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Velvet Merkin | Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

339 Reviews
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Velvet MerkinVelvet Merkin

Brewed by:
Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
California, United States | website

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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Reviews: 339 | Ratings: 2,299
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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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).

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Photo of LambicPentameter
4.26/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to BA deschutes_fan for sending this one along as part of a great trade. Enjoyed out of a 22 oz brown bottle with some kind of paper seal around the cap, for freshness I suppose. No discernible bottling or freshness date, but the vintage, 2013, is marked very clearly on the label. Poured into a large 20 oz snifter.

Appearance - Aggressive pour hields a one finger tan head with lots of frothy, soap-like bubbles. Dissipates fairly quickly, reduced to little more than a sparse mottling of thin film and a ringlet around the edge of the glass in a matter of minutes. Beneath the not-for-long head is an inky black body that finally reveals some rich mahogany brown notes after drinking it down enough so that light can pass through the liquid. Lacing is almost nonexistent--just a few spots here and there.

Smell - Wow. Having finally tried this, I can now tell where so much of the wonderful aroma on the XVII anniversary beer comes from. A rich, sweet blend of bourbon, molasses, and Nutella-covered graham crackers fills the nose, promising a big, powerful nightcap-style beer. Notes of vanilla bean and cocoa powder are also present. I could almost sit here smelling this beer and never take a drink and be satisfied. Almost.

Taste - Hmmm. After the great first impression left by the aroma, I'm a little let down by the taste. It's not bad by any means, just less than what I was anticipating after practically drowning my olfactory nerves in the intoxicating smell. The sweetness from the smell is less present here, with the taste instead consisting of stronger characteristics of astringent bourbon and some faint caramel, roasted malt and faded cacao. A few times I get hints of that great rich chocolate ganache/fudge element that is often present in big stouts, but it's so fleeting that it just leaves me longing for more.

Mouthfeel - This is where I start to put two and two together with regards to the disappointing taste. The smell leaves me expecting a rich, viscous-and-just-short-of-cloying stout, but the body is very thin and almost watery. The carbonation, is moderate-to-low and doesn't provide enough depth of texture to make up for the thin mouthfeel. It seems like this one needs to be blended with some oatmeal stout that isn't barrel aged to give it a bit more heft.

Overall, it's still a very good brew. The smell alone carries it quite far, but it's still a bit of a letdown all the same, a little bit with the flavor, but really with the mouthfeel. There was a thread about the importance of mouthfeel the other day, and this is a perfect example of how an otherwise outstanding beer can take a serious step back without the appropriate body and carbonation.

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Photo of leroybrown10
4.26/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours out a rich brown going towards black. Voluminous khaki colored head. Head vanishes slowly and a thin creamy layer of foam lingers. Nice lacing though it doesn't stick around.

Aroma is molasses, sweet oats, caramel, and whiskey. Chocolate and oak. Sweet, heavy cream.

Taste is sweet milk chocolate, smooth bourbon, and heavy cream. Caramel and molasses. Oak barrel, mild coffee, and just a hint of underlying char.

Somewhat thin mouth feel with medium+ carbonation. Sweetness lingers. A bit of a creamy feel.

Very nice barrel aged stout. Flavors are nicely balanced. Could use more heft in the body as it is thin even for a non-imperial stout.

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Photo of eifster82
4.26/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Look - black. Not very viscous.

Smell - barrel aging process is noticeable on the nose. Very full scent. Oats, malts… it's all right there.

Taste - slightly light, under-whelming when considering appearance and smell. Certainly not as full bodied as it's big brother, Parabola, or cousin belgian quad Stickee Monkee.

Feel - light. There should be a genre called Session Stout.

Overall - do not get me wrong, this is still a good stout. Lighter than what you would expect, but good none the less. However, not as good as other Firestone barrel aged offerings, and certainly not as good as Parabola.

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Photo of GilGarp
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

2014 vintage served at cellar temp into a goblet.

Velvet Merkin is a dark brown color with good clarity seen during the pour. The head is lightly off white in color, thin, and short-lived.

Aroma is more boozy than I expected with a big hit of bourbon barrel, vanilla, and caramel pudding.

Flavor is big and intense leading off with malty sweetness, vanilla, and chocolate. It then gets more bitter with some coffee and dark roasted malt. The final layer of flavor is the bourbon which is well judged and not too boozy or hot.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and creamy smooth like a good oatmeal stout should be. Carbonation is low which helps keep the creaminess.

Overall a very good barrel aged stout and would likely stand up well to aging.

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Photo of n2185
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

A: Pours black with two fingers of light tan head that fades into a frothy ring with a little lacing.

S: roasted malts with sweet chocolate, vanilla, a bit of oak, and bourbon. Simple, but nice.

T: Roasted malts here as well with semi-sweet chocolate, vanilla, and bourbon. There are some light oak flavors before a slightly boozy finish.

M: Medium-thick body with lowish carbonation, this beer is slightly watery but still quite very drinkable.

O: Quite a good beer, overall. The body is a bit lacking, but otherwise is great.

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Photo of Hopheadjeffery
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Tasted in a 12 oz snifter from draft at O'Toole's on February 18, 2016. Look is nearly black with a tan head and lingering lacing. Smell is dark roasted malts.

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Photo of Dope
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2013 batch (001)

A: Pours black with a tall and fluffy medium brown head. Head fades out slowly with great retention. Moderate but big and fluffy chunks of lacing.

S: Heavy on the bourbon. Caramel and toasted sugars primarily with some oak. Quite a bit of smooth milk chocolate hiding behind it. Get that notable, smooth and creamy oatmeal character as well. Very nice.

T: Again with the bourbon up front. Oaky, quite oaky with some toffee, a little coconut and caramel. Creamy oatmeal in the middle with just a hint of milk chocolate. Oatmeal turns a little bit grainy and the chocolate a little bittersweet in the finish. A dry, oaky finish with more hints of bourbon lingering in the aftertaste.

M: Medium-heavy, smooth and creamy.

O: Not often you find a barrel aged oatmeal stout. Not a huge fan of the bourbon in this one but it still works pretty nicely. Oatmeal, as always, provides a nice layer of creaminess and smooths the whole thing out. Well balanced, not overly complex or hot for that matter either. Very nice.

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Photo of brureview
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

Pours a totally opaque black-brown almost black color with a one finger head in a snifter. Oak, fruit, and chocolate in the aroma. I really like the oak in this beer-it's not pronounced,but it has a special quality. It combines well with the chocolate, which deepens the oak.

The mouth feel was very carbonated.

The body of the beer is on the lighter side compared to other barrel aged beers, yet it does not detract from the complexity of the beer.

The oak melds well with the chocolate in the taste. The oatmeal presence is not too strong.

There is a bitterness to the finish which works well with the light body.

The beer is different than other beers in the barrel aged series. The finish is not alcoholic and it's lower in ABV.

Overall, another excellent beer from the Firestone Walker barrel Aged series and I was fortunate to find a bottle.

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Photo of FLima
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2014 edition.
Deep black color with a huge thick light caramel head with great retention.
Aroma with predominating notes of Bourbon backed by cocoa powder, coffee and vanilla.
Likewise, flavor with notes of bourbon, cola and dark chocolate all predominating. Also, creamy espresso, some spices, earthy and mild citrusy hops, roasted malt and very light smoke. Increasingly dry aftertaste with the Bourbon further revealing itself.
Velvet body with appropriate carbonation. Alcohol of 8.5% abv is absent.
Excellent brew with good complexity. Bourbon predominates elegantly and it is far from cloying. Remember this is an Oatmeal Stout don’t compare this to any hoppy imperial.

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Velvet Merkin from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 339 ratings.
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