Coconut Merlin
Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Coconut MerlinCoconut Merlin
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Style:
English Sweet / Milk Stout
Ranked #313
ABV:
5.5%
Score:
89
Ranked #10,248
Avg:
4 | pDev: 5.75%
Reviews:
23
Ratings:
67
From:
Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
 
California, United States
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Wants
  2
Gots
  2
SCORE
89
Very Good
Coconut MerlinCoconut Merlin
Notes: With an infusion of freshly toasted coconuts and a touch of seasonal sorcery, Brewmaster Matt "Merlin" Brynildson conjures up Coconut Merlin - a uniquely flavored brew for fall and winter.

The fresh coconut addition perfectly accentuates the beer’s roasty, nutty character. The lactose gives a rounded mouthfeel & suggestion of sweetness resulting in the perfect combination of flavors in this first-time release from Firestone Walker.
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Reviews: 23 | Ratings: 67 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of AdmiralOzone
3.95/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark cola brown with a thick tan head. Great lacing. Aroma is dark roasted malts, chocolate, faint coconut. Flavor is bittersweet chocolate, roasted malt, very little if any coconut (only because I'm looking for it). Feel is light bodied and moderately carbonated. Overall a bit of a disappointment as I was looking for more coconut presence.

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Photo of StoneTSR
4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

POURED: From a can dated 10/1/19 into a Left Hand Spiegelau Stout Glass.

APPEARANCE: After a moderately aggressive pour, the head appears to be locked in place. About a finger and a half thick, it’s non-homogenous bubbles very, very slowly burst and disappear leaving pockmarks on a rocky, off-white surface. Beneath that layer of foam lies a jet-black beer through and through. The lacing consists of pillars of thick lace with clear columns in between.

SMELL: The roasty notes come through strongest here and overwhelm the chocolate and coconut aromas that linger in the background.

TASTE: Again, the roasted malt flavors come through the strongest and at the front of the sip. Much like the nose, the chocolate and coconut notes linger behind the coffee. They do start to emerge a little more as the beer warms, however.

MOUTHFEEL: The carbonation is stronger than expected here and contributes to a drier, easier drinking experience than I expected. The body is light to medium with a solid sparkle on the pallet.

OVERALL: I almost always get a touch of coconut in Firestone-Walker beers, and since the coconut is not overly pronounced in this one it’s almost as if they just brewed regular, CO2 Merlin and called it a day. Not that there’s anything wrong with that! I’d love to try this on nitro at some point as I believe the flavor profile would lend itself well. Ultimately, another winner from FSW!

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Photo of zeff80
3.94/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap. Poured out an opaque, jet-black color with a small, khaki-colored head of foam. It smelled of lightly toasted coconut, chocolate and toffee. Sweet chocolate and subtle coconut taste.

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Photo of metter98
3.79/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: The beer is jet black when viewed from afar and has traces of dark brown near the edges of the glass when it is held up to a bright light. It poured with a short tan head that died down but never completely faded away.
S: Light aromas of coconuts, dark malts, and lactose are present in the nose.
T: The taste follows the smell and has flavors of dark malts and lactose with hints of coconuts.
M: It feels medium-bodied and a little smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: The coconuts in this stout won't blow you away, but it is a nice milk stout that has a little coconuts to add complexity in the smell and taste.

Serving type: can

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Photo of Bluerabbitbell
3.6/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Coconut? Where? Not here....A good solid Porter, but the coconut is not present. A strange bitter ending, as well. On tap at Industry Public House Robinson watching PSU football.

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Photo of EnderFett11
4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a snifter glass resulting in a couple fingers of head that faded in couple minutes to a ring of foam. Deep brown color, not quite opaque. Smells of a little bit of milk stout and some roasty notes, no coconut detected. Taste so similar, a pretty mild milk stout flavor and maybe a hint of coconut, only because I know to look for it. Light-medium mouthfeel with similar carbonation. Not much of a coconut stout, but a solid milk stout.

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Photo of Darkmagus82
4.09/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on tap in a pint glass
Appearance – The beer is served a very deep brown, nearly black color with a billowy head of tan colored foam. The head has a great level of retention, slowly fading over time to leave rings of foamy lace on the sides of the glass.
Smell – The aroma of the brew is big of a roasted malt aroma, mixed with a rather strong showing of coconut. Along with these smells comes a little bit of a toast and a sweet and milky vanilla smell. Rather sweet and dessert like in nature.
Taste – The taste begins with a rather sweet roasted malt taste that has a good showing of vanilla and coconut right from the start. There is a good shot of cocoa upfront that fades slightly as the taste moves forward. Along with the cocoa fading a little bit so too does the vanilla as the taste advances. While so the sweetness is maintained as more coconut comes to the tongue. Along with a little bit of char and a surge of brown sugar sweetness coming to the tongue at the very end, one is left with a coconut and cocoa dessert like taste to linger on the tongue.
Mouthfeel – The body of the brew is creamy with a carbonation level that is on the lower side. For the rich dark, roasted, cocoa, and coconut creamy tastes the feel is great and makes for a nice slow sipping porter.
Overall – This is one tasty more dessert like brew. Big one sweet coconut and roasty flavor. Very nice!!

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Photo of Mark-Leggett
4.04/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from a can. Very dark and opaque with a brownish head that dissolves quickly. Smells of roasted malt and coconut. Flavor follows the smell, could use a hint more coconut. Overall its a solid beer

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Photo of MonDak_Joe1953
4.24/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz can. Canned on date is '10/01/19'.
Deep brown colored body. Thin finger of beige colored head. Leaves extensive pattern of lacing spots.
Aroma of darker roasted malts, with a hint of campfire smoke. Sweeter lactose. Just a bit of roasted coconut.
Taste is roasted malts, with chocolate and some coffee at the end. The coconut adds a little bit, along with the lactose.
Thicker mouth feel, with a very smooth texture. Very good carbonation.
This is not a bitter beer but the malts are toasty and roasty, with a cola like edge. The coconut is present but not prominent, and overall blends to tone down the lactose sweetness. The coconut flavor is natural, and has a slight toasty edge to it. Quite a tasty milk stout.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
3.98/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into a Fremont small snifter. Pours a very dark mahogany brown, appearing opaque in the glass with a thin khaki head that dissipates to a thin film with light lacing. Aroma of dark toasted malt, lactose, vanilla, light cocoa and coconut. Flavor is dark toasted malt, cocoa, light coffee with lactose and coconut developing into a light cocoa and coconut finish. Medium bodied with sharp, peppery carbonation, which was a bit surprising from the mild pour. A mellow and unassuming stout base, appropriate for a light milk stout. The coconut is also light, so is in balance and well supported by the malt. Seems a little lighter than Merlin. Not too exciting, but good flavor profile and a deft touch with the coconut.

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Photo of brureview
3.93/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I’ve had better from FW which can vary in the quality of their beers.
Primarily a chocolate, less pronounced coconut taste.
Thin body detracts from the overall balance of the beer.
Okay plus= good but not excellent. Could be richer, full bodied,
and more pronounced flavor.

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Photo of DefenCorps
4.02/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Canned 01 Oct.

A very dark brown with a large, light brown head with good retention and lacing this looks solid. The nose is a pleasant blend of coconut and milk chocolate, with a nice roasty bitterness present. Toasted coconut dry, sweet and yet fleshy, is present, along with a mild oil character. The palate opens with a blend of roast, cocoa, unsweetened chocolate and with coconut sweetening the mix. Light on the palate , quite perfectly so, allowing the flavors to shine. A bitter finish, a little more so than I was expecting,is present. A touch of salted caramel is also present. Light in body and softly carbonated this feels good in the palate.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.09/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Firestone Walker Brewing Co. "Coconut Merlin"
12 fl. oz. can, "CANNED ON 09/13/19"
$1.99 @ Total Wine & More, Cherry Hill, NJ

Notes via stream of consciousness: OK, a coconut milk stout - how can that be a bad thing? It's a clear, dark mahogany as you pour it but it appears black in the full glass. When held to the light ruby highlights appear within the dark mahogany brown, and an orange glimmer is visible at the base of the glass. The head is a two inch cap of rocky tan foam. In the nose you'll find dark chocolate and an edge of roastiness but no coconut, that comes out in the flavor. It's not particularly strong there either but it's clear, and it helps to soften a surprisingly strong edge of roastiness. I can also taste, or sense, the lactose as I'm quite sensitive to it. It bothers me but most people should have no problem. Beyond that, the dark bittersweet chocolate found in the nose is present, and just a dusting of softer cocoa powder and a light bit of golden caramel. It's not that bitter but the roastiness helps it to finish dry. In the mouth it's medium bodied but it seems a little fuller due to the lactose, and it is certainly smooth. In the end it's good, but it's not great, which is interesting because the "Nitro Merlin" IS great, although I'm not sure if it's even the same base beer.
Review #6,777

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Photo of jzeilinger
4.21/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to Knapp85 for sharing this can!

A - Dark brown pour with thick light tan lacing.

S - Roasted chocolate, light charcoal / char, and coconut.

T - Dark roasted chocolate, light char, charcoal, coconut, and delicate vanilla.

M - Full body and chewy.

O - A nice low ABV stout packed full of flavor. Recommended.

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Photo of Steve_Studnuts
3.74/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 3.75

Light tannish head sits atop a cola-colored body. Smells of chocolate milk with some light tobacco notes floating beneath. Some mild coffee vibes as well. Smells nice and inviting. I want to dive in and see what Merlin has added to the cauldron; I think I will.

Lightly roasted coffee hits the palette before anything else, followed by milk chocolate and finally coconut. Has a mild Mounds candy thing going on. I'm going to resist my base instinct to tell you about the pickled newt's feet, bat wool and toad livers, but I don't want to. Mouthfeel is perfect for the style. Smooth and creamy with just enough lift. Wicked quaffable. Methinks I'll be drinking several of these this winter.

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Photo of GuyFawkes
3.42/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Canned 9/10/19; drank 10/27/19 @ the Yarchives.

Black appearance.

A violent pour yielded a HUGE khaki head; thick, frothy lace.

Fresh earth, mild chocolate syrup & faint cream notes in the nose.

Medium mouthfeel.

Cream, milk chocolate & faint fresh earth flavors; the coconut doesn't really pop and this is not the best.

Just OK.

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Photo of AyatollahGold
3.52/5  rDev -12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours out a darker brown and forms over a finger of tightly packed, peanut butter fudge colored bubbles to rest on top.

The nose is quite underwhelming but does bring a nice, silky milk chocolate presence when breathing deeply. Maybe slight nuttiness, but can’t detect it as coconut.

The taste brings in awesome, silky milk chocolate mixing with faint coconut. A huge creamy milkiness going on. Very nice flavors just underwhelming. Slight coffee presence.

Creamy, with a medium body. Bitterness from coffee, or chocolate. Smooth, clean.

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Photo of avalon07
4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L: Had this on-tap at The Answer Brewpub, poured into a taster. Had a dark brown / black color and a thick, opaque consistency. There was a thin, tan-colored head that quickly dissipated. Above average lacing.

S: A very good aroma of coconut, coffee, roasted malt, lactose, and chocolate.

T: Tasted of a small amount of lactose (not a massive factor here), a bit of coffee (less than expected, but still present), a good shot of coconut (a big element), some roasted malt (present throughout), and a little chocolate as well. A focused and well-balanced flavor. It's not as aggressive as you might expect, but still quite good.

F: A fair amount of carbonation with a smooth finish. Medium-bodied.

O: A solidly made stout. Worth a look.

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Photo of AZBeerDude72
3.94/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Jet black with foamy head and decent lacing.
N: Very light coconut, chocolate, and black coffee.
T: Follows the nose, light coconut with some chocolate mixed in, and a bitter coffee hit.
M: Light with a slight bitterness from coffee.
O: A decent milk stout but sadly I have had a lot better.

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Photo of Lucular
4.1/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

5 oz pour on tap. Pours pitch black and without the weird floaties that often accompany coconut stouts. Smell and taste are Merlin with dark chocolate and coconut. Nice. Mouthfeel is outstanding - thick and oily. I like this even better than regular Merlin - great job!

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Photo of barnzy78
4.05/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz can, date stamped 09/13/19. Black bodied ale with a foamy brown head. Aroma is chocolate and coconut. Flavors are sweet with more chocolate and coconut along with dark, nutty grain, lactose, and mild earthy hops. Thick bodied: smooth and velvety with modest carbonation and a sweet finish. I was excited to try this one, but I think I like the regular Velvet Merlin more - I do always prefer an oatmeal stout over a milk stout.

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Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
3.98/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12 oz can into Tallgrass snifter.

Dark brown with a beige-khaki head of 3 fingers, very fluffy, very full. Lots of lace skirting the glass.

Aroma of milk chocolate and oats, vanilla, copper penny, very slight Almond Joy.

Flavor brings chocolate oatmeal stout totally, that's definitely what it is, with very mild shades of shredded coconut. This is not a coconut bomb, it is a subtle jab, you could even say coconut milk rather than meat. Hints of chocolate milk or dark chocolate espresso bean.

Feel is smooth and creamy with a good level of carbonation, maybe a touch of slickness, and appropriate dryness/roastiness on the back palate. No detectable alcohol, very smooth.

Overall a pretty decent stout and I'd have it again, but don't expect a total coconut bomb because this is simply subtle at best, but it brings the classic Merlin hardcore. Great recipe as usual.

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Photo of jkblr
4.21/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz CANNED ON 09/10/19 (11 days old!) poured into a tulip pint glass at fridge temp 5.5% ABV. The beer pours dense dark brown with chestnut highlights and sticky mocha colored head. The head recedes slowly after a hard pour to a quarter inch cap and leaves a little lacing. The aroma is faint with some lactose & chocolate, but not a hint of coconut. The taste is semisweet milk stout with a little chocolate up front and toasted coconut very prominent in the mildly bitter finish. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with just less than medium carbonation and a mostly dry finish. Overall, very good. Merlin is great and the toasted coconut addition is well done here. Nothing artificial.

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Coconut Merlin from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 89 out of 100 with 67 ratings