Velvet Merlin - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

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Velvet MerlinVelvet Merlin

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BA SCORE
90
outstanding

2,626 Ratings
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Ratings: 2,626
Reviews: 609
rAvg: 4.01
pDev: 9.98%
Wants: 209
Gots: 429 | FT: 6
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: 2,626 | Reviews: 609
Photo of Dope
4.2/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

11/21/14 bottling date.

A: Nice black pour with a frothy light brown head. Retention is decent with some little smatterings of lacing here and there.

S: Nice roasty aroma with some obvious oatmeal graininess/sweetness. Light chocolate.

T: Yup. Nice smooth oatmeal stout. Lightly roasty up front and then the oatmeal kicks in. Smooth, creamy flavors from the oatmeal. Light cocoa and bitter coffee from the roasted malt. Good combination. Smooth and sweet.

M: Medium bodied, exceptionally smooth and creamy.

O: Pretty much perfect for an oatmeal stout. Light bitter roastiness with some nice coffee and chocolate. Oatmeal to smooth it out and sweeten it up. Super drinkable. SUPER drinkable. Cannot be overstated. Up there with Sam Smith for drinkable oatmeal stouts.

Photo of Jeffreysan
4.82/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

32 oz growler, poured into a goblet

Appearance: Pours a beautiful, completely opaque, pitch-black color, with a finger of white-colored head that quickly dissolved away into a thin halo of foam that gripped the sides of the glass.

Aroma: Wow! Very aromatic, with tons of earthy, rich roasted malt, imparting notes of freshly toasted dark bread, freshly ground espresso beans, a touch of smoke and tons of brown sugar. Delicious!

Taste: Just as delicious as the beer’s aroma! Tons of roasted malt up front, imparting flavors of toasted oats, a touch of coffee, lots of brown sugar and dark molasses-like sweetness, and a touch of vanilla.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied to slightly chewy and very, very smooth, as there is no carbonation what-so-ever. With an ABV of 5.5%, there is no alcohol on the palate.

Overall: This is an excellent oatmeal stout! Tasty, smooth, very quaffable, and highly recommended!

Photo of fscottkey
3.77/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

A: [4.50] Beer is dark brown and forms a 1 1/2 finger head when poured. The head is a creamy tan color. The head dissipates pretty quickly. The bottle lists the ABV (5.5%) and REALLY clearly has a born on date (10/24/14)

S: [4.25] I get a crusty baguette smell. Then coffee and roasted malts. The nose is pretty strong. It filled the air when I cracked the bottle.

T: [3.50] The taste is subdued. I get roasted malts and maybe a hint of cocoa.

M: [3.25] A little thin and watery. The is a twang of carbonation. There are no lingering flavors.

O: [3.75] This is a decent stout. I didn't get the creamy feel I'd expect on an oatmeal stout. Blindfolded I'd call this a lower ABV porter. The beer is 7 months old - so it may have lost a little bit of character. That being said it still holds up. It is not my favorite in the style - but I'd drink more.

Photo of RossusMaximus
4.99/5  rDev +24.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Stellar combination of smoothness and flavor.

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

Appearance: Huge, coarse dark tan head crowns a body as black as night. The head retention is quite good, Thin, scattered lacing adorns the glass walls.

Aroma: Roasted malt utterly dominates the aroma, although cold coffee and some bitter cocoa are present as well.

Taste: Opens with roasted malt, cocoa, and bitter coffee. As the taste progresses, the roasted malt, cocoa, and coffee meld together, with the oatmeal serving to remove any harsh edges from the taste. Finishes with a long, lingering note of semi-sweet cocoa.

Mouth feel: Very soft and gracious on the palate, silky and smooth, with only a hint of carbonation, it is well-named.

Drinkability/notes: Very well-done, an illustration of what a skilled brewer can do with this style.

Presentation: Packaged in a short twelve-ounce brown glass bottle, sealed with a pry-off crown, served in a New Belgium Brewing chalice. Production date, per the label, was '12/02/14 11:13'. Purchased on 04/24/2015 in Texas.

Photo of ajm5108
3.05/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Very watery mouthfeel, which seems to be an issue with certain FW beers. Has no real mouthfeel at all. Aroma is also pretty tame for a stout, you get some toasted malt, but like you were smelling the mash, again with lots of water. Flavor wise there isn't much happening outside your standard roasted malt. Very disappointing beer.

Photo of jjboesen
4.24/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

The initial pour results in a glass filled with beige froth, which subsides into a dark ruby body; the extant head is minimal, along with lacing.
There is a subtle nose of Cheerio cereal; the palate is nipped with sweet maltiness that contains bits of bread, grain and plum. The balance is superb and this, along with the manageable 5.5 abv, makes for one great sessional quaff. Is there anything Firestone Walker cannot do? Alas, if this brew were more readily available to us East Coast schlubs.

Photo of ElJacobian
4.1/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Head dissipates immediately- color has a hint of ruby, like a chocolate cherry Dr. Pepper. I wish the smell had more oatmeal but the taste is very balanced. Not too malty, not too chocolatey, and the aftertaste is very pleasant. Chocolate and coffee linger for a while.

Photo of jribeiro025
4.13/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Smells and tastes like cocoa and espresso. Very smooth, and thin. No bitterness.

Photo of smith_s4765
4.01/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Great looking beer. Love the aftertaste.

Photo of ajsinyvr
4.24/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Smoky cocao nibs at the start and a chocolatey finish. Mouthfeel was spot on, round and full. 1 finger head when poured in to a round bottom glass.
Slight hop presence and good roasted malts throughout.

Photo of 57md
4.06/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Dark brown with ruby edges. Some roast on the nose. Decent roast in the flavor profile is accompanied by a touch of chocolate. The finish is dry and bitter. The body is spot on but it's more fizzy than I might have expected.

Photo of dar482
3.78/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On cask.

The beer hits of cocoa, light roasted malt, powdery chocolate and a creamy/almost lactose flavor. A good amount of flavor throughout of creamy chocolate and coffee, but in general a medium beer for the style.

Photo of johnpalisi
4.73/5  rDev +18%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

On tap X x x x

Photo of rangerred
3.93/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours pitch black with a medium tan head and just a little bit of head retention.

The aroma is slightly metallic but also has some vanilla and mocha notes.

The flavor is really the showstopper here as it just unleashes mocha, caramel and vanilla along with having a silky (or velvet) smooth mouthfeel. A great example of the style and a wonderful beer.

Photo of IPAGeorge
3.94/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a Sam Adams perfect pint

A. Very dark brown. 95% opaque. Cappuccino colored 2 finger foamy head that recedes kinda quickly. Lasts a minute. Very little lacing.

S. Roasted malts. Slight hop resin. Slight metallic aroma.

T. Flavor is roasted malts, some bakers chocolate, mild burnt coffee or espresso. It's a light flavored stout. No alcohol flavor but at 5.5% that's expected. Some grassy aftertaste.

M. 6 out of 10 on body thickness. Decent carbonation for a stout. Creamy. Feels a little more like a porter. But they can be similar.

O. Nice if your in the mood for a stout and don't wanna reach for the 11%abv+. Flavor is kinda mild. Smells was turning me off a lil at first but the flavor didn't carry some of the deficiencies. Could be a good french press guinea pig to try different flavors. I'd have to be in the mood to reach for this one but that being said it does have it's place.

Photo of CoffeePorter
4.27/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Black with a thick white head.
Smells milky and sweet.
Tastes milky/creamy, very sweet with little bitterness. Mild notes of chocolate.
Very creamy mouthfeel, mild carbonation.
Very easy to drink and a good creamy stout option.

Photo of Trentt2
3.96/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A bit thinner than I like but overall a good stout

Photo of arvidkoval
4.22/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

L- Black, but lets some red through. Tan head that dissipates quickly.

S- Smells of roasted malts and chocolate.

T- Follows the nose but with some coffee and a dry finish without overpowering the mild sweetness. Well balanced.

F- Lives up to the name, very velvet like, but I wouldn't mind it being thicker.

O- Very well put together oat stout! Probably my favorite!

Photo of InkedinRi
3.93/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Not much of a nose on this beer? But nice smooth taste. Getting more chocolate than rolled oats

Photo of beerrat
4.83/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pretty dam good stout think I will have another.

Photo of Lobsterback
3.18/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Lighter than other oatmeal stouts, with plenty of sweetness afterwards, but the lack of body has me wondering why it is rated so highly

Photo of PuwarAmar
4.98/5  rDev +24.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Good aroma, taste fantastic. Over all good

Photo of SierraFlight
3.66/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Bottle poured into tulip during #bottlecherwednesdays at Beachwood BBQ Seal Beach. Appearance is clear, dark brown with two-finger tan head that leaves patchy lacing. Aroma is roasted malt, coffee, cereal, slight chocolate. Taste is similar with balancing herbal bitterness in the finish from the fuggles. Medium body, texture on the thin side, average to soft carbonation, and mildly bitter finish.

Photo of i4ourgot
4.25/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Great beer super creamy makes its almost feel like a nitro beer. Lots of great rich dark flavors nice coffee/ chocolate with some sweetness that is well balanced with a subtle bitterness. No over powering flavors just a really enjoyable beer where everything comes together nicely. The aroma while not strong is very pleasant.

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Velvet Merlin from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
90 out of 100 based on 2,626 ratings.