Of all the beers in the Kona range, Pipeline Porter is the one which came particularly recommended to me. Though brewed at Craft Brew Alliance headquarters in, presumably, Oregon, this one gets an extra point of authenticity for the inclusion of genuine Hawaiian coffee. It smells pleasantly of creamy coffee with perhaps an additional Tia Maria-esque liqueur whiff. The texture is as smooth as you'd want for a coffee porter and the flavour, too, is an easy-listening blend of sweet dark malts, toasted grains and no-nonsense, cuppa-joe coffee. It doesn't do much, this beer, but it does it well.
From the breezy 5.2% ABV of Pipeline we move up to 8.9% and Flying Dog's KujoCoffee Imperial Stout. A different sort of beast altogether, this is viscous and heavy and carries more than a hint of cold espresso about it, or the scrapings from the bottom of the coffee machine. There's an unpleasant putty flavour as well which doesn't help things. While it avoids being hot despite the strength, and isn't sticky the way some dense flavoured stouts can be, the recipe just doesn't gel together well. Whether that's because there's not enough coffee in it, or the base beer isn't good enough, I wouldn't like to speculate.