Velvet Merkin | Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

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Velvet MerkinVelvet Merkin
BA SCORE
4.28/5
Outstanding
2,529 Ratings
Velvet MerkinVelvet Merkin
BEER INFO

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

Style: Oatmeal Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Our decadent Oatmeal Stout lovingly aged in Bourbon barrels. Beautiful chocolate, espresso and vanilla-bourbon aromas hold your nose hostage. Rich dark chocolate truffle, bourbon and espresso create a dangerously smooth and incredibly drinkable barrel aged Oatmeal Stout. Hoarding tendencies may occur.

Added by t0rin0 on 11-20-2008

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#639
Reviews:
397
Ratings:
2,529
pDev:
9.11%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
411
Gots:
1,083
Trade:
138
HISTOGRAM
 
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,529 |  Reviews: 397
Photo of MTKATL
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of OompaMentor
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of BeerMe8
4.35/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of MJSFS
4.43/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of StormAles
4.44/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of NonicPanic
4/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of spav
4.46/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Not pitch black but pretty dark, some light penetrates around the edges. Good lacing and not much head retention but I kinda prefer that. Aroma is fantastic to me: roasty oats, some vanilla, and deadly smooth bourbon! Flavor follows but mouthfeel is lacking a little. Awesome brew

 280 characters

Photo of smithj4
4.23/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Photo of coryhk
4.19/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Photo of thinwhiteduke
3.75/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of BoldRulerVT
4.23/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Served on tap. 2016 vintage served Jan. 2018.
Pours nearly jet black with a finger of deep caramel colored head.
Aromas are mellow balanced levels of bourbon and deep roast.
Flavors are really nice and balanced. Ample bourbon but works very well with deep roasted malt. Chocolate and coffee notes.
Mouthfeel was really nice with the oatmeal in the mash.
Overall, great BBA oatmeal stout!

 387 characters

Photo of lebriarjr
4.29/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of ER527
3.63/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Photo of RochefortChris
4/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of BJB13
4.35/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Batch no. 005 2017 release
12 oz. bottle poured into a willibecher.

Pours deep brown and stacks up near black in the glass. The two tone cream and khaki head started at two fingers and slowly laid down to a quarter inch while leaving nice lacing.

The nose is full of malty sweetness. Notes of bourbon, vanilla and coconut make for a rich inviting aroma.

Tastes of smooth bourbon, toasted coconut, vanilla and caramel. Very smooth and easy drinking with just a scant bit of warmth at the finish.

The body is medium to full with low carbonation and a rather soft feel.

Very good.

 587 characters

Photo of Davepoolesque
3.93/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 1, 2013. Mocha, chocolate, coffee, roasted malts and some dark fruits. Getting some fairly oxidized flavors. Way past it's prime. Lighter bodied. A bit of creamy oat feel. Eh.

 181 characters

Photo of clayrock81
4/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a dark/cloudy brown body with minimal head. Aroma of booze, vanilla, dark fruits, wood (not much of an oat aspect) and hints of malts. Beer is smooth thanks to woody/oat aspect, has a boozy vanilla twang, thick so slow-sipping, notes of dark fruits and is enjoyable although everything comes off a tad muted (nothing stands out) and it's basically a heavy, slightly sweet and fruity beer.

 399 characters

Photo of RichieRich1812
4.44/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Riff
3.79/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a dark brown color with a thick head, almost two fingers in height. Smell is roasted malts, a little hint of chocolate, hint of bourbon and oak. Flavors tended towards being light, a little bit of bourbon, a light chocolate, light malts. Just simple flavors, nice flavors, but light. Molasses. vanilla, a little oak. Medium-heavy body, light carbonation. It's tasty, a solid beer, but not worth the price. There are a number of better beers in this category.

 464 characters

Photo of shadrack
4.01/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of MurphDog14
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Ozzylizard
3.87/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

$ 15.61 (Including shipping)/12 oz bottle ($ 1.302/oz) from Blackwell’s, San Francisco.
2017 vintage, run 005, marked 08/21/2017 on bottle shoulder in black ink. Stored in a 42 degree reefer and served at 55 degrees in a hand washed and dried Jester King snifter.
Appearance – 4.5.
Body – Dark brown/black, opaque, slight effervescence.
Head – Large (Maximum 4.6 cm, aggressive pour), tan, medium density with average retention time, diminishing to a three to five mm ring fed by effervescence and a thin complete layer with some rocks. Head retraction leaves some thin partial rings of tight lacing.
Lacing – Excellent. One continuous sheet of tiny to small bubbles.
Pour – Light brown, clear.
Aroma – 3.75 - Initially cocoa and weak coffee, followed by some ghosts of bourbon past.
Flavor – 3.75 - Fairly weak. A little cocoa, some expresso. Just a touch of alcohol heat on the aftertaste. Allowing it to warm in my mouth fails to release either bourbon or oak. No hops, no diacetyl.
Palate – 4.5 - Moves smoothly across my tongue like an amoeba across a food plate. Medium, almost creamy, soft carbonation.
Impression and summation – 3.75 - I’m somewhat disappointed. Based on the hype and the price point, I was expecting to be carried aloft on vapors of bourbon with cocoa and expresso lovingly stroking my taste buds all the while. While this brew certainly looks good and feels exceptional, the most important component, taste, is but a shadowy figure lurking in the background, skulking behind the lessor actors of appearance and palate.

 1,581 characters

Photo of deweese
4.22/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Photo of addicted2thebarrel
4.27/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Vidblain
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Like most oatmeal stouts, this really takes a little time to open up - sadly, I opened this at about 2am on New Year's Eve and wasn't at my most patient. Drinking Velvet Merkin cold is a fairly unremarkable experience - it's smooth, without any particularly noticeable barrel or bourbon notes.

But I fell asleep for a bit while watching TV, then came back to the beer.

It's funny how much depth there is to Velvet Merkin once it finally warms up - the chocolate, vanilla, and bourbon notes are truly fantastic... but it basically has to be at ambient temperature/around 64 degrees.

I really wish I hadn't asked what a merkin was. Yowza. Thanks for that, FSW!

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Velvet Merkin from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.28 out of 5 with 2,529 ratings