The Love Below
Funky Buddha Brewery

The Love BelowThe Love Below
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Funky Buddha Brewery
Florida, United States
Russian Imperial Stout
Ranked #50
Ranked #797
4.37 | pDev: 6.18%
Jun 27, 2022
May 27, 2015
Hot, Chocolate-Covered Love
Are you ready to put two together? The Love Below is a very special version of our Nikolai Vorlauf Imperial Russian Stout that’s been aged in luscious Cabernet barrels and bold Bourbon barrels for months, then blended together along with real cherries and 100% chocolate. Thick and sultry, this is a beer best consumed with a very special friend.
Recent ratings and reviews. | Log in to view more ratings + sorting options.
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Reviewed by JokersAce

4.4/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
2016 vintage consumed February 2022. Heavy in scent and flavor. Next to my other FB porters on my sample plate this one is more like a super dark red to the point of being nearly black. Minimal head and lacing. Despite the darkness it is cloudy with some particulates and difficult to tell the color of the sheen. Plentiful tannins. Tastes of fig, sherry, roast fruit.
The chocolate is a little less discernible than the cherries thanks to the inherent chocolate characteristics of stouts, but it's a good touch. The bottom of the glass had particulates at the bottom, possibly cherries.
Jun 27, 2022
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Reviewed by thebeers from Pennsylvania

4.28/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25
Dark chocolate brown with two fat fingers of dark mocha head. Decent retention and incredible lacing.

Sweet and sticky smelling with cherry and red wine standing out before the liquid even hits the glass. Chocolate and roasted malts show very clearly, too. A little vanilla-tinted bourbon peaks out far behind.

Chocolatey, lightly roasty flavors up front in the taste with just the slightest hint of bourbon barrel aging (again, I get vanilla notes). Strong cherry then hits in the finish; the interplay with the wine barrel and hint of booze from the beer itself making it seem cordial-like.

Very slick, creamy feel with soft carbonation.

The roastiness from the malt, and perhaps some very slight bitterness from the chocolate, keep this from being overly sweet. It’s actually semi-dry to my taste. Very nicely crafted.
Feb 14, 2021
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Reviewed by clayrock81 from Florida

4.03/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4
Poured a black body with minimal head and lace. Vinous aroma of chocolate, cherries, wood and booze. Smooth, creamy, chocolate cherry sweetness with a slight booziness. Beer is woody and this helps it pass down easy along with well-hidden ABV. Not really "wine" notes that I pick up but overall a really good beer dessert beer.
May 20, 2020
Rated: 3.93 by wisrarebeer from Wisconsin

Apr 29, 2020
Rated: 4.37 by GeorgeAKeim from Oregon

Apr 07, 2020
Rated: 4.5 by paulish from New York

Mar 30, 2020
Rated: 4.25 by alexsergio from New York

Feb 07, 2020
Rated: 4.25 by fthegiants from California

Jan 31, 2020
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Reviewed by hoptheology from California

4.66/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75
22 oz bomber, 2018
Smokestack snifter

Deep inky black with a creamy beige head of 1 finger receding to a thick ring leaving sparse lacing on the sides.

Aromas of cherry and chocolate and deep red wine, with some vanilla if a cordial cherry was soaked in cabernet or melot for a week. Slight earthy and roasted malt tones but they all fold together giving this wonderful soaked cordial cherry aroma.

Flavor is complex and bitter and semi-sweet and's unlike anything I've ever had in beer form. The cordial cherry comes around full force but with dirty notes of brandy and box wine, following with some chocolate slivers and caramel tones, and slight pina colada at the very end.

Feel is thick, viscous, syrupy and sweet like the thick syrupy gel in a cordial cherry (man I keep coming back to this reference). Moderate alcohol warmth that burns politely and sits pleasantly. Finish is of microfiber-like drying cabernet in the mouth, yet still oddly sticky, with slight oaky aftertones.

Overall, an incredible feat and I'd honestly say worth the $25/bottle. I'd do it again next trip, probably not hog wild, but two or three. Good stuff, holds up after a year as well.
Dec 27, 2019
Rated: 4.27 by cd34 from Illinois

Dec 07, 2019
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Reviewed by FBarber from Illinois

4.49/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
Pours pitch black, dark as a moonless night. Thin fizzy sudsy mocha colored head dissipates pretty quickly. No residual head is left behind other than a thin rind of foam along the outside of the beer.

Aroma has notes of soaked oak, mocha, milk chocolate, charred malts, and a slightly tart sweet cherry aroma.

Taste follows the nose with lots of cabernet notes, wet oak, chocolate, tart cherries and a nice charred malt backbone. Its kind of like a bourbon soaked brownie with cherries on top.

Feel is thick, sticky and viscous. Moderate prickly carbonation. smooth semi-dry finish.

Overall a lovely stout - the cherries and cabernet barrels work so well with this one.
Nov 18, 2019
Rated: 4.5 by steverx8 from England

Nov 17, 2019
Rated: 4.58 by mgundy32 from Wisconsin

Oct 09, 2019
Rated: 4 by robotic_being from Illinois

Sep 25, 2019
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Reviewed by CanConPhilly from Pennsylvania

4.4/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
L - massive, thick, mocha head atop a pitch black body.

S - bourbon, chocolate, red wine. Not smelling any cherry.

T - lots of bourbon heat, wood, char, vanilla, bittersweet chocolate, anise, and caramel, followed by red wine acidity. Cherry is faint. Low bitterness. Low sweetness. Moderate booziness.

F - medium-full body with appropriate carb.

O - the barrels are the stars here.
Aug 18, 2019
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Reviewed by macrosmatic from Florida

4.16/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25
Thanks to Jarnet87 for this bottle! Reviewed from (long-standing) notes. Poured from the 22 oz. bottle into a J. Wakefield Brewing OG teku glass. Consumed on 9/16/16.

A: Dark brown but with a distinct reddish hue, especially when held up to the light and during the pour. The thin tan head fades to foamy ring quickly. Nearly opaque, with a low level of visible carbonation.

S: Chocolate, bourbon, and cherries. Mild oak tannins. There isn't a huge nose when cold…
Nor when I've let it warm and open up. Just not a ton of aroma, but what's there is decent.

T: Chocolate and bourbon-soaked cherries. Oak and vinous dryness. A nice balance between the cacao nibs, cherries/cherry juice, light bourbon, vinous dryness, and oak tannins. Some roasted malts with a mild bitterness from roast and likely some barrel char. Sweet chocolate with residual cherry juice in the hang with light tannins drying the whole affair out a little bit.

M: A thick smooth body that's plenty heavy enough for the style. Low carbonation sensation. The alcohol presence seems very restrained for anything barrel-aged, let alone double-barreled.

O: This seems like an exercise in excellence to make multiple adjuncts and treatments play nicely with each other. Chocolate, bourbon, cherries, wine, oak – all nicely balanced and integrated. None overly dominate, yet all are easy to find. I was really, really impressed with this beer, but it took a bit of a dip as I let it warm through the drink - as it came up in temperature, the cherry juice flavors come out more. And that ruined the balance of the flavors I was such a fan of. It's still good, but this is one big, dark, barrel-aged beer I would suggest drinking on the colder side for sure.
Aug 16, 2019
Rated: 4.15 by Duncian from Pennsylvania

Aug 05, 2019
Rated: 3.9 by Futbolmanby from Michigan

Jul 22, 2019
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Reviewed by Buck89 from Tennessee

4.45/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
I bought this one a whim and didn't have high hopes, but I was completely wrong. A nice looking beer with a thick and resilient tan head. The aroma and taste aligned and were complex, with a mingling of chocolate, cherries, vanilla, red wine, and bourbon. They were all there and none dominated the others. Thick and fill but neither boozy nor overly pastry-like. World class in my opinion.
Jun 29, 2019
Rated: 4 by jschott75 from Illinois

Jun 22, 2019
The Love Below from Funky Buddha Brewery
Beer rating: 96 out of 100 with 210 ratings