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Sneak peek! BeerAdvocate magazine #104 (September 2015) featuring Leah & Oscar from Highland Brewing in Asheville, North Carolina. Learn more ...

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

722 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 722
Hads: 2,021
rAvg: 4.18
pDev: 9.33%
Wants: 268
Gots: 319 | 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: 2,021
Photo of fretlessman71
4.65/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pertinent Preliminary Comments: Many thanks to Chazwicke for sending this along.

A hallowed brew that I’ve had once before. Three Floyds is one of those breweries that, somehow, someway, can’t manage to make a bad or even mediocre beer. Nothing like a Christmas porter at the end of April, but what the heck…

APPEARANCE: Jet-frickin’ black. If I squint, I can see ruby mahogany highlights when held to the light. Serious tan head, fantastic lacing.

AROMA: WHOA. Malt, coffee, chocolate, molasses, dark fruit, hops, this baby has it all.

FLAVOR: Wow… reading the tasting notes from the BJCP, I could almost copy it straight over. Hoppy, sure, but a good sweet-but-roasted black malt vibe. Good dry finish. Smooth all the same. Espresso and chocolate are strong here. Never knowingly had a beer that used Mexican sugar, but I think I can taste it as well in the complex sweetness. Maybe not. It’s a great blend either way. There’s still head at the bottom of the pint! Now THAT’S staying power.

MOUTHFEEL: Very smooth. Good proper weight; somewhat high carbonation.

DRINKABILITY: At 7.5% ABV, it’s not quite a session beer, but it’s not supposed to be. This is a Winter Warmer of a porter, and on a chilly night in Indiana, this gets my first choice.

OVERALL COMMENTS: This beer is stellar in every way – it’s got it all. Not a weak link anywhere to be had. Nothing like Three Floyds, man – even on a warm Sunday afternoon, this beer hits the spot. Now we just have to get them to distribute to Colorado. (1,536 characters)

Photo of sjccmd
4.65/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a pretty solid black. A vigorous pour yields a 2 finger tan head leaving a sticky lacing down the glass.

Chocolate malts dominate the smell. Dark roasted coffee, bitter and sweet chocolate, finishes with fresh piney hops.

The hops come out much more in the taste. The hop character is crazily unique. Minty and piney. It leaves an interesting cooling sensation that I've never experienced before in a beer. It's quite refreshing. This is rounded out by a significant chocolate/coffee backbone that is both bitter and sweet. The combination reminds me of chocolate mint candy.

Mouthfeel is initially crisp and sparkling but finishes silky smooth. As the carbonation dies down, I feel like I'd like more body, but the finish is cool and refreshing even as it warms.

The minty/piney character is so fascinating and refreshing that it's a pretty hard beer to put down. It's very rich and flavorful.

Overall, one of the most unique beers I've ever had and probably THE most unique porter I've had. This is a pretty remarkable brewery. I think I made the right choice in picking a grad school that's just a short trip away from Indiana. (1,141 characters)

Photo of Lnedrive14
4.67/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Largest head I have ever seen on a beer - i think i filled about 1/8th the glass and it overflowed with head (and i poured slowly!). Head stayed forever - very fluffy so I just scooped some out. Beer looks thick, but is anything but - very light on the palate. Taste is amazing - dark dark belgian chocolate (like 75% cocoa or something) with a big hop sense as well. I really enjoy three floyds for the way they inject hops into different styles of beer while retaining the characteristics of the style. This is my favorite Three Floyds beer thus far.

N.B. Drink this one cold. Alcohol becomes overwhelming as it warms and overpowers some of the flavors. (658 characters)

Photo of cubedbee
4.67/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bomber, no date, but I know it's 2005. Poured into an imperial pint, dark opaque black with a slight reddish hue, 3 fingers of light brown head, good retention, nice lacing. Smell is very very hoppy for a porter, somewhat piney, some nice dark chocolate and roasted coffee lingering. Taste is more of the same, a wonderful rich chocolate, roasted malt, espresso, all overlaid with a strong hop taste. Mouthfeel is full and rich and creamy. Very very nice porter, I love the hops, great seasonal. (501 characters)

Photo of crossovert
4.67/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bomber. 2009 Vintage.

Pours a dark, dark blackish brown with hints of light ruby brown on the edge. The head is decently sized, tan, and recedes with some nice lacing.

First off in the smell it has a nice hop profile with piney, earthy hops. The malts have both chocolate and roasted coffee characters.

The hops aren't as evident in the taste but this is a straight up KICK ass porter, it just overtook Black Butte for me. It has light roasty flavors, plenty of sweetness, chocolate, some fruitiness, and a nice large backing of super piney hops. This is a winter beer for all winter beers.

The mouthfeel is near perfect, with decent carbonation but a big, full mouthfeel. Drinkability is excellent.

This is a freakin amazing brew, luckily there is a huge stash at the store near me, I might have to go stock up for the summer. (838 characters)

Photo of TheodorHerzl
4.67/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Took down a bottle on Christmas night.

A: deep black with a tight white head on it
s: loads of chocolate and grassy hops
t: the chocolate is the main focus with the hops upfront and in your face as well. Just a wonderful flavor profile
M: Full and robust
D: I loved this beer. I would gladly have this on any cool winters night. (333 characters)

Photo of frazbri
4.67/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours deep black with noticable ruby accents. Thick creamy tan head with a few larger bubbles. Spruce hop aroma with a hint of citrus and spice. Chocolate, a little pepper and lemon zest. Moderately sweet with a clean bitter finish. Very round, full body with modest carbonation.

This is one smooth beer. The aroma is fantastic! The flavors almost seem muted, but only in comparison to the nose. This is winter seasonal I will return to. I'm just a little sad that I don't have another;( (491 characters)

Photo of ABV
4.67/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

First of all, the label on the 22 oz. bomber is very impressive. It reveals the Alpha King donning Yuetide cap and dry hopping what is presumably the Christmas porter. (I'm glad they called it "Christmas" porter and not "holiday" porter.) Anyway, as the label implies, what we have here is a very hoppy porter. Grapefruity, piney hops swirling around a dark, roasted malty, chocolate/espresso brew. An extremely unique sensation, to say the least. Smell is phenomenal, mouthfeel a little thin. At 7.5% abv this is not a huge beer. I'd like to see the Floyds kick this one up a notch to, say, 10%. As it stands, one can knock off a bomber of this without too much loss of motor skills. Final verdict --
Alpha Klaus can come to town any time he damn well wants. Great stuff! (773 characters)

Photo of objectivemonkey
4.68/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Into an imperial pint glass, pours a near solid black, even when held right up to a lamp, with a creamy tan head, sticks around for a bit before receding to a film thin in the middle and thick at the edge. Some nice lacing forms with some sticking.

The aroma is full of chocolates (and cocoa as it warms), with traces of pine hop, coffee, and toasted malt. The body (and taste, for that matter) are much fuller than the nose, a big body with fine carbonation and a smooth texture, with little awareness of the alcohol besides a slight warming. The taste is the best, very well conceived and balanced, the chocolates, coffee and thick roasted malt just melt into the mouth as the pine and hop oils spritz across the tongue, and comes to a close with a dry, dark chocolate.

Let this one warm up to let it all out, its a delicious beer that only gets better as you drink it... how can it get any better than that!? (913 characters)

Photo of egajdzis
4.68/5  rDev +12%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured black with some reddish hues, tan head and nice lacing on the glass. Piney hop and slightly roasted aroma. Taste started resiny hoppy, then turned roasted with some coffee as well. Full creamy mouthfeel. This is a one of a kind, super hoppy porter... but by no means any sort of Herbed / Spiced Beer. (307 characters)

Photo of PorterPirate
4.68/5  rDev +12%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Picked this mutha up at Le Cork in a 22 oz. bomber. Me Grandpap bought it for me when he was visiting.

A: Poured into a commemorative Nitty birthday mug. No real head to speak of, deep and black in my glass, obsidian tint. Hugs the mug slightly.

S: Deep, full malty nose to it. Slightly chocolate and floral scents waft out of the bottle.

T: Slightly sweet, also find hints of chocolate here. Malts are also very noticeable, as are the hops. A bit citrusy. Aftertaste is slightly bitter and sour but still quite enjoyable.

M: Not very heavy, a bit lighter than I was expecting. Slightly crisp, not much carbonation but more than many porters. Doesn't seem to stick around very long in my mouth.

D: Very high. I would definitely drink a bomber of this again, and it's medium abv (compared to what I usually drink) guarantees I won't be too buzzed to function. I feel like this was left over from last Christmas, so I will have to try the new batch this year and see how it compares.

All in all, quite pleased, as usual from Three Floyds. (1,042 characters)

Photo of Morris729
4.69/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours very dark brown in color with some ruby highlights and a short creamy tan head that coats the sides of the glass with webs of lace as you drink. Nose is rich chocolaty malts blended nicely with floral piney hops. Underneath the dominate aromas, there are additional notes of cinnamon and a hint of candied ginger. Quite sniffable! Taste has some milk chocolate sweetness, a roasted coffee bitterness, and a good amount of spicy hops all balanced together fabulously. A wonderful American Christmas porter. (511 characters)

Photo of GbVDave
4.7/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a Hommelbier tulip.

A: Jet black with a 1 finger head that vanishes. Minimal lacing. Minimal carbonation-very still.

S: Huge aromas of hops, roasted coffee and chocolate, and toasted malt.

T: This beer is such a rare balance of hops, bitter dark chocolate, coffee, malt, vanilla, and did I mention hops, coffee, and chocolate? No one flavor eclipses another one. Exceptional balance!

M: Due to it's minimal carbonation this beer has a smooth velvet-y mouthfeel.

D: Could drink this all day long.

I've had the good fortune to try this years batch on draft at FFF and in bottled form. I have to say i prefer the bottled version. In my opinion, at FFF, they serve this too cold with too much carbonation. (751 characters)

Photo of seanpachefddfa
4.7/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

poured- a dark black with a thick tan head. good amount of lace
smell- aroma includes coffee, chocolate, roasted malts and hops
taste- . very interesting for a porter chocolate, coffee,roasted malts some toffee and big hop flavors also
mouthfeel- good body and carbonation.
drinkability- another great beer by fff's. goes down way to easy for a 7.5%. (350 characters)

Photo of Boto
4.7/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz. bomber: Thank you for trades, or I would have never gotten this gem. It pours an inky dark brown color. There was some tan head, but it dies down quickly. A pleasant aroma. A mix of hops, roastiness, coffee, and some smokiness. The taste is an all-out assault on your taste buds (but a pleasant assault). Smokiness, some chocolate, some hop bitterness coming through (although it is sweet to the taste overall). This is just flat out excellent. Thanks to TAR for the trade! (479 characters)

Photo of IPAGeorge
4.7/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a bomber into a tulip

A. Dark brown with a khaki 1 finger head.

S. Smells great. Roasted malts with some chocolate and a little spice.

T. Backing up the nose roasted malts with some chocolate and a slight bitterness. Delicious.

M. Medium to thick. Some carbonation that subsides quickly. Finishes pretty clean.

O. I'm loving this beer. Nice roasted malt and chocolate both in the nose and on the palate. Looks beautiful. Finishes nice and clean. Isn't two thick. It's pretty close to perfect for a Christmas beer but for me anytime. (550 characters)

Photo of FirkinDave
4.71/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A perfect beer.

As a Three Floyds beer, I expected a great balanced mouth of hops, and it was delivered. What I wasn't ready for was the drinkablilty factor.

A touch of granny smith apple flavor, slight hint of caramel, overtaken by roasted coffee bean/ chocolate malt. Then the surpise.. The finish dropped off to a light dry hop which forced me to do the whole experience over.

Sampled at 40 degrees and 65 degrees, the more toward room temp it got, the bigger the greenapple carmel/coffee roast got. Soft light brown head, very dark in color, an exceptional beer. The porter base was well chosen. (611 characters)

Photo of Derek
4.72/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

"Hey porter! Hey porter!
What time did ya say?
How much longer will it be till I can
see the light of day?"

A: Dark black; cream/tan head, very little retention or lace.

S: Chocolate and molases with a pleasant hint of fruityness. Slightly bready.

T: Dark chocolate, VERY chocolatey, molases, bread/biscuit, slight nut & fruit, slight tartness in finish. Alcohol is subtle, but becomes more perceptible as it warms.

M: Moderate to full body is very creamy. Light to moderate carbonation; slightly chalky.

D: Very drinkable. (541 characters)

Photo of beveragecaptain
4.72/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle. Three Floyd's Alpha Klaus pours out a nearly, but not quite, black color with a creamy head. The aroma is very roasty, nutty, and hoppy. Incredibly, the hops go very well with the roastiness. The flavor is sweet at first with caramel and chocolate. Roasted flavors come in at the middle. The finish is bitter, with citrus hops. This beer is probably more hoppy than any porter I've had. Furthermore, the hop flavor melds with the roasty flavors to create a delicious whole. Mouthfeel is medium. A beer this tasty is almost drinkable by default. Great beer. I'm falling in love with this brewery, even as I despise it for the price of it's beer ($9 for this bomber). (682 characters)

Photo of beergeek279
4.72/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Served in the 22 oz. bomber into a dimple pint. The color is virtually black (I even used my cell phone to check ;) ) with a very good bubbly beige head. The beer smells like actual hop pellets which on another sniff has a strong porterish roastiness to it and just a touch of sweetness. The taste is about as hoppy as I'd expect from 3F, with a very strong high-alpha, citrusy hopping, and then once the initial hop wears off the actual porter flavor comes through, with a nice roastiness in the beer and a chocolate sweetness; the flavors meld together very well in some odd way. Mouthfeel is nice and creamy and chewy. As for drinkability, this would be one I'd love to have tons of come next winter!!

It's sure not normal...but it IS indeed tasty!! This has definitely catapulted up to amongst my favorite Christmas beers, and while it was slightly more hoppy when we had it in January, now it's mellowed out to a nice balance. As nice and piney a beer as I've had and one I will look for this holiday season. (1,016 characters)

Photo of brewcrew76
4.72/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

22oz bomber

A - Pours a solid black with a thin tan head and the slightest touch of small spotty lacing.

S - Chocolate, coffee and huge piney hops. Wonderful aroma.

T - Chocolate, slightly burnt coffee, sweet sugar, piney hops. Sweet but bitter at the same time. Not necesarily balanced but a nice combination.

M - Medium bodied and lightly carbonated to create a creamy moutfeel.

D - A straight forward beer that is truly enjoyable. A nice 3 Floyds twist on the porter style. (491 characters)

Photo of atrus138
4.72/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Had this on-tap. Dark, dark black color with hints of brown and orange. No head, but a little bit of thin froth floating around on top. Smell was intriguing. I was not expecting this strong of a hop presence in a porter. Chocolate, toffee, caramel, and coffee all made their expected appearances, but the hops caught me off guard. They were fresh and piny. Interesting. After tasting it, I was more than grateful for the strong hop presence. Added a very nice balance to the strong malt backbone. After the first sip, I could not help but immediately look at the drink in admiration. Medium bodied and extremely drinkable. I think I may have found a holiday tradition. A porter for hopheads. (691 characters)

Photo of Toddv29424
4.73/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Quite a beer. Pours a black-as-night color with a brown tint to the medium-sized head. Smell is close to non-existant, but is a bit like coffee and dark malts. The taste is huge. It seems monolithic at first sip, but as you continue down with the bottle you start to notice the subtle complexites that make it the BA 91 rated that it is. Whats nice about it is that nothing really jumps out at you. The taste of the dark malts is well apparent throughout. There is also a bitterness that is no doubt attributed to the hops, but its not overpowering. This is just an incredible beer, and something well worth seeking out. (620 characters)

Photo of champagnelsc
4.74/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another wonderful beer by the brewers at Three Floyds! They have really mastered the art of blending citrussy flavors with heavy hops.

This beer had a wonderful aroma that even my wife (who cannot stand beer) enjoyed.

The flavor was thouroughly enjoyable as well. What began as a pleasant citrus taste progressed into a wonderful porter, ending with just enough bitter at the roof of the mouth.

Drinkability? I wish I had a couple more! (446 characters)

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.75/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appears thick on the pour the color absorbs all visible light on the spectrum, where'd you go Roy G. Biv ; color is dark chocolate hued letting just an inkling of light through when held to the light. It forms a huge tan head with even lacing spread around my pint glass. Aroma contains pine tree scented hops which absolutely rush the senses along with something that is very candy cane esque with a peppermint herbal character underneath the hop layer dark chocolate cake mix and strong imported coffee hibernate. Taste with a little age on this sampe hop bitterness is just beginning to tame a bit, what's left is the pine cone / herbal mix that screams Christmas time. Dark roasted malts add a layer of coffee edged bitterness and dark chocolate roasts bring powdered cake mix onto the flavor profile, hop burps ensue all is well. As more yeast is added from the bottle a bready tone joins in the complexity that really equates to the cohesiveness of this creation, wow I tried it last holdiay season and it's just perfect...pilgrimage to 3F's maybe soon. Mouthfeel is full bodied yet crisp and dangerously smooth I paid $7.99 for a bomber and I don't feel cheated at all one of the few higher priced beers that earns it's value has a velvety texture on the palate carbonation maybe a bit higher but after carrying the higher gravity of this brew it comes of smooth as can be. Drinkability, well this beer is an incredible experience this Limited Liability Corporation from Munster, IN continues to arouse the beer lover deep down in my soul, a treat that one should track down every winter, it's great stuff. (1,613 characters)

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