Pipeline Porter | Kona Brewing Co.

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Pipeline PorterPipeline Porter
Very Good
1,922 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
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Ratings: 1,922 |  Reviews: 743
Photo of Strix
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown, tan head, recedes to a minimal ring.

Roasted malt in the smell, with coffee and dark chocolate notes.

Pretty standard roasted malt portery taste, with a subtle blend of coffee, cocoa, and dark chocolate.

Fairly smooth mouthfeel.

I enjoyed this, nicely balanced and drinkable.

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Photo of RossCain
4.12/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a snifter

A: Dark ruby, borderline black in color (reminiscent of light roast coffee, actually) with a very small light brown head. The head only lingered for about 10 seconds until it completely faded, leaving light bubbly lacing around the edges of the glass. Retained bits of splotchy webbing throughout the glass.

S: Immediately evident notes of dark roast coffee come off of the nose followed by lighter notes of chocolate and roasted malts. Quite a pleasant smell in all.

T: Thick and robust taste of dark roasted coffee beans upfront well balanced with a roasted malt profile. Very roasty but not overly stressing on the palate. Finishes lightly dry with a slight bittersweet chocolate taste and minor notes of raisin and dark stone fruit.

M: Thick, chewy, and overall smooth all the way down. Light carbonation which is well balanced for the style and the beer leaves a very pleasant coating of the palate after sipping. I did not find this beer to stress the palate as some other roasty porters tend to do which was a welcome surprise.

D: Extremely drinkable with a well balanced and delicious flavor profile alongside a surprisingly easy to drink mouthfeel. Combined with the low abv, I could see this being a very easy beer to knock back a few of without batting an eyelash.

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Photo of rivalrome
3.58/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Found this badboy as one of the last few winter beers that was on the shelf here in Orlando.

Served into a Southern Tier Pint Glass at 49ºF.

Pours a dark walnut color, similar to coffee. Forms a very small light creamy tan head ontop that dissipates rather quickly with little to no lacing.

Smells strongly of coffee, caramel and slight roasts, hints of hoppy goodness.

Initial tastes aren't primarily coffee, leaning more towards the malts and hops with a heavy coffee aftertaste. Hints of dark chocolate are also very prevalent. Carbonation seems rather heavy.

It isn't as heavy as heavy as it's thick color gives off, but it'll do. The mouthful feels somewhat watery.

Overall a fairly drinkable beer, but not a favorite amongst the coffee porters and stouts that I've had.

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Photo of clark123456
4.15/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Dark black color; I can't see through it in a pint glass.

S: Slightly burned coffee odor comes through. As it warms up, a caramel odor is present.

T: First you get a solid dark ale flavor, followed by a hint of coffee. It's not very bitter and the aftertaste is almost non-existent. A slight coffee aftertaste is present though.

M: Alkaline with very little body.

D: This beer is very drinkable, but you had better like the flavor of coffee.

Overall: I'm not a coffee drinker, but I really enjoyed this beer. I'll probably try to brew a similar beer in the near future.

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Photo of beertunes
2.68/5  rDev -29.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served in straight pint glass. Poured a light black color with 1/4 inch of light tan head that had low retention and OK lacing, a fairly average looking beer.

The aroma had mostly malts and just a hint of roast, blandly typical. The flavors were a bit more pronounced, the malt a bit fuller and the roast a touch more noticeable, but was also blandly typical.

The body and drinkability were both typical and average for the style. Overall, this was a slightly below average beer, not terrible by any means, but also not note-worthy or memorable.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.39/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

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.

[Beer advocate changed the weights of each category relative to the overall score with no notice, so I have no idea what score I originally gave this. Probably a B-.]

2nd impression on-draught:


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Photo of schlimenhaumer
3.74/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a regular dinner glass at high altitude (above 5,000 feet).

A - Dark color, but not quite opaque. About a two-finger off-white head with good lacing.

S - The coffee smell really comes through to me. Clean.

T - Tastes like porter with coffee in the brew.

M - Wet all the way through.

D - Good price for this bottle, maybe a little bit heavy to drink all night.

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

Dark brown color. Strong smell of coffee beans. Very easy drinking porter. Goes down very smooth. Alcohol taste is negligible. Medium-strong coffee taste. As I lover of dark coffee, I love this porter. Excellent smoothness to coffee flavor ratio. Great drinker.

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

this beer pours a dark translucent brown with a tan head that recedes quickly to a ring of lacing. the aroma brings a strong roasted malt scent with a nice coffee counterpoint. the taste follows with a rich coffee flavor enhanced by the black malt taste to a near tart bitterness. the medium mouthfeel and good co2 make this a very drinkable beer.

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Photo of AndyAvalanche
3.82/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint Glass. Comes out dark brown with some mahogany red highlights on the side. Well carbonated and lots of bubbles rise to the top creating a small tan (like coffee with extra cream color) head. The head doesn't stick around too long and it doesn't really provide much lacing.

I like the smell. There is certainly a generous amount of coffee in this brew, however it's pretty well blended in with the beer. Black coffee is the initial aromas that jump out at you, but it's followed by dark roasted malts, chocolate, an followed by some earthy hops.

The taste is equally as good, and you can really notice the complexity and how well the coffee and the beer ingredients are blended together to make this beverage. Again the black coffee is the initial flavor, than the chocolate malts and hops, than believe it or not it finishes with the coffee flavor. So it starts and stops with coffee, but never really gets too much coffee to it.

Mouthfeel is pretty good, it meets the overall standard for a porter I guess. Its probably more medium bodied than full, could certainly be more full in my opinion. Somewhat smooth with a strong bitter finish. Good drinkability overall, I'd certainly get it again. The first Kona brew I've had, I'd certainly be willing to try more.

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Photo of NefariousR
3.85/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz. glass bottle into a tulip pint glass.

A - Dark brown with ruby notes. Forms a tan, foamy head that dissipates quickly.
S - Coffee, roasted malt and dark chocolate.
T - Roasted coffee, malty sweetness. Roast flavor is felt strongly in the aftertaste.
M - Medium bodied with light carbonation. Slightly sticky.
D - Quite drinkable and flavorful, yet still a bit lighter than other coffee porters I have tried.

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Photo of JayS2629
3.81/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A- Looks like a cola, thin white bubbly head that recedes to a thin ring quickly, moderate creamy walls of lace.

S- Roasted barley, black coffee, and hints of cocoa

T- Follows the nose with hints of vanilla and balanced nicely with a classic porter background. Hints of chocolate and strong doses of roasted coffee.

M- Medium body, slightly watery

D- Very drinkable. Well balanced where the coffee doesn't overpower the porter profile and vice versa. Watery, but enjoyable.

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

Coffee flavor makes me think this might be a good breakfast of champions. I'm awake now!

Very dark with a little froth clinging to the glass. Sweet and chocolately aroma.

More chocolate than coffee on the tongue. Enough bitter to satisfy but not offend the lightweights.

An easy drinker with tons of body.

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Photo of BatDaddy
3.85/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a dark almost black brown with ruby highlights. Head is light brown with good retention.

S - Dark well-roasted coffee. A hint of chocolate malt, and just a wisp of smokiness.

T - The taste pretty much follows the nose. Dark coffee and espresso with a touch of sweetness. Some roasted smoky flavors dance around in there. Coffee is the dominant flavor here, so you can't accuse them of false advertising. It's nicely balanced though and not overpowering.

M - Fairly dry and a bit bubbly.

D - You could certainly sit down and knock back a couple of these.

A nice, solid porter that I try to sample on its yearly release. Good stuff.

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

poured a dark brown in color with brown highlights that had a thin head and left some good frothy lacing sticking to the glass. The aroma had a very nice bouquet of coffee beans with vanilla, chocolate, roasty, and faint nutty notes. The coffee bean and roastiness meshed really good with vanilla, chocolate, slight herbal notes, and a touch of hops on the backend. The brew was medium in body with a moderate amount of carbonation which had a sweet, roasty, mild astringent, and silky finish. It drank really good and is probably my favorite beer from kona.

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Photo of lpolinsky
3.38/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Almost like a flat Coke or a reaaaallllyy strong cup of coffee. Maybe even like a shot of Kahlua

Smell - There's definitely a hint of coffee in this beer. I have a bit of a headcold, so the fact that I can smell that assures me that there's coffee in this beer!

Taste - The immediate first taste is malt and water. Followed by the coffee flavor.

Mouthfeel - There's a very low fizz that dissipates rather quickly.

Drinkability - I could drink this all afternoon! Especially on a cold day or with a good winter stew.

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Photo of brewerburgundy
3.95/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle, Sam Adams perfect pint, bottling date of 11/10/10.

Lighter than I prefer my Porters but with a nice head. Dark auburn brown with a good creamy cappuccino head that laces.

I'm only getting subdued aromas of coffee with cream and indistinct malt. Pleasant and very calm.

That creamy coffee carries through with some pretty dark roast, but nothing astringent. Dash of citric hops, a little out of place. The coffee is done well; fresh medium roast and full flavor.

No two ways about it, the mouthfeel is watery. It's trying for creamy but has fallen short. A little rough roast settles on the palette.

Its lightness makes it go down easily. The coffee is used better than most, though there isn't much else going on. One-dimensional and good at what it does.

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Photo of cdizinno
3.66/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: Poured into a pint glass from a 12oz. bottle with a 'bottled on' date of 092310.

A: Dark reddish-brown with a tan head. Mild to no lacing.

S: Mostly malty and bready. Some undertones of coffee, but nothing special.

T&M: Taste is better than the smell. More coffee and roasted malt tastes. Medium bodied.

Very drinkable for a porter, which is not my favorite style.

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Photo of ThePorterSorter
3.85/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Looks nice and dark, impenetrable held up to the light. The head formed a rich tan, but disappeared before you could even blink (to the point where I had to give it a swirl just to remember that a head even existed). However, poured against any other porter there is little difference.

The beer smells as if I should push down the strainer on my french press before drinking. It provides a smack in the face full of coffee bean. However, there is another strange note that this beer gives off, strange enough to notice and lose points for. Don't misinterpret my intentions, I am all for a beer with funk, however, this is something different.

Smell and appearance flaws aside, this is a decent porter with an interesting coffee infusion. It is almost as noticeable in the taste as it is in the smell. Something is subtly off, which I attributed to whatever is off-putting the smell, but it's an overall balanced beverage. No yucky aftertastes, a nice burnt sugar caramel lingers instead. Although I have chosen to enjoy this beer at a cooler temp, I would have enjoyed it warmer as well. Final notes are a bitter roast and dark chocolate (75%+ cacao).

This beer feels like a porter, but is not quite as thick as I'm used to having. It is a little bitter, but leaves a nice chocolate aftertaste. This beer would have benefited from some oak to help smooth out some of the bitterness. I have had better porters that aren't as watery and which provide more hops. The caramel smoothness from this beer makes it feel quite good.

For the price, this is a pretty good porter. There are better porters available, but I like the cool and genuine attitude of the brewery and simplicity of good coffee mixed with good beer. Characteristics of this beer that make it good (smooth, profound aromatics, and affordability) outweigh the bad (subtle off-balance, and shy head formation). I may purchase this beer again, it is offered in the mix and match craft pack at Wegmans.


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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Pipeline Porter from Kona Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.8 out of 5 with 1,922 ratings