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98
style

bottled
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on tap
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Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 863   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.73/5   SEASONAL: Autumn   EST. CALORIES: 165   ABV: 5.5%
COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
A decadent Oatmeal Stout brimming with cocoa and espresso aromas. This beer features a rich, dark chocolate and roasted coffee flavor with a creamy mouth feel and wonderfully dry finish. The addition of U.S. grown fuggles hops contributes the perfect amount of bitterness to this exceptionally balanced beer.


lucklys' rating

3.4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
lucklys (62) - Chandler, Arizona, USA - APR 11, 2011
The Velvet Merlin poured a velvety dark chocolate brown with no visible carbonation; sparkling ruby highlights shone from the liquid near the bottom of the glass when situated in front of the light. Through a tame pour, a nice 3-finger thick head of fallow colored foam built and held with great retention and slowly melted into a creamy softness. It left minimal threads of clean beige lacing along the glass. * * * In the nose, there was a good amount of thick dark chocolate, lightly roasted coffee, gently toasted malts, hints of a dark caramel toffee, and dusty oatmeal. The aroma was slightly bitter, but also quite sweet, and a very faint vanilla aroma rose as it warmed and aided in keeping the overall scent on the smoother side. There was nothing complex or intimidating about Merlin’s scent, and I found it to be much lighter than most other stouts, oatmeal or not. With all of the bitter-sweetness and smoothness emanating from the nose, however, I was really looking forward to trying it. * * * Unfortunately, the first few sips tasted primarily of a chalky burnt coffee and were rather unappealing, but after a few more swallows, the chalkiness smoothed into a bittersweet chocolate covered in dusty oats. Toasted malts and something charred came up a little later in the background and lasted throughout the drink, hints of a caramel toffee and wood notes also became present, but stayed fairly well hidden. The aroma was definitely more promising than the taste, what with the body being a little on the thinner side with a moderate amount of carbonation – which kept it creamy, but also slightly diluted in mouthfeel. There was virtually no aftertaste due to the thinness of the beer, and it left my mouth pretty dry and hoping for more. Overall, it was a little more acrid than I would have liked, especially after distinguishing all of the sweet smells, but I guess that comes with the territory. I also would have liked to see it with a little more body, but with the low alcohol (5.50%) and even lower IBUs (30) , it was a fairly quaffable stout…just not one of my favorites. I’m a fan of many of Firestone Walker’s other delicious brews, so I’m a little disappointed that this wasn’t as good as I expected. Perhaps next time I’ll have to try it during the fall or winter, as it may just be because it’s 6 months old and fading.


3.8
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
BuckeyeBoy (4433) - Boise, Idaho, USA - JAN 25, 2016
On tap at bier thirty pours out dark brown almost black with a little ruby highlights topped with a creamy tan head. nose is roast malts lots of chocolate sweetness and a nice roast. Taste is more of the roast plenty on chocolate.

4.1
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Tstamba (623) - Maryland, USA - JAN 23, 2016
Bottle to a snifter. Pure black with quickly fading mocha head. Toasted oats, espresso, chocolate and toffee. Nicely balanced, smooth finish... Excellent stout!

3.8
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
mike67 (1008) - , New Jersey, USA - JAN 14, 2016
12 oz bottle. Pours black with tall, creamy, brown head and nice lacing. Aroma is of graham crackers, toasted malt, marshmallow, chocolate and some hops. Body is medium and smooth. Taste is of toasted malt, herbal hops, chocolate, brown sugar and dark fruit. Finish is long and bittersweet. Very good overall.

4.5
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
coolfunnj (330) - Margate City, New Jersey, USA - JAN 8, 2016
chocolate licorice espresso caramel all there maybe some raisin also..very dark brown no light thru glass,thin disappearing tan head some lacing..tastes like the aroma with maybe a peppery bite too at the end very nice..surprisingly full bodied for the abv with light carbonation and lingering finish overall very nice and substantial stout that tastes like a Russian imperial

3.7
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Andrew196 (1204) - Katy, Texas, USA - JAN 8, 2016
Motor oil color, slim light beige head. Cocoa powder, roasted pumpernickel aroma. Nice flavor, chocolate, some alcohol, menthol, coffee medium bodied feel. A benchmark sort of stout...good.

3.8
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
mfhennig (221) - McHenry County, Illinois, USA - JAN 7, 2016
Very nice near black color with a beige head that fades away quickly. Nose is bitter roasted coffee and cooked oats.. Flavor has some bitter cocoa and old stale coffee. Nice oily mouthful. This had all the flavor and aroma of a really good Imperial Stout without the ABV. Very well done!

3.9
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Nealio (2) - Illinois, USA - JAN 3, 2016 does not count
Beautiful head which subsides after a minute. Rich dark color with hint of red rif one looks closely. Smell is typical stout. Nice sweetness and body. Finish is dry and roasty. Chocolate and coffee.

2.8
   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 11/20
rick_91709 (303) - USA - DEC 28, 2015
Poured from a bottle. Ink black. Almost no head. Very muted coffee aroma. Slightly bitter coffee taste. Mouthfeel is slightly creamy. OK. ---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone

3.8
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
jefcon (1565) - Arlington, Virginia, USA - DEC 22, 2015
Small bead head with a smooth and slightly lively mouthfeel. Plenty of chocolate and toast. Some nutty flavors on the finish. Slightly bitter.

3.7
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
TheJester (2303) - Peterborough, Ontario, CANADA - DEC 22, 2015
355 mL bottle. Looks like a stout. Not much head. Super roasty in the nose. Almost burnt toast. Strong aroma. Espresso. Nice. The flavour is not as big as the aroma. Everything is muted and muddled. Still good, though. Could use a little more bitterness too.


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