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Velvet Merlin - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Velvet MerlinVelvet Merlin

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

621 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 621
Hads: 2,757
Avg: 3.98
pDev: 21.11%
Wants: 220
Gots: 498 | 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:
Beer added by: largadeer on 11-13-2008

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.

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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 621 | Hads: 2,757
Photo of DrDemento456
4.24/5  rDev +6.5%
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.

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Photo of drdiesel9483
4.24/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Look - normal stout look
Smell - coffee cocoa smell.
Taste - great toasty cocoa taste
Feel - full body with medium carbonation. Fantastic creamy feel.
Overall - incredible oatmeal stout!

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Photo of ajsinyvr
4.24/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Smoky cocao nibs at the start and a chocolatey finish. Mouthfeel was spot on, round and full. 1 finger head when poured in to a round bottom glass.
Slight hop presence and good roasted malts throughout.

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Photo of Tsar_Riga
4.24/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - Very dark brown body, mostly translucent but only partially transparent, light tan head, some lacing.

S - The main smell is roasted malts, bready and slightly suggestive of toast. Grass and floral elements presumably come from the hops, and there is a salted caramel aspect, too.

T - Following the nose, with molasses and dough mingling with chocolate and coffee elements. A bit of soy in the middle, closing out with mild bitterness.

M - The oatmeal adds a bit of heft, giving this more body, but this remains fairly light for a stout. Quite drinkable, as the mild drying in the close keeps this from getting too burdensome.

O - A very nice, balanced stout, and a very easy drinker that will not knock you out after just one. A rich range of flavors built into a beautiful, cohesive whole.

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Photo of DenverHopHead
4.24/5  rDev +6.5%
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.

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Photo of jjboesen
4.24/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

The initial pour results in a glass filled with beige froth, which subsides into a dark ruby body; the extant head is minimal, along with lacing.
There is a subtle nose of Cheerio cereal; the palate is nipped with sweet maltiness that contains bits of bread, grain and plum. The balance is superb and this, along with the manageable 5.5 abv, makes for one great sessional quaff. Is there anything Firestone Walker cannot do? Alas, if this brew were more readily available to us East Coast schlubs.

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Photo of lordofstarside
4.24/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Given a few minutes to warm up, 12oz (10/17/13) to a snifter. Rewarding myself for shoveling a bunch of snow

Pours a solid black (0% trans) with brown hues at the bottom when held to the light, with a half finger of mocha foam that's died down to a frothy ring. Mild carbonation, really good lacing. Not bad looking

Smells of roasted malty chocolate nibbs and coffee, followed by figs, cherries, and other dark fruits, finishing with a small touch of alcohol. Pretty simple, but still really good

Taste is with the nose, strong coffee on the front followed by a more subdued chocolate malt. Fruits come in next, cherries and figs followed by a hint of vanilla. A tiny bit of alcohol and more coffee notes on the end, everything blends nicely

Feel is a thick creamy body with a dry finish. Alcohol hard to pick up, very easy to sip on cold snowy days like these

Overall a pretty good stout, something to look forward to each year

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Photo of jellikit
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%

Appearance: dark, dark brown to black with a brownish, ruby hue when held to light. Clear. Thin head. Thin lacing that dissipates.
Smell: bread dough. Roasted cocoa nibs.
Taste: clean, slightly roasted, light coffee flavor.
Mouthfeel: medium-low carbonation. Medium to medium high body. Dry.
Overall: easy drinking stout. Balanced extremely well. Great gateway stout for non dark beer drinkers. Would buy again.

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Photo of byronic
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%

Pours dark as the night leaving behind a trace of lacing which remains persitant for the glass. Very mild yet quite on point mixture of coffee and chocolate and roasted oats. A touch of bitterness smoothed out by the chocolate and perhaps a touch of vanilla. The finish is quite sublime. Silky smooth and incredibly easy to drink. Very light yet offering some complexity. Hoping that it improves further with age.

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Photo of wac9
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%

my new favorite oatmeal stout wow just stunning creamy dark yummy its good going down looks great in your glass everything you want in a oatmeal stout

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Photo of greygooose
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - poured a dark dark brown (almost black) with some visible reddish highlights a good one inch khaki tan head

S - a bouquet of oats, malt, chocolate, grains

T - bready, toasted nuts, cookies, with a touch of sweetness

M - good carbonation, creamy smoothness, medium body with a lighter than expected finish for a "stout"

D - a well-balanced, super easy to drink stout that'll having you reaching for a second in no time. speaking of which...

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Photo of Stoutanddark
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%

classic notes of chocolate ,coffee,toffee and a light hint of residual aged bourbon from the barreling . Rich, decadent, with a nice mouth feel. Very black indicating a much heavier brew however actually quite drinkable for a Oat stout.

Firestone takes pride in replicating American versions of wordly traditional brews. Here all the flavors of a big oat stout with a much lighter drink-ability and moderate ABV of 5,5%.

A solid cold weather offering to enjoy without over filling meaning you could probably have more than one before a sit down dinner and room for one or two after without feeling bloated
and heavy.

$7.99 a six pack at Bevmo = about a $1.70 a bottle . Quite a value when considering the costs of English oat stouts.

Only draw back seasonal however a winter offering . Cheers!

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Photo of cosmicevan
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottled 10/24/14 enjoyed from a FW snifter.

a - none more black, thin off grey cap.

s - nose is a really delicate roasted chocolate. Velvety indeed. The oatmeal gives a really nice full oaty smell

t/m/o - picks up where the nose leaves off with a really nice full bodied roasted bakers chocolate. Oaty and full. Silky smooth and easy drinker with a decent amount of char. Worth checking out.

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Photo of Jack_Malts
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a dark coffee black with a tan head that dissipates relatively fast. A lot of roast and black coffee on the nose with subtle chocolatey undertones. The taste is creamy and smooth with plenty of black coffee and a noticeable oatmeal presence. There is some metallic and sour presence on the finish but this is not unwelcome. This is a really smooth stout with about as much to offer as an oatmeal stout needs to offer. Probably the best basic oatmeal stout I've had.

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Photo of GJ40
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Sampled from a 12oz bottle dated 01/09/14.

Black with some light coming through at the edges. A beautiful tan head. Surprisingly interesting aromas with lots of depth from the malts including toasted oatmeal, biscuits, nuts and cookies. That follows through in the flavor as well. Very interesting and complex for a relatively small beer. A light and airy mouthfeel.

What a great beer!

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Photo of 81tillinfinity
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Well done I've always enjoyed this beer. The mouthfeel is rich the roasted malts invite the nose and the taste is smooth. A great go-to stout to keep on hand throughout the colder months.

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Photo of dwilson01
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

poured from a 12oz into my new belgium tulip, creamy brown mocha head tops the brew, solid retention and lacing, even dissipation. Dark brown to black color of the body, I would say this looks like an oatmeal stout should look like to the T.

The scent is dominated by the malt as it should be, I actually get a small amount of oatmeal in there but this is definitely topped by a roasted malt coffee smell. Very sweet on the nose as well, a fluffier creamy type of smell wafts from the top.

The flavor is awesome, I really like the complexity they get in here. Dark roasted malts impart a freshly brewed coffee taste which is sweetened right in balance with a sugary impartation of creamy chocolate.

Bottom like this oatmeal stout is right on the money, dark to the eyes, roasted coffee, chocolate, smooth creamy mouthfeel, and the drinkability of the best of em.

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Photo of yourefragile
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12 oz bottle, thanks Rich.

Appearance is as is expected for the style; opaque chocolate brown/black with a nice, retentive tan head. Lacing is minimal.

Aroma is dry, oat-y and roasted, with some mild chocolate and sweet malt.

Very easy drinking, with a slightly thin, medium body. Flavor is roasted, sweet with chocolate and coffee. Extremely well balanced and smooth. A little sweet for the style, but will definitely seek this out again.

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Photo of i4ourgot
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Great beer super creamy makes its almost feel like a nitro beer. Lots of great rich dark flavors nice coffee/ chocolate with some sweetness that is well balanced with a subtle bitterness. No over powering flavors just a really enjoyable beer where everything comes together nicely. The aroma while not strong is very pleasant.

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Photo of djbreezy
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

appearance - dark opaque brown/black, medium tan head, moderate retention/lacing

smell - chocolate, roasty malts, oatmeal, grassy notes

taste - velvety chocolate, toasted malts, marshmallow, chocolate nibs/cocoa, light grassy notes/bitter in the finish

mouthfeel - puffy/carbonated, some carbonation bite, evenly medium body, some bitter dryness on the finish

drinkability - smooth and easy with a slight bite, unique notes for an oatmeal stout, very good and enjoyable

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Photo of Harvest06
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: dark brown to blackish with reddish hues
S: Coffee & Chocolate notes with a beady earthy maltiness.
T: Coffee, chocolate, bread.
M: Medium body.
O: A light yet complex ale that increases in complexity as it warms. Sets the standard for a session-able oatmeal stout.

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Photo of Furlinator
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottled on 11/27/13.

Pours opaque very dark brown with cola edges. The 1/2 inch of khaki head quickly fades to just a thin ring on top and leaves thin spotty lace.

Smell is of grainy roasted malt up front; similar to whole wheat bread. Dark chocolate and faint black coffee bring up the rear.

Taste is of dark, almost smoky malt, a hint of black coffee and a faint hoppy finish.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with higher carbonation.

Everything clicks here. Inviting aromas, impressive appearance, delicious flavors and nice body. At 5.5 ABV, I may have found my new go-to session brew.

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Photo of WanderingFool
4.26/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Velvet Merlin pours an oily black with a small tan head on top. A few spots of lace stick to the glass as the foam fades away.

The aroma has nice roast and chocolate notes with hints of coffee and an earthy nuttiness.

Each sip of this medium to full bodied beer is creamy with moderate carbonation and an oily body. The flavor is rich with roasted malt, chocolate, toasted oats and nuts. It finishes with a little vanilla, a hint of sour cherry, and a touch of grassy bitterness. Once gone the chocolate and vanilla lingers on the palate.

A very tasty beer that should be allowed to warm so the flavors can expose themselves. Great mouthfeel and easy to drink.

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Photo of suspect
4.26/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Samuel Adams Perfect Pint glass. Thanks to crazydiamond42 for the hookup.

A: Dark mahogany color with really really light hues shining through. Aggressive pour leads to a big 2 finger tan head that lingers throughout the session.

S: Not a whole lot here. Not that I was expecting a ton. There was a bunch of subtle notes of toasted chocolate malts and some hops as well. Slight bitterness from a dark caffeinated beverage that's not soda.

T: Delicious. Wonderfully simple yet, I think, nicely complex. Lovely notes of coffee, cocoa, and toasted malts.

M: Creamy, delicious, amply carbonated, thick big bodied and wonderful.

O: A really excellent Oatmeal Stout. A really excellent beer.

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Photo of CoffeePorter
4.27/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Black with a thick white head.
Smells milky and sweet.
Tastes milky/creamy, very sweet with little bitterness. Mild notes of chocolate.
Very creamy mouthfeel, mild carbonation.
Very easy to drink and a good creamy stout option.

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Velvet Merlin from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 621 ratings.