Pipeline Porter | Kona Brewing Co.

very good
734 Reviews
Pipeline PorterPipeline Porter

Brewed by:
Kona Brewing Co.
Hawaii, United States

Style: American Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.40%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Iguana on 10-11-2006

For Trade:
User Reviews
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Reviews: 734 | Ratings: 1,887
Photo of Sammy
3.7/5  rDev -2.9%
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.

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Photo of kylehay2004
3.73/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

1.5 finger head with nice lacing on a jet black body. Aroma is mostly roasted malt with some coffee. Flavor is heavily dominated by dry roast coffee bean flavor without too much of a bitter note. Dry finish. Full body and moderate carbonation. Overall this is more stout like than porter. Coffee is heavy which affects drinkability but it's good for my tastes.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.67/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottled on 8/31/11.

Pours an almost opaque super dark brown with a 1 inch tan head that settles to a thin cap. Small dots of lace form on the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, roasted coffee beans, and slight cocoa. Taste is of dark roasted malt and some sweetened burnt coffee flavors. There is an acidic quality and roasty bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good stout but the coffee flavors I am getting are a bit odd with the roast.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.93/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

by all counts a lovely porter. pours a nice dark ale color with very limited transparency and a 1 inch white head. smells like fine hawaiian coffee, sweet chocolate malts, and that north shore evening breeze. flavor is rich but drinkable, plenty of roasted grain here and a delicate sort of coffee finish. not bitter coffee, but like a luxurious cup with a spoonful of raw sugar. no acidity either. mouthfeel is damn near perfect, everything a porter should be. fuller bodied but not filling, still an ale here. highly sessionable with a modest abv, and just enough bubbles to bring out the flavor, no more. overall this is a fantastic porter, one of my favorites actually, and it is infinitely better than kona's longboard lager. almost wrote these guys off, but now i am keen for more. well done here! mahalo!

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Photo of metter98
3.83/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: When held up to a bright light, this beer is very dark red in color (but black when viewed from afar). It has a light amount of visible carbonation and poured with a quarter finger high beige head that died down a bit but never completely faded away.
S: Light to moderate aromas of coffee beans are present in the nose; these become a bit stronger as the beer warms up.
T: The taste has flavors of coffee beans and notes of chocolate along with hints of roasted malts. No bitterness is detectable.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied and a little smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This is a very easy to drink and balanced porter that has some nice flavors of coffee and chocolate.

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Photo of oriolesfan4
4.23/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Liked a lot of the other beers form this brewery, so purchased this new offering at my local beer store. Pours a nice dark brown, slightly off-white head to it, moderate lacing on the glass. Nice creamy mouthfeel to this one, average body to it which fits the style good. Nice roasty flavor and well balanced... coffee malts complimented by some nice hop taste at the end. A nice all around porter, definitely an above average one and this Kona Brewing Company is putting out some solid offerings.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.47/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I figured this beer would be pretty good from reading much about it in the past year or so. Turns out to be a very flavorful Porter without going extreme on the gravities. The beer begins convincing enough with a brown appearance and moderate head formation / retention-- light on the lacing. Firm aromas of chocolate malts and nutty coffee dominate the beer, with only a light detection of piney hops hiding closely behind. Flavors prefer the cocoa and coffee as well, giving the beer a rich maltiness, medium nuttiness with vanilla and toasty notes throughout. The hops balance well but don't interfere much with the delicate Porter / Brown Ale balance. The beer is silky smooth to the palate in a similar manner as an Oatmeal Stout. There are no problems with this beer at all-- likely the best of the Kona crop.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.77/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz glass at the Big Island brewpub.

This beer appears a murky, dark reddish cola colour, with one thin finger of loosely foamy beige head, which leaves a few spouts of seemingly airborne lace at points limited around the glass as things duly drop away.

It smells of semi-sweet coffee, nutty chocolate malt, and earthy, mildly leafy hops. The taste is moderately sweet nutty caramel malt, a much more subtle coffee grounds essence, a small meaty twinge, and nicely innocuous earthy, weedy hops.

The carbonation is a bit palate lifting, and nothing more, the body a so-so middleweight, and maybe a bit too airy and light for the style, but still holds its own, and is agreeably smooth. It finishes nutty, malty, and a tad warming.

A decent New World porter, especially for time spent in these islands, as I'm getting a strong foreign stout vibe here. Tasty and dark, to distill it down to the vast majority of typical bar server knowledge, though not here, I am happy to report.

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Photo of brentk56
4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a black coffee color with a nice tan head that retains and laces well

Smell: Rich black coffee aroma with undertones of chocolate

Taste: Solid coffee up front that mellows out, mid-palate; after the swallow, some chocolate and roasted notes join in along with a surprising dollop of hops in the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: A very nice balance between the coffee and porter elements; trying it fresh in 2011, it has a bit more of a hoppy profile than I recalled a few years earlier

Thanks, boolshot, for the opportunity

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Photo of kojevergas
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Bottle into dinner glass in high altitude Denver, CO.

A: Pours a creamy one finger head of decent retention. Dark porter brown-black. Pretty standard. Mildly inviting.

Sm: Coffee and caramel. A clean scent of moderate strength.

T: The coffee is incorporated very nicely, but is missing roast. Some caramel. Built well. It's balanced but simple.

Mf: Chewy. Mildly thick. Wet - not the dryness I expect from a porter. I'd prefer it with more dryness especially at the climax. Too wet for its style.

Dr: Well worth a try for a porter fan like me, especially at its relatively low price. I'll reach for it again when I don't feel like trying something new.

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Photo of emerge077
3.78/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Free bottle at a holiday party, the best kind of beer...

Orange bottlecap and blue trim labels, a little color contrast at work here. The beer itself is black in the glass with light reddish brown highlights in the light. Softly textured tan foam leaves behind a few irregulararcs of lacing.

Earthy coffee roast in the aroma, distinct yet fairly mellow at the same time.

Flavors are similar, dark roast coffee, a flash of roasty black malt, slight bitterness in the aftertaste, about the same as a mild cup of coffee. Light bodied, a drinkable porter. Something i'd pick up again for a session to spend more time with.

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Photo of largadeer
3.28/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Opaque dark brown, not much head or lacing to speak of. Coffee is up-front in the smell and flavor, with a bit of bitter chocolate and toast in there somewhere. The coffee has a somewhat one-dimensional and cheap coffee-grounds character to it. Not much hop presence, but it's hard to compete with the 8 malts apparently used to brew this. Medium bodied and moderately carbonated, pretty flavorful for 5.4% abv, and fairly drinkable. Not a bad beer by any means, but not terribly interesting. There are far better coffee beers out there.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
2.3/5  rDev -39.6%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Bottle courtesy of CBA: Poured a medium black color porter with coke-like carbonation and a very small foamy head that disappeared way too quickly. Aroma of weak coffee notes with some light roasted malt as well. Taste is comprised of weak malt with some roasted bitter notes and some weak coffee notes. Body is way too watery for the style with some low carbonation. I’m not sure if I had a bad bottle but this is definitely not too good.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.8/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes.

Poured into a tulip glass. Color is a very dark brown with a light tan head. Nose brings pretty much a straight shot of coffee. Also some light chocolate and roasted malt. Taste is coffee, roasted malt, and some mild chocolate. Good roasted feel and drinks fairly well overall. The best beer of theirs that I've had.

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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.

 1,346 characters

Photo of nickfl
3.97/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - One finger of medium brown head on an opaque black body. The foam disappears quickly and leaves minor lace.

S - Musty aroma of dry coffee grounds with a bit of chocolate and some nutty malt. Little in the way of hop character.

T - Dark caramel malt with distinct coffee flavor up front. A little bit of fruitiness sneaks in with more chocolate notes in the middle. The finish is mild and smooth with coffee notes dominating.

M - Medium body, moderate carbonation, and a slightly sweet finish.

D - This is a nice porter with lots of coffee character. There are no noticeable flaws, though the non-coffee malt character could have been stronger. Quite drinkable.

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Photo of oberon
3.97/5  rDev +4.2%
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.

 452 characters

Photo of NeroFiddled
3.93/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Kona Brewing Co. "Pipeline Porter"
12 fl. oz. brown glass bottle, production coded "14:38 3 SEP 02 15"
$1.99 @ Total Wine & More, Cherry Hill, NJ

Kona's Pipeline Porter is a typical American porter with a clean yeast profile, medium-rich chocolate notes, and a good bit of coffee flavor from 100% Hawaiian Kona coffee. It's nicely balanced with a moderate bitterness, allowing just a little bit of sweetness from the malt to remain; and the hop flavors are kept well in check so as not to distract from the coffee. It mainly expresses chocolate, toasted nuts, golden caramel and coffee, with the coffee being quite clean and straightforward: gently roasty and somewhat toasty and nutty. It's surprisingly fresh tasting, and not acidic at all, without any brashness or harshness to the roasted edge. It's really quite drinkable in its great balance, and it's got enough depth of flavor and complexity to keep it interesting without becoming challenging.

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Photo of chinchill
4.27/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Clear dark mahogany with a creamy tan head

Superb coffee flavor and aroma. If you are not already convinced that Hawaiian Kona coffee is some of the best in the world, this beer may convince you. Fantastic coffee aroma and flavor with a perfect balance of sweet and bitter ...meaning less bitter than most coffee beers.

O - best coffee porterI have had.

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Photo of Kegatron
3.88/5  rDev +1.8%
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.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.84/5  rDev +27%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Acquired via trade from IntriqKen, so a big “Thank you” goes out to him.
Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep brown color, with a thin off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: Very intense smell of coffee is the only thing I got out this one. I couldn’t pick up anything else but it was very nice.

T: Just like with the smell, a heavy flavor of coffee dominates the taste. There’s background of roasted malt and a pretty decent hops presence as well. After-taste is very sweet and leaves the feeling that you just had a shot of coffee syrup.

M: Very smooth, medium body, light-to-medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Very tasty, goes down quite easily, not very filling, this is a beer that I could just keep on drinking and drinking. The best comparison I can make is to Berkshire Coffeehouse Porter, which I love. This beer is VERY close to it. IntriqKen is the man for throwing this one into the trade. Thanks again, Ken!

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.83/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours an opaque very very dark amber in color (just about jet black) with light to moderate amounts of gentle visible carbonation. The beer has a three finger tall dense and foamy dark tan head that slowly reduces to a half finger tall layer covering the entire surface of the beer evenly - great head retention. Moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Light to moderate aromas of dark roasted malts with some moderate notes of freshly ground coffee.

T: Light to moderate flavors of dark roasted malts with some moderate flavors of coffee and light note of milk chocolate. Little to no bitterness is observed.

M: On the lighter side of medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Smooth but a little thin.

O: This is an enjoyable and easy drinking everyday porter - nice amount of complexity and balance to both the taste and the smell. Not a special beer but definitely an enjoyable one.

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Photo of mactrail
3.29/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Nice looking beer in the Ciney snifter, with a pile of foam on the dark brown brew. Head doesn't last long, but it's quite spritzy on the tongue. Light mouthfeel. On the watery side but refreshing. Kind of a musty aroma.

A touch of chocolate. Just barely bitter in the aftertaste. Some faint charred grain with a pleasant roasty undertone. A touch of dishwater in the finish. There is nothing very interesting about this. From the mixed Craft Brews Alliance 12 pack purchased at The Market in Anacortes, Wash.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.3/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a dark brown, near black body with a bubbly, beige head.

Smell: Coffee-scented nose with notes of dark malts, unsweetened chocolate, and a hint of dark caramel.

Taste: Sweetened Breakfast Blend coffee with traces of chocolate and caramel. Not too terribly much in the way of hops or bitterness, but this serves to allow the coffee flavor to rest leisurely on the palate. Chocolate dosed coffee in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Just barely medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: A surprising, subtly tasty treat with a reasonably, sensible ABV. I'll have another, please.

 595 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.63/5  rDev -4.7%
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.

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Pipeline Porter from Kona Brewing Co.
3.81 out of 5 based on 1,887 ratings.
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