Alpha Klaus Christmas (Xmas) Porter - 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Alpha Klaus Christmas (Xmas) PorterAlpha Klaus Christmas (Xmas) Porter

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
92
outstanding

2,009 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,009
Reviews: 729
rAvg: 4.12
pDev: 10.44%
Wants: 261
Gots: 317 | FT: 17
Brewed by:
3 Floyds Brewing Co. visit their website
Indiana, United States

Style | ABV
American Porter |  6.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: zerk on 12-06-2002

Alpha King’s festive cousin. A big American Christmas Porter brewed with English chocolate malt, Mexican sugar and of course, tons of strange American hops. Cheers!

38 IBU
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,009 | Reviews: 729
Reviews by cretemixer:
Photo of cretemixer
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep chestnut in color with garnet highlights around the edges. A thick, dense, tan head slowly settles to about a 3/4 inch layer leaving a thick, clingy lace.
The aroma is a rich mix of bitter chocolate and sprucy hops with a hint of coffee. Toasty and sweet, a hint of honey maybe.
The taste is initially surprisingly smooth. The hoppy bitterness you're expecting from the aroma waits in the lurch and jumps out after you swallow, coating your mouth in a sheet of bitter bliss.
Medium-full body, nicely carbonated and about as drinkable as they come for my tastes. It just satisfies all the senses without numbing your mind "too" much.

More User Reviews:
Photo of leantom
4.32/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Another review of a FFF beer. How does it stack relative to Alpha King, a beer of a totally different style (i.e., APA)? Here goes:

A: Like many other FFF beers, this beer looks exquisite. Dark, pitch black with a massive four-finger head. Leaves plenty of lacing as well. The beer is very well-carbonated.

S: I can see how the beer is related to Alpha King; it's relation is in the hops. The hop profile is exactly the same as Alpha King, even though the malt profile is completely different. Beer smells very grassy and citrusy - almost like a bouquet of flowers. This initial hop smell gives way to rich chocolate/coffee malts. Interesting mixture. Both hops and malt scents would be very good stand-alone; I'm not sure how well they combine, however.

T: Very good, but I like Alpha King a little more. The hops just jell better with the APA style. However, again, the beer's still quite good. Initial grassy/flowery hops give way to a very good malt backbone composed of chocolate, toffee, and rich coffee beans. Like most FFF beers, this one is very well-balanced between the malt and the hops.

F: Very good. Well-carbonated, thick, and refreshing.

O: A very good beer. Would have again even though Alpha King is better. A good seasonal release.

Photo of poibag808
4.06/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle poured into a snifter.

A: dark black with a dirty white/light brown head. After agitating the beer I got about 1/4 inch head.

S: Roasted coffee and sweet molasses/burnt sugar.

T: You get roasted coffee upfront with some malt sweetness, then you get a nice hop bitterness on he back of your tongue.

Overall an interesting take on a porter. The hops make this a beer stand out from others porters and a must try.

Photo of RoyalT
4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance – This porter came out very, very dark in color with a beautiful white head.

Smell – The malts here are dark and roasty. There are some light coffee ground notes here along with some rather aggressive, leafy hops.

Taste – The hops really come out at the taste. They are big for a porter, even an American-style one. The coffee flavor is mild but well represented. There’s a milky sweetness to this flavor profile as well that makes it a complex, very interesting beer.

Mouthfeel – This AP is medium-bodied with some good, gritty bitterness that works well with the creamy milky sweetness.

Drinkability – This is a very balanced, good-drinking porter that went down way too well.

Comments – Big thanks to my BA bro BuckeyeNation for hooking me up with this classic Three Floyds offering.

Photo of DaPeculierDane
3.78/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I don’t quite grasp the hype surrounding this beer. It’s quite good but I don’t see why it’s worth paying so much for it when equally or better brews like the Fitz, Tommy, and Great Dane’s Cascade or Black Earth are available for half the price.

Pours a bronzed cocoa with moderately lasting sticky white-brown head.

Smells of citrus hops and cocoa, dark roasted malts and grape fruit. Also bits of anise.

Tastes cakey but also of iced down chocolate milk. A bit thinner than I would like, fluffier too. I want cream and am only getting iced milk. Sweet front, dry finish.

Very drinkable.

I’ll pick of a bottle of this and try it again soon. Maybe their was something wrong with the keg I had or my taste buds that night but like I said, I don’t get the hype.

Photo of hopsleeroy
4.27/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to JDV and pintsized for sharing.

A-Almost looks like a cola to me. Black with carbonation bubbles running up the side. Head didn't stick around.
S-Chocolate, molasses, slightly floral hoppiness, and a little bit minty
T-Nice roasted malt, chocolate, some licorice, floral hop increases as it warms. Very tasty.
M-Crisp in the mouth, medium to full body, maybe a little over carbonated
D-I would have hogged the whole bomber if they had let me. This review should also be considered an ISO for Alpha Klaus Porter.

Photo of weatherdog
3.9/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Palmers in LaGrange IL

Served in a shaker pint glass

Appearance was a deep dark brown with a 1 finger head that lingered throughout much of the pint.

The smell is just this sharp grassy piny hop with a low amount of dark malt sweetness. To me it was similar to sticking my nose in a bag of hop pellets where the nuances of the variety are shadowed by the sheer plant smell.

The taste was once again dominated by the grassy hop taste. Behind the initial grassy taste there is a typical porter malt profile to stand up against. The nice thing is the bitterness is pretty low and this is all about the aroma and flavor hops. Quite enjoyable to say the least.

If it had anymore bitterness I think it would cut down on the drinkability considering it is already a pretty full bodied beer.

Photo of sgoodship
4.57/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up at Binny's in the South Loop, Chicago. Ironically, a few hours before I drank this, my sister in-law asked me if brewers ever combine aggressive hops like in an IPA with a roasted malty porter. I told her that I hadn't experienced anything quite like that. Well, now I can say I have!

A: Nice reddish dark brown - almost black. Tiny mahogany highlights on the bottom edge against the light. Dark tan finger head that quickly dropped to a quarter and then dissipated to surface wisps. Produced big spotty lacing that didn't stick around too long. Quite attractive.

S: Big hops - more hops than you would ever imagine from a porter. When you smell more deeply, you get the roasted malt chocolate/coffee smell hiding under the floral hop. Combo of big hop, big malt and slight alcohol is almost medicinal - in a good way. Some cinnamon spiciness there too. Very unique and an appropriate seasonal warmth.

T: As I concentrated on the drinking, the smell focused in on the dark bitter chocolate which added a lot. Very lively hoppy fresh experience. It dissipates to a more chocolate malt and the hop bitterness comes back in the aftertaste. Strange combination of the smooth porter with an aggressive hop bite. Worked for me.

M: Really light and crisp. Carbonation tingles on the tongue and the back of the mouth. Medium/low body. I would usually feel like this was thin but considering the uniqueness and level of hopping, it felt appropriate.

D: Very light and drinkable. If I was trying to evaluate this brew as a regular porter, it may disappoint me in some ways. If I think of it as a hybrid of porter and seasonal Xmas ale, it becomes a very unique and enjoyable experience. It felt right for the season which I think is a very important factor. It offered the comfort of a porter with the optimism of hops - a really nice change. As a malt head that has developed a hop addiction, I find this beer to be extremely enjoyable. The higher than usual ABV didn't hurt either. Happy holidays!

Photo of blackearth
4.41/5  rDev +7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased from 3 Cellars in Franklin, WI. Pours a black body with a nice tan head that leaves a good amount of lacing. Aroma is of roasted malts and coffee beans. Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with low carbonation and feels soft and creamy. Flavors of chocolate, coffee and a touch of vanilla lead to a mellow finish. Excellent drinkability from this porter.

Photo of orbitalr0x
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2007 fresh bomber. Pours into my glass a deep black with dark brown hues on the edges. An inch of creamy tan head sits on top and lingers. Aromas begin with a big bold sweet cocoa and lots of rich brewed coffee as well. Creamy with a piney hop aroma in there as well. Light caramel with lots of roastiness overall. A touch of vanilla. Very enticing aroma, seems to have less hop presence than previous years.

First sip brings a roasted dark malt that's flowing with rich chocolate and coffee flavors right off the bat. Hints of caramel and a touch of vanilla. It moves into slightly floral, piney hops that bring along a nice touch of bitterness. Finishes with a wonderful chocolate aftertaste. Yum.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, chewy, smooth and creamy. Spot on for a porter, it never gets too heavy. Quite a drinkable brew and one I always look forward to imbibing in large quantities around this time of year. Glad to see it on the shelves again. I give this one my approval yet again...go get a few bombers!!

Photo of blitz134
4.33/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Received in a trade from BeerBeing...been wanting to try this one for a while...

Darkest porter I've ever seen. Only a hint of light comes through in the crevices of my pint glass. Pours with a tan half inch head that reduces to a thick layer.

Quite a blend of aromas. Toasted malts with a little sweet caramel. Some dark ripe fruits come through. A little alcohol rounds it out. A bit of pine hops to boot. I don't seem to notice as much as other reviewers.

Damn, this is a tasty brew. So many flavors are swirled together resulting in an amazing taste. Not a whole lot of toasted flavors, a little, but not as dominate as the others. Smoke develops as it warms. It does have a bit of a toffee to it. A good bit of sweetness overall in the beginning while cold but subsides as it warms; caramel and dark ripe fruits once again. Finishes with a good bit of bitterness. Alcohol isn't as noticable in the taste. All of this works extremely well together. This is not the usual understated porter.

Mouthfeel is medium. Fairly creamy. Coats the mouth just long enough to let the flavors meld but each express themselves. This is an extremely drinkable beer. An awesome flavor and a nice mouthfeel.

Photo of marvin213
4.41/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The liquid looks pretty normal: black, little bit of head...that's basically it. Swirling the glass does produce impressive lacing (particularly for a porter), but I was going +0.5 on the cool Three Floyds bottle (and cap) anyways.

This beer's nose is indeed exceptional, unlike any other Christmas concoction I've tried. The chocolate is background at best (more apparent, I suppose, in the black appearance), the hops are there via lacing (again, appearance), but the smell is sweetly unique. Based on the label's description, I guess it's the Mexican sugar. It probably wouldn't smell like this all by itself, but kudos to FFF for such a treat. While novel in its aroma, it still seems seasonal--I'm sensing brown sugar...and (maybe) some ginger; regardless, it's alluring like sweet Christmas cookies!

This brew oozes character. The English chocolate malts are indeed like a medium on which the sugar and American hops dance a jig. It actually tastes like equal parts of each ingredient. Though unlike a dessert beer--all congnacy and strong--it's like dessert IN a beer: hopped-up sugar and chocolate. There's a bitterness in the aftertaste that dulls this effect but, undoubtedly, it's among the neatest beers I've come across.

Aside from that bittering, it's like a cookie fresh out the oven. It must be the hops that make the sugar tingle; meanwhile, the chocolate coats cheeks. I expect something like this is trial-and-error (I mean, really, how do folks come up with stuff like this?), but this feels like a well-designed beer.

As with most unique tastes, you don't want to overdo it. It's novel enough to share with Christmas party strangers, and good enough for me to pursue each and every year. Alongside Gumballhead, this beer puts fits Three Floyds on the frontier of craft brewing.

Photo of shapudding
4.82/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

No dating, but from the 2004 batch. Poured a deep, dark, rich, black brown. Deep khaki head that settled down as a thick and creamy head, but left only a dusting with islands drifting across, and a very thick ring of large bubbles. Scents of chocolate, coffee, and darknes. Smooth, luscious creaminess and decently carbinated. Great, dark maltiness and yummy hoppiness. Wonderfully drinkable!

Photo of tjthresh
3.36/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This is the first pint that I enjoyed at the Three Floyds brewpub. It was presented in an English pint glass. Dark brown with a huge dense rocky head that didn’t want to go away. The nose was all hops. Amarillos if I had to guess. Some chocolate and roast flavor. A touch sweet, but the hops were the feature act here too. A bit on the thinner side. Overall, Alpha Klause did not live up to expectations.

Photo of merlin48
4.63/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

What a winter treat this one is. 22 oz bomber pours a deep dark brown body that is opaque until held to the light, illuminating a ruby tinted clarity. Healthy tan head has garnet fringes and rises a few centimeters, falling into a steady cap with immense patch lacing.
Aroma is hops. Pine, spruce, and grass are obvious, and there are dark roasted malts in the background. Quite interesting to pick up such profound hop aromas from such a dark ale.
The moutfeel is exceptional. I rate a 5 for mouthfeel only when I find myself swirling a sip around in my mouth for several seconds, out of pure enjoyment, pleasure, and wonderment. This has such a mouthfeel. Medium to full bodied, with ample carbonation which bounces the hop bite off the roasted maltiness. Yummy!
Taste is more hops than roasted malt, but both are here in excellent proportion. Pine and grassy hops, with a hint of tangerine, atop a smooth chocolate malt backbone. Roasted coffee bitterness balances, but is mild in taste. Toasty barley malt flavors are constantly peaking through, but the hops really run the show here. This is really a treat to sip and savor.
Unique, fascinating, and exceptional. The best winter seasonal I've ever sampled, and I'm really fond of Mad Elf and Cold Mountain. Judicious use of hops here transforms a very good winter porter into an excellent winter seasonal. Three Floyds has really raised the bar with this superior brew. A big thank you to orbitalr0x is in order.

Photo of fdrich29
3.95/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This bottle was given to me by the one and only Warriorsoul.

I just learned my Holiday part at Dick's Last Resort won't be until January 30th, so any anxiety I had about drinking this beer well after Christmas has disappeared. Justification is a wonderful luxuary the human condition holds dear.

Minimal head sits atop this figgy looking adult beverage. A bit of fine lacing lines the Westmalle Trappist challice I chose to vessel this bit of holiday cheer.

Smells strongly of roasted malts and chocolate. Smooth malt and chocolate taste.

Very thin in the mouth. Roastiness lingers well after the beer has made it's way "down the chimney".

This is a surprisingly easy drinkin' porter. Goes down very smoothly.

I now have the sudden urge to find my copies of Emmit Otter's Jugband Christmas and the Charlie Brown Christmas episode.

Photo of warriorsoul
4.35/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to IrishMike for this one....Xmas in August it is.
Pours an extremely dark black w/ a full finger of light brown head w/ a gentle pour....decent amount of lacing.
Smells real good...amaretto, some espresso and a hefty dose of dark chocolate.
Taste is more of the same and then add in a decent amount of bitter hops...will have to find this one fresh to compare. No alcohol detected until the very last few sips.
Mouthfeel is quite thick, but not cloying...carbonation is nice and the finish is very clean.
Another great offering from 3F...could enjoy this one all evening if only I had more.

Photo of badbeer
4.13/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Christmas '05 Edition.

Black with a stunning tan head leaving excellent lacing. Complex smell of pine, coffee, currants, and chocolate. Coffee starts you off, then pine with a dry roasted and chocolate finish. Low carbonation and light bodied, I could stand a little more body. I enjoyed it and look forward to trying it again.

Photo of Mora2000
3.88/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to thirdeye11 for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours a dark brown color with a tan head. The aroma is strong toffee malt and coffee. The flavor is coffee and roasted malt. The flavor is pretty basic American porter. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

Photo of jakester
4.6/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I got this bomber at Union Jack's on the Manatawny. I drank it in a goblet.

Pours an almost opaque ruby/garnet with brown tints and a two finger head of tan foam. Head eventually falls to islands and a ring, with fantastic lacing throughout the drink.

Aroma is a very complex combination of cocoa, coffee, vanilla, really spicy pine sap, dark fruits like prunes or dates, and big dark bread notes.

Flavor is this huge chocolatey pine needles, on the sweet side, with a fairly big hop bitterness to back it up. Fruits like gin soaked raisins and dates come through. Aftertaste is sweet chocolate, pine sap, and a slightly drying roastiness. Delicious beer!

Mouthfeel is really smooth and creamy, with soft carbonation.There is a nice bite on the tongue from bitterness, and the lips stick together from lingering sweetness. Finish is sweet, very slightly astringent from roasted malts, and slightly warm from alcohol.

This is an absolutely delicious beer, and as a holiday beer, it's perfect. Deep dark chocolate, spicy pine hops, luxurious mouthfeel, and a nice alcohol kick to boot. I need more!

Photo of gibgink
4.27/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This was a pleasant departure from the normal assortment of porters that are out there. I picked up hops and Christmas spices on the nose. This is really the first beer I've had where the hop presence was in the taste, but not in a dominating(unpleasant for me) manner. Overall a good beer, would have again.

Photo of kingcrowing
3.92/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber poured into a pint glass - 2008 bottle.

Pours a very dark brown with a one finger fluffy light brown head. Nose os surprisingly hoppy with a nice solid maltiness. Very nice lacing.

Mouthfeel is smooth and rich without being too thick, adds to the drinkability, it's smooth and has light carbonation. Taste is rich and roasty, light dark chocolate flavors as well as some holiday spiciness as well.

Photo of Osiris9588
4.37/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bomber, no date. Pours a black color, nearly opaque except for a slight caramel glow at the base when held to the light. The beigh head didn't firm up all that much, but showed decent retention and left a fair amount of lacing.

The aroma is toasty and nutty, hints of chocolate, toffee, and some tree bark.The flavor follows, with a strong carob and grainy coffee finish. It improved greatly as it warmed, more subtle and nuanced.

The mouth is medium bodied, rather light compared to some porters. It deomonstrates solid complexity, lighter and cherry-like on the tip of the tongue, then dries nicely on the luscious finish. A tip o' the cap sirs.

Photo of dogfishandi
4.42/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

big thanks to scott (theportersorter) for bringing this to our last tasting!

22oz bottle poured into a darkness snifter.

pours out pretty much black, some brown noticable on the edges, tannish colored head.

lots of evergreen piney woody hops with lots of burnt roast, almost a bit of smokiness?

again, piney, woody hops meet burnt roasted malts. some cocoa, and a roasty bitter finish.

medium to full in body, almost a bit sticky.

overall, no x-mas spices or what not, but it still some how tastes like christmas. almost a black IPA, very nice. id love some more of this.

Photo of ehammond1
3.53/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle (2011)

Acquired via trade
Thanks, dannyfrost!

Dark brown body with ruby highlights. The head is light brown, moderately sized, and eventually leaves spots of stick down the glass.

A fine aroma consisting of roasted malt, earthy and somewhat piney hops, a bit of smoke, and a small amount of licorice.

The flavor is dominated by the roasted malts complemented by dark fruits, earthy hops, and some licorice.

Medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

An above average example of the style, but after having this multiple times now, it always leaves something to be desired.

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Alpha Klaus Christmas (Xmas) Porter from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 2,009 ratings.