Firestone Velvet Merlin Oatmeal Stout

June 24, 2011

Overall Grade:A+

Back from the dead, aka third year clerkships in medical school. This beer could be partially responsible for rejuvenating me from all the 6AM pre-rounds and 7PM admissions in the ER. It is so. Freaking. Good. Smooth, balanced, robust and flavorful without being overpowering. Like an IPA, stouts can be revelatory or regrettable depending on how the complex flavors are balanced. Firestone's Velvet Merlin has been called the best stout in the world, and I have to agree. The coffee, chocolate, hops and malt flavors all mingle appropriately, with a smooth finish that balances bitter and sweet. No one component overpowers the other, making this a beer you can enjoy on its own terms, as well as with food. Stouts and rich desserts were made for one another, and I have to say, I would reach for Velvet Merlin above all else; proud to give it my first A+ on this site.

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