lucklys (62) - Chandler, Arizona, USA - APR 11, 2011
3.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
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.
Bebum (334) - - DEC 21, 2014
3.4 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Brown, translucent, little lace, tall head,
Light body, slight flavor, delicately balanced mouthfeel, smooth but not silky texture, avg length.
Bitter, not too dry, balanced finish.
Light to medium dark roast flavor,
---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone
bearislandbeer (15) - - DEC 20, 2014
4.8 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
Iím not usually a stout drinker.... donít get me wrong I appreciate a good stout when I taste one and thatís why Iím rating this beer. Hats off to Firestone (Good job Matt B!) for creating an incredibly flavorful and smooth stout. Anytime I see it I am highly tempted to lean away from my IPA and Sour ways and re-explore the wide world of stouts.
TheBeerbarian_ (7) - - DEC 20, 2014 does not count
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
A very smooth and "velvety" oatmeal stout! Nice and roasty with hints of coffee!
stevoj (2328) - Boise, Idaho, USA - DEC 19, 2014
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 15/20
Nice mellow, woody aroma, superb smoky, chocolaty taste. Silky smooth body, sweet and smoky finish. All around great stout.
skoisirius (1763) - Earth, Washington, USA - DEC 14, 2014
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle and tap. Roasty grain filled nose, jet blacl pour. Sweet chocolate hints up front on the palate, with light coffee, roasted oats, and burnt bitter hops on the finish. Theyíre not joking on the Velvet part, super smooth.
lightbias (160) - USA - DEC 11, 2014
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
A nice, dark brown pour into a stout glass offers up a thick, khaki head that starts out fat and quickly ends up small and evenly distributed across the beer. The aroma is light, but of dark roast coffee, almost a contradiction and almost smelling watered down; but the first sip is bursting with that flavor.
The balance is good, the bitterness tempered, the brew dry across my tongue and allowing the finish to be somewhat abrupt. This makes for a nice afterward as I never like a beer to stick around for too long after the last draught.
The beer is not as silky as Iíd expected, the carbonation a little high to allow the creaminess to shine through. A good oatmeal stout, and perfect accompaniment to a fine meal. Not my favorite oatmeal stout, but definitely something I would pick up again and recommend to friends!
ARH (558) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - DEC 10, 2014
3.9 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
12oz bottle poured into a tulip. The aroma starts out smokey and woody, but this fades and the aroma of hot cocoa, dark chocolate, and espresso come through. Later in the drink, more prominent notes brown sugar, lactose, and caramel appear. It pours a deep, clear mahogany-brown color with a tan, soft foamy and soapy head that reduces to a creamy, medium-dense, medium-thick ring with a few wisps on the surface, and a light, runny, dense-bubble lace on the glass. The taste is a medium / medium-high, semisweet chocolate bittersweet; slightly more sweet than bitter. The beer is rich, malty, and smooth - it becomes a bit sticky as it warms up - with a foamy / fizzy carbonation and a medium-full body with notes of chocolate and coffee, and appearing late, walnuts. Thereís a light toffee finish to accompany the coffee, as well as a slightly tart fruit berry note. Dark chocolate and light toffee notes linger in the mellow aftertaste.
SetauketBrewer (52) - New York, USA - DEC 7, 2014
3.6 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Rich dark pour but no head to speak of. Nice coffee aroma, slightest astringent note. Beautiful dark color with ruby highlights. Deep roast flavor nicely washed across the tounge by effervescent bubbles. Great beer
ajtrupp (288) - Keenesburg, Colorado, USA - DEC 6, 2014
3.5 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
This is a good oatmeal stout. I had a couple tonight and have no regrets. On an unrelated note, I work at a brewery and was taking labels off undrank kegs. One said Velvet Merkin, which is the best beer name ever. But now I don't know if I read it wrong, someone defaced a label from this beer, or it was a crazy fever dream.
---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone
Bulk_Carrier (2266) - Juneau, Alaska, USA - DEC 6, 2014
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
This was poured into a pint glass.
The appearance was a nice dark brown close to black color with a thin semi-annual head that dissipated within about a good thirty seconds. Light lacing traced around the glass.
The smell had a dark chocolate overcoating a deep dark grain (oatmeal Iím suspecting).
The taste was mainly roasty sweet chocolate with a delicate yet sharp bitter coffee to balance. Light chocolate aftertaste amplifies a dry silky finish.
On the palate, this one sat about a medium on the body with a decent sessionability about it. The carbonation seemed to be appropriate for the style and it was good to me.
Overall, this was a wonderful oatmeal stout by Firestone Walker.