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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 SheepNutz
4.1/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz. bomber poured into a snifter. It pours a deep ruby red, almost black color with one finger of head. There is just a little bit of lacing on the glass. The smell is very hoppy. Lots of fresh hops, but a good malt background. The taste is sweet with some chocolate. The hops that are present in the aroma aren't really representing in the taste. Need more hops early in the boil methinks! The mouthfeel is nice and strong. The drinkability is pretty good for a 7.5% brew. A nice take on porter.

SheepNutz, Nov 04, 2004
Photo of Boto
4.72/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz. bomber: Thank you for trades, or I would have never gotten this gem. It pours an inky dark brown color. There was some tan head, but it dies down quickly. A pleasant aroma. A mix of hops, roastiness, coffee, and some smokiness. The taste is an all-out assault on your taste buds (but a pleasant assault). Smokiness, some chocolate, some hop bitterness coming through (although it is sweet to the taste overall). This is just flat out excellent. Thanks to TAR for the trade!

Boto, Jul 17, 2004
Photo of egajdzis
4.68/5  rDev +13%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured black with some reddish hues, tan head and nice lacing on the glass. Piney hop and slightly roasted aroma. Taste started resiny hoppy, then turned roasted with some coffee as well. Full creamy mouthfeel. This is a one of a kind, super hoppy porter... but by no means any sort of Herbed / Spiced Beer.

egajdzis, Jun 15, 2004
Photo of tar
4.43/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

During the holiday season I enjoyed this both on-tap and from a bottle (I really got behind at transferring my notes to the site). This review is based on a 22 oz. bottle. The familiar "Alpha King" exchanges his crown for a Santa hat on another of Three Floyd's great looking labels. Pours a dark, dark brown with a thick frothy tan/off-white head. Hoppy floral aroma and citrus scents make themselves known right away--a bit reminiscent of Dreadnaught in smell. Tastes very nicely of chocolatey roasted malt with a great hop finish. This is a smooth, highly drinkable, and very enjoyable beer. Overall this was definitely one of my favorites of the Christmas season and I am definitely looking forward to having it again next year.

tar, May 07, 2004
Photo of GreenWBush
4.55/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

When my local liquor store scaled this down in price from $9 to $5 I had to snap on it. No expiry date but with the nature of FFF who cares. Interesting X-mas themed take on the FFF Hop King.

Bottle mentions English malts, Mexican sugars, and American hops.

A head that mysteriously transforms from white to dirty brown during the pour remains a nice almost 3/4" crown on the beautifully chocolate non-opaque ruby body.

A deep roasted chocolate nose presents itself when the beer is cold but as the beer warms its all biscuit-surrounded herbal hops. A few light whiffs of alcohol and caramel poke through as well.

As with many FFF beers, the lace is mighty impressive. The dense body of the beer is evident even as you pour it, as it seems to coat the glass with unusual unlightness of being. Its viscosity is akin to hot fudge!

In what is seeming to be a impressive trait in this beer, the taste is so complex on your palate it hits in waves. At first you notice the major roastiness of the beer and the sweet chocolate espresso notes. As the palate is warmed by alcohol it is easily set down in between the hoppy land of the Dreadnaught and the Alpha King. Really damned good.

The mouthfeel is perfect too: not overly sweet in nature, not syrupy, but thick and chewy. I'm only half way through and i'm craving another.

Yet another damned fine beer from Nick Floyd and Co!

GreenWBush, Apr 23, 2004
Photo of Rastacouere
4.2/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Courtesy of Raindog, thanks sir Body is dark brown and initially wears a tan head that fast becomes one of the quickest dissipating festival of bubbles I've ever seen. Aroma is very intense with more hops than I can shake a stick at. This is woody, herbal, chocolatey, grapefruity with notes of marijuana and smoke. Quite the melting pot you'd like to cook your dinner with. Very direct and dry yet eminently appealing. On the tongue, it's very grassy, reminding me of the Saison from a few hours ago, sweeter than expected with lots of brown sugar, maple and chocolate. Still, after a few sips, the feeling you have is to be drinking hop juice.. but good hop juice! Well-made and to my liking where a fine medium body with appropriate carbonation sure helps. So, when is next christmas?

Rastacouere, Apr 19, 2004
Photo of PhantomVodoo
4.43/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Huge dark tan head that left some lacing. Dark brown to black beer.
Wonderful, big, grassy, floral hop aroma. Roasty malt and chocolate underneath the hops. Very inviting!

Taste shows a mild to medium roasted malt backbone with plenty of chocolate notes. Big, grassy, floral hop flavor with hints of citrus. Decent to solid balance with everything meshing together nicely, but this one is about the awesome hop flavor in this beer. Finishes well. Smooth.

Good body and a slight creaminess to the mouthfeel.
Very drinkable.

Overall, this beer rocks! Mammoth thank you to TwelveVoltMan for sharing his only bottle with me!

PhantomVodoo, Apr 17, 2004
Photo of waughbrew
4.8/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Brownish-black, beige head lasts not too long, laces well. Piney citurs hop spice, huge chocolate, molasses, some tar, yeast. Spicy dark chocolate-covered orange rind. Smooth, carbonation bite melds into hop/roasted malt bite. Overall very nice and distinct, well-made, impressive.

Many thanks to cretemixer for the bottle.

waughbrew, Mar 23, 2004
Photo of cretemixer
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep chestnut in color with garnet highlights around the edges. A thick, dense, tan head slowly settles to about a 3/4 inch layer leaving a thick, clingy lace.
The aroma is a rich mix of bitter chocolate and sprucy hops with a hint of coffee. Toasty and sweet, a hint of honey maybe.
The taste is initially surprisingly smooth. The hoppy bitterness you're expecting from the aroma waits in the lurch and jumps out after you swallow, coating your mouth in a sheet of bitter bliss.
Medium-full body, nicely carbonated and about as drinkable as they come for my tastes. It just satisfies all the senses without numbing your mind "too" much.

cretemixer, Feb 26, 2004
Photo of mikeys01
4.47/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served from a frighteningly decorated 22oz bomber, acquired on a recent trip to Indianapolis. Been looking forward to trying it for a while. The Alpha Klaus pours out an deep dark suede brown with a creamy and persistent dart tan head. Aroma is surprising and mouthwatering, a unique blend of roasty chocolate notes and a very hearty dose of citrusy hops. Taste is amazing, different and leaves you craving more. It has everything a great porter should, lots of good roasty flavor and complexity with hints of chocolate and coffee drifting across your tongue. But just as you're starting to appreciate the perfect traditional porter flavor the hops grab you and make you sit up and listen, lots of crisp grapefruity flavor. A surprisingly good match, very well done brew, a bit too drinkable perhaps, as I wish I had lots more...

mikeys01, Feb 24, 2004
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
Alpha Klaus Christmas (Xmas) Porter from Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub
92 out of 100 based on 1,731 ratings.