Total Score: 6.9/10
After the surprisingly able Hanalei Island IPA (though not really an IPA is it now?), I’m looking forward to seeing/tasting what Big Wave can do. That said: Golden Ale, cold(en) weather, not the best mix, also my nose is a bit out of sorts due to a surgeon scooping a chunk of cancer out of it and stitching in a skin graft… it’s pretty horror show, and it means I’m a nostril down on my olfactory senses – so don’t expect much description in the aroma section. Also don’t expect mere facial surgery to slow me down, nothing slows me down, expect maybe a swimming pool filled with molasses… of course you would have to trick me into diving in first, no easy feat. Oh yeah, thanks go out to the Kona rep (a lovely Kiwi lady whose name escapes me) for this free sample.
Poured from a 355ml bottle into a nonic pint.
A: Pretty much as advertised: Hazed golden body with a white cappuccino foam head that drops back from 1 centimetre to a light lace blanket. Looks like a refreshing brew, dammit – it’s too cold for a refreshing beer [checks thermometer] 16 degrees. Well, I guess I’m a Queenslander now – complaining about non-existent cold weather. 7/10.
S: Honey biscuits, like those Greek desserts, mmmm… [FOCUS DOC!] hint of floral hops and a light touch of dark Caribbean rum as well. Overall aroma is definitely skewed towards the malt, pretty standard with a Golden Ale really. 7/10.
T: Yep, honey biscuits, bit of a lemon note on the hop side – less floral than noted above. Flavour is on the weak side, expected with the 4.4% ABV, however this is one beer that could definitely benefit from a boost in flavour. Finish is dry with a mild citric bitterness. 7/10.
M: Mid to light, a bit watery, with a light carbonation – works for the style: Light and refreshing summer beer – but more body wouldn’t go astray either. 6/10.
D: I see what Kona are going for with this brew, the Hanalei Island, and I’m guessing more of the same from their Lager (which is the last of the samples I have to review). Great to have a light, easy drinking beer when it’s bloody hot outside, for now though brews like this make me feel like a nice BIG Russian Imperial Stout, or a Quadrupel. However let us not digress: Kona Big Wave is an entirely drinkable hot weather brew, though I personally like the flavour profile of the Hanalei Island better. 7/10.
Food match: Bring on the luau!