Friday, January 4, 2013

Andy's BD Series: Flying Dog Pearl Necklace Oyster Stout

So as Chris mentioned previously, we've each begun a "Balls Deep" review series, wherein we plan to review as many beers from a single brewery as possible--a brewery-horizontal tasting, if you please.  So I've chose Flying Dog, a Maryland brewing establishment that seems to be everywhere, and has yet to disappoint.  They've got an impressive list of year-round and seasonal brews, as well as quite a few limited released I'm sure I'll have a tough time ever finding.  But so far we've only reviewed Double Dog, their massive double pale ale (it should be a triple though).  But there are many more; so let's dive in, shall we?

type: stout
origin: Frederick, MD
price: $2.50/12oz
ABV: 5.5%
NSP: 7.8

I love, love, love oysters.  But in a beer?  What the hell is an "Oyster Stout", you might be asking.  Don't worry, breweries only use the oyster shells for filtration/clarification (and perhaps a twinge of flavor?) in the brewing process, so it doesn't end up tasting like the salty brine the oysters originate from.  Specifically, the oysters used here are from the brackish waters of the Rappahannock River, an estuary connecting to the Chesapeake Bay (Virginia).

Flying Dog has created a full flavored stout that's rather lean on the booze (5.5%).  The flavors are exceptionally clean though, which means the calcium carbonate and silicates in the shell did their job correctly.  I find it somewhat acidic though, which tends to mask the stronger roasted malt flavors.   (That's fine with me.)  And every other sip I get some faint oceanic-like aroma, which I obviously lend to the usage of the shells.  (This is also fine with me.)

I am thoroughly pleased with this offering, though I think they could bring the alcohol up to 7 or 8% and still pull it off, like Green Flash does with their Double Stout.  The bottle claims the proceeds benefit the Chesapeake Bay Oyster Restoration fund.  For me this is win all around: Good beer, sustainable oyster harvesting, and a healthy ocean.

So cheers, Flying Dog, I'm looking forward to going B.D. into your catalog.

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