.

S: At first, the aroma is quite mild - this one needs time to open up. Once it does, though, it brings notes of bourbon, chocolate, vanilla, caramel, and oats.

T: The best part of the brew. It starts off with a one-two combination of vanilla and chocolate on the taste buds. Gradually, it will develop some mild oat flavor, then transition straight into pure bourbon. A touch of alcohol burn is prevalent in conjunction with the bourbon/oak note, but it's hardly bothersome. The bourbon - while showcased well - more or less swallows the base brew whole. I could use more complexity as well.

M: Very thin, almost intolerably so - it feels genuinely insubstantial. There's nice carbonation to bring the flavors to the palate, though. The finish is sweet, sticky, long, and tannic; it's an easy brew to sip at least.

O: This isn't a bad beer at all. But given it's reputation and semi-rarity, it should have been better. It's thin and simplistic - two things I don't want from a barrel-aged offering. Honestly, I think I'd like the regular Velvet Merlin more...but we don't get that in Maryland (seriously, WTF? Maryland gets all the barrel-aged offerings from FW, but not Pivo Pils or Velvet Merlin?)

Serving type: bottle

04-28-2014 02:02:41 | More by ThisWangsChung
Photo of dubdrop
dubdrop

Massachusetts

4/5  rDev -6.8%

04-28-2014 00:53:47 | More by dubdrop
Photo of Swaino
Swaino

New York

4.25/5  rDev -0.9%

04-27-2014 16:32:18 | More by Swaino
Photo of JMUbrewz
JMUbrewz

Virginia

4.5/5  rDev +4.9%

04-27-2014 14:08:53 | More by JMUbrewz
Photo of RickS95
RickS95

Indiana

4/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a luxurious dark brown, almost black color. Not something like from the middle of a black hole, but an extremely dark, rich brown, bordering on black color. The head is a coffee colored mixture of mostly uniform smallish bubbles. It lacks retention and doesn't provide much lace, but it leaves the top with a gentle film of lightness on top of the dark beer.

It's not an aggressive smell of anything, but you pick up slight notes of bourbon and vanilla. With each swirl, the head reemerges and up from it comes a waft of chocolate.

This beer tastes like a liqueur had sex with a stout, and this is the result. Oak and vanilla is prevalent, as is the bourbon. But it's just a bit of bourbon and not overpowering. They showed restraint in the barrels.

Very smooth and creamy feel, with a gentle graininess from the oak barrels. A splash of sweetness lasts throughout the sip with only the faint heat in the finish to cut through. Tastes like it should feel stronger than it is, but it's slightly thinner than you'd imagine.

A bit different than what I'm used to in oatmeal stouts. Everything about this beer is in moderation and that makes it a real treat.

Serving type: bottle

04-27-2014 02:31:10 | More by RickS95
Photo of DanSmith17
DanSmith17

Delaware

4.25/5  rDev -0.9%

04-26-2014 12:36:52 | More by DanSmith17
Photo of timoteo833
timoteo833

New York

4.5/5  rDev +4.9%

04-26-2014 04:43:17 | More by timoteo833
Photo of ADTaber
ADTaber

South Carolina

4.25/5  rDev -0.9%

04-25-2014 23:45:47 | More by ADTaber
Photo of bkwhoppa66
bkwhoppa66

New Jersey

5/5  rDev +16.6%

04-24-2014 22:16:46 | More by bkwhoppa66
Photo of jburns301
jburns301

Georgia

4.5/5  rDev +4.9%

04-24-2014 10:46:16 | More by jburns301
Photo of BrownAleMale
BrownAleMale

Wisconsin

3.75/5  rDev -12.6%

04-20-2014 17:40:50 | More by BrownAleMale
Photo of Dillonlarsen1992
Dillonlarsen1992

Texas

4.75/5  rDev +10.7%

04-19-2014 05:03:55 | More by Dillonlarsen1992
Photo of Hendrick24
Hendrick24

Wisconsin

4.5/5  rDev +4.9%

04-19-2014 02:55:08 | More by Hendrick24
Photo of BryanCDM
BryanCDM

California

4.25/5  rDev -0.9%

04-18-2014 20:54:53 | More by BryanCDM
Photo of DRBiser
DRBiser

Maryland

4.5/5  rDev +4.9%

04-18-2014 17:45:18 | More by DRBiser
Photo of atrocity
atrocity

Virginia

4.75/5  rDev +10.7%

04-18-2014 12:45:37 | More by atrocity
Photo of IrishGermanAmerican
IrishGermanAmerican

Texas

4.75/5  rDev +10.7%

04-18-2014 12:03:55 | More by IrishGermanAmerican
Photo of BG24
BG24

California

4.25/5  rDev -0.9%

04-16-2014 23:37:52 | More by BG24
Velvet Merkin from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 1,232 ratings.