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Velvet Merlin - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Velvet MerlinVelvet Merlin

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

1,732 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1732
Reviews: 506
rAvg: 4.02
pDev: 10.2%


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)
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Ratings: 1,732 | Reviews: 506 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of anarchia
anarchia

Oregon

2.99/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

First review on here, though far from my first beer... Pours pitch black with a thin, off-white head that doesn't linger. Roasty and subtle chocolate aroma. Significantly thinner body than other Oatmeal Stouts I've experienced. Heavy roasted malt flavor, not much sweetness, weak coffee aftertaste. Bitterness from hops is very noticeable, but no hop aroma. Odd, bubbly finish. If you like roasty stouts this may be your thing but sadly it's not mine.

Serving type: bottle

11-06-2013 02:54:00 | More by anarchia
Photo of ISmith87
ISmith87

Arizona

3.91/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A - 3.75 - Pretty opaque brown/black beer with a minimal head that leaves a little lacing.

S - 4 - Pretty awesome smell with coffee and roasty notes. Maybe some chocolate in there too.

T - 4 - Taste is also a roasty/smokey coffee taste. Very nice.

M - 3.75 - Medium - thick mouthfeel. More thick than most oatmeal stouts. Alc covered. Aftertaste is roasty/coffee.

O - 3.75 - It's a good oatmeal stout. nothing I can complain about too much. If I could change it I'd want it a little bit stronger with a little thicker mouthfeel.

Serving type: bottle

11-06-2013 02:22:14 | More by ISmith87
Photo of mverity
mverity

Florida

3.33/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of a BA trade. Pours inky black with tan colored head that went away almost immediately. Good legs, okay lacing. Aroma is faint. I'm only getting deep malt with a touch of brown sugar. Taste is much different, still the heavy malt character, interesting oat flavor, faint hop earthiness, brown sugar/caramel. Mouthfeel is surprisingly thin. Not nearly as syrupy as I was hoping for from a oatmeal centered stout. I'm surprised this beer becomes so damn tasty in the barrels. Merkin is considerably better. Maybe I shouldn't have aged this one. Who knows?

Serving type: bottle

11-03-2013 22:01:19 | More by mverity
Photo of tsauce2
tsauce2

Indiana

4.21/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

P: 12 fl oz bottle poured in to a Brooklyn Brewery tulip.

A: SRM is nearly black. Light cream colored head, 1/2 in, dissipates to the rim of the glass. Light carbonation. Medium lacing.

S: Oat, dark roast malt, chocolate.

T: Follows smell. Nice big oats and a good dose of chocolate dark roasted malt. Aftertaste is oats.

M: Medium body. Oats add a nice profile to feel. Semi-dry finish.

O: Great beer overall. Very impressed. Wish we got this in my home market.

Serving type: bottle

10-28-2013 00:58:51 | More by tsauce2
Photo of zac16125
zac16125

South Carolina

4.06/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Velvet Merlin
bottled on: 9/27/12

Thanks to socalbrewlvr for sending this one over as an extra.

A: Pours a very dark brown, almost but not quite black, with just under 2 fingers width of tan head. Head has good retention and leaves lots of lacing.

S: Roasted malts, coffee, charred wood, cream.

T: Follows the nose- char, oak, roasty, cream, some dark fruit characters. Really tasty.

M/D: Fairly smooth, even though the carbonation is on the heavier side. Drinkability is average but it drinks heavier than the ABV.

O: Overall, a well done brew. Nothing exceptional about this one, but tasty and certainly worth a dry.

Serving type: bottle

10-26-2013 23:26:04 | More by zac16125
Photo of champ103
champ103

Texas

3.58/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

A: Pours an ink black color. A one finger tan head forms and recedes to nothing after a minute. Light lace is left behind.
S: Big roasted malts up front. Coffee and chocolate apparent. Nice typical stout aromas. The coffee becomes a bit acrid and bitter as this warms.
T: Like the nose, big roasted, coffee, and chocolate flavors. Again the coffee becomes too bitter and acrid after a while.
M/D: A medium to full body. Moderate carbonation. Fairly viscous as well. Not the ultra smooth body I want for an Oatmeal Stout though. Not hard to drink. I have gone through a six pack without a problem over the last week.

A decent stout. Nothing special. The biggest downfall in the flavor department is the bitter and acrid finish. Not one of my favorite stouts and certainly not one of FW's better year rounds.

Serving type: bottle

10-25-2013 01:31:11 | More by champ103
Photo of itsratso
itsratso

Illinois

3.21/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

a - pours a dark chocolate brown, tan head that doesn't last or lace.
s - i get that sweet/burnt chocolate that is common for the style, but not a lot of it.
t - i love FW. it is one of my favorite go to beers for IPA's. and although i haven't had it, their parabola is legendary. but i have tried this, and their robust reserve porter, and... they are just rather unimpressive to me? not bad by any stretch. just not very impactful. some sweetness up front, a little chocolate, a little roast coffee. very smooth, almost sessionable. this reminds me very much (as the robust porter did) of a stout for people that don't like stouts.
m - creamy as an oatmeal should be, but thinner than say a sam smith (IMO the measuring stick for oatmeal stouts).
o - not bad. actually well made and good. just not very memorable.

Serving type: bottle

10-21-2013 23:25:47 | More by itsratso
Photo of DanJan
DanJan

Colorado

3.56/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A - Dark rich color. Very dark brown. Tan head. although not large or long lasting. Looks pretty delicious in the light.

S - Not much of a scent here. Basic. Slightly chocolatey, burnt and malty notes.

T - Basic stout. Described as an oatmeal stout which balances out the coffee and darker flavors. Little bit of dark chocolate. Little bit sweet. Easily drinkable.

M - Coats but doesn't last long. I prefer a stout that is a little stickier and thicker on the tongue. Carbonation is nice but quickly dissipates.

O - A decent offering from Firestone Walker. Pretty middle of the road stout but after it warms up and it gets chilly outside, not too bad at all.

Serving type: bottle

10-15-2013 23:15:09 | More by DanJan
Photo of bhyndthebottle
bhyndthebottle

Oregon

4.19/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Poured thick and foamy into a tulip glass.Color is a wonderfully rich deep brown/black, that cascaded into a quickly disappearing head that left some fine lacing bhynd.

Smell: This was the only part of this tasting that wasn't spectacular. Smelled rather bland and unimpressive, with a little whiff of caramel and chocolate. Could not detect any boozy impressions...which is perfect, seeing how this is only at 5.5% abv.

Taste: This is where this beer shines through. Amazing from the first hit on the tongue to the lasting impression on your palate. Wonderfully smooth and complex hints of chocolate and caramel, with virtually no bitterness at the end. This is a fine expression of an oatmeal stout.

Mouthfeel: Just what a nice oatmeal stout should be. With a wonderful medium bodied mouthfeel that just rests on your palate long after it has departed.

Overall: This is a wonderfully great example of what I think an oatmeal stout should be. Not overpowering and boozy, with a nice lingering afterthought that tells you that you just enjoyed a fine beer. Can't wait to try the barrel aged Velvet Merkin. Thanks Firestone!

Serving type: bottle

10-03-2013 05:18:28 | More by bhyndthebottle
Photo of Gueuzedude
Gueuzedude

Arizona

3.88/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A vigorous pour into my New Belgium globe glass produces a fat-two-finger thick, brown stained, dark tan colored head. The beer is a rich black color that shows some clear, brown hues around the edges if it is held up directly to the light. The nose smells of roasted grain, well browned, quite toasted whole grain bread, touches of roasted coffee and just a generally, ample dark / roasted malt character. I like that the nose escapes being sharp or acrid from the roast malt focus. There is a touch of roundness and perhaps subtle sweetness towards the finish of the aroma; this accentuates touches of chocolate and perhaps some sweet coffee ice-cream like aromatics. As the beer warms up it picks up more of a roasted nutty like character.

Light bodied and dry up front, as the beer moves across the palate it picks up a touch of perceived, and perhaps even actual sweetness. The sweetness is brought out by a very soft, subtle Bourbon barrel influence that leans towards toasted coconut and vanillin and perhaps a hint of Bourbon / oak spiciness. The barrel influence is really quite subtle, and if I didn’t know it was here, I might not have really picked it up. Ample cold coffee roast flavors are here, there is a full, whole grain toasted character here, as well as a touch of complexly browned, barley husk like notes; this last is quite smooth and integrated and adds a sort of whole grain spiciness to this brew. The body has a certain creaminess to it, my vigorous pour knocked out much of the carbonation; this is definitely light and quaffable, but I like that it has a touch of fullness to it. The finish has a lingering, slightly bitter, burnt roast character to it; this is accentuated by a light, prickly effervescence from the carbonation.

The Bourbon barrel influence is quite subtle in the aroma, I wasn’t expecting a whole lot of Bourbon character here, but it is definitely quite reduced from Velvet Merkin. In the flavor it is soft, but it is also noticeable; I do like that it was kept at a very low level here, but I almost feel like it could use a touch more as I almost feel like it is too subtle. That can be a dangerous thing though, as I definitely prefer that the barrel character be kept fairly low. Still, this is a fantastic beer and is something I am quite happy to have a 6-pack of (the $6.99 price doesn’t hurt either); the extra boost of smooth complexity from the Bourbon barrel really adds something to this beer.

Serving type: bottle

09-30-2013 02:51:13 | More by Gueuzedude
Photo of MikeWard
MikeWard

Pennsylvania

3.9/5  rDev -3%
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
Photo of tectactoe
tectactoe

Michigan

3.8/5  rDev -5.5%
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
Photo of Omnium
Omnium

Pennsylvania

3.91/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottle > Pint Glass

A - Pours pitch black, one finger tan head, no lacing.
S - Roasted oats and some coffee, a little smokiness, some toasted grains.
T - Creamy roasted flavor, nice bitterness, some nutty quality on the end as well, some burnt qualities in the aftertaste.
M - A little bitter and thin for a stout, but not bad.
O - Taste doesnt follow aroma enough, but its an average oatmeal stout, I'd look elsewhere for cheaper and better oat stouts.

Serving type: bottle

08-12-2013 00:43:44 | More by Omnium
Photo of dtivp
dtivp

West Virginia

4.36/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a dark black with ruby hues half of a finger creamy mocha head that fades quickly into a thin ring with moderate sticky lacing.

Aroma of dark roasted malts, coffee and sweet chocolate.

Taste of dark chocolate with a slight sweetness, roasted malt, oats, dark coffee and a slight smoky finish.

Mouth Feel is medium body, light carbonation, creamy and smooth as silk.

Overall this is a solid oatmeal stout, very enjoyable and I highly recommend it.

Serving type: bottle

07-22-2013 01:04:38 | More by dtivp
Photo of Treyliff
Treyliff

West Virginia

4.19/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottled 1/8/13, poured in a snifter

A- pours pitch black with a two-finger light tan head that reduces to a small layer that floats on top, leaving short lasting lace

S- nice roasted notes with some sweet oats, sharp nutty aroma with a bt if smoke, smooth chocolate rounds it out with a touch of coffee

T- smooth and sweet oaty flavors are balanced out by a slightly smoky maltiness with flavors of raisin, roasted nuts, milk chocolate and light hazelnut coffee.

M- immensely smooth mouthfeel from the oats compliments a medium body with light carbonation. Silky smooth finish goes down way too easy. The only flaw is that I would prefer a slightly heavier mouthfeel

O- this is the definition if a sessionable oatmeal stout, packed with flavor but so very well balanced. I could drink 6 of these in a given night. Another solid beer from FW

Serving type: bottle

07-19-2013 03:08:57 | More by Treyliff
Photo of MaximalC
MaximalC

Illinois

3.36/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.25

Pours seal brown with an ample head of khaki foam. Cola-like carbonation can be seen clinging to the bottom of the glass before ascending to the top, where it emits an audible effervescence. Aroma smells of dark chocolate, toffee, and oatmeal. The flavor is of roasted malt, mild toffee, some oats, and faint coffee and milk chocolate. Hop presence is negligible, if existent at all. Some mild coffee bitterness comes through in the finish, though.

The flavor profile is acceptable, if unremarkable. The problem lies in the exceedingly thin mouthfeel and excessive carbonation, both of which go contrary to everything I look for in a stout. It's almost like drinking a stout-flavored soft drink, and I say this as one who has great respect for Firestone Walker and had high expectations for this brew. It's drinkable, but far from what I was hoping for. Light and thin does not an oatmeal stout make...

Serving type: bottle

06-20-2013 00:48:37 | More by MaximalC
Photo of DrDemento456
DrDemento456

Pennsylvania

4.24/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Paid the price for this single, $3.50 at the house of 1,000 beers. Bottled 1/8/13 so its 5 months old.

A - A very good amount of head just a 1/4 inch from a soft pour that pulls back to a mocha lined lace ring that sticks around. Color is almost pitch black with a tiny bit of ruby hue at the base.
S - Very good roasty mixed with some chocolate malts and some oats. Smells a bit of smoke but not overwhelming
T - A very pronounced dark chocolate malt, borderline sweet but not overly so. Then a nice kiss of smokey ash and a finish of some mild coffee grounds. Damn tasty.
M - Medium bodied, very creamy and silky.

Overall I am impressed it drinks better than my all time favorite "Anderson Valley oatmeal stout" yet its around the same ABV. If I ever get the chance at a case I will be sure to pick it up.

Serving type: bottle

06-15-2013 04:52:30 | More by DrDemento456
Photo of C3likesbeer
C3likesbeer

California

4.28/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A- Nice mahogany almost black with a nice creamy beige head that dissipates relatively quickly.

S- Rich, thick roasty malts with chocolate and coffee. Some smoke in there as well. t

T- Nice rich dark chocolate with a smokey espresso shot. Surprisingly refreshing finish that's rounded off with an alcohol warmth.

O- My favorite oatmeal stou. Firestone makes good beer and this may be one of my favorites. This can be consumed in the summer or winter. I could drink one on a cold rainy night in a pub or on the beach at a barbecue. Nice all around beer.

Serving type: bottle

06-12-2013 03:04:47 | More by C3likesbeer
Photo of Onenote81
Onenote81

North Carolina

3.96/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into a into a pint glass. Pours a deep black with a small beige cap. Light lace left behind. Nose is rich with chocolate, fresh bread, rolled oats, faint ethanol.

Velvety smooth mouth. The oats do what they do best really mellowing this beer out. Sweet chocolate kiss, dry bark like taste, finish of vanilla cream. Really a good beer. A well-made treat, that is another I'd love to see around this area. Oh well, thanks for the bottle, Ed!

Serving type: bottle

06-04-2013 02:16:41 | More by Onenote81
Photo of DeanMoriarty
DeanMoriarty

California

4.08/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Picked up from the sale bin at Baron's Market in Point Loma for a dollar and some change - damn good deal!

Poured into a Forestinne branded tulip glass. Pours dark as shit - like motor oil with a decent sized tan head that sticks around for a few sips - decent lacing. Smell is smoky and earthy, faint scent of hops, fresh milled grain, dark chocolate and iced coffee. Flavor is much more bright and interesting than the nose suggests - plum, burnt raisin, earthy roasted coffee, vanilla, sweet toffee, cocoa nibs, slight hint of fresh cut grass - absolutely delicious! Medium bodied and perfectly carbonated for the style - smooth and creamy - extremely easy drinker for a stout. Overall amazing stout, that as mentioned, drinks ridiculously easy - could crush a few of these in a single sitting, no problem!

Serving type: bottle

05-30-2013 03:44:13 | More by DeanMoriarty
Photo of watermelonman
watermelonman

California

3.68/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pouring to a thick near black, head is minimal and lace is merely a few lines.

The smell is good overall but a does of phenols is getting in the way, a touch too strong to meld in with the better flavors. Malts are more roasted than I like in an oatmeal stout, yet this beer comes up a little thin when compared to the non oatmeal variety. I think it is a line sitter than cannot quite decide what it wants to be. Still, a tasty effort overall, definitely smooth and drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

05-25-2013 05:39:30 | More by watermelonman
Photo of superspak
superspak

Michigan

4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got in a trade with swingracex. 12 ounce bottle into pint glass, bottled on 2/21/2013. Pours fairly crystal clear almost opaque dark brown color with a 1 finger fairly dense khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of milk chocolate, cocoa, roasted malt, oats, toast, brown bread, light coffee, floral, and roasted earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of roasted malt notes with oats and light hops. Taste of milk chocolate, cocoa, oats, roasted malt, toast, brown bread, light coffee, floral, and roasted earthiness. Slight earthy roasted bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of milk chocolate, cocoa, oats, roasted malt, light coffee, toast, and light earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice balance of roasted/bready malt flavors with oats and light hops; with nice robustness and zero cloying flavors after the finish; moderately dry on the finish as well. Medium carbonation and body; with a moderately creamy, smooth, and crisp mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with hardly any warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a damn nice oatmeal stout. All around nice flavor balance and robustness; and extremely smooth and crisp to drink. A very enjoyable offering.

Serving type: bottle

05-24-2013 04:04:57 | More by superspak
Photo of lighthabit
lighthabit

Oregon

3.7/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

never really cared for this one before, always had a hint of dull, dry, bitter, but tonight i opened one that's been sitting in the fridge for a while, and the hint above is not there, it's picked up a hint of chocolate/licorice, and it's creamy, much nicer feel than before. tonight was straight from the bottle, but in the past, poured in a glass. color is typical dark. one i'll revist . . .

Serving type: bottle

05-22-2013 06:29:17 | More by lighthabit
Photo of blackie
blackie

Virginia

4.1/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

single from Wilbur's, Fort Collins

a: served in a short chalice, all that’s on hand in the hotel, deep stained brown in color, khaki head with average retention

s: the nose opens with grainy graham crackers and earthy roasted malt, woody coffee, subtle hints of smoke, toasted oat breads, mild earthy hops, qutie nuanced for a roast product - simple at first whiff, but there's a lot to dig into here

m: carbonation gentle, light-moderate, with a medium body, easy on the palate with a slight creaminess

t: toasted grains grace the palate with flavors of earth, nuts, coffee, smoke and wood - delicate and balanced, only slight burnt sugars present, hops earthy and impart a mild bitterness to the finish that lingers with a slight smoky roast note

o: very nice oatmeal stout that's incredibly drinkable, well balanced while showcasing the roasted malts and oats without interruption

Serving type: bottle

05-12-2013 15:46:02 | More by blackie
Photo of Bouleboubier
Bouleboubier

Pennsylvania

4.03/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A: coal black with a mellow glow up to the light... head dies shortly after the pour, lace blobs stick here and there... pretty much what one would expect

S: dominant, yet hardly overbearing roasted barley with a decent showing of mild-moderate dark crystal malt...coffee and perhaps chocolate syrup later... nice balance, supple yet subtle

T: noticeably roastier than most Oatmeal Stouts I've had and sports a decidedly ash-tray like aftertaste - but not in a bad way necessarily.... I'd be surprised if they didn't use an English yeast in this - maybe it's the hops they used.... bit of a tinge of cardboard in the finish... clean malt flavors overall

M: nice, smooth, faintly-silky, fullish body - but not slick

O: I believe the label had a "best by" or "bottled on" date of Dec 2012 - might explain some of the oxidized flavors, if the former.... either way, one of the more solid, somewhat more authentic takes on this style I've come across... I could drink it again

Serving type: bottle

05-09-2013 16:49:04 | More by Bouleboubier
Velvet Merlin from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
90 out of 100 based on 1,732 ratings.