Velvet Merkin | Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Velvet MerkinVelvet Merkin
2,439 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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Ratings: 2,439 |  Reviews: 371
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.

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Photo of Nace4
4.6/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | 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.

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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.

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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.

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

Photo of DudMan
3.98/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of elemenohpee1
3.85/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Photo of MI_beerdrinker
4.22/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Sabtos
3.86/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pouring a dark brown ribbon but filling muddy black with a large tan foam that slowly recedes to a long retaining blanket and clingy messy lace, this is a 4 year old bottle that isn't giving up.

The nose is no joke bourbon, and lots of it--for its age that is saying something. I have no idea how potent this is fresh, but dayum! It doesn't sting though?! It's more like freshly reduced bourbon syrup on a stack of rum soaked pain perdu--bready and eggy and yeasty--with touches of maple, cocoa, pumpernickel, black pepper and woody vanilla. Hands down, the smell is unquestionably the winning attribute of this beer.

Taste is bourbon and cola, chewy and deep and smokey rich, with roasted nuts, cocoa dusted dates, charred wood and dark bread. Raisin notes kick up more and more as it warms.

The body is thin to medium yet slick, round and substantial. Despite the intense bourbon flavor, there is no actual heat! Before it warms, it has quite a dry, chewy finish. For successful aging alone, this deserves major kudos.

Vintage 2013

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Photo of Seanem44
4.44/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Jsalz21
4.5/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Kurzman
3.5/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of DaverCS
4.61/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Bottle from barrelworks. 2015 vintage. Consumed with dad in 2017.

Black in color with 1/2 a finger of off-white head

Aroma is dominated by bourbon, toasted oak, caramel, and molasses.

Taste is bourbon-forward. Lots of barrel character. While lighter in viscosity than other FW beers, such a great complexity of flavor. I do get an oat character, which does enhance creaminess. Notes of chocolate.

Overall, another win from FW. Delicious and complex, even at a lower ABV. It pairs well with triple chocolate brownies. It gets a 92.5/100.

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Photo of Benish
3.37/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of rypkr
4.2/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Looks inviting but thin.

Smells of mild bourbon and chocolate. Slight burnt brown sugar.

Taste of vanilla, cream, bourbon, toffee, molasses. Some coconut, lots of sugar and overall dry.

Mouthful is creamy and lush. Like a liquid pillow. Thin but creamy. Dry finish.

Overall this is a truly great barrel aged stout at a lower abv than its competitors. If this were packaged in a 12oz format it'd be the best stout out there. As a bomber though, it's really unnecessary.

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Photo of mdlb44
4.18/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Phineasco
4.25/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Johncnh
4.24/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

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

Photo of papposilenus
4.27/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

From a 22oz bottle, 2016, served in a tulip.

Pours a thin-appearing but totally opaque chestnut-black with a boisterous, short-lived head of whipped-latte foam. Settles back to a thin ring around the glass with sparse, spotty lacing. Alarming levels of visible carbonation.

The nose is smooth and richly sweet. Bourbon, old, dry wood, vanilla flowers and custard.

The taste surprises a little with less sweetness than feared. Smooth-as-glass bourbon, sun-dried oak, vanilla custard, Heathbar crunch fudge, cured tobacco leaf and, yes, oatmeal. Finishes clean with a little dusty bitterness.

Feel is decidedly thin and light-bodied for the style, but so silky smooth it just makes it that much easier to suck down the whole bottle without realizing what you've done. Despite carbonation lost at pour, mouthfeel remained bright.

Overall, a highly satisfactory oatmeal stout. Frankly, there are way too many heavy, syrupy barrel-aged stouts in the world but this isn't one of them. This one's a keeper.

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Photo of ShortyTahoe
4.5/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of jtransel
4.5/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Bluerabbitbell
4.05/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From tap at Firestone Brewery in Paso Robles. My first barrel aged beer! I enjoyed this one, but I have nothing to compare it with. I did find it to be rather thin for an oatmeal though.

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Velvet Merkin from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.29 out of 5 with 2,439 ratings
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