This weekend, Firestone Walker Brewing Co. will be releasing not one, not two, but a trifecta of different variants of one of its most popular stouts.
The first version will be Mole Merkin 2018, an 8.8 percent ABV oatmeal stout aged in brandy barrels and conditioned on cocoa nibs, cinnamon and chili peppers. The new stout will be packaged in 12-ounce bottles ($10.99) with only 300 cases available.
In addition, Firestone Walker will be releasing Velvet Merkin 2018, an 7.8 percent ABV oatmeal stout brewed with fuggle hops as well as maris otter, 2-row pale, roast barley, English dark caramel, medium caramel and carafe malt malts before being aged in bourbon barrels. The stout originally debuted in 2008, but was first bottled as part of Firestone Walker’s Vintage Series in 2013 and will be packaged in 12-ounce bottles ($9.99) with only 6,700 cases produced.
Finally, the brewery will be releasing Chai Merkin, an oatmeal stout aged in bourbon barrels and infused with fresh Indian spices like cardamom, cinnamon, clove and star anise. Unlike the other two releases, this variant will be a draft-only option, although Firestone Walker will be selling a “very limited” number of crowler fills, the first time the brewery has released crowlers of a barrel-aged beer.
According to a post on Firestone Walker’s Facebook page, Chi Merkin, Mole Merkin 2018 and Velvet Merkin 2018 will be released on Oct. 6 during an event at the brewery’s Paso Robles, Buellton and Venice locations. While Chi Merkin and Mole Merkin 2018 will be available exclusively at the breweries three locations, bottles of Velvet Merkin 2018 will ship to retailer’s shelves across the brewery’s distribution network “in the coming weeks.”