Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Funky Buddha Sweet Potato Casserole

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20Chad9976 (1516) - Orlando, Florida, USA - DEC 15, 2015
I used to love pumpkin beers, but after drinking so many of them I got tired of the style since so few impressed me. Thankfully, there’s an alternative: the yam beer. It’s similar in overall approach, but the flavor is definitely different. Funky Buddha Sweet Potato Casserole is probably the best of these beers that I’ve tried (though I will admit my sample size is pretty small). This is a beer that definitely delivers as advertised: it’s delicious, easy to drink, and actually obtainable. 

I poured a 12oz bottle into a wine glass. There was no freshness date and it cost $3.99 ($0.33 per ounce).

Appearance: A very cloudy shade of orange. No carbonation visible, though sediment is after a while. Pours to an average-sized, white, foamy head which retains and laces moderately well.

Smell: The vanilla and spices are quite prominent and make for a sweet nose. The sweet potato is present, but not as strong. No alcohol aroma.

Taste: I don’t have much frame of reference for a beer like this. Should it be considered just a novelty beer, or is it a legitimate S/H/V brew not unlike pumpkin beers? Considering the name, it’s easy to view it as a novelty brew, but that’s usually a term used as a pejorative for bad beers. Though I wouldn’t say the palette is exactly sweet potato casserole in beer form, it definitely is reminiscent of it. The base recipe seems to be something in the amber ale family: mild caramel and toffee notes up front with slight cinnamon and nutmeg bitterness and dry spice. One the swig hits the apex it becomes remarkably sweet with a huge sensation of vanilla, sweet potato pie, and spices (but in a sweet way). The hops are probably used sparingly as the spices give it enough balance so as not to be cloying. This palette may actually be rather simple and repetitive, but damn if it ain’t tasty.

Drinkability: At 7.9% ABV, Funky Buddha Sweet Potato Casserole is a pretty strong ale (if it even has that as subtitle on the label); yet it drinks like something a bit more pedestrian and approachable. The body is not quite full, yet more than just medium so as to have plenty of presence and viscosity without anything in the sticky/cloying/syrupy sensation. It finishes fairly clean but with a light lingering aftertaste of spice which is easily tolerable. There’s no alcohol flavor nor warmth. A great liquid dessert that should be appreciate by itself.

RATING: 9/10

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