Editor’s note: This is the fifteenth beer in the Beer Advent Calendar 2015 series. Likewise, I’m going to be posting a beer review each day. Some will be Christmas or Winter ales and other selections will be beers I’ve been wanting to review for some time.

One of my favorite vacation spots is Maui, Hawaii. For the last 5 years or so, it’s been fun to watch Maui Brewing company grow and prosper on the island.

CoCoNut PorTeROne of MBC’s flagship beers is CoCoNut Porter and this time of year, it’s a fun beer to take a look at because coconut anything is amazing in December and combined with a fantastic dark ale…yum!

How does it taste?

Coconut Porter pours super dark with a tan head that remains on the glass long after you pour the beer. The brew smells of cold-brew coffee, malty sweetness and a slight toasted coconut smell. One would expect the coconut scents to be stronger, but not with this ale. It’s subtle at best.

To your tongue, the beer tastes exactly how it smells. The roasted malt is the strongest flavor present with a slight coconut back-kick to the porter.  As one would expect, coffee notes and slight bitterness comes forward with this refreshing and Mounds-bar like taste. In fact, this beer tastes like a Mounds bar in a glass.

Honestly, I’d like to see more coconut influence in a beer with the namesake.

Should I buy it?

This is a beer you should pass on.

If you’re in the MBC taproom in Napili, yes buy a small glass to experience it, otherwise skip this beer.

Review: Maui Brewing Company CoCoNut PorTer

Author: Jason Harris
July 28, 2011

When I first started drinking microbrews, I wasn’t a fan of dark beer. I found it to be too thick and murky. However, as my palette has grown, I’ve taken dark beers and love them now. I especially love porters as I find them smooth and tasty.

This review continues the series on brews from Maui Brewing Company, a Lahaina-based brewery that is quite popular in Oregon. Today’s brew is the CoCoNut PorTer (I’m not sure what’s up with the capital letters) and I was very intrigued by this beer. Porter is a nice taste by itself, would the coconut add or take away from this experience? Also of note, I hate flavored beers – the ones ‘enhanced’ with berry flavors especially or orange citrus hints…not cool, dude.

Coconut Porter is a strong beer, coming in at about 6% alcohol. According to the web page, it’s made of six varieties of malted barley, hops and hand toasted coconut.

When I first opened the can, I could smell the hints of coconut and it excited my taste buds to see what the first drink would taste like. The experience is supposed to go like this: beginning with a malty-toasted first sip, then a followup taste of coffee and a finish aftertaste of coconut and hoppy spice.

However, when I first tasted the porter, I picked up on the malt overtones and the hoppy finish, but missed out on the coconut altogether. In fact, this could just be called porter in my book with no coconut at all.

With that said, I wasn’t disappointed at all – this is a GOOD porter that has a slight punch that isn’t overwhelming with malt, just enough to make you want more.  I like this porter a lot – not as much as Black Butte Porter, but it’s easily my second favorite, ever.

I hoped to have more coconut taste in this beer and was let down a bit. However, I’m going to pick up another can because maybe I just got a weak tasting batch.

Have you tried this beer?  What do you think?

Review: Pelican Brewing Tsunami Stout

Author: Jason Harris
November 18, 2010

I love flavorful beers.  This is probably why I’m such a fan of IPAs, which are known for being extremely hoppy and bitter.  It wasn’t until recently that I stated liking the really dark beers, such as those similar to Pelican Brewing’s Tsunami Stout.

Stout is amongst the strongest beers both in flavor, presence and alcohol content.  Typically thiis ale type, along with porter, are considered winter beers because of their heavy nature.  Stout, particular, is an interesting creature.  It is as black as night and one cannot see through it at all.

Tsunami Stout is no exception, this brew is black through and through with a dense creamy head.  This beer has a soft scent that prepares you for a rich flavor.

Is Tsunami Stout think and hard to drink?  Hardly, don’t let the appearance fool you.  This beer does have a full body but it is well balanced and does not leave you with a rock gut feeling.  This stout is a rich mixture of barley and malt that leaves you wanting a second pint immediately.

If you are looking to start checking out dark beers, Tsunami Stout joins Black Butte Porter as must haves, especially with the holiday season approaching.