Silent Night - Mother Earth Brewing

Not Rated.
Silent NightSilent Night

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
89
very good

106 Reviews
THE BROS
97
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 106
Hads: 398
rAvg: 4.02
pDev: 12.69%
Wants: 134
Gots: 141 | 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: 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: 398
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 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. (1,100 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 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. (714 characters)

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. (646 characters)

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! (1,109 characters)

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. (987 characters)

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.... (785 characters)

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. (1,164 characters)

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. (1,353 characters)

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 woosterbill
4.03/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml corked and caged bottle into an Old Engine Oil tulip. Major thanks to kingkong for sending this one my way. Shared at a tasting.

A: Black with red-orange highlights; 1/2" of persistent light brown head. Terrific, almost unbelievably gorgeous lace. Great.

S: Roasty: coffee and chocolate up front, with some vanilla, coconut, and honey following behind. A touch of spice. Quite nice, but I was hoping for more bourbon.

T: Creamy and rich, with some bourbon finally coming through along with vanilla, chocolate, coconut, and spicy bitterness. Really nice, but a little underpowered.

M: Creamy, sticky, frothy full body. Pleasant.

O: This was a very good, entirely enjoyable beer, but it didn't do anything to stand out from the crowd. Well worth trying if you get it, but a far cry from a couple other BA stouts from NC I've had recently.

Cheers! (856 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 Finatic
4.89/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

750ml bottle poured into a CBS snifter.

A: Pours a dark black color with motor oil viscosity that develops a light tan head that recedes quickly.

S: Lots of malts and I sense some chocolate undertones as well as some coffee.Bourbon comes on at the end and I can smell some of the barrel that houses this magic beer.

T: Tastes like it smells. Lots of malts with some chocolate and coffee undertones, it finishes with the bourbon barrel aftertaste that balances out this brew perfectly.

M: Medium bodied with a slight oily texture on the palate.

O: I Really look forward to each Winter when I can indulge in this North Carolina masterpiece. (644 characters)

Photo of mullenpc
4.33/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2011 vintage

Appearance--Black with a fine tan head. Head and lacing linger for a long while.

Smell--This bottle is very fresh, so the boozy, sweet bourbon which dominated the nose is what I expected. Underneath the bourbon there is a nice balance of milk chocolate and vanilla. Minimal roast on the nose.

Taste--For a BA stout bottled one month ago this is ridiculously smooth. Lots of sweet bourbon and chocolate up front. A little bit of earthy roast as well. The finish is a tiny bit boozy, but it's a good, complementary boozy finish. Very warming, perfect for the season.

Mouthfeel--Not as viscous as some big imperial stouts but very solid for the style.

Overall--A very good BA stout. Not on the level of Event Horizon, but still an awesome beer worth seeking out, especially if you are a fan of BA beers (818 characters)

Photo of VncentLIFE
4.82/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Initially the thick very viscous cold liquid was lifeless and flat; slowly but surely some nice light caramel bubbles procured themselves from the used motor oil in my Bell's tulip. From what I can see, it looks decently carbonated.

This could quite possibly be the best smelling BA stout Ive had yet. I can smell the stout underneath the bourbon and wood. At first, it smelled boozy, but now I smell loads of dark and milk chocolate. The chocolate actually kind of reminds me of ST Choklat. Very syrupy and heavy. And is that cinnamon I pick up? Holy hell I love it!

Ok I want every BA stout to taste exactly like this. Its very smooth and sweet, but not from the unfermentable sugars. Usually stouts and Doppelbocks get that sticky sweet feeling from the unfermented sugars, but Mother Earth has covered that up with heavy doses of dark and milk chocolate. The booze can be found buried underneath spicy notes of cinnamon. Its very complex, and the oak fits in nicely. Its a slight woody feeling that really gives it a full body.

I know I love BA Blackout and Siberian Night. and especially BA BORIS. But Ohio BA Stouts finally have some competition. More like they just lost their top spot. Well done Mother Earth. (1,221 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 RedneckBeerz
4.27/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

It's 2:30 am on Christmas morning and what screams Christmas moreso than Silent Night (Was suprised to see that both Pipe & Pint and Bestway both had 6 bottles on the shelf on Christmas Eve, screwed up and picked up 2 bottles to celler @ Pipe & Pint for $18.99 each and when I went to Bestway they had them for $12.99).

Poured from the bomber into a Beer Army pint and the brew is moonless midnight brown in color. The head is small at under 1/2" and is mocha brown in color and made up of tee tiny bubbles. It settles down quickly to leave a partial covering atop the beer. The Lacing is whispy on the glass as the brew is consumed.

The aroma is heavy coffee and roasted malts. The flavor follows the nose to an extent with it composed of coffee, roasted malts, and some alcohol heat. The alcohol is very forward and combines with the bitterness of the roasted grain to give it to much of a bitter hotness on the back of the tongue and in the throat.

It doesn't take but a few sips before the heat dissappears and mellow vanilla comes forward as well as the bourbon barrel flavor. I like how this has settled out, pretty quickly.

A medium mouthfeel, this is a great sipper on this coldish winter morn.

I'm already anticipating 365 days from now when I pop open another one of these. I've got a feeling this wonderful Tar Heel brew will celler fantastically. (1,368 characters)

Photo of Gushue3
4.22/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

December 2010 poured into CBS snifter.

A A smaller chocolate brown head quickly forms and has little retention. Some smaller bubbles are left around the sides of the glass and below the body is black and opaque. Really with the head hung around a little longer.

S Big time malt sweetness accompanied by a roast takes off in the front of the nose. Some wood, alcohol and light vanilla come through from a second waft.

T Lots going on with this. Sweeter malts carry from the front to the end. The bourbon definitely comes through but works well with the other flavors. Solid roast along with some bakers chocolate makes for a really nice combination of flavors. The finish is bitter and lingers.

M Bigger mouthfeel with lower side of medium carbonation. feels pretty on par.

O This was a really nice beer. Taste is great for a cooler night and would be perfect drinking next the fireplace on the bottle. (909 characters)

Photo of bballmj2k
3.95/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had this sitting in my cellar/closet for about a year - had one fresh and still have one left over.

A - Not too thick, dark black with thin mocha head that dissipates quickly.

S - Lots and lots of roasted, woody, charred notes. Theres bourbon there and a cofffee/dark chocolate note.

T - Lots of wood up front - kind of unlike anything I've had for the style and unlike what I remember from having it fresh last year. Bourbon notes exist but are really subtle and exist in the backdrop. Ends with a roasted espresso character and some bitterness on the end.

M - Fairly high carbonation with some alcohol/roasted burn on the end.

I think I liked this more last December when it was fresh. A lot of woody characters have taken over, and while it's still a well-constructed beer I tend to prefer the bourbon/coffee/chocolate dominant stouts. Still quite interesting and pretty tasty - not sure what I'm going to do with my last bottle... (940 characters)

Photo of nhindian
4/5  rDev -0.5%
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. (1,817 characters)

Photo of twiggamortis420
4.12/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 mL courtesy of mikesgroove, thanks a ton Mike! Cork had to be sawed off and removed with a wine opener! Tough S.O.B. Gushed a bit and pours with a massive, light brown head. Retention and lacing both decent.

Nose is vanilla-laden with light, vaporized bourbon aromas. Nutty, almost like hazelnuts with a rich chocolate note. Nice.

Has the same bourbon heat as the Tripel Overhead aged in bourbon barrels...intense heat but maintains a smoothness and interesting flavor profile that seems to beguile the mind. Very cool. Lacks a bit of rich sweetness I wouldnt mind seeing, but that is a very mild complaint. Vanilla is fun and adda some much needed depth. I think this would be a good candidate for aging 5 years or so. Thanks again, Mike. Very generous offering from you. (778 characters)

Photo of matttttYCE
3.82/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewing this from my phone so just let that he known. Shared this one with azdback.

Appearance - Stone RIS glass. Head is creamy, maybe a finger high, and light tan in color. Lace is light. Color is just pitch black and inviting.

Aroma - The lighter side of bourbon at first but it becomes more prevalent as it warms. Vanilla much the same. Roasted malts and dark chocolate hint in the background. I get some nice dark fruit like plum and roasted char more than any other background aroma. What's much more apparent as it warms is alcohol. Didn't notice it at first but I notice it now. Also in there that I noticed was hints of some creamy marshmallow aroma.

Taste - bourbon, vanilla, dark fruit that's really cranberry mostly with hints of fig or plum or cherry. Noticeable alcohol and burn on the way down but not intense like I was drinking World Wide Stout or anything. Behind that are hints of roasted malts and dark chocolate but they are ever so light. Really the main points of this beer are bourbon, vanilla, dark fruit, and hints of everything else an imperial stout is.

Mouth - Pretty round carbonation but not prickly or off-putting. Velvety almost in consistency but the higher carbonation makes it slightly off from that. Body is medium, with a pretty lingering finish.

Overall - A nice bourbon barrel aged stout. Not the greatest I've ever had but nice. I'd say overall that some of the flavors could have been more pronounced. Maybe even should have been more pronounced. Either way still a barrel aged stout that I enjoyed having. Thank you very much to Lunch for this in our trade. (1,608 characters)

Photo of azdback
3.3/5  rDev -17.9%
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. (681 characters)

Photo of Arbitrator
2.66/5  rDev -33.8%
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. (1,061 characters)

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