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Big Wave Golden Ale | Kona Brewing Co.

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BA SCORE
81
good
295 Reviews
THE BROS
83
good
Read the review
Big Wave Golden AleBig Wave Golden Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Kona Brewing Co.
Hawaii, United States
konabrewingco.com

Style: American Blonde Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.40%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Big Wave is light golden ale with a subtle fruitiness and delicate hop aroma. A smooth, easy drinking refreshing ale. The lightly roasted honey malt contributes to the golden hue of this beer and also gives a slight sweetness that is balanced out by our special blend of hops.

20 IBU

Added by Sixpoint on 03-19-2005

BEER STATS
Reviews:
295
Ratings:
1,750
Avg:
3.55
pDev:
35.21%
 
 
Wants:
59
Gots:
656
For Trade:
2
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 295 | Ratings: 1,750
Photo of metter98
3.62/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is clear yellow in color and has a light to moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a quarter finger high bright white head that quickly died down and left a large patch of bubbles in the center of the glass, a thin ring around the edge and some bits of lacing down the sides.
S: There are moderately strong aromas of floral hops in the nose; the smell reminds me a lot like marigolds. As the beer warms up, there are some notes of biscuit malts.
T: Like the smell, the taste has lots of flavors of floral hops along with some hints of biscuit malts and honey. Some hints of bitterness are also detectable.
M: It feels light-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is easy to drink and has an interesting flavor profile—I can't recall ever having a beer that had a hop profile similar to this.

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Photo of edward_boumil
3.62/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Good beer, all around nice grainy flavor and aroma. Body is full and has a medium carbonation level, quite smooth. Head retention is good. Its a simple beer, nothing overly challenging but very light, refreshing, and enjoyable.

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Photo of ranger7
3.62/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a pint glass.
Review from notes: January 31st, 2014.

A: Bright white head with golden body.

S: Hops with floral notes.

T: Slight hops, but not as hoppy as the smell would suggest.

M: Light and drinkable.

O: Pretty good. Very likeable, a good summer brew.

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Photo of J_T_Arlington
3.62/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Golden blonde. Probably, Big Wave gets its name from the frothy white head that resembles and wave rolling in from the ocean.

Ever so slight grass/hops smell.

Tastes like an innocuous pilsner at first, but mild fruitiness and a slight hop presence emerge. Light glycerol finish.

Feels light. Crispy. Easy to swallow. Easy to swallow a lot.

Overall, not a great beer. But for THE STYLE is great. If you enjoy it for what it is, it's a quite nice and refreshing beer. Would make a great party beer, especially in the summer, at cookouts, BBQs, and such. I may even go so far as to declare this a SESSION BEER!

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Photo of BeerTv
3.62/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Kona Big Wave Golden Ale
(ABV: 4.4%) (IBU: 21)

AROMA - floral hops, biscuity and cereal-like malts, sweet citrus hops, light hints of caramel

APPEARANCE – brilliant golden straw hue, foamy white head, medium-high carbonation with small streaks of thin lacing, low head retention

FLAVOR – malt graininess, tropical pineapple, bready caramel malt, citrus zest, honey sweetness, grassy hops, slight hint of corn

MOUTHFEEL – light bodied with a gentle carbonating crispness, clean dry finish

OVERALL – This is a tidal wave of refreshment; malt flavors dominate the beer with undertones of delicate hops to provide a nice balance. Definitely recommended as a Hawaiian travel companion as you show off your 6-pack

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Photo of snogglethorpe
3.62/5  rDev +2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A medium straw color, with a small, fizzy, short-lived head.

Smell is "beery" with a whiff of fruit.

Taste is similar, but more fruity, sweet, malty. Hops are there, but very subdued; still, I'd say it's reasonably well-balanced.

The best part is the mouthfeel, which has a slight thickness/oiliness, and is crisp/fresh at the same time. Very satisfying to drink (even though the taste is slightly bland), with a kind of "snap" when you take a sip. Nice, goes down well.

Not my favorite style (I bought it because the store didn't have anything more to my taste), and I think Kona's "Fire Rock Pale Ale" is better (more hoppy/fruity/full), but Big Wave is a decent beer, especially considering its style (most of the "golden ales" I've had have been much blander).

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Photo of MadScientist
3.63/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: A pale golden beer with good clarity. The white head is made of rocky bubble having a fiar head retention.

S: moderate malt sweetness that has fresh baked bread character along with a light peach fruitiness. It has a moderately-light citrus and pineapple hops aroma.

T: There is an initial malt sweetness with a very-light bready malt flavor. It has a moderately-light hops bitterness and light citrus and tropical fruit hops flavor. There is a light bit of fruitiness. The balance is somewhat bitter with a medium-dry finish. There is a light citrus aftertaste.

M: The is a medium-light bodied beer with moderately-strong carbonation.

O: An easy drinking, light bodied beer that would be nice and refreshing on a hot day. Would pair with seafood, chicken and lighter food.

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Photo of GimmeASchlitz
3.63/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle into pint glass.

Pours a nice golden color with a one finger head. There was a lot of bubbles from carbonation.

You get subtle aromas of tropical fruits but I could not distinguish which. Slightly floral.

The taste gives sweet hints of mango and citrus with very subtle hops character in the back. There is some grainy tastes in there.

The beer has a nice medium feel to it with less carbonation that what it appeared to have during pour. Finishes crisp in the mouth.

Over all this is a nice sipping golden ale. It is very pleasant to drink and refreshing. At the low abv I can easily add this into a session and not get bored of it whatsoever.

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Photo of dbl_delta
3.63/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Undated bottle into pint glass. Pours a pale straw color with a thin white head. Initial impression is slight malt sweetness with an equally slight floral hoppiness. Moderate carbonation and quite light mouthfeel. Slightly sour finish. Very refreshing - would be a good beach session beer. Not something I'd go out of my way to find, but vastly superior to the beers that feature beaches in their ads!

 407 characters

Photo of joecaputi
3.65/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I guess it's the label and provenance but I first smelled pineapple and mango LifeSavers. All in all easy drinking and nice all around. Bowled over? Not really but nice.

 170 characters

Photo of Redrover
3.65/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I had the Kona Big Wave on tap at Salt Life Grille in Jackson Beach. This is a great updated take on seafood shack. Check it out!

Served in a standard pint glass, the beer is a chill hazed gold with a skim of white foam.

There are apricots and grains in the nose. Blind folded I would have guessed Magic Hat #9.

Taste also leads with apricot. There is a nice floral undertone and some caramel malt. Everything hung together well with this beer.

Mouth is well calibrated for a hot weather beer.

Change of pace beer for sure. But I ended up drinking four over the course of a leisurely two hour eating and drinking session.

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Photo of confer
3.65/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Gold in color with a white head that disappears quickly.
The dominant smell is vanilla, couldn't figure that out.
This turned out to be a very plain malt dominant ale. A little watery in the feel and definitely not Kona's best offering, but for drinking in an open air bar somewhere in the islands it works pretty good.

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Photo of SerialTicker
3.65/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottled 11/25/13 and poured 2/12/14.

Appearance: First, I like the shape of the bottle and custom design. Pours clear, pale yellow. Alright lacing. Tiny head.

Smell: Pleasant. Little sweet. A light hop aroma. Some malt. A bit grainy. Basic, but a solid smell. The hoppy note was a nice little surprise.

Taste/feel: Good brew. Thin feel with moderate carbonation. Good drinkability at only 4.4%. Solid hop flavor without a lot of bitterness. Slight malt sweetness at the end. A good amount of grain Simple, but done very well.

A definite summer, or to be more precise, beach beer. Light, refreshing, nice bit of hops, highly sessionable ABV... could have been a very "eh" beer, but it's actually very solid for the style. Not super interesting, but tasty enough. Would definitely have this one again, especially in the heat when I want something light. My first (and certainly not last) beer from Kona. Mahalo!

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Photo of rjs246
3.65/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

The beer nerds will take this the wrong way but this is like a Miller Lite that has way more hope on the nose. You smell it right away and it's excellent. Then the taste is crisp but very mild. I can see myself drinking 12 of these but would never confuse it with the world's greatest beer.

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Photo of Bierliebhaber3
3.65/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

This is pretty similar in appearance to the Wailua Wheat, maybe a little lighter with a little thicker head, though it dissipates just as quickly. The smell is also citrusy, but in this case it’s an orange / lemon scent. In this case I think the fruit flavor blends much more nicely than the Wailua Wheat. There is a fairly strong taste of orange, but just as much so is the malty beer flavor. There is also a faint sweet, floral essence. It’s very light bodied. It tastes fairly akin to a Blue Moon, though better I would say. The finish is very crisp and clean to the point that there is almost no aftertaste, which to me is neither a good or bad thing. It’s definitely a nice session beer, for the price, on a hot summer day.

 735 characters

Photo of DarkSideOfTheMoon
3.66/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a translucent golden yellow color with minimal head but a decent amount of carbonation. Aroma is pleasant with a fair share of hops and some sweet citrus. Taste does not follow the nose as the hop character is diminished. Really not much taste at all with some grain balancing the hops. Doesn't taste bad - just not much there. Feel is really the best part of the beer as it drinks like a heavier beer but without the ABV. Very good ale ..not much too complain about but not much to rave about either.

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Photo of garymuchow
3.66/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A pretty standard Golden Ale. A nice light drinker. With the firm malt base from aroma to drink there a nice whiff of hops to start off (with a bit of fruit), a mild blending hops and then a soft bitterness that blends with the dryness in the finish. Certainly golden with a very short lived head. A touch of sweetness. A nice alternative to a lager for hot drinking, or wanting a lower alc. serving.
Thanks for the gift.

 426 characters

Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.67/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From BeerAdvocate magazine Issue #68 (Spetember 2012):

LOOK: Pale gold, massive white foam head.

SMELL: Fruity, grain, honey

TASTE: Smooth, light-ish body, light sweetness, cereal grains, fruity, mildly tropical, toasty, honey finish

If the average non-beer geek drinker were to close their eyes and imagine what beer might taste in Hawaii, they might expect to taste something like this beer; a light ale with seemingly tropical fruity notes. Decent and drinkable.

STYLE: American Blonde Ale
ABV: 4.4%
AVAILABILITY: Year-round

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Photo of therica
3.67/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Found on-tap at LuLu's Surf Club in Waikiki (see my separate review for that establishment which I added). I was with my sons, we had 3 on-tap Hawaii beers brought to us (Fire Rock Pale Ale, Kona Big Wave Ale and Longboard Lager). We each seemed to prefer a different one-- my older son preferred this one, and my least-choice. I had it again on-tap later at another establishment, and I liked it better that time.

A= modest head that dissipated quickly, lighter pale-golden with a slight bit of a cloudy haze.

S= light honey-malt nose with something like candy-apple.

T= modest hops-bite and the same honey-malt taste with some candy-apple. Slight smoky taste.

M= fine, nothing obtrusive unless you just plain don't like a slight hops-bite.

D= very drinkable if you like the first one.

 791 characters

Photo of BigBrewStu
3.67/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Light carbonation--which I like on a hot summer day--and a nice blonde color. It has a crisp and refreshing flavor. It tastes like a pretty good golden beer and it is worth trying. It is too light for me to enjoy on a regular basis--almost no alcohol.

 251 characters

Photo of puboflyons
3.68/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

From the 12 fl. oz. bottle marked 10:41-MAR 14 14. Sampled on May 1, 2014.

The pour is golden yellow with a white fizzy head that settles back quickly. Excellent clarity.

Blondes can be rather bland but there is a likable grainy malt character playing up on the nose with a clean, crisp hop balance mixed in. Feels inviting.

Medium and smooth body.

Light grainy and toasted malty taste up front and then the grassy hops come in with a bit of a bitter kick at the finish. Neatly balanced. It went down quick and smooth.

 522 characters

Photo of NiceTaps
3.68/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle in a shaker.

Clear yellow gold color that gets slightly cloudy after a minute or two. The 1F white cap fades very fast.

Slightly grainy, slightly sweet, slightly floral; very light aromas.

Light and sweet malt, a touch of floral hops.

Somewhat like a pilsner with less hop bite. Light and easy, like summertime.

A decent light summer ale, a crowd pleaser.

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Photo of SteveJeremy
3.68/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

It must be my birthday - was gifted Big Wave Golden Ale by my father, who got it for free at the store he works at and loathes craft beer. His loss; I embrace all beers. Let's see how this one pleases.

Appearance - Dark brown/yellow, with a pure white head on its top. Very appealing and promising.

Smell - heavy on the aromatic hops, with grapefruit coming through mostly in the nose. I really dig it.

Taste - Not too fruity, not too bitter - it's thoroughly pleasant (I know I say it often), with a mildly sharp, fruity taste coming through before descending into a dryer, more of a lager-like finish (well aware it's an ale).

Mouthfeel - As always, not much different to say that wasn't noted in the taste. Mildly fruity and bitter to create a flavorful little ale. A fun beer to drink; reminds me of Horny Blonde Watermelon Wheat.

Like Watermelon Wheat, this beer is extremely underrated. Sad Landshark Lager and other mediocre summer offerings get more recognition than this subtle offering.

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Photo of superspak
3.68/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into pint glass, bottled on 8/14/2013. Pours lightly hazy golden amber color with a 1-2 finger fairly dense white head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Light bits of foamy lacing cling down the glass. Aromas of lemon zest, orange zest, pineapple, tangerine, floral, grass, pine, cracker, light bread, light honey, and floral earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance and complexity of hop notes with moderate malt presence; and solid strength. Taste of lemon zest, orange zest, pineapple, floral, grass, toast, bread, cracker, light honey, and floral earthiness. Minimal bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of citrus, pineapple, toast, bread, cracker, floral, grass, and floral earthiness on the finish for a short bit. Nice and pleasant flavor profile with very balanced hop/malt flavors; with a solid amount of robustness and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and light-medium bodied; with a very smooth and crisp mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming noticed after the finish as expected of 4.4%. Overall this is a nice blond ale. Solid amount of robustness with a nice balanced hop/malt flavor profile; and very smooth and crisp to drink. A nicely enjoyable offering.

 1,300 characters

Photo of buschbeer
3.69/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle
Served in a conical pint glass

A - It is straw colored with a chill haze to it. I got a fleeting off-white head that settled to a skim.

S - The smell is floral and fruity with a hint of caramel malt.

T - The taste has the floral hops aspect. That is the main flavor. It's like drinking potpourri.

M - Moderate to medium

O - It is actually better than I anticipated. My friend a macro drinker loved it when he had it in Hawaii. I bought a sixer for him and snuck (sneaked) one. I was not in a hurry to try any Kona beers, but this one was decent enough to make me want to try some others.

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Big Wave Golden Ale from Kona Brewing Co.
3.55 out of 5 based on 1,750 ratings.
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