Dismiss Notice
Extreme Beer Fest:Los Angeles

Join us December 9th in Los Angeles for the ultimate throwdown of craft beer creativity!

Learn more...
Dismiss Notice
Introducing: Project Extreme Brewing (a Dogfish Head + BeerAdvocate project)

Pipeline Porter | Kona Brewing Co.

Your Rating: None

Want it   Got it 
Pipeline PorterPipeline Porter
Very Good
1,906 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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,906 |  Reviews: 739
Photo of Arithmeticus
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured chilled in tall ale glass.

A: black, little carbonation, healthy head dissipates relatively quickly
S: slight, sweet, malty, but otherwise nondescript
T: roasted barley and coffee taste are prominent; not very sweet and not bitter either; very strong bass notes in the flavor profile; hops not evident

Really a pretty solid beer overall, with a dark, roasted profile

 375 characters

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

I picked this one up recently as part of a mixed six pack at Lukas a while back. Poured a dark brown/black color, with a thin tan head. Aromas of roasted malt, coffee and cocoa. On the palate, this one is light to medium bodied with flavors of roasted malt, coffee and chocolate.

 279 characters

Photo of supernuke
3.96/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A- Dark brown, nice color.

S- Strong roasted smell of coffee and chocolate. Very impressed.

T- Similar to the smell, just less strong. Roasted coffee beans, etc.

M- Pretty watery, not as much as a stout though.

Overall, this is a very good beer. It impressed me with the strong coffee smell. The only thing that I had issues with is that the coffee in the taste isn't as strong as the smell, but it is still strong. Its a solid 4.0 in my book- very impressive beer.

 470 characters

Photo of gdrydenc
3.57/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a dark mahogany with a wisp of coffee colored head.

S - Coffee, mostly. More pronounced coffee than a typical porter. Hints of sweet chocolate.

T - First thing I notice is an odd bitterness or maybe tartness from the taste. Not the expected coffee bitterness, something different. This taste pretty much dominates. It isn't an awful taste, but it's a peculiar one that I can't get over.

M - Fairly watery for the style. I was expecting more pronounced flavor, but I'm kinda taken aback by this odd flavor...

Overall, the appearance and the smell of this beer is great, but the taste is off. Can't say I'd buy this again.

 635 characters

Photo of azdback
3.63/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into my "dead man's hand" pint glass. Dark, dark, dark. It does have some off black edges. Head is coco white and about one finger. The lace is sticky.

The smell is of roasted coffee with a bit of a smoke smell. Not any sweetness or hop.

The taste is about like the smell. Roasted malt flavors mixed with some coffee. It has maybe a hint of tart sweetness, but very minor. Another minor taste is vanilla.

The mouth is pretty on line with a porter. As much as I want all beers to have the mouth of an Imperial Stout or Barleywine, I understand I should grade on the style. This is a bit watery and hollow, but like I just said it is just a Porter, and I will judge accordingly.

Overall I really enjoy this one every time I drink it. It is an easy drinking session beer that should be purchased if you get the chance.

 827 characters

Photo of Gambrinus1184
3.88/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on-tap at Backstage in Torrington, Conn.

A: Black in color with a two-finger head of frothy, espresso-like foam which retained fairly well and left some decent, sticky lace.

S: Sweet roasted black malt aroma up front with deep, herbal and earthy hop resins floating about.

T: Rich, full-bodied and slightly creamy roasted malts up front with a bit of weak coffee and bittersweet chocolate to boot. A slight anise and charcoal flavor shore up with slight, dark fruity esters before washing down bittersweet and smooth with minimal lingering bitterness.

M: Sweet, smooth and full-bodied porter with nice balance and a slightly creamy finish.

D: Very nice balance and tons of sessionable flavor at 5.4% ABV. Pipeline porter is smooth, sweet and a bit smoky with nice roasted herbal and chocolaty notes to pair well with a chocolate or raspberry dessert or perhaps even with a hickory pulled pork sandwich. Very good on it's own though.

 944 characters

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

Deeeep dark brown with very low clarity and a moderately sized tanish head that does not stay for a while but leaves good gobs of lacing behind.

Smells of delicious coffee and a touch of piney hops. Very roasty and a mild residual toffee like sweetness.

The strength of the flavor subsides in comparison to what the aroma would imply. The strong roastyness in replaced with an almost frappuccino like lack of coffee punch and the toffee more or less just gets watered down. It almost tastes like club soda was added. Still a sharp roasty bite at the beginning though. Almost no trace of hops to be tasted.

The body is thin and slightly watery while still retaining a lot of spritzy carbination to add quite a bit of weight in otherwise. A very dry finish.

A bit foamy in my belly but still fairly light and drinkable.

I like kona brewing so far and this is my second beer from them and, though not as impressed as I was with the fire rock, I find this beer very enjoyable.

 977 characters

Photo of Preismj
3.8/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

a: a golden black hue...very dark beer but when held to the light gives off the color of a freshly brewed batch of coffee. Nice half inch creamy mocha colored head. Good retention. very sticky.

s: coffee...and lots of it. This has a strong kick of coffee...smells a little like burnt coffee but this seems to be more from roasted malts. I am getting a surprising burn of alcohol in the nose.

t: coffee, caramel and a bite of wood. A light malty sweetness in the middle of this one, though the coffee is potent and all over the palette. While I can tell the difference between Kona coffee and regular store brand coffee I wouldn't know this was Kona...though this certainly is the strongest coffee flavor I've ever had in a beer (may be attributable to the Kona beans). Walks the line between great taste and cloyingly sweet.

m: creamy and smooth. Little to no carbination (maybe not a fresh enough bottle at the time of this review...remember this having much more fizz when I had on draft). Wish there was a little more though it fits the style. covers the palette and didn't leave me dry.

o: a good coffee brew. The best I have had to date for a good rich coffee taste. Slight burn of alcohol on the larger sips, though for the most part you would never know you weren't drinking a chilled cup of coffee. The sweetness of the malts takes the place of sugar and the creamyness and lack of carbination takes the place of dairy. Very good, a unique and strong coffee taste.

 1,476 characters

Photo of jgreenearrow
3.83/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

A: The beer pours a deep opaque brown with a creamy thick head and significant lacing.

S: A rich brewed coffee smell is accompanied by sweet malt. This is a good smelling beer but not as rich and complex as some others of this style.

T: Strong rich coffee flavors burst onto the tongue at the onset of the sip, followed by crisp maltiness and a slightly bitter finish.

M: The beer feels thick and creamy in the mouth with sufficient carbonation.

Overall, this is a good beer, probably the best that I've had from this brewery. The coffee flavors are some of the deepest and richest that I have had in the style, what else would you expect from a beer that come from a region that prides itself on its kona coffee. The beer exhibits a fairly complex taste, but lacks some of the sweet cream flavors that can be found in other offerings.

 880 characters

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

Pipeline Porter from Kona Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.8 out of 5 with 1,906 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.