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Silent Night - Mother Earth Brewing

Not Rated.
Silent NightSilent Night

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

106 Reviews
THE BROS
97
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 106
Hads: 402
rAvg: 4.02
pDev: 12.69%
Wants: 134
Gots: 142 | FT: 14
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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Silent Night Alström Bros
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Reviews: 106 | Hads: 402
Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.17/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to leschkie for sharing this one at the post Bruery Reserve Society party bottle share!

2011 vintage.

Pours an opaque super dark brown with a tan head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt and cocoa powder. Taste is also of dark roasted malt and cocoa with a very nice balance between the flavors. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good stout that is quite tasty and easy to drink. (536 characters)

Photo of Thorpe429
3.48/5  rDev -13.4%
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. (850 characters)

Photo of brentk56
3.65/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Arrives with a pitch black colored liquid topped by a mocha cap; both the retention and lacing were decent

Smell: Boozy bourbon on top of roasty chocolate and coffee tones

Taste: Burnt sugar, dark chocolate and a hint of coffee, up front, with a bit of hops arriving in the middle; by mid-palate, the boozy bourbon starts to impact the profile, adding a vanilla tone; after the swallow, the bourbon is dominant, leaving a harshness in the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body (lighter than expected), with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Not.a bad first effort but still needs a bit of work to find the right balance points; I have a bottle but will put a bit of age on it before I give it a go (714 characters)

Photo of emerge077
4.27/5  rDev +6.2%
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. (694 characters)

Photo of mikesgroove
4.16/5  rDev +3.5%
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 (898 characters)

Photo of oberon
3.83/5  rDev -4.7%
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. (732 characters)

Photo of womencantsail
3.97/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Mark for sending this one to me.

A: The pour is surprisingly lively and overcarbonated. Almost black in color with a huge tan head.

S: Smells pretty nice. Lots of roast and dark chocolate with a decent coffee aroma. There is a bit of char to it as well as some burnt sugar, licorice, and just a hint of dark fruits. Really complex and good.

T: The flavor is quite as good, but still nice. Dark chocolate, coffee, brown sugar, char, and plenty of roasted malts. Just a little bit of licorice and molasses and perhaps a dark fruit character.

M: Medium in body with a fairly high level of carbonation.

O: I was impressed by this beer. The nose was quite nice, and the flavor wasn't half bad either. (710 characters)

Photo of TMoney2591
3.92/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a glass mug.

Thanks to VDubb86 for sharing this bottle!

And here I thought I was done with Christmas songs until next December... This thing pours a straight black-brown topped by a finger of sandstone foam. The nose comprises coffee, bourbon, vanilla, light oak, roasted malts, and chocolate milk. The taste amplifies the bourbon over the roast and the vanilla, slightly o'erpowering things, though not excessively. The chocolate has darkened, embittered slightly. A subtle alcoholic burn lurks in the very back. The body is a hefty-leaning medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a lightly chewy feel. Overall, a nice big stout, but a bit unbalanced and weak for me. Good, but nowhere near spectacular. (722 characters)

Photo of Kegatron
3.66/5  rDev -9%
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. (1,977 characters)

Photo of Jason
4.39/5  rDev +9.2%
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. (928 characters)

Photo of russpowell
4.12/5  rDev +2.5%
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 (706 characters)

Photo of Rifugium
3.95/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark brown-black color with a surprisingly large tan head that retained well and left a bit of lacing on the glass. Lots of roast in the nose, dark malts, coffee, cocoa, oak, slight fruit esters. More of the same in the taste, roasty dark malts, coffee, cocoa or unsweetened chocolate, woody notes, with subtle hints of dark fruits and anise. Body was about medium, carbonation was moderate, but a bit more prickly than I'd expect. Nice beer overall. (450 characters)

Photo of MasterSki
3.39/5  rDev -15.7%
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. (878 characters)

Photo of chinchill
3.62/5  rDev -10%
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. (281 characters)

Photo of dbrauneis
4.24/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Served on-tap at City Beverage in Winston-Salem, NC

A: Pours an opaque jet black in color with some very light notes of visible carbonation and just a hint of very dark amber highlights. The beer has a two finger tall dense foamy dark mocha head that slowly reduces to a thick film covering the majority of the surface of the beer with a thick ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate to significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of dark roasted malts underneath much stronger aromas of freshly ground coffee and bourbon. There are some light to moderate notes of oak and vanilla with hints of dark chocolate.

T: Upfront there are some moderate flavors of dark roasted malts with just a hint of anise. After the malty flavors, there are moderate to strong flavors of espresso with some dark chocolate and just a hint of oak. Finally there are strong flavors of bourbon and vanilla with a light touch of alcohol.

M: Slightly heavier than medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Creamy with a light amount of alcohol warming in the finish. Just a touch of dryness.

O: This beer is delicious and meant to be slowly sipped and enjoyed - it really went well with slowing checking out the different beers available for sale at City Beverage and I didn't want the glass to be finished. Definitely one to get again, unfortunately there were no bottles available. Love the intensity of the flavors and aromas on this one. (1,450 characters)

Photo of mothman
2.97/5  rDev -26.1%
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. (426 characters)

Photo of mdaschaf
4.42/5  rDev +10%
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. (877 characters)

Photo of ShanePB
4.08/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750 ml corked and caged bottle, received in a recent BIF. I decided Christmas night was a pretty fitting day to open this. Shared with family, poured into a miniature snifter.

A: Deep black body with dark brown highlights on the pour. A foamy rising tan head forms and settles out at an acceptable rate. There's some nice lacing on the glass and enough of a cap for me to be happy with.

S: Lots of roasted and toasted malts and wood. Dry oak with rich bourbon in the back end of the aroma. Throughout are some bitter dark chocolate elements, underlying to the very dried out barrel nature of the nose.

T: Dry oak wood is dominate on first sip, the matured bourbon blends very well with the malty base of the beer. Certainly the barrel is the focus of this beer, but there are really nice dark roasted malt undertones. Bitter bakers dark chocolate, caramel and red wine are in the back.

M: Fairly bubbly, slick and a bit oily on the mouth. Medium bodied, balanced carbonation, this is a nice feel. Dry on the palate.

This was a really nice surprise from Mother Earth. I've had a few of their other beers and wasn't overly impressed however this is one of their gems. The bourbon and oak are very well integrated to both the aroma and taste without being overpowering. My only complaint, and not even one at that really, is the dryness of the beer was a bit too noticeable. Otherwise, very nice. (1,398 characters)

Photo of stakem
3.99/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

750ml corked and caged bottle into a snifter. The brew appears black in color with a tan cap. Some spotty lace sticks to the glass and a swirl revives a finger edfortlessly.

The smell is roasty with a scent of char, earth, molasses and some raw oak. It is leathery with a bit anise and tobacco coming out as it warms up.

The flavor inckudes bitter roast, earth, tobacco and raw oak. Some leather and anise in the aftertafte. A bit of something almost like cinnamon spice emerges as it warms up.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest amount of carbonation. Overall a pleasantly roasty offering that really opened up and showed it's complexity as it warmed up. My only gripe is that the barrel presence felt more raw and harsh with oak instead of deep, blended and smooth. I would drink this again. (804 characters)

Photo of tdm168
4.5/5  rDev +11.9%
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." (864 characters)

Photo of smakawhat
4.13/5  rDev +2.7%
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. (780 characters)

Photo of Alieniloquium
4.17/5  rDev +3.7%
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. (578 characters)

Photo of Georgiabeer
4.72/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

An absolutely superb beer, and one that I think is underrated on Beer Advocate. Pours very dark brown, almost black, with a thin tan head. Lovely aromas of coconut, cream, vanilla, Bourbon notes, charred wood, and a nice nuttiness. Very smooth and integrated in the nose. The taste is similar, but what a smooth, well integrated package. There is also a nice burnt sugar note, but this doesn't come on too strong or overwhelm the other flavors. This beer is an excellent example of how to successfully utilize a Bourbon barrel to age a beer. Everything here is beautifully balanced and complementary. Superb job! Very, very smooth- graceful power on an elegant frame. (667 characters)

Photo of GarthDanielson
4.29/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

2013 vintage, cork and cage. Poured in a snifter, the beer is an opaque, blackish-brown coloring with a tall, dense, small bubbled, chunky head of a solid inch that doesn't appear to be going anywhere. Aromas of bitter roasted coffee, hints of campfire smoke, bittersweet chocolate, and woody characteristics. The nose just begs you to bundle up and sip this brew. Flavors are heavily roasted forward, with coffee bitterness followed quickly by the subtle charcoal and smoke of a fireplace/campfire. Creamy highlights, with bittersweet chocolate darting in and out of the palate, and the beer also has some charred wood notes. Very interesting, and very much tailor-made for cold weather and plenty of time to sip. Heavy and smooth in mouth, with a velvety feel as it clears your taste buds. The finish is smoky and bitter, with a coffee linger. Solid brew, very robust and rich, and damn tasty. Glad I snagged some of these to age a bit. (938 characters)

Photo of HopHead84
4.12/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

6/26/2011

Bottle opened by Andrew (womencantsail) at Stone Sour Fest 2011, thanks!

A: Looks like a Russian Imperial Stout. No surprises here. Dark in color, bordering on black with a respectable brown head exhibiting good retention.

S: Molasses, bourbon, dark chocolate, licorice, and roasted malt. There's a decided nuttiness in the nose that I don't often get from beers of this style, it's an interesting and enjoyable touch. The various components are well balanced. I get a whisper of vanilla. Smells nice.

T: Again, the characteristics are balanced: black strap molasses, dark chocolate, coffee, oak, and bourbon. There's that nutty quality again. The bourbon is well integrated with oak and a mellow bitterness. Alcohol is faint.

M: Upper medium to lower full in body with moderate carbonation. The mouthfeel is silky, smooth, and sticky.

Overall: A nice barrel aged Imperial Stout. A pleasant surprise in a sea of acetone. Recommended. (949 characters)

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Silent Night from Mother Earth Brewing
90 out of 100 based on 106 ratings.