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Velvet Merlin - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Velvet MerlinVelvet Merlin

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2,337 Ratings
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Ratings: 2,337
Reviews: 556
rAvg: 4.01
pDev: 10.22%
Wants: 204
Gots: 309 | FT: 6
Brewed by:
Firestone Walker Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Oatmeal Stout |  5.50% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes/Commercial Description:
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 

(Beer added by: largadeer on 11-13-2008)
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Ratings: 2,337 | Reviews: 556 | Display Reviews Only:
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4/5  rDev -0.2%

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4.25/5  rDev +6%

Photo of dorf
4/5  rDev -0.2%

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

12oz bottle purchased at Huckleberry’s in Spokane. No freshness date.

Poured a super dark brown color that took on a subtle rubyish hue when held up to light. Two fingers of tan, bubbly foam perched on top, then dropped down to a skiff. Spotty lace.

Roasted malts give off coffeeish notes. There’s also some chocolate and caramel scents.

Starts out with a bitter, coffeeish flavor and some acidic notes. Then the sweet, chocolaty flavor kicks in and provides balance. Mild zap at the finish.

Velvet Merlin has a velvet mouthfeel.

A very tasty oatmeal stout. Maybe not as great as Anderson Valley’s, but stil pretty good.

Photo of Piason
3.25/5  rDev -19%

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5/5  rDev +24.7%

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4/5  rDev -0.2%

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4/5  rDev -0.2%

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4.5/5  rDev +12.2%

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4/5  rDev -0.2%

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4.5/5  rDev +12.2%

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3/5  rDev -25.2%

Photo of PunkFloyd
4.25/5  rDev +6%

Photo of rowmine
3.75/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of herman77
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Just a shade lighter than black. Foamy light tan head. Decent spotty lacing.

S: Roasted malt, chocolate cake and coffee. A bit of carmel in the mix too.

T: Mild sweetness up front with a bit of coffee, coco and carmel malts. Slight roasted malt and a bit of hop bitterness on the backend. On their website it says that it is partially aged in bourbon barrels. If you think hard enough, you can kind of taste it or maybe its me just thinking I can taste it?

M: Medium body. Nice and smooth as a good oatmeal stout should be.

O: Very, very drinkable. I wish I could of tried it a little fresher since it was bottled 1/24/12, but still good enough to get a feel for what it is. Pretty solid.

Photo of seanmugs
4.25/5  rDev +6%

Photo of 3Hops
4.25/5  rDev +6%

Photo of John_M
3.9/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On cask at Max's today.

The beer pours a blackish brown color with good head retention and lacing. The nose is a bit shy, but I still pick up some nice coffee, light vanilla and light bourbon and light chocolate. On the palate... you can tell this is a low alcohol beer, but damn does it deliver a lot of flavor. The flavor profile basically replicates the nose, but there's just more of everything. There's also a hint of tobacco, smoke and earthiness in the finish that I appreciate as well. It helps to dry out the modest sweetness in this beer. Mouthfeel is pretty good. The beer is soft and plush on the palate, though it's a bit thin as well (but at 5.5% abv., that's hardly a surprise).

While nothing earth shattering here, it's hard not to be impressed with a beer showing this much flavor with such low alcohol. Pretty impressive really...

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4/5  rDev -0.2%

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4/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of Brown120
3/5  rDev -25.2%

Photo of rand
3.93/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From 12 oz bottle to pint

Pitch black in appearance, Velvet Merlin forms a relatively small off-tan head that dissipates quickly. Burnt toffee-malts and notes of earthy multi-grain bread make the somewhat faint nose, with a touch of lingering unsweetened chocolate. The flavors are more vibrant, as tastes of dry chocolate meet toasty malts. A stodgy yet 'velvety' smooth complexion yields coffee tones mid-sip, which play nicely against the brew's woody backdrop. A hint of berry-sweetness lingers somewhere back there in the distance, as the brew finishes dry and slightly bitter.

If you're wondering about the name change, Velvet Merlin WAS formally called Velvet Merkin. They got into some PR trouble (Google Merkin and you'll see why) so they avoided the hassle and changed it to Merlin. I was up at the brewpub in Paso Robles some weeks ago and they've named another beer Velvet Merkin, a sort-of 'big brother' to the Merlin (I think it was the Merlin, barrel-aged, but I could be wrong and I don't feel like looking it up right now). Whatever you want to call it, for a low ABV oatmeal stout, you could do a lot worse. This is widely available here in San Diego and it's become a sort of session-stout for me. Smooth and toasty and tasty.

Photo of Mollerina
4.25/5  rDev +6%

Photo of Gmann
3.48/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A. Pours near pitch black color with a short but dense head. Some lacing on the glass.

S. the aroma has light chocolate notes quite nutty. Light overall roast.

T. The taste is of a chalky chocolate. Good roasted nut flavor. A bit of an herbal bark flavor going on. Smooth from the oat but an odd flavor going on.

The feel is quite dry and chalky. Too chalky. The roast is light and flavorful. Meh.

O. A bit disappointed in this way too dry. Decent flavor. Both this and the bourbon barrel aged version didn't really do it for me. Too chalky.

Photo of spinrsx
3.75/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle from Whole Foods Las Vegas for 1.99$

Appearance - Dark brown colour with a large size frothy light brown head. I can't make out the amount of carbonation showing and there is some good lacing. The head lasted for over 5 minutes.

Smell - Malts, chocolate, oatmeal

Taste & Mouth - There is an average amount of carbonation and I can taste malts, coffee, chocolate, and oatmeal. There was also a touch of smoke and a bit of a cola flavour. It ends with a grainy chocolate aftertaste with a hint of lingering smoke.

Overall - The appearance of this beer once poured was really great. A beautiful fluffy/rocky/foamy head. Oh ya, it tasted pretty good too. Although there are better oatmeal stouts available to me locally.

Velvet Merlin from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
90 out of 100 based on 2,337 ratings.