Velvet Merlin - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 2,010 | Reviews: 531 | Display Reviews Only:
4.55/5 rDev +13.2%
Nearly black in color when you pour it into a pint glass. Not too much head or lacing. Looks very appetizing however. Smell of oatmeal chocolate, vague raisin bread perhaps, and a wee bit of molasses? Great smell. The taste is slightly underwhelming at first but as the beer warms, the complexity begins to come out more, and it's almost like the perfect combo between a cream stout and chocolate stout. And the best part of the beer is the mouthfeel. It lives up to the name, feels very velvet, goes down smooth and full, leaving you satisfied. Overall this is a beer I will absolutely come back to again each year around winter.
11-16-2011 05:35:00 | More by ely2000k
4.38/5 rDev +9%
Poured from a 12oz brown bottle into a clear glass tumbler. Freshness date on bottle neck. Purchased at Zain's Liquors (San Francisco, CA).
A: Black with dark brown edges, soft, foamy 1-finger beige head with good retention and copious lacing.
S: Chocolate and dark maltiness are most prominent with some raisin, smoky malts, and light whiskey
T: The smoky bourbon flavor is delightful and really adds a delicate and unique touch that really moves this beer up a tier. The chocolate notes are sumptuous and the the caramel component, not really very obvious in the aroma, comes through to give a lightly fudgy finish.
M: Very smooth and lush with medium body and low carbonation.
O: A really well-styled oatmeal stout that I wish they distributed more widely. It is one of FW's best everyday beers.
11-16-2011 02:21:42 | More by argock
3.43/5 rDev -14.7%
Pronounced cereal, grainy flavor. Big dose of charred malt with that touch of sourness. Hops are pretty much in the background. Decent head on the black-brown pour. Very light body with appropriate carbonation for a refreshing mouthfeel. Fairly dry but there is a touch of caramel. Spicy in the back of the throat. Just a slight nose of roast grain.
Pleasant drinkable average stout. Not quite the "velvet" one might hope for.
11-13-2011 01:59:53 | More by mactrail
3.95/5 rDev -1.7%
Pour is dark cola color - a bit cloudy when heald to light. Tan head turns wispy in a moment or two. Nose of roasted malt and chocolate.
Medium mouthfeel on entry - a pretty straight through mouthfeel until the finish when an astringency develops in the back of the mouth and leaves a roast and chocolate fade. Creaminess from oatmeal is evident.
The chocolate bar forward flavor profile is quite nice. Roast is present but not overpowering. A flavorful stout - well constructed.
11-12-2011 05:47:21 | More by sweethome
4.4/5 rDev +9.5%
The pour reveals a cola brown liquid exiting the glass, settling into the glass an opaque black color. One and a half finger fizzy malted milk colored head is set atop. The head recedes in a rather quick manner, leaving a rocky ring lingering on the outside. Moderate lacing clings to the walls of the glass.
The aroma is very pleasing, a bit more assertive than I imagined. A pleasant roasted character is prominent up front. The roasted aroma dances in between malt and coffee aromas. Warmth subdues the sweetness and really expands the aroma. Cocoa powder aroma really builds on what was picked up before. The roast somehow becomes more integrated.
The flavor comes in layers, displaying tremendous balance. Sweet chocolate and creme flavors roll across the tongue. A pleasant roasted malt and java develop just behind. There is a subtle caramel flavor which peaks its head out from below rounding out the flavor. As the beer sits and warms the sweet chocolate moves towards a bittersweet chocolate flavor, the medium roasted coffee flavor moves to a darker, fuller roast.
The mouthfeel is absolute perfection, I see no room for improvement here. Medium bodied Oatmeal Stout delivering a smooth, creamy, dare I say velvety texture.
We all have our preferences in beers and styles. I have a definite preference for the bigger stouts. The bodies are fuller, the flavors more intense, they simple appeal to me much more than their smaller counterparts. If their were more stouts like Velvet Merlin out there, I may change my mind. Flavors are bold and balanced, the body smooth and creamy. I find it hard to admit sometimes that another state makes a better stout than what is available in Michigan, at least a Kalamazoo boy is responsible for this one. Absolutely awesome beer, fantastic. Big thanks to KevSal for the bottle.
11-11-2011 00:18:29 | More by kzoobrew
3.83/5 rDev -4.7%
Poured into a huge Duvel tulip glass. I poured aggressive and got a huge 4 inch tanish head, that fell quickly, leaving a good amount of lacing. A light black color on the beer itself. Smell is dark roasted malts, chocolate, coffee, hints of toffee, and some piney hops. Taste is lots of expresso, really dominates, but it isn't a bad thing. Body is fairly thin, but that is expected for the modest abv. Kind of dry, with a good amount of life. A nice beer, I would drink this a good amount if it was available.
11-10-2011 23:36:59 | More by SawDog505
4.03/5 rDev +0.2%
Pours a dark brown, yet pitch black in the glass. Nice 1 finger foamy tan head with great retention and lacing.
Dark bitter malt and oats along with dark bittersweet chocolate make up the nose.
Flavor has the same characteristics as the nose but brighter and more robust. Nice balance. Notes of bittersweet chocolate, nice oatmeal and dark malt. Very pleasant and slightly sweet after taste.
Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy. Pretty much full bodied with medium creamy carb.
Overall a great oatmeal stout that's a pleasure to look forward to around the holidays every year.
11-10-2011 23:11:57 | More by MrVonzipper
4.05/5 rDev +0.7%
Single bottle into two glasses with oglmcdgl, an extra in a recent trade. Hopefully six packs make it over here some day.
A- Out of the bottle Merkin looks a dirty brown bordering on black. Once it's all together it has a black appearance but up to light it has brown and reddish spots. A steady pour yielded a frothy milkshake like head with great retention, minor stick.
S- A very deep creamy appeal to this one as im getting a lot of chocolate as well as the advertised oatmeal. A bunch of roasted malt is a strong contender as well. A very small amount of coffee.
T- This is a very nice oatmeal stout with a huge creaminess, perhaps the most I've had from this style. A bunch of oatmeal & chocolate with slight burnt coffee. A nice amount of hops to balance all those dark flavors. Great flavor from this very fresh bottle
M- Medium to slightly thick in the mouth which I was not expecting from the look of the pour. Creamy as hell, smooth as silk. Carbed up without being bitey at all, yet a small bitterness from the roast coffee.
D- At 5.5% this is quite drinkable and with the robust flavors I could drink a few without getting bored. One of the better examples of an oatmeal stout that I've had. I enjoy everything I have had from this brewery.
11-10-2011 06:41:20 | More by BARFLYB
Velvet Merlin from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
90 out of 100 based on 2,010 ratings.