Sunday, March 21, 2010

Harpoon Island Creek Oyster Stout

Harpoon's latest offering from their Limited Edition 100 Barrel Series may have you scratching your head, but Oysters have been paired with Stouts for years. Harpoon has chosen the Duxbury Bay oysters from Island Creek as an interesting ingredient in this original concept brew. Now I know you might be thinking "Yuck! Oysters in my beer?", but don't expect to find these slimy mollusks floating in the bottom of your bottle. The idea of brewing with oysters was the brain storm of Harpoon brewer Katie Tame, and yes the oysters are removed before bottling. This beer has a rich body ans uses a combination of roasted barley and chocolate rye malts. The proteins from the oysters help maintain the head. The aroma is that of most high quality craft stouts, roasted malt, coffee, but there was tad bit of that raw oyster musk. On the palate this beer tastes like most traditional stouts. As a matter of fact I noticed no discernible oyster flavor in the beer at all. Overall I found this to be very good stout. My feeling is that what attracts someone to purchase this beer may disappoint them in that there is no salty, fishy character to it. In addition, those who might be put off by the thought of Oysters in beer may pass over a wonderful, well balanced stout. There were only two questions left in my mind as I finished off my 22 ounce bottle of Island Creek Oyster Stout, one what would this beer have tasted like fresh off the frementer, and second what would the oysters have tasted like after 3 minutes in the wort boil?

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