Breakfast Beer Tasting: Kona Big Wave
We’re staying in the land of grass skirts and Waikiki Beach for today’s little pick-me-up. No, not Oldham but Hawaii. Yep, get those canoes ready and picture yourself relaxing there instead of dark, wet Blighty. This promises to be a “refreshing golden ale” and comes in a 12fl oz bottle that is a weak-by American standards-4.4%. For those who like to know these things, it scales 21 on the IBU scale and is made with Caramel malt and Citra and Galaxy hops.
It did indeed pour golden as advertised, always a good sign, with healthy carbonation and a small white head. It certainly looks the part. The aroma was more pungent than I was expecting; a pleasing blast of pineapple and sweet malt with a touch of herbal pine. The beer was slightly thin-again by American standards-but erred just on the right side of good mouthfeel.
Taste wise we had a prickly well-balanced juggling act. There’s an undercurrent of soft grains and breadiness that peeks just under the sizeable shot of pineapple and grapefruit that this delivers. Mix that in with a little pine to keep things even and the finish is a refreshing, if not overtly bitter, hop cleanser. You can see why this has gained a reputation for a very sessionable beer.
Tyson says: Another winner from Kona. Does what it sets out to and sets a high standard for this style at this strength.