Velvet Merkin - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 1,285 | Reviews: 175 | Display Reviews Only:
4.2/5 rDev -2.1%
A: poured an almost dark as night as black in color with a thin brown head and left some good lacing sticking to the head.
S: lots of chocolatey goodness was detectable on the first whiff with lots of malty sweetness, caramel, vanilla, bourbon booze, and traces of oatmeal grains.
T: the oatmeal grains were more apperent on the taste alongside, bourbon oaky character, tons of chocolatey flavor, hints of carmel and vanilla accents.
M: the brew was full to medium in body with a moderate amount of carbonation which had a sweet, oaky, boozy bourbon, chocolatey, silky finish.
O: I definitely thought it was way better than the original version on the flavor and had a nice intoxicating aroma as well.
03-25-2012 09:40:58 | More by Gobzilla
3.53/5 rDev -17.7%
Served on tap at City Beer Store in San Francisco.
I don't know anything about this beer besides a vague awareness of some internet hype, and for some reason, the store listed the abv as 10%, which I'm very glad to see is incorrect. I would like to try the non-barrel aged version for a point of comparison and highly recommend seeking out a cask version. I can imagine thoroughly enjoying the beer served from a cask, but on tap, something was off for me. The beer pours an opaque dark-brown with highlighting along the edges of the glass. For a decidedly unhelpful point of comparison, it was nearly a dead-on match for 21st Amendment's Back in Black. The aroma, unlike the flavor, was fantastic. There are notes of chocolate, coffee, roasty malt, dry oak and a well-balanced bourbon flavor that meshed very well unlike some bourbon barrel-aged beers. The taste had all of these flavors, but they were far more muted. The bourbon flavor became almost watery. The feel may have been the real culprit. It was much too thin for a stout, much less a barrel-aged stout. A cask would likely bring out the creamy lush mouthfeel of the oatmeal stout. At any rate, it was still a good beer, and they get points for not overwhelming a relatively small stout with bourbon barrel-aging. So, seek it out in a cask if you can.
05-31-2009 02:56:26 | More by popery
4.5/5 rDev +4.9%
22oz. bottle poured into a snifter.
(A)- Pours almost totally black in color. Minimal tan froth.
(S)- A great vanilla oatmeal aroma up front. Some chocolate and caramel oak. Superb oatmeal characters on the nose. One of the most striking oatmeal stout smells I have encountered thus far.
(T)- A superb stand out oatmeal, chocolate, and vanilla combo. Some oaky char in there on the finish.
(M)- A smooth carbonation level. I dig the balance this has with a nice stand out oatmeal profile. It does get to be a bit sweet as it warms.
(O)- One of the more oatmeal forward stouts in recent memory. Very well balanced with a dessert quality to it. The barrel really showcases how well the oatmeal works with it. Fantastic now; I would be surprised if this improved any with age. I say drink now.
12-09-2013 20:28:07 | More by sweemzander
4.35/5 rDev +1.4%
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.
11-14-2013 02:48:15 | More by Axnjxn
3.48/5 rDev -18.9%
22oz bottle $14.99. I was real excited to try this as I like velvet merlin a lot but I will say I was quite let down. I guess I was expecting something more rich and decadent. This truly tasted like Velvet Merlin with hints of bourbon and it was kind of thin. Aroma was bourbon, a little oats, eh. Flavor was more of the same. Honestly I was expecting something like Parabola but different and this falls short. Just too think and too much like the base beer, I didn't feel like the time in the barrel changed it enough to make it worth my money.
09-29-2013 17:26:53 | More by ArrogantB
3.9/5 rDev -9.1%
Pours a dark, copper tinted black, modest cap of brown froth, gone quickly, spotty bubbling. First whiff was solid, but not as bold as expected... light charachter from the burbon and oak blend with light roasted malt, faint creamy sweetness, minimal notes of cocoa. Taste brings a dry, oaky flavor, bourbon is present but not a star, roasty, a bit of a hop presence, light cream and sugar, minimal cocoa. Medium bodied, not full and creamy like an oatmeal stout, dry. Was anticipating this one immensely and left somewhat disapointed, expected big and bold and i got softer and milder. Still a good beer, just not great.
06-07-2012 13:10:45 | More by rfgetz
4.4/5 rDev +2.6%
1540th Review on BA
Nitro-Tap to 6oz snifter
@Firestone Walker, Paso Robles, CA
App- When the server poured this, the whole glass seemed to look like a cotton ball and he said dont worry. He was right. As things settled the beer became a very flat looking dull brown but retained the creamy white frothy head on top. A liquid reverse oreo if you will. The whole glass had some good sticky cling to it.
Smell- Its got the base for sure of Velvet Merkin. The rich oats, the little bit of malts and the little bit of bitter hoppy & chocolate for balance. Except this kicks it to another level and adds the bourbon, boozy notes. A little unbalanced on the aromatics but still a very nice smelling beer.
Taste- Like a oreo. So smooth with a big burst of grainular cookie crust. The malts tie this together with a rich oatmeal flavor but yet with the addition of the bourbon its a phenomal beer. Decadent and rich with bursts of bourbon and cookie with each sip. Would be amazing if this were bottled.
Mouth- Big and chewy with a low carbonation level. Super smooth and rich. The bourbon that I mentioned before is the residual flavors with a flaky oatmeal and cocoa powder addition.
Drink- Hot damn, this was a great beer. Another one where I said, "Really? this is on Nitro today" What a great detour.
10-03-2012 14:38:58 | More by FosterJM
3.6/5 rDev -16.1%
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.
11-09-2013 04:55:39 | More by maximum12
3.83/5 rDev -10.7%
Pours a dark chocolate brown color, near black. The beer has a short tan head that settles into a light ring.
The aroma is sweet from the bourbon. Smooth oatmeal stout notes. Nice under current of caramel and vanilla. The aroma is not super strong but it is also not overpoweringly boozy.
The taste is of a smooth oatmeal stout with some milk chocolate notes and a smidge of roasted bitterness. The bourbon is light and bring caramel and vanilla to the table. Some wood notes in the end.
The feel is light with fizzy carbonation. Sweet on the palate overall but finishes quite dry. Slightly sticky in the finish.
Some nice flavors but the stout seems to fall a little short. It is too dry for my liking and could use a touch more bourbon.
03-23-2012 03:25:28 | More by Gmann
4.68/5 rDev +9.1%
A-Pours a very, very dark brown with only minimal light penetration. The head is a thin accumulation of sand colored bubbles and foam. Dots and waves of lace.
S-Interesting! I find it to be noticeably nutty. Almost like a nut flavored coffee. Toasted coconuts, too. A respectable and well set bourbon aroma. I notice coconuts more and more and I love that. Bits of vanilla and even some tobacco leaves. Almond chocolate bars!
T-The flavor is also delicious. I like how the bourbon isn't the main flavor, it merely accentuates the other flavors. Coconut milk chocolate. Roasted oats. Medium roast almond/hazelnut coffee. Chocolate chips. Vanilla and oak. Light tobacco. Then the whiskey kicks back in on the backside. Very tasty.
M-Body is thinner than expected but it seems to fit the beer's ABV. I actually enjoy its lack of viscosity. Tantalizing bubbles. A bit creamy and spicy/hot from the bourbon. Drinks too easily.
O/D-Firestone Walker barrel aged brews are an automatic. This one may be one of the best in my opinion. Not as huge as the others but it's complexity is unmatched. This beer tastes like it was made just for me and my taste buds. I really, really enjoyed this beer. Instant classic.
11-21-2013 01:35:42 | More by VelvetExtract
4.4/5 rDev +2.6%
Had on tap at New World Tavern.
Appearance: low carbonation, 1/4 inch head, opaque, black in color
Smell: dark chocolate, oak, and bourbon
Taste: Deep bourbon taste, dark and milk chocolate, with touch of vanilla
Mouthfeel: sweet, oaky, and roasty, heavy body, moderate carbonation
Overall: Wow. Every barrel aged beer FireStone Walker has done has been lights out amazing and worth every penny. This one is no different. I love the depth of the barrel aging and yet this still has a lot of stout to it. One of the best beers I have had in a while.
02-28-2014 19:58:15 | More by tigg924
Velvet Merkin from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 1,285 ratings.