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Velvet Merlin - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Velvet MerlinVelvet Merlin

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

2,046 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,046
Reviews: 533
rAvg: 4.02
pDev: 9.95%
Wants: 174
Gots: 221 | 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:
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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,046 | Reviews: 533 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of donkeyrunner
4.25/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

$7 for 14 oz at Meadhall, Cambridge MA

Dark browny black with a thin, quick to dissipate head.

Smells smooth. I know that's not a scent but it does. Mushy brownie batter or moist chocolate trifle with more and more char emerging as VM warms.

Features the usual chocolate and roast malt flavors but the mix and creamy mouthfeel just makes this a better tasting oatmeal stout. Mild something in the back - orange mint? Bigger body than 5.5%.

donkeyrunner, Mar 06, 2014
Photo of Moheban
3.75/5  rDev -6.7%

Moheban, Mar 06, 2014
Photo of trubeernick
3.25/5  rDev -19.2%

trubeernick, Mar 06, 2014
Photo of jkeefe1800
4/5  rDev -0.5%

jkeefe1800, Mar 06, 2014
Photo of sbangs
4.25/5  rDev +5.7%

sbangs, Mar 06, 2014
Photo of banger7
4.25/5  rDev +5.7%

banger7, Mar 06, 2014
Photo of imscotty
3.8/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours with a modest tan colored head that settles quickly. Very little lacing. The beer is dark brown in color with a reddish tinge when held to the light.

S: Smell some dark fruit, coffee, malt. Some slight earthy tones, not overly aromatic.

T: The slightly bitter coffee flavor is the most forward. Some chocolate, malt and almond notes. Nothing too aggressive or complex. The finish is dry and prominently taste slightly bitter coffee.

M: I think this beer is surprisingly thin and watery for the style, more like a black ale. Fairly well carbonated.

O: The flavor is good but not spectacular or overly complex. I feel the mouthfeel is off for the style and detracts from the beer. This is a very drinkable brew but not a world class beer. Even Firestone Walker hits singles sometimes.

imscotty, Mar 05, 2014
Photo of wvsabbath
3.98/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Serving Type - Bottle

Appearance - Black, dark brown with trances of tan, 1/4 inch creamy head, nice thick lacing.

Smell - Smoked malts, raisin, plum, figs, brown sugar, some chocolate and cocoa, faint coffee and a little vanilla.

Taste - Starts off very silky with additions of coffee and chocolate. Oatmeal adds a bittered flavor. Smoked malts add boldness. Dark fruits give a nice fruity flavor that works well to add sweetness to balance the bitterness of the oatmeal and coffee. Cocoa and honey come out more as this warms up.

Mouthfeel - Rather light on the tongue. Smoked malts, chocolate and coffee are main flavors on the tongue. Palate gets dark fruits, and a little honey and vanilla. Aftertaste is malty, and actually a little watered down bitter.

Overall - Really good. Smooth, easy to drink and enjoy. Balanced really well and nothing is overdone flavor wise. Only gripe keeping this world class is the finish is a little watery, weak. Still solid and worth a drink.

wvsabbath, Mar 05, 2014
Photo of beav19
4/5  rDev -0.5%

beav19, Mar 05, 2014
Photo of OffroadFever
4.5/5  rDev +11.9%

OffroadFever, Mar 04, 2014
Photo of jbeervt
4.25/5  rDev +5.7%

jbeervt, Mar 04, 2014
Photo of WVbeergeek
4/5  rDev -0.5%

WVbeergeek, Mar 04, 2014
Photo of stoppertb18
4.25/5  rDev +5.7%

stoppertb18, Mar 03, 2014
Photo of DenverHopHead
4.18/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bottle with a bottled on date of 1/25/14; into a pint glass.
Appearance - very black, but the bottom of the pint glass reveals a mahogany glare. Some carbonation bubbles are noticeable as it builds a creamy, egg shell white head. Lacing was relatively weak for the style.
Smell - dark chocolate, vanilla, coffee and graham crackers!
Taste - pleasantly surprising rich, robust flavors! Taste mirrors the nose, very nice!
Feel - creamy mouthfeel, with some bitterness from the robust coffee and dark chocolate flavor.
Overall - an easy drinking stout that reminds me more of a rich, coffee stout, as opposed to an oatmeal stout.

DenverHopHead, Mar 03, 2014
Photo of ryan1788a5
3.9/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: Black on the pour with what appears to be good clarity. Sandy colored head sputters out shortly with some lively snap, crackle, and pop. Spotty lacing. I would have expected better head formation and retention from an oatmeal stout.

S: Starchy, bittersweet chocolate, hints of cola and black molasses, woody roast. Brownies, vague whiff of fruit.

T: Blackstrap molasses, cola, brownie batter, woody roast, espresso, bittersweet dark chocolate, flash of blackberry, starchy. Hops kick in with a bitter bite and some citrusy orange peel flavors toward the back. The finish is all bakers chocolate and smokey roast.

M: On the lighter side of medium bodied. Silky. Low, gentle carbonation. Great texture, but I find a part of myself wishing it had a bit more weight behind it.

O: Lighter in body than I was expecting. It seems better suited to its warmer home climate than the dead of winter here in the northeast, where a more robust beer is often preferred. Still a good beer, and it offers enough complexity and nuance to keep it from feeling boring.

ryan1788a5, Mar 03, 2014
Photo of Patches826
4/5  rDev -0.5%

Patches826, Mar 03, 2014
Photo of JohnParadee
4/5  rDev -0.5%

JohnParadee, Mar 03, 2014
Photo of grimey68
4/5  rDev -0.5%

grimey68, Mar 03, 2014
Photo of superdoopersauce
4/5  rDev -0.5%

superdoopersauce, Mar 02, 2014
Photo of JC333
4.5/5  rDev +11.9%

JC333, Mar 01, 2014
Photo of Knoxrb12
3.75/5  rDev -6.7%

Knoxrb12, Mar 01, 2014
Photo of appetiteforparis
4/5  rDev -0.5%

appetiteforparis, Mar 01, 2014
Photo of Getalegup
3.5/5  rDev -12.9%

Getalegup, Mar 01, 2014
Photo of JJStout83
4.25/5  rDev +5.7%

JJStout83, Mar 01, 2014
Photo of tigg924
4.05/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Had on tap at New World Tavern.

Appearance: moderate carbonation, minimal head, clear, dark brown in color

Smell: roasted malt, toasted malt, and oats

Taste: oats, milk chocolate, and dark chocolate. The milk chocolate is stronger than the dark chocolate.

Mouthfeel: sweet with slight roasty bitterness, medium body, moderate carbonation

Overall: An excellent oatmeal stout. Nice and chewy with malty complexity. Great brew for a winter's day. I will look for this in bottles.

tigg924, Feb 28, 2014
Velvet Merlin from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
90 out of 100 based on 2,046 ratings.