Pipeline Porter | Kona Brewing Co.

very good
1,897 Ratings
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 Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,897 |  Reviews: 738
Photo of kneeland
4.1/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

One of the best coffee beers I've ever tried. A very malty taste, they did a great job to bring out the coffee flavor. A really nice aroma makes it go down smooth. The appearance is really dark,which is to be expected, with a decent foamy head.

The only bad thing I can say about this is that it's hard to pair with any food, since it has such a distinct heavy flavor. Oh well

 377 characters

Photo of Hoops4life511
3.51/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12oz bottle picked up at Marine Corps Base Quantico with 01--05-11 punched into it poured into snifter.

Appearance - Dark brown, translucent mahogany when held to the light. Small off white head quickly fell quickly to a spotty cap. Some spotting left after a sip, but disappears while you aren't looking.

Smell - Slight coffee and sweet sugary smells, but not very forward in the nose.

Taste/Mouth - Taste is easily the strong point of this beer. Light on the palate with a good malt sweetness and coffee finish. A little high on the carbonation.

Overall - Easy drinker with a lot of flavor without killing you with a high ABV. Would gladly drink this regularly if it was available around me.

 697 characters

Photo of FoamyMustache
4.46/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured a dark molasses brown with a light brown head...little retention or lacing.

S - Rich coffee notes, chocolate, smooth. Awesome! I want to drink now.

T - Definitely get the coffee beans this beer is built around with a perfect balance of chocolate and a lot of roasted malt. Bit of a coffee bitterness at the end that lingers in the mouth...not a bad thing.

M - Medium-bodied, not as heavy as its appearance may lead. Not overly carbonated, but if i had to critique one aspect of the beer I would like to see it a little creamier.

D - Awesome...could easily put down a 6er.

 586 characters

Photo of ocdiver
3.54/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This is an average to good porter. A pleasant aroma with hints of the Kona Coffee. Taste is neither bland nor overly aggressive. The coffee flavor is very pleasant with out being over bearing. The subtle flavors become more pronounced as the beer warms into the 40s. this beer has a mild slightly acidic finish, pleasant. While very drinkable, this wouldn't be my choice for a session brew.

 390 characters

Photo of Bouleboubier
3.92/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Intrigued to try this for its kona injection. Got that injection and then some.

One of the darkest, straight-up brown colors on a beer you will see. Good 1/2" off-white head on pour, but visually the bubble don't stick.

Awesome roast coffee aroma busting out, dominating. Firm malts supporting chocolate. Toasty with hops woven into the fabric. Just lovely.

A porter? As an extra stout this works quite well. Overarching coffee flavor with a little acidic tang on the finish. Citrus and piney hops in the background, mild chocolate flavors. Roasty? You bet. But bitter? Surprisingly, not so much.

Overall, it's quite a quaffable coffee porter - maybe the best I've had? Its middle of the road body with a grainy (could it be the carb?) and lightly chalky feel doesn't lend as much smoothness or substance as could be desired in a porter, but I liked it just fine.

 867 characters

Photo of chefelf
2.96/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I'd like to try some other beers from this brewing company. After trying a few different coffee porters I've determined that this is just not my favorite style of beer. I'm trying to be fair in my ratings despite this prejudice of mine.

I always like the idea of a coffee porter but there's something about the beany coffee taste that always puts me off.

It's kind of like hot buttered rum. It sounds so delicious but then when you have some you realize there's just some butter floating in your rum.

 502 characters

Photo of engagechad
4.28/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This bottle was purchased as a build your own from Total Wine in Richmond, VA - bottled in october 2010 - poured into a victory tulip.

Poured wonderful with great carb and massive head. When held to the light it shines a deep walnut color. Put your nose in this one.. man.. I effin LOVE coffee so this is a dream. There are all sorts of stouts and porters out there that claim to have coffee in them but THIS is a coffee beer.. lemme tell ya.. Awesome nose and even more awesome taste. The bitterness from the coffee balances the malt perfectly, although there isn't much hop presence It is made up for with the coffee bitter. Feels a little thin on the mouth but is very very drinkable.

Seek it out folks - I have bought this on more than one occasion. That means a lot coming from a guy that is all about trying NEW things.. this is the kind of beer I come back to.

 869 characters

Photo of mnrider
3.17/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12 oz. brown bottle. made with 100% Kona coffee.

A: Pours a dark brown, almost pitch black with a light brown head and little retention and lacing.

S: Strong roasted coffee, dark chocolate and roasted wood.

T/M: Smooth carbonated coffee. Slight mixture of sweetness and roasted malts. Hops are faint, yet the balance is still pretty good.

D: Average Porter, which is close to being really good. The coffee needs to be much stronger. It just falls flat for me. Maybe it's just the kind coffee being used? Needs to be richer with a bigger body.


 557 characters

Photo of mntlover
3.35/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a black at a glance more dark brown with red highlight when held up , thumb sized dark tan head falls slow laces well.

Aroma is roasted malts medium coffee notes, some chocolate or sweetness and light smoke.

Taste is light roasted malts, some coffee notes lingering liquorice like flavors with hints of vanilla. Taste is not as good as nose seems little lighter and washes out some in the finish. Still its not bad just not something I would go out and pick up again.

Mouthfeel is medium with medium level of carbonation also seem lighter in the finish.

Drinkability is say average, defiantly worth a try just might be the mood I am in today.

 653 characters

Photo of Chico1985
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Finally finishing up a 6-pack of this I got for Christmas.

Body is just about black, slight orange highlights when held to the light. Beige head falls to a decent cap leaving some lacing.

Smell is pleasant...coffee with cream, dough, some hops, slightly piny.

Coffee is more present in the taste, but there's not much to it other than the coffee. Some roasted malt, lactic notes, some light fruit and pine from the hops. Bready graininess. A bit spiky on the carbonation.

As far as coffee beers go this was a little tame for me. Not bad but pretty dull overall.

 566 characters

Photo of camp0474
4.07/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Review from 1/27/11

A: Pours dark red brown to black with tan head.

S: Heavy roasted malts with slight smokiness. Notes of smooth Kona coffee and bitter chocolate and cacao. Faint sweetness like vanilla or caramel.

T: Roasted malt blends with sweet malty flavors. Fairly balanced between bitter and sweet. The Kona coffee is more mellow than most and makes a good appearance in the middle. This smooth coffee flavor helps keep the beer from being bitter. Notes of cacao and vanilla blend with the coffee near the finish.

M: Medium body with decent carbonation. Not overly dry. Good finish for a porter. Somewhat silky.

D: Fairly drinkable coffee porter. Not to bitter or dry. A little bitter sweet. Pretty well balanced.

Overall decent beer. Good showing of coffee without being overpowering. Good flavors but not to complex. Enjoyable and glad I tried it. Good colder, like an iced cappuccino.

 900 characters

Photo of gskitt
4.17/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown, not opaque, nice off white head. Smells of a coffee house and maybe a hint of cocoanut. Earthy scent as well. Tastes of strong, fresh Hawaiian coffee and the husks of cocoanut. Slight acid bitterness at the end. Smooth and thin mouthfeel and this is really drinkable. I have not had many porters, but this has been my favorite.

 347 characters

Photo of hophopandaway
3.71/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured this and the head looked nice; it was an off white and creamy but it soon dissapated in to almost nothing. There was minimal lacing.
The smell was fairly minimal but from what I got I smelt a bit of coffee and toasted malt.
The taste was fairly pleasant, not too bitter and not the coffee was not overpowering. The coffee is there from start to finnish but not in an offensive way and in the mix there is a nice bit of charcoal and the faintest bit of dark chocolate. This beer seems to be very lightly hopped which allows the sweet malt to come through with a subtle bit of black treacle. On the finnish I get a little bit of toasted grain and bitter-sweet coffee.
Medium bodied with a light carbonation this beer slips down a treat. It's cold outside today and this was just the ticket. I'd nail a couple more if my stomach wasn't still a bit tender from last night. A very solid beer.
One thing that did annoy me was the lack of ABV info on the bottle. Tell me how strong my beer is please!!

Bottled on 6th Jan '11.

 1,028 characters

Photo of BobCS
3.48/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottled 1/5/2011

A - dark but not black or opaque, light does show through this dark but otherwise clear beer. A light brown head falls pretty quickly to leave a ring of lace.

S - aroma has noticeable coffee, slight burnt, but not overly dominated by coffee.

T - coffee taste is nicely balanced by malt, with just a bit of sweetness, and a roasty coffee-tinged finish.

M - Medium in body and carbonation, there is a sharpness on the tongue that seems acidic.

D - very drinkable and well balanced, at first seems almost like an iced coffee, but as it warms the underlying beer does show through with enough sweet and roasty malt to deserve to be called a porter. The coffee is clearly evident in aroma and flavor, and although the coffee flavor itself is unremarkable (I would not have known it was Kona if it wasn't on the label) it is well balanced and fits the beer without dominating.

 892 characters

Photo of uustal
4.24/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a pretty much solid black with a tiny light brown head. Little lacing and no head retention. Sweet coco powder and roasted coffee bean aroma. Nice. Very enjoyable taste. Mild, but well done. Definitely taste the roasted kona coffee beans which highlight the flavor profile. A little chocolate sweetness and a tad bit of hop crispness. The roasted coffee notes come back around to finish the beer. A top sessionable porter with just a well blended, mild, but great flavor profile.

 485 characters

Photo of shirfan
3.7/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark ruby fading to black in the thicker portions of the glass, with average head and lacing.

Roasty malt aroma with strong overtones of coffee -- fresh-ground, well made, non-bitter coffee.

Flavorful, well-balanced, and highly drinkable. More dark malt without excessive sweetness, black licorice, fresh coffee.

Big taste in a beer of average ABV.

 351 characters

Photo of kazmaniac
4.06/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Poured into a pint glass.

Appearance - Large light brown and fluffy head. Pours almost black.

Smell - Aroma has lots of sweet coffee with maybe a hint of chocolate.

Taste - Simple uncomplicated porter incorporated with a nice coffee flavor that doesn't become overpowering or bitter. Clean finish with little aftertaste.

Mouthfeel - Smooth and creamy with a medium body and light carbonation.

Drinkability - Very easy to drink.

Not very complex but a good solid porter with a nice coffee touch. An enjoyable and unpretentious simple beer that's good to have around. I'll buy this one again.

 597 characters

Photo of bigfnjoe
2.9/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle into a perfect pint

A- pours dark brown with a one finger light tan head. Fades quickly, minimal lacing

S- very mild notes of coffee and chocolate...mostly the chocolate. Not getting a ton of coffee out of this

T- very disappointing...the most major flavor I get is "cold". A little bit of coffee taste, but that's about it.

M- thin. Blah

D- really bland and boring. I expected a lot more out of this one, and didn't get it.

 450 characters

Photo of maximum12
3.62/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

It's time again to rescue long-forgotten beers from the back of the gaping maw of my fridge. This arrived long, long ago courtesy of skuter, who likely doesn't even remember the trade.

Pours black. Smell is strong & luxurious for such a low ABV event, thick, sweet malts & mild coffee.

This bottle of Pipeline Porter has been sitting in the fridge for probably a year & hasn't missed a beat; pretty impressive. Strong black coffee is the theme, with an additional slab of roast bitterness to assure the drinker gets the point. Faint milkiness, too. If they were aiming to get a thicker version of coffee, they hit the nail on the head.

Good beer. Nothing extraordinary for a coffeed-up porter, just a solid drinker.

 721 characters

Photo of OtherShoe2
3.71/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours dark brown with a decent off-white head. Some lacing.

Where is the goddamn smell. Light coffee notes, some darkened bread/toasted malt. That's it.

Decent coffee and dark malt flavors. What i like is that this is clean. Nothing sour or unpleasant in the finish. Coffee comes thru, but not over the top. A little malt sweetness in the initial sip, then the carbonation begins to clear the palate, and this dries out to a coffee finish. Not alot of strength in flavor, but it aids in drinkability. A little thin in mouthfeel, and this is one that could use a bit more body.

This works because it transcends all seasons. A good warm-weather porter. The more I drink this, the more I like it.

 697 characters

Photo of JamnesCameron
4.08/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep ruby with two fingers of light tan head that drops slowly leaving some nice lacing.

Aromas of coffee, actually like an iced coffee, roasty, sweet, hints of cocoa and roasted grains.

First sip is of iced mocha coffee, roasty, sweet malt, light cocoa dusting. No real hop bitterness stands out. Finish is short with a dry roastiness that fades quickly.

Mouthfeel is light, with a good level of soft carbonation.

Very drinkable beer, nothing too aggressive. Easy drinking. Good sessionable beer.

 509 characters

Photo of jetfansam
4.73/5  rDev +24.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I normally don't like heavy beers, especially porters but this beer is exceptionally good. If you don't pour it out of the bottle you honestly would never know how dark and heavy it is. It has a great coffee taste without losing any of its beer integrity. I higly recommend this beer to anyone that is looking to try something new and a bit different.

 351 characters

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

Not a bad porter, though with the coffee taste it might be misconstrued as a stout.

Dark ruby, thin head. Big malty, coffee scent and a strong coffee flavour. Not much else for taste - roasty, and very coffee-ish almost stout-like.

Carbonation is a bit much when cold, but eases as it warms. A great session porter. I'd love to have this on tap.

 348 characters

Photo of notsoprobeer
4.05/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Color is dark brown--not quite black, with a tan colored head. Aroma is (as advertised) coffee, and lots of it! Taste is coffee and loads of malts. The hops don't really come though at all in aroma or taste. Body is medium with a very smooth and creamy mouth feel. It's lightly carbonated and leaves a lingering coffee & malt aftertaste, which is appropriate. The malt heavy profile of Pipeline provides a nice change of pace from the hop laden beers I usually drink.

 467 characters

Photo of ocelot2500
3.92/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep brown, almost black color with a tight, off-white head that leaves a good amount of lacing.

Smells of mostly coffee notes.

Tastes of the roasted malts with some sweetness. Roasted malts have an expected coffee character with some slight brown sugar and some chocolate. Sweetness is noticeable, but kept light.

Mouthfeel is medium-full with a smooth amount of carbonation.

 388 characters

Pipeline Porter from Kona Brewing Co.
3.8 out of 5 based on 1,897 ratings.
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.