Velvet Merlin - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Velvet MerlinVelvet Merlin

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BA SCORE
90
outstanding

2,351 Ratings
THE BROS
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Ratings: 2,351
Reviews: 559
rAvg: 4.01
pDev: 10.22%
Wants: 201
Gots: 316 | 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: 2,351 | Reviews: 559 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of stevenocheltree
5/5  rDev +24.7%

Photo of georgette
5/5  rDev +24.7%

Photo of dwaz
5/5  rDev +24.7%

Photo of pkalix
4.93/5  rDev +22.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

wow! what a nice smell!! pours a thick milkshake-like head, with an almost transparent dark brown body similar to, but less thick than, a samuel smiths....
super awesome taste. a little sweet, kind of roasty malts, dark fudge (as the last guy said), vanilla and honey (as another guy said), milk chocolate... what an awesome taste! a little tang on the finish, but that is utterly in significant considering all the wonderful flavors going on with this brew. I am really surprised at how much I like this brew. I had the merkin and the sucaba and anniversary, etc.... but never felt I wanted to try this one and I regret not trying it sooner! this is a world class beer! I thought it was labeled a porter but it says stout(?). I have to give this one high marks for every category. I wish I had another one to follow this one up RIGHT NOW!!!!

Photo of cmbeddoe7997
4.92/5  rDev +22.7%

Photo of Heatherm74
4.88/5  rDev +21.7%

Photo of Danishboy59
4.8/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Came in a sampler pack, so glad it did!

A - Light does not penetrate this truly dark stout, poured in a pint glass, almost no head.

S - Coffee, toasty malt, something almost like garlic in a good way

T&M - Huge coffee up front, toasty malt, some pine, just the right amount of hops on the end, thinner than most stouts, warming alcohol, just enough tingle in the carbonation, and some nice caramel on the long and winding finish. Velvet is the proper term for this one.

The smoothest stout with big flavor that I've ever had, the only stout I like better than Obsidian. This beer is all about balance, It is exceptional. Buy all you can find...

Photo of goldendenizen
4.8/5  rDev +19.7%

Photo of Arbitrator
4.8/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Chilled bottle into a glass. I've had this before on tap, but I'm curious to see how the bottle holds up. Turns out, quite well.

A: Pours a dark brown body with ruby translucence at the edges. It is capped with a light beige head. No sticky lace, but there is a nice wash of foam that accompanies each sip from my snifter.

S: Medium-roast coffee, milk chocolate (with an associated lactic touch to it), vanilla, grain (specifically, toasted multi-grain bread). This smells like a nice breakfast. I'm impressed that they got so much depth out of the ingredients. It isn't in the same league as FBS, but it show remarkable complexity for something that [presumably] wasn't brewed with adjuncts.

T: The taste doesn't disappoint. Absolutely top-notch for an oatmeal stout, with rich washes of milk chocolate, toast, grain, vanilla, and medium- (or even light) roast coffee. As noted in the nose, there's a light lactic presence, and if I'm sipping carefully, it's suggestive of anise. There's no bitterness to be found, but it's not sweet, either. Well attenuated and approaching dry, this beer has a phenomenal balance.

M: Creamy, with lush, low carbonation as befits the style. I don't think you can really screw up an oatmeal stout's mouthfeel, so I'm not sure how to grade this here. It's not watery, it's flavorful for such a low ABV, and it has a bountiful flavor delivery up front with a relatively clean finish (just some lingering roast).

D: Really, really good stuff. Oatmeal stouts aren't a hyped category, but if you're looking for the best of the style, this should be in the conversation.

Photo of TotallyGomer
4.8/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

S: bottle to Pilsner glass

A: Beautiful, simply beautiful. A near perfect example of a stout. Nearly pitch black with a finger or so of tan head that stays throughout. Very light lacing is the only area that seems to lack.

S: Rich roasted malts, dark chocolate, light grains, light hops.

T: Similar to the nose. Rich flavors of espresso, dark chocolate, breads, very light bitter late bite. Chocolate cake in a glass. More than enjoyable.

M: Creamy, rich, light carbonation. In short, the way I expect a stout to feel.

O: I love it. I'm partial to stouts, especially oatmeal stouts, so the numbers may be slightly skewed, but if it weren't a good stout I would rate it low, so take it at as it is. Because of the coffee/espresso notes, I would consider this a great dessert beer. Who am kidding, this would be great for breakfast or anytime.

Photo of tastyville
4.79/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I had this nearly three times a week in the winter when I was living in Atascadero. I was working at the California Valley Solar Ranch in Santa Margarita from December 2011 to July 2012. This review is being written for Velvet Merlin on nitro tap from the Firestone Brewery. This is by far one of my very favorite beers of all time!
This doesn't get a perfect score because I believe a good stout should have a bit higher ABV. 8% like Board Meeting would be perfect. A 5.5% ABV is like a session beer and stouts don't make very good session beers since they are very filling.
I always sit in a position at the bar where I can get a perfect view of this one betting poured. I love the tan head not as dark and sexy as KBS but it is just right. There is something about this beer that takes me back to my childhood when I used to eat half-melted ice cream with a spork from the paleta man. I often imagine myself eating Velvet Merlin with a spork. The aroma is not immediately prominent until you take a drink. That thick head keeps it all in. You inhale slightly when you drink too, right? Of course you do. I enjoy the aroma and the taste very close together with this one. Almost at once. It is nutty, chocolatey, caramely, roasty, and malty and all in a perfect balance. Not one exceeding the other. Like a group of sexy women walking abreast towards you in slow motion. For me? Fuggles is a funny name for hops. I get taken to another place when I'm enjoying this outstanding beer. It is unfortunate that it is not available year round. See you again in the fall!

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4.75/5  rDev +18.5%

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4.75/5  rDev +18.5%

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4.75/5  rDev +18.5%

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4.75/5  rDev +18.5%

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4.75/5  rDev +18.5%

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4.75/5  rDev +18.5%

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4.75/5  rDev +18.5%

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4.75/5  rDev +18.5%

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4.75/5  rDev +18.5%

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4.75/5  rDev +18.5%

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4.75/5  rDev +18.5%

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4.75/5  rDev +18.5%

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4.75/5  rDev +18.5%

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4.75/5  rDev +18.5%

Velvet Merlin from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
90 out of 100 based on 2,351 ratings.