Oyster Stout | Marston, Thompson & Evershed, Plc.

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Oyster StoutOyster Stout

Brewed by:
Marston, Thompson & Evershed, Plc.
England, United Kingdom

Style: Milk / Sweet Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 08-17-2001

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Reviews: 118 | Ratings: 215
Photo of Sammy
3.33/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

LCBO bottle. Mixed reviews on this one. Neutral malty aroma. Very good looks as 3/8" foamy head on black as night body. Above average mouthfeel that is initially engaging with thick rich malt, then tapers off to something with cocoa and something like club soda aggressive carbonation watering down. Just a tad astringent. Passable beer overall.

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Photo of metter98
3.38/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

A: The beer is jet black in color. It poured with a quarter finger high tan head that quickly died down, leaving only a thin collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Light aromas of dark and roasted malts are present in the nose.
T: The taste mostly follows the smell, except that the roasted malts seem a little muted and there are some additional hints of chocolate malts and brine. No sweetness is perceptible.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer seems to exhibit most of the characteristics of a milk/sweet stout, except that is a little lighter in body and doesn't have any sweetness.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.48/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

500ml bottle. Wow, "Official Beer of England", three lions and all - lemme check on that, aw, whatever.

This beer pours a solid black, with the slightest of cherry cola basal edges, and two chubby fingers of puffy, densely foamy, and somewhat creamy mocha head, which settles rather lazily, leaving a few broad swaths of splotchy lace around the glass.

It smells of semi-sweet, lightly toasted bready malt, a hint of caramel pudding, medium baker's chocolate, mildly astringent coffee grounds, and a softly sour milkiness. The taste is dry coffee, milky, bittersweet chocolate, a subtle roasted grainy caramel maltiness, dark fruit, ethereal leafy, earthy hops, and an underlying mineral character - Burton 'terroir', as it were.

The carbonation is quite average, just a meek frothiness throughout, the body on the far lee side of middleweight, and kind of thin, bordering on watery at times, which unnecessarily elevates the perceived zing from the bubbles, 86-ing any ideas of smoothness. It finishes fairly off-dry, the lingering milky sweetness competing with bits and pieces of the cocoa and caramel malt.

A decently flavoured milk stout, married, for better or worse, to the regional endemic characteristics of its source - it's just lacking the soft, enveloping silky smoothness that one expects from the better examples of the style. And I don't like oysters, so I guess I'll never know what that's all about.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle: Poured a deep black color stout with a medium size brown color head with average retention and minimal lacing. Aroma of light black chocolates is the main feature. Taste is also dominated by some light black chocolate with some notes of roasted malt and light dry finish. Body is too thin for the style with some average carbonation. Good but lacking some character and ends up being average for an oyster stout.

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Photo of emerge077
3.49/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

It's always funny to me when there's mention of "salty/briny" flavors in an Oyster Stout. This is brewed with shells, and there is no salt present at all. It's meant to be paired with oysters, but doesn't taste like them... all the power of suggestion.

Black body, thin cap of tan foam on top. Creamy surface texture.

Roasty aroma, some carob and mild coffee.

Flavors of roast malt, light bitterness, mild coffee again, not really chocolatey, maybe some dry unsweetened cocoa. Dry roasty aftertaste lingers. Light bodied, ample carbonation but it comes off a little watery in the finish. Overall it's alright but not something that's especially unique on it's own.

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Photo of mactrail
3.54/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Gorgeous appearance in the small goblet. Jet black, creamy beige head, and lacing like a milkshake down the glass. The taste is not much, which would seem to be the authentic style. Some caramel plus a mineral taste. Eventually some hop bitterness and a burnt malt flavor emerges.

Super creamy on the tongue with a satiny mouthfeel. Judging from other reviews, the nitro version is a huge improvement. Strangely delicate for such a black beer. A satisfying quaff for a lower-alcohol brew. On tap at San Diego Brewing Co. [notes from April 8, 2012 visit]

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
2.16/5  rDev -36.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Pours out a russet-colored hue with a thin, dark tan head.

Smell: Rather unexciting. This beer is very lacking in aroma, with only the faintest hints of roasted malts showing.

Taste: Dull, lifeless flavors of chicory and chocolate, with only the smallest hint of roasted bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Surprisingly thin-bodied for a stout with a sparkling carbonation that borders on being abrasive.

Drinkability: Far, far too lacking in all its aspects. One of the most unappealing examples of a stout.

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Photo of russpowell
3.3/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Pours an effervescent mahogany with 2 fingers of fast falling, rocky, mocha colored head. Alright lacing & near zero head retention

S: Dark fruit, figs & jammyness

T: Dark fruit, a touch of iron, leafy hops up front. Faint molasses notes, a touch of figs , & carob as this warms. Finishes slightly fruity with a bit of carob & iron

MF: Light body, very slight carbonation

Very tame take on the style not bad, but not good either

Loved this brewery's beer on cask in the UK, these small beers just don't travel well...

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Photo of Slatetank
4.42/5  rDev +30.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

re-review -my first BA review below
I purchased this bottle at Oliver's in Albany NY, enjoyed chilled in a snifter
The color is a black shade with opaque clarity and light tan head with fine bead and spots of lace stick. The smell is slight mineral with gentle sweet caramel scent with subtle cocoa notes and hint of dark toast with light yeast adding dried fruit to the aroma like figs. The feel is moderately high in carbonation with medium sweet body and slight mineral aspect with yeast adding a slight dry texture with mild roast in the finish.

The taste is very light initially yet nicely balanced with slight cocoa character in the malt and subtle yeast in the mix with a sort of dried fruit taste with subtle creamy caramel accent and toasted coconut with gentle woody hop accent and light nutty cocoa with toasted flavors. There is low alcohol in the taste with dry mineral accent in the back with slight dried pear element toward the finish. Overall I still think this is a high quality stout but have not paired it with oysters as intended although I will say it is one of the better English stouts I have tried ... I really love how easy to quaff this stout is.

Look- 4.5 Smell 4.5 Taste 5 Feel 4.5 Overall 4.5
I first tasted this beer over 10 years ago and it was love at first taste. I started looking for other oyster stouts. I have enjoyed Yard's love stout and brewed my own chocolate/oyster stout using real oysters in the boil. I like the mineral quality and the full mouthfeel. I find it to be highly quaffable and recommend it to anyone who enjoys stout.

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Photo of womencantsail
2.39/5  rDev -29.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

On-tap at Pizza Port Ocean Beach

A: The beer pours dark brown in color with a khaki head.

S: Starts off with a lot of butter, unfortunately. Decently roasty with some random/inexplicable dark fruit notes. Perhaps a bit of licorice in there. To top it off, it's pretty watery.

T: The flavor has almost as much butter, which isn't winning me over at all. Again, dark fruit notes, particularly blackberries. It's mildly sweet and a touch metallic, but it's not as watery as the nose.

M: The body is thin and a bit watery with a moderate level of carbonation.

D: Most of the oyster stouts I have had have been pretty good, but this was certainly an exception.

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Photo of smakawhat
3.08/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Oh shit... dude you bought a milk stout.. god DANG IT, I thought it would have briney oyster goodness in it.. oh well, let's throw this in a nonic and see what happens, at least I can evaluate it fairly.

A very soft and foamy light milk chocolate looking head, but falls very quickly on the pour, only to settle on top of a classic dark walnut brown/black body with some see through character up against the light. Head seems to settle though at an impressive puck that holds for a bit nicely. Look alright, rather inviting somewhat.

Nose hits with a slightly soft light toast dark malted grain. It's rather faint, but nice. Otherwise, I am not sure where this is going, let's taste!

Extremely wet bodied even for a milk stout missing even a lactose sweetness that I expect but no worries. Wetness takes an edge to the after finish giving that classic porter like char and roast but with little body comes off as faint ash. Feels even a little bit tightly carbonated on the swallow coming off as off putting just a bit.

Overall I wouldn't even have this with oysters cause this beer while not horrible is just boring if I could use that phrase.

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Photo of jwc215
3.53/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Voonder for this one!

500 ml bottle, best by 20 Mar 09:

Pours black with a thick, rich tan head that descends to a thin cover that almost covers the top. Dotted lacing sticks.

The smell is of roasted coffee with a hint of chocolate. There's an earthy, roasty note in the back.

The taste is of chocolate/coffee with a hint of onion-like spiciness. Earthy hop bitterness and a bit of sour fruitiness balance the sweetness. This is all mild, until an assertive cedar, woody finish makes it dry, with a touch of salt. The complexity of the brew is so subtle that it takes quite a bit of concentration and searching, but it's there, in a modest way.

At room temperature, it hits medium-bodied, but really goes no further. Not quite as smooth as I expected/would have liked, but it has a drinkable quality nevertheless. I can easily think of a classic English stout, and also a porter with more richness and body than this one. Still, it has a certain uniqueness and enough balance (I would consider it more a dry stout) to be worthwhile, and glad I had the chance to have it.

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Photo of stevoj
3.18/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Pours as black as coal, with thin (very thin) dark beige head. Not the creamy head of a guiness, but a thin oily head. Aroma is dark chocolate and prunes. Taste is chocolate, burnt toast, wood and dried fruit. Overall weight is medium, with oil, slick feel to it. AT first I was not impressed, but his is getting better with each sip.

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Photo of Mebuzzard
3.23/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into pint glass but wonder if drinking from the bottle would've been better.
A good dark, inky color with a thin brown head that clung to the sides of the glass.
Smell was different, coffee, chocolate, molasses, and a funk...socks or something.
Taste was thin coffee, chocolate and malt. No hops to speak of. left a sort of coating that wouldn't go away.
A unique taste to be sure

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Photo of DoubleJ
3.52/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I'm sure that fired oysters would go well with this beer, but I chose to drink this on its own. Coming out of a 500 ml bottle, on to the beer:

This is black with a red hue. An inch thick head forms initially, dropping to a thin lace and leaving a few spots around the glass. The aromas offer the nose bits of bitter chocolate, oyster flesh, and a big note of molasses. Not particularly sweet, which is especially true of the taste. Some stouts offer a little sweetness to compliment their roasty flavors, but Marston's Oyster Stout stays roasty and astringent all the way through. It takes getting used to, and it works in the end. Meanwhile, notes of unsweetened chocolate, fried oyster shells, vague roastiness, and a faint banana aspect round out the taste. The aftertaste leaves a salty and roasty flavor lingering. It's lighter-medium bodied with low and gentle carbonation.

I did hope for a little more, but this is acceptable. It must have been from my great experience with Porterhouse's Oyster Stout.

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Photo of biegaman
3.2/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Burnt toast with scarlet underpinning. Although by no means is it wrong to do so, I'll avoid calling it black because with a strong back lighting the tone warms and both reds and browns come to the forefront. Despite refracting a good amount of light the beer stays opaque at all angles it's held. The head is thin and already by this point all but diminished.

The aroma combines equal - and very modest - proportions of coffee, smoke, and debittered chocolate. I fail to detect any fruit what so ever. It has the parts, so why doesn't it flaunt them? It's almost too coy even to be straightforward. Although warming did some to help I know to start writing the coroners report right from the first few sniffs.

The great Micheal Jackson described the beer has having the taste of "onions and shallots... with a woody, cedary background". It is a heck of a stretch but I can manage to see where he was coming from. I wouldn't otherwise have noticed, but (imaginary or not) there does seem to be a light shallot-like note. The cedar is a little more definite, although again, rather faint. What I want to know is: what happened to all those promises of chocolate?

I take it from the name this beer is meant to be enjoyed alongside oysters. Not being an oyster eater myself I can't speak to its ability to pair with shellfish. I will tell you, should it help, that the beer is medium-light bodied, quite drying, hardly bitter and despite what things look like, it possesses next-to-no roast. I'd stay clear of delicate, white fish but wager it would taste good with oysters (for those who like oysters, of course!)

So now when I don't order shellfish at a restaurant I'll know there's a beer for me to not order with it. Everything about this stout was over-modest. I don't like my stouts to be unassertive; I like my stouts to wear their colour proudly, to emit their scents fiercely, to be forward with their flavours, and leave me satisfied (not disgruntled) once the bottle's empty.

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Photo of BlackHaddock
3.83/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

4.5% pint bottle (brown).

Dark mahogany, almost black, with a lovelly tan foaming head, which didn't last very long during any of the three pours I had into a 0.2 litre Hannen Alt tumbler.

Burnt caramel and malts hit your nose straight away, but the aroma seemed to disappear quicker than the foaming head.

The taste is also leaning towards a burnt caramel/malt flavour.

The bottle claims it is dark, rich and smooth. It is dark, but rich and smooth it is not. Nothing wrong with it though, a little weak/watery for a true heavy style stout, but still a very pleasant beer.

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Photo of Derek
4.07/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Black with ruby highlights & a tan head; thin ring of retention, very little lace.

S: Floral & spice from the hops, a light fruitiness from the yeast & a light roastiness from the malt.

T: Nice chocolaty malt that's a little biscuity with hints of coffee as well, good fruitiness, hint of spicing, balanced bitterness.

M: Light to moderate body is smooth with a hint of roasted acidity, off-dry finish.

D: Very drinkable.

A little odd for a sweet stout (I think it's boardering on dry), but a very nice stout.

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Photo of Evil_Pidde
3.39/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Pitch black with a thick creamy brown head. Some lacings.

S: Dry and roasted malts. Bitter hops and coffee.

T: Coffee and bitter dark chocoalte. Slightly smoked.

M: Surprisingly light body and moderate carbonation. Medium-long aftertaste, bitter.

D: Way to thin for me.

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Photo of beerthulhu
3.35/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark rustic brick red highlights against a cola base shows up a standard issue black opaque in the vessel. A slight mocha head is frothy at a finger high stays only shortly before lapsing to a low profile covering.

S: Dark dry chocolate, black cherry fruitiness, semi-dry apples with a soft dark roast. Level of aroma is rather light, not much oyster presence if any is detected.

T: The flavor overall is smooth silty roast, with some fruity apple hints and grapes. Clean with a finish of caramelized sweetness.While i thought it was short on oyster flavor, it was creamy and smooth with a gentle flavor that was easy on the tongue.

M: Light smooth creamy body, fruity with a soft carbonation backing.

O: Overall a very smooth, lightly roasted easy drinking english session stout. Drinkability is smooth, think schwarz like roast combined with a double bock fruitiness. Dont expect a sweet stout, doesnt really fit into a defined style, a fruity drinking lightly roasted english styled beer. Only wished it had a bit more oyster presence if they are gonna market it that way.

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Photo of wl0307
3.18/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

BB 12 Aug. 2007, served cool in a straight imperial pint glass.

A: coming in deeply dark brown colour, nearly black; topped with a foamy tan head that settles slowly to a thin carpet; mild but constant fizziness.
S: a rich scent of dark chocolates and roasted malts come hand in hand with a refreshing flow of sticky dark stone-fruits and more creamy roast-nuts; a delicately sour edge as of coffee beans sustains consistently at the back, and so does a mild layer of herbal hops. Overall, smoothly aromatic, well-mixed and easily approachable.
T: upfront on the palate comes plenty of burnt sugar and roasted malts with a nutty edge like Munich malts, laced with a faint touch of sour dark fruits at the back; the mid-palate goes surprisingly neutral in flavour, but quietly the earthy hop bitterness as well as a subtle roasty bitterness prevail on the palate, resulting in a moderately bitter-sweet nutty and dryish-roasty afternote.
M&D: thin-bodied overall and even slightly watery in the end, but the fizziness is well-controlled thus rendering a reasonably smooth texture, which I think suits the light flavour anyway. Not a bad beer, but it needs much much more elements to be a delicious brew to make people come back; otherwise, its rather quiet flavour profile does it make it more like a meal-drink than something to savour on its own.

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Photo of wordemupg
3.48/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

500ml bottles poured into pint glass 1/4/12

A dark cola with a nice tight thumbs width of mocha foam that sits there for some time but only leaves a partial ring of lace

S milk chocolate with a little cold coffee and nutty roast, fairly simple but decent

T a little char and smoke to go with what I smell, mellow stuff not very intense

M a little thin for the color almost gives it a silky feel but it leans more towards watery, faint aftertaste of chocolate

O not very exciting but a decent brew at the end of the day, I just thought the best part was the look and even then I wasn't that impressed

not very sweet for a sweet stout, I doubt I'll bother with this one again when there's so many rich stouts for a similar price

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Photo of barczar
3.7/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours am opaque deep brown with garnet highlights and a frothy, tan, one inch head that slowly dissipates, leaving thick sheets of lacing.

Roast malt, iron, a light fruity note, and a hint of floral hops form the aroma.

Tinny roast malt, coffee, and minerals form the initial flavor, with lightly charred breadcrust, nutty caramel malt, and dark cherries rounding out the profile. Floral hops and chocolate become pronounced as it warms.

Body is a tad light and somewhat creamy, with low carbonation.

Not a bad stout, albeit a little light on roast character. Minerally, which I believe will pair well with shellfish.

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Photo of bluejacket74
3.38/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500 ml bottle, $3.99. Served in a pint glass, the beer pours very dark brown with about a half inch tan head that went away quickly. There's a small amount of lacing. The aroma is nice, but weak. The brew smells like roasted malt, chocolate, caramel and a bit of a briny/mineral smell. It tastes like roasted malt, bittersweet chocolate, coffee and a bit of salt/minerals. Mouthfeel/body is light/medium, it's certainly one of the thinner stouts I've had lately. It's also a bit slick with moderate carbonation, and is easy enough to drink. It's decent overall, it was nice to try.

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Photo of mltobin
3.55/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a bottle of this at a small package store in New York state.

The appearance is black with very thin head to it.
Its` nose has moderate malts, bitter coffee, a bit of chocolate, kinda off balance though. Sipping on it, out of a pint glass and I taste cocoa, roasted malts, sugar. Mouthfeel is medium, drinks fairly easily. This is a decent stout, but not great one by any stretch. OK to give it a shot at least once.

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Oyster Stout from Marston, Thompson & Evershed, Plc.
3.39 out of 5 based on 215 ratings.
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