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
93
outstanding

719 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

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Reviews: 719
Hads: 2,018
rAvg: 4.18
pDev: 5.5%
Wants: 266
Gots: 318 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 719 | Hads: 2,018
Photo of falloutsnow
3.88/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From: Binny's, Schaumburg, IL
Date: None
Glass: Tulip

Three Floyd's Alpha Klaus is a hop-forward American porter, with focus on the hops growing as the beer warms. Charred or roasted malt mixed with pine (primary) and grapefruit (secondary) hop characters are the dominant characters of this beer. The feel of the Klaus is somewhat thin, appropriate for a porter, but perhaps too much so for a 6% ABV beer. Ultimately similar to their Black Sun Stout in many ways, for ample pine-like hop flavors mixed with chocolate malts, I'd choose the brewery's Black Sun Stout over this in general, I think.

Pours a tall, 2.5cm head of dark tan to light brown bubbles, small in size, very dense in appearance. Retention is average, lasting a bit over a minute, as the head settles to a thin cap atop the body, thicker around the sides. Lacing is slightly above average, the head leaving many small dots, and a few larger clumps, of foam along the perimeter of the glass. The body is dark brown to black, opaque, with carbonation not being visible through the void of color.

Aroma is of some papery ash with fainter roasted malt and chocolate notes, which are mixed with mild pine and grapefruit-like hops. The result is a bit like inhaling the smoke from a pine-scented cigarette, not altogether pleasant, though not too unpleasant, either. In general, I'd say that the beer has a bold aroma, which I'd expect from Three Floyds, but it is not one of their better-smelling creations.

In taste, Alpha Klaus is not so much about alpha acids as it is about fairly balanced chocolate malt with pine-like hops. The front of palate is fairly generic sweetness, perhaps from the Mexican sugar, with hints of roasted malt. Mid-palate of pine and grapefruit-like hops welded to a solid backdrop of charred and chocolate malts, not particularly bitter, but with detectable bitterness. Back of palate with obvious charred malt and chocolate flavors, with a slight increase of pine and grapefruit-like hops and a touch of ethanol. Lingering aftertaste of pine resin-like hops that coat the mouth fairly well, with moderate-to-mild bitterness and a bit of roasted malt sweetness and flavor.

Beer is medium to medium-light in body, with carbonation of medium intensity. This leads to a slightly prickly, fizzy mouthfeel at first, which then fades to a marginally foamy, generally smooth mouthfeel for the remainder of the sip. Ethanol can be felt flashing across the throat, or upon the tongue (if held there). Closes dry, with fairly substantial stickiness across the palate. (2,555 characters)

Photo of jpalarchio
3.86/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours very dark but very thin for a porter. Smells almost of pine needles; maybe it's the whole "christmas" thing that has me thinking of pine needles.

I think there is a lot of unfounded hype around this one. It's good but like most FFF I've had, price per beer is just way too high for what you're getting. One 22oz vs a six-pack of Bell's Porter and I'll take the Bell's hands down.

Pretty drinkable although the 7.5% seems a bit low; this one really hit me.

Good to try, wouldn't be a regular beer I would seek out. (522 characters)

Photo of jpiper
3.86/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured at celler temp into 2 snifters.

Dark black with an off-white head which turns quickly into a thin layer.

Coffee is the dominant aroma, with other warm roasted malts, a floral hop note, and a slight sourness.

This turns out to be a somewhat classic, light-bodied, coffee, smokey porter. Not quite as special as I was hoping, but still good. My wife, who knew what was coming next, immediately set it down figuring it wasn't worth the calories. My reaction wasn't nearly that strongly negative - but I like a porter.

Light, with high carbonation. A little mouth-coating, but minor.

Easy drinking, though not terribly interesting.

There are several other porters I'd much rather drink. Somewhat of a letdown.

http://foodbeertravel.wordpress.com/2009/01/10/alpha-klaus/ (779 characters)

Photo of chuckm
3.86/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A very good beer just a little more hops than I expected from a porter. One that carrys a well hidden kick while being drank, color looked right for a porter but both flavor and mouthfeel seemed off from what I expect. Maybe the flaw is in the reviewer but not one of the FFF I'll buy again. (291 characters)

Photo of angrybabboon
3.85/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Cheers to Goblinmunkey7 for sharing this

Appearance: Deep, dark brown with some lighter brown around the edges - pours with a medium brown head, leaves some nice streaks of lacing

Smell: Dark, cooked, roasty malts and some hops - not the freshest bottle of this, but there are definitely some hops here, leafy and kind of herbal - some dark chocolate, baker's chocolate, semisweet chocolate - some roast and lightly burnt malts - some sweetness and what smells like some spices

Taste: Dark chocolate and some general spiciness - dark chocolate, chocolate malts, some baker's chocolate - some roasty, burnt bitterness, as well as some leafy, herbal, piney bitterness from the hops - some hints of dark fruits and some caramelized sweetness, but finishes dry

Mouthfeel: Medium, nicely carbonated, smooth, finishes very dry with some cinnamon-like spice

Overall: Maybe a beta klaus

This is definitely a nice porter, but the combination of roast and hoppiness could be a little better. Definitely good, but not the best from Three Floyds (which isn't much of a criticism). (1,074 characters)

Photo of AgentZero
3.85/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Shared by some kind BA at the BA gathering at GI.

A - Deep brown, almost black, with a tan head that left a nice bit of lacing on the sides. Somehow the browner color gives it a more interesting look than just plain black.

S - Pretty sweet. Sugar and coffee and chocolate with a little bit of fruity note.

T - Somewhat roasty, with chocolate notes and surprising sweet fruit flavor. I was not expecting this to be as sweet as it was, but perhaps because it is a Christmas porter, it is a little sweeter than normal.

M - Smooth, creamy, light carbonation.

D - Pretty solid, although it feels bigger than it's 6%, which is good or bad depending on if you want to feel drunk or if you want something to placate your need for beer but not mess you up. I'd drink this again. (775 characters)

Photo of robbyc1
3.85/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Looks like a nice roasty porter, with a decent tan head.

The nose gives you a huge grapefruit smell, not unexpected from these guys. The deep malt backbone holds up well and makes it a very well made Imperial type porter. Not a lot of ocmplexity, just a good drinking porter.

Rich and creamy mouthfeel, thinner than expected. Drinks well overall an nice try here. (365 characters)

Photo of YankChef
3.85/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

poured into uk size pint

appearance: deep dark black/brown with some light coming through the edges. nice offwhite pillowy head that makes some nice lacing

smell: subtle hints of chocolate, also some spice like peppercorn and maybe a little vanilla

Taste: Lots of hops for the style, taste is complex and malty with pretty prominent bitterness akin to the peppercorns. Espresso type bitterness, srved pretty warm its all coming right out at me.

overall: a bit hoppy i thought, with another 3-6 months on it i bet this one is really nice but that kind defeats the point. I have been a little un-impressed with FFF to be honest (630 characters)

Photo of chaz01
3.85/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

650 ml bottle that's been aged in cellar for at least a year, poured into a snifter glass.

A: Dark brown, black, with a tannish brown head. Beer is very dark, thick and opaque.

S: Roasted malt flavors including some chocolate flavors.

T: Semi-sweet taste of cocoa initially, followed by a little bit of a cocoa-mint taste. Finishes with more cocoa flavors and just a little hint of roasted coffee.

M: Creamy mouthfeel reminds me of chocolate milk, just enough carbonation.

D: Nice sipping beer on a cold winter night. Very smooth and easily drinkable at 6%. (562 characters)

Photo of t0rin0
3.85/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Yet another beer shared by azagthoth in his fridge clearing event yesterday. 22oz bottle.

Pours very dark brown, real small tan head, no lacing, not much retention but I guess the lack of head is forgiveable given the style.

Aroma is of roast, chocolate, and alcohol in that order. Didn't detect much hops in the nose(certainly not like the other reviews would suggest), just a little hint of some citrus. Smells more like a stout.

Flavor is more of a sweet porter. Some brown ale flavors coming out, ie nuttiness. Not much roast or bitterness, some booze and chocolate flavors make things interesting. Possibly a hint of spiciness but that could be hops, don't know.

Body is medium, CO2 is ample, the beer warms as you drink it. Not a bad beer over all. (759 characters)

Photo of Tsar_Riga
3.84/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A - This is a beautiful pour, dark, almost black, topped with a lovely head with persistence and complex latticing.

S - The nose gave me the first sign that I was in for something different. The hops were forward, with only hints of the chocolate, roast and malt I expect from a porter.

T - Confirming what my nose had told me, the initial flavors of coffee quickly gave way to a strong citrus and pine smack of hoppiness. The finish was strong and bitter, and that dry, biting flavor held long after I finished. Not unpleasant, but a more powerfully hopped brew than I anticipated.

M - Moderate carbonation and a fairly thin consistency. No motor oil, to be sure. Strong drying sensation on the back-end.

O - If you are looking for the kind of friendly spice and roasted goodness you might expect from an Xmas Porter, you will not find it here. Not that that is a bad thing. This beer was extraordinary. I would not have expected the citrus to live so well with the roasted notes. Unfortunately, I think the hops is a touch out of balance, eclipsing some of the other notes. (1,079 characters)

Photo of Jaycase
3.83/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

a: Black as night. Large mocha colored head. Decent lacing.

s: Chocolate is the most predominant aroma. Perhaps some coffee present too.

t: Here too chocolate is the most predominant. Roasted malts. Piney hop presence in the background

m: medium body, medium carbonation,

o: Very drinkable. The blend of flavors is nothing extraordinary but still very much a good beer. Perfect for a cool autumn evening. Definitely worth a try. (433 characters)

Photo of vrbulldog22
3.83/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

My introduction to Three Floyds.
Pours black, small white head, nothing out of the ordinary for a porter so far..
Smells of coffee and... hops? Wait - isn't this a porter?
Initial taste is coffee, malt & hints of chocolate, quickly followed by hops hops hops. More like a black IPA than a porter.
Smooth in the mouth, but dries you out. The carbonation made it feel almost foamy.
Overall tasted great, and i would definitely have again, though it wasn't what i expected from a "christmas porter." (497 characters)

Photo of BarryMFBurton
3.83/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Yet another selection from my Three Floyds monthly beer sampling: Alpha Klaus. And I must say, it’s been too long; if I’d had it my way, I’d have had this beer on the first of the month. Still, I’m lucky enough to be trying it, so I’m grateful. Here’s to the beginning of the holiday season!

A: A smooth, shining black body; looks dark yet lively, perfect for the weather. A testament to how foam should develop, the head on this boasts a hearty three-fingered brown cream on first pour. It condenses to a silky dark tan silk, with a trail of thick, textbook lacing in its wake. Retention is slight, but it’s the only thing keeping this one from a perfect look.

S: An odd array of aromas: in the beginning, for instance, I’m getting a big whiff of chocolate malts, coffee, and pumpkin pie spice, but not without a thick anise/medicinal scent. It reminds me a bit of Stone’s 15th Anniversary Black IPA, which had a stomach-churning nose I really didn’t like. In this case, though, it’s just a fleeting moment that’s overtaken by a rich aroma of dark chocolate and even more holiday spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, candied fruits, and other strange potpourri). Rounding it out is a very piney hop bitterness, which blends quite well with the semi-sweet chocolate. Quite a complex nose, but with a strong foundation of rich chocolate.

T: Not as strong as the nose let on, but with just as much chocolate: the palate warms up with a taste of gooey chocolate brownies and chocolate-covered almonds. It’s fudgy and delicious, but more on the bittersweet/pure cocoa side to pump up the hops as they climb toward the front. Believe me, though, these powerful pines need no help to be noticed, seeing as their tart presence instantly takes command; the chocolate, though, does seem to soothe the beast. Instead of overpowering blasts of style-busting pines, they move more into the realm of earthy cocoa powder. Bitter, though in a complex way. After, loveably fresh flowers provide a smooth leafy foundation for a few flavors of herbs and Christmas spice. Finish is dry and roasty – still pretty earthy.

M: Light and watery, like an English Porter, though not without its American prickliness. Not mouthcoating or anything else: overall, the feel is pretty much 50/50 of just those first two textures.

O: This is good beer, though not my favorite combination of flavors. It’s a big chocolate dream, powered by a bitter sting of pine-cone hops, which are two elements that are right up my alley. But, while these flavors have some great moments, I don’t think this beer will ever be one of my favorites. Pick one up, though; it’s pretty tasty! (2,667 characters)

Photo of Rifugium
3.83/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

First had: on tap at Miller's Pub, Chicago, IL

Poured a murky dark brown with a foamy tan head that retained well and left some sticky lace on the glass. Smooth toasty caramel malts in the aroma, complimented by big piney hops and a chocolatey essence. The taste followed the aroma, with lots of caramel, chocolate, pine, with notes of cinnamon and brown sugar. Smooth and satisfying, medium-almost-full-bodied, and pleasantly drinkable. (438 characters)

Photo of Duffman929
3.83/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2011 Bottle

A: Dark brown color by pour and has a tan colored head that is pretty prominent. Carries a nice, thick lace during the drink.

S: Roasted malts and hoppy/bitter. Coffee maybe?

T: Malted porter nature but has a bitter flavor at the end. Has a piney quality that wasn't expected. No real aftertaste that holds. Kind of light.

M: Thicker feel during the drink. Sweet, hoppy.

Overall, I enjoyed this porter. Much hoppier than most that I have had recently, so it was a good change of pace. I will look forward to having again next year, but I won't go out of my way to get it. (590 characters)

Photo of scottfrie
3.83/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle opened by someone generous at a recent tasting.

A: Pours a raisin brown with a finger of dark foam that faded into a thin collar of a head.
S: Sweet smelling with a bit of chocolate, coffee and dark fruits.
T: Dark fruits dominate. I get flavors of nuts, chocolate, cinnamon, and leather in the aftertaste with a bit of smoke as well.
M: Medium-thin body, low carbonation, creamy mouthfeel that goes down smooth. The alcohol is barely noticeable but not super distracting.
O: Solid porter for sure. Great sweetness and balance. I can’t wait to try this again. (579 characters)

Photo of Wasatch
3.83/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to ybnorml for this one. I forgot I had it, sat around for about 7 months.

Pours a black color, nice carbonation, nice creamy tan head which lasts for quite awhile, very nice sticky lacing throughout the drink. The nose is of slight sweet malts, slight vanilla, and coffee/caramel. The taste follows the nose pretty much, their is a nice bitter finish. Medium body. Drinkable, a nice offering from 3Fs. (412 characters)

Photo of BeerLover99
3.83/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: solid black with hue of dark brown/mahogany, trace head evident. good lacing occurred.

S: coffee, roasted nuts, bitter chocolate, malt.

T: sweet chocolate and malt up front with hint of roasted nuts and bitter in the finish.

M: medium body, very smooth pour and drink. a little more carbonation than I like in my porters, but the flavors make up for it.

D: Quite good. Not my favorite porter, but a good one and nice offering by Three Floyds; give it a spin. (468 characters)

Photo of jrallen34
3.83/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I drank this from a 22 oz bottle into my rochefort chalice.

This beer pours black with about 2 fingers of medium tan head. The retention is really good as it takes about 5 minutes to go down completely. As it falls there a nice chunks and lots of soapy lacing that covers all sides of the glass.

The aroma is very very strong. It smells like smoke which is amazing to me, never smelled that in anything other than a rauch. There are also some notes of oak and coffee.

The taste is also wood/smoke that is quite intriguing. I would have thought this was a smoked porter. There are small hints of hops and coffee.

The beer is very heavy on the palate but limited in drinkability. (683 characters)

Photo of BMoney575
3.82/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Sampled on 12-5-09

Pours a very deep black, with just a hint of blood red at the bottom of the glass. Almost no head, just a cluster of tan colored bubbles.

Smell is all big malt, tons of complexity. Strong aromas of anise and smoke, maybe a little cinnamon and clove. The end is all chocolate, with a kind from the hops. Outstanding.

Taste has a "Christmas" edge that totally ruins things. A spice I can't quite place, maybe mint, dominates the flavor. The malt is fresh and tart, and the booze adds extra bite.

Mouthfeel is good, maybe a little too thin and a little too much carbonation.

Drinkability is not so hot, only because I'm not a fan of the flavor.

Overall, reminds me of an Anchor Christmas, which I don't like. Try it though, If your tastes are different. (775 characters)

Photo of Halcyondays
3.82/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a 22 oz. bomber, courtesy of an unknown Beachwood patron,

A: Pours a dark brown with a medium tan head, spotty lace.

S: Dark chocolate, Dutch cocoa, hint of coffee, charcoal, straight up porter nose.

T: Creamed coffee, dark chocolate with a nice roasted malt undecurrent. Well made, classic flavours.

M: Medium-bodied, drying finish, crisp carbonation.

O: A beer I had a long time ago, well before I was a BA, so it was cool to revisit it. I remember when this you to be in the old Top 100. I don't think it's that good, but it's very solid and a nice holiday treat. (576 characters)

Photo of MaxSpang
3.81/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a tulip.

APPEARANCE

The beer is very dark and it looks thick, much like a stout. The head was huge, light brown, and has tiny bubbles which makes it look like a big fluffy pillow. Lacing was pretty high, and this beer looks gorgeous!

SMELL

Tons of chocolate in this guy. It's a nice sweet and milky chocolate smell, and is followed by slight coffee smell. There is a nice citrus hop smell that's to be expected with a Three Floyds beer. Very nice roasted malt notes. It smells wonderful!

TASTE

Chocolate is the number one flavor in this beer. It starts off as a nice milky taste, then finishes as a bitter dark chocolate. There's some nice coffee notes as well as some lovely citrus hops. I don't taste any Mexican sugar, but I'm assuming that it fermented out. This is a really nice porter!

MOUTHFEEL

This beer is very drinkable. It starts off with a nice medium body, but finishes dry and bitter. It's not as thick as it looks, but the small bubbles make it slightly creamy.

OVERALL

Fantastic porter! It's. It's a nice balance between bitter and sweetness, and it would work well as an after dinner beer. The citrus hops are nice, and they don't overpower at all. Very nice "festive cousin" to Alpha King!

Cheers. (1,238 characters)

Photo of kegger22
3.81/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Alpha Klaus pours brown, almost black with a huge, creamy tan head that faded quickly. The aroma was predominately coffee. The taste was also coffee with an alcohol taste as it warmed up. Carbonation is not all spent in the head, medium body. Drinkability is OK. Not bad for a porter, but Three Floyd's missed their usual mark of excellence. (341 characters)

Photo of daftafne
3.8/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a goblet, appeared as dark cola and had a scant tan head (I could have poured it with more vigor). Smelled spicy, with pine, coffee/espresso/roasted malts and a hint of toffee. The bittering hops were fairly prominent in the taste. Started sweet (not cloying) then some good piney hops which gave way to chocolate/coffee and a finishing bitter. Medium body, medium-low carbonation. Just a tad sticky on the palate. A really nice porter - certainly a good, warming brew to enjoy on a winter's day. (508 characters)

Alpha Klaus Christmas (Xmas) Porter from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 719 ratings.