Velvet Merkin | Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Your Rating: None
Want it   Got it 
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:
#640
Reviews:
397
Ratings:
2,529
pDev:
9.11%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
411
Gots:
1,083
Trade:
138
HISTOGRAM
 
View: Beers
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 2,529 |  Reviews: 397
Photo of NickSMpls
4.44/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

'17 vintage, bottled Aug 21st. Very dark brown, not inky balck pour, light head fades to a skim coat. Aroma comes up with vanilla and bourbon, Taste is incredibly smooth, rich and satisfying. Notes of chocolate, expresso and bourbon with no ABV burn. We could easily drink it a lot quicker than one should. Sip it gently, make it last.

 342 characters

Photo of 1971bernat
4/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of JColin
4.02/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

Photo of Jimmys
4.43/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

2017 vintage.

Pours dark brown,but not opaque. Vanilla notes are strong with mild bourbon heat/flavor. This might be the most refreshing bourbon barrel aged beer I’ve had. The reasonable abv makes this even better. Very well done.

 233 characters

Photo of champ103
3.68/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a dark brown with some ruby highlights around the edges. At first a two finger beige head forms and recedes to ring that sticks throughout. Not much lace left behind.
S: Light toasted malts, that immediately gets buried in oak and vanilla. While nothing is particularly strong, it is simple and mostly barrel.
T: Like the nose this is fairly simple. Though a bit warmer. Light toasted malts, oak, vanilla, light chocolate. Not a bad barrel aged Oatmeal Stout at all, but a little on the one noted side.
M/O: A medium body that is very smooth. Soft carbonation, and seems almost thin. Though easy enough to drink, as there is not a lot of alcohol presents, and everything is fairly subtle.

I have had this on several occasions, and would like to see a bigger body that has more character in its own right. While 8.5 is a lot of alcohol, it just doesn't seem to have the weight to carry the barrel. I have always enjoyed Firestone Walker's barrel aged offerings, especially how they blend everything together. I do enjoy this as well, but could be great if they had a base to match the barrel and blending process.

 1,137 characters

Photo of deonreds
3.88/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

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

Cola brown out of the bottle but jet black in the glass. An inch of tan head is fluffy and light on its feet, receding fairly quickly.

The aroma is deeply layered. Heaps of shaved coconut and creamy vanilla are stacked on a caramel bourbon body. A gentle smokiness seeps through. A bit of cinnamon and lots of luscious oak. Dark and decadent chocolate has a cake-like impression to it. Soft icing without being too sweet. Equally rich espresso gives off a very rounded, sanded down roast.

Ultra silky and soft vanilla and oak are the unifying bass line. Freshly baked oatmeal raisin cookies are neatly placed on top of sweetened dark chocolate with a sprinkle of cinnamon and a lick of smoke. Brownies ease into the finish with an underbelly of espresso roast.

There's a beautiful body and structure to this. Despite its deeply rich and layered dessert-like flavors, it remains balanced, rounded and approachable with a clean finish. The tingly level of CO2 compliments its creamy feel.

Everything is extremely well integrated in this stout, especially the bourbon barrel. The addition of oats not only adds a rich and creamy complimentary texture to the vanilla and oak, it melds into its own flavor of oatmeal raisin cookie which I love.

 1,245 characters

Photo of MUSHROOMCLOUD
3.88/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

2017 vintage bottled 8/21/17
Black/brown with a 1/4" tan head -short lived to a ring.
MIld roast aromas mixed with bourbon wood,
Milk chocolate, vanilla. MIld roasted grain flavors. Very mild bourbon flavor here.
Lush mouthfeel, silky. Low carbonation. Smooth, not boozy hot.
MIld and smooth overall....nothing stands out.

 324 characters

Photo of Holderness
4.02/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

L -- Pours a deep reddish brown body that is much lighter than anticipated: phone light passes through the glass no problem. Minimal retention or lacing
S -- Molasses, caramel, bourbon, oak, raisin, prune, fig, dark chocolate, smoke. Nicely layered
T -- Semi-sweet dried dark fruit, oaky vanilla, molasses, dark chocolate, earth, nutty coffee, and a hint of coconut
F -- Has a somewhat thin, fizzy body to it, perhaps due to the much lower than normal ABV for a barrel aged stout. I was expecting more silkiness from the oats. Medium carb.
O -- Tastes like a barrel-aged version of Sam Smith's oatmeal stout. The aromas are great, but given the $10/12oz bottle pricing there is definite room for improvement in the flavors and mouthfeel.

81/100

 764 characters

Photo of Luscious_Malfoy
4.21/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of chewy6935
4.42/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Bouleboubier
3.58/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

(12 oz bottle, 2017 vintage ... split between two snifters)

L: poured with a pinky width of khaki foam... very dark brown liquid... only thin collar with random flares of lace

S: brown malt roast and caramelized wood and char-grilled chuck steak fats... hints of ground black pepper and a sort of umami, Worcestershire sauce (very faint essence), hint of alcohol... some strange, potentially off-putting aromas I've never come across in a beer, but they do certainly spike my curiosity

T: char-heavy, softly-scorched base malts... little residual sweetness; bitterness sanded down, powder-pelletized... after several sips, the odd flavor that stands out is reminiscent of celery (seed, possibly a toe in caraway) - the only other beer I remember tasting that flavor in was Pretty Things Babayaga...

F: smooth, fuzzy-slick flow; medium bodied, little carbonation, sedate alcohol warmth... chill drinking

O: not up to expectations(?) ... Merlin also is not a very sweet stout, but the degree of attenuation/extraction here is too much - the beer lacks depth ... do have a bottle of the 2014 - hopefully more enjoyable experience

 1,132 characters

Photo of _nickg_
4.33/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of deereless
4.28/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of ADKbeerguy
4.18/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

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

Photo of Bammer21
3.8/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Afeo
4.28/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of cd34
4.29/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of pstam87
4.52/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Burghman
3.88/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of dave_ackbar
4.13/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Look is typical of an oatmeal stout, thick head that stays on the side of the glass for awhile.
Smell is chocolate with hint of bourbon.
Taste is a little thinner than most oatmeal stouts but still really good.
Feel is a bit more acidic than most oatmeal stouts.
Overall a very nice beer, more refreshing than your typical stout.

 329 characters

Photo of Eric_T_07
4.21/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of ChrisG523
4.79/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

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