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Velvet Merlin - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Velvet MerlinVelvet Merlin

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,951 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,951
Reviews: 527
rAvg: 4.02
pDev: 9.95%
Wants: 173
Gots: 205 | 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 MattXT


3.25/5  rDev -19.2%

03-18-2014 16:11:44 | More by MattXT
Photo of oldvines


4/5  rDev -0.5%

03-05-2013 00:44:42 | More by oldvines
Photo of CGMLS3


4.25/5  rDev +5.7%

07-14-2013 22:46:07 | More by CGMLS3
Photo of paulish

New York

4.25/5  rDev +5.7%

07-09-2014 21:39:10 | More by paulish
Photo of plumcrazyfx


4/5  rDev -0.5%

04-24-2013 14:15:02 | More by plumcrazyfx
Photo of MastaShonuf


4/5  rDev -0.5%

06-01-2013 04:25:10 | More by MastaShonuf
Photo of JohnParadee


4/5  rDev -0.5%

03-03-2014 01:56:03 | More by JohnParadee
Photo of dwagner003


3.75/5  rDev -6.7%

11-17-2013 00:43:52 | More by dwagner003
Photo of BarrytheBear


3.05/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to Ryan for filling a want and for being an awesome trader.

12 oz bottle in a tulip. Pours dark brown, with a deluge of tiny bubbles along the edges and a beige ring and spotty surface bubbles.

Molasses and coffee on the nose. Not nearly as pronounced as I'd hoped. In fact, it's lacking much complexity and for the style is a tad weak. There is a weird cooked plastic smell that ain't too groovy.

Taste and mouthfeel veer towards watery. Oats don't vibe with the beer well, leaving more of a coffee dark ale than a rich, roasty, full bodied oatmeal stout which I am after. A richer, more velvety mouthfeel and dialing down the carbonation might pick this beer up a notch. Crank up the oatmeal here!

Kind of a bummer. Granted I haven't had an inordinate amount of Firestone, but this is not up to the standard I expected from a great brewery. Plenty of other oatmeal stouts in the sea.

Serving type: bottle

12-23-2010 01:51:26 | More by BarrytheBear
Photo of ObeMaltKinobee


4/5  rDev -0.5%

12-22-2011 06:14:49 | More by ObeMaltKinobee
Photo of Tiernan


4.25/5  rDev +5.7%

10-13-2013 23:06:06 | More by Tiernan
Photo of kevgod


5/5  rDev +24.4%

03-23-2012 22:12:16 | More by kevgod
Photo of jwps214


4.25/5  rDev +5.7%

02-13-2014 16:22:33 | More by jwps214
Photo of DeanMoriarty


4.08/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Picked up from the sale bin at Baron's Market in Point Loma for a dollar and some change - damn good deal!

Poured into a Forestinne branded tulip glass. Pours dark as shit - like motor oil with a decent sized tan head that sticks around for a few sips - decent lacing. Smell is smoky and earthy, faint scent of hops, fresh milled grain, dark chocolate and iced coffee. Flavor is much more bright and interesting than the nose suggests - plum, burnt raisin, earthy roasted coffee, vanilla, sweet toffee, cocoa nibs, slight hint of fresh cut grass - absolutely delicious! Medium bodied and perfectly carbonated for the style - smooth and creamy - extremely easy drinker for a stout. Overall amazing stout, that as mentioned, drinks ridiculously easy - could crush a few of these in a single sitting, no problem!

Serving type: bottle

05-30-2013 03:44:13 | More by DeanMoriarty
Photo of Bendurgin


3.95/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks for this one Sean. Poured into a tulip. Pours a cola colored brown with about a finger of creaming light khaki head.

The aroma has hints of slight cocoa and hints of espresso. Pretty run of the mill but pleasing either way. The taste is pretty much what wone would expect from an oatmeal stout. A little roasty with hints of coffee and some fudgyness to it. Pretty tasty.

The feel is good, silky and smooth with subtle carbonation. Overall this is a well made beer. I just don't think this is the most exciting of styles.

Serving type: bottle

10-04-2011 18:45:53 | More by Bendurgin
Photo of ocelot2500


4.1/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep brown almost black color with garnet highlights. Tight light brown head that leaves enough lacing.

Smells of deep roasted notes. Mostly a coffee smell with some brown sugar.

Tastes of the strong roasted malts. Coffee and semi-sweet chocolate come through. Brown sugar and caramel as well. Roasted bitterness adds on at the end. Oats are evident and add the typical smoothness.

Mouthfeel is medium-full with a smooth amount of carbonation.

Serving type: bottle

10-16-2010 01:43:32 | More by ocelot2500
Photo of touchmeimsac


4.25/5  rDev +5.7%

05-20-2013 17:35:10 | More by touchmeimsac
Photo of doughanson78


3.23/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

First Firestone Walker beer. 12oz. bottle poured into a snifter.

A: Very dark, but not totally black. Light comes through around edges and bottom of glass. Kind of a dark redish tint where light comes through. Fluffy one finger head. Slightly off white with only small tight bubbles. Head dies down to thin layer but doesn't disappear. Fairly good lacing.

S: Not a big aroma at all. Smells like the inside of a Quaker oatmeal container. VERY light chocolate scent.

T: Nice roasted flavor. Light coffee. Mild sweet chocolate. Nice oaty finish. Very mild hop bitterness.

M: Medium bodied. Mild carbonation. Smooth but not Velvety.

O: Been hearing great things about Firestone Walker. Had a sip of their Double Jack and was impressed. Got a few of their brews, including the Parabola. Not super impressed with this one. It's decent but there's definitely many better.

Serving type: bottle

06-23-2011 07:51:11 | More by doughanson78
Photo of ThreeWiseMen


4.13/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Split a growler with my roommate, JustinA1, last week. The following review is based on notes taken at that time.

Poured (repeatedly) into a New Belgium globe.

Appearance: A thick, light brown, layer of foam sits atop a pitch black body. Head shows excellent retention and drags thick, clumpy lacing. Light barely penetrates the outermost edges when directly back-lit; I'm willing to call this one opaque.

Smell: Oats, wholegrain bread, dark chocolate, roasted malt, and coffee. A touch of salt also appears in deeper whiffs. Although this version doesn't smell as complex as previous experiences, it boasts a hearty grainy/bready character that softens up the heavy roast aromas. I dig.

Taste: Dark chocolate, oats, wholegrain bread, coffee, roasted malt, and caramel. Very smooth and balanced; harmonious. Alcohol creeps in just a bit as it warms. Roast and oat flavors cling to the palate deep into the aftertaste. Well done.

Mouthfeel: Creamier and more full-bodied than most oatmeal stouts. Very smooth and soft with fine carbonation; velvety, as implied by the name. Long-lasting and enjoyable aftertaste.

Overall: Very tasty, smooth, and balanced - an excellent example of the style!

Serving type: growler

05-04-2011 17:56:54 | More by ThreeWiseMen
Photo of LambicPentameter


3.69/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Reviewing from notes after drinking on January 18th, 2014. Enjoyed out of a 12 oz brown bottle with a bottling date of 09/16/13 stamped on the bottom front of the label, so this is four days outside the 120-day period recommended by Firestone Walker for beer consumption. Poured into a standard 16 oz tumbler glass.

Appearance - Pours an inky black hue with just the slightest twinge of dark, walnut brown when I work hard to get some light to come through the glass. Atop the obsidian body rests a frothy off-white head about a finger and a half thick with a mix of larger and smaller bubbles. Retention is moderate, and leaves small bits of sticky lacing on the sides of the glass after the foam dissipates.

Smell - To be honest, I'm a little underwhelmed, as the smell is pretty simplistic--predominantly aromas of roasted malt and light char, with some complementary notes of bittersweet chocolate and stale coffee. Faint woody bitterness comes through on subsequent inhalations as well.

Taste - Very much inline with the aroma, only now with some characteristics coming through from the oatmeal in the form of a rustic, moderately sweet graininess along with the bitter roasted components and semi-sweet notes of semi-dark chocolate and coffee. Nice earthy hop bitterness as well, but at a pleasantly subdued rate, allowing the malt profile of this beer to be the lead role.

Mouthfeel - A little thinner than I would've liked, with a medium body, and moderate to low carbonation. Bittersweet finish.

Overall, a nice oatmeal stout, but nothing mindblowing like FW's hop-forward and barrel aged beers. There are other lowish ABV stouts that I would likely pick up off the shelf before I reached for this one again.

Serving type: bottle

04-16-2014 21:57:03 | More by LambicPentameter
Photo of skaboom420


3.5/5  rDev -12.9%

03-07-2014 01:42:11 | More by skaboom420
Photo of cfrances33


4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Jose Pistola's in Philly (6/25/12). Poured into a shaker pint.

Pour: Black, with dark brown around the rims of the glass. Light brown fluffy head.

Smell: Bitter chocolate and thats about it.

Tast: Chocolate roastiness followed by some vanilla and then taken over again by dark bitter chocolate. Rich espresso bitterness hangs around.

Mouthfeel: Very creamy, very drinkable.

Overall: Tasty, but velvet merkin wins.

Serving type: on-tap

07-15-2012 19:01:52 | More by cfrances33
Photo of dertyd


5/5  rDev +24.4%

02-04-2013 08:17:16 | More by dertyd
Photo of jaymo18


4/5  rDev -0.5%

02-17-2014 22:47:51 | More by jaymo18
Photo of jmccraney


4/5  rDev -0.5%

02-17-2013 00:14:55 | More by jmccraney
Velvet Merlin from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
90 out of 100 based on 1,951 ratings.