Velvet Merlin Oatmeal Stout | Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

BA SCORE
89
very good
3,076 Ratings
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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
Ratings:
3,076
Reviews:
695
Avg:
3.98
pDev:
9.8%
 
 
Wants:
232
Gots:
639
For Trade:
6
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,076 |  Reviews: 695
Photo of russpowell
4.44/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on nitro last night. Creamy, a little cocoa that builds towards chocolatey as it warms, some coffee notes as well . Super drinkability, easily one of the best oatmeal stouts I've encountered.

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Photo of atrocity
4/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of mdaschaf
4/5  rDev +0.5%

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

Burnished walnut brown with burnt orange edges and a lack of opacity... which is no sin in beer of this style and ABV. The lovely looking lid of golden ecru colored foam that was created on the pour is becoming soft and creamy as it melts. Nice lace too.

A small percentage of bourbon barrel-aged Merlin was combined with non-bourbon barrel-aged Merlin to create Merlin. Make sense? There's almost no whiskey in the nose, just the usual roasted and chocolate notes of the style... but it's enough.

As always, my taste buds are more sensitive than my nose. Still, this is not beer that will scare away those who don't care for the taste of America's finest spirit. That particular characteristic is subtle, which is exactly what is needed in a 5.5% oatmeal stout that doesn't otherwise poleaxe your palate with malt flavor.

Specific flavors include bittersweet chocolate, charred coffee beans, burnt sugar, and a complementary tea leaf bitterness from U.S. Fuggles. Barely more than 3 months in the bottle ensures that this is still relatively balanced beer. More bourbon would've been a mistake.

The mouthfeel is the only (slight) disappointment. It's a fraction thin, doesn't hang on like it should, and the carbonation could add more lift and expansive creaminess. Not bad at all, it just doesn't keep pace with the other attributes.

Firestone Walker is a good-to-great craft brewery. Velvet Merlin Oatmeal Stout is closer to good than great, which is fine with me. Here's hoping this is a year-round release.

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Photo of vfgccp
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%

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

Photo of millerbuffoon
3.77/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

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

completely opaque liquid coming forward in front of me. Rich dark brown notes, with a good sized head of maybe an inch in height coming over the top of it. Nice settling left behind a thin layer and a good amount of side glass lace.

The aroma was your typical oatmeal stout, though a touch more bitter then what I was expecting. Nice notes of lactose, chocolate and vinous hops. Some light grain notes as well in the finish. Rich, though not terribly filling. Lots of burnt and roasted malt flavors in here. Not as sweet as the aroma would have led me to believe it would have been, still though very solid in both bitterness and malt profile. Light notes of chocolate floating around, but again nothing terribly too swee

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Photo of woodychandler
3.88/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Another bottle bites the dust in today's attempt to eradicate single-O Porters, Stouts & Old Ales from the insidious Bottle Backlog here at Chez Woody.

I find revisionist history to be laughable & here is a stark example: "Original name was 'Velvet Merkin', but name was changed when it began to be bottled in 2010." Ha ha, horses**t! They thought that they were being clever/funny until the ATF did their homework & realized that it referred to a (ahem!) carpet used by (ahem, again!) prostitutes during the Middle Ages. You may have heard the sobriquet "Beaver" applied to Venus' Triangle? Some high-end merkins were fashioned from beaver pelts. Why was this important? We, as humans, had no understanding of vermin vs. vectors during the Plague Era, but a connection was made between fur & body hair (sort of correctly, think crabs) & so clean-shaven was the order of the day. For the hirsute-aficionados, the merkin was created to satiate their desires. Once the ATF realized what they had approved, they spanked Firestone Walker's collective pee-pee & made them make an amendment.

Onwards! I Pop!ped the cap to great applause, forcing me to stop & take a bow before continuing. How bow dah? Cash me owside. It was a nice, fresh bottle, so there was nothing standing between me an a heavy-handed pour except fear itself. I decided to shoot the works & go for the gusto, pouring nearly the entire contents into my glass before a pseudo-cascade took ahold & I had to back off lest I clean up a mess later. It settled into two-pus fingers of dense, rocky, deep-tan/light-brown head with great retention. Color was Very Dark Brown to Black/Opaque (SRM = > 34, < 44) with garnet highlights & NE-quality clarity. Nose smelled of milk chocolate and a fresh-baked breadiness. Mouthfeel was full, smooth & creamy, almost like an N2 pour. The taste was like a combination of milk chocolate, coffee and light cream. Man, this was a smoooooth, easy-drinking stout! So much so that I drained off half of it without even an afterthought. Finish was semi-sweet, bordering on semi-dry, but the chocolaty presence held things in check. It was a very pleasant addition to the day.

 2,170 characters

Photo of mdfb79
3.88/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass. Received as an extra from barleywinefiend, thanks Josh!

a - Pours a very dark brown, almost black, color with one finger of off white head and light carbonation evident.

s - Smells of oatmeal, roasted malts, bitter chocolate, light coffee, and light bready malts.

t - Tastes of roasted malts, bitter chocolate, light oat, light coffee, toffee, and bready malts. A step up from the nose.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation, pretty smooth and creamy. Pretty good mouthfeel.

d - A good oatmeal stout full of chocolate and roasted malts mostly. A little bit bitter but I liked it a lot. Would certainly have again.

 668 characters

Photo of ZEB89
4.28/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of womencantsail
3.83/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at the Blue Palms. I was really glad to see this one hadn't kicked yet.

A: A very nice looking black pour with a thin layer of tan foam on top.

S: A strong aroma of coffee with other scents such oatmeal, roasted malt, and chocolate joining the party.

T: The flavor is a bit disappointing. The coffee is once again the dominant sensation. The oatmeal is there, but surprisingly not a huge presence. There are also some hints of chocolate and roasted malt.

M: The beer has a nice smooth somewhat creamy mouthfeel. The body, however, isn't quite as full as I was expecting.

D: Certainly a very drinkable beer with very little alcohol presence. I was really excited to get to try this, but a bit let down by it.

 719 characters

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

Photo of orangesol
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.88/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a goblet.

Appearance - Deep brown, looks black in the glass, but you can see through the edges. Almost no head and no lacing. I am unimpressed.

Smell - Wow, it smells great. The aroma is just as good as a much larger stout. Strong coffee aroma with chocolate a roasted malts. I am more optimistic now.

Taste - Coffee up front and chocolate in the finish. Slight hop bitterness in the finish makes the chocolate taste dark. Mmm. It's good. Surprisingly good, in fact.

Mouthfeel - Well, at 5.5%, it's tough to end up with a heavy stout. Creamy, but low in alcohol. It's a good combination to make it a good low ABV stout.

Overall - I edited this review because I didn't think it was great the first time. Now I think it's quite tasty. I'm beginning to appreciate low ABV stout. They pack a big flavor without being 15% and diabetically sweet.

 871 characters

Photo of paulish
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%

Photo of MarkyMOD
4.5/5  rDev +13.1%

Photo of TMoney2591
4.15/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a Half Acre shaker pint glass.

Thanks to whartontallboy for this bottle!

They shoulda kept it Merkin. Why not? Regardless, it pours a straight onyx topped by a finger of rather light ecru foam. The nose comprises smooth chocolate, roasted malts, molasses, and toasted oats. The taste focuses on the roasty and toasty notes, much to the benefit of all involved. (Side note: The racism involved in certain episodes of Peabody and Sherman is priceless. Here is all the proof you'll need that the children of that era grew up dumb as brix.) The body is a strong medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a smooth and nearly chewy feel. Overall, a quaff good enough to present to White's version of the titular soothsayer. Zounds!

 741 characters

Photo of thatoneguymike
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%

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

Bottle shared by RussianDragon. Thanks Dave!

The beer is near black with a half inch of beige head. Scents of bread, roast, chocolate. Smooth on the palate. Flavors include char, roast, chocolate, and a hint of coffee beans. Easy drinking and overall, a solid example of the style.

 282 characters

Photo of johnnnniee
4/5  rDev +0.5%

Bottle from Bert's
Solid dark brown black color with a decent sized tan head that shows moderate retention. Aromas of creamed coffee and chocolate dominate. Light earthy hop, cereal grain, and a faint pitted fruit round out the aroma nicely. The flavor is rich mocha with just a touch of vanilla. Light earth and fruit for posterity. Medium body with a creamy silky mouthfeel and a light level of carbonation. I could drink the hell out of these given half a chance.

 466 characters

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

The Firestone Wqalker Velvet Stout is good. The beer pours an opaque dark with thin, almost non-existent hear that is leaving a very spotty lace. The smell carries waffs of coffee/espresso. The taste carry a nice bitter burst with good coffee and roast. The mouthfeel is medium in body with good carbonation. Overall it is a great session stout. Perfect for a winter tailgate.

 376 characters

Photo of BMart
4/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of BeerForMuscle
4/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of stakem
4.14/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass this brew appears dark brown with a finger of brown head that quickly recedes to a thin lace across the top. When held to the light, this brew displays some lighter brown and deep ruby clarity through the body.

The aroma of this brew is a pleasant roasty scent reminiscent of coffee mixed with dark chocolate-like grains. The grain scent of this brew is very fresh and enjoyable which imparts a light sweetness through the nose. Once the brew warms up there is a light citrus hop indication in the back.

The taste of this brew is roasty grain that imparts a light sweetness through the body. It leaves a lingering taste similar to fresh coffee and light semi bitter chocolate. As this brew warms it picks up a light citrus hop influence.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest amount of carbonation. The oats in this brew imparts a silky smooth feel in the mouth which is exceptional for the style. The alcohol is perfectly hidden and overall this is a fine example of the style.

 1,012 characters

Velvet Merlin Oatmeal Stout from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
3.98 out of 5 based on 3,076 ratings.
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