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Pipeline Porter - Kona Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Pipeline PorterPipeline Porter

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

1,612 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,612
Reviews: 677
rAvg: 3.8
pDev: 12.37%
Wants: 51
Gots: 91 | 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
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Ratings: 1,612 | Reviews: 677 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of indiapaleale
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice deep dark brown. Head is coffee colored and go figure it smells like a nice cup of good coffee.

Taste is bitter chocolate, strong coffee notes and some hop spiciness/bitterness.

Very easy drinking coffee beer, nothing over powering. I'd love to try this on nitro as it would be smoother and probably a more full tasting beer.

As far as bottled coffee beers go, this is one of the better ones that I've had. It also has a pretty cool label...IMO.


Photo of Zraly
4.33/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark brown to black with a thinnish tan head. Wonderful aroma of coffee (and something akin to the way a chocolate wrapper smells when you first open it).

One word: delicious. Smooth, balanced flavor profile with a light to medium body. Rich flavors of brown sugar, espresso, and a nice smattering of bittersweet baker's chocolate. Silky, creamy body, and just enough carbonation to not be cloying. That is, this is not so rich that you can't have more than one. A great session ale for dark beer lovers.

If you don't care for coffee, do not be intimidated: the coffee flavor is part of, rather than a dominant feature of, this ale. With that said, if you love coffee and beer (as I do), then this is an ale you must try!

Try it with anything you'd have coffee with! And unlike coffee, it might even go well with a nice grilled strip steak.

Photo of hoplover82
4.25/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a thick black with a tan creamy medium sized head that slowly dissapates to nothing, but leaves very little sinking delicate lace.

Aroma of coffee and a little chocolate. Very balanced. Not dominated my coffee or choclate. Roasty malts shine through. Very nice aroma.

The flavor is a mirror of the aroma. But the roastiness shines through even more. Mmmmm... Alcohol shines a little when cold, but if you let it warm up, the alcohol fades totally. There is just a hint of hops in the aftermath.

This medium bodied, creamy porter really suprized me, (compared to their other offerings) this is their best by far. The malt coats my mouth fully and stay forever.

Very drinkable. I highly suggest this one.

Photo of dewalt
3.85/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Crack open a bottle of Pipeline and pour it into a glass, and you'd think you just brewed a nice cup of java. Kona mixes coffee beans right in with the malt, and you can tell; a glass of the porter smells like coffee grinds, with a hint of chocolate and malt sweetness. The taste is smooth and creamy, like a mocha frappucchino, but not so sweet that you can't detect the dark malt.

My one complaint would be the mouthfeel -- for such a smooth, creamy beer, I'd expect a little more thickness, and Pipeline tends to be thin. That's good in the sense that the beer is highly drinkable, and not overpowering, but my own taste would tend towards something a bit more robust.

Photo of RunDWP
3.45/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

It's a good standby porter that Í've had over the past couple of years, and I like the way they tie it to the big island of Hawaii. Pours a dark brown in the glass with a somewhat fizzy, thin head. Not much aroma on the noise. Standard porter flavor of roasted malt and you can taste the rich, Kona coffee in the brew. Not a lot of bitterness here, which actually works for this brew. A bit of a thin, watery mouth feel for a porter. In addition, most porters aren't this type of easy, smooth drinking beer. Doesn't go for the big flavor and so doesn't hit the home run in terms of flavor, but the good news is that it's very drinkable.

I can see why it's popular, but it just isn't quite my speed.

Photo of Spikester
4.1/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown opaque with a modest tan head, minor lacings.
Aroma is rich coffee, some malts.
Taste is a smooth rich kona coffee flavor, slightly sweet from the malts, and nice bitter dry finish.
Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy.
Drinkability is very good if you enjoy good coffee.
This is the third Kona Brewing Co. product I have tried. They have all been very enjoyable. This might give me an reason to take a vacation in Hawaii!

Photo of kemoarps
4.08/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

It pours a deep deep brown, with a tight head that fades fairly quickly and decent lacing.

The smell is first second and third a roasted coffee (no big surprise considering that is what this brewing company associates itself to). Thsi roasted coffee malt gives way to some creamy and smoky tendencies edge through.

The taste follows in the aroma's footsteps, unsurprisingly. The hops are decidedly a roasted espresso bean, which is kind of nice (even though I'm not usually a big coffee drinker in general). has moments of thinness, but overall a positive impression. Spices I can't quite place and a slight bitterness round this brew out, overall I really like the flavour of this beer.

It is not overly heavy, in fact, my biggest complaint would bet hat sometimes it feels little thin, and the carbonation levels seem appropriate.

I could probably drink a couple of these in a row, it's not overwhelming, doesn't coat the mouth, but does settle into the stomach and feels heavy. Or maybe I'm just full.

Photo of magictrokini
3.8/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Not a big fan of porters, but this one is nice. Almost black pour with a ring of brown bubbles for a head. Aroma is coffee with some cocoa and malt. Great flavor. Not overpowering coffee, but it is there, with a good balance of sweeter malts and some bitter hops. Dry finish.

Photo of Beernoisseur
4.15/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Presentation - Poured from 12 oz brown bottle into a pint pilsner glass.

A - I LOVE pouring stouts and porters. They are gorgeous, and this one is no exception. It poured thick, dark and syrupy. Two fingers worth of ivory head retention, Good head retention, spotty lacing. How do you describe the color of this brew? Hmmm, Espresso? (fitting) Root beer? Either way, it's friggin dark.

S - Glorious. I love the smell of coffee, but besides that, there are smoky notes, and something mellow in there like warm cream. Yum!

T - Love it. Definite coffee (obviously), but also a little of a hoppy twang, and a zip of charcoal.

M - Soft and mellow. Only a bit of carbonation in this one. Creamy, round and chewy.

D - I loved this beer, but I wouldn't drink to many. I have a rough time with caffeine.

Photo of armock
2.45/5  rDev -35.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

I had this on-tap at the Houston Gingerman without being told about the coffee in it. I'll just say it now that I don't like cold coffee or those iced coffee things.

A - Poured a black color with a thin tan head that quickly fades

S - Smells like a pint of cold watered down coffee

T - Has a very strong black coffee flavor that nothing else really came through to me

M - This beer has a thin watery body with medium carbonation to it

D - I can say that I won't be revisiting this beer anytime soon it was very hard for me to drink this beer stay away unless you like cold black coffee

Photo of Jason
3.95/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz brown bottle with a packaged on freshness date.

Billowing light brown head towers over the nearly black liquid, good head retention as well. Smells strong of dark roasted coffee, dark unsweetened chocolate and a hint of wood charcoal. Smooth with a lush medium body. Firm coffee flavor from the start holds on to the palate for a long time, firm but not dominant. Malt sweetness chimes in with a quick but faint burnt sugar flavor, then it all goes towards a mild roasted grain tone. The modest hopping lets the coffee shine. Finishes bitter sweet like an iced espresso.

Good stuff here. Certainly not in your face but it does capture the coffee flavor that most brewers seem to miss by either not having enough or becoming too acrid. Very well balanced.

Photo of aval89
4.1/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured a 12oz bottle linto a pint glass. Poured a nice dark brown with a nice thick head.

S: smells of rich coffee, but not too much. also of maple syrup and a bit of a hoppy smell.

T: rich coffee taste with just the right amount of bitterness.

M: a bit creamy at first, then you get the hops flavor. the coffee flavor is dominant.

D: The drink ability is very good. I would drink this every morning haha. If u like coffee, its for you. Has just the right amount of coffee flavor.

Photo of Traquairlover
3.9/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

12-oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A = Dark mahogany with red tints at edges, almost no head and what does form quickly dissipates.

S = The smell of roasted coffee beans is very strong in the nose, although that is the predominant smell, there are also notes of maple syrup, some bitter herbs.

T = Taste is creamy strong coffee of a medium roast, some sweet cinnamon notes and a light bitterness to balance the flavors. The only negative comment is that at mid-palate it seems a little watery and thin in taste.

M = Creamy, heavy body, very good mouthcoating. A great luscious feeling beer.

Photo of jzsams
4.33/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown with a faint ruby red that just peaks through. Head is light brown and about 3 fingers high from a vigorous pour. Head doesn't stick around long and carbonation struggles to the top of the glass.

Aroma is dominated by toasty chocolate and coffee, 100% Kona. Molasses and toasted malt is bullied to the back. Coffee is king in this one.

Mouth feel is creamy at first and hops come through for some pleasant bitterness. Toasted coffee and rich dark chocolate malt dominate. Hugh malt backbone keeps the coffee from being too acidic. Hops are well balanced and linger on the palate.

If you enjoy coffee like I do you will love this beer. A limited release offering that should be available year round.

Photo of AChamberlain
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Dark with a dark tan head. Translucent at the edges.

S: Great whole bean coffee aroma. I hate when coffee porters don't smell like coffee. This one gets it right.

T: Pop a bean in yr mouth. That is the flavor. Good bitterness.

MF: Maybe a bit to thin. I wanted thicker mouthfeel, too wet.

D: Pretty solid. This one actually surprised me. I truthfully was not expecting much, but it far exceeded expectations for sure. The coffee is well apparent...just like my cup of black coffee in the morning.

Photo of babaracas
3.65/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours pitch black with small khaki head, little retention, lacing all the way down. Smell: not particularly strong black coffee, cocoa. Pretty mild. Taste: predominantly coffee, with roasted, burnt flavors, touch of chocolate. Not much in the way of hops. Mouthfeel: there's a creaminess yet it's pretty thin, finishes like coffee. Pretty good for the coffee end of the porter scale, but there are much better porters out there.

Photo of BeerSox
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into nonic.

Pitch black with a touch of ruby edges at the bottom of the glass. A one finger tan head slowly settles to a thin even cap.

Lots of burnt malts with a little bit of chocolate and plenty of roasted coffee.

The roasty malts are there along with a lot of coffee. A lot of sweet flavors like toffee are in there as well. Very little bitterness. Full bodied.

I really like the coffee-stout/porter combinations that are coming out these day. They go well together. This one does a good job of mixing the two. Recommended.

Photo of JayQue
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dense almost black color, medium size tan head with little head retention. Good thick lacing on the glass. The smell is very mild - malty and a little coffee.

Taste is very impressive. Rich and malty at the start with strong coffee and semi-sweet chocolate following. The finish is a mild roasted, almost smoky malt.

The mouthfeel is rich and creamy. Drinkability is very good. The combination of interesting flavors and a rich mouthfeel are winners. This would be a great winter time session beer.

Photo of ThreeWiseMen
3.9/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Dark, semi-translucent brown with creamy, tan head. Head is a bit loose, but retains pretty nicely. Slight lacing.

Smell: Black, Kona coffee with a touch of sugar. Not at all surprising or complex, but definitely "good."

Taste: Kona coffee, toasted malts, sugar, and a touch of cream. Mild hop bitterness picks up around mid-glass; at the same time, toasted malt flavor steps in front of coffee. Wish I could give this a 3.75.

Mouthfeel: Light body with low carbonation. Pretty smooth and creamy, though the crispness seems to kick in as the session progresses.

Drinkability: Very easy, light, and refreshing, though I could definitely imagine myself getting bored with this. Taste seems to change from sweet coffee to toasted malts, becoming more bitter and crisp as well, as the session goes on.

NOTE: One of Wiseman Justin's favorite beers. This review will surely be ammended when he finally gets around to reviewing it.

Photo of champ103
3.1/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark brown, nearly black. A two finger beige head forms and gently recedes. Good lace is left behind.
S: Lightly roasted sweet malt aroma. Almost no coffee and metallic. Not impressed.
T: Much better. Much more robust roasted malt and coffee. It also has a strange sweet chocolate milk flavor. It is a bit off putting.
M/D: A medium body that is kind of watery and thin. Though well carbonated for the style. Easy and smooth to drink.

A pleasant porter to drink. If the aroma was more robust, and the chocolate milk flavor was toned down this would be a really good beer.

Photo of oberon
3.98/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a standard pint a deep cola brown with a thin wispy beige head that was gone ver quickly.The Kona coffee really shines in the aroma along with some roasted nut,mollases,and even a passing shot of piney hop,flavors are heavily roasted and coffee-like with some bitter unsweetened chocolate,finishes with some mollases and a bit of earth.Not overly complex but the coffee is nice and it went well with some bbq smoked sausage I had for lunch.

Photo of jwc215
3.58/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap @ The Ginger Man, NYC:

Pours black with a thick light brown head that descends to a thin patch, leaving some lacing.

The smell is of light roast, some light coffee, some fruitiness.

The taste is of sweet berry-like fruitiness with coffee. Iced coffee finish.

Hits medium-body. Smooth.

Not a bad coffee-ish porter at all, though not as rich as other coffee-accented brews I've had - a bit too sweet - not crazy about the smell or flavor of the coffee in this one, though I liked it well enough. Good - but nothing "great", IMO.

Photo of Onenote81
3.73/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer is beautiful! Pours a jet black with a nice two-finger tan head resting comfortably on top. Retention is lacking, but the lacing is superb. Perfect rings around the glass after each sip.

Smells of toffee, espresso, and buttered bread. Smells good.

Taste mimicks the smell as I'm tasting coffee, and dark chocolate. Pretty mild bitterness. Fairly balanced throughout.

I like this porter. High drinkability due to its creamy smoothness. Recommend.

Photo of skillerified
3.55/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Very dark with some hints of red and brown on the edges. Half-finger head that fades to a lasting cap, creamy looking and off-white colored. Pretty sticky lacing too.

Lots of good scents going on here. Strangly, what jumps at me first is a fruity smell. Hard to place exactly, but a distinctly, non-citric fruit smell. Very sweet. Also layers of chocolate (baked, not really candy-like), bread and, of course, coffee. The coffee is not at all overwhelming. It's only a hint, not the dominant trait as might be expected from a brew that touts its addition of 100% pure Kona coffee. Reasonably complex and very tasty smelling.

The coffee flavor does hit home on the first sip, however. It's strong, but smooth. Tasty all around, but lacking the complexity that the scent had. The fruit and chocolate from the nose don't make it to the palate, which is disappointing. Still tasty, but not as much as one would hope for.

Pretty uneventful mouthfeel. It's light and pretty smooth. A little carbonation bite, but not quite enough to be considered refreshing.

Pretty high drinkability all around. It's reasonably tasty and goes down easy. Should be good with any food that coffee is good with, a lot of breads and maybe some chocolates come to mind immediately. Still a sort of unexciting brew in the end.

Photo of beernut
4.22/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. Pours a dark black, chocolaty color with a small tan head, decent lacing. Light carbonation. Aroma of coffee and chocolate. Taste is that of Kona coffee (if you know the taste) and chocolate with a slight hop taste as well. No heavy coffee/mocha aftertaste. Mouthfeel is pure heaven, smooth and crisp. An awesome beer. I suggest you try some Kona coffee before you try this beer so you can truly appreciate it.

Pipeline Porter from Kona Brewing Co.
86 out of 100 based on 1,612 ratings.