Velvet Merlin Oatmeal Stout | Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

very good
3,080 Ratings
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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

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Ratings: 3,080 |  Reviews: 696
Photo of Volsdawg10
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of ScaryEd
4/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of NJBeer265
3.75/5  rDev -5.8%

Photo of koopa
4.04/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle received as an extra in a trade with a generous BA thanks!

Appearance: Pours black and opaque with minimal crown, retention, or lace.

Smell: Toasted oats, roast malt, and chocolate malt.

Taste: Same as nose.

Mouthfeel: Smooth (as an oatmeal stout should be) with a medium body.

Drinkability: Highly drinkable.

 322 characters

Photo of yemenmocha
4.6/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Enjoyed on draft in San Francisco at 21st Amendment brewpub as guest tap.

Draft version more robust flavors and nose was more assertive. Otherwise very similar to bottled version.

Pours a very dark brown to almost black color. Nose is rich with roasted malts and wet robusta coffee grounds. On the palate the roasty flavors take center stage, with a bit of sweetness that is present as well. Some gentle woody components are noted, but subtle. The roasty character carries nicely into the finish. Medium bodied and very, very drinkable. Nice session stout.

 559 characters

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

Velvet Merlin. Bottled on 12/20/13.

Pours out of the bottle with a lovely head abound. Lighter color foam, but nice and foamy and dimply. Looks dark and delectable.

Sweet malts with a friendly roasty character. Notes of dark cocoa and toffee with a faint lacto-sweetness. Kiss of evergreen from the hops with a turn of fruitiness.

Nice and chewy body with that oaty bitterness. The roasted malts has a dark cocoa flavor and a bit of char. Almost in the favor of burnt sugars, but it's not as sweet as most milk stouts. It still has a bit of that lacticity, in the way that some coffees have a higher acidity. A little nutty. Could use burlier notes. Carbonation is almost ideal, but perhaps short on the light side. A good winter stout with a mild hop presence.

 764 characters

Photo of DIPAFAN
4/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of sharpski
3.5/5  rDev -12.1%

Photo of paresis
4/5  rDev +0.5%

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

Photo of philbe311
3.86/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A - A standard pour yields two fingers worth of active audibly fizzy rapidly fading medium brown colored head... The minimal at best retention gives way to an uneven splotchy veil of lacing and a thin collar... Mostly still with some stray sluggish carbonation streaks deep within... The color is an opaque black that splits the difference between flat and shiny... Not a bad looking beer by any means...

S - Big enticing aroma... Sweet milk chocolate... Lightly roasted coffee beans... A slight lactose component... Perhaps some raisins and dark fruits... Everything one should expect in an Oatmeal Stout in wonderful balance with nice layers of depth and complexity...

T - The lightly roasted coffee is first to the party... Then a slightly sweet lactose component... The milk chocolate takes a slightly distant back seat... A hint of roasted malt... The dark fruit notes are buried way beneath the surface, but still noticeable... There is a nice dark chocolate component on the deep finish...

M - On the fuller side of medium bodied... A limited bit of sharp crisp carbonation... Slightly sleek... Slightly smooth... A touch of creaminess...

D - A rock solid Oatmeal Stout (which shouldn't be a surprise coming from Firestone Walker who does everything)... Not world class, but way better than average... Highly enjoyable... Loaded with character and complexity... All with a 5.5% ABV bow wrapped around... All components work well together and the end result is a brew that seems to be a bit more than the sum of its parts... Nicely done...

 1,551 characters

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

Appearance: Huge, coarse dark tan head crowns a body as black as night. The head retention is quite good, Thin, scattered lacing adorns the glass walls.

Aroma: Roasted malt utterly dominates the aroma, although cold coffee and some bitter cocoa are present as well.

Taste: Opens with roasted malt, cocoa, and bitter coffee. As the taste progresses, the roasted malt, cocoa, and coffee meld together, with the oatmeal serving to remove any harsh edges from the taste. Finishes with a long, lingering note of semi-sweet cocoa.

Mouth feel: Very soft and gracious on the palate, silky and smooth, with only a hint of carbonation, it is well-named.

Drinkability/notes: Very well-done, an illustration of what a skilled brewer can do with this style.

Presentation: Packaged in a short twelve-ounce brown glass bottle, sealed with a pry-off crown, served in a New Belgium Brewing chalice. Production date, per the label, was '12/02/14 11:13'. Purchased on 04/24/2015 in Texas.

 975 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 durlta
4/5  rDev +0.5%

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

12oz bottle x2. Bottled 10/19/11. Served in a tapered 22oz glass.

Pours a deep dark brown, almost black. Over a finger of dark beige foam. Occasional bit of lacing.

Big aroma for a "small" beer. Toasted, smokey malts are right up front. Nice amount of sweetness blends with the grain reminding me of a bowl of sugar crisp cereal (and that's an *old* sense memory).

Flavor is quite similar to the nose, but has more of a semi-sweet bakers chocolate quality than I was expecting. Middle and finish are quite dry and reveal a respectable hop presence. Roasty hoppy bitterness lingers in the aftertaste.

Both body and carbonation hit about medium. Goes down easy.

 663 characters

Photo of mrcraft
4/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of Herky21
4.5/5  rDev +13.1%

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

Photo of Tyrawlings
4/5  rDev +0.5%

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 Patches826
4/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of Uconnelmo
3.94/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of ste5venla
3.75/5  rDev -5.8%

Photo of donkeyrunner
4.21/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

$7 for 14 oz at Meadhall, Cambridge MA

Dark browny black with a thin, quick to dissipate head.

Smells smooth. I know that's not a scent but it does. Mushy brownie batter or moist chocolate trifle with more and more char emerging as VM warms.

Features the usual chocolate and roast malt flavors but the mix and creamy mouthfeel just makes this a better tasting oatmeal stout. Mild something in the back - orange mint? Bigger body than 5.5%.

 443 characters

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

Happy to see this at the Alehouse in Redding.

Pours a dark brown color with a faint off white head.

Aromas are of roasted malts, some cocoa, and vanilla.

Taste is clean and smooth. Some chocolate, light coffee, and a creamy sweetness. Finish has a slight pine hop bitter note.

Mouthfeel is great. Very smooth.

Drinkability is this beers strong suit. A tasty oatmeal stout that goes down easy and is not to heavy.

 417 characters

Velvet Merlin Oatmeal Stout from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
3.98 out of 5 based on 3,080 ratings.
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