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Velvet Merkin - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Velvet MerkinVelvet Merkin

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

257 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 257
Hads: 1,995
rAvg: 4.2
pDev: 3.33%
Wants: 365
Gots: 780 | FT: 129
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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Reviews: 257 | Hads: 1,995
Photo of ChrisMyhre
4.39/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a stemmed tulip from the 22 oz. bottle.

a: Dark brown/ black. Thick large bubbles in the head, is that a merkin in the lacing?

s: Super bourbon forward, very little malt or yeast coming through.

t: Again very bourbon forward, decent malt background, but not a ton of the roastiness you'd expect from a stout. Decently balanced, but not much bitterness comes through the bourbon.

m: Drinkable, maybe even a little thin, a little of the creaminess oats provide, but less than expected.

o: Very good, very subtle but it is hard for such a subtle profile to stand up to the strong bourbon flavor.

Bottled 8/23/13. (628 characters)

Photo of nataku00
4.3/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle, first batch released, poured into a tulip glass. Beer pours a dark brown bordering on black, with two fingers of light brown creamy head that dissipates quickly. Some carbonation visible at the edges.

Nose is roasted malt, toffee, cocoa, coffee, graham cracker and a good amount of bourbon barrels flavors like vanilla, cinnamon, charred wood, and caramel.

Taste follows the nose, roasty flavors of coffee and malt, a little bit of toasted grain, semi sweet chocolate, graham cracker, before the bourbon flavor kicks in mid tongue with vanilla, spice, charred oak. Not much of a finish on this, just some light roasted and toasted flavors after a short finish.

Medium to full body, creamy with smooth decent carbonation. Very easy to drink for this high ABV as the bourbon barrel flavors are well integrated. Drinking nicely so soon after release. (860 characters)

Photo of Axnjxn
4.36/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2013 bottle into a snifter.

pours a pitch black with a great beige head. smell is insanely chocolatey and bourbony..wow! taste is so so smooth with chocolate, roasted malts and just a tad of bourbon on the back end. the oats are also very present! real impressive and drinkablity is huge. medium bodied and so so smooth.

overall love this one. fw is amazing. (362 characters)

Photo of Joshpu
4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(2013 Release) Poured from the bomber to snifter.

A: Poured a dark brown, porter looking, with a small off-white head.

S: Vanilla/coconut bourbon smell, slight oatmeal. The stout characteristics are more subtle than I thought they would be.

T: Again getting mostly the vanilla from the bourbon and oak. The stout characteristics are pretty tame on the taste, they're there but are playing background. Slight dark chocolate, coffee. A sweetness that I can't quite describe. As it warms I get a slight tobacco flavor.

M: Light to medium bodied. Creamy and crisp and easy to drink, don't taste the alcohol at all.

Overall, not my favorite offering from FW, but still a well executed beer. An easy drinking and balanced beer. (726 characters)

Photo of McStagger
4.4/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

From notes.

A: Big pour leads to half finger of head. Beer is opaque blackness. Not the darkest ever, but pretty dark. Head is leathery color, with moderate retention. Nice lacing. Carbonation is difficult to discern.

S: Boom! Coconut out the wazoo. Toffee, dark fruit, milk chocolate, malted milk balls, dark chocolate, almond joy/mounds.

T: Similar to the nose. Huge coconut notes. Vanilla bean, milk chocolate, dark chocolate, some small bits of coffee, roastiness. Cherry liquer. Slightly medicinal with the cherry and alcohol flavors interweaving. Rounds out as it opens up. more malt sweetness, and the milk chocolate definitely takes off.

M: Big, but not huge. The carbonation supplies the structure without being distracting.

O: Killer stout here. Wish I could have given a more detailed review of this one. It's not quite to the level of Parabola. The bourbon barrel isn't quite as pronounced as I'd like it to be. Still a damn fine stout. FW, you are the masters. (983 characters)

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.26/5  rDev +1.4%
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. (480 characters)

Photo of maximum12
3.62/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to analogchainsaw for the first of two rapid-fire trades that brought sunny California to Minnesota (without, y'know, the sun, warmth, ocean...OK, just the beer...OK, just a couple of them). Popping this to celebrate the arrival of box #2 tomorrow. 22 oz. bottle, batch #1, split with my wife.

The pour is you-are-dead black, with appropriate minimal carbonation. Bringing the blessed liquid close to two of the openings in my face. Smells like whiskey & sweet malts. Enough of this crap, let's drink.

Velvet Merkin hits the first word dead-on, but I'll have to look up the second. First impression is the smooothness. Smoother than my chest fresh from waxing, the beer creates almost no friction in the throat. The beer needs to warm; cold, it's tame & lifeless. Warming, it delivers classic oatmeal stout, grainy, smoooth (did I say that?), nice vanilla, touch of bourbon. A little thin; I know of 8.5% beers that hold their barrel well, this one doesn't quite perfect that.

I've come to expect the world from Firestone barrel-aged beers, & this one didn't turn my crank quite so hard. A good beer, but not as dead-center as pretty much everything else they do. (1,176 characters)

Photo of hoppytobehere
4.33/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

22 oz. bottle. 2013 vintage (is that how you say it? who cares). Purchased a couple months ago.

A: Dark as the hour before dawn. Creamy, tan head with nice retention.

S: Bourbon dominates. Coffee, vanilla and chocolate poke through.

T: Follows the nose. Dry stout with tons of bourbon flavor. Hardly any alcohol present. Outstanding.

M: Creamy. A little stickiness from the bourbon.

O: Excellent stuff. Like the flavor in this relatively low ABV barrel aged stout. (471 characters)

Photo of Mersh
4.68/5  rDev +11.4%

This BBA oatmeal stout lives up to the hype and more. Hints of vanilla, bourbon and roasted malt flow throughout the nose and taste. An exquisite pleasure to drink. Not overly boozy at all. Creamy and smooth. Love the mouthfeel on this. Wish I had a case. Firestone Walker are the masters of stouts and barrels. I highly recommend searching this out. I was lucky enough to get 2 on trade from the bottle release. It develops even more as it warms up. Cheers to an almost perfect oatmeal stout. (493 characters)

Photo of tzieser
4.42/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

purchased for $15 from total wine and spirits in Tucson, AZ. i love regular velvet merlin so i know this is going to be delicious.

A: completely opaque, motor-oil like in color with a thick, dark head that sticks to the glass for a very long time.

S: bourbon barrel is noticeable but not quite as boozy as most other BBA stouts. notes of vanilla and roasted chocolate malts are there. quite complex.

T: i'm not a big barrel aged beer fan; typically they end up being too boozy or thin in my opinion. this, however is quite a phenomenal beer. aforementioned notes of vanilla are there with lots of roasted malt. very smooth, well-rounded body throughout. bourbon is there but not aggressive at all. 8.5% ABV is extremely well hidden. this might be the best barrel aged beer i've had since CBS.

M: thick, velvety mouthfeel.

O: an amazingly complex stout that lives up to all the hype. well worth the $15 if you can find it (3,000 cases produced). recommended. (963 characters)

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.48/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

just fantastic, thanks to claystation for bringing this over. long anticipated for me, this pours a honey thick mocha brown color, smooth as silk in the snifter, and showing off over an inch of oatmeal foam. it smells so much less alcoholic than I expected, mostly because of how alcohol forward most of the other boxed offerings have been. this one is sweet and rich, subtle spice and vanilla from the barrel, a lot of oatmeal body and sweetness, and an aggressively bitter cocoa barley vibe. its all blends together exquisitely well, and some of the heavier flavors of milk chocolate, tobacco, raisins, and butter cream come out in the last legs. alcohol never makes an appearance, not even at room temperature, and the bourbon contributes just the right amount of flavor and smoothness. these days so many barreled beers don't taste a lot like beer anymore, this one is perfect. speaking of perfect, the mouthfeel of this beer could not be improved. its full bodied as they come, not sharp at all from booze, palate coating but not sticky, thick but fluent, everything one could ask for in a stout like this. its sensational. worth the wait, worth the money, share it with a loved one or three. amazing stuff from the top shelf firestone stuff, never a surprise. luscious and dark, dangerously easy down, balanced brilliantly. this is a must. (1,345 characters)

Photo of Tristen84
4.79/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Firestone Walker is not capable of making a bad beer and in fact they only make good beers. If its a beer that is meant to be to style they will follow it to the T. If it is a hybrid they are willing to go nuts with it. Velvet Merkin has a good story behind it and is made with so much love and care you can taste it. I am overwhelmed by the thick dark toasted presence of this beer. Some toasted coconut is present with also a nice roasted tobacco. Some alcohol warmth but nothing as compared to their other specialty beers, This is the zenith that all beer should try to achieve. If have not had this yet, try and find a bottle to drink now and bottle to cellar. (664 characters)

Photo of RaulMondesi
3.76/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Letdown, my children. Letdown like when they gave the MVP to Braun although he was clearly juicing.

It's aite like my baby mama in her Sunday goodies, but it lacks in taste and mouthfeel. A bit (and Raul means A BIT) sour, and too thin. Not Raul "thin" (it's genetics, my children) but thin enough that Raul ain't feelin' it like Yasiel Puig home run trotting a triple.

Feelin' it, but not feeelin' it. (405 characters)

Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.01/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottle opened on 10.8.13
No. 1

A - Pours a dark brown with a larger dark tan active head that fades fast leaving large bubble lacing.

S - Malt and oats, pretty subtle.

T - Bourbon barrel, chocolate and light oats.

D - Lower carbonation and a heavier body.

O - Nice and solid, nice flavors. I was wishing for a bit more depth. (330 characters)

Photo of TruePerception
4.63/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Firestone's Velvet Merkin (2013), Bourbon barrel-aged oatmeal stout. 8.5% ABV.

And, bourbon I do smell!

Appearance: Black, with just the slimmest dark brown at the bottom, in the light. Slightly tan head. Half a finger, dissipates quickly to almost nothing.

Smell: It's definitely got some caramel-sweet, yet dark, bourbon scents to it. Charred oak. Bittersweet chocolate. Blackened oats. Maybe some sweet coffee sludge. A little vanilla in the background. Nicely complex nose! Bottom's up!

Taste/Mouthfeel: Wow! First off, it's silky smooth, yet still has a nicely textured carbonation! It has a very distinct vanilla and chocolate coffee taste (as if you hit up a gas station and added those creamer cups), yet has a very present sweetness that is not quite sugary (lactose, perhaps?). At the same time you get a nice oatmeal flavor, and some great medium-dark caramel notes. It makes me want a coffee, and I don't even like coffee! This will suffice nicely, I think! There's a touch of Bourbon towards the end. A nice warmth is sitting on my chest, a few minutes afterwards. From the Bourbon, I'm guessing.

At $15, it was a hefty purchase, but one that should be made, if at all possible.

And, just a heads up, I've yet to try the Velvet Merlin, so I don't know the difference between the two. After trying this one, though, I will definitely pick up a pack this year!

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a pint glass. (1,429 characters)

Photo of El_Guapo
4.71/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Wow, this beer beat the Deschutes Sucaba, Parobola, and Anniversary Beers that I have had (2012 and 2013). Smooth and potent. The bourbon aging is so smooth that it sneaks up on you. The appearance is without reproach. Creamy head and dark body. If you can find it, buy all that you can. I got 3 bottles and am debating between aging the remaining two or drinking them now because the first was so good. I lucked out and found it at my local Whole Foods after visiting numerous Bevmos and other local beer stores in my area. Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy. Cheers! (553 characters)

Photo of pmarlowe
4.38/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Batch 001 (2013). Tulip glass.

A: Pours a deep, impenetrable brown with a thick cap of sand colored, coke-float-like head. Excellent retention and sheeting of lacing.

S: Vanilla-infused cocoa, light sweetish bourbon, and a touch of roast to round out the nose. Well balanced and appealing.

T: Very light flavors of oak, chocolate, and some vanilla. Not much roast on the palate.

M: Smooth, round mouthfeel with light body and carbonation.

O: A superb, light BA beer whose excellence is typical of FW’s barrel program. Lots of flavor in a lighter package than its cousin Parabola. Akin more to CW BBS than BCBS. (620 characters)

Photo of bcerv-ca
4.75/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Fluffy dark khaki head. Dark mahogany, cola body.

Bourbon barrel smell at the forefront. Powdery dark chocolate and mildly sweet dark fruit follows.

Light, almost watery, mouthfeel. Some might be turned off by such a light stout, but I think it works perfectly with this beer.

Fudge-chocolate, oaky taste. Slight maple or maybe molasses sweetness lingers. Hardly notice the alcohol. Very easy drinking stout (especially for being barrel-aged).

If you like stouts or barrel-aged beers, you need to try this. It's amazing. (525 characters)

Photo of joeseppy
4.34/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Just missed on tap by thiiis much. Hate when work gets in the way of my personal time. Scored a few bottles though.

Dark cola pour with decent cap and lacing.

Aromas of cereal, chocolate, lite bourbon and a hint of vanilla. I must state that all aromas are muted for me.

Taste steals the show. Complex yet so simple. Got chocolate, chocolate with espresso. Bourbon and coke going on extenuating the vanilla and caramel malts. Not over powering and ever so sessionable.

Velvety mouthfeel. Medium body and quite frankly-who really gives a truck. Carbonation substantiated and body is sticky.

What I want is taste, taste, taste-did I mention taste. If you love chocolate it's here. Old Fitzgerald has been my choice of everyday bourbon though the price tag fools most looking for thee "name brand". Fantastic bourbon priced for the working class-I'm not surprised Firestone went this route. This is incredibly drinkable, expensively sessionable and drinking great Now! (970 characters)

Photo of maxcoinage
4.54/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 22oz bomber into snifter with a decent half inch head, off white, that settled rather quickly. Color is a dark black but seems to have somewhat of a brownish hue.

Aroma is awesome, roasted malt, vanilla, a hint of bourbon and some oak

Taste has a nice complexion, some chocolate, dark fruits, vanilla, toffee, a tad bit boozy but not really getting any noticeable bourbon

Mouthfeel is very smooth to start, low carbonation, creamy, medium body, a bit cloying finish

Overall -this is the best Oatmeal Stout I've had! I actually haven't even had Velvit Merlin before, I need to find some of that. It's great to have a bourbon barrel beer that I can drink the whole bomber without getting drunk. Wish I was able to get more than one. (746 characters)

Photo of magictacosinus
4.28/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

I'm glad it was easy to score a bottle of this, unlike the case with the Parabola hyped fiasco. Interestingly enough, this cost the same price ($15), but I still had high hopes for it. Anytime FW releases anything barrel aged I'll expect it to be, at the very least, an excellent, memorable offering. Poured out of a 22oz bottle into a tulip glass. Split with a friend.

Pours a nearly opaque blackened color (with some mere lightened brownish hues at the edges of the glass), complete with a lovely mocha colored head. Head retention is, as far as I'm concerned, pretty excellent here, as it lasted pretty much the entire time we drank this. Leaves behind a good deal of splattered lacing across the glass. I believe that this is slightly bottle conditioned as well, which would explain the excellent thickened appearance that a beer of relatively lower ABV levels than their other barrel aged offerings would contain. Still, excellent stuff as always, if only a little less refined.

The aroma is terrific - on par with any amazing bourbon aged and blended stout I've had. Notes of bourbon immediately hit the nose, with vanilla and brown sugar as the main flavors. Then, the stout base comes in, with flavors ranging from cocoa powder, coffee beans, oatmeal, caramel, and almonds. There's minimal dried fruits in this one, and the most we could find was maybe dates or prunes. Still, the powdery consistency of the chocolate is astonishing, often smelling like the actual freshly ground product. Combined with the nutty, baking spice notes from the oak, as well as bits of dust and mild cedar, this is a premier stout to be reckoned with in terms of quality and originality. A little boozy even here, but otherwise fantastic.

The flavor is also excellent, and while it is a pleasure to drink, it's not without its faults during long-term consumption. At first, the palate is immediately coated with bourbon notes, ranging from vanilla, caramel, butterscotch, and brown sugar. The sweetness is almost immediately cut by the roasted, oat laden stout notes that provide chocolate, ground espresso, toasted oats, and dark fruit flavors to the palate. The bourbon enhances the roasted stout notes with slight dark dried cherries as well as nutmeg, mild coconut, baking soda, and a little bit of those dusty barrel qualities. Quite good stuff - yet, somehow, the alcohol makes itself a little bit more present throughout, almost to the point where it tastes like someone poured cheap bourbon into my stout when I wasn't looking. The burn becomes stronger as it warms up, and the beer, alas, starts to feel thinner. On one hand, this does retain the great qualities of top English and Irish dry stouts in terms of flavor, but I feel a little bit more body would reduce the boozy harshness. Who would have thought that a lower ABV variant of Parabola would be boozier? Great stuff as always, but seriously not as refined as I expected.

I don't tend to drink boozy beers, but I do love it when the extra alcohol provides a thickness and sweetness that compliments but doesn't overpower the flavors at the front. I really enjoyed it overall and I'd gladly have it again, but it might be a little overpriced for what it actually is. This goes to show how the bourbon chosen for the stout makes a huge difference. And maybe it's just me, but I personally believe that Four Roses (used for Parabola) is most definitely a more refined bourbon maker than Old Fitzgerald. However, I'm not going to sit and complain - I recommend this as it is an excellent barrel aged offering from FW, if only a little boozier than I usually like it. (3,623 characters)

Photo of bnelson997
4.59/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served from a 22 oz bomber into a Firestone Walker Barrelworks Teku glass.

Appearance - black as pitch with a 1 1/2 finger cream head that quickly dissipated to a ring around the glass. Small amounts of lacing.

Aroma - Smooth oak and vanilla notes. The touch of barrel is very nice.

Taste - Smooth milk chocolate and vanilla right up front, middle and finish remind me of a slightly underdone in the middle brownie. Liquid brownie has a nice ring to it eh? ;-) Middle also has more of the oak barrel and slight bourbon notes.

Mouthfeel - despite the thin look of it, very medium bodied and creamy mouthfeel from the oatmeal

Overall - this beer is the easiest to drink of all the barrel aged Proprietor's Series offerings from Firestone Walker. I like to call this one "Parabola Light", as it is definitely the baby brother of that fantastic beer. You just can't go wrong when FW puts anything in a barrel then bottles it. Definitely a fantastic BA oatmeal stout. (967 characters)

Photo of kylelenk
4.51/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle into snifter.

A-Much what you'd find from an oatmeal stout. Thick head dissipates quickly leaving just a peppering of haze that lays upon the surface. Solid outside ring leaves the walls coated as the beer is consumed.

S-Very muted tones of bourbon and oak muddled with a slight smokiness. Hop aromas are replaced with deep notes of grapes, currant, and figs.

T-When served cold, the beer presents an almost bitter character that is surprising. Leave it sit for a half hour and it will open and present itself to you. Nothing is overpowering here. A very balanced mix of porridge, maple, anise, and smoke.

M-A bit thin, although to be expected from a lighter bodied oatmeal stout. Carbonation may seem heavier to those familiar with the barrel aged category. In the end, Velvet Merkin leaves little bitterness left in your mouth.

O-A valid effort by FW. Those looking for it to rise through the ranks like Parabola, Black Note, KBS, etc. may be disappointed. In a world full of bazooka barrel aged stouts, Velvet Merkin is comfortable being a "session" amongst giants. (1,097 characters)

Photo of prior2two
3.84/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

A - Black like night, with a head that dissapates quickly. It pours beautifly.

S- smells of oak and bourbon and roasted malt. Super aromatic

T- I was underwhelmed. For an oatmeal stout, it wasn't as creamy as I had hoped, and it was a little too astringent. Maybe a little over carbed or too much hop? Either way, I didn't feel the body held up very well. Had a "cola" flavor that I couldn't shake. The oak and bourbon came through nicely.

M - See Above. I thought it was a little too thin. Its only 8.5%, but I expected a little more body and creaminess from an oatmeal stout.

O - I enjoyed it. I wouldn't buy it again though. FW does some great stuff, but this wasn't a must have for me. Still, it's better than so many things out there. (745 characters)

Photo of TempeBeerMan
3.74/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bottle into a snifter.

A - Pours an opaque dark-brown with a one-finger head of fluffy khaki foam, with large and small bubbles. Impressive patches of lacing.

S - Medium strength aroma of wood, bourbon, burnt cocoa, a little dark fruit comes out as it warms.

T - Toasted oats, smoke, pipe tobacco, prunes, and oak. Extremely smooth. Not as rich or robust as I was expecting, as a it seems like a lot of the chocolate/sweet aspects in the base beer (Velvet Merlin) have been lost in the aging process.

M - Thin body with very low carbonation. Could use a little thicker body, in my opinion.

O - A very smooth barrel aged beer and obviously well made but lacked pizazz. Personally my tastes tend toward the sweeter and more decadent stouts, and I feel a richer base beer would have added a little more balance to the bitterness from the wood aging. Still a decent product. (892 characters)

Velvet Merkin from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 257 ratings.