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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 djrn2
4/5  rDev -6.8%

Photo of Knapp85
4.23/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of nmann08
4.75/5  rDev +10.7%

Photo of t0rin0
4.18/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On cask at Blue Palms last Friday. There is a bit of confusion but I am now sure that the other Velvet Merkin on BA is not barrel aged.

Poured pitch black, even in the light. At first my snifter was completely filled with foam. Never had a cask over carbonated before. Lots of beautiful brown foam, very silky, great retention and great lacing.

Aroma was chocolatey, and roasty but mild in those aspects. The oak and bourbon were stronger in the aroma. Well balanced (almost) and no alcohol in the nose. Mild overall.

The flavor was so smooth it was almost rediculous. Chocolate, oak, vanilla, roast(medium), and bourbon all played a part. The oak and bourbon were heavier but not overpowering. Going to guess 8% abv on this one. Mild bitterness.

Body was very heavy, very carbonated but it didn't last. Very very drinkable and very enjoyable. At the risk of getting harassed, this was my favorite beer of the night and that includes the X, XI, and XII as well as the bravo, oaktoberfest, lil opal (probably 2nd favorite), and saucer full of secrets.

 1,064 characters

Photo of oriolesfan4
4/5  rDev -6.8%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4.75/5  rDev +10.7%

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 kojevergas
3.65/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served on-draught into a snifter at Firestone Walker's taproom (NOT tasting room) in Paso Robles on its grand opening day. Reviewed from notes. Expectations were above average given the brewery's reputation.

A: Pours a one finger head of dark milk-white colour, nice cream, good thickness, and great retention for the ABV. Colour is a nontransparent solid black.

Sm: Roast, coffee, chocolate, vanilla, and a hint of bourbon. A mild strength aroma.

T: Roast, coconut, milk, chocolate, vanilla, and a hint of cherry. No bourbon comes through - not even as a tone. It'd be better with more black cherry. Nicely balanced. Great cream is present as an undertone. Well built. Complex enough, wuth some limited subtlety.

Mf: Smooth and wet. Silky. Nicely creamy. Near perfect thickness. More a porter than a stout (even considering the smoothening factor of the oats). Should be more dry and coarse.

Dr: Very drinkable for the ABV. I'd have it again. Why isn't it on nitro? A lovely oatmeal stout - maybe the best Firestone Walker beer I've had so far (including Abacus - which I found mundane).

B

 1,102 characters

Photo of brentk56
3.83/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

2014 Vintage

Appearance: A massive mocha head forms on top of the dark chocolate colored liquid; nice retention and an interesting pattern of lace

Smell: Brown bread, chocolate and caramel, with hints of coconut, vanilla, oak and Bourbon

Taste: Chocolate and brown bread, up front, with the caramel, vanilla and coconut tones developing somewhat; the Bourbon appears in the finish, almost as an afterthought

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation; lacks the creamy mouthfeel I would expect from the oatmeal

Overall: I knew with an 8.5% ABV that this wasn't going to be a big stout but I was surprised at it, nevertheless; it's a decent beer but it lacked the depth of flavor and the mouthfeel I would expect from a beer so highly rated, let alone from a brewery that has always impressed me greatly

Thanks, fthegiants, for the opportunity

 859 characters

Photo of oline73
4/5  rDev -6.8%

Photo of zeff80
4.31/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of SocalKicks
4.5/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of LXIXME
4/5  rDev -6.8%

Photo of largadeer
4.75/5  rDev +10.7%

Photo of Boone757
4.25/5  rDev -0.9%

Photo of zestar
4.5/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of Kurmaraja
4.15/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

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

Light tan head. Black color but nearing brown.

Definitely a porter. Thin compared to a stout. Lots of bourbon and vanilla. Oaky. Caramel and chocolate. A little heat. Fairly smooth. Some roast.

Good porter. I'd have this one again.

 233 characters

Photo of DrBier
4/5  rDev -6.8%

Photo of jlindros
4.15/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Tap at EBF from keg.

Creamy light head, brown molasses darker colored but not very dark.

Nose light bourbon and oak, oats, hint of fruit, brown malts, chewy malts, light barrel and vanilla aromas, touch of chocolate and caramel.

Taste creamy, oats, light oak and vanilla, light bourbon, brown malts, hint if molasses, bit of dark malts with hint of roast and caramel, toffee, and just a touch of chocolate.

Mouth is creamy and smooth, lush, fuller bodied, with decent carb and just a hint of booze.

Overall pretty good, wish I could have sat down with a full pour to get more out of it, but still a pretty good beer.

 621 characters

Photo of olradetbalder
4.25/5  rDev -0.9%

Photo of Thorpe429
4.17/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes.

Pours a dark brown color with a thin tan head and a few spots of lacing. Nice collar as it goes down. The nose brings a good contingent of roast and chocolate alongside the really nice barrel notes. Fantastic amount of bourbon plus some oak and vanilla. The flavor brings smooth bourbon as well as oak, vanilla, chocolate, and moderate roast. Medium body that is quite creamy with really nice barrel qualities. Very, very well done. Not surprising coming from Firestone.

 492 characters

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

December 4, 2015 update: From the 2015 vintage bottle. Seems light, fizzy, and not very bourbon flavored. The appley, rum scent is the best feature. Tart and sharp along with the wood. I would not rate this anywhere near as high as on my previous tasting. Fades into a chalky cocoa taste.

Original 2013 review: Dark color best described as raw umber. The foam is beige and not overly high in the St. Bernardus globe. Splendid scent of something more like rum than the usual bourbon blast. Slightly sweet with a lively mouthfeel and not so thick on the tongue. A delightful spritzy sensation with the touch of booze and a little cocoa.

Really a fragrant nose and flavor as well. Well balanced with just enough hoppy bitterness to go with the malt. It's all quite refined and mellow. Even the alcohol is restrained. Long, smooth whiskey aftertaste with the alcohol finally providing a nice burn for the finish.

More light and lively than than the imperial stouts by far. An excellent dark brew and probably my favorite Oatmeal Stout ever. From the bottle bought at Bottlecraft in San Diego.

 1,093 characters

Photo of Ciocanelu
4.6/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of dcmchew
4.21/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

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