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
92
outstanding

2,009 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,009
Reviews: 729
rAvg: 4.12
pDev: 10.44%
Wants: 261
Gots: 318 | FT: 17
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,009 | Reviews: 729
Photo of assurbanipaul
4.45/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a very dark brown with a thin light-tan head. Aroma is a dry malted chocolate and a little bit of molasses and vanilla. Consumed fresh, no aging.

Taste is very rich chocolate malt but not nearly as sweet as a chocolate stout. Faint elements of dark wines or some dark-fruit juice, like the liquor off of macerated raisins. Malty charcoal with soda syrup flavors and just a taint of hoppy bitterness in the end. Finish is dry and extremely clean.

Mouthfeel is medium, dusty, carbonation keeps it light and active. This is a little more chocolatey than a traditional porter but it is highly quaffable and very satisfying. Seasonal or not, traditional or not, one of the better porters I've experienced.

Photo of Crosling
4.03/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I’m usually not a fan of highly hopped beers of this nature but this one actually works pretty damn well. Dark brown. The aroma is fairly subtle (but I assume it may have something to do with its age) with a gigantic chocolate candy bar malt taste in the flavor and an extreme hop flavor and bitterness. Rich and full body.

Photo of bruachan
3.92/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

picked up this bomber at acme

my perception was that this would be a battle to drink, or an experience worthy of legend. not so. the hoppiness is actually quite tasteful (appreciable, but not overwhelming)

juicy NW hop aroma with dry roasted malt scents
dry darkness in the flavor too
very light bitterness. nothing at the end, really. not a big porter in flavor or malt profile, but it easily hides the 7.5%. hops are in their primacy at the aroma stage, but i can taste 'em too. like i said, minimal bitterness

the appearance is nothing spectacular: dark walnut color with a head that doesn't feel too committed to longevity

Photo of numenor1
4.58/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours very thick black, forming an enormous dark tan head. A bit unexpected, this is almost impyish in appearance. Beautiful lacing. Nose is full of coffee molasses, burnt cherries, even a bit of vanilla. Very deep. Taste is pretty damned impressive. Upfront there's a stab of sweetness, but it's quickly overridden by an onslaught of burnt molasses, deep caramel, coffee and burnt dark fruits. There's more than a little bit of woodyness, from hops perhaps? and at the same time a note of green hops as well, and a vague yet profound citrus hop undertone. Midpalate there's a sensation of bittersweet chocolate (70%), which is incredibly impressive and not a compliment i concede lightly. It makes the beer. Substantial supporting bitterness. It all ends in a lingering dry roasty note and a very storng ebbing hoppiness. Body is medium with good supporting medium low carbonation. Somewhere between chewy and creamy. Very drinkable. I like it.

Photo of SwillBilly
4.2/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle

Appearance: Pours a deep, dark, black, the color of coal with a foamy, fairly thick tan head. Rings of lacing encircle the glass.

Smell: Kind of odd at 1st. Piney, citrusy hops fighting with roasted, caramel malt to see who is 1st out of the glass. Different to say the least in a good sort of way.

Taste: A big hoppy porter, very interesting. The beginning starts with hints of piny, herbal hops that transition to a roasted malt with hints of coffee middle that finishes with a smoky, hoppy finish. A smokey, hop bitterness lingers on the tongue. Alcohol well hidden but warms the face.

Mouthfeel: Not as thick and chewy as it looks, medium body with a smooth, dry finish.

Drinkability. I could see making Alpha Klaus a Christmas time regular. Very easy to drink. The blend of roasted malt and piney, citrusy hops is very interesting. A beer to savor. I could put a couple of pints of Alpha Klaus away without a problem. Not a session beer but one to seek and enjoy.

Photo of tastybeer
4.57/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Wow. This is the most unusually awesome porter. First when poured I recieved half black opaque and half dense froathy deep tan colored head. The amazingly ridiculous head fades at a quick pace into a creamy 1/8" layer. Amazing smell, my nose is going off. Extreme pleasant budding hops at first followed by malty mocha chocolate espresso. This could be the aromatherapy of the future. Taste begins hoppy, then a creamy caramel comes through followed by chocolate with coffee notes topped with more hops like crazy. FInish is, as well, out of this world. First you get nice maltiness then a pile of hops with good bitterness. Nice carbonation and very drinkable.

This is in fact not normal, but quite amazing for me.

Photo of wedge
4.45/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours pretty damn black with a massive rocky tan head with great retention. Quite the interestingly complex aroma of big chocolate and coffee smoothly blended with almost resinous hops...dank - I have never really smelled a beer quite like this one. Smoothly complex porter flavor infused with pine hops. Sweet and toasted malts with some herbal and earthy hop qualities...very, very interesting. Medium-full body, a little oily and lightly carbonated. This porter makes you want more because its so damn unusual.

A hoppy porter? Pretty much...and they do it so well. A porter for the hopheads. The label proudly proclaims, "it's not normal" and they were right. It almost defies categorization. What a crazy and unique porter...

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.75/5  rDev +15.3%
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.

Photo of doubleipa
4.53/5  rDev +10%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

WOW. I certainly didn't expect this to have such a strong hops aroma, but it is from 3F's. Great roasted aroma really mixes well with th ehops. Long lasting, rocky head. I haven't had many porters, but this beer is outstanding. I have a couple more I thought I'd save till next Christmas, but I'll drink them soon so I can enjoy the hoppiness.

Photo of BEERchitect
4.15/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Though I don't usually enjoy big hops in my chocolate-flavored beers, I'll make an exception for this. Right from the pour, a big boquet of hops swirled around big toasted grains and chocolate for imense complexity right from the aroma. Pours a thick and silky dark brown that is entirely opaque. Nice tan foamstand rose from the glass and left ideal lacing and it subsidded. Tastes of sweet chocolate malt, toasted grains, and barley malt up front. Creamy and smooth texture that led right into the spicy, earthy hop flavor. Creates serious bitterness to offset sweet chocolates. A coffee like finish rounds out the sweetness and boldness. Finishes a hoppy crispness. Quite clean for such a bold beer. Never drying or cloying. The alcohols never get out of hand.

Photo of JiminKY
3.65/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I am a big fan of American Porter and have tasted many examples. This is a good one, though not among the best I've had, and not really what I would hope for at the price point ($8.50 for a 22oz bomber).

A- A very dark beer with a thick tan head that dissipates to a ring around the edge of the beer and leaves a trailing lace around the glass as it empties. Somewhat darker than what might be expected of the style, but appealing nonetheless.

S- Smell is quite good, though a little sharper than expected. Hints of flowery hops replace the enticingly rich coffee notes of many other examples of this style.

T- Here, as in the smell, astringently bitter hop notes replace the smoother, more comforting tastes of coffee and chocolate. An interesting taste, though not entirely distinct from the much less expensive Sierra Nevada Porter. Not in the same league as Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald or Bert Grant's Perfect Porter. Additionally, by it's name, one might expect some "holiday" type spices, but if they are present, they are not evident as in other holiday offerings.

M- A bit thin, crisp and dry compared to the better porters I've had. Not bad in the realm of beer as a whole, but not necessarily what I look for in a good porter.

D- Not as smooth a beer as I look for a porter to be. More of a "challenge" than the easy-drinking porters I've most enjoyed. And at 7.5%, possibly a little dangerous to relax with for an entire evening, without worrying about over-imbibing.

Photo of beermanbrian
3.99/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 Oz bottle

Black with brown frothy head. Head fades quickly to a thin film.

Smell of chocolate, coffee and a great roasted note. Also a much stronger hops character than you would expect (or maybe exactly what you would expect from three floyds).

Taste has a very nice bitterness up front. With the chocolate flavors combined it reminds of bakers chocolate.

The bitterness builds and leaves that cheek puckering aftertaste. Not entirely unpleasant but would prevent me from drinking too many in one sitting. Overall a nice heavy beer to keep you warm on a cold winter night.

Another nice offering from three floyds.

Photo of Tyrawlings
4.3/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 Oz. bottle. Poured into a pint glass.

A) Pours a dark brown with slight hints of amber color around the edges of the glass. Low carbonation. A one fingered tan head that dissipates quickly. Lacing is patchy and always clings to the glass.

S) Chocolate,fruity and earthy/leafy malts. Maybe a tiny whiff of coffee? LOL! Hops smell of pinecone and citrus.

T) Wow! This is really hopped up for a porter. A piney blast to the tastebuds is followed by the taste of citrus or grapefruit rinds. Chocolate and caramel kicks in and mellow with a slight hint of coffee. This beer is well balanced for all that it has going on. Not your everyday porter.

M) Very smooth! Slightly oily and soft on the palate. High ABV is well disguised.

D) Extremely easy to consume. A very creative attempt to try something different with this beer style. Oh so good! I will revisit this offering from Three Floyd's. In fact, I am buying a few to age.

Cheers!

Photo of grub
4.45/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

pours a deep brown that is almost black, with a thick, dark head that lingers and clings to the glass and leaves plenty of lacing.

aroma is dominated by hops, with a slight coffee and dark chocolate smell in the background

flavour is very hoppy, but a mellow/smooth hoppiness. some of the roasty porter flavour comes through at the end, but it is mainly dominated by hops. the intense hoppiness makes me think of it being closer to an american style IPA than a porter, but i found as it warmed the bigger body and flavour of the porter was able to come out more. while very hoppy there isn't much hop bitterness, so the dark chocolate and roasty flavours can come through.

overall very good and quite drinkable. i'd definitely have this one again.

Photo of bditty187
4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I believe this bottle is one year old.

Clear, dark brown in hue, not black, there is ruby highlights which are most noticeable around the edges and when backlit. Tan head, the bubbles united and formed one finger of head which quickly faded to a thin lid. I was happy the cap stuck around awhile and kept the liquid company. The subsequent lacing was spotty and unorganized, not too widespread either. My only complaint, I wish this beer was more opaque; still it looks good.

The nose has a lovely chocolate, roastiness about it; soft but ample and all-encompassing. I am truly impressed, this Porter has one of the most natural chocolate aromas I have ever smelled (and I don’t believe there is chocolate added! Maybe that is why it seems so natural.). Inferences of tobacco and earth and a note char. The hops are soft and in the background, I smell pine mainly with a light citrus undercurrent. It the far distance I found some alcoholic notes and a kiss of dark fruit. The show-stealer is the malt, as it should be for a Porter. Moderate potency but its very articulate. Lovely. Inviting.

The palate has a lovely chocolate, roastiness about it; soft but ample for the first third of the taste. The hop bitterness is wider and more spread out then I was expecting. Pine coated my tongue, a smattering of citrus plays nice with it. Delicate coffee notes, milk sweetness, toffee, and some oats even. Very well balanced, damn near so! The alcohol is hidden amazingly well. The aftertaste is like an alcoholic chocolate bar soaked in diluted iced coffee. Sweet, literally. I wish there was a tickle more bitterness at this point. Still, as is, this is a very mellow and agreeable Porter. All in all, this is an exceedingly tasty beer… it has aged very well. I guess I will have to seek out a fresh sample next year.

Medium/medium-full in body, dry mouthfeel, low carbonation, the mouthfeel is relaxing and filling without being sluggish or boring. I really don’t get the feeling this Porter is suppose to be a sipping beer even though it is a Christmas release. At this point I think a pairing with dessert is most appropriate.

Drinkable... likeable… well-made, I am happy I have a bomber to drink. I don’t have much more to say. I’d gladly drink more. I will seek out some next year. I am very grateful BuckeyeNation included this in a beer trade a few months ago. Thanks a lot. I owe you one.

Photo of neonbrown82
4.77/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Many thanks to BeerBeing for the trade. I missed getting a bottle by about 5 minutes last visit to Chicago, so I was relieved that I didn't have to wait another year or maybe more.

The beer pours to a pitch black color with a nice thick chocolate head that recedes to about a centimeter and sticks around for the rest of the drink. Leaves a nice yet spotty lacing.

The smell is great. Chocolatey as all hell with a nice hop background peeping through. A bit of coffee, but very mild roast.

The taste is equally great. Reminds me of Flying Dog's Gonzo Porter, but MUCH more smooth (not too syrupy). Very sweet up front and probably the best chocolate flavor I've had in a beer. Hops are noticable, but not overpowering and syrupy like the Gonzo. Very, very smooth. A little vanilla, and a gentle coffee roast.

The body is still fairly light. The finish is great. Lingering, gently bitter, doesn't dry out, and shows off the flavors in their entirety. This is very drinkable despite a fairly high ABV. Thanks again to BeerBeing.

Photo of gbarron
3.95/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

From a 22 oz. bomber.

A - pours absolutely black, almost as black as a stout. Completely opaque. Head is a light tan reflecting roasted malts, lots of tiny bubbles all clumped up, pours a couple of fingers thick. Simmers down to a nice little pool of foam, hanging around till the end. Nice lacing sticks all over the sides.

S - Fresh hops, smell like they are the American NW variety - cascade, etc. Citrusy smell. After that goes, here comes the roasty, malty, coffee aromas. Lots of bitter coffee smells. Some flowery, estery notes.

T - hops predominate. But a well balanced beer. Hop flavor comes through first - citrusy, grassy. Backed by bitter, roasted malt flavors - tastes like a nice cup o' joe, but with hops. Tastes like - and I mean this as a compliment - a very good, fresh, homebrew with a bunch of fresh hops. Extremely well balanced porter, very tasty. Not a lot of malt sweetness, but rather roastiness, some bitter chocolate flavors. Great American style porter.

M - this is the only thing I didn't love about this beer - seems overcarbonated. Maybe it's just my bottle, but the gas seem too high for the style here, tickles my tongue too much. Hurts the drinkability a little bit too. Other mouthfeel is nice, though - thin to medium bodied.

D - See above. Great, great hop flavor and roasted, malt flavors. Despite the carbonation issue, I would gladly have this beer again and again due to the strong fresh hop/malt balance.

Overall - highly recommended. Bought this beer after a lot of recommendations from friends, and I went in a bit skeptical - a Xmas porter? It's great, find it, buy it, drink it.

Photo of blitz134
4.33/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Received in a trade from BeerBeing...been wanting to try this one for a while...

Darkest porter I've ever seen. Only a hint of light comes through in the crevices of my pint glass. Pours with a tan half inch head that reduces to a thick layer.

Quite a blend of aromas. Toasted malts with a little sweet caramel. Some dark ripe fruits come through. A little alcohol rounds it out. A bit of pine hops to boot. I don't seem to notice as much as other reviewers.

Damn, this is a tasty brew. So many flavors are swirled together resulting in an amazing taste. Not a whole lot of toasted flavors, a little, but not as dominate as the others. Smoke develops as it warms. It does have a bit of a toffee to it. A good bit of sweetness overall in the beginning while cold but subsides as it warms; caramel and dark ripe fruits once again. Finishes with a good bit of bitterness. Alcohol isn't as noticable in the taste. All of this works extremely well together. This is not the usual understated porter.

Mouthfeel is medium. Fairly creamy. Coats the mouth just long enough to let the flavors meld but each express themselves. This is an extremely drinkable beer. An awesome flavor and a nice mouthfeel.

Photo of aforbes10
3.91/5  rDev -5.1%
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.

Photo of hero27
4.22/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bomber. 2005 Vintage.

Clever artwork and cool looking label, as you would expect from the Floyd's bros. Foamy tan head..leaves some lacing that fades pretty quickly due to the oily consistency. Chocolate malt aroma with a touch of hops. The taste is fairly complex, and who would have guessed Three Floyds would add some extra hope to their porter recipe? Very hoppy for a porter..the roasted character hides the hops pretty well up-front, but you'll find yourself burping hops for the next few hours.. I've noticed that some warmth really brings out the flavors..you're doing a huge disservice to this beer if you drink it too cold. A great seasonal porter that is meant to be drank fresh..but I will be laying a few of these boys down to try next Christmas.

Photo of fdrich29
3.95/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This bottle was given to me by the one and only Warriorsoul.

I just learned my Holiday part at Dick's Last Resort won't be until January 30th, so any anxiety I had about drinking this beer well after Christmas has disappeared. Justification is a wonderful luxuary the human condition holds dear.

Minimal head sits atop this figgy looking adult beverage. A bit of fine lacing lines the Westmalle Trappist challice I chose to vessel this bit of holiday cheer.

Smells strongly of roasted malts and chocolate. Smooth malt and chocolate taste.

Very thin in the mouth. Roastiness lingers well after the beer has made it's way "down the chimney".

This is a surprisingly easy drinkin' porter. Goes down very smoothly.

I now have the sudden urge to find my copies of Emmit Otter's Jugband Christmas and the Charlie Brown Christmas episode.

Photo of pentathlete
4.03/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ho, Ho, Ho! Wow, just below the tree line in the northern reaches of Nunavut here. Sheesh. Darkest opaque brown with a beauty tan head that is only so very lightly marred by big bubbles that look like pepper. The smell is all piney hops from the outset. A little balance on the malts would have resulted in a higher score. The hops blend smoothly with the malts in the initial taste profile, but the hops soon dominate (go figure from these guys...like Stone Brewing Indiana Division at times.) The mouthfeel falls just short of satisfyingly full. Drinkability is fine for this if you plan in moving to a double IPA. The ABV is not so high as to keep you from having a second and the hops are pleasant (though if you do not like hops, I would avoid this brew.) This tastes like Christmas should taste. Enjoy.

Photo of Jredner
3.91/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This had been aged a few years so the hop element was toned down, but still much more lively than an average porter. Piney hop notes with chocolate cake and coffee in the aroma. Foretaste is roasty followed quickly by dark chocolate and espresso and then a kick of hops int he finish. Reminds me a lot of Gonzo Imperial Porter.

Photo of SupaCelt
4.37/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This Christmas time treat pours a heavyduty brown and holds a substantial cocoa coloured head upon its shoulders. Eventually the cap departs leaving only the tell tale shreds of froth floating and some nicely strewn lace work. The darkness makes a gaze into the core of this beer's soul an impossibility, but small bubbles near the outskirts of my glass can be seen rising upward. This creation is quite pleasing to the eye.

Upon cracking the festive looking bomber, the smell offered up a hearty jab of hoppy pine and green cannabinoid skunkiness as I nosed the opening to the bottle. After evacuating a portion of the contents into my glass, aromas of scorched malt entered the forray. This burnt character carries a smoky aspect that envelopes the bouquet and draws some of the attention away from the florals. The hops are still notable, but chocolate scents and black patent qualities assert themselves just as aggressively while cloaked in the smokiness. The burnt overtones greatly contribute to the overall character of the nose. Nice. The second pour seems to be even more intensely scented.

The flavours cascade through a sort of milky chocolate into a dry bitterness. The burnt quality lingers on the palate with the hop dry and bitterness to great effect. Sweetness is relatively low, or at least seems to be held in check by the hops and smoke tones. The flavour ends up being fairly well balanced for something so robust. As the bottle wears on, sensitization seems to cause the smoke character to become less pronounced to my taste buds. The hops still seem to hold up without much fading. The "heavy handed" use of said hops must produce enough bittering that even with acclimation to their presence, it is impossible to become numb to their effects. This is a pretty impressive beer. These guys can whip up a mean recipe.

The body is medium with a strong lean to the heavier side. It is somewhat creamy and fluffy. Very satisfying to be sure.

The drinkability factor is self contained. Most reasonable humanoids wouldn't drink a few of these in succession. One bomber is capable of providing all of the enjoyment one could ask for in a sitting. Not to say that you couldn't have something a bit less intense before or after. FFF! Unbelievable brews! Thanks for the Christmas present.

Photo of asabreed
4.65/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

So here it is. I've been looking for this for over a year now, and finally I saw a bomber and snagged one. I was going to grab both left on the shelf on general principle of Three Floyds kicking ass and the beer's reviews, but alas, at $8.99, I opted just for one.

Why pour this into a pint glass when it certainly would go much better, as far as presentation and aroma go -- along with the deep sipping -- in an oversized wine glass? So in the glass it goes.

Appearance: Head stays beautifully frothy despite its at-first possibility of dying quickly. Rather than a Belgian, it bubbles up slowly, then hangs out and refuses to go anywhere, like the top of a malted milkshake. Lacing's thick, clumpy, with layers folding atop one another down the glass. Body is thick and oh-so-close to near opaque black, though the faintest hint of dark amber can be discerned.

Smell: Oh the beauty of the citrus and piney hops. I don't know exactly what's used, but that's the backbone, and beneath it lies the subtle flavors of burnt-to-all-hell toasted malt, dark and deep unsweetened chocolate, molasses, and slight maple and raisins. Also somehow some dark and tropical fruit flavors inch their way in as it warms. Just awesome, especially when the hops lessen slightly and the malt (and slight fruit) character gets more dominant and complex when it warms. Tons of stuff going on, and it's all extremely well balanced.

Taste: Total malted milkshake at first, walking the line between burnt and frothy and creamy, it brings the party to the mouth. Dark and burned chocolate malt come next, sliding into the maple, vanilla, and raisin combination for some subtleness. Then it finishes beautifully dry, with the hops lingering on the tongue along with the malted milkshake divine thickness and taste.

Mouthfeel: Thick, creamy, a bit velvety but somehow a bit astringent, and somehow it works really well. I like the slight astringency, yet it's not quite up to the standard of a five, though close.

Drinkability: The biggest thing decreasing its drinkability is the price. In addition, it's so thick, complex, and tasty that to me it's more of a sharing porter, or else a nightcap to be enjoyed but maybe purchased months down the road for another treat. Still one of the best porters out there though, and one of the best that uses a fantastic combination of hop and malt to near perfection, in a porter to boot. It ain't easy, and Three Floyds have it down. At least snag one of these to see what you think.

Alpha Klaus Christmas (Xmas) Porter from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 2,009 ratings.