Velvet Merlin - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 1,968 | Reviews: 527 | Display Reviews Only:
3.58/5 rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5
Reviewed from notes taken 11/7/12. Nitro-tap at The Map Room in Chicago. 12 oz pour into an orval glass
A - 1 Finger light, white-brown head. Very black beer. Looks just about how a stout should look
S - Subtle oatmeal notes. Very weak smell. I like the smell but it is very weak...smells very sweet and inviting/
T - It tastes really delicious. Milk-chocolate. Late oatmeal taste. I don't taste any Bourbon at all. It tastes really good but isn't bold enough for the style.
M - Nitro-goodness. Kind of light. Smooth and silky. Surprisingly light for the style...maybe light due to the nitrotap? Enjoyed the feel, though.
O - A really tasty beer. I wonder if this was mid-advertised and is actually the 5% non-bourbon aged version? I would have liked this to be much more bold and the flavors to be much more prominent. I enjoyed it but it tasted like a watered-down version of what I expected. It was advertised as 'Velvet Merlin', 8.7%, bourbon aged...I think it was just the normal 5%-er that they bottle
Serving type: nitro-tap
11-14-2012 03:20:30 | More by Jagen
3.8/5 rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4
Bottled on 10/08/12 at 11:52 AM.
APPEARANCE: A nice half-inch head rises up as the beer is poured, but settles in a thin cap within a minute. The color is nearly black, but a few rays of light that penetrate the top of the glass reveal more of a deep, dark brown. A few streams of bubbles slowly rise from the bottom of the glass, providing some appearance of life, but none of these bubbles or the thin cap lead to any lacing at all.
SMELL: Intense coffee aroma right out of the bottle. This one is intense in the nose and offers a roasty, mildly woody and dry smell. As it warms a touch of toffee comes through as well.
TASTE: The coffee follows the nose and is clearly the leader of the pack in the flavor department. The same roasted malt notes from the nose come through in the taste. A light citrus note enters the mix about mid sip, but quickly gets washed away by notes of chocolate, caramel and wood that come together to provide some balance to this otherwise bitter beer.
MOUTHFEEL: Big bodied and very rich, particularly for a 5.5%er. It truly is a meal in a bottle, very filling. While the Merlin has a creamy feel to it, the carbonation is solid, which gives the very dry mouthfeel a cleansing sensation especially towards the finish. There is some balance of sweet malt, but ultimately, this is on the dry side.
OVERALL: This is about as much bang for your ABV as you are going to find in a beer. At 5.5% it is rich, big and filling. It drinks more like an 8-10%er.
Serving type: bottle
11-11-2012 22:45:31 | More by StoneTSR
3.95/5 rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4
The Beers of California
Bottled Date: 9/27/12
A: Deep black with a light brown head of foam which dissipates to a faint layer of bubbles.
S: Smokey with dark chocolate and hints of espresso.
T: Bittersweet chocholate with hints of smokiness, vanilla, and espresso. Smooth, dark, sweet bread foundation. Some earthy bitterness and warming alcohol in the finish. Great flavor profile with complementing characteristics.
M. Full, creamy, and velvety smooth with good carbonation.
O: A great, smooth stout for the cold winter nights. Simple and balanced with good drinkability.
Serving type: bottle
11-11-2012 03:47:19 | More by ElSid
3.78/5 rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
A: pours a solid jet black that is boldly opaque with about 1 fingers worth of tan colored head formation with some nice lacing.
S: i pick up on a strong burnt and smokey malt backbone that is complemented by a robust coffee and oat characteristics. complexity is lacking
T: big oatmeal, only a slight smokiness with hints of dark chocolate and just a touch of vanilla. again, nothing out of the ordinary for an oatmeal stout. however I do find the balance quite nice
M: full-bodied brew, that leaves a smokiness aspect on the palate that is rather intriguing and not overwhelming. minimal carbonation
O: as previously stated, this brew lacks complexity but it makes up for it in its balance. there is a bit more of a body to this one than other oatmeal stouts that I have had in the past which is always a plus in my book. decent beer all the way around, but nothing to get to get excited about.
Serving type: bottle
11-05-2012 17:51:21 | More by tut2528
4.13/5 rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
I've never been able to get Velvet Merlin on the east coast. So, I was really excited to find it in Las Vegas. I thought that this would make for a very good choice for my 500th review. This review is taken from notes.
I got this at Todd English PUB in the Crystals. I recommend it for finding a lot of very good to great beers on tap. It is expensive, but almost everything is.
The bar served this beer in a chilled pint glass. I don't like the chilled glasses, but there was no frost on these. The coloring is as dark as midnight with minimal foarm.
You can smell coffee and peat off the top. I could also smell the fish behind me, but that didn't affect my review. I recommend the fish and chips here, but not the fish.
I taste lots of coffee and some decent brediness. There is also coffee from the roast. The aftertaste was very good as well.
I recommend this beer... if it is distributed to your area.
Serving type: on-tap
10-29-2012 21:27:10 | More by ummswimmin
4.18/5 rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4
Poured out of a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. Label states that this was bottled on "09/27/12."
Color is a blackened, brownish shade that is surprisingly thick and full looking, to the point where barely any light shines through. Not too much of a head, to my disappointment. Smallish bubbles fade away at the top of the glass and a ring resembling the top of coffee remains, with slight lacy specks on top. This is really dark, but I can see bubbles occasionally go around the glass's edges. Good stuff.
The aroma contains various aspects that are found in oatmeal stouts - other than dark grains and oats, there are coffee grounds, vanilla, a fresh herby zest, and several notes of dark wood and earthiness. The first aroma is definitely on the malty side, but there's an immediate balance with the hops and oats that makes this rich and wholly enjoyable. My mouth is already watering.
With one sip, followed by a second, I can immediately label this as the most balanced beer I've had by FW to date. There's an initial strong flavor of lovely chocolate malts, richened oats, and smooth, subtle coffee bean notes, but there are quickly - just as in the aroma - aided by the hops and slight yeasty flavors to create enormous balance and enjoyability. The aftertaste is slightly warming, and also rather smoky. There's a slight astringency that remains even a minute or so afterwards, which is rather unpleasant but not the biggest problem.
A very good oatmeal stout by FW, especially for its budget offering. I could definitely have more of these due to its rich, full-bodied experience at such a good price. Great stuff by FW, and I could definitely have more.
Serving type: bottle
10-28-2012 06:00:08 | More by magictacosinus
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.
Serving type: bottle
10-25-2012 14:39:04 | More by Scotchboy
Velvet Merlin from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
90 out of 100 based on 1,968 ratings.