Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Firestone Walker Velvet Merlin Oatmeal Stout

Hello beer lovers and welcome to another edition of the NorCal Beer Blog's brew review.

Today I'm going to review Firestone Walker Velvet Merlin Oatmeal Stout.  Last year I finally ventured out and bought some Firestone Walker beer.  For some reason I had been avoiding it, but when I found a mixed 12 at BevMo (and at the prompting of my buddy Reggie) I bought the mixed 12 and liked it.  I'm a fan of their Solace and Union Jack so when I saw the Velvet Merlin at Whole Foods I thought I'd pick up a six and try it out and I am SO glad I did!
From the Firestone Walker website: "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."

Velvet Merlin is partially blended with Merlin that has been aged in bourbon barrels for a year. The aging adds even more complexity to this very rich beer.

Appearance : Pours dark and black with a small creamy head. A trace of lacing left behind.

Aroma : A very nice aroma featuring coffee (mocha/dark chocolate), sweet caramel, light bourbon, oatmeal and a bit of sweetness.

Taste : Coffee with light caramel. Finish has lots of coffee, dark chocolate, roasted oats and roasted malt with a  touch of sweetness followed by a subtle bitterness. A nice creaminess which was probably acheived due to the barrel aging process.

Overall : Fantastic! This beer is light enough at 5.5% ABV to enjoy multiple pints yet decadent enough to slow down and enjoy.
Every now and again I like a little liquor with my beer and Velvet Merlin was complimented very well with some coconut rum. YUM!

With Velvet Merlin being a seasonal I suggest you go find it, QUICK!


Mark Harvey

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