Velvet Merlin Oatmeal Stout | Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

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Velvet Merlin Oatmeal StoutVelvet Merlin Oatmeal Stout
3,093 Ratings
Velvet Merlin Oatmeal StoutVelvet Merlin Oatmeal Stout

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

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.

Added by largadeer on 11-13-2008

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 3,093 |  Reviews: 699
Photo of jojoman18
3.65/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of daboyzz23
3.65/5  rDev -8.8%

Photo of BretSikkink
3.66/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Darkest brown color with few bar-lit highlights. Served in a dimpled mug with a good inch of frothy cafe au lait-colored head. Good stick and legs on this one.

The nose is a little disappointing, as the roasted malt bill doesn't bring the heat. Some chocolate and coffee notes, hints of ripe dark fruit, but nothing that draws you in. The flavor is similarly under-done, with a slightly watery mouthfeel. There's not quite enough carbonation to take off the acrid taste, and the flavors are too evenly balanced to be terribly interesting.

I'm not a hater of even-handed beers, but I thought this was very run of the mill for stouts, and I tend to expect a little better from F.W. The brewers can take that as a compliment to their other beers.

 747 characters

Photo of SierraFlight
3.66/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Bottle poured into tulip during #bottlecherwednesdays at Beachwood BBQ Seal Beach. Appearance is clear, dark brown with two-finger tan head that leaves patchy lacing. Aroma is roasted malt, coffee, cereal, slight chocolate. Taste is similar with balancing herbal bitterness in the finish from the fuggles. Medium body, texture on the thin side, average to soft carbonation, and mildly bitter finish.

 399 characters

Photo of videofrog
3.67/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Jeffo
3.67/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Got this one from Doopie a few weeks back. Cheers for the brew man!

From a bottle into a snifter
Bottled 18 September 2014

APPEARANCE: A clear brown pour yields a two finger, medium looking, fizzy, light tan head with half decent retention. Head fizzes down to a ring only. Clear bistre brown body with slightly higher levels of carbonation evident. Only a ring remains until the end leaving no lacing down the glass.

SMELL: Roasted notes, dark chocolate, some oats, caramel and light vanilla on the nose. Some leather and lightly burnt coffee aromas as well.

TASTE: Oats, roasted notes with chocolate and sweet caramel at the swallow. Medium strength finish of oats, lightly burnt grain, caramel sweetness, some chocolate and vanilla notes as well. Flavorful for sure, with burnt grain and leather lingering.

PALATE: Medium body and slightly higher levels of carbonation. Creamy on the palate, goes down smooth and finishes a bit sticky.

OVERALL: Good stuff. A bit over-carbonated perhaps, but perhaps that’s just the case with this particular batch. Color is a touch lighter than I’d expect as well, but that can be forgiven. A solid brew that I quite enjoyed. Cheers for the gift man!

 1,202 characters

Photo of Honeybourne
3.67/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of JandJMD
3.67/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of minterro
3.68/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Bought at Little's Wine and Liquor, poured into a snifter.

A&S: Light black colored beer. Head is light tan and doesn't hang around too long, no real lacing. Aroma consists of dark chocolate and coffee components.

T&M: Similar to the aroma. Not really all that powerful, but that not uncommon for oatmeal stouts. Toward the finish the beer gets pretty smokey. Not as sweet as most oatmeal which is nice. Nice bitterness towards for finish. Body and carbonation are pretty low especially for the style. The mouthfeel is almost sharp.

Overall: I liked the beer, but when I think of oatmeal stout I always think about smoothness and creamy texture, this beer really didn't have a great mouthfeel and brought down the overall score more than mouthfeel normally does. I really don't think this is firestone walker's best brews.

 826 characters

Photo of LambicPentameter
3.68/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Reviewing from notes after drinking on January 18th, 2014. Enjoyed out of a 12 oz brown bottle with a bottling date of 09/16/13 stamped on the bottom front of the label, so this is four days outside the 120-day period recommended by Firestone Walker for beer consumption. Poured into a standard 16 oz tumbler glass.

Appearance - Pours an inky black hue with just the slightest twinge of dark, walnut brown when I work hard to get some light to come through the glass. Atop the obsidian body rests a frothy off-white head about a finger and a half thick with a mix of larger and smaller bubbles. Retention is moderate, and leaves small bits of sticky lacing on the sides of the glass after the foam dissipates.

Smell - To be honest, I'm a little underwhelmed, as the smell is pretty simplistic--predominantly aromas of roasted malt and light char, with some complementary notes of bittersweet chocolate and stale coffee. Faint woody bitterness comes through on subsequent inhalations as well.

Taste - Very much inline with the aroma, only now with some characteristics coming through from the oatmeal in the form of a rustic, moderately sweet graininess along with the bitter roasted components and semi-sweet notes of semi-dark chocolate and coffee. Nice earthy hop bitterness as well, but at a pleasantly subdued rate, allowing the malt profile of this beer to be the lead role.

Mouthfeel - A little thinner than I would've liked, with a medium body, and moderate to low carbonation. Bittersweet finish.

Overall, a nice oatmeal stout, but nothing mindblowing like FW's hop-forward and barrel aged beers. There are other lowish ABV stouts that I would likely pick up off the shelf before I reached for this one again.

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Photo of djmichaelk
3.68/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a perfect pint.

A - Pours a coffee color, with amber highlights in the light. Couple of fingers of light brown head that looks coarse at first, but settles into a finer-looking pillow of foam that sticks around for a long time. Bits of lacing, but it doesn't hang around.

S - Chocolate and cocoa, coffee, and roast. Nice but not extraordinary.

T - More of the same. The roast is certainly more forward in the finish. Sweeter than I would think; more milk chocolate than dark. More coffee in the front when it warms. Pretty good.

M - Chilled, creamy but thin. But the carbonation is very fine, so as it warms it starts to make me think of a nitro-stout, although I know this isn't. The creaminess helps to offset the initial thinness. Nearer to room temperature, it's definitely much better.

D - The sweetness kind of gets to me after a while, but the flavors are nice otherwise and the improved feel helps a lot. I could go for another.

O - Doesn't quite live up to the hype, but a good beer nonetheless. Worth getting a 6-pack and having once in a while.

 1,084 characters

Photo of JackRWatkins
3.68/5  rDev -8%
look: 2.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A: pours a pitch black color with very minimal head with prominent carbonation, with light traces of cola color at the top of the beer
S: coffee, caramel, oats, dark chocolate, as the beer sits the oats become more prominent, even though this beer has a relatively low ABV give it time
T: cocoa powder, dark chocolate, oats
M: crisp but not in a good way
O: very delicious and quite enjoyable, my only complaint is that I wish that it could be thicker, I think it might be over attenuated, wish it could be more oily IMO. To me this would be a great first stout to try so if you are tentative about trying them and want an easy and very delicious beginners introduction, you could do a hell of a lot worse than this

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Photo of davey101
3.69/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottled on 09/09/11. 12 oz bottle into a DFH signature glass.

A - Pitch black body with a small one finger light mocha cap. Tight and small bubbling with low retention.

S - Sweet milk chocolate, roasty malts, and light coffee. Simple, but amazing. One of the better noses on a beer I've encountered.

T - Doesn't live up to the nose. Milk chocolate, coffee, roasted malts, and a slightly bitter and dry finish. A bit thin and plain.

O - Damn, this beer had an excellent nose. The flavors and body are just above average for me. I wish I could buy this though, its a nice and simple oatmeal stout that does everything right. It doesn't stand out, but its a safe bet.

 670 characters

Photo of Kamahl16
3.69/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of DanceswithbeerS
3.69/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Photo of lighthabit
3.69/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

never really cared for this one before, always had a hint of dull, dry, bitter, but tonight i opened one that's been sitting in the fridge for a while, and the hint above is not there, it's picked up a hint of chocolate/licorice, and it's creamy, much nicer feel than before. tonight was straight from the bottle, but in the past, poured in a glass. color is typical dark. one i'll revist . . .

 394 characters

Photo of watermelonman
3.7/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pouring to a thick near black, head is minimal and lace is merely a few lines.

The smell is good overall but a does of phenols is getting in the way, a touch too strong to meld in with the better flavors. Malts are more roasted than I like in an oatmeal stout, yet this beer comes up a little thin when compared to the non oatmeal variety. I think it is a line sitter than cannot quite decide what it wants to be. Still, a tasty effort overall, definitely smooth and drinkable.

 478 characters

Photo of Sammy
3.7/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours thickish black with a slow dissipating creamy head. The taste is akin to the St. Ambroise: highlighting the bitterness, bulked up mouthfeel. Though still good drinkability. Leaving a moderate dry and bitter coffee aftertaste. Malty and roast aroma.Trace of bourbon does not add but subtracts.

 298 characters

Photo of drews240
3.7/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of jpmclaug
3.7/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a pint glass. Received this want in an extremely generous BIF box from domtronzero. Thank you!

A - Black body with a small off white head on top. A little brown on the edges when held up to the light but not much. Head is real small.

S - Light roast notes mixed with the smooth oatmeal smell typical of the style. Not especially pungent, a pretty standard aroma for the style.

T - Light roasted notes mingle with notes of dark chocolate and coffee. Real smooth flavor. Not too strong of a beer.

M - Goes down real easy. Smooth body typical of the style.

D - Pretty drinkable. This is a good beer and nails the style perfectly. That being said I prefer most other styles of stout over this one. I'm really glad I got to try this one though. I wouldn't mind drinking this again but I'm not gonna seek it out.

 839 characters

Photo of Sabre311
3.7/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Photo of TomMorris
3.7/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Professor_Yeesh
3.7/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of lackenhauser
3.7/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Deep, ruby brown in color with a nice creamy tan head. Strong roasted aroma with a bevy of graininess. Rich roasted flavor-very coffee like with a nice touch of dark chocolate. Lingering dryness from the heavy roasted flavors. Ok mouthfeel wise-could use a kick in the pants "stout wise". Lacks some of the velvety creaminess of an oatmeal stout. A nice stout for the most part. Personally I was looking for more "umph" but still a nice example.

 445 characters

Photo of josephandbrown
3.7/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

12-oz pour into a shaker pint glass.

Velvet Merlin poured a dark brown color with significant head. I honestly expected the beer to be quite a bit darker; if you hold it to the light, you can almost see through it. The smell and taste are both pretty typical of an oatmeal stout- roasted malt and the oatmeal itself make up the majority of scent and flavor. It's a bit more carbonated than I expected as well, but that might be because it sat in a bottle shop for a while before consumption.

It's a fine beer, but a little lackluster compared to some of the other excellent beers that Firestone Walker makes.

 610 characters

Velvet Merlin Oatmeal Stout from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4 out of 5 with 3,093 ratings
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