Mocha Merlin
Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Mocha MerlinMocha Merlin
Write a Review
Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
Stout - Oatmeal
Ranked #43
Ranked #5,334
4.04 | pDev: 8.91%
Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
California, United States
Mocha MerlinMocha Merlin
Notes: Formerly Velvet Mocha Merlin
View: Beers
Reviews: 133 | Ratings: 585 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of whynot44
whynot44 from Missouri

4.02/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Very dark, opaque brown, almost black with a decent creamy milk chocolate head that subsides to just a persistent thin layer but does produce a bit of lacing.
The aroma is roasted malt, coffee and just a hint of cream.
The taste is toasted malt up front, coffee followed by milk chocolate, slightly sweet, finishing with a bite of roasted grain and coffee.
The body is light for oatmeal stout, but fairly smooth.
Overall it's a very enjoyable, tasty brew.

Apr 21, 2019
Photo of sjdevel
sjdevel from Colorado

4.08/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Look - very dark - no light gets through - a nice 3 finger head that dissipated quickly though
Smell - coffee and burnt grains - not as aromatic as hoped - didn't really get chocolate
Taste - nice bite at first and sweet caramel / charred grain and wood - some coffee but barely any chocolate
Feel - lighter than expected - low/medium bodied - wanted thicker for a milk stout
Overall - very good beer that is easy drinking - not as powerful as I expected - Firestone brews are usually very flavorful and this is just not so much - but a good tasting brew

Mar 27, 2019
Photo of Brianpal
Brianpal from Colorado

4.33/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz, drank directly out of the can. Tastes of chocolate and coffee, not too sweet, and not too bitter. Very pleasant beer that grows on you as you drink it. Overall it is one of the better milk stouts that I have ever drank.

Mar 15, 2019
Photo of clayrock81
clayrock81 from Florida

4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a black body with one-finger khaki head that left a lace ring. The aroma is mainly coffee and oats although some lactic qualities along with hints of milk chocolate slip in. Smooth, dry, well-balanced as the minimal lactic/chocolate sweetness keeps coffee in check and it's a delicious sipper.

Feb 19, 2019
Photo of AyatollahGold
AyatollahGold from Indiana

4.2/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Hugely roasty nose with fresh coffee being greatly prominent. Some cream notes as well. The taste comes in with mildly acidic coffee. Silky chocolate plays a nice background. It’s somewhat creamy, but overall a little thin for my liking. Not bad for the style though.
Overall, this is a nice and flavorful oatmeal stout with a very sessionable ABV.

Feb 12, 2019
Photo of jkblr
jkblr from Indiana

4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

12oz canned 12/19/18 (1 month ago) poured into a perfect pint glass at fridge temp 5.5% ABV. The beer pours dark brown with ruby highlights and mocha colored head. The head recedes to a thin film and ring leaving some lacing. The aroma is sweetened cold brew coffee. The taste is medium strength cold brew coffee first with the lactose sweetness and chocolate rolling in behind. The balance of bitterness to sweet is just on the side of bitter. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, adequately carbonated and semi dry in the finish. Overall, very good. Looks and nose are first class. A little tangy & thin for a oatmeal or milk stout (it seems to use both ingredients). Still very enjoyable.

Jan 26, 2019
Photo of morimech
morimech from Minnesota

3.78/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Blurry stamp on the bottle of the 12 oz can which I believe reads 10/30/18 so not the freshest coffee beer. Has decent coffee flavor, not the best aroma. Not a whole lot of chocolate. Good body, carbonation, and look.

Jan 19, 2019
Photo of Apellonious
Apellonious from North Carolina

4.16/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz can from 9/27/18, poured into a Guinness pint glass. As expected, its pitch black, with a half finger tan head that dissipates to a thin layer of lace fairly quickly. Aroma is of vanilla, chocolate, and cold brew coffee, with touches of dark fruit and almonds. The taste brings out the same, with a hint of roast/smoke, with chocolate trending towards chocolate milk, and with some hints of the coffee. Carbonation is medium, a decent amount of heft for a lighter stout. A tasty stout that has a good mix of flavors without being overly sweet.

Jan 03, 2019
Photo of HoodviewBrew
HoodviewBrew from Texas

3.43/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Pretty disappointed. The beer was just... flat. Little carbonation, thin watery mouthfeel and the flavor was all kind of there but just weak and subdued. It's not drain-pour bad but I would not buy it again. Disappointing considering how well FS walker's other beers have been.

Dec 15, 2018
Photo of BlackBeerPirate
BlackBeerPirate from Illinois

4.35/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Taste: smooth, dry roasted coffee, Baker's chocolate, semi sweet, smoked notes, clean dry finish. Cocoa coffee bean aroma. Black, opaque, tall tan foam head, with ringed lace. Medium to med/full body. good after dinner ale. 23 IBUs

Dec 15, 2018
Photo of jwc215
jwc215 from Arizona

4.28/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

12 oz. can - canned on 10/04/18 stamped on bottom:

Pours very dark brown to black. A lasting tan head leaves lacing.

The smell is of chocolate and espresso. Rich. Earthy notes come through.

The taste is of milk and dark chocolate. Coffee with restrained roast. Earthy spicy touch in the long finish.

It is velvety smooth.

This is a great stout, rich but drinkable. Very smooth. malt-forward and leans sweet but not too. Nice balancing touch. Nice long finish. Very well-done!

Dec 11, 2018
Photo of brentk56
brentk56 from North Carolina

4.35/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: A massive head builds atop the espresso colored liquid and sticks there without much dissipation; significant lacing action appears

Smell: Strong coffee aromatics complemented by chocolate and charred black bread

Taste: Coffee forward, with the chocolate tones building; roasty, almost smoky, through the middle, with a burnt black bread aspect in the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation; creamy

Overall: Despite the charred aspect, this is a really tasty milk stout

Dec 04, 2018
Photo of Czequershuus
Czequershuus from Minnesota

3.18/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

This beer pours a simple black with a small but suntanning brown head. The aroma features notes of dark roasted coffee, burnt toast, chili powder, cocoa powder, and cinnamon sticks. The flavor is gentle, with a bit of dark chocolate, medium roast coffee, dried cinnamon, and a hint of vegetable rind. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with middling fizzy carbonation. Overall this is a nice little beer, though nothing particularly exciting. I have only ever had the base beer with nitro, and it seems that may have been a wiser choice here as well.

Dec 01, 2018
Photo of elNopalero
elNopalero from Texas

4.53/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

This pours a cola coffee color with an impressive cap of mocha colored foam that lasts for ages. Looks amazing. Coffee coffee coffee on the nose, with more coffee than stout as it sips. This is fantastic but then again I wouldn't expect anything else from them.

Nov 14, 2018
Photo of Greywulfken
Greywulfken from New York

4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown pour is opaque black in the glass with a tall dark tan foam head... As expected, brings ample coffee and cocoa to the nose and palate... Light-bodied, with the sweetness up front and a slight drying char on the very back-end... Not my normal fare, but enjoyable and well-crafted...10/8/18 canning...

Nov 08, 2018
Photo of MaltsOfGlory
MaltsOfGlory from Oregon

3.94/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

12oz can

Pours a nice finger of tan head into my tulip glass. Dissipates pretty quickly. The body showed hues of brown and mahogany while being poured and when held up to the light. It's not as dark as I would expect, though, it's still mostly black. It looks fine so far.

The nose is exploding with fresh coffee beans. Hard to smell much else, but it smells fantastic. Not too sweet, not too bitter. Very very nice.

The flavor is much the same, huge flavor of fresh coffee beans. Slightly on the sweeter side, but it's not too sweet by any means, and it has some bitterness in there as well. The flavor is big initially, but unfortunately does not stick the entire way through the palate, not a big deal, but noticeable. Overall a very good taste.

The mouthfeel is a little lighter than I would expect, and probably than I would prefer. It's an extremely light body, which coincides with the lighter appearance, and the un resilient flavor. The carbonation is about medium. Bitterness lingers for a nano second at the end. Overall I would prefer something thicker here.

The drinkability is very high. I think they were definitely going for a sessionable coffee beer. Nothing wrong with that, but I would have preferred something bigger, even if it meant sacrificing it's sessionable quality.

Overall this is a good beer. It's got a great nose and taste, full of fresh coffee. I would have liked a bigger mouth, and a more lasting flavor, but it's still good.

The appearance turned out sub par. Not really anything in the way of lacing. The head dissipated quickly, it left a little film, but not much. Overall not too great.

Oct 29, 2018
Photo of cjard
cjard from California

4.91/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pours to a nice frothy head with solid retention. Lacing is also good. It has a strong smell of coffee mixed with a slight hint of chocolate. The feel is smooth which makes it incredibly easy to drink. With it being coffee infused there is a strong coffee flavor that works incredibly well with the malts. There is a subtle chocolate aftertaste that is a perfect compliment to the coffee flavor. Overall I'd say that this beer is incredibly delicious and makes for a great dessert beer.

Sep 12, 2018
Photo of Act25
Act25 from New Jersey

4.06/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

The additives dilute the head’s duration and stick as well as the feel. (As almost always) Beer is compromises by the trade offs of additives. (Look + Feel) 3.75
The smell is lovely roasty, coffee of quality, well made with suitable char and hop to offset any sweetness.
Wood fire included. (Smell 4)
The taste is outstanding with a very long, bitter-sweet, well-made arc on the tongue that includes the aromatics plus I find a long clean finish that outpunches its ABV. If you’re an espresso drinker this is for you.
O: Outstanding and original, not me too, among the best of the espresso stouts.

Jun 29, 2018
Photo of StonedTrippin
StonedTrippin from Colorado

4.25/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

the coffee spike really makes this, a next level beer, and worth the high praise it receives. i think the cool thing about having coffee in it, is that it contributes a lot more than just coffee character, like, there are synergies it is responsible for that make this special, well beyond the nutty, sweet, roasty java thats all over the nose and taste of this one. for one, i think it calls up some cool nuance in the dark grain that is a little harder to fully appreciate in the original. chocolate is the main note i get now that i dont so much in that one, dark and milk alike, sweet and bitter, rich in a fancy and high end sort of way, and i think the coffee addition is responsible for it. i also think the coffee adds a lot of depth, like it highlights some of the roast in the dark barley, earthy and bitter, and it pulls up a slightly sweet caramel malt aspect to balance in the middle, toffee notes and light smoke to it. on top of that i really like the coffee itself, smooth and heavy, some caffeine to it, and its warming, feels like morning, and works in both cold weather as a cozy sort of thing, and in warm weather like a cold brewed coffee over ice might refresh. its beautiful, a more nuanced and complete beer than the original, still frothy and full from the oats, just awesome, and of the finest quality. one of the better firestone beers in recent memory for me!

Jun 18, 2018
Photo of tone77
tone77 from Pennsylvania

3.84/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A thanks to the captain of the canquest, woodychandler, for this beer. Poured from a 12 oz. can. Has a black color with a 1 inch head. Smell is of coffee, some cream. Taste is coffee with cream, light chocolate, some hints of oats. Feels full bodied in the mouth and overall is a quality beer.

Apr 12, 2018
Photo of Kemblain
Kemblain from New York

4.32/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: Dark pour. Thick tan head that fades too fast.
S: Rich, roasted coffee, some cream and vanilla.
T: Full roast coffee flavor, some cream and vanilla, malted oats to finish.
F: Full bodied, heavy but velvety smooth. Moderate carbonation.
O: Outstanding.

Mar 13, 2018
Photo of AWolfAtTheDoor
AWolfAtTheDoor from Washington

4.08/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Nearing the end of my random build a 6 pack of stouts. Huge Velvet Merlin fan, I almost shat myself when I saw a mocha version. Let's give it a spin

Pours very dark into my pint glass. Light mocha colored .75" head. Recedes slowly to a solid light mocha ring. Subtle lacing throughout session. Beer is dark with ruby highlights shining through. Body appears to be quite clear.

First impression while pouring the beer was a strong green bell pepper aroma--both out of the can and in the pint glass. After the early volatiles gassed off, a nice medley of maple syrup, chocolate, gentle coffee emerged. As beer warmed up, green pepper aroma re-emerged, albeit it less intensely.

Great balance of flavors. Sweet caramel malts, gentle coffee. Low roast notes. Beer finishes sweet, and a ghost of sweetness emerges a few seconds later. Hint of earthy hops. Medium low hop bitterness. Smooth and soft.

Medium full bodied. Medium carbonation.

This was a very nice beer. Lost points for the weird green pepper aroma at the beginning and a lack of lacing throughout the session. This is a good beer, however I can see this NOT aging well due to how delicate it is. Only bought one of these, but I will happily seek out more.

Mar 11, 2018
Photo of hoptheology
hoptheology from South Dakota

3.83/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Canned on 11/8/17. Dark brown to black body, with a thin ring of beige head.

Aroma has quite an astounding bit of black and green pepper action, with very very faint subtle hints of vanilla.

Luckily it doesn't carry over very strongly in the flavor profile. The coffee is there, a light breakfast blend, with nice fudge flavors hiding in the background. Hints of vanilla and caramel hang around near the finish. Hints of berry. All of these flavors don't really come off strong in any way, it's more an amalgamation of them. The sweetness is very faint but helps balance the roastiness of the coffee.

Feel is velvety smooth with a mild to medium carbonation, light roasty dryness and fruity acidity on the finish.

Overall, after having midnight oil, this isn't as intense or flavorful, but the added sweetness is a welcome change. It's a decent beer, probably not something I'd buy several of though.

Mar 09, 2018
Photo of LifesAnesthesia
LifesAnesthesia from Virginia

4.56/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

L - Deep black with hints of mahogany highlighting the edges with a smooth, thin tan head that provides a slight amount of lacing.
S - Espresso along with notes of coffee along with sweet malt.
T - Roasted coffee and espresso notes dominate up front followed by semisweet chocolate. Slight notes of caramel along with sweet malt and oats. A slight roast to the overall flavor profile.
F - Medium to full bodied with a light to medium amount of carbonation. Rich, Smooth, and creamy.
O - This is a very good and very sessionable oatmeal stout with great notes of coffee/espresso. The flavors just seem spot on with out being over the top in terms of a coffee infused oatmeal stout along with providing a very smooth, rich mouthfeel. Firestone's Merlin iterations never seem to disappoint.

Mar 09, 2018
Photo of NeroFiddled
NeroFiddled from Pennsylvania

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

Firestone Walker Brewing Co. "Mocha Merlin"
12 fl. oz. can, "CANNED ON 11/08/17 10:30"
$2.29 @ Total Wine & More, Cherry Hill, NJ

Notes via stream of consciousness: Typical stout appearance with a very deep, almost black, mahogany brown body beneath a creamy cap of dark tan. The aroma clearly expresses coffee beans, and some additional nuttiness. The flavor then follows but with more of a brewed coffee taste, although there is a little chocolate covered espresso bean to it. It's surprisingly sweetish, and not all that bitter; nor is it really that roasty. It's like a lightly creamy coffee with sugar - very easy to drink. It's not the brightest or clearest expression of coffee that I've ever experienced in a beer but it's pretty close. In the mouth it's medium bodied and smooth with a fine bubbled, median carbonation; and I'll assume the oats have a little something to do with the smoothness as well. Very nicely done. Well worth trying.

Mar 05, 2018
Mocha Merlin from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 90 out of 100 with 585 ratings