THE EDITOR’S DESK :: A Quickie From Oahu and Kona Brewing

by Harvey Gold on September 20, 2013

HawaiiWe spent about 24 hours traveling to Hawaii. After checking in, before passing out, we went to the (where else?) pool bar for the traditional initiation of island Mai Tais… and THEN we passed out.

Today, at lunch we took it a little further. The Missus had a “real” (fresh pineapple juice) Blue Hawaii and I, a Fire Rock Pale Ale from Kona Brewing. At first blush there was no discernable direction for the beery nose. After a time, though, it took on a nice bready fragrance.

There was a notable sweetness that charmed at first sip, displaying little to no bitter. Adding a couple minutes in the 87 degree temps at the outdoor eatery, thus a quick couple degrees for, well… everything, the bitter rolled in, nicely balanced in the sip, interestingly present at a declared 35 IBU.

photoThe sweetness was sugary, not fruity or caramely, coming in and out depending on what I ate. We had excellent nachos with sour cream, cheddar, guacamole, Hawaiian pulled pork, tons of jalapeños and a pineapple salsa. When jalapeños dominated, the bitter took over to cut thru. When the pineapple was in play, same. Nice as an accompaniment. The sweetness when bonded to the bitter presented as distinctive. Some speak of mango, others peach, yet while I found it pronounced, I got no exotic notes from this easy drinking, tasty PA. On the mainland this is brewed in the U.S. so may show some differences, but here, in the South Pacific, it was a lovely and easy  (5.9%) quencher with this meal on a lovely and easy day.

photoFinished up the evening on our 30th floor lanei, looking down upon a kind of neat (better from this perch, methinks) Luau, trying out an Island Prince from Kauai Cigar Company. In a tin of 6, hand rolled of Kauai grown tobacco, three had Connecticut Wrappers, the other three dark Dominican. I tried out the lighter and presumably milder of the two and found it to be quite nice. As expected, a little hot, a little spicy at the outset, settling in gently with a sort of … OK this is my impression which has nothing to do with standard issue cigar language… fruitwood tone to it. Nice and tasty, very good ash for such a small guy, and a nice draw throughout. A great way to end the day… assuming it’s over.

Aloha, peeps.

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