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Velvet Merlin - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Velvet MerlinVelvet Merlin

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
89
very good

593 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 593
Hads: 2,640
rAvg: 3.98
pDev: 9.3%
Wants: 211
Gots: 442 | 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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Reviews: 593 | Hads: 2,640
Photo of 57md
4.06/5  rDev +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. (227 characters)

Photo of dar482
3.78/5  rDev -5%
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. (218 characters)

Photo of rangerred
3.93/5  rDev -1.3%
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. (354 characters)

Photo of IPAGeorge
3.94/5  rDev -1%
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. (941 characters)

Photo of CoffeePorter
4.27/5  rDev +7.3%
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. (227 characters)

Photo of arvidkoval
4.22/5  rDev +6%
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! (378 characters)

Photo of SierraFlight
3.66/5  rDev -8%
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. (399 characters)

Photo of i4ourgot
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%
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. (326 characters)

Photo of VashonGuy
3.71/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A very enjoyable stout that falls short of the best stouts in my opinion.
Appearance is good, but head is pretty thin.
Aroma is roasted malts.
Taste is fairly typical, but finishes just a little bit tart.
Mouthfeel is thinner than expected for an oatmeal stout.

Hey, I like this beer, I just don't go over the moon for it. (323 characters)

Photo of infinitebruner
3.93/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

February 11, 2015

12 oz bottle, snifter

A – Jet black, a thin layer of light tan foam forms and then disappears quickly. Some lacing sits on top of the beer.

S – Baking chocolate, lightly roasted coffee. Some light vanilla, perhaps some honey. A bit of fruity ester presence in the background, and light, earthy hops.

T – Mostly chocolate and moderate nuttiness, very light roasted component. Maybe a drop of vanilla. Hops are very low in flavor, herbal and earthy, but contributing moderate bitterness.

M – Moderate carbonation, very little sweetness, roast component and hop bitterness are medium-high. Finish is somewhat dry. Body is medium-full, with a touch of creamy smoothness.

O – Very pleasant, traditional version of an oatmeal stout. Smooth, nutty, a touch of roast… it’s well made and that is certainly worth saying. (857 characters)

Photo of snickering
3.96/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A- Dark and thick but clear when held up to the light

S - Very nice grainy malt smell, like a whole grain bread

T - Nicely balanced, not overly sweet or bitter, just enough to bring out the flavor.

F - Creamy

O - Real nice wintertime beer. (243 characters)

Photo of Mann0101
3.05/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This beer looks and smells like it should, but the taste falls flat. It starts off nicely, but has a burnt finish that overpowers this otherwise pleasant beer. I'll drink it if you're buying. (191 characters)

Photo of barczar
3.96/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big cocoa and coffee presence in aroma. In flavor, coffee dominates, and there's a bit of a harsh bitterness. I'm not a huge coffee drinker, so I'd prefer more chocolate. (170 characters)

Photo of Tsar_Riga
4.24/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - Very dark brown body, mostly translucent but only partially transparent, light tan head, some lacing.

S - The main smell is roasted malts, bready and slightly suggestive of toast. Grass and floral elements presumably come from the hops, and there is a salted caramel aspect, too.

T - Following the nose, with molasses and dough mingling with chocolate and coffee elements. A bit of soy in the middle, closing out with mild bitterness.

M - The oatmeal adds a bit of heft, giving this more body, but this remains fairly light for a stout. Quite drinkable, as the mild drying in the close keeps this from getting too burdensome.

O - A very nice, balanced stout, and a very easy drinker that will not knock you out after just one. A rich range of flavors built into a beautiful, cohesive whole. (802 characters)

Photo of jngrizzaffi
4.02/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours pitch black with a brown, 2 finger width foamy head. Head retention and lacing are decent. Has an oatmeal and coffee aroma predominantly. The roasted malts are not that strong as other stouts. There is a hint of chocolate. On taste, coffee predominates. The roasted malts are not as strong, but can detect a lighter taste, perhaps the oatmeal. Slight chocolate aftertaste. Overall a very good beer but doesn't stack up to many Imperial Stouts I have had. It is smooth. (483 characters)

Photo of DaverCS
4.2/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured little to no head. Moderate carbonation. Not too much lacing.

I get a very nice nose on this beer. I get tons of roasted coffee and intense dark chocolate ... Almost like pure coco powder. Heavy malts also present on the nose.

Taste doesn't match the richness of the nose. The intensity of the flavor is pretty flat and watery. Up front I get carbonation and wateriness followed by mild malt, mild coffee, and mild chocolate. Touch of hops at the finish.

Overall not worth the time. Pretty watery and not too much flavor despite the deceiving nose. I would pair it with smoked brisket or a porcini mushroom rubbed hangar steak. I give it a 83.5/100 (658 characters)

Photo of drdiesel9483
4.24/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Look - normal stout look
Smell - coffee cocoa smell.
Taste - great toasty cocoa taste
Feel - full body with medium carbonation. Fantastic creamy feel.
Overall - incredible oatmeal stout! (187 characters)

Photo of SABERG
3.54/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle dated 11/21/14 into a modified tulip glass.
A - Translucent, pour light slips through with little effort, initially a big
carbonation charge, settles down, leaving a thin off white cap.
S - Milk chocolate, light brown sugar and raisins, Reminds me of breakfast.
Oatmeal with yes, raisins and a sprinkle of light brown sugar. As the beer warms,
more cocoa notes develop, buried way in the back hides a little fig to tease the senses.
T - Medium roast malt, a kiss of black paten, slightly sweet, with ever present light cocoa. A delicate touch of hops tilts to a crispness that is quite pleasant.
F - Thin in body, with the light carbonation combine to leave a lot of edges. Velvet it is not, as an oatmeal stout it could use a fuller feel IMO. The beginning is muted, the finish like a quite exit, with no calling card.
O - I fell like there is something missing in this oatmeal stout, with respect to FW who do some great things. There take on this style is a little short.
Cheer all (1,014 characters)

Photo of Jwale73
3.8/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz. bottle served in a shaker pint. 11/13/14 printed on the label. Pours an inky black with a loose, quarter inch, tan-colored head that sizzles and pops and slowly dissipates towards the shoulders. Nose expresses roast, cocoa and a suggestion of artificial sweetener. Taste follows nose - coffee notes are somewhat reminiscent of coffee syrup. There's also some flaked outs in there; however, the flavor profile all comes off a bit thin. Mouthfeel is light-medium in body (but closer to light) with a water texture and a prickly carbonation. Overall, a decent oatmeal stout but I was expecting a bit more. I wouldn't mind giving this one a shot on nitro. (665 characters)

Photo of DeepBrew
3.56/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from 12 oz bottle into snifter.

A: Dark mahogany color with some foam, that disappeared quickly. Little lacing.

S: Some hop smell initially, faded almost immediately.

T: Roasted malts and coffee with very discrete hops, but without the bitterness. Taste improves as it warms and the coffee lingers pleasantly.

M: Medium-low mouthfeel and carbonation.

O: Smooth and drinkable, muted but pleasant flavors. (415 characters)

Photo of TheDoctor
4.02/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Service: Bottle
Bottled on: Sept-18-2014


A:
Pours an opaque black with two fingers of tiny-bubbled tan head that settles at a film that can occasionally be roused. OK retention; some isolated spots of lacing. (3.75)

S:
Sweet, creamy, inviting. Oats, brown sugar, milk chocolate, coffee, leather, vanilla. (4.25)

T:
Sweet and creamy. Rich, hearty chocolate flavors with oat mellowness, molasses, and Coke. (4)

M:
Light-medium body and silky with a soda-like carbonation, drinkable, slight pleasant aftertaste. (3.75)

O:
Very good Oatmeal Stout.
This beer is nice and substantial while still not huge. Something I love about oatmeal stouts.
The aroma is the first thing that hits you. It's really warm, creamy and rich and the taste (creamy mocha and toasted oats) follows suit. On down through the palate it gets progressively less 'rich'. The pop-like carbonation and thin feel kind of take away from the decadence of the rest of it for me, but also mean it is pretty easy drinking. Same goes for the slight Coke/Dr. Pepper vibe I get in the flavor... : )
Would definintely have again; worth trying if happened upon. (4) (1,140 characters)

Photo of jooler
3.8/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Smells like coffee and a hint of chocolate. Initial taste was pretty flat but the more I drank, the smoother it becomes. It is really good, better than continental breakfast stout from butchers brewing. The finish is lacking (224 characters)

Photo of keithmurray
3.73/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance - dark mahogany nearly black beer with dark tan head

Smell - roasted malts, coffee bean, chocolate, oats

Taste - similar to the aroma with roasted malts, coffee bean, chocolate and oats

Mouthfeel - medium bodied, medium carbonation, slight sweetness upfront, flavors coat the palate on the back end

Overall - decent example of the style, worth a try

Price Point - $1.89/12 oz single (398 characters)

Photo of Jeffo
3.67/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Got this one from Doopie a few weeks back. Cheers for the brew man!

From a bottle into a snifter
Bottled 18 September 2014

APPEARANCE: A clear brown pour yields a two finger, medium looking, fizzy, light tan head with half decent retention. Head fizzes down to a ring only. Clear bistre brown body with slightly higher levels of carbonation evident. Only a ring remains until the end leaving no lacing down the glass.

SMELL: Roasted notes, dark chocolate, some oats, caramel and light vanilla on the nose. Some leather and lightly burnt coffee aromas as well.

TASTE: Oats, roasted notes with chocolate and sweet caramel at the swallow. Medium strength finish of oats, lightly burnt grain, caramel sweetness, some chocolate and vanilla notes as well. Flavorful for sure, with burnt grain and leather lingering.

PALATE: Medium body and slightly higher levels of carbonation. Creamy on the palate, goes down smooth and finishes a bit sticky.

OVERALL: Good stuff. A bit over-carbonated perhaps, but perhaps that’s just the case with this particular batch. Color is a touch lighter than I’d expect as well, but that can be forgiven. A solid brew that I quite enjoyed. Cheers for the gift man! (1,202 characters)

Photo of Harvest06
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: dark brown to blackish with reddish hues
S: Coffee & Chocolate notes with a beady earthy maltiness.
T: Coffee, chocolate, bread.
M: Medium body.
O: A light yet complex ale that increases in complexity as it warms. Sets the standard for a session-able oatmeal stout. (268 characters)

Velvet Merlin from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 593 ratings.