I love oysters. WE love oysters; that raw and clean fresh-from-the-sea aroma, the salty-sweet flavor, the pleasure of taking the life of something still alive.. ahem. I would get an oyster tattoo if their shells didn’t look so much like diseased tongues and their insides like a trashy aquatic porno.
So I was pretty excited to come across a 6-pack of Flying Dog’s Pearl Necklace Oyster Stout over at Dover Discount Beverages. Brewed with local Rappahannock River oysters, proceeds from the sale of this beer go towards the Oyster Recovery Partnership, an organization that helps restore oysters back into the Chesapeake Bay. Bam. Charity work done. I’m like a drunk Mother Theresa. Saint Beernabus of the Bivalves.
This dry stout pours an opaque black with a thin, bubbly, khaki-colored head. You can get a faint scent of oyster mineralness in the nose, along with chocolate malts and some mocha; very sweet. A smooth, medium-bodied beer, Pearl Necklace has a ton of great flavors mingling; cocoa powder, chicory, molasses, a very light saltiness and a big roasty presence.
It finishes with a semi-sweet roastiness that sticks with you for a while. There’s a bit of char in the finish, but the chocolate sweetness helps balance it out and makes for an enjoyable ending. At 5.5%, this is an easy drinking stout. It’s light, but with enough carbonation to help back it up. The oysters don’t distract from the bitter hops and pleasant roast, but rather, add a light complexity.
I’m definitely glad I bought a few of these, because they’re quite the sessionable brew. Perfectly balanced layers of roast, sweetness, and brine, good price, and it seems like it would pair well with food. And luckily, Flying Dog recently switched this from being a limited beer to a year-round offering!