Velvet Merkin | Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Velvet MerkinVelvet Merkin
BA SCORE
4.29/5
2,439 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:
#577
Reviews:
371
Ratings:
2,439
pDev:
9.09%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
411
Gots:
1,056
Trade:
133
HISTOGRAM
 
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,439 |  Reviews: 371
Photo of Studfarm69
4.53/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of HattedClassic
4.34/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Velvet Merkin 2015 (Firestone Walker Snifter)
The beer pours a nice tan head that starts bubbly but dissipates quickly and leaves a creamy ring around the inside of the glass. The beer itself is certainly something nice to look at and certainly different from any oatmeal stout that I've seen before. The color is a chocolate black that looks good but the texture does not have that creamy and milky smooth look that an oatmeal stout usually has. Instead, the beer has a thin look similar to bourbon; it isn't to say that it's bad but loses that look I enjoy so much in an oatmeal stout.

The smell is very good. The strongest note appears to be the oatmeal which has a nice milk cream and vanilla mixing with the bourbon. The cocoa nibs and dark chocolate come out and mix with each other to the point where it's hard to distinguish between the two different but very similar aromas. The bourbon is certainly strong but isn't overpowering; it also mixes well with the vanilla.

The taste is also very good and strongly resembles the smell. It has as moderate vanilla and oat note that mixes with a moderate bourbon note. The chocolate note is a bit stronger in this one while the cocoa nibs are fairly weak compared to the smell.

2016 Update: Ditto but with a much stronger oat and cocoa note. The oat also comes off a little dairy like.

The feel is good. It has a very nice cream feel and goes down incredibly smooth. The carbonation is a bit light but adds that creamy feel in the same way a cask ale does. My main issue is that it's pretty thin, which is probably the result of the bourbon barrel aging. Fortunately, there does not seem to be any burn because that would ruin it.

Overall, a very good imperial oatmeal stout and definitely worth getting. However, this beer does not seem to be one for aging and should probably be drank as fresh as possible or on draft. Time seems to dull the notes that would be stronger otherwise. Go for it.

 1,952 characters

Photo of Grackos
4.2/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of HopSavant
3.64/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Photo of malfunxion
4.9/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of efrankmcguire
4.13/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of Cgclar01
4.65/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of CBrodbeck
4.18/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of chefbigjon
3.93/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Photo of Zoomslowik
3.83/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

L- black. Not much head or lacing.

S- not a lot of aroma. A little bourbon heat.

T- smooth with some roasted malt and bourbon. Pleasant, but not that interesting.

F- disappointing. Thin, not nearly as rich as the better ones I've had. Dry.

O- not awful, but uninspiring. I'd buy it if it sat on shelves, but it's not worth a chase.

 335 characters

Photo of PrestigeWorldwide
4.04/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of That_Bearded_Guy
4.14/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of DaveBar
3.77/5  rDev -12.1%
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 -4.9%
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 +7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of 1levelabove247
3.59/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of calcnerd
4/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of tbryan5
4.6/5  rDev +7.2%
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 -28.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Photo of metter98
4.34/5  rDev +1.2%
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 +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Photo of kell50
4.45/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Diet-z
4.31/5  rDev +0.5%
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 -5.1%
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 -9.3%
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

Velvet Merkin from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.29 out of 5 with 2,439 ratings
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