Velvet Merlin Oatmeal Stout | Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

BA SCORE
89
very good
690 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:
690
Ratings:
3,051
Avg:
3.98
pDev:
9.8%
 
 
Wants:
231
Gots:
632
For Trade:
5
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User Reviews
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Reviews: 690 | Ratings: 3,051
Photo of PintOHops
3.97/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Glass - Tulip

A - Nice dark black color with basically no transparency. It produced a 2-finger tan head that held decently. A bit of a ring held atop my beer but no lacing was left.

S - Rich roasted coffee notes and dark chocolate. A very rich malt aroma here, I can pick up soft leafy hop notes but that's about it. As it warmed a bit I got some toffee notes in there.

T - Upfront a get a bit of tartness that reminds me of the acidity in coffee. Flavors unfold to dark chocolate and very roasty coffee notes. It finishes with a bit of leafy hop flavors but mild, and lingering dark chocolate notes. Bitterness is very very mild here.

M - Soft crispness with a bit of a creamy feel and a lite-medium body.

O - Overall I really liked this beer. It reminded me of lots of other great oatmeal stouts Ive had in the past. I think I would have liked a creamy texture but that's just a picky thought I just had. Very very drinkable and a wonderful flavor profile. I'd definitely buy this one again and I recommend this fine brew to any stout and porter lover. Cheers!

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Photo of domtronzero
3.53/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Clear dark brown with ruby highlights at the edges. Big, average lasting mocha head. Little lacing.

S - Light dark sweet malts, little roast. Caramel. Light earthy hops.

F/M - Rich velvety smooth dark malts. Bready, toffee, caramel, little roast. Earthy/spicy hops with medium high bitterness. Clean, dry finish. Medium body with moderate carbonation.

D - Good. Clean, dry, full flavored and quite easy drinking.

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Photo of CasanovaCummins
4.22/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

Just yum. Silky smooth chocolate coco puffs in liquid form.

This is an everyday kind of pour that you just don't get tired of. The dram you go back to again and again. Great texture. Great consistently deep flavors. Lots of warm darkness.

This is a jazzy Morgana King type of beer. Velvety and soft-spoken, yet deeply sexy. More to the traditional side. All polish and depth.

 377 characters

Photo of raynmoon
3.97/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It pours a nice dark brown with hints of red in it. Once it's in the glass, however, it looks black, but thin in that you can see through it slightly.

The smell is very bread-like, with a little bit of coffee and sugary roasted malts.

The beer is very smooth, with a tiny bit of hop bitterness on the way down. A little bit of an alcohol tingle as the beer warms up, but ever so slight.

Overall, it is very medium bodied and pleasant. I like it. But not an exceptional stout by any means.

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Photo of jpmclaug
3.7/5  rDev -7%
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 OakedCanuck
3.92/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into tulip

A - Light tan head that dissipated quickly, lighter black with brown edging, minimal lacing

S - roasting coffee, molasses, chocolate, small vanilla

T - coffee! bittersweet chocolate, some raisin and vanilla, hint of grains. nice taste.

M - Fairly creamy, medium body as it's a bit thin.

D - Very easy drinker. The excellent balance and temperate taste makes this one easy to have a few of. Very good beer.

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Photo of dank203
3.99/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

really satisfied with this one. great mouth feel for relatively low abv. roasty tones with soft fluffy oatmeal feel and light chocolate notes. slick, wet finish, good stuff in the morning

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Photo of FFreak
3.75/5  rDev -5.8%

Bottle dated about 9 months back. Poured into glasses and shared.

Almost black, slight brown at edges. Thin quickly-dissipating tan head with minimal lacing

Aroma is of caramel and roast, with some molasses and chocolate. Pretty nice.

Taste was slightly bready and roasty, with caramel and oatmeal. A simple, but tasty stout.

Mouthfeel is full bodied with low carbonation and no bitterness or astringency. Not as smooth as expected for an Oatmeal stout.

Overall, I liked it but expected better. I will try again but I would like to try it fresher. I don't think the age helped it.

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Photo of infinitebruner
3.93/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

February 11, 2015

12 oz bottle, snifter

A – Jet black, a thin layer of light tan foam forms and then disappears quickly. Some lacing sits on top of the beer.

S – Baking chocolate, lightly roasted coffee. Some light vanilla, perhaps some honey. A bit of fruity ester presence in the background, and light, earthy hops.

T – Mostly chocolate and moderate nuttiness, very light roasted component. Maybe a drop of vanilla. Hops are very low in flavor, herbal and earthy, but contributing moderate bitterness.

M – Moderate carbonation, very little sweetness, roast component and hop bitterness are medium-high. Finish is somewhat dry. Body is medium-full, with a touch of creamy smoothness.

O – Very pleasant, traditional version of an oatmeal stout. Smooth, nutty, a touch of roast… it’s well made and that is certainly worth saying.

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Photo of djmichaelk
3.68/5  rDev -7.5%
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.

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Photo of dubinsky
3.58/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a nice deep black with reddish highlights on the edges. An aggressive pour yielded a nice foamy three finger head which quickly receded leaving a band of lacing with decent retention visible.

S - Dark roasted malts, coffee and oatmeal dominate the forefront of this beer, with trails of milk chocolate and molasses on the tail end. Not very strong smelling which is not a negative by any means.

T - Taste follows smell. Roasted malts, coffee and chocolate. I do get an oatmeal presence but its not in your face as the name of beer would suggest. Nice sweetness Slight wood smokiness as well.

M - Medium bodied and very smooth. Nice, light carbonation, just like i enjoy in this style. It has a mildly dry finish.

D- Highly drinkable. Its not my favorite in the style but it has a very easy, mellow flavor which makes it extremely quaff-able. I think FW did a great job blending the flavors in a way that didnt have any one ingredient slam you in the mouth. I will buy this beer again.

 999 characters

Photo of SavvyStudent
4.44/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: pours pitch black with a toffee foam head and solid lacing.
S: Cocoa, coffee, sweet malts and syrup
T: amazingly flavorful for an oatmeal stout. Coffee, oats, bitter malts and some sweetness coming through
M: creamy with very little carbonation and medium heavy as expected out of a stout
O: Another potent creation from firestone that is delish

 348 characters

Photo of Dustin_Sallitt
3.91/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

The nose isn't impressive, slight cocoa and hops, but almost lager like. The taste is much better, with a nice balance of cocoa and coffee roast that is just potent enough. Nice mouthfeel for the low alcohol percentage, leaves a nice roasted aftertaste as well. Solid beer.

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Photo of BearsOnAcid
3.63/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear brown, small khaki head.
Nose has chocolate, coffee and some acidic roasted malt.
Very bitter roasted malts on the tongue but doesn't linger. I get a little bit of that acidic dark malt taste. Something I sometimes find in a schwarzbier. Easy to drink. Clean light bitter finish. Seems a little thin for an oatmeal stout though.

 334 characters

Photo of Mike_Aguirre
4.43/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours deep black, with a tanned foam head, almost no retention. Aroma is of roasted barley, some bread and crackers. Taste is well balanced, rich, malty, a little bit acid but not aggresive. Very nice oatmeal stout indeed.

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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.

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

Pours brown, almost black, with a huge mocha head that hangs out for a bit before becoming a ring which left behind some lacing.

Smell is of roasted malt, earthy bitter tobacco, a hint of the sweet malt and bitter chocolate.

Taste is similar to the nose, lots of bitter roasted malt, a touch of hop brightness, and enough bitter baker's chocolate to say it's there. Not much on the sweet flavor for me though.

Feels bubbly and light, easy to drink, though medium bodied. It did have a bite to it, which was different.

I liked this beer, after drinking Imperials for awhile now, it's kind of like a lighter version, one that I enjoyed.

DOA

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Photo of SaltofOH
3.93/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottle dated 10-5-16. DFH Tulip.

A: pours an opaque black with some carbonation barely visible at the edges. Two fingers of frothy light tan head. Exquisite lacing and good retention.

S: a salty and malty mix. Mild roast and not a whole lot of sweetness.

T: arrives with characteristic stout roastiness, turning into a malty and mild sweetness, like malted milk - not like a milkshake, but sweet in the way that some grains are sweet without having any sugar. Very little roast here, with only the slightest touch of bitterness at the end. Very dark malt driven; I have had porters and possibly brown ales more roasty and bitter than this - but that is not an insult.

M: solidly midweight, slightly slick but generally clean. Certainly on the lighter side for stouts.

O: I drank half of this before I notice that I had not yet finished the review. It is extremely drinkable. This is a stout for bringing to parties. A real crowd pleaser and good for sessioning, but perhaps not so good if you're only having one. This is very good beer, and is a perfect execution of the style, but is perhaps my least favorite offering I've had from F-W so far (which is still better than a lot of other beers).

 1,200 characters

Photo of bfields4
4.57/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Black body with a light brown hue around the edges. Nice mocha head laces the glass.

Aroma is very much oaty with a bit of espresso bit of roasty. Nice.

Flavor profile is similar to the aroma. Nice roasty oat flavor with an espresso finish. Nice dry chocolate/hop bitterness rounds the beer out nicely.

Velvet is right, the mouthfeel is very smooth. Nice creamy body with just a good bit of carbonation. This beer doesn't have big in your face interesting flavors, but the flavors it does have it absolutely nails.

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Photo of readbaron
4.07/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours out a relatively thin looking - more porter than stout - with a decent light tan head.

Smell is smooth - nearly all malt, with a hint of sweetness. Almost smells like a milk stout.

Taste is good - incredibly smooth. Very malty - not a lot of complexity - all malt and some oaty sweetness. There is no aftertaste - just an incredibly smooth finish.

Mouthfeel is excellent - much richer than I would have expected from the pour. Definitely see why velvet is in this beer's name.

Highly drinkable. Relatively low ABV and incredibly smooth.

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Photo of Auracom
3.21/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Single 12 oz. purchase from MSCM. All 12 oz. poured into a FFF Rastal on February 8th, 2013.

A - Pours a deep black color, with lovely depth. Medium khaki head with plentiful foam and retention.

S - Straight mocha - Nesquik blended with black coffee beans. Soft honey malts and darker cocoa hints underneath.

T - Espresso transitions into almost pure effervescence. Touch of Chocolate powder at the back end, But nothing lingers.

M - High carbonation (overly so), light medium body, lightly dry finish.

D - The drinkability is pretty underwhelming compared to the nose. Too much carbonation and not nearly enough flavor.

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Photo of MrKennedy
4.12/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle with huge thanks to nicks6217! Poured into a Tripel Karmeliet tulip style glass.

Looks jet black with a tan coloured head of foam that commenced at 2 fingers in height. Sat just above film for the duration. Spotty glass lacing.

Nice, complex and relatively big aromas. Coffee, chocolate, licorice, dark fruits as well. Very nice and intriguing.

Taste is nice and smooth and well done. Chocolate is first, coffee at the end and the oats in the middle of it.

Mouthfeel is a little thin early and continues to build and build in thickness. With all the chocolate in this, the finish isn't cloying, balanced out by the coffee and a touch of other bitterness.

Very good oatmeal stout, flavoursome, complex, well balanced.

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Photo of pmccallum86
3.86/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark brown/black color with an enormous light cocoa head.

Smell is of light chocolate malts and oatmeal, nothing special here.

Taste of smooth creamy oatmeal and milk chocolates. Not bad, very easy drinking beer.

Mouthfeel is awesome, super silky smooth and creamy.

Great drinkability, good example of the style.

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Photo of Augustiner719
3.98/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

opened this one up tonight thanks to a very generous, but still not confirmed (probably overlord) BA who sent me a random package tonight.

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a standard pint glass. Pours a really nice deep dark brownish black color with an off white 1 finger head that leaves behind a ring of foam as the drinking session progresses. there is a very distinct raisin aroma coming through on this that reminds me of having oatmeal with syrup and raisins on top. really nice roasted malty aromas coming through as well. the flavor is nice and balanced. really has a good upfront sweetness that lends itself to a balanced, and even slightly dry finish. some astringent dryness on the backend, but the transition from front to mid to back palate is flawless and really gives a nice experience. the mouthfeel is nice as well. nothing crazy and i would have liked it a bit less carbonated. near perfect body on this, not overly thin even for the low abv. Drinkability is right up there with the best. has a nice low abv, sorta, and really easy to go down. perfect for this time of the year and I would love to get my hands on some more. Worth seeking out.

 1,162 characters

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

L: Pitch black, with a foamy beige head. Retention is minimal. A thin ring remains that leaves some spotty lacing.

S: Grainy, musty oats; milk chocolate candy, burnt toast, cocoa powder, milk, hints of cherries, earth.

F: Cherry and raisins right up front, which quickly glides into milk chocolate, cocoa powder, and almond milk. Then you get dry, musty grains; burnt toast, and metallic earthiness. Finishes lightly dry with lingering essences of chocolate, cherries, and grainy oats.

F: Medium-bodied. Smooth and well-rounded, with medium carbonation.

O: An extremely flavorful stout for under 6%. An excellent display of oats, roasted notes, and fruity esters. A great beer.

 689 characters

Velvet Merlin Oatmeal Stout from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
3.98 out of 5 based on 3,051 ratings.
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