Harpoon 100 Barrel Series #36 - Island Creek Oyster Stout - Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall

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Harpoon 100 Barrel Series #36 - Island Creek Oyster StoutHarpoon 100 Barrel Series #36 - Island Creek Oyster Stout

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BA SCORE
85
very good

108 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 108
Reviews: 44
rAvg: 3.8
pDev: 15.26%
Wants: 3
Gots: 9 | 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:
Beer added by: TheManiacalOne on 05-16-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

The idea for the Harpoon 100 Barrel Series Island Creek Oyster Stout came after years of enjoying locally harvested oysters over freshly brewed pints of beer with our friends from Island Creek. Stouts have long been paired with oysters, though seldom brewed with them. This is our take on the age-old tradition.

Brewed by Bill Leahy 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.

35 IBU
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 108 | Reviews: 44
Reviews by ghostwalker:
Photo of ghostwalker
3.83/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Light, thin, creamy white head. Dark brown body.

The nose is dry, bitter and minerally. That's probably what they are going for here.

Flavor is smooth and coating, but also tart and minerally. Roasty it is, but not overly so. More balanced and (fairly) light than I would expect a stout to be.

Mouthfeel is light, slick, low carb.

Interesting and different. It's good, but not crazy good.

More User Reviews:
Photo of dacrza1
3.9/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Situation: Fat Tuesday refreshment before forty days of self-imposed prohibition…
Glassware: “Lovely day for a GUINNESS” pint…
Appearance: dark opaque body with a thick, marshy brown head…
Aroma: a nice pitch of roasted malts and salty seas—that’s not a real description, but it works…
Palate: slick, swift, almost oily texture waxes the tongue…a coating, steadfast aftertaste…
Taste: caramel and brown sugar—a strong combination that sweetens an already thick malty stout…
Overall: the experience is pleasant, smooth, and sweet; I paired it with nothing, so I cannot extol its virtues with said oysters…

Photo of pfrdaly
3.48/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served from a bomber into a standard bar pint glass.

A- Appropriate color for a stout. Dark red-black with an 1/2 of head.

S- Better smell than most stouts I have tried. Was not able to get a sense of the oyster in it from either smell or taste, but perhaps I did not know what to look for when it comes to seafood and beer. Smell was sweet with a hint of smokiness.

T- Once again slightly better than other stouts I have tried, definitely beyond the name brands in my opinion. It was sweet and savory tasting. Slightly bitter aftertaste. Didn't get a real sense of the oyster, but I may have been expecting too much coming from a seacoast town with a seafood tradition.

M- Wasn't as thick as I thought it would be, but it was by no means bad.

O- Coming from the town where Island Creek Oysters is headquartered, I was extremely excited to try this beer. It did not disappoint me. As far as stouts go its not my favorite, but I definitely enjoyed it.

Photo of mdvatab
3.73/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Found at a great bottle shop in Durham, NC.
Intrigued by oyster stouts in general, and after seeing that this one's actually brewed with oysters, I decided to pick this one up.

Aroma: Nice, malty chocolate, a touch of molasses, vanilla, a bit of earth, but a very faint metallic note. Not a bad aroma profile, metallic note aside.

Appearance: One finger of thick, light tan foam with great retention. Body is dark brown, but the stream of beer is noticeably thinner than many other stouts I've had. (Pours almost like a porter.) Leaves decent lacing.

Flavor: Dry cocoa, carmelized brown sugar, an earthy, mineral note. A very faint metallic twang also comes through here too. Tried to find some flavor attributable to the oysters, and perceived a touch of brine.

Mouthfeel: Very well-carbonated. Medium, creamy effervescence. Body is also medium. As is the flavor, the mouthfeel is a tad bit on the dry side.

Overall: I enjoyed this one with a plate of beef stroganoff, which turned out to be an excellent pairing. The carmelized malt, hoppy/mineral bitterness, and touch of brine worked very well with the beef and hearty sauce. Not necessarily elite "A" material here,
but a unique, tasty brew nonetheless. If you're looking to try a solid oyster stout (that's actually brewed with real oysters!), I recommend giving this one a try.

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.4/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

650 mL bottle poured into a goblet.

Appearance - Nearly black body with a decent tan head. A bit of light passes through. Decent lacing.

Smell - Strong coffee and chocolate aroma. Maybe a bit of licorice. Nice and aromatic.

Taste - Not as good, but not bad. Initial sweetness, but instantly a strong coffee bitterness. The bitterness lingers into an aftertaste that I swear is a bit salty, but that's probably only because it says "Oyster Stout" on the label.

Mouthfeel - Thin bodied, decent carbonation. It holds a long sustained bitterness, but not really any of the good flavors last.

Overall - Not something I'd drink again, but not a drainpour. Not complex at all. The bitterness in the finish is unappealing.

Photo of kbuzz
3.77/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into my trusty snifter. Bottle date is illegible, but I believe this was released in mid-March 2011.

A: Pours relatively black with a light tan minimal head that faded rather quickly. Head comes back to life with a swirl and does manage to leave a bit of lacing.

S: Some nice roasty qualities coming through on the nose. A wee bit of tobacco and vanilla along with some char...

T: The char and roasted notes are there, but muted. There is just a minor hop presence to balance this thing out, but it's very much malt forward. I get a ton of tobacco in the middle of the mouth...teeters on the edge of a smokey quality. Then there's kind of a nice lingering earthy baker's chocolate flavor at the end of the palate. It's by far the best aspect of the taste.

M: Probably just a tad thin for the style, but the texture is still creamy if that's possible. Carbonation might be just a tad high. Also leaves a noticeable film on the mouth.

O: Not a bad beer at all. Very enjoyable sessionable stout. I'll go as far as saying that I love the aftertaste...the lingering filmy dark chocolate/charcoal taste is very unique and quite enjoyable. Not earth-shattering by any stretch, but I would drink this again. For the price, these 100 barrel series beers seem to provide a consistant bang for the buck.

Photo of Doshkin
4.07/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

a - extremely dark brown, basically black. lots of head, cream colored, leaves a lot of sticky lacing

s - roasted/smokey/tobacco dominates the smell. i didnt catch any oyster in the smell from my first glass, but i also didnt smell it right away. as soon as i poured the second glass and smelled it, i got a strong oyster smell. for some reason it goes away as the beer settles.

t - all of the roasted/smokey/tobacco comes through in the taste, with the addition of some hints of chocolate and coffee. there is a little hop bitterness in the aftertaste, but it's strange how the actual finish doesn't leave much of a flavor.

m - quite light and carbonated. i get some sort of chalky feeling. the beer isn't really dry at all, but i don't know what other word to use besides chalky mouthfeel

o - lots of unique flavors and smells in this beer! i am usually skeptical when i see exotic words like "oyster" because i often don't see where the word is found in the beer. i distincly found the "oyster" in the smell of this beer when freshly poured.
overall this beer is enjoyable and i'm glad i bought it. if you want a heavy stout, though, you shouldnt go with this one

Photo of jsanford
3.08/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Very dark brown with a creamy mocha head that settles to a pillowy haze, leaving ring of lacing.
S - Roasty aromas of dark malt, bitter chocolate, and a touch of coffee. Not really getting any oyster aromas, this just smells like a roasty Porter to me.
T - More roasted malt and bitter chocolate with just a whisper of brine. Decent, but definitely lacking the oyster character I wanted.
M - Smooth and creamy, with a medium-full mouthfeel and lowish carbonation.
O - Underwhelming Oyster Stout, definitely wanted more.

Photo of buschbeer
3.85/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From notes June 4,2011
Session 36
Served in a pint glass

A - It pours dark brown with and inch and a half of tan head.

S - The aroma is smokey, roasted malt with some chocolate notes.

T - The taste is rich roasted malt with some smokiness. I also get some chocolate. It finishes with a slight bitterness.

M - It is very smooth with low carbonation.

O - This is a pretty good beer. My only knock is a burnt taste on the finish.

Photo of devilben02
3.79/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours a luxurious, deep chestnut brown color with a thick, creamy beige head on top. The aroma is pleasant but somewhat common for a stout, with notes of dark cocoa powder and charcoal being most prevalent. The flavor is similarly both dryly chocolaty and nicely roasted, with only a faint, dull, vaguely herbal bitterness for contrast. I was disappointed, however, that the minerality of the oyster shells didn't come through at all for me. The texture is great, with a creamy body being punctuated by a soft, fine carbonation. Overall, I was expecting something different and interesting from this beer, especially considering the fact that I had misinterpreted the meaning of "100 Barrel Series" as implying some kind of barrel aging, but it is just a common dry stout. I do enjoy a well-made dry stout, though, so my disappointment was quickly forgotten.

Photo of JamnesCameron
4.13/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a New Holland pint glass. Pours a deep russet brown with ruby highlights. A two fingered, light tan head sits atop, takes a while to drop, leaving some nice lacing.

Aromas of roast malt, flinty, some chocolate notes.

Flavors of light roasted malt, weak coffee, and a nice minerally quality. Touch of licorise.

Mouthfeel is light/medium, with a good level of carbonation.

Overall a very nice brew. Try it if you can get your hands on it. This would go very nicely with raw oysters.

Photo of Kromes
4.16/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pitch black with a tan colored head. Nice lacing down the glass.

S: A roasted grainy malt aroma with some fresh ground breakfast coffee.

T: The flavor is way better than the aroma. There is a sweet roasted malt with a touch of chocolate and coffee that finishes with a bit of earthy saltiness from what I'm guessing is the oyster.

M: A bit thick and rather high carbonation.

O: I really enjoyed this beer. The full roasted flavor is complex and the earthy saltiness complements the sweetness very well.

Photo of JayS2629
4.52/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Excellent stout! Pours deep black with three finger creamy tan head that fades a little fast, but leaves creamy walls of lace.

The aroma has a nice campfire smoke with background mineral-like hint. Some chocolate and a bit of char with some light coffee undertones and earthy elements.

Nice smokey flavor in the background with spicy hints and salty edges. Some burnt edges of char with loads of cocoa and hints of coffee. Root beer notes, and caramel middle. Very nice.

Rich, thick, and creamy

Very interesting, complex, and delicious sipper.

Photo of Rhettroactive
3.45/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

From 22oz bomber to Bruges hybrid glass on 8/20/11
*From notes

A: Good color. It's rich, burnt brownie-ruby. I get a two finger head on a decent pour, and moderate yet unremarkable lacing.

S: Extremely earthy, and quite grassy. Malty, yet it features a mild crustacean funk.

T: Slightly metallic up front, then some toast and a really funky (not sour) vibe. Some toasted dirt and low tide ride from the late mid to finish.

M: Oily, though I've found that most oyster stouts tend to be. Just a bit too thin all around.

O: Harpoon's Island Creek Oyster Stout was a longtime want of mine, and I'm thrilled to finally tick this one off of my list. It's one of the better oyster stouts I've had, and would be something I'd enjoy again with a dozen, freshly shucked oysters.

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.12/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap 5/15/2011 at Doherty’s East Ave Irish Pub in Pawtucket, RI, served in a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep dark brown, with a short beige head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains coffee, lactose, chocolate, roasted males and a faint touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out with creamy flavors of coffee and milk chocolate. There is a touch of dark fruit in the background as well. The malt character is hearty and on-target for the style. The hops presence is very mild and there’s a mildly bitter bite that comes in that isn’t from the hops. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and very smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, decent kick, good representation of style, this is a flavorful and poundable stout worth drinking for a while.

Photo of jwc215
3.53/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Tasted nearly three months ago - reviewed from notes:

Pours very dark brown to black with a thin tan head that is well-retained. Trailing lace sticks.

The smell is roasty with a strong mineral character.

The taste is roasty with some sweet dark chocolate. It has a minerally, slightly salty finish.

The feel is a bit thin at first, but picks up a bit as it progresses. It works overall.

An "interesting" brew. It has a strong minerally character from the oysters.

Photo of bigfnjoe
3.44/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bomber into a pint glass

A- pours black with a fluffy, two finger light tan head. Head isn't very thick and doesn't stick around for awhile, very disappointing

S- lots of chocolate coming through, with a little bit of light coffee. Delightful

T- very sweet chocolate, a little bit of oyster flavor. Interesting if nothing else

M- absolutely paper thin. No body at all. Vastly disappointing

O- it is what it is, though I guess it's on me for expecting anything other then average from Harpoon

Photo of JMad
3.98/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I drank this from a mug...

The beer is black with red hues on the edges, the head is thick filmy and brown. The smell is mostly burnt caramel with coffee, dark chocolate and a slight fishy aroma. The taste is roasted grain with dark chocolate and a creamy coffee finish. It feels medium bodied with lots of subtle carbonation and a pleasant dry finish. This is a solid stout, didn't really get any oyster flavor I was looking for, but it was still good.

Photo of OneDropSoup
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at House of 1000 Beers in New Kensington.

Poured into a stemmed tulip: Black body, finger of soft, tan head that drops to a thick coating. No highlights to speak of, patches of solid lace.

Nutty, mild milk chocolate aroma, light roast, nice but restrained. Maybe it's my imagination or the power of suggestion, but a sandy kind of brininess seems to pop up.

Dark fruit up in the taste, followed quickly by a moderate roast & a dry character. Kind of flattens out & turns to dark bread crust. Ends slightly milky, with a lightly bitter, roasty aftertaste.

Medium full-bodied, both thick & thin, if you can imagine. Sticks around after each sip.

Solid, can't say the oysters added a whole lot, but an enjoyable stout nonetheless.

Photo of bmwats
3.92/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 650 ml bottle into a tulip.

A: Very dark brown. Pours a slight, bubbly, brown-white head. Dissipates quickly, leaving merely a beer ring. Very slight lacing mostly retreats quickly into the body of the brew.

S: Hearty malt, oak, smoke, and dark chocolate.

T: Oatmeal-y malt goodness, unsweetened dark chocolate, a little woodi-ness, and a slight bit of tang.

M: Grainy, full body, with a bit of pungent finish.

D: Sip and enjoy.

Atmosphere is pretty good. Dark hue, with only a slight head, and minute lacing. Nose is malty and woody, complimented with the subtle teasing of unsweetened dark chocolate. Flavor is oatmeal, with unsweetened chocolate, and wood. A bit tangy in the finish. Overall, this is a really good quaff.

Photo of jdhilt
3.88/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a one finger khaki head that fades quickly leaving some lace. Black/brown color, no highlights. Light-medium carbonation and heavy bodied. Baked chocolate nose and flavor is baked chocolate, really just a decent stout. $3.99 for a 22oz bottle from Colonial Spirits Acton, MA.

Photo of OWSLEY069
3.38/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep amber to black in color with a tan head. In the aroma, a small roast and hints of sweet lactose and coffee. In the taste, a dry roasted coffee, sweet lactose and a bit salty. A small bite and medium to lighter bodied mouthfeel, with a small dry coffee in the aftertaste. A nice stout, but more coffee than expected, and almost like a milk stout.

Photo of Chickenhawk9932
3.65/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours pitch black with some ruby highlights and a tan head.

Smells of oysters, nuts, crystal malt, and sweet bread.

It is nutty up front with a dry bitter sting, earthy oyster flavors hit in the back of the mouth followed by coffee. This is a pretty dry stout with no sweetness coming through; all in all it falls a little flat.

Photo of DavidST
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is my first Oyster Stout, I find the concept a little weird (this was brewed with Island Creek Oysters).

Anyways this was poured from a 22oz bottle into a tulip glass, best by date of 9/15/11 on the bottle (I'm a few days past).

This pours a mostly black color (some light penetrates the edges) but not near as thick as an IRS, there was a decent mocha head which has since completely dissipated. The smell is mostly of roasted malts. The feel is mostly like I expected, medium with good carbonation. The taste is good, a little thinner than I love, but plenty of roasted malts and coffee flavors, I don't really get lots of minerals from the oysters, maybe some hints because I'm looking for them. Overall this is a good stout.

Photo of tobelerone
3.58/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the Vermont brewery. Black beer with a tan head that settles down quickly, nice lacing. Aroma of roast malt, vague coffee and chocolate. Hops are in the background. The taste is similar; the briny metallic oyster note is in there but it’s very subtle. Just a touch of ocean salts; is that the power of suggestion? Metal is definitely present but not in any kind of overpowering way. Sort of interesting; not very big overall. Dry, slightly bitter finish, with medium body and good carbonation. Pretty easy drinking. I choose this one over the Leviathan choices as I had a lot of driving to do afterwards. Worth a shot but nothing to write home about.

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Harpoon 100 Barrel Series #36 - Island Creek Oyster Stout from Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
85 out of 100 based on 108 ratings.