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Velvet Merkin | Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

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Velvet MerkinVelvet Merkin
2,457 Ratings
Velvet MerkinVelvet Merkin

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

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

Bros Score:
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,457 |  Reviews: 378
Photo of petewheeler
4.5/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of MacMalt
4.25/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2017 release. Poured into snifter. It pours inky black. It's large, fluffy, khaki head dissipated very quickly leaving soapy lacing inside the glass. Its nose features oatmeal, chocolate, freshly-brewed coffee, light vanilla, and subtle bourbon; it's highly aromatic. There is a lot of oatmeal in the taste, along with roasted malt, milk chocolate, coffee, and hints of oak, black cherry and anise. The bourbon is subdued and it finishes slightly bitter. The mouth feel is thinner than I anticipated, which is disappointing. It's lightly carbonated and the 8.5% ABV is incredibly well hidden. Overall, this is a very fine oatmeal stout. I'm glad the bourbon isn't distracting. I only wish the feel was a little more viscous and creamy.

 740 characters

Photo of Shaneb818
4.3/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Photo of NolaHopHead
4.41/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of farrago
4.16/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

An aggressive pour yields barely more than one finger, deep brown color, lots of divots left by larger bubbles, retention better once it gets down to the surface, lacing is fairly wispy. The opacity of the liquid gives it a black appearance but it is more likely a severely dark brown, can’t see any bubbles but if you look really closely you will see some small particulate suspended in the liquid. The nose is infused with sweet bourbon notes, caramel, oatmeal, milk chocolate and cola bean, a subtle roast percolates below, maraschino cherry fruit, touch of licorice, there’s not a great deal of complexity but plenty of quite confidence in what it brings to the table. Full-bodied but for the style of beer wiry and moves with grace. Carbonation is slight to absent. Yet it still glides over the palate. Cola, chocolate, mint, cafe au lait, toasted oats. Unexpectedly demure bourbon element, no bite to it, more round and sweet vanilla, caramel. White grape, cherry, apricot to golden raisin fruit flavors, light and bouncy. The oatmeal more assertive after repeated sips, smooth and fills any cracks in the sidewalk. Zero alcoholic burn. Given its size, offers intellectual intrigue and a fully integrated drinking experience.

 1,235 characters

Photo of TLA
4.27/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of matcris
4.26/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Black up to the light with a half finger of tan head that settles to a ring. Nice looking carbonation when I rock the glass. The aroma is big vanilla, a hint of bourbon, chocolate, java & oatmeal cream. Smells very good. In the flavor, nice vanilla that pops, mild chocolate and java, oatmeal, and the bourbon rounds everything out. Nothing is overdone; it all blends very nicely, with the vanilla taking the lead, slightly. The feel is good full carbonation, a little sticky, a little creamy, and medium-ish body. Nice brew, here. Mild lacing down the glass.

 559 characters

Photo of kccraftenthusiast
4.18/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of jcoleMA66
4.51/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of andrewh995
3.89/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Pours a dark black with a small white head. Smells of chocolate, bourbon, coffee, and vanilla. Tastes of chocolate, wood, bourbon, roasted coffee, vanilla bean, and a strange off flavor. Medium heavy body and medium-light carbonation. Overall it’s really good there is just a strange off flavor. Maybe it’s the batch or maybe it’s just something I don’t like but can’t place.

 385 characters

Photo of eldoctorador
3.75/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of bcsteve89
3.93/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of steverx8
4.25/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Chuckdiesel24
3.99/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of sposter4
4.41/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of SailIntoTheStout
4.6/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Photo of csmrx7
3.96/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Onenote81
4.08/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Wasatch
4.49/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bought On-Line

22 oz. Bomber/Box
Black Foil/Capped
2015 Vintage, No. 003

Poured into a tulip a very nice dark brown color, very nice carbonation, with a pretty nice thick/creamy one-finger light tan head, which also leaves some pretty nice sticky lacing behind. The nose is malty, very nice chocolate/toffee, vanilla, very nice bourbon note, oaky, roasty. The taste is really nice, malty, chocolate/toffee, nice vanilla, slight licorice, really nice bourbon/oak. some roastyness. Medium body, ABV hidden pretty well, nice little dry/bitter finish. Overall, a very tasty brew. Been wanting to try this for a long time.

 619 characters

Photo of Nace4
4.52/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of godawgs
4.58/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Mindsculptor
3.96/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Very good oatmeal stout. I just wish breweries would ease up on the roast qualities for styles other than Irish Dry.

116 characters

Photo of StoutElk_92
4.57/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

22 oz. bottle - Vintage 2016

Pours maroon black with a creamy khaki colored foam head. Smells like rich dark chocolate truffles, espresso coffee, grapes, currants, raisin, graham cracker, toffee, brown sugar, caramel, bourbon, vanilla, oak, toasted bready malt, molasses, oats, dark fruit, with earthy herbal grassy pine. Taste follows with rich dark chocolate truffle, dark espresso coffee, grapes, currants, raisin, graham cracker, toffee, charred brown sugar, caramel, bourbon, vanilla, oak, toasted bready malt, molasses, oats, dark fruit, with earthy herbal grassy pine. Feels medium-light bodied, creamy and smooth with moderate low carbonation. Overall a nice bourbon barrel aged oatmeal stout.

 702 characters

Photo of Lone_Freighter
4.72/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Reviewed from notes. Poured into a snifter and a pint glass. The appearance is a jet black colored body with a head that seems to last just a tad longer in the snifter and concaves a bit than the pint glass. Its about a half finger off-white sort of tan that dies at a very nice pace with more spotty lacing is in the pint glass than the snifter. The smell is the same amount of bourbon in both glasses, smokey chocolate comes through, slightly roasty and oaty. The taste is sweet roasty bourbon-ness with a slight smokey-esque feel strolling around my taste buds with some vanilla making a decent presence. There is a bourbon sweet aftertaste with a sticky yet somewhat dry chocolate bourbon finish (wow, what a complex finish, I don’t think I’ve ever had any finish like that before). On the palate, for an oatmeal stout at 8.5 that was bottled in August of this year, wow, this lives up to its name - what a "velvety" smooth feel rolling around my tongue and mouth, the more I sip the more I think holey moley wow, this feels great around my mouth especially with the lack of age on it; I’d say its about a medium in body, more of a sipper for sessionability’s sake. Carbonation is pretty good for the style and for me, not much pounding the mouth and tongue but that’s ok. Overall, this could quite possibly be the best oatmeal stout that I’ve ever had. I didn’t know it was going to be this good.

 1,415 characters

Photo of sjones5045
4.01/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Velvet Merkin from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.29 out of 5 with 2,457 ratings
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