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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

2,437 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,437
Reviews: 574
rAvg: 4.01
pDev: 10.22%
Wants: 203
Gots: 360 | FT: 7
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: 2,437 | Reviews: 574 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of kiki3drt292
4/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of Kegatron
4.07/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a deep brown (some ruby highlights come out across the bottom), with a finger of smooth light mocha colored head. This maintains a thin foaminess that skims the top of the glass, leaving back a rich cascade of spotty lacing that dots the sides of the glass. The aroma smells of sweet oatmeal notes up front, before giving away to an underlying mix of cocoa, roast, and a good bit of green citrus flavor. The oatmeal is really standing out to me here in the nose and I’m digging it.

The taste is similar to the nose, with a smooth smelling mélange of flaked oatmeal and chocolate that then leads into a leafy citrus profile across the back. Some light roasted character sits underneath and combos with the hops to finish this a bit bitter with an extra smidge of burnt toast on the tail end. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and initially prickly on the tongue, which helps draw out some of that hops and roast, but there is also an easy feeling silkiness on the edges of this, courtesy of that oatmeal, which gives this an overall crisp slickness in the mouth that works.

This was quite a robust and easy drinking Oatmeal Stout, with a good bit of well balanced flavor that didn’t skimp on the oatmeal character one bit. I’m not sure if this one is making distribution yet on the East Coast but it’s definitely one that I’m going to keep an eye out for.

Photo of tony223366
4.15/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Fantastic head! Filled up my entire tulip. 3 fingers of tan, rocky head. Bubbles of all sizes and lacing is already apparent. Color is a deep, deep brown with the faintest hint of red. Clarity is good but no light can get through.

S: I'm getting tons of rich coffee aromas, some chocolate too. A little tobacco. Nice smokiness from the roasted malts.

T: Flavor mirrors the nose. Lots of rich roasted malts. That Earthy, almost tobacco flavor is here. Hops are much more present in a very lightly clean and citrusy way. I love that there's a nice bitter finish. Dark chocolate is always there. A really clean finish as well.

M: Can tell oatmeal is present, nice creaminess. Good carbonation. Maybe a smidge thin.

O: I love how drinkable this is. The aroma and body didn't knock me out but the clean, crisp flavors are incredibly attractive. Nice work from one of my favorite breweries.

Photo of ralphw56
3.75/5  rDev -6.5%

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

Pours brown, almost black, with a huge mocha head that hangs out for a bit before becoming a ring which left behind some lacing.

Smell is of roasted malt, earthy bitter tobacco, a hint of the sweet malt and bitter chocolate.

Taste is similar to the nose, lots of bitter roasted malt, a touch of hop brightness, and enough bitter baker's chocolate to say it's there. Not much on the sweet flavor for me though.

Feels bubbly and light, easy to drink, though medium bodied. It did have a bite to it, which was different.

I liked this beer, after drinking Imperials for awhile now, it's kind of like a lighter version, one that I enjoyed.

DOA

Photo of KAF
4/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of nickfl
4/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of TaySuth
4.62/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Dark brown with a minimal head and moderate lacing.

Smell: Amazing smell with hints of chocolate, oatmeal, coffee, and caramel. Absolutely excellent.

Taste: Great balance between the chocolate, oatmeal, coffee, and caramel flavors. Good amount of bitterness. Delicious.

Mouthfeel: Just the right amount of carbonation. Solid body without feeling too thick. Smooth finish.

Overall: Very pleased with this beer. Great balance, smooth finish, and a delicious taste.

Photo of MaxAdvo
4.5/5  rDev +12.2%

Photo of JacStance
4/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of Jspriest
4.5/5  rDev +12.2%

Photo of largefarva
5/5  rDev +24.7%

Photo of ygtbsm94
3/5  rDev -25.2%

Photo of Beaver13
3.38/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle. Pours dark brown with a big creamy light tan head that retains well and laces the glass a little.

The aroma is roasted malt, oatmeal and some coffee.

The flavor is a little on the mild side - some sweet chocolate and caramel malts with some earthy coffee notes. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and fairly watery.

Overall, a decent oatmeal stout, but a little on the mild and sweet side. I slightly preferred the Slow Elk by Big Sky which is very similar.

Photo of xxcarpxx
4/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of csiewert
3.5/5  rDev -12.7%

Photo of tobelerone
4.42/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Finally got to try this one while on the west coast over Christmas. We only get a handful of FW beers on the east coast at the moment, which is a shame, because I’ve really enjoyed them all and I’d buy this one on a regular basis if I could.

This is a tasty and very easy drinking beer. Pours dark brown, almost black, with a smallish head and minimal lacing. Opaque. A roasty aroma of coffee and vanilla, a touch of sweetness and a bit of a bitter note.

The flavor is all of those things: roasted, with coffee and vanilla, plus a touch of cherry, perhaps, and a general gentle sweetness, finishing with a lightly hopped bitterness. Subtle fruitiness. I’d describe this almost as a porter with coffee, chocolate, vanilla, and cherry. Bourbon and wood make an appearance as well. All of these flavors are here but they’re well balanced and none of them are all that strong despite being rather distinctive. This is not a big beer, just a very tasty one with more subtle flavor notes than one might expect. It really opens up to reveal them as it sits a bit.

The medium to thin body and lively, but not prickly, carbonation also put me more in mind of a porter than an oatmeal stout, although the creaminess of the body is fitting to the style. I really enjoyed this one, it’s definitely right up my alley, and would find a regular spot in my fridge along side Union Jack if it made it to stores over here.

Photo of CasanovaCummins
4.22/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

Just yum. Silky smooth chocolate coco puffs in liquid form.

This is an everyday kind of pour that you just don't get tired of. The dram you go back to again and again. Great texture. Great consistently deep flavors. Lots of warm darkness.

This is a jazzy Morgana King type of beer. Velvety and soft-spoken, yet deeply sexy. More to the traditional side. All polish and depth.

Photo of sukwonee
3.5/5  rDev -12.7%

Photo of cycoduck
4/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of tbern007
3.86/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours very dark brown/black, gigantic head, very good lacing.
Scent is lighter than I expect- coffee, mild chocolate, roasted malt, slight sweetness of the chocolate.
Taste is of primarily coffee, mild chocolate.
Very light- less carbonated, not as creamy as I would have liked.
Overall good- the mouthfeel is a little disappointing.

Photo of beergod1
4.2/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep, brown out of the bottle, sitting almost black in the glass. The head is small and tan, leaving streaks of lacing. Aroma is mainly toasted chocolate malt and oatmeal. There are hints of coffee and cocoa powder as well. Taste is more of the same and predominantly chocolate with bitter espresso, with a healthy dose of oatmeal in finish to make it very creamy. The mouth feel is light to medium bodied and feels a tad thin, though it is a low ABV stout. This is a very drinkable. I wish I wouldn't have threw in my other one as an extra in a trade.

Photo of Jtthegreat
4/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of towlea25
3.5/5  rDev -12.7%

Photo of RXUYDC
4.5/5  rDev +12.2%

Velvet Merlin from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
90 out of 100 based on 2,437 ratings.