A couple days ago I stumbled across a great video for Firestone Walker, a brewery out of Paso Robles CA. I had been wanting to find a Firestone brew ever since until I stumbled across the Velvet Merlin Oatmeal Stout (formerly known as Velvet Merkin) at the local grocery. Eryn and I grabbed a six pack and headed home. We opened up the first bottle to split and kicked back to watch the latest episode of Fringe. Three bottles later we couldn’t get over how great the beer is.
The Velvet Merkin Oatmeal Stout pours as a dark full bodied beer with a nice head but as soon as you take a sip you find it to be an incredibly approachable almost session beer (it only comes in at 5.5%). There is a medium maltiness balanced by some hints of hops followed by the roasted barley. The roasted barley has a great smokey flavor and finishes with a charcoal taste that seems to linger forever. Another important aspect of an oatmeal beer is of course the oats. We recently played with oats in our Oatmeal ESB and I love the creamy mouthfeel that they give to the beer. That same feel is very present in this beer. It’s almost like the carbonation hits the tongue and then rolls off leaving a creamy beer that is easy to drink. Overall it’s a great beer that you should definitely seek out.
I first had this beer in SF while watch the Giants play their 3rd World Series game, the game not so good, the beer way better than the game. Now, I could get technical with this, but I will leave it at this beer is a really tasty beer that you could easily consume a six pack without knowing it! Yes, that good! I have really come to love dark beers, the toasty (this has a great flavor from the roast barley), the malty (maris otter malt in this one) and nice hops( fuggles hops). This beer also finishes with the creamy mouthfeel from the oats. I would highly recommend this beer for anyone looking for a little winter warmer. Cheers!
If you are lucky enough to find some Velvet Merlin for yourself, crack it open and enjoy it as you watch Firestone Walker’s brewmaster Merlin walk you through his thoughts on the brew.