Harpoon 100 Barrel Series #30 - Island Creek Oyster Stout | Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall

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Harpoon 100 Barrel Series #30 - Island Creek Oyster StoutHarpoon 100 Barrel Series #30 - Island Creek Oyster Stout

Brewed by:
Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
Massachusetts, United States

Style: English Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
Brewed by Harpoon brewer Katie Tame, 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. This, the 30th installment of the Harpoon 100 Barrel Series, is best enjoyed with a plate full of Island Creek Oysters.

35 IBU

Added by BeerAdvocate on 01-21-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 181 | Ratings: 227
Photo of PorterLambic
3.01/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Arrives black with a tan head. Great lace left behind.
Smell is malt, sweetness and a slight smoke note.
Taste is burnt malt, smoke and vanilla with cigarette ashes midway through the aftertaste.
Medium bodied and smooth with a light effervescence. decent overall but the heavy ash note, an almost over-powering one, is quite off-putting. Without that I would have really loved this brew a great deal more for taste and drinkability, probably 4 or 4.5 each.

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Photo of aepb1
4.74/5  rDev +26.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A- Black with a tannish head

S- Chocolate and coffee and maybe some oyster brine in there too?

T- VERY smooth, mild coffee, tempered by the chocolate and a roasty taste in the finish as well

M- Full, creamy and VERY smooth

D- Very smooth and easy to drink!

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.95/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Fudge brownie brown with orange and gold accents. At least three fingers of golden ecru colored foam is currently sitting atop the beer... and is taking its sweet time descending. Thick streamers of sea foam lace are appearing as the crown begins to fade.

The nose is more straightforward English stout than English stout brewed with chocolate rye and Island Creek oysters. There may be a hint of brine, but that's probably just an overactive imagination. Oh yeah, it smells good.

It's still difficult to pick out the flavor influence from the oysters. Then again, beer that tasted overwhelmingly of shellfish probably wouldn't be very good to someone (like me) who much prefers landfood to seafood.

Specifics include bittersweet chocolate (dominant by far), a black tea leaf bitterness, a light rye malt earthiness, and a very light lactic tang. Warming doesn't change much, other than flavor intensity. For what it was brewed to be, this is damn good beer.

Only the body/mouthfeel falls off a tad... and it's extremely close to holding the 4.0 line. A little more size or more completely integrated carbonation would have gotten it there.

Harpoon Island Creek Oyster Stout is much better than 'sea level' beer. The oysters are pretty far in the background, which makes it that much better for this landlubber. Good solid mid-ABV English stout here. Drink up.

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Photo of joshstevens87
4.05/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A-pours a black slight brown with a tall tan head
S-roasted malt with notes of chocolate and a bit of coffee and a twinge of oyster
T-a smooth roasted malt of choclate and coffee with a little bit of almost saltiness from the oysters overall a very smooth beer
M-very full and smooth creamy body with no carbonation
D-overall a very smooth beer that is very enjoyable and a ood take on an oyster stout

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.1/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a mug glass.

A: The beer is a deep dark brown color, with a short off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of roasted malts, coffee, chocolate and a faint touch of hops.

T: The taste is creamy and very malty up front with flavors of black coffee and milk chocolate. Then a mild but complementary hops presence comes in and brings a very good balance. If the "oyster" part of this beer is supposed to make a difference, I didn't detect it for better or worse. The-after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and very smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down very easily, not too filling, mild kick, very good representation of style, this is a very sessionable stout that is worth drinking for a whole evening if you're in the mood for the style.

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Photo of glib
2.21/5  rDev -41.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I found this beer very unenjoyable. For a stout, I found it to be very watery and thin. The "oysteriness" was impossible to miss, and was manifested by a strong, briny, salty, brackish flavor. It overwhelmed all other flavors, and lingered in on the taste buds for far too long (for my taste.)

I would not recommend.

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Photo of mooseisloose
4.2/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Like to see the 'pooners kicking out some good specialties, and better yet, with good availability, that said, let's give this bomber a whirl. Foil top, nice touch, this is the mark of a brewer who still cares. Cheap as it is I rip it off and lets uncap this puppy. Popping the top yields a very stout-like brew with a fresh smell of roasted malts coffee and dark malts, extraordinaire. Pours into a trusty pint with a "never have seen this dark of a beer color" and a massive pillow head that does not recede like the British did. On the taste it drinks under the head not with it, which is kind of bizarre. One by land, two by sea? Taste is good as one might expect but woah, who is running the centrifuge? The flavor however, rocks, if this is the Clamato of brews, it is a good shot. Very tasty and the mouthfeel does not lack. An interesting offering. I like it.

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Photo of jpa01
3.43/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: It's a dark creamy looking beer with a slight bit of head retention.

Smell: Upon initial agitation, it releases a strong oystery aroma which later faints and becomes more of a fishy-type smell.

Taste: It has a uniquely bitter, salty, roasted malt taste that leverages the flavor of oysters.

Mouthfeel: The beer was smooth for a stout and not too heavy; it's viscosity seemed to change in accord with the temperature.

Drinkability: It didn't seem like an all-day type of beer; but it's definitely drinkable when consumed with the right food.

Overall: I'd say its unique taste and aroma puts it above average, but the salty side of the flavor eventually drowns out any sweetness.

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Photo of htomsirveaux
4.02/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. bottle tried 6 Jun 2010.

Served in the 0.3 L Unibroue snifter. Thick tight dark brown head. Medium carbonation. Opaque dark brown beer. Aroma is roasty, briny and coffeeish. Starts sweet and roasty. Lots of dark bittersweet malts and a touch of the ocean. Briny/mineral finish and aftertaste. Medium body. Mild ethanol. Tasty but not something I would want a lot of.

Reminiscent of Frans' dark chocolate with a touch fo grey sea salt.

Was under the impression that there was a category (or sub category) for oyster stouts.... hmmm...

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Photo of twiggamortis420
4.06/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bomber pours a fairly viscous black color with a large, voluptuous creamy tan foam. Retention is excellent, as is the lacing. Great looking brew.

Nose is roasty and very reminiscent of an irish dry stout. Mildly sweet with a hint of salt. Solid, but not overly complex. Oats in here maybe?

Taste is hearty roast and just enough sweetness to make this right up my alley. A mild briny character comes through and adds some needed depth to the beer. A touch on the thin side, but not a big problem here as it is something I want to drink multiple pints of...nearly chuggable. I really enjoyed this brew, tasty stuff from Harpoon.

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Photo of fastsrt
4.34/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

22 ounce bottle in snifter.

A: deep black in color, thin tan head

S: chocolate, the sea,

T: chocolate, and caramel, there is a briny quality to it. the freshness you get when you eat raw oysters with just a squirt of lemon juice come through.

M: light body, refreshing

D: I will be drinking this one as long as it is around, this is a stout that is enjoyable and at 5.5%, could session this one for hours.

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Photo of bamojr
3.48/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This beer has a nice deep color I like to see when enjoying a stout. It did not retain its head for very long, however, that did not cloud my overall judgment of this brew.

This brew has a very satisfying coffee taste with the addition of the oysters made for a good finish.

Every 100 Barrel Series I have had from Harpoon have been a worthy purchase, and the Oyster Stout is no exception.

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Photo of rabsten
4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bottle to a pint glass.

Nice black body with medium-bubbled brown head. classic stout topping. Good laving but low head retention. still, nice.

Dry roast malt aroma with some savoriness. Salt and malt.

Crisp flavor, with well-rounded body and smooth caramel malt with savory backing. Very nice.

Good, round with some dryness mouthfeel. Quite drinkable.

Overall impression: very nice beer. Glad to see a 100 Barrell series making it to WV. Well worth seeking outl

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Photo of coachdonovan
3.66/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

a hard pour into a mug gives it a fluffy khaki head atop the blackest of blacks. not too much lacing as the foam settles. part of me thinks i get a fish/ocean smell, but that's just my brain impacted by the beer's name. it's more roasty than smoky, and there's definitely more going on than a dry Irish stout. taste is not as roasty as the aroma. i don't know if "salty mineralness" has ever been used as a descriptor, but that's what i'm going with today.

i guess i was expecting something mind-blowing for a beer brewed with whole oysters, and this isn't it. but it's still a good choice if you're a Guinness fan looking for an interesting twist.

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Photo of brownbeer
3.88/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into an English imperial pint glass.A light brown head sits proudly on top of a beer that is the darkest shade of brown without being black. It's well executed and clean with a roasty cocoa powder aroma. The taste is also roasty with a hint of minerality and possibly the faintest touch of smoke. The mouthfeel has an unusual creaminess and the finish is dry-ish. It reminds me of a well made dry Irish Stout with just a few tweeks here and there. I can't imagine Oyster Stout tasting much cleaner than this one.

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Photo of Kaiser81
3.53/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Given to me as an extra by Mora2000.

A - Viscious black with a finger worth of head. It leaves some ok lacing.

S - Roast mixed with a fishy/oystery smell. It's different, but not bad.

T - There are typical stout tastes like roast, coffee, etc., but it's all muted. Also, there's a noticeable saltiness present. Not bad, just different.

M - Carbonation is high, and it had a medium body. Odd for a stout.

D - It's ok, but not a big hit. I like my stouts bigger, bolder, less salty. Glad I got to try it, but not really for me.

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Photo of msubulldog25
4.1/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On an afternoon spent in Manzanita, when the sun plays hide-&-seek behind looming clouds, we opened a 22 oz. bottle and poured to a pair of pints. Sipped alone at first, then as an interesting accompaniment to an aged, washed-rind stinker (in a good way) of a cheese, Red Hawk from Cowgirl Creamery.

May 23 - LOST finale on in a couple hours. An apt choice: a beer with 'Island' in the name...
Pacific surf crashing in the distance, Geronimo Jackson on the iPod...or at least it should be.

A: Deep and dark charcoal, just short of true 'blackness'; let's call it 'Smoke Monster'. Sandy tan head builds to about a finger-high, flaky seafoam lace forms fragmented rings.

S: Like a wrecked fuselage or a roaring campfire, burnt embers emanate from the glass; it's a blended aroma that's musty and earthy and raw. Charred grains, ashy and mineral-rich, a bit metallic. Fleeting sweetness.

T: More smokiness. Something like fish, a slight brine - or is my mind playing tricks? Dark chocolate, an 'Apollo Bar' richness. A lasting bitter tang with a mysterious finish.

M: Though made with oysters, the feel isn't as oceanic as one might imagine. It's smooth and mellow at times, interspersed with some active bursts of carbonation. Kinda confusing, I'm having flashbacks to other stouts I've tried and find this thicker but not entirely satisfying.

D: Pretty damn good, but a one time brew. Lest I figure out a way to bend time and space or travel to an alternate reality where Harpoon Oyster Stout is always around. Maybe it will be cloned. Whatever, I'm drawn to it, like an electromagnet...

Well done, Harpoon & many thanks to a kind New England trader...

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Photo of jlindros
3.75/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Fluffy 1 finger head gives way semi slowly to a dark black beer.

N: Roasted malts mostly, some crystal and dark other malts, slight syrupy, little bitter roasty earthy aromas, chewy malts, and a slight creamy nose.

T: Starts with more roasty dark malts, roasted and crystal malts, porter flavors, slight creamy even. Then a little bitter earthy roasted with a slight briny salty flavor, minerality even. Weird creaminess flavor too, with a little chewy malts and smooth oatmeal like feel and flavor. That weird briny flavor I'm sure stems from the oysters which adds a strange flavor, but could blend well with a very mineral laden heavy stout roasted malt beer.

M: Medium body with good carbonation.

F: Semi dry with lingering roast and dark malts, lots of bitterness and briny flavors, roast with some more minerality, and a little syrupy sweet stickiness. A touch of creamy porter linger as well.

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Photo of cjgator3
3.65/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle

A- Pours a dark brownish black color with a light tan head.

S- The aroma is dark roasted malts and coffee notes with unsweetened chocolate along with a touch of smoke.

T- The taste like the aroma is dark and roasty with dark chocolate flavors and a salty mineral presence as well.

M- The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation.

D- Overall, I wasn't sure what to expect since this was my first oyster stout but it was pretty solid. It probably isn't something I would purchase again but I'm glad I tried it. Worth a shot.

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Photo of thespaceman
4.02/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a chalice. I love oysters so lets give this one a go!

Appearance: Pours a deep black in color, nice tan head emerges and quickly dissapates. Lacing around the glass is very nice and leaves thin wisps of lace.

Smell: Alot of coffee aromas up front, with bits of chocolate and traditional stout properties. I can sense a bit of darker english malt in here, nicely aligned with the rest of the aromas popping out of this brew.

Taste: Not like your traditional stout, I can definetley sense a bit of briny/salt like mixture in here from the Island Creek oysters. As usual, this stout has a nice roasty flavor up front, with bits of espresso bean and a touch of vanilla. Finish consists of a dose of dark chocolate and more of that salty/brine taste from the oysters. Very nice.

Mouthfeel: This one is medium bodied, rolls along the tongue nicely with a nice touch of carbonation. This one sits in the mouth nicely without being too heavy.

Drinkability: I love that you can actually sense the oysters in the beer here, it's got all your favorite flavors from a traditonal English Stout yet the oysters add a more refined aftertaste without coming off too strong. Mouthfeel is excellent, and the ABV makes it right as a good session beer for any stout enthusiast. Glad I tried it!

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Photo of smcolw
3.87/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Nice starting head that is generous with the lace. Dark brown, but not black. Light opaquely shines through.

Classic dark chocolate smells. Very little chaulkiness.

Thin bodied, but otherwise excellent stout flavors of bitter malt flavor. No milk or sweetness, but I can detect subtle hop in the background.

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Photo of gfreed
2.98/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Inky black with a huge head that faded nicely into a puffy ball that stayed for a long time. For a stout, this had a rather weak aroma of the usual suspects-- coffee, roasted Stuff, some chocolate-- but there was also some... rope? hemp? maryjuhwanna? I found it appealing but some may not. The taste was... well, again, for a stout it was weak. There's a dull edge of salt, and while this beer thankfully doesn't taste like oysters you can surely detect something odd. It's not fishy, it's not sea-weedy... it's steely, perhaps. The body is a tad thin; with the low carbonation it feels flat. At the end it had that smack of hoppy bitterness that would have been so much nicer if it was not as prominent. Made me grateful for British stout and its more subtle, fruitier finish. Worth a try for the novelty, but in order for this to be a repeater for me it would need to fatten up a bit and lose some of the sourness at the finish.

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Photo of CampusCrew
4.02/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

appearance: pitch black with some good head rentention and lacing

smell: roasted malt, coffee/chocolate and sublte saltness

taste: not as overpowering of slaty brine as expected. it can be detected though. decent stout with rich roasted malt flavors.

mouthfeel: medium bodied and on the light side for a stout. a few nothces above guinness

drinkability: not bad. glad I tried it.

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Photo of cpetrone84
2.59/5  rDev -30.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A-pours a clear brown colored liquid that shows hues of red in light. the head is coffee colored, thin, with little retention and a thin lace left behind.

S-the nose brings notes of sea salt and fish up front. they are really strange and throw me off, basically a raw fish from the ocean. the stout comes in behind and adds some roasted espresso and dark chocolate in the back.

T-the taste has the same salty fish taste that the nose did but less of it. more dark chocolate in the flavor at the middle than the nose offered, which is another plus. The finish adds roasted coffee to try and bring the stout characteristics back to this beer.

M-this is medium in body. it is extremely smooth and creamy on the palate with low carbonation and slick on the back of the throat.

D-this gets less offensive as it warms up and the malt flavors become more pronounced. still, the fish in beer is off putting to me and I'm not a huge fan of it.

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Photo of drabmuh
4.08/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

No obvious date on the bottle. Beer served in a tulip. Beer is black and forms a 1 finger head that falls away quickly leaving no lacing on the glass. It breaks and clings to the sides. Beer is brown at the corners of the glass. OK, now the beer is leaving some lacing. Looks fine.

Almost a porterish smell high in roasted grains and some sweetness. Slight coffee in there I suppose.

Beer is medium in body and finishes nicely with nearly no aftertaste. There is a roasty bitterness that lingers late on the palate but overall a really nice beer. Second taste, sweet up front, again some coffee in there but its not overpowering. I'm not huge into stouts but I think this one rises above the chaff. I really am enjoying this beer. Nicely done Harpoon.

When can I get some vampire's nemesis in the bottle?

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Harpoon 100 Barrel Series #30 - Island Creek Oyster Stout from Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
3.75 out of 5 based on 227 ratings.
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