Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99! (Limited time offer, US delivery only)

Velvet Merkin | Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Your Rating: None

Want it   Got it 
Velvet MerkinVelvet Merkin
BA SCORE
4.29/5
Outstanding
2,481 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:
#581
Reviews:
381
Ratings:
2,481
pDev:
9.09%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
413
Gots:
1,074
Trade:
138
HISTOGRAM
 
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 2,481 |  Reviews: 381
Photo of Lone_Freighter
4.72/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Reviewed from notes. Poured into a snifter and a pint glass. The appearance is a jet black colored body with a head that seems to last just a tad longer in the snifter and concaves a bit than the pint glass. Its about a half finger off-white sort of tan that dies at a very nice pace with more spotty lacing is in the pint glass than the snifter. The smell is the same amount of bourbon in both glasses, smokey chocolate comes through, slightly roasty and oaty. The taste is sweet roasty bourbon-ness with a slight smokey-esque feel strolling around my taste buds with some vanilla making a decent presence. There is a bourbon sweet aftertaste with a sticky yet somewhat dry chocolate bourbon finish (wow, what a complex finish, I don’t think I’ve ever had any finish like that before). On the palate, for an oatmeal stout at 8.5 that was bottled in August of this year, wow, this lives up to its name - what a "velvety" smooth feel rolling around my tongue and mouth, the more I sip the more I think holey moley wow, this feels great around my mouth especially with the lack of age on it; I’d say its about a medium in body, more of a sipper for sessionability’s sake. Carbonation is pretty good for the style and for me, not much pounding the mouth and tongue but that’s ok. Overall, this could quite possibly be the best oatmeal stout that I’ve ever had. I didn’t know it was going to be this good.

 1,415 characters

Photo of 22Blue
4.25/5  rDev -0.9%

Photo of rab53
4.5/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of SadMachine
4.25/5  rDev -0.9%

Photo of VeganUndead
4.25/5  rDev -0.9%

Photo of imbibehour
4.35/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from the bottle into a large snifter glass. Vintage 2015.

Deep walnut brown and some nice ruby red highlights. Quite clear but due to it's dark colors not easy of course to see through. Very light tan head, with a creamy top, and almost icing cake looking. Dissolves with little retention, manages a simple whispy top, and fine to a mix of small bubbles in the collar. A nice looking brew in the realm.

Real complex, diverse, and exciting aroma. Big malt whoppers candy, and a deep brown bread and cake like fluffy flavor. Hints of light brownie chocolate and excellent cereal grains. Sense of light and whispy like malts, taking away some of the barrel roundness but leaving a real distinct flavor. Sweetness is noticeable but not really large which is even better. Big count Chocula quality going on here with a cereal grain quality and husky density.

Palate goes for a little bit simpler quality, but memorable and unique flavors. Tannic mild wood but also a bit wet with not much body in malt to really push the flavors high. Mid palate though fills with an airy chocolate and mild sweetness of malt, and almost some tobacco sweetness to keep it interesting. The oats on this are really being pushed over board, with large cereal qualities becoming evident but without much chewy texture. Real mild sweetness as well, but lacking some complexity in the flavors. Much of expected barrel tones and particularly feel are really sort of lost here also.

This is a real interesting take and brew in the Firestone realm, there's much to improve here which would also though take away from it's easy drinkability.

 1,635 characters

Photo of JAHMUR
4/5  rDev -6.8%

Photo of GreesyFizeek
3.76/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

On tap at the Old Toad in Rochester, NY. 8 oz pour. After drinking this, this will be a hard review.

Pours a very dark black, opaque, with a tiny head, and no lacing.

Smells like cookie dough, toasted oats, chocolate, and the slightest hint of bourbon.

Interesting tastes here, both negative and positive. All of the tastes I'm getting are good. This is one of the most cookie dough forward beers I've ever had, just tons of that flavor. I get cookie dough flavors out of a lot (mostly barrel-aged) stouts, but this one takes the cake/cookie. There's a good amount of toasted oats as well, a tiny bit of bourbon, some oak, and some chocolate. The problem is, however, other than the cookie dough, the flavors are kind of muted. For some styles, laid back flavors are a plus- but this is a barrel-aged stout. I expect a bit more here. Just a little bit too watery, unfortunately.

This is light to medium bodied, honestly too thin for the style. I don't need it to be motor oil, but I need it to be substantial enough. Low carbonation, very drinkable.

A beer with a lot of highs and lows. Overall good, but not something I'm going to hardcore crave again.

 1,158 characters

Photo of AlexFields
3.58/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of imperialking
3.75/5  rDev -12.6%

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

Photo of t2grogan
4.75/5  rDev +10.7%

Photo of IrishColonial
3.72/5  rDev -13.3%

Photo of smartassboiler
4/5  rDev -6.8%

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

2015 vintage. Poured from a bottle into a snifter, the beer is jet black, with a thin, wispy, clingy, light tan head. Aromas of heavy bourbon, rich in vanilla and molasses, with a solid coffee backbone, semisweet chocolate notes, and solid roasted highlights. Flavors are solid bourbon forward, warm and spicy, with a solid blend of chocolate, molasses, vanilla, and a roasted overtone that softens some of the booziness. Surprisingly light bodied, with a bit of crispness still present despite the age and barrel processing. Booze warmth in the aftertaste, accompanying rich chocolate and molasses notes. The finish is smooth and light, with a subtle cloying sweetness that builds as you drink. Great beer.

 707 characters

Photo of mklisz
4.09/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Duff27
4.03/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of Lare453
4.5/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of GClarkage
4.3/5  rDev +0.2%

Photo of aasher
4.25/5  rDev -0.9%

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

Poured into a Reuben's Brew snifter. Pours pitch black with a thin brown head that dissipates to a ring around the glass with light slippery lacing.Aroma of chocolate, sweet dark toasted malt, bourbon and vanilla. Flavor is vanilla, mild toasted malt, cocoa, lactose. A touch of coffee, coconut and bourbon. Light to medium bodied. A nice stout with complex flavor and a deft touch of bourbon from the barrel. Surprisingly thin bodied for an oatmeal stout, perhaps the lightest I've ever had; I would never have identified this as having oatmeal in it in a blind taste. Still tasty different. Can't help but think that this would have been outstanding with a bit heavier malt body.

 681 characters

Photo of BeerOps
4.75/5  rDev +10.7%

Photo of Wasatch
4.49/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bought On-Line

22 oz. Bomber/Box
Black Foil/Capped
2015 Vintage, No. 003

Poured into a tulip a very nice dark brown color, very nice carbonation, with a pretty nice thick/creamy one-finger light tan head, which also leaves some pretty nice sticky lacing behind. The nose is malty, very nice chocolate/toffee, vanilla, very nice bourbon note, oaky, roasty. The taste is really nice, malty, chocolate/toffee, nice vanilla, slight licorice, really nice bourbon/oak. some roastyness. Medium body, ABV hidden pretty well, nice little dry/bitter finish. Overall, a very tasty brew. Been wanting to try this for a long time.

 619 characters

Photo of Dicers
4.5/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of Cynic-ale
4.25/5  rDev -0.9%

Velvet Merkin from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.29 out of 5 with 2,481 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.