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Pipeline Porter - Kona Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Pipeline PorterPipeline Porter

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

689 Reviews
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 689
Hads: 1,716
Avg: 3.81
pDev: 18.9%
Wants: 62
Gots: 170 | 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:
Beer added by: Iguana on 10-11-2006

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Pipeline Porter Alström Bros
Reviews: 689 | Hads: 1,716
Photo of joe1510
3.94/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz Bottle
$7.49 6-Pack
Herman's - Ottawa, IL

"Liquid Aloha"

Bottled: 9/7/13

Pipeline Porter pours with a cola colored body. Mahogany highlights blaze through when directly backlit. A root beer brown head fizzes up to a finger in height on the pour then settles at into a respectable, silky cap. Thin sheet lacing coats the glass with each tilt.

A soft roast gets the nose moving before expressive vanilla wafts in and out. Mild coffee and a ripe dark berry medley bring things to a conclusion. As this porter warms the roast and vanilla become more pronounced. The coffee, 100% Kona apparently, gets lost in the mix unfortunately. Even as the coffee dissipates the aroma is that of a well made porter.

The flavor matches the smell but shows more depth. The roast is snappier and moderate as opposed to mild. Coffee is noticeable but still mild and of the cold variety with cream. The roast pushes through to the finish where it's met by the berry medley again, overripe and slightly earthy. Slightly bitter roast and soft vanilla linger on after each drink.

When I first started drinking this beer I took the mouthfeel as a little lighter than I would have liked. As I drink it seems to thicken up slightly showing a little viscosity and weight while finishing lightly dry. The bitterness of the roast grows but nowhere beyond mild.

Pipeline Porter is a well put together beer. A nice roasty base set the foundation for a solid accompaniment of fruit, vanilla, and coffee. The pricetag make this beer even better. I'll certainly grab more of this in the future, good to see it around these parts.

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Photo of Auraan
4.01/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a deep blackish brown with a one finger fluffy tan head that receded to a ring of tan foam. It looks excellent, very deep and rich. Scents of roast malt, faint roasted coffee and dark cocoa. A typical porter aroma, with a bit more coffee than usual for the style because of the addition of Kona coffee. The flavor follows the aroma. Roast malt, black coffee, toasted malt and some slight nutty flavors with a roasted, bitter finish and aftertaste. The coffee is a bit more noticeable as the beer warms, and adds to the typical porter flavors, though this is still very much on the lighter side of dark in the intensity of it's flavors. Mouthfeel is medium-light bodied with moderate-high carbonation and a smooth, slightly watery feel. It's nice and easy to drink, but maybe a tad too carbonated and watery for my mouth. Overall this is a pretty good porter, the coffee definitely adds to the porter base, but it has a few small flaws and there are better porters out there.

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Photo of patre_tim
3.66/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Dark brown with a slight amber tinge when held to the light. Lots of soda like carbonation, little beige foam fades fast.

S: Black olives, vanilla, slight sweetness.

T: Coffee, slight sourness, dark malts, slightly watery. Coffee aftertaste.

M: Light to medium body, lots of soda like carbonation.

O: Love that its from Hawaii, love the label. Got it in Asheville NC, drinking it in China Oct 30, 2013, it was produced August 27, 2012. Kona coffee is awesome, and this beer is a great idea. The coffee comes through more as it warms.

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Photo of Ryan_Graham
3.11/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Pours dark brown. Nice head. I wouldn't really associate porters with Hawaii but this beer wasn't bad. It has little to no smell. It starts out smooth with chocolate notes and finishes with a coffee aftertaste. It's a little too carbonated for my taste. I felt that the taste left a lot to be desired. Overall it's a decent beer. It's worth a try.

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Photo of abeeronthebeach
3.83/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A - Poured a very nice shade of charcoal brown while retaining a sudsy head of caramel-cream foam.

S - Booyaaa! I'm not a coffee drinker by any means, in fact I loathe the stuff, but this smelt damn good. Definitely smelling the beans, as well as the malty-roasty goodness you'd expect in a porter.

T - Lovely. Less coffee than on the nose which suits me down to the ground. Hardly any discernible alchol, yet was still rich and smokey. Not much variance between first sip and after taste, so couldn't attribute it great complexity.

M - Smooth, thick and nicely carbonated.

O - Honestly I thought this was a really solid brew. Tasty, nicely balanced coffee flavour and well measured carbonation and viscosity on the tongue. Nothing earth shattering here but this could well be my go-to beer while I'm on the Islands. Would definitely take 6 of these over 4 Maui CoCoNuts.

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Photo of Brenden
3.98/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A medium-tan head 3/4 of a finger tall forms on a dark brown brew. It fades after a few moments but not completely, and it leaves spotty lacing in moderation.
The nose is what I hope for and expect, plenty of roast from both malts and fresh coffee grounds with a light vanilla sweetness to it. It's strong, nice and firm for a porter in the American style while holding some balance. In the taste, there's a hint of bittersweet chocolate, and both the aroma and flavor hold the slightest hint of char.
It's semi-dry as the roast and coffee draw that light char out onto the palate. The body is medium. Crispness is light and falls off a little as it goes, thinning out the end of each sip later in the session.

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Photo of serspecv
3.7/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Picked this up for $2.99 for a 22oz.

Pours dark brown down the glass and produces a gorgeous caramel-colored, 3-finger frothy head.

Has a predominant coffee bean smell with nuts and light toasted malts. A very faint hop aroma, if any. It's enough to get your salivary glands ready for tasting.

Again, the coffee has a heavy presence. The coffee is earthy which gives way to the toasted malt and finally the hops are allowed to (hardly) make a cameo. Could be a bit bolder in taste in my opinion, but it would make a very good session beer. Almost no alcohol bite.

Very light for a porter, closer to an ale (think Newcastle). I was in the market for a porter but to be honest, it's not what I had in mind. Not as thick of a beer as say Black Butte. Just a tad bit dissapointed.

Overall it's a good beer at a bargain price, but if you like heavy porters this won't satisfy you. It's a good coffee beer, but if you want extraordinary brew, try Epic Brewery's Bug Bad Baptist.

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Photo of Hoppsbabo
3.58/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Black body with a chunky off-white head.

S: Predominantly chocolate, some coffee, a bit smokey.

T: Not bitter, but it's dry and needs some sugar to balance what bitterness it has. There's lots of chocolate and a smokiness but like I said, it needs a bit of sugar. There's not really any fruit in the aftertaste.

M: Is it greasy or is it silky? I'm not sure.

O: I wouldn't turn it down but the bitter aspect makes it unfriendly. I'm yet to be wowed by this brewery.

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Photo of superspak
3.9/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle into pint glass, bottled on 8/14/2013. Pours crystal clear nearly opaque reddish brown color with a 1 finger dense khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Light spotty lacing clings down the glass, with some moderate streaming carbonation. Aromas of milk chocolate, cocoa, coffee, caramel, toast, toffee, nuttiness, biscuit, light roast, light floral, and toasted earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of dark/roasted malt and coffee notes; with good strength. Taste of milk chocolate, cocoa, coffee, caramel, toast, toffee, nuttiness, biscuit, light roast, light floral, and toasted earthiness. Light floral/coffee bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of milk chocolate, cocoa, coffee, caramel, toast, toffee, biscuit, light roast, and light nuttiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice balance and complexity of dark/roasted malt flavors with coffee; with nice robustness and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a fairly creamy and smooth mouthfeel that is good. Alcohol is very well hidden with zero warming present after the finish. Overall this is a very nice coffee porter! All around good balance and complexity of malt and coffee flavors; with good robustness and very smooth drinking. A very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of neenerzig
4.04/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured out of a 12 oz. bottle into one of my pint glasses, this beer pours a pretty dark brown color with some nice ruby highlights when held up tot eh light. Certainly not the darkest porter I have ever seen. The tan head is about an inch tick when first poured before settling to a nice thick ring lining the inside of the glass, some nice surface coat spots of foam, and pretty good lacing. Aromas of caramel malt along with some fairly strong roasted coffee notes and hints of chocolate. The taste pretty much follows suit, some roasted caramel malt sweetness upfront along with roasted coffee bitterness and hints of dark chocolate. No discernible hop flavor here. Has a crisp, slightly prickly, slightly chewy, frothy, medium bodied mouthfeel with moderate to heavy carbonation. Easy to drink in the way good beer should be. A good, solid beer here, but nothing outstanding. Worth a try for sure.


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Photo of secondtooth
4.09/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark black with ruby highlights. Solid head of fine tan foam, and thin tree-line lace.

Nose is mocha with a touch of coffee up front. Maybe a little chocolate.

Taste is where it all comes together -- I get a very coffee-oriented flavor, no doubt due to the Kona coffee infusion. There's a hint of roasty chocolate submerged, but the overwhelming taste is, without a doubt, yummy coffee.

Coffee haters should probably steer clear of Pipeline Porter, but for anyone who appreciates coffee and beer both, this is a worthy marriage. Would drink more of these (and probably will).

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Photo of Suds
3.68/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Very dark, almost black beer. It has brown highlights when he'd to a light source. The aroma has mildly roasty scent, a little malt and some coffee qualities. No real hop smell. More roast and slightly burnt qualities in the taste. Dry. Nice bitterness. The body is of medium heft. Drinkable and enjoyable, but not outstanding.

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Photo of BeerWithMike
4.46/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Sampled last night on 9/25/13. Chilled down to 36 degrees in my beer cooler.

Poured into a brandy snifter. This Porter (made with 100% Hawaiian Kona coffee) contains 5.3% alcohol. Pours a deep dark brown that is close to black with a 2-finger tan head that disappears quickly. No lacing was seen actually.

The nice aroma of coffee with roasted malts hits you right up front. The taste was even better with some chocolate overtones also. Very smooth and no bitter aftertaste. Sad that I only bought a single bottle to try from World Market in Minneapolis, Minnesota last weekend. Wish I would of bought a few 6-packs for the $8.29 they were asking..

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Photo of thlayli87
3.59/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

A - Pours a deep brown with thin head of coarse tan foam that quickly dissipates. No lacing to speak of.

S - Roasted grain, coffee, and hints of earthy aroma

T - Roast, coffee, hint of chocolate

M - Mouthfeel is a little thin. Mild creaminess. Pleasant.

O - I was expecting more intense roasty flavor since Kona coffee is so strong. The flavors that are there are good, I just wanted a little more depth. Mouthfeel could also have been a little thicker.

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Photo of jesster64
3.85/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Good color and smell. Head disappears quickly. You really get a great burst of coffee flavor from the first mouthfull. You have to be in the mood for it, but I really enjoyed it. Would buy again, which is my best recommendation. Only drawback is I wouldn't drink more than 2 at one sitting.

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Photo of Profchaos20
3.56/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed 4/12/13 12 oz bottle in a nonic pint glass.

A - Pours dark brown with a half finger tan head that dissipates immediately.

S - Roasted coffee beans with roasted malt too. Coffee is the stronger aroma but not overwhelming.

T - Roasted malt upfront, light coffee in the finish and a little bitterness.

M - Light to medium body, medium to high carbonation.

O - I enjoyed the aroma everything else was alright. A little boring for a coffee porter.

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Photo of IchLiebeBier
3/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Dark brown, almost black; frothy tan head, long lasting

Aroma: Heavily roasted grains; sweet; coffee

Taste: Thin on start; quick coffee hit that fades into roasted grains; finishes thin and no lingering aftertaste on palate

Remarks: Did not score A, T, S, M at that time; disregard those scores

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Photo of GoldHorde
3.52/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5


I have found over the years that I prefer the creamier, maltier mouthfeel of stouts over the thinner mouthfeel of porters. Porters are to be desired for other reasons - and I think, number one, that they should always be dry/bitter - never sweet/sour. Lately I've tended to favor the porters that are brewed with a bourbon edge, albeit a slightly sweet accent, I think that it favors the category nicely.

This beer was right down the middle of the porter category but it favored sweet caramel malt. It was brewed with Kona coffee and the flavor was present.

A perfectly drinkable beer BUT I would neither use it as an introductory porter to a novice or as an example of a porter style at an instructional/recreational beer tasting - more at> "an envelope pusher".

A = Opaque dark brown with a nice head and stubborn lacing.
S = Definitely porter style, sharply caramel malt with light hop tang
T = Coffee prominent as expected
M = Porter style thinness (one always anticipates dark = heavy malt)
O = An easily hittable pitch - but left me looking

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Photo of plaid75
3.83/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

On nitro at The Lark, East Northport, NY.

Poured a deep brown hue with amber edges below a two finger frothy off white cap. There was very good retention and lacing.

The smell featured dry cocoa and a touch of caramel.

The taste consisted if an initial roasted barley that was rounded out by a secondary lactose sweetness.

The mouthfeel was a bit thin for the style.

Overall a tasty porter.

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Photo of socon67
3.9/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Black pour with a brown foam that settles. Some patchy lacign is noted. Slightly carbonated.

S - Up front smell of coffee that has notes of licorice and dark fruit. Not much in the way of malt but overall a nice aroma that is better as th ebeer warms.

T - Sweet flavors of candy and fruit that ends with a slight bitteness of coffee beans. Some rasoty feel in the taste. Not as strong as some of the big porters bit this does the trick.

M - Easy drinking, and a sessionable porter that would be easy to enjoy. Minimal amount of carbonation. Leaves a warming coffee bite on the palate.

O - I think Koko Brown is my favorite of the staple Kona lineup, but this is a good #2. An easy to get sessionable porter that you can enjoy year round.

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Photo of StJamesGate
3.7/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Chocolate brown with ruby glints and a beige head that doesn't hand around but leaves speckles.
Smoke, meat and espresso off the nose.
Big cold coffee hit, suggestions of licorice and blackberry, a slight roasty hit and mild branchy hops.
Birch beer finish and tightening linger.
Light to medium, some chew, clingy.

Well, it sure is coffee. Not sure there's enough of a porter underneath. Still, nice easy sipper.

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Photo of bensbeers
3.6/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a rich black; not much light penetration; a light 1/2 inch that dissipates quite quickly. Smells of roasted coffee beans; caramelized sugar; a bit smokey with a hint of fruity sweetness-bananas maybe? Taste is mostly rich, roasted coffee; not as much sweetness on the tongue as there was on the nose, but it's not unpleasantly bitter. Mouthfeel is lightly effervescent; light bodied; taste of coffee and bittersweet chocolate lingers on the tongue; highly drinkable.

Overall, I would not call this a smooth porter, but rather a beer-drinker's porter. This sometimes carriers a negative stigma, but don't let that mislead you. Pipeline Porter has rich and distinguished flavors and scents, but is incredibly easy to drink. Since the coffee flavor was a bit too strong for my liking, I will not likely seek this out again; however, I would be interested in trying this on tap. I'd also recommend to someone who enjoys coffee porters/stouts. Cheers.

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Photo of Moose90
3.53/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Packaged On: Aug 18 12 @ 15:04
Tasted On: Feb 17 13 . . . Quite Old I Suppose

A – Pours a deep dark yet translucent brown, not black. 1" head dissipates rather quickly in retreat, lacing is okay, but nothing too nice.

S – Musky, sweet, and earthy. Almost scotch ale aromas, sweaty malts, though some sweet chocolate malts come through here.

T – Dry bitter deep roasted coffee notes, some light cocoa powder as well. Not as earthy as the nose would suggest.

M – Medium body, perhaps a bit thin for the style. Crisp and dry, more so than anticipated.

O – Nice, light coffee notes, the nose is misleading, but it is absolutely a coffee beer, very easy drinking.

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Photo of hardy008
3.03/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours dark brown with a 3 finger tan head, with good retention and spotty lacing. the aroma has coffee and dark roasted malt.

The taste has coffee, dark roasted malt, and a small amount of chocolate. Not really bitter or sweet, just some place in the middle. Not bad, but at the same time too generic.

Light to medium bodied with average carbonation. Nothing really good or bad stands out. Kind of average. I wish the body had not been as thin, and that there was more chocolate flavor.

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Photo of Neorebel
3.84/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

I have been wanting to taste more from Kona Brewing for a while, ever since I tasted the excellent Fire Rock Pale Ale. I finally got around to it... This porter is an appropriate dark shade of brown, nearly opaque, with a bubbly head, similar to Cola. The head diminishes to barely cover the top of the beer after a few minutes. There's some remnants that cling to the side of the glass, but not much. The aroma is very pleasing and fresh - like a cafe mocha topped with whipped cream. The taste trumps the aroma... the 100% Kona coffee flavor is one of the most distinct in any beer I have ever tasted! It's quite toasty and towards the tail end of the flavor there's a tiny hint of hops. The beer is very light, borderline watery. The taste lingers for a few seconds in the finish but disappears in a dry fade. In short, it tastes similar to a lightly sweetened iced coffee. Despite some of the negative sounding things in the review, I really like this and will definitely be buying it regularly! I like to always have a beer around that is satisfying, yet somewhat low calorie. This fits that bill perfectly, with the added bonus of the gourmet coffee aspect.

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Pipeline Porter from Kona Brewing Co.
86 out of 100 based on 689 ratings.