You Brew the Malt With the Coconut
A Review of Koko Brown by Kona Brewing Co.
Posted on 10/17/2012 by Chops
Kona Brewing Company out of Hawaii is well known for crafting beach-tastic beers. Their lighter selection perfectly compliments a hot summer day. After all, what more could you expect from a Hawaii-based brewery? But, on a recent trip to my favorite local pub, I noticed something strange on the tap menu: the Kona Koko Brown Ale. A darker brew by Kona you say? Isn't that kind of like a Belgian brewery putting out a light lager? But hey, I'm not one to judge and Kona has done me right in the past, so I quelled my skepticism and ordered one up.

In the glass, this beer has a clear copper brown coloration. It comes with a frothy white head that dissipates fairly quickly. On the nose, I was greeted with a pleasant creamy sweet aroma with a mild spice note. Wow, what a great introduction. I can honestly say that this beer took me by surprise. Kona yanked the rug right out from underneath my preconceived notions. Nothing left to do but dive in for that first sip.

The aroma ended up translating very well to the flavor and mouthfeel. This beer has a creamy smooth body that you can nuzzle up to all day long. This beer is very accessible, which is a definite Kona signature. The flavor profile consisted of a sweet malty base and an odd candied note that I couldn't immediately ping. To be honest, it reminded me of a faint maple syrup. Also swirling around was a strange toasted nutty character. Come to find out that the beer is brewed using toasted coconuts, which helped explained a lot. None of this was bad mind you, just unfamiliar. The beer exits clean with a sweet and smooth finish. One small gripe I had with the beer is the distinct lack of a noticeable hop profile. I'm not sure if this was intentional or not, but some drinkers might mistake that for being a bit flat. Otherwise, thumbs up all around.

Overall, Kona's Koko Brown is a tasty brew with a fun personality. It's flavorful and easy to drink, making it the perfect brown ale for novices and craft beer newbies. Seasoned drinkers can get into the action as well and enjoy Koko as a savory session brown. The use of toasted coconuts has definitely given this beer a unique personality among the brown ales, so it might be hit or miss for any given beer fan. I personally enjoyed the experience and will enjoy many more before the tap runs dry. One thing is for certain, Kona can play the dark beer game, so grab a pint and join the party.

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Koko Brown by Kona Brewing Co.
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