Velvet Merlin Oatmeal Stout | Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

very good
3,081 Ratings
no score
Send samples
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

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 3,081 |  Reviews: 697
Photo of LiquidBread219
3.7/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- The blackest of black, but a little thin on the edges. A healthy tannish head forms, and retains for a bit. The beer laces quite nicely.

S- Rich and creamy, dark roasted malt and oatmeal. Chocolate, coffee, and vanilla notes as well.

T- It's a decent oatmeal stout, nothing too crazy. Primarily roasted malts. Subtle notes of coffee and chocolate.

M- A little lighter than I like from a beer of this style.

D- It's drinkable, but not terribly memorable.

 460 characters

Photo of thebeers
3.7/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dated 10/12/16. Dark ruddy brown with two fingers of tan head that leaves thick lacing and lasts a good long while.

Big chocolate aroma with roasty notes behind, including coffee, chicory, wood and stale hops.

The roasty qualities really stand out up front in the taste, with the chocolate, coffee and wood present, but more muted. The backend is sort of shallow, with a pretty dry aftertaste.

The feel is somewhat on the thin side, too, with a touch of creaminess but relatively little heft.

Maybe I'm too used to imperial stouts these days, but this feels more like porter territory to me. I was expecting more body in an oatmeal stout, and more flavor, too. Not bad, but with all the competition out there, not one I'd come back to often. If you're into dry Irish stouts, this may be more in your wheelhouse.

 828 characters

Photo of VashonGuy
3.71/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A very enjoyable stout that falls short of the best stouts in my opinion.
Appearance is good, but head is pretty thin.
Aroma is roasted malts.
Taste is fairly typical, but finishes just a little bit tart.
Mouthfeel is thinner than expected for an oatmeal stout.

Hey, I like this beer, I just don't go over the moon for it.

 323 characters

Photo of Sabtos
3.71/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Clear, dark brown with a fizzy tan two finger head that settles to a thin, soft blanket.

Surprised by mucho coffee aromas, with some oats, light roastiness, and walnut.

Nice, moderate roasty flavors come forward, with coffee and bitter chocolate, tamped down by a cola sweetness.

A bit thin, but Velvet Merlin makes up for it with good flavor and aroma.

 356 characters

Photo of AuntBea
3.71/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of dogo88
3.71/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of agreenman19
3.71/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

L - pours a reddish black with a fluffy yummy-looking lacing. Mocha.

S - oats! Caramel malts, some rusty nail. Sweet dark fruits.

T - more of the same. A distinct red ale metallic taste. Roasted coffee, chocolate.

F - creamy oaty mouthfeel, but still feels a little thin. Refreshing and easy to drink.

O - solid oatmeal stout. Light and easy drinking.

 359 characters

Photo of JerzDevl2000
3.71/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Had this on tap a while ago up at the Cloverleaf and finally got a bottle of this to enjoy here at the house. Traded for it a while ago and like most of Firestone Walker's other beers, this was was full, nicely crafted, and easy to enjoy. While not a potent or powerful Oatmeal Stout, there was plenty to enjoy here though this could have used some more clearly-defined flavors!

Nice pour to this as the beer had a cola-like hue to it with a soft and silky tan head on top of that. That faded relatively quickly as this was thinner than I would have liked as evidenced by the near-absence of lacing. Not a strong aroma to this either as there was some chocolate, coffee, and molasses to be faintly detected with more of those coming through in the taste. The coffee dominated there between the taste and the lightness of this beer as this had to be one of the less robust Oatmeal Stouts that I've had. Some roasted char and cream was found in the mouthfeel but once again, they were tough to pick out and were so light as to meld into each other and everything else. An astringent bit of citrus hops came through as this warmed up with a bit of blood orange-like residue left on my palate once this went down. That lasted a while because of the low amount of carbonation that was present.

I always thought that Oatmeal Stouts should have some potency to them but that wasn't the case with this one. Near-sessionable, it was possible to have another after one sitting. I don't think this beer ever was secure in it's identity but by itself, it was fine for a nice summer night such as this. Hopefully, this will be beefed up in the future!

 1,640 characters

Photo of Timtac
3.71/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Photo of akk14
3.71/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of cjgiant
3.71/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours dark brown with edge head that clings to glass for a second, but doesn't lead to much lacing. Smell of cocoa, maybe a little cherry, some dark breads in the background.

The taste tries to follow the nose, but adds a little more bitterness along with carbonation, lending a little cola flavor. The depth of the beer (either in maltiness or thickness) is a little lacking for me. The end notes are weak, but lean towards bitter coffee.

This is not an imperial, so that must be taken into account, but I was looking for a little more flavor profile.

 554 characters

Photo of harrymel
3.72/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled 24JAN12

Pours nice dark brown with a solid sheet of light graham foam. Nose is dry and oaty with a solid stout biscuit and cracker malt profile with hints of cocoa and just the slightest hint of herbal hops. Flavor follows suit with great roasty flavors and simply tastes like a great all around stout. Medium on thin bodied with hi carb for the style. I like mine a little smoother just toning down the carb or upping the body. Good beer, very drinkable and easily available. Happy to have this around and happy to drink when available.

 546 characters

Photo of Kraty1
3.72/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of sdlhy
3.72/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of neruda11
3.73/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of jmg480
3.73/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of tut2528
3.73/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: pours a solid jet black that is boldly opaque with about 1 fingers worth of tan colored head formation with some nice lacing.

S: i pick up on a strong burnt and smokey malt backbone that is complemented by a robust coffee and oat characteristics. complexity is lacking

T: big oatmeal, only a slight smokiness with hints of dark chocolate and just a touch of vanilla. again, nothing out of the ordinary for an oatmeal stout. however I do find the balance quite nice

M: full-bodied brew, that leaves a smokiness aspect on the palate that is rather intriguing and not overwhelming. minimal carbonation

O: as previously stated, this brew lacks complexity but it makes up for it in its balance. there is a bit more of a body to this one than other oatmeal stouts that I have had in the past which is always a plus in my book. decent beer all the way around, but nothing to get to get excited about.

 900 characters

Photo of webweb2
3.73/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Siggy125
3.73/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark cola brown, small head dissipated quickly. Almost no lacing

smell: roasted malts, mild hopiness, slight coffee bitterness

Taste. Nice roasted maltiness, a little bit of bitter baking chocolate. Very little to no ABV presence.

Mouthfeel: A little weak in the texture for an oatmeal stout, but very decent. Very smooth drinker.

Overall a good beer to enjoy if youre not in the mood for anything big.

 406 characters

Photo of rarigney
3.73/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of keithmurray
3.73/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance - dark mahogany nearly black beer with dark tan head

Smell - roasted malts, coffee bean, chocolate, oats

Taste - similar to the aroma with roasted malts, coffee bean, chocolate and oats

Mouthfeel - medium bodied, medium carbonation, slight sweetness upfront, flavors coat the palate on the back end

Overall - decent example of the style, worth a try

Price Point - $1.89/12 oz single

 398 characters

Photo of Beardo
3.74/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of IcemanCometh
3.74/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Mikexw
3.74/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Pourharddrinkslow
3.74/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Velvet Merlin Oatmeal Stout from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
3.98 out of 5 based on 3,081 ratings.
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.