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 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.
RevBFG (15) - - APR 18, 2014
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle from Trader Joe's. Dark reddish brown pour with no head. Smells great -- dark chocolate, espresso, even a little licorice. Taste is the same. Mouthfeel is creamy, with dry finish. Good beer.
maley1 (658) - calgary, Alberta, CANADA - APR 17, 2014
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 15/20
Black pour with small tan head. Aroma of roasted malts, chocolate, coffee, burnt caramel. Taste of roasted malts, coffee, sweetened chocolate, lactose and oatmeal. Medium bodied, nicely carbonated, soft mouthfeel and slightly dry finish. Perfectly balanced, nice example of an oatmeal stout.
Scrapersnbeer (1434) - Boston, Massachusetts, USA - APR 17, 2014
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 14/20
Aroma of coffee ice cream (an RI thing I know) and oatmeal cereal grains. Dark brown to black color. Flavor is chocolate, coffee grounds, and roasted oats chewed while dry. Very milky too, yet the body is thin which is not expected at all and is something of an Achilles’ heel to the whole product. Smooth as well, but stouts shouldn’t be so light, even dry stouts.
o_Merlin_o (159) - California, USA - APR 11, 2014
3.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Bottle. Wonderful aroma of cake, oatmeal, and espresso. However, the palate is quite weak. Slightly aqueous. Based on the palate, I would have expected this to be a full bodies beer, but it's a lot weaker than expectations.
---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone
Experiment_Ale (656) - Dallas, Texas, USA - APR 6, 2014
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
At my place by myself on a lazy Sunday. Pours black with medium cream head that drops to a small circle. Aroma is oats, milky, dark chocolate-esque maltiness, smooth and steller malt notes. Taste is chocolate malt, dark chocolate, oats, some water. A very very slight tang which works with the beer. Mouthfeel is light and fluffy. Finish is medium length and pretty clean.
thornecb (4168) - Marblehead, Massachusetts, USA - APR 6, 2014
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Pours black into a tulip. Mocha head with good retention recedes leaving trailing sheets to coat surface. Dark chocolate and creamy espresso latte aromas. Dry and slightly astringent with chocolate and silky oatmeal upfront turning to espresso in the lasting finish.
foyle (189) - Wyoming, USA - APR 5, 2014
3.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Poured from 12 oz bottle into nonic glass.
Appearance: pours a thin cream colored head which recedes quickly. Little or no lacing. Very dark reddish brown and opaque.
Aroma: pleasant aroma of coffee, caramel, chocolate and earthy hops.
Mouthfeel: medium to thick mouthfeel and creamy with dry and fairly bitter finish.
Flavor: chocolate and coffee along with caramel dominate the flavor, earthy hops add balance, the oats contribute a creamy aspect.
Overall: nicely crafted oatmeal stout. Well done.
Miked1687 (606) - Buffalo, New York, USA - APR 4, 2014
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
Bottle to glass. Dark oil slick pour with a medium khaki head. Nose is coffee, oatmeal, wheat puff cereal. Taste is coffee, oatmeal, cereal, soy sauce. Smooth bodied mouthfeel.
rumproasts (2588) - Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA - APR 4, 2014
3.6 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
bottle. near black with small head. big roasty malt with dark chocolate and some light coffee.
cafgen (70) - California, USA - APR 3, 2014
3.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 8/20
Nice dark color with a one finger tan head. Aroma is coffee, chocolate, oatmeal and somewhat sweet. Taste is smooth with a nice combination of chocolate, oatmeal and coffee. Nice body. Definitely Firestone is a great brewery.
---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone