Pearl Necklace (Flying Dog Brewery)

My MONDAY MORNING QUARTERBACK begins with the a beer from Flying Dog Ales out of Frederick, Maryland. Being that I’m on the west coast it’s kinda hard for me to get beers from the Washington D.C. area. So, I made a compromise and found a beer from the general region.

Let me begin this review by saying that a few years back I found out the hard way that I was allergic to shrimp. And by the hard way I mean while out to dinner with my friend and her parents (who I was meeting for the first time) I learned that I enjoyed the taste of shrimp and that I was allergic to it. At first I had no idea why my tongue was all scratchy and I was having a hard time swallowing, but once I overheard a nearby diner talking about his shrimp allergy it all clicked for me. Cut to today when I decide to try my first Oyster Stout. It seems to me that this is a great way to find out if I’m allergic to all shellfish or just shrimp.

Pearl Necklace labelPEARL NECKLACE is an Oyster Stout with 35 IBUs and a 5.5% ABV.

Pearl NecklaceA dry stout brewed with Rappahannock River oysters.

The beer poured a black color with brown highlights at the bottom of the glass (would those be considered lowlights? *rimshot*). A bubbly film of brownish cream hangs around the top of the liquid for several minutes.

At first it smells like just another stout. I picked up roasted malts, a smoked ham flavor, and then the brininess hit. It’s hard to exactly explain what I mean by “brininess”, but it’s akin to salt water and sea foam (you’d know it when you smelled it). A spicy tinge of pepper is also hiding in there.

The roasted malts kick things off again in the taste. However they quickly fade into a tobacco/cigar flavor, with a touch of that brininess. The middles has a mild smoked meat flavor that I normally associate with Rauchbiers. A touch of sourdough pretzel finishes things off and is probably a byproduct of the malts and oysters. As the beer warm the briny flavor becomes more forward and makes this beer taste more like an oyster stout rather than a stout that happens to have oysters.

Mouthfeel is medium and somewhat carbonated. It goes down relatively easy, but leaves a slight residue in its wake. Nothing outside the norms for a stout though.

This is my first Oyster Stout and I must admit that it’s not nearly as off-putting as the name would imply. The oysters add a salty sea foam flavor that works well with the dark malts of the stout. I couldn’t drink this style all the time (literally), but it was an interesting beer.

Overall: 6.5 out of 10

As an OYSTER STOUT: 7.5 out of 10

FOR FANS OF: Coast BULLS BAY OYSTER STOUT, Rogue OYSTER CLOYSTER STOUT, Ramsgate BLACK PEARL OYSTER STOUT

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