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Velvet Merkin - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Velvet MerkinVelvet Merkin

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
96
world-class

1,787 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,787
Reviews: 247
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 9.53%
Wants: 300
Gots: 675 | FT: 117
Brewed by:
Firestone Walker Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Oatmeal Stout |  8.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: t0rin0 on 11-20-2008

Our decadent Oatmeal Stout lovingly aged in Bourbon barrels. Beautiful chocolate, espresso and vanilla-bourbon aromas hold your nose hostage. Rich dark chocolate truffle, bourbon and espresso create a dangerously smooth and incredibly drinkable barrel aged Oatmeal Stout. Hoarding tendencies may occur.
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Ratings: 1,787 | Reviews: 247 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Fluteswell
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of bkeller04
4.75/5  rDev +10.5%

Photo of fox227
4.22/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Velvet Merkin poured into my mini snifter with about a half-inch of tan head with mostly fine bubbles and some large. The black liquid underneath is very dark as expected. The beer smells of oak, bourbon, possibly sherry, and milk chocolate. The first sip revealed mostly bourbon and unsweetened cola, but as the beer warmed, milk chocolate, oats, and the rest of the nose are revealed to this drinker. Each component seemed in proper balance, as the bourbon does not dominate. Sweetness is lacking, which is fine, and the mouthfeel is medium/full bodied with a bit of a dry finish.

Overall: this is yet another bourbon barrel beer in what seems to be an endless selection of these days, but Firestone, as to be expected, deliver the goods with a nearly spectacular beer.

Photo of oatsodas
4.75/5  rDev +10.5%

Photo of RandomExile
3.33/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

A: opaque black; no head; gothic spiderweb lacing
S: sweet, sharp bourbon barrel, tobacco
T: decided oatmeal on larger pulls, a sweet bourbony flavor reminding me of a candy from my childhood I can't quite place ... I understand why others are citing coconut and vanilla, but disagree that they overshadow the bourbon.
M: Medium-light for a bourbon, dry side of sweet
O: Fine for a bourbon barrel. Not my variety, but this has no dischordant notes, has that decidedly sweet/caramel flavor people are looking for in this style, and can easily stand up to the richest of soups or meats.

12oz / Tulip Glass / VGP, MD

Photo of cultclassic89
4.4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of davesway10
4/5  rDev -7%

Photo of Curt1
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of dkw0063
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of stvanderwoude
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of carmike813
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of SDStoneEnthusiast
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of judkinst
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of stereosforgeeks
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of tpgraham
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of Brob245
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of smitty5245
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of imperialbeerdude
4.58/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I had this months ago when it first came out and I hate to age beers, but this is a case where some age has really done the beer some good. I feel the additional time helped integrate the flavor more. I'm picking up much more coconut and vanilla in this bee, not much if any of the bourbon barrel. This is exactly what I want though, the bourbon to give some extra sweetness, vanilla and coconut. Don't drink this expecting big barrel character, instead expect a well integrated beer.

Photo of dasmusik
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of vmdominguez
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of hombrepalo
3.75/5  rDev -12.8%

Photo of steviesean
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of nollie77
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of Mumbles720
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of KFBR392
4.4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

2013 Vintage bottled on 8/23/13

Appearance: Pours with a medium brown color yet sits black in the glass. The head was light on the pour and is only present in a slightly off white ring around the edges of the glass. Very little active carbonation in the glass while drinking.

Smell: Big heavy bourbon front. Filled with vanilla, cherries, coffee, roasted malt, molasses, and medium bodied chocolate. Behind the booze is a wonderful base of rich creamy oatmeal that gives this aroma some serious legs. I love the big bourbon accents yet they are done perfectly to allow so much more to shine through.

Taste: A mesh of flavors hit the palate first. Some oats, vanilla, chocolate, and bourbon all come together to make a unique taste and start this beer off. The body opens up with a potent oatmeal taste that is brought out by the bourbon accents. The finish is a an earthy, grainy, malt, and of course some booze finish that tingles on the palate for long after drinking.

Mouthfeel: A thickness covers the palate yet not overwhelmed and still allows many of the flavors to come through while drinking. Bourbon brings some dryness on the finish but is primarily sweet and delicious.

Overall: Was in the mood for a delicious BA stout and this one did just fine. Not as heavy since it's an oatmeal stout but a ton of complexity. I'm a big bourbon fan so I loved the barrel character and how potent it was. Firestone Walker doesn't mess around with this series.

Velvet Merkin from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 1,787 ratings.