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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 kylehay2004
3.53/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Monster 4 finger milk chocolate head. Black. Not a lot of lace for the head size and thickness.

S: sweetness and roasted aroma.

T: A mild oyster saltiness is present when searched for. The beer is thinner than most stouts. Roasted malt is consistent throughout.

M: More on the medium side for a stout with moderate carbonation.

O: This is basically a standard stout with oyster saltiness that you have to search for.

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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 jwc215
3.53/5  rDev -6.9%
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.

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Photo of WesWes
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours a dark brown/black color with a thick frothy tan head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a dry roasted scent that boasts of crystal and roasted malts. It's dry with a touch of caramel sweetness. The taste is decent. Again, it has a dry, roasted malt flavor with a touch of caramel sweetness. The oyster contribution is minimal. It contributes a minor amount of mineral character as well as adding mouthfeel. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is an easy drinking beer, but nothing too exciting.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.4/5  rDev -10.3%
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.

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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 tobelerone
3.58/5  rDev -5.5%
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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Photo of Rhettroactive
3.45/5  rDev -9%
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.

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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 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 OWSLEY069
3.38/5  rDev -10.8%
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.

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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 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 jsanford
3.08/5  rDev -18.7%
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.

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Photo of bigfnjoe
3.44/5  rDev -9.2%
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

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Photo of Onenote81
3.65/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I see that this is listed twice under the "100 Barrel" series (#30 and #36). I think many are still reviewing this under the #30 edition, but my bottle clearly says #36, so the review goes here. This is my first "Oyster Stout," so I'm excited to give it a try. 22oz bottle, split with my wife. Poured my allotment into a tall chalice.

Pours a dark black (surprise) with a finger-width beige head. Wispy lace stuck to the glass after each sip. Nothing in the nose told me that this was anything other than a standard stout -- dark roasted malts, charred wood, coffee grounds. Nice nose. The body was a little on the thin side. Though the ABV is lower, I still expected a bit more heft to this. Mild cocoa on the tongue, toasted malts, light hop bite. Not sure what the oysters add to this as I can't seem to find any aspect that's different than any other standard stout I've had. Pretty average, not that that's a bad thing.

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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 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 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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Photo of goblue3509
3.57/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cola like color with ruby highlights along the edges and a medium tan colored head that is half a finger thick. The aroma is of roasted malts along with chocolate and coffee and a hint of sweetness. The taste has a big roasted malt backbone with a hint of coffee and a touch of saltiness rounding out the flavor. The mouthfeel is a little slick and moderately carbonated. Overall it was a good beer, the aroma was a little better than the taste but it had enough to keep me interested. Not a big oyster flavor just a hint of it.

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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 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 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 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 MoreThanWine
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a 1.5" mocha colored head. Clear dark raw umber brown. Smell is mainly coffee and dark roasted malt. I'd expect at least a smell of oyster sauce but no. Taste has lots of coffee, dark roasted malt, maybe a little cocoa, and I don't really get oyster but maybe instead a drop of soy sauce. All in all as a stout it has good flavor but as an oyster stout I don't think it expressed the oyster enough. But I'll admit I'm no expert on oyster stouts.

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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.