Weekly Beer Geek: Pearl Necklace Oyster Stout
- Article by Luke G
- July 26, 2012
Pearl Necklace Oyster Stout
Flying Dog Brewing Co
The Beginning: Oh sweet lord, what have I done? On my way to an appointment I realized I was out of beer so I grabbed the first thing I saw on the shelf in a frantic dash into the store. Pearl necklace? Haha! A sex joke! But then I saw it… brewed with oysters? What witchcraft is this? So it’s brewed with Rappahannock river oysters, and the proceeds benefit the Chesapeake Bay Oyster Restoration project. Hooray. I am drinking beer made from the snot of Poseidon. Bring it on, why not.
The Brewer’s Pitch: Who knows? Sure, Flying Dog, you’re helping the bay. I get it. We all get it. But seriously, no words of comfort to explain why there are oysters in my beer? Nothing to say how the taste will be affected, or the texture, or anything like that? I know, I know, reviewing is my job, but you could really be helping me sell this if you gave me SOMETHING to work with. Yep, brewed with local oysters, supposed to be an aphrodisiac… blah blah blah. Oyster time.
The Beer: Pearl Necklace pours a deep dull brown with a popping finger-thick, pale tan coarse head. I expected saltiness or brine from the oysters but the only detectable smell was some mild notes of molasses and chocolate hops layered over a smoky roasted note. The smell is deceptive, though, as the beer is much lighter and thinner than you would expect. It is a slightly watery beer with a burst of sugary malt, followed up by a slightly salty ocean brine (THERE it is!). The saltiness lingers on the roof of the mouth through the finish of the beer, covering up a very faintly hopped close and leaving that brine on the very back of the palate.
The Breakdown: Not a fan of this one at all. I only am used to tasting salt in skunked beers, so this is bad on that point. It’s too flat and the salt overbears any subtlety in the beer, making it taste like you’ve diluted your beer with the ocean. I could barely finish it, really, and I don’t think it would be fixed with a pairing. Seafood might save it, of course, but then again, I’ve never been a fan of seafood and beer paired together. This is a mess.
The Bottom Line: Just GIVE the money to charity, OK? Oysters are good on a plate, not in my beer.