Velvet Glove | Iron Fist Brewing Company

very good
101 Reviews
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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

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Reviews: 101 | Ratings: 347
Photo of PatrickSwayze
3.88/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: pitch black in color with a deep dark tan head that disappeared besides the edges.

S: nice deep roasted notes mixed with dark raisins and figs.

T: not to roasty but a pretty good chocolate and raisins that linger on the back of the tongue.

M: Mot to thick and not to bold for the style. I think a new comer to Imperial Stouts would enjoy starting out in this.

O: Very solid Imperial Stout.

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

Had on tap at Yard House in San Diego.

Beer pours a nice dar brown with a thin amount of lighter brown head.

Beer smells of dark, roasty chocolate.

Beer tastes much like the smell. Very roasty and a bit bitter. Notes of coffee and chocolate.

A bit syrupy and thick, but not too bad.

Very solid imperial stout.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.88/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to mdfb79 for sharing this bottle. Served in a wine glass.

Pours a fairly-dark brown color with a good off-white to tan head and a cap and collar. The nose has some roast and chocolate along with a bit of coffee and vanilla. Flavor has a nice coffee and roast balance with a touch of coffee. Medium-full body with good carbonation. An enjoyable brew.

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Photo of mdfb79
3.96/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From 01/08/12 notes. Thanks to Nugganooch for this one; thanks Dane! 750ml bottle into a tulip.

a - Pours a pitch black color with two inches of very dark tan head and moderate carbonation. Looks like a great stout.

s - Smells of roasted malts, sweet dark fruits, rich sweet chocolate, and some light coffee.

t - Tastes of of roasted malts, coffee, sweet chocolate, vanilla, and sweet dark fruits. More vanilla than the nose, a step up for me.

m - Thick, full body and moderate carbonation. Creamy and smooth; a great body.

o - Overall a very nice stout. Looks great and a grat mouthfeel. Some nice vanilla in the taste as well. Much better than the Resistance by Iron Fist; would like to have again.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.08/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by mdfb79. Thanks Dan.

The beer appears a near black shade with a lasting beige cap. The aroma offers dark fruit, roast, chocolate, respectively. The flavor follows suit, with prominent dark fruit and some roasted malt. Silky smooth and palate coating. Overall, a very pleasant and drinkable imperial stout. I would definitely have this again. Recommended.

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Photo of womencantsail
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Bruery Provisions

Essentially black in color with a brownish head. A strong scent of vanilla and chocolate. A bit of coffee and quite a strong roasted malt note. Some sweet graham cracker notes in the background. Intensely chocolatey on the flavor, almost like milk chocolate. Quite a bit of cocoa powder, some vanilla, and a nice combination of graham cracker and coffee. The roast sort of comes through on the finish. Medium in. Key with a smooth carbonation.

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Photo of yourefragile
4.15/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle shared with a few friends.

Black body with a couple fingers of beige head. Very nice lacing and retention. Roast coffee, dark fruit, raisin, oatmeal, dark chocolate on the aroma. Mild flavor that tends to be a little sweet like a milk stout, with roast coffee and dark chocolate notes. Light smoke and oat as well. Silky, full body with light carbonation. Surprised; really enjoyed this though nothing wow about it.

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Photo of peacehammer
3.08/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On tap at Brew-ligion.

thick black. Very smooth mouthfeel. Some roasty notes. Not a ton of chocolate or coffee notes. Maybe some cocoa on the finish. Espresso aroma becomes more apparent as the beer warms. Overall a very easy to drink beer that I recommend for stout fans. The 9% is well hidden.

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Photo of Murrhey
4.07/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had in a taster at the Bruery Provisions in Orange. Poured in a 2 oz tulip glass.

A- Thin tan head. Spotty lacing. Black as night.

S- Coffee, chocolate, caramel, roast malts, and booze.

T- Sweet, roast malts, dark as hell. Wine sort of finish from the booze.

M- Thick, almost syrupy. Finishes surprisingly clean. Little linger.

O- Yum! The smell was strong, but the taste was ideal for the type.

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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.

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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!

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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!

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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.

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Photo of aasher
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This bottle was courtesy of BrewerB in a recent box. Thanks Brian!

This one pours a heavy bodied midnight black in color with a light khaki lacing around the glass. It smells of smooth oatmeal, soft coffee, and sweet chocolate. The flavors too consist of smooth oatmeal, sweet chocolate, and some light dark fruits. Very solid, rich, and smooth. It drinks smooth and has a nice sweetness to it. It's velvety even. Overall this is a really nice beer. It does everything the style should and it does it well. Good beer.

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Photo of homebrew311
4.08/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks to MrTopher for sending this one as an extra.

A: pours thick black, typical imperial stout appearance, thick and creamy tan head, good head retention, thick lacing

S: notes of licorice, dark chocolate, and molassess, touch of earthy hops on the finish

T: chocolatey malts, again a slight amount of licorice and molasses sweetness, finish is roasty, notes of coffee, nice balance.

MF: thick body, creamy texture, medium carbonation

O: this is a nice representation of an Imperial Stout. It features all of the flavors you would expect for the style, it is well balanced... nothing too unique here, just a solid brew.

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Photo of BarrytheBear
4.05/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle split around the fire with milwaukeeclassic and shakeyhands. Glad you guys could make it over. Thanks for this opportunity go to Rich, a good guy who's not on BA, but is certainly an advocate after sending this to me in the mail this past spring. Cheers to you bud!

Midnight around the fire is neither the best time nor place to view this beer, but appearances seem to reveal a dark brown pour with a cinnamon colored head that displays decent retention and some spatter.

Smells of iced latte, light but not bitter roast, touch of vanilla, and tons of fresh cream. Going into this I did not know this was an oatmeal stout. It makes sense now.

Taste is very interesting. The soft hop bitterness is washed over by waves of light bright coffee addled by rich cream. Neither harsh nor abrasive, this beer carries its abv well. Some light milk chocolate comes into play along with a pleasant grainy quality that peppers the back end.

The mouthfeel, a bit light, and creamy. I am really happy to see this as a big oatmeal stout, as I stupidly have to continually remind myself that I really enjoy these stouts. This beer presented itself quite well and was a a surprise and welcomed treat. Thanks again Rich and well done Iron Fist.

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Photo of srandycarter
3.36/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Very Dark, very small thin wisp of a ring head. No lace.

S - This is all about anise. Rootbeer, heavy. Some cocoa tries to pop through.

T - Anise, root beer, cocoa and cough syrup, the latter I didn't care much for at all. Small bitter in finish, but kinda cloying.

M - Low carb as expected on cask, medium body and not great balance.

D - Was happy to try.

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Photo of claspada
3.91/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark pitch black, with no visibility and a nice brown fluffy head that leaves some nice lacing as it slowly dissipates.

Aromas begin with roasted malts and baker's dark and milk chocolate notes. A nice soft, creamy oatiness and slight dark fruits emerges as it warms slightly.

The tastes begin with a distinct dark coffee/espresso flavor that I did not distinctly detect in the aroma. Wow what a surprise. Next I get the nice creamy, slightly sourish flavors you get from the non-typical malts like wheat or in this case oat malt. There is also some dark chocolate and slight bitter roasted malt character, not too over the top though. Creamy oatmeal stouts flavors melded with mocha java coffee roasted qualities.

The mouthfeel is very full bodied with plenty of carbonation. The finish and aftertaste are slick and sticky from the crazy amounts of oat malt they must have used in this. It's silly how it is so creamy and still carbonated for an Imperial Oatmeal Stout.

Overall I really enjoyed this beer from Iron Fist. It was definitely different and basically delivered what it claimed to be; an Imperial Oatmeal Stout. I enjoyed this much more than the Hoppin' Frog Boris which I found to be too cloying and thick. The adequate carbonation really helps to improve the drinkability while still staying true to the hefty Imperial Stout flavor profile.

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Photo of kiddynamite920
3.87/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked up at the always wonderful Capone's.

A: Looks like quite a beast for an oatmeal stout. Very dark with a beige, tan head that develops a nice froth with a swirl of the glass.

S: Definitely has the great sweet and roasty notes of an oatmeal stout, but this also has great qualities of an imperial stout. The roast is definitive, with a good deal of bitterness and there happens to be a bit of sweetness as well. Sweet notes of vanilla and toffee with some deep and dark roasted malts. Very nice.

T: This is a very large oatmeal stout for sure. Great roasted malt followed by a sweet chocolate, caramel flavor. Has that great grainy quality of a sweet stout with much more roast. For a regular oatmeal stout this would be phenomenal, but for a beefed up one it is just a bit under the mark.

M: A bit chalky and thin. Lacks that oatmeal body.

O: I am very impressed with this beer. Another west coast oatmeal stout that goes to the top of my list.

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Photo of amphion1065
3.83/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

Brian, this one was quite curious. 750 mL bottle into a stemless wine glass.

Pour is black - deep, dark, light-absorbing black. After holding my glass up to the light, I can see some deep maroon highlights. There's a one-finger khaki head with some-staying power. Great lacing - this is a very pretty beer.

I took some time making my way through this bottle, and I felt that this beer's aroma changed every time I went to take a sip. In rough order, I noticed: chocolate, smoke, port wine, dark fruit and cherries. About halfway through the bottle, at which point it had warmed to near-room temperature, I detected a sharp fusel alcohol note. Honestly, it reminded me of vodka - I've never gotten that smell from a beer before.

Ashen, roasty malts dominate the taste. There is a distinct sour note, imparting a wine-like flavor. Some chocolate, too - very dark, very bitter chocolate. That bitterness is matched by a pronounced hop profile, and there's definitely a detectable hoppy note to this - quite bitter in the finish. Quite surprisingly, there's virtually no alcohol.

Mouthfeel is the weakest component of this beer. It's far, far too thin, and with so many flavors at work it's tough to have such a wan mouthfeel. A little undercarbonated, too.

Days after trying this beer, I'm still a little fascinated by it. It's certainly genre-bending, and I'm pretty sure I won't make an effort to seek it out. That said, it is at the very least an interesting experience.

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Photo of bashiba
1.83/5  rDev -53.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Instant foam everywhere, oh no looks infected! Finally settles down to a light headed black beer with no lacing or retention.

Smells like sour cherries and burnt rubber.

The taste is very astringent with a big burnt flavor and a long lingering medicinal rubber quality. Not good, tastes very off, and looking like a drain pour.

The mouthfeel is very thin and under carbonated for a beer that almost exploded at opening. Not much viscosity for a beer of this size.

Bad, just bad, I hope this an isolated problem with this bottle as its not even drinkable.

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Photo of trappistlover
3.7/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

(750ml bottle from El Cerrito Market). Pours dark brown, almost black with a khaki head. Aroma has some nice chocolate, coffee notes and some dark pit fruit. Taste has a bit of a sour twang with some semi-sweetness and light roasty bitterness. Full bodied with slick, oily texture. Dry finish. Very good balance between sweetness and roast. Pretty nice stout!

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Photo of ehammond1
3.93/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cask **Special cask version with additions**

Churchill's Pub & Grille
San Marcos, CA

"It's a version in which, after our regular Velvet Glove goes into the cask, I add vanilla bean, nutmeg, and allspice."
-Brandon Sieminski-
Iron Fist Brewmaster

A very dark brown, like melted milk chocolate chips.

A powerful and complex aroma. The nutmeg and allspice really stand out in the nose...perhaps even a little too much for my liking. Smells a bit peppery and of licorice with the chocolate aromas slightly hidden behind those of the spices.

The chocolate is found in the flavor though, along with a bit of warm spice notes from the cask additions. I don't taste much vanilla, but certainly can find the nutmeg and allspice. Like a delicious oatmeal, chocolaty cookie--in the form of beer. Sign me up!

Rich, smooth, thick mouthfeel. Somewhat grainy even, but I like it.

A delicious cask version of a big oatmeal stout. Looking forward to trying more Iron Fist beers on cask.

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Photo of billshmeinke
4.11/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a nonic.

Pitch black body with a two finger dark beige head. The head sort of cascades when first poured. Really nice lacing left behind, and great retention. I really don't see how this could look any better.

Smells of fruity esters reminiscent of raisins and dark cherries, dark chocolate, coffee notes as well.

This beer is pretty massie in the flaor department. Huge notes of chocolate, hints of dark cherries, espresso, brown sugar and some silky/chewy oat notes as well. Finishes smokey and chocolatey.

Full bodied, low carbonation, smooth, silky (almost buttery), with a firm but subtle carbonic bite on the end that dries it out a tad. Really nice.

Just an incredibly smooth and drinkable stout with really nice flavors.

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Photo of teamizm
4.05/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Far Bar in Downtown LA

A - Pours an espresso brown/black with a nice brown fluffy head. Some nice lacing as well.

S - Roasted coffee, dark chocolate, oatmeal, and a tad bit on vanilla as well.

T - Great chocolate and roasted coffee notes - almost like chocolate milk spiked with coffee. The oatmeal rounds off the flavor very well. Bit of heat as well.

M - Very nice. The oatmeal just adds a lushness to the beer, along with the low carbonation. Almost a nitro like mouthfeel.

O - Great oatmeal stout and probably one of the better beers I've had from Iron Fist.

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Velvet Glove from Iron Fist Brewing Company
3.93 out of 5 based on 347 ratings.
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