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Velvet Merlin - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Velvet MerlinVelvet Merlin

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

2,447 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,447
Reviews: 577
rAvg: 4.01
pDev: 10.22%
Wants: 203
Gots: 364 | 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.

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ufa ... tube_gdata 
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,447 | Reviews: 577 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ummswimmin
4.08/5  rDev +1.7%
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.

Photo of magictacosinus
4.15/5  rDev +3.5%
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.

Photo of boogercrack
4/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of Scotchboy
4.05/5  rDev +1%
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.

Photo of Auraan
4.75/5  rDev +18.5%

Photo of brbrocc
4/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of mattdbh
4.25/5  rDev +6%

Photo of matttttYCE
4.09/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tan creamy head, a little less than a finger high. Pitch black color. Smell is really nice. Milk chocolates, roasty and burnt malts, oats, coffee, molasses, hazelnut. Taste is along the same lines. Milk chocolate, roasted malts, oats, some lactose notes almost, light coffee, molasses, nut/hazelnut. Very drinkable, light but flavorful. Smooth and creamy consistency, light carbonation, medium body, and a nice light finish.

Overall great beer. Pleasantly flavorful and drinkable for being a lighter brew, especially at 5.5% Definitely one of the better oatmeal stouts. Must try, in my opinion.

Photo of Goblinmunkey7
4.05/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Black, not pitch, but black. Some deep reds when held to direct light. Head is tan, creamy and full. Drops to a small head, more lacing than expected. Small cap retains the creamy aspect.

Smell: Oats, malted barley, super grainy. Roasted malts. Chocolate malts. Nice levels of caramelization and sweetness. Milk chocolate mixed with some deeper cocoa edges. Some old coffee. Smells like breakfast. Sweetness pushes something akin to light molasses. Chewy.

Taste: Roasty. Toasted edge. Caramel sweetness. Oats and old coffee. Some solid chocolate notes. Milk, dark, and even some cocoa. Light bitterness from the roast. Burnt sugar. Light molasses. Vaguely nutty. Breakfast candy bar. Some smoke and char in the back. Vague earthiness as well.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and creamy. Light moderate carbonation. Medium body. So smooth.

Overall: Avast ye smooth wizard!

Sets the new standard for an oatmeal stout. Roasty and smooth. It makes me hungry and that's what it should do. Malted goodness layered with chocolate and happiness.

Photo of Monte65
1/5  rDev -75.1%

Photo of 2GOOFY
4.25/5  rDev +6%

Photo of Trio2shine
4.25/5  rDev +6%

Photo of CEDAMA
5/5  rDev +24.7%

Photo of CommanderOfAwesome
3.15/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: Thick and dark brown with minimal head and some slight lacing.

S: Getting some coffee flavoring, and Molasses.

T:Taste like a weak stout, or perhaps even a porter. Bold flavors fade quickly in the mouth. Oatmeal flavor comes in the finish, esp after a big swig.

M: Medium bodied

O: It's decent, I'm definitely a little disappointed as FS usually delivers. It's not bad but not great.

Photo of NWer
4.05/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Promoted as a Merkin @ local joint known for small number but top quality tap line.
Couldn't wait.
Enjoyed the beer enough but where was the bourbon? I reviewed it as a Merkin & blamed the thin taste on too cold serving temperature.
Elliott Bay Pizza later tweeted that it wasn't a Merkin at all but a Merlin.
That's better. Explains the taste but still doesn't excuse the serving temperature.
Still, I have the growler to go & can give it an updated rating on my terms in the future.
With the $10 price tag for the growler, not complaining at all. Should have known it was too good to be true. They're allowed to screw up once in a while. They're still my go-to local place for pizza & killer beer.
As a non-bourbon barrel aged oatmeal stout, this is excellent and more in line with what I expect from FW not the disappointment when I expected it to be a Merkin. Deleted my Merkin review.

Photo of ystazi
3.5/5  rDev -12.7%

Photo of eawolff99
4/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of Pinche_Oso
3.75/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of JonJSt
4.5/5  rDev +12.2%

Photo of KimenTshom
3.5/5  rDev -12.7%

Photo of rolltide8425
3.75/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of t0rin0
4.25/5  rDev +6%

Photo of arash1000
4.5/5  rDev +12.2%

Photo of Schwillis
4.5/5  rDev +12.2%

Photo of The_Kings_Quart
3.01/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a slick, oily blackish brown. 3 fingers of pale tan head that doesn't linger. Nice, frothy lacing.

Smell: Toasty malts, maple syrup, slight coffee notes, raisins (?).

Taste: Robust malts that fall away too fast. Interesting combination of spices leading to a burnt sugar/diner coffee finish. Thick and clingy. Disappointing.

Mouthfeel: Heavy, heavy carbonation that makes it unpleasant to savor. Like someone brewed up some malted soda pop.

Overall: I like Firestone, and this was a decent attempt, but the brew lacks the follow through I feel it ought to have. I don't see myself getting up for another bottle.

Velvet Merlin from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
90 out of 100 based on 2,447 ratings.