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Silent Night - Mother Earth Brewing

Not Rated.
Silent NightSilent Night

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
92
outstanding

391 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 391
Reviews: 112
rAvg: 4.14
pDev: 11.11%
Wants: 137
Gots: 137 | FT: 15
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: 391 | Reviews: 112
Photo of CalbeDacks
1.25/5  rDev -69.8%

Photo of bobhits
2.16/5  rDev -47.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Pours possibly the deepest black you’ll see. Even held to sun light only the slightest hints of light shine through on the rims. Marginal head, and no real legs here are a touch underwhelming.

This beer opens with and I know this sounds odd, but apple cider as the primary aroma. The beer warms more and the notes from a sharp and acidic coffee aroma starts to jump out. There are light notes from the bourbon oak, but certainly nothing overt. The alcohol is amazingly out there given the beer is only 9%.

The flavors open again much like the notes with a citrus and fruity apple/apple cider flavor with dark malts, chocolate and oak. Warmer this beer takes on a more traditional stout flavor with the citrus flavors numbing and perhaps some coffee.

Low on carbonation and HIGH on alcohol is the only way to describe this one. Give it enough time sitting out and eventually the alcohol bite will let up.

This is an odd beer to say the least. It takes on a lot of fruity flavors that some of the hoppy stouts can get, it never really gives you any strong indications that bourbon barrels were used. Overall an interesting beer, but it doesn’t really do anything for me. That said reviews for this are all over the place so it might be worth trying again. All and all if one could get this cheaply I think it is worth a small sample as it is very different even if it doesn't really do anything well.

Photo of billshmeinke
2.45/5  rDev -40.8%
look: 5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Huge four finger mocha head. Pitch black body.

The nose is quite oaky with malted milk balls and some dark fruits in there. Really not all that impressive.

And the taste is slightly less impressive. Bitter, burnt espresso, lots of oak a touch of bakers chocolate and yeeeah that's about it.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied very tannic. Well carbonated for the style.

Pretty underwhelming overall.

Photo of Arbitrator
2.66/5  rDev -35.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Chilled bottle into a glass. Generously opened by MrFootstones. Thanks, Brian! From notes.

A: Pours a dark, opaque brown with a fluffy, long-lived tan head. No lacing or curtains, but it's fairly lively for an imperial stout.

S: Dark chocolate, some coffee. The strongest smell is roasted grain bordering on char; I tend not to like this approach to the style, and its dominance here is a turnoff.

T: It takes a burnt espresso/grain approach to lead the flavor, which (as noted above) is not my preferred take on an imperial stout. Tannins are well-developed, and there is a strong presence of dark chocolate. A small element of bourbon and caramel. Lacking in nuance and development.

M: Light-medium bodied, with aggressive carbonation (for the style) that accentuates its thin-ness. I actually don't mind imperial stouts that aren't total sludge, but when the flavors are underdeveloped, the cumulative effect is disappointing.

O: I really wanted to like this considering the travesty of the trademark situation. But it's just not an enjoyable beer.

Photo of KickInTheChalice
2.68/5  rDev -35.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 750 mL bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: This pours a nearly black mahogany color, slightly transparent, with a huge tan head. Somewhat quickly the head fades to nearly nothing, with no lacing left on the glass.

Smell: The smell is fairly simply roast coffee and vodka. Some smoke and light caramelized sugar exists in the background.

Taste: The taste is unfortunately the same as the aroma. It starts out with some roast malt and a fair amount of bitter chocolate. An overwhelming and unpleasant booziness exists throughout each sip, substantially detracting from an otherwise decent flavor. Some brown sugar and earthy tones are also present, but they kind of get lost in the malaise.

Mouthfeel: The carbonation is very rocky, even with a little creaminess it would be tough to call this smooth. It also has a light to medium body, which is not what I would expect - it's strange and off-putting.

Drinkability: The strange light feel and intense boozy nature of this beer despite not having THAT high of an ABV really do not make me want to drink it again.

Photo of XmnwildX12
2.75/5  rDev -33.6%

Photo of TheDudeRules
2.81/5  rDev -32.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a Darkness snifter.

My 3oz pour is very black with a full two finger mocha colored head. The smell of bourbon creeps from my glass. Pretty powerful. I come back to it a second time after a gasp of air and I find a little vanilla trying to come through. Sipping time. Holy crap is this beer carbonated. Way too much. Distracting even. Getting past that I find some bakers chocolate up front accompanied by roast and char. Then of course the booze heat wave in the throat. This beer burns a touch. After the sip settles the aftertaste is rather awful. I wasn't a fan of this beer.

Photo of BBS323
2.96/5  rDev -28.5%

Photo of mothman
2.97/5  rDev -28.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a fizzy tan head. Color is black.

Aroma: Whiskey, oak, and bourbon flavors. Chocolate as well with some cocoa. It is fairly hoppy.

Taste: Super roasted with coffee, chocolate, and cocoa flavors. It has some hot bourbon as well as oak and vanilla.

Mouthfeel: Hot and fizzy. Full bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Ends boozy.

Overall, I wasn’t the biggest fan. Too much carbonation and too hot. Not for me.

Photo of mwbrady12
3/5  rDev -27.5%

Photo of cardsfan
3/5  rDev -27.5%

Photo of t0rin0
3/5  rDev -27.5%

Photo of kbutler1
3.06/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle. Thanks to UMNBeerhunter for breaking this one out. Poured into a tulip glass a pitch black brown color with a slight tan mocha head. The head is by no means thick and as viscous as I would like in an IS. The nose is a heavy dose of dark chocolate, leather, barrel, and slight booze. To me is smells a touch "hot". My first sip, the thing I notice the most is the medium/light mouthfeel, too light for me for this style. The flavors are boozy mixed with dark chocolate, leather, and molasses all highlighted with bourbon. Dry and roasty finish. Overall, a tad let down by this as I wish it was a little less carbonated and had a heavier mouthfeel.

Photo of chippo33
3.14/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 3.25

This fell short of the description

Photo of Sponan
3.15/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

On tap at Barley's, 10 oz serving.

A - Standard black pour with a thin, dark brown head that quickly disappeared. Some lacing, but nothing exceptional to see here.

S - Some smoke/char, a little chocolate and dark fruit. Then my nose hairs were singed by some booze and I could not smell anything else. Outside of the booze, I found the smell to be the best feature of the beer.

T - A hint of chocolate, followed by some coffee and burnt malt bitterness. And then like the smell, my mouth was assaulted by booze. I don't even get much bourbon, more like rubbing alcohol along with some lingering, unpleasant char bitterness. This beer also seemed to be lacking a bit of the malt backbone and sweetness I prefer in the style. Not dry exactly, but hidden by the burning in my mouth.

M - Well carbonated and reasonably thick. I enjoy the feel of this beer. Another strong point .

D - Even sipping on a small glass, I found myself wishing there was a smaller pour. Knowing what this beer costs in a bottle, it is likely I will not revisit. Definitely not if I am buying.

Not sure what to say. I love Mother Earth's regular line, but this beer just doesn't seem like it is ready. I think the base stout needs some work before even considering the barrel aging.

Photo of Sean9689
3.16/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Bottle thanks to cadaugherty!

A - Pours black, tan head, good lacing, whisps on top as the cap.

S - Dark chocolate, lots of booze, oak.

T - Very boozy, chocolate, oak, very very bitter finish.

M - Medium, over carbonated, semi-dry finish.

D - Okay for a BA stout, not something I'd look for to revisit.

Photo of jpro
3.17/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Got the nice looking caged and corked bottle for Christmas. Popped it in the fridge the other night, and decided to bust it out. Served in a snifter...

A: Pours an espresso brown/black with a monstrously foamy / rocky, light brown head (a ton of tiny bubbles form the head on this one - kind looking super carbonated... not so much the "creamy" head variety here). Very fizzy. Foam dies down, leaving no lace.

S: Lightly tannic bourbon notes; some dark chocolate, cocoa and dry coffee; also some malt sweetness floating around, and a touch of dark fruit.

T: Light woody tannins give way to caramel and coffee sweetness; some dark chocolate powder and dry bitterness on the finish; nothing overly flavorful... base beer lacking a bit, methinks... the beer isn't overly flavorful, and the barrel aging didn't lend much in the way of bourbon to this one (although the dry woodiness is definitely there).

M: Letdown; feels way too thin... which isn't helped by the super high carbonation; totally not expected for a big beer like this.

D: Nothing to see here, really; base beer is thin and lacks character; I like barrel-aged beers that don't necessarily reek of bourbon, but in this one, the flavor it imparts is miniscule. Was hoping for more... maybe next year's will be better.

Photo of gfap61
3.25/5  rDev -21.5%

Photo of azdback
3.3/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Stone Imperial Russian snifter. Deep and dark black in color. The tiny carbonation bubbles reach the top to form a honeycomb side and a small light tan and creamy top. Lace doesn't stick much at all.

Smell is initially bourbon barrels. Go figure. There is some vanilla, chocolate and a bit of charred wood. Some tobacco and alcohol as it warms.

Taste is dark red fruit. Cranberries or cherries. The roast and chocolate aren't there in the taste. The alcohol survives though with a belly warming burn.

Mouth is much more carbonated then the start. Stays full to the end with just a bit of alcohol burn.

Overall I enjoyed this. Thanks to MattttYCE for this sample.

Photo of MasterSki
3.39/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Thanks to Chad for sharing this one. Served in a Portsmouth tulip.

A - Pours with a good amount of tan foam that features nice retention, glass-coating lace, and eventually a thin cap. Black body. Very attractive.

S - Alcohol, dark chocolate, some light nail polish and acetic notes, wood, and solvent. Seems way hotter than the listed 9%.

T - Bitter dark chocolate, some char and burnt notes, a bit of barrel. Thankfully the tart notes found in the nose are gone here, and this is definitely less sweet as well. Very bitter licorice and espresso finish.

M - Lower carbonation, smooth medium-full body with nice creamy viscosity. Obvious heat in the finish, but otherwise quite style-appropriate.

D - This is a sipper, and definitely needs more time to cool down. It's not as bourbon-forward the ridiculous Mother Earth but it's still too hot to be enjoyable at this stage.

Photo of Thorpe429
3.48/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle shared by bmanning--thanks, Ben. After reading the initial reviews on this, I was quite excited to try it. Unfortunately, it doesn't nearly live up to the hype. Served in a tulip.

Pours near black with a bubbly reverse-cascading head. This quickly fades into a tan collar with some large carbonation bubbles. The nose is roasty with quite a bit of smoke as well as some charcoal and bourbon. The bourbon is a bit light, with the smoke coming through on a stronger level. There is some definite boozy heat, and this makes its presence known more so in the mouthfeel. Slightly prickly carbonation. As it warms, the nose is still a bit light, though it exhibits more notes of coffee and roasted malt. The finish is a bit odd--harsh and a bit bitter. A bit disappointed in this, though it's not a bad beer. Could probably use quite a bit of time.

Photo of Rhettroactive
3.5/5  rDev -15.5%

Photo of ygtbsm94
3.5/5  rDev -15.5%

Photo of Lantern
3.5/5  rDev -15.5%

Photo of Xandrose
3.5/5  rDev -15.5%

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Silent Night from Mother Earth Brewing
92 out of 100 based on 391 ratings.