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Stogie Spirits: Pipeline Porter by Kona Brewing Company

20 Jan 2009

Coffee is a favorite beverage of mine to pair with a fine cigar, as is a good flavorful beer. With that in mind I was excited to try the Pipeline Porter, a limited release from the Hawaii-based Kona Brewing Company. As soon as I saw it I quickly scooped up a six-pack for $8.

konaI’ve previously tried Kona’s flagship beer, the Longboard Lager, a crisp refreshing lager that sometimes makes an appearance at my local grocery store but doesn’t quite have the intensity of flavor to hold up to most cigars. A deep coffee-flavored porter, however, seemed just the ticket for a cigar pairing.

And Kona isn’t kidding when they highlight the Kona coffee that goes into this American-style porter. Apparently the coffee beans are mixed in with the malt during the brewing process, and the result is a beer that has the aroma of sweet Cuban coffee.

On the palate, the Pipeline Porter has classic malty flavors with a roasted taste and a touch of chocolate. Two notable characteristics are a low level of carbonation and a short, crisp finish that quickly melts away. The beer isn’t as thick or heavy as many other porters.

And yes, the Pipeline Porter goes well with a fine cigar. Surprisingly for a beer, I found it pairs quite well with full-bodied smokes. The Alec Bradley Tempus was a winner, as was the EO 601 Green. In fact, most medium- to full-flavored cigars are bound to pair well with Pipeline, provided you like the beer.

And that’s the only caveat. Ultimately, this isn’t a beer for everyone. Porters are an acquired taste (or at least one that not everyone shares), and a porter made with coffee isn’t likely to be a universal hit. However, if you’re like me and enjoy coffee and interesting, flavor-filled beer, the Kona Brewing Company’s Pipeline Porter is definitely worth a try.

Patrick S

photo credit: Stogie Guys

3 Responses to “Stogie Spirits: Pipeline Porter by Kona Brewing Company”

  1. Daniel Q Monday, January 19, 2009 at 8:40 pm #

    Hey guys, thanks for reviewing this beer. It is an absolute favorite of mine. I think it pairs perfectly with a rich maduro cigar. Stuff is good but only available for short times starting in September; so get some while you can.

  2. B Casanova Tuesday, January 20, 2009 at 9:04 am #

    I havent’ smoked a cigar in a week and all I can see on the label of that beer is a guy walking down the beach with a HUGE perfecto under his arm.

    I think that is saying something. Anybody with me?????

  3. Franky C Tuesday, January 20, 2009 at 12:19 pm #

    I’m with you B.

    Whether or not you’re happy about the events of today, a cigar surely seems in order.