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Velvet Merkin - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Velvet MerkinVelvet Merkin

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,476 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,476
Reviews: 203
rAvg: 4.29
pDev: 9.79%
Wants: 291
Gots: 528 | FT: 98
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
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Ratings: 1,476 | Reviews: 203 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Highbury09
4.25/5  rDev -0.9%

Highbury09, Sep 28, 2014
Photo of UlfAndreas
4.75/5  rDev +10.7%

UlfAndreas, Sep 27, 2014
Photo of siege06nd
4.02/5  rDev -6.3%

A. Black with a half finger of khaki colored head, good lacing and consistency.

S. Excellent with lots of baking chocolate, roasted coffee, caramel, and vanilla.

T. Not quite as good as the nose. Big doses of milk chocolate, lots of vanilla, and caramel, and even some fruity sweetness. It's quite sweet and a little light.

M. A little light on the palate, lightly carbed, the sweetness really stands out. Quite milky with the barrel not really standing out.

O. It's a good beer, but a little sweeter and lighter than I expected. At 8.5%, though, it's impressive.

siege06nd, Sep 27, 2014
Photo of rhynosorus
4.4/5  rDev +2.6%

rhynosorus, Sep 27, 2014
Photo of TheSixthRing
3.83/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Appearance - Poured into a snifter to reveal a blackened color with cola brown edging when held to light. The head is light tan and peaks at about a half a finger in width, then quickly dies down to form a webbing of surface suds and a thin ring around the edge. Lacing is small and spotty with decent stick.

Smell - At first crack I get hints of Black roast, chocolate and notes of deep, rich caramel. I could live off that caramel. As the brew warms hints of vanilla and bourbon sweetness begin to peek through, then strengthen. Strong toffee notes once the beer is fairly warmed.

Taste - Lighter in flavor than what the nose leads on. Touches on toffee, chocolate, bourbon and vanilla. Sweet with hints of heat. Light roastiness. Flavor nearly falls off the map in the finish, but leaves ghostly traces of chocolate and bourbon in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel - Eh. Pretty thin, even for a barrel-aged brew. Low carbonation. A bit watery in the finish. Easily the weakest aspect of the brew.

Overall - Had this on tap last year and thought it was fairly disappointing. I'm not sure if this batch is any better or it's that my expectations aren't as high, but I'm not quite as down on it this time around, though that doesn't mean I'm still not underwhelmed. The aroma is amazing, but unfortunately the flavor and body don't live up to expectations. At $15 per bottle, this is one Firestone BA brew that I won't be buying a 2nd bottle of which to age. In fact I'm not even sure what aging could possibly do for this beer. There simply isn't enough here.

TheSixthRing, Sep 27, 2014
Photo of Hallertau
4.5/5  rDev +4.9%

Hallertau, Sep 27, 2014
Photo of Keepnitrl
4.52/5  rDev +5.4%

Keepnitrl, Sep 27, 2014
Photo of illeagle05
4/5  rDev -6.8%

illeagle05, Sep 27, 2014
Photo of lukasz
4.25/5  rDev -0.9%

lukasz, Sep 26, 2014
Photo of CBack465
4.44/5  rDev +3.5%

CBack465, Sep 26, 2014
Photo of PlayitAgain
4.25/5  rDev -0.9%

PlayitAgain, Sep 26, 2014
Photo of noproduction
4.7/5  rDev +9.6%

noproduction, Sep 26, 2014
Photo of tclipse
4.24/5  rDev -1.2%

tclipse, Sep 26, 2014
Photo of Ngntjp
3.84/5  rDev -10.5%

Ngntjp, Sep 26, 2014
Photo of StephRai
4.75/5  rDev +10.7%

StephRai, Sep 25, 2014
Photo of freshflesh
4.25/5  rDev -0.9%

freshflesh, Sep 25, 2014
Photo of exl_90
4.44/5  rDev +3.5%

exl_90, Sep 25, 2014
Photo of abeeronthebeach
4.2/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A - Looks pretty inviting, although at 8.5% it's neither motor oil black, nor motor oil thick.

S - The nose is awesome! Vanilla and cookies. Bourbon is subtle.

T - Could use a little more chocolate. The vanilla notes are pleasant but faint. Bourbon character is similar.

M - Super smooth but still quite thin.

O - At roughly $18 a bottle I did not really feel this was a big enough beer to justify the price tag. It's a nice beer for sure, but I'd only go here again if it were about half the price.

abeeronthebeach, Sep 25, 2014
Photo of jibbyvonjibb
4.1/5  rDev -4.4%

Oatmeal cookie, vanilla, subtle bourbon flavor, a touch of coffee roast. Body is medium, very smooth and drinkable. Acidity is low. Lingering moderate sweetness. It's good, not great, so I wouldn't buy it again for $15 nor advise you to (buy Samuel Smith Oatmeal Stout instead).

jibbyvonjibb, Sep 25, 2014
Photo of Danimal25
3.5/5  rDev -18.4%

Danimal25, Sep 25, 2014
Photo of Jack_Malts
4.5/5  rDev +4.9%

Jack_Malts, Sep 24, 2014
Photo of CraftFan5
4.1/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

CraftFan5, Sep 24, 2014
Photo of Kander
3.75/5  rDev -12.6%

Kander, Sep 24, 2014
Photo of neurobot01
4.05/5  rDev -5.6%

2014 bottle at fridge temp into a snifter, allowed to warm.

Looks lighter in body and color than most BA stouts. Initial taste is basically Velvet Merkin Plus—almost a cola flavor profile going on. A hint of bourbon, but very mild, and few other barrel characteristics. The aftertaste is amazing vanilla/graham cracker/milk chocolate/toasted marshmallow. The mouthfeel is pretty thin. Overall, I remembered this as being better from last year; looking forward to updating this review once I crack my cellared '13.

neurobot01, Sep 24, 2014
Photo of Piels25
4.04/5  rDev -5.8%

Piels25, Sep 23, 2014
Velvet Merkin from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 1,476 ratings.