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Silent Night | Mother Earth Brewing

109 Reviews
Silent NightSilent Night

Brewed by:
Mother Earth Brewing
North Carolina, United States | website

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by atsprings on 11-26-2010

For Trade:
User Reviews
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Reviews: 109 | Ratings: 428
Photo of Alieniloquium
4.17/5  rDev +3.5%
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 +2.5%
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%
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 +0.7%
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 +4.2%
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 +2.2%
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 -2%
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 +1.7%
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 -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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

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Photo of axeman9182
4.12/5  rDev +2.2%
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 +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to jtd1969 for sharing this one.

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

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

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

M - rich, full bodied, smooth, perfectly carbonated

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

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Photo of brewdude1982
4.77/5  rDev +18.4%
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 -0.7%
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 +2.2%
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 -6.2%
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 -8.2%
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 -9.4%
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%
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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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.17/5  rDev +3.5%
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.

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Photo of woosterbill
4.03/5  rDev 0%
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.


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Photo of mdaschaf
4.42/5  rDev +9.7%
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.

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Photo of Finatic
4.89/5  rDev +21.3%
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.

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Photo of mullenpc
4.33/5  rDev +7.4%
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

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Photo of VncentLIFE
4.82/5  rDev +19.6%
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.

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Photo of ShanePB
4.08/5  rDev +1.2%
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.

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Silent Night from Mother Earth Brewing
90 out of 100 based on 109 ratings.
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