I got a load of these Maui Brewing Co. beers in at work a while ago, and being made in Hawaii I was naturally curious to find out what they were like. I don’t usually go for darker beers, but the world of beer is about trying new things, so I thought why the heck not? The Maui website describes it as a, “fresh handcrafted robust Porter brewed with six varieties of malted barley, hops and hand-toasted coconut.” I’m a fan of coconut, so surely this should be a great beverage?
- 5.7% ABV (though there are some online reviews that have 6%)
- Brewed on Maui, Hawaii
- Comes in cans (12 Fl Oz/ 355 ml)
- Gold winner of 2006 World Beer Cup‘s ‘Herb and Spice Beer’ category
Has a decent richness and yet is quite light. There’s a pleasant milkiness to it (that seems consistent over the range I’ve tried so far), but it’s not especially coconutty, unfortunately. The lightly-roasted choco-maltiness comes through nicely, and the creaminess of the drink becomes more pronounced as you drink more. It was certainly a nice beer, but I have to mark it down on the lack of coconuttiness!
Disappointing based on my high expectations. There’s a woodiness in the smell, coming from the fresh coconut, but not much. I even picked up an unappealing damp, fusty note (and yes, I had poured it into a glass!). There was a bit of a sharp, sourness that I’d expect from a porter, but really not much to get excited about.
Typical Maui in terms of the branding, with vibrant graphics and tongue-in-cheek humour (the beer’s tagline is “Like hot chicks on the beach,” whatever that means…). In the glass, it almost black and practically opaque when held up to the light, with dark ruby tinges at the edges – exactly what you’d expect really.
Value For Money
I paid quite a lot for this beer – it retails at £3.49 – but that’s understandable given the air miles it did to get over to England. It was 5.7%, so there’s certainly an element of ‘alcoholic bang for your buck’, but taste-wise I’ve had better porters for much less money.
I score the Coconut Porter quite highly here. I mean, when do you ever see Hawaiian beers in shops (though maybe we’ll see more in the future with American beers becoming more popular recently)? Also, their dedication to the ‘microcanning revolution’ (which helps to reduce light damage and oxidization, keeping the beer fresher, and also chills quicker, as well as being easier to recycle) is rare. Finally, the use of such ‘exotic ingredients’ makes the brew reasonably unique, even though I didn’t feel they pulled it off that well.
As I said in the introduction, these Maui beers have ignited my curiosity. Even though I had a bad one, I’d be more than happy to be able to say I’ve tried it. That, dear readers, is what enjoying beer is all about – new experiences. I’d certainly recommend this to people who like coconut flavours, subtle as they are, but mainly I’d recommend people try something less expensive with more developed aromas. It wasn’t bad by any means, but it didn’t quite hit the spot the way I’d have liked.
Final score: 66%