Dismiss Notice
Save $5 when you subscribe to 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine by selecting auto-renew.

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join Our Email List →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.
Dismiss Notice

Pre-order your Respect Beer "Hipster" Hoodie today!

Plus: Free shipping (US only) on orders of $25 or more until 12/18/15. Just select "Free Shipping" at checkout.

Shop now →

Velvet Glove - Iron Fist Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Velvet GloveVelvet Glove

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

100 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 100
Hads: 335
Avg: 3.93
pDev: 20.36%
Wants: 31
Gots: 64 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Iron Fist Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Sideswipe on 01-15-2011

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 100 | Hads: 335
Photo of beveragebattle
4.41/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Round 1-Value

Iron Fist @ $11.99 with 9.0% ABV

Round 2-Aroma

Iron Fist: Unsweetened chocolate and espresso notes

Round 3-Flavor

Iron Fist: Dark chocolate covered espresso beans

Round 4-Finish

Iron Fist : 1:30-2:00 minutes

Round 5-Packaging

Iron Fist: Champagne bottle (25.4 ounces) with nice Communist-esque artwork


Iron Fist came in at $11.99 with a 9% ABV, which is a little pricey for 25.4 ounces of beer. With that being said, the beer is so rich, complex, and memorable that the price becomes an after thought. I treated this craft beer like a bottle of wine and sipped it all night. Velvet Glove is a quality Imperial Stout.

 657 characters

Photo of braker649er
4.22/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

I was highly impressed--from the thick, generous head to the trailing warm alochol aftertaste, through the smooth-drinking middle.

L - Tan head, opaque brown to black.
S - There was lots more in the taste and feel than the smell of this one for me, but I certainly smelled coffee and chocolate.
T - Alcoholic Hershey's syrup was my first impression--in a good way: for its luscious chocolate and its smoothness backed by booze. Definitely coffee taste in there. maybe raisin or licorice for me.
F - It's not usually the mouthfeel that stands out for me, but this time it did. Noticeably smooth, especially out of a bottle--not to the level of nitro, but very close. A little more syrupy than creamy, but in a good way. A very good way.
O - The name is very apt. It is smooth and also packs a punch. I was impressed.

 819 characters

Photo of schad
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%

375ml bottle served in a Spiegelau stout glass.

Pours a cocoa black color, deep mocha head.

Aroma is strong chocolate malt with hints of espresso.

Taste is very rich chocolate with a hint of coffee and alcohol. Very smooth. Finishes with black licorice.

Overall a smooth imperial stout.

 290 characters

Photo of bubseymour
2.2/5  rDev -44%

I let this beer age in my cellar for about 6 months. Something was really off with this beer. A sourness in there. Maybe infected? Not sure, but it was one of the worst imperial stouts I've ever had. No woder it was way cheaper than most other options (I think I paid $6.99 for a big bottle). I had about 4 oz tops and had to drainpour the rest.

 351 characters

Photo of HalfFull
3.65/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750 poured into a New Belgium globe glass. The Velvet Glove pours a deep black with a slightly bubbly mocha cap of foam. Black even in the light, the cap is a bit short lived but resurrects itself with a quick spin.

Nose is rich through the foam, becoming a bit more still as the cap settles between agitation. Some dark chocolate and bit of roast as well as a still darkness and a faint hint of ethanol.

Taste follows with similar light roast and coffee notes and maybe a hint of deep cherry on the close. Pleasant coarseness on the finish rounds out the flavor profile. Overall a decent offering yet nothing exceptional, though does get more complex with warming, yet only to a degree. Solid yet 'simple' in a way.

 726 characters

Photo of jmdrpi
3.82/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

750 ml capped bottle. no date

pours viscous and black like used motor oil. dark tan head, but it fades fast. nice aroma that builds as it warms - roast, a little booze. taste starts slightly sweet, then acidic dry aftertaste lingers. nice mouthfeel - thick and sticky, low carbonation. overall a decent imperial stout but not anywhere near the top of the style.

 369 characters

Photo of wordemupg
3.67/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle poured into tulip 21/9/14

A nearly jet black, thin cola edge, three fingers of dark foam has great retention but somehow manages to leave no lace, kinda strange, I'd say it was a dirty glass but the foam stuck around time wise just not to the side of the glass

S coco powder, bakers chocolate, licorice, faint char, leafy, earthy notes, sour plum, maybe a mild infection setting in, not quite funk but a faint sour aspect is in the background and I don't think its intentional

T some sweetened coffee I didn't smell, chocolate syrup, prune, raisin, plum, still has a little sour thing going on, a hint off booze but well concealed for 9%

M fairly full and creams up from the bubbles, slick in the mouth but a little sticky on the lips, sour char lingers

O I feel like this one just stops short of something great, I'm guessing there's a mild infection but still leaves a decent beer behind just not one living up to its full potential

teetering between respectable and "off", I'm thinking this would score lower as time progresses, worth a try but I wouldn't go to far out of your way or sit on one if you already have one on hand

 1,158 characters

Photo of Brutaltruth
4/5  rDev +1.8%

This stout pours black as sin from the 12 oz bottle. A very thin brown head quickly disappears
to give a brew with very light lacing. The nose is unobtainable cold. warm it has a rich
chocolate smell, like a dark bakers chocolate, a little coffee, deeply roasted grains, and sweet
malts. Taste is chocolate up front and on the back. Like an oil slick on the taste buds, this one
has light notes of black licorice, earth deeply roasted grains, and a smooth as silk mouthfeel.
A light souring comes through on the aftertaste like a mix between dark cherries and almost a
cranberry like flavor, far from unpleasant. Highly quaffable imperial stout. Very nice.

 665 characters

Photo of cjgiant
3.64/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

I read a few reviews before trying this, and have to say I expected a little more, but can't say I was very surprised by the things I noticed.

A: black with thin edge head, seeming a little light on carbonation
S: probably the most surprising part versus reviews. I get very little overall, but I do get some sweet coffee and molasses, maybe some licorice.
T: first few sips (when a not cold), I mostly got molasses tastes. As it warmed I got more flavors, vanilla and that coffee from the nose. The transition to the end brings a little alcohol burn, bringing about the licorice notes I noticed in smell.
M: as others have stated, a bit watery for a stout
O: initial impressions before it warmed were lukewarm. They improved as the beer came to temperature. Still, overall I think it's at best an just-better-than-okay version of the style.

 842 characters

Photo of brentk56
3.88/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

A viciously dark pour, with a rocky mocha head capping the liquid; a smattering of lace is left behind

Smell: Sweetened chocolate with some roast, coffee and pipe tobacco tones

Taste: Sweetened chocolate overwhelms the palate, bringing the "velvet" before the "fist" though the roast, coffee and ash tones build into the mid-palate; perhaps there is a bit of raisin in the mix but the sweetness is so dominant that it makes it hard to discern any other flavors

Mouthfeel: Full bodied and velvety smooth; moderate carbonation; some warmth in the gullet

Overall: My bottle has a year, maybe two, of age on it and, given the sweetness, I would recommend that others drink it fresher so as to preserve the balance from the hops

 727 characters

Photo of biboergosum
3.9/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

750ml bottle. I gotta say, I actually like the marketing babble's 'velvet glove' explanation, and how it pertains to an Imperial Stout. After that, though, I just stopped reading.

This beer pours a solid, unforgiving black oil, erm, 'colour', with the barest of trace basal highlight detritus, and three chubby fingers of puffy, rocky, foamy, frothy, chunky, bubbly, and in other words, clearly awesome chocolate milk brown head, which leaves some pleasantly random-shaped webbed lace around the glass as it slowly, gradually dissipates.

It smells of milky, bittersweet Irish cocoa, burnt coffee, neutered vanilla beans, wet cigar ash, a mildly yeasty dark fruitiness - one indistinct in its sourness - toasted caramel malt, a bit of star anise, and leafy, earthy hops. The taste is big semi-sweet chocolate, somewhat bashful caramel malt, testy dry orchard fruit, smoky, charcoal-flecked leather, well sauced-up cafe-au-lait, a bit of early-morning oatmeal graininess, and a blended stale nutty/leafy hop bitterness.

The carbonation is fairly understated, and just barely up for its quotidian duties, the body a sturdy medium-full weight, and smooth, in a tempered, sort of bristling from imminent threats manner. It finishes less sweet than I might have initially gathered, a certain thinning of the herd apparently going on right now, as the cocoa, coffee, and muddled malt all pull back to some degree, allowing the metallic alcohol and ride-along hops to inform on my experience as such.

A flavourful, if not overly dense (in the expected good way) Imperial Stout, the big promise at the outset fading to a more plain, inoffensive dryness of being. It appears that the velvet of the titular glove might have attained too much of an, um, upper hand over the iron fist that many of us prefer in our big, bad, and well, Imperial stouts. Sometimes (ok, most times), I prefer that the taste and mouthfeel, and not just the booze, use and abuse me at will, at least for this particular style.

 1,995 characters

Photo of RblWthACoz
3.97/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Seems to be pretty much no head on this one. Pours pretty much pitch black though. First off, I like the viscosity of this one. Beyond that, it has a nice thick malt character to match. Kind of a mild molasses tone in flavor, but matching the feel. Which is fine by me. Mild roast. Very mild chocolate. Overall, it's a well bodied and consistent stout. To be rated any higher it would need to bring some variance of character and more oomph in the unusual department. But it's a nice drinker.

 492 characters

Photo of craftbeersweden
4.34/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Almoust black liquid with a three finger high, brownbeige, fluffy head.

Nose: Vanilla, chocolate, coffee, smoke, ash, oak, rubber and roasted malt.

Taste: Smooth, really smooth taste! For an Imperial Stout - almoust a little bit waterish. Coffe, dry cocoa, smoked ham, ash, dark fruit, soy sauce and molasses.
Where have I've sensed this before? Yep! It makes me thining about Alaskan Smoked Porter! I get the same notes here!

Mouthfeel: A rich texture and well enbedded carbonation with almoust no alcohol taste. Really well hidden! Oily, smooth, complex and still very easy drinking!

I like this! But then I really like Alaskan Smoked Porter also...

Today I only bought two bottles - I'm going to get more of this lovely beer!

 735 characters

Photo of cbutova
3.42/5  rDev -13%
look: 1.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

One of the last beers I have left beyond a few obvious aging candidates from San Diego last November. Opening as a celebratory brew.

A- Poured out of the 750ml bottle into a snifter with an appearance similar to spent motor oil. Super thick and oily and black as night. The bottle did let out a small hiss but I didn't think it would be this under-carbonated. No head, no bubbles, no legs, no lace, no sign of carbonation.

S- Fudgey and chocolatey with some underlying notes of a higher ABV fermented American Ale yeast, a bit of dark red fruits. Mostly dark, heavily roasted malts though.

T- Roasty and malty like the nose but the yeast gains some strength compared to the aroma. Rich dark roast grains, cocoa powder, toasted nutty and caramel malts atop a yeast fruit feel that gives the beer a bit of a cherry truffle hint without feeling artificial, it is a good thing.

MF- The lack of carbonation hits you immediately. Bubbles are here but at an almost minimum level. The body itself is very thick and has an oily, slick texture. Finishes with a tiny hint of alcohol warming and some roasty bitterness. (One thing must be said, the flavor allows the mouthfeel to be the way it is so I can't totally destroy it.)

The lack of carbonation hurts the appearance and mouthfeel a lot but the flavor is actually quite pleasant nonetheless and really not hurt by the carbonation level. Solid roast malts with some underlying yeast influence. When I am back in San Diego, I will give this another go.

 1,500 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

"Iron Fist" and "Velvet Glove"- seemingly an oxymoron, but one sip and it all makes sense. The beer has a softer and silkier tone that glosses over its masculine strength and abrasive char underneath. The beer is its own yin and yang.

Jet black in its pour, only crimson low lights permit at the beer's widest angles. Yet a creamy off-white head builds upon the beer and caps it firmly throughout the vast majority of the session. It trails with broken lace as the beer slowly fades.

Leading notes of chocolate are backed by sweeter aromas of molasses, burnt toffee and vanilla milkshake. Yet heartier and more robust scents of smooth espresso, charred toast and roasted nuts are a counterpoint to the sweeter overtones.

Its not-so-delicate flavors are roasty with fresh-ground espresso, yet its taste of malt bring about a sense of heavy whipping cream, vanilla milkshakes, bittersweet chocolates and mocha latte. As the sweetness easily handles the roast, the beer's spicy alcohol provides further balance with a peppery taste to assist the char.

Silky-smooth in texture, the beer's deeply embedded carbonation gives a lush creaminess to the beer, making it feel truly like velvet on the palate. Its milky mouthfeel coats the mouth like decadent desserts and leads to a long and smoothly roasted finish.

The beer's Dr. Jekyll / Mr. Hyde dialogue works well. There's enough gusto to appease the staunch lovers of dry roast in stout. But there's also enough decadent sweetness to appease the sweet tooth as well.

 1,517 characters

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.99/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a pitch-black color stout with a nice large foamy head with good retention and some good lacing. Aroma of roasted dry malt notes with nice rich chocolates notes with a side of molasses. Taste is a very nice balance mxi between some roasted malt notes with some dry notes which are offset by creamy chocolates notes with medium sweetness notes of green molasses. Body is full with nice creamy texture with good carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Very well brewed and probably one of my favorite beer from Iron Fist.

 531 characters

Photo of Zorro
3.93/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Black colored ale with a very small brown colored head.

Smells smells of patent malt and berries with a little chocolate and caramel. Slight sour scent and a slight milk scent.

Starts out fairly sweet with a charred grain after taste. Bittersweet with a clear taste of milk sugar. medium bitterness but the lactose really softens the taste. the one thing I don't taste is berry. Chocolate and caramel but not really coffee.

Mouthfeel is thick.

Overall a tasty easy to drink beer. What it lacks in complexity it makes up for with smooth and pleasant flavor.

 560 characters

Photo of oberon
4.04/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours jet black with a thinner but well sustained lighter mocha colored head atop,full on dark fruits and French roast coffee in the nose,the dark fruit notes have a brandy dipped element to them.Flavors of bitter chocolate and raisins,the alcohol provides sweetness that goes well with the chocolate flavors,alot of dark fruit and alcohol in the finish.It's big and somewhat alcoholic but the sweetness stays in check,big in the dark fruit department.

 452 characters

Photo of superspak
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle into snifter, no bottle dating. Pours dense pitch black color with a 1 finger dense tan head with great retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of dark chocolate, cocoa, roasted malt, coffee, caramel, toast, toffee, raisin, oatmeal, dark bread, and roasted earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of dark/roasted malt notes; with good strength. Taste of dark chocolate, cocoa, caramel, roasted malt, toast, toffee, oatmeal, coffee, dark bread, light char, light raisin, and roasted earthiness. Slight roasted bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, roasted malt, caramel, toast, toffee, oatmeal, dark bread, light raisin, light char, and roasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Damn nice balance complexity, and robustness of dark/roasted malt flavors; with zero cloying sweetness after the finish. Medium carbonation and full bodied; with a very creamy, slick, and lightly chalky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a damn nice imperial stout. All around good complexity, balance, and robustness of dark/roasted malt flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the ABV. A very enjoyable offering.

 1,320 characters

Photo of dorianmarley
4.21/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance is rich black, with a chocolate brown head that fades into a very sticky lacing.

Nose is sweet malt, caramel, and dark chocolate. Mildly roasted.

Taste is very sweet, with espresso, milk chocolate, and applewood. Alcohol flavor in the finish.

Mouthfeel is very smooth. Balanced, drinkable. Medium carbonation. Alcohol provides a nice backing. The alcohol and bitterness are almost puckering.

Overall, this is a phenomenally bold, well-balanced stout.

 465 characters

Photo of smakawhat
3.65/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a snifter glass.

A classic simple dark walnut black body, a bit of clarity held up to the light with a nice red edge to it also. Head is maybe a finger tall, but an interesting creamy mocha with a fascinating orange tinge to it. Neat looking, wish that head color could stick around, leaves a nice whispy top.

Nose is a little one dimensional and buried. Weak roasted grains, hints of flaky barley. Roast character doesn't travel that much, some hints of fruity esters might even be present too. Mellow charcoal to match. Not bad.

Boy on first sip, that mouthfeel is impressive. Full. Silky. Luscious and coating, but where's the character? Slight drying roasted grains. Hints of peanut butter and very light grains. Mellow finish, and a little bit fleeting on the swallow. Slight mellow fruit aftertase as well that's not very easy to distinguish.

Overall it's a real impressive feeling and silky brew, but with a palate that doesn't seem to be that exciting.

 992 characters

Photo of SerialHiker
3.74/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Pours black, there isn’t even a hint of dark brown in the corners…very dense…head is thick and mocha colored…luscious, like a cloud floating on top…big bubbles supporting small bubbles, fantastic! (4/5)

Smell: Very chalky, oatmeal heavy for sure…roasted and toasted malts, dry chocolate, very mild coffee bitterness…a touch of alcohol heat when I stick my nose in there, this is a very malt driven brew…very deep and dark and sultry…(3.75/5)

Taste: Creamy, smooth, dry oatmeal right off the bat…roasted malts, light coffee bitterness, dry cacao nibs come roaring in next…very malt driven, much like the nose…I’m also getting a bit of astringent flavor, but it’s mild…not overly complex flavor, it really does start as it finishes: tons of oatmeal and roasted/toasted malts, cacao, coffee. Done…(3.75/5)

Mouthfeel: Medium body, it’s smooth and light on the palate, but has a complex chewiness that balances between easy drinking and a heavy hitter…carbonation is a little light, but does fluff up bringing roasted malts, light coffee bitterness and oatmeal dryness to the palate…it has a dry immediately after swallowing, then fades with rich, roasted/dry flavors…nice, but carbonation could be more…(3.5/5)

Overall: This is a really solid brew…it’s my first dip into the Iron Fist pool and I have to say its worth trying…the higher price tag ($10.99) may be a bit steep, but the flavor is solid and won’t disappoint…coffee, chocolate, and oatmeal are a nice combo and they’ve worked something nice here…not overly boozy in the drinking, this one beer is perfect for a night in with the wife while watching something on HGTV…if you’re like me…(3.75/5)

 1,728 characters

Photo of rawfish
4.37/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours jet black and viscous into the glass. Small mocha head forms with little retention and lacing though a fine ring of bubbles i seen clinging to the glass.

Rich dark chocolate, sweetened oatmeal and licorice with undertones of coffee and creamy caramel. Very inviting and strong.

Sweet roasted malt with a bit of astringency, a bit green and bitter near the finish. Other than that the flavor exudes rich dark chocolate notes and a slight tone of coffee beans. Balanced and even, the alcohol is complementary.

Creamy mouthfeel, drinkable body with a touch of alcohol that complements the flavor of the brew. Mouthcoating is sweet and fades nicely.

Color me impressed with this stout, it's smooth, rich and flavorful delivering plentiful chocolate notes with touches of pleasant complexities. The mouthfeel is velvet much like the namesake, this is as good a stout as I've ever had.

 889 characters

Photo of metter98
4.04/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: The beer is jet black in color. It poured with a half finger high dark tan head that died down, leaving some patches of bubbles on the surface and a collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Moderate aromas of dark malts are present in the nose along with notes of licorice and hints of roasted malts.
T: The taste is similar to the smell and also has some hints of dark chocolate and slight hints of bitterness.
M: It feels full-bodied and slightly thick on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer hides its also hides its alcohol rather well and isn't that too difficult to drink.

 610 characters

Photo of dbrauneis
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours an opaque jet black in color with light to moderate amounts of visible carbonation and some very dark cola brown + dark amber highlights. The beer has a half finger tall creamy dark tan head that reduces to a large patch of very thin film and a medium thick ring at the edges of the glass. Light amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of roasted dark malts with some hints of vanilla, cocoa, and coffee.

T: Upfront there are moderate flavors of roasted dark malts with some light to moderate notes of chocolate and dark fruit sweetness (hints of raisin). There are some hints of vanilla and coffee. Light amounts of bitterness in the finish that lingers slightly.

M: Medium to full bodied with light to moderate amounts of carbonation.

O: This has some nice flavors with a decent amount of complexity and it pretty enjoyable - alcohol is well hidden. Fairly easy to drink but a nice sipping beer.

Thanks to my wife for bringing this one back from her business trip to the LA area.

 1,006 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Velvet Glove from Iron Fist Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 100 ratings.