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Velvet Merlin - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Velvet MerlinVelvet Merlin

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

2,227 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,227
Reviews: 549
rAvg: 4.01
pDev: 10.22%
Wants: 199
Gots: 288 | 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: 2,227 | Reviews: 549 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of corby112
4.18/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark chocolate brown color with faint mahogany edges and a pillowy two finger beige head that slowly settles into a lasting ring. Larges streaks and chunks of soapy lacing left behind.

Robust, roasted malt aroma that never becomes acrid or burnt. Slightly smokey with hints of toast, dark chocolate, coffee bean, caramel, toffee and of course, oatmeal. There's also a slight lactic cream presence adding complexity to the nose.

Chewy, full body with a deeply roasted dark malt character that's nicely countered by a subtle earthy hop presence. Very similar to the aroma with lots of roasted malt flavor that never becomes overpowering or burnt tasting. Strong dark chocolate, oatmeal and coffee bean presence along with some caramel, toffee and lactic cream. Very complex and even though it's full bodied, it's very well balanced resulting in an extremely quaffable beer.

corby112, Jan 24, 2012
Photo of weeare138
3.5/5  rDev -12.7%

weeare138, Jan 05, 2014
Photo of Billolick
3.95/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Firestone Walker Velvet Merlin Oatmeal Stout

12 oz. bottle ,Bottled on dating ( "01/09/14") etched onto the neck of the bottle.

Pours near black, mocha head, stays nicely and leaves low sheeting and thicker strands of lace.

Chocolate and some vanilla on the nose.

Thick and flavorful, with more milk chocolate and smooth dark malt notes. Dry finish but maintains a quite moderate hop presence. Nicely done and well worth a try if ya see this available in your local area.

Billolick, Feb 18, 2014
Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.78/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours much lighter than I expected, more a deep brown than a brown-black, and still letting light pass through rather easily. Head is yellowish beige, large-bubbled and frothy where agitated, but otherwise forming a thin film. Pretty good static carbonation when tilted, but overall, it just doesn't win me with its look.

Nose is dry but pleasantly roasted, with grainy cereal notes and a hint of coconut. It's rather mild in aroma, but the characters it has are very pleasant.

Taste is similar, and it has a really nice smoothness on the back palate that melds with the dark grain notes to almost give the suggestion of chocolate, even though there's absolutely minimal sweetness. Finish is quite dry, and with that mealy cereal character that suggests you have another sip. It's light on the palate, really, but it's pretty drinkable.

Certainly something I'd happily drink again, and something with plenty of dry roasty character that is eminently sessionable. No bad at all.

lacqueredmouse, Oct 10, 2011
Photo of superspak
4/5  rDev -0.2%
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.

superspak, May 24, 2013
Photo of barleywinefiend
4.2/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

On tap at FW Taproom

Poured a deep brown almost black and it had a small white head. Nose had some hints of toffee, oatmeal and cocoa. Went down smooth and the ABV was around 5. Taste was smooth with not as much taste up front but through the middle and mouthfeel is where this beer is strongest i thought. Lots of smoothness, oats, cocoa, maybe a light coffee feel and creamy, roasted malts. Very smooth and highly drinkable. Best Oatmeal Stout I have had next to BORIS.

barleywinefiend, Feb 22, 2010
Photo of LXIXME
4.25/5  rDev +6%

LXIXME, Oct 21, 2014
Photo of mothman
3.58/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours 1 finger of light tan head. Leaves some rings. Color is a dark copper brown.

Aroma: Rich espresso, chocolate, caramel, and a lot of malts. Some vanilla. Big roast.

Taste: More espresso, roasted malts, chocolate, caramel, and vanilla. A lot like the nose.

Mouthfeel: Massive roast, medium bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Ends pretty dry.

Overall, too roasted for me. Otherwise, it is pretty good. I got no bourbon or oak out of this beer.

mothman, Jan 16, 2011
Photo of mdaschaf
4/5  rDev -0.2%

mdaschaf, Mar 26, 2013
Photo of Huhzubendah
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by RussianDragon. Thanks Dave!

The beer is near black with a half inch of beige head. Scents of bread, roast, chocolate. Smooth on the palate. Flavors include char, roast, chocolate, and a hint of coffee beans. Easy drinking and overall, a solid example of the style.

Huhzubendah, Jun 12, 2014
Photo of Gonzoillini
4/5  rDev -0.2%

Gonzoillini, Apr 05, 2013
Photo of DoubleJ
3.95/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Beachwood BBQ, on to the beer:

Ummm....it's black in appearance, the beer leaves some amount of lacing on the glass. What we have here is a very sweet stout. Semi-sweet chocolate all around, rolled oats...what else? A little thinner than I was expecting, but overall, this is a good oatmeal stout.

DoubleJ, Jan 03, 2009
Photo of BARFLYB
4.05/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Single bottle into two glasses with oglmcdgl, an extra in a recent trade. Hopefully six packs make it over here some day.

A- Out of the bottle Merkin looks a dirty brown bordering on black. Once it's all together it has a black appearance but up to light it has brown and reddish spots. A steady pour yielded a frothy milkshake like head with great retention, minor stick.

S- A very deep creamy appeal to this one as im getting a lot of chocolate as well as the advertised oatmeal. A bunch of roasted malt is a strong contender as well. A very small amount of coffee.

T- This is a very nice oatmeal stout with a huge creaminess, perhaps the most I've had from this style. A bunch of oatmeal & chocolate with slight burnt coffee. A nice amount of hops to balance all those dark flavors. Great flavor from this very fresh bottle

M- Medium to slightly thick in the mouth which I was not expecting from the look of the pour. Creamy as hell, smooth as silk. Carbed up without being bitey at all, yet a small bitterness from the roast coffee.

D- At 5.5% this is quite drinkable and with the robust flavors I could drink a few without getting bored. One of the better examples of an oatmeal stout that I've had. I enjoy everything I have had from this brewery.

BARFLYB, Nov 10, 2011
Photo of rhoadsrage
3.9/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

(Served in a snifter)
Bottled 12/04/12
A- This beer pours a get black body with a thin wisp of tan head and a glowing walnut brown hue at the base.

S- The inky black malt aroma has some earthy tar notes and a deep coffee hint comes through. There are some nice graham notes that come through as it warms

T- The big black earthy inky roasted malt has an almost smoky quality it is so dark and some slightly sweet malt finish that is pretty clean in the aftertaste.

M- The medium mouthfeel has a slippery texture and no alcohol heat noticed

O- This big black malt flavor is nice with some inky qualities but the finish and body really get thin a lot as it opens up and there isn’t much to support that big malt flavor. It would be nice to have some alcohol or hops or sweetness to finish what the flavor starts.

rhoadsrage, Mar 27, 2013
Photo of Zorro
3.88/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear black colored beer with a smallish light brown colored head.

Smells strongly of chocolate. Scents of oak and vanilla with a little chocolate. Little bit of toasted bread aroma and a slight menthol and carrot scent from the hops.

Starts out mildly sweet and roasted grains with the distinctive Firestone oak barrel taste. Bittersweet taste with a bit of vanilla and caramel.

Mouthfeel is good.

Not a bad beer at all. A little disappointing though, Firestone normally hits home runs; this is more of a Double.

Zorro, Oct 31, 2010
Photo of afsdan
4.75/5  rDev +18.5%

afsdan, Aug 11, 2014
Photo of Mebuzzard
4.38/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Good to see this one on the shelf. It's an unassuming oatmeal stout, a quiet beast.

Black pour with cola-like edge. Head is off-white/brown with slick lacing. Would like to see a bigger head, maybe more dense...but still looks good.

Soft aroma of roasted cocoa, wet dark bread and black strap leather. hint of baked caramel. Not a powerful aroma, but damn nice.

Again, unassuming. Nothing here is going to scream to get attention. But the roastiness and baked stuff is really endearing. Cocoa powder, baked chocolate and caramel, fire-side pine on the end. hint of smoke. Very nice.

The softness of this beer really stands out. It's rich and drinkable without getting you plastered. Smooth and coating with a semi-dry finish. Darn good

Mebuzzard, Oct 12, 2011
Photo of smakawhat
4.33/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass. Bottled Feb 17th 2014, going for this sucker!

Bright light tan head. Surprising head appearance in a creamy but almost bleached bright tan color. About three fingers with a small settling one finger cap. Body color is very dark. Deep midnight black and maybe even a little bit red strangely. Up to the light there is some clarity. Pretty nice.

Great nose on this guy. Deep roasted and toasty notes, and lots of creamy tones. The grain just rips on this supper husky and crackling. Light notes of soft roast and small vanilla. A big sense of depth it would seem coming. Loving this.

Real nice flavors, but a very faint hint of acridity and faint sour tinge on the finish. Palate fills though with a light bodied chewy cookie quality. Dark crackling roast and soft malt mouthfeel on the palate, nearly silky. Some small vanilla.

Wonderful oatmeal stout, with a sense of chewy depth, and big aromas. Would like to grab this guy in the style often, but it's never around these parts. Glad to finally get my hands on this one.

smakawhat, May 10, 2014
Photo of BillRoth
4/5  rDev -0.2%

BillRoth, Jul 14, 2013
Photo of DrBier
3.75/5  rDev -6.5%

DrBier, Jul 26, 2014
Photo of Wasatch
3.98/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks goes out to G311 for this brew.

Pours a nice black color, nice carbonation, small fizzy off-white head, with some sticky lacing left behind. The nose is malty, with a nice touch of chocolate/toffee. The taste is sweet, malty, with some chocolate/toffee. Medium Body. Drinkable, this is a very tasty brew. I wish it was available in Utah.

Wasatch, Mar 04, 2011
Photo of brandoman63
4/5  rDev -0.2%

brandoman63, Nov 21, 2011
Photo of John_M
3.9/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On cask at Max's today.

The beer pours a blackish brown color with good head retention and lacing. The nose is a bit shy, but I still pick up some nice coffee, light vanilla and light bourbon and light chocolate. On the palate... you can tell this is a low alcohol beer, but damn does it deliver a lot of flavor. The flavor profile basically replicates the nose, but there's just more of everything. There's also a hint of tobacco, smoke and earthiness in the finish that I appreciate as well. It helps to dry out the modest sweetness in this beer. Mouthfeel is pretty good. The beer is soft and plush on the palate, though it's a bit thin as well (but at 5.5% abv., that's hardly a surprise).

While nothing earth shattering here, it's hard not to be impressed with a beer showing this much flavor with such low alcohol. Pretty impressive really...

John_M, Apr 27, 2012
Photo of rab53
3.61/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

rab53, Jul 19, 2013
Photo of KAF
4/5  rDev -0.2%

KAF, Jan 17, 2012
Velvet Merlin from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
90 out of 100 based on 2,227 ratings.