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Velvet Merkin | Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

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Velvet MerkinVelvet Merkin
BA SCORE
4.29/5
Outstanding
2,482 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:
#583
Reviews:
382
Ratings:
2,482
pDev:
9.09%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
413
Gots:
1,074
Trade:
138
HISTOGRAM
 
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,482 |  Reviews: 382
Photo of meb3476
3/5  rDev -30.1%

Photo of Deltoro
3/5  rDev -30.1%

Photo of Rob_d
3/5  rDev -30.1%

Photo of Santosizer
3/5  rDev -30.1%

A - Pours a coca cola colored body. Mild off white head, about a nickels worth. Hues of brown.

S - Maple syrup, toffee, coffee, malt, fig, dates, darker fruits, splash of that classic bourbon taste.

T - light coffee up front, that watered down mocha, that iced latte taste. This empty presence in the middle. Finish with that bourbon taste.

M - Very light, silky, smooth.

O - I'm not buying another beer from this company again. No offense, but at $16 a bottle, I'd expect this to have a bigger profile. Moreover, the body is too weak for the bourbon characteristics. At times, this taste like the last few sips of a jack and coke, with a breathe of coffee to come back up. This is so weak, words cannot tell you how disappointed I am with this brew. I'm debating regurgitating what I swallowed, putting it back in the bottle, and asking for a refund. It's not bad, it's just absolutely disappointing.

 905 characters

Photo of rphx88
3/5  rDev -30.1%

Photo of ElGordito
3/5  rDev -30.1%

Photo of Rekrule
3/5  rDev -30.1%

Photo of Odysseyalien
3/5  rDev -30.1%

Photo of Jasonrm72
3/5  rDev -30.1%

Photo of rxeight
3/5  rDev -30.1%

Photo of Jr1982
3.06/5  rDev -28.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

2015 bottling. 22 oz. bomber

When I open a bourbon barrel aged stout I expect something thick and juicy. I'm looking for a "meat and potatoes" beer that will stick to your ribs. Velvet merkin did not meet my expectations at all.

It pours a nice dark (though not as dark as you'd expect from a barrel aged stout) coffe brown with a weak head that dissipates about as quickly as any mass produced light beer. No lacing.

It has all the notes you'd expect in the aroma and flavor but they're weak and anemic. Slight hints of coffee, oak, bruised apple, and bourbon but not enough. Amazingly, the alcohol was very prominent, very surprising since it's 8.5 abv. The mouthfeel is thin and watery, like someone snuck in and stole a few drinks and topped the bottle off with tap water.

Not impressed with this beer at all. This isn't the first beer I've had from Firestone Walker but it's the first time I've been disappointed. Maybe next years batch will be better but at $16 a pop there's a chance I won't find out.

 1,012 characters

Photo of MatthewWalters
3.07/5  rDev -28.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Photo of maxifunk777
3.1/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

After so many GREAT stouts during my first year of being a craft beer drinker. This is a good stout just not great or outstanding. Some what of a major let down considering it's Herald from such GREAT beers.

 209 characters

Photo of brystmar
3.22/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

On tap for Barcade's 8th anniversary.

Dark brown pour, minimal tan head and lace. Traces of bourbon mix with the roasted malts for a pleasant aroma.

Gotta start by saying the body is unacceptably thin -- especially for an oatmeal stout. Roasty malts prevail in the flavor, somehow hiding most of the bourbon. Kinda watery throughout, but somehow finishes really strong with a bold rush of hazelnuts. Yum.

Pretty disappointing overall.

 437 characters

Photo of LloydDobler
3.22/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

2014 vintage / 22oz btl poured into stemless wine glass

Tons of foam on the pour that caught me a little off guard. Very thin without much distinguished taste at all. Straight watered down booze is the dominant flavor. Not like any other milk stout I have ever had. More like a thin porter. Was hoping for something along the lines of a milder Parabola, but it's nowhere close.

 379 characters

Photo of Stebow1289
3.24/5  rDev -24.5%

Photo of SB_Brewmaster
3.25/5  rDev -24.2%

Photo of jhillwastaken
3.25/5  rDev -24.2%

Photo of revooner
3.25/5  rDev -24.2%

Photo of DoubleSimcoe
3.25/5  rDev -24.2%

Photo of Omer4176
3.25/5  rDev -24.2%

Photo of jonathanjones27
3.28/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

It seriously fell short of my expectation. Mouthfeel just was thin, flavor was light bodied and dissipated quickly.

115 characters

Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.3/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

Thanks to Nick Swinford for the 22 oz bottle! Poured into a wine glass; from yesterday.

A: Pours a very dark brown color; it certainly doesn't have the opacity of other big 8%+ stouts. There's a finger worth of light mocha colored head. The retention is poor and minimal lacing is left behind.

S: At first, the aroma is quite mild - this one needs time to open up. Once it does, though, it brings notes of bourbon, chocolate, vanilla, caramel, and oats.

T: The best part of the brew. It starts off with a one-two combination of vanilla and chocolate on the taste buds. Gradually, it will develop some mild oat flavor, then transition straight into pure bourbon. A touch of alcohol burn is prevalent in conjunction with the bourbon/oak note, but it's hardly bothersome. The bourbon - while showcased well - more or less swallows the base brew whole. I could use more complexity as well.

M: Very thin, almost intolerably so - it feels genuinely insubstantial. There's nice carbonation to bring the flavors to the palate, though. The finish is sweet, sticky, long, and tannic; it's an easy brew to sip at least.

O: This isn't a bad beer at all. But given it's reputation and semi-rarity, it should have been better. It's thin and simplistic - two things I don't want from a barrel-aged offering. Honestly, I think I'd like the regular Velvet Merlin more...but we don't get that in Maryland (seriously, WTF? Maryland gets all the barrel-aged offerings from FW, but not Pivo Pils or Velvet Merlin?)

 1,499 characters

Photo of buyyourfreedom
3.31/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I was really looking forward to this beer but came away underwhelmed. I felt the flavors were too subtle, particularly since it is barrel-aged. Also, it was entirely too thin for my taste.

 191 characters

Photo of DCgolfpro
3.33/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

Velvet Merkin from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.29 out of 5 with 2,482 ratings
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