Koko Brown | Kona Brewing Co.

332 Reviews
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Koko BrownKoko Brown

Brewed by:
Kona Brewing Co.
Hawaii, United States

Style: American Brown Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
Koko Brown's distinctive, nutty aroma and flavor comes from real, toasted coconut blended into each brew. One sip of this smooth, mahogany colored ale and you'll feel like you're on a warm, sun drenched beach in Hawaii. Crack one open!

Added by julian on 02-19-2011

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Reviews: 332 | Ratings: 1,436
Photo of Jsteez
2.48/5  rDev -31.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a standard pint glass. Bottled on April 3rd.

A-Pours a brown orange color with hues of red. There was a tan head that dissipated within 2 minutes and left a little white ring around the edges. It eventually goes a flat.

S-Smelled nutty, sweet, and a hint of toasted coconut.

T-This beer tasted like someone dumped coconut tanning oil into it. The coconut taste, along with carbonated water, were really the only tastes I could sense. The aftertaste reminded me of what my mouth feels like after I vomit (not to be gross).

M-A little too heavy on the carbonation.

Overall-I will not drink this beer again. I love coconut, but not in my beer. The idea surrounding coconut in beer sounds interesting, but when it comes down to drinking it, I'll take another brown beer instead. Nice try.

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Photo of rfgetz
3.95/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark, lightly hazed and reddish tinted brown, minimal cap of off white head. Scent leads with toasted coconut, hints of vanilla and toasted crusty bread, mellows into notes of toasted nuts and grain, light brown sugar and caramel. Taste of toasted coconut is quite intense in the first sip, brings more vanilla, rounds into a full toasted bread profile with light brown sugar notes. Medium bodied, slightly low in carbonation, lacing heft found in the style. Im torn with this beer, the idea is better than the execution, I love coconut and this beer has more of it than many similar beers, but a few short commings.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.78/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle, seemingly available at every little convenience store in Waikiki - awesome sauce!

This beer pours a clear, medium over-steeped black tea colour, with two chubby fingers of puffy, foamy and frothy beige head, which leaves some random specks of broken web lace around the glass as it gently recedes.

It smells of earthy, nutty, and creamed caramel malt, some roasted, fibrous fruity character - coconuts well represented - and a gently bittersweet cocoa powder thing. The taste is fairly prominent nutty coconut, semi-sweet caramel malt, biscuity toffee, subtle medium chocolate, and further mild leafy, grassy and somewhat spicy green hops.

The bubbles are nice and sedate in their trilling frothiness, the body a solid middleweight, and genuinely smooth, with a small airy creaminess nearly sealing the virtual deal. It finishes still quite nutty, still very coconut-falling on yo' damned head, and yeah, still more than a bit sweet.

Overall, this is indeed a nice enough brown ale, though one duly overshadowed by the guest coconut fruitiness; however, as a first-time visitor to this tropical locale, that seems a-ok to me, though I would be limited to a couple, as the sweet/bitter balance herein does indeed suffer my palate's choosiness, as it were.

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Photo of Arborescence
3.77/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Clear, medium brown, pours a dense but small head.

Aroma: Caramel, malt, fairly mild.

Taste: Coconut, caramel sweetness, toasted coconut.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium bodied.

Overall: Interesting. I wonder if the toasted coconut might go better with a lager though.

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Photo of DM1293
3.75/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I don't know. On the one hand, this isn't a bad beer. On the other, I don't quite get that coconut island taste.

Its definitely a brown ale though. Good nutty characteristic, sweet malt and a creamy taste. The flavors are solid, if a little lacking.

I was really expecting that coconut flavor here. I mean...I don't know if I should've gotten the oddest note of chocolate out of the flavors.

Taken on its own, its fine enough. Just don't expect anything too special and its a decent brown ale from Kona Brewing. If you're looking for a brown ale thats promising an extra bit of flavor, compare this to Rogue's Hazelnut Brown Ale and you'll see why I'm kinda disappointed here.

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Photo of mscudder
2.88/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Pours a standard light brown, amber color with a pale head.

S A little sweetness and a huge kick of coconut. Given I don't care for coconut I cannot approve of this.

T - A very flavorful brown where coconut just outright dominates all other flavors. If you are one for it, this is outstanding. If not this leaves quite a bit to be had, not horrible for a brown though.

M - Light-medium body with a bit too much carbonation for me. A bit of bitterness on the back end that personally I do not care for.

O - Coconut lovers indulge! Just not for me.

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Photo of oline73
3.28/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from the bottle into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a clear amber color with a finger of off white head that fades to a ring around the edge of the glass.

Smell: Mildly sweet malt with a strong coconut note. This one is a tad fruity.

Taste: Strong coconut presence, the malt taste is a bit watered down. The finish is slightly bitter.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with fluffy carbonation and a dry finish.

Overall: I loved the coconut flavor, but it really needs more to back it up. Just about what I expected.

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Photo of Dodo2step
3.33/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5


A- Dark brown cola like color. One finger head that leaves minimal lacing and not as frothy as one would like.

S-coconut and breaded caramel malts and that is about it. Very unique.

F- coconute shaving and caramel mat in the flavor. It tastes more like an extract and can take away at times from the beer itself.

M- carbonated to excess but light bodied.

O- Not ba but i dont think i would try to encourage homebrewers to put coconut in the mix. It is definitly worth a try though.

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Photo of JohnnyBarman
3.28/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Single bottle from Knightly Spirits in Orlando.

Poured into a goblet. Light chestnut in colour, clear and with a half inch of bubbly foam. Survives as a thin ring.

Nose is definitely strongly of a potent coconut syrup, with a bit of caramel, bread and chocolate malt. If I were to imagine a brew from Hawaii this would be it.

The brew certainly tastes of coconut, but rather than being a subtle compliment to the brown ale base, the sweet coconut flavor dominates and becomes quite cloying. Really needs to be turned turned down a notch. Thin bodied, moderate carbonation.

It's tasty and fun, but Im unlikely to want more than a bottle of this.

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Photo of jlindros
2.86/5  rDev -21%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pours a light fizzy 1/2 finger head, that fades semi quickly with touch of lacing, over mostly clear auburn toasty brown colored beer.

Nose has an interesting but weird blend, with toasted coconut right off, coconut butter, a creamy buttery diacetyl, light brown sugar and light brown malts, plenty of nutty malts, caramel, creamy, sweet syrupy fake sugar additions and fake vanilla like.

Taste is more of the same, extract flavorings, fake vanilla, nutty almost hazelnut syrup, and coconut. Coconut butter, toasted coconut but also fake extract again, some sweet syrups, light brown sugar, toasted brown malts, hints of caramel and cocoa butter. Finish is more syrupy malts and fake sweeteners, vanilla, coconut, light brown sugar.

Mouth is med bodied, syrupy, lighter carb.

Overall blech, so artificial tasting, lots of syrups and extract flavors, bad flavorings, sticky sweet and syrupy, no hops, barely drinkable. Seems like something a macro would brew claiming to be micro.

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Photo of RedSpecial1
3.98/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a clear mahogany with reddish highlights. A finger of off white head quickly dissipates leaving only some trace foam on top.

S: Lovely aromas of toasted coconut sweet maltiness. Not overly complex, but good.

T: Toasted coconut with sweet malt character dominates the beginning of the flavor, and then fades to sweet toffee notes at the end.

M: Somewhat thin, but not so much that it negatively affects the flavor. It probably makes the beer a bit more quaffable than a heavier mouthfeel would have.

O: A pretty decent beer with some interesting flavors. This would probably go great with some roasted meat or chocolate desserts.

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Photo of JerzDevl2000
3.73/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked this up at ShopRite Liquors in Caldwell yesterday since this was the last six-pack of this that they had in stock. This looked intriguing since I had never seen a beer with coconut in it before and the label seemed worthy of my attention as well. While this was not that full a beer, I liked how easily enjoyable it was and how the flavors meshed nicely well together.

Nice pour to this, with a clear mahogany hue, good carbonation, and a decent head that quickly settled. Not a lot of aroma nor lacing to be seen but the nose had just a bit of molasses to it. This faded nicely into a vanilla bitterness, toasted nut, and then the slow faded into coconut. That lingered quite nicely in the aftertaste with the lingering carbonation balancing out the slightly heavier notes of this beer smoothly.

The alcohol was spot-on too as it was present but not distracting. While this isn't as good as Sam Smith's or Newcastle, there was nothing sticky or burnt about this beer. I could easily see myself having one in the dead of Winter or on a nice Summer night and I plan on having one of these with some frozen Thin Mints that I've had in storage for a while. Kona has a subtly nice offering here that's sure to please nearly everyone.

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Photo of Westsidebuddha
3.74/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bought at Ralph's Monterey Park, Ca April 16, 2012

A light brown color on the first pour into a Steinlager glass. The smell of light coconuts off the glass. First taste is a distinct coconut flavor with a brown ale backend. A light toasted coconut mouthfeel settles on the tongue. Overall, a good interesting beer especially on a hot summer day. A lighter version of a Coconut Porter from Maui Brewing. Think I'll have another.

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Photo of cpetrone84
3.9/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Kona koko brown - pour is dark burgundy with tight tan head. Nose is nice, caramel malt with the toasted coconut blended in well. Some vanilla and fudge notes, toasted marshmellow, behind create a nice balance. The taste is much of the same. Light on the coconut with the nice fudge and vanilla. A hint watery in the finish but well blended malts and sweetness. Lighter body, higher carb probably is what detracts from the finish but smooth and soft on the palate.

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Photo of DrDemento456
3.5/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a nice deep brown, deeper than most brown ales with a 1/2 inch of opaque colored head that quickly turns to a thick lace ring.

S - Initial smells mostly of brown ale qualities, sweet nuttiness and some good coconut meat in their as well. Hope its balanced.

T - Very weird since the first taste is straight up coconut, which mixes pretty well into the overall taste of the beer. You obvious get mild brown malts, a tad of nutty flavors, sweet malts, and a mildly hoppy finish (which gives a weird twang mixing with coconut taste. Kind of medicinal) Not a bad beer.

M - Not sure of it's session ability but it drinks well with a medium body.

Overall really not as good as the porter but not bad either. The clash of the hops in the finish really ruins a overall sweet beer for me.

Edit: seems this is a winter release so I assume March 19th was a "best by" date. Still not a bad expired beer.

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Photo of magine
3.52/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a pint glass.

Pours a clear amber red, creamy off white head. Lots of bubbles. Head settles to a lace layer, decent patches of lace rim the glass. Decent looks.

Brew smells of roasted malts, coconut, nutty, maybe a hint of vanilla. Good nose.

Brew is creamy smooth, initial carbonation leads way to creamy smooth middle and slightly dry aftertaste. A pretty clean brew, good malts. Coconut is represented here, can pick it up in the aftertaste as well. Pretty good flavors and decent mouthfeel. The flavors can overwhelm a bit though. Pretty good.

A pretty good brew here to have a few. The only problem is the flavors can start to overwhelm after a while. My wife likened it to sun tan lotion...Good to try, not great to session.

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Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a medium brown color with an off-white head. The aroma is full of chocolate and toffee notes, exactly what I expect from a big American brown ale. The flavor is more complex. There chocolate and toffee are still present, but the toasted coconuts also really come through and add to the overall flavor. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. Very nice.

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Photo of argock
3.02/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz brown bottle into a Duvel tulip. No freshness date. Single purchased at ingles Market (Boone, NC) for $1.50.

A: Translucent light chestnut brown with short 1/2-finger off-white head with below average retention and no lacing.

S: Soft coconut that thankfully doesn't smell too chemical in nature. The brown ale aroma is pretty weak and thin with only a little bit of toasted bread.

T: The flavor is one-dimensional coconut layered on a undermalted brown ale. There is mild caramel and toasted malt sweetness but overall, this is a vehicle to deliver coconut flavor.

M: Thin and too low in carbonation with light body at most.

O: Could have been worse but nothing to write home about for sure. Not enough chocolate aroma or flavor to be a decent brown ale, with or without coconut.

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Photo of drinkiusmaximus
2.56/5  rDev -29.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from the botlle into Sam Adams sensory pint glass.

A: Looks appealing nice saopy looking two fingers width head that sits atop a cherry mahogany colored brew, plenty of bubble scoming up looks nicely carbonated.

S: slightly pedestrian smell with musty graininess forefront with a slight malt sweetness and although the coconut was apparent when first poured it seems to have faded into oblivion by the second sip.

T: Although i had hopes that the coconut would provide this beer with a more tropical feel the coconut in my opinion leans the flavoring towards more of a burnt toast than a tropical beer.

M: Medium bodied and carbonated nicely.

O: The slight coconut taste in the beginning is what made this beer average when it faded after the second to third sip there was nothing that made this standout. I would not pass one down if offered (i guess) but i will certainly not seek out another. Another novelty flavored brew to check off my list and now to avoid..


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Photo of JohnFatAss
3.7/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear brown color, head faded fast but left some lacing on my glass.

Has a sweet coconut smell.

As expected, it has coconut flavor. It is sweet, but the coconut is not overpowering.
It has a buttery mouthfeel, and finishes with a slight bitterness.

It is a nice beer, the coconut flavors make it different. I think it is worth checking out, but not something I would want to drink on a regular basis.

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Photo of tigg924
3.79/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: golden-brown in color, 1/3 inch head, clear, high carbonation

Smell: huge coconut, light toasted malt and nut

Taste: toasted malt, toasted coconut that gets more pronounced toward the end and earthy hops

Mouthfeel: light bodied, high carbonation, sweet start with a big bitter middle spike and a less bitter end.

Overall: I like coconut and this one is a nice specialty beer. I understand the necessity for some bitterness here, but to me it needs to be a little less sharp or perhaps a different type of hops. I like the uniqueness and would pick up another six pack, but there are others I would get first.

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Photo of Scotchboy
3.62/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle dated 2/24/12 poured into a Sam Smith nonic.

A: Pours transparent dark amber with a bit of chill haze, just a small amount of head and lacing that quickly retreat.

S: Coconut comes through big time with hints of brown sugar and milk chocolate as well...macaroons, toasted hazelnuts...sugary, slightly artificial.

T: Coconut hits and fades into a toasted grain, slight sweetness...dried dates, faint hints of a dessert sweetness (cookies, German chocolate cake), hint of oak.

MF: Moderate light body, lower carbonation, with a touch of dryness on the palette.

O: Decent but not something I'd want to drink a ton of...I think without the coconut this beer would have nothing to offer.

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Photo of TheDinger
3.83/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Tried on draft at KBC at the Honolulu airport. A very nice light brown pour with a generous 2 finger white head. Decent spotting and lacing throughout. Smell is toasted coconut, nuts and some fruits. Taste follows the nose, but thankfully it's not a coconut bomb. It actually accents the beer nicely and I'm not a huge coconut fan. Definately a unique spin on the style and I enjoyed the effort. This has been my favorite offering from Kona. Fruits and nuts blend into the taste well. Pretty complex which was a surprise. Feel is medium with good carbonation. Like my brown with a bit more body, but it's adequate. Overall- A good effort with a unique spin on the style, more of a sessionable brown. It works for me and will try out of the bottle back home-

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Photo of Gmann
3.67/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a crystal clear honey brown color with a wispy off white head. Definitely on the light side for a brown ale.

The aroma is overwhelmingly toasted coconut. Smells like an almond joy. The coconut aroma is nice but quite strong. There is some caramel/toffee notes as well but those are subtle.

Surprise, the taste is of toasted coconut. It is a rather smooth flavor so once you get over the initial shock of strong coconut, it is actually not too bad. There is a caramel sweetness and a lemony tea flavor that brown ales tend to have. Some grassy bitterness in the end.

The feel is light to moderate with fizzy carbonation. Starts off sweet on the palate but is balanced by a grassy hop. It is a bit astringent in the finish with a slight lemony sourness.

An interesting beer and expected from a Hawaiian brewer. You need to like coconut to like this beer. I am not a huge coconut fan but the beer works.

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Photo of startreker
2.25/5  rDev -37.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. Nice creamy head to be sure. Minimal carbonation.

S. The aroma was more then what I expected. I was expecting a little bit of coconut, but as soon as cracked it open, I got an exquisite smell of coconuts before it even hit my glass.

T. I truly enjoy coconut, but not like this. I was hoping there would be a balance of other distinct flavors, but couldnt find any here. It was like tasting a very bitter mounds bar, thats not for me.

M. The mouthfeel was medium to average, nothing to write letters home about.

O. After I tasted this for the 1st time, I must say that it wasnt horrible, but certainly nothing I would ever purchase again. Not at all a good session brew by any means. Im placing the other five beers on the bottom shelf of my fridge, incase Im out of beer, and thats all there is. The only other option is to pour them down the sink and feed the fish.

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Koko Brown from Kona Brewing Co.
3.62 out of 5 based on 1,436 ratings.
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