1. Rating beers by attributes (look, smell, taste, feel, overall) is back! Read the latest update ...
  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.
very good

1,570 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,570
Reviews: 677
rAvg: 3.8
pDev: 12.11%
Wants: 44
Gots: 80 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Pipeline Porter Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,570 | Reviews: 677 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of tonistruth
3.28/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- dark brown sporting a 2 finger tan head, good retent, unimpressive lacing though

S- roasted, coffee, semisweet, coffee bean

T- coffee are mellow yet so very obvious throughout entire drinking, bitterness from the beans as well, roasted malts, bittersweet up front, somewhat of a unpleasant staleness at times, loads of coffee flavor and then some

M- medium bodied, carbonation lively, smooth

D- like unsweetened coffee with alcohol. flavor is too much to session, not right type for my taste buds, pretty interesting overall even with its rough spots

tonistruth, Sep 01, 2007
Photo of ppoitras
3.05/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle received via I Want That BIF from flexabull. Thanks for the opportunity. Packaged on Mar19,07.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, forming a 1/2" tan head over the very dark root-beer brown brew. Head fades gradually, with reasonable slow-falling lace. Aroma is light, with dark malt sweetness and coffee apparent only upon working at it. Expect more on a brew that advertises prominently all about the coffee in their brew. Taste is moderate sweetness upfront, with some coffee bitterness at the close, but no real body to either the brew. Mouthfeel is thin, and drinkability is pretty easy, but nothing really makes me want to search this one out again. Was let down here.

ppoitras, Jul 11, 2007
Photo of akorsak
4.15/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A 12 oz bottle purchased from Liquid Solutions.

A: The porter pours a dark brown-black color, something close to the color of black coffee. A two finger head, on pour, of cappucino colored foam sits atop the beer. Post-pour, the head recedes quickly to a small off-white band.

S: The nose has a wonderful aroma of freshly ground coffee that is nicely mixed with a caramel sweetness. The coffee is very enticing.

T: The emphasis, taste-wise, is definitely the kona coffee addition. It adds a robust flavor that that takes control from the first sip. It is paired quite well with a chocolatey roasted malt that has a strong sweetness. That sweetness is paired with the coffee like a tiramisu and espresso, a damn near perfect combination.

M: The ground coffee is strong without overdoing the bitter aspect, therefore I give this a big thumb's up!

D: The abv is low and the coffee porter flavor is well-mixed, this is a good beer no matter how you look at it.

akorsak, Jul 02, 2007
Photo of Slatetank
4.25/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz brown bottle into a goblet at 45 degrees
A - Black as ink with a tan head containing fine pin sized bubbles that generate a nice layer of lace.

S - Smell of sweet medium roast coffee. Nice deep cocoa notes compliment the bean aromas

M - Smooth, mild and creamy with roasted textures and a sweet finish.

T - Roasted Coffee w/ creamy porter in a smooth cocoa like blend. Nutty, but only slightly. Mostly coffee and sweet dark malt tastes in the finish - like sipping cold brewed coffee and porter out of two cups with straws. The flavors blend so well.

D - Very tasty coffee accented beer. Maybe the best beer w/ pure coffee added that I have tasted. I found the coffee flavors to be a plus unlike some other reviewers before me. A bit sweet to consume in multiples, and on the rich side, gut still very drinkable.

Slatetank, Jun 24, 2007
Photo of markaberrant
2.88/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A - black, light passes through bottom of glass. Thin tan head forms, and quickly recedes.

S - sweet malt, light roast, clean.

T - thin coffee flavour dominates, almost no roasted malt flavour, low bitterness, yet it's not sweet either.

M - comes across as thin and watery. First couple sips had an extremely dry finish, but gets better.

D - I suppose this would be a nice alternative to iced coffee, but as a beer it is nothing more than a curiousity.

Coffee character totally dominates, but the problem is that it's not even a good coffee flavour. Disappointing.

Thanks to Noxious26 for the bottle!

markaberrant, Jun 23, 2007
Photo of Westsidethreat
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Deep auburn almost the color of cola. Head is fizzy and weak, leaving almost no foam once it dies.

S: Iced coffee, milk chocolate, limestone and vanilla.

T: Begins with subdued coffee flavor, but it definitely dominates all the other flavors right off the bat. Creamy milk chocolate comes in next as the coffee dwindles but never goes away. Good amount of vanilla with sort of an unfortunate artificial aspect to it. As this flavor wanes, the chocolate juts up, as does the coffee. Finishes mildly roasted with lingering iced coffee flavors.

M: Thin and hard.

D: Really tasty brew…too bad it didn’t have more body. With a bit more mouthfeel, this could have been a decadent treat.

Westsidethreat, Jun 20, 2007
Photo of jaxon53
3.63/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Recieved this bottle somewhat unexpectedly from flexabull (thank you). Served at just about cellar temperature, into a snifter, from a twelve ounce bottle. Poured a deep brown that looked black in the glass. About a finger and a half of thick, soapy, light tan colored head rose up from the glass with a somewhat vigorous pour. Head retention was decent and some thick lace was left on the glass. Smell: A very pronounced roasted coffee aroma filled my nose, followed by some sweet chocolate notes. Smell was split between bitter and sweet. Taste: bitter rich coffee, smokey roasted malt, and a small hop bite mixed with more coffee in the finish. Pretty smooth and clean porter. Mouthfeel was a little thin and watery with minimal carbonation. Drinkability was pretty good as well.

jaxon53, Jun 17, 2007
Photo of flexabull
3.93/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This is a review of the bottled version. Bought this on the Big Island, Hawaii.

Pours a deer dark brown, almost black color, with a nice white head.

Aromas are of dark wet ground coffee beans, with a bit of malty sweetness.

Flavors are dominated by the coffee. If you don't like coffee, you will not like this beer. There is also a slightly burnt/roasted malt like quality, some creamy malts, and a slightly bitter finish. Nice clean porter.

Mouthfeel is ok. A bit too lean on the finish, but still decent.

Drinkability is good. A very nice easy drinking, yet full flavored porter. Very session worthy.

flexabull, Jun 14, 2007
Photo of Wasatch
3.93/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to msubulldog25 for the brew.

Pours a nice clean dark brown color, nice carbonation, quick fizzy little tan head, no sticky lacing at all. The nose is malty, lots of toffee/coffee going on. The taste is of roasted malts, and toffee/coffee, the finish is dry. Light-Medium body. Drinkable, my first Kona/Hawaii brew, not bad at all, recommended.

Wasatch, Jun 06, 2007
Photo of ClockworkOrange
3.73/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into my shaker glass. Appears a dark translucent brown color with about a finger of tan head that vanishes rather swiftly. Smells of sweet caramel, milk chocolate and roasted coffee. Tastes initially of bittersweet coffee and cocoa, followed by sweet caramel malts. Mouthfeel is a little thin, but still pretty decent with medium carbonation. A well done porter that I would seek out again.

ClockworkOrange, Jun 05, 2007
Photo of bgraney
4.55/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pitch black, darker than expected. Half finger cocoa head.
Sweet aroma, caramel is dominant. Expecting to pick up more coffee.
Delcious, fantastic flavor. Coffee is there, malts are robust, some chocolate hints and even some noticeable hop flavor. All very well balanced.
Leaves behind a great after taste of roasted coffee and caramel maltiness. The flavors linger for a long, long time.
It may be a bit overwelming for a few glasses but I thoroughly enjoyed two in a sitting.
I like coffee/chocolate porters/stouts a lot and I think this is one of the best.

bgraney, May 20, 2007
Photo of atsprings
4.08/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Talisker for the trade! Pours a deep black with a thin tan head that diminishes to a ring. The aroma is dominated by coffee with dark malts not far behind. The beer is quite tasty for a coffee porter, I still prefer coffee stouts, but this one is very well done. The beer is light to medium bodied and very crisp. This is a very enjoyable beer.

atsprings, May 20, 2007
Photo of Sammy
3.68/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pure coffee aroma, very fresh , nice soapy head and some lace down the glass. Coffee colour, and medium plus easy drinking understated carbonation mouthfeel. Not much complexity but A good straight up coffee style porter.Sweet dry aftertaste.Thanks for the trade Grub!
On tap 2.5 years later, kind of synthetic in the coffee and chocolate and way too much chocolate.

Sammy, May 18, 2007
Photo of SaCkErZ9
4.2/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served on draft at the Kona Brewpub on 4/29/07. Pours a dark, not quite opaque black color with some streams of ruby and purple toward the bottom of the glass. Decent sized tan head forms and stays awhile but leaves no lacing.

Aroma is mostly coffee followed by chocolate and burnt and toasted malts. Some bready aromas as well. The Kona coffee certainly comes through here and I think it is just right: not too much, not too little.

Flavor profile mimics the aromas. Nice coffee flavor that is strong in the beginning but fades rather quickly from the palate. Toasted malts and more bready and oatmeal flavors.

I really liked this beer. Very interesting and the first coffee porter I have had. I had this in the bottle as well but the draft version seemed fresher and more aromatic. Both were delicious and recommend both.

SaCkErZ9, May 07, 2007
Photo of Naerhu
3.93/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

I was very pleasantly surprised to find this beer at the National Azabu Market in Tokyo.

A - Pitch black with, disappointingly, no head.
S - Coffee with soft notes of chocolate and sweet maltyness.
T - Light coffee flavors, mixed with lightly roasty, slightly sweet oaky barley flavors,. It has nice depth of flavor but nothing too forceful. I could see knocking back a six back of these with a rack of bbq'ed baby back ribs.
M - Light body, with average carbonation.
D - My first craft beer I had in a half dozen weeks, I loved every second of it.

Naerhu, May 05, 2007
Photo of Noxious26
3/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle poured in a pint glass.

Obsidian black with walnut highlights. Dark beige head is 1/4 inch on pour. Reduces to a thin ring.

Aroma of dark roast coffee dominates. Sweet highlights and hints of burnt.

Mild flavour at the start. Light, sweet coffee. Finish is dark roast coffee with sweet highlights. Aftertaste is bitter coffee and burnt. Is this beer or coffee?

Medium bodied with light pin pricks of carbonation. Thinner than I would expect from the appearance.

Strong coffee flavour with little other complexity or highlights. Nice, but nothing special.

Noxious26, May 04, 2007
Photo of ColoradoBobs
3.85/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

A moderate pour into my .4 liter chalice yielded a two-finger dark tan head over a nearly-opaque brown-black-red body. Head faded pretty quickly to a thin ring, leaving minimal lacing.

Smell is nice! Coffee on toffee. Vanilla and chocolate. Smooth and warm smelling. Coffee aroma is very dominant. Slight hint of cherry pipe tobacco.

Taste is malt and coffee. There *may* be a hint of pine hops in the background. Nice and smooth, though not as pronounced as the aroma.

Mouthfeel is a bit on the thin side. Nice carbonation spreads the coffee aromas back up into the back side of the nose.

Easy to drink, with a pleasant coffee aftertaste.

Overall, the thin mouthfeel is a bit disappointing, but still this is a good coffee brew. I'd like to have my next one with some dark chocolate.

ColoradoBobs, Apr 28, 2007
Photo of Sephiroth
4.43/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to flexabull for my birthday present. Bottled on 2/16/07. Pours dark brown, nothing special to look at. But man, that smell... it isn't the usual roasted, bitter coffee aroma. This beer smells just like a cup of joe. A very rich cup of joe.

This beer has huge coffee flavor without the bitter acidity that usually accompanies coffee beers. I wish I had some Kona coffee to drink next to this. The porter flavors are woven seemlessly into the dominating coffee flavors. The mouthfeel is well carbonated, and a bit thin. I want another one, I would trade for this again.

Sephiroth, Apr 23, 2007
Photo of lackenhauser
3.43/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Average, very dark brown color. Low aroma-mild roast chocolate, no coffee aroma that I was expecting. Deep, rich malty flavor. Good dark chocolate flavor as well-no coffee anywhere to be seen. Very nice body-very full and satisfying. A decent porter but the absence of the coffee is a mystery to me after reading the label.

lackenhauser, Apr 12, 2007
Photo of grub
4.03/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

review #300! woohoo!

got this bottle from alohaC as part of the BA Secret Bunny 2007. i actually tried and failed to find some of this when i was in hawaii for my honeymoon, so it's great that i finally got to try some. thanks christian!

12oz bottle, packaged FEB1607.

pours deep brown, not quite opaque. a bit of tan head comes up when poured, but then quickly drops to a fine ring around the glass.

aroma is great. roast. bittersweet chocolate. lots of coffee. bit of alcohol. touch of caramel. bread and biscuit malts.

taste is good. coffee. light roast, but it seems to come more from the coffee than the grain. med-low bitterness. light bittersweet and dark chocolates. hints of toffee and caramel. bready malts. really nice.

mouthfeel is good. carbonation feels a touch high. nice medium body.

drinkability is good. balanced and enjoyable. it's always a bit of a challenge combining a flavour into a beer. in this case, it seems like the porter is a little less robust than it could be, letting the coffee show through nicely. even so, the coffee is not overpowering, seems just right. tasty and quite nice, glad i've got another bottle!

grub, Apr 08, 2007
Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.63/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Roasted coffee bean black with generous red-gold accents. Bright sunlight is barely visible on the opposite side of the pint glass. I love the creamy cap. It's coffee-with-cream in color and has a great deal of character, both after the pour and as it melts. A modest amount of sea foam lace does nothing to dampen my enthusiasm.

The nose can't quite keep pace with the appearance. It's roasted malty with a considerable coffee presence (100% Kona coffee, to be exact), but it fails to grab me for some reason. More power would probably help. I didn't expect there to be any accessory aromas, and there aren't.

Pipeline Porter has potential. I wish the brewers had seen fit to use enough malt because the outlines of a very good coffee porter are easy to see... er... taste. Just when I'm expecting the pleasant flavor to crest the wave and begin the wild ride to the beach, it washes out into something acceptable, but well short of spectacular.

I feel like I'm being too hard on a pretty well-brewed beer that balances its porterness with its coffee exceptionally well. I'm glad to see that it's a coffee-accented beer rather than alcoholic iced coffee, as some versions tend to be. I keep dreaming about what it could be like with more chocolate and roasted malt guts.

Obviously, the mouthfeel falls short of greatness as well. I'll be kind since it's acceptable for a porter, but a little viscosity would be a wonderful thing. I have no such complaints about the low-key carbonation. I'm not asking for the mouthfeel to 'hang ten', but it could at least 'hang five'.

Maybe it was the 'Limited Release' on the neck label, but I expected Pipeline Porter to be a better beer. Although it's a good, balanced, sessionable coffee porter, it fails to top Kona's own Fire Rock Pale Ale as far as I'm concerned.

BuckeyeNation, Apr 03, 2007
Photo of Talisker
3.35/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Very good beer - Kona doesn't get the credit it deserves.

12oz bottle purchased at City Beer Store in San Francisco, CA. I believe Kona beers dsitributed on the mainland are contract-brewed in California.

Pours into a brandy snifter a deep dark brown, almost black in the center, with tan edges and a light cream-colored head. Aroma is led by coffee, some burnt edges, but also a bit of milk. Taste is very well-integrated - coffee leads, but not overwhelming. Some sweet malt, and that milk again.

Unfortunately the texture is also a bit milky - just a tad thin, even for a porter, missing some of the backbone that would support the robust coffee. This thinness makes the beer much less appealing than it otherwise would be - starts out one of my favorite coffee beers, but doesn't have much body. Despite the milk, the lingering finish is predominantly dry, even drying. If you have more than one, you'll need a glass of water on hand to rehydrate your mouth.

Doesn't live up to my hopes, but certainly worth a try. And I've never had a true misfire from Kona, who doesn't seem to get credit for what they do - I'll visit the brewery some day!

Talisker, Apr 02, 2007
Photo of tavernjef
4.05/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Darkened brown and fairly black and inky. Smallish capping of offtanned foam grabs the top lightly for a bit before fading to an ever present thin collar and some miniscule lacing in spots.

Aroma is clean and pleasant with a light coffee acsent of roast and semi-chocolate fluffyness. Touch of oaty sweetness to it too.

Taste is good with nice a broad lasting flavor of slightly iced coffee and chocolate whipped cream with some cookie dough sweetness. Very quick and soothing with a simple yet delicate nature of fluffy roasted finish.

Feel is super quick and soft, a little light, but soothing and favors a ligher bodied porter than most. Nice fluffy touch on the finish with chocolate cream and coffee roast ghostlyness.

Drinkable and then some. Wow, this stuff goes down easy. A nice little porter from the Islands of Hawaii. Thanks to the parents who didn't disappoint with their stash of gifts from their trip. Thanks!

tavernjef, Mar 30, 2007
Photo of geographie
3.33/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4.5

pours a jet black, not quite opaque with a weaker tan head. Aroma is powerful, bing cherries, a flavored coffee note, some caramel, and vanilla. Intriguing.

Coffee is for sure the most distinguishable aspect to the flavor profile. There is little malt backing for such a unique flavor. Aftertaste is similar to that of watered down cola. No bitterness to speak of, but finishes smoothly despite the weird aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is light, low carbonation creates an easy drinker.

geographie, Mar 27, 2007
Photo of ggaughan
4.33/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this baby up at a bottle shop in Phoenix. The beer poured a deep black hole color with a slight, deep tan head that ran away quickly and left a slight ring around the edge. The nose was a very pleasing roasted coffee with some cocoa notes. The taste was a robust roasted coffee and chocolate bonanza with a good malt backbone to boot. The body was somewhat full as expected but enjoyable all the way around.

ggaughan, Mar 22, 2007
Pipeline Porter from Kona Brewing Co.
86 out of 100 based on 1,570 ratings.