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Velvet Merlin - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Velvet MerlinVelvet Merlin

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BA SCORE
90
outstanding

2,563 Ratings
THE BROS
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Ratings: 2,563
Reviews: 599
rAvg: 4.01
pDev: 9.98%
Wants: 206
Gots: 406 | 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:
Beer added by: largadeer on 11-13-2008

A decadent oatmeal stout. Velvet Merlin offers robust cocoa and espresso aromas with subtle American hop nuances. Rich dark chocolate and roasted coffee flavor with a creamy mouth feel and wonderfully dry finish create the perfect balance in this full-bodied stout. Ideal for sipping in the winter months or at the end of a meal.

Original name was "Velvet Merkin", but name was changed when it began to be bottled in 2010.

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Ratings: 2,563 | Reviews: 599
Photo of NumberNone
4/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of RKing44
3.75/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of KimenTshom
3.5/5  rDev -12.7%

Photo of srw
4/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of Iparedman
3.75/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of mitch3114
4.25/5  rDev +6%

Photo of bmmortale
4.25/5  rDev +6%

Photo of Lukebell15
4/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of rand
3.9/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From 12 oz bottle to pint

Pitch black in appearance, Velvet Merlin forms a relatively small off-tan head that dissipates quickly. Burnt toffee-malts and notes of earthy multi-grain bread make the somewhat faint nose, with a touch of lingering unsweetened chocolate. The flavors are more vibrant, as tastes of dry chocolate meet toasty malts. A stodgy yet 'velvety' smooth complexion yields coffee tones mid-sip, which play nicely against the brew's woody backdrop. A hint of berry-sweetness lingers somewhere back there in the distance, as the brew finishes dry and slightly bitter.

If you're wondering about the name change, Velvet Merlin WAS formally called Velvet Merkin. They got into some PR trouble (Google Merkin and you'll see why) so they avoided the hassle and changed it to Merlin. I was up at the brewpub in Paso Robles some weeks ago and they've named another beer Velvet Merkin, a sort-of 'big brother' to the Merlin (I think it was the Merlin, barrel-aged, but I could be wrong and I don't feel like looking it up right now). Whatever you want to call it, for a low ABV oatmeal stout, you could do a lot worse. This is widely available here in San Diego and it's become a sort of session-stout for me. Smooth and toasty and tasty.

Photo of errantnight
4.2/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Blue Palms in LA (originally as part of Xmas v. Hanukkah... not sure what this has to do with either, but hey!)

A creamy dense pitch black brew with a little bit of head with tenacity. Love the color.

Aroma is a gentle roastedness with a bit of biscuity malt. Subtle, simple, a little sweet. Really nice.

Tastes creamy smooth, nice medium full velvety texture carrying exactly what the aroma promises... a nice textured sweetness along a backbone of easy roastiness.

Really couldn't have a better structure, which makes this incredibly drinkable... but the flavor didn't blow me away. Pound for pound I'd still go Sammy Smith.

That said... the incredible bourbon barrel aged version had a few weeks ago was a different beast entirely. Perfect subtle vanilla and bourbon notes and the extra tannins all worked together for a phenomenal brew that didn't sacrifice the easy drinking experience but added nuances of flavor.

Certainly a tasty brew and fans of Firestone Walker will of course love to seek this out... and the should.

Photo of gmendez1122
3.75/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of blue-dream
4/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of BodiesLexus
4.16/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of hinemk76
3.75/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of PsilohsaiBiN
4.25/5  rDev +6%

Photo of Davit
4/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of Wetpaperbag
4.37/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Dark brown, almost black liquid with a tan thick head. This pours very thick almost like an imperial stout.

S- Smell of chocolate, vanilla, rum, tobacco, cherry, woody notes and earthy malts.

T- This tastes very good, malty with a good chocolate roastyness. This has some slight porter characteristics, yet the thickness and sweetness of a stout.

M- Thick, but it works well for the tastes.

D- Very drinkable, I wish I nabbed a six pack instead of a single.

Photo of watermelonman
3.7/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pouring to a thick near black, head is minimal and lace is merely a few lines.

The smell is good overall but a does of phenols is getting in the way, a touch too strong to meld in with the better flavors. Malts are more roasted than I like in an oatmeal stout, yet this beer comes up a little thin when compared to the non oatmeal variety. I think it is a line sitter than cannot quite decide what it wants to be. Still, a tasty effort overall, definitely smooth and drinkable.

Photo of bccocx
3.75/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of JohnnyChicago
4.25/5  rDev +6%

Photo of cmbeddoe7997
4.92/5  rDev +22.7%

Photo of halo913
3.5/5  rDev -12.7%

Photo of Bfarr
3.98/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Dark brown with a medium tan frothy and a bit foamy head with good retention but not much lacing as it slinks down the side of the glass. Smoky, peaty aroma. Chocolate, peat, and smoked malts wna sweet balance with a light bittersweet lactose linger. Silky mouthfeel yet chewy and anormally a velvet coating.

So smooth it goes down way too easy but if you hold on for a moment you're rewarded with a good amount of flavor. I don't know, is a Velvet Merlin like a Velvet Elvis?

Photo of darcange
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of ant880
3.75/5  rDev -6.5%

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Velvet Merlin from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
90 out of 100 based on 2,563 ratings.