overall
97
98
style
RATINGS: 925   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.

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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 Merlins 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 stoutjust not one of my favorites. Im a fan of many of Firestone Walkers other delicious brews, so Im a little disappointed that this wasnt as good as I expected. Perhaps next time Ill have to try it during the fall or winter, as it may just be because its 6 months old and fading.


3.5
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
17Beer (286) - Connecticut, USA - FEB 11, 2017
Malt and roast carmel smells. Pours a dark red brown with a persistent thin tan head of tight tiny bubbles. Lots of lacing. Big round sweet tastes with some coffee notes and a mild slightly astringent finish. Super well made stout.

3.4
   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
coachd (697) - Missouri, USA - FEB 5, 2017
Smells a little weak - some chocolate, malty but watered down. Nice looking shiny black color with a tan head. Tastes rich, roasted, coffee flavors and milk chocolate. The aftertaste is crisp and short with some lactose sweetness. Nice smooth palate. This was pretty good.

4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
jcos (1833) - Maryland, USA - JAN 18, 2017
Bottle on January 18, 2017. Pours a dark brown black with light head. Aroma of coffee. Taste is of some coffee, a little bit of chocolate, faint bitterness. Medium body, lightly creamy. Really nice.

3.8
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
john44 (2660) - SW London, Greater London, ENGLAND - JAN 17, 2017
Keg Half Pint at White Horse American Beer Festival 2016, Parsons Green, London in July 2016 - Black in colour. Slight tan head. Zero lacing. Very Malty; roasty malts, oaty, dark chocolate, espresso coffee, toffee. Fruity. Hoppy; some balancing hop bitterness. Sweet roast chocolate and coffee malty and fruity. Dry finish. Good depth of flavour. Nice Stout! (2016-07-02)

4.1
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20
BeerdedDave (1493) - Beckley, USA - JAN 8, 2017
black, nice chocolaty roasted malt aroma; nice, velety smooth,roasted malt flavor with chocolate and coffee notes; medium bodied; moderate bitterness

3.9
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
NachlamSie (3380) - Denver, Colorado, USA - DEC 24, 2016
Six pack from Mile High. Im working on the first bottle out of the sixer. Im surprised Ive never had this beer before but knowing Firestone Walker, I expect it to be superb. The beer is beautiful: rich dark, dark body with slight ruby glints in bright light. A khaki head forms atop and lingers. Aroma is roasty with espresso, brownies, oatmeal, and chocolate. Full, creamy palate on this one with the perfect carbonation for the style. Luscious chocolate flavors hit the palate without ever being too sweet. Earthy hops come through with assertive espresso notes beneath. The finish is bittersweet with hints of wafers dipped in a cup of coffee. Esters are low. Impeccable execution on this one.

4.3
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
cwill (79) - Coatesville, Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 24, 2016
Dark brown to black appearance, brown head with some lacing. Aroma of chocolate, coffee toasted malts. Taste is very good, malty, chocolatey. Creamy (velvety) mouth feel with little carbonation. Comparable to Samuel Smith oatmeal stout.

2.2
   AROMA 3/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 7/20
beer_queue (123) - California, USA - DEC 19, 2016
Pours black with some reddish-brown highlights. Straightforward roasted malts on the nose and a tiny bit of cocoa/coffee if Im really digging. Tastes malty up front with oatmeal and light coffee trailing behind on the finish. Medium body, low carb, super dry finish. The flavors are dull and overall uneventful. Hella boring.

3.5
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
tightslice (1140) - Redwood City, California, USA - DEC 16, 2016
Bottle from Whole Foods Market in Redwood City, CA. Aroma is roasted malts, slight chocolate / cocoa. Taste is light roasted malts, burnt coffee, ashy cocoa. Not as creamy or flavorful as I was hoping / expecting.

4.2
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
EithCubes (5713) - New Jersey, USA - DEC 13, 2016
Bottle marked 10/12/16. Nose of roast malt and coffee, lighter chocolate. Pour very dark brown with a little tawny and a little ruby, both of which remain around the edges, as it never fully darkens to pitch in the glass (which Ive always found appealing); head is short and oily, tan but ephemeral. Taste is strikingly bitter to start but thats soon overwhelmed (and set to mild) by the delicious first wave of malt, accompanied by gentle but distinct ash and then cocoa powder morphing to semi-sweet chocolate; cherry and red berry in the mild but complementary fruitiness, very nice medium-roast malt (maybe more like a city roast if were jumping beverages) and again, high-quality malt. Medium toasty, maintains a richness while being dry, and holds all of its elements in balance. Quite the magic trick! Full body but not fat, slightly smooth but doesnt scream OATMEAL!, and a subtle Fuggly jab in the low background combined with an even subtler earthy-doughy base. Id like to think porters used to all be like this (they werent), as that would explain the massive popularity. [2016.12.13: 4.2]


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