Lemons Lemons are one of my favorite flavor enhancers but you need to be careful of the white pith. If you cook the pith, it turns very bitter. Cooking the rind or pulp is fine but never use the pith or seeds. I remember discovering this disturbing fact cooking chicken piccata for the first time. I thought I could enhance the flavor by cooking lemon slices in the sauce but instead I got a bitter taste I couldn't correct with sugar.
Not to be mistaken with it's older brother Velvet Merkin (with a "k"), Velvet Merlin is just an oatmeal stout. Yes, Firestone sells the same beer aged and unaged. But I shouldn't say it is just an oatmeal stout. It's one of the best stouts I've ever had the pleasure of consuming. While it doesn't have the alcohol content of other stouts, it still packs a punch of flavor with coffee and chocolate notes equal to other stouts brewed longer with a higher alcohol content. The shorter brewing time also makes it more drinkable as some stouts tend to be overpowering and bitter. I highly recommend drinking this beer in six packs when it is available during the Fall and Winter.