Saucerful O' Merkin | Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

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9 Ratings

Brewed by:
Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
California, United States

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): not listed

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Stoneman78 on 04-13-2008

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 9 |  Reviews: 8
Reviews by Stoneman78:
Photo of Stoneman78
4.22/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On draft 4/11/08 at O'Brien's to kick off an early start to Craft Brewer's Conference/World Beer Cup here in San Diego.

Tom Nickel's description for this beer: "It is a combination of a Belgian dark strong ale named Saucerful of Secrets and a bourbon barrel aged Oatmeal Stout named Velvet Merkin."

Appearance is a pitch brown hue, minimal off-white head dissipates mostly, very slight lacing on the glass

Smell is an intense mix of chocolate and roasty malts with a dominating oak/wood presence, cherries and vanilla linger and the alcohol aroma is stiff

Taste is uniquely hybrid (which makes sense), initially dominated by the chocolate roast malts, woody oak, and whiskey (from the Merkin), and transitions to dark fruits, grains, spices, and yeast (from the SoS), finishes with a mix of sweet malts and warming alcohol

Mouthfeel is quite full-bodied, thick and viscous texture, low carbonation levels

Drinkability is moderate yet limited by the overall richness and booziness of this beer, the blending of styles works well here, it would be interesting to try compare each of these separate beers to the blend, this seems like a limited/special event release and I doubt many people will get to try it anytime soon.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of PretzelCity
4.5/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of PeprSprYoFace
4.5/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

On tap at Churchills Reniassance

Pours a deep deep brown with a ring of tan head. No lacing. I'm beggining to thing it's the places fault for head and stuff.

Aroma is of dark fruits and deep caramels and sugars. Very aromatic.

Tastes as it smells. Raisins and figs lots of caramel. Not too much Belgian yeast as the style would suggest. But very tasty.

Mouthfeel is great. Higher carb for the correct style but I wouldn't call this a Belgian beer.

Overall very tasty

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Photo of MiScusi
4.03/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer comes poured in a goblet, light tan creamy head, dark body. Smell is fruity and sweet like a barleywine, but the flavor is roasty like a stout (like Velvet Merkin) but also has the belgian dark character and a bit of barleywine aspect to it too. The body is not viscous, fairly thin like your normal light weight beglian dark.

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Photo of charlzm
4.27/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Consumed at JJ Brewski's, Camarillo, CA on 10/08/08.

Beer is black. Held it to indirect sunlight and still couldn't see through it. Mocha colored head that's just a thin skin of foam.

Aroma is complex - red wine tannins, smoke, wood, roasted sweet dark malts.

Flavor is heavy and complex. Vinous at first with a chocolate malt character. Oatmeal fleetingly in evidence. A strong roasted nut flavor appears as well. Boozy and alcoholic, though not excessively so.

Hard to drink a whole pint of this delicious stuff due to the heavy flavor and low carbonation.

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Photo of HopHead84
4.52/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5


10oz served in a snifter at Churchill's

The beer is black with one inch creamy light brown head, good retention and lacing.

The aroma is of rich malt and a distinct Firestone Walker barrel character, with notes of dark and milk chocolate, a light roast, subtle coffee, mellow bourbon, a dash of caramel, and no alcohol. A great balance is displayed. Caramel and bourbon presence increases with warming.

The flavor is a nice blend of caramel, chocolate, and bourbon. Such rich flavors in a beer so light in ABV is a thing to be savored. A light roast is evident, alcohol is unnoticeable, and the slightest hint of coffee is perceivable.

The mouthfeel is stellar...light and creamy with moderate carbonation and a residual sticky sensation.

This is a perfect session stout. Yes, I know it's not within ABV guidelines for a session beer, but it's immensely drinkable. I think I'll have another.

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Photo of Floydster
4.61/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce serving for eight dollars at JJ Brewskys in Camarillo yesterday, served in an oversized pint glass, listed at 6.8% ABV, extension of ther blending program, no better way to start off my afternoon before strolling through the art and jazz festival

Here is a full description of the beers that make up this beauty=
Velvet Merkin (5.5% ABV:)
Traditional Oatmeal Stout -Aged in Bourbon Barrels
OG: 15P
FG: 5.5
IBU: 32.5
Color: Black
15% Oats / Hopped with 100% US grown Fuggles
Saucerful of Secrets (10.2% ABV):
Stainless Steel Fermented and Aged (for this portion of the release, the rest will be racked to assorted barrels)
High Gravity Belgian Dark Ale, a tribute to Sid Barrett! Our first Belgian Inspired Ale.
OG: 23P/1.100
FG: 6P/1.024
IBU: 24
Color: 40
Large charge of Belgian Candi Sugar /Styrian Golding Hops

Described as, "A Dark Winter Stout with light spicy notes, full silky body and Bourbon accents."

A-Very dark brown, almost black, but some red tint in the light with some going through, 3/4 inch tan head that dissipated fast, not much retention, great lacing on the glass after each sip though
S-Bourbon, oak, Belgian yeast and sugar, vanilla, milk chocolate, whole grains, oatmeal, almonds, toasted bread, cherries, cream, various spices, light hoppiness, and dark fruits
T-Starts off with a big roasted malt flavor, some whiskey behind, middle is grainy, finish is slightly sweet and warming at first, later on sugar comes to the surface along with the sweet yeast I could get out of the aroma, definitely a blend because is started out more on the stout side and ended more Belgian, this stuff worked great with each other and the flavor was right up there with their tenth and eleventh anniversary beers, although very different, by the end there was lots of sweeter fruits and grains mixed with the bourbon and oaky vanilla finish, I want more
M-Roasty, sweet, dry, and sticky mouthfeel, medium to full bodied, on the thicker side, nice level of carbonation, taste lingers nicely, especially by the time it warmed in my hand
D-Could have drank a few more glasses with ease, smooth and inviting, flavors mold together beautifully and are not powerful by themselves, not heavy on the stomach, unique and leaves you wanting more

Could not pass this one up, only sixty kegs were produced and most of them stayed up at Firestone according to the bartender, I would drink this beer all the time if it was readily available, the alcohol seems like it could be 12% ABV because of the different flavors going on but you cannot taste any booze and it is below seven percent, cannot wait to drink this again, highly recommended

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Photo of barleywinefiend
4.57/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Had on tap at JJ Brewskys 15 Sep and man oh man was it a goody!Poured a deep, deep brown with a nice brown head to it. Nose was hops, oats, cocoa, vanilla oak, bourbon and well mixed/balanced.Taste was roasty with lots of flavor. A velvety taste to it, very smooth and so easy to drink. Mouthfeel was exceptional. Lots of oak came out. Had it cold but the flavor and profile changed as it warmed. Like 2 great beers in one. So sweet and smooth. A mix of so much flavor and they pulled it off very well!!! Great brew, great!

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Photo of getkrunkhoe
4.42/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had mine also @ JJ Brewky's

A- Nice opaque color, inviting

N- Sweet, Boozy, roasted nuts,

M- Chewy yet drinkable, very lush. velvety if u will

T- Wow, oatmeal, chocolatey, nutty, bit of molases character.

F- was not to filling kept inviting me for more. so good and drinkalbe

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Saucerful O' Merkin from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.4 out of 5 with 9 ratings