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Firestone Walker - Velvet Merkin

Discussion in 'Beer Releases' started by imfrommichigan, Aug 7, 2013.

  1. bushycook

    bushycook Savant (370) Virginia Jan 31, 2011 Beer Trader

    Stay classy, Firestone Walker. Gotta love the self-subversion of their own slightly snooty branding, it's good to know they don't take themselves too seriously. Sounds incredible, btw.
  2. phishbfm

    phishbfm Advocate (630) North Carolina Dec 4, 2010 Beer Trader

    Any pals on the left coast want to help me out with this one when it lands?? ISO hard.
    2beerdogs likes this.
  3. 2beerdogs

    2beerdogs Poobah (1,090) California Jan 31, 2005 Subscriber Beer Trader

    Finally....I heard they were gonna bottle and distribute. I hope it's just like I've had on tap. So smooth...
    yuichituba likes this.
  4. 2beerdogs

    2beerdogs Poobah (1,090) California Jan 31, 2005 Subscriber Beer Trader

    ^^^When you say "ISO hard," are you making the money shot face?:p
    s_wit likes this.
  5. dsal89

    dsal89 Advocate (505) Indiana Jul 6, 2008

    *patiently waiting for stickee monkee
    Pelican5, UnknownKoger, steeb and 2 others like this.
  6. phishbfm

    phishbfm Advocate (630) North Carolina Dec 4, 2010 Beer Trader

    More of a determination face..the $ shot face comes after..once a bottle arrives.
    JesseLara and 2beerdogs like this.
  7. Piddmeista

    Piddmeista Savant (370) California Apr 15, 2013

    From beerpulse:

    Press Release:

    (Paso Robles, CA) – Firestone Walker Brewing Company’s Velvet Merkin—the beer that almost wasn’t—will soon heed the rallying cry of “release the merkins,” as it is set to be offered for the first time in 22-ounce bottles starting on September 16.

    The Vintage 2013 Merkin is an oatmeal stout aged for a year in retired bourbon barrels from Four Roses, Heaven Hill and others.

    While it is not Firestone Walker’s usual style to conceive beer monikers that are confounding, scandalous or comical, the brewery inadvertently achieved all three of these things with the name “Velvet Merkin” once upon a time. The name went off the grid for several years, but now it’s back due to popular demand.

    “Until now, all you could get was an occasional peek at Velvet Merkin during a special event or in the brewery tasting room,” said Brewmaster Matt Brynildson. “This beer has earned a cult following, and people have been hounding us to release it—and to keep the name. I think some folks are going to wig out when they learn that it’s finally available.”

    Velvet Merkin belongs to Firestone Walker’s Proprietor’s Reserve series, and was originally developed as a component of the brewery’s annual barrel-aged Anniversary Ale blend.

    The Vintage 2013 Merkin is limited to 3,500 cases of 22-ounce bottles. Below are additional details on the brewing, barrel aging and tasting profile of the Vintage 2013 Merkin:

    Lower Alcohol, Higher Notes

    With an ABV of 8.5 percent, Velvet Merkin is the first barrel-aged vintage beer that Firestone Walker has released with an alcohol level under 10 percent.

    “With barrel aging, it’s easy to gravitate toward higher alcohol beers, because the higher the alcohol, the better the chances that the beer will remain stable in the barrel over time,” Brynildson said. “But we’ve gotten more and more comfortable with putting lower alcohol beers in the barrel, and there’s this interesting synergy when you do that.”

    He continued, “Alcohol plays a huge role in the flavor profile of a barrel-aged beer. When you dial the alcohol level down, all sorts of other flavors come to the surface. With Velvet Merkin, the base beer begins with this dark chocolate and roasted coffee character, but after a year in the barrel, it comes out like milk chocolate with creamy vanilla undertones. You still get some of the classic bourbon barrel notes, but the lower alcohol level really allows this unique milk chocolate quality to come to the surface.”

    Merkin to Merlin and Back…

    The original Velvet Merkin was made solely for the brewery’s tasting room, starting in 2004. “I always wanted to make an oatmeal stout, and so I started making single-turn batches for the tasting room, just for fun,” Brynildson said.

    He added, “I came up with this fanciful name, because I thought it was hilarious. I never thought it would leave the tasting room walls. When we decided to bottle it as a fall seasonal release about four years ago, everyone got cold feet, so we changed the name to Velvet Merlin.”

    But the Velvet Merkin name was surreptitiously resurrected by Brynildson and the brewing team after they began aging batches of the beer in bourbon barrels at around the same time.

    “Velvet Merkin is the barrel-aged version of that original oatmeal stout now known as Velvet Merlin,” Brynildson said. “We’ve been making this iteration of Velvet Merkin for several years as part of our Anniversary Ale program, and now we think it merits its own limited release.”

    While not available to the public in bottles until now, Velvet Merkin has already racked up two gold medals at the Great American Beer Festival.

    Get Your Merkin On at “Merkinfest”

    Velvet Merkin will be officially unveiled at the “Release of The Merkins” party at Firestone Walker’s Barrelworks in Buellton on September 14. Ticket availability is limited. For tickets and details, stay tuned at: www.firestonebeer.com/events/merkinfest.php

    Velvet Merkin Tasting Notes

    Beautiful chocolate, espresso and vanilla-bourbon aromas hold your nose hostage. Rich milk chocolate, bourbon and espresso create a dangerously smooth and incredibly drinkable barrel-aged oatmeal stout. Hoarding tendencies may occur.

    2013 Vintage Merkin Lowdown

    Style: Barrel-Aged Oatmeal Stout

    ABV: 8.5% IBU: 33 Color: 80SRM

    Malts: 2-Row Pale, Roast Barley, English Dark Caramel, Medium Caramel, Carafa Malt, Oats (15%)

    Hops: U.S.-grown Fuggle

    Aging: Barrel aged for one year on average in retired spirits barrels

    Production: 3,500 cases (22-ounce bottles)

    Retail: $16.99 (22-ounce bottle). Available while supplies last in CA, NV, OR, WA, AZ, CO, MO, Chicago, MA, NJ, NY, VA, PA, DC, and MD.
  8. shnsajax

    shnsajax Advocate (505) Idaho Jul 2, 2013 Beer Trader

    Damn, no TX on that list.
  9. rmank

    rmank Advocate (685) South Carolina Mar 26, 2012 Beer Trader

    how do i get you to send me some?
    vurt likes this.
  10. this is my single most anticipated beer release of the year. really looking forward to trying this.
    MCain04 likes this.
  11. analogchainsaw

    analogchainsaw Savant (400) California Nov 21, 2011 Beer Trader

    Barrelworks is an hour away from me. I'm definitely going to try for some release party tickets and bring some bottles home.
  12. smartassboiler

    smartassboiler Champion (810) Illinois Apr 9, 2012 Beer Trader

    Are we expecting the distribution quantity of this to be similar to Parabola and Sucaba?

  13. one can only hope, time to start lighting up the phones at the local bottle shops :eek:
  14. Piddmeista

    Piddmeista Savant (370) California Apr 15, 2013

    Same as Parabola 3500 cases, not sure about Sucaba though. Source

  15. The idiots at TABC probably don't know what a merkin is.
    kemoarps likes this.
  16. lokieman

    lokieman Savant (475) Oklahoma Jan 20, 2011

    Just got word from Firestone Walker via FB that the distro list on that press release is supposed to include TX...just an oversight in their marketing dept....so yay
    Piddmeista likes this.
  17. lokieman

    lokieman Savant (475) Oklahoma Jan 20, 2011

    Dude...you have no idea. If someone started a "TABC sucks thread" right now, it would be 100 pages long by morning...
    kemoarps likes this.
  18. MetalMountainMastiff

    MetalMountainMastiff Savant (440) California Oct 1, 2012 Beer Trader

    Well i've had it on tap, but I'm sure it will be easily obtainable in cali once it's bottled..Hopefully. I can't see them bottling as few as something like PNC which I think was like 450 cases.
  19. BeerMeInStl

    BeerMeInStl Advocate (630) Missouri Jan 26, 2013

    Woo Hoo! Coming to MO! I'm definitely excited about this one.
    booyahachieved3 and kemoarps like this.
  20. I want some of this!!
  21. I have to agree here.DDBA,Wookey Jack,XV,XVI and then the extremely limited shit like PNC.On top of their game for sure.
  22. Bond111

    Bond111 Savant (390) Minnesota Feb 14, 2011 Beer Trader

    ISO a Cali trading partner, that can send me 3 bottles of this! Honestly, WANT!!!
  23. bnelson997

    bnelson997 Advocate (530) California Jun 4, 2013 Beer Trader

  24. MetalMountainMastiff

    MetalMountainMastiff Savant (440) California Oct 1, 2012 Beer Trader

  25. analogchainsaw

    analogchainsaw Savant (400) California Nov 21, 2011 Beer Trader

    Done deal. Two tix of the Merkin 4 bottle packages.
  26. bnelson997

    bnelson997 Advocate (530) California Jun 4, 2013 Beer Trader

    If I've read all the news right, this is just the release party and bottles will go on sale at both locations the following day with distribution to follow in the following weeks.
    whiskey likes this.
  27. bnelson997

    bnelson997 Advocate (530) California Jun 4, 2013 Beer Trader

    And my 6 pack ticket has been purchased :)
  28. whiskey

    whiskey Advocate (535) California Feb 25, 2012 Beer Trader

    This is the first I've seen of this. I'm assuming they put some aside for distro too.
  29. Rau71

    Rau71 Savant (400) California Dec 12, 2011 Beer Trader

    Very excited to hit up this release. Hopefully the "Rare and one-off beers that will never be bottled" are good. I'm guessing it will be random stuff though like Solace with Brett. Hoping for something with coffee again, even if it is Xantus.
  30. Rau71

    Rau71 Savant (400) California Dec 12, 2011 Beer Trader

    Yeah. They go on sale to the public the day after. This is like a preview type of thing.
    whiskey likes this.
  31. AnalogErik

    AnalogErik Advocate (595) Minnesota Jul 23, 2013 Beer Trader

    Once again, Minnesota's FUBAR alcohol distribution laws are BONING this state. (For those that don't know what i'm talking about - Minnesota requires beer companies to comply with rediculous distribution rules/laws... Its why Stone typically costs 2-3$ more per bomber than Iowa).
  32. Sisky

    Sisky Savant (310) California Dec 16, 2012 Beer Trader

    2-4 bottle tickets purchased. Wondering if they will have Merkin's for the photo booth. Can't wait to get a picture with a used merkin.
  33. bigdaddypolite

    bigdaddypolite Advocate (535) Minnesota Mar 2, 2007 Beer Trader

    What is the connection between Minnesota's distribution laws, and this news about the release of Velvet Merkin? Are you suggesting that our distribution laws are the specific reason that Firestone Walker chooses not to distribute their beers in our state? And therefore we won't get any of this particular beer?

    I have no problems with complaining about MN distribution laws, I just can't quite make the link here...

    Anyway, very excited about this release and will be relying on my friends in Colorado to grab me a bottle or two!
  34. AnalogErik

    AnalogErik Advocate (595) Minnesota Jul 23, 2013 Beer Trader

    That is what I am hypothesizing. If they are going to bring it to Chicago, why not Minneapolis?
  35. DanH83

    DanH83 Savant (255) New York Feb 14, 2013 Beer Trader

    If only those two had been similar. I could find 2013 Sucaba on shelves in NYC until June, but Parabola was a wholly different story. NYC got next to nothing and you had to either murder someone or pay double retail for it.

    Hopefully Vervet Merkin will be a Sucaba type distro to NYC.
  36. Parabola also has much higher demand than Sucaba. Seeing less of it might be more a function of it selling out faster, customers and store owners hording it, holding for regulars, etc., than of lower distribution amounts.
    jkane101 and whiskey like this.
  37. raynmoon

    raynmoon Advocate (630) Colorado Aug 13, 2011 Beer Trader

    We don't make cars, but make no mistake, Firestone is a CAR company!

  38. Ajorge13

    Ajorge13 Initiate (15) Florida Aug 4, 2013

    Love the Firestone Beers, only thing it's a mission to find in Miami, FL.
  39. I think this time i'll just ask my shop owner/manager to check his computer for an exact date of release and then elbow my way into the store that day
  40. rather

    rather Savant (455) California May 31, 2013

    the beer buyer but it hasn't showed up so he had incorrect info he told me soz