Pipeline Porter is smooth and dark with a distinctive roasty aroma and earthy complexity from its diverse blends of premium malted barley. This celebration of malt unites with freshly roasted 100% Kona coffee grown at Cornwell Estate on Hawaii’s Big Island, lending a unique roasted aroma and flavor. A delicate blend of hops rounds out this palate-pleasing brew.
If you haven’t noticed, we’re big fans of porters around here: dry, robust, sweet, coffee-infused — we like ’em all. Kona Pipeline Porter definitely leans heavy on the coffee, so if you’re into that sort of thing then you’re in for a treat.
Pipeline pours jet black with a slightly billowing tan, khaki head. There is decent head retention, although nothing terribly spectacular. Dip your nose in the glass and you get a strong aroma of fresh brewed coffee with a bit of creamer. There’s a touch of burnt toast too, maybe some charcoal and some cocoa.
I tend to like my porters with some heft — thick with a decent amount of carbonation — and this beer has neither. Pipeline is a bit on the thin side with a frothy body and a scant bit of carbonation. What this beer lacks in body, however, it makes up for with flavor. This is a very one-dimensional beer but that one dimension is nearly perfected: coffee. There are notes of espresso, iced coffee, some creamer and maybe a bit of milk chocolate. The coffee isn’t over-powering nor is it underwhelming — it’s juuust right.
This beer doesn’t require much thinking. No need to try to figure out if you’re tasting molasses or maple syrup. You taste coffee — and that’s about it. Hell, even the hop profile is minimal so as to not interrupt the coffee. And as a fan of coffee beers, this is all fine by me.