Gold Cliff IPA is an American IPA brewed by Kona Brewing Co. that blends floral hops with citrus and juicy pineapple.

Gold Cliff IPA is an American IPA brewed by Kona Brewing Co., and for the purposes of this craft beer review, the ale was served in an IPA glass from a bottle.

Packaging art for the Gold Cliff IPA by Kona Brewing Co.

Packaging art for the Gold Cliff IPA by Kona Brewing Co.

What You Need to Know

The Gold Cliff IPA is part of Kona’s Aloha Series and this golden brew blends four types of malts and hops along with juicy pineapple. And so how was it? Let’s get to the review.

Appearance

Like its name, the Gold Cliff IPA pours a crystal clear golden hue and is topped by a towering stack of rocky white foam. A vigorous pour is hardly necessary. The massive head shows fair retention and its reduction leaves behind a few droplets of residue and a soapy collar around the glass.

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Aroma

The aroma is faint but offers a pleasant scent of pineapple with a note of floral hops.

Flavor

The brew is smooth with bready malt leading the way. A light citrus bite follows, imparting a taste of grapefruit. But much of the IPA’s hoppy bite produces a floral flavor. The tasting mellows on the swallow with the sweet juice of pineapple.

Label art for the Gold Cliff IPA by Kona Brewing Co.

Label art for the Gold Cliff IPA by Kona Brewing Co.

Mouthfeel

The feel is relatively smooth with medium body and a little less than moderate carbonation. The finish is slightly drying with a mild astringency.

The Cliffs Behind the Name

The inspiration behind the Gold Cliff IPA comes from the southern tip of Lanai. It’s the location for the island’s first pineapple field. And it’s also the location of Kaunolu Cove, a blue inlet surrounded by golden cliffs. For many years adventurous Hawaiians have dove off their 70 foot bluff into the water below.

Overall

Even without the sexy lace or lingering head, the appearance of the Gold Cliff IPA is solid. The aroma is faint but is pleasant enough. And the flavor is mostly straightforward IPA with a juicy pineapple twist. It’s best enjoyed when the beer is super cold. The palate doesn’t take on any additional complexity once it loses its chill. Again, not necessarily amazing, but it’s still pretty good. Overall, the Gold Cliff IPA won’t exactly knock your socks off but it’s a fine brew and its lower price point makes it a good value. You shouldn’t have any qualms picking this one up.

Recommended Pairings

Kona Brewing recommends the following food pairings with their Gold Cliff IPA: entrees of smoked pork, grilled ham, or chicken sausage; golden cake for dessert.

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