Pipeline Porter | Kona Brewing Co.

Pipeline PorterPipeline Porter
1,903 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: 1,903 |  Reviews: 739
Photo of Bounty628
4.04/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pipeline Porter is brewed in the American porter fashion and is a very mild and smooth 5.4% ABV. The porter is not heavy nor is it a really bitter porter therefore with a rather quaffable ABV the beer is a nice offering for an evening where you might want to have more than just one beer.

The Pipeline Porter pours a pretty rich brown color with some amber hues mixed in. Though some porters maintain an almost stout-like darkness to them, this porter has a bit of translucence to it however it is by no stretch of the imagination a weakly light porter. Poured from a bottle into a pint glass there was a minimal amount of head present in the pour but a beige lacing was left along the side of the lass while the beer was being enjoyed. A decent amount of carbonation was present in the beer once poured but that just did not seem to translate to there being much head to this porter.

As expected, the aroma to this offering is a nice one with rich tones of Kona coffee smacking you in the nose immediately. The deep and roasted coffee aroma works itself out of the pint glass and is present throughout the offering. Roasted malts and dark chocolate also are noted in the nose and for a porter the nose is exactly what one would hope to find in a really quality brew.

As expected, the roasted malts and brilliant coffee nose comes is packed into the taste, as well, and the complexity of the porter is nicely round. What is great about this coffee porter is that the brewer has focused on making this equally focused on being both a porter and a coffee porter. While some brewers fail when it comes to artfully infusing coffee into their porters, Kona has done a nice job and ensuring that the coffee comes through in a big way. The same roasted and dark notes in the nose are matched by a sharp, yet not bitter, coffee flavor and the taste is a real winner. The fine balance of ensuring a certain coffee bite is well met here without making the beer become either too acrid or metallic in nature which some coffee can end up doing while in the brewing process.

The mouthfeel for this porter is rather good but as noted in the appearance, there is a little bit of a looseness to the beer and it is not a heavy and overpowering sort of porter that will weight you down. For a porter it is a little light in terms of actual mouthfeel but the brilliance in the taste certain makes up for that shortcoming.

To me, there is a good drinkability to this porter but mind you porters are not for everyone. If paired with the right meal, perhaps either a rich pork dish or a barbecue meal, this beer would be an ideal dinner time match to just have a beer with the meal. That said, with a relatively low ABV and a good taste packed into the bottle, porter fans would have no problem in having this beer serve as a session beer.

 2,823 characters

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

Thanks to my Hawaiian hookups for this one, kk73 and July2Nov.

12oz bottle poured into SA perfect pint.

A- Pours a deep brown with a small head, only a half finger worth of head that leaves some nice lacing on the side of the glass.

S- Big doses of coffee. That is first and foremost. Some dark chocolate and some nice roasted malt as well.

T- Some very nice roasted malt and the coffee, oh the coffee. There is a reason Kona coffee is known for what it's known for. Deep and rich, unlike most coffee stouts or porters I have had.

M- Medium bodied but I would have preferred a little thicker bodied on this one. Pretty much no carbonation on the feel except at the back of the throat.

D- Probably the best coffee infused beer I have had. That is saying a lot since my local go to is Central Waters Coffee Stout for all you old school acronymphs.

 854 characters

Photo of ninaturner
3.8/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance: Dark, but not a very thick appearance. Comparable to coffee.

Aroma: Bitter coffee with nutty influence.

Taste: The coffee and roast taste comes through. Very good aftertaste, which seems rare with beer of similar styles. Not too overpowering. The perfect balance of beer and coffee.

Mouthfeel: Slightly thick, but again, not as thick as I've seen with similar styles.

Drinkability: Not very drinkable for me, but I still would enjoy a few with a dessert.

 470 characters

Photo of 7ways
3.71/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Black. Or is it dark brown? Ruby-ish? I can't tell, but it's nice. However, there's no lace, but more importantly, there is no head no matter hard I swirl the glass. Come to think of it, it looks like black coffee.

Smells like fresh brewed coffee, and I mean FRESH. Cafe Macchiato with a hint of hazelnut.

Bitter chocolate and earthy hops make a minor appearance. Nice blend of the coffee flavors with the roasted malts. A little one dimensional, but the dude abides. Subtle sweet finish.

Pretty lush body for a porter, a win.

Great for a coffee beer fix, but not a regular purchase.

 588 characters

Photo of psuKinger
3.95/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

First had this on draft this summer at the brewery's Oahu brewpub, where I was pleasantly surprised and impressed by this and several other Kona brews... this review will be on a bottle that I picked up down in Maryland, bottle dated 9/2/2010 and poured into a standard curved-shaker pint glass.

A: Pours a dark dark brown with a lively, bubbly quarter-inch head on top that faded quickly.

S: The smell is of roasted malts and sweet coffee.

T: Taste follows the nose, rich semi-sweet roasted malts and coffee beans.

M: Beer runs smooth and creamy in the mouth and is *lighter* than I would expect a porter to be. It starts roasty, then the carbonation and coffee moves in, and it finishes dry, creamy, and semi-sweet. Enjoyable.

D: This is very drinkable. Goes down smooth, has a moderate, pleasant coffee flavor to it, and the semi-sweet dry finish means I think I could hit this for an entire evening and be a happy man if it was the only option available to me.

 969 characters

Photo of sunkistxsudafed
2.41/5  rDev -36.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

i'm not sure if i got an older bottle of this or what, but i was surprised to see such high reviews of this beer.

A- looks great a dark rich black with a dark carmel head, though a thin head.

S- strong coffee smell. pure coffee very pleasant best part of this beer.

T- tastes of iced coffee in the bad way. If i didn't know better i wouldn't have thought this a beer.

M- terrible. flat and thin. i would rather be drinking day old mcdonald's iced coffee than this.

D- if it wasn't so flat and thin this beer would be decent at worst and great at best. the flatness and thinness ruin it for me.

 598 characters

Photo of mountdew1
3.63/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into an imperial pint glass. Color was a very dark, almost opaque brown with a light brown head. Head was maybe 1/2 finger, and didn't last long, but left a thin ring around the edge. Aroma was burnt malts and coffee with a bit of chocolate hiding in the undertone. Slight acidic hint in the aroma. Taste was at times slightly milky sweet, other times it was a bit bitter like coffee. Ended up with a dark chocolate taste lingering in the mouth. Felt a little thin in the mouth, but left a nice coating linger akin to a rich dark chocolate. Easy enough to drink, pleasant sipper, but nothing outrageous.

 610 characters

Photo of blink1371
4.22/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pour- I poured into a goblet.

Appearence-It poured thick w/ a tan finger width head. Little carbonation, but probably the best lacing I've seen on any beer so far. The lacing remained throughout the remainder of the beer.

Smell- I could smell the coffee immediately as I started the pour. Coffee was the dominating aroma, but the roasted malts can be picked up as well. The aroma was almost exactly like I was sniffing a straight black coffee, as opposed to a porter.

Taste- Coffee and cream. Medium bodied. Initially I could taste the coffee with cream, but there was not a multitude of flavors. Like the smell, it was almost exactly like drinking black coffee. There is a hint of roasted malts and yeast, but only if you're looking for it.

Aftertaste- Wait a few seconds, and it's exactly the same as if you just drank a black coffee.

Conclusion- This is by far the most coffee-like beer I've tried. Coffee is the best way to describe this brew. The creaminess supplemented the beer, much like creamer supplements coffee. Bottom line, if you like black coffee, or coffee in general, you will enjoy this porter.
Serving type: bottle

 1,141 characters

Photo of Scotchboy
3.7/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

On tap at Old Spagetti Factory. Also sold in 6 packs here. Have tried both variants.

Looks like a rich Porter on the pour, very deep brown/black with a small head and little bits of lacing. Head has very small bubbles, looks soft. Some carbonation present.

Smells very good, coffee tones right away followed by rich malts.

Taste is good, but thin in a way. As it warms up the taste doesn't change much for me, mostly coffee and an ever-so-slight bitterness. Roasted dark malts follow. Bitter chocolate flavors as well. Not as deep and rich as I would hope but still good.

Feel to the palette is thin as I said above. Not as thick as some Porters and other dark beers. Feels light and more drinkable.

Drinkability is high in my opinion. I've had it as a session beer before and its great whether your sipping and savoring or downing three pint glasses.

 856 characters

Photo of Pellinore1
3.88/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Mora2000 for this bottle.

Pours a deep, nearly opaque brown, leaving about a finger of light tan head. This dissipates quickly, leaving minimal lacing.

The smell of brewed coffee is apparent as soon as the bottle is opened. Beyond that, I struggle to detect the malts that I am sure are there. Some chocolate notes, perhaps?

It comes as no surprise that the dominant flavor is also coffee. The malts bring some sweetness and light roastiness.

This beer is medium bodied, with some nice carbonation. Very pleasant overall, and nicely drinkable.

 557 characters

Photo of horshack7
4.1/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: A solidly dark beer or down right black. On top is a tan head about two fingers in hieght that has good head retention.

Aroma: Lots of sweetness from the malts. Coffee notes chocolate. The hops do let out a little bit of a fruity aroma but it's mostly floral with dryness in the nose.

Taste: Quite a crisp mouthfeel a little bit sticky and chewy. Chocolate and coffee surround this beer quite well. In the middle is a twinge of breadiness and nice dry finish.

Notes: This a tasty American porter a good one to enjoy during the colder months. Cheers.

 565 characters

Photo of Kooz
3.15/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a standard pint glass. Nice deep, dark brown color. Bottle says it's limited release.

Strong coffee undertones; nice nose.

Tastes pretty good. Coffee comes through pretty strongly. A little acrid followed by some bitterness on the finish. Pretty complex overall.

Mouthfeel is okay. A little thin, but not bad. Keeps it from seeming too heavy.

Fairly drinkable beer.

 381 characters

Photo of MuddyMcGinny
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz. hard pour into a standard American pint.

Good lookin' single finger mocha colored head. Comes back nice with a swirl o' the glass when halfway thru. Rich nose of coffee and toffee and all that good roasted stuff. Bit of a bite after the bitterness of the coffee sets in and then real smooth on the way down. Lashed back a sixer of this puppy while putting up the house Christmas lights on a cold cloudy windy day. Thoroughly enjoyed.

 440 characters

Photo of bonkers
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a sa perfect pint glass. The pour is midnight black with red highlights, medium white head, light lacing. The aroma is dark brewed coffee. It taste like it smells, black coffee. The coffee is not overwhelming, but is predominant. The beer is light for a porter, well carbonated. A solid coffee porter, they should take limited release off the label as it looks like it has been around a few years.

 434 characters

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

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a nonic pint.

Pours a very deep black with some red tinges. Head is a mocha color, one finger high and disappates fairly quickly. Lacing is about average.

My nose is a little stuffed while reviewing this, so the smell part is a little hard to do. I mostly smell roasted malts, chocolate and coffee, which are sure to be the dominant smells. The coffee, of what I can get of it, smells great. Subtle nuances are lost on me right now.

This is a really good tasting porter. The roasted malts take center stage, backed up by the bitter coffee and chocolate flavors. The coffee is very realistic and very well done.

This is one of the very rare 5.0s I'll give to mouthfeel. It's just smooth and thick enough to feel perfect going down. The lack of a bitter aftertaste also helps make this a very drinkable porter.

Usually when I buy a single of a beer, that'll wet my appitite for more. But not in this case. I want more Pipeline Porter, and I plan on getting a ton more while it's still around. It's perfect for the winters here in Florida, where it doesn't get too cold, but I still get the craving for something a bit heavier.

 1,167 characters

Photo of Phelps
3.36/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Looks: dark, mostly opaque amber. A tiny, fuzzy tan head fizzles quickly to become just a thin, lingering ring.

Smells: lightly smoky, with tobacco, sourdough, biscuits, coffee, horses and wet hay. Weird.

Tastes: begins with a flash of grainy sourdough biscuits before ceding to light roast coffee and a subtle lingering bitterness. It's not a powerful flavor, but it's nice.

Feels: a medium-light carbonation stings the tongue as I move the medium-light-bodied brew about. It's a little runny-feeling, but has a crisp finish.

Drinks: I usually like my porters more robust in character, but this one was actually nice. Good coffee flavors, not too heavy and easy-drinking.

 680 characters

Photo of sinstaineddemon
3.63/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

free sample from work, yay!

A - porter dark as one would expect, with half a finger of medium tan head

S - some alcohol twinge overlays some chocolate malts and the bottle-mentioned Kona coffee, which is more intense than the chocolate malts

T - once again, the coffee is the strongest element, the chocolate cowers in the background with the roasted malts that round out the flavor

M&D - thinner than I expected, nearly Irish Dry Stout thin, but that makes it quite drinkable, the flavors are noticeable and unassuming without being stripped of all their power, would be a great bridge beer for a BMC drinker, a nice beer.

 627 characters

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

Pours a deep brownish black color with a thin white head and a generous amount of lacing. Smells of coffee and roasted grain. Tastes of roasted malts, honey like sweetness, and tons of coffee in the front and also in the aftertaste. Mouthfeel is thick with a nice medium body and drinkability is high.

 301 characters

Photo of WhiteOak
3.68/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Deep black-brown color with a tan foamy head.

S- Moderate coffee aroma with a faint note of chocolate.

T- The coffee predominates and is very pleasant, with a distinct quality and freshness usually not seen in coffee-flavored beer. There may be the very slightest fresh coffee bitterness but it is in very good balance with the malt.

M, D- Medium bodied. Thankfully there is absolutely no detectable sourness/acidity therefore the Pipeline is quite drinkable.

 465 characters

Photo of tvljr
4.44/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One of my favorites, especially during the fall.

Beer pours a very dark almost black color with a medium brown head about 1.5 fingers high.

Aroma has a strong hint of coffee with a more subtle chocolate undertone.

Taste of coffee is strong, but not overpowering and mixes well with the maltiness of the brew.

Well worth the 8 bucks.

 336 characters

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

A- pours dark brown with tan head leaves traces of lacing

S- Smells like you would expect from a porter although I felt like the coffee smell should have been more prominent

T- Deep roast taste with traces of coffee and caramel. The coffee is especially present in the aftertaste

M- Very smooth drink with just the right amount of bite

D- Porters are my favorite for this time of year and this one is no exception. It's cheap ($7 sixer) and an easy drink. I'll definitely pick this one up again for relaxing on winter nights.

 532 characters

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

I poured this really hard into my trusty gigantic Dogfish Head snifter.

A: Dark, dark brown, with a half-hearted, yet still foamy one finger head that melted into a sudsy cream. When I spun the glass, the foam ignited again.

S: Not in your face, yet still present smell of high grade coffee, and a bit of burnt cedar. Pleasant.

T: Coffee is remarkably well blended into the malt and mild candy sweetness. The finish is surprisingly not bitter and no coffee lingers in the slightest.

M: No booze detected, even though the brew is almost sessionable anyway at 5.4%. The carbonation is great for the style and the creamy quality is to die for!

D: I've always been a bigger fan of added ingredients to porters rather than stouts. In my opinion, the overall subtleness and transparency of the style lends itself extremely well to outside taste agents. This brew illustrates my mindset on that matter perfectly. I would reccommend this brew even for non-coffee drinkers.

 969 characters

Photo of Bizz88
4.3/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured very dark brown almost to the point of being black with a one fingered tan head with nice lacing the length of the glass. Aromas of earthy coffee, malt and chocolate. On the palate this brew had a liken to a iced coffee with mocha hints. Lightly carbonated with a medium body. Quite an exceptional porter.

 312 characters

Photo of TheLVBeerGuy
3.2/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured it into a pint glass.

A- Very true brown with a nice smooth looking tinted brown head

S- Smells like a good cup of coffee that has already been sweetened and had cream added.

T- like a very good cup of coffee, again, but in beer form. very sweet as it goes down.

M-feels like an iced latte' in your mouth. Carbonation is light and almost goes away as you swallow.

D- obviously there is too much coffee here. taste is good, but is complexity too much to ask for? wont be drinking again unless i mistake it for my morning coffee in a tired haze.

 556 characters

Photo of jillmart
4.24/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Drank out of a pint glass

A: Extremely dark brown with a little head and lacing.

S: Overwhelming smell of Kona coffee with a hint of chocolate.

T: A terrific combination of coffee and chocolate, but it's not a perfect 50/50 split, which is fine. I'd call it 60 coffee/40 chocolate. And it works. This is as close to a perfect blend that I've found for what I call an "everyday porter."

M: It's very malty and goes down the hatch very smoothly.

D: Overall, although there's not much to write home about as it's not a special occasion brew and doesn't have outstanding, over-the-top qualities, this is still one of my favorite beers because of the good mix of coffee and chocolate and that it's not too heavy. For me this is my 'ole reliable American porter that I get every winter. I recommend it to those who like coffee stouts and porters.

 845 characters

Pipeline Porter from Kona Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.8 out of 5 with 1,903 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.