Funky Buddha Brewery is not afraid to tackle tough beers and it is constantly churning out some of craziest flavor combinations you will find in the craft beer world. Some of the company’s most popular beers don’t fit the mold—Apple Toffee Double Brown Ale made with apples and caramel, Banana Split Ale with bananas, cherries and vanilla, and one of their most popular, Last Snow which is a coffee porter brewed with coconut, white chocolate and caramel.
Then there is Maple Bacon Coffee Porter.
Originally brewed in 2011 and available exclusively at the Funky Buddha Lounge and Brewery in Oakland Park, Fla., the beer is made with real maple syrup, coffee and an applewood smoked salt from a local spice shop.
In January, the brewery decided to bottle it for the first time. There were only 3,000 bottles produced on this first run and there is no telling whether or not it will be bottled again.
I pour Maple Bacon Coffee Porter into a tulip glass and a little bit of tan head forms, it’s a light to medium carbonated beer and after the glass is full, the porter turns very dark brown sitting in the glass. After a short time in the glass a thin caramel-colored line of head is retained. This is a beer that’s almost hard to believe when you first take in the aroma. Right off the bat a huge wave of sweet maple syrup hits like a ton of bricks, that’s followed by a beautiful smoky candied bacon smell. There is a hint of a malty coffee there as well, but the smell is dominated by the maple and smoke. It’s almost crazy how well Funky Buddha was able to get the nose right on this beer.
The flavor of Maple Bacon Coffee Porter does not disappoint and actually Funky Buddha did an even better job of getting the components into the flavor than it did the aroma. There is an immediate hit of sweet and delicious maple right when the beer meets your tongue. The maple slowly fades and gives way to a silky smoky flavor, there is very little saltiness on the back end, so the majority of the bacon flavor will be the smokiness. On the finish the coffee comes alive and it’s a smooth, slightly sweet and the perfect finish to this beer. It literally tastes like eating pancakes with maple syrup, then taking a bite of bacon and washing it all down with a good cup of Joe.
This beer, while only 6.4 percent alcohol by volume, certainly stands up like a much bigger brew. The mouthfeel had me believing that the ABV was a misprint, it’s quite incredible that they were able to pack that much flavor into a standard porter base. It feels very smooth and heavier in a good way and is able to coat your tongue in the same way a much bigger beer would be able to. The only difference this made was as the beer warmed up it sort of started to unravel, and the once crisp and concise flavors began to bitter in a way. That isn’t until the very end and the beer drank incredibly up until this point. If it wasn’t a beer I was reviewing I probably would have drank it before it got to that stage.