1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Velvet Merlin - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Velvet MerlinVelvet Merlin

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

2,322 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,322
Reviews: 556
rAvg: 4.01
pDev: 10.22%
Wants: 203
Gots: 308 | 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)
View: Beers (79) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 2,322 | Reviews: 556 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Beertracker
4.58/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

FW's Velvet Merkin pours up with an incredible effervescence which creates a cascading tannish-brown colored head above the deep mahogany-jet black body. The head retention is phenomenal with lots of wonderful lacing that clings to the side of the glass. The aroma is very complex for a "smaller" beer with notes of cocoa roasted almonds, bread pudding, hot chocolate, cordial cherries, marzipan, mocha, rumcake, toasted coconut & warm vanilla wafers. Really great stuff! There's maybe just a touch of spiciness from a late hop addition? The flavor starts off with a fresh coffee character sustained by a lovely roastiness followed by a touch of nuttiness (almond/hazelnut) complimented by some caramel sweetness which is superbly balanced by a moderate bitterness which creates an off-dry, bittersweet & somewhat fruity (blackberry, cherry) finish. The overall flavor isn't quite as complex as the aroma, but still very good for its strength. The body is medium-light with a mouthfeel that's as smooth as a baby's bottom. I'm admittingly not a huge 'stoutfan' but this is one terrific oatmeal stout and definitely worth seeking out for any stout lover!

CHEERS! Beertracker

Photo of moju
4.5/5  rDev +12.2%

Photo of Telestic
4/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of Nerudamann
3.5/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

Look – dark brown with a light tan colored foam.

Smell – typical sweet, but dark roasted type of smell that you would get from any oatmeal stout.

Taste – more bitter than I would have expected from this type of brew, but the usual caramelized type of taste you would normally expect from a stout does come out, but more toward the middle. The bitterness looms in the beginning and end. The aftertaste feels a bit smoky.

Mouthfeel – not extremely so, but definitely more on the creamy side.

Overall – fairly interesting brew to think about while tasting, and a decent taste in and of itself.

Photo of McStagger
4.08/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Big pour of dark...near opaque foamy goodness. Murky, very dark brown with a hint of garnet outline. Head is two fingers of beige. Retention is mediocre. Lacing is stellar.

S: Roasty notes of coffee, toffee, milk chocolate and roasted cacao. Bits of caramel sweetness peak through the nose as well.

T: Nice sweet chocolate and mocha intro transitions beautiful into awesome nuttiness and roastiness that is absolutely amazing. Seriously, like a perfect roasted civet coffee finish. Not at all hop bitter. The mild bitterness in this brew is directly tied into the roasted flavors coming from it.

M: Lacks that full mouthfeel in a stout. A tad on the thin side.

O: All over the board here on the notes. Definitely a great brew, don't get me wrong. And I payed 5 bucks for a six pack of it, so I am NOT complaining. I'd be really interested to see how this is on tap.

Photo of hawkmage
3/5  rDev -25.2%

Photo of peacebone116
4.47/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up at the brewery in Paso on 12/26/11; poured into tulip glasses.

A: Quickly fading khaki head that rests upon a deep dark brown body. There is considerable lacing on the legs and visible carbonation along all sides of the glass at the pour.

N: Rich coffee and chocolate.

T/M: Beer follows the nose with a wonderful roasty characteristic. There is a subtle tartness in the middle that compliments the malt's sweetness; this aspect, as it warms becomes complex and somewhat boozy. The body is light to medium, with an oily texture that coats the mouth with a wonderfully even bitterness. Even after three days in the growler, there is enough carbonation.

Overall, this is a wonderful stout. It is complex and tasty despite the fact that it is not imperialized, which seems to be a bit of a neglected concept.

Photo of OWSLEY069
3.3/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours jet black with a light brown head. In the aroma, a light roast and a small sweetness. In the taste, sweet cocoa and a light roast. A smooth and medium to lighter bodied mouthfeel, with a small dry cocoa in the aftertaste. A bit thin across the board, nothing really exciting, nice but boring.

Photo of savagepm
4.5/5  rDev +12.2%

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

12 oz bottle poured into a snifter

A - Pours a dark brown with a two-finger off-white head. Head retention is better than average. Solid lacing covered the sides of the glass.

S - Nice blend of roasted malts, coffee and sweet chocolate. As simple as that.

T - Oats and roasted malts hit the palate, followed by bitter coffee notes. There's a grainy feel as well. It finishes with velvety milk chocolate that coats the back of the throat.

M - Creamy, velvety and smooth. Such a treat to drink. Medium body with a slightly viscous feel. Lower end of medium in terms of carbonation.

O - Pretty solid oatmeal stout. While I did enjoy Velvet Merkin much better, I still think this is a really good beer to pick up a sixer of. Nothing super complex or complicated but well balanced and tasty. I don't always need to be blown away by a beer. I sometimes just need a really good beer that I can enjoy a few off. This beer fits that.

Photo of airforceale
5/5  rDev +24.7%

Photo of SageO
4/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of spamages
3/5  rDev -25.2%

Photo of Catchy_Name
4/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of Sargully
5/5  rDev +24.7%

Photo of tvv375ia
4.03/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured from 12oz bottle into pint glass

A-dark brown with some ruby around the edges with about a finger of head that faded to a nice cap

S-some roasted coffee with a little chocolate

T-much like the smell starts with some dark roast coffee and a little bit of chocolate

M- good carbonation with a nice medium body

O-really good glad I got the chance to try this one if I am ever somewhere they have this I will pick some up

Photo of TheFlern
3.5/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Very dark brown, not black. Off white head. Dissipates to a thing head covering the surface. Minimal lacing.

Smell: Light burnt notes. Small amounts of roastiness. Light oat aroma. hearty

Taste: follows the nose, not as thick tasting as it smelling.

Mouthfeel: pretty average. good carbonation. slightly bitter from the malt.

Overall: this isn't bad but it isn't anything worth seeking out. If you haven't tried it and you want to give it a shot I wouldn't dissuade you but I wouldn't persuade you to try this beer over another oatmeal stout of the same quality and price. Meh.

Photo of StoutFest
3/5  rDev -25.2%

Photo of mettkea
4.5/5  rDev +12.2%

Photo of CelticAleMan
4/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of jophish17
4/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of PowDay
4/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of ObeMaltKinobee
4/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of mhenson42
4.5/5  rDev +12.2%

Photo of vicsju1991
3.88/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

poured 12 oz bottle into duvel snifter
A - poured dark black, solid two finger white head, good retention
S - sweet malts, coffee, chocolate
T - coffee, chocolate, sweet malts, follows the nose
M - the best mouth feel ever, so smooth and creamy and amazing
O - very amazingly drinkable beer, good taste, very good beer

Velvet Merlin from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
90 out of 100 based on 2,322 ratings.