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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.

722 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 722
Hads: 2,023
Avg: 4.16
pDev: 10.34%
Wants: 270
Gots: 321 | FT: 18
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: 722 | Hads: 2,023
Photo of Auracom
3.67/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Taking on this one solo. 22 oz. bottle on December 30th, 2011, poured into a Bruery tulip.

A - Nothing much to see here. Flat, matte brown with a light khaki head. Not much retention, just some bubbles linger on top. Typical lacing.

S - At first, it's mostly milk chocolate bar and a touch of cinnamon. Closer to room temp, milk chocolate combines with lots of mexican sugar, light fruit, syrup, and slight coffee bean.

T - A bit of a contrast, plentiful dark chocolate and espresso flavors. Definite hop bitterness, citrus, and pine cut through near the backend of the drink.

M - Medium body, fair carbonation, good smoothness. Medium length finish and bitter finish.

D - That mexican sugar is really noticeable and fits well with the blend. I do wish there was a bit less espresso and more of that milk chocolate in the drink. Preferences aside, it's a good brew that is exactly what I'd expect from FFF during the holidays.

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Photo of bigdeuce
3.67/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This is an interesting brew. Pours a nice head, creamy and chocolatey. Dark chocolate looking almost opaque black. Very full mouthfeel. Smells of dark chocolate and tons of hops. Very odd to have these hops in this brew. Leaves good lacing and is a nice refreshing beer.

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Photo of ChiPool
3.67/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bomber poured into Duvel tulip.

AK pours the darkest brown color, if not all-out black. Generous amount of head is also present: 1.5 inches, dark cream colored. Nice aroma on this one: roasty malts dominate. Taste offers more of the roasty malts, with a bit of earthy hops on the back end. Mouthfeel is on the thin side of medium.

Glad that I tried it, but I will stick more to RIS offerings, especially for the price.

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Photo of SchaefMan
3.66/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

So, this one took a while for me to get from the bottle into the glass. It poured a nearly opaque black, with a tan head that I could not avoid, and took time to disperse.

The smell had some vaque molasses or brown sugar, but very mild.

The taste had roasted malts, some coffee, and the characteristic hops, with a slight aftertaste, but not unpleasant.

The mouthfeel consisted of strong, carbonation, but not too much. I could also feel what I saw in the glass. You could see how it clung to the sides of the glass, as if it had some viscosity to it.

I am not a porter guy, or stout for that matter, so I could not drink this all the time, but I am glad I tried this, because it was full of flavor, some of which I am still trying to peg.

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Photo of BlindPig
3.66/5  rDev -12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A- Thin tan head that fades fast. Maybe a hint of red in the head. It is very black.
S- Coffee. Really nothing else besides a little sweet.
T- Has a sweeter taste and really couldn't pin point anything to much for the actual taste but in the aftertaste it was pretty strong coffee and seemed a bit smokey also.
M-Medium body maybe a bit thin. Light/medium carbonation.
D- It is to coffee for me not all bad though. I not big fan of porters or stouts (do prefer stouts) and I do try to keep opinion out when I am doing my review besides in drinkability.

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Photo of JiminKY
3.65/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I am a big fan of American Porter and have tasted many examples. This is a good one, though not among the best I've had, and not really what I would hope for at the price point ($8.50 for a 22oz bomber).

A- A very dark beer with a thick tan head that dissipates to a ring around the edge of the beer and leaves a trailing lace around the glass as it empties. Somewhat darker than what might be expected of the style, but appealing nonetheless.

S- Smell is quite good, though a little sharper than expected. Hints of flowery hops replace the enticingly rich coffee notes of many other examples of this style.

T- Here, as in the smell, astringently bitter hop notes replace the smoother, more comforting tastes of coffee and chocolate. An interesting taste, though not entirely distinct from the much less expensive Sierra Nevada Porter. Not in the same league as Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald or Bert Grant's Perfect Porter. Additionally, by it's name, one might expect some "holiday" type spices, but if they are present, they are not evident as in other holiday offerings.

M- A bit thin, crisp and dry compared to the better porters I've had. Not bad in the realm of beer as a whole, but not necessarily what I look for in a good porter.

D- Not as smooth a beer as I look for a porter to be. More of a "challenge" than the easy-drinking porters I've most enjoyed. And at 7.5%, possibly a little dangerous to relax with for an entire evening, without worrying about over-imbibing.

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Photo of dlello2
3.65/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served at a family beer tasting out of a bomber into tasting glasses.

A - Looks like a christmas party (well, the bottle does). Beer is a dark amber-brown. Looks like a think coffee. Plenty of head.

S - Somewhat earthy sweetness mixed with that 3 floyds hop/citrus accent. Almost smell some carrots.

T - Smoky molasses with caramel. It's spicy at the end with some chocolate. None of the flavors strike too hard.

M - Nice amount of carbonation for a porter. Not as thin of a body as the appearance would suggest.

O - Not too special, but certainly an enjoyable porter. Lots of spice with a pleasant aftertaste.

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Photo of DovaliHops
3.65/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very dark brown color with a medium off-white head. Scent is very hoppy...wasn't expecting that. Very hoppy with some roasted malt aroma with a hint of Christmas spice. Taste is not as hoppy as the nose implies. Roasted malt flavors with a bit of chocolate. Some piney hop flavors and just a bit of spice. Mouthfeel is medium bodied...not as thick as I was hoping. Drinkability is fairly high. Overall, this does not taste like a typical American Porter to me. Drinks more like a black IPA.

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Photo of phisig137
3.64/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a solid black, with a huge, long lasting head. Cascades of bubbles fall down the head into the beer, and leave behind huge amounts of lace, and a cragy head.

Aroma is hoppy, with hints of roasted malts and chocolate.

Flavor is filled with roasted malts, coffee, and a bit of chocolate. Dry, slightly hoppy finish. Very well balanced and crafted. Mouthfeel is full and smooth... I'd swear that this came out of a cask if I didn't know any better. Drinkability is good, as this one hides its relatively high 7.5% very well. Drinks like a 4.5% beer.

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Photo of tewaris
3.63/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

Kickin' fresh Christmas Porter brewed with Mexican sugar among other things. What's with FFF and different sugars?

Bomber poured into a Lion stout mug. Thanks Dan!

Beautiful looking beer, dark brown and clear with a chocolaty, thick and creamy head that formed in cascades. Great lacing and retention as well. Smells of roasted malts, chocolate and general sweetness. No hops in the aroma whatsoever.

Tastes sweet and chocolaty but the bitterness quickly takes over. Finishes quite bitter and slightly roasty. I understand this is Alpha King's cousin and all but the bitterness, frankly, is clashing. The aftertaste is rather empty too. However, the biggest culprit is the rather thin body that makes the beer taste rather empty.

Overall a good porter but unbalanced for no good reason. Not in the same league as Edmund Fitzgerald or Cutthroat.

4.5, 4, 3.5, 2, 4

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Photo of SaCkErZ9
3.62/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks go out to SPLITGRIN for this one.

Pours from a 22oz bottle into a pint glass. Nearly opaque with chocolate highlights underneath. Small mocha head that doesnt last very long. Nice bit of lacing down the side of the glass.

Aroms is actually a bit hoppy. I havent smelled hops in a porter before, but I guess a Holiday porter is as good a time as any to throw in some hop aroma. Plenty of good chocolate and coffee aromas as well.

More hop flavor as well. The roasted grains seemed to take a bit of a backseat to the hop flavor. Sweet up front as well. Hop bitterness in the end. Sticky on the tongue.

Glad I got to try this. I could see myself having a couple of these once or twice a year. There was a little too much sweetness and that could get a bit cloying after 22oz. A nice solid beer that is certainly different than any other porter I have ever had. Originality points but point detractions for "style" purposes.

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Photo of ThirstyBird
3.62/5  rDev -13%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Super dark brown with reddish highlights. Tan head that fall to a ring.
S - Roasted malt, smokey, coffee.
T - Smokey, roasty with some fruit and hops.
M/F - A bit thin on body. Nice carbonation though.
D - Interesting and intensely smokey. Light thin body is a fault in my opinion.

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Photo of beerman207
3.62/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Been wanting to try this for a while now. Finally got around to buying it.

A: Dark brown with a tan head

S: Chocolate, malt, smells sweet

T: On the first few sips of this beer, It was almost a drain pour. Not sure why it was so bad on the first part of the pour but the second half of the bottle is what I'm reviewing now. - Coffee, malt, chocolate, slightly sweet.

M: - Mild mouthfeel

D: Decent but not as impressive as other offerings.

Not sure if I had a bad bottle or what was going on with this one. Just a strange session experience. In any event. Not the best porter - but not the worst.

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Photo of phichifiji00
3.61/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into tulip glass.

Appearance: Black with a light tan head that fades quickly. Moderate lacing.

Smell: Hops, sublte roasted notes, pine resin.

Taste: roasted malt, some coffee notes, hops, a bit astringent.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied, moderate carbonation, crisp, dry finish.

Overall: A tasty black IPA. The doesn't taste like a porter to me.

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Photo of oracle
3.58/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

After hearing months of talk, all anxiously awaiting this particular brew, I waited breathlessly for Roger to bring me my 20 oz imperial pint (serverd in a traditional english pint glass). Maybe I need to drink more porters to compare, because this was just not quite as good as I was led to believe it was, although it is quite good. It's just not one of the all time greats.

This was a deep dark black hole of a beer, from which no light could escape. It had a 1/2 inch head of dense creamy tan foam that left slightly less lacing than I expected it to, based on the way it looked.

Smell was pleasant. Lots of sweet malt, with mild toffee and carmel notes.

Tasting this beer was a very very slight let down. I guess that based on all the comments I had been hearing, in my mind I had built this up to be the be-all and end-all of all porters. Now don't get me wrong. This is one darn fine porter. I'm just not sure it's worth getting as worked up over as some people I have seen do.

It's rich, smooth and delicious. Lots of mild sweet malt, small coffee flavor in the finish.

Overall, it's a very good beer.

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Photo of waltonc
3.58/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown color, with a fair amount of carbonation. This is a hop bomb with dark roasted malts. Hops overpower everything else here, which seem (though tough to tell through the hop smoke screen) to be the usual coffee and chocolate notes you'd except from a deep roasted porter. Medium/thick body and medium carbonation.

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Photo of stxSS07
3.58/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2011 batch into a Duvel Tulip

A- Pours pitch black with a 2 finger mocha-colored that sticks around for a few minutes, frothy head. Tight bubbles, excellent lacing.

S- I can smell the FFF hop profile as soon as I crack the bottle. Big sweet tropical and citrus notes go hand in hand with a rich roasted malt/dark chocolate note. A little bit of sweetness detectable as well. Really nice.

T- Big coffee/chocolate notes up front. I get some smokey flavors in there as well paired with a sweetness. Big hop notes from the nose are absent until the finish where they show themselves to clean things up and dry out the mouth. A bit disappointing after the nose.

M- Medium bodied. Maybe a bit bigger than your average porter. Creamy mouth feel (from the sugar?) pairs with lively carbonation.

O- Really different when compared to a traditional "American Porter", but I like it. I just wish the big FFF hop profile promised in the nose translated into the taste.

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Photo of wheatyweiss
3.58/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a nonic.

Pours a rich cola color with a decent head that leaves a nice lacing.

Aroma is hops up front with a decent malt backing. Malt aroma is dark roasted like a smokey stout.

Flavor is dry hopped porter. This is more like a stout than anything resembling a porter. The hops are assertive and up front. Crisp, but less than fresh they present well in this brew. The malt is a little lacking and could stand up more. The malt that is there is dark roasted and smokey, pretty damn good, but not great. The label mentions chocolate flavors of which I get none of. Sweet candy sugar hits on the finish, this is where the ABV comes from.

Mouthfeel is thin and decently carbonated.

Overall this is an alright porter that I think may be elevated with BA's because of the ABV.

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Photo of MbpBugeye
3.58/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is a really old bottle so I hope its not ruined.

A- Pours out looking somewhat clear with a burgundy highlight. The head is weak, but its there. It still manages to leave lots of uniform lacing. The beer in the glass is black with burgundy around the edges.

S- Pretty weak nose but whats there is pretty good. Grassy hops, lots of grain and some bitter sweet cocoa and coffee. There is also a lot of smoke and wood

T- A hoppy porter for sure. The grassy, leafy hops are backed up by a milky sweet malt bill. If you told me this was a milk stout I would certainly believe you.

M- Pretty thick for a porter. Its very very smooth with a slightly drying finish from the hops. Carbonation is quite low and it promotes a silky smooth feel.

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Photo of BrownAleMale
3.58/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber poured into a Gulden Draak tulip glass

Appearance- Motor oil black with 2 fingers of mocha head that dissipates most of the way and leaves a reasonable amount of lacing.

Smell- Very piney in scent with a little bit of chocolate and coco thrown in.

Taste- Pine up front with a long finish of unsweetend chocolate.

Mouthfeel- A slick and smooth mouthfeel with just the smallest hint of carbonation.

Overall- Me not being a huge piney hops fan, I really wasnt blown away. I thought it just had 2 distinct flavors and was nothing crazy complex. In the end, I get the tie in with the piney hops and Christmas, and it makes for a decent seasonal brew.

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Photo of toetag39
3.56/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A porter poured into a pilsner glass; came out a rich, dark brownish-black, it was consistent throughout. A can smell the hops and some type of fruit. With the first sip, I can taste molasses, coffee, and brown sugar. There is a little bitterness though not to my liking.

Yet another Porter that I hope was gonna be better but still a nice porter overall.

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Photo of marburg
3.54/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Maybe I'm crazy, but Scotch Pine and cocoa powder don't really mix well to me.

Chocolate covered grapefruit for breakfast? Nah.
Christmas trees in my roasty-toasty brews? Nah.
Bitter-smelling citrus and Hershey's? Nah.

The aroma just doesn't work for me here. It's strong, unique, unexpected, powerful, crisp, and original. But so what? Chocolate and pine needles don't mix in my mind, and they certainly didn't mix well in my nose. I can give it points for those other attributes -- predominantly originality -- but not every combination works well. The dominant force is a heavily sappy pine aroma that fades to more of a citric nose as the beer warms further. A pure chocolate aroma develops along the same timeline.

After smelling it, the real surprise was that it managed to have a real solid, balanced flavor. The hops are nearly 100% aromatic. Slick hot fudge flavors dominate and find themselves laying in the toaster oven blackening to a nice roasted flavor. A little thin but not really to any sort of detriment -- and exceptionally drinkable. Hops show up as the roasted cocoa fades and dominate the aftertaste. Just really kind of an odd mix in the nose...but intriguing! Thnx to Tim for the sample!

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Photo of ehammond1
3.53/5  rDev -15.1%
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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Photo of Heatwave33
3.53/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle to a Dogfish Head Signature Glass.

Color: Black with a light brown head.

Smell: Chocolate and earthy hops up front. Followed by sugar and slight smoke.

Taste: Same as the aroma.

Mouthfeel: Creamy, slight coarse, good carbonation with a dry finish.

Overall: A well rounded porter with a good balance. Medium bodied and a nice Winter brew. Cheers.

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Photo of Dantes
3.53/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Package: 22oz. crowned brown bottle. Typically ornate 3F label depicting a green elf-like creature maniacally dropping hops into a full pint of beer. Blurb describes beer as an American version of a London Ale made with English malts, Mexican sugar, and unique hops; and having chocolate and floral flavors and aromas. Additional Christmas-y pictures. No ABV or date information listed, but believed to be this year’s.

Cost: Acquired via trade

Presentation: I figured an Anglo-American ale needed an Imperial pint. ~50º

Appearance: Fairly typical for a porter. Not quite black, with a nice, medium-gauge, light-brown head at first. Unfortunately, the head didn’t last very long, resolving to a thin but intact ½" layer. Bubbles percolating through the beer seemed somewhat large.

Smell: Nice, but somewhat underwhelming. The piney hops were definitely there, along with some coffee notes; but little in the way of the thick maltiness I expect in a porter, much less one modeled on an English ale. Not much in the way of floral notes either. Primarily pellet hops and pine.

Taste: Hops make the first impression, with a sharp, citrus-pine tingle. The next impression is of a very nice bittersweet coffee flavor, which turns out to be the highlight on the palate. There were some faint cocoa notes, but they may have been part of the deep, multilayered coffee flavors. There was no hint of alcohol (too little, really) and not much follow through. The finish was fairly short and dry, leaving mostly a preponderance of hops and some of that delicious coffee.

Mouthfeel: Surprisingly thin and austere. The malts were underplayed, and the very low alcohol sensation robbed this of some of its impact. The flavors were all too fleeting in the mouth, with little finish. I also thought that this was a touch overcarbonated, more like an IPA in texture than a traditional porter.

Drinkability: While not unpleasant, nothing really stands out about this beer for me. Because I can think of several well-hopped and traditional porters I prefer, this ranks fairly low on the drinkability scale. Furthermore, the high cost and limited availability make searching this out a somewhat dubious proposition.

Backwash: To be fair, this was based on only two bottles from the same source, but I feel they were somewhat representative. I hope that the draught version is much better and I get to try it. Still, this is the first Three Floyds beer that I’ve found to be disappointing, especially after being so eager to try it. Aside from some nice coffee flavors, this wasn’t very flavorful in a multi-dimensional way and not much akin to any English ales or porters I can think of. Sure, the hops are there; but the malts were weak and the body and mouthfeel were thin. Especially after drinking some other porters recently, I found this a bit wanting. Not anything like a Fuller’s London Porter and a classy Imperial Stout. I’d take either of those (esp. the Fullers) over this in a heartbeat.

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Alpha Klaus Christmas (Xmas) Porter from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 722 ratings.