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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

2,047 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,047
Reviews: 533
rAvg: 4.02
pDev: 9.95%
Wants: 174
Gots: 221 | 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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,047 | Reviews: 533 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Goblinmunkey7
4.05/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Black, not pitch, but black. Some deep reds when held to direct light. Head is tan, creamy and full. Drops to a small head, more lacing than expected. Small cap retains the creamy aspect.

Smell: Oats, malted barley, super grainy. Roasted malts. Chocolate malts. Nice levels of caramelization and sweetness. Milk chocolate mixed with some deeper cocoa edges. Some old coffee. Smells like breakfast. Sweetness pushes something akin to light molasses. Chewy.

Taste: Roasty. Toasted edge. Caramel sweetness. Oats and old coffee. Some solid chocolate notes. Milk, dark, and even some cocoa. Light bitterness from the roast. Burnt sugar. Light molasses. Vaguely nutty. Breakfast candy bar. Some smoke and char in the back. Vague earthiness as well.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and creamy. Light moderate carbonation. Medium body. So smooth.

Overall: Avast ye smooth wizard!

Sets the new standard for an oatmeal stout. Roasty and smooth. It makes me hungry and that's what it should do. Malted goodness layered with chocolate and happiness.

Goblinmunkey7, Oct 22, 2012
Photo of rawfish
3.56/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

Dark, garnet highlights with a quickly building two finger mocha head. Below average retention with hints of sticky lacing left on the glass.

Obvious cereal grains, husky and raw with burnt malt, spent coffee grounds and hints of chocolate sweetness and dried prunes.

Thin profile with some husky light grains, grape juice comes to mind as well as some burnt toast, ashy with hints of chocolate and coffee. Pleasantly bitter and drying on the finish though.

Not velvety smooth or creamy but definitely easy to drink. Lighter body and muted carbonation paired with nearly no alcohol.

Drinks like an oatmeal stout but ultimately disappointing, lots of burnt, ashy and raw grain flavors get collected on the palate before a nice coffee bitterness and drying take over. FW makes great beers but this is closer to the bottom of their list.

rawfish, Jan 26, 2013
Photo of SoCalBeerIdiot
4/5  rDev -0.5%

SoCalBeerIdiot, Apr 02, 2013
Photo of stampfler07
4/5  rDev -0.5%

stampfler07, Apr 02, 2013
Photo of HattedClassic
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours an extremely light head that dissipates very quickly. Some head is still left and the color is a creamy brown color. The beer itself is an opaque dark brown that is a little bit black and dark. The beer smell has strong oatmeal notes and dark chocolate notes. Some roasted malt smell comes out but not much. The oatmeal smell is pretty nice and ... oatmealy. The beer flavor is very similar to the smell with strong creamy oatmeal notes with a side of sweet dark chocolate. The taste also has an interesting slightly metallic water taste that adds to the eflavor and provides a nice balance. The mouthfeel is heavy bodied with biting carbonation. The beer feels fairly smooth and goes down smooth as well. Overall, a very good oatmeal stout and one worth getting again.

HattedClassic, Jun 12, 2014
Photo of TheBigBoy
2.75/5  rDev -31.6%

TheBigBoy, Jun 09, 2012
Photo of MastaShonuf
4/5  rDev -0.5%

MastaShonuf, Jun 01, 2013
Photo of CGMLS3
4.25/5  rDev +5.7%

CGMLS3, Jul 14, 2013
Photo of HoistinBrews
3.75/5  rDev -6.7%

HoistinBrews, Dec 28, 2013
Photo of Tiernan
4.25/5  rDev +5.7%

Tiernan, Oct 14, 2013
Photo of match1112
4.13/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

a: pitch black body. half inch of mocha colored head quickly settles to a thin ring with spotty lacing.

s: milk chocolate and roasted coffee.

t: sweet chocolate quickly takes a back seat to the roastieness with a touch of oat on the backend.

m: kinda thin body for a oatmeal stout, feels and tastes more like a milk stout. decent carbonation. creamy with a bitter dark chocolate finish.

o: good stout, but to me is more like a milk than a oatmeal. none the less still worth trying.

match1112, Apr 02, 2012
Photo of froghop
3.85/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

oatmeal stout on tap at coronado brewing company.

pours black with a small khaki head, and very good lacing.

smell of cocoa, coffee, and a touch of roasted malt.

taste is of dark chocolate, bakers chocolate, some coffee, and malt in the back, ends dry and somewhat bitter.

froghop, Jan 10, 2010
Photo of brother_kenneth
3.75/5  rDev -6.7%

brother_kenneth, May 20, 2014
Photo of angrybabboon
4.11/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Cheers to Goblinmunkey7 for giving me a bottle of this

Consumed 2/28/13

Appearance: Dark brown, some nice clarity around the edges - small, light tan head - fades to a minimal, wispy cap - leaves some nice streaks of lacing though

Smell: Roasty and lightly sweet - roasted grains, with some touches of burnt, chocolate malts - some dark chocolate as well - a distinct, lightly sweet oatmeal aroma - some chocolatey, grainy sweetness overall

Taste: Roasty oatmeal with a splash of coffee and chocolate - roasty malts, toasted malts, and some lightly sweet caramel malt - touches of roasty coffee, dark chocolate, and some semisweet chocolate - minimal bitterness, mostly of the roasty variety - some cooked sugar - nicely balanced overall

Mouthfeel: Medium body, about as smooth as an oatmeal stout should be, clean, nicely dry and very drinkable

Overall: Merlin's beard!

This is quite the clean, well-balanced, and drinkable oatmeal stout. No surprise from Firestone Walker... I would definitely seek this out. I get other Firestone Walker beers, and I hope this eventually makes it to the East Coast, as this is one of the best oatmeal stouts I've had in a while.

angrybabboon, Feb 28, 2013
Photo of TheSixthRing
4.13/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours a near black with a hint of auburn brown peeking through where light can penetrate. Head is tan, powder snow fluffy and 2 fingers thick, good retention and a decent lace.

Smell - Potent oatmeal stout aromas here: Classic, roasty chocolate and coffee.

Taste - Bold cocoa and roasty coffee malt backbone, complimented by a nice hoppy bitterness. Simple, but assertive.

Mouthfeel - Medium to full body, smooth and velvety. Goes down easy, despite the big flavor.

Overall - First time having this beer, and it's my favorite Firestone brew to date. Classic oatmeal stout flavors, but big, bold and beautifully balanced. Definitely a future buy.

TheSixthRing, May 19, 2012
Photo of Domingo
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Jet black with a decent sized khaki head off of a normal pour. The head dies down to more of a white layer within a minute or two.
Texture looks pretty thick as it’s a slow pour and the liquid coats the glass.
The nose is roasty and semi-sweet. Baker’s chocolate and mild coffee.
Dark chocolate hits the palate first, and it’s not overly sweet. That creamy texture is all-encompassing and brings on a slightly bitter and acidic hit from the roasted malts. There’s a hint of sweetness on the back end that lingers.
This is about as easy drinking as they come. More depth than some, but nothing mind blowing or unusual.
A good oatmeal stout that’s clearly leaning in the roasted malt direction, but has enough sweetness to keep your palate from getting bored.
Tasty and enjoyable.

Domingo, Nov 04, 2011
Photo of jbertsch
3/5  rDev -25.4%

jbertsch, Apr 13, 2014
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.

BarrytheBear, Dec 23, 2010
Photo of chugalug06
4.45/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Delicious. Nice off-white thick foamy head. Brew is black, very black. Nice lacing with good head buildability when swirled.

S - Oatey. Some small chocolate. Mildly smokey and heavily roasted. Some nice coffee scents too.

T - Very nice! Smooth as a baby.... Some gentle milk chocolate, nothing heavy. This brew is quite good.

M - Gentle on the tongue. Above average carbonation, dry and well-rounded.

O - What a great brew! I'm glad I picked this one up! Highly recommended.

chugalug06, Oct 23, 2011
Photo of erialbill
4.25/5  rDev +5.7%

erialbill, Jul 20, 2014
Photo of Danielr26
3.75/5  rDev -6.7%

Danielr26, Oct 11, 2013
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!

DeanMoriarty, May 30, 2013
Photo of Stoffel
4.5/5  rDev +11.9%

Stoffel, Jan 03, 2012
Photo of Scotchboy
4.05/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

So glad that FW is in the Boise market now. 12oz bottle poured into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint.

A: Dark black pour with red highlights on the stem of the glass...large khaki head recedes and leaves some nice lace.

S: Darker malty sweetness, milk chocolate, roast and suggestions of coffee, dusting of cocoa.

T: Follows the nose, with suggestions mocha, faint hint of smoke, roasted coffee, unsweetened bakers chocolate, roasted barley and a lightly acrid finish.

MF: Shines here, good example of the style IMO - creamy, medium body smooth and velvety, low-to-medium carbonation.

O: From look to feel, a textbook oatmeal stout that seems to border on a milk stout at times. I enjoyed it.

Scotchboy, Oct 25, 2012
Photo of skaboom420
3.5/5  rDev -12.9%

skaboom420, Mar 07, 2014
Velvet Merlin from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
90 out of 100 based on 2,047 ratings.