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Pipeline Porter - Kona Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Pipeline PorterPipeline Porter

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,555 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,555
Reviews: 676
rAvg: 3.8
pDev: 12.11%
Wants: 42
Gots: 74 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Kona Brewing Co. visit their website
Hawaii, United States

Style | ABV
American Porter |  5.40% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Iguana on 10-11-2006)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,555 | Reviews: 676 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of devilben02

North Carolina

4/5  rDev +5.3%

Even though I know this Porter is one of the few Kona varieties that is widely distributed across the country, I still wanted to try it at the source (or rather at Kona's Koko Marina Pub on Oahu). This one has an opaque dark brown color with a lighter brown glow around the edges and a thin, creamy tan head. The aroma is a mild combination of a light caramel malt sweetness with a smooth coffee finish. The flavor is likewise smooth and subtle, with a nutty sweetness from the roasted malts, and the coffee flavor being noticeable but mellow, much like the 100% Kona coffees I had been tasting around the island. The texture is smooth, creamy, and again quite mild. Overall, this one is smooth, easy, and relaxed with just enough intrigue from the local coffee to make me want to buy more of this porter when I get back home.

08-03-2010 20:27:17 | More by devilben02
Photo of Amalak

New York

3.95/5  rDev +3.9%

I had off the tap at Barcade in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
A- Basically black beer with a brown head that leaves a lot of lacing.
S- Coffee and chocolate come through fairly well.
T- The coffee is more in the aftertaste. Nice and smooth. Nice chocolate sourness in the front. Almost tastes like a shake. Not too bad.

07-20-2010 21:19:43 | More by Amalak
Photo of DosBeerigos


3.23/5  rDev -15%

Clearly stated that this is the Coffee Version of the Kona Porter, which is brewed in limited quantities, according to the bottle. I have rarely found a bottle to lie, while the description from the brewery might be a little over the top they are usually on point with the basics. This bottle didn't lie.
Coffee was up front and personal with this beer from the get go. Coffee was strong in the nose, strong on the attack, and sat down to chill on you palate. I did get some roasted malt qualities in the body of the beer but they were quickly over powered by the coffee. Usually when a beer is so heavy on coffee the body would be pretty thick, this was not. The body was light and thin, making for an easy drinking coffee beer. The fact that this beer was so refreshing, makes it a great solution for the Imperial Stout Lover, looking for a lighter beer, during the summer months.

06-22-2010 14:22:34 | More by DosBeerigos
Photo of BeefyMee


2.7/5  rDev -28.9%

Dark ruby transparency. Some good coffee and roasted malt notes in the aroma. Taste is a bit of a letdown. The positive characteristics of the smell are replaced by a soapy water flavor with only a slight roasty aftertaste. Thin and tingly mouthfeel.

06-14-2010 23:43:52 | More by BeefyMee
Photo of adkirkish


2.75/5  rDev -27.6%

A: Coffee takes center stage in aromatics w/ lingering roasted malts in the background. No hop/esther aromatics.

A: Pours Dark brown w/ a minimal white/tan head that quickly dissipated.

F: Coffee and roasted malts, no hop/other flavors. Coffee overpowers everything as far as taste goes.

M: Minimal in body, low carb, no creaminess, astringent from the coffee.

O: While this beer is brewed to style, there are a few minor flaws that could be addressed: Aroma is overpowered with coffee: I would have liked more of the malt character to shine through. The coffee is good, but I believe that balance is important. Flavor is also overbalanced with the coffee, almost to the point where I believe I'm drinking a cup of coffee and not a beer. M: I believe that with an increase in malt character/presence that the body will greatly improve.

06-13-2010 18:05:29 | More by adkirkish
Photo of Derek

British Columbia (Canada)

3.9/5  rDev +2.6%

A: Brown with ruby highlights, light tan head, light retention & lace.

S: Coffee, brown sugar, pumpernickel rye bread.

T: Pleasant coffee flavour (not overly burnt or acidic), chocolate, pumpernickel rye, modest bitterness.

M: Moderate body is smooth with a light acidity.

D: A good drinker.

On the islands, on-tap, I'd give this a 4.25.

06-02-2010 00:11:25 | More by Derek
Photo of DrJay


3.98/5  rDev +4.7%

Quite dark and opaque with brown edges. Not much of a head formed after a hard pour, but there was a thin skim of tan bubbles coating the surface. Good retention for what's there, a bit of streaky lace too. Roasted aroma, nutty, hint of cherry skins, malty, bit of chocolate. Moderate bitterness, same flavours as in the aroma. A bit of hop flavour towards the end. Short linger of roast, malt, and fruity hops. Smooth, well integrated carbonation made up of fine bubbles. Slightly less than medium bodied, a hint of astringency from the dark malts. Pretty good overall, an easy drinking porter.

05-26-2010 00:44:43 | More by DrJay
Photo of KTCamm

New Jersey

4.28/5  rDev +12.6%

Poured from 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Picked up as part of a random mix a six.

Pours very dark brown, almost black, with virtually no foam. No lacing. Looks like a cup of coffee.

Roasted coffee smell, quite nice, hints of chocolate.

Very smooth flavorful blend. Notes of coffee, dark chocolate, very little hop. Fills the mouth, almost a milky consistency. Love the Kona coffee taste.

A really drinkable porter, especially if you are a coffee drinker. Extremely tasty,.

05-23-2010 22:43:16 | More by KTCamm
Photo of mikereaser


3.8/5  rDev 0%

Poured from a bottle on 12-17-09.

A - pours a pitch black with a tan foam that just quickly disappeared to spotty tan bubbles

S - big roasted coffee aromas, coffee, coffee & more coffee
Like no other bottled coffee beer i've had before

T - its the equivalant to drinking cold coffee. Great tasting all around

M - smooth, good carbonation, creamy mouthfeel

D - I really like this one alot, not as an everyday beer, but definitely as a regular one.

05-21-2010 18:19:51 | More by mikereaser
Photo of silver0rlead

North Carolina

3.83/5  rDev +0.8%

Pours a very dark brown, with a nice cola colored head that retains OK. The aroma has a huge, gourmet coffee blast upfront, along with some dark chocolate, burnt bread, and a little caramel. The flavor has a little more depth than the aroma, with nice coffee notes initially, followed by some unsweetened cocoa, a little rye bread, brown sugar, fruity esters, and a little charcoal. The mouthfeel is smooth and rich, and drinkability is excellent for a coffee beer. Very solid beer, but I fear the age on this one (I believe it's out of season by a couple months) hasn't been particularly kind and decreased the complexity and intensity of flavors a good deal. I'll have to do another review when this comes out again in the fall.

04-27-2010 03:07:27 | More by silver0rlead
Photo of biglite351


2.3/5  rDev -39.5%

A - brown around the edges but a nice solid head.

S - coffee start, but it seemed to get a bit bitter in scent.

T - malty taste with a little coffee. The overall flavor is not very deep.

M - a little too thin. Very mild tingle on the front side of the tongue.

D - the shallow flavor and thin feel would not make this a brew that I would reach for.

04-25-2010 21:08:10 | More by biglite351
Photo of EliotW

New York

4.05/5  rDev +6.6%

Picked this up at BevMo last week at the request of an employee. I ended up being very impressed, and being that it is a limited release, I immediately went to back re-stock before it's gone.

Poured from the bottle into a pint glass. This beer has a very nice dark brown color, nearly black.

Not too rich smell, very much characteristic of a porter. The coffee certainly comes through and is immediately recognizable. I also pick up a hint of vanilla.

Has a very nicely balanced flavor of a rich porter with a noticeable, yet not overwhelming coffee flavor on the back end.

The carbonation of the beer is a little more than I may have liked, but I certainly don't think it takes away from the overall quality of the beer.

While I am generally rather weary of flavored beers such as this one, I think this beer has a lot of character and is certainly worth trying if you can get your hands on some. As of yesterday (4/16/10), there were several cases remaining at the store here in Tempe, AZ...Enjoy!

04-18-2010 03:42:02 | More by EliotW
Photo of biegaman

Ontario (Canada)

3.93/5  rDev +3.4%

Pipeline Porter is likely one of the most fair beers I've tried that lists coffee as an ingredient. It is dark, no doubt, but even at off angles to the light its hue is hardly more than deep russet. It is further accented by a brazen red sienna tone. The ecru capping that initially coated its surface is now razor thin (and notably absent in the center).

I'm happy to report that both coffee and porter are emphatically represented in the aroma. This doubly roasty, doubly dark, doubly rich scent is laced with bittersweet chocolate and just a trickle of fruity esters. Dark caramel may very well be in there somewhere too but the roastiness of the malts is too heavily perfumed for me to decipher any.

This has the same moderately strong malty flavour as any quality American porter I care to name, plus the bonus of a nice quality coffee (Mahalo for that!). The lightly burnt, chocolaty, black malt character that is so touted in the aroma is surprisingly short-lived on the palate; coffee quickly eclipses to palate and leaves room for little else.

And its inclusion intensifies what is already a fairly roasty, drying finish. The graininess lingers alongside the coffee, both being quite mild actually. A good dose of hops and a seemingly high carbonate water contribute a stern but tempered bitterness. Warming seems to unhitch a few extra flavours (hazelnut and pecan) albeit in small doses.

Pipeline makes for as good a porter as it seemingly does a surf break; as if there weren't enough reasons to want to go to Hawaii already. The islands may have maintained a distinctive culture, language and heritage, but as far as I can tell they brew with the same attitude and style as any other paid-up member of the United States of America.

04-17-2010 21:44:49 | More by biegaman
Photo of BearsOnAcid


2.42/5  rDev -36.3%

I chucked this shit in the freezer to make it ice cold for my Chimay chalice. Opened with barely a hiss because it was so cold. It poured out dark as night and created a coffee ice cream colored head after halfway through pouring I went totally inverted. The head disappeared five minutes later leaving little islands of bubbles.

Holding it up to the light I can see dark ruby colors dancing in my glass. I can feel it's icy cold breath on my nose as I pull it in closer for some more sensory curiousity. Still too cold to drink I see, the coffee aroma smells more like freezer burn right now.

Moments later I could smell that freshly brewed cup of coffee sitting in my chalice. I decided to dive in for a nice chug. Oh yeah! That is refreshing...for a few seconds. Feels like water going down. Coffee turns way too bitter and flavorless at the end. Could've had something to do with the 4 months it sat in my basement. Whatever...

A deepy roasted aroma is starting to procure from the beer. I like it. It's not a strong aroma at all. A little muted. I just can't get past that bitter aftertaste. Sticks to my teeth. And I love coffee too! WHATUPWITDAT!

04-16-2010 01:28:33 | More by BearsOnAcid
Photo of jminsc76


4.18/5  rDev +10%

Into a pint glass, exhibits a brown grayish head atop a dark brown body with a reddish tinge as I hold it up to the light.

Aromas are similar to an English Porter, but include the Kona-flavored coffee and what smells like macadamia nut. Quite refreshing.

Flavors include coffee, some creamy vanilla and the aforementioned macadamia nuts, with some espresso bitterness on the finish.

The mouthfeel is fairly thin and a little disappointing. The flavors almost make up for this deficiency.

Overall, I enjoy the Pipeline Porter. It exhibits a great balance between the tradition of the English Porter (the rich coffee flavors) and the innovation of an American Porter (the Kona coffee and creamy flavors). Despite the lack of fullness in the mouthfeel, I would return again and again.

04-12-2010 03:31:00 | More by jminsc76
Photo of bamadog


4.2/5  rDev +10.5%

Review is from notes taken on 4/5/2010 and poured from the bottle to a snifter.

Appearance: Pour is a deep dark coffee brown with very deep amber highlights when held to the light; no head to speak of despite a vigorous pour, just a faint whisp across the surface and a nice dark tan ring around the surface; body is very dark and nearly opaque; spotty brown patches of lacing are left behind.

Smell: Oh my, it smells like a Jamocha shake from Arby's -- wonderful blends of sweet milky, syrupy chocolate and nice sweet roast coffee and it just smells like it's going to be thick and creamy when it hits the mouth.

Taste: A nice blend of what's in the smell -- nice chocolate flavors that are more semi-sweet and a little bitter; nice roasty coffee flavors offer another dimension and it's nice in a sense because there is no "burnt" aspect to it, just very well roasted and sweet; in the back of the aftertaste is even a bit of a Kahlua flavor.

Mouthfeel: For a porter, it's fair - but I always tend to wish there were a little thicker, but this one is moderately thick and creamy as I hoped it would be based upon the smell; carbonation is super soft and smooth and there is a firm stickiness left on the roof of the mouth.

Drinkability: I could drink this all night for the smell alone as it's great! Flavors are solid and the mouthfeel is good, although it could be a little thicker for my tastes; ABV is quite moderate as well and it doesn't pack too much of a punch. Body isn't overly heavy either, so I wouldn't feel weighed down by a couple. A solid offering and well worth picking up if the opportunity presents itself.

04-09-2010 16:39:56 | More by bamadog
Photo of argock


3.95/5  rDev +3.9%

Poured from 12oz brown bottle into a clear glass tumbler. Brewd on 12/23/09 on label.

A: Dark chocolate brown with solid 1-2 finger beige bubbly head with decent retention and lacing.

S: Dark roasted coffee dominates with dark chocolate and toasted dark malt with minimal earthy hops.

T: Big-time sweetish coffee is most prominent with dark chocolate and malty sweetness. Hops play a bit part.

M: A little on the light-bodied side with a slightly chalky feel. No char and alcohol is hidden with a dark-roasted coffee and sweet chocolate aftertaste.

D: A very good porter, especially if you love coffee and malty brews.

04-09-2010 03:59:41 | More by argock
Photo of mikegreen138


4.03/5  rDev +6.1%

pours a nice dark, the usual porter color with a creamy tan head with average retention and some slight lacing

smell is simple with hints of Kona coffee, its good but nothing worth writing home about

when first taking a sip you notice the roasted grains, but it finishes with a pleasant hints of coffee as advertised. the coffee flavor does not protrude however too much over the other flavors

this beer is very smooth but definitely a sipping beer not for session drinking. great with a burger and fries, or in the morning when you run out of coffee

04-09-2010 02:18:53 | More by mikegreen138
Photo of Flashsp2

New Mexico

4.1/5  rDev +7.9%

Kona Pipeline into straight pint

Dark cola brown with gold and ruby highlights. Creamy tan head with
great retention and nice lace sheeting.

Nose of iced cream coffee and roasted malts. Very light aroma.

Palette is spot on for the nose, with a more pronounced iced coffee
flavor, which isn't bitter or harsh but very smooth and rich.

Body is actually a bit heavier than expected, which is a plus.
Slightly chewy and smooth with a moderate amount of tiny bubbles.

Easy drinking, very flavor heavy session beer. Too bad its only seasonal.

04-06-2010 16:19:21 | More by Flashsp2
Photo of jamie2dope


3.98/5  rDev +4.7%

Grabbed a single of this at Marty's yesterday. Not too much heading on this one, just a thin white lace, and a nice dark brown color. The nose captures coffee that is kept really well tamed. Sometimes the coffee angle can be a bit much for me, but it is perfectly balanced here. Taste has more coffee, again kept in check throughout, and some light milk chocolate. Mouthfeel is on the light side, and really very drinkable. I like the fact that this beer is complex, but not hitting you over the head with any one smell or flavor. I have heard people grumble that this one is contract brewed, but whether that is true or not, this is one tasty porter to be had.

03-29-2010 23:37:47 | More by jamie2dope
Photo of smcolw


3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Dark brown but light does pass through. Small head, but it leaves a pleasant interweave of lace after each sip.

Chalky coffee nose with a background spice similar to oregano. Very dry.

The flavor is strong (read: harsh) on the black patent malt, meaning strong black coffee taste. There's no sweetness or creaminess. The aftertaste is short lived. Good body that fits the style.

03-28-2010 02:28:59 | More by smcolw
Photo of Lerxst


3.4/5  rDev -10.5%

On tap at Brewers Pizza

A-Pours a very dark brown with a creamy two finger tan head that hung around a while and left great lacing. This is a really good looking beer.

S-Strong coffee aroma as you would expect, but not much else. Its kind of a one trick pony. It doesn't smell bad at all, its a pleasant aroma, just doesn't have any complexity to it.

T-Follows the nose with a strong coffee presence throughout and not much else. Again, its not bad, but its a one trick pony. If you like coffee brews, this ones for you.

M-Somewhat thin which is surprising given the great appearance. But it is smooth.

D-Goes down easily, but due to being so one dimensional, this is a one and done.

03-27-2010 01:06:17 | More by Lerxst
Photo of rfgetz

New Jersey

4.03/5  rDev +6.1%

Pours a near black color with ruby highlights around the edges when held to the light, minimal head and lacing. Smell is of medium roasted grains with a presence of medium roast coffee beans, faint hints of cream and earth. Taste is mellow and contains medium roasted grains and medium roast cofeee beans. The coffee is of high quality, but lacks boldness. The roasted grains also lack any real punch. Faint hints of earthyness and cream are present as in the nose. The body is the best part, amazingly medium to full in body, smooth and creamy for a porter... very nicely done. This is a very nice beer made with high quality ingredients, but lacks a little boldness in the taste and scent areas.

03-24-2010 13:10:59 | More by rfgetz
Photo of johnnnniee

New Hampshire

3.4/5  rDev -10.5%

Pours a dark brown with garnet highlights and a fluffy tan head that dissipates slowly. Smells of roasted coffee, hazelnut, slightly earthy hop aroma. I got intense hazelnut when I first poured it, but that gave way to an earthy spicy aroma. Light roasty taste mixed with coffee and hazelnut. Earthy, almost tart or metallic taste mixed in there as well. Lingering coffee and slight fruity sweetness in the finish. Moderate body and carbonation. Creamy/oily mouthfeel. Overall not a bad brew. I could see myself sessioning these easily.

03-20-2010 01:56:43 | More by johnnnniee


3.93/5  rDev +3.4%

Deep roasted coffee brown with reddened highlights. Coffee foam tinted head. Thin film of organic bubbly lace.

Roasted coffee and chocolate. Burnt and toasty wood and brown sugar.

Roasted bittersweet dark roast coffee and dark chocolate. molasses, espresso, burnt sugar, toasty caramel. Pine and coffee bitterness. Great coffee flavor.

rich and smooth, full bodied, somewhat dry, and slightly sticky.

very smooth and drinakable. A dark beer that could easily be drank in wamer weather, an iced coffee. great coffee flavor, they did the right things to make the coffee stand out.

03-19-2010 22:28:26 | More by CHILLINDYLAN
Pipeline Porter from Kona Brewing Co.
86 out of 100 based on 1,555 ratings.