Velvet Merkin | Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

BA SCORE
94
outstanding
358 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score
Send samples
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
Reviews:
358
Ratings:
2,391
Avg:
4.23
pDev:
9.46%
 
 
Wants:
404
Gots:
1,073
For Trade:
145
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 358 | Ratings: 2,391
Photo of ryan1788a5
4.31/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle poured into a globe.

A: The room is dimly lit, but it appears to be a nice sheening black color. Two fingers of khaki colored head retain well. Spotty lacing.

S: Barrel aromas waft from the glass. Dusty oak, vanilla, rye whiskey. Caramel. Chocolate truffles. Coffee with cream. Oatmeal with brown sugar. Subtle whiff of alcohol. Sugar dates and black currants.

T: Starchy oats, chocolate truffles, sugar cookies, brown sugar, caramel. Iced coffee with two creams. Walnuts. The barrel is a focal point. Dusty oak, runny caramel, vanilla, corny sweet bourbon, mild barrel char. Oaky vanilla finish with lingering coffe and cream.

M: Medium-thick body. Smooth as silk. Creamy and luscious, slick and chewy. Low tingling carbonation.

O: Delicious. Effortless grace and balance. The barrel character is front and center, but never overbearing. Everything melds together nicely. Is it possible for a liquid to melt in your mouth? Because that's what it feels like. Firestone Walker's barrel aged beers are incomparable.

 1,032 characters

Photo of pants678
4.31/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Black with a beige head. So, it's a stout.

Vanilla, charcoal, barrel and bourbon aromas are a real compliment.

Fully, rich roasted malts that read more chocolate than coffee is the full make up. A dark chocolate that's not so bitter. The deep flavor's harsh but not piercing or biting--could stand to be sweeter, more forward. Still, it's far from bland or vague. A night time beer that will keep me standing up right.

Light carbonation works in it's favor.

 460 characters

Photo of boilermakerbrew
4.31/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours an off-black color in the body, with a good amount of brown peaking through the edges with just a touch of red in there as well. A fairly large, 2.5 finger thick head forms and retains very well. The head is tan in color and a very thick and dense, frothy foam. Lacing is very good from the luscious head.

S- Barrel flavors hit the nose first with a bang of barrel oak and spice along with a touch of vanilla. The base stout scents kick in next with a good bit of dry and toasted dark malts. Lingering scent afterwards is a mashup of barrel and dry malts.

T- Starts off with a very mild barrel flavor similar to the scent. This time the barrel flavor is almost entirely mildly spicy oak. The dry and burnt malts hit next and bring a somewhat chalky and burnt flavor to the tongue before a touch of dark chocolate comes out. The barrel picks up a little again at the end of the drink, but the malts are stronger and end the drink with a bit of lingering chocolate flavor.

M- This beer is just about what you would expect from a bigger oatmeal stout; smooth and slick on the palate. It drinks rather easily and the alcohol is hidden rather well. The carbonation level is a touch on the high side for the style, but doesn't distract from the overall smooth feel of the beer.

Overall, I really like how the barrel aging in this beer is subtle and doesn't overpower the base beer. Some really good dry and burnt flavors in the base beer's malts are really good and make this beer very easy to drink.

 1,508 characters

Photo of nataku00
4.3/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle, first batch released, poured into a tulip glass. Beer pours a dark brown bordering on black, with two fingers of light brown creamy head that dissipates quickly. Some carbonation visible at the edges.

Nose is roasted malt, toffee, cocoa, coffee, graham cracker and a good amount of bourbon barrels flavors like vanilla, cinnamon, charred wood, and caramel.

Taste follows the nose, roasty flavors of coffee and malt, a little bit of toasted grain, semi sweet chocolate, graham cracker, before the bourbon flavor kicks in mid tongue with vanilla, spice, charred oak. Not much of a finish on this, just some light roasted and toasted flavors after a short finish.

Medium to full body, creamy with smooth decent carbonation. Very easy to drink for this high ABV as the bourbon barrel flavors are well integrated. Drinking nicely so soon after release.

 860 characters

Photo of cbutova
4.3/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A- Poured from the 22oz bomber to two snifters with Chico1985. Pitch black body with a fairly oily appearance as it pours to the glass. Off-white head rises to about a finger high with a creamy texture. Frothy ring leaves a web of lace with mostly spotty patches.

S- Right as it was poured, the chocolate and oatmeal stout base leads the way with deep roast malts and sweet chocolate, reminds me of a muffin with the toasted oatmeal feel. With some time, the barrel opens up with a smooth, quality whiskey aroma and oak vanilla.

T- Opens up with the Bourbon barrel coming to the palate first. Reminds me of Elijah Craig range of Bourbon flavors with some peppery hints coming with the toast oak and vanilla sweetness. The chocolate malts and oatmeal combine to remind me of baked goods, ala muffins or cookies. Deep roast grains. It all comes together to create a decadent dessert feel that trumps many higher alcohol stouts in overall flavor.

MF- Moderately thick body with slightly creamy texture. Carbonation at a medium level which helps because the body is not super oily like bigger stouts. Oatmeal adds that chewy silkiness. Slight Bourbon warming in the finish but just a tiny bit.

Pretty huge fan of what this beer brings to the table. It is like a chocolate oatmeal cookie with a dollop of vanilla Bourbon frosting on top at times. The oatmeal side of things is impressive and it isn't just a roast bomb. Great balance is the key to this brew.

 1,457 characters

Photo of FriedSlug
4.3/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark in the glass but some light can get through which shows the color to be a ruby brown. The head is tan and has good staying power with a thin layer staying throughout the consumption. The smell is amazing. I am picking up chocolate, toffee, coffee, roasted malts and bourbon. The taste is mainly sweet coffee, chocolate and bourbon with a bit of boozy heat and bitterness at the end. This is a really well done beer.

 420 characters

Photo of MattSweatshirt
4.3/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Black pour with ruby highlight at the bottom of the glass. Light brown head. Leaves some lacing.

The Merkin tempts you with a sweet chocolate, toffee, and bourbony aroma. Soft oak and coconut barrel.

The flavor is amazing with chocolate, vanilla, coffee roastiness, bourbon, and barrel character.

Smooth medium bodied beer with plenty of tingly carbonation.

Really well done.

 380 characters

Photo of jdense
4.3/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Holiday Ale Festival, note the program lists the ABV at 8.6%, OG 15, 33 IBU.

Dark brown head, uneven bubbles, over very dark brown almost black body, medium dissipation with no visible carbonation. Pronounced bourbon and roasted malt aromas with some floral hops for balance. Really big chocolate notes upfront on the tastebuds, some vanilla from the barrel and floral hops on back end, minimal bitterness. Mouthfeel medium, really dry finish attributed to the oats. A step up from 'regular' Mirkin, which is certainly one of America's (and the world's) best Oatmeal Stouts. Despite the protestations of one of Beervana's leading bloggers, one of the best beers I've had this year. The bourbon was in much better balance than several of the other barrel-aged beers at HAF, may be attributable to the high quality (Heaven's Hills) barrels used. Another masterpiece from Matt B., all the lunchbox heads agreed this was one of the best beers at HAF, lucky I was able to try this.

 987 characters

Photo of timc100
4.29/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cola coffee dark brown, yields a substantial creamy dark beige head - really great looking beer. Aroma of oak vanilla, milk chocolate, bitter dark chocolate, and a wonderful graham cracker and toasted coconut. Taste is much of the same but with less vibrancy. Outrageously creamy smooth mouthfeel. Another great firestone barrel malt concoction.

 353 characters

Photo of Rizalini
4.29/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 2013 bomber, No. 001, into a Stone goblet

A - Pours nearly black, with a finger of light brown head. Leaving some nice thick lacing as the head slowly falls.

S - Very bourbon forward, and smells delicious.

T/M - The taste is a beautiful mix of chocolate and vanilla-ey bourbon. Nice rich chocolate wafer / oatmeal in the middle, with notes of coffee and slight tobacco. The bourbon returns and hangs around during the after taste. The mouthfeel is a little on the thin side, carbonation is good.

O - Another winner from Firestone for sure! This one is flavorful, and very drinkable to boot! I'm sure this one is only gonna get better with age. Just a slight amount of heat, but that'll probably fall off with age. Glad I got some for my cellar.

 763 characters

Photo of pkalix
4.29/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

pours black with a little bit of tan head on top.
aroma is of a very nice bourbon-barrel on top of some malts. lots of alcohol in the smell.
lots of bourbon barrel flavor and lots of alcohol in the taste. nice oatmeal stout, perfect thinness to it but a bit more alcohol presence than preferred. maybe some cellaring will do this some mellowing.
2nd time: 2014 version, sitting in the frig for a long while: incredible!!!! super smooth. super light, but very tasty. never got this like this before, but insane coconut on the front sip and smell..... some barrel, no alcohol, but very very tasty..... I would give this MUCH higher scores than the first time!

 657 characters

Photo of Thirstygoat
4.29/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 2014 bottle into a FW Barrelworks glass. I guess I am celebrating XIX day along with Halloween, Breeder's Cup, the World Series and falling backwards.
Lot's of mocha head that remains with a bit of lacing as long as it takes to finish.
Smells of coffee, vanilla, wood, chocolate
Taste all those, with the wood a bit more prominent
Not exactly thin on the mouth, but a bit light for all that's going on
I was looking forward to trying this and thought I'd be giving even higher marks. I might revisit this review after drinking a 2015.

 552 characters

Photo of Cubatobaco
4.29/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

I'm glad that I got a chance to drink this fresh as I don't think it will hold up very long, especially at 8.5%. The mouthfeel is amazing and the taste is of dark chocolate and roasted coffee. I think, if it had more barrel presence, I would have rated it higher. It was kind of muted. Great beer and I am glad that I have a few more bottles.

 342 characters

Photo of Jmamay22
4.28/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2013 batch 001.

The beer pours a very dark black that is opaque. The mocha color head is fluffy, but eventually settles to a thick collar. The scent is well impacted by the bourbon barrel. There is a strong, but well rounded scent of vanilla with a slight earthy undertone accented by a hint of spice including clove and cinnamon. The roast character is there yet fairly subdued.

The mouthfeel is certainly velvety. The smooth mouthfeel strengthens the vanilla flavor. There is an initial sweetness of brown sugar and treacle that gives way to the vanilla and spices mentioned earlier. There is a slightly roasted finish with a subdued warming character. The carbonation is medium-light with a medium bodied feel.

The beer has many characteristics of a boozy winter sipper, but refrains from being cloying or overly hot from alcohol. I enjoy the restrained character of 8.5% abv compared to the over the top 10% or more that is often found in specialty barrel aged beers. By no means is it a quick drink, but it doesn't leave you overwhelmed.

 1,047 characters

Photo of BMMillsy
4.28/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2013 Bottle from Tim. Thanks so much! Pours dark brown to black in my FW Barrelworks Teku with a one finger mocha head. Aroma is big oats and chocolate, vanilla, whiskey, graham cracker, toasted nuts. Flavor is chocolate up front with some big time vanilla tones on top of graham crackers. Followed by a punch of strong whiskey and long lasting oaky vanilla. The lasting finish is the real highlight of this beer. Palate is velvety smooth up front and while not a super thick beer, I see no reason to complain about thin body here. Plenty of body, especially for the ABV, and medium carbonation. This was a winner for me with just the right amount of barrel character, rather than the in your face whiskey shot I get with lower ABV stouts and porters aged in barrels. As usual, Firestone Walker kicks ass.

 805 characters

Photo of magictacosinus
4.28/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

I'm glad it was easy to score a bottle of this, unlike the case with the Parabola hyped fiasco. Interestingly enough, this cost the same price ($15), but I still had high hopes for it. Anytime FW releases anything barrel aged I'll expect it to be, at the very least, an excellent, memorable offering. Poured out of a 22oz bottle into a tulip glass. Split with a friend.

Pours a nearly opaque blackened color (with some mere lightened brownish hues at the edges of the glass), complete with a lovely mocha colored head. Head retention is, as far as I'm concerned, pretty excellent here, as it lasted pretty much the entire time we drank this. Leaves behind a good deal of splattered lacing across the glass. I believe that this is slightly bottle conditioned as well, which would explain the excellent thickened appearance that a beer of relatively lower ABV levels than their other barrel aged offerings would contain. Still, excellent stuff as always, if only a little less refined.

The aroma is terrific - on par with any amazing bourbon aged and blended stout I've had. Notes of bourbon immediately hit the nose, with vanilla and brown sugar as the main flavors. Then, the stout base comes in, with flavors ranging from cocoa powder, coffee beans, oatmeal, caramel, and almonds. There's minimal dried fruits in this one, and the most we could find was maybe dates or prunes. Still, the powdery consistency of the chocolate is astonishing, often smelling like the actual freshly ground product. Combined with the nutty, baking spice notes from the oak, as well as bits of dust and mild cedar, this is a premier stout to be reckoned with in terms of quality and originality. A little boozy even here, but otherwise fantastic.

The flavor is also excellent, and while it is a pleasure to drink, it's not without its faults during long-term consumption. At first, the palate is immediately coated with bourbon notes, ranging from vanilla, caramel, butterscotch, and brown sugar. The sweetness is almost immediately cut by the roasted, oat laden stout notes that provide chocolate, ground espresso, toasted oats, and dark fruit flavors to the palate. The bourbon enhances the roasted stout notes with slight dark dried cherries as well as nutmeg, mild coconut, baking soda, and a little bit of those dusty barrel qualities. Quite good stuff - yet, somehow, the alcohol makes itself a little bit more present throughout, almost to the point where it tastes like someone poured cheap bourbon into my stout when I wasn't looking. The burn becomes stronger as it warms up, and the beer, alas, starts to feel thinner. On one hand, this does retain the great qualities of top English and Irish dry stouts in terms of flavor, but I feel a little bit more body would reduce the boozy harshness. Who would have thought that a lower ABV variant of Parabola would be boozier? Great stuff as always, but seriously not as refined as I expected.

I don't tend to drink boozy beers, but I do love it when the extra alcohol provides a thickness and sweetness that compliments but doesn't overpower the flavors at the front. I really enjoyed it overall and I'd gladly have it again, but it might be a little overpriced for what it actually is. This goes to show how the bourbon chosen for the stout makes a huge difference. And maybe it's just me, but I personally believe that Four Roses (used for Parabola) is most definitely a more refined bourbon maker than Old Fitzgerald. However, I'm not going to sit and complain - I recommend this as it is an excellent barrel aged offering from FW, if only a little boozier than I usually like it.

 3,623 characters

Photo of Greywulfken
4.27/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Missed out on this last year, but I'm not too focused on oatmeal stouts anyway - however, it seems a suitable beer to usher in my 1000th review... Poured a black body into a snifter with a couple of fingers of dense light brown foam on top. The head slipped away in short order, leaving just a slim ring of foam around the edge. Aromas of wood and whiskey hovered over darker roasted malt and oats... Felt a bit thin on the body, but smooth, slickly crossing the tongue with woodsy oak and light vanilla and tannins. The chocolate aspects slipped in subtly, along with a bit of watery molasses and hints at dark fruits underneath it all. I was a little put off by the feel (I'm fussy that way), but the quality of the craftsmanship is undeniable. The bourbon is not over-done, and the beer drinks very elegantly and easily.

 823 characters

Photo of SovereignGood
4.27/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Picked this up from Whole Foods - first time trying it.

Look: Deep, black pour with a thin head that dissipates to a subtle rim around the glass. Minimal lacing but some legs appear upon swirling the tulip glass.

Smell: Immediately hit with the barrel characteristics. Lots of coconut, vanilla, bourbon, oak, with a slight chocolate coming in the back.

Taste: Coconut, vanilla, bourbon, dark chocolate; very similar to the smell.

Feel: Thinner than expected. For a FW Barrel Aged beer I was thinking full-bodied mouthfeel. Slight carbonation is felt throughout the mouth with minimal stickiness remaining on the lips.

Overall: Definitely a good beer but I probably wouldn't go out of my way for getting more.

 714 characters

Photo of MCain04
4.27/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

22 oz bottle poured into my Crooked stave snifter. Around 50F.

Pours a dark brown body, near-black in the glass, with a cappuccino-colored thick frothy head of great depth, retention, and lacing.

Smells of roasty malts with vanilla and oak with bourbon notes, some coffee.

Taste follows the nose and is roasty with some bitterness, sweetness from toffee and vanilla, oak, bourbon, chocolate, finish with a touch of bourbon lingering, minimal alcohol burn

Feel is medium-bodied, smooth, moderate carbonation, mildly dry finish.

Overall, the best part about this brew is the drinkability. You can throw down a bomber of this without struggling. It is delicious and enjoyed, but I have to say I prefer my BBA stouts to be thicker and with more intense aromas and flavors. Still, this works really well.

 804 characters

Photo of Hyptochrons
4.27/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

not a whole lot on the nose, bit of bouron and oak, hint of caramel and creamy vanilla. on the palate is oats, nuttyness, roasty malts, slightly bitter note reminiscent of espresso, cocoa, caramel, toffee, oak, smooth touch of bourbon. mouthfeel is too watery. otherwise a really excellent stout with a nice touch of barrel.

 324 characters

Photo of PsilohsaiBiN
4.27/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Pours dark as death, as an imperial stout should. Upon pouring, there is a seemingly above average presence of carbonation for the style. Half a finger of khaki white head collars quickly after settling in the snifter.

Smell: Dark chocolate, rich cocoa, graham cracker, roasted malt, toasted coconut, oak barrel and subtle cherry. Nothing stands out too much from the others, nice.

Taste: Creamy, graham cracker laced oatmeal stout up-front with overlapping layers of cocoa and vanilla. Middle of the mouth is nice caramelized malt balanced by a somewhat crisp and mildly bitter hop bite. The finish is quite dry, with a mild but noticeable wash over of Bourbon, which peek-a-boos for a moment and then subsides, letting gentle vanilla and cocoa fade out to end the drink. The end of the drink is akin to the aftertaste of a mildly sweet hot cocoa that had melting marshmallows in it. Bourbon County Brand Vanilla Stout did that better, but the fact that this brew has that element in the finish is impressive.

Mouthfeel: Some will criticize this because it isn't the viscous behemoth you'd liken to BCBS or Hunahpu. I get it, but the base beer is what it is, and I happened to enjoy Merlin very much. This isn't supposed to be those beers. This goes down really easily for 8.5%, and I don't see that as a distinct disadvantage.

Overall: Coming from someone who enjoyed Velvet Merlin because of the sessionability (word?) and great flavor, I can't say this is one of the best Bb stouts I've ever had, but it's delicious. The Bourbon barrel ads subtle nuances that you appreciate when having had the base beer first, and this is dangerous. If you can find this on draft somewhere with unlimited pours, you'll be in for quite the night.

Edit: 7/29/15

Drinking the '14 vintage right now and there is this dry, awesome dark chocolate/cherry thing going on in the finish that is just do damn good. Some of the sweetness from being fresh has subsided but this more than makes up for that...it's almost like because of this, every sip leaves you thirsty for more (eat that, McAllister).

 2,099 characters

Photo of PeterIngemi
4.27/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got at the FireStone walker tap room in paso... Served in a proprietors rsv snifter.

A: served a deep black... Slight brown around the edges, little to no head... And virtually no lacing.

S: toastyney vanilla and caramel, along with chocolate.... Almost reminds me of fudgy brownies... A very inviting and pleasing aroma... The burbon is there but not overwhelimg... Just blended perfectly.

T: much like the nose I get dry fudgy chocolate accented by toasty vanilla and caramel, and a bit of burbon mixed in, but again nothing is overwhelimg, just very well balanced.... I get a but of almond and dark cherry in there as well towards the finish. A lot of the espresso flavor in this brew takes a back seat compared to the mon barrel aged velvet Merlin... But works perfectly with the barrel profiles going on.

M: light/medium body with medium crisp carbonation... Very drinkable and well rounded, indeed a velvety mouthfeel. But all the same I feel this one could have used a little more heft.

O: a greatly rounded barrel aged stout... I would love to drink this again anytime... I only wish they had it in nitro like the velvet Merlin.

 1,141 characters

Photo of msubulldog25
4.27/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The barrel-aged version of Velvet Merkin (name = LOL), served at Holiday Ale Festival 2008 (Portland, OR). The program description: 'A rich oatmeal stout 25% aged in bourbon barrels blended back to the original batch. ABV 5.5%'. I enjoyed this twice on-tap - once the first evening (Wed 12/3) and again as a first pour on Sat 12/7.

A: Head is sudsy/creamy khaki, maybe 1/2 finger. Liquid is a deep charcoal with a notable carbonation. Speckled lace and a clinging ring of cream.

S: Full aroma of cocoa, chocolate, a toasty breadiness (pumpernickel?), light coffee and a sweetened cereal grain. A faint oakiness, woody and sweet.

T: Husky malts, rich roastedness, sweetened coffee (milk & sugar). hints powdered spice (cinnamon?) and a subtle woodiness.

M: S-m-o-o-o-o-t-h! Creamy and soothing mouthfeel; medium body. 'Velvet'y? Yes! A slight grit, or this could be a '5'.

D: Super drinkable. Soft feel, excellent flavor, bold aroma - everything one could want in an 'oatmeal stout', with the partial barrel-aging as an added bonus. Good enough to drink several times at a festival, but one that I'd hope will be making an appearance soon in a bar near us.

 1,161 characters

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

Jet black brew, thin tan head, OK retention, decent lacing.

Chocolate malts and a hint of bourbon through the nose. Fairly understated aroma.

Noticeable bourbon, vanilla, and oak, balanced against dark cocoa and oatmeal.
Complex, balanced, sweet, and delicious.

Smooth and chewy. No burn, but the alcohol is present. This is a big bodied beer.

Fantastic beer. Super smooth and understated, very drinkable, and low ABV for the style.

 436 characters

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.26/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

First vintage poured in to FW tulip.

A - Pitch black with a half finger of light brown head and excellent lacing.

S - Huge barrel aromas dominate the nose. Charred oak, sweet bourbon & vanilla, chocolate fudge and roast aromas are all present.

T - Intense charred oak up front with sweet bourbon and vanilla flavours also coming through in a massive barrel presence. Chocolate fudge, roast and the slightest hint of coffee are also present.

M - Medium body. Light carbonation.

 480 characters

Velvet Merkin from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
4.23 out of 5 based on 2,391 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    No fake news here. Get real beer content delivered to your doorstep every month.

    Subscribe