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RATINGS: 891   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.73/5   SEASONAL: Autumn   EST. CALORIES: 165   ABV: 5.5%
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 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.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
jookos (5032) - FINLAND - MAY 17, 2016
@Copenhagen Beer Celebration 2016, RED

black. Malty smooth malt syrupy chocolate, smooth oaky nose. Full bodied, pretty intense. Chocolate malty, somewhat dey cakey flavour. Smooth, easy. Excellent.

-- rated with beerbasher/winphone

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
matty (327) - Camp Hill, Pennsylvania, USA - APR 24, 2016
12 oz. bottle. Pours a very deep ruby red, almost black color with a tan head that quickly disappears. Sweet aroma of chocolate with some roasted coffee. Full body, taste is mostly roasted coffee malt with a slight hop bitterness on the side. Fairly dry finish. Not bad!

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
dmct1967 (4) - Toledo, Ohio, USA - APR 24, 2016 does not count
Rick dark color. Rich in stout flavor. Hint of oatmeal. No bitter aftertaste.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20
Biroholik (692) - Sosnowiec, Poland, POLAND - APR 24, 2016
Piwo ma kolor ciemnobrązowy. Jest klarowne i nalewa się z kremową, puszystą pianką. Po kilku minutach łagodnie opada ona w dół. Zdobienia szkła umiarkowane. W tej materii koledzy z amerykańskiech branży browarniczej znacznie przewyższają Firestone Walker Brewing Company. W aromacie nuty płatków owsianych wysywają się na pierwszy plan. Zaraz za nimi kroku dotrzymuje słodka, mleczna czekolada. W oddali delikatna paloność i orzechy laskowe. Na języku od razu daje o sobie znać gładka, kremowa faktura. Piwo otacza język charakterystyczną śliskością i aksamitnością. Oczywiście najmocniej wyczuwalna jest słodka czekolada, a nawet dokładniej skojarzenie z amerykańskimi czekoladkami HERSHEY’S KISSES. Oprócz tego kawa z mlekiem i subtelna wanilia. Goryczka niska, krótka z gładkim czekoladowym finiszem. Niskie wysycenie. Płatki owsiane zrobiły kolosalną robotę. Już wiem dlaczego piwo nazywa się "Velvet Merlin", zapewne przez tą aksamitną, jedwabistą teksturę. W swoim stylu prawie doskonały Owsiany Stout. Wypiłem go z ogromną przyjemnością.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 12/20
fiulijn (18101) - Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA - APR 19, 2016
Draught at Mckay’s Taphouse, Bellingham
Dark amber color, with tan head; moderately sweet with a light apple presence and low bitterness, some caramel. Decent.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
ctipping (1007) - Florida, USA - APR 15, 2016
12 oz. bottle. Originally reviewed 5/30/2011. Deep brown, looks black in the glass, but you can see through the edges. Almost no head and no lacing. Wow, it smells great. The aroma is just as good as a much larger stout. Strong coffee aroma with chocolate a roasted malts. Taste is 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. 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. Big flavor without being 15% and diabetically sweet.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
batneil (581) - - APR 9, 2016
Sweet and smooth as you would expect; thick and creamy head, dark body but not quite black. Taste isn’t quite as full as I’d like, but it’s still good.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
commonshawn (989) - Minnesota, USA - APR 9, 2016
Tap at birreria paradiso in dc. Cola brown black with off white head. Grain nose with some roasted malt. Roasted sweet grain, small amount of smoke. Nice body, sweetness is the right amount. Well made beer.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
tfontana (506) - Fremont, New Hampshire, USA - APR 5, 2016
Bottle pour into tulip glass from One Stop Market. Aroma is chocolate, vanilla, roasted coffee, oatmeal. Appearance is very dark red--almost opaque black--with 1/2 finger width beige head with poor retention, evident sparkle at edge of glass and trace lacing. Taste is as aroma with dominant balance of sweet chocolate and roasted coffee bitterness, hint of dark fruits. Palate is medium-to-full bodied with creamy texture and average carbonation; crisp, dry finish. Overall, pretty much as advertised. Not the most complex beer but a good strong mix of sweet chocolate and bitter coffee.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
CzechTex (112) - - APR 2, 2016
On tap Very nice stout, maybe a bit better than Guinness! Smooth, deep, dark. Perfect for certain moments

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