Lighthouse Brewing Co. – Desolation Imperial Oyster Stout Review
You may ask yourself what is an Oyster Stout? – the BC Craft Beer answer is the latest release from Lighthouse Brewing Company. In all seriousness this beer is actually made with the use of Oysters. Sourced from Desolation Sound’s Okeover Organic Oysters this bottle even has an allergy warning on the label. Don’t get me wrong there are no chunks of clam floating around but there were oysters involved in the brewing process.
Lighthouse Brewmaster Dean McLeod discusses the addition of Oysters, “Firstly, we had to choose an oyster. There are a lot of growers in BC, mostly around Cortez Island, in Barkley Sound, and Okeover inlet at the southern end of Desolation Sound. I contacted a number of growers whose oysters seemed to fit the flavour profile I was looking for, and we received a really enthusiastic response from the guys at Okeover Organics, Chris and Andre. Oyster selected, we then had to wait for three consecutive clear PSP tests for the fishery to reopen following a red tide event in those waters. That hurdle overcome, the guys brought their oysters down to the brewery, we shucked them all and then brewed with them the next day. The briny juice was saved from inside the shells and was added halfway through the boil along with the oyster meat, which we chopped just beforehand to better extract the flavour. The oyster shells went into a mesh bag that was secured to the inside of the brew kettle for the duration of the boil. The spent oysters were left behind in the whirlpool tank, and the spent shells were returned to the ocean.”
It is pretty spectacular what you can do with beer!
The Desolation Imperial Oyster Stout pours from the bottle a deep, near black colour with 2-3 fingers of head which settles without a trace on the glass. Through the head comes notes of toasted malt, toffee and chocolate – no shellfish here… The Desolation’s mouth-feel is thick, heavy and very smooth. A creamy feel is soothing and silky which can be partially attributed to the oysters. A coffee and chocolate flavour comes through up front and simply makes you want to curl up by the fire. A boozy base is hidden by the strong flavour but still warms your throat as it goes down. As far as the Oysters go there is not much actual flavour from them, other than perhaps a light saltiness, silky texture and slight undertone the obscurity is just in the name. Whether you like Oysters or not this is a beer to try – don’t let the name scare you as it is really quite nice. A strong, heavy and warming beer for a cold winter’s day. Plus, there is a story to tell!
Alcohol – 9.3%
Size – 650ml
Price – $7.99 (Craft Retailer)