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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Reviews: 719
Hads: 2,018
rAvg: 4.18
pDev: 5.5%
Wants: 266
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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 719 | Hads: 2,018
Photo of phichifiji00
3.61/5  rDev -13.6%
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. (351 characters)

Photo of oracle
3.58/5  rDev -14.4%
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. (1,124 characters)

Photo of waltonc
3.58/5  rDev -14.4%
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. (322 characters)

Photo of stxSS07
3.58/5  rDev -14.4%
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. (960 characters)

Photo of wheatyweiss
3.58/5  rDev -14.4%
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. (802 characters)

Photo of MbpBugeye
3.58/5  rDev -14.4%
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. (742 characters)

Photo of BrownAleMale
3.58/5  rDev -14.4%
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. (662 characters)

Photo of toetag39
3.56/5  rDev -14.8%
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. (357 characters)

Photo of marburg
3.54/5  rDev -15.3%
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! (1,225 characters)

Photo of ehammond1
3.53/5  rDev -15.6%
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. (585 characters)

Photo of Heatwave33
3.53/5  rDev -15.6%
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. (376 characters)

Photo of Dantes
3.53/5  rDev -15.6%
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. (3,010 characters)

Photo of taez555
3.53/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to David from the Publick House Brookline for hooking us up with this beer which you can't get in MA.

This beer poured a brownish/black body with a huge pillowy tan/off-white head. There's some serious carbonation in this puppy.

Nose is an interesting mix of dark cocoa powder, mellow wood, olive juice, fresh toasted malt, toffee and coffee.

Medium bodied with a mild grain touch from start to finish. Dark roasted malt and very dark espresso beans dominate this beer. Very astringent with a sharp roasted malt bitterness. Has a slightly grainy and very bitter base. Citrus and Earth hops are over the top and surprisingly big for a porter, but never overtake the malt bitterness giving it an almost deceptive hop taste.

Quite a porter. Tastes sort of like someone crushed a butt load of espresso beans into a dark malt based beer, but beyond that... good beer. (881 characters)

Photo of RedwoodGeorge
3.53/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The pour starts with a "wow" - heaps and heaps of sticky mocha colored foam towering over the brew even with a relatively gentle pour. The foam eventually collapses leaving gobs of lacing on the glass.

The smell is all malt and roast - notes of molasses and coffee abound in the aroma.

The flavor is surprisingly toasted for a porter. There's a reasonable body of caramel and molasses underlying the brew but the predominant experience is bitterness - not of hops but of toasted grain. Flavors of coffee (expresso) dominate over any more subtle notes that may be present. There's a mild amount of hopping at the end but it doesn't compete with or compliment the bitter dark malt.

Mouthfeel is surprisingly thin for a malty brew with lots of carbonation leaving a clean palate after each sip. There's a strong bitter aftertaste of black coffee as a finish with no real hop dryness.

Good but not great. It's a bad sign when a beer reminds you of another beer and you wish you were drinking the other brew instead. In this case it's one of my favorite dry stouts: North Coast Black Hart which has similar roasted malt characteristics but a serious hop finish that leaves no doubt it's a *dry* stout. Too bad the Alpha Klaus wasn't equally interesting. Mind you, it's a good beer but not one I'd spend all year looking forward to... (1,340 characters)

Photo of Jesse13713
3.52/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Thanks to AwYeh for splitting this beer with me.

Appearance - Pours a dark brownish black with a well carbonated vanilla froth on top. Less than half a finger of head on this one. It has impressive lacing that hugs onto the glass tightly.

Smell - A hoppy chocolaty smell. I get slight hints of vanilla along with oak. Smells like some slightly different hops I'm not quite used to.

Taste - A hoppy and fruity porter. Very consistent in its hop profile all throughout. A slight hint of dark cherry with citrus notes. Slight spices are prevalent as well. I also get slight hints of cocoa, that add to the hoppy bitterness. The 'Porter taste' comes in the aftertaste. Further along in the drink, I noticed it became a little more watered down.

Mouthfeel / Drinkability - Fairly drinkable and radically different. It just got old pretty quickly. I was completely happy splitting this with a friend and not drinking the entire 22oz. (931 characters)

Photo of rmcnealy
3.52/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served chilled in a traditional pint glass.

Poured an extremely dark, non-translucent brown that created a large tannish mocha colored head. The dense consistent foam left a respectable, even head that stuck with the beer. The immediate aromas of robust floral hops are very welcoming followed with hints of caramel, roast and chocolate. The overwhelming onset of hops is great. Generally I find porters to have a less potent hop note that is drowned out by the darker smells. The taste mirrors the smell with immediate hops trailed by the coffee tastes. The mouthfeel is great with slight bitterness, slight maltiness and a tingling sensation. The taste fleets leaving a chocolate mint end. A cool beer with very differing yet complimentary elements.

Enjoy and Happy Holidays! (780 characters)

Photo of KickInTheChalice
3.51/5  rDev -16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a very dark brown color with a speck of ruby, with a fuller spectrum of cherry red colors in the edges of the glass. A fluffy, creamy beige head forms on the pour and lingers for a while, leaving lacing to cling to the glass.

Smell: Chocolate malt, lots of pine hops and some light earthy and grassy hop aroma.

Taste: This is sort of a simple porter. It starts off with some chocolate malt, but the pine hops are the focus. Some earthy and grassy hops are present as well, mimicking the aroma. Lingering hop bitterness. It seems like I do not agree with their recipe, but as usual, the execution was skillful.

Mouthfeel: Moderately full, with medium creamy carbonation. The hops pull at my taste buds a little bit and leave the tongue dry, with some residue behind my lips.

Drinkability: Heavily hopping this beer just was not a decision that coalesces with what I am looking for in a Christmas Porter. This is quite possibly the first time I will want a less-hopped beer and most likely the last. (1,070 characters)

Photo of quirkzoo
3.5/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Got this one a while back from Chadquest, I believe.

Pours a very dark black body with a small tan head. Straight up porter aroma, lots of roasted grains with a hint of vanilla sweetness behind it and a slight smell of alcohol. Very balanced on the palate. A little bit of burnt bitterness, good dark roasted malt, not too complex but enjoyable. Mouthfeel was a touch thin but not watery, very drinkable. Overall this is a solid porter, I didn't pick up on anything exotic that made this a "Christmas" porter but it was still very good. (537 characters)

Photo of brdc
3.5/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks bgramer for this large capped bottle, poured into a snifter.

It is quite dark, one shade below pitch black, with a minimal head that disappears in seconds.
Aroma is mostly coffee, with some roasted malts that are a bit understated, and citrusy hops. I also thought it is a bit thin on the palate, particularly considering the high ABV.
Taste is as expected, with less roasted malts than I like, and more hops than I expect for a porter.
Ok, but I was expecting more from Three Floyds. The hops do not really blend that well here. (540 characters)

Photo of JohnnyMc
3.5/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A Christmas seasonal!!

Pours out black with a nice 3 fingers of mocha/tan head.

The aroma is extremely hoppy, there is a ton of burnt sugar (probably the Mexican sugar) and some subtle chocolate notes.

The taste is pretty bitter with a bunch of grassy, piney hops followed by a bitter burnt sugar (again, probably the Mexican sugar) and finishes with subtle chocolate and coffee notes. There is really no sweetness to balance the beer and it finishes pretty dry.

The mouthfeel is creamy and it has a medium body.

This is not your typical Porter (which Three Floyds points out on the bottle), but I'm not a huge fan of it. I would like a little sweetness to balance out all the bitter notes and the coffee and chocolate notes could be more pronounced. It's an interesting beer, but not great. (799 characters)

Photo of NeedBeerHere
3.5/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours out black as night with a e finger beige head with good retention and some nice lacing as the head goes down Smell is brown sugar, dark fruits , a little toffee, and a little dark malts. Taste is dark malts, the dark sugar, and a little bittering hops at the end that seems to stay in the mouth and not in the throat. Mouthfeel is a little thin for the style and should be a little thicker for the style. Overall this is great beer but could be a little thicker and more complex, (485 characters)

Photo of triplecoil
3.48/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from a bomber into a snifter.

Poured a very deep black with some dark brown highlights and a very thin head that stayed around to the edges. Nose is hops with a little bit of coffee. Taste is roasted malts with a heavy hand of hops, some coffee. Mouthfeel is the highlight for me on this one--viscous with a moderate amount of carbonation.

Wasn't really a huge fan of this one...too much hop for me sullying up the big maltiness. There's a fine line between balanced and lopsided and I think this one leans too much on the hops. (537 characters)

Photo of mdwalsh
3.48/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Black as Black can be. Head is tannish, less than one finger and goes away pretty quick

S: Very little malt/roast smell. very very citrusy hoppy. Maybe a little sweet

T: Very hoppy, but after a bit the grain comes through. Slightly warm on the way down. A light hoppy burp comes back after a little bit of drinking.

M: Thinning, but pleasing. Ok porter for a hot day, but not for a cold one.

D: I don't think I'd get this one again. (439 characters)

Photo of scott
3.45/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Great find for Ohio this time of year-2005 vintage, I presume.
Beautiful pour of a black bodied beer. Is this a stout in disguise? Amber rim with very little head retention.
Smell is a robust welcome from your favorite coffee shop.
Taste started off gnarly, but led the way to a disembodiment from it's 38 degree state of stasis, only to become a very watered down version of a very good stout. Very close to Guinness. You can pull it to your lips and smell huge coffee, but you end up tasting water. No shit.
Mouth of fluffy dark water that is only reminiscent of coffee, and I'm so glad to have bought a bottle instead of a case. (636 characters)

Photo of ThickNStout
3.45/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle from zrab11 (thank you!). 2012 release. Served in a Terrapin snifter.

Pours dark brown with about one finger of clumpy tan head. Small patches of lace.

Smells of cocoa, roasty malts and a little bit of piney hops.

Taste is a blend of dark malts, cocoa, bark and earth with a kick of hop bitterness in the finish.

Creamy medium light body with plenty of loose fizzy carbonation. Bitter roasty aftertaste.

A solid hopped-up porter that reminds a little bit of Cigar City Jose Marti. It borders American black ale territory but that roastyness dominates first and foremost. Not the strongest entry I've had from Three Floyds but worth a go if you have the chance. (681 characters)

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