Pearl Necklace Chesapeake Stout
Flying Dog Brewery

Pearl Necklace Chesapeake StoutPearl Necklace Chesapeake Stout
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English Stout
Ranked #74
Ranked #35,518
3.72 | pDev: 13.17%
Flying Dog Brewery
Maryland, United States
Pearl Necklace Chesapeake StoutPearl Necklace Chesapeake Stout
Notes: Formerly Pearl Necklace Oyster Stout

Everyone's favorite bivalve contributes to more than your grandmother's pearls. They are a vital part of the Chesapeake Bay's ecosystem, but the population is a mere 1% of its historical peak. Since its inception, proceeds from Pearl Necklace have helped the Oyster Recovery Partnership plant millions of baby oysters in the Bay.

Brewed with Rappahannock River oysters.
Hops: Perle
Malts: Roasted barley, midnight wheat, carapils, black.
Yeast: English Ale
35 IBU
Reviews: 256 | Ratings: 1,327 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Singlefinpin
3.9/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this in a tap room about a month ago, before the pandemic closed restaurants, tap rooms and Breweries for sitting.
Appears dark brown, with a tan foamy head and lacing.
Smells, malty, chocolatey, much like any good stout should smell.
Taste follows the nose, until it hit the back of my palate, then? Pure oyster, don't get me wrong I love raw oysters!
But, the sweetness and brininess were overpowering for me.
Mouth feel is medium for the style.
Overall, an excellent stout, but not one I would order again as it just wasn't right for my particular palate.

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Singlefinpin from North Carolina, Apr 05, 2020
Photo of Bouleboubier
4.02/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

(12 oz bottle, enjoy by 11.16.19; purchased cold single at Shangy's... poured into Belhaven pub pint)

L: brilliantly-clear, dark ruby-brown liquid; finger-high, pale tan foam, slow recede into thin cap... only a little lace, but collar persists

S: roasted barley way forward, background hints of dark cocoa powder, char... wonderful dirty expression and push; perhaps a hint of cardboard-y oxidation

T: not quite expecting the initial hit - a bit like a blend of an American brown and a robust porter; the finish shifts back to the expected flavors: roasted barley, soft piney hop, coffee with sugar; relatively cut/dry underbelly, while to the top of the palate clings a mild peppery spice... second sip is like coffee-infused chocolate milk - lovely; nutty note emerges halfway through

F: bit of a smooth bounce to its body up front, but then it quietly slides away in the finish, leaving a fair amount of roasty-spicy static keeping a hum throughout the palate roof, while the floor is washed with a thin oily slickness... comfort, sustenance, but overall weighs down not

O: undeniably boldly-flavored, if a bit all-too-familiar in its character... can't remember the last time I had a textbook, toasty-roasty, American stout like this; I'd easily order another... good to know money won't be wasted on a sixer (1622)

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Bouleboubier from New Jersey, Nov 19, 2019
Photo of EnderFett11
4.1/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ordered at a restaurant and had an inch of creamy nitro head when it arrived. Creamy feel, just like a good nitro stout should be. Dark brown color, maybe 80% opaque. Good malt flavor, a bit of roasty flavor, but not overpowering. Very solid nitro stout, would definitely get again.

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EnderFett11 from Virginia, Sep 02, 2019
Photo of A45yearoldman
3.78/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Delicious stout, strong smell of chocolate and brine, nice roasted aroma and taste too. Tad bit salty but that's the point of using oysters I guess. Not too sweet, surprisingly smooth as well, mild carbonation.

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A45yearoldman from North Carolina, Feb 15, 2019
Photo of VoxRationis
3.73/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Decanted from a 12 oz (355 ml) bottle into a conical pint glass at Horsefeathers in Tarrytown, NY.
A: Pours an nearly black color with mahogany highlights on transillumination. Minimal tan head resolving rapidly to a rim, but decent rings of lacing.
S: Aromas of sea salt, cocoa, and molasses.
T: Palate follows the nose, although with more of an earthy, woody flavor.
M: Medium bodied with low effervescence evident. A bit thinner in the mouth than I would have expected.
O: A solidly constructed English (oyster) stout. Saltiness a tad overdone and a bit watery. Enjoyable enough.

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VoxRationis from New York, Oct 28, 2018
Photo of GuyFawkes
3.92/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

"Enjoy by 10/18/18"; drank 9/13/18 @ the Yarchives.

Opaque dark brown appearance.

A violent pour yielded a nice tan head; nice lace.

Fresh earth, sea salt & mild chocolate notes in the nose.

Medium creamy mouthfeel.

Fresh earth, cream & mild milk chocolate flavors up front; dry sea salt notes on the finish.

Interesting & drinkable, but a bit too heavy on the saltiness...which may have been the point.

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GuyFawkes from Illinois, Sep 14, 2018
Photo of pizzabutt
3.09/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

appearance: pitch black with an inch high bubbly tan head. the head dissipates fairly slowly into a nice cap. good lacing.

smell: dark chocolate. briney and a little smokey. a bit meaty.

taste: yeasty, salty. tastes like a classic stout, very roasty, but has a flavor of briney-ness from the oyster. bitter.

feel: thick, moderately carbonated. on the drier side.

overall: a decent stout but it isn't quite sweet enough for me. it's pretty unique because it's brewed with oyster but the oyster adds a briney taste, although it isn't unenjoyable. i wouldn't go out of my way to get this.

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pizzabutt from Maryland, Apr 16, 2018
Photo of Buck89
3.79/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a pint glass on tap at BWI. An opaque dark brown color with a modest tan head that settled quickly into a cap. Roasted coffee, cocoa, and toast on the nose. Similar flavors on the taste with a rich quality. Some floral notes and a nice Sibley bitterness to balance things out. I did not detect any oyster or salty notes. Overall a really nice stout.

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Buck89 from Tennessee, Oct 08, 2017
Photo of jmdrpi
3.73/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle, into pint glass

pours an opaque black color with a thin tan head. aroma is fairly mild for a stout - but pleasant roasty and chocolate notes. taste is fairly balanced, medium bodied.

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jmdrpi from Pennsylvania, Sep 24, 2017
Photo of Lone_Freighter
3.9/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

First time I ever had this was actually my first oyster stout, back then I had no clue what to expect.
Here are my most up to date observations for an "oyster stout" style and how close Flying Dog's meets these standards.
This was poured into a mug (traditional glassware for the style).
The appearance was a stiff dark brown close to black color with a finger's worth of eggshell white foamy head that swiftly glided off into oblivion. Lace? Well, it trickled into the beer appropriately.
The aroma started off with some sweet to roasty malts, somewhat like coffee and chocolate and then developed some "briney-ness"/saltiness.
The flavor was basically the same as the smell and pulled into a little bit of earthiness. Semi-salty sort of roasty aftertaste.
The mouthfeel was about medium bodied with a fair sipping quality about it. I'm thinking the "saltiness" is starting to become a bit distracting as it ran over my tongue. Low amount of carbonation did feel fine. ABV felt as projected by the brewer.
Overall, though "oyster stouts" aren't a recognized style on Beer Advocate, I see why English Stout was used for this. I get it, as for Flying Dog's version of this, this is actually a pretty good take on it - aromas and flavors felt spot on. But what holds this one back just a bit was some excessive "saltiness" in the feel.

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Photo of cjgiant
3.95/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

On tap:
Pours near black body with a decently thick, large head. The latter is lasting and provides slowly dissipating sheets of lacing.

Nose is slightly smoky roasted malts - but nothing overpowering. Fairly classic, though there's a light tangy notes that I might imagine is briny, but it's not obvious.

Nice roasted malt flavor that is mild on the bitterness. More medium coffee, with a feel that is similar to cold coffee - maybe a tad heavier. That said, for a 5.5% beer, it's not bad. Similar to the nose, there's another note in there that is hard to place. I'd actually go more minerally than briny in the taste - but it, too, is light (though it builds a little through the drink). This seems to accentuate a lean to the drier side but still far from "bone."

I liked the relative (to ABV) strength of this beer's flavor, while it stayed light enough on feel to be enjoyed without sipping.

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cjgiant from District of Columbia, Jun 14, 2017
Photo of basaywhat
3.56/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle. Pours dark brown with small, creamy, beige head and nice lacing. Aroma is of toasted malt, bread crust, herbal hops. Body is medium and smooth. Taste is of toasted, bready malt, coffee, salt, oysters, brown sugar, burnt grain and herbal hops.

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basaywhat from Illinois, May 10, 2017
Photo of JayQue
3.79/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pretty good stout. Pours a dense, dark brown (almost black) color. Hardly any light gets through. Big frothy tan head with good retention and thick patches of lacing. Aroma is roasted malt with a little salty/briny smell. The salty/briny element is there in the taste too but it takes a back seat to chocolate and coffee as the secondary flavors. The roasted malt is still the main flavor. Mouthfeel is smooth and rich with a little rough balance from the saltiness. The oysters are more a side issue than essential to the beer. This is mainly a solid every-day stout.

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JayQue from Virginia, Mar 05, 2017
Photo of drtth
3.83/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

The beer pours out into a Duvel glass black in color with a 1" dark tan head that recedes slowly but visibly, leaving behind a ring of thick, leggy lacing. Eventually there's a thin irregular island of foam over at least some of the surface. Sipping creates scattered patches and legs of lacing.

The aromas include some chocolate, a touch of coffee, some dark roasted malt, and a bit of brine.

As expected from the nose, the flavors include chocolate and some coffee. The slight sweetness is counterbalanced by some dark roasted malt and a bit of dry bitterness in the background. The bitterness seems more from the roasted malt than from the hops.

The mouth feel is medium bodied and quite smooth with the gentle, persistent carbonation. The finish begins as the touch of sweetness starts to fade, to be followed by most of the other flavors. The ending is dry, has some lingering coffee, dark roasted malt bitterness and a bit of saltiness from the brine.

While not an exceptional stout, I found this a nicely drinkable one. I could see having another one and would love to try it with a batch of oysters. While I won't be including it in my regular rotation I'll probably get some once in a while as a change of pace from my regular line up.

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drtth from Pennsylvania, Feb 13, 2017
Photo of BB1313
3.44/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Enjoy by 2/2/17. 12oz bottle poured into a tulip. Pours almost black with a fluffy khaki head that fades leaving solid retention and decent lacing. The aromas are full of malts. Mild hints of cocoa and dark fruits. Some graham cracker in the mix. Lots of barley and grains. The flavors basically follow the nose. Lots of malts and grains. Mild hints of smoke and cocoa. It finishes pretty clean and refreshing. The oysters seem to almost go unnoticed. Not too salty. Alcohol goes unnoticed. Mouthfeel is light with very active carbonation. It's smooth and easy to drink.

This is an alright stout. There's nothing wrong with it at all, but it's kind of boring and the oysters don't seem to shine. Besides that, it's a solid example of an English stout. It's clean and refreshing though.

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BB1313 from Ohio, Jan 29, 2017
Photo of woodychandler
3.76/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

I recently completed a horizontal of Flying Dog beers as a part of the ongoing eradication of the Bottle Backlog here at Chez Woody, but now it becomes incumbent upon me to pick up the strays (sorry) as they become available. I recently captured this 'Dog at the FGBS.

From the bottle: "Stout brewed with oysters"; "Brewed with Rappahannock River oysters"; "Proceeds benefit Oyster Recovery Partnership (ORP) [-] For every bottle of Pearl Necklace sold, ORP plants 10 oysters in the Chesapeake Bay."; "Everyone's favorite bivalve contributes to more than just your Grandmother's pearls. They are a vital part of the Chesapeake Bay's ecosystem, but the population is at a mere 1% of its historical peak. Since its inception, proceeds from Pearl Necklace have helped plant millions of baby oysters in the Bay."

The previous put me in mind of Lewis Carroll's "The Walrus and The Carpenter". If those baby oysters just would not be so trusting of outsiders & follow the eldest Oyster's lead and not leave their beds, they might not have this surfeit of their population!

I Pop!ped the cap and began a fairly heavy-handed pour. I watched in fascination as a pseudo-cascade began to form a massive two-plus fingers of dense, foamy, deep-tan/light-brown head with good retention. Color was Dark Brown to Very Dark Brown (SRM = > 27, < 34) with ruby highlights. Nose was rich and charcoal-chocolaty, more towards bittersweet or baker's chocolate with a burnt/charcoal quality. Mouthfeel was a bit on the thin side, not watery, but not as full as I prefer in any style of stout. The taste was chocolaty, all right, but much sweeter than the nose had led me to expect. It was more like a liquefied milk chocolate bar. Amazingly, I was not getting any of the charcoal coming through on the taste, making it a very pleasant, easy-to-quaff beer. Finish was semi-sweet, very chocolaty, but not so sweet as to be sugary or cloying. It was not a bad beer, but I am just not a huge fan of Stouts, so unless they put it in a CAN, this will be satiating for me.

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woodychandler from Pennsylvania, Jan 28, 2017
Photo of maxdeusphallis
3.85/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Color is dark ruby - almost black - but clear. More of a porter than a stout.

Smell is a little smoky. Some mineral aspect. Toast, malt, no real hop aroma. Slightly smokey.

Taste is subdued. Sort of like Guinness extra stout but less forward on the malt and chocolate grain bitterness.

I detect a mineral note - like oysters or clam strips. Very faint. That along with the smokey malt is very intriguing.

Carbonation is light - almost no head. Very nice beer. Complex but in an almost dainty way. Not a bold stout character.

The faint smokiness is very nice. A "sessionable" stout. Bitterness is very light. This is one of my favorites. But if you are expecting Old Rasputin, Yeti or Ten Fidy type stout you will be disappointed. Think more of Guinness with a mineral note and less chocolate bitterness.

Very nice for what it is trying to be.

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maxdeusphallis from North Carolina, Jan 09, 2017
Photo of moodenba
3.41/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Good craft brew stout. Fairly straightforward. Nice balance of roasted malt and hop bitterness. A slightly rough mouth feel could be considered a feature or a defect?

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moodenba from New York, Nov 13, 2016
Photo of sokol_1993
4/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this at Hanks' Oyster Bar, DC on tap.
A great one, nothing bad about it. Quite malty and a balanced amount of hoppiness. Went great with oyster and seafood.
One thing I did not know is that stout, or at least this particular one, is exceptional with Shiitake mushroom. It brought out so much flavor from the mushroom that I was shocked.

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sokol_1993 from California, Oct 26, 2016
Photo of Vader444
3.53/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle pour into 2/3 pint glass.

A generic stout appearance, not too much to say about this. I searched long and hard for anything that may have been attributable to the presence of bivalve molluscs but, to be honest, I failed. Don't get me wrong, this is a solid, well made and tasty stout; I just hoped for something different. Now I know. Cheers!

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Vader444 from United Kingdom (Scotland), Oct 02, 2016
Photo of 1000lbgrizzly
3.73/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Dark brown body, fluffy soapy light tan head, no lace. Nose contains deep roasted malt and dark chocolate, a bit of biting coffee. A touch of cream flavor mollifies these dark flavors and their bitterness, which is a shame because the smell was really nice and dark, and powerful. Medium-light body, restrained carbonation.
Perhaps the oysters provided that creaminess in the flavor, in which case I'd prefer this beer without them. The nose had me excited for a dark, brooding, yet, at 5.5%, drinkable beer. It did manage that, but the flavors didn't quite live up to the olfactory promise.

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Photo of 88caprice
4.12/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bottle into a nonic pint.

Overall: Loved it, but its characteristics are hard to pinpoint to me.
I thought the oysters might make it a bit of a novelty, but it's actually an excellent English Stout.

Looks dark, nearly black. Some light passes through with mahogany-ruby highlights. Thin tan head.
Smells sweet and roasty, some mineral/soil qualities that are hard to describe.
Tastes great. A nice roasty char taste with a lasting perfume. So enjoyable.
Full body. So smooth and creamy.

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88caprice from Virginia, Jun 23, 2016
Photo of FriedSlug
4.09/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Dark black beer with a tan head. It leaves a bit of lacing The nose is roasted malt, briny sea mist and chocolate. The taste is a sweet, chocolaty, roasty, salty and delicious. Pretty solid stout that is a nice blend of chocolate and salt.

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FriedSlug from North Carolina, Jun 13, 2016
Photo of EmperorBevis
3.79/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Jet Black body with tan head that clings to the edge of the glass
Aroma of coffee and chocolate cake
Nice roast flavour with silky aftertaste and some subtle bitterness
Easy drinking decent stout

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EmperorBevis from United Kingdom (England), May 20, 2016
Photo of OldSwampy
3.59/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

I like stouts and the Steadman art on Flying Dog labels amuses me. I wondered what the "oyster" aspect of this would do, and I still wonder exactly what the oyster content is. But in general I found this to be a rather middle-of-the-road stout.

Color is dark brown, head was minimal and light tan. Nose was typical stout malts and a bit of toasty barley. Was there a fishy hint, or is that my imagination? Tasting yielded a typical mix of dark malts with a bit of hoppy overtones. Mouthfeel is pretty straightforward, as is the aftertaste. I guess I anticipated more individual character than I could find here. Good but not exceptional. I'd be glad to drink more but I won't seek it eagerly. Like many stouts, allow this to warm to a proper stout drinking temperature (warmer than a typical refrigerator) or you'll miss some of the flavor.

Bottle poured into a glass; bottle stamp reads "095A16" and it tastes fresh enough.

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OldSwampy from Virginia, Apr 14, 2016
Pearl Necklace Chesapeake Stout from Flying Dog Brewery
Beer rating: 84 out of 100 with 1327 ratings