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Harpoon 100 Barrel Series #30 - Island Creek Oyster Stout - Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall

Not Rated.
Harpoon 100 Barrel Series #30 - Island Creek Oyster StoutHarpoon 100 Barrel Series #30 - Island Creek Oyster Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

218 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 218
Reviews: 181
rAvg: 3.74
pDev: 13.1%
Wants: 6
Gots: 8 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall visit their website
Massachusetts, United States

Style | ABV
English Stout |  5.50% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Brewed by Harpoon brewer Katie Tame, using Island Creek oyster farmer Skip Bennett’s revered Duxbury Bay oysters, this beer has a rich body and smooth mouthfeel derived in part from a combination of roasted barley and chocolate rye malts. The roasted malt notes blend beautifully with the briny, mineral flavors of the Island Creek oysters. An addition of hops adds some bitterness to balance the malt sweetness. This, the 30th installment of the Harpoon 100 Barrel Series, is best enjoyed with a plate full of Island Creek Oysters.

35 IBU

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 01-21-2010)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 218 | Reviews: 181 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of RonfromJersey
3.83/5  rDev +2.4%

Black body that backlights a dark ruby. Medium tan foam baseball size head.

Aroma is heavy on coffee, light on chocolate, with a whiff of the sea (or was that my imagination?).

Taste is a nice coffee/chocolate mix, but I'm not really getting the oysters (as opposed to Yards for example).

Smooth, creamy, even rich mouthfeel.

A solid enjoyable stout, worth a try.

RonfromJersey, May 16, 2011
Photo of Heischman
3/5  rDev -19.8%

--Harpoon Island Creek Oyster Stout (100 Barrel Series #30)--
DATE – 8 MAY 2011



APPEARANCE – Solid Black, good thick cascading head in the beginning but quickly dissipated but keeps a then sheet of very light brown foam.

NOSE – Very strong aroma of roasted malts, Had a sweet smell behind the Malts in the beginning but that quickly went away

TASTE – Has a burnt coffee taste to it with subtle hints of chocolate, which is quickly overcome again by the burnt coffee taste, funny thing is that the burn taste does not linger afterwards. As the beer warms up a bit the chocolate becomes more over powering then the coffee.

MOUTHFEEL - SMOOTH with mild carbonation

CONCLUSION – Not bad, but nothing special. Kind of the dumps about this one. I was expecting something new and this just did not do it for me. It is not bad but I am not upset that this is a 1 time brew.

Heischman, May 08, 2011
Photo of IronCitySteve
2.85/5  rDev -23.8%

A: Pours a dark brown almost black with some reddish hues. Provides a small tan foam head with not much retention. Not much in the way of lacing.

S: Some mild hints of milk chocolate, light roasted coffee, salt water and dark chocolate. Nothing over the top.

T: Starts off with a slightly roasted coffee and sweet chocolate flavor. The salt water/oyster flavor becomes prevalent and overpowering in the middle and on the back end.

M: A medium bodied beer with ample carbonation. Leaves a slightly salty taste on the palate, like I came out of the ocean.

O: I thought I would really enjoy this but the oyster and sea water flavors were over powering really squashing the malted barley flavors.

IronCitySteve, May 08, 2011
Photo of HardTarget
3.68/5  rDev -1.6%

Appearance: Black glass shows some ruby edges, no head retention at all leaves it looking a bit flat.

Smell: Roasted barley like a Stout should smell, a bit of hop leaf that strikes me as more American than English. Little bit of alcohol comes through pleasantly.

Taste: Balance goes toward the sweet side, malt, bit of toffee, some molasses, but still well put together leaving the flavor rich but not sugary. A mild chalky finish.

Mouthfeel: Plenty of carbonation despite what it looks like, leaves the beer lively. Medium heavy body, slightly oily creamy texture.

Overall: Pretty much a standard stout, the oyster element doesn't go crazy, could probably go a bit more down that road. Glad I gave it a try.

HardTarget, May 07, 2011
Photo of mdaschaf
3.45/5  rDev -7.8%

Review from notes.

A: Pours very dark brown/black, kind of hard to tell. A small mocha colored head forms and dissipates rather quickly. NOt much lacing at all.

S: Lots of heavy roasted malt on the aroma. A good bit of coffee and a slight saltiness.

T: Similar to the nose in that there is a ton of roast going on here. There is some more coffee, but the salt comes through more than on the aroma. Extremely dry.

M: Medium bodied with low carbonation, pretty smooth.

O: The first oyster stout I have had in probably 4 years, so a pretty new experience. I thought the salt added an interesting touch to this beer. The dryness made it a little tough to drink though.

mdaschaf, May 04, 2011
Photo of ranger60
3.95/5  rDev +5.6%

On draft at Barcade in Jersey City, NJ.

Appearance: BLACK, but not completely opaque. Very little head (actually disappointing because other reviews mention a significant head)
Smell: Malty, sweet
Taste: A little bitter and earthy. First taste was very enjoyable, but I enjoyed it a little less as I drank it.
Mouthfeel: Fairly non-descript
Drinkability: Easily drinkable

ranger60, May 02, 2011
Photo of ryan1788a5
3.45/5  rDev -7.8%

22oz bomber poured into a pint glass.

A: A shade or two away from pitch black with some garnet hues at the edges of the glass. Big tan head has good retention, and a fine coat of lacing blankets the glass.

S: Roasted coffee beans, brownies, chocolate. Briny ocean-air type scent. Very assertive. Smells great.

T: Opens with sweet cola tastes. Transitions quickly to intense roasted flavors. Lots of charcoal and smoke. Burnt coffee. Milk chocolate for just an instant, and a fleeting taste of vague darkfruits. Mineral and sea salt tastes creep out from behind the roasted malts and dominate the finish. Dry, salty finish with stone-like mineral tastes and some lingering smoke.

M: Light, but full and creamy. Prickly carbonation. Maybe a bit too light.

O: A decent stout. Interesting flavors added by the oysters.

Notes: A unique beer to be sure. Smells wonderful, but the taste does not quite compare . Roasted malt flavors are perhaps a bit too intense. I would have liked to see a bit more subtlety here. Mouthfeel lacked a little in body and smoothness. I'm glad I tried it, but it will not be a frequent purchase.

ryan1788a5, May 01, 2011
Photo of Pencible
3.68/5  rDev -1.6%

A: This poured a nearly black mahogany with moderate tan head.
S: It smelled mostly like some strange seafood odor (fish and minerals), with earthy coffee and soy and soil, and a bit of lager yeast.
T: It tasted like coffee and earthy dark chocolate, with a little fish and minerals and lager yeast. It had a bitter and wet aftertaste.
M: It was somewhat thick with moderate carbonation. Fairly slick and nice body.
D: This was a very unique beer with a scent that seems like it would go well with seafood. The oyster wasn't as pronounced in the taste, but it was still interesting. Good body and easy to drink, as long as you don't mind seafood. Worth a try.

Pencible, Apr 27, 2011
Photo of JerzDevl2000
3.3/5  rDev -11.8%

Picked this up in Totowa to give it a try since I haven't had any Oyster Stout in a long time. When I poured and out and tasted it, it reminded me more of a Porter because of the hue and mouthfeel, and this was probably the biggest disappointment for a beer that I've tried this year. That being said, this would have a niche but I'm not that big of an oyster person!

Dark pour to this but not quite black, with some head and practically no lacing to be seen. This was light in taste as well with a roasted, burnt tone to it and just a hint of chocolate underneath it. The salt and brine of the oysters could be felt in the aftertaste and because there wasn't much alcohol in this, this didn't pack much of a punch at all. I like my Stouts to have some body and a warming sensation to them but that just wasn't here, even at the end of my drinking session.

Speaking of session, this almost qualifies as a session beer since I ended up having something else after this. It may have been the first time that I had a Stout and didn't finish on one and if I could do it again, I'd try this with oysters. This beer would be decent for a food pairing but on its own, it left a lot to be desired.

JerzDevl2000, Apr 25, 2011
Photo of elgiacomo
4/5  rDev +7%

22oz bottle, Session #36. Served at cellar temperature.

Pours dark brown with a large light beige head that leaves a few spots of lacing and holds a nice creamy cap.

Aroma is roasted malts, chocolate, some coffee, as it warms the briny/salty character picks up, also some caramel, toast and bread. Good to very good strength.

Flavor is chocolate, roasted malts, coffee, caramel, toast & bread, some mineral notes at the end. Moderately sweet, low bitterness, little to no perceived alcohol.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, smooth, somewhat creamy, low to medium carbonation.

The oyster addition really plays nicely with the base stout here, very good stuff, glad I tried it.

elgiacomo, Apr 25, 2011
Photo of ngeunit1
3.9/5  rDev +4.3%

A - Pours a dark black color with just a hint of brown visible around the edges, and a finger of thick frothy tan head atop. The head fades slowly to a spotty layer leaving thick lacing behind.

S - Aroma if full of roasted chocolate malts and some sweet caramel. There is also a mineral aroma and some coffee.

T - Starts off with some sweet roasted milk chocolate malt flavor and some mineral flavor. Through the middle, some caramel and coffee flavors arise. The finish starts out a bit bitter with some coffee flavor and transitions into a more mineral taste that lingers.

M - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Overall, very dry feeling, especially with the mineral finish, which feels nice.

D - Pretty drinkable. The flavors are interesting and a touch sharp, so a bit of a slow drinker, but by no means bad. Feels a little off, but interesting enough to enjoy.

ngeunit1, Apr 22, 2011
Photo of Naugros
4.03/5  rDev +7.8%

And now to answer the age-old question: Is it okay to drink an oyster stout in a month with an R?

This is Session 36...Best By 9/15/11

It certainly is a nice stout to observe. I did an aggressive pour and was rewarded with a massive head. It settled down a bit so I poured more and kept building and managed to get it above the rim of the glass. Mocha-colored and rocky, settling in at 2" thick with a dense structure. Good retention and nice, but thin lacing.

Milk chocolate is the first impression and then roasted malts. Further exploration reveals a mineral presence which I take to be calcium due to the chalk-like scent.

It mostly delivers the typical roasted malt offshoots: bitter coffee and cocoa, but there are some dark fruits and that pervasive, underlying sense of minerals, but earthier on the tongue than in the nose. There is only the most minimal sense of brine and that might be mind games from the fact that I know I'm drinking something that had oysters in it.

Mouth-filling and velvety with a slight tingle on the lips.

I have to admit I was a little apprehensive about drinking an oyster stout for the first time (yes, this is my first believe it or not) and I now realize my trepidation was ill-founded. The oysters add little of the ocean into the beer and deliver more mineral and earth tones. I can drink oyster stout in months with an R.

Naugros, Apr 22, 2011
Photo of madvermin
4.08/5  rDev +9.1%

Thanks to kbanks13 for doing his Taste of New England LIF and sending me this bottle as part of the prize.

Best by date is 09/15/11 and this bottle says it is "session 36 in our 100 barrel series".

Pours very dark brown with complete opacity. A two-finger light tan head is generated that retains pretty well, leaves spotty lace and dissipates to a half-finger cap that is very pretty.

Nose is of dark chocolate and lightly toasted malt. It smells a bit grainy, and the only oysterish scent I get initially is some salt at the very end. A thin coffee appears near the start as the beer warms, along with some brine.

Taste is of that light chocolate and coffee from the nose at the start but those are tempered by some roasted, approaching charred, malts that pair with a saltiness that is understated but definitely present. I don't get an over the top oysterish taste ever, but a little bit of mineral character in the finish is another sign of their use. I wish there was more oyster, but as it is, it's very subtle and well blended into the taste.

Mouthfeel is pleasantly carbonated and the body is fluid but not thin. Good medium body for the style and a nice dry finish with a lingering coffee/salt flavor that is nice without being too strong. Drinkability is aided by that along with the low abv and well balanced use of all flavors. Definitely could have a couple bombers of this at one time without it getting unpleasant.

madvermin, Apr 21, 2011
Photo of metter98
3.58/5  rDev -4.3%

A: The beer is very dark amber (near black) in color and poured with a finger high creamy beige head that slowly faded away and left lacy patterns on the surface and a ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass.
S: There are light aromas of roasted malts in the nose along with some salty hints of oysters.
T: The taste isn’t very strong but flavors of chocolate malts, coffee and shellfish are noticeable.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is very easy to drink because it’s light-bodied and the taste of oysters is subtle.

metter98, Apr 19, 2011
Photo of wolandjr
4.35/5  rDev +16.3%

On tap at the Lower Depths in Kenmore Square. Good looking stout with a light and pleasant aroma. Nicely carbonated and a silky smooth mouthfeel. As others have noted its body is a little light for a stout but it fits well with the carbonation, mouthfeel and moderate alcohol level. I could easily have two or three of these in one session. The oysters are present in the finish, which is slightly salty/briny. I'm normally not a big fan of Harpoon's offerings but I've got to give them props for this very good stout.

wolandjr, Apr 18, 2011
Photo of JayS2629
4.2/5  rDev +12.3%

Dark black with a thick frothy head, great retention and lace. The smell is of roasted coffee, chocolate, and toffee with mineral notes that are perhaps oyster, but this is faint and balanced well. The taste follows the nose with a lot of roast and coffee and notes of chocolate. Faint earthy hops and a very subtle mineral taste of oyster. Rich, thick and creamy but not quite as thick as I like my stouts. Very easy to drink.

JayS2629, Apr 16, 2011
Photo of Jparkanzky
3.08/5  rDev -17.6%

Poured into a pint glass.

A) Nice, fairly dense frothed milk-like head, about 2 fingers or so. Beer itself is fairly dark, but you can see the reddish-brown hues in the light.

S) I think it has a hint of stale/stagnant pond water.... I don't think this some psychological phenomena from it being an oyster - stout either, it truly gives off a smell that brings me back to my childhood when playing around the ponds in the golf-course behind my parents' house.

T) I immediately thought "Burnt Coffee" and then I see the very last reviewer shares my thoughts on this. I think the Burnt Coffee taste only reaffirms my belief that I am actually smelling pond water! Other than the hint of burnt coffee, I really don't think it tastes 'bad' but it doesn't stand out as anything overly special, and I certainly can't detect anything that makes me think of oysters.

M) Beautiful balance of carbonation and density. It's very pleasant on the tongue with just a hint of dry bite.

O) Not sure I'll be purchasing any more of this, but I do have another to cellar as part of some crazy basement-born-science project.

Jparkanzky, Apr 16, 2011
Photo of Prime16
3.45/5  rDev -7.8%

A: Dark walnut with a nice, thick chocolate milkshake-like head.

S: Faint coffee and chocolate aroma.

T: Burnt coffee, bitter chocolate taste dominates this beer. No oyster taste to represent the name to me. A little more carbonated than I prefer in a stout.

M: I prefer a richer, thicker stout.

O: This is a nice beer.... Wish it had a little more body.

Prime16, Apr 12, 2011
Photo of mntlover
3.63/5  rDev -2.9%

Pours a dark black, some highlights when held towards the light, nice two finger khaki head that falls fairly fast but leaves some decent lace behind.

Aroma is nice big chocolate notes, some light roasted coffee hints mingled in with caramel and toffee. light hints of dark fruits but no oysters really.

Taste is roasted malts good does of bakers chocolate that lingers with some bitter bite. Coffee notes with some toffee and linger earthy notes, some light sea weed notes which is probably the oyster notes. Over all not bad but nothing to exciting going on either.

Mouthfeel seems a touch to light for a stout even a low alcohol one. Carbonation is fine though.

Drinkability is well its not bad at all worth a try. But wouldn't search it out for a repurchase.

mntlover, Apr 11, 2011
Photo of 9InchNails
3.95/5  rDev +5.6%

Light khaki head pretty much pitch black but the bar is quite dim. Nice lacing on the glass.

Nice smell here. Bitter chocalate, caramel and coffee. Not much of a Oyster smell.

It was served a little too cold for a stout. Chocolate and coffee is the main taste here. There is also a salty taste, maybe the Oysters Also a slight bitterness at the end.

Thin for a stout almost medium. Leaves the lips sticky. Light carbonation.

Not a bad Oyster Stout. This is the second one I have tried that is considered a Oyster Stout. Mostly coffee, chocolate and a nice slight bitterness. Good brew overall.

9InchNails, Apr 11, 2011
Photo of pburland23
3.93/5  rDev +5.1%

Harpoon 100 Barrel Series #36. I had Series #30 Oyster Stout at the Harpoon Brewery, but I bought a bottle of the newer version to see if anything had changed.

Poured from a bomber into my Sam Adams Perfect Pint glass.

Pours a dark blackish brown with a thin wisp of beige head. Head retention is moderate and the lacing is minimal.

Smells of roasted malt, a touch of bittersweet chocolate and briny seawater. Taste is roasty and warm with some hops bitterness that peaks out to counteract the malt. Additionally, there's a pervasive mineral taste throughout each sip on account of the oysters. All the flavors work together to make a very interesting and tasty stout.

The body is a little thin in my opinion for a stout, but the carbonation is nice and it's an easy sipping beer.

Oyster Stout is an interesting style of beer. It doesn't sound like it should work, but it does. Good overall beer.

pburland23, Apr 10, 2011
Photo of dciBA
3.78/5  rDev +1.1%

Poured from the bomber into a plain old pint glass. Deep dark brown in color with a thin tan head that fades to nothing quickly. Not much lacing at all.

Smell is mostly roasted coffee beans. Some chocolate as well. Simple aroma, but pleasant.

Taste is similar to smell, but stronger. Lots of coffee roastiness. Some chocolate mixes in perfectly without being too strong. The flavor finishes with a very distinct salt water flavor, very similar to the after taste of an oyster actually. Each sip leaves you with a salty oysterish flavor on the tip of your tongue. I wasn't sure if I would actually taste any of the oyster in this beer but I do, and it's quite good.

Carbonation is perfect for style, just enough to bring out flavors, and give a nice smooth mouthfeel. An interesting stout for sure. Might have to pick up another one and grab some oysters.

dciBA, Apr 05, 2011
Photo of bruachan
3.98/5  rDev +6.4%

my first oyster stout...oysters, really?

some lacing, otherwise meh

aroma: deeply roasted...almost campfire-ey. a definite oceanish scent (muddy and minerally)

tastes almost salty, which is interesting, given the label's indication of "mineral" elements

DRY...and i like it

bruachan, Mar 31, 2011
Photo of Kinsman
3.98/5  rDev +6.4%

Beautiful stout black pour with a nice but rather thing light tan colored head. Plenty of sticky lace hanging around.

Lots of roasted coffee and chocolates aroma. Rather sweet, and not quite as much of oyster aroma as I remember from last year but still enough to add an interesting touch.

Dark chocolate and coffee flavors with some sweeter dark frutiness make for a nice stout profile. Slightly salty and mineral aspect from the oysters provides a nice flavor without being overdone.

Mouthfeel is creamy and full bodied. Overall, an interesting twist on the stout but plenty delicious.

Kinsman, Mar 30, 2011
Photo of rudzud
3.38/5  rDev -9.6%

Heard about this beer and wanted to give it a try. An oyster stout, why not?!

A - Pours a nice dark brown almost black with a nice mocha slightly less than two finger head slowly fades leaving minimal lacing.

S - Nice chocolate and light coffee aromas with a strong salty, briney, mineral assertive aroma throughout.

T - Very similar to the aroma. The sweetness from the malts and that chocolate and light bittersweet coffee tastes have the powerful assertive ocean aspect. Theres big mineral, brine flavours here.

M - Feels very thin and watery. Just not impressed.

O - Well, I've wanted to try an oyster stout for a while and I'l glad I did. That being said, I just dont think this style is for me. I love oysters, I love stouts, just not with combined.

rudzud, Mar 28, 2011
Harpoon 100 Barrel Series #30 - Island Creek Oyster Stout from Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
84 out of 100 based on 218 ratings.