In a blind tasting by BJCP trained experts, this beer rated
Firestone Walker Brewing Company Velvet Merlin
Aroma: “Some chocolate with a back of roastiness that is both sweet and earthy. Dried cherry esters are in the background. There is an oatmeal sweetness on the nose (sweet oats). Light touch of alcohol, but complementary.”
Flavor: “Moderately sweet up front that fades into a moderate bitterness. Beautiful mouthfeel and medium-to-full body from the oats with a creaminess that coats the tongue and lingers into the finish. Medium sweetness with roasted and earthy complexities and some cherry notes. This beer has a nice smoothness that flows through the taste.”
Overall: “The full satisfying body that isn’t sweet makes this very easy to drink. Toasted malt, chocolate, and dark fruit esters add a great complexity. The creaminess was nice, and the malt body showed the roast sweetness and roast bitterness. The aftertaste showed a sensitive balance of chocolate and coffee.