100 Barrel Series #36 - Island Creek Oyster Stout | Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall

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100 Barrel Series #36 - Island Creek Oyster Stout100 Barrel Series #36 - Island Creek Oyster Stout
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100 Barrel Series #36 - Island Creek Oyster Stout100 Barrel Series #36 - 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:
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

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 44 | Ratings: 108
Photo of bigfnjoe
3.44/5  rDev -9.5%
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 bmwats
3.92/5  rDev +3.2%
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 ghostwalker
3.83/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Light, thin, creamy white head. Dark brown body.

The nose is dry, bitter and minerally. That's probably what they are going for here.

Flavor is smooth and coating, but also tart and minerally. Roasty it is, but not overly so. More balanced and (fairly) light than I would expect a stout to be.

Mouthfeel is light, slick, low carb.

Interesting and different. It's good, but not crazy good.

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Photo of jsanford
3.08/5  rDev -18.9%
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 dacrza1
3.9/5  rDev +2.6%
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 JayS2629
4.52/5  rDev +18.9%
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 chimaylvr
4.42/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

App: poured a dark caramel, one finger head with continuous retention

S: remarkable...has a distinct smokey birch wood; unlike most stouts it doesn't hint of bitter roasted malts; silky sweet smooth, buttery

T: hint of chocolate without any bitterness, like a stout should be...creamy?

M: again silky, not acidic, at all - balance of maltiness and sweetness, light but creamy

O: Several different unique flavors which make this a very delightful stout. The aftertaste of chocolate and charcoal make it flavorful. It has some nice roasting qualities, it really brings the taste out in this beer.

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Photo of MacQ32
3.95/5  rDev +3.9%
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 pfrdaly
3.48/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served from a bomber into a standard bar pint glass.

A- Appropriate color for a stout. Dark red-black with an 1/2 of head.

S- Better smell than most stouts I have tried. Was not able to get a sense of the oyster in it from either smell or taste, but perhaps I did not know what to look for when it comes to seafood and beer. Smell was sweet with a hint of smokiness.

T- Once again slightly better than other stouts I have tried, definitely beyond the name brands in my opinion. It was sweet and savory tasting. Slightly bitter aftertaste. Didn't get a real sense of the oyster, but I may have been expecting too much coming from a seacoast town with a seafood tradition.

M- Wasn't as thick as I thought it would be, but it was by no means bad.

O- Coming from the town where Island Creek Oysters is headquartered, I was extremely excited to try this beer. It did not disappoint me. As far as stouts go its not my favorite, but I definitely enjoyed it.

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Photo of Doshkin
4.07/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

a - extremely dark brown, basically black. lots of head, cream colored, leaves a lot of sticky lacing

s - roasted/smokey/tobacco dominates the smell. i didnt catch any oyster in the smell from my first glass, but i also didnt smell it right away. as soon as i poured the second glass and smelled it, i got a strong oyster smell. for some reason it goes away as the beer settles.

t - all of the roasted/smokey/tobacco comes through in the taste, with the addition of some hints of chocolate and coffee. there is a little hop bitterness in the aftertaste, but it's strange how the actual finish doesn't leave much of a flavor.

m - quite light and carbonated. i get some sort of chalky feeling. the beer isn't really dry at all, but i don't know what other word to use besides chalky mouthfeel

o - lots of unique flavors and smells in this beer! i am usually skeptical when i see exotic words like "oyster" because i often don't see where the word is found in the beer. i distincly found the "oyster" in the smell of this beer when freshly poured.
overall this beer is enjoyable and i'm glad i bought it. if you want a heavy stout, though, you shouldnt go with this one

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Photo of kbuzz
3.77/5  rDev -0.8%
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 mdvatab
3.73/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Found at a great bottle shop in Durham, NC.
Intrigued by oyster stouts in general, and after seeing that this one's actually brewed with oysters, I decided to pick this one up.

Aroma: Nice, malty chocolate, a touch of molasses, vanilla, a bit of earth, but a very faint metallic note. Not a bad aroma profile, metallic note aside.

Appearance: One finger of thick, light tan foam with great retention. Body is dark brown, but the stream of beer is noticeably thinner than many other stouts I've had. (Pours almost like a porter.) Leaves decent lacing.

Flavor: Dry cocoa, carmelized brown sugar, an earthy, mineral note. A very faint metallic twang also comes through here too. Tried to find some flavor attributable to the oysters, and perceived a touch of brine.

Mouthfeel: Very well-carbonated. Medium, creamy effervescence. Body is also medium. As is the flavor, the mouthfeel is a tad bit on the dry side.

Overall: I enjoyed this one with a plate of beef stroganoff, which turned out to be an excellent pairing. The carmelized malt, hoppy/mineral bitterness, and touch of brine worked very well with the beef and hearty sauce. Not necessarily elite "A" material here,
but a unique, tasty brew nonetheless. If you're looking to try a solid oyster stout (that's actually brewed with real oysters!), I recommend giving this one a try.

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Photo of tobelerone
3.58/5  rDev -5.8%
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 3rdRowTailgater
3.53/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown with a large creamy head with good retention.

Aroma is heavily roasted with a faint briney, metallic note. The taste is much of the same, though it does have some slightly sweet characteristics. Like a sweet coffee taste.

Good carbonation and mouthfeel. Overall, it's a better than average beer.

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Photo of theboozecruise
3.83/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into an imperial pint glass.

It's a really dark brown color with a finger or so of tan head.

The aroma is roasted and malty. There's a very slight metallic oyster feel but the roasted malt overpowers it easily.

The flavor is more of the same with the oyster flavor coming put stronger at the back end.

It's a good mouthfeel and a very enjoyable stout.

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Photo of jwc215
3.53/5  rDev -7.1%
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 Marty30
3.01/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

750ml bottle served into a 100 barrel series glass.Poured at fridge temp aloud to warm about 10 mins.

A. Very dark, black no light shines through,a 2 finger tan head rises.Good head retention and nice lacing. looks well carbonated.

S. I get a good amount of chocolate at first smell, then some roasted malt and some smokeyness to it. In the end I get a kind of musty smell.Oysters?

T. Alot of smokyness in here. Roasted malts come through big. A little chocolate. I do get the oysters in the back ground along with some saltiness. I also get a metalic taste like Iron or something,it is a little bitter.

M. The feel I would of liked to be better, it is pretty thin to me and very well carbonated. Leaves a slightly bitter aftertaste.

Overall pretty interesting beer, I was thinking it was going to be a bit differant. Glad I got to try this, I waited to find it for a while.

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Photo of DavidST
4/5  rDev +5.3%
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 kylehay2004
3.53/5  rDev -7.1%
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 goblue3509
3.57/5  rDev -6.1%
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 Rhettroactive
3.45/5  rDev -9.2%
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 shortbus7
4.05/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a snifter.

A: Dark black in the glass and when held up to the light, light comes though at the edges leaving a ruby color, all most like coca cola. No head upon poor with the slightest of lacing around the edge of the glass.

A: Burnt barley and coffee. As the beer warms a slight salty aroma comes out.

M: A little thinner than I like from most stouts but good. Carbonation is right on, enough to bring the flavors through.

T: Burnt barley resulting in a very dry taste, but very appropriate for this beer. Dark fruits are present resulting in a slight sweetness when chilled, but dissipates as it warms. Also, as the beer warms a slight saltiness comes through, a product of the oysters I believe.

O: A very good beer for the price of 5.99. Would definitely drink this beer again. Would like to see what this beer does with some aging.

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

Poured from the bottle into a perfect pint glass.

A. Not quite all-the-way black, and when held up to the light there's more than just ruby highlights around the edge - this beer lets enough light through for it to be just translucent. But only just. There's a good head on it, coffee coloured, with plenty of retention and lace.

S. Charred malt almost all the way, with hints of milk chocolate, espresso and some dark fruits.

T. Slightly sweet at first but then there's a big hit of burnt bitterness which lingers into the finish. Very dry, almost astringent. I think they've hit the roast just right - any more and it would be like burnt toast. If I didn't know that oysters had been used in the brewing of this beer I wouldn't have picked it, but there is the merest hint of saltiness.

M. Medium bodied and smooth.

O. I'm very partial to the highly roasted malt flavours in this beer but I know they're not for everyone. A little bit of sourness added to the mix would make this a fantastic beer.

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Photo of Chickenhawk9932
3.65/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours pitch black with some ruby highlights and a tan head.

Smells of oysters, nuts, crystal malt, and sweet bread.

It is nutty up front with a dry bitter sting, earthy oyster flavors hit in the back of the mouth followed by coffee. This is a pretty dry stout with no sweetness coming through; all in all it falls a little flat.

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

On tap at House of 1000 Beers in New Kensington.

Poured into a stemmed tulip: Black body, finger of soft, tan head that drops to a thick coating. No highlights to speak of, patches of solid lace.

Nutty, mild milk chocolate aroma, light roast, nice but restrained. Maybe it's my imagination or the power of suggestion, but a sandy kind of brininess seems to pop up.

Dark fruit up in the taste, followed quickly by a moderate roast & a dry character. Kind of flattens out & turns to dark bread crust. Ends slightly milky, with a lightly bitter, roasty aftertaste.

Medium full-bodied, both thick & thin, if you can imagine. Sticks around after each sip.

Solid, can't say the oysters added a whole lot, but an enjoyable stout nonetheless.

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100 Barrel Series #36 - Island Creek Oyster Stout from Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
Beer rating: 3.8 out of 5 with 108 ratings