Velvet Merkin | Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

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94
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2,429 Ratings
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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
Ratings:
2,429
Reviews:
369
Avg:
4.23
pDev:
9.46%
 
 
Wants:
410
Gots:
1,057
For Trade:
137
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,429 |  Reviews: 369
Photo of PrestigeWorldwide
4.04/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of That_Bearded_Guy
4.14/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of DaveBar
3.77/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Got on trade! 22oz bomber served at cellar temperature in a challis

A- Opens well and pours a light, airy head that films out within 2mins. Very dark brown colour

S- Not a lot here. Not even bourbon. More heat than anything else

T- Nice bourbon but subdued. Not very stout like. Weak body and depth. Kind of disappointing. Missing a lot to be good.

M- Dry and watery. Not good for a stout of this league

O- Not so good. Will not buy ever. Will only order if it's best on the menu so imagine I will not be having this one again. Some may like it though as it is mild and watery

Food Pairing

This ok brew went well with........ Roast beef. The roast beef will be the star of the show though!

Enjoy

 703 characters

Photo of AppaZappa
4.08/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2013 version poured into a snifter. This looks and smells the part--comes out a rich brown color with smooth white head. Smell is sweet bourbon, vanilla, oak, slight malt. The taste is good, but not great. Like others, I found the barrel presence to be surprisingly subtle--and disappointingly so. Feel is more springy than expected, and it's thin per the style.

A solid beer, but I won't go out of my way to get it again.

 424 characters

Photo of Rammed96
4.59/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of 1levelabove247
3.59/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of calcnerd
4/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of tbryan5
4.6/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

A- Pitch black with a creamy huge tan head.
S- Sweet and bitter chocolate. Booze and some bitter coffee.
T- Wow. This is an amazing beer. Sweet malts, bitter chocolate, bourbon and oak.
M- Slick, medium, creamy. Simply amazing.
D- Even this is a sipper. Yes... Another please.

 276 characters

Photo of MatthewWalters
3.07/5  rDev -27.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Photo of metter98
4.34/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On-tap at Firestone Walker Visitor's Center Tasting Room, Paso Robles, CA

A: The beer is essentially jet black in color and has only slight traces of reddish brown near the edges of the glass when it is held up to the light. It poured with a thin collar of off white bubbles around the edge of the glass.
S: Light to moderate aromas of bourbon are present in the nose—some oaky vanilla becomes apparent once the beer warms up.
T: The taste has lots of vanilla flavors from the barrel aging along with some notes of oak and hints of bourbon. There are also notes of chocolate and coffee from the underlying beer.
M: It feels medium- to full-bodied and a bit smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: The barrel aging really changes the dynamics of this oatmeal stout and imparts lots of vanilla flavors. It does a very good job at hiding its alcohol.

Note: 2015 vintage

Serving type: on-tap

 916 characters

Photo of Jae61
4.3/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Photo of kell50
4.45/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Diet-z
4.31/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Phi_Psi_OR_Beta
4.07/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Had this on nitro which may skew the feel rating some.

54 characters

Photo of Stevem68
3.89/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a dark chocolate color with small light brown head. Aroma is chocolate, oatmeal, bourbon and a touch of vanilla. Flavor follows the nose but is pretty dry. Has bourbon on the back end. Mouthfeel is a little thin and it's just all around a dry finish. This isn't bad it just too dry for me. Nice flavors going on but not pronounced enough. Solid stuff but could be better.

 377 characters

Photo of Phil-Fresh
4.38/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Deep grain roast, coffee-like, chocolate malt, with some bourbon, vanilla notes.

A: Jet black color, opaque, with a persistent, tan head that has solid retention.

T: Rich chocolatey, coffee-like malt flavor, lightly sweet, light bourbon flavor in the background with a low hop bitterness.

M: Full bodied with moderate carbonation. The oats provide a very smooth mouth-feel.

O: Delicious; Always one of my all time favorite BA oatmeal stouts. The beer has a great chocolatey, coffee aroma, great flavor and a very smooth mouth-feel. Awesome!

 549 characters

Photo of boogerisu
4.54/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Stardusthotel83
4.11/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Nice and dark, not too heavy, really light mouth feel. Taste was good but could have used more of the bourbon. Smelled nice with lots of coffee and some chocolate notes. This was for the 2015 vintage. Definitely worth a try.

 224 characters

Photo of djcira
4.39/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Photo of BuckeyeBeers
4.12/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Photo of razorsdescent
5/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of infinitebruner
3.81/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

April 4, 2016

22 oz. bomber, snifter

A – Very deep brown, nearing light black, with high clarity. A huge light tan foam stand erupts, about two inches high, and takes a while to settle, leaving a thin creamy layer atop the beer. The pour is not heavy, though not light; just normal for an oatmeal stout.

S – Low chocolate, bread crust, a touch of sweet vanilla. Some slightly herbal and fruity notes, presumably from the hops and maybe a bit of barrel character. Overall, very light for a barrel aged stout of any variety.

T – Milky, but not sweet, chocolate, with a bit of toffee in the background. Some low herbal notes and a touch of fruit like a raisin or a cherry pit, barely noticeable. Minor vanilla notes, the only hint that this was barrel aged. A hint of bitterness on the back end. Very balanced profile, but not particularly strong in any area.

M – Very smooth, a bit creamy, just a touch of a warm note from the alcohol / barrel-aging. Feels a bit thicker than it actually is, likely from the use of the oats. Not particularly viscous or heavy though. Light bitterness on the back end. Very balanced. It actually lacks some of the smooth silky feel in the regular version (Velvet Merlin).

O – For the price point involved and the work of putting a beer in a barrel to age it, this seems a bit reserved. I think the oatmeal stout is better pre-barrel, a la Velvet Merlin, and there’s not a lot of barrel character that I’m picking up here, other than the light vanilla. I would drink it again, because it’s a good beer, but I wouldn’t pay as much as I did for another bottle. Rarely does price point come into play on my evaluations, but at some point there’s definitely a higher expectation because of it.

 1,763 characters

Photo of AD17
4.24/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of wilso411
4.34/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of BSiegs
4.54/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown to black in color with one finger of tan head. Retention is good, leaves little lacing. The aroma is very enticing. Bourbon, dark chocolate, light roast, notes of oak, vanilla and oats. Taste is bourbon, chocolate, coffee, vanilla, nutty. Body is high end of medium with low-moderate carbonation. Silky smooth and creamy. Perfect mouthfeel for an oatmeal stout. An all around excellent beer.

 403 characters

Velvet Merkin from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
4.23 out of 5 based on 2,429 ratings.
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