Right, well, this is sort of my St. Patrick’s Day Post… The Irish love a good shaggy dog story, right?
At Alembic Bar, they would occasionally have the Firestone-Walker beer “Velvet Merkin” on tap. A very nice California Oatmeal Stout with a hilarious name.
I leave it to you, to discover the rather Not Safe For Work nature of the meaning of “Merkin”.
Just this winter, I found Firestone-Walker had finally bottled what I thought was “Velvet Merkin”. This amused me to no end, and I had to buy a six pack tout de suite. Thinking Firestone-Walker had managed to slip one past the TTB, I posted the news to facebook, “Velvet Merkin in bottles! Looks like someone at the TTB forgot to bring their dictionary to work!” Unfortunately, Dan Miller, (of Sloshed!,) deflated my enjoyment by pointing out the beer was now called “Velvet Merlin”.
Looked in the fridge. Sure enough the beer had gone from Burlesque to Renaissance Faire. “Velvet Merlin”? Really? That is just soooo lame.
Well, despite the pathetic sorcerous nature of the new name, the beer is still tasty.
At 5.5% ABV, Velvet Merlin is a nice change from the usual over alcoholic Imperial Stouts so popular these days with American Craft brewers. Good flavor, too, and nice body. All the things you look for in an Oatmeal Stout. It will definitely put some hair on your… Well… Uh, chin. Yeah, that’s it. Chin.