Velvet Merkin (2016)
Firestone Walker Brewing Company
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A Note on This Beer
I highly recommend visiting Firestone Walker’s barrel cellar in Paso Robles, California, if you ever get the chance.
It’s a humbling space with floor-to-ceiling barrels, where time seems to stand still amid all the brews quietly soaking up wood-influenced complexity. An in-person visit is the only way many people get the chance to taste the impressive results.
And, that’s exactly why today’s three-bottle bundle is so extraordinary. With each vintage dating back to 2016, it’s like a fast-pass to Firestone’s cellar — just in time for the holidays!
Stow the bottles away for some fireside enjoyment this winter, or present them to a VERY special craft fan in your life to totally win this year’s gift-giving. Either way, the season just got a whole lot brighter and merrier. Here’s what comes in this exciting, ultra-warming pack:
Helldorado (2016) - 11.8% ABV
Several years ago, the Firestone Walker crew had an unusual idea. Instead of going for a dark beer, they crafted a Blonde Barleywine (brewed with pale English and American base malts) to age in retired spirits barrels. After letting the brew nap for a year to absorb notes of whiskey-caramel and oaky vanilla, the brewers bottled it up, and set aside a stash in their carefully controlled cellar to condition for years longer.
And, voila! Meet Helldorado (2016), the delicious result of Firestone’s innovation. This smooth Blonde beauty is stunningly rich with flavors of freshly-baked biscuits and vanilla, drizzled all over in wildflower honey.
Helldorado is also rated as one of the Top 10 American Barleywines in the World on BeerAdvocate. So, if you’re going to use this finery as a gift this year, better save it for someone who really deserves it.
*Rated 95/100 on BeerAdvocate; 4.22 on Untappd
Velvet Merkin (2016) - 8.5% ABV
When Velvet Merkin was released in 2016, Brewbound praised it as a “decadent oatmeal stout that will warm your innards on a cold autumn or winter night.” And, we wholeheartedly agreed. The brewers aged this dark sipper in prized Heaven Hill Bourbon barrels, after all! Every coveted sip comes replete with flavors of rich, dark chocolate, and hints of Irish coffee.
Now, after four years of bottle conditioning in the brewery’s 40-degree Fahrenheit temperature-controlled cellar, it’s even smoother, richer, and fudgier. It also sits pretty as the #9-rated Oatmeal Stout in the World on BeerAdvocate!
On the evening you crack open this bottle, you might want to skip dessert. Mellowed flavors of salted caramel and fine Swiss hot chocolate run aplenty in this velvety pour.
*Rated 95/100 on BeerAdvocate; 4.23 on Untappd
Stickee Monkee (2016) - 11.4% ABV
The craft community praised Firestone Walker for trailblazing a new beer style when they debuted Stickee Monkee a decade ago. Inspired by Belgian Quadrupel Ales and aged in a selection of fine bourbon barrels, the ‘Central Coast Quad’ became one of the brewery’s most coveted favorites, as well as the #4 Quadrupel Ae in the World on BeerAdvocate.
For this delicious 2016 vintage, the brewers used Turbinado brown sugar from Mexico for strokes of molasses-like flavor. A year of barrel aging wraps the brew in notes of toasted oak, leather, and whispers of dark fruit.
Now that the brew’s mellowed out after four years in Firestone’s cellar, it’s even more lusciously drinkable. Every sip of this Strong Ale flows full and smooth, and the 11.4% ABV has softened to pleasant, cozy warmth. If you do sip it next to the fireplace, the flames will be for ambience only.
*Rated 99/100 on BeerAdvocate 4.40 on Untappd
*We’ve done our best to procure as many bottles as Firestone Walker was willing to part with, but we apologize in advance for not being able to accommodate everyone!
Holiday shopping is easy with Tavour! Just head over to Tavour.com/gifts to send a gift box or gift card to the craft beer lover in your life. Cheers to holiday beers!
Tavour strictly supports independent beer. Firestone Walker Brewing Company is certified independent by the Brewers Association