Velvet Merkin | Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Velvet MerkinVelvet Merkin
BA SCORE
94.5%
Liked This Beer
4.29 w/ 2,435 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:
370
Ratings:
2,435
Liked:
2,301
Avg:
4.29/5
pDev:
9.09%
Alströms:
0
 
 
Wants:
410
Gots:
1,056
Trade:
136
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 2,435 |  Reviews: 370
Photo of Sulty
4.09/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Pearlstreetbrewingco
4.24/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Bubbawilly88
4.09/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of hophugger
4.02/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Great, deep brown color with awesome head and moderate lacing. The oats add a great, chewy feel and smooth this stout out to a nice feel. Flavors are strong but not overbearing and produces a very drinkable, mild oatmeal stout !

 228 characters

Photo of Duffman79
4.13/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of von_kaiser
3.99/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

vintage 15'. idk........maybe pallet has taken an extreme liking to fuller stouts. imo this seemed overly thin, porter-ish. mild barrel character, very bland stout flavor and extremely thin mouth feel. glad to have tried. not one to age in the least bit. i remember it being better fresh.

 294 characters

Photo of HopHunter19
4.75/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A - dark brown black color with a nice mocha head that dissipates pretty quick and therefore doesn't leave much lacing
S - big mocha, caramel, vanilla, bourbon, roasted malts, chocolate.
T - same as smell, bourbon is nice but not overpowering, mocha caramel, vanilla roasted malts
M - thicker than you'd expect. Alc covered. Aftertaste is mocha and roasty malts.
O - great beer.

 380 characters

Photo of darktronica
4.21/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A fine oatmeal stout, to be sure, but I've always felt like the mouthfeel comes across a bit thinner than what I would expect from the combination of oats and barrel-ageing. Silky smooth, and a nice "lower"-ABV option from most big BA releases these days, but I would prefer more fullness in the body. Very nice bourbon character that comes through clearly without producing heat or sharpness.

 393 characters

Photo of Bjlynch83
4.1/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of elkinbrown
4.39/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Uconnelmo
4.18/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of bryantan
4.15/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of cyrushire
4.08/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

Photo of 5EKF
4.3/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Immortale25
4.34/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Duvel tulip. Label says 2015.

A- Pours a dark brown color with a 1/4 inch tan head that retains a bit before becoming a thick ring around the edge of the glass and a mostly full sheet of sheer surface foam. Semi-resilient lacing leaves large clots behind.

S- Heavily toasted malt character with some vanilla sweetness and a bit of must. Slight booze fume.

T- Has an Oreo cookie-like duality with the roasty milk chocolate quality of the malt and the sweet vanilla that the barrel brings. Also some dark fruit like raisin and fig. Sweetness lingers on the palate and the actual bourbon flavor is pretty light.

M- Soft and about as thick as you'd expect given the color and lower ABV, which is to say not very. Medium carbonation and a fullish body.

O- Pretty tasty but I won't be seeking it out again, at least in the context of trading. If I saw it on the shelf, I'd probably grab it for a retry.

 923 characters

Photo of bmf5581
4.03/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of CTbrew32
3.81/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Pierre_Pressure
3.91/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Photo of gshak
4.08/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Jstarr2517
3.91/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of Zraly
2.8/5  rDev -34.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.75

2015 vintage. Poured into a snifter. Black with mocha head.

Mostly notes of licorice and cola with a hint of bourbon, this is the predominate smell and taste. A bit burnt mid-palate. Way over carbonated for style, making this rather unpleasant to drink. Too thin and overall, it is very monotone. The typical, rich smoothness found in an oatmeal stout is missing. Overpriced ($18 a bomber).

 392 characters

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

Velvet Merkin from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 94.5% out of 100 with 2,435 ratings
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