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Velvet Merlin Oatmeal Stout | Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

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Velvet Merlin Oatmeal StoutVelvet Merlin Oatmeal Stout
BA SCORE
4/5
Exceptional
3,091 Ratings
Velvet Merlin Oatmeal StoutVelvet Merlin Oatmeal Stout
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
California, United States
firestonewalker.com

Style: Oatmeal Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UfaqU30twwU&feature=youtube_gdata

Added by largadeer on 11-13-2008

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#3,624
Reviews:
699
Ratings:
3,091
pDev:
9.75%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
235
Gots:
639
Trade:
5
HISTOGRAM
 
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 3,091 |  Reviews: 699
Photo of Rocketman8911
5/5  rDev +25%

Photo of GreggSr
5/5  rDev +25%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of Yaffeboy
5/5  rDev +25%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Amazing oatmeal stout. Smooth, rich, sweet and creamy. Smokey undertones.

73 characters

Photo of peter53
5/5  rDev +25%

Photo of stevenocheltree
5/5  rDev +25%

Photo of georgette
5/5  rDev +25%

Photo of dwaz
5/5  rDev +25%

Photo of RossusMaximus
4.99/5  rDev +24.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Stellar combination of smoothness and flavor.

45 characters

Photo of PuwarAmar
4.98/5  rDev +24.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Good aroma, taste fantastic. Over all good

42 characters

Photo of ImperialAsianGlow
4.93/5  rDev +23.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Let me tell you a tale. Yes a tale of the Velvet Merlin. Four years ago when I was a wee lad (yes slightly underage). I stumbled across a frightened and alone sixer in our village Albertsons of Irvine. I kindfully took this young sixer under my wing and soon after my elder acquaintances bartered with the cashier. Once full ownership was established we scurried back to the nest and po'd up into ice cold frozen pints. Popping the top was like removing the sword from the stone and everything that followed was nothing but royalty.

The medium pour left me with a perfectly decapitated tan head of roughly an inch.

Ahhhh the aromatherapy of chocolate, coffee, and overall crispness really woke the senses.

And the taste! Yes the taste! It was like our home became a tent next to the fire and my balls finally dropped.

But the feel! Yes the feel was smooth yet exquisitely balanced with carbonation!

But alas, the young sixer was no more after withstanding a whole day. And the local Albertsons had no more to replenish my newfound obsession.
Four winters past and I have told the tale of the legendary sixer a thousand some odd times, but never remembered the true name nor brewery. The beer was nothing but a myth.

UNTIL! I stumbled into a Bevmo half dead and ready to give up the grueling internal battle of even believing such a beer ever existed... I had found her.

Once again a lone, frightened little sixer just as I remembered. As soon as I purchased her, the tag was removed from the fridge and no more remained in its place. I had a frozen glass ready for me at home and I indulged. I was scared I would be dissatisfied and disappointed... but It was everything I ever thought it was. The perfect beer. And so I made this account and wrote this here tale. The tale of the Velvet Merlin.

In all seriousness this is a great beer. Buy it if you see it. But if I see you buying it, I will challenge you to a duel for it.

8 out 5 overall

 1,955 characters

Photo of cmbeddoe7997
4.92/5  rDev +23%

Photo of brendanwlake
4.92/5  rDev +23%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Delicious beer with incredible smelling notes in the glass. Drank in a thin wine glass. Tastes and smells boozy but low ABV. Taste lingers in mouth. Fabulous.

 158 characters

Photo of pkalix
4.92/5  rDev +23%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

wow! what a nice smell!! pours a thick milkshake-like head, with an almost transparent dark brown body similar to, but less thick than, a samuel smiths....
super awesome taste. a little sweet, kind of roasty malts, dark fudge (as the last guy said), vanilla and honey (as another guy said), milk chocolate... what an awesome taste! a little tang on the finish, but that is utterly in significant considering all the wonderful flavors going on with this brew. I am really surprised at how much I like this brew. I had the merkin and the sucaba and anniversary, etc.... but never felt I wanted to try this one and I regret not trying it sooner! this is a world class beer! I thought it was labeled a porter but it says stout(?). I have to give this one high marks for every category. I wish I had another one to follow this one up RIGHT NOW!!!!

 842 characters

Photo of Heatherm74
4.88/5  rDev +22%

Photo of TotallyGomer
4.85/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

S: bottle to Pilsner glass

A: Beautiful, simply beautiful. A near perfect example of a stout. Nearly pitch black with a finger or so of tan head that stays throughout. Very light lacing is the only area that seems to lack.

S: Rich roasted malts, dark chocolate, light grains, light hops.

T: Similar to the nose. Rich flavors of espresso, dark chocolate, breads, very light bitter late bite. Chocolate cake in a glass. More than enjoyable.

M: Creamy, rich, light carbonation. In short, the way I expect a stout to feel.

O: I love it. I'm partial to stouts, especially oatmeal stouts, so the numbers may be slightly skewed, but if it weren't a good stout I would rate it low, so take it at as it is. Because of the coffee/espresso notes, I would consider this a great dessert beer. Who am kidding, this would be great for breakfast or anytime.

 846 characters

Photo of Franderosa
4.83/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

One of my favorite "oatmeals"!

30 characters

Photo of beerrat
4.83/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pretty dam good stout think I will have another.

48 characters

Photo of Jeffreysan
4.82/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

32 oz growler, poured into a goblet

Appearance: Pours a beautiful, completely opaque, pitch-black color, with a finger of white-colored head that quickly dissolved away into a thin halo of foam that gripped the sides of the glass.

Aroma: Wow! Very aromatic, with tons of earthy, rich roasted malt, imparting notes of freshly toasted dark bread, freshly ground espresso beans, a touch of smoke and tons of brown sugar. Delicious!

Taste: Just as delicious as the beer’s aroma! Tons of roasted malt up front, imparting flavors of toasted oats, a touch of coffee, lots of brown sugar and dark molasses-like sweetness, and a touch of vanilla.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied to slightly chewy and very, very smooth, as there is no carbonation what-so-ever. With an ABV of 5.5%, there is no alcohol on the palate.

Overall: This is an excellent oatmeal stout! Tasty, smooth, very quaffable, and highly recommended!

 917 characters

Photo of Therealfootball
4.81/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of goldendenizen
4.8/5  rDev +20%

Photo of Arbitrator
4.77/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Chilled bottle into a glass. I've had this before on tap, but I'm curious to see how the bottle holds up. Turns out, quite well.

A: Pours a dark brown body with ruby translucence at the edges. It is capped with a light beige head. No sticky lace, but there is a nice wash of foam that accompanies each sip from my snifter.

S: Medium-roast coffee, milk chocolate (with an associated lactic touch to it), vanilla, grain (specifically, toasted multi-grain bread). This smells like a nice breakfast. I'm impressed that they got so much depth out of the ingredients. It isn't in the same league as FBS, but it show remarkable complexity for something that [presumably] wasn't brewed with adjuncts.

T: The taste doesn't disappoint. Absolutely top-notch for an oatmeal stout, with rich washes of milk chocolate, toast, grain, vanilla, and medium- (or even light) roast coffee. As noted in the nose, there's a light lactic presence, and if I'm sipping carefully, it's suggestive of anise. There's no bitterness to be found, but it's not sweet, either. Well attenuated and approaching dry, this beer has a phenomenal balance.

M: Creamy, with lush, low carbonation as befits the style. I don't think you can really screw up an oatmeal stout's mouthfeel, so I'm not sure how to grade this here. It's not watery, it's flavorful for such a low ABV, and it has a bountiful flavor delivery up front with a relatively clean finish (just some lingering roast).

D: Really, really good stuff. Oatmeal stouts aren't a hyped category, but if you're looking for the best of the style, this should be in the conversation.

 1,607 characters

Photo of tastyville
4.77/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I had this nearly three times a week in the winter when I was living in Atascadero. I was working at the California Valley Solar Ranch in Santa Margarita from December 2011 to July 2012. This review is being written for Velvet Merlin on nitro tap from the Firestone Brewery. This is by far one of my very favorite beers of all time!
This doesn't get a perfect score because I believe a good stout should have a bit higher ABV. 8% like Board Meeting would be perfect. A 5.5% ABV is like a session beer and stouts don't make very good session beers since they are very filling.
I always sit in a position at the bar where I can get a perfect view of this one betting poured. I love the tan head not as dark and sexy as KBS but it is just right. There is something about this beer that takes me back to my childhood when I used to eat half-melted ice cream with a spork from the paleta man. I often imagine myself eating Velvet Merlin with a spork. The aroma is not immediately prominent until you take a drink. That thick head keeps it all in. You inhale slightly when you drink too, right? Of course you do. I enjoy the aroma and the taste very close together with this one. Almost at once. It is nutty, chocolatey, caramely, roasty, and malty and all in a perfect balance. Not one exceeding the other. Like a group of sexy women walking abreast towards you in slow motion. For me? Fuggles is a funny name for hops. I get taken to another place when I'm enjoying this outstanding beer. It is unfortunate that it is not available year round. See you again in the fall!

 1,566 characters

Photo of Danishboy59
4.76/5  rDev +19%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Came in a sampler pack, so glad it did!

A - Light does not penetrate this truly dark stout, poured in a pint glass, almost no head.

S - Coffee, toasty malt, something almost like garlic in a good way

T&M - Huge coffee up front, toasty malt, some pine, just the right amount of hops on the end, thinner than most stouts, warming alcohol, just enough tingle in the carbonation, and some nice caramel on the long and winding finish. Velvet is the proper term for this one.

The smoothest stout with big flavor that I've ever had, the only stout I like better than Obsidian. This beer is all about balance, It is exceptional. Buy all you can find...

 649 characters

Photo of Cbmcguire
4.76/5  rDev +19%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of Guinnsslvr
4.75/5  rDev +18.8%

Velvet Merlin Oatmeal Stout from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4 out of 5 with 3,091 ratings
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