Koko Brown by Kona Brewing

390634_10101169743162290_1540138818_nRating: 4.25/5

Koko Brown by Kona Brewing is a 5.5%ABV Brown Ale brewed with Toasted coconut and natural flavors added

Is there anything more iconic of the lush tropics than the coconut? The delicious heart of this island treasure has a nutty, toffee flavor and aroma that sends you straight to the beaches of Paradise. Kick back with a Koko Brown, brewed with real toasted coconut, and savor the mahogany color and smooth, roasty malt taste. Available Winter/Spring Koko Brown pairs well with coconut and caramel flavors, such as Thai curries, BBQ meats and carne asada. Its refreshing nutty aroma makes for the perfect beer after a day on the water.

The first time I had this beer was at my friend Chino’s house. We were trying different beers and our friend Johan brought a 12 pack of Kona Brewing beers. I had to get this one again as this one made the most impression on me. As I remember the beer, there was a lot of coconut and coffee flavors but also vanilla and caramel which are essentials in some of the notes found in some of my favorite Barrel Aged beers. So I am doing an actual review now to break it down.

The aromas of this beer are of toasted coconut, caramel, hints of vanilla, slight hazelnut, brown sugar and coffee. The flavors are of toasted coconut, roasted coffee, slight caramel, vanilla cream, brown sugar, hazelnut notes, maple syrup notes and buttered toast. The drinkability is good. It goes down smooth with not any one flavor too overwhelming. It is a lighter beer yet the flavors are very reminiscent of a nice barrel aged beer although it is only flavors and not intensity. Meaning if you are looking into seeing some of the types of flavors you may find in bourbon barrel aged beers but are relatively new to craft beer, this is a good gateway intro. Like I said, before I was pretty surprised by this one and enjoyed it more than I thought I would have 🙂

Velvet Merlin by Firestone Walker

184485_10100950627002830_2109471633_nRating: 4.8/5

Velvet Merlin by Firestone Walker is a 5.5%ABV Oatmeal Stout. This is the second time I try this beer so I figure I give it another review.


A decadent Oatmeal Stout brimming with cocoa and espresso aromas. This beer features a rich, dark chocolate and roasted coffee flavor with a creamy mouth feel and wonderfully dry finish. The addition of U.S. grown fuggles hops contributes the perfect amount of bitterness to this exceptionally balanced beer.

Velvet Merlin is a pretty good stout. The fragrances of this beers are anywhere from dark and milk chocolate to Espresso and coffee aromas. There is also some nice roasty notes as well. The flavors of this one are of sweet coffee, mocha, milk and dark chocolate, sweet biscuit, some caramel and toffee are strong along with of that malt o meal or oatmeal grain feel. The beer feels sorta buttery, smooth and creamy which is is nice. I guess hence the name, velvet. The after taste leaves dry but sweet. It is a different type of sweetness though. Still more like actual oatmeal with coffee and chocolate. Breakfast in a bottle. It is amazing as this is a 5.5%ABV beer. Very drinkable and quite delicious. People that like stouts will fin this one to be not as overwhelming or complex but yet still full of a lot of flavor. Definitely worth the second round.

2011 Review:
A nice stout that is not too overwhelming with flavor allowing more than one bottle…emphasis on coffee flavors as well as other magical flavors only merlin can provide…lol

Anubis by Laughing Dog Brewing

Rating: 4/5

Anubis by Laughing Dog Brewing is a 9.2%ABV Imperial Coffee Porter. Delicious yet bitter little beer. Smells like a usual porter. Not as bitter as a stout though. Smells like a cup of fresh coffee Flavors or roasted coffee, dark chocolate, vanilla, toffee, citrus and earthy and smokey notes. What makes this beer pretty good is that it is well balanced….not too bitter, not too sweet, just right…Did I mention it hides the alcohol oh too well? This is surely a creamy dessert beer. May go good as a beer float. A Porter fit for Kings or Gods :P… Porter and Stout people will like this one.