Hammersley Oysters are Pacific Oysters (Crassostrea gigas) grown in the nutrient rich waters of the Hammersley Inlet in the Southern Puget Sound. They start life in a bag on the beach and then are later dumped from the bag directly on the beach for toughening up and shell hardening. The caps look like they spent time on the beach with a thick algae coat mixed with typical forest shore bottom debris. The colors range from light green to purple black. They average 2.5" with a nearly oval shape and have good big cups for their size. More bone shows through on the fluted cups with the low spots tinted purple to algae green. The meat fills most of the shell with the liquor taking up the remaining 10%.
Hammersley Oysters have a northern light tidal pool, woodsy sea shore smell. It has me thinking eating sushi on forest beach in early spring. The texture is full and meaty with no gristle or membranous character. Moderate salt leads the flavor and then settles down to let some cucumber, vegetable and light meaty notes show through with a dab of sweetness and then leaves with a lingering, meaty mushroom finish. There is a hint of butter in there. I am drinking a Neige Apple Ice Wine (a cider from Quebec) with the Hammersleys. The Neige cider has big apple flavors that verge on apple preserves and when the Neige and the Hammersleys get together lightly smoked pork comes to mind as the light funky notes of the cider bring out more flavors in the oyster. The oyster's salt and the cider's sweet work very well together suggesting apple jelly on a saltine with cucumber and light pork which sounds bizarre but works really well. I rate the oysters and the pairing 85 and will certainly have to try them both again. 5-11-19
January 10, 2020 I am enjoying Hamersley's with a Venn Northodox IPA - a New England Style IPA. The oysters have a mineral note on the finish that make the beer's hop flavors pop while the citrus notes in the hops evoke the lemon that some people squeeze on their oysters. The mineral in the oyster also makes the beer juicier while the beer's hop flavors bring out some vegetal sea weed notes in the oyster. Both the beer and the oyster enhance each other very well. The pairing of the oyster and the beer nudge up to 88.