Velvet Merlin - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 1,595 | Reviews: 493 | Show All Ratings:
Reviews by tectactoe:
3.8/5 rDev -5.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75
Black. Black as black can be... Surprisingly black, actually, with another surprisingly deep brown and tainted mocha colored head that foams up to a few fingers quickly, and then hastily retreats to a weak film stretched across the black hole. A few splotches of tan lacing are left near the top of the glass and that's about it. I know it's an oatmeal stout, but I wasn't expecting this level of darkness.
The aroma ventures into the cream and silky chocolate range with a mild oat undertaking and plenty of dark and lightly roasted malt. The darkness and roast don't come without a somewhat out of kilter, but nevertheless balancing, creamy sweetness - the beauty of sweet/oatmeal stouts, right? The nose shows just a touch of dark fruit in the finish... Not as captivating as I was expecting, but a decent smelling oatmeal stout nonetheless.
Velvet Merlin tricks me a little bit, as the taste is definitely more roasted than you would ever be able to anticipate just from taking a few whiffs. Lightly charred malt is met by a quieter, softer prune and dark fruit sweetness that lends every hand it has in an attempt to balance, and eventually does a respectable job of it, even if not immediately.
More milk chocolates explode about halfway through, flowing into a graciously soft and dry oat filled finish. Sweetness is contempt, yet notable and overall balanced pretty well with the roast and the dry oats. The mouth feel of this beer doesn't swoon me with its sexy silkiness like oatmeal stouts should (and like many of them do), so I must dock it a few points in that regard.
Velvet Merlin is a pretty good oatmeal stout all around, but it really wasn't a mind-blowing or incredible experience for me, and there are certainly some options that are more local to me that I'd take over it (New Holland's The Poet, or even Rogue's Shakespeare, as much as I hate Rogue and their business practices... but that's neither here nor there). Really good, but not legendary.
Serving type: bottle
09-17-2013 11:24:45 | More by tectactoe
More User Reviews:
4.93/5 rDev +22.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5
wow! what a nice smell!! pours a thick milkshake-like head, with an almost transparent dark brown body similar to, but less thick than, a samuel smiths....
super awesome taste. a little sweet, kind of roasty malts, dark fudge (as the last guy said), vanilla and honey (as another guy said), milk chocolate... what an awesome taste! a little tang on the finish, but that is utterly in significant considering all the wonderful flavors going on with this brew. I am really surprised at how much I like this brew. I had the merkin and the sucaba and anniversary, etc.... but never felt I wanted to try this one and I regret not trying it sooner! this is a world class beer! I thought it was labeled a porter but it says stout(?). I have to give this one high marks for every category. I wish I had another one to follow this one up RIGHT NOW!!!!
Serving type: bottle
03-09-2014 23:46:21 | More by pkalix
3.95/5 rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
12oz bottle (1/9/14) poured into a Bruery tulip.
A - Pours black in the glass with small heading forming briefly and then falling to leave behind a thin collar of grayish foam and random traces of lacing on the glass.
S - Tons of burnt, charred malt, traces of burning tires, molasses, over-roasted coffee, dark chocolate, mild licorice. A bit too much burnt character for me.
T - Flavor follows the aroma fairly well. Large quantities of smoke, burnt, charcoal-y, acrid and deeply roasted flavor. Dark chocolate, fudgy, molasses, coffee, licorice. More complexity and balance than the aroma indicates...chocolatey sweetness comes in just enough to smooth out all of the heavy burnt character.
M - Quite thick and full bodied. Medium carbonation that comes in just a touch to high for my preferences but is not offensive. Increasing hoppy bitterness as the beer warms in the glass.
O - Overall, enjoyable stout. Bigger beer than the ABV would indicate. Super thick in feel and a bit heavy. Nice with dessert.
Serving type: bottle
03-08-2014 00:53:45 | More by portia99
4.25/5 rDev +5.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25
$7 for 14 oz at Meadhall, Cambridge MA
Dark browny black with a thin, quick to dissipate head.
Smells smooth. I know that's not a scent but it does. Mushy brownie batter or moist chocolate trifle with more and more char emerging as VM warms.
Features the usual chocolate and roast malt flavors but the mix and creamy mouthfeel just makes this a better tasting oatmeal stout. Mild something in the back - orange mint? Bigger body than 5.5%.
Serving type: on-tap
03-06-2014 23:45:13 | More by donkeyrunner
Velvet Merlin from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
90 out of 100 based on 1,595 ratings.