Velvet Merkin | Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

BA SCORE
94
outstanding
2,414 Ratings
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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
Ratings:
2,414
Reviews:
363
Avg:
4.23
pDev:
9.46%
 
 
Wants:
406
Gots:
1,059
For Trade:
139
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,414 |  Reviews: 363
Photo of olradetbalder
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of DrBier
4/5  rDev -5.4%

Photo of Thorpe429
4.17/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes.

Pours a dark brown color with a thin tan head and a few spots of lacing. Nice collar as it goes down. The nose brings a good contingent of roast and chocolate alongside the really nice barrel notes. Fantastic amount of bourbon plus some oak and vanilla. The flavor brings smooth bourbon as well as oak, vanilla, chocolate, and moderate roast. Medium body that is quite creamy with really nice barrel qualities. Very, very well done. Not surprising coming from Firestone.

 492 characters

Photo of mothman
4.02/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Light tan head. Black color but nearing brown.

Definitely a porter. Thin compared to a stout. Lots of bourbon and vanilla. Oaky. Caramel and chocolate. A little heat. Fairly smooth. Some roast.

Good porter. I'd have this one again.

 233 characters

Photo of Boone757
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of jlindros
4.15/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Tap at EBF from keg.

Creamy light head, brown molasses darker colored but not very dark.

Nose light bourbon and oak, oats, hint of fruit, brown malts, chewy malts, light barrel and vanilla aromas, touch of chocolate and caramel.

Taste creamy, oats, light oak and vanilla, light bourbon, brown malts, hint if molasses, bit of dark malts with hint of roast and caramel, toffee, and just a touch of chocolate.

Mouth is creamy and smooth, lush, fuller bodied, with decent carb and just a hint of booze.

Overall pretty good, wish I could have sat down with a full pour to get more out of it, but still a pretty good beer.

 621 characters

Photo of ygtbsm94
3.5/5  rDev -17.3%

Photo of Kurmaraja
4.15/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of Kegatron
4.2/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at The Stone Brewing Bistro & World Gardens on 11/13/09 during their Firestone Walker 13th on the 13th event. Served in a snifter.

Pours black, with a thin frothy covering of mocha colored head. This stays rich when swirled, leaving a strong latticework of spotty lacing behind. The aroma is quite tangy (and even a little meaty) smelling with big notes of smoke, chocolate roast, burnt wood, and coffee. Some fresh floral tannic character gives this a distinct layer of earthy depth.

The taste is similar, with a sweet smokey tang to it from layers of chocolate, coffee, roast, a tiny bit of dark fruit, and naturally, the bourbon. This has a definite ripple of earthy feeling tannins that run through it, leaving a strong woody dryness in the finish. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a fuller creaminess to it form the oats but also retains a considerable amount of barrel-induced slickness.

I really liked how the barrel-aging worked with this. The bourbon wasn't in your face, instead working with the malts to impart that deep smokey tang, while the barrel gave the overall profile an earthy and green feeling mellowness. Really interesting and fun drinking stuff from Firestone.

 1,201 characters

Photo of wethorseblanket
4.36/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of nathanmiller
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of mactrail
4.18/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

December 4, 2015 update: From the 2015 vintage bottle. Seems light, fizzy, and not very bourbon flavored. The appley, rum scent is the best feature. Tart and sharp along with the wood. I would not rate this anywhere near as high as on my previous tasting. Fades into a chalky cocoa taste.

Original 2013 review: Dark color best described as raw umber. The foam is beige and not overly high in the St. Bernardus globe. Splendid scent of something more like rum than the usual bourbon blast. Slightly sweet with a lively mouthfeel and not so thick on the tongue. A delightful spritzy sensation with the touch of booze and a little cocoa.

Really a fragrant nose and flavor as well. Well balanced with just enough hoppy bitterness to go with the malt. It's all quite refined and mellow. Even the alcohol is restrained. Long, smooth whiskey aftertaste with the alcohol finally providing a nice burn for the finish.

More light and lively than than the imperial stouts by far. An excellent dark brew and probably my favorite Oatmeal Stout ever. From the bottle bought at Bottlecraft in San Diego.

 1,093 characters

Photo of Rifugium
3.73/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

First had: on tap at Capone's

Dark brown pour, slightly translucent around the rim, with a small beige ringlet. Aroma of roasty dark malts, toasted bread, bourbon and spiced rum, notes of chocolate and vanilla. More dark malt roastiness in the taste, notes of dark berries, coconut, bourbon-soaked oak, vegetal vanilla, bakers' chocolate. Mouthfeel was on the thin side, surprising for an oatmeal stout, body was about medium; boozy presence was felt, but it was pretty smooth and not hot at all. A decent brew overall.

 520 characters

Photo of XmnwildX12
4/5  rDev -5.4%

Photo of mendvicdog
4.75/5  rDev +12.3%

Photo of dcmchew
4.21/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of billab914
4.1/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of drewone
4/5  rDev -5.4%

Photo of mdaschaf
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of Ciocanelu
4.6/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of duceswild
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of smcolw
3.98/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Deep ruby, nearly black. Only the brightest of lights shine through. Beige head that settles to nearly no bubbles. No lace.

Chalky chocolate aroma. Lightly sweet.

Rich dark chocolate start. There's a strong sweetness and thickness to the body and taste. I detect strong vanilla notes, perhaps a bit of bourbon. Rich and thick body which is exentuated by the low carbonation.

 377 characters

Photo of Slatetank
4.59/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Let me start by saying this is a brewery that is one I consider to be world class and this is a style I am especially fond of but that really is not relevant in this case because regardless of those caveats this is simply an outstanding beer.

The description in the notes/commercial description really are just the tip of the iceberg or icing on the cake if you will since this is a decadent barrel aged beer that can be savored and leaves you wanting more. I highly recommend this to any fan of barrel aged beers or stout in general as it is hard to find a more worthy beer the only drawback is that I wish I had more.

 622 characters

Photo of atrocity
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of mdfb79
4.35/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From 03/12/11 notes. Had this on tap at the day session of EBF up in Boston, MA. One of the better beers of the day in my opinion.

a - Pours a dark brown, almost black color, with a little bit of white head and moderate carbonation evident. Looks exactly like the normal version of Velvet Merlin.

s - Smells of smooth bourbon, oatmeal, coffee, and vanilla. Pretty nice, the bourbon is out front, but doesn't dominate the smell. You still get all the normal scents of the Velvet Merkin.

t - Tastes of bourbon, oatmeal, oak, roasted malts, vanilla and cream, coffee, and light chocolate. The taste is a step up from the nose and amazingly complex and balanced. Really great, and the bourbon is nice but not overpowering again.

m - Medium body and low carbonation, the body is super smooth and creamy. No alcohol heat at all, most likely thanks to the low ABV of the base beer. Great mouthfeel.

o - Overall this is a really good beer I hope they bring out more often. The smell is nice, ut the taste and mouthfeel were outstanding. Would love to have again.

 1,059 characters

Velvet Merkin from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
4.23 out of 5 based on 2,414 ratings.
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