The Love Below
Funky Buddha Brewery

The Love BelowThe Love Below
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Stout - Russian Imperial
Ranked #49
Ranked #815
4.37 | pDev: 6.18%
Funky Buddha Brewery
Florida, United States
The Love BelowThe Love Below
Notes: 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.
Reviews: 45 | Ratings: 209 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
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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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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
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hoptheology from South Dakota

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
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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
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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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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
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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
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Sandis from Minnesota

4.5/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased at Total Wine during a trip to Miami. I was really worried about the cherry being too overbearing but it was pretty subtle. As a result, i really enjoyed this.

Mar 21, 2019
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zachary80 from Indiana

4.63/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

L: Black without much head retention or lacing
S: Roasty, sweet/malty, chocolate, big vanilla
T: Cherry, chocolate, and vanilla with a good roasted malt profile. On the sweet side of balanced, but not cloying.
F: Low carbonation works well. Alcohol only present on exhale and not bothersome
O: Amazing beer. Wouldn't change anything. Up there with the original Bramble BCS and Ronaldo Dark Lord as one of my favorites.

Mar 11, 2019
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lordofthewiens from New Mexico

4.22/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Black color with a hint of red. Small tan head that disappeared quickly.
Aroma of booze, chocolate, sweet fruit, and vanilla.
Red wine, dark chocolate, sweet cherry, vanilla taste.
Medium-bodied. The tastes work well together.

Mar 02, 2019
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Jeffo from Netherlands

3.96/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Mom brought this one back from FL for me. Thanks, heaps!

From a bomber into a snifter
Imperial stout with cherries, chocolate and vanilla added. Aged in bourbon and cabernet barrels
The Living Barrel Series

APPEARANCE: Clear dark brown pour yields a two finger, looser looking, fizzy and noisy tan head with lousy retention. Head quickly pops and fizzes down to a full wisp. Clear black body with medium carbonation evident. Touches of wisp and a ring remain leaving some falling lacing down the glass.

SMELL: Big nose of red wine, oak, some bourbon aromas, cherries, red fruits, some sweet cream and vanilla notes as well. Bold with plenty of boozy aromas.

TASTE: Red wine, port and alcohol flavors up front. Oak, bourbon, wine, red fruits and cherries at the swallow. A bold and lingering finish of red wine, bourbon and alcohol, oak flavors, some milk chocolate, sweet vanilla cream and some slightly tart cherries lingers on the palate. Boozy and plenty of different flavors going on.

PALATE: Medium, slightly lighter body with a touch higher levels of carbonation evident. Creamy and smooth on the palate, goes down a bit foamy but with no real burn and finishes rather mouth-coating. A bit of heat lingers.

OVERALL: This is delicious stuff all around. The look is par for the course, the head being a too loose and fizzy even, and the feel isn’t all that special, but the flavor and aroma are spot on. The adjuncts are there in the mix and both barrel treatments play a role in the story. Something worth checking out, especially if you’re a fan of cabernet barreled stouts, of which there aren’t all that many. Thanks again for picking this one up, ma!

Oct 03, 2018
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Treyliff from West Virginia

4.29/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A- pours a dark black color with a one-finger creamy khaki head that has decent retention

S- nice mix of booze soaked cherry and charred Malt up front, dark chocolate, vanilla. Even aromas of oaky bourbon and vinous red wine notes

T- dark chocolate mixed with sweet dark cherry notes that are reminiscent of cherry chocolate cordial. Mid plate gives barrel notes, equal pats bourbon and red wine, the red wine enhances the cherry. The finish brings out bold sweet vanilla and more red wine, lingers of chocolate and cherry

M- medium body and moderate carbonation leads to a creamy creamy mouthfeel and finish

O- bourbon soaked chocolate covered cherries, another winner

Sep 12, 2018
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metter98 from New York

4.26/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer is essentially jet black in color—only slight traces of dark red are visible near the edges of the glass when it is held up to a bright light. It poured with a short light tan head that quickly faded away, leaving a narrow collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Light to moderate aromas of bourbon and chocolate are present in the nose along with notes of Cabernet from the barrel aging process.
T: This beer is very chocolatey and has notes of Cabernet along with hints of bourbon.
M: It feels medium- to full-bodied on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is incredibly drinkable for something that is 12% abv as it hides its alcohol very well.

Serving type: bottle

Jun 25, 2018
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Chuckdiesel24 from Illinois

4.46/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A very cool blending of bourbon and red wine barrels - lots of cherry flavor with some chocolate mixed in. Smells similarly, though maybe not quite as good. Gets better and better as it warms.

Jun 17, 2018
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SHODriver from North Carolina

4.5/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured into a snifter to a black beer topped by a dense and long lasting two and a half finger head which fades slowly to a collar around the edge of the glass and leaves minimal lacing
S: Smells of chocolate, cherries, bourbon, and wine barrels with some vanilla and roasted malts
T: Taste is chocolate and cherries with some wine barrel notes and vanilla. The wine barrel comes through well but the bourbon barrel notes are definitely there as well. Slight roasted malts and coffee toward the middle to end along with a little more cherry. Swallow is cherries and chocolate along with vanilla, roasted malts, a little oak and some more wine barrel
M: This beer is thick and velvety on the palate with adequate carbonation that is well below prickly. This beer is almost creamy on the palate. The swallow on this beer is try and a little tannic from the cabernet barrels but it is expected with the style as well.
O: Overall this is a really interesting beer. Great flavors and complexity make this one interesting to drink and the mouthfeel is awesome. This is definitely one to try.

May 05, 2018
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Phineasco from Massachusetts

4.33/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours s Black with a big frothy khaki head. It has medium carbonation. The beer smells of dark grapes, black cherries, molasses, walnuts, and swizz chocolate. It tastes of black cherries, swizz chocolate, dark grapes, molasses, and red wine. The beer has a medium body. This is a unique beer that is well done.

Apr 15, 2018
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Lerxst from Florida

4.27/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Black with a mocha head that hangs around for a while. Smells just as advertised, with the cherries, chocolate and a hint of bourbon. Can't pick up any Chardonnay notes, but this smells good. Taste follows the nose with the cherries, chocolate and bourbon being the most prominent. Mouthfeel is not quite full, but close. Overall, another solid beer from the fine folks at FB. I'd definitely have this again.

Apr 01, 2018
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Roguer from Connecticut

4.35/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

This was an outstanding brew from first to last sip!

Pours deep black, with strong head production for the style.

Nose features bourbon, cherries, chocolate, coffee, vanilla, red grapes, and a touch of char.

On the palate, it's big, sweet, and very boozy - but in the best of ways. Both barrels (cabernet and bourbon) lend plenty of depth, swirling with the cherries and chocolate in a delectable blend. Really an impressive beer that doesn't come across at all gimmicky.

Mar 31, 2018
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Tony210 from New Jersey

4.71/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Pours pitch black, almost impervious to light. Pretty thick and syrupy on the pour. Nice mocha head that tastes great. Loads of chocolate and cherries on the nose. This tastes amazing. Thick, syrupy, decedent chocolate, maraschino cherries, sweet vanilla, molasses, perfect amount of barrel presence. This beer coats the tongue like an oil slick, I just swish it around in my mouth and don't want to swallow. So good. Abv well hidden, but creeps up on you. Would love to try the base beer, barrel aged, on its own. Overall this is an amazing beer that is quite expensive ($28/bomber) but I think worth the price. Usually you would have to wait hours in a line for something of this quality (and pay close to what this costs) so to be able to walk into a store and buy all you want is worth the slight premium IMO.

Bomber, 2018 release
4.75 rating

2/18/20 update. Held on to a bottle for 2 years. Aroma faded a bit, so did the chocolate flavor, but the cherries are still very pronounced. Still delicious; that being said, I think it is better fresh - I wouldn’t cellar it for more than 6-8 months, if at all.

Mar 14, 2018
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JLK7299 from North Carolina

4.71/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Wow! This is a wonderfully balanced BA Stout. You get the hints of all the flavors it lists but none of them are overwhelming. Wouldn’t mind a bit more cherry but that would be nitpicking.

Mar 02, 2018
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VABA from Virginia

4.5/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-Pours a very dark color with a nice tan head and slight lacing
A-Aroma has very nice hints of cocoa and cherry
T-The taste follows the nose with nice cocoa and cherry flavors accentuated with subtle hints of Cabernet and bourbon
M- Medium bodied very robust with a complex character
O-A very well done complexstout

Feb 20, 2018
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Gambyt20 from Illinois

4.66/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Nose and taste is all chocolate covered cherries with a hint of wine of wine and bourbon. Creamy and thick mouth feel. Another awesome beer from Funky Buddha.

Jan 27, 2018
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Amguerra305 from Florida

4.74/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

On draft at the brewery but have had it before. Sits opaque black in the glass with a thin broken ring of light khaki head around the edge of the glass. There is a pleasant barrel note in the nose along with just the slightest hint of cherry but definitely much more chocolate. There is a lovely coalescence in the most where each flavor is barely, but still is, perceptible on its own but combines in to a divine symphony. Taste is a touch sweet up front with a chocolatey middle and a sour cherry back end that is then followed by even more chocolate in the aftertaste. The feel is spot on for this style. Silky and lightly sticky with light carbonation that adds to the silky nature of the beer. This beer is so underrated locally and I find it to be as good, if not better than, funky buddhas big two. I am not a big cherry fan so one of the big points on this beer is that the cherry adds to the complexity rather than being the dominant flavor. Chocolate and barrel predominate as it should in a truly world class ba stout. This is such.

Jul 30, 2017
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zac16125 from South Carolina

4.34/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Funky Buddha The Love Below
22oz bottle into a snifter
Vintage 2017

A: Pours opaque black with less than 1 fingers width of tan head, dissipates fairly quickly and leaves a few small patches of lacing. 4

S: Huge Barrel notes, sweet, lots of cherry, fairly big dark chocolate. Barrel notes are tons of oak, an almost scotch like peat character, and subtle vinous notes. Like oaky, booze filled chocolate covered cherries. 4.25

T: Taste is very good. Literally tastes like chocolate covered cherries. Not as sweet as many FB beer, more roasty and some bitterness. Big semi sweet dark chocolate. Charred oak and bourbony note. Cabernet notes are very subtle. 4.5

M/D: Full bodied, carbonation appropriate, drinkability is good, ABV is well controlled. 4.25

O: Overall, not my favorite FB beer but still very tasty. I would gladly drink this one anytime. 4.25

Mar 12, 2017
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Sumdude616 from Florida

4.71/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Had this while waiting for the bottle release and I have to say that this is a great batch, the blend between bourbon and Cabernet was very well balanced compared to the last batch, mouth was as expected from a stout, nose was amazing! As a 12% I don't feel it was as boozy as some would think. Overall a very delicious brew!

Feb 16, 2017
The Love Below from Funky Buddha Brewery
Beer rating: 96 out of 100 with 209 ratings