With a name like Kona Brewery, you’ expect some quality coffee in this Porter. Believe me, coffee is exactly what you get. The label claims that there is Kona Coffee in the beer, one of the most expensive coffees in the world. Only coffee that is grown on Hualalai and Mauna Loa in the Kona districts of the Big Island of Hawaii is allowed be called Kona Coffee. Coffee, like hops and grapes, has terroir. This means that the location and conditions the plant grows in affects the taste and aroma of the plant. I have had some pretty good estate coffee from Hawaii, but this is probably the first time I have ever had real Kona Coffee.
The aroma is of coffee and toasty maltiness. If you closed your eyes and took a sip you might think that somebody switched out a mocha coffee for your beer. It has just the right amount of sweetness with the perfect amount of bitterness on the back-end. Exactly like a good mocha coffee. It is a very smooth beer with medium-low carbonation and a large mouthfeel. It essentially feels like smooth chocolate milk.
It went perfectly with a deeply rich chocolate cake. There is a reason coffee goes great with cake. It has to do with roasting. Coffee, chocolate, and malted barley all have very similar flavors due to the similar process each goes through to get to their edible states. The cake was more fudge than your average birthday cake. A sweeter cake might have been better with something like a milk stout, but this cake was perfect with this bittersweet treat.