The Love Below
Funky Buddha Brewery

The Love BelowThe Love Below
Rate It
Beer Geek Stats | Print Shelf Talker
Funky Buddha Brewery
Florida, United States
Russian Imperial Stout
Ranked #48
Ranked #811
4.37 | pDev: 6.18%
Jun 27, 2022
May 27, 2015
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.
Recent ratings and reviews. | Log in to view more ratings + sorting options.
Photo of JokersAce
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
Photo of thebeers
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
Photo of clayrock81
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
Photo of hoptheology
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
Photo of FBarber
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 Florida

Sep 25, 2019
Photo of CanConPhilly
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
Photo of macrosmatic
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
Photo of Buck89
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
Rated: 4.72 by bubseymour from Maryland

May 17, 2019
Rated: 4 by PrestigeWorldwide from Michigan

May 15, 2019
Rated: 3.65 by westcoastbeerlvr from California

May 06, 2019
Rated: 3.69 by Diura from New York

May 04, 2019
Photo of Sandis
Reviewed by 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
Rated: 4.4 by Jcarriglio from Florida

Mar 17, 2019
Rated: 4.02 by mattreitz49 from Florida

Mar 15, 2019
Photo of zachary80
Reviewed by 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
Photo of lordofthewiens
Reviewed by 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
Rated: 4.23 by rogacks from Massachusetts

Jan 03, 2019
Photo of Jeffo
Reviewed by 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
Rated: 4.02 by grover37 from District of Columbia

Sep 15, 2018
Photo of Treyliff
Reviewed by 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
Rated: 4.39 by Nograinleftbehind from South Carolina

Aug 09, 2018
Rated: 4.25 by jcb7472 from Florida

Jul 26, 2018
Rated: 4.37 by Jason_cs from Florida

Jul 23, 2018
Rated: 4.25 by Willmagz from Florida

Jul 19, 2018
Rated: 4.75 by eawolff99 from Minnesota

Jul 01, 2018
Rated: 4.29 by Bandi from New York

Jun 25, 2018
Photo of metter98
Reviewed by 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
The Love Below from Funky Buddha Brewery
Beer rating: 96 out of 100 with 210 ratings