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Velvet Merlin - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Velvet MerlinVelvet Merlin

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

2,094 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,094
Reviews: 534
rAvg: 4.02
pDev: 9.95%
Wants: 184
Gots: 238 | 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: 2,094 | Reviews: 534 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of bcsbeer
3/5  rDev -25.4%

bcsbeer, Mar 07, 2013
Photo of topdown
3/5  rDev -25.4%

topdown, Nov 25, 2013
Photo of GRG1313
3.03/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours black; very nice thick, firm long lasting tan head. Lovely. One of the nicest looking stouts I've seen.

Nose is medium assertive simple sweet black chocolate. Nothing complex but a nice chocolate nose. Mouthfeel is medium creamy and pleasant. Tasted at room temperature which highlights characteristics in my opinion.

Mouthfeel at room temp is a nice half and half quality, creamy pleasant.

Flavors are simple, short and uneventful. Simple light roasted grain. A watery chocolate flavor - simple. "Velvety" smooth-a blessing and a curse. A blessing in that the smoothness would be attractive if it didn't have the curse of weak waterly flavors. Simple roasted grain; simple black chocolate. Light carbonation once you give it a swirl or two. Without the 2 or 3 swirls it had better carbonation and a better mouthfeel.

There is a very light elegant roasted character to this - nothing special whatsoever in my opinion. No need for me to try again.

GRG1313, Oct 09, 2010
Photo of BarrytheBear
3.05/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to Ryan for filling a want and for being an awesome trader.

12 oz bottle in a tulip. Pours dark brown, with a deluge of tiny bubbles along the edges and a beige ring and spotty surface bubbles.

Molasses and coffee on the nose. Not nearly as pronounced as I'd hoped. In fact, it's lacking much complexity and for the style is a tad weak. There is a weird cooked plastic smell that ain't too groovy.

Taste and mouthfeel veer towards watery. Oats don't vibe with the beer well, leaving more of a coffee dark ale than a rich, roasty, full bodied oatmeal stout which I am after. A richer, more velvety mouthfeel and dialing down the carbonation might pick this beer up a notch. Crank up the oatmeal here!

Kind of a bummer. Granted I haven't had an inordinate amount of Firestone, but this is not up to the standard I expected from a great brewery. Plenty of other oatmeal stouts in the sea.

BarrytheBear, Dec 23, 2010
Photo of pants678
3.05/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

The Merkin is thick and it is opaque. Like so black it's blue black. There's a thin bubbly head that doesn't last long.

Looks similar to LA's Ten Commandments so I expected figs, something dark and sweet, but I got your usuals: roasted coffee and dark chocolate.

There is a serious hop finish on the end of the chocolate and vanilla body. Not quite chocolate though, I think it's closer to cocoa. That finish, though, gives a taste of syrup sweetness underneath if you can swish it around and get at it.

The name suggests how smooth it is. I guess you can't ask for more carbonation when Velvet's the trademark.

pants678, Apr 18, 2010
Photo of Pete_Orr
3.12/5  rDev -22.4%

Pete_Orr, Sep 08, 2014
Photo of Auracom
3.15/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Single 12 oz. purchase from MSCM. All 12 oz. poured into a FFF Rastal on February 8th, 2013.

A - Pours a deep black color, with lovely depth. Medium khaki head with plentiful foam and retention.

S - Straight mocha - Nesquik blended with black coffee beans. Soft honey malts and darker cocoa hints underneath.

T - Espresso transitions into almost pure effervescence. Touch of Chocolate powder at the back end, But nothing lingers.

M - High carbonation (overly so), light medium body, lightly dry finish.

D - The drinkability is pretty underwhelming compared to the nose. Too much carbonation and not nearly enough flavor.

Auracom, Feb 19, 2013
Photo of CommanderOfAwesome
3.18/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: Thick and dark brown with minimal head and some slight lacing.

S: Getting some coffee flavoring, and Molasses.

T:Taste like a weak stout, or perhaps even a porter. Bold flavors fade quickly in the mouth. Oatmeal flavor comes in the finish, esp after a big swig.

M: Medium bodied

O: It's decent, I'm definitely a little disappointed as FS usually delivers. It's not bad but not great.

CommanderOfAwesome, Oct 13, 2012
Photo of Eisen
3.19/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a dirty, but rinsed, Delirium glass. medium black with brown head that fades into very light light brown lacing and dissipates medium/soon. Tastes like an old shoe in a good way. Dark, aged fruit (dates, burnt grain) with a high drinkability factor. Alcohol factors too prevalent, considering the only 5.5% and thus cuts down on mouth and taste. Smooth and balanced, but not too excitable. If one was to drink dark ales for hours and hours, this would be the beer. Goes well with tobacco and chocolate, though the flavors are unremarkable on their own. Firestone makes very solid beer, and this is no exception. But, considering, it could be much better.

Eisen, Dec 16, 2013
Photo of itsratso
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.

itsratso, Oct 22, 2013
Photo of doughanson78
3.23/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

First Firestone Walker beer. 12oz. bottle poured into a snifter.

A: Very dark, but not totally black. Light comes through around edges and bottom of glass. Kind of a dark redish tint where light comes through. Fluffy one finger head. Slightly off white with only small tight bubbles. Head dies down to thin layer but doesn't disappear. Fairly good lacing.

S: Not a big aroma at all. Smells like the inside of a Quaker oatmeal container. VERY light chocolate scent.

T: Nice roasted flavor. Light coffee. Mild sweet chocolate. Nice oaty finish. Very mild hop bitterness.

M: Medium bodied. Mild carbonation. Smooth but not Velvety.

O: Been hearing great things about Firestone Walker. Had a sip of their Double Jack and was impressed. Got a few of their brews, including the Parabola. Not super impressed with this one. It's decent but there's definitely many better.

doughanson78, Jun 23, 2011
Photo of Photekut
3.25/5  rDev -19.2%

Photekut, May 18, 2013
Photo of trubeernick
3.25/5  rDev -19.2%

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

drone, Apr 06, 2014
Photo of AxesandAnchors
3.25/5  rDev -19.2%

AxesandAnchors, Dec 31, 2012
Photo of manutdfan
3.25/5  rDev -19.2%

manutdfan, Jul 31, 2013
Photo of jhillwastaken
3.25/5  rDev -19.2%

jhillwastaken, Jun 05, 2013
Photo of SwooshDaddy
3.25/5  rDev -19.2%

SwooshDaddy, Jun 17, 2014
Photo of Goldfishman
3.25/5  rDev -19.2%

Goldfishman, Jul 06, 2014
Photo of TheFightfan1
3.25/5  rDev -19.2%

TheFightfan1, Feb 20, 2013
Photo of Northtexan
3.25/5  rDev -19.2%

Northtexan, Apr 15, 2014
Photo of pisano
3.25/5  rDev -19.2%

pisano, Apr 07, 2014
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3.25/5  rDev -19.2%

KlayWey, Mar 02, 2013
Photo of scot959
3.25/5  rDev -19.2%

scot959, Jun 23, 2013
Photo of Stwinchy
3.25/5  rDev -19.2%

Stwinchy, Mar 12, 2013
Velvet Merlin from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
90 out of 100 based on 2,094 ratings.