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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.
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 722 | Hads: 2,021
Photo of Zorro
4.1/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 Oz bottle Sampled through the efforts of SS 05 BIF and Meathookjones.

A jet-black porter through which light can pass through only a few millimeters on the extreme edges.

Smell is strong black coffee and a heavy dose of hops. Very deeply roasted Italian espresso to the nose with good smoky char aromas. Lots of citrus, mint, menthol and spruce and willow aromas.

Taste is creamy black coffee with quite a lot of hops in the initial sip. Nice balanced bitterness levels here but there is little chocolate, this is a coffee lover’s beer. I expected more from this one since I LOVE the Dreadnaught IPA they make but this is just a good porter taste wise.

Mouthfeel is on the thin side.

OK drinkability here but not great. An interesting beer to be sure but the Dreadnaught IPA rocked my senses; this one did not. This is a beer I will try again at another time. Maybe my mood was just not in harmony for this tonight; but I didn't like it as much as most do. (975 characters)

Photo of biegaman
4.2/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Oil slicked black with walnut stained foam that will easily climb three, even four, fingers high without the exercising of a little caution. The over-anxious carbonation levels in the two bottles I've tried have been a bit testing to my patience. Eventually in both cases, however, things would settle down to a very handsome level. Alpha Klaus is uncompromisingly opaque.

It's simply in Three Floyds' nature to use hops liberally - they do it often and they do it well - so why should an English style porter be the exception? It certainly isn't! Waves of green, pungent cones slip under the nose with every sniff and carry with them an unusual (but complimenting) cast that includes lactose, toffee, nuts, caramel, coffee and milk chocolate.

I may aptly consider this a 'Christmas Porter' due to its flavour which blends pecans, dark caramel and milk chocolate so as to fit a strong resemblance to those little chocolate turtles that seem to be everywhere in my house around the holidays. There are very prominent notes of cold coffee. This bottle seems to have a slight lactic character which I can't tell is intended or not.

The flavours seem a little delicate, which is a surprising thing to find from this brewery. The taste of chocolate is brittle as if it were powder form. The hops are present but none too aggressive. The malts sense stripped of much of the roast, leaving the nutty, nectar-like taste of pecans and hazelnut to linger unimpeded with considerable length.

The carbonation is set a little too high for this style beer; it pricks the mouth and distracts from the lovely, rich, chocolaty coffee syrup taste that is near completely void of roast. Aside from that, however, the mouthfeel couldn't be much better. The flavours are silky smooth and the hops add a bitter, but heavenly, touch.

I grew to like this beer more and more while making my way through the 650ml bomber. The extra bit of alcohol never seemed to catch up with me and the flavours became ever more decadent with a delicious dark caramel taste coming forth with warmth. Like I've thought of everything else I've tried by Three Floyds: this is wonderful and definitely recommended. (2,179 characters)

Photo of Kurmaraja
4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Resinous and piney hops, hint of citrus but really that wreath taste. The references to Christmas spice are total hallucinations, in the same way the references to spice in Sierra Nevada are hallucinations. A bizarre concoction ... I'm a lover of black IPAs and this has some of the tones that I love there, but the introduction of a strong porter coffee malt flavor throws me off. It's a strange beer. (402 characters)

Photo of rhoadsrage
4.85/5  rDev +16%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in an Imperial pint glass

A- Dark in black color with a dark tan head that last pretty long. To dense to see bubbles rising

S- Even during the pour the smell of hops wafts through the air. The roasted malt, bright green hops and a hint of yeastiness is strong in the presentation

T- A rich chocolate malt is the initial taste with a strong bitterness of hops at the end. Just a bit of grassiness in the HUGE hop flavor that hangs on in the end. No alcohol taste in the finish which is surprising.

M- Full body mouth feel with good hardy astringency and a little alcohol warmth in the mouthfeel

D- This is a big beer with a bigger hoppiness. The aroma and bitterness of the hops are well balanced so it feels like there are fresh hops right in the glass. It would be nice to see a bit more maltyness in this beer but I can see hops are the driving force in this brew. (888 characters)

Photo of kscaldef
2.85/5  rDev -31.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.75

A: A dark brown ale, raises a small head with poor retention. Splotchy lacing.

S: roasty chocolate malts, mild hints of spices.

T: Starts with watery chocolate milk, developing nutmeg and cinnamon on the mid-palate. Initially finishes with an unpleasant rubbing alcohol aftertaste, but as the beer warms that off-flavor seems to subside.

M: Moderate-low carbonation. Finishes with dry, slightly astringent spices.

O: A fairly run-of-the-mill porter. I don't find the spices adding much, but at least they aren't overdone. I was rather worried about the initial off-flavors, but that seems to be remedied by letting the beer warm for 15 minutes. (648 characters)

Photo of Wasatch
3.83/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to ybnorml for this one. I forgot I had it, sat around for about 7 months.

Pours a black color, nice carbonation, nice creamy tan head which lasts for quite awhile, very nice sticky lacing throughout the drink. The nose is of slight sweet malts, slight vanilla, and coffee/caramel. The taste follows the nose pretty much, their is a nice bitter finish. Medium body. Drinkable, a nice offering from 3Fs. (412 characters)

Photo of akorsak
3.92/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 650 mL bomber from a trade with liverletdie. I believe that it is a 2005 bottle.

A: The porter is a deep brown with ruby red highlights that appear when held to light. It pours with a very vigourous and active head that weighed in at close to 3 fingers. As the head recedes, it laces nicely.

S: The aroma has elements of an American porter, a winter warmer and a DIPA. There are roasted chocolate notes, brown sugar sweetness and explosive hops.

T: The flavor is primarily roasted malts and chocolate depth that I associate with a porter. The hops hit hard, providing a piney taste that is not too intense. Because I am familiar with FFF's beers, I think that the year's aging has softened up the hops a bit. In conjunction with the chocolate and hop flavors, there is a brown sugar sweet spiciness.

M: The mouthfeel is a good blend of chocolate, sugar and hops. I like the flavor and I like the mellowed hops.

D: A nice combination of flavors, with chocolate, sugars and hops all making appearances. It's too warm outside (despite it being mid-December, it is near 50) to properly enjoy this. It goes best in front of a fire on a cold snowy night. (1,166 characters)

Photo of WoodBrew
4.26/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I recommend that this Porter recipe be indoctrinated into the year round offerings by 3Fs. It is a solid "run of the mill" Porter....nothing fancy...just outstanding. The beer poured an opaque dark with ecru head that left a nice laceing. The scent was subtle earth and peat...did not get much hops. The taste was a wonderful, what I would call, standard porter. There was subtle hints of earth/peat and a very faint touch of pepper. The mouthfeel was medium in body and very creamy....there was smooth carbonation. Overall....the best nonchalant porter I have ever had! (570 characters)

Photo of Duff27
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours black with a mocha head.

S- Chocolate, roasted malts. Coffee?

T- Rich chocolaty goodness with pronounced "Xmas" (hah) hop spice aftertaste. Pine. One-of-a-kind taste...and if not, please let me know!

M- Medium mouthfeel. Creamy, smooth.

D/O- The drinkability of this is ridiculously high. Perhaps the best porter I've ever had. Will be a holiday staple for years to come for me. Three Floyds does it again. (419 characters)

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

Poured into a New Belgium snifter. It poured smoothly and had a quickly dissipating khaki head, lacing the glass. It looked as if it were the prototype for a porter. The smell was excellent. It was rich, malty, roasted, and had a sweet fruit aroma as well, perhaps cranberry. It had great flavor. The flavor mimicked the aromas. It was spot on. It had a great consistency and was incredibly smooth. It's one of the most drinkable beers I've had, and my list is extensive. The only knock on this beer is that it only comes in 22oz bombers. This one is a masterpiece. (565 characters)

Photo of ppoitras
4.42/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle from Secret Santa jay23. Thanks for the opportunity. I assume this is the recent 2006 release.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a minimal 1/4" brown head above the almost opaque dark brown brew. Head is quickly down to an uneven layer of bubbles, with plenty of sticky delicate lacing. Aroma is sweet and roasty, with hoppy notes too. Taste is rich chocolatey sweetness coupled with plenty of piney hops. Mouthfeel is a tad on the flattish side, but drinkability remains excellent. A classic I enjoying revisiting each year during the holiday season. (575 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 Gobzilla
3.88/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Good lookin out on cracking this bottle drew

A: poured a dark brown in color with brown highlights and had a thin bubbly head leaving a little lacing sticking to the glass.

S: some roasty character was present on the nose with chocolate, toffee, brown sugar notes and a little grassy boozy aroma.

T: the chocolate, roasty, and brown sugar flavors blended quite well and were more apparent on the palate with grassy hoppy accents. It also seemed to have a little caramel character as well.

M: the brew was medium to full in body with a moderate amount of carbonation which had a sweet, roasty, grassy, mild hoppy and silky finish.

D: it actually was really easy drinking and was a tasty porter, glad I got to try this brew again; pretty solid. (747 characters)

Photo of DrJay
4.35/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer is very dark brown with mahogany highlights and there was a bit of cascading from the pour. The light brown head showed good lacing and decent retention. Quite nice! There's some roasted character to the aroma, but pine and grapefruit from the hops covered most of this up. In fact, it smelled quite a lot like pine trees. The same happened in the flavour to a lesser extent, with malt becoming more evident as it warmed. Strong hop bitterness. There were hints of semi-sweet chocolate and coffee, along with herbal hops, throughout. The finish really lingered and had a lot of hop flavour and roasted bitterness. Medium bodied and quite dry, there was a bit of slickness and well-integrated carbonation. This is a big, hoppy interpretation of a porter and exactly what I expect from 3F. You can tell there's a solid porter malt base lurking underneath all the hops. Quite enjoyable. Thanks for the pick-up Viggo! (923 characters)

Photo of Viggo
4.35/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an opaque dark brown, red visible on the sides, big tan head forms, nice sticky lace. Smell is coffee/chocolate, roast, then big pine and grapefruit hope blasts. Taste is chocolate, coffee and caramel, with a super resinous piney finish. Mouthfeel is medium to full with low carbonation. True 3F interpretation, my only complaint is that by the end of the glass the hops have killed taste buds enough to weaken the roasty flavour, but other than that spectacular. (469 characters)

Photo of Bighuge
4.92/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Clear deep ruby. Almost black. Thin creamy brown head recedes to a fluffy coating that retains nicely. Lacing is quite nice.

One helluvan aroma. While the hops are the main player, there's some great underlying chocolate and roasted bitterness. The hops impart a Huge citric characteristic and some pine notes as well. Some burnt malts, tobacco and char hit the spot as well. One of the best smelling beers I've ever sniffed.

The taste is a plethora of goodies. Many different aspects kick in with some big flavors. I'll start with the hops again. Big, bitter, piney, citric and raw. But that's not all and they don't overwhelm other flavors. Tobacco juice and char, burnt malts and bitter sweet chocolate. Spicy black pepper mingles with sweet molasses. And there's a dry cocoa residue left on the tongue after the swallow.

Mouthfeel is nice and creamy. Lightly carbonated. Body is about medium-full.

This is a great fucking experiment in Porter Brewing. It's rough and raw and jagged and fabulous.

Thank You Dale!! (1,034 characters)

Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.35/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle opened on 8.21.12.

A - Pours an opaque dark brown with a one finger medium brown head with good retention.

S - Roasted malts, coffee and some hoppiness as well.

T - Subtle and smotth coffee and roasted malts, the hop backbone is still there.

D - Good carbonation with a medium body. Coffee finish lingers.

O - It's a nice porter with a hop background. It's Christmas in August. (389 characters)

Photo of scruffwhor
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance- A great creamy brown head. Color was black all the way, no light could penetrate its dark soul.

Smell- Immeadiate hops mixed chocolate and coffee.

Taste- An excellent bitter cappuchino flavor. Starts with hops and ends with hops bitterness.

Mouthfeel- A chewy, creamy palate leaving your taste buds realing with hops and chocolate.

Drinkability- Not to overbearing if your having this AS desert. Definetly a meal in bottle. (451 characters)

Photo of bluejacket74
4.45/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I have a much fresher bottle of Alpha Klaus to review now, so let's see how this one compares to the one I had in the past.

22 ounce bottle. Served in a snifter, the beer pours dark brown/black with about an inch frothy tan head. Head retention is good, and there's a lot of lacing, too. Aroma is roasty and hoppy, it smells like piney hops, roasted malt, coffee and bittersweet chocolate. The taste is pretty much just like the aroma, but with the addition of some citrusy (grapefruit) hops. None of the flavors overpower the other ones, which is a good thing in this case. There's also a nice bitter hoppy finish. Mouthfeel/body is medium/full, it's a bit creamy and coating, and is well carbonated. I like this brew a lot, it's really good hoppy porter. I'd certainly buy this again in the future, and it's really worth trying if you've never had this before.

First review of this beer from 8/4/2006:
The beer pours black, with a huge foamy head. There's a bit too much carbonation with this one. Even then, it's still a pretty good looking beer. It smells like roasted malt, coffee, chocolate and some floral hops too. The main taste in this beer is coffee, with some bitter chocolate and a good bit of hoppiness. The taste did get better as the beer warmed. There's also a lingering bitter aftertaste. This is a full bodied beer, with a creamy but overcarbonated mouthfeel. You can't tell the alcohol too much with this beer, it hides the 7.5% ABV well. Overall, this is a pretty good beer, but it could be better if the carbonation was cut down a bit. Cheers!

L: 4.5 S: 4 T: 4 F: 3.5 O: 4 (1,598 characters)

Photo of TurdFurgison
4.2/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this from a 3 Floyds bomber. Looked dark and thick, had the trademark 3 Floyds smell (maybe they use the same hops in many of their beers?). Really good taste too.

I don't try too many porters, I guess I never got into them all that much. But this one was good. I'll have it again in the future, especially if I can find it in smaller bottles. (350 characters)

Photo of glid02
4.35/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got to try this at Pizzeria Paradiso in Washington DC.

Pours an opaque dark brown color with a two-finger off-white head. The head dissipates into a patchy layer of bubbles on top and a thick ring around the glass. Lacing is pretty sticky.

Smells mostly of sweet chocolate with mild spice and roasted malt aromas.

Tastes very good. Very mild spices up front followed shortly by a big chocolate taste that segues into roasted malt flavors. There's a very mild bitter ending. There's absolutely no hint of the alcohol - I would've guessed that it was 5%.

Mouthfeel is very good. It's got a very good thickness and carbonation that's on the low side for a porter, which I'm a fan of.

Drinkability is great. I had no problem downing my half of the bomber, and wish I could've had the second half. I could very easily drink more of these.

Overall this is one of the better porters that I've had. Everything worked very well together and there are no off flavors. Definitely give this one a shot. (996 characters)

Photo of rudzud
4.28/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Received as an extra in a trade and poure dinto my Duvel tulip.

A - Pours a nice rich dark brown hue with a creamy two finger mocha head that never goes away. No, this slumps down to a solid fat finger leaving sticky lacing in its wake and never goes lower than that.

S - Woah..this is fun aromas. Chocolate, light anise notes, sweet sugars, and an assortment of hop notes. Light pine, citrus (oranges, lemons), spicy hops. This is like some weird black IPA porter thing. Really was not expecting hops here.

T - Taste is just as fun as the nose, though MUCH more roasty. Tons of roast here, almost burnt and smoky. Dark chocolate, acrid coffee, sweet malts/sugar. Big pine notes, resinous, spicy hops, citrus hops. I second what another viewer said...this is like a cross between a stout and a black IPA.

M - Mouthfeel is nice and creamy, works great with the style, light prickly/spicy carbonation.

O - Overall, this was not what I was expecting at all. Its definitely not your average porter, and its much more smokey than your run of the mill black IPA. A pleasant surprise. (1,084 characters)

Photo of claspada
4.13/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sampling a 2008 version of this beer. I bet I would have not enjoyed it fresh because of the extreme hoppy nature of 3F beers.
Appearance is ridiculous. Glorious dark mocha with a dark brown head and crazy crazy crazy lacing. This definitely used to and may still have some hop character.
Aromas are fudgey brownies; dark and milk chocolates are amazingly aromatic. Some sweetness; maybe caramel, light toffee and a bit of earth as it warms but the chocolate duo is by far the alpha dog (or should I say lead reindeer because this is Alpha Klaus... sorry). As it warms the espresso and toffee become more evident and borderline equal with the chocolate.
The tastes begin with lightly roasted coffee and slight toffee and burnt caramel maltiness. Dryer than I originally expected; roasty. Not the blast of chocolate that I got in the nose at all. Fairly straight-forward and simple, yet still delicious but I was expecting more from the nose. This is only a 6% porter so I should have tempered my expectations, but those aromas were hard to ignore. I am pleased that as it warmed the fudge brownies came back into the fold more, hooray!
Initially while slightly chilled the mouthfeel is overbearingly carbonated, but as it warms and I "snift" this a little it is exponentially more drinkable. Medium to full bodied which is saying a lot for a 6%ABV adequately carbonated beer. This drinks like a much heavier beer, in a good way, with so much flavor and complexity and fullness, a tad sticky once it reaches room temperature.
Overall, this is a great great American Porter, by far the best American Porter I have ever had. I have had many many great English Brown/Robust Porters, which have been great and plenty of good Baltic Porters as well but as far as American Porters go this is tops. Great Lakes was great but not as full bodied and complex. I don't consider any porter like Ballast Victory @ Seas an American porter because it's an Imperial Porter @ 10%ABV, so anyway yum. Glad I tasted it aged to avoid the bitter hoppiness that apparently exists when this brew is fresh. (2,081 characters)

Photo of Gusler
4.57/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer disembogues a deep brown to almost black with ruby high lights and the head behemothic in size, spumous in texture and the color a beauteous light tan with the resultant lace a thick sheet welded to the glass to seal it from the light. Marvelous floral aroma at the front, sweet toasted malt, molasses, crisp and a real treat for the schnozzle this one with the start ambrosial and nicely malted, top is middling in its feel to the senses. Finish is temperate in its acidity and the hops puissant in their spiciness, quite dry and long lasting aftertaste. One of the best porters I have had in years, and certainly will move into my porter top ten (656 characters)

Photo of jrallen34
3.83/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I drank this from a 22 oz bottle into my rochefort chalice.

This beer pours black with about 2 fingers of medium tan head. The retention is really good as it takes about 5 minutes to go down completely. As it falls there a nice chunks and lots of soapy lacing that covers all sides of the glass.

The aroma is very very strong. It smells like smoke which is amazing to me, never smelled that in anything other than a rauch. There are also some notes of oak and coffee.

The taste is also wood/smoke that is quite intriguing. I would have thought this was a smoked porter. There are small hints of hops and coffee.

The beer is very heavy on the palate but limited in drinkability. (683 characters)

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