Monday, February 7, 2011

Firestone Walker Velvet Merlin

This beer was sent to me in a trade with (thanks, Ryan!). I've heard great things about the Firestone Walker brewery, but their beers are not distributed here to upstate New York. I do like a good oatmeal stout, and many of the west coast BeerTubers rave about this particular beer so I was anxious to try it out.

I also explain why this beer is called "Merlin" instead of "Merkin" and define what a merkin actually is. Those easily offended may want to skip the beginning of the video ;)

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20
Chad9976 (624) - Albany, USA - JUL 16, 2011
Got a 12oz bottle in a trade with StumpyJoeJr (thanks, Ryan!). Poured into a tulip glass.

Appearance: Black through and through, a few spots of ruby red on the bottom. Great head - dark tan, creamy/frothy, good rentention and lacing.

Smell: Sweet-smelling with notes of candy chocolate, sugary coffee and cream. Not very roasty or toasty, though.

Taste: Very very close to Samuel Smth’s Oatmeal Stout. Gentle sweetness in the beginning and middle. Ending and aftertaste are slightly roasted malts with baker’s chocolate and light coffee flavor and bitterness. Aftertaste is pleasant, but doesn’t last very long, which is fine in a more sessionable-type stout.

Mouthfeel: Noticeably soft, medium-thickness. Slightly higher in carbonation than I’d expect - this beer had me burping.

Drinkability: The first thing I noticed before the taste was just how velvety smooth it was from start to finish. This beer just glides across the tongue. The 5.5% ABV makes it highly drinkable for beer drinkers of all experience levels.

Overall, a very impressive stout because it’s so tasty and smooth. Not quite as robust or energetic as I prefer in bigger, more imperial-like stouts, but an impressive beer nevertheless.

Grade: 8/10

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