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Merlo Stout (Local Series #12) | Ska Brewing Co.

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Merlo Stout (Local Series #12)Merlo Stout (Local Series #12)
17 Ratings
Merlo Stout (Local Series #12)Merlo Stout (Local Series #12)

Brewed by:
Ska Brewing Co.
Colorado, United States

Style: Foreign / Export Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.50%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by MYJELLOMISFIT on 09-10-2009

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 17 |  Reviews: 12
Photo of t0rin0
4/5  rDev -2.9%

Photo of womencantsail
3.88/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark brown in color with a khaki colored head. Roasted malt and cocoa aromas with a hint of toffee and graham cracker. A decent amount of red wine, oak, and fruit. The flavor has a touch of coffee to go along with the roasted malt and cocoa. Decent amount of red wine and oak character, maybe a hint of vanilla, and some sweet toffee and graham cracker. Quite nice.

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Photo of drewone
3.5/5  rDev -15%

Photo of rkarimi
4.2/5  rDev +1.9%

Photo of NickMunford
3/5  rDev -27.2%

Photo of TheRealDBCooper
5/5  rDev +21.4%

Photo of ktrillionaire
4.05/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - It is always hard to say what a beer really looks like at Fountainhead, the place is quite dark. The brew looks black with a tan filmy head.

S - The nose is woody and roasty, offering notes of chicory, burnt chocolate, peat and tannic oak. Booze is noted.

T - The flavor is pretty nice; dark fruit and roast grain are accentuated by tart tannic notes and a hint of smoke. Some oaky sweetness on the finish.

M - The feel is creamy and enhancing.

O - This is a pretty good beer that I'd like to try again.

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Photo of emmasdad
3.7/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I had this one on tap this afternoon at FreshCraft in Downtown Denver. Poured black, with an inch or so of light brown head. Aromas of smoke, red grapes, oak, and wine. On the palate, oak, vanilla, roasted malt and a lingering dry finish. Not too bad.

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Photo of MasterSki
4.08/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at the Fountainhead 1st Anniversary Party. Served in a snifter.

A - Finger of tan foam that settles to a thick cap, leaving glass-coating lace. Black body that has no hint of color in the low light conditions at the bar.

S - It's somewhere between sweet stout and export stout, and the ABV is a touch too high for either style. That being said there's a nice blend of cocoa, earthy hops, roasted grains, light smoke, some Merlot grapes, and smoke oaky vanilla.

T - Taste is more vinous rather than grape in character. Some chocolate sweetness, roasted grains, hint of vanilla, and a lightly sour and oaky finish.

M - Medium bodied - perhaps a bit thin for 9.5%. Very creamy and smooth, with well-hidden alcohol. Dry, tannic finish.

D - This was pretty easy to drink, but it's not the sort of beer where you'd want to crush a few glasses, as it's pretty rich. The oak finish is a bit heavy and gets fatiguing. Otherwise it's probably the best beer I've had from Ska.

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Photo of chugalug06
4.76/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - Pitch black with a soft caramel puffy head. Lacing left behind delicately molests the glass.

S - Rich oak with smokey esters, not your typical stout.

T - AMAZING, "it smells of rich mahogany", nah, just oak, lots of oak. Merlo Stout engulfs your mouth with TONS of rich malty hoppy flavor and drives you into a whole new spectrum of stout. Chocolate takes over shortly after the oak mellows and treats you to a 99% coco bar. Grapes come in shortly after the chocolate flavors have subsided. Merlo is like no other oak aged stout I've had. Smooth. Rich. Delicate. Humble.

M - Perfectly carbonated with appeal to hold back and develop further flavor. Chocolate.

D - The chocolate is sugary and welcome, bringing me back time after time. Merlo starts strong and finishes nicely with sweet fruity CHOCOLATE.

I purchased Merlo over a year ago and it's drinking wonderfully! I have several more bottles and am looking forward to each. Most likely, I'll be drinking them soon...


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Photo of ArrogantB
3.68/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle split three ways with friends . Dark black with a coffee colored head (if the coffee had cream in it of course). Smells like wood and stout. The flavor was rich roasty stout with a hint of wood and vanilla. Overall not bad at all and I will continue to give these Ska one-offs a chance.

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Photo of koopa
4.4/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

UPDATE: Second bomber sampled on 2/11/11 (nearly 1 year from my first sampling to the day) and I'd score it the absolute same. This one has really held up well! Even the hops are still present!

Bottle received as an extra in a trade with a generous BA thanks!

Appearance: Pours a rich dark brown that glistens with sporadic red highlights. The crown is 2 fingers, frothy chocolate milk crown colored, shows good retention and loads of lace.

Smell: Strong chocolate malt presence (similar to Rogue Chocolate Stout) acts as the foundation. Lots of dark fruits (plum mainly) coming from both the brew and from the merlot barrel it was aged in. Light smokey quality (like a faintly charred oak barrel) works well with the acidity.

Taste: Same as nose but with a touch of hop bitterness which seems to offer an exciting bridge btw the chocolate malt and the wine notes. The slight heat is enjoyable as well.

Mouthfeel: Heavy body that is thick and rich but not syrupy at all.

Drinkability: Flavor profile is very nice but the mouthfeel is heavy and the abv is high.

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Photo of Mayhem976
4.82/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- The stout pours beautifully into my Dogfish sig glass, has a medium sized head with beautiful lacing. I can pass no light as I hold it up to the light, this is a rich and heavy beer but not syrupy by any means.

S- I get a sweet chocolate, traces of coffee, malt, lactose, and a bit of the oak aged wood. The oak smell is there but not over the top. Smells amazing.

T- Ok, all sorts of stuff happening here. You'll first get a heavy coffee roast flavor but then it fades quickly into a sweet wine/chocolate flavor, once again you'll have a tad bit of oak at the back of your throat. It's robust but finishes very smooth and creamy. Delicious to say the least.

M- Very creamy, it has a great full body without it being too syrupy.

D- This stout will remain in my all time favs list, it's sort of hard to find but if you can you'll love it. I appreciate the high ABV and not too hard on the wallet, has an amazing flavor, and bottle is kinda cool looking to boot.

 968 characters

Photo of mikesgroove
4.45/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks for sending me out this gem. I really did not even know they had a series of these going on, but low and behold here we are. Served chilled from the cellar and poured into an oversized wine glass, this one was consumed on 10/30/2009.

The pour was excellent, rich dark brown, nearly black with light notes of reddish tones on the sides and bottle. Huge head of tan comes up and over the top of the glass and layers tons of sticky lace on the sides and the bottom, really very full looking indeed! Aroma of dark fruits, prunes, cherries, hints of oak and a good bit of smoke as it warms. I take the first sip and rich smoke filled notes of cherries and prunes sweep over the tongue, very nicely done indeed. Rich chocolate and light flavors of oak come rolling in, very complex and a nice dose of smokey, roasted malts coming through on the back end of it. Nice smooth finish, clean with a nice touch of fruit and a light bite of alcohol make this one really just outstanding.

Overall I thought this was killer. I love barrel aged stouts and this was no exception. I would have to recommed this one to anybody.

 1,122 characters

Photo of rye726
4.13/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours near black with shades of mahogany. Tan head settles to a thin cover but still offers decent lacing.

Nose has oak, chocolate, dark fruits, roasty malts, espresso, molasses, vanilla, light floral hops and a subtle booze presence.

Taste has rich malts, cocoa, bitter hops, coffee, oak, vanilla, anise and ripe pitted fruits. Excellent balance.

Smooth body is well carbonated. A bit light compared to other imperial stouts, but pretty close to what I look for in an export stout. Drinks quite well.

Nice offering from Ska and definately one of their better beers. Should age nicely.

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Photo of BradLikesBrew
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This arrived on the same CR Goodman truck that brought Stone 09-09-09. It will never get the respect or the attention that Vertical Epic gets, but after trying them back to back, I thought this was the better beer.

Pours black w/ tan head. Chocolate with a hint of cherry on the nose. The body is super creamy and lush. Coffee bean, dark chocolate, and oak on the palate. Towards the finish you can clearly taste wine. Would not have expected Merlot and Stout do go so well together, but I down right loved it. Great stuff, very impressive.

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4.19/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 22oz Bottle 09/09/09 just to be different from all the crowds reviewing V.E. tonight.

On the Label: "Oak Aged Foreign-style Stout. A strong stout from a recipe by Chris Vest, aka Krisbierjaeger, winner of the Osiris Snowdown Homebrewing Competition, brewed specifically for the Pro-Am Category of the Great American Beer Festival"

A: Looks good. Dark liquid that is almost black. When held to light just a shimmer of deep red comes through. Little dark tan head that fades to a smooth thin lacing in seconds.

S: OH MAN!! The smell is just delightful. Deep dark fruits and roasted malts with a touch of sweetness. Alcohol is there but hidden under deep layers of character.

T: Again dark fruits but not as much as the nose would let you to believe. Smoke flavor rolls in quickly and strengthens through the finish. Roasted malts and bittering from the hops round this thing out to be a killer beer. Finish lingers for ages on the tongue with oak like bourbon notes. Yum.

M: On the tongue the beer is slick and slightly watery. Not much weight for the Size of this beer.

D: I need the ABV. Not that it matters much, but I'd just be curious. Very strong taste and wonderfully done. Drinkability is high but be sure to have buddy with you.

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Merlo Stout (Local Series #12) from Ska Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.12 out of 5 with 17 ratings
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