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Velvet Merlin - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Velvet MerlinVelvet Merlin

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2,449 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,449
Reviews: 577
rAvg: 4.01
pDev: 10.22%
Wants: 201
Gots: 367 | FT: 8
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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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,449 | Reviews: 577 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of RashyGrillCook
3.93/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed "live". Bottle dated 9/27/12 served in a Chimay 150th anniversary glass while watching "The Outlaw Josey Wales". A seemingly appropriate movie for an oatmeal stout.

A. Pours a very dark brown, though not completely opaque, allowing the ruby highlights to occasionally shine through. One finger bone colored head dissipates fairly rapidly, but leaves a long lasting ring and thin island like overlay dancing around in the middle .

s. Roasted malts are prevalent, some caramel malt sweetness, and whole wheat bread here.

t. Roasted malt and slight hop bitterness up front. Espresso notes on finish. Very smooth throughout the palate. No harsh notes on this one.

m. Very creamy and smooth coating the palate with incredible stride. This is where the beer excels in my opinion. Exactly the way an oatmeal stout should feel.

Photo of FalconA
4/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of Jasonrm72
3.5/5  rDev -12.7%

Photo of ColiLovesRegen13
4.5/5  rDev +12.2%

Photo of gshak
4.5/5  rDev +12.2%

Photo of JohnnyChicago
4.25/5  rDev +6%

Photo of Jagen
3.58/5  rDev -10.7%
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

Photo of yoitsarch
3.75/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of g_jenkins
3.75/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of MrD
4.25/5  rDev +6%

Photo of StoneTSR
3.84/5  rDev -4.2%
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.

Photo of Gtotango
3.75/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of ElSid
3.93/5  rDev -2%
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.

Photo of tswater
4.25/5  rDev +6%

Photo of Obliquity
4.25/5  rDev +6%

Photo of ejhansen7
4.52/5  rDev +12.7%

Photo of Broden
4.5/5  rDev +12.2%

Photo of kchannel9
3.5/5  rDev -12.7%

Photo of Rudy
4/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of Phillip_Collins1219
3.75/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of bifrost17
3.5/5  rDev -12.7%

Photo of tut2528
3.73/5  rDev -7%
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.

Photo of BeerNW
2.5/5  rDev -37.7%

Photo of Samwhyz
4/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of Ozzy2004Ironman
4.25/5  rDev +6%

Velvet Merlin from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
90 out of 100 based on 2,449 ratings.