Velvet Merlin - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
Ratings: 1,929 | Reviews: 526 | Display Reviews Only:
3.9/5 rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4
Poured from 12oz bottle into a goblet. Bottled on 1/8/13, so 8 months old.
Poured jet black, with a little under 2 fingers of oatmeal colored head. In fact the head really looks like oatmeal pancakes on the griddle. Head dissipated rather quickly tp a thin covering and collar. Lacing was decent though.
Smell was mostly roasted malt and a little grain
On taking a mouthful, was immediately hit by the roasted malt around the edge of the tongue. But was was interesting to me was that it didn't linger to much, smoothed out quite quickly to a very pleasant and grainy aftertaste. (I'm not a big fan of the stouts whose heavily roasted malts stay with you for hours, so this was enjoyable)
My only real problem with this stout was the extremely thin, almost watery mouth. Would have been a much more enjoyable drink with a medium to full finish.
Overall, I would have it again, though likely won't be scouring the shelfs for it.
Serving type: bottle
09-20-2013 16:10:47 | More by MikeWard
3.8/5 rDev -5.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75
Black. Black as black can be... Surprisingly black, actually, with another surprisingly deep brown and tainted mocha colored head that foams up to a few fingers quickly, and then hastily retreats to a weak film stretched across the black hole. A few splotches of tan lacing are left near the top of the glass and that's about it. I know it's an oatmeal stout, but I wasn't expecting this level of darkness.
The aroma ventures into the cream and silky chocolate range with a mild oat undertaking and plenty of dark and lightly roasted malt. The darkness and roast don't come without a somewhat out of kilter, but nevertheless balancing, creamy sweetness - the beauty of sweet/oatmeal stouts, right? The nose shows just a touch of dark fruit in the finish... Not as captivating as I was expecting, but a decent smelling oatmeal stout nonetheless.
Velvet Merlin tricks me a little bit, as the taste is definitely more roasted than you would ever be able to anticipate just from taking a few whiffs. Lightly charred malt is met by a quieter, softer prune and dark fruit sweetness that lends every hand it has in an attempt to balance, and eventually does a respectable job of it, even if not immediately.
More milk chocolates explode about halfway through, flowing into a graciously soft and dry oat filled finish. Sweetness is contempt, yet notable and overall balanced pretty well with the roast and the dry oats. The mouth feel of this beer doesn't swoon me with its sexy silkiness like oatmeal stouts should (and like many of them do), so I must dock it a few points in that regard.
Velvet Merlin is a pretty good oatmeal stout all around, but it really wasn't a mind-blowing or incredible experience for me, and there are certainly some options that are more local to me that I'd take over it (New Holland's The Poet, or even Rogue's Shakespeare, as much as I hate Rogue and their business practices... but that's neither here nor there). Really good, but not legendary.
Serving type: bottle
09-17-2013 11:24:45 | More by tectactoe
Velvet Merlin from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
90 out of 100 based on 1,929 ratings.