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

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Harpoon 100 Barrel Series #36 - Island Creek Oyster StoutHarpoon 100 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

Added by TheManiacalOne on 05-16-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 44 | Ratings: 108
Photo of Marty30
3.01/5  rDev -20.6%
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 jsanford
3.08/5  rDev -18.7%
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 OWSLEY069
3.38/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep amber to black in color with a tan head. In the aroma, a small roast and hints of sweet lactose and coffee. In the taste, a dry roasted coffee, sweet lactose and a bit salty. A small bite and medium to lighter bodied mouthfeel, with a small dry coffee in the aftertaste. A nice stout, but more coffee than expected, and almost like a milk stout.

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Photo of jamescain
3.38/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a shiffer

Appearance: Black with a thin white head about a centimeter thick that fades into a thin ring around the glass.

Aroma: Hints of chocolate and roasted malt with what can only be described as a mineral like aroma.

Taste: Not really much depth, roasted grains and chocolate, with a slight creaminess.

Mouthfeel: Light body with medium carbonation, I was hoping for a little more substantial body.

Overall: It wasn’t my favorite stout but it wasn’t bad either. I didn’t really have high expectations, so I wasn’t really disappointed. It was good, just not something I would pursue again.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.4/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

650 mL bottle poured into a goblet.

Appearance - Nearly black body with a decent tan head. A bit of light passes through. Decent lacing.

Smell - Strong coffee and chocolate aroma. Maybe a bit of licorice. Nice and aromatic.

Taste - Not as good, but not bad. Initial sweetness, but instantly a strong coffee bitterness. The bitterness lingers into an aftertaste that I swear is a bit salty, but that's probably only because it says "Oyster Stout" on the label.

Mouthfeel - Thin bodied, decent carbonation. It holds a long sustained bitterness, but not really any of the good flavors last.

Overall - Not something I'd drink again, but not a drainpour. Not complex at all. The bitterness in the finish is unappealing.

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Photo of bigfnjoe
3.44/5  rDev -9.2%
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 Rhettroactive
3.45/5  rDev -9%
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 pfrdaly
3.48/5  rDev -8.2%
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 MoreThanWine
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a 1.5" mocha colored head. Clear dark raw umber brown. Smell is mainly coffee and dark roasted malt. I'd expect at least a smell of oyster sauce but no. Taste has lots of coffee, dark roasted malt, maybe a little cocoa, and I don't really get oyster but maybe instead a drop of soy sauce. All in all as a stout it has good flavor but as an oyster stout I don't think it expressed the oyster enough. But I'll admit I'm no expert on oyster stouts.

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Photo of jwc215
3.53/5  rDev -6.9%
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 3rdRowTailgater
3.53/5  rDev -6.9%
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 kylehay2004
3.53/5  rDev -6.9%
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 biglite351
3.54/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Considerable orange around the edges. Tall creamy light tan head.

S - Roasty toasty malts with something a bit earthy.

T - Toasted malts with some roasted hazelnut and a hint of chocolate. A bit of a bitter hit in the finish.

M - A little thin with a mild tingle on the sides of the tongue.

O - Drinkable with food, but a little too think for regular drinking.

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Photo of goblue3509
3.57/5  rDev -5.8%
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 tobelerone
3.58/5  rDev -5.5%
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 Chickenhawk9932
3.65/5  rDev -3.7%
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 Onenote81
3.65/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I see that this is listed twice under the "100 Barrel" series (#30 and #36). I think many are still reviewing this under the #30 edition, but my bottle clearly says #36, so the review goes here. This is my first "Oyster Stout," so I'm excited to give it a try. 22oz bottle, split with my wife. Poured my allotment into a tall chalice.

Pours a dark black (surprise) with a finger-width beige head. Wispy lace stuck to the glass after each sip. Nothing in the nose told me that this was anything other than a standard stout -- dark roasted malts, charred wood, coffee grounds. Nice nose. The body was a little on the thin side. Though the ABV is lower, I still expected a bit more heft to this. Mild cocoa on the tongue, toasted malts, light hop bite. Not sure what the oysters add to this as I can't seem to find any aspect that's different than any other standard stout I've had. Pretty average, not that that's a bad thing.

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Photo of mdvatab
3.73/5  rDev -1.6%
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 WesWes
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours a dark brown/black color with a thick frothy tan head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a dry roasted scent that boasts of crystal and roasted malts. It's dry with a touch of caramel sweetness. The taste is decent. Again, it has a dry, roasted malt flavor with a touch of caramel sweetness. The oyster contribution is minimal. It contributes a minor amount of mineral character as well as adding mouthfeel. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is an easy drinking beer, but nothing too exciting.

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Photo of kbuzz
3.77/5  rDev -0.5%
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 devilben02
3.79/5  rDev 0%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours a luxurious, deep chestnut brown color with a thick, creamy beige head on top. The aroma is pleasant but somewhat common for a stout, with notes of dark cocoa powder and charcoal being most prevalent. The flavor is similarly both dryly chocolaty and nicely roasted, with only a faint, dull, vaguely herbal bitterness for contrast. I was disappointed, however, that the minerality of the oyster shells didn't come through at all for me. The texture is great, with a creamy body being punctuated by a soft, fine carbonation. Overall, I was expecting something different and interesting from this beer, especially considering the fact that I had misinterpreted the meaning of "100 Barrel Series" as implying some kind of barrel aging, but it is just a common dry stout. I do enjoy a well-made dry stout, though, so my disappointment was quickly forgotten.

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Photo of vette2006c5r
3.81/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This stout pours a black color with a small lacing head. The smell is very weak and not really present. The taste is very malty some coffe flavors, a nice sour after taste. Strong flavor. Overall a very good english porter from this side of the pond.

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Photo of ghostwalker
3.83/5  rDev +1.1%
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 theboozecruise
3.83/5  rDev +1.1%
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 buschbeer
3.85/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From notes June 4,2011
Session 36
Served in a pint glass

A - It pours dark brown with and inch and a half of tan head.

S - The aroma is smokey, roasted malt with some chocolate notes.

T - The taste is rich roasted malt with some smokiness. I also get some chocolate. It finishes with a slight bitterness.

M - It is very smooth with low carbonation.

O - This is a pretty good beer. My only knock is a burnt taste on the finish.

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Harpoon 100 Barrel Series #36 - Island Creek Oyster Stout from Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
3.79 out of 5 based on 108 ratings.
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