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Alpha Klaus Christmas (Xmas) Porter - Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub

Alpha Klaus Christmas (Xmas) PorterAlpha Klaus Christmas (Xmas) Porter

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

1,610 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1610
Reviews: 692
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 10.36%


Brewed by:
Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub visit their website
Indiana, United States

Style | ABV
American Porter |  6.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
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 added by: zerk on 12-06-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,610 | Reviews: 692 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Thorpe429
Thorpe429

Illinois

4.53/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the FFF Brewpub in November 2009.

Pours a very, very dark brown with a moderately-brown head. Hops are at the forefront of this one, with a bit of dark chocolate, coffee, and roast coming through in the background. The taste is quite similar, with an amazing amount of piney hops coming through alongside a little bit of citrus. Chocolate and coffee also make an appearance. The mouthfeel is medium-bodied and well-carbonated. Overall, a little intense and heavy for extended drinking, but definitely an absolutely delicious beer.

Serving type: on-tap

01-23-2010 18:11:34 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of weatherdog
weatherdog

Illinois

3.95/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Palmers in LaGrange IL

Served in a shaker pint glass

Appearance was a deep dark brown with a 1 finger head that lingered throughout much of the pint.

The smell is just this sharp grassy piny hop with a low amount of dark malt sweetness. To me it was similar to sticking my nose in a bag of hop pellets where the nuances of the variety are shadowed by the sheer plant smell.

The taste was once again dominated by the grassy hop taste. Behind the initial grassy taste there is a typical porter malt profile to stand up against. The nice thing is the bitterness is pretty low and this is all about the aroma and flavor hops. Quite enjoyable to say the least.

If it had anymore bitterness I think it would cut down on the drinkability considering it is already a pretty full bodied beer.

Serving type: on-tap

01-14-2010 14:22:11 | More by weatherdog
Photo of hayesez
hayesez

Indiana

4.43/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Been drinking the Alpha Klaus for several years now, but after quite some time on the site, I've finally started keeping some notes....so here goes.

Drank this one at Sonka Irish Pub, here in Terre Haute. Poured a deep dark brown into a standard pint glass. A two finger cream head sticks around for the majority of this session. On the lower end of the carbonation scale the Alpha Klaus left a thick, sticky, spider web lace along the top 2/3 of my pint. What a great looking beer!

This beer has changed over the years. The substantial piney hops have given way to a bit more citrus. As you know, Three Floyd's loves to pound the hops, and this beer is no exception. The pine is still there, don't get me wrong, but the prominent smell has moved toward the citrus. Getting your nose in there gets you that maltiness you'd expect from a porter, but you have to work at it. This is one of the things I love about Three Floyd's - they take a beer, hop the hell out of it, and pull it off time after time.

Still a fantastic tasting brew. This is one of those beers that really throws a curveball at you. If you were to base your taste "guess" solely on the appearance, you'd probably be way off. I've had dozens of these over the years and every time I have to do a double take after my first swig. Once you get past the hops, a malty sweetness turns to a slight coffee before making a clean and quick exit. This really is a crisp beer that punches you in the mouth before slipping out the back of the bar, leaving you to wonder what the hell just happened.

I could sit back and drink several of these fine beers. It is medium bodied and pours right down. I know a lot of people compare this to a heavier stout, but I actually lean in the other direction a bit. While the appearance and the middle taste might emulate a stout, the hoppiness, citrus smell/taste, and clean finish impersonate an IPA. All in all, this is one captivating brew.

I highly recommend giving this one a shot off the tap, if possible. I find it to be a lot more crisp and clean than the bottled version, although just as tasty.

Consumed - 12/12/09

Serving type: on-tap

12-13-2009 07:18:58 | More by hayesez
Photo of homebrew311
homebrew311

Illinois

4.05/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: pitch black with fluffy chocolate brown head, decent retention, opaque

S: fresh piney green hops on the front which sit atop a nice roasty chocolate malt backbone, hints of coffee and dark chocolate

T: all hops on the front as the nose would suggest.. piny, spicy and earthy hops which are followed by the nice chocolate robust porter profile. Very nice, but the hops are a little overwhelming when it is this fresh!

MF: Thick, creamy, medium carb, perfect for the style

D: This almost drinks more like a dark IPA than a porter, but it is an intriguing brew never the less. This was my first opportunity to experience the freshness of draft... and it translates to a more assertive hop profile (vs. the bottle). Great beer from an excellent brewery.

Serving type: on-tap

12-04-2009 02:40:13 | More by homebrew311
Photo of trbergman
trbergman

Illinois

4.33/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Imperial pint served on tap at the brew pub.

A - Black, with one finger of creamy tan head.

S - Acrid black malt, chocolate, citrusy American hops.

T - Dark chocolate, coffee, loads of grapefruit, citrus zest, aggressive hop bitterness.

M - Body is on the lighter side of medium, nice and smooth.

D - Highly quaffable and delicious.

Serving type: on-tap

11-15-2009 23:39:53 | More by trbergman
Photo of thedrewski86
thedrewski86

Indiana

4.28/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap at 3Floyds last night. Had about a 1/2" light tan head, very tight carbonation. Left a good amount lacing. Smells like fruit, spices. Tastes somewhat sweet, roasty, chocolaty and malty. After spending a half hour riding to the bar in 35 degree weather on my motorcycle, this was very warming! After the first sip, you feel much better. The mouthfeel lost a little in my opinion, there was less carbonation than I expected and it felt a little slick going down. Almost oily. I got used to it though, honestly I wouldn't change a thing about this beer. I could easily spend a snowy afternoon drinking these over at 3F!

Serving type: on-tap

11-12-2009 19:23:39 | More by thedrewski86
Photo of roadhouse
roadhouse

Florida

4.38/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had on-tap at Three Floyds 11/28/08 into a pint glass.

Apperance was dark black with a one inch tan head that sank to a good coating that held up throughout and left some pretty good lacing.

Aroma was expectedly roasty with lots of chocolate tones, brown sugar, and an unexpected (though it's FFF so king of expected) huge citrusy hop presence.

The taste was initially somewhat sweet with notes of brown sugar, then some chocolate, followed by a huge burst of citrus that somehow works wonderfully. As the hops come out some coffee-like roastiness comes out though it's quite smooth. Finishes with a wonderful blend of roast and citrus.

Mouthfeel is medium, smooth and creamy, this ones really easy to put back a few of.

This stuff is unlike any other Porter I've tried. I had this one last March or so and the hops were not nearly as present as they are now when it's fresh. Get some of this stuff, very unique and excellent.

Serving type: on-tap

11-29-2008 07:11:09 | More by roadhouse
Photo of JamesS
JamesS

Indiana

4.97/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a very nice, excellent deep black color with just a bit of tan head and some very nice horizontal lacing. Excellent aroma and taste, both very chocotaly with nice burnt grain attributes and a bit of spices coming through, deep and dark and warming. It goes down very, very smoothly for a higher gravity beer. This is really very, very good, one of the best beers I've had in a long time.

(On tap at Sonka's Irish Pub, Terre Haute, IN)

Serving type: on-tap

11-25-2008 21:36:50 | More by JamesS
Photo of rudylaw
rudylaw

Illinois

4.33/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap @ Local Option

I've been on the hunt for this concoction for quite some time, and now it's relatively easy to find bottled, but I wanted to taste it on draft. I was rewarded a few weeks back at Local Option.

It pours dark black... like you're hiding in the shadows, trying not to be seen. Smells like a seasonal should -- chocolate, hazelnut and like the reviews below me say, pine. Definitely piney.

It tastes like it smells and if you've ever had a FFF beer in your life, you can taste it's signature, hoppy taste. Chocolate and hazelnuts come through with a wallop to your taste buds. There's that delicious pine again. There's also a little smoke here as well. Not a raging fire though, more like a smoldering flame.

It's a thick beer, but not medicine thick. Heavy, but doesn't weigh you down... like a small burden you can shrug off... allowing you to go back for seconds.

I've also enjoyed this bottled, so don't feel bad if you can't find this on tap anywhere. The experience is just as good at home, provided you give it the respect it deserves by enjoying it slowly with friends.

Serving type: on-tap

12-29-2007 14:17:58 | More by rudylaw
Photo of atrus138
atrus138

Kentucky

4.75/5  rDev +14.5%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

12-28-2007 03:18:25 | More by atrus138
Photo of RockyTopHeel
RockyTopHeel

North Carolina

4.88/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Tasted on tap at the Three Floyds Brewery Pub in Munster, IN, 12.28.06.

A dark brown offering with a foamy, light brown head. Surprisingly strong, piney hops in the nose, along with roasted coffee beans. The taste is full of thick, luscious roasted malts, bittersweet chocolate, French roast coffee, and more crisp, chewy hops. The hops really make this beer stand out - despite all the rich, thick roasted flavors, you can still taste and get a nose full of the IPA-like dry hopped elements. Very smooth and nicely chewy. Quite possibly the best porter I've ever had.

Serving type: on-tap

12-30-2006 04:09:34 | More by RockyTopHeel
Photo of FirkinDave
FirkinDave

Illinois

4.75/5  rDev +14.5%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

12-21-2006 08:36:37 | More by FirkinDave
Photo of tjthresh
tjthresh

Indiana

3.38/5  rDev -18.6%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

12-10-2006 02:38:16 | More by tjthresh
Photo of aforbes10
aforbes10

Iowa

3.93/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap at 3 floyds brewpub

Fantastic looking beer. Good head although it was more bubbly than creamy. Tremendous laving. Black as a steers tuckus on a moonless night. Odor was nothing exeptional, just some hints of coffee and malts. Taste was a surprizing hit of hops first, then a chocolateness and then a heavy roasted malt taste. Creamy and dry in the mouth. Good drinkability...i could have another or 10.

Serving type: on-tap

01-23-2006 17:04:07 | More by aforbes10
Photo of jlh8643
jlh8643

Indiana

4.6/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Served in an imperial pint glass at the brew pub. Very dark with slight ruby tinge around the edges and a tight tan head that sits on top leaving good lace down the glass. The aroma gives you a ton of pine with hints of cocoa and chocolate and dark roasted malt. The pine hops lead initially but the dark malts take over with the malty sweetness and taste of molasses coming from the mexican sugar. The beer finishes somewhat dry with hops again bringing up the rear. Another great beer for the holidays from 3F's

Serving type: on-tap

12-03-2005 16:06:45 | More by jlh8643
Photo of DaPeculierDane
DaPeculierDane

Wisconsin

3.75/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I don’t quite grasp the hype surrounding this beer. It’s quite good but I don’t see why it’s worth paying so much for it when equally or better brews like the Fitz, Tommy, and Great Dane’s Cascade or Black Earth are available for half the price.

Pours a bronzed cocoa with moderately lasting sticky white-brown head.

Smells of citrus hops and cocoa, dark roasted malts and grape fruit. Also bits of anise.

Tastes cakey but also of iced down chocolate milk. A bit thinner than I would like, fluffier too. I want cream and am only getting iced milk. Sweet front, dry finish.

Very drinkable.

I’ll pick of a bottle of this and try it again soon. Maybe their was something wrong with the keg I had or my taste buds that night but like I said, I don’t get the hype.

Serving type: on-tap

11-22-2005 03:37:59 | More by DaPeculierDane
Photo of clvand0
clvand0

Kentucky

4.83/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Had this on tap at Rich O's Public House. Pours a very dark color with a small head that doesn't stick around too long and leaves great lacing on the sides. The aroma is very hoppy for a porter, but very nice. The flavor was much less hoppy from the aroma - very well balanced hops here. Big maltiness and creamy chocolate goodness. Wonderful body and exceptionally easy to drink. Loved this one on tap.

Serving type: on-tap

12-29-2004 18:40:56 | More by clvand0
Photo of oracle
oracle

Indiana

3.58/5  rDev -13.7%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

12-21-2004 17:34:18 | More by oracle
Photo of soper2000
soper2000

Texas

4.28/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My roommate and I picked up a sixtle of this among other offerings at FFF, I decided that 2004 edition especially on-tap merited a rereview. Pulled the beer into my Sam Smith pint glass. Pours a nice black with the edges turning a beautiful ruby when held up to a light. The 2 finger head ever so gently fades into a tan lacing. Aroma is a little weaker than last years but coffee, chocolate, and "sticky" hops meld to form an intoxicating aroma. Taste has a slightly harsh finish but has the same attributes as the nose. Mouthfeel is nice and creamy. Overall this is a great beer but it could use a little time to mellow out the finish before coming something legendary.

Serving type: on-tap

12-01-2004 00:23:23 | More by soper2000
Photo of DrunkMcDermott
DrunkMcDermott

Illinois

4.3/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Enjoyed this at its “Release Party” at the Map Room, courtesy of Nick Floyd. Solid brown body, with a thin, lacy head. Very low alcohol taste, but that's only the perception. Rides the very thin line between chewy and watery mouthfeel like a porter should, but with the addition of the 3 Floyds “mouth full of hop pellets” effect. Hop effect can’t help but overrun the chocolate malt taste. Starts out somewhat grapefruitty, but then hangs around when you’ve finished to playfully bitch slap your uvula!

Serving type: on-tap

12-15-2003 14:49:06 | More by DrunkMcDermott
Photo of UncleJimbo
UncleJimbo

Massachusetts

4.28/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled on tap in July 2003 at The Blind Tiger. Christmas 2002 vintage.

This porter poured jet black with creamy, tan foam that coated the glass a bit. The smell was strong, "chewy", green hops (floral) with a bit of dark malt. The taste was dominated by the hops but the malt almost balanced with flavors of chocolate, cocoa, and caramel. The mouthfeel was smooth, and relatively sweet and a bit fruity. The body was medium with medium carbonation. This was a very nice porter -- kind of a Porter meets IPA. Very enjoyable as a porter and as a highly hopped ale. This keg had apparently lost much of its spiciness after 7+ months cellaring.

Serving type: on-tap

07-18-2003 04:36:42 | More by UncleJimbo
Photo of dwarbi
dwarbi

New York

4.6/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This was one of my two favorite three floyds. Fantastic beer. It's a solid black beer. Can't see it at all. Lovely tan head. Smells of cinnamon and homemade bread. It tastes malty and a little bit like chocolate. Perfect thickness -- feels very good on the palate and incredibly drinkable.
(Tasted this beer at the Blind Tiger's Three Floyds event)

Serving type: on-tap

04-24-2003 20:24:13 | More by dwarbi
Photo of Shiredave
Shiredave

New York

4.8/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Dark chocolate brown, thick tan head, big aroma of chocolate and flowery hop w/ some smokiness in the back. Just lucious as it enters your mouth - not a big beer but huge on flavor and drinkability. Incredible blend of flavors in a medium bodied porter. Lingering hop bitterness remains after the hop and dark grain flavors fade. No specs on alcohol content from web site or distributor but my guess is around 6.5%/ Vol.
I am surprised my numbers came out so high but when I look back, I dont want to change a thing. I just took another sip.... IMHO its nearly as good as it gets.

Serving type: on-tap

12-20-2002 21:42:52 | More by Shiredave
Photo of zerk
zerk

California

5/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Sampled this one on tap at the brewery, and again from my growler at home.

From a Three Floyds pamphlet: Rich and chocolatey, with English chocolate and Mexican sugar.

Just when I thought Three Floyds couldn't wow me anymore than they already had, along comes Alpha Klaus. Black with an amber tint... a persistant tan head... leaving beautiful lace all the way down the glass. Aroma of sweet chocolate and quite a bit of pine. Flavor is very bold, and somewhat sweet... pine, chocolate, toasted malt, and some noticable alcohol. The pine hop flavor is what really dominates... almost as if they had extracted the pine flavor from the hop, and left the bitterness behind. Mouthfeel is very smooth and creamy, with a delicate carbonation, and medium body. I don't know the ABV% on this, but I would imagine it's pretty high, based on the flavor and the punch that it packs.

A truely astounding brew from 3f, and *dare I say it* probably even better than Dreadnaught!

Serving type: on-tap

12-06-2002 05:48:49 | More by zerk
Photo of magictacosinus
magictacosinus

California

4.34/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I'm pretty fortunate that I was able to have this twice over the past few months. The second time I had it, however, it was a little bit past its prime so this is the review of the tasting at the December Albany Taproom bottle share, courtesy of jdhowe (thanks!). Poured out of a 22oz bomber into a tulip glass.

Darkened in color, save for a few reddish amber streaks at the edges. The head is an off-white color that rises to the top in a creamy manner, akin to an English porter, yet dissipates rather quickly over the course of consumption. Not too many bubbles show, but it does seem well carbonated overall. Solid in terms of color and body, and nothing too showy overall. Modest by FFF standards.

The aroma sure isn't, though - I've had my fair share of winter beers last year, but this may be one of my favorites yet. Big notes of dark fruits (plums, raisins, figs) meld with an underlying roasted chocolate profile with a plethora of spices, ranging from mint to nutmeg, from allspice to ginger peel. Pine and orange peel are also predominant, with some notes of cardamom and tamarind. Slightly pepper, with some light anise and molasses notes. Finishes with some caramel and toasted toffee. Usually, for the most part, these flavors are more predominant in Belgian quads or winter releases, but the part that makes it unique here is the porter base, which is roasted, bready, and far closer to an English style, save for the hop profile in usage. It's really nice overall, and highly resembles a mint and spice filled chocolate treat.

The flavor is equally on par, and by golly, FFF churns out yet another high quality beer in its own class. Lots of dark fruit notes, notably ranging from dark cherries to plums, with some molasses and anise, changing bases rapidly into the roasted dark chocolate profile (think powdered cocoa) that melts with the mint, nutmeg, ginger, and tamarind profile, to instantly satisfying results. The bitterness, nuttiness, and spiciness keeps things from getting too sweet or cloying overall, and the roasted profile, melded with the fruit and mint, becomes a high quality winter treat that is delectable and sharp, in many regards. The finish is filled with some extra pine and citrus, as well as a bit of earthiness, which accentuates the spice base in the porter. Roasted and grainy, yet at the same time, pretty filling and creamy overall. This is what so many winter warmers should strive for. Absolutely delicious.

This is to porters what St. Bernardus Xmas Ale is to quads. Gets a good base beer and fills it with a fun, jubilant hop profile and array of spices that makes this become the much needed holiday treat, at the end of the day. By far one of my favorite seasonal releases from FFF, and I hope to get this every year for the holidays as long as I can.

Serving type: bottle

03-10-2014 07:57:09 | More by magictacosinus
Alpha Klaus Christmas (Xmas) Porter from Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub
93 out of 100 based on 1,610 ratings.