Restoring the Chesapeake Bay
A Review of Pearl Necklace Oyster Stout by Flying Dog Brewing Co.
Posted on 5/30/2012 by Chops
                   
Great
Beer brewed with oysters. Muse on that concept for a few moments. By the time I finish this sentence, you should have squinty eyes and a frowny face. This also was my reaction when I came across the Pearl Necklace Oyster Stout from Flying Dog. After a vicious double take, your resulting curiosity forces you to dig deeper into the story behind this beer. As it turns out, Pearl Necklace is part of a noble project to restore the Chesapeake Bay. Proceeds from the beer go to the Oyster Recovery Partnership. Well then, props to Flying Dog for one hell of an emotional redirection. ''What the?! Oh, neat, I can get behind that.'' Let's get started.

In the glass, this beer has a deep dark brown coloration, not quite black. It comes with a frothy tan head that dissipates at a normal pace. On the nose, I detected a pleasant roast that reminded me of an earthy coffee. There is also a strange vanilla-like sweetness to the aroma that I couldn't properly identify. To be honest, I have no idea how the oysters are going to affect the smell or taste, so I'm just going to chalk up any anomaly to them.

The mouthfeel is what initially caught my attention on the first sip. It has a light-mid body and exits in a flash. As a result, the flavor train is very quick and takes several sips to grasp. There isn't much complexity to the brew, more or less a solid base roast with coffee notes and some hop bitterness on the finish. It's pretty easy to drink and doesn't offer up that aggressive wallop common with Flying Dog brews. Just imagine a solid basic stout with a really quick flavor train. As with the aroma, it's hard to see exactly what the oysters are contributing or taking away. It's definitely a fun beer to study, but nothing groundbreaking.

Overall, Flying Dog's Pearl Necklace Oyster Stout is a solid tasty brew. I wouldn't get too hung up on the oyster part because their influence is barely noticeable, if at all. It's a good session stout for seasoned beer fans and an easily approachable basic stout for novices. Since Flying Dog is well known for their gut-punching brews, Pearl Necklace seemed a bit out of place in their arsenal. But at the same time, I can totally get behind the cause and see the reasoning for a brew with a bigger reach. After all, this brew has a job to do. So pick some up and contribute to the restoration of Chesapeake Bay. Cheers!

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Pearl Necklace Oyster Stout by Flying Dog Brewing Co.
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