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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

1,240 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,240
Reviews: 174
rAvg: 4.29
pDev: 9.56%
Wants: 260
Gots: 376 | 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: 1,240 | Reviews: 174 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Halluxone
Halluxone

Georgia

4.5/5  rDev +4.9%

05-30-2014 21:24:33 | More by Halluxone
Photo of sachie23
sachie23

New York

3.75/5  rDev -12.6%

05-30-2014 19:08:57 | More by sachie23
Photo of dnb128
dnb128

Pennsylvania

4.5/5  rDev +4.9%

05-30-2014 14:57:36 | More by dnb128
Photo of Broom
Broom

Wisconsin

4.5/5  rDev +4.9%

05-30-2014 06:26:38 | More by Broom
Photo of Furlinator
Furlinator

California

4.25/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours opaque black with cola edges. The thin khaki head settles to a thin film and ring on top that leaves thick spots of lace.

The smell is of chocolate, vanilla, burnt wood, coconut and roasted oats.

The taste is of coffee, molasses, assorted dark fruits, oats and a faint hint of bourbon.

The texture is medium bodied and more carbonated than I expected.

I'm a huge fan of Velvet Merlin so, I had high expectations for this one. The appearance and aroma hinted at greatness but, the taste and mouthfeel felt somewhat watered down. Still, this one sets the bar for the oatmeal stout category.

Serving type: bottle

05-30-2014 04:04:49 | More by Furlinator
Photo of Nathanbolin
Nathanbolin

New York

4.5/5  rDev +4.9%

05-30-2014 02:53:39 | More by Nathanbolin
Photo of trevorpost
trevorpost

Massachusetts

4.25/5  rDev -0.9%

05-30-2014 01:12:08 | More by trevorpost
Photo of NRo
NRo

California

4.5/5  rDev +4.9%

05-29-2014 18:04:31 | More by NRo
Photo of Drucifer
Drucifer

Illinois

4.75/5  rDev +10.7%

05-29-2014 13:32:10 | More by Drucifer
Photo of PsilohsaiBiN
PsilohsaiBiN

New York

4.26/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Pours dark as death, as an imperial stout should. Upon pouring, there is a seemingly above average presence of carbonation for the style. Half a finger of khaki white head collars quickly after settling in the snifter.

Smell: Dark chocolate, rich cocoa, graham cracker, roasted malt, toasted coconut, oak barrel and subtle cherry. Nothing stands out too much from the others, nice.

Taste: Creamy, graham cracker laced oatmeal stout up-front with overlapping layers of cocoa and vanilla. Middle of the mouth is nice caramelized malt balanced by a somewhat crisp and mildly bitter hop bite. The finish is quite dry, with a mild but noticeable wash over of Bourbon, which peek-a-boos for a moment and then subsides, letting gentle vanilla and cocoa fade out to end the drink. The end of the drink is akin to the aftertaste of a mildly sweet hot cocoa that had melting marshmallows in it. Bourbon County Brand Vanilla Stout did that better, but the fact that this brew has that element in the finish is impressive.

Mouthfeel: Some will criticize this because it isn't the viscous behemoth you'd liken to BCBS or Hunahpu. I get it, but the base beer is what it is, and I happened to enjoy Merlin very much. This isn't supposed to be those beers. This goes down really easily for 8.5%, and I don't see that as a distinct disadvantage.

Overall: Coming from someone who enjoyed Velvet Merlin because of the sessionability (word?) and great flavor, I can't say this is one of the best Bb stouts I've ever had, but it's delicious. The Bourbon barrel ads subtle nuances that you appreciate when having had the base beer first, and this is dangerous. If you can find this on draft somewhere with unlimited pours, you'll be in for quite the night.

Serving type: bottle

05-29-2014 00:55:51 | More by PsilohsaiBiN
Photo of beertholomeus
beertholomeus

California

4.75/5  rDev +10.7%

05-28-2014 22:27:30 | More by beertholomeus
Photo of Bp123
Bp123

California

4.75/5  rDev +10.7%

05-28-2014 01:52:16 | More by Bp123
Photo of richj1970
richj1970

Alabama

4.36/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from 22 oz bomber into snifter glass.

A: Pours a very dark brown bordering on black with a generous 2-3 finger mocha colored head with some decent retention and leaving some significant lacing.

S: Vanilla, chocolate, coconut, oak, bourbon, and perhaps a bit of espresso.

T: Lots of nice chocolate and vanilla notes mixed with oats. Some bourbon and toasted oak flavors.

M: Full bodied and thicker than I might expect for an oatmeal stout. Creamy texture.

O: One of my favorite oatmeal stouts. I would definitely seek out again.

Serving type: bottle

05-28-2014 00:26:42 | More by richj1970
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Sarge3130

Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev -6.8%

05-27-2014 09:59:13 | More by Sarge3130
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Hulk_Beer

Texas

5/5  rDev +16.6%

05-26-2014 05:01:51 | More by Hulk_Beer
Photo of sunofneurot
sunofneurot

New York

4.5/5  rDev +4.9%

05-26-2014 01:50:59 | More by sunofneurot
Photo of blt2646
blt2646

New Hampshire

4.5/5  rDev +4.9%

05-24-2014 23:42:43 | More by blt2646
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SteelersX

New York

4.25/5  rDev -0.9%

05-24-2014 22:37:00 | More by SteelersX
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jxc5

Texas

4.25/5  rDev -0.9%

05-24-2014 18:29:50 | More by jxc5
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bentonbk

Arizona

4.75/5  rDev +10.7%

05-22-2014 04:37:57 | More by bentonbk
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oldsailor

Nevada

5/5  rDev +16.6%

05-22-2014 03:48:51 | More by oldsailor
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Joe_Mahma

California

4/5  rDev -6.8%

05-20-2014 20:35:02 | More by Joe_Mahma
Photo of TheBeer
TheBeer

Wisconsin

4.5/5  rDev +4.9%

05-19-2014 22:44:14 | More by TheBeer
Photo of Damian
Damian

Massachusetts

4.34/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Drank from a 1 pint, 6 fl oz (650ml) bottle purchased at Ball Square Fine Wines & Liquor, Somerville, MA
No. 001
2013 vintage
Served in a snifter

Beautiful appearance. Thicker bodied for an oatmeal stout. The dark brown (almost black) liquid was topped by a super tight and creamy, three-finger tall, mocha colored crown. The head looked like something you would see on a beer that was poured from a nitro tap. Streaks of drippy lacing coated the glass. The head quickly fell to a lasting cap of bubbles.

The aroma was interesting and really complex for the style. Super boozy with notes of bourbon and oak coming through strong. Really roasty and dry. Slightly ashy. Hints of flaked oats were detectible. Some French roast coffee as well. There was also a rich, semi-sweet chocolate presence that reminded me of chocolate truffles. A touch of vanilla was noticeable as well. As the beer warmed, the nose became sweeter and some brown sugar notes appeared.

Roasted malts also came through strong in the flavor profile. Super dry overall. Dark chocolate notes were apparent in the center. Lots of cold, black coffee as well. Touch of brown sugar. The finish was super roasty and bitter with dry, oaky notes. Really tasty but quite boozy for an 8.5% ABV beer.

The mouthfeel was solid. Medium bodied for the style. Creamy, slick and smooth on the palate.

Barrel aging played a huge role in this beer, turning a tasty yet straightforward oatmeal stout into something wonderfully complex. Six months of age really softened some of this beer's rougher edges when fresh. I would love to revisit another bottle with even a bit more age on it.

Serving type: bottle

05-19-2014 15:26:38 | More by Damian
Photo of Pencible
Pencible

Virginia

4.5/5  rDev +4.9%

05-19-2014 01:54:19 | More by Pencible
Velvet Merkin from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 1,240 ratings.