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Velvet Merkin | Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

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Velvet MerkinVelvet Merkin
BA SCORE
4.29/5
Outstanding
2,459 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:
378
Ratings:
2,459
pDev:
9.09%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
411
Gots:
1,068
Trade:
136
HISTOGRAM
 
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,459 |  Reviews: 378
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

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

A: opaque black; no head; gothic spiderweb lacing
S: sweet, sharp bourbon barrel, tobacco
T: decided oatmeal on larger pulls, a sweet bourbony flavor reminding me of a candy from my childhood I can't quite place ... I understand why others are citing coconut and vanilla, but disagree that they overshadow the bourbon.
M: Medium-light for a bourbon, dry side of sweet
O: Fine for a bourbon barrel. Not my variety, but this has no dischordant notes, has that decidedly sweet/caramel flavor people are looking for in this style, and can easily stand up to the richest of soups or meats.

12oz / Tulip Glass / VGP, MD

 615 characters

Photo of denver10
3.36/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

Pours black with a big marshmellow mocha head. Aroma is smooth bourbon and its barrel, caramel, chocolate, and a kiss of vanilla. Flavor was a bit disappointing for a FW barrel aged beer; smooth bourbon barrel comes in as I would like but the rest of the beer is quite lackluster. A little roasted barley, some caramel, and chocolate as well, and some of the sugars from the oats. A creamy, medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, I would probably have been far more lenient on this beer if it came from just about anyone other than Firestone Walker. However, knowing the magic these guys can do I was quite underwhelmed here. Not bad, and I easily finished my pour, but I would not come back to this one.

 699 characters

Photo of Benish
3.37/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of enelson
3.4/5  rDev -20.7%

Photo of lafoodie8808
3.4/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer is a whisky bomb when cold, but that improves as it warms. Unfortunately not enough to make this a winner. Not a bad beer, but doesn't live up to how amazing the rest of this series is.

 195 characters

Photo of Dominic_Decoco
3.41/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Thin mouthfeel, boozy/hot flavor, oaky smell. A big disappointment from FW, was hoping it to be on the same level as Parabola but not even close. I guess it's because it's an oatmeal stout rather than a RIS

 206 characters

Photo of quindog
3.42/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Photo of cjelden
3.44/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I love FW beers. I go nuts over them. But Velvet Merkin didn't live up to the reputation for me. I drank this after drinking another local stout and it just showed how light on all fronts this beer was. Not a lot in the nose. Not a lot in flavor. I wish it had more bite to it's flavor and mouth feel. If you want real real smooth then you would like this more than I did.

 372 characters

Photo of LordofWord
3.45/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.75

"Creamy"? "Smooth"? Definitely. This beer is what it is. But based on the $15 price tag, I will only make the mistake once. Never again. Solid but unspectacular. There just isn't enough improvement over the base oatmeal stout to warrant the cost.

 246 characters

Photo of Bcurrie33
3.46/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Look: little head retention. Nice deep brown with ruby red highlights
Smell: nice roasted maltiness, coconut, no hop aroma
Taste: definite dark chocolate aftertaste. Pleasant. Hard to pick out flavors in the beginning.
Feel: somewhat astringent/dry to style
Overall: they make amazing beer. This just isn't as good as their iPAs however

 336 characters

Photo of ArrogantB
3.48/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle $14.99. I was real excited to try this as I like velvet merlin a lot but I will say I was quite let down. I guess I was expecting something more rich and decadent. This truly tasted like Velvet Merlin with hints of bourbon and it was kind of thin. Aroma was bourbon, a little oats, eh. Flavor was more of the same. Honestly I was expecting something like Parabola but different and this falls short. Just too think and too much like the base beer, I didn't feel like the time in the barrel changed it enough to make it worth my money.

 546 characters

Photo of schmidtmattsays
3.5/5  rDev -18.4%

Photo of blabaer
3.5/5  rDev -18.4%

Photo of RAlmeida77
3.5/5  rDev -18.4%

Photo of Jamco_76
3.5/5  rDev -18.4%

Photo of nickhiller
3.5/5  rDev -18.4%

Photo of acostuhhh
3.5/5  rDev -18.4%

Photo of Danimal25
3.5/5  rDev -18.4%

Photo of Psychmusic
3.5/5  rDev -18.4%

Photo of vutoq
3.5/5  rDev -18.4%

Velvet Merkin from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.29 out of 5 with 2,459 ratings
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