Thursday, July 12, 2012

Kona Koko Brown

I'm sure you heard me talk about having this beer on tap at Mahar's and that it really impressed me on the latest "Beyond The Pour" podcast, right? No, well go here to download and listen to it:

Since I liked it so much on draught I decided to pick up a bottle to see how it compares. The only problem was the bottle was either four months old or four months past its prime. X(

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Chad9976 (694) - Albany, New York, USA - JUL 11, 2012
I poured a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass.

Appearance: Brown/mahogany/ruby red hue. Quite dark but still able to see carbonation around the edges. Forms a brown, soapy head which dissolves somewhat quickly but leaves some lacing on the glass.

Smell: Coconut, chocolate, coffee, and dark malty sweetness. Also a slightly sour quality (I can’t tell if the bottle I had was bottled four months ago or expired four months ago).

Taste: I’ve had Kona Koko Brown on tap and out of the bottle and the tap was by far the superior presentation (but this review is based on the bottle in front of me). It’s a beer that really took me by surprise, especially considering the fact it’s (allegedly) made with real coconut and I actually hate coconut. Still, it’s a brown ale at the core and that’s what it drinks like. Prominent confectionery sweetness of caramel, toffee and bitter dark chocolate all found in the second half. The beginning is quite mild, though, a little too mild actually. But it’s the second half’s candy bar-like taste that really makes the beer.

That’s not the say this is a super sweet brew like many imperial stouts and the like. No, this is an American style brown ale with more sweetness and the addition of coconut to give it a rustic, toasty flavor that really balances out the palate very well. There’s mild bitterness through the middle as the hops and coconut complement each other really well and impart a dry earthiness, but nothing extreme. Some beers are like liquid gourmet candy, but this is more of a liquid Mounds or Almond Joy.

Drinkability: While this beer is a little more robust than most of its style and weight, it’s just as drinkable. With a medium body, watery/creamy mouthfeel, and perfect carbonation Kona Koko Brown goes down very smooth and is easy to drink quickly. Sweet enough to work as a dessert or with dessert, but not so big that it’s a meal in a glass. The 5.5% ABV is a perfect weight for the beer - far from imperial but too big to session.

Grade: 8/10

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