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Velvet Merlin - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Velvet MerlinVelvet Merlin

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

1,951 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,951
Reviews: 527
rAvg: 4.01
pDev: 9.98%
Wants: 173
Gots: 206 | FT: 7
Brewed by:
Firestone Walker Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Oatmeal Stout |  5.50% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes/Commercial Description:
Original name was "Velvet Merkin", but name was changed when it began to be bottled in 2010.

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ufa ... tube_gdata 

(Beer added by: largadeer on 11-13-2008)
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Ratings: 1,951 | Reviews: 527 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of drgonzo2k2
drgonzo2k2

California

4.5/5  rDev +12.2%

04-17-2013 13:55:51 | More by drgonzo2k2
Photo of Vigilante
Vigilante

Nevada

4.25/5  rDev +6%

04-17-2013 03:47:32 | More by Vigilante
Photo of falloutsnow
falloutsnow

Illinois

4.21/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

From: Binny's, Bloomingdale, IL
Date: Bottled 12/21/2012
Glass: Tulip

Velvet Merlin is a delicious oatmeal stout, fairly rich in body and quite pronounced in aroma and flavor. Not priced inappropriately, and of high quality: this is a brewery that does things right.

Pours a 1.5cm tall head of light tan foam, made up of tightly packed, small bubbles. Retention is above average, lasting over two minutes. Leaves significant lacing along sides of the glass. Beer has a dark brown to black body, opaque, with light bringing out slight amber hues around the edges. Carbonation is only visible as it moves upwards along the side of the glass.

Aroma is of rich, bitter baker's chocolate, somewhat of acrid roasted coffee, burnt toast, yet balanced by a caramelized sugar sweetness.

The dominant flavors are varying degrees and types of roasted malt, contributing a variety of dark chocolate and roasted coffee bean flavors, with support from tastes similar to caramel and burnt toast. Front of palate notices blackened malt sweetness, with light chocolate and coffee flavors in the mix as well. Mid-palate finds heavy dark chocolate, roasted coffee beans, faint caramel, and hints of burnt toast flavors, all blended excellently. Back of palate picks up roasted malt, dark chocolate, charred toast, thick caramel sweetness, and slight cherry esters. Aftertaste of roasted malt sweetness and acridity, dark chocolate syrup, espresso roast coffee beans, and mild caramel malt.

Beer is medium-bodied with the thickness and smooth flow that one expects from an oatmeal stout. Carbonation is of medium to medium-low intensity, resulting in a gently foamy, slightly medium-heavy overall mouthfeel, well suited for the beer and the style. Closes quite dry, with substantial stickiness lingering upon the palate and lips.

Serving type: bottle

04-16-2013 05:47:19 | More by falloutsnow
Photo of raffy313
raffy313

Texas

3.75/5  rDev -6.5%

04-15-2013 02:13:58 | More by raffy313
Photo of juliusseizure
juliusseizure

New York

4.25/5  rDev +6%

04-15-2013 01:11:42 | More by juliusseizure
Photo of StoutItOutLoud
StoutItOutLoud

Illinois

4.25/5  rDev +6%

04-14-2013 01:36:05 | More by StoutItOutLoud
Photo of teraflx
teraflx

Arizona

3.75/5  rDev -6.5%

04-13-2013 19:11:52 | More by teraflx
Photo of johnyb
johnyb

Florida

4/5  rDev -0.2%

04-13-2013 11:53:49 | More by johnyb
Photo of jrpapajcik
jrpapajcik

Illinois

4.25/5  rDev +6%

04-12-2013 04:52:36 | More by jrpapajcik
Photo of pmoney
pmoney

Illinois

3.25/5  rDev -19%

04-11-2013 14:00:10 | More by pmoney
Photo of spoony
spoony

Colorado

3.86/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

From a 355 ml bottle (dated January 8, 2013) into a globe.

A-An aggressive pour fails to produce any head. The beer is slightly thin and watery looking. Color is dark, dark brown with ruby highlights. No bubbles visible.

S-The smell is a pleasant mixture of roasted malts, creamy oats, milk chocolate (lots of chocolate) with a touch of char and old coffee bitterness.

T-The taste is on the sweet side with milky chocolate and oats. I found it a little tight at first (45-50 degrees), but it opened up nicely as it neared room temperature. The chocolate came out along with some roasted malty flavors.

M-The feel is on the thin side with a fine, prickly carbonation.

O-This is a decent smelling and tasting brew, but I feel let down by the completely lackluster appearance and mediocre feel. Perhaps I got a bad bottle, but thin and watery is not how I prefer my oatmeal stouts. I am also surprised by how this beer's flavor profile blossomed at 65 degrees. In other words, this beer is something of an enigma for me.

Serving type: bottle

04-10-2013 01:02:01 | More by spoony
Photo of HopsintheSack
HopsintheSack

California

4/5  rDev -0.2%

04-09-2013 02:05:11 | More by HopsintheSack
Photo of NeroFiddled
NeroFiddled

Pennsylvania

4.41/5  rDev +10%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Firestone Walker Velvet Merlin Oatmeal Stout
12 oz. bottle, dated"01/08/13 12:01"
$3.50 @ The Beer Shoppe, Ardmore, PA

So what is it that makes an oatmeal stout, because just using oatmeal doesn't exactly do it?

Well, it's black in color with a long-lasting head of pillowy dark tan foam. When held to the light ruby highlights can be seen glimmering along the edges of the glass. Oddly, the lacing could be better as it only leaves spots and streaks behind.

The aroma displays graininess with both straightforward pale malt and a mild roastiness as well. There's a bit of yeasty fruitiness, and a suggestion of floral hops as well. They all work together, and although there's a bit of a sweet coffee aroma to it, it's not overly roasty or "harsh".

In the mouth is where oatmeal stouts seem to shine the brightest: it's medium-bodied and silky smooth with a fine bubbled median carbonation. As it warms it becomes nicely creamy across the palate.

Oatmeal stout is a derivative of the sweet stout style, and as such it should have a sweetish balance, offset by some delicate roastiness that conjures up flavors of milk chocolate, creamy coffee, toffee, and cocoa or fudge. Check, check, check! The bitterness is restrained, somewhere in the upper 20's, and there's just a subtle hint of underlying dark malt acidity that helps to balance it. Following that, there's a slight hint of floral and grassy hop flavor but it's quite restrained.

This is a beer that's about malt, and about drinkability - although it's generally more to be savored than gulped! It's flavorful without being aggressive, and it's complex but the components are very well woven together into one main fabric of flavor. Add to that a remarkable smoothness across the palate and a standard alcohol content, and you've got a remarkably enjoyable and drinkable stout.

It's not an easy beer to brew because the balance between malt sweetness, hop bitterness, and dark malt acidity is so important; yet Firestone Walker has pulled it off. Quite nice!

Serving type: bottle

04-08-2013 13:55:32 | More by NeroFiddled
Photo of Blaze5445
Blaze5445

Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev -0.2%

04-07-2013 23:06:49 | More by Blaze5445
Photo of aparabola
aparabola

Nevada

4.5/5  rDev +12.2%

04-07-2013 18:31:45 | More by aparabola
Photo of zaptone
zaptone

California

3.5/5  rDev -12.7%

04-07-2013 10:37:41 | More by zaptone
Photo of LuauLarry
LuauLarry

California

4.25/5  rDev +6%

04-06-2013 16:17:24 | More by LuauLarry
Photo of Herky21
Herky21

Iowa

4.5/5  rDev +12.2%

04-06-2013 15:28:53 | More by Herky21
Photo of RD1163
RD1163

California

4/5  rDev -0.2%

04-06-2013 03:34:50 | More by RD1163
Photo of drh1382
drh1382

Washington

4.25/5  rDev +6%

04-05-2013 20:11:06 | More by drh1382
Photo of Gonzoillini
Gonzoillini

Illinois

4/5  rDev -0.2%

04-05-2013 18:05:02 | More by Gonzoillini
Photo of henryhampton
henryhampton

South Carolina

3.75/5  rDev -6.5%

04-05-2013 04:32:27 | More by henryhampton
Photo of bpasquini
bpasquini

California

4.25/5  rDev +6%

04-05-2013 04:11:14 | More by bpasquini
Photo of zonker17
zonker17

Texas

4.25/5  rDev +6%

04-04-2013 23:00:15 | More by zonker17
Photo of korene84
korene84

California

3.5/5  rDev -12.7%

04-04-2013 18:25:39 | More by korene84
Velvet Merlin from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
90 out of 100 based on 1,951 ratings.