- Brewery – Marston’s
- Ale – Oyster Stout
- Type – Stout
- Origin – Staffordshire, UK
- Strength – 4.5% ABV
- RRP – £1.99 / 500ml
Marston’s Oyster Stout is a traditional stout offered by a mainstay of British brewing. Perhaps this can explain the “traditional” labelling on the bottle which in my mind is quite old fashioned and lacking in precision.
The notes on the bottle label suggest it is best to drink with oysters, other shellfish or just on its own. I haven’t personally contemplated a combination of eating oysters or any other shellfish along with a stout, but perhaps that’s just me being unadventurous.
Anyway, about the brew itself. It pours jet black as any good stout should do and leaves a decent mocha head which is retained throughout drinking. Many stouts have a slightly off cream coloured head but Marston’s Oyster Stout has a head which could be described as very similar to the crema that one would get from a decent espresso coffee.
Upon drinking there is a reasonable level of carbonation, perhaps more than most other stouts.
On the palate the stout is very slightly toasty with no deep bitter notes and no particularly sweet notes either (which is contrary to the bottle notes), however, there is a pleasant slight chocolate flavour and aroma. For a Marston’s ale it is relatively benign. I expected powerful flavours and to either love or hate it whereas it is quite restrained, dare say boring.
Given that it is relatively low in alcohol content for a stout at 4.5% abv and the flavours seem very restrained it would make a good introduction to a new stout drinker to the style.
All in all a pretty inoffensive stout which given its relatively low abv could be a reasonable session beer if you fancy a night on the dark stuff.
Given past experiences of Marston’s and their propensity for fairly strong and sometimes sulphurous brews I expected to dislike this ale but I was pleasantly surprised. Don’t get me wrong, a beer that can be defined as boring isn’t one to be particularly proud of but I have certainly drank worse stouts before.