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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

1,721 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,721
Reviews: 696
rAvg: 4.14
pDev: 10.63%
Wants: 232
Gots: 221 | FT: 13
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: 1,721 | Reviews: 696 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of aracauna
4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This is something that I was really looking forward to at the Southeastern Ratebeer gathering. Very dark brown. The huge aroma is screaming spruce at me. The malt is dry and clean and really comes across as a dry brown ale than a porter. Still, it's tasty and one of the few dark beers I've had that had dominant hops that I really think work that way.

aracauna, Feb 23, 2004
Photo of francisweizen
4.85/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: 2003 Edition. Awesome label on a standard bomber bottle.

Appearance: Holy Shit! Thanks to Qarre for this excellent brew! An opaque, into the void black with a huge head of brown/tan/beige foam, that settles down to a thin layer. This thin layer stays throughout the life of the brew, and leaves lovely brown lace on my Arrogant Bastard shaker pint glass.

Smell: The smell is out of this world. What happens when you mix together a Fullers London Porter and a classy imperial stout? This happens! The aromas are strong and pungant and consist of deeply roasted chocolate malts, dark fruits, caramel, heavy citric hops, and alcohol.

Taste: The taste is simply magnificent. Lovely citric hop flavors waltz with deeply roasted malt flavors, to create this excellent melange of flavors. The hops are assertive up front but calm down towards th middle where the dark fruit and alcohol tastes shine through. The finish is long and everlasting, until the hops appear again, in the form of magnificently piney hop burps! Yum!

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is great. Thick, yet not cloying. Heavy, but not too heavy. This is how a porter should feel. Very satisfying!

Drinkability. The 22oz bomber was drained in no time, and I was craving more. This is definately one of the best, if not the best Porter brewed in the good ole' US of A!

francisweizen, Feb 18, 2004
Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.78/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Presentation: A mighty fine looking Bomber, just as the BA Database picture. Delivered into my hands at the hotel that I was staying at for the BA Extreme Weather and Beer Festival by fellow BA Quarre – what a star!

Appearance: A lovely tan brown head forms readily as the beer pours, its starts thin but immediately the beer is in the glass the foam forms from deep within the beer itself and expands upwards with a nitrogenous characteristic, but eventually settles to a thick uniform covering that is over ½” thick. Some lacing above the dark brown, almost black, body lends a very solid appearance.

Nose: Cocoa and rich chocolate, big and bold and just like the aromas you get when you open a box of hand made Belgium Dark Chocolates. In the back end there is a spicy and floral hop aroma that fills the glass together with some light roasted Coffee.

Taste: Wow. This is a bold synergistic mix of all the best characteristics of a modern day Porter with that of a nice well balanced IPA. Chocolate, coffee and hints of toffee, all juxta-posed with raw hops, pine needles, hop oils, and a thick tar like residue that turns bitter as it evaporates on the tongue after the swallow. Finishes with a dry powdery cocoa ending, which has a last gasp hop twist. Hey this is very good. Impressive. Lingers for a while with a dark bitter chocolate mouth.

Mouthfeel: Just perfect, the carbonation aids the well balanced body and the excellent flavor profile. Feels good.

Drinkability: This beer just glides down the gullet; it is so quaffable as to be unbelievable. Immensely drinkable and incredibly well-balanced.

Overall: This really is like a mix between an IPA and Porter, an India Porter Ale perhaps? It is difficult to find fault with this beer. Does that mean it is perfect, well, erm No. But it’s damn near close!

It says “It’s Not Normal” on the label, yep, that just about sums it up!

Highly Recommended!

TheLongBeachBum, Feb 05, 2004
Photo of Bighuge
4.93/5  rDev +19.1%
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!!

Bighuge, Jan 23, 2004
Photo of jahred
3.95/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I finally found a bottle of this stuff! Of course, post-XMas, but it's still cold plenty cold outside in Chicago... Let's see what all the hype is about.

Pours a very dark black with a medium head. Not much retention, but lots of nice lace on the glass. The scent - wow. Like a liquid pine forest, for lack of a better description. But I didn't detect any spiced flavors/anything resembling the holiday season.

The taste is bitter, with creamy, subtle hints of malt, espresso and chocolate. But then there's that overpowering, hoppy taste. I like it quite a bit, but it's a bit much - it doesn't allow me to really taste all the complex, underlying flavors that I know are there. It's more of a slightly spiced IPA than anything else. Also disappointing was the mouthfeel - despite what I'd read/expected from such a complex beer, my bottle was kind of thin.

Maybe I didn't have the best bottle? Maybe some of the extra flavors disappeared on the shelves over a few months? Alpha Klaus was quite interesting, but not as good as I'd hoped.

jahred, Jan 22, 2004
Photo of beerluvr
4.93/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

"I saw beerluvr kissing (his glass of) Alpha Klaus, underneath the mistletoe last night..."

Ok, that aside, this long-awaited beer poured into the Kwak cradled bulb glass with a rocky, crater-filled tan head that slowly fell over deep brownish/ruby red liquid. A heady perfume of fresh pungent hop fills the nose, sharp and inviting...the malt doesn't stand a chance here! The taste is a powerful blast of of hoppy flavors, floral, resiny and extremely bitter. As it warms a bit nice roasted malt flavors creep thru mixed with charcoal bitter notes as well. Not a super complex ale, but wonderfully flavorsome, with piney and roasted constituents dueling back and forth. The finish just lingers on as the day is long...no hint of the 7.5% alcohol here, just flavor packed and delicious, this could pass for a super dark IPA with all the hoppiness contained within. I would of given it higher marks if the mouthfeel was just a bit more thick. Outstanding!

Thanks to CRJMellor for this hop bomb!

beerluvr, Jan 18, 2004
Photo of marburg
3.6/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Maybe I'm crazy, but Scotch Pine and cocoa powder don't really mix well to me.

Chocolate covered grapefruit for breakfast? Nah.
Christmas trees in my roasty-toasty brews? Nah.
Bitter-smelling citrus and Hershey's? Nah.

The aroma just doesn't work for me here. It's strong, unique, unexpected, powerful, crisp, and original. But so what? Chocolate and pine needles don't mix in my mind, and they certainly didn't mix well in my nose. I can give it points for those other attributes -- predominantly originality -- but not every combination works well. The dominant force is a heavily sappy pine aroma that fades to more of a citric nose as the beer warms further. A pure chocolate aroma develops along the same timeline.

After smelling it, the real surprise was that it managed to have a real solid, balanced flavor. The hops are nearly 100% aromatic. Slick hot fudge flavors dominate and find themselves laying in the toaster oven blackening to a nice roasted flavor. A little thin but not really to any sort of detriment -- and exceptionally drinkable. Hops show up as the roasted cocoa fades and dominate the aftertaste. Just really kind of an odd mix in the nose...but intriguing! Thnx to Tim for the sample!

marburg, Jan 09, 2004
Photo of ZAP
4.33/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Huge resinous hop nose...leafy...tobacco....cannibus...all mixed with an underlying chocolate aroma...truly fascinating...

Rich black appeareance...some light shines through when held directly to a light...and that adds some crimson notes..small black head..

The taste is a slight let-down off the nose..Big Cannibus/tobbacco flavor...chocolate notes...very subtle but they add a nice touch..flavors really mold together nicely as it warms...

Creamy, medium bodied...maybe a tich watery feeling..

This is a hell of a unique porter...unlike any I've had before...hat's off to them for their creativity...this has the feel of a "Special Occasion" beer...I wouldn't want to drink it everyday like I would Dreadnaught, but I would greatly anticipate enjoying a bottle or two every winter..

ZAP, Jan 08, 2004
Photo of CRJMellor
3.88/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours very deep brown with a dark off-white head. Aroma confused the heck out of me, was this a chocolate IPA ? Heavy, resiny hop aroma that hides some dark chocolate notes. Had some folks at my house give it a whiff and the range of answers was pine trees to marijuana. Taste was roasted coffee, semi-sweet chocolate and the overpowering hop bitterness. If you sat down 10 blindfolded folks, at least 9 of them would guess this an IPA by aroma and taste. Mouthfeel was good but I look for a little more chewiness and depth in a porter.

CRJMellor, Jan 03, 2004
Photo of putnam
4.08/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

After a good thump of this nut-brown liquid into my Bohemian 20 oz. crystal the head rose up mightily and stayed for a while. One whiff and I knew I was heading to piney, grapefruit hop paradise. Of course, there were delicious, fatty, bitter chocolate notes there too, but the elemnt that most challenged my expectations was the hops. Green tea and pine cones with a chocolate crust, this was a tannenbaum dipped in bitter chocolate and marzipan. Coffee, sweet cream and roasted nut meats appear to soften the experience in the middle, yet succumb eventually to blackened herbs...the latter bitterness remaining sticky and difficult to expunge from the palate.
Impressive. Good for listening to Nascar soundtracks with headphones. Not for any food other than packaged, powdered, flavor crystalized corn puffs or cheesy cream vegan burgers.

putnam, Dec 23, 2003
Photo of BierReise
3.78/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The Klaus poured a deep mahogany color that when held up to the light looked a deep cherry red. Head was thick and airy which slowly reduced in size. The aroma is an insane amount of hops that seem to be primarily cascade but I could be wrong. Really pine-like and reminding me of spruce and Christmas trees. There’s an underlying aroma of roasted malt and hints of cocoa or chocolate. This is definitely not normal. Think a cascade chocolate malt. Body is creamy and smooth. Flavor is most original in my opinion. Almost indesrcribable. Hops are really in the flavor and it’s taking me some time to get a grip on this brew. There’s a good amount of chocolate malt here giving some cocoa flavors along with the piney citrus hop flavors that are trying to blend. I’m not sure whether they really do though. Has some uncomfortable bitterness in the finish. By the way, the alcohol is invisible but slowly kicking in. Overall a very unique seasonal. One I enjoyed, yet one that puzzled me to no end.

BierReise, Dec 22, 2003
Photo of DrunkMcDermott
4.3/5  rDev +3.9%
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!

DrunkMcDermott, Dec 15, 2003
Photo of Indybeer
4.78/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle. Poured a deep brown with reddish highlights, massive tan head that slowly receded, and lots of lacing on the glass. Aroma is roasted malt, chocolate, and hops. Taste is more of the same, malty with chocolate and coffee hints. Just as with their Dreadnaught, 3F's know how to use just the right amount of hops to give it that distinctive flavor, without the harsh bitterness. This is one smooth drinking beer. I need to pick me up a few more of these!

Indybeer, Dec 14, 2003
Photo of Gusler
4.55/5  rDev +9.9%
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

Gusler, Dec 13, 2003
Photo of Jon
4.95/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The first bottling of Alpha Klaus yields incredible results.

The pour exhibits an opaque black with reddish tints at the edges. A foamy taupe head appears, too, and sticks around as long as the liquid in the glass.

Nose of piney hops, freshly roasted espresso, chocolate maltiness and a hint of spiciness.

Flavor-wise, I don't know if I can ask for much more. A huge "porter" with a magnificently hopped character shows vast notes of pine, bubble gum, chocolate, and espresso along with a light toffee flavor. While the hop addition is clearly copious, this beer possesses more of a sweet and spicy character than a truly bitter profile. Almost like a Robust Porter/Double IPA hybrid. Vastly complex and if nothing else, delicious.

Mouthfeel is creamy and smooth with some turbidity.

Furthermore, Alpha Klaus possesses an uncanny drinkability. I don't care if this beer is 10% abv and is only available in a handy 22-ounce economy size bomber, every bit is savored. I love this beer and anxiously await its release each year.

Jon, Dec 08, 2003
Photo of beerguy101
4.43/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Dark black color. Medium head. Aroma is chocolate malts and floral hops. A medium bodied porter. The roasted chocolate malts are offset by a surprising amount of grapefruity hops. A flavor fest: chocolate, coffee, vanilla, cheery/berries and caramel. Smooth taste. Very well balanced. Soft round taste. Very nice beer. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is clean and smooth. Aftertaste is slightly bitter.

beerguy101, Sep 27, 2003
Photo of UncleJimbo
4.28/5  rDev +3.4%
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.

UncleJimbo, Jul 18, 2003
Photo of jcalabre
4.3/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

bottled by hoprus. Originally sampled on 19 December 2002. Yet another winner from Three Floyds has been poured into my glass. Alpha Klaus has a roasty flavor w/ coffee tones along with hints of cinnamon. It is medium bodied and brown/dark red in color. Very nice

jcalabre, Jun 12, 2003
Photo of dwarbi
4.6/5  rDev +11.1%
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)

dwarbi, Apr 24, 2003
Photo of Shiredave
4.8/5  rDev +15.9%
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.

Shiredave, Dec 20, 2002
Photo of zerk
5/5  rDev +20.8%
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!

zerk, Dec 06, 2002
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Alpha Klaus Christmas (Xmas) Porter from Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub
92 out of 100 based on 1,721 ratings.