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Silent Night - Mother Earth Brewing

Not Rated.
Silent NightSilent Night

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

106 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 106
Hads: 402
Avg: 4.02
pDev: 22.89%
Wants: 137
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
Reviews: 106 | Hads: 402
Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.79/5  rDev -5.7%
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.

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Photo of UnionJack31
4.98/5  rDev +23.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Bottle dated 2012

A- Pores a nice thick black color with minimal mocha colored head that resides to a perfect lace with good retention. A perfect looking stout!!

S- Rich malts and coffee dominate the nose followed by beautiful bourbon, vanilla and oak aromas as well. I could smell this one all day! It is a perfectly balanced nose.

T- More bourbon then the nose. The bourbon, oak and vanilla are up front and the coffee resides in the end. The coffee and bourbon flavors linger well. OUTSTANDING

M- Nice and smooth. Very silky and creamy. Carbonation is perfect for a barrel aged stout.

O- What a great beer, I love this beer and cant wait to try the 2013!

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Photo of kemoarps
4.4/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to brentk56 for sending this along.

Bottle pours an enticing midnight/cola black, with a pillowy brown head that sticks around to leave its mark on the glass as I drink.

I was excited to try this beer when I received it. Putting my nose into the glass is only building that excitement higher. Can a beer smell smoothe? Well, this one does. The bourbon takes the forefront, but does not dominate as BBA stouts sometimes fall prey to. Instead of being boozy and overwelming, the bourbon serves as the platter on which roasty chocolate ushers in a creamy coffee finish.

The themes follow through to the mouth: silky smoothe initially, although the booze does start to peek through as I drink. As it warms, the heat comes out, as it were. Flavours present more coffee than the nose, though there's still a creamy chocolate presence, and the spicy bourbon thread running throughout.

This beer exceeded my expectations. I was hoping it would be pretty good, but it really hits the spot for me. As it warms it loses some of the creamy smootheness and definitely gets a little hotter with the bourbon showing through, but all in all it's an extremely enjoyable drinking experience, and I'm very grateful to Brent for picking this up for me. Drink it. Enjoy it. Also, apropos of nothing, but I really like the label.

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Photo of wedge
3.54/5  rDev -11.9%
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.

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Photo of mhksuccess
4.2/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bottle into a snifter
very nice consistency extremely dark very light head almost none
smell: is heavy chocolate and oak not as much boozy as I would like and is reflected in the taste
Taste: heavy tones of chocolate and not much bourbon as I would like think it needed more time in the barrel before bottling
mouthfeel: is nice possible a little thin on the backside
overall: it is smooth and the flavors work i found it nice enjoyable to drink at the price I would have expected a little more and think will pass in the future

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Photo of bonkers
4.1/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My favorite Christmas present, Thanks Jilly!! It pours tar black, thin tan head, light lacing. The aroma is coffe and chocolate. The flavor is similar to the aroma, some oak, disapointed not to taste any bourbon. The coffee is prevalent on the finish. The beer is highly drinkable for such a big beer, light carbonation, no discernable booze. Liked it, but was expecting more.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Photo of WillCarrera
4.15/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle, bottled on 12/2012, poured into a snifter.

A- Pours a dark mahogany color with a thin khaki head that recedes to a wisp, leaves some spotty lacing.

S- Sweet aroma of molasses, chocolate, bourbon, vanilla and roasted grain. Very nice aroma overall, complex and balanced.

T- Bitter dark chocolate, roast, some molasses. The bourbon is pretty subtle but works nicely. Some oak and mild hazelnut flavor. The chocolatiness is one of the nicest parts of the flavor IMO.

M- Medium-bodied, smooth feel, a bit sticky with some warm booze.

O- This is a really tasty, drinkable beer, the chocolate and bourbon flavors are very nice and this drinks pretty easily. It's pretty expensive for what it is, although still worth a try.

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Photo of ThickNStout
4.06/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750mL bottle from Lucky's (Woodstock, GA). 18.99. Bottled 12/2012. Served in a large snifter.

Pours black with chestnut edges and one and a half fingers of tan head. Small occasional spots of lace.

Smells of cocoa, faint coffee, oak and trace vanilla.

Taste is pretty much what the aroma indicated but with vanilla and bourbon sitting up front with the bitter dark cocoa. Followed by lightly creamed dark roast coffee, brandied dates, oak, mild anise, a hint of smoke/char and dose of booze.

Creamy medium feel with just above average carbonation. The bourbon seems more pronounced in the finish.

All in all this is a nicely balanced bourbon barrel aged stout and by far the best thing I've tried from Mother Earth. A bit too expensive for me to revist on my own dime but a nice one time purchase.

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Photo of Teleweizen2
4.2/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

2011 vintage

A - pours a a pitch perfect black. 3 fingers worth of billowing tan foam with some decent staying power. not something I was expecting from a year old barrel aged imperial stout. Eventually the foam does subside leaving some spotty lacing.

S - aroma is medium intense with all the note playing off each in pleasant balance. Bourbon is still strong along with warm caramel and sawdust. At one point strong notes of vanilla bean ice cream waft from the glass. cocoa powder and syrupy chocolate mingles with city roast coffee notes to create an nuance of mocha. a slight hint of black cherries and raspberries.

T - the flavors of semi-sweet dark chocolate and sweet mocha coat the front palate. The chocolate flavors subside as notes of oily espresso beans, caramelly bourbon, oak, and vanilla shine in the middle. Hints of black cherries on the backend. Notes of bourbon and vanilla linger long past the finish.

M - Full bodied with a silky, velvety texture. High carbonation with tight champagne-like bubbles.

O - A very well done BA stout. A bit pricey but I will say Mother Earth has not let me down yet.

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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

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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.

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Photo of mntlover
4.1/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours black with some ruby highlights its a bar pout so no real head or lace caused by the head. But looks nice enough.

Aroma is nice didn't really know what it was when I ordered figured it was a winter warmer. So I was pleasantly surprised when one whiff told me it was barrel aged stout. Nice bourbon notes roasted malts lots of coffee and light chocolate notes.

Taste is like the nose big roasted malts, good bourbon and vanilla riding on big malt backbone some light boozy. Good big stout an enjoyable sipper.

Mouthfeel is full with a nice mellow carbonation.

Overall nice surprise pick off the tap wall a solid big stout that is very enjoyable.

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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.

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Photo of axeman9182
4.12/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle, generously sent to me by Tiger33. It was allowed to warm a bit before being poured ino my Brooklyn Brewery tulip.

Silent Night pours jet black. About two fingers of tan foam top the beer, filling the glass to the brim. Head retention is very good, and a decent amount of lacing is left behind as well. The nose is very nice, aromas of coffee, cocoa, brown sugar, and a little oak all make themselves known as I lean in towards the glass. The flavor profile maintains many of those same notes, but the balance is thrown off a little bit. Specifically, coffee, which was probably the primary aroma, is a bit more in the background here. It makes room for a bit more of an oaky presence. Dark chocolate and brown sugar remain strictly background notes. The body is just a little bit lighter than one normally encounters. It's still substantial enough, and this makes the beer a little bit more quaffable. Carbonation is just a hair too lively for me, but it's a minor quibble. Silent Night is one of the less bourbon forward barrel aged stouts I've had, but it's also a really nice beer.

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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."

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Photo of brewdude1982
4.77/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer was on tap at Mother Earth's brew pub.

A: dark brown with a thick creamy head with really tiny bubbles.
S: AMAZING! This is something that every person who likes barrel aged stouts shoul be able to smell once before they die. Hints of bourbon with chocolate tht turns quickly to sweet malty goodness ad then caramel.
T: The bourbon hits first and then is quickly mellowed out by the malts. The bourbon is perfect in this beer. It is perfectly balanced by the malts and isn't overpowering or too weak.
MF: amazingly full body with great carbonation.
O: this beer is great and is in my top 10 list for BBL beers

The only thing that would have made this better is if TDM168 could have been in attendance.

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Photo of inlimbo77
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml, Dec. 2010
Bruery tulip

A: Pours a very dark brown/black. Still good carbonation. Good pop on bottle. About a half finger of light tan head. Faded quick but you can get it back up by recirculating. Fluffy pillow like head. Some alcohol feet.

S: Coffee grounds. Roasted malts. Maybe still some piney like hops? Not a ton of barrel anymore on the nose. Some soft vanilla. Caramel as it comes up.

T: Up front, some dark chocolate bitterness. Then you get some sweetness to match that from the barrel I assume. You get some sweet vanilla notes. Like the nose though, it's not a HUGE barrel character at all.

M: It's a thin full bodied brew.

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Photo of zac16125
4.12/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750mL bottle poured into a pint glass
Bottled Nov 2011

A big thanks to Finatic for sending this one over as an extra!

A: Pours an opaque very dark brown, almost black, with lighter browning on the edges. One fingers width of light mocha colored head builds then quickly recedes down to a thin film and outer ring. Leaves a few spotty patches of lacing.

S: Wonderful big bourbon notes and rich dark chocolate, significant dark fruit aromas, a hint of coffee and some booze round it out. Really great.

T: Roasted malts are much more prevalent on the tongue than in the nose. There are also flavors of milk chocolate, black coffee, oak, heavy cream, a decent amount of bourbon but not as much as the nose suggested, some booze. Tasty, but doesnt live up to the nose, and I would have liked more of the bourbon notes to come out on the tongue.

M/D: Velvety smooth with an appropriately low carbonation. Would certainly benefit from being thicker as this one feels a touch thin in the mouth. Drinkablity is good.

O: Overall, a really nice offering here, that I am glad I got to try. Thanks again Finatic!

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Photo of xnicknj
3.78/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

750mL bottle poured into snifter - 2010 vintage - thanks to CarolinaKevin

Pours an opaque black color with a huge, frothy tanned head resting on top. Plenty of carbonation building, leaving webbed, sticky lacing all over the glass. It takes a few moments to calm down, settling into a nicely retained head.

Dark chocolate and roasted coffee beans in the nose. Dark malts and caramel with some oaky char. Light notes of bourbon and vanilla with some warmth.

Warm and robust up front with notes of chocolate and cocoa powder. Coffee beans and toasted dark malts with some sweetness. The barrel character has mellowed out, with oak, vanilla and smoothed out bourbon. There's a bit of a char lurking in the middle that feels out of place as the beer finishes warm and dry.

Fuller medium body, high carbonation, a bit prickly on the tongue despite some creaminess. A solid, fairly balanced imp stout, although I'd like a bit more punch from the barrel and a smoother feel on the palate.

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Photo of marvin213
3.7/5  rDev -8%
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 black...as 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....

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Photo of maximum12
3.65/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to beerness for this 750 ML bottle as part of an excellent trade. Left in the fridge, ignored & sad for too long, now it's out in the open. Breathing. Split with my wife.

Pour is wrought iron black. Amply carbonated for a big, dark beer that's been suffocated in a barrel. Smell plays to form: chocolate, deep malts, barrel is fairly light. I'm craving bourbon. I hope there's a ton in here.

Silent Night is accurate: the beer never spoke to me. And it's night, though I have no idea how it knew that. Big roast notes that weren't real apparent in the nose have the upper hand, bordering on the country of coffee. Barrel is spare, big split, 7-10, the ghost of vanilla past lurking deep in the beer. Little sweet malt & slow-building but ultimately intense oak that starts in the background & comes to bulid a shed around the finish. Bourbon plays hide-and-seek as it warms.

Seems to be a trend that brewers are using bourbon barrels that impart the mildest, sparest hint of bourbon that's quickly lost in the complexities of a beer: here is onesuch. I like the bourbon to complement the beer, not get lost in the maze. Good beer, but hoping for more.

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Photo of Khazadum
4.23/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very easy to generate froth here with a sick amount of sticky lacing. Its unreal how long this lasts. We have long lasting froth, inky darkness, At least a half finger of creamy froth is always present.

Smells... very sweet. Like vanilla sundaes and custard, drizzled on top is the volatile component of bourbon. Sharp, acidic, ethanol. Its slapping you left and right but you love it. BEAT ME MORE! I WANT MORE! Back end is a lightly bittered chocolate but moreso burnt grain. Sharp charred bread.

Flavors... Bursting milk chocolate, just like I like it. Not the sickeningly overly hershey syrup kind... but the light cocoa powder and milk chocolate character. This lingers throughout the entire palate with it gently getting more and more bitter like cocoa nibs simmered in milk. Some other flavors are charred branches from oak, burnt grains... really burnt grains giving it a true imperial stout characteristic. Very delightful. Finishes with bourbon heat and burn. Not as great as I would have enjoyed, but still nice.

Thin, light body. Very creamy... almost as thin as a gentle hot cocoa. This is unreally thin... too thin. Why must you make me tick against you! Very silky smooth, and custard creamy at least. Long lasting flavors, great hidden 9% alcohol.

Its a good beer, but the body and aroma need a bit more work to become world class.

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