Firestone Walker Velvet Merkin
From Firestone Walker – The Vintage 2013 Merkin is an oatmeal stout aged for a year in retired bourbon barrels from Four Roses, Heaven Hill and others. While it is not Firestone Walker’s usual style to conceive beer monikers that are confounding, scandalous or comical, the brewery inadvertently achieved all three of these things with the name “Velvet Merkin” once upon a time. The name went off the grid for several years, but now it’s back due to popular demand.
Firestone Walker Brewing – Firestone Velvet Merkin – 22 oz. bottle poured into a goblet. 8.5% abv.
Appearance: Pours dark brown with a thin cap of tan bubbles.
Aroma: Dusty oak barrel, light grassy hops, whiskey, oats, cocoa powder.
Taste: Whisky, dark roast, acidic coffee, wood. Finishes boozy and burnt.
Mouthfeel: I perceive it to be considerably thinner and smoother than Parabola.
Overall: This beer is pretty wonderful. I am going to do something that may not be fair, but hopefully you will find useful. I’ll compare this beer to Parabola and Velvet Merlin. Compared to Parabola, Merkin seems less sweet and with less body. While both have heavy bourbon presence, I get more tannins with Merkin. At this point in my journey, I appreciate Parabola a tad more. Compared to Velvet Merlin, it’s far more complex, obviously stronger. Anyone who thinks they are getting a barrel aged 6% stout better read the label carefully.