Brew Review

Beer Review – Kona Brewing Gold Cliff IPA


The beer you see up above was sent to us by Adam Krell of Curich|Weiss. That’s pretty much the whole back story.

No elaborate schemes.
No evasive maneuvers.
No endless searches in the tri-state area.

We got an email from Adam asking if we’d like to review the beer.
We said, “Yes!”.
And then “BOOM!”, the beer arrived on our doorstep.

Easy peasy lemon squeezey!
Just how we like it.

Before we get to our review, here’s what Kona Brewing has to say about their Gold Cliff IPA:

At the southern tip of Lanai, not far from the island’s first pineapple fields, lies a cobalt blue inlet rimmed with golden cliffs that welcomes divers of every stripe. This is Kaunolu Cove. Catamarans anchor here beside a blade of black rock known as the Moku Noio, where snorkelers explore a dazzling rainbow of tropical fish below and cliff divers soar from the sun-drenched cliffs above. It has been said that the ancient Hawaiians once proved their courage here by making this electrifying 70-foot jump from the famed keyhole notch at the top. Today, you may still see a fearless adventurer leaping from these rocks into the cool embrace of the Pacific below.

Gold Cliff IPA features real pineapple, along with bright, tropical fruit aromas of Mosaic and Citra hops and a hint of smooth caramel malt.

And now for our impressions…

  • Appearance: Slightly cloudy, pale orange color with a thick creamy head of off-white foam that lingers for a good while.
  • ABV: 7.2%
  • Aroma
    • Limpd: Sweetness with honey, grapefruit, apricots and mango.
    • G-LO: Very tropical with hints of tangerine, pineapple and mango. Good bit of honey sweetness in the background.
  • Taste
    • Limpd: Far more bitter than the aroma would suggest. Not in a bad way; just surprising given the expected sweetness. A good bit of the typical IPA sharpness but not overpowering. Mostly just mild hops without much fruit coming through.
    • G-LO: Medium carbonation, i.e. not too fizzy and not too soft. Starts off mildly bitter with a bit of honey sweetness to lend some balance. Stays pretty mild and easy drinking as you transition from mid-palate to the finish. Very easy drinking given its somewhat high ABV. Sadly, those citrus and tropical notes from the nose didn’t carry through to the palate.

The Verdict

Limpd: While I’m not much of an IPA fan (too many seem to almost make the amount of hops and the increased bitterness into a dare), I found this one to be very drinkable. I’m not sure how well balanced it was as there really wasn’t much to it aside from hops. I would have liked a little more of the sweetness in the aroma to come through in the taste. Maybe my glass was too cold and the flavors were understated.

G-LO: As far as IPAs go, this is definitely a good one with a nicely balanced flavor. It also goes down very easy with little to no alcohol bite. My only disappointment is the disconnect between the nose and palate because I was really in the mood for some tropicality when I cracked this open but didn’t taste it. As Limpd pointed out, perhaps my beer was too cold when I reviewed it.

_______________________________________

Many thanks to Adam Krell of Curich|Weiss for sending us these very generous samples!

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