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

Not Rated.
Harpoon 100 Barrel Series #36 - Island Creek Oyster StoutHarpoon 100 Barrel Series #36 - Island Creek Oyster Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

44 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 44
Hads: 108
Avg: 3.79
pDev: 15.3%
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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 44 | Hads: 108
Photo of JayS2629
4.52/5  rDev +19.3%
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.

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Photo of chimaylvr
4.42/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

App: poured a dark caramel, one finger head with continuous retention

S: remarkable...has a distinct smokey birch wood; unlike most stouts it doesn't hint of bitter roasted malts; silky sweet smooth, buttery

T: hint of chocolate without any bitterness, like a stout should be...creamy?

M: again silky, not acidic, at all - balance of maltiness and sweetness, light but creamy

O: Several different unique flavors which make this a very delightful stout. The aftertaste of chocolate and charcoal make it flavorful. It has some nice roasting qualities, it really brings the taste out in this beer.

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Photo of Kromes
4.16/5  rDev +9.8%
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.

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Photo of JamnesCameron
4.13/5  rDev +9%
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.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.12/5  rDev +8.7%
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.

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Photo of Doshkin
4.07/5  rDev +7.4%
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

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Photo of shortbus7
4.05/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a snifter.

A: Dark black in the glass and when held up to the light, light comes though at the edges leaving a ruby color, all most like coca cola. No head upon poor with the slightest of lacing around the edge of the glass.

A: Burnt barley and coffee. As the beer warms a slight salty aroma comes out.

M: A little thinner than I like from most stouts but good. Carbonation is right on, enough to bring the flavors through.

T: Burnt barley resulting in a very dry taste, but very appropriate for this beer. Dark fruits are present resulting in a slight sweetness when chilled, but dissipates as it warms. Also, as the beer warms a slight saltiness comes through, a product of the oysters I believe.

O: A very good beer for the price of 5.99. Would definitely drink this beer again. Would like to see what this beer does with some aging.

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Photo of Brad007
4.01/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I'm not sure if this is different from #30 but I will certainly review it anyway.

Pours a pitch-black color with a thin brown head into my glass. Very nice color. Standard for the style. You can't get darker than this.

Roasted malt with a bit of lactic sweetness to it. I honestly don't know what oysters smell like but I can tell that it's a solid stout.

A mixture of cream, roasted malt with a bit of saltiness/chewiness to it. Easy going, easy drinking.

Linger saltiness and roasted malt. Nothing unusual here.

Seems rather identical to #30. Perhaps Harpoon has run out of ideas for this series, hence the re-releases of certain beers?

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Photo of OneDropSoup
4/5  rDev +5.5%
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.

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Photo of DavidST
4/5  rDev +5.5%
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.

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Photo of buyBinboaVodka
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this on tap and out of the bottle. I liked both, but I reviewed it out of the bottle.

Brewed on: 3/3/11
Packaged on: 3/17/11

A- Poured from a 22oz bottle into a pint glass. Opaque black with a small 1" tan head appears with minimal retention and some small lacing around the glass.

S- Has a roasted malt smell with some dark chocolate undertones and a sweet aroma. I don't really smell oysters in this.

T- Nice subtle chocolate and malty flavor with just a hint of oyster flavor, not fishy, just that mineraly oily flavor of fresh seafood, again very subtle on the palate.

M- Medium body feel with a nice sticky malty flavor throughout. This feels sweet until the finish.

O- overall, I really enjoyed this beer. It is a very nicly done stout and a believe that at around $5 a bomber, this a great stout for the money. I recommend picking up a bottle to try out.

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Photo of DrJay
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very dark but still slightly translucent with deep brown highlights. The beige/tan cap was very fine and left a lot of lacing on the glass. Tons of roast and sweet malts in the aroma, toffee and burnt malt, sort of a charcoal quality, milk chocolate and a hint of hops. Nice texture, medium to full bodied with moderate carbonation that was soft on the palate. Slight astringency from the dark malts. Sweetness was well balanced in the flavour by dry roast and moderate hop/dark malt bitterness. Notes of caramel, toffee, and chocolate. Overall, it was pretty tasty. I haven't been drinking many stouts lately and this has whetted my appetite for more.

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Photo of omnigrits
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a perfect pint glass.

A. Not quite all-the-way black, and when held up to the light there's more than just ruby highlights around the edge - this beer lets enough light through for it to be just translucent. But only just. There's a good head on it, coffee coloured, with plenty of retention and lace.

S. Charred malt almost all the way, with hints of milk chocolate, espresso and some dark fruits.

T. Slightly sweet at first but then there's a big hit of burnt bitterness which lingers into the finish. Very dry, almost astringent. I think they've hit the roast just right - any more and it would be like burnt toast. If I didn't know that oysters had been used in the brewing of this beer I wouldn't have picked it, but there is the merest hint of saltiness.

M. Medium bodied and smooth.

O. I'm very partial to the highly roasted malt flavours in this beer but I know they're not for everyone. A little bit of sourness added to the mix would make this a fantastic beer.

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Photo of JMad
3.98/5  rDev +5%
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.

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Photo of MacQ32
3.95/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a very very deep brown, nice half finger of thin mocha colored head with fair retention, leaves a nice thin lacing over the beer, solid lacing. Looks a little thin, not super thin but don't anticipate this to be full bodied.

S - Very smokey/woody, roasty bitterness - nice. Picking up some good oyster flavors. a little bit of vanilla too. I do agree with others on the slightly metallic aromas.

T - Mmmmm tastes like it smells plus chocolate that was hidden by the roastyness. Good variety of roasty flavors, not picking up much oyster in the taste though.

M - Light for sure, but pretty nice distinct bitter roasty taste given the body, appropriate carbonation. It's light but that's ok there are plenty of thicker full bodied brews I could go with if that's what I'm shooting for

O - Definitely light but if I am in the mood for a nice roasty porter but something light and really drinkable this is a good one for me.

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Photo of bmwats
3.92/5  rDev +3.4%
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.

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Photo of dacrza1
3.9/5  rDev +2.9%
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…

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Photo of jdhilt
3.88/5  rDev +2.4%
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.

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Photo of buschbeer
3.85/5  rDev +1.6%
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.

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Photo of Sam21
3.85/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle purchased for ~$5. Poured into pint glass.

Appearance – Dark brown body with excellent clarity. Not quite opaque when held to natural light. Tight creamy tan head that leaves nice lace. A delicious looking beer.

Smell – Toast, light roast coffee, subtle sweetness, and a unique mineral twang in the back.

Taste – The flavors are light and balanced. They dance across the tongue very delicately. Toasted wheat bread, soft bitter coffee roasts, and light sweetness. The mineral flavors come through late and round out and tame the roasted flavors to an extent. These flavors linger on the tongue with a touch of bitter roast for a decent length that keeps you drinking.

Mouthfeel – Medium body with decently creamy carbonation. Lively enough to entertain the tongue, but smooth enough to quaff ad nauseam.

Drinkability – A wonderfully quaffable stout. If only I had some fresh oysters…

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Photo of ghostwalker
3.83/5  rDev +1.1%
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.

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Photo of theboozecruise
3.83/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into an imperial pint glass.

It's a really dark brown color with a finger or so of tan head.

The aroma is roasted and malty. There's a very slight metallic oyster feel but the roasted malt overpowers it easily.

The flavor is more of the same with the oyster flavor coming put stronger at the back end.

It's a good mouthfeel and a very enjoyable stout.

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Photo of vette2006c5r
3.81/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This stout pours a black color with a small lacing head. The smell is very weak and not really present. The taste is very malty some coffe flavors, a nice sour after taste. Strong flavor. Overall a very good english porter from this side of the pond.

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Photo of devilben02
3.79/5  rDev 0%
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.

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Photo of kbuzz
3.77/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

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Harpoon 100 Barrel Series #36 - Island Creek Oyster Stout from Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
85 out of 100 based on 44 ratings.