Dabob Bay is the largest of the Puget Sound's Hood Canals' bays, extending north off the canal. Dabob Bay is Nearly 400 feet deep at the sill dividing it from the Hood Canal and has a maximum depth of 633 feet. It is 2 to 3 miles wide and 13 miles long and the bay is ringed by dense, evergreen forests. The bay's waters are cold and low in nutrients. The water has full oceanic salinity varying between 3.1% and 3.5%. The tides are medium and the currents in Dabob Bay are less than the Hood Canal's currents. Cold water and low nutrients slow the oyster's growth. The oysters grow about 1 mile north of Dabob Bay's mouth in inter-tidal areas with sand and rock bottoms. Waves and tides strengthen the oyster's shells while the exposure of the oysters to air during low tides causes them to clamp shut, strengthening their abductor muscles, firming up their meats.
The oysters are oval to slightly teardrop shaped and average 3" to 3.25" long. They have a rough look like an old boxer, with gnarly and prehistoric looking rough pitted green to ashen caps with a few barnacles here and there and moderately deep cups with an ashen algae green cast. The aromas are medium plus. An initial tidal pool smell draws back slightly to reveal some pine, fruit, vegetable, spice and faint anise.
The liquor is wonderfully salty and briny while the meat's texture has an almost celery or water chestnut crunch. There is just a slight gristle on the finish that is quickly overlooked due to the richness of the flavors. The flavor is meaty with some Brie and mushroom and the first bite releases a bit of sweetness. There is a background seaweed, celery, cucumber melon flavor that is unfamiliar but pleasant. I am drinking a Nectar Creek Waggle Wildflower Session mead with this and the combination of flavors evokes a wilderness charcuterie plate with hints of cheese, meats, vegetable and fruit. The mead pulls more vegetable flavors out of the oyster and cleanses the palate in preparation for the next oyster. The mead also brings out a slightly astringent mineralness in the oyster that peaks out in the finish and provides some drying. I rate the oysters 93 and the pairing 88. The mead does its job but a more robust companion might dial the flavors up a notch.