Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Pearl Necklace Oyster Stout

First saw this at the Wine and Cheese by TCC in Plainfield. I immediately bought a bottle. Then when Jen and I went back the next day, we sat and enjoyed breakfast outside in accompaniment of another bottle, just so I could know what I was in for. Reviewed Wednesday Afternoon after a late night at the brewery til 3:30 AM.

Appearance: The head stood at a 1/2" as shown in the picture. Its consistency was an assortment of fine and medium sized bubbles with a beige to brown cream color. The beer is predominantly black, but with a faint clear brown red transparency when held to very bright light.
Aroma: The scent is mildly roasted with a subtle mineral aroma, more than likely derived from the oyster shells. Similarly,  I also get, and not surprisingly even a brief note of that seafood stench (stench in this case is not something that is overwhelming or even easy to pick out, but still a present character)
Taste: The flavor is actually quite surprisingly palatable. An ideal stout flavor, reminiscent of roast and chocolate, and even a malty toastiness. However what is present in this stout as opposed to other normative varieties is the calcium flavor - a result of the strong presence of the CaCO3 (Calcium Carbonate) present in the shells. Definitely a beer with a relatively higher pH than others. The carbonation does a minor hit to the flavor up front, but what comes about is a soothing chocolate roast presence towards the end. The finish and on into the aftertaste continues to encapsulate this flavor.
Mouthfeel: The body is smooth and rich, while the mouthfeel takes on a slight chalkiness. If it was my guess, I'd say they also (in addition to Oyster shells) used a heavy dose of the CaCO3. Carbonation is high up front and minorly dries the palate aside for the glutton slickness residing on the roof of the mouth.
Overall Impression: The best impression I've had to a typical stout I've found yet. My stereotype to these beers usually is defined by my expectation that if a brewery uses a unique ingredient, they'll amp up the body and alcohol, but Flying Dog did a fantastic representation of a far-out brew that remains extremely palatable and drinkable. I'm getting a six-pack of this when I see it, and you should too. The more I think about it, Flying Dog easily makes it up there with my top 5 breweries. They were there when I first started getting into craft beer, when I PR'd in my races (See Barley Wine) and continue to impress me.


  1. Tim, I went to dinner in Holland today. I know you were busy, so I didn't want to bother you. I definitely plan on coming back in the future, so we'll try again later.

    My uncle loves breweries (it's one of his hobbies to ride his bike to craft beer places), and he really enjoyed it at NHBC. He had tried Mad Hatter before (he loves his IPA's) since that and a few other NHBC choices are available in bottles here in New Buffalo.

    Hopefully next time I'm out there we can meet up. My mom is ready to go back already since the Berry Cider she's been dying for was gone. Apparently it has great reviews online, and she was really looking forward to it. Oh well, next time, right? :)

    Here's my blog of the trip:


  2. Oh, and I referred my uncle to your site, so I hope you see some more hits on your page. Keep up the good work!

  3. Thanks Stephanie. Wish I could have seen you. Hope all is well. I dig the post and really like your blog. Keep it up.

  4. An ideal stout flavor, reminiscent of roast and chocolate, and even a malty toastiness.