Exhausted by the tedious work and rancid beer, deck swabs O’Sullivan and Freccia abandoned Sir Francis Drake’s Galleon. Days later, they washed up on a tiny island in Tomales Bay where they encountered local oyster farmers John and Terry. Soon, these beer mutineers and oyster mercenaries were feasting on roast pig, fresh oysters and goblets of the Captain’s finest ale. They could think of worse fates than being…Marooned on Hog Island.

21st Amendment Brewing is seldom found lacking for witty names, eye-catching artwork, and delicious beers. The above tale of deck swabs O’Sullivan and Freccia is straight off of the can and is accompanied by some engaging illustrations! But is the beer, Marooned on Hog Island, any good? Let’s take a look:

Appearance: 3.0

MoHI is a stout and so it has the rich, dark color you would expect. More blacks than browns in this stout, it is entirely opaque. Turbidity was difficult to determine but with the right angles, it was determined that this brew has clear seas through and through. The head of this beer is what I found wanting. Little retention and almost no lacing made for a brew with lower aesthetics.

Smell: 3.25

Right up front MoHI hits you with malty notes of sweet biscuit followed very closely by salt water. After being allowed to open and warm a bit more of the toastiness comes to the forefront. Roasted toffee wafts gently through the brine, easing the harshness of the oysters. At 7.9% ABV I expected a wee bit more boozy pepper but none that I could smell!

Taste: 2.75

Up front, there are the usual notes of roast, hint of nutty smoke, and toffee; however, this does not last too long. As soon as the beer passes over the palate a huge wave of brine overpowers the subtle stoutishness. There is a sweetness to the salt and so it is more than palatable, and yet I find myself wanting more balance between the oyster and the stout.

There are fates worse than being…

Feel: 2.25

MoHI is billed as a stout and indeed a stout it is, but the feel in the mouth is far from what I’ve come to appreciate as a stout. It is crisp, carbonated, cutting almost. When left to wander a bit the brew almost burns, the way a soda might.

Overall: 3.0

This brew had some areas I was not too ecstatic about. I know it hosts a novelty ingredient, oyster shells, but I would have preferred they preserve the stout flavoring a wee bit more. The brackishness was saved by the sweetness of the malts, but just barely. Similarly, with the feel, I would have preferred a thicker, richer liquid. I believe that the crisp texture only added to the salt biting through.
However, I did enjoy Marooned on Hog Island! I don’t think it will be a brew I drink regularly, but would I have it again? Sure! My recommendation would be to really let it warm before approaching to let the carbonation settle down a bit while the sweet malts warm through the salt.


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