Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Firestone Velvet Merkin Oatmeal Stout at Whole Foods

I think I've mentioned how awesome our Whole Foods in Irvine is before. What could be better? Giant place full of really good food(sandwiches), a large bottled craft beer case, 3 taps, an Enomatic wine machine, and a secluded little seating area shared by usually well, just us. I feel like it's a secret or something.

The place is no joke either. They get beer that's no longer available like Firestone's Velvet Merkin Oatmeal Stout, put together tasting flights like a Unibroue tasting which I am really excited about, and have special events like next weekend when they are bringing Dr. Bill the guru at Stone Brewing(Link to Stone Blog is crazy how bona fide his bona fides are) and Anat Baron the former Sam Adams exec and current "Beer Wars" videographer together for a cheese pairing with Stone Brews. Amazing!

On to the Merkin. I am not a huge fan of Firestone in all honesty. Ever since the guy went on "The Bachelor" I've just had a low opinion. We pass by their brewery and winery when we go to Santa Ynez for wine tasting. We've been to the winery and it was just a cattle call place with just OK wine that was too expensive.

With all that said my opinion of the Merkin was meh. Meaning, it was ok. It was a stout, an oatmeal stout. It wasn't particularly creamy which I kind of expect from a good oatmeal but it was smooth. The smoothness definitely stemmed from the fact that despite coming off tap it was sans bubbles for the most part. The aroma was of raisin bread, slightly, raisiny, pruney, breadiness pervaded the nose but the taste was of coffee, roast, and bitter chocolate. I had heard how great this one was but honestly I was not too impressed. I wouldn't seek it out again.

Being at Wholefoods though everyone had their own different food and own different drink. D had heard trusty cava, Soydog(I really gotta come up with a permanent name for her even I get confused. Any suggestions? Shrub? Greenery? I don't know.) Any way she had a pale ale tasting flight from a brewery in LA somewhere I can't remember off the top of my head. It was semi forgettable save for an interesting IPL. Yes, India Pale LAGER. It wasn't great but interesting. Oh and the weirdest one was like an amped up Coors Light. I'm serious! It tasted exactly like a Coors Light squared.

Of course we were in Irvine, home to all things Asian so we had to stop off at Mochilato. If you've never had Mochi ice cream you are missing out, but if you've never had mochi GELATO, which is what this is you are REALLY missing out. Mochilato has some great flavors too. I had the Creme Brulee which was my favorite of all of them. D had mint chip and Shrub had cookies and cream and plum.

Our night was capped off with a long soak in the Jacuzz(Canadian accent implied) cava, a couple Lagunitas Kroniks from the six I bought walking out of Wholefoods and a cigar. All in all this was one of the best nights I have spent in a while. So relaxing and I couldn't have spent it with more beautiful people.

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