Dodge Cove Marine Farm grows Dodge Cove Oysters on several leases on the upper half of Maine's Damariscotta River. The 19 mile long Damariscotta River is a drown river valley and a tidal river where fresh water and salt water ecosystems mix. Tides up to 11 feet high and carrying up to 30 billion gallons of nutrient rich water surge through the estuary each tidal cycle.
The oysters are grown in suspended culture and then bottom finished south of Hog Island. The bottom is silt over clay. The oysters are roundish to oval shaped and 2.5" to 3.75". The cups are moderately shallow polished bone with dark green in the depressions and a light sandy brown to light green wash. The cups are full with about 10% liquor on the meats to fill the cup. The caps are darker brown with green highlights and become black near the lip. Some have purple rings and stripes.
The oysters have a vegetable, cucumber, seaweed smell with a faint hint of smoke. The liquor is rich and briny with nearly sea water saltiness. The flavor is meaty - chicken to pork - and briny with traces of cucumber, sweetness, and butter. There is a little woodsiness and smoke suggesting something you would eat around a campfire. The oyster finishes with a light metallic note. The oyster is a little membranous but the flavor more than makes up for it.
I am drinking a Venn Brewing Citra Strata NEIPA with the oysters and the beer's citrus notes brighten up the oyster and the two together highlight each other's fruit notes. The oyster's metallic note adds a little drying to the finish. It is a very comfortable pairing. I rate the oysters 80 and I expect the texture will improve later in the season and they will come in at at least 85. The pairing rates 85.