Funky Buddha. Funky Booodah. Fuunnnkey Booodaaaaaaa! I just love saying the name of this brewery as much as I anticipate trying different offerings from the Overland Park, Fla.-based brewery.
The history of Funky Buddha Brewery began 12 years ago when owner Ryan Sentz bought R & R Tea Bar in a strip mall in Boca Raton. It started as a hookah and tea bar and quickly developed into a lounge serving some of the best beers available in South Florida. The popularity grew and Sentz had to find a new, bigger space to run his business. In September of 2010, The new Funky Buddha Lounge & Brewery was continuing the tradition of hookahs, live music and comedy but with the addition of a one barrel brewhouse that was now starting to produce small-batch beers using the expertise of Sentz and his crew.
These beers were instant hits and included Rum-Soaked Oak-Aged Red Ale, Orange Creamsicle Wheat and Ginger Lemongrass just to name a few. A few months later, he created Maple Bacon Coffee Porter, a breakfast beer and which is also the base beer for today’s review. In 2015 the new creation was introduced, as the brewery took the aforementioned beer and let it sit in bourbon barrels for a time to develop Bourbon Barrel-Aged Morning Wood.
Poured from a 22-ounce bottle with an attractive black and light magenta label, the color is pitch black with a healthy finger of tan head that produces some light, spidery lacing that diminishes rapidly, leaving only a small ring on the top. The aroma of maple syrup and pancakes can be smelled a mile away and hardly allows any other ingredients to come to the top. There is a light smokiness and rich grain aroma that emerges after a minute or two but it is making me yearn for pancakes more and more. Cold brew coffee also becomes a minor player after several minutes before I indulge in the first sip.
The first taste is cloyingly sweet with pancake syrup, which I can already tell that this will remain the dominant ingredient throughout the drinking process. On the finish, a light smokiness and a bit of chilled, sweetened coffee are present. Even though the sweetness is a tad over the top, something about it makes me want to continue drinking, whether it is my obsession with breakfast or my desire to find more depth and balance in the flavors. Carbonation is very light as would be expected for this type of beer, almost too light which I think causes the sugar to be a touch too much. As the beer warms a bit, the bacon and coffee raise their effort a bit but still struggle to keep up with the maple. Bourbon is almost non-existent and I wonder if the base beer actually spent enough time in the barrel.
The finish is sweet but I still have the need to finish this beer, seeking the pleasure of freshly cooked bacon and coffee, which tease me throughout the drinking of this brew but cut short of giving me 100 percent satisfaction. The mouth feel is good, sugary, yet clean and overall, a beer, in my opinion, that could benefit from a touch more complexity.