1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Pipeline Porter - Kona Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Pipeline PorterPipeline Porter

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

1,598 Ratings
THE BROS
89
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,598
Reviews: 677
rAvg: 3.8
pDev: 12.11%
Wants: 50
Gots: 89 | FT: 1
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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Pipeline Porter Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,598 | Reviews: 677 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of CampusCrew
4.1/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

appearance: sticky head and creamy froth deep dark brown,nearly ebony

smell: deep dark roasted coffee and subtle dark chocolate.

taste: a heavy dose of dark roasted coffee as expected

mouthfeel: medium to full bodied

drinkability: a great beer that I will continue to buy

CampusCrew, Nov 12, 2009
Photo of natelocc787
3.6/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This one was disappointing during the pour-light black with brown caramelized edges, this one didn't fizz too much on a vicious pour and even though it eventually built an (okay) head, the smell was all light roasted coffee with a watery edge. Taste was light as well but the coffee flavor that was present was well done, tasty and pungent. Mouthfeel was thin, flavor was on track but derailed by the watery mouthfeel.

natelocc787, Nov 11, 2009
Photo of riversider76
3.68/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours almost black with a fluffy tan head. Excellent retention and lacing. Aroma is of coffee and roasted malts.Body is medium with light carbonation. Taste is roasted through out. Coffee finish,with maybe a hint of chocolate. Nice version of this style.

riversider76, Nov 09, 2009
Photo of jgasparine
4.1/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Poured from the bottle with a 1/4" high tan colored foamy head, which slowly dissipated, leaving some nice lacing behind. The body was a very dark opaque brown, with no visible carbonation.

S- Big coffee aromas combine with roasted malt aromas... clean, simple, and a sign of good things to come...

T- A near perfect replicate of the nose- big coffee and roasty flavors. The coffee is big without being overpowering. As the beer warms, a bitterness emerges and carries through the lingering roasty/coffelike finish.

M- Light to medium body... slightly oily with some nice velvety soft carbonation.

D- Goes down really easy. I could enjoy several in one sitting!

jgasparine, Nov 08, 2009
Photo of Spineypanda
4.25/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Has a nice dark color, almost can't see through it. Large head with good retention time.
Smells of chocolate and coffee.
Tastes like chocolate and a nice hint of coffee that is not overwhelming. When I had it on tap a few years ago it had a stronger coffee flavor, but now it is perfect.
Has a low amount of carbonation on the tongue, and has the best flavor at the back of the tongue.

Love this beer and have bought it many times.

Spineypanda, Nov 07, 2009
Photo of generallee
4.1/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: It was poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a pint glass. The label has a bottled on date of "091009" notched on to it and I sampled it on 11-6-09.

Appearance: It pours quite dark with a brown/black color and an average size tan head. The head hangs on well and make nice slippery lace on the glass.

Smell: The aroma is sweet like brown sugar with some roasted and toasted notes as well. Hop notes are very light and subdued.

Taste/Palate: Its flavor has mellow hints of brown sugar, roasted barley, burnt wood, and roasted coffee with cream. The finish comes quickly with some mellow spicy hops and solid dark roasted coffee notes fading off the tongue. It is a light to medium body porter with a creamy texture and lively carbonation.

Notes: This is a very tasty very sweet and easy drinking stout that would make a great session beer or breakfast beer.

generallee, Nov 06, 2009
Photo of muqingjing
3.85/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: A deep, dark brown with a small light brown head. Very solid looking beer.

S: A definite coffee scent, as well as a hint of chocolate. Someone could have probably convinced me that I was smelling a mocha latte.

T: It starts off good, with a distinct coffee flavor. The aftertaste left me a bit wanting though; the flavor seems to dissipates a bit too quickly when I'd rather it linger just a little longer. Overall, it's nice, smooth, and flavorful. The only weakness is the carbonation; it makes the porter taste more acidic than I would like.

M: Has more carbination than I would expect from a porter. Somewhat creamy like a good porter should be.

D: Drinkability takes a hit, as the nice coffee flavor starts to vanish, instead replaced by the slightly bitter taste of burnt cocoa. The main issue I have with the drinkability is the carbonation. Specifically, the carbonation combined with the thickness of a porter makes it somewhat hard to drink a ton; when you burp it's not just air coming up...

Overall: This would be a terrific porter if it just had less carbonation. Instead, it's above average/pretty good.

muqingjing, Nov 03, 2009
Photo of Naugled
3.9/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

on tap,

very nice creamy rocky tan head, lasted until the end

pleasant sweet coffee aroma,

nice gentle flavor, not over spiked with coffee, rich and delicious, nice balance

good mouthfeel, rich and smooth, ice cream like

very drinkable, I'll have another please

Naugled, Oct 31, 2009
Photo of SPThirtyThree
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

A: Since this is a coffee beer, I suppose it stands to reason that the beer would be made the exact darkness and color as a weak cup of actual coffee. Pours sparkling and clear underneath it's dark color - not quite dark enough to call black as it lets a profuse amount of light through. A nice charred tan head rests atop, about one finger deep. The head atrophies to a thin haze layer on the beer with a few clusters of bubbles surrounded by tiny tan pillows of head. When poured aggressively, a wispy lacing is formed in rings around the glass to provide a record of the size of every pull taken from the pint glass.

S: Clove honey dominates the nose of this beer in the head. However, after the head collapses, more chocolate and burnt coffee flavors are present. The nose has a very sweet chocolate smell overall - very well-balanced and pleasant.

T: Smooth and sweet. Again, balance is the theme of this brew. The bitterness is perfectly matched to the sweetness of the malt and the spiciness of the coffee.

M: Carbonation is a tad high for this style, but actually compliments this coffee porter well, as it helps to offset the competing tastes in the beer and continues the theme of balance.

D: Moderate. These beers seem amazingly drinkable at first, but then the sweetness tends to begin to overwhelm after several.

Overall, a great beer for this style, which seems to have many entries who are hop-heavy. It's nice to see a darker beer with a decently high ABV that is not overly hoppy. Solid, balanced. My only regret is that it is not a little blacker and heavier in the mouthfeel.

SPThirtyThree, Oct 27, 2009
Photo of Jmoore50
4.13/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The appearance is dark brown with light brown edges. Comes with an off white one finger head that leaves after a few sips. No lacing.

The smell is of faint coffee and roasted grains.

The taste is really surprisingly good. The coffee flavor is just perfect for this 5.40% porter. There are good smooth roasted grains in the background and also a bitterness from the hops and coffee at the end. I really enjoyed this ones flavor.

The mouthfeel is good, a bit like coca cola but the coffee mellows out the feel a lot.

Good drinkability, an over all good experience.

J

Jmoore50, Oct 25, 2009
Photo of IPhantom
3.85/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I don't know what I expected out of somebody combining my two loves in a glass, but this was pretty good. Great translucent black color, but I feel like the experience would have been more complete with a lingering foamy head. The taste, simply put, delivers. Exhibits both beer and coffee chararcter. Dark, earthy malts come to mind the same way as espresso, with a surprisingly crisp hop finish that compliments the similarly surprising mouthfeel. Good stuff, and a great break if you ever get tired of Octoberfest offerings.

IPhantom, Oct 20, 2009
Photo of far333
3.53/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Deep dark brown with ruby highlights and an oatmeal colored head that settles out to a low cap of firm looking foam.

Low aroma of roasted malt and coffee.

Rich flavor of dark malt upfront, quickly moving to roasted coffee bean, some cherry tang tartness, and then a woody, oaky, smokey finish. Medium bitterness. Coffee bean flavor lingers.

Mouthfeel is full and creamy, but also tannic and puckery. Average drinkability, the coffee is a little overstated for me, would like more balance.

far333, Oct 13, 2009
Photo of rpstevens
3.95/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle dated 2/17/09, I saved this one from summer to see how it would hold up...

The appearance is dark brown that lets some light through around the edges. There is a small tan head that fades quickly, leaving a small amount of lacing.

The smell is a huge hit of strong coffee followed up by a nice milk chocolate sweetness.

The taste is a more bitter coffee than the smell suggests, with some nice malty roasted flavors. The sweet milk chocolate is present for a split second, but this beer is really all about the coffee.

This is a great porter, dark, roasty, malty but still medium/light bodied and drinkable. There are definitely some porters that drink like stouts, and this isn't one of them. It's well carbonated, the relatively low alcohol and strong flavors make this a nice session beer. It's also worth noting how well this beer held up for 6 months the flavors were still strong.

rpstevens, Oct 13, 2009
Photo of Darkhorse09
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On Tap at the Peekskill Brewery's birthday celebration.

A: Dark black color, had at night outdoors, so could not see colors quite as well as I wouldve liked. Not much head, nice milk chocolate colored cap however. Average lacing. Looks good to me.

S: Coffee! As advertised, this beer is full of coffee aroma. Also come chocolate, with a touch of sweetness, almost a chocolate pudding smell. Odd, but mixed very nicely with the heavy coffee aroma.

T: Smooth coffee flavors, like a cup of joe with just a splash of milk. Bitterness is nice on the finish. Also has some chocolate malt, but coffee is the dominant flavor. Hops make an appearance too, but a small one.

M: Other reviews consider the body too thin, I think it was just right. Medium, good mouthfeel, a pleasure to drink. Spot on carbonation.

D: Very tasty, could have a few of these. I am admittedly a coffee lover however, so if coffee isnt your thing, try it, but perhaps just one. A delightful porter.

Darkhorse09, Oct 12, 2009
Photo of DNICE555
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

On Tap at Plan B in Simsbury, CT

A - Watched the bartender give it a rough pour into a pint glass. Beautiful 3 finger tan to almost brown head rests on top of a black body. This is the Christina Ricci of Porters.

S - Very nice coffee aroma. Tap handle states "100 percent Kona Beans." Some chocolate stands out as well.

T - A darker caramel malt combines with a pleasant coffee taste up front. Hints of chocolate undertones present throughout finishing with coffee dominating the flavor.

M - Medium body, average carbonation, almost like drinking a carbonated cup of coffee.

D - Impressed with the coffee flavor. Don't drink coffee outside of stouts and porters but tastes like some quality beans were used. Pint was very drinkable. Heavy on the coffee and caramel malts, couldn't have more than one.

DNICE555, Oct 05, 2009
Photo of HalfFull
3.45/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From a 12 oz. bottle poured into a large wine glass. Pours a deep brown, clear and with ruby highlights. Nearly an inch of light mocha foam settles slowly, yielding some spotty lacing.

Coffee notes are present in a nice balance, along with cocoa and some dark chocolatey malts. As the head settles coffee notes increase, offering more of a dark roasted coffee sense than the earlier frothed mix that resembled tiramisu. A bit difficult to regenerate a head on the brew so the roasted scents proliferate for the majority of the glass, and are a bit too thick for me.

Tastes more of coffee and light chocolate. Body is moderate to light and the complexities of flavor are limited. There is a bit of spice on the finish which lingers for a short time. Feel is fuller than the body would indicate, given the way the coffee flavors coat the tongue, though this thins as the carbonation lessens. And the drinkability is dependent upon your coffee threshold, as the profile is somewhat singular in that regard. I'm kind of middle of the road in that department.

A unique brew that would be quite nondescript without the coffee addition. Yet this is surely REAL coffee in this beer, not some malt derivative.

HalfFull, Sep 29, 2009
Photo of Bitterbill
3.83/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bought in a mixed 6 pack.

Date stamp on bottle: Aug2509.

A very dark brown with some reddish hues, it has less than an inch of foam. A pretty vigorous pour too but I did pull it straight out of the fridge.

Roasted malt greets my nose buds along with some bitter chocolate, some coffee, and a light hop presence.

The taste is all roasty with some coffee and dark chocolate goodness that brings the bitterness; besides the choco, I can taste some hop bitterness as well. A pretty nice tasting Porter here. Similar to some of the Irish Dry Stouts I've had...

I find it just a notch below medium bodied with light carbonation.

Drinkability? It's a good tasting and easy drinking example of the style. Nothing super dooper about it but very solid. I like.

Bitterbill, Sep 28, 2009
Photo of flagmantho
4.05/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: almost black with a ruby tinge when held up to the light. One-finger creamy tan head which leaves a wispy lace. I like it.

Smell: big nose of coffee, coffee, coffee. That said, it doesn't seem overdone; it is well-proportioned to the beer.

Taste: coffee all over the place. Malt is sweet with some chocolate notes, and there is a nice bitterness. This is a coffee porter for the real java-heads.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied, relatively low carb but enough to give a sustaining mouthfeel.

Drinkability: I could drink this stuff all night; it's great!

flagmantho, Sep 26, 2009
Photo of jwhawkins81
4.33/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aroma - Chocolaty coffee roasted goodness.

Appearance - Dark black off-white to tan with a slowly dissipating head.

Taste - Smooth roasted with a lot of coffee. Plenty of coffee and roasted flavors.

Notes - Maybe the best coffee porter I've ever had. Mahina means moon in Hawaiian.

jwhawkins81, Aug 09, 2009
Photo of COBeerBuff
3.6/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Pours a very rich and smooth brownish-black with little to no light coming through. Almost no head, and what is there recedes quickly to a mocha colored ring around the edge of the glass.

Smell: Definitely smells of Kona coffee. Smells almost like a mix of hot chocolate and Kona coffee beans. The sweetness of the chocolate and vanilla malts almost subdues the coffee in the nose.

Taste: The coffee flavors are barely there. The chocolate and vanilla sweetness and some of the hop bite are there, but overall, the taste is a lot more bland that I imagined.

Mouthfeel: This is very crisp and light. I was expecting, based on the appearance and nose, more of a Baltic Porter-type feel, but this is much lighter than that.

Drinkability: As crisp as this porter feels, this beer would be immensely drinkable if you're able to get it in more than just singles. I think this would serve well as a fall or spring beer where the chill is still in the air, but it's not quite cold enough for the RIS and winter warmers.

COBeerBuff, Jul 23, 2009
Photo of BeerBelcher
3.28/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

I used to live in Hawaii and frequently drank Kona coffee when I lived there. I thought that a coffee porter from Kona with Kona coffee would be very dry and roasty, and this beer was quite a bit more mild-mannered than I expected. I thought it would be superlative in terms of dryness and roastiness, and it wasn't that.

It poured a pretty dark brown, and looked a little thin going into the glass. Aroma was definitely coffee-ish, with some nice maltiness. Aroma was pretty mild in intensity. Flavor was dry and of coffee, but a little watery. I am no coffee connoisseur but I swear I could tell that the coffee notes I detected were of Kona coffee, versus the Starbucks Sumatra Extra Bold I usually drink in the morning. I thought powerful coffee would equal very bold coffee notes, and I didn't get that here. However, the beer was very dry with not a lot of sweetness, which I liked and thought fitting for a coffee porter (many of them have to what to my palate is a very sweet taste) and thought appropriate for the kind of coffee represented here.

Hawaii is lovely and everyone should visit, but I can't say that if I were flying there tomorrow this beer would be the first thing I sought out there upon arrival.

A huge thanks to JaBier for giving me this bottle!

BeerBelcher, Jul 12, 2009
Photo of RickS95
4.03/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark cola in color, thin head that's gone quickly. It's a good looking beer.

The malty coffee flavors dominate the nose, but in a good way. It's a smell I've come to expect in a good porter.

Like most good porters, a creamy mouthfeel. Despite very little head, there was nice lacing.

I'm not a fan of coffee, never have developed a taste for it; however, I've come to appreciate it in a good beer. This is a good beer and while the coffee taste is prevalent, it's in a good way.

I can't even stand a sip of coffee, but put that same taste in a beer and I'm ok with knocking back several. This is no exception. I'm almost all the way done with the beer I was reviewing, and I'm ready to head back to the fridge for another one.

RickS95, Jun 13, 2009
Photo of glid02
3.13/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Had this on-tap at Manuel's Tavern in Atlanta.

Pours one shade from black with a one-finger tan head. The head recedes into a thin pancake on top leaving light lacing.

Smells of light amounts of coffee with lots of chocolate milk mix aromas. As it warms the coffee and roasted malt aromas are more prevalent but are still stuck behind a milk chocolate aroma that's a bit too sweet.

Tastes similar to how it smells, though the chocolate flavors taste even more convoluted. Fake chocolate and butterscotch flavors up front carry all the way through until a slight coffee bitterness comes in at the end.

Mouthfeel is good. It has a nice thickness with moderate carbonation.

Drinkability is not good. I didn't even finish my glass and would certainly not order another.

Overall this was lacking. I was hoping to be surprised here after some of Kona's other beers were above average, but this just didn't do it.

glid02, Jun 12, 2009
Photo of Kegatron
3.9/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a deep brown/almost black with a finger of mocha colored tan head. Thin and smooth retention leaves some big spotty lacing back. The aroma has some definite coffee character to it but it also has a lot of sweeter malt notes of chocolate and toffee going on too. Pretty even between the java and malts in the nose.

The taste is similar but luckily the coffee comes out even more, mixing with a big sweet base of chocolate and caramel. A moderate hit of roast and hops provide some balancing bitterness. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a solid prickly carbonation that then spreads out into a creamier feel, keeping things easy and more drinkable.

This was nice. Good balance between the coffee character and Porter qualities and a solid mouthfeel kept this nicely quaffable. One of the better bottled offerings from Kona.

Kegatron, Jun 02, 2009
Photo of palliko
4.13/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice, black coffee porter! Too bad this is a seasonal beer - I would enjoy it year-round. Aroma is good, but not as strong as I had expected. Pours with a solid inch of beige foam, and the lacing hung around to the finish. Freshly roasted coffee and chocolate malt, medium carbonation, and thick mouthfeel. Minimum hops. Burnt sugar. Reminiscent of 1554, but distinctive. Great with food, with a nice malty, bitter finish.

palliko, May 22, 2009
Pipeline Porter from Kona Brewing Co.
86 out of 100 based on 1,598 ratings.