Pipeline Porter | Kona Brewing Co.

Your Rating: None
Want it   Got it 
Pipeline PorterPipeline Porter
Very Good
1,940 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: 1,940 |  Reviews: 748
Photo of rkuhnel
3.8/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a bottle poured a very dark brown tending toward black with a fat tan head. Big nose of coffee, chocolate, and dark roasted grains. Mouthfeel medium with an oily coffee bean texture, and flavor is not nearly as powerful as the aroma. This is not bad stuff, and as a porter is decent, even if not quite in the very top tier.

 328 characters

Photo of rayjay
3.3/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Deep transparent black with brown highlights. Quite flat.

S: Carmel and roasted malts. American style porter nose, which is difficult for me to describe, but always seems to be there no matter who the brewer. I'm missing the Kona beans, but I don't doubt they're in there somewhere.

T: There's the coffee...it's in the background, but it fits well with the sweet roasted malts. Fairly average porter, perhaps a bit more robust than usual, but nothing out of the ordinary. Lightly hopped. Finishes pleasantly dry, with a roasted malt aftertaste.

M: Too flat for my taste. Makes for a dull beer, although I can tell it's not much thicker than water. Could use some inspiration.

D: Drinkability is very good, although I'd still like some more CO2 in there. 10 minutes into the beer I can't even aggitate any foam on the top. I could see this being a fun beer to drink on the beach. Cheers!

 901 characters

Photo of slyke
4.27/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

First off, many thanks to my parents who brought three bottles of this beer home for me from the Big Island. I'd seen the packaging for this beer in the bottling room at Widmer Brothers in October 2006 and was hoping to get my hands on some.

Appearance: Black in the center, deep garnet around the edges with a thin tan head that fades to a ring in a couple of minutes.

Smell is dominated by roasted coffee (as excected).

Taste has elements of coffee and toffee. The roasty note is king here.

Mouthfeel is just what I expect from a porter. Lots of malt with some crispness from the hops around the edges. Overall, the beer is very smooth.

Drinkability is very good. I hope this limited release becomes a regular part of the Kona Brewing Company lineup. I think this beer would be an excellent compliment to a chocolate dessert. Recommended.

 856 characters

Photo of goschool
3.47/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: The pour is opaque black with a large creamy tan head.

Aroma: The nose has a tremendous roasty blend of fruity medium-roast coffee, lactose, and brown sugar.

Taste: Could a brewery brew a beer for me that tastes like this one smells? Apparently Kona can't. What a let down. It's still an okay porter, but all of the roasted malts meld to a much less complex flavor profile than I was anticipating. The lactose and coffee, albeit a more generic "coffee" than what was in the aroma, are still in here, as is a slight astringency, but it's not blowing me away.

This year is a historically bad one for Kona coffees. They are showing much less Kona-character than usual. I don't know how that would affect the beer's flavor profile, but not the aroma, but I'd like to hope, for their sake, it's an excuse.

Mouthfeel: It's medium-bodied and roasty with plenty of carbonation and a thin, watery finish.

Drinkability: How does a beer that smells so great taste so ordinary?

 984 characters

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

on tap at PB Bar and Grill, a deep dark brownish black beer with smallish head, some decent lacing. Looks pretty good for a porter. The smell up front is cofffee, some sweet malty richness. Taste- Starts off a little sweet, ends up with the bitterness of the coffee. Some chocolate peeks through in the aftertaste. Mouthfeel was good, slightly chewy. The problem with this is the drinkability, the coffee becomes a little overpowering. Probably couldnt have more than 2

 469 characters

Photo of ccrida
2.78/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured in an imperial pint glass, the Pipeline Porter is pitch black with a slight off-white head that immediately dissipated to a large bubbled collar, with largely spaced, sticky lacing.
The aroma is a roasted burnt malt with a coffee and a touch of chocolate, and chalk.
The taste is bitter coffee and roasted malt, pleasant but fairly one-dimensional. There is also a strong earthy mineral taste, and no noticeable hops, other then the bitter aftertaste, which I really think is more coffee, certainly in taste.
The mouthfeel is fine for a porter, which are generally a bit thin for my taste. Could have used a bit more carbonation, probably quite nice on nitro.
The drinkability was not to high on this, the taste was a bit to astringent to want to really suck these down. Certainly not bad though.
All in all, it reminds me a lot of my homebrewed coffee porter, which is pretty damn good, but homebrew none the less...

 934 characters

Photo of JohnnyM2002
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sampled from a 12 oz bottle, poured into a chalice at 45 degrees. Given to me by Akorsak - thanks!

A - Coffee-like in color with a small beige ring that sits comfortable atop the beer. Mild carbonation.

S - Smells of freshly-brewed coffee and roasted malt with a hint of chocolate in the background.

T - Coffee flavors are well-balanced with notes of roasted chocolate and vanilla. Nothing too tricky here...flavors are all pretty straightforward.

M - Body is a little on the thin side, but it still finishes strong. Coffee aftertaste.

D - Overall, pretty enjoyable. A little higher ABV and a thicker body would help it become a more solid porter, but still good nonetheless. Glad I got to knock Hawaii off the list!

 731 characters

Photo of Zorro
4.52/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This is a very dark brown colored beer with a light brown head.

This smells strongly of Hawaiian coffee. This is sweet and very strongly smelling of a medium grind cup of coffee without any associated chocolate scents. Fairly spicy this has a little cinnamon kick to it.

The taste begins sweet and bitter like coffee and not hops. Quite a nice coffee flavor in this beer is very much the beer version of Kahlua liqueur. Lots of roasted coffee taste along with a tart wine like aftertaste this captures the taste of coffee extremely well.

Mouthfeel is good.

Extremely drinkable and a natural extension of the coffee stout concept to the porter. I have not been very impressed by the beers of Kona brewing until I tried this beer. About as perfect as a low alcohol coffee based beer can be.

 800 characters

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

thanks kim, you rule

dark brew with ruby light-drawn glow. tan haze and some residual cream left at the surface edge. some bubbles exist centrally as well. this beer smells like cold coffee. now, i've had kona coffee.. and i drink slightly exotic stuff on a daily basis, but i can't tell the difference nasally. i get more fruity bean than roasty bitterness in the nose, and the oilyness bleeds... if you like coffee, and don't mind it cold.. this smells like the beer for you.

this beer improves exponentially once the body is examined. it's both carbonated well and balanced in thickness, providing an immediate sense of luxury on the palate. fizziness is the perfect foil for the intense chocolatey-coffee flavor showcased in this beer. the java flavors here are mild and partially resembling the bitter sweetness of a barely-ripe black cherry. this beer exists in a really drinkable place for something so spiked with strong bitter non-beer flavors.

really an excellent beer, and it would surely be a regular drinker if i lived in the paradise that is hawaii. but i don't, so i take what i can get.

 1,111 characters

Photo of warriorsoul
3.89/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to skyhand for this one...
Dark brown, bordering black with less than 1/2 finger of off-white head...thin, spotty lacing as I sip away.
Very nice coffee scent with some caramel and chocolate.
Quite tasty...generous robust coffee addition to this brew and very well balanced with the addition of milk chocolate, sweet malt and a hop bitterness.
Not thin in the m/f for the style...a nice breakfast beer if one was inclined to do so.
Easy, enjoyable drinking here...well worth trying.

 494 characters

Photo of Bobikel
3.9/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours a nearly opaque brown with a thin whispy head that dissapears in to a small ring in about 5 seconds. Lacing is not so good.

Smell - Musty coffee and roasted malts dominate. Is that a little grass in the back of my nose? I can't tell, but it's something.

Taste - A beautifully smooth and balanced porter. Coffee (of course) chocolate, and taffy are all present. With a nice hidden hoppiness to balance things all out. Never mind the unappealing smell, this is taste heaven.

Mouthfeel - Thick and slick with a small amount of carbonation just to keep things interesting.

Drinkability - An extremly easy drinking porter, definetly recomend to coffee enthusiasts.

 690 characters

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

Thanks to IntriqKen for this extra.

A beautiful pour producing a nice thick cocoa head with a body of blackness. The smell is of roasted malt and hints of coffee. This beer seems a bit too thin for me, almost watery. A bit of sweetness in the flavor with coffee being the most dominant characteristic, but it's not robust. Leaves a nice roasted aftertaste that lingers a bit on the tongue. A nice beer, but I would like it to have a little more hop bitterness and a little more weight to the body.

 500 characters

Photo of drseamus
4.74/5  rDev +24.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had this beer on tap at the brewery while I was on vacation there. This has a dark ruby color which is very similar to the Black Sand Porter that Kona makes as well. Very little sunlight is able to penetrate the glass. The aroma from the pint glass is extremely powerful. As my nose approached the glass, I was got strong dark roast coffee aromas; almost like an espresso. The espresso flavor was present as well. This beer had a very heavy coffee flavor with a hint of chocolate on the back end. I love how this medium to heavy bodied beer tastes on my tongue. This is one of my favorite Kona brews. Although the bottled beer is not made at the same brewery as the kegged beer, I would highly recommend this beer to anyone that likes robust porters.

 752 characters

Photo of guitarmage
4.12/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Darkest brown, no light passes through. Rootbeer and red hues at the edges, vreamy light brown lacing, not very sticky.

Smell: Sweet coffee aromas. very aromatic, sweet malt, molasses.

Taste: Black coffee bitterness, sweet malty notes come in, a subtle grassy hoppiness, finishes dry.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, fairly heavy carbonation, a sugariness that lingers in the mouth.

Drinkability: Tasty and bold, the coffee stands out. Refreshing and not too heavy.

 483 characters

Photo of Dukeofearl
3.77/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

$7.99 for a six pack of 12 oz. bottles at LaBodega in Riverside, CA.

Pours a deep chocolate brown-black with reddish-copper highlights on the side of the glass when backlit. No real head to speak of, in fact, what is there has no retention. Pretty common to most porters I have tried- not sure why.

Aroma of roasty, toasty coffee. A not small amount of semi-bitter chocolate too. Flavor is the same, but wet. More astingent than the aroma. Actually pretty tasty, even though I may not make it sound that way. A little bit of sweetness kicks in.

Fairly drinkable, but I agree with another user that suggested this is a fair once-in-a-while treat.

 654 characters

Photo of largadeer
3.28/5  rDev -13.7%
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.

 537 characters

Photo of loving44
4.44/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours nice and black with deep ruby highlights. creamy mocha colored head foams up quickly and slowly fades to a smooth film.

Smell: amazing, rich deep coffee as if I was smelling the beans themselves, chocolate, caramel, toffee, slight hop bite, earthy.

taste: Smooth over the palate, black coffee, dark chocolate, toffee, roasty, some smoke. This is an incredibly flavorful porter.

Mouthfeel is creamy and thick, prickly carbonation glides over your tongue as you drink it.

This is very drinkable, yet with the complex flavors one could finish up after just one. It's very east to slowly savor every sip.

 620 characters

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.84/5  rDev +27.4%
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!

 1,031 characters

Photo of brentk56
4/5  rDev +5.3%
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

 583 characters

Photo of MuenchenerKindl
4.35/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle to a pint glass. The liquid dark brown to black with good carbonation. The head is 2 fingers, Dark with big bubbles and foamy it left some lace.

The Smell is dark roasted coffee with an odd sweet flowery note.

The taste follows dark espresso, chocolate notes and a flowery spike in the after taste. Nice

The mouthfeel is smooth and creamy but with a better them medium body, not as thin as most porters, and good carbonation.

The drinkability is great, I like coffee beers done right and this one is easy to recognize that it is good.

Many thanks to IntriqKen. Prosit. MK

 614 characters

Photo of MiScusi
4.02/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a very dark and opaque brown into my New Belgium globe beer glass. No head to speak of unfortunately, although carbonation is very good. The nose has plenty of roasted malts, and although it's brewed with 100% Kona Coffee, I don't get much coffee in the aroma.

The taste is pretty good for a porter, nice roasted malts and a lingering bitterness due to that and maybe a little coffee presence. I was expecting this one to have sort of a stout coffee character to it but not so.

Mouthfeel is lightly carbonated and very smooth. Not too bad overall, in fact, pretty enjoyable, although I was hoping for a more unique porter here.

 640 characters

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

Had this on tap at a local bar....

Poured a dark brown with a fluffy light brown head that had good lasting power. Quite nice to look at.

Aroma of roasted malts, roasted coffee and hints of dark chocolate.

Taste is of coffee, roasted malts and dark chocolate. Nothing too suprising or interesting. Was hoping for some more depth.

Mouthfeel was suprisingly light and a little flat. Lacking the creaminess for the style.

Overall, a good beer that is quite drinkable. Not the best porter, but good to sit around and chitchat.

 538 characters

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

12oz bottle purchased at Huckleberry's in Spokane for $1. "Pkgd on Oct 2006." Probably brewed under license by Widmer rather than in Hawaii.

Poured a dark ebony which took on a ruby-ish hue when held to the light. One inch tan head that dropped after a couple of minutes. Modest sheets of lace.

Smells like what you'd expect of any beer whose label trumpets "made with 100% Hawaiian Kona coffee." There are also elements of dark, bitter chocolate. But the roasty coffee aroma is the star of this show at the olfactory.

The taste is of roasty, rich coffee combined with a dark, bitter chocolaty flavor in the background. There's a slight dry note at the finish.

The mouthfeel of this beer is a little disappointing. I was looking forward to something with a little more of a stick-to-the-ribs quality than what I got. It's not disasterous, but it is a little on the thin side.

This is a pretty good beer, but I wouldn't go so far as to call it great. I would definitely try it again, and have done so on-tap at the Viking.

 1,040 characters

Photo of Gueuzedude
4.2/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled September 2006, Sampled November 2006
Pours with a frothy, initially two-finger thick, tan tinted, light brown colored head. The beer is an opaque black color. This certainly smells of roasted grain & coffee beans. There is also an intense at times note that makes me think of burnt berries. This beer has a really bright coffee aroma to it; some beers have components of coffee aromatics in it, but this one actually smells like coffee (makes sense, but I am glad enough was put in to be so noticeable in the aroma). Aromatic notes of sweet, yet dark chocolate are also quite evident.

The beer has quite a creamy mouthfeel to it, which I am relieved by as the large coffee notes in the aroma had me worried that the beer would not be able to stand up to the coffee flavors. My fears are easily allayed though. A solid, and yes creamy, sweetish malt character stands up to and ultimately accentuates nicely the coffee notes. There is perhaps a touch of dark chocolate in the flavor, but mostly creamy coffee notes dominate. Roasted coffee bean notes create provide a nice burnt roastiness here that is quite smoothly integrated. There is a touch of roast derived acidity as well, but only enough to add a roundness to the beer, as it never becomes sharp.

I really like the creamy mouthfeel on this beer, it makes it so smooth and drinkable and really helps to smooth out the harsher coffee notes that could have otherwise dominated the flavor profile. I could definitely drink a few of these in an evening, but I wonder if I would be too wired to go to sleep.

 1,574 characters

Photo of russpowell
3.98/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Packaged in Oct 2006

Pours chestnut/mahogany with a pinky of tan head. No head retention or lacing

S: Coffee

T: Chocolate & coffee mingle up front with dryness & toasted/singed grain. Finishes with coffee notes, dry & hints of chocolate

MF: Medium bodied with subdued carbonation

Drinks okay, lacking some style points that prevent this from being a slightly better than a middle of the road porter. Was hoping for more from an old friend from the islands. Still not a bad breakfast or dessert beer

 513 characters

Pipeline Porter from Kona Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.8 out of 5 with 1,940 ratings