Velvet Merlin - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 1,931 | Reviews: 526 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by nhindian:
4.3/5 rDev +7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5
12oz bottle poured into a Surly Darkness glass. Bottle provided by jodan I believe, thanks Jordan!
A - Pours a chocolate brown with tints of black in the widest part of the glass. It settles into a soft, matte black color. The head is a pillowy, light tan color, about a finger tall with fairly low retention. Lacing is sticky at first, but quickly falls back to the comfort of the liquid. There's some carbonation on the edges of the glass as well.
S - The nose on this is almost all malt. The oat is a big part of the aroma, leading the way but still going strong by the end as well. The chocolate is rich and bittersweet, like dark cacao. There's some espresso here as well, but it mainly serves to add some roast to it rather than any noticeable coffee smells. Hanging beneath everything is a subtle bourbon quality, which adds some vibrant fruits and a slight alcohol feeling.
T - The taste brings a concise version of the nose to the palate. Immediately I'm getting a lot of oatmeal here, giving the beginning a creamy jumping-off point for the rest of the flavors to follow. Again, the chocolate is the main component after the oats, giving off flavors of baker's chocolate and some bitter notes. The flavor is slightly more roasty than the nose, with a lasting impression lingering long after drinking. Thankfully, the bourbon quality in the nose returns as well, playing cheerfully in the background of the beer but still imparting it's tastiness. The finish even brings a slightly cola-like flavor.
M - Mouthfeel is moderately light-bodied with high carbonation. This beer is really smooth, but perhaps the carbonation is a tinge too high as it sort of clashes with the smoothness. I found myself instinctively swirling this between tastes in order to cut that a little. Lasting impression are oats, roastiness, and dark fruits from the bourbon.
D/O - Drinkability is high. Oatmeal stouts are one of my favorite styles if done correctly, but if not they can come off as uninspired. Firestone Walker produces a fine representation here, and the quasi-bourbon notes in here only do that much for this offering. This is a beer that I nearly finished before completing this review, as I just wanted to keep drinking it. If this ever comes to Pittsburgh, it will be a staple in my fridge.
Serving type: bottle
06-15-2011 17:21:50 | More by nhindian
More User Reviews:
3.94/5 rDev -1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Pours a nice dark brown with a short head that quickly dissipates. Smells nice like oatmeal and very fresh. Taste is suprisingly clean and fresh without any heaviness. Nice and crisp and clean for such a dark beer. Nice carbonation and not syrupy like other darker beers. I really enjoyed this one.
Serving type: bottle
07-07-2014 23:54:36 | More by Richardbeerlover
Velvet Merlin from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
90 out of 100 based on 1,931 ratings.