You almost can’t think “Big Beer” anymore without Stone Brewing coming up somehow. Most of their beers would easily qualify for a Big Beer Week review, so how do you go bigger? Select one of their collaboration beers, of course! These are “big” not only in a strength and style sense, but also in ambition and creativity.
Hence, the collaboration between Stone, Maui Brewing, and homebrewer Ken Schmidt to produce Kona Coffee Macadamia Coconut Porter, a monster of a beer at 8.5% that just oozes “Hawaii.” It’s probably a first in commercial brewing; coffee beers are common, and coconut has been used by several breweries (Maui of course being the most prominent), but I don’t know about macadamia nuts—and all three together? Yeah.
Interestingly, unlike a lot of big beers coming out these days, this is only available in 12-ounce bottles (rather than the 22-ounce bombers everyone seems to be using). That makes for a nice serving size but the price is steeper than what you might be used to: $8-9 for the 12-ounce. It’s worth it, though.
Appearance: Coffee-black with barest ruby hints at the light. Light cocoa-colored head is creamy and fine.
Smell: Rich coffee and dark chocolate with hints of coconut; roasty-sweet without being burnt.
Taste: First impression is a sweet, thick dark chocolate syrup and coffee—dark mocha. There’s a buttery, nutty essence and the coconut comes out lightly in the back. It’s like Death by Chocolate Cake times 2. Absolute dessert in a glass.
Mouthfeel: Syrupy and thick with a touch of dry from the roasted malts giving way to sticky sweet layers on the tongue.
Overall: Pretty amazing.