Velvet Merlin Oatmeal Stout | Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

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89
very good
692 Reviews
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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
Reviews:
692
Ratings:
3,063
Avg:
3.98
pDev:
9.8%
 
 
Wants:
230
Gots:
634
For Trade:
5
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User Reviews
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Reviews: 692 | Ratings: 3,063
Photo of allforbetterbeer
4.08/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

From a bottle into a glass.

Pours dark brown and produces a classic and wonderfully appealing tan head composed of compact foam which becomes more dense as it falls and laces quite well. Very nice presentation

The aroma has many layers, and is a step above the average stout. I have never felt that "coffee" or "chocolate" or any of their subcategories can quite capture the aroma of roasted unmalted barley and black patent malt. They are so present in this beer, and the "roast" spectrum includes a nice soft acidic fruitiness all the way to an almost smoky char.

The flavor isn't quite as rich as the aroma would indicate, but it is really nice. The hugely thick and soft mouthfeel actually strikes me first, and it sets a stunning stage for the dark malts to perform on. Once again (as in the nose) the flavors cover a broad spectrum of flavor which can be derived from different roasting process with barley. This is so well done.

Conclusion: This is the best American oatmeal stout I have tried to date (I have tried well over 500 beers thus far in my journey). Awesome job Firestone walker, the mouthfeel is actually "velvety". I don't get surprised like this very often anymore, it sure is fun to find an everyday beer this good.

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Photo of Skrumpy
4.04/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was fortunate enough to get a pint of this on nitro- so smooth! Very dark, with a thin, tan head. Streak lacing. The aroma is lightly toasted malt, espresso, and dark chocolate. The flavor is similar, with hints of cocoa and coffee. Another fine beer from Firestone Walker.

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Photo of mooseo
4.5/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle into Firestone Walker tulip.

A - Deep black brown with a large tan head.

S - Mmm. Sweet milk chocolate, roasted malt, hints of coffee.

T - Rich, sweet mocha flavor throughout.  Light earthy hops balance out the sweetness. Finish has smoked malt and burnt coffee, which tends to linger.

M - Smooth as velvet, medium bodied,  mild carbonation. Semi dry finish.

O - Excellent oatmeal stout. A flavorful blend of milk chocolate and coffee. A true delight.

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Photo of brewerburgundy
4.2/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle, Bruery tulip, bottled 12/7/10.

Nearly a black Stout; some purple highlights lurk near the bottom of the glass and a darker brown head towers above. The lacing is top notch.

Very nice nose for a seemingly humble Oatmeal Stout; ghostly bourbon'd wood, vanilla oak, wet earth, and cocoa powder. Complexly dry, earthy, and chocolatey.

Mineral ridden dark chocolate with sneaky bourbon flavors behind. The woody, earthy U.S. Fuggles are definitely here and probably supporting the small bourbon barrel aged character. A little acidic coffee plays but fortunately does not steal the show.

A little thin, but truly smooth. Moderate to low carbonation holding some bite. Could be a little more full to go with the silkiness.

I am finding lots of complexity to enjoy here, without the mammoth abv often associated with Stouts that are considered the best. Smooth and warming nonetheless.

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Photo of ColoradoBobs
4.07/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Wowsers! An unexpected treat, a gift from my son.

Big yellow-tan head, fades and leaves lovely lacing.

Smell is rich, chocolate, sweet. Mmmm.

Taste follows the smell: delightfully sweet-dry, with notes of dark fruits in the background. Limited hop presence. Nice bitter-burned malt.

Super easy to drink and extra smooth. Not as thick as I might wish.

Give it a try. Worth it.

ColoradoBobs

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Photo of djbreezy
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

appearance - dark opaque brown/black, medium tan head, moderate retention/lacing

smell - chocolate, roasty malts, oatmeal, grassy notes

taste - velvety chocolate, toasted malts, marshmallow, chocolate nibs/cocoa, light grassy notes/bitter in the finish

mouthfeel - puffy/carbonated, some carbonation bite, evenly medium body, some bitter dryness on the finish

drinkability - smooth and easy with a slight bite, unique notes for an oatmeal stout, very good and enjoyable

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Photo of Chriscrundwell12
3.75/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a Town Hall snifter.

A- Two finger brown head, nice carbonation, moderate lacing, dark brown almost black color, orange brown hues on the bottom.
S- Nice oatmeal aroma roasted malts, coffee, slight chocolate aroma as well.
T- Really smooth, nice roasted oatmeal flavor, coffee, slight chocolate, bitter taste, really easy drinkability.
M- Medium mouth feel, well carbonated, thin, smooth drinking, with a crisp finish.
O- Solid beer, strong oatmeal flavor mixed with roasted coffee notes, really easy drinkability, enjoyable.

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Photo of BWED
4.02/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pint pour into tumbler at Monk's Cafe, Philadelphia.

A- Very deep mahogany, not quite black, with a brown half finger dwindling head. Stays at a ring, with no lacing.

S- Smoky coffee, a slight chocolate end, with no noticeable hop aroma.

T- Smoky coffee again, rather mild. Again, no hop.

M- Rather light and clean for an Oatmeal, but a good drinker. This could be a beefy session ale.

O- Was hoping for a thicker feel, coming from an oatmeal. Also, the smokiness caught me a little off guard, but in a good way ( I like smoke). A nice and solid beer, but nothing too extraordinary.

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Photo of McStagger
4.03/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Big pour of dark...near opaque foamy goodness. Murky, very dark brown with a hint of garnet outline. Head is two fingers of beige. Retention is mediocre. Lacing is stellar.

S: Roasty notes of coffee, toffee, milk chocolate and roasted cacao. Bits of caramel sweetness peak through the nose as well.

T: Nice sweet chocolate and mocha intro transitions beautiful into awesome nuttiness and roastiness that is absolutely amazing. Seriously, like a perfect roasted civet coffee finish. Not at all hop bitter. The mild bitterness in this brew is directly tied into the roasted flavors coming from it.

M: Lacks that full mouthfeel in a stout. A tad on the thin side.

O: All over the board here on the notes. Definitely a great brew, don't get me wrong. And I payed 5 bucks for a six pack of it, so I am NOT complaining. I'd be really interested to see how this is on tap.

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Photo of washburnkid
4.17/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at the Davis Graduate. Reviewed from notes.

A: One finger of froth of tan head dissipates within a minute or so. The body is dark with rich brown edges in the light. Not much retention or lacing.
S: Aromas are lightly roasted coffee bean and sweet chocolate.
T: Flavors are light on the acidity (almost non-existent, really), and heavy on the sweet malt profile. Coffee and chocolate dominating, with very little bitterness to speak of.
M/D: Body is a little light on the palate but there's nice carbonation. Smooth as velvet but still a tad thin. Flavors are toned down...I wished so badly to just taste "more". But this beer was still enjoyable!

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Photo of chumba526
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It appears dark brown with a dark brown colored head.

It smells a bit coffee like; I get a mild chocolate smell and a bit of a vanilla like smell.

It tastes much like it smells. I get a roasted smooth coffee flavor. There is a bit of a vanilla like flavor and a bit of a nutty malt flavor as well. I get a bit of a smooth chocolate flavor.

It has a thick and smooth mouthfeel with moderate low carbonation.

The beer goes down smooth. I could drink a few of these stouts.

Overall a better than average example of the style.

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Photo of whatthehull
3.8/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured into a New Belgium snifter

A - Mud meets tar, with a tan light and fluffy head, trace lacing

S - Toasty 'o so toastedness, burned oak, grains, malt and a bit of sweetness

T - Toasty everything and burned oak. Nice hop finish, a bit malty and lots of earth tons, most of which were toasted

M - Medium/Heavy, fluffy carbonated and bitter toasted finish

D - Because of all the toastedness, it is a bit hard to just session this beer. It tends to end up room temp before you're done

Final thought - Nice, toasty. This is a great stout, not the best, but great

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Photo of leantom
4.16/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Big thanks to FW for brewing this. I finally found a stout that my Dad loves! He's a life-long European Pilsner drinker who typically prefers translucent yellow fizz water, but he agreed that this is a great beer. Here goes:

A: Splendid. Pours dark brown but with a massive tan head. Leaves a lot of lacing as well.

S: Not much on the oats and dark fruit; mostly chocolate and coffee. While there is some oatmeal in the background, the roasted notes predominate. I prefer these notes over the fruity ones in Russian Imperial stouts, but I was still somewhat surprised that the beer did not have a richer oatmeal character.

T: Good. Somewhat light, but it's still very tasteful and well-balanced. Notes of coffee, dark chocolate, and some oatmeal at the back of the palate (but it's not very lingering). Again, not very robust, but it's still incredibly flavorful.

F: Only mediocre part of the beer. Somewhat light, especially when using other beers of the style as reference, but this is to be expected given the ABV.

O: Great beer. Thank you, FW!

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Photo of ThirstyBird
3.36/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

I had this on-tap at Beachwood BBQ - from notes.
Appears opaque black. Cappuccino colored head that lasts.
Smells of Espresso and toasted malt.
Taste is of toasted/ burnt malt, licorice. A little chalky.
The mouthfeel on this beer is wonderful. So smooth, mildly carbonated. Medium body.
Nice sipper - one is enough - the bitter burnt flavor is intense.

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Photo of dragonWhale
4.3/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

black and beautiful, with a receding hairline. oatmeal is big, with some roast and tannins.
a quick bitter hop flavor accompanying the black malt burnt coffee flavor. oat sweetness and some chocolate to admonish the bitterness. the finish is long and sweet with waves of astringency.
glad to have this available in the bottle, one of the nicer oatmeal stouts.

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Photo of Foyle
3.59/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12 oz bottle into nonic glass.
Appearance: pours a thin cream colored head which recedes quickly. Little or no lacing. Very dark reddish brown and opaque.
Aroma: pleasant aroma of coffee, caramel, chocolate and earthy hops.
Mouthfeel: medium to thick mouthfeel and creamy with dry and fairly bitter finish.
Flavor: chocolate and coffee along with caramel dominate the flavor, earthy hops add balance, the oats contribute a creamy aspect.
Overall: nicely crafted oatmeal stout. Well done.

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Photo of Sarlacc83
3.88/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle

A: Pours an opaque mahogany with carbonation speckling the sides of the glass. Creamy head dissipates quickly.

N: Grass, leafy hops, and milk chocolate. Light roasted malt and mild coffee. Oatmeal is prevalent in nose.

T: A fine balnace leaning a shade to the malty sweet side. Hops add a nice roundness and the oatmeal adds some pleasant grain. Lots of chocolate notes.

M: carbonated and feeling; drinks like a heavier beer. Quite smooth.

O: A perfect 'summer' stout. Easy to sip and a pleasure to drink while grilling.

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Photo of Tonyjenlasc
4.08/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Look - An opaque black color, minimal head on this one
Smell - Roastiness, some coffee, oats, hints of chocolate
Taste - Roasted malts, some coffee, some chocolate, nutty, oats
Feel - A bit thin but very drinkable

Overall - A solid oatmeal stout!

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Photo of MaximalC
3.38/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.25

Pours seal brown with an ample head of khaki foam. Cola-like carbonation can be seen clinging to the bottom of the glass before ascending to the top, where it emits an audible effervescence. Aroma smells of dark chocolate, toffee, and oatmeal. The flavor is of roasted malt, mild toffee, some oats, and faint coffee and milk chocolate. Hop presence is negligible, if existent at all. Some mild coffee bitterness comes through in the finish, though.

The flavor profile is acceptable, if unremarkable. The problem lies in the exceedingly thin mouthfeel and excessive carbonation, both of which go contrary to everything I look for in a stout. It's almost like drinking a stout-flavored soft drink, and I say this as one who has great respect for Firestone Walker and had high expectations for this brew. It's drinkable, but far from what I was hoping for. Light and thin does not an oatmeal stout make...

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Photo of alarmclock314
3.87/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle, dated 10/5/16. Pours somewhat hazy reddish brown with a large sized khaki head; some lacing. Smells of roasted malt, cocoa, coffee, caramel, and oats. The taste follows closely with roasted malt, cocoa, oats, caramel, and earthy/woody hops. Medium bitterness and some noticeable but subtle tartness. Average carbonation and somewhat thin body for the style. Overall, this is a fairly good Oatmeal Stout with a nice smell, but it could use more intensity and body.

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Photo of Axic10
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass.

Appearance: Pours black with a finger of tan head.

Smell: Bold iced coffee, roasted malt and chocolate.

Taste: Bold coffee, coffee, roasted malt and a nice vanilla taste in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and smooth.

Drinkability: I really enjoyed this beer and would definitely drink again. Firestone Walker continues to amaze me.

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Photo of matcris
3.99/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A half finger of tan head that slowly fades to a ring on top of a black stout with ruby around the edges up to the light. Great carbonation when I rock the glass. Spotty lacing left behind. Aroma, oatmeal, coffee, chocolate, slight alcohol??
Flavor is Chocolate, minor coffee, oatmeal on the finish, no alcohol in the taste. Feel is pretty creamy, full carbonation, dry on finish. Reminds me slightly of Tallgrass Buffalo stout, but a little thicker. Not bad.

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Photo of Philousa
2.85/5  rDev -28.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Imbibed on tap at Wine Affairs on 3/4/13.

Very dark, but a clear cola color against the light with a thin tan head with decent retention. Lots of chocolate in the nose with a slight roasted coffee tinge. Caramel also plays a vital role. Flavor is very chocolatey also, but dry like baker's chocolate, and bitter as well. Caramel and somewhat sweet like chocolate milk, this finishes with earthy hop bitterness. Feel is somewhat creamy (would like more cream) ad thin, finish is very dry. Interesting, but wouldn't buy a sixer. Then again, I'm not one to enjoy most oatmeal stouts. Could fit the profile better.

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Photo of suspect
4.26/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Samuel Adams Perfect Pint glass. Thanks to crazydiamond42 for the hookup.

A: Dark mahogany color with really really light hues shining through. Aggressive pour leads to a big 2 finger tan head that lingers throughout the session.

S: Not a whole lot here. Not that I was expecting a ton. There was a bunch of subtle notes of toasted chocolate malts and some hops as well. Slight bitterness from a dark caffeinated beverage that's not soda.

T: Delicious. Wonderfully simple yet, I think, nicely complex. Lovely notes of coffee, cocoa, and toasted malts.

M: Creamy, delicious, amply carbonated, thick big bodied and wonderful.

O: A really excellent Oatmeal Stout. A really excellent beer.

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Photo of sweethome
3.95/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pour is dark cola color - a bit cloudy when heald to light. Tan head turns wispy in a moment or two. Nose of roasted malt and chocolate.

Medium mouthfeel on entry - a pretty straight through mouthfeel until the finish when an astringency develops in the back of the mouth and leaves a roast and chocolate fade. Creaminess from oatmeal is evident.

The chocolate bar forward flavor profile is quite nice. Roast is present but not overpowering. A flavorful stout - well constructed.

 481 characters

Velvet Merlin Oatmeal Stout from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
3.98 out of 5 based on 3,063 ratings.
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