Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

Koko Brown | Kona Brewing Co.

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
BA SCORE
82
good
328 Reviews
THE BROS
71
okay
Read the review
Koko BrownKoko Brown
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Kona Brewing Co.
Hawaii, United States
konabrewingco.com

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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
328
Ratings:
1,417
Avg:
3.62
pDev:
30.66%
 
 
Wants:
50
Gots:
191
For Trade:
1
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 328 | Ratings: 1,417
Photo of davebray
2.98/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

The appearance of a label can get my attention and this one did. Poured into a glass, it had a short-lived head. The color is brown and appears attractive. I never was into coconut, and the taste is, without a doubt, dominated by coconut. So, I didn't go much farther than a few tastes.

 286 characters

Photo of Murrhey
2.99/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Poured from a standard pressure-cap bomber into a shaker pint glass in high elevation Libby, Mont. Reviewed live. Bottled Dec. 20, 2012.

A- Finger and a half thick off-white head. Auburn color body with high clarity. The retention is substantial, about five minutes and leaves thick white lacing. Looks pretty good.

S- Toffee, caramel malts and coconut. Sweet, chocolatey and warm. Not cloying. Pretty fair smelling brew.

T- Chocolate and coconut, like a Mounds bar. Sweet, perhaps too much so.

M- Feels thick on the tongue, but the body is light. It's odd.

O- I rather enjoyed this beer. It's maybe a bit too sweet and has sort of a strange, syrupy feel.

 664 characters

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

Amber color, no head. Has a sweet vanilla and coconut aroma and flavor. Body is a bit on the sickly sweet side, but the carbonation cuts that away in the finish. Has a creamy, medium-body feel. I’m glad I tried it, but I don’t think I’d go out of my way to get another.

 275 characters

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

OK, got duped by the bottle. Guys tricked me into buying a sixer beacuse from what I thought, i was getting a nice brown ale with a hint of coconut wafting in from the Hawaii shores...not so much. Way to much coconut on this, completely over-powers the beer, but then again, that is good, because as the coconut fades, the cardboardy beer comes through. I was hoping for something else, oh well..this will get a ton of sales from soccer-moms in the mid-west that just got back from a family hawaiian trip however, so they get the last laugh.

 541 characters

Photo of frozyn
3.01/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

A fair porter. The toasted coconut flavor is quite nice, but the general maltiness I've enjoyed in better brown ales is missing. Also slightly thin, a little dry, leaves an uncomfortable film on the mouth. It's fine, but nothing I would drink repeatedly.

 254 characters

Photo of Jadjunk
3.01/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

One of Kona Brewing Company's newest Seasonal offerings (the "Aloha Series"), Koko Brown is an American Brown Ale brewed with toasted coconut. According to the label: "Koko Brown's distinctive, nutty aroma and flavor comes from real toasted coconut blended into each brew, one sip of this roasty, smooth mahogany colored ale and you will feel like you are on a warm, sun-drenched beach in Hawaii. Aloha!" This sample was bottled on April 03 2012.

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle to my Kona pint glass. Served at 44º Fahrenheit.

(Appearance) Pours a fizzy cream white head that retains poorly. Body color is a mahogany-light brown. Carbonation is light and relaxed. Appearance is not impressive. 2

(Smell) The coconut and toffee is most certainly up front, dominating the majority of the nose. Lesser includes a medium caramel malt, a grassy and spicy hop arrangement and a slight whiff of alcohol. Should one enjoy coconut in their beer, this is certainly an appropriate option, with plenty of coconut up front. 3.5

(Taste) Toffee and coconut again make up most of the flavor, with a much darker caramel than the nose suggests, imparting mild bitter and burnt flavors in the finish. Coconut itself doesn't come off as being toasted, instead imparting a bitter and raw flavor to the beer. Overall the beer finishes dry with coconut bitterness. The beer is likely a hit-or-miss, depending on the consumer's preference of flavors, but overall it settles very average for me. 3

(Mouthfeel) Slick with too little air. Could benefit from a creamier texture. Body is medium, alcohol presence is light/medium. My biggest criticism for the flavor is the overall flatness which doesn't match or pair well with the flavors, accentuating the flaws even more. It's an off pairing. 2.5

(Overall) The intentions of this beer are good, and there aren't too many other coconut brown ales around to compete. The flavors of this beer are a bit harsh on the bitterness and a touch too dry. A creamier texture would do well at balancing the more roasted sweet coconut flavors while masking some off-flavors, of which a few thrive in this specific beer. As is common with many major-brand craft beers, the head quality is lacking and the body is light, indicating that there is room to expand on the body. With some tweaks to the recipe, this could do much better. 3

Kona Brewing Company's
Koko Brown Ale
/5.00

 2,393 characters

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.

 804 characters

Photo of david18
3.03/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I had a seven ounce pour of this as a part of a sampler at Pour 24 in Las Vegas' New York New York Hotel. Overall this beer was way too coconut-y in both aroma and flavor and I couldn't get past it to the beer. The color was nice and as a brown should be but everything else was coconut. I'm not a big fan of any fruit flavor in my beer so i had trouble reviewing it for anything else.

 385 characters

Photo of Rifugium
3.03/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

First had: on tap at City Tap House, Philly, PA

Poured a clear medium brown color with a small cap of off-white head that receded to a thin ringlet. Sweet malt aroma, toasted coconut, brown sugar. The taste was pretty sugary, caramel malts, coconut candy, maybe a bit of milk chocolate. Not as good as it may sound...it was pretty artificial-tasting. Light-medium body, not entirely bad, and definitely worth a try, but not something I'd ever get again.

 454 characters

Photo of largadeer
3.06/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Clear mahogany brown body with a sticky, lasting beige head.

The beer has little aroma when it's cold. As it warms, I pick up brown sugar, toasted malt and sweet coconut. Simple and a bit sweeter than I'd like, but not bad.

The palate presents more of the same: toasted malt, coconut and brown sugar in equal portions. It's fairly thin, simplistic and sweet. There's some slightly astringent graininess in the finish along with more brown sugar sweetness. A clean and fairly drinkable beer, but not particularly good.

 519 characters

Photo of jkeefe1800
3.06/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Bottle poured in a pint glass. Smell is pleasant enough a little malty sweetness and some toasted notes, no discernable coconut however. Mouthfeel comes up short very thin feeling, makes me go back for another sip but has me looking for something more. Taste is nice, sweet malt is back again along with the toast, after really trying I get the coconut but it doesnt stand out at all. A decent brown ale but nothing special and if I didnt say coconut I probably would never have known.

 488 characters

Photo of WastingFreetime
3.07/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Reviewed from notes.

A. Copper color with a receding foam collar for a head, no significant lacing, but has good clarity for something that has coconut in it...

S. Smells almost exactly like a Mounds candy bar, before it has been bitten into. (The coconut aroma is somewhat hidden behind the chocolate smell) I cannot seem to pick out any hopping aroma of significance.

T. Some brown malt toastiness flavor is present, but the coconut flavor takes over for the second half of each sip. If only the hopping was stronger to do a better job of balancing against the sweetness, I would be really impressed, but as it is, it comes across as too much like a candy bar for my tastes.

M. Somewhat too watery and thin to support the boldness levels of the flavors presented within.

Interesting stuff and I am glad to have gotten a chance to have tried it while on vacation in the west coast. Makes me wish that more than only a few different coconut beers existed, the 'gimmick' seems like a pretty solid idea to me if it were to be done in a drier manner than this beer presented.

 1,077 characters

Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.08/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #50 (March 2011):

Coconut in beer? Where else would we expect this but from a Hawaiian brewer ... subtle extreme beer as well! Quick-forming head drops down almost as quickly to a thin lacing. Brown and clear. A bit of coconut and dark chocolate, a bit of a candy bar nose here. Body stands a little thin, and coconut flavor is quite prevalent. Maltiness does not really come forward—a quick smattering of toasted and very faint roasted malt. Balancing hoppiness does just that. Coconut flavor fades quick and a drink of toasted graininess is all that’s left. Not much to this Brown Ale other than the element of coconut, which perhaps saves this beer from being entirely pedestrian.

 728 characters

Photo of Zorro
3.1/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Clear brown colored beer with a small tan colored head.

Smell is patent malt with a decent presence of coffee. Toasted coconut is strong in this. Slight sweetness gives this a bit of an Almond Joy candy bar. Not much more than that smells like an almond joy with coffee in it.

Starts out barely sweet with a strong coconut flavor. Coffee with a very slight chocolate flavor, tastes like an Almond Joy with no sugar used.

Mouthfeel is average.

Drinkability is summed up by asking "how much do you like coconut?" Pretty much a ho-hum very basic brown ale with coconut in it.

This is OK but no repeat sale here, pretty much an average at best beer.

 650 characters

Photo of gpogo
3.1/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A- Light reddish mahogony body with a small tan head.

A- Sweet malty toffee aroma. Quite prevalent coconut. Light on the nutiness.

T- Initially a nutty brown flavor, but toffee and coconut come through strong. Slight bitterness on the finish, but still very sweet.

M- Light body, but a sweet flavor that sticks around. Moderate carbonation.

D- Honestly I hate coconut, if that is your thing it could be enjoyable. Even then I find it slightly watery. Not my favorite, but not a bad brew.

 491 characters

Photo of stevoj
3.1/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Sweet brown ale with hints of chocolate. Clear dark brown body with small beige head, aroma of chocolate, molasses and a hint of coffee. Taste is sweet, more chocolaty as it warms up. A little on the sweet side, but not too bad.

 228 characters

Photo of sairbaysah
3.12/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 2.75

12 oz bottle. Brewed on Dec. 12, 2012.

Very nice looking beer. Dark reddish brown body with a nice two finger khaki head.

The smell makes me wonder. Sugar.

The first sip is wonderful. My tongue loves the dark malt and the then the pleasant bitterness. Then something strange happens. Did I spill some suntan oil in this beer? Too much coconut. It makes this beer nasty.

This looks and feels like a great brown ale but the overly aggressive coconut ruins it.

 463 characters

Photo of Fadefury
3.12/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- Red/brown color with tall white head. Retention is average

S- Lots of malts and hazelnut. Can't really pick out the coconut

T- Very nutty. Slight hints of toffee and coconut

M- Medium body, with mild carbonation. I'd like it to have been smoother, but overall, it works.

O- I wish the coconut was stronger in this beer, as it's advertised up in front on the package. However, it's a nice change up to the standard light summer ales I normally drink. Would buy again

 473 characters

Photo of RJLarse
3.12/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I bought a six-pack of Koko Brown Ale at a grocery store. $6.99. Poured into a pint glass.

Pours a clear mahogany brown beverage, with a smallish off-white head. No resiliency of the head to speak of and the sides of the glass remain remarkable clean.

The smell is faint, with a coffee aroma and the coconut as advertised on the label.

Taste is OK. It has the typical brown ale attributes with the coconut flavor. Tastes a bit like Dr Pepper without as much syrup or sugar

Mouthfeel is thin and highly carbonated, with a dry mildly bitter aftertaste.

It is a drinkable brown ale but the coconut does nothing for the brew. It's drinkable but there are much better brown ales available.

 690 characters

Photo of CharcuterIAN
3.13/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

to start...Down by the river by neil young just started on my deck. this makes me very happy! now to the beer.
poured into my a globe. Garnet color, no head, no lacing. smell is roasty malt, light coconut, milky. taste is same. mouth feel is quick small bubbles, and then nothing but toasted coconut...
not my cup of tea, but not terrible.

 340 characters

Photo of BB1313
3.14/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Pours a clear, but dark auburn with ruby hues shining through. There's a nice off-white head that sticks around and leaves really nice lacing. The aromas aren't impressive at all. It's not that it smells bad, it basically just smells like nothing. I'm picking up some caramel malts and subtle hints of maple and hazelnut. The coconut is noticable in the nose, but not really in the flavors. Tastes much better than it smells. More maple in the flavors. I'm picking up some hazelnut and expresso notes in the flavors as well. Mouthfeel is very nice, it's light, but creamy and smooth. This is a very easy drinking beer. Alcohol obviously goes unnoticed.

Kona just recently started distributing to Ohio, so I'm confused why we'd get bottles born in November 2012. I'm assuming this isn't the freshest, but it's still solid. The potential is there to be something unique for the style. I'd like to try this fresher because I'm assuming the coconut would be more prevelant. This could be awesome when fresh.

 1,042 characters

Photo of flexabull
3.14/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a bright and clear brown color with a very nice off white head, good lacing too. Looks really good in the glass.

Aromas are odd, very roasted notes of fruit, not really getting a whole lot of coconut. Grainy, grassy, vegetal, and kind of floral. Some sniffs I like this, others, not so much.

Taste starts out with roasted sweet coconut, light cocoa, and slightly roasted malt flavors. While this beer tastes good, the added flavors adds almost an artificial taste and not typical sweetness to this beer.

Mouthfeel is full and smooth with pretty good carbonation.

Overall? Ehhh... Not a fan, tastes like a bland brown ale with lots of non beer flavors added. Not a terrible beer, but I wont be buying this one again,

 725 characters

Photo of Rowlaw
3.14/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

I really wanted to like this beer. The look was just the way I like: dark with a amber hue. The aroma wonderful dark, rich, with a hint of coconut. The beer poured well with a full 1" head in the craft pub glass I used. While I let it breath, I drank the last sip from the bottle. It was wonderful. Dark and malty with a believable hint of dark chocolate and the whiff of toasted coconut.

A few moments latter I sniffed the glass and swiftly took my first full sip. Wham. I was hit by the coconut. The more I drank the more the coconut overpowered. It was so good out of the bottle, I really wanted to like the glass. I couldn't finish. Maybe I'll give it another try but keep it in the bottle. Possibly I'm overwhelmed by the coconut aroma and I liked the first sip out of the bottle because my nose wasn't in the glass.

 823 characters

Photo of AleEvangelist
3.16/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: The beer appears as any other brown. More head would make for a prettier pour, and if they could get it to stick around longer, it would certainly improve the beers aesthetics. No lacing is evident, either.

Smell: The aroma is elusive. If you really get your nose in there and give a good sniff, you might be able to get a hint of the rich toasted coconut promised by the bottle, but it's faint. No malt, no hops, and little in the nose at all.

Taste: I had high expectations for this beer. Having cut my coconut beer teeth on Maui's Coconut Porter, this beer had some big shoes to fill. At first, I was preparing myself for disappointment, as the "brown-ness" of this beer leaves something to be desired. I expected more of a malty kick. However, that toasted coconut really comes through on the finish and lingers in your mouth for what seems like ages. Where I would normally expect some trace hops to cut the sweetness of the brown on the finish, the toasted coconut takes that place. And I keep saying toasted, because that's what they say they brewed with. It tastes like it. It's not the sweetness of the raw coconut...it's the caramelized sugars and slight roastiness of toasted coconut, and it's definitely a pleasant difference!

Mouthfeel: Given the richness of coconut, I had high hopes for the mouthfeel, but was disappointed. It's thin, not quite watery, but not what you'd expect from a 5.5% abv brown. Maybe the toasted coconut imparts an astringency they can't shake. Whatever it is, it's definitely not a rich, brown ale. More the mouthfeel of a pale.

Overall: I didn't know what to expect from this beer, but enjoyed the novelty. It's not a "big" beer like Maui's coconut porter, but I don't think it's really trying to be. It's a decent enough session beer, and if you like toasted coconut, I'm willing to bet you crack another one open as that coconut finish lingers well after your last sip. But it's not stellar.

 1,950 characters

Photo of ChiChi
3.18/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nice caramel brown color, thick head that leaves nice traces on the top as well as the glass. Its a bitey brown and what got me to try this in the first place did not disappoint, that's the toasted coconut. The subtile aftertaste of the coconut is amazing as well as the other flavors that pop up, such as macadamia and almond. I can only dream and assume how well this beer will go with some pineapple and glazed ham! Aloha!!!

 427 characters

Koko Brown from Kona Brewing Co.
3.62 out of 5 based on 1,417 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Extreme Beer Fest® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • 10 Years of BeerAdvocate Magazine

    We're celebrating 10 years of BA mag with $10 print subscriptions for US residents!

    Subscribe