Velvet Glove | Iron Fist Brewing Company

very good
101 Reviews
no score
Send samples
Velvet GloveVelvet Glove

Brewed by:
Iron Fist Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
You know the expression, "A Velvet Glove and an Iron Fist"? It was coined to refer to a regime that used a soft exterior to hide its punishingly unforgiving nature. This seems an apt description for our Velvet Glove. Its placid appearance and unparalleled smoothness hide the truth; this is one fiendishly strong stout. Rich, chocolaty espresso dominates the flavor profile, with a velvety smooth texture that will haunt your senses.

Added by Sideswipe on 01-15-2011

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 101 | Ratings: 347
Photo of NickMunford
4.67/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Looks completely black/opaque, but the thin head gives it a bit of a super-dark brown appearance. Little head retention or lacing. Smells of dark roasted malt & chocolate with a hint of coffee. The velvet name is apt, as it feels like liquid velvet in the mouth. The aromas carry through nicely in the flavor. I don't really pick up the mealy hints that I associate with an oatmeal stout, but I think with a little tweaking and a higher ABV, this would turn into a great IRS. And this would be a great candidate for bourbon barrel aging.

I've tried two Iron Fist brews so far, and I can't wait to try more. Right now they are so new that they're a shooting star. I hope they hit the Earth and make a crater for themselves.

 724 characters

Photo of DM1293
4.65/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

My word.

Appearance - Poured an incredibly dark coloration, with a thin but lasting head. Hardly any light could pierce this dark concoction.

Smell - Lovely notes of chocolate and coffee, with the typical malty roast accompanying it. Smelled delicious.

Taste - Personally? I'd rate this a touch higher but this feels like an interpretation spot. I asked others who were trying this beer alongside me, and some said it should be less carbonated, I felt like it should be a little more carbonated, to bring the flavors a little more liveliness.

Whats here however is still really dang tasty. Really good chocolately-sweet taste, coffee and roasted malts in the body to bring a little bitterness in and round it out. REALLY balanced, and the finish isn't bitter at all.

Mouthfeel - Nice and creamy. Even without that little extra carbonation, the mouthfeel is grand.

Overall - It blows every other stout I've had so far away. I asked about the price, and around here it clocks in at $12 bucks. The price of admission to try this is high; but I'm extremely curious how this would play off of a nitro tap now.

In my opinion, still worth every penny of that $12, and makes me curious how their other stuff holds up too...

 1,222 characters

Photo of imagese
4.5/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap @ brewery. Listed as an "Imperial Oatmeal Stout". Also purchased a bottle to age

A- jet black. the faintest creamy coffee colored head left nice lacing

S- dark fruit, coffee, and bitter chocolate

T- killer taste that follows the nose. Simple, to the point, and very nicely executed

M- medium body. Velvety smooth... Chocolate and fruit sweetness linger on the palate nicely

D- drinks like a much smaller beer. So smooth and awesome.

 444 characters

Photo of PeprSprYoFace
4.47/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Glad to see another new brewery comin up and makin awesome beers.

Pours a super dark black. Thin tan head dissipated to thin ring. No lacing.

Aroma is nice and roasty and caramely. Maybe a bit of sweetened coffee.

Taste is good. Nice and roasty. Bit if caramel sweetness. Tasty.

Mouthfeel is a bit thinner than i would expect but the finish feels nice. It's the initial mouthfeel.

Overall a tasty brew. Can't wait to see what they come up with in the future. Hopefully they barrel aged some of this stuff.

 510 characters

Photo of Halcyondays
4.47/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Beachwood I,

A: Pours black with a fair amount of brown head, good lace.

S: Sweet milk chocolate and licorice, definitely malt oriented.

T: Full semi-sweet chocolate flavour with that oatmeal sweetness that never holds back. Lightly hopped this is all about the dark malt. Full-flavoured and very tasty.

M: Velvet Glove fits it well, velvety smooth, silky, with a light carbonation.

O: This is a very good straight up Imperial Stout, with a little twist from the oatmeal. I liked it a lot.

 504 characters

Photo of HoppySuds
4.47/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On tap poured into a tulip glass.

Pours black with a nice brown head. Leaves nice lacing on the glass as the head dissipates.

Wow, the smell is amazing. Sweet chocolate and oatmeal stand through on the nose.

It starts sweet and fills the mouth with a rich full flavor. Just enough carbonation to keep it moving around and from feeling like I'm actually drinking a chocolate shake.

Overall this is now one of my favorite stouts to drink. It's nice that it's pretty easy to find here is SoCal. I would love to see this get some age on it. In the end it's another great beer from a great brewery. Cheers!

 606 characters

Photo of kemoarps
4.42/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a good stout black. Pillowy head that fades to the point of disappearance. Looks like a good stout?

The nose is sweet and creamy with a caramel aspect and roasty black malts. Smells really enticing. Theres almost a little green on the finish.

guess what... this tastes really good as well. Starts off sweet and velvety, chocolaty. Some other stuff I can't quite put my finger on.

Smoothe. Deliciousness. The alcohol doesn't really come through, until it does. Smoothe and masked initially, but on the finish/aftertaste it gets a little warm.

I really like this quite a bit. Really glad my sister brought it up with her from LA. thanks Durf!!

 653 characters

Photo of beveragebattle
4.41/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Round 1-Value

Iron Fist @ $11.99 with 9.0% ABV

Round 2-Aroma

Iron Fist: Unsweetened chocolate and espresso notes

Round 3-Flavor

Iron Fist: Dark chocolate covered espresso beans

Round 4-Finish

Iron Fist : 1:30-2:00 minutes

Round 5-Packaging

Iron Fist: Champagne bottle (25.4 ounces) with nice Communist-esque artwork


Iron Fist came in at $11.99 with a 9% ABV, which is a little pricey for 25.4 ounces of beer. With that being said, the beer is so rich, complex, and memorable that the price becomes an after thought. I treated this craft beer like a bottle of wine and sipped it all night. Velvet Glove is a quality Imperial Stout.

 657 characters

Photo of Kala1073
4.4/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

One of my new favorite stouts. This stout drinks as smooth as the name suggests. The appearance is dark like black velvet, the aroma is chocolate, coffee, and roasted malts, the mouthfeel is thick and creamy, the taste is simply delicious! This beer really took me by surprise in a good way. Iron Fist Velvet Glove hits you in the taste buds and makes you yearn for more!!!

 373 characters

Photo of sdderek
4.38/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a tulip from a 750ml bottle.

Great dark black and thick appearance. Nice head retention. Aroma has coffee, chocolate, and a bit of alcohol. Very nice.

Taste is very smooth with no hint of alcohol. Great bittersweet chocolate, roasted malt and coffee notes. Again, very, very smooth.

Mouthfeel is creamy and somewhat thin, which is very nice for this big oatmeal stout.

Very drinkable. I would love to see what this tastes like with a year on it. I will buy again!

 479 characters

Photo of rawfish
4.37/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours jet black and viscous into the glass. Small mocha head forms with little retention and lacing though a fine ring of bubbles i seen clinging to the glass.

Rich dark chocolate, sweetened oatmeal and licorice with undertones of coffee and creamy caramel. Very inviting and strong.

Sweet roasted malt with a bit of astringency, a bit green and bitter near the finish. Other than that the flavor exudes rich dark chocolate notes and a slight tone of coffee beans. Balanced and even, the alcohol is complementary.

Creamy mouthfeel, drinkable body with a touch of alcohol that complements the flavor of the brew. Mouthcoating is sweet and fades nicely.

Color me impressed with this stout, it's smooth, rich and flavorful delivering plentiful chocolate notes with touches of pleasant complexities. The mouthfeel is velvet much like the namesake, this is as good a stout as I've ever had.

 889 characters

Photo of HopHead84
4.35/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


6oz on tap at Iron Fist and served in a snifter. This is called Velvet Glove, not Velet Glove.

A: Deep brown with auburn highlights and a big frothy light brown head.

S: Rich dark chocolate, oatmeal, molasses, brown sugar. Roasted malt is at a moderate level. The chocolate profile is great. There's a dash of coffee in there. Alcohol is undetectable. Very nice aroma.

T: Dark chocolate with some milk, accompanied by brown sugar and molasses. An upper low bitterness is present. There's a moderate roast and a low level of coffee. Finish is bittersweet chocolate with some warming.

M: Lower full body with moderate carbonation. Mouthfeel is sticky and creamy, though not quite as thick and creamy as I'd hoped.

Overall: A very nice Imperial Oatmeal stout, and the best beer Iron Fist has made (IMO, of course). Reminiscent of BORIS the Crusher. A great representation of the style.

 901 characters

Photo of younger35
4.35/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Received this as a extra from my main man out in Philly. I’ve never heard of Iron Fist brewing but I’m always happy to try a new brew. Drank from my Darkness snifter while watching game 6 of the 2011 World Series (St. Louis vs. Texas).

Appearance- Pours a deep dark black with a huge one finger cinnamon brown head that is fluffy and rich. The cap eventually disappears all together leaving a thin collar with nto much lacing.
Smell- Everything you’d expect from a nice Imperial Stout. Very roasted smelling that borders on espresso with a subdued sort of intensity. A bit of chocolate and/or fudge makes its appearance as it very much smells like Tootsie Rolls. Maybe a touch of caramel but it’s fairly light but a definite raw grainy thing is lingering. I don’t get much in the way of hops except maybe just a hint of some grassiness. The alcohol is pretty potent as well.
Taste- Starts with tons of raw chewy brownie batter that is dark and rich and very intense. Not overly sweet which I love but there is a nice touch of caramel mixed in with all that chocolate. I don’t get much in the way of super deep dark roast or coffee. Maybe a touch of vanilla mixes in for an almost cream like flavor and just a hint of licorice. Sort of a deceiving bitterness too with a few citrus tones every now and again. A touch of alcohol in the end but not near what I thought it would be from the nose.
Mouthfeel- Thick rich and smooth as silk. Nice light carbonation with a touch of warming.
Drinkability- Very surprised by this beer! It’s super chocolaty and nicely balanced. This went down really easy, almost too easy. I love a good Imperial Stout that isn’t overly sweet or overly hoppy. This fits the bill perfectly. Thanks much Jeff!

 1,746 characters

Photo of craftbeersweden
4.34/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Almoust black liquid with a three finger high, brownbeige, fluffy head.

Nose: Vanilla, chocolate, coffee, smoke, ash, oak, rubber and roasted malt.

Taste: Smooth, really smooth taste! For an Imperial Stout - almoust a little bit waterish. Coffe, dry cocoa, smoked ham, ash, dark fruit, soy sauce and molasses.
Where have I've sensed this before? Yep! It makes me thining about Alaskan Smoked Porter! I get the same notes here!

Mouthfeel: A rich texture and well enbedded carbonation with almoust no alcohol taste. Really well hidden! Oily, smooth, complex and still very easy drinking!

I like this! But then I really like Alaskan Smoked Porter also...

Today I only bought two bottles - I'm going to get more of this lovely beer!

 735 characters

Photo of Eriktheipaman
4.3/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours a solid black with brown hues around the edge. Nice brown head on this one.

The smell consists of raisins, chocolate, and a little alcohol. There are a decent amount of dark fruits coming through.

The taste is mellow chocolate on the front as it glides down with its thick silky mouth feel. But when the back hits, HOT DAMN! Big chocolate notes. Almost a fudge aftertaste.

This is an awesome beer an while it isn't one of those big bitter roasty Stouts (which we have enough of already), it hits the style hard and does it well.

 538 characters

Photo of notchucknorris
4.28/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours black with a thin light brown head.

S: This was the strangest-smelling stout I've ever had. I'm a little worried that my bottle may have been infected because no one else is reporting the smells I experienced. When I sniffed this one, it was like walking into a Jamba Juice. I got a ton of strawberry/banana along with some guava, passion fruit and currant.

T: Big, juicy dark fruits upfront with pomegranate and black cherry taking the lead. Then, the taste changes and there's a progression to some dark chocolate flavors with a finish that's bitter and slightly burnt. The mouthfeel was big, chewy and really smooth. I liked this one a lot.

 656 characters

Photo of Metalmonk
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked this up at one of my favorite places in L.A., The Oaks Gourmet.

Pours a toasted golden head, a gorgeous thing while it lasts, but it fizzles quickly. Utterly dark brown liquid, reaching toward coal black.

Deeply chocolate aroma with delicate notes of toasty malt/grain (oat?). Subtle but entirely satisfactory.

This beer hits the target on the tongue, where it counts most. Dark chocolate, bittersweet baking chocolate, dark roast coffee, mineral notes, toffee, cola. Mmm. Yeah.

Velvety feel (and I swear I wrote that while momentarily forgetting the beer's name)...on the gentler side of gooey.

This imperial stout doesn't offer the impressive razzle dazzle of a Sexual Chocolate or a Dark Lord, but my oh my, does it get under the skin slowly, with subtlety and more than a hint that this was truly made with love. Great stuff.

 841 characters

Photo of Ambiorix
4.23/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the brewery.

A: Black, still pour with a fine tan head. Decent lacing.

S: Raisins, roasty malt, yeasty notes.

T: Rich malty front end. Raisiny dark fruit. Slightly woody note. Coffee, earthy, blue cheese (?) funk in the finish. Nicely hopped.

M: Medium-full. Satisfying and rich without being cloying.

D: Very nicely done Imperial Stout. While not over-the-top, it was well balanced, tasty, and only hinted at the alcohol within as the name implies. The blue cheese note in the finish was really odd but not unpleasant. Not sure if this was from the yeast used or what. I'd certainly drink it again.

 614 characters

Photo of braker649er
4.22/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

I was highly impressed--from the thick, generous head to the trailing warm alochol aftertaste, through the smooth-drinking middle.

L - Tan head, opaque brown to black.
S - There was lots more in the taste and feel than the smell of this one for me, but I certainly smelled coffee and chocolate.
T - Alcoholic Hershey's syrup was my first impression--in a good way: for its luscious chocolate and its smoothness backed by booze. Definitely coffee taste in there. maybe raisin or licorice for me.
F - It's not usually the mouthfeel that stands out for me, but this time it did. Noticeably smooth, especially out of a bottle--not to the level of nitro, but very close. A little more syrupy than creamy, but in a good way. A very good way.
O - The name is very apt. It is smooth and also packs a punch. I was impressed.

 819 characters

Photo of dorianmarley
4.21/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance is rich black, with a chocolate brown head that fades into a very sticky lacing.

Nose is sweet malt, caramel, and dark chocolate. Mildly roasted.

Taste is very sweet, with espresso, milk chocolate, and applewood. Alcohol flavor in the finish.

Mouthfeel is very smooth. Balanced, drinkable. Medium carbonation. Alcohol provides a nice backing. The alcohol and bitterness are almost puckering.

Overall, this is a phenomenally bold, well-balanced stout.

 465 characters

Photo of augustgarage
4.2/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750mL bottle into my Bruery tulip.

Bistre, motor-oil brown liquid with a small finger of light khaki foam which recedes to a lasting cola rand slick fairl rapidly despite a vigorous pour. Sandy amoebic lacing with thin legs.

Lots of roast notes (coffee, chocolate, barley, and maybe some black malt?) along with a light vanilla aroma.

Smooth espresso, roast barley, cocoa nibs, and a mild grainy character on the palate. A touch of licorice and demerara sugar come forward next; the finish is somewhat sweet with a glimmer of marzipan, though it slowly begins to dry out a touch with the help of the alcohol.

Medium-full bodied, creamy (more so than velvety if you want to nit pick), slightly sticky, with moderate carbonation. ABV is very well hidden.

Quite a tasty stout - looking forward to trying more from this brewery.

 846 characters

Photo of bluejacket74
4.2/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle. Served in a snifter, the beer pours dark brown/black with about an inch tan head that stayed around a while. There's also a good amount of lacing. Aroma is nice, it smells like roasted malt, dark fruit, espresso, bittersweet chocolate and some burnt/charred malt. Taste is mostly just like the aroma but the flavors seem stronger in comparison, and there's also the addition of some anise. There's a nice balance between the sweet and bitter flavors in this stout. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's creamy with good carbonation. This is the first Iron Fist beer I've had (since I think they're new to Ohio), and I thought it was good. I'll have to pick up some of their other brews now. $9.99 a bottle.

 714 characters

Photo of Sideswipe
4.2/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the brewery.

10oz. pour into a snifter. The beer pours a dark brown, almost black. No light penetrates it. A half finger of head dissipates quickly leaving a small tan ring and minimal lacing. The nose is sweet roasted malt. Coffee and chocolate take center stage. Smells great! Taste is semi sweet chocolate, coffee, roasted malt. Very nice! Mouthfeel is viscous without being overly thick, the beer has a creamy feel to it . Carbonation is perfect for the style. Drinkability is dangerously good, as I can't detect any of the 9% ABV as I enjoy this wonderful offering from Iron Fist. Wow! Some great brews coming from this San Diego up-start! Seek this one out!

 677 characters

Photo of pkalix
4.2/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

poured a beautiful black, huge delicious nestle chocolate milk head. awesome!
smell is beautiful chocolate, some fruits, some earthiness.
taste is the same. roasted malts with the chocolate and fruits. almost a warming hint of the 9% alcohol.
overall, decent, but feels thin in flavor at the end. still a great flavor and a nice abv. i have another from this brewery i am eager to try. the pour, the appearance, the aroma is all great but the taste just doesnt carry it through. still a great brew. i'd do this one again...

 524 characters

Photo of SubpoenaDeuces
4.18/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Iron First Brewing - Velvet Glove 9% stout

A: Murky black with some dark brown notes on the pour, nice 1 inch head with a murky brown foam and tiny bubbles, very little lacing, great coating on the glass

S: Tons of coffee on the nose, I was expecting more chocolate but the coffee dryness is welcome

T: The coffee subsides from the nose and the chocolate shines through in a huge way, much like chocolate rain without the heat and big body. Great sweet taste with chewy maltiness and sweet finish that’s supported by a mild hoppy profile.

M: The tiny bubbles deliver an piquant effervescence that carries the chocolate malt delicately. The coating is awesome, not in a thick oppressive way, It carries a huge beer character with the accessibility of a thin middle body to it. I am not sure how they did it but it straddles two worlds without feeling one note.

D: Usually with imperial stouts this is where I make obvious statements about how big the beer is and after one it’s an unwelcome Saturday morning houseguest, but, I simply cannot in this instance. The drink ability is fantastic due to the chocolate profile, tiny bubbles, and fantastic mouthfeel. This ascends to the “wish it was packed in 12oz bottles” category. This would be a great introductory imperial stout to transcend people beyond their Guiness fancies into the world of obfuscating darkness.

Narrative: Being an accountant for brigand gypsies didn’t seem like an altogether waste of Jeff Deyoung’s time, it just felt a little misplaced. Well first there was the problem with appraising the value of stolen VCR’s and then amortizing them over a S corp structure. Then he had to figure out a way to write off all Robitussin and knife hits that his company of rogues was imbibing at a breakneck pace. All in all, Jeff was a black hearted scoundrel with the rest, but with a cunning ability to ease his way below the subterfuge. Sure, he might be figuring out ways to liquidate bootleg DVDs, but his coal black hair and khaki suit gave you the air that inspire confidence in his less than scrupulous dealings. If you invited him over for dinner, he would tell your family that he arranged government contracts and owned several mobile unilateral pawn shops. A tongue in a velvet sack, that old Jeff. You can’t quite trust him, but at the same time you feel at ease, until your iPad is gone. Now you need to buy a new iPad.

 2,413 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Velvet Glove from Iron Fist Brewing Company
3.93 out of 5 based on 347 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

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