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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
96
world-class

1,592 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,592
Reviews: 214
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 9.77%
Wants: 300
Gots: 587 | FT: 102
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: 1,592 | Reviews: 214 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of corby112
4.43/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark brown, almost black color with a one finger light beige head that slowly settles into a lasting ring. Sporadic streaks of lace left behind.

Boozy bourbon barrel aroma that's nicely integrated into the base beer(which is partially bourbon BA). I thought amping it up to 100% BA might kill off some of those notes but they're still there underneath the barrel presence. Strong spicy bourbon, earthy oak, vanilla and coconut followed by roasted dark malt, chocolate, robust coffee and oatmeal.

Medium bodied but a bit thinner than I expected with a strong bourbon barrel presence that's excellently integrated into the flavor of the regular Merlin version. Sweet and spicy bourbon dominated up front with some boozy heat but it never becomes to hot. Feels stronger than 8.6 but not harsh. There's also some dry oak, toasted coconut and vanilla followed by roasted dark malt, silky chocolate, caramel, toffee and oatmeal. Subtle dry bitterness but never approaches burnt or acrid. Really well balanced and although there is a decent amount of heat it's very easy to drink.

corby112, Aug 21, 2012
Photo of barleywinefiend
3.61/5  rDev -16%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured a deep, deep brown, nearly black with great carbonation yielding a nice tannish cap, a nice frothy one with pretty good retention. Lacing was minimal though.

S: Roasted coffee, a blend of bitter and milk chocolate, some oats and bourbon with a very minute hint of vanilla

T: A nice blend of roasted malts, oats and chocolate upfront. A nice, light bourbon tinge meets the taste buds as well and persists throughout the finish. The barrel provides some backseat vanilla. The taste itself is sordove muddy in my opinion and not really all that complex. The finish is sordove dry, light sweetness, light booze and sordove effervescent even

M: Medium bodied, well carbonated, a light creaminess. It feels thin, yes, but this is a single stout not a an imperial so it's not going to be as full and hearty as say a Parabola.

O: Not bad. I'm really not a fan of bourbon barrel againg every stout, especialy single stouts. I believe the body feels thin because it is thin compared to other barrel aged or imperial stouts. Not a bad beer but not sure I would drop cash on case of this as I would other FW offerings.

barleywinefiend, Oct 03, 2013
Photo of LXIXME
4/5  rDev -7%

LXIXME, Oct 21, 2014
Photo of Huhzubendah
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%

Huhzubendah, Oct 04, 2014
Photo of DoubleJ
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%

DoubleJ, Jan 08, 2014
Photo of Gonzoillini
4/5  rDev -7%

Gonzoillini, Apr 13, 2014
Photo of BARFLYB
4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On Tap at Teresa's Next Door. Served in a tulip glass.

Velvet Merkin pours the standard dark black color like the Merlin with a silky look. Black shade, off white head that is an inch that eventually fades, no cling. Smell is a nice and if not the best mix of oatmeal and bourbon ever. I'll admit, I am not a fan of huge beers, so i was a bit surprised at the alcohol difference between the former and the latter. I cant smell the eight some percent listed. OAts, ripe chocolate, vanilla, no oak, present bourbon. The taste is about the same with a focus of oatmeal and bourbon with a backing of chocolate. The great thing is, it's under 9%, meaning if i want another glsss, it would be a sinch. I loved the original and all the flavor and low abv, I love this version as well.

BARFLYB, Jul 04, 2012
Photo of mdaschaf
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%

mdaschaf, Nov 06, 2013
Photo of Zorro
4.65/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Light proof black colored beer with a medium sized brown colored head.

One sniff and this smells like Canadian Whiskey! Not at all shy about letting you know this has been sitting in a bourbon barrel for a while. Strong vanilla, coconut and caramel scents. Smells sweet with some faint scents of tobacco leaf, ash and tanned leather. Simply lovely I could sniff this glass all day, pity they don't market this smell as an air freshener.

Starts out mildly sweet with a vanilla, coconut and chocolate flavor. Slight butter and stronger toffee candy flavors. A little sweet but not as much as the scent suggests. Mild bitterness. Strong Canadian Whiskey flavor. Oak and a little wood ash really coats the mouth like a milkshake. I can even taste a little sugar cookie in this, complex with a Capital C.

Mouthfeel is good.

Overall one of the best things I have tasted all year. I may have tasted a better beer but there are few beers than can beat this. A lot of the beers that might be infinitesimally better are other Firestone Bourbon Barrel aged beers.

Zorro, Sep 22, 2013
Photo of afsdan
4.75/5  rDev +10.5%

afsdan, Aug 11, 2014
Photo of BillRoth
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%

BillRoth, Jun 07, 2014
Photo of DrBier
4/5  rDev -7%

DrBier, Jul 26, 2014
Photo of John_M
4.24/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

The beer pours a blackish brown color with good head retention and lacing. Don't get a huge amount of bourbon on the nose, but nevertheless, I'm picking up considerable milk chocolate, vanialla, a hint of leather and light bourbon. Not a lot of coffee in this one, but nevertheless, the nose is attractive. The flavor profile replicates the nose pretty closely in this moderately sweet beer. and while the mouthfeel is a bit thin I thought, there is still a very attractive soft, plush, almost creamy consistency to this beer. Alcohol is very well integrated into the flavor profile, and so drinkability is quite good in this beer. Had no trouble whatsoever downing a bomber during the Sunday night football game.

Nice beer... not sure it's up there with Parabola or some of the anniversary beers FW has done, but it's still a nice enough beer.

John_M, Oct 21, 2013
Photo of rab53
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%

rab53, Oct 13, 2013
Photo of tdm168
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%

tdm168, Oct 18, 2013
Photo of KAF
4/5  rDev -7%

KAF, Dec 28, 2013
Photo of plaid75
4/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On draft at The Lark, East Northport, NY.

Poured a black hue with a two finger foamy tan head. There was decent retention and lacing.

The smell featured roasted malts a d a touch of charcoal.

The flavor was likewise roasted with a touch of sweetness and a hint of black licorice.

The mouthfeel was toward tge fuller side of the style.

Overall a tasty oatmeal stout.

plaid75, Feb 23, 2014
Photo of billab914
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%

billab914, May 07, 2014
Photo of iL0VEbeer
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%

iL0VEbeer, Dec 04, 2013
Photo of PEIhop
5/5  rDev +16.3%

PEIhop, Nov 17, 2013
Photo of Alieniloquium
4.05/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

650 mL bottle poured into a taster.

Appearance - Black with a large khaki head. Good lacing. Really nice.

Smell - Bourbon is strong without being overpowering. Vanilla and chocolate. Roasty.

Taste - Bourbon and oak are nice. Roasty. Vanilla. Chocolate.

Mouthfeel - Well it is thin, but it's nice. Drinkable, we'll call it.

Overall - Good beer. Quality flavors in a small package.

Alieniloquium, Oct 08, 2013
Photo of atrocity
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%

atrocity, Apr 18, 2014
Photo of Cynic-ale
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%

Cynic-ale, Oct 15, 2013
Photo of Rhettroactive
3/5  rDev -30.2%

Rhettroactive, Feb 07, 2014
Photo of johnnnniee
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%

johnnnniee, Mar 23, 2014
Velvet Merkin from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 1,592 ratings.