Alpha Klaus Christmas (Xmas) Porter - Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub
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Ratings: 1,559 | Reviews: 692 | Show All Ratings:
Reviews by BuckeyeNation:
4.83/5 rDev +16.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5
Dark chestnut with rubiginous highlights beneath a large, sturdy cap of light brown foam that displays admirable persistence; the gently rounded surface looks to be at the same level that it was several minutes ago. Random streaks and swirls of chunky lace stick steadfastly to the glass.
The nose is of chocolate covered hop cones and pine boughs. This is about what I expected, but it's still a treat. The sharply citric evergreen aroma is amazingly powerful, yet doesn't quite smother the roasted maltiness that identifies this as a porter. Other than restrained bittersweet chocolate, no other non-hop aromas are evident. Three Floyds and their hop obsession... gotta love 'em.
The flavor, like the nose, wields a hop cudgel and isn't afraid to swing it with force. It tastes like the brewers threw a couple of Christmas trees into the vats and let them sit for a few months. These hops are much more piney than they are citrusy; I'd be curious to know which varieties were used. Although the first several mouthfuls were almost overwhelmingly evergreen-like, I'm now able to discern the malty goodness underneath.
The first half of each mouthful is wall-to-wall hops, while the second half allows cinnamon-dusted, ground coffee bean-flecked, chocolate liqueur to strut its stuff. The malt backbone is rock solid, as it has to be to stand up to the greatest humulus lupulus assault on a porter that I've ever experienced. The mouthfeel is firmly medium with a creaminess that one usually finds only on bigger beers. If your hop tolerance is high, then this beer is as dangerously drinkable as they come.
I had a good idea what Alpha Klaus had in store before I cracked the crown, but that hasn't kept me from being impressed as hell (drinking is believing). While hops are far and away my first love, I also appreciate massively malty beer. Nothing wrong with combining the two into a two-headed beast of epic proportions. Kudos to Three Floyds for sheer audaciousness, originality and further evidence of genius. 'Christmas in a glass', 'the best of both worlds'... whatever you call it, call it great beer.
Serving type: bottle
01-11-2005 22:14:34 | More by BuckeyeNation
More User Reviews:
4.34/5 rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
I'm pretty fortunate that I was able to have this twice over the past few months. The second time I had it, however, it was a little bit past its prime so this is the review of the tasting at the December Albany Taproom bottle share, courtesy of jdhowe (thanks!). Poured out of a 22oz bomber into a tulip glass.
Darkened in color, save for a few reddish amber streaks at the edges. The head is an off-white color that rises to the top in a creamy manner, akin to an English porter, yet dissipates rather quickly over the course of consumption. Not too many bubbles show, but it does seem well carbonated overall. Solid in terms of color and body, and nothing too showy overall. Modest by FFF standards.
The aroma sure isn't, though - I've had my fair share of winter beers last year, but this may be one of my favorites yet. Big notes of dark fruits (plums, raisins, figs) meld with an underlying roasted chocolate profile with a plethora of spices, ranging from mint to nutmeg, from allspice to ginger peel. Pine and orange peel are also predominant, with some notes of cardamom and tamarind. Slightly pepper, with some light anise and molasses notes. Finishes with some caramel and toasted toffee. Usually, for the most part, these flavors are more predominant in Belgian quads or winter releases, but the part that makes it unique here is the porter base, which is roasted, bready, and far closer to an English style, save for the hop profile in usage. It's really nice overall, and highly resembles a mint and spice filled chocolate treat.
The flavor is equally on par, and by golly, FFF churns out yet another high quality beer in its own class. Lots of dark fruit notes, notably ranging from dark cherries to plums, with some molasses and anise, changing bases rapidly into the roasted dark chocolate profile (think powdered cocoa) that melts with the mint, nutmeg, ginger, and tamarind profile, to instantly satisfying results. The bitterness, nuttiness, and spiciness keeps things from getting too sweet or cloying overall, and the roasted profile, melded with the fruit and mint, becomes a high quality winter treat that is delectable and sharp, in many regards. The finish is filled with some extra pine and citrus, as well as a bit of earthiness, which accentuates the spice base in the porter. Roasted and grainy, yet at the same time, pretty filling and creamy overall. This is what so many winter warmers should strive for. Absolutely delicious.
This is to porters what St. Bernardus Xmas Ale is to quads. Gets a good base beer and fills it with a fun, jubilant hop profile and array of spices that makes this become the much needed holiday treat, at the end of the day. By far one of my favorite seasonal releases from FFF, and I hope to get this every year for the holidays as long as I can.
Serving type: bottle
03-10-2014 07:57:09 | More by magictacosinus
Alpha Klaus Christmas (Xmas) Porter from Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub
93 out of 100 based on 1,559 ratings.