Lagunitasfan (1323) - San Diego, California, USA - MAR 10, 2010
On tap at Churchill’s. Lovin’ this one. Great bourbon and malt nose. Looks great. Nose to first taste draws a smile. Nicely sweet in the mouth. Light cocoa and maltiness comes through. Not very much bourbon besides the sweetness. Nice one! WeeHeavySD (3387) - Portland, Oregon, USA - FEB 28, 2008
1st rating of this beer. Cask @ The Linkery for their 3rd Anniversary. I called about this beer all week last week and they finally put it on cask tonight! My girlfriend Cyn had some, and I saw Darkelf there too. This beer according to emails is 15% Belgian Strong Ale (Saucerful of Secrets), 85% Bourbon Barrel
aged oatmeal stout (Velvet Merkin). As such it is certainly weird and pretty much a strange beer, but all in all its tasty and interesting. Pours black with a 1 finger light brown ring. Nose is sweet ruddy, with notes of dry malts, some wood and a bit of bourbon. Taste is sweet and bourbony, with a bit of an imperial oatmeal stout quality to it. The dark Belgian in this beer really does come through in here. Also as darkelf nicely pointed out the bourbon is there but it is not omnipresent it is a flavor in the mix of other flavors. This is different, sweet, chewy and all together tasty. Nice work Firestone Walker, and thanks to the Linkery for having it. DenverLogan (1301) - North Bend, Washington, USA - MAR 5, 2008
Near black; amber head. Strange aroma and flavors of rich, sweet malts with some strange tropical fruit, wood, raisins, plums, dark bitter chocolate. Finish has some sour, bitter and whiskey notes. On tap at the Linkery. AgentSteve (1647) - SF Bay Area, California, USA - APR 25, 2008
UPDATED: APR 26, 2008 On tap at the City Beer Store. Wonderful aroma of Bourbon and oak, with a touch of chocolate malt. The flavors of strong Belgian and smooth, oat Impy blend very nicely. Smooth, creamy mouthfeel. Just the right amount of oak and bourbon to bring the complexity up. Could have been a train wreck, ended up being a smooth ride. Even though served cold, the flavors were open and smooth, blending nicely. I wish it was bottled..... ironchefscott (357) - portland, Oregon, USA - SEP 19, 2008
on tap at the blue palms beer bar.....thanks brian!
great nose and it seemed to be a bit more open than the parabola.....but I think I prefer the parabola a bit more...but it let the bourbon open up a bit more...but maybe I prefer the boozy taste?
wetherel (1899) - Cupertino, California, USA - DEC 6, 2008
On tap the 2008 Strong Ale Festival. Ive been eager to try this. Dark amber color. Sweet. Hint of banana. Very good. Some buttery barrel aged goodness. bb (9790) - Alamo, California, USA - APR 25, 2008
Draft. Blackish beer with a light tan head. Chocolate, roasty, light spice aroma. Big chocolate, roast, vanilla, bourbon flavor. Medium bodied. Lingering vanilla, bourbon, malt, earth, spice, and a bit of oat coming in at the end. BrotherGrendel (787) - San Diego, California, USA - AUG 23, 2008
On draft 4/11/08 at O’Brien’s to kick off an early start to Craft Brewer’s Conference/World Beer Cup here in San Diego.
Tom Nickel’s description for this beer: "It is a combination of a Belgian dark strong ale named Saucerful of Secrets and a bourbon barrel aged Oatmeal Stout named Velvet Merkin.".
Appearance is a pitch brown hue, minimal off-white head dissipates mostly, very slight lacing on the glass.
Smell is an intense mix of chocolate and roasty malts with a dominating oak/wood presence, cherries and vanilla linger and the alcohol aroma is stiff.
Taste is uniquely hybrid (which makes sense), initially dominated by the chocolate roast malts, woody oak, and whiskey (from the Merkin), and transitions to dark fruits, grains, spices, and yeast (from the SoS), finishes with a mix of sweet malts and warming alcohol.
Mouthfeel is quite full-bodied, thick and viscous texture, low carbonation levels.
Drinkability is moderate yet limited by the overall richness and booziness of this beer, the blending of styles works well here, it would be interesting to try compare each of these separate beers to the blend, this seems like a limited/special event release and I doubt many people will get to try it anytime soon. tokyogoat (1503) - San Diego, California, USA - JUL 17, 2010
A damn fine beer, I would drink it until my liver gave way. Nothing offensive at all, just beer bliss. Would get again fo sho.
kind of hot, but overall just taty, roaty, chocolatey, but a tad thin. JohnnyJ (5569) - San Diego, California, USA - MAR 20, 2010
UPDATED: MAR 26, 2010 On tap at Churchills. Dark amber/brown pour. Malt, belgain/fruit notes, light chocolate, oak, bourbon, Interesting blend, well balanced and enjoyable.