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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
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Reviews: 722
Hads: 2,023
Avg: 4.16
pDev: 10.34%
Wants: 269
Gots: 320 | 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 Franz4
3.14/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Friend brought back a growler, we broke this open 2 days later.

A- poured with a huge head that settled nicely with lots of lacing. Very dark, just a touch of translucence.

S- Very much a pine scent to it, a bit antiseptic. Nose really downgraded my hopes for this beer.

T- Tastes like a christmas tree, add in a touch of toasted brown sugar and some dark chocolate, but nothing really works it's way through the pine.

M- medium bodied with a hoppy pine aftertaste.

D- I was somewhat disappointed, this wasn't a bad beer, but it seemed to be a bit one-dimensional and the pine overpowered everything else.

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Photo of ZPB
3.15/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A shared bottle with father-in-law and brother-in-law, thanks George for finding this one!

Poured into three tall glasses with a tan head that lingered quite a while. A beautiful black opaque color.

Smells of roasty malty goodness. Not the typical scents of a porter - very little chocolate or coffee.

When the liquid hit my tongue I immediately knew why the smell was different. It tasted like a black ipa. The roasted malts were hidden behind the hops.

Dry finish like an ipa, not a porter.

I know why they call this a 'cousin' the ipa, because that's what it is. Good, not great. A Black IPA not a porter. I would not need to drink again.

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Photo of Phatz
3.18/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This beer pours a dark red/Black; meaning it is opaque and looks black but does contain some red highlights. It has a nice 2-3 finger head and significant lacing.

Smell: From the moment I cracked open the bottle before I even got to start pouring it I got a FULL nose of a bold sweet, malty beer. Nice. After pouring it, I got subtle hints of hops and pine, chocolate and barely a bit of espresso hiding in the back of the aroma.

Taste: I lift the glass of this beautiful, nice smelling beer to my mouth for a sip and SMACK!!! ‘Holy green hoppy pine batman’, that was unexpected. ewe. Wow, what an intense overwhelming flavor of eating tree. I think there is some sweet caramel under there but I don't know if I can make it through the forest to find it on every sip; I just can’t get past the pine. If dragon breath was made of pine, the aftertaste would be a pine/fire breath across my tongue. If you like pine, go for it. This beer is for you. For me it is simply a flavor I don't care for. I was sitting beside my artificial Christmas tree and I thought it turned real and jumped into my glass. It was mostly the aftertaste that made me pucker so drastically.
I did pull out some Danish Havarti, cheese after a bit and things did begin to improve. As the beer reached room temperature and the bottle neared the end, I did find myself wincing less, and maybe even enjoying it. With a nibble of cheese after each sip, the aftertaste no longer bothered me so much. I thought about moving my rating up to 3.5 pushing 4; but that is the beer cheese combo not the beer alone. So I'll stand by my rating with the note that the cheese salvaged it and made it a good experience.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is initially light and thin; crisp and a bit bitey. A little swishing brought out the malty creamy feel, but I had to look for it.

Drinkability: This beer started off being even hard to stomach because of the extreme flavors. As my palate warmed up to it, the pine mellowed into a less extreme taste of coffee and became increasingly drinkable. The 'Loudness' of this beer makes it one to work on; not one that goes down very easily.

My review does seem to be a different experience than many other people had; but that is just my opinion.

I originally gave this beer a 2.5 for the taste. I am leaving my original review because it was my honest impression with that experience. This time round I found it to be a bit less cloying than I did last time so I increased the taste to a 3.0 rating for this experience. I stand by the opinion that if you like the pine flavor you’ll like this, if you don’t, beware.

Hope this is helpful.

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Photo of Higravity
3.18/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I got this from Cretemixer and I read some reviews before I tried it. First let me say I like the idea of a hopped-up sweet porter but the hop combo in this beer is a turn-off. My nose knows and while it poured a great dark color and creamy tan head that had staying power and left lace, this beer smelled off. I am sure I have a good bottle everything was intake and it doesn't tasted oxidized. It reminds me of a fasting beer that has a lot of extra sugar to help tide the monks over. There are plenty of roasty flavor in there but they are beaten to death by the sugar. It is definately drinkable and a rare enjoyment that I thank my fellow BA for this. I could see having one of these in the yuldetide mood, but not anytime soon.

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Photo of Tinfoilrcr
3.19/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Received as an extra from Hayesez - thanks. Poured from a bombed into a pint glass.

A- Dark blackish brown with hint of ruby on the outer edge of the brown/tan head. Head dissipates quickly leaving some nice lacing.

N- Chocolate and coffee, mixed with with bright bitterness along with citrus and floral hops.

T- Big coffee flavor up-front. Almost stout-esque. FInish of citrus and flavor hops. Some nice chocolate malt tones.

M- Heavy.

D- Could not drink very many of these, given its heaviness. Also seems a little flat. Could use some more carbonation to improve the drinkability.

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Photo of Bung
3.19/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

22 oz. Nearly black pour, white head. Surprisingly piney aroma, some peat and roast malt. Flavor is also surprisingly crisp, very dry and hoppy. This over-rides the earthy malt, chocolate and coffee. Nearly creamy, but the bittyness hurts the mouthfeel a bit. Finishes with some linering coffee and hop bitterness. Really too much hops for the style. More alcohol warming as well than I would prefer, even though it is not that terribly high an abv. Drinkability is pretty meh. Unfortunately I had rather high expectations for this. Hopefully with some age this will mellow out a bit.

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Photo of silenius
3.2/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

2004 vintage just picked up today. I think it was released for 2004 within the last day or so.

Pours a dark brown black with a nice 1 finger choco-like head. Lacing all up and down the glass.

Smell at first is almost solvent chemical in nature. Very pine-sol like. After a bit that blows off to just reveal some very resiny green hop aromas. No citrus or floral smells here, boys, just a buzz-saw hoppy green resin aroma. Strange for the style even if FFF is known for its hoppy beers (which I happen to like). Too hoppy and the malt to balance it is much too small. Only faint smoky chocolate aromas find their way through (or is it just my expectation that it would be there).

Taste is hoppy for sure and (thankfully) the smoky chocolate malt reports for duty. Green hop burps bring back memories of the Dark Lord sludge. *shudder* Hops definitely predominate this one, but the malt plays a bigger role in the taste than in the nose. A nice sweet-smoky chocolate that leaves a pleasing combo of smoky-roasted malt with hop bittering on the finish. I still think the hops are too overdone.

I think a much better example of a hoppy porter that is properly balanced comes from Goose Island in the form of their XXX Porter. Had it the other day and was floored!

Mouthfeel is round with some light prickling from the carbonation. I keep thinking of a nice charcoal grilled steak when drinking this beer.

I think with age this might balance out a bit, but for now it is too hoppy for a porter. At the very least it doesn't have the stuffing to stand up to all the hops foisted upon it.

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Photo of FtownThrowDown
3.21/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very dark brown in color. There was at least a two inch head sitting atop this beer. Smell is subdued hops and some chocolate malt. Taste is much more of the malt with a little bitterness as well. There is a grassy and pine flavor of course coming from the hops. Pretty decent medium full on the mouthfeel.

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Photo of Mudpuppet
3.23/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A- Poured from a bomber into a snifter. Pours a root beer color with no head.

S- Dark malts, coffee, chalk. Not overly strong.

T- Hops on the front receding to coffee, and dark chalky malt. You get a strong alpha hop profile throughout. Not quite as malty as I would expect.

M- A bit too carbonated. And a bit too thin for a porter.

D- Overall a well crafted beer but I have lost all the porter notes in this to an alpha taste that I cannot shake from my palate. I want more malt which isn't there. Better on the first few sips than the last of the beer.

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Photo of bkilpatr
3.23/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a pint glass. 03/19/08.

Pours a dark brownish black, with almost two fingers of light tan head. Aroma is quite hoppy for what I expect from a porter, with some chocolate, and a little spice.

Taste is interesting. When I first started drinking this, I thought the hops were overpowering. As I got toward the end, and as it warmed, the hops seemed to fade a some, but still a bit on the hoppy side. Didn't get much malty flavor in this. Not very balanced. Some slight roasted chocolate tastes as well, and some spices.

It's full bodied, low carbonation. Sticky mouthfeel afterward. Drinkability is alright, considering the heaviness.

The hoppiness turned me off a bit, and there isn't much spiciness for something that is labeled a winter beer.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.25/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a black color porter with an above medium dark foamy head with good retention. Aroma of pine is really non-expected but enjoyable nonetheless when mix with roasted malt. I couldn’t really detect any chocolate or coffee, which I would have expected. Taste is dominated by the pines and IMHO doesn’t leave enough places for roasted malt and bitterness. I guess I’m kind of surprise this is rated so highly since it seems to be liking character and I must say that I’ve had much better beer from 3 Floyds.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.26/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Sam Adams sensory pint glass.

Thanks to VDubb86 for a taste o' this!

Not sure why Dexter was on, but at least there's beer. And Alex is talkin' this one up, too. It pours a pitch black-brown topped by a finger or so of tan foam. The nose contains a strong contingent of green hops, with some chocolate and light roasted malts in the background. The taste holds a touch more roast, but it's still only a vain attempt at countering the hops, which have maintained their strength. The body is a light-ish medium with a light moderate carbonation. Honestly, I can see why people could like a rather hoppy porter like this one, but I am not one of these people. There's just not enough roast to provide any kind of appreciable balance.

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Photo of maggotbrain
3.26/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beer is black with a thick tan head. The head dies down to a bubbly layer of film. There is quite a bit of lacing on the glass.

The beer smells strongly of pine. Not really expected with a porter, but this is a Three Floyds beer and mega-hopped beers are their thing.

There is a lot of pine in the taste as well. Somewhere in there meek hints of dark chocolate and coffee attempt to make themselves known, but are crushed behind a wall of pine. This would be great if Three Floyds called this a black IPA, but they don't, they call it a porter, and I'm having trouble figuring out what is supposed to make this beer very porter-like.

Mouthfeel is medium with a moderate level of carbonation.

The drinkability of this beer is pretty good, goes down easy.

Overall this is a pretty good beer, but it is certainly not worth $8.99 for a 22 oz bottle.

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Photo of getkrunkhoe
3.27/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

consumed on 5-17-09 (from notes)

App-dark, opaque,no lace to thin lace head, disappears quickly.very inviting.

Ar-where do i begin? roast presence is there;but its not your typical roasty note, this is different.I get Horchata and maybe "mexican chocolate(?)". has a lot going on.

T- very similar to aroma,horchata (which is rice water with cinnamon and sugar), mexican hot chocolate comes to mind,coffee,finish has some bitterness/earthy note to it.

MF-carbonation isnt in your face,but it has some thickness to coat your mouth.

D-if you dont mind a complex beer with lots going on,then go ahead.not to easy of a drinker but it was great trying it.

as much as i wanted to "love" this beer I was a bit disappointed.smells better than the taste.

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Photo of maundythirsty
3.31/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Black with brownish edges and a big, persistant tan head. Heavy lacing. A very attractive beer. Smells like Three Floyd's hops -- a little floral, a little pine, a little grapefruit.

Can I find any of the advertised coffee bitterness in the taste? It would be a Christmas miracle. All hops, all the time. Substantial carbonation, but it comes off as creamy, medium mouthfeel.

Have to admit that I liked this stuff. I would drink more of it. However, I would consider labeling the bottles "IPA" before putting them in the fridge. I knocked the smell, taste and drinkability some points because I was turned off as a porter lover, though not as a beer drinker. It doesn't taste like much more than the usual Three Floyds hops profile.

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Photo of Wisconsinality
3.35/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bomber poured into SA perfect pint.

A- Pours a deep brown with a khaki colored head that sinks down slowly and leaves decent lacing on the side of the glass. Pretty opaque on initial view.

S- Big roasty malts, some bitter coffee and dark chocolate. A faint amount of hops on the tail end. Maybe some dry cocoa which goes with the coffee and chocolate.

T- Like the nose, cold pressed coffee with a little bitterness, dark chocolate and good toasted malts. No real hops to speak of. The more sips I take, the more pronounced the coffee and chocolate become. Seems more like a coffee stout than anything.

M- Medium bodied that has some bitterness to go along with it. Dry on the finish and a little carbonation feel.

D- A decent porter but reminds me more of a normal stout. Good flavors but a little too dominant in the coffee, chocolate flavors.

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Photo of tjthresh
3.36/5  rDev -19.2%
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.

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Photo of mcallister
3.36/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

So I happened across a bottle of this and figured I better pick it up considering it's 3 Floyd's and I love porter and I forgot to purchase one in the "holiday" season.

Pours a dark burnt brown with an enourmous fizzy off tan head with significant lacing. Main smells of choclate and oats with a little vanilla lingering way back in the background.

Very smooth porter with good roasted choclate malt, very oaty and grainy mouthfeel but not necessarily in a off way. I don't know this beer has left me a tad dissapointed. Not a bad brew at all but for the price many other beers are around to be taken. This beer lacks in complexity and mouthfeel. Still not bad

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Photo of pants678
3.38/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Head retains alright atop a black body.

Very slight peppermint, hoppy.

Hoppy, clean, floral with a notable chocolate, won't be mistaken for a black IPA. Dried out from the mexican sugar. Not as superlativey as I expected.

Body's real light, been a while since I had a porter and not a stout.

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Photo of steve8robin
3.38/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Got this in the 2010 Secret Santa BIF. Loved Alpha King, let's give this on a go. 22oz bottle opened on Christmas night 2010 poured into my new Pumpking tulip...

A: Super dark with no light shining through. A 1 inch mocha colored head that fades extremely slowly leaving a huge fluffy lace on the glass. Very good.

S: I get some mild roasty chocolate blended with earthy citrus hops. Some lemon quickly follows in the middle with some piney spices on the backend. Some molasses and black licorice hideout on the backend. Smells kind of like a Black IPA or a Black and Tan. Good.

T: Tastes of roasty licorice upfront with some watery vegetable dishwater in the middle. Ok.

M: Medium body with a good carbonation. A dry finish. Decent.

D: Once you get past the strange flavors, this is ok.

All in all, this is an ok brew to try around the holidays if you have access. Don't bother hunting. Many better brews in the style.

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Photo of samie85
3.42/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A-Pours a deep coal color with a cappuccino foam, two fingered head.

S-The nose is led by huge amounts of grapefruit Centennial hops with some dark chocolate and roasted notes and some vanilla.

T-Bitter pine and orange with some grapefruit and some pretty deep roasted notes.

M-Seems a little thin in the mouth, although strangely creamy as well, with medium carbonation, and a lingering dryness.

D-For the reputation this beer has, I was pretty disappointed with it. The bitter/hoppy notes don't seem to meld well with the porter notes.

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Photo of tut2528
3.42/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

thanks to woodjjacct for opening this one!

A: typical sout, black as night, creates slight head that is slight tan in color.

S: big tobacco, leather, roasted malt, coffee grounds, dark chocolate and oak come through along with a slight hop note.

T: basic stout with a FFF hop twist. big coffee grounds and hoppy profile, and smoke. it also has a moderate tobacco and leather character that adds a bit of complexity. i'm not picking up on any kind of creaminess.

M: medium bodied, but doesnt leave much on the palate.

O: find this one just above average, and think that the variant would be awesome... especially the Plum. there needs to be a sweetness in this to make this one more balanced

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Photo of AwYeh
3.43/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22oz bomber poured into pint glass; received in the 2011 Black Booty BIF; thanks seeswo!

A: Pours an opaque dark brown/black with two fingers of foamy, creamy light brown head.

S: Roasted, toasty malts, and lots of milk chocolate. A light earthy mustiness, and a good deal of pine and citrus hops- not sure that their combination with the chocolate malts is one of my favorite beer smells ever, but its quite enjoyable and the combination does form an interesting, Christmasy, fruity, spicy aroma.

T: Bittersweet chocolate and pine hops both really dominate the flavor here. Light roasted malts come in in the middle of the flavor and hang around on the finish, along with a good dose of pine hop bitterness- almost like a dark malt version of a West Coast IPA.

M: Medium bodied with quite a lot of carbonation for a porter, somewhat creamy.

D: A good beer but I somewhat quickly tired of the flavor on this one. One glass of this was enough for me; not particularly anxious to pick it up for a second time, but wouldn't be opposed to trying it again.

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Photo of corby112
3.43/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours pitch black and completely opaque with a thick two finger beige head that slowly fades into a lasting ring. Chunks and streaks of lace coat the glass on the way down.

Roasted malt aroma that's slightly smokey with hints of chocolate, caramel, oatmeal and toffee. Slightly balanced by earthy, piny hops.

Thinner bodied than expected with some tight carbonation, possibly the beginning sign of oxidization. The hop presence is much stronger than the aroma hinted at making it very dry and bitter, outshining the roasted malt notes. Just too hoppy for the style in my opinion. Roasted malt backbone with dark chocolate, oatmeal, toffee, caramel and dark fruit. Smoother as it warms but still too hoppy with a dry finish.

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Photo of scott
3.45/5  rDev -17.1%
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.

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