“Black Is Beautiful” Beer Review: Solemn Oath with Coffee
Tuesday at 11:19 pm
This is a shorter review in the Black Is Beautiful collaboration series. I’ve been going through local releases in this series of over 1,200 brewers worldwide, intended to raise funds and awareness for Black causes and social justice.
I learned Solemn Oath Brewery in Naperville had their version of the Imperial Stout available last Saturday. I was able to make a swing there on my way from a Jewel/Osco in Naperville, where they were roasting freshly harvested Hatch green chiles on site. It’s been a thing with me ever since Mrs. Naut and I did a Rt. 66 trip that took us through Santa Fe, NM during chile harvest, with roasters selling from every corner. Oh, excuse me, I got distracted. But there are now several servings of green chile mac & cheese in the fridge.
So I got to Solemn Oath, which had their impromptu beer garden set up for the weekend. The chef from Dark Horse Pastries was there. Beigniets were advertised, but I’d already had a donut that morning, so I went with the protein load of their smoked chicken on a biscuit, which was full on yum.
The commercial version of Solemn Oath’s “Black Is Beautiful” had already been put into cans, and gone out to their retail accounts. But they still had a draft-only keg, which had coffee from Manbot Coffee Roasters. They were also on site selling bags of the coffee roast that had gone into the beer. Proceeds from sales of the Solemn Oath variant go to support the Chicago-based organization My Block, My Hood, My City.
I’d figured I might only be able to enjoy my beer on premise, so I put up my iPad and taped a quick tasting. The video here has some extra shots added to explain and to correct my mistakes about the other parties at the event. But the beer? Here we go:
A thick, oily stout, with a thin ring of tan foam around the edge. This has a smell of concentrated coffee, but not too alcoholic; just lots of roast beans. The taste is full of dark coffee. After the first few sips, I can kind of figure out the malt roastiness as well. It’s nicely sweet, and then there’s a note of cream, just enough to let it feel a little smooth.
After I was done, I had to check out 2 Fools Cider, since their tap room is just across the parking lot from Solemn Oath. In these COVID times, this counts as a pub crawl. Their Chocolate Cherry cider called my name from the menu board. I found this to be a nice sweet cider, kind of a break after a lot of dry or tart ciders. The cherry flavor was plentiful, and added to the sweetness. I could only catch a bit of chocolate at the edge of my tongue. But still, it was great to have a sweet, fizzy cider in the warmth of the day.
And I knew when I recorded my “remote” that there was background music behind me from Solemn Oath’s PA system. If I let it onto my video, the record company that owned the songs heard would be claiming my non-existent click revenue, or even have it removed. So I “dropped out” the audio whenever I stopped talking to sip the beer. I also found that iMovie has a “noise reduction” setting that knocked out more of the background noise with only a small effect on my main narration.
I’ve also gone in on making a title thumbnail for my video. Partly because everyone else does it, also because I’ve got dozens of videos where YouTube picked out a shot of me holding a beer with my mouth open.