5 Star Oyster
5 Star Oysters are Atlantic Oysters (Carssostrea virginica) grown in Massachusetts West Bay on the south shore of Cape Cod. Twice daily tides keep salinity levels in the bay high. The oysters are rack and bag cultivated off the bottom which protects the oysters from predators, gives them more room to grow, and by keeping the oysters off the bottom, they do not have to filter as much mud and sand to get the nutrients they need to grow. Oysters grow faster with growing method and it produces deeper cups but also does not toughen the oysters up so their shells are more brittle.
The oysters run 2.5" to 3" with most close to 3". The caps are bone with a light green wash, darker green on the new growth, some algae growth near the lip and some purple stripes on a couple. The caps are more brittle than the cups which are polished bone with brown stripes on the low spots and a light green wash. Most of the cups are medium plus depth. The cups are relatively smooth with moderate to low ridges. The shape is oval to teardrop.
The meat fills the cups leaving room for about 10% liquor and is pinkish tan with some gray with the gills ranging from light green to purple black. The aroma has elements of sea breeze, seaweed, sea shore and some light meat. The liquor is big and salty and the saltiness carries through to the meat which is at potato chip levels of saltiness. The meat is big and rich enough to take the salt. The oyster's meatiness with cucumber and seaweed suggests a fresh salad with a hint of chicken and pork and a trace of smoke. It finishes with a light metallic note. I am drinking an AleSmith Decadence 2016 - an Imperial California Common clocking in at 9.5% alcohol by volume. It is a big malty beer featuring nuts, brown bread and traces of caramel with a light touch of sweetness and a mild, fruity fermentation character and a slightly drying finish. The beer's bitterness is low. The beer's malt and the oyster's salt suggest salted caramel but the beer's breadiness with the oysters stimulates thoughts of a brown bread oyster sandwich with some light green salad on it. The combination of salt and sweet, bread and meat make a near perfect match. I rate the oysters and the pairing 88.