Imperial Oyster Stout
Great Lakes Brewing Co.

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English Sweet / Milk Stout
Ranked #117
Ranked #4,225
4.16 | pDev: 8.17%
Great Lakes Brewing Co.
Ohio, United States
Notes: Oysters? In beer? Oh, yes, my bivalved friend. We understand the idea might raise some eyebrows above sea level, but there's nothing fishy about this brew. Dive deep into the rich chocolaty flavors and discover the slightest hint of salt in this deceptively smooth Imperial Stout brewed with freshly harvested East Coast oysters.
Reviews: 32 | Ratings: 87 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by ovaltine:
Photo of ovaltine
4.34/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a dark mahogany brown with a fluffy tan head, looks more like a big porter than an imperial stout. The nose is a plethora of rich chocolate notes and a bit of salt.

The chocolate is even more pronounced on the taste - this is a rich, decadent chocolate extravaganza. What really elevates this, though, is the saltiness from the oysters, which provide balance to what easily could’ve become a sweet bomb.

The mouthfeel is full, and there’s no hint of alcohol in this 11% ABV imperial stout. Great Lakes is world class, IMHO.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of Steve_Studnuts
4.05/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big, craggy, quickly dissipating head. Lots of chocolate on the nose. Tastes of bittersweet chocolate. No real oyster notes to speak of save for some saltiness on the very back-end. It lingers a bit. An interesting and ultimately enjoyable experiment.

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Photo of Richter525
4.01/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of Futbolmanby
2.58/5  rDev -38%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Photo of GlennWB
4.62/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Trboley
4.48/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of VABA
4.07/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A-Pours a very dark opaque color with a slight head and lacing
A-Aroma has dark chocolate and hop hints
T-The taste follows the nose with dark chocolate, and slight hoppy and oyster flavors. The chocolate flavor stands out more as the beer warms to room temperature
M-A medium bodied moderately carbonated beer
O-A nice imperial oyster stout with a strong kick

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Photo of jenrhart
3.86/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

I appreciate experimental beers however I don't think this one checked every box. The head had irregular texture, aroma wasn't as strong as most imperial stouts, and the flavor, I think could have been stronger. I'm not sure where the oyster taste comes in. The beer tastes better as it warms, and above average carbonation provides a nice light texture.

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Photo of DigitGrowler
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of MeIquiades
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Riff
4.07/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours nearly black with a small layer of light tan head that lingers about and clings nicely to the sides of the glass. Smell is roasted malts and dark chocolate. Taste is salt, chocolate, malt, smoke, and a present note of hops bitterness. Exceptionally creamy and smooth. Overall it's quite nice and a little different beer for a fun celebration. Not sure if I'll buy a second bottle, but this was certainly worth buying once.

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Photo of Bum4ever
3.89/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Sent by @wesmantooth in NBS BIF #8

L: Dark Brown/black with a one inch tan head.
S: Chocolate and charred malts with a slight salty tinge.
T: Cold this started out really nice with chocolate and charred malt with a slight hint of salt. However, as it warmed the salt became a little too much for me personally.
F: Pretty good thickness and smooth for the percent.
O: I was really liking this one super cold, but as it warmed it became tougher to drink because of the brine/saltiness flavor.

Thanks Corey!

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Photo of Lone_Freighter
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a tulip, the appearance was dark brown pour leaving a black color in the body with a coating of lace after a finger's worth of white foamy head softly dieing.
The aroma has a wonderful blend of sweet to bitter milk and dark chocolate malts. A coming forth of roastiness, sly sweet coffee, some dark fruits ending with some salted wafer/biscuitiness.
The flavor seems to mesh fairly well with the roasty malts, a bittersweet coffee, and some saltiness. Sly aftertaste of sticky malts, and a super light saltiness.
The mouthfeel was about medium bodied with a fine sipping quality about it. Good carbonation. ABV seemed a bit under than projected but I wasn't bothered by that. Nice smooth sticky and salty finish.
Overall, I haven't had many imperial oyster stouts, so, call me new to something of this. I would definitely welcome this beer again if I could.

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Photo of Eddieeight
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Deep deliciously dark brown with a one inch tan head. Very yummy looking beer. Smells chocolatey and like cocoa with a hint of coffee. Rich chocolatey taste with some burnt toffee in there. I can barely tell there are oysters in it as it’s very subtle. Mouthfeel is medium thick and like Guinness. Overall a rich decent beer and an interesting thing to have oysters in the beer.

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Photo of MonDak_Joe1953
4.24/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from 22oz bottle into glass. Label identifies this as a 30th anniversary beer. Label has ABV% as 11%.
Dark brown colored body. Two finger light tan head sticks around as a creamy, bubbly cap. Good amount of surface coverage for lacing.
Aroma has dark roasted malts and dark chocolate. Also expresses some dark roast coffee.
Taste is dark roasted malts and dark chocolate fudge. Has a light level of sweetness which is similar to vanilla. There is a slight salinity toward the end of the taste profile. Not really much bitterness for being an imperial stout, but there is a slight alcohol burn on the tongue and throat.
Creamy and thicker mouth feel, but more toward the dry side of a finish.
Quite rich and tasty, with the oysters adding a little hint of salinity. I like the taste balance of the roasted malts and the cacao nibs. Easy to drink, and the higher ABV% is mostly hidden.

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Photo of undermined
4.65/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours like you would expect, dark and a nice head not unlike their porter , maybe slightly thicker head. ( poured initially at 38f but let warm up slightly ).

All dark and chocolate malt nose but obvious there is cocoa nibs even before you pour ( used a glass that is half way between tulip and snifter) .

Very nice taste overall, inline with the best imperial stouts if slightly lacking in roasty notes.

Very nice clean salty aroma added from the oysters i guess since there is no obvious "seafood" flavor other than a clean seawater sense. overall it is more cocoa nibs than oysters.

I really liked this one , it is not too alcohol forward for a 11% , it has great mouthfeel and balance.

My only regret is I didn't get 2 bottles to see if it aged well but even then, the I didn't want to miss out trying it fresh to see how the addition of fresh oysters played out.

Really worth trying if you like stouts or are a fan of Great Lakes Brewing

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Photo of Kwright
5/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of Bstr72
4.24/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Really great taste in this one. Didn’t really get any hint of oysters but very rich full bodied taste. Large bubble head that dissipates fairly quickly. Wish it was more readily available.

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Photo of 1971bernat
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Zenboy99
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Does not contain oysters.

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Photo of BeardedWalrus
4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of nbrown2844
4.49/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Photo of ahogan877
3.9/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of BergBeer
3.88/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a shaker pint

Look: Jet black with a mocha head

Smell: Rich and roasty. Cold brewed coffee, black malt, burnt toast, noble hops.

Taste: Bitter cocoa nibs, noble hop bite, black malt, and coffee.

Feel: Rich and oily on the palate. Medium plus bitterness. Not sweet at all. Medium plus alcohol.

Overall: A solid imperial stout. Nothing mind blowing just solid. Good one Great Lakes.

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Photo of jkblr
4.03/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

22oz bottled 2018 poured into a Spiegelau stout glass at fridge temp 11% ABV 37 IBU per label. The beer pours very dark brown with khaki colored head. The head builds quickly and recedes slowly leaving a half inch cap of fine bubbles and complete Belgian lacing. The aroma is mild roasted malt and cocoa butter with a hint of sea salt that could be suggested. The taste is medium roasted malt with a touch of milk chocolate that rolls into a savory, not quite medium bitter, finish. The mouthfeel is medium plus bodied with just less than medium carbonation and a semi dry finish. Overall, very good. Everything in this beer comes together very well and it is highly enjoyable and unique. It's around 8 months in the bottle now and mine was just purchased at a place that keeps everything in a very cold cooler FWIW.

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Imperial Oyster Stout from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 91 out of 100 with 87 ratings