Beer Reviews

Black is Beautiful (Imperial Oatmeal Stout)

Reviews are done by our Sensory Specialist Travis Houston, a Certified Cicerone and FoBAB judge.

A nationwide collaboration kicked off by Weathered Souls Brewing Co. out of Texas, Black is Beautiful presents an opportunity for breweries across the country to join together and show that the brewing community is inclusive, supportive, listening and growing. We are very proud to be part of this collective effort.

100% of the sales from our version of Black is Beautiful will be donated to MORTAR, an entrepreneurial incubator located right near us in Over the Rhine, Cincinnati. Since 2014, MORTAR has been helping to create diverse communities by enabling historically marginalized entrepreneurs access to the resources needed to start & run successful businesses. Like our friends and neighbors at MORTAR, we believe that entrepreneurship can change lives for the better, and we are excited to partner with them in their efforts. To learn more about MORTAR, visit

Malts: Pale, Flaked Oats, Carafoam, Crystal Extra Dark, Black Malt, Chocolate Malt, Dextrose

Hops: Cascade

BiB is a nationwide collaboration. Can you talk a little bit about the background? 

This project was created by Marcus Baskerville, the owner and head brewer at Weathered Souls in San Antonio. He wanted to aid in the fight for equality, and chose to help by doing what he loves: brewing beer. He can explain better than I, so here’s a quote from the BiB website:


With the current tensions that are rising we thought that it was of grave importance to start the Black Is Beautiful initiative. We took a stout recipe and decided to call on our peers in the brewing industry to collaborate in unison for equality and inclusion amongst people of color. All proceeds from the purchase of these releases will be donated to local funds that support police brutality reform and legal defenses.

Please look for updates from your local breweries when this beer will release. If your favorite brewery hasn’t yet signed on, shout us out and tag them with the #BlackIsBeautifulBeer. We appreciate you for supporting our cause and can’t wait for everyone to get a taste of all the variations of Black is Beautiful. 

Marcus B, Weathered Souls Brewing”

What are the notable characteristics of this beer?

This beer is jet black with thick, tan foam. Aromas of baker’s cocoa, dark chocolate, and hints of espresso bean dominate the aroma, almost completely masking the 10% abv. The oats add body and a creaminess to the finish that accents the residual sweetness from the roasted malt, and counters the roasty bitterness. This is a beautifully balanced beer.

What makes you want to drink this beer?

A good stout walks a very fine line, using the bitterness from roasted malts to balance the residual sugars those same malts leave in the finished beer. This high-wire act imparts layers of complexity, including flavors like chocolate, coffee, dark fruit, and molasses. The addition of oats drastically enhances the fullness of the body, adding a creamy aspect, while also upping the sweetness ever so slightly. This beer exemplifies all these characteristics, which is truly a testament to how much thought Marcus from Weathered Souls put into the recipe.


What are some other notable Oatmeal Stouts?

Samuel Smith Oatmeal Stout, Anderson Valley’s Barney Flats Oatmeal Stout, and The Poet by New Holland. Also, I encourage everyone to visit the BiB website, find which breweries local to you are participating, and grab as many of those as you can find. 

Appearance: Jet black with slight haze and thick, lingering tan foam

Aroma: Baker’s cocoa, dark chocolate, molasses, hints of espresso bean

Taste: Sweetness and bitterness are well balanced, leaning just slightly to the sweet side, leading to flavors of milk chocolate and oatmeal cookie.

Mouthfeel: Full, thick and creamy, without being sticky or cloying

Overall: Massive aromas of dark chocolate and cocoa lead to flavors of milk chocolate and oatmeal cookie in this full-bodied, creamy, jet-black Imperial Oatmeal Stout.

What foods would pair well with BiB?

This beer is big and bold enough to stand on its own, but I love pairing stouts with rich chocolate desserts, like cake. If chocolate isn’t your thing, the obvious pairing is an oatmeal cookie.

Ideal glassware for BiB?

A snifter will concentrate all those amazingly complex aromas.