Silent Night - Mother Earth Brewing

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Silent NightSilent Night

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395 Ratings

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Ratings: 395
Reviews: 112
rAvg: 4.14
pDev: 11.11%
Wants: 134
Gots: 139 | FT: 17
Brewed by:
Mother Earth Brewing visit their website
North Carolina, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: atsprings on 11-26-2010

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 395 | Reviews: 112
Reviews by nhindian:
Photo of nhindian
4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from notes. Had at a Pittsburgh tasting a bit ago.

750ml bottle split and poured into a Stone taster. Thanks to crosamich for sending me this!

A - Pours a very dark brown, like a midnight black on a starry night. It really does give the impression of a calm, peaceful winter night night as is depicted on the label rather than a foreboding, ominous stout. It quickly builds a 1.5-finger, dark mocha head with good retention and silky lacing that coats most of the glass.

S - The aroma is full of strong roast and is rather quite smokey as well. If the appearance gave any hint of mildness, the nose quickly puts this notion to rest as it is bursting with a bold bouquet. There is a bit of char, drawing from the fireplace on the label, as well as some dark, pitted fruits. Underlying notes of bourbon play throughout the nose.

T - Right from the start the roast is incredibly flavorful and big. As in the nose, there is a lot of smoke, char, ash, and a hint of soy here among the concoction. This gives it a sweeter side mixed with some bitterness. The bourbon is actually a bit more mild than what I was expecting, but it is pleasant and smooth. Rich chocolate and a smidge of alcohol heat linger in the finish.

M - Mouthfeel is thick and heavy, giving it a full-bodied feel with low carbonation. the finish imparts a sweet, smokey after-taste. It is a little syrupy due to the low carbonation, but it doesn't impede the palate.

D/O - Drinkability is medium. This is definitely a bold beer that takes me by surprise. I don't know if it was the label or what, but I was really expecting a more subtle, overly sweet kind of stout. Although the roast and smoke are enjoyable, but after a while they begin to linger on the mouth that hurts the drinkability a bit. A flavorful sipper with bold, rich flavors.

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.83/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter jet black with a thinner mocha colored head atop,no light got thru this even when held to the light.Aromas were a little lighter than most of the style with chocolate,roaste/coffee,and vanilla standing out.It's much lighter in the mouth than expected but it's not totally a bad thing,it does glide down easily,still I would like a little more body for a big stout like this.Well balanced big stout flavors with the bourbon barrel not being the overpowering presence like way to many of the aged beers,chocolate and roasted notes dominate with the bourbon notes giving off some vanilla in the finish along with some sweet alcohol.This big beer has alot of finesse,as big as it is it's pretty damn easy to drink.

Photo of marvin213
3.7/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A 2010 Especial, it looks like a nitro-pour with that small-bubbly top. Pitch night...fitting. The nose is thick malt. More chocolate than coffee, but both arrive to the olfactory.

Toasted malts on a roasted coffee platter, it's a winter warmer with chocolate and coffee beans. The faintest hop memory lingers only on the finish, as this beer seems more winter warmer than even the most subtle of stouts. On a down note, the coffee is toasted/burnt such that it reminds me of the coffee pot bottom. :-( On an up note, the coffee--an ingredient whose influence I commonly indulge upon--presents itself more pronounced than I remember. Still, 2-years under wrap, it's a relative disappointment to have brought this out. I'm a homer, but I'll save this one for the trades....

Photo of Jason
4.39/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml brown magnum with a bottled on freshness date on the label.

The ale throws down a black liquid with tiny tan bubbles that seem to want to take their time on their ride to the top of the glass. Head retention is a non-issue here, each sip leaves a thin ring of lacing. Hint of boozy fusel barrel juice, vanilla, charred wood, roasted grain and a blackberry brandy fruitiness. Big brawny body with enough smoothness to break up that thick creamy body a bit and a cushy body that is as it settles down on the palate. The flavor lands sweet but with a charred slightly smoky backing, burnt sugar comes to mind as well. Hops take second seat. Faint bourbon note though there is a definite pull on the palate from the wood. Very balanced and almost too drinkable for its size. 9% is pretty mellow. Finishes with that dry pull from the bourbon barrel.

Hard to balance near perfection like this in a bigger beer. Very well done.

Photo of Soonami
4.03/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Lauren (ThoreauLikeAGirl) for sharing this bottle.

A-Rocky ochre head tops this dark brown beer. There are huge bubbles and high carbonation that yields a "very vocal head," according to lauren. The lacing is great as is the sustain.

S-Fresh brewed roasted coffe, cooked apple

T- Sweet, dark chocolate with mild coffee. A hint of oaky tannins with warm vanilla. There is caramelized sugar and dates in the middle. The finish is fairly dry with bitter coffee.

M-Despite the high carbonation, good MF and it wasn't too prickly. In fact the high carbonation help to keep the beer bubbly as we let it rise in temperature.

Great little beer, I'd definitely like to have this again.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.3/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Cork blasts off almost taking jh1982's eye out after merely unscrewing the cage in the parking lot of a Wolfpack baseball game! Worries about infection subside when it pours nice and black with ample tan head. Very roasty aroma, didn't pick up bourbon in the nose.

Great chewy roasty presence. Tiny bits of bourbon and chocolate, everything melds oh so nice with this, alcohol heat is tame, if at all. Reminiscient of Eclipse for multiple reasons, none of them being the flavor per se.

Very roasty, like the base beer for Eclipse (Totality). Bourbon and alcohol are not through the roof, this beer isn't about being the strongest or -est anything, its just about being a damn good beer. This definitely is thicker and chewier though.

Balance is its strong suit. A lil wood, lots of roast flavors, little bits of chocolate and bourbon = a damn fine beer, thanks for bringing it fellas. Wish I would have kept the empty to shoot though.

The higher than average carbonation was nice to blend with the flat Papier Brandy, that's worthy of another bump in this overall score.

Photo of chinchill
3.62/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

bomber bottle pours black with a decent head.
Moderate barrel aging effect in the aroma, but a bit stronger than I prefer on the tongue.

Lightly sweet until the finish whereafter bitterness from the hops and burnt grains comes out.

Full, near chewy body. Well set carbonation.

Photo of glid02
4.17/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5


Pours black with a light brown head leaving decent lacing.

Smells of smooth roasted malts with good amounts of smoother dark chocolate with hints of vanilla. Also present are very light amounts of earthy oak.

Tastes similar to how it smells, though not quite as complex. Robust roasted malt flavors up front are joined by solid amounts of mildly bitter dark chocolate. Midway through the flavor profile sweetens with hints of vanilla, carrying through to a moderately bitter ending. Mouthfeel is OK, with a lighter-than-normal body for the style and solid carbonation.

Overall this was a very well done beer that had a good deal of complexity. A bit more thickness and it could compete with the big boys. Worth a shot.

Photo of mdaschaf
4.42/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to GehenHerzog for this one! 2010 Vintage. Review from notes.

A: Pours a nice black color with a small mocha head on top, about 3/4 inch in height. Decent retention with some ok lacing down the sides, some parts it is foamy and some parts rather thin.

S: Nice bourbony aromas, vanilla, and some oak. Some roasted malt and coffee, with hints of chocolate. Very inviting.

T: Similar to the aroma in both flavor in intensity. The bourbon held up nicely over time, very smooth. Nice combination of vanilla and caramel, with some coffee as well. Probably not as much as when the beer was fresh, but I probably prefer it this way.

M: Full bodied with moderate carbonation. Drinks very smooth. A great sipping beer over an evening.

O: A really nice beer. Was a great beer to have on Christmas Eve and went extremely well with the Chocolate Yule Log we had for dessert.

Photo of tdm168
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to jtd1969 for sharing this one.

A - pitch black with a large, brown, dense, foamy head that has fantastic retention

S - huge coffee aromas, chocolate, roasted malts, faint anise

T - huge flavor; coffee and chocolate up front, some roasted malts, some bitterness that's more from the coffee than from the hops, and a faint sweetness in the finish akin to chocolate covered cherries.

M - rich, full bodied, smooth, perfectly carbonated

This was fantastic. It was so complex and each sip opened a new dimension. The nuances are what made this one for me. Amongst the huge, bold flavors there were subtleties such as the cherry notes in the finish and the rich chocolate that weaved its way around the coffee and roasted malts. This is an amazing stout that I will seek out again. It's a bit pricey, but I may break my own rule and claim: "It's worth it."

Photo of dirtylou
4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

oh silent night - the internets have roared about you. is this a result of being one of the few of your style brewed in your state? is this truly a brilliant beer? What is your story silent night?

X-mas eve at Duckworths is the best place to investigate this e-phenomenon

appearance: served on tap, 8.5oz serving, ebony body, creamy tan head. it looks the part, but most do

smell: dry roasted malt, dark chocolate, espresso

taste: Duckworth's has really made my holidays in Charlotte productive. Silent Night is a nice brew, but not necesarily warranting some of the message board hype. Very dry, cocoa, espresso, some piney hops. This is certainly on the lighter side of the style spectrum - tasty and worthy of my first beer of the day, but please, kill the hype train

mouthfeel: dry, medium bodied, creamy

drinkability: good

Photo of Alieniloquium
4.17/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

750 mL bottle poured into a taster. Bottled 12/2012.

Appearance - Not quite inky. Nice mocha head. Medium collar.

Smell - Strong coffee. Bourbon is secondary. Slight vanilla barrel character. Nice chocolate fudge aroma.

Taste - Coffee up front. Bourbon more prominent. More barrel character. Very tasty. Slightly acidic coffee flavor. Fudgy chocolate, but only slightly. Burnt chocolate malt. Slight metallic flavor that I don't love.

Mouthfeel - Dry, medium bodied. Medium carbonation. Not boozy at all

Overall - This is really good. So glad I picked this up. I need more.

Photo of russpowell
4.12/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottled in Dec 2012

Pours thick, effervescent & pitch black with 2 fingers of mocha colored head. Above average lacing & average head retention, nice viscious look to this

S: Rich dark choclate, dark fruit & a touch of boozeyness, some oak & vanilla. Coffee beans are a late arrival to the party

T: Charred grain, coffee, dark chocolate, raisins, & woody dryness up front. More coffee, dryness & charred grain as this warms; some nice dark chocolate & vanilla notes as well. Finishes dry, somewhat boozey, with caramel, much charred grain & subtle coffee/mocha notes

MF: Chewy, smooth carbonation, has some slickness

A very nice/drinkable Imp Stout, didn't rock my world, but it did make me very happy

Photo of Kegatron
3.66/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

750 ml corked and caged bottle into a couple of tulip glasses. Big thanks go to Barscream for sharing this one with me. I must say that I really like the label on this bottle. Very classy presentation overall from Mother Earth!

Pours black as night in the glass, topped with a finger of milk chocolate colored foamy head. This holds tight across the top of the glass, staying thick and rich, and drenching the sides of the glass with a robust and creamy cascade of lacing. Really top-notch look to this! The bourbon is a bit forceful up front of the nose, with notes of molasses, burnt wood, and vanilla, that then move into a more base blend of rich chocolate fudge and roasted malts. Sharp pangs of warmth cut across the back of the nose and add an extra sweet sting to the proceedings.

The taste is similar with the bourbon flavors layered on top; with charred burnt sugars that give way to vanilla, toffee, chocolate, and dark roasted character. There is maybe even a little bit of some leafy hop tones that mingle with the green tannic dryness of the barrel in the finish. The mouthfeel is full bodied and puts some sharpness on the tongue before spreading out into the mouth with more of a creamier feel and then finally getting thick and chewy as you near the swallow. Great overall feel here. The actual ABV seems well hid for the most part but the bourbon really brings a lot of raw heat to this as well.

This was solid for the most part and I really liked what I felt out of that base Imperial Stout as well (I wouldn't mind seeing just a separate release of that). Unfortunately, this got a little too hot at times for my taste. Probably more so than I usually like in a BA beer. Plus it seemed like there could have been a little more of a melding of the beer and barrel flavors as well. Not bad at all for a first time effort from Mother Earth but I would like to see them continue to work and refine this one, as it really has the potential to be excellent.

Photo of thagr81us
4.05/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had at Hobo Tasting #3 with mikesgroove! Served from bottle into a Delirium Tremens snifter. Poured a deep dark brown almost black with a one finger tan head that subsided to a minimal amount quickly. Maintained decent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, wood, and chocolate. The flavor was of roasted malt, chocolate, wood, and slight alcohol. It had a medium-heavy feel on the palate with mild carbonation. Overall I enjoyed this one better on tap if I'm honest. Just seems to lose something in the bottle in my opinion. It still had a nice flavor and aroma though, but it just wasn't all that awe-inspiring. Still worth trying regardless of how you have it or can get it.

Photo of mc4z
3.89/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle into a snifter, split. Pours a dark brown with excellent head retention. The nose has mild bourbon notes, along with some light coffee notes. The taste is pretty much the same with coffee and chocolate at the front and bourbon at the finish. It also tastes a bit boozier than 9%. The mouthfeel is smooth but unremarkable. Overall I like this beer but would like stronger coffee and bourbon flavors when comparing to other beers of this style and price.

Photo of dfclav
4.21/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to n2185 for an excellent trade and the chance to try this one...

A - this is an excellent looking stout. I'd go so far to say it is a perfect example of the style. A fairly slow pour produces a frothy three finger cappuccino head. I had just received this in a trade, and when I took the bubble wrap off the shipping package the cork and cage blew off the bottle. I planned on cellaring it until next winter but so much for that! The beer itself is jet black and the lacing is great.

S - fairly malty with big notes of chocolate, coffee, and a whole bunch of smoke and oak. Bourbon not too noticed but you can tell without a doubt this is a barrel aged beer.

T - truly delicious....the barrel aging was done so well here. Bakers chocolate, coffee, molasses, and burnt toffee. Oak plays a big role and the profile of this beer suits the much more noticed bourbon very well. Hops sit well and finish is dry with heavy vanilla extract. Bakers chocolate aftertaste hangs around forever.

M - prickly carbonation with a fairly thin body. Despite being so light-bodied, it maintains a very good level of creaminess to it. Not too on par with the style but it works with this beer.

O - I really enjoyed this beer. This honestly may be the best looking stout I have ever tried. I think after trying this brew I will definitely be seeking more from mother earth. Very good job guys, highly recommended for stout lovers. 


Photo of Bung
3.97/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tap at Duckworths. Dark brown pour, not all that close to black really. Rocky tan head.

Aroma, Roasty malt, dark chocolate, lighter caramel and vanilla.

Taste is roasted malt again, large chocolates and cocoa. Vanilla, caramel and just a hint of oak or spicy hop presence. Kind of a mocha latte finish that lingers very nicely for a while.

Just a tad much carbonation keeping it from a creamy mouthfeel. Still medium bodied and very easy drinking for the 9%.

Possibly the best organic stout I've tried, possibly better than Pisgahs offerings. After reading some of the bottle reviews will probably not bother at that price point, but this is worth trying on draft.

Photo of emerge077
4.27/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thank you Wil for sharing... tastes like winning.
Review from written notes.

Black with mahogany edges, a finger or so of mocha foam with a creamy surface. Solid retention with some spotty lacing around the edges of the glass.

Wet bourbon barrel, freshly emptied... plenty of whiskey in the nose. Dark fruits, dried plum and figs, brown sugar, oak and vanilla.

Big sweet bourbon notes, woody oak tannins, molasses, plum and fig notes upfront, mild roast and dark chocolate in the middle, aftertaste of oak tannins and vanilla. Frothy feel, medium bodied. Moderate alcohol presence... to be expected. Well integrated Imperial Stout & bourbon barrel character. A sipper, but easily enjoyed.

Photo of n2185
4.1/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a jet black with 2 fingers of milk chocolate head. The head recedes into a nice brown cap that stays with the beer. There is a little lacing, though not much.

S: Semi-sweet chocolate up front followed by a nice mix of aromas of vanilla, oak, and bourbon.

T: Taste is very similar to aroma. There's some semi-sweet chocolate up front followed by a nice mix of vanilla and bourbon. The bourbon is fairly subtle here, not overwhelming you like some or going completely unnoticed. I'd prefer it to be just a notch more present, though. The bourbon leaves a nice, warming aftertaste to go with a slight coffee bitterness.

M: Thick body with a bit more carbonation than most bourbon barrel stouts. Good, but I prefer my imperial stouts to be a bit more creamy textured.

D: Goes down pretty smoothly and avoids being a cloyingly sweet bourbon bomb like some.

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.79/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottled on March 12, 2012, so last year's vintage.
Poured in to snifter.

A - Poured black with a thin layer of light brown head that reduced to a ring around the glass.

S - Roast, chocolate fudge, charred oak, bourbon, vanilla and a hint of coffee.

T - Roast and chocolate fudge from the base beer that integrate well with the barrel characteristics of sweet bourbon & vanilla and toasted oak. Sweet cocoa in the finish. There is the faintest hint of coffee present but the coffee profile has definitely faded away in the almost two years since this beer was bottled. Would like to try this one fresh.

M - Just short of being full bodied. Very light carbonation.

Photo of smakawhat
4.13/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured on tap into a tulip glass.

Super dark walnut black body, with a faint tan creamy cap. Laces nicely, with a faint sense of carbonation present. Real dark and impressive.

Ripping roast grain, a hint of perfect booze and crushed coffee beans coming off a little bit like Kahlua. Grainy but solid.

A bit fizzy, with roast malts and coffee light flavor. A tad hint of wet which surprises myself as the aroma seemed to sense something bigger is coming. Faint estery dark berry fruits on the finish slightly, matching with a nice lingering roast and coffee astringency. Almost hop hinting with a pleasant bitterness and some tobacco notes also.

A real solid stout, even without much of the barrel aging characters present. Not crazy in love here, but a good one to know about.

Photo of wedge
3.54/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

@ Tasty Beverage

Blackish in color with a thin, spotty ring of tan bubbles around the edges. Dark chocolate, coconut, bourbon, and slight vanilla aromas. Bourbon roast, some black malt sharpness, molasses, burnt sugar, bitterness, fruit, and a charred wood finish. This beer could use some sweetness, and that's something I say too often. Well carbonated medium body and quite dry. Disappointing. It could really use a little bit of richness to add some character and smooth it all out. I'm glad I don't spend the $15+ for a bottle whenever I see it, though I bet a couple years in a cellar would do it some good.

Photo of mikesgroove
4.16/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

and away we go with hobo tasting number four. me and calton in the parking lot of chucky cheese, drinking top 100 beers in crystall glass ware from the back of his trunk. we both have too many issues to get into right now.

the pour was fantastic and honestly could not be improved upon in any way. just a deep, dark black color and a huge, towering head of tan that was going nowehere and fast! rich aroma of chocolate, roasted malts, hints of dark fruits from the yeast as it warms and a sugar, almost vanilla like touch to it that really just sealed it for me. great stout. flavor was more of the same, lots of carbonation here with cocoa, light coffee bitterness, touches of light hops and a nice dose of vanilla seals the flavor and leaves a long finish of the palate.

overall a really nice beer i have to say, very impressed with this offering from mother earth an would love to try it again

Photo of blackie
4.23/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a: served in a tall snifter, the beer is night-black in color and maintains a coating of mocha colored carbonation, light lace

s: a rich imperial stout with a bourbon barrel influence reigned in just enough to allow vanilla and oak to peek through without boozy effect, heavy with dark chocolate, near-burnt sugars - molasses, and dark tree fruits, very nice and borderline deserving of a higher score

m: carbonation light-moderate, body full but not heavy, smooth and silky

t: big roasted body laden with flavors of dark and bakers chocolates, molasses, and toffee taken near the point of burning, sweet and creamy, the bourbon presence is refined - tough to pick up at first taste but certainly there, adding a subtle oaked-vanilla flavor, a complete package of complexity and balance

d: I'd love to and was expecting to be the anti-hype, but this is really good stuff, nuanced bourbon and a well-crafted malt structure make for a nice experience

lunch draft at The Pit, Raleigh

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Silent Night from Mother Earth Brewing
92 out of 100 based on 395 ratings.