Kona Brewing Hanalei Island IPA

Total Score: 7.3/10 Passionfruit1PapayaMango1CutGrass1Nonicpint1

Hmmm, an American IPA that’s 4.5% ABV?! Bit suss about this, shouldn’t an IPA be between 5.5%-7.5% ABV? [consults BJCP 2015 Guidelines]… yep: 5.5%-7.5% ABV… bit of a misnomer there Kona. Apart from that I’m slightly excited by the addition of passionfruit, orange and guava (mostly about the guava – don’t think I’ve had a beer with guava in it before). Ironically this Hawaiian brewer actually has their beers brewed on the continental US in Portland, OR, and Portsmouth, NH, two states which have a totally different climate to Hawaii… I wonder why Kona do that? Seems a bit odd to me… that said Sapporo is brewed in Australia under licence by Coopers so I guess it’s no different in that sense.

Poured from a 355ml bottle into a nonic pint.

A: It’s got a Tequila Sunrise look to it – cloudy orange with a splash of pink in the body and a light foamy white head that settles to a lace ring… interesting, wonder if the pink from guava is giving off that hue? Alright regardless. 7/10.

S: Upfront passionfruit and guava characters give it the impression that it is heavily hopped – well played sir. There’s a grassy note in there as well. Not really picking up any orange, though I’m not fussed and frankly I’m getting over orange flavours in APAs/IPAs. Not really detecting any malts, but that’s no biggie in an IPA – the “hop” flavours are there, that is what’s important. 8/10.

T: Guava comes through with a surprising tartness that works well with the grassy/passionfruit characters. Malt isn’t really there, apart from a hint of dry cracker. Finish has an almost Lager crispness with light bitterness. It’s light on flavour for an IPA, which both makes it quite sessionable and not really an IPA at all – kind of the antithesis of an American IPA really [IPAs should be in yo face]. 7/10.

M: Mouthfeel is expectedly light bodied and needs a little bit more weight IMO, carbonation is slightly gassy as well. 6/10.

D: This would be an excellent hot weather beer – it’s the middle of winter in Brisbane atm (not that it ever gets too cold here) but you can tell this would be a cracker of a brew on a hot day – I’m picturing a Hawaiian summer luau right now and I could probably scull a litre of this in that circumstance… as it stands now: I need something big, dark and malty. However I liked this better than I expected to – there’s always a bit of trepidation with fruit-addition beers but this one did it well and subtly enough not to overcompensate for a crappy brew. 8/10.

Food match: I did mention luau above – go the luau, no poi!

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