Better Beer for a Better World
A Review of Pearl Necklace Oyster Stout by Flying Dog Brewing Co.
Posted on 5/26/2012 by Brew's Your Daddy
Being members of the better beer world allows you and I to proudly present ourselves as a bit different. We tend to prefer quality in our beers as opposed to quantity. It seems we like flavor over, well, a lack thereof. At any given time, we are more likely to try something a little different, as opposed to stubbornly proclaiming ''I won't drink anything but the same thing I have drank for the last 10 years''. And sometimes we are even presented with the opportunity to make a difference in the world by simply pouring a tasty pint. A great example of a beer that encompasses all of what I just mentioned is the Pearl Necklace Oyster Stout from Flying Dog Brewing Company.

As far as the background and intent behind Pearl Necklace, I pulled this from the Flying Dog website:

A dry stout brewed with local Rappahannock River Oysters, Pearl Necklace was initially released as a limited edition brew last November.

We decided to brew it year-round not only because the beer itself was well received, but also because it supports a cause essential to our backyard. Proceeds from the beer benefit the Oyster Recovery Partnership (ORP), one of the region's leading nonprofits restoring oysters back into the Chesapeake Bay.

Drinking Pearl Necklace literally helps restore one of the most endangered habitats on the planet. Here's what ORP Executive Director Stephan Abel had to say:

A healthy oyster reef not only filters the Chesapeake Bay's waters, but also provides habitat for other important marine life such as blue crabs and striped bass. Every oyster we plant back into the Bay will have an immediate, positive impact.

Our goal is to enable ORP to plant at least 1 million baby oysters back into the Chesapeake Bay through proceeds from Pearl Necklace.

So to sum it up, you have a stout...from Flying Dog...brewed with actual oysters...that also supports a good cause. Do I really need to say anything else? You should already be heading out the door to grab some at this point. But if you need a little more convincing, let's take a minute or two to dive into the nuts and bolts of it.

When poured, before you can even take a moment to study it visually, there is an aroma of well roasted nuts that escapes from the glass to greet you. The other typical stout smells follow close behind, but I admit that the nutty introduction is a welcome change from the norm. Pull yourself away from it long enough and you can see that as far as appearance goes, its coloration is a dark brown that is as close to black as you can get, with some mahogany colored edges when held up to the light. About two fingers worth of a light mocha colored head forms on a heavy pour, but it recedes down to a spotty film after just a few moments of sitting. Getting back to the aroma aspect of it, coffee and light chocolate are easily identified, and after a few moments of warming time the nutty smell becomes a bit more defined in the form of hazelnut. There is a sense of creaminess floating around in the nose, and at times there are some light mineral notes that can be detected.

The first taste has an initial introduction that resembles most quality stouts. A slight coffee bitterness is well balanced by a light chocolate sweetness, and while there is an overall creaminess to the mouthfeel, it still has moments of grittiness that really allow you to sink your teeth into it. The nutty aspect of it seems to dwell in the background of the flavor department, but it still has a hazelnut feel to it, and the roasted flavor compliments the coffee and chocolate tastes quite well. At the very end there is a slightly salty, metallic, nutty taste that sneaks in. It is a bit unexpected, and without a doubt can be tied back to the oysters used in the brewing process, but to me it really creates a tasty twist. The best way for me to describe it would be to tell you to think of the taste of sunflower seeds in their shell. I know it may sound odd, but trust me when I say it works quite nicely here.

Flying Dog Brewing Company has always been one of those breweries that seems to dwell on the edge of an already slightly skewed industry. Pearl Necklace Oyster Stout is yet another example in the awesome line of offerings from them of where thinking outside the box equals delicious in the bottle. The fact that it also supports a good cause is just icing on the cake. So regardless of if you are new to the better beer game, a seasoned veteran, a hophead, a lager lover, or stout supporter, I highly suggest you take this one for a spin. Sometimes supporting our environment is more important than your go to style. Luckily for all of us, while we are taking care of the oysters of the Chesapeake Bay, Flying Dog is taking care of our taste buds in the form of the tasty Pearl Necklace. Cheers to us all!

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Pearl Necklace Oyster Stout by Flying Dog Brewing Co.
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