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

Not Rated.
Alpha Klaus Christmas (Xmas) PorterAlpha Klaus Christmas (Xmas) Porter

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
92
outstanding

1,731 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,731
Reviews: 696
rAvg: 4.14
pDev: 10.39%
Wants: 233
Gots: 219 | FT: 12
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: 1,731 | Reviews: 696 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of sideshowrob
4.6/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served straight up in a standard pint glass. Poured a lovely velvety black with very little head. Smell was excellent, strong note of pine and sweet malts. Taste was superb. The exuberence of hops produced a strong spruce/pine note that made one reminice of christmas. The hop character was well balanced by the malty porter back note. A great beer. Superb mouthfeel and rather easy to dring. It's just a shame this is a seasonal, and in very limited release here in the mid-atlantic.

sideshowrob, Dec 29, 2004
Photo of Sammy
4.28/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

An excellently hoppy porter. Spruce pine aroma. Black. A fullmouth treat of quality chocolate on the sweeter side, and hoppiness. Some roast, something dairy, ginger, cardammon, anise, cinammon, grapefruit and other citrus Thanks Wohlfs for bringing in.

Sammy, Dec 26, 2004
Photo of Redrover
4.15/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours jet black with a dense tan head.

Great aroma of roasted malts, some chocolate and a surprising amount of hop aroma.

Very interesting taste. My first impressions are smokey malts, but then I get some bite from the hops. Lots of roasted sweetness, but again, the hops stick their nose in to add a nice twist. Enjoy this beer at cellar temps as if it is served to cold, some of the subtleties are lost. Beer remains rock solid as you work your way through it.

The mouthfeel is oily & slick, the taste just coats your mouth. Drinkability is very good. What a great beer to have by the fire! Another winner from my favorite Hooiser brewers!

Redrover, Dec 24, 2004
Photo of oracle
3.58/5  rDev -13.5%
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.

oracle, Dec 21, 2004
Photo of Ahhdball
4.1/5  rDev -1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served from a 22oz bomber at close to 45 degrees in a brandy snifter. Black oily pour accompanied by a nice 2 finger beige effervescent crown. As with most of the 3 Floyds I've tried the hops came on strong in the scent of this deep brown to black selection. Pine needles, and roasted chestnuts followed subtley. Strong bittery hops grabbed the senses and clung tightly through the entire drink, never leaving the mouth but balanced throughout with a mild dose of chocolate and the aforementioned pine. After both glasses I was ready for bed. Although 7.5 abv it feels a lot heavier but not as thick or hefty as an Imperial Stout. Good for a porter but a tad too heavy on the hops to increase the numbers on the style.

Ahhdball, Dec 21, 2004
Photo of cerevisiaephilus
4.22/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nice looking beer. Can just barely see through the deep garnet at the bottom of the glass when held directly up to a light. Nice beige/tan head that just covers the top of the beer. Really appropriate for a porter I think.

Definately get some hops in the nose. Big brash hops. No locos here. Also get some of the chocolate notes I think, or roasted or black patent or whatever.

Wow. That's a bitter porter. Really nice though. Its really almost an Impy stout really. Reminds me of some of the smaller impy stouts. Maybe not as agressive on the roasted notes, this still has them. Big hops bitterness and a refreshing hop flavor. Really enjoyable. But leaves a bit to be desired in the finish. Just a little rough. Might be the hop bitterness that's rough in the finish.

Mouthfeel is quite good. Little too carbonated for my tastes though. Little too prickly for all those hops. I could have the CO2 toned down just a hint.

Pretty drinkable. Definately tasty and not big enough to prevent me from having a couple bombers...but I'd definately be feeling good after more than 2 or so.

cerevisiaephilus, Dec 18, 2004
Photo of GCBrewingCo
4.3/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer poured black with a ruby highlight and a frothy, tall, large and in charge head that lasted to coat the glass, lace it, and then laugh at it for even trying to attempt to mess with the head formation.

The aroma was hoppy, and the beer was definitely dry hopped. The grassy hop aroma was resinous and powerful. Behind the hop resins was a nice complement of coffee and chocolate that rounded out the aroma.

The flavor was nicely accomplished with a delicate balance of chocolate and bittering. The bittering was not overpowering in the flavor like the aroma might have you to believe. The hops were present and slightly grassy and worked well in balance with the chocolate and slight caramel flavors.

The finish was just dry with a lasting slight chocolate and caramel impression that dried out in the very end to chocolate and bittering. The body was medium full and well done.

22 ounce bottle. A beer with a great nose and a very well achieved balance of flavors. The alcohol never makes an appearance at the party and the drinkability due to the balance was very high.

GCBrewingCo, Dec 15, 2004
Photo of merlin48
4.68/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

What a winter treat this one is. 22 oz bomber pours a deep dark brown body that is opaque until held to the light, illuminating a ruby tinted clarity. Healthy tan head has garnet fringes and rises a few centimeters, falling into a steady cap with immense patch lacing.
Aroma is hops. Pine, spruce, and grass are obvious, and there are dark roasted malts in the background. Quite interesting to pick up such profound hop aromas from such a dark ale.
The moutfeel is exceptional. I rate a 5 for mouthfeel only when I find myself swirling a sip around in my mouth for several seconds, out of pure enjoyment, pleasure, and wonderment. This has such a mouthfeel. Medium to full bodied, with ample carbonation which bounces the hop bite off the roasted maltiness. Yummy!
Taste is more hops than roasted malt, but both are here in excellent proportion. Pine and grassy hops, with a hint of tangerine, atop a smooth chocolate malt backbone. Roasted coffee bitterness balances, but is mild in taste. Toasty barley malt flavors are constantly peaking through, but the hops really run the show here. This is really a treat to sip and savor.
Unique, fascinating, and exceptional. The best winter seasonal I've ever sampled, and I'm really fond of Mad Elf and Cold Mountain. Judicious use of hops here transforms a very good winter porter into an excellent winter seasonal. Three Floyds has really raised the bar with this superior brew. A big thank you to orbitalr0x is in order.

merlin48, Dec 15, 2004
Photo of mattcrill
4.13/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A finely crafted beer with a HUGE identity problem.

Appearance: very stout-like. Very dark and black with a rocky tan head.

Smell: Pine and grapefruit. WTF??? It states on the bottle that this is an American version of a classic London ale. It also states that it has a huge chocolate taste. Well, it certainly doesn't have a huge chocolate smell. This hop profile is pretty amped up. I had to do a double take to make sure I had the right beer. Looks like a stout, smells like an IPA, and says it's a porter. What gives here?

Taste: Pine, citrus, and grapefruit dominate. I get a smattering of some baker's chocolate and a little sweetness but this is all hop driven. The chocolate does come out more as it warms but seriously folks...I've never had a porter taste like this. I had to mark it down points. Not b/c it tasted bad but just b/c it doesn't match the style at ALL.

Mouthfeel: medium-bodied and creamy. Very big and full from all the hops and malts.

Drinkability: Pretty decent but can't see making a session out of this b/c of all the hops...never thought I would write that about a porter!!

This is truly a good beer and probably deserves to be aged. But it's not a porter. If you blindfolded me and made me sip it, at the very least I would say a hopped up pale ale if not an IPA. It's not a porter. But a very interesting beer....

mattcrill, Dec 14, 2004
Photo of vladtheimpaler
4.9/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

22 oz bottle. Perfect thick tan head atop a beautiful brown body. Nice even carbonation. Hoppy chocolate aroma. Those hops are fresh right now for sure. Flavor is rich with chocolate. Nice hop flavor with a light bitterness. Hop flavor and roasty maltiness lingers. Thick and chewy mouth feel. Extremely drinkable and satisfying. That thick head really has staying power, and forms a nice lacing on the glass. the balance in the flavors is perfect in this one. A must have while fresh.

vladtheimpaler, Dec 11, 2004
Photo of Higravity
3.15/5  rDev -23.9%
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.

Higravity, Dec 10, 2004
Photo of Bierguy5
3.93/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. bomber. Pours a deep brown with ruby highlights at the bottom of the glass. Huge creamy tan head. Pretty good head retention, and a nice amount of lace on the sides of the glass. Smell has a whiff of chocolate, followed by an onslought of piney hops. Big hop aroma. Dry chocolate beginning, with hints of roasty malt, followed by piney and citrusy hops. Kind of like a porter with a Christmas tree in it. Medium body, moderate carbonation. Very raw and unbalanced. The hops seem to be over the top, and take away somewhat from the malt character. Not very sessionable. However, having said that, if there is any time of the year for beers to be over the top, Christmas is the time. I think that is why this works. Festive beer, certainly worth a try.

Bierguy5, Dec 10, 2004
Photo of HappyHourHero
4.93/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Giant, dense, light chestnut colored head holds like a champ, eventually leaving a sheet of lace. Roasted malt, coffee, maybe some marshmallow in the aroma and a smell I couldn't quite place at first, but I think it's hops, kind of piney, very interesting. A pretty dry beer. Bitter chocolate and roasted malt flavor, some black licorice, some mild sweetness, and those hops all bounce back and forth melding towards the end. Body is moderate, thick for a porter. Looks great, smells great, tastes great ... this beer delivers. Very interesing mix of hops and dark malts. I had no idea what I was getting into and I'm just psyched. Gonna have to stock up.

HappyHourHero, Dec 10, 2004
Photo of meathookjones
5/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This was from a 22oz bottle. After finally seeing this in a store in the area I decided to pick up a few. This pours out with a pitch-black body with a tall tan head that slowly rising from the bubbles beneath the surface. The head is still a good size even after I drank the whole glass and all the while putting huge clumps of frothy foam around the glass. This is just perfect to look at it really gets the mouth watering. Aroma is a malty mix of chocolate and caramel with strong roasted coffee presence. Wow the hops are just as strong here with notes of earthy and floral hops coming through all that malt. This is quite a bit to take in and I wasn’t sure what to make of it at first but it is amazing. The taste is an amazing blend of fresh hops and chocolate malt with both coming on strong. It took me a while to really take this all in but damn this is good. The hops cut though the strong malt to make themselves known and add a wonderful contrast. Flavor ends on a lingering earthy bitter note. Mouthfeel is about full and quite coating that makes the taste stick with you. This is something I could drink all day, huge malts, huge hops and it blends together wonderfully. Simple amazing.

meathookjones, Dec 08, 2004
Photo of NeroFiddled
4.45/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Who would've ever expected hops in a Three Floyds porter? Well, they're there! It's aroma is chock full of resinous, piney and spruce-like hops (Chinook, but mixed with something else... even some Cascades perhaps...) over subtle, toasted and mildly chocoaltey dark malts. It's very dark brown body rests beneath a frothy head of tan foam that holds well and leaves some nice lace about the glass. It's medium bodied and mildly zesty across the palate. The piney hop character is continued in the flavor, but more balanced by its lightly chocolatey maltiness. It's well-balanced with a solid bitterness, but it's far from overdone; and, as might be expected, it finishes with a flourish of hops. It's not particularily complex, offering little beyond its hops and dark malt combination, but it is quite enjoyable and very drinkable in that sense. Nicely done!

NeroFiddled, Dec 07, 2004
Photo of nomad
4.1/5  rDev -1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a color just short of black with a thick off-white head. Lacing is superb as is the head retention. Truly a great sight in a pint.

Smells of muted hops, vaguely sweet and citrus oranges, with a nutty and roasty but soft malt presence. Through two bottles I'd have to say this beer's aroma is pretty weak, at least consistently with those 44 ounces.

Flavor has a smooth, dark core with a toasty black malt ending and little roast barley accents, greatly helping the drinkability. Short chocolate flavors in the middle of the palate as small hop kicks are faintly juicy near the moderate finish redolent of wonderful brown sugar tones. Medium mouthfeel and low carbonation is very nice.

Where's the smell? Besides that, a very smooth porter.

nomad, Dec 03, 2004
Photo of frazbri
4.65/5  rDev +12.3%
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;(

frazbri, Dec 03, 2004
Photo of soper2000
4.28/5  rDev +3.4%
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.

soper2000, Dec 01, 2004
Photo of Gueuzedude
4.03/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours with a thick creamy light brown head that sits atop a deep, almost black colored beer. The aroma has notes of chocolate, espresso, and an astringent roast grain husk character. These notes are joined by a strong American hop presence that is redolent of tangerine, orange, and grapefruit. The taste is definitely rich and roasty, with solid notes of coffee, and chocolate. The hops are also here, but not as prevalent as they were in the nose. Nevertheless the hops are here from beginning to end. I get notes grapefruit, tangerines and other citrus fruits. There is a sweetness to this beer that accentuates the fruity hop notes, in fact I really like how the chocolate porter notes pair with the citrus notes of the hops, it is like a good orange flavored milk chocolate nougat.

While this is definitely quite tasty, it could certainly use a bit more thick, rich, malt notes. Thicker malt notes would make it just that little bit more festive.

Gueuzedude, Nov 30, 2004
Photo of feloniousmonk
4.63/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

deep brown color, with crimson highlights peeking through, blessed with a thick, prodigious cocoa-tan head...
Aroma: mmm,roasty-toasty, cinnamon, ginger,toffee,coffee, and cream...oh, yummy, oh, very good...nice as it gets...
Taste: Very smooth, yet terribly dark and full in the body, full in the flavor, ...a spicy, tastiness rings through the edges and uplifts and illuminates every aspect of the experience...nutmeg and clove...
Body never flags, stays full, and continually delivers flavor...finish isn't as strong as I'd like, but hangs on well enough...
overall, an excellent winter warmer/spiced ale, not a surprise from this outstanding brewery...wish it were easier to find though...

feloniousmonk, Nov 30, 2004
Photo of Dogbrick
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Three Floyds always does a good job of taking a well-known style and tweaking it just enough that it is still within the boundaries of the style yet memorable because of its uniqueness. This is another example. The beer is a deep mahogany color with a thick tan head that lasts pretty much the entire glass. Nice lacing too. The aroma bursts with hops, coffee, alcohol and pine. Rich body with a very pleasant blend of flavors. Roasted nuts, coffee, malt and tons of piney hops never let up. The finish is roasty and bitter to the end. I thought the $9 price tag was a bit steep but this is a fine beer.

Dogbrick, Nov 26, 2004
Photo of ABV
4.65/5  rDev +12.3%
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!

ABV, Nov 21, 2004
Photo of Wildman
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer poured very dark with ruby background. If formed a light tan head that left trace lace as it subsided. An aroma of roasted malts and flora hops, with some coffee and chocolate elements to it. The flavor was of malt, hops, coffee and anise. The finish is a touch astrigent and creates an interesting aspect to the overall body. A rather unique porter.

Wildman, Nov 20, 2004
Photo of silenius
3.25/5  rDev -21.5%
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.

silenius, Nov 13, 2004
Photo of bigbeerdrinka
4.4/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This brew pours a deep dark brown color almost black with a billowing offwhite head about an inch or so thick. As I pour this brew its aromas make themselves quite present almost immediately. There is a mix of beautiful resiny hops, followed by some deep roast like aromas, and just a hint of bread. Initial flavors to this brew start off quite roasty with a slight nutty character to it. But these flavors are quickly overwhelmed by the intense hop flavor that lets you know this isn't your ordinary porter. The hops give off an almost spruce like, piney resiny flavor that mix in the most interesting way with the malts. At first I was a bit overwhelmed but as the brew warmed up a bit, the flavors complemented themselves quite nicely. The finish to this brew is slighty bitter, with the the malts lending a night chocolate roasty finish. The body of this beer is truly superb, almost chewy and the carbonation just tingles on the tongue, keeping me fully excited for the next sip. Overall a truly original porter than will warm up your holiday spirits.

bigbeerdrinka, Nov 08, 2004
Alpha Klaus Christmas (Xmas) Porter from Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub
92 out of 100 based on 1,731 ratings.