With an infusion of local roast coffee, a dash of cocoa nibs and touch of seasonal sorcery, Firestone Walker’s signature Velvet Merkin oatmeal stout has been transformed into Mocha Merlin for fall and winter enjoyment.
This beer is brewed with the Colombia La Granadilla blend from their neighbors at HoneyCo Coffee Roasters.*
Welcome to my Table, here in the corner of this cafe. Today we’re sipping the Mocha Merlin, from Firestone Walker Brewing Company in Paso Robles, California. Feel free to pull up a chair.
style: Oatmeal Stout
stemware: Nonic Pint Glass
Mocha Merlin pours black into my pint glass, and is topped by a thick, frothy brown head that quickly dissipates but leaves decent lacing on the glass. The aroma is packed with generic roasted coffee scents, roasted malts, and loads of chocolate.
The flavor follows the nose into the glass with big flavors of dark roasted coffee, roasted malts, grain, toast, vanillla, and milk chocolate. But its body is light, its mouthfeel is thin, and it has medium carbonation—all characteristics I don’t typically like in a stout, and definitely don’t want to see in a coffee stout. Its thinness and lightness just don’t provide enough support for its big, bawdy flavor profile. I was hoping that since this beer is a variant on Firestone’s Velvet Merkin that its mouthfeel would be a bit fuller and, well, velvety.
Overall it’s a decent beer but, as is the case with so many coffee stouts, it could have been much better.
*content courtesy of Firestone Walker Brewing Company
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Andrew is a husband, father, dog lover, craft beverage enthusiast, content creator, and niche market Internet celebrity. Formerly of A Table in the Corner of the Cafe and The Pulitzer Project and contributor to Barista Magazine and Mental Floss, he’s been writing on the Internet for years.