Review: Velvet Merlin, Firestone Walker

Velvet Merlin
Firestone Walker Brewing Co. — Paso Robles, CA 

  • Style: Oatmeal Stout
  • Bitterness:  Not specified
  • ABV:  5.5%  
  • Malts:  Maris Otter, 2-Row Pale, Roast Barley, English Dark Caramel, Medium Caramel, Carafa Malt, Oats (15%) 
  • Hops:  100% US grown Fuggle
  • Fermentation: 100% Stainless then partially aged in bourbon barrels.
  • Sampled:  12 oz. bottle 

Description:  "A decadent Oatmeal Stout brimming with cocoa and espresso aromas. Partially aged in bourbon barrels, 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.— Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Random thoughts:  Velvet Merlin is Firestone Walker's winter seasonal. I'm a big fan of FW's beers. They're consistently excellent! I'm sampling this beer as part of my Stout Month series.

The tasting:  Near black in color with a dark tan head that dissipates fairly quickly. Aroma of roasted malt, espresso, and a touch of smoke. Flavor mirrors the aroma with addition of bittersweet dark chocolate and some mild earthy hops. The roasted malts provide a nice bitterness and the alcohol is not noticeable in aroma or flavor. Velvet Merlin is medium bodied, moderately carbonated, and has a wonderful smooth creamy mouth feel—compliments of the oatmeal. It finishes dry with notes of coffee and chocolate.

Rating:  4 star.  Really Good!  I want this again!  If you have access to Firestone Walker's beer and like stouts, this is a must-try. In my view, the  incredible mouth feel that comes from the oatmeal puts this beer over the top. I recently brewed my own oatmeal stout (Stone's 12 Anniversary Bitter Chocolate Oatmeal Stout). If it turns out half as good as this, I'll be thrilled!

Have you tasted Velvet Merlin?

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1 comment:

  1. That sounds awesome. I love FW beers too! Unfortunately, I haven't seen any Velvet Merlin out here in the greater Boston area. Cheers!


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