Dec 17, 2015

Firestone Walker Velvet Merlin

Velvet Merlin is a beer that I’ve had on my watch list for quite some time, but it wasn’t until this past October that I had actually found it on shelves in my area. I’m not sure if I just missed it during past shopping trips or if it is, in fact, that rare of a beer. Regardless, it only took one sip to reaffirm having it on the list for that long. It’s damn tasty.

Brewed with a roasty, tasty combination of malts (Maris Otter, 2-Row Pale, Roast Barley, English Dark Caramel, Medium Caramel, Carafa Malt, Oats), the beer also uses only U.S. grown Fuggles hops in its dark depths. The result is a deceptively drinkable and smooth oatmeal stout that weighs just 5.5% ABV. The four-pack I purchased didn’t even stand a chance.


Velvet Merlin pours a dark, cola brown in color with a fleeting cap of beige foam.

Firestone Walker Velvet Merlin photo


Oats, roast coffee, soft tobacco notes and light cocoa mingle gently in the nose.


The beer is packed full with roasty, oaty goodness. Rich cocoa notes arrives with tobacco, soft coffee, oats, a moderate hop bitterness and a light sweetness. While the beer is smooth on the palate there is a touch of crispness that hits the tongue briefly. The long lasting finish carries a light dryness.


To put it as succinctly as possible, Velvet Merlin is a damn good oatmeal stout — plain and simple. It’s a beer that will remain on my list and certainly be one that I purchase again given the opportunity. There’s just nothing like a solid oatmeal stout on a cold afternoon to warm the insides and this one hits the spot wonderfully.

Rating: 4/5

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