Mother Earth Brewing Silent Night Bottle Release
Recycled denim insulation within the tap room walls, along with Mother Earth Brewing‘s Silent Night, kept beer enthusiasts warm at the bourbon barrel-aged imperial stout’s release party last night in Kinston, NC. Mother Earth’s head brewer, Josh D. Brewer (yes, that really is his name), and other members of the Mother Earth crew poured pints of this year’s batch alongside the 2010 version in a vertical tasting for visitors and enforced a three-bottle limit on those who wished to take the seasonal offering home.
For the 2011 Silent Night, Counter Culture Coffee in Durham, NC, created an exclusive version of its “1922 Mocha & Java” blend for Mother Earth to use in the beer, which aged for two months in fourteen Heaven Hill Bourbon barrels. Brewer and his team bottled the stout in 2,500 750-ml cork-and-cage bottles, an increase from the 1,200 bottles released in 2010 despite a lower overall yield this year.
In the current barrel-aging trend of soaking up as much bourbon as possible in a brew and still calling it a beer, Silent Night maintains a fine balance between coffee, beer, and whiskey, due in no small part to six of the barrels holding beer for the third time. The imperial stout fortunately skips the chest-burning heat in favor of a smooth, up-front Bourbon coating that quickly dissipates to a strong coffee backbone with hints of vanilla that peek through in the finish.