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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
91
outstanding

1,739 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,739
Reviews: 696
rAvg: 4.14
pDev: 10.39%
Wants: 234
Gots: 218 | 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: 1,739 | Reviews: 696 | Display Reviews Only:
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
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
Alpha Klaus Christmas (Xmas) Porter from Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub
91 out of 100 based on 1,739 ratings.