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RATINGS: 731   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.72   SEASONAL: Autumn   EST. CALORIES: 165   ABV: 5.5%
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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

   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 Merlinís 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 Ė 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 stoutÖjust not one of my favorites. Iím a fan of many of Firestone Walkerís other delicious brews, so Iím a little disappointed that this wasnít as good as I expected. Perhaps next time Iíll have to try it during the fall or winter, as it may just be because itís 6 months old and fading.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 8/20
stchloe (784) - Portland, Oregon, USA - AUG 18, 2014
Great coffee stout, rich heavy body, carries well into the finish, smooth and creamy, almost like coffee cold brew, slightly alcohol tasty notes.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Drake (8186) - Free Union, Virginia, USA - AUG 15, 2014
12 ounce bottle from Beer Run, 5/24/14. Pours a dark brown color with a large tan head. Good head retention. Aroma of nutty notes, chocolate, roast, oats, mild hoppy finish. The taste is chocolate, roast, dark fruits, roasted malts, mild coffee and a touch of vanilla. Thin-medium bodied, smooth, low carbonation, mild lingering bitterness. Quite a nice beer.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
GTAEgeek (1193) - Atlanta, Georgia, USA - JUL 10, 2014
12 oz. bottle, thanks to TheHOFF43. Pours black, with a medium, fizzy, tan head. The aroma is smooth coffee, milk chocolate, light hickory, peat, cinnamon, and syrup. Sticky sweet, with a nice, roasty bitterness. Heavy body, a little clingy, and a little chalky, but generally smooth and relatively clean for a stout. This is a nice, balanced, and very well made stout.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
GSH1976 (207) - Delaware, USA - JUL 10, 2014
Pours a dark brown with minimal khaki colored head and no lacing. There is a nice roastiness in the aroma along with some dark chocolate and coffee notes. Taste follows the nose. Smooth but the body is on the light side and the finish is dry and slightly bitter. Carbonation is also low making this a very easy drinking beer. Firestone Walker produces excellent beers.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
MadRobin (1880) - Silver Spring, USA - JUL 9, 2014
Poured from 12 oz. bottle at Gilly's Beer & Fine Wine in Rockville, MD. Opaque brown-black with a small khaki head and good lacing. Aroma of chocolate, coffee and roasted malt. Taste of caramel, roasted malt, chocolate, coffee and mild dark fruit. Medium/light body and high/medium carbonization. ---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Maxbier (198) - Maryland, USA - JUL 7, 2014
Very dark brown with dark tan head. Aroma of cocoa, coffee & roasted malt. Flavors of roasted malt and oats, with dark chocolate. Dark chocolate bitter finish. Minimal sweetness from start to finish. Great stout.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
jrob21 (2513) - Atlanta, Georgia, USA - JUL 7, 2014
Had to try this in anticipation fo velvet merkin I have in my basement. Smooth roasty malt flavors. Didnít get much of a typical sweet oatmeal flavor that I am used to in a specifically oatmeal stout but either way a nice rich malty drink.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
Darwenus (546) - Virginia, USA - JUL 6, 2014
Pours jet black but thin, and the head fades quickly. The aroma is coffee atop rich, smooth malt. Maybe a little hops, too. The flavor is just the same, and thatís a good thing. A little chocolate, a little dark bread. Crisp finish, not a heavy stout at all but a satisfying one.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Necscv (19) - Houston, Texas, USA - JUN 30, 2014
Chocolate nose. Taste is chocolate, roasty, granola. Alchohol and bitter-sweet on the finish.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
thegreenrooster (3189) - St.louis, Missouri, USA - JUN 28, 2014
Pour is a black with a large tan head. Aroma is a nice roasty, coffee and chocolate malt. Flavor is again a nice roasted malt with some bitter baker chocolate and a hint of coffee. Leaves a nice dry char on the tongue as this goes down. A very nice example of the style. Very dry with a great roasted malt and oats.

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