Eagle Rock Oysters
Washington State's Eagle Rock Oysters are named for a rock at the head of the Totten Inlet where bald eagles perch. The eagles have nothing to do with the oysters and look past the oyster laying on the beach to the fish frolicking farther out in the Totten Inlet. Eagle Rock Oysters spend most of their life cultivated by the rack and bag method then they are dumped on the beach for 6 months to toughen up, hardening their shells and firm up their meats.
Shell sizes run up to about 3" - mine are mostly 2.5" but their cups have above average depth and the meat to shell ratio is a little above average. The shells are dramatically fluted. Of the six I have, two are a dark almost black green and the other 4 have a bone background with medium to dark green wash. Turn them upside down, squint a little and they look like rough, rugged little mountains with patches of snow. The caps are darker than the cups with a dark green background with purple and blue highlights. The meats are creamy colored to gray green with green to dark green, almost black gills.
Add a few pine trees and Eagle Rocks would smell like the pacific Northwest. Absent the trees they still smell like a northern, nutrient rich tidal pool bursting with life backed by some background sea breeze. The liquor is salty and brothy with meat notes. The meat starts briny and then it gives way to a mildly sweet Brie taste in the middle and then finishes minerally and slightly astringent with some seaweed notes. The texture is firm, with a lite chew yet the Eagle Rocks dissolve in your mouth. I am eating these with Midnight Moon Super Premium Daiginjo Sake Yoi-No-Tsuki (16.1% alcohol by volume). The Sake and the oysters get along like old pals and are very comfortable with each other. The oysters bring out the Sake some melony notes which help you find some cucumber in the oyster and the oyster's seaweed notes evoke the seaweed wrapping used in sushi. The flavors are big but everything fits like your favorite old pair of shoes. I give the oysters at least an 85 and the pairing 90.