Maui Brewing’s Coconut Porter: Too Subtle?

You know what I hate?  I hate it when people are just too subtle.  Like when me and my wife were dating, well actually before we began to date, she said she practically had to hit me over the head to get me to respond to her very subtle advances.  Good thing she is persistent.  I finally mustered the courage to ask her out, and well now 25 years and 4 kids later I finally get it.

I’m a club you over the head kinda guy.  If you just expect me to pick up on subtle cues forget it. It aint gonna happen.  Like the lean in, who the hell came up with this piece of subtle garbage?  If you want a kiss pucker up and get in my face, that I get.  Lean in?  What the hell?

So when Maui Brewing said they made a Coconut Porter, I was excited.  Two flavors I love coming together in one brew.  But you know what?  It was lost on me…

As you can tell the Coconut Porter looked the part.  It was dark chocolate brown and poured with about a one finger mocha colored head that left lacing all the way down the glass.  The nose was where I began to suspect that my trip to coconut land might not have a happy ending.  See there was very little coconut smell.  In fact I would say it was more malty with some coffee and roasted nut smells rather than coconut goodness.

When I took a sip I was rewarded with a very nice porter.  Full bodied and rich with tones of coffee, chocolate and a touch of hop bite on the backside where it belongs.  But where was the coconut?  What I was hoping for was that the cocoa flacor and the coconut would combine to give me a hint of Mounds candy bar flavor.  Not happening.  It was sweet and very flavorful, but the coconut was buried deep within.

I think it was more of an essence of coconut than an in your face flavor, and as I said before subtlety is lost on me.  The coconut may have added a creaminess to the mouthfeel and a little more body and depth of flavor to the overall beer, but there was no real coconut flavor, so I was a little disappointed in that, but make no mistake, this is an awesome porter!

It really has great flavor, and I will buy it again because of it.  The coconut is sublte…too subtle for me, but the overall flavor is a complete winner.  So give it a try.  Good to see another Independent brewer coming out of Hawaii.   I am really glad Maui is now making great brews, and in cans no less.

So pass me a coconut and let the good times roll.  Just don’t be subtle about it…


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16 Comments on “Maui Brewing’s Coconut Porter: Too Subtle?”

  1. August 24, 2010 at 12:45 pm #

    First off, let me say that’s one classy picture you chose for this post Don. I guess subtlety really is lost on you.

    This sounds like a good beer, too bad it doesn’t have a bigger coconut flavor. I’m guessing this is because coconut really has to be chewed next to your taste buds to get the flavor out. You can’t really taste it until you bite it.

    Maybe you should have another one while eating a Mounds and see what that sets off.

    • Don
      August 24, 2010 at 12:54 pm #

      You know that isn’t a bad idea, I know you were probably being facetious but I’ve had chocolate with beer before and it really can bring subtleties to the front. An example is I once has a 3 musketeers bar with a Black Butte XXI and it made the whole thing just jump to life. I’m gonna try it. I like that picture too. I thought it was very subtle. 😉

      • August 24, 2010 at 12:58 pm #

        I was being serious about the candy bar, but I’d go with a Bounty Bar – they blow away mounds!!

        • Don
          August 24, 2010 at 1:17 pm #

          Idaho…WE got Mounds.

      • August 24, 2010 at 3:31 pm #

        I hear that Orval pairs well with a Chicago-style hotdog.

        • August 24, 2010 at 3:48 pm #

          I’d give that a shot!

        • Don
          August 24, 2010 at 4:31 pm #

          Mmmm…Hot dogs! Love me some Nathan’s!

    • Evan
      August 24, 2010 at 6:40 pm #

      That broad looks pretty busted to me

      • Don
        August 24, 2010 at 6:44 pm #


  2. August 24, 2010 at 3:34 pm #

    I understand your point about subtlety vs. bluntness. I’m a guy, therefore you need to just say it rather than hint at it.

    Most times, coconut is something that I find offensive to my palate… except for the greatest of great girl scout cookies: samoas. So, based on this review, I’d actually try this porter, as the coconut is subdued enough to where I might not even take notice. Cheers!

    • August 24, 2010 at 3:48 pm #

      A Samoa (now called Caramel DeLites, probably because Samoas aren’t PC or something) would also be an awesome pairing with this beer I bet.

      • Don
        August 24, 2010 at 4:32 pm #

        I bet that would be yummy!

  3. Evan
    August 24, 2010 at 6:35 pm #

    I’ve made a few coconut beers, and Black Raven Brewing just down the street from me has a coconut porter that picked up a Gold at the World Beer Cup this year. One thing I’ve learned is that coconut is actually a naturally subtle flavor. Go nosh on a chunk of fresh coconut and you’ll see what I mean. Artificial flavors in everything have really given us an inaccurate memory as to how certain things taste, other examples being things like bananas and strawberries.

    Coconut in beer to me adds a layer of complexity, but not that artificial flavor coconut that most people would immediately look for. The only way to describe how it has worked in the beers that I’ve liked is a nice nutty flavor, but completely unrecognizable as what we think is coconut.

    • Don
      August 24, 2010 at 6:41 pm #

      That would explain this porter as well Evan. I think I was clear that this was a damn good brew, but it didn’t have that coconut flavor that I recognize. Jim suggested I have it while eating a Mounds Candy Bar, and I think that could be pretty awesome. I will try that.

      • Big Tex
        August 25, 2010 at 8:13 pm #

        More talk about Black Raven… Don, next time you’re in the Seattle area, I think a trip to Black Raven is in order. I’d be happy to come along. I imagine Evan would too.

        • Don
          August 26, 2010 at 10:01 am #

          Sounds like this is the place to be. Might be worth a special trip. Hopefully they will be at GABF so I can get a taste.

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