Velvet Merkin | Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

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Velvet MerkinVelvet Merkin
2,541 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

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Ratings: 2,541 |  Reviews: 401
Photo of corby112
4.42/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark brown, almost black color with a one finger light beige head that slowly settles into a lasting ring. Sporadic streaks of lace left behind.

Boozy bourbon barrel aroma that's nicely integrated into the base beer(which is partially bourbon BA). I thought amping it up to 100% BA might kill off some of those notes but they're still there underneath the barrel presence. Strong spicy bourbon, earthy oak, vanilla and coconut followed by roasted dark malt, chocolate, robust coffee and oatmeal.

Medium bodied but a bit thinner than I expected with a strong bourbon barrel presence that's excellently integrated into the flavor of the regular Merlin version. Sweet and spicy bourbon dominated up front with some boozy heat but it never becomes to hot. Feels stronger than 8.6 but not harsh. There's also some dry oak, toasted coconut and vanilla followed by roasted dark malt, silky chocolate, caramel, toffee and oatmeal. Subtle dry bitterness but never approaches burnt or acrid. Really well balanced and although there is a decent amount of heat it's very easy to drink.

 1,085 characters

Photo of skunk242
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of Rconn006
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

Photo of ahuckk
4.75/5  rDev +11%

Photo of womencantsail
4.57/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On-tap at Oakquinox

Dark brown pour with a small tan head. The aroma reminds me of chocolate milk with a little bit of vanilla added to it. Minimal roast and coffee notes, just an overwhelming chocolate/vanilla blend. Great barrel and bourbon flavor with even more of the chocolate and vanilla going on. Moderate roast and a hint of coffee. Nicely sweet from some toffee malt flavors. So damn good.

 399 characters

Photo of cfrances33
4.48/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at South Philly Tap Room during Philly Beer Week. Pour into a snifter.

Pour: Deep black with dark brown around the edges of the glass. Finger and half frothy deep khaki head.

Smell: Bourbon vanilla with some caramel and chocolate. Very boozy, but it complements the rest of the beer so well that it is very welcome.

Taste: More of the nose, but roastey chocolate comes out more. The bourbon vanilla is the headline here though.

Mouthfeel: Warming but light. Retains the drinkability of an oatmeal stout but commands that you have it slowly and enjoy it. Plus, this is a rare one, so you should be already.

Overall: So pumped that I got to have this, and even happier once I tasted it. Firestone Walker knows how to barrel age like no other. If you can get this, do it.

 780 characters

Photo of bobotron
4/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of BARFLYB
4.32/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On Tap at Teresa's Next Door. Served in a tulip glass.

Velvet Merkin pours the standard dark black color like the Merlin with a silky look. Black shade, off white head that is an inch that eventually fades, no cling. Smell is a nice and if not the best mix of oatmeal and bourbon ever. I'll admit, I am not a fan of huge beers, so i was a bit surprised at the alcohol difference between the former and the latter. I cant smell the eight some percent listed. OAts, ripe chocolate, vanilla, no oak, present bourbon. The taste is about the same with a focus of oatmeal and bourbon with a backing of chocolate. The great thing is, it's under 9%, meaning if i want another glsss, it would be a sinch. I loved the original and all the flavor and low abv, I love this version as well.

 778 characters

Photo of jwat
3.75/5  rDev -12.4%

Photo of abeerdude
4.75/5  rDev +11%

Photo of gueuzegossage
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of klipper
4/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of Nightrain87
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

Photo of kdown
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of rfgetz
3.9/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a dark, copper tinted black, modest cap of brown froth, gone quickly, spotty bubbling. First whiff was solid, but not as bold as expected... light charachter from the burbon and oak blend with light roasted malt, faint creamy sweetness, minimal notes of cocoa. Taste brings a dry, oaky flavor, bourbon is present but not a star, roasty, a bit of a hop presence, light cream and sugar, minimal cocoa. Medium bodied, not full and creamy like an oatmeal stout, dry. Was anticipating this one immensely and left somewhat disapointed, expected big and bold and i got softer and milder. Still a good beer, just not great.

 621 characters

Photo of baybum
4.75/5  rDev +11%

Photo of sideshowe
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

Photo of BeerForHokie
3.54/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had on tap at Varga during Philly Beer Week in a 10oz chimay glass. Not at all what I expected but not necessarily a bad thing. My friend described it best, close your eyes and sip this beer and you meet think you were drinking a not so hoppy IPA. This stout was quite hoppy, bitter and a bit on the warm side--perhaps from being aged in e bourbon barrels. However, I did not taste any bourbon or traditional notes of coffee or chocolate usually found in a stout.

Overall a decent beer, although a bit of a let down (wish i would have tried the Parabola) and definitely not to be drank as a dessert or nightcap.

 612 characters

Photo of beerMeh
5/5  rDev +16.8%

Photo of Beerontwowheels
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

Photo of Holland
4/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of jwhancher
5/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had this beer on tap at Eulogy during Philly Beer Week. Met brewery owner David Walker, who mentioned that this beer will never be made again. Thus, I had at least 3 glasses of this (all served in a snifter).

Pours a jet black with nice little head that fades. Smells of chocolate & bourbon with a nice wood component to it. Tastes wonderful. Rich & creamy, it's like a beer and a desert all wrapped in one. I savored this one quite a bit and was blown away by the sheer awesomeness of a beer of this magnitude.

If you can find it, buy it and drink now!

 555 characters

Photo of DavyJones
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

Photo of Dontcounttoday
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

Photo of DeirdreE
4.75/5  rDev +11%

Velvet Merkin from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.28 out of 5 with 2,541 ratings