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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.

729 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 729
Hads: 2,051
Avg: 4.16
pDev: 17.07%
Wants: 275
Gots: 343 | FT: 16
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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 729 | Hads: 2,051
Photo of jzlyo
4.46/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Aroma is pine, coffee, light toffee and slight vinous notes. The flavor is dark malts, coffee, mild/medium grapefruit, hop resin, vinous notes and an acidic/tart/sour finish.

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Photo of Kurmaraja
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Resinous and piney hops, hint of citrus but really that wreath taste. The references to Christmas spice are total hallucinations, in the same way the references to spice in Sierra Nevada are hallucinations. A bizarre concoction ... I'm a lover of black IPAs and this has some of the tones that I love there, but the introduction of a strong porter coffee malt flavor throws me off. It's a strange beer.

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Photo of ARoman
3.97/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

*Transferred from old notes - 12/23/2013* 22oz bomber poured into a snifter. The aroma of Xmas spices came through strong at first (cinnamon, cloves, allspice, and anise?), although it gave way to a damp, basement-like smells. There is some light roasted nut smells in the background too, but the smell finally settles on a light spruce and floral smells. A very thick, creamy brown head forms and sticks around for awhile leaving an even blanket of lacing on the way down the glass. This sits atop a dark, opaque coffee color body. It mostly chocolate malt sweet with some very mild coffee bitter notes to it. It’s light bodied, mostly flat (although there is some trace carbonation) with a creamy, but slick, feel to it. It finishes with a roasty coffee flavor coating the mouth. Accompanying the coffee aftertaste are notes of some chocolate malt, maybe some brown sugar to it and some citrus zest, as well as notes of the Xmas spices mentioned earlier in the aroma.

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Photo of SierraFlight
3.75/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

On tap at FFF brewpub poured into a half pint. Appearance is very dark brown with little light coming through. A stiff tan head stands an inch over the beer. It clings tightly to the glass in patches as the session goes on and Finding Nemo flashes on the screens in the pub. Aroma is pine, cocoa, roasted malt, and the slightest bit of orange peel. Quite hoppy for a porter. Taste is initially bitter with spruce and anise. Then the essence of one of those chocolate-wrapped oranges from Christmastime slides in. Roasty and charred notes on the swallow. Medium body, creamy, but thinner than it looks, moderate carbonation, semi-dry finish.

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Photo of TheBrewo
4.32/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

We pop a bomber, pouring into our Great Lakes pint glasses. It shows a deep, smoldering molasses coloring that blocks out most light, even when held directly to it. A two finger head of mocha colored foam is produced, retaining excellently. Sheeted walls of lacing slowly etch themselves along the sides of our drinking vessels, and a stout, oily barrier separates the liquid from the rest of the world for the remainder of the tasting. No haze or sediment is appreciated, and carbonation appears to be moderate. The nose fills with sweetly floral, citric, and soapy hoppiness, toasted pine nuts, richly roasted chocolate maltiness, aluminum and coin, sweaty yeastiness, wet and fragrant rose petals, espresso beans, thyme and oregano, dried tobacco leafiness, charred marshmallows, chocolate wafers, vanilla cream icing, powdered Graham crackers, and pecan pie butteriness. This translates excellently into flavoring, showing notes of deeply roasted, but decently sweet, chocolate and coffee maltiness, crystal maltiness, floral, piney, and soapy hop brightness, molasses and soy sauce metallics, burnt marshmallow and burnt toothpick woodiness, salted caramel, slate and board chalk, mild spice of cinnamon and black pepper, lemon juice acidity, earthen grit, truffle oil, watered teriyaki sauce, and light fruitiness of raspberry jam puck. The aftertaste draws out a long char, like drawing off the back of a dusty, well-used pipe. The body is medium, but still highly silky and oily, while the carbonation is soft and medium. Each sip gives nice slurp, smack, cream, froth, and cleansing finishing pop. With a swirl around the mouth things get even more foamy, coating it thoroughly before dripping into the mildest chalky dryness and puck. The abv is appropriate, and the beer disappears quite quickly.

Overall, Alpha Klaus sure has some hidden smokiness up its sleeves. At first you don’t really get it. Things remain all about the hops, and the balancing sweetness of your nicely warming base porter, which is superb. Once temperatures start to rise, however, is when the grain begins to show its true form. This particular component is more true through the taste, but in the nose, the hops enhance even further, taking center stage. These hops show off just enough evergreen hoppiness to keep things decidedly in the Xmas spirit. Speaking stylistically, this is a wonderful, true hybrid. It has all of the amazing hoppiness and oily bite of your best black ales or black IPAs, but with a much, much greater and tastier base porter to build off of.

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Photo of mabermud
3.94/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Dark brown body. Nice thin mocha head that is silky and fine. Aroma of soft malt, light spice, some bakers chocolate, and easy hops. The spice and sugar from our neighbors to the south definitely gives this a leg up. The taste needs more "umph." It is somewhat watery, but it has a nice char finish. The dense after carb is nice, but the carbonation up front is too much. The medium body is satisfactory.

Overall - This makes me long for Xocoveza and/or Belching Beaver Horchata Imp Stout. This beer is no match for either of those, but it is pretty good. Should I be comparing them to those two beers? Of course.

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Photo of do_ob
3.91/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bottled on 11/13/2014, sampled and reviewed on February 17, 2015.

Poured from a 22 oz. bomber into a pint glass. Pours a very dark brown with red undertones around the edges. Massive 3 finger head and is a light, soft brown. Smells of spices, malt, caramel, chocolate, and molasses. Overall smell is nice but seems like it's missing something. Initial taste brings lots of hoppy goodness with a slight bitterness that only lasts for a second or two. Hints of chocolate and spices are the dominant flavors I get. Moderately heavy weight as expected, but a very smooth finish. Aftertatste is lingering sweetness and malt.

Very drinkable beer, but seems to me like it's just missing something I was hoping for. I would probably buy it again if I ran into it on the shelf, but probabaly not one I'd seek out in the future.

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Photo of smakawhat
4.23/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass.

Deep dark and opaque walnut brown and nearly black. Not a bit of light is getting through this at all and fairly all one color. Head is a big fluffy and tan three to four fingers tall. Big retention and lots of staying power, looking like a very aggressive porter here.

Real nice aroma. Hints of sugar mint and some nice minty chocolate and milky angles. Some hints of floral hop and a good roast simple angle. Quite inviting, almost hints at some tea like herbality as well, but with an interesting hop angle more on a different herbal angle.

Palate is nice and simple. Light bodied cream and somewhat milky, with a good roasting char that's balanced on the finish. Nice almost juiced hop presence that really gives a nice bitterness to the minty light sweetness. Mid palate comes off fruity and minty like a nice breath mint. Real nice warming coffee angle which comes as the beer warms up as well.

A real nice seasonal porter, excellent brew, maybe not one I am going to fall seriously in love with, but one I would make part of my holiday tradition, and one I will remember for sure.

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Photo of gibgink
4.27/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This was a pleasant departure from the normal assortment of porters that are out there. I picked up hops and Christmas spices on the nose. This is really the first beer I've had where the hop presence was in the taste, but not in a dominating(unpleasant for me) manner. Overall a good beer, would have again.

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Photo of Beer-Revelry
3.88/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Duvel snifter glass.

A - 4.75 - Pours a jet black color, forms a nice finger and a half of extremely dark tan to light brown colored head. Really good head potential and retention, nice, solid lacing is left on the walls of the glass.
S - 3 - Middle of the road here. There is a decent amount of malts and cocoa, but the hops seem a bit overdone in the aroma.
T - 4 - Very unique, never had a porter quite like it. There is a quite large bite of carbonation upfront I'm not too keen on, but this fades into bittersweet chocolate, cocoa nibs, malts, and strangely enough, there is a very distinct nuttiness, quite savory ones. Straight boiled peanuts mix with a hoppy ending in a way that sounds strange in text but works very well. Make no mistake though, this beer is very much savory and not too sweet.
F - 4.25 - Nice thick mouthfeel.
O - 4.25 - A very unique and good porter. Is unlike any other I've tasted and is recommended to fans of the style looking for something a little different from the beaten path.

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Photo of dmgeng
4.6/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

After I had bought this, I realized that it wasn't a bigger beer so I was slightly hesitant to crack into this one but was not dissapointed in the end.

A - Rich black color with very fluffy brown head. Sticky lacing all the way down. Very clear. Pours pretty thick for a normal ABV porter.

S - First smell is full of citrus, floral, and fruity hops. Far more hops than expected and after the hops the chocolate, roasted malt character comes through. Much hoppier than any porter I've ever had.

T - The flavor is much the same with the citrusy hop character true on the tongue. The middle taste has a full flavored porter at the heart with rich malt, chocolate, and some roasty/coffee tones. Sweeter than a stout but with enough of the roast character to balance. The hops hold through until the end with a nice soft bitterness mixed with the bitter chocolate of the porter.

M - Medium to full mouth-feel with the tones of sweetness. Medium carbonation. Sits very much like a regular porter on the palate with some coating but not cloying.

Overall, the hoppiest porter I've had and I would qualify it just as 3 Floyds has as a cousin of Alpha King. It is like a well endowed black and tan with a mix of Alpha King and Anchor porter. This isn't their best beer and I'm not quite sure what the "Christmas" motif is supposed to bring since there is no spices or big ABV which are typical hallmarks of Christmas beer but it is good none the less. This would be a good winter session beer since it is both robust and hoppy.

Glass- Imperial Nonic Pint

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Photo of 29mikoyan
4.8/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

One of the greatest winter warmers in the market! A robust porter with a festive flavor. It is a malty beer with a west coast hop slam. A beautiful bitter dark chocolate mixed in with dark roasted coffee. A little hint of spices.

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Photo of doucmehu
4.47/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Had on multiple occasions, this review is on two fresh bottles.

Beautiful dark, rich body with a creamy mocha head. Typical Three Floyds.... so many hops! They call this a porter but really, it drinks close to a Black IPA. Piney and resinous hops blend extremely well with the smooth and bold malts. Great body and rich mouthfeel without being viscous or syrupy. The holiday spices just barely peek out, but are there if you go looking. Hops really show up throughout, including the bitter and dry finish.

Never get sick of this one, and look forward to it every year. I would drink all year around as a treat when I can't decide between dark and hoppy. Booya.

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Photo of sundevil21
4.49/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I really enjoyed this brew. Heavy look, but not quite as heavy a taste (of course that depends on your definition of heavy), but extremely tasty and smooth. Very good holiday porter. Looks as smooth as it tastes. Unfortunately, with a bit of a cold, I cannot give any good smell descriptions as I basically have none. But I truly enjoyed this beer.

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Photo of IPAGeorge
4.7/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a bomber into a tulip

A. Dark brown with a khaki 1 finger head.

S. Smells great. Roasted malts with some chocolate and a little spice.

T. Backing up the nose roasted malts with some chocolate and a slight bitterness. Delicious.

M. Medium to thick. Some carbonation that subsides quickly. Finishes pretty clean.

O. I'm loving this beer. Nice roasted malt and chocolate both in the nose and on the palate. Looks beautiful. Finishes nice and clean. Isn't two thick. It's pretty close to perfect for a Christmas beer but for me anytime.

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Photo of adam42381
3.69/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 22 ounce bottle into a nonic pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a dark cola brown, almost black, with a 2 finger creamy medium tan head. Nice head retention and lacing.

Smell: Dark roasted malt with lots of hops and a touch of chocolate.

Taste: Piney and grassy hops up front followed by roasted malt and a hint of chocolate in the middle before ending with more piney and grassy hops. Aftertaste is fairly bitter with just a touch of semisweet chocolate. The flavor profile is nothing like any porter I've ever had.

Mouthfeel: Medium-to-full-bodied with a fairly high amount of carbonation.

Drinkability: Good drinkability. You'll have no difficulty finishing off a bomber on your own.

Overall: A good beer overall, but not really my idea of a porter. I also don't understand the Christmas connection with this one, but maybe it fits with 3 Floyds' motto of "It's Not Normal." This one is definitely worth trying.

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Photo of KYGunner
4/5  rDev -3.8%

Slightly bitter nose with floral hops and coffee. I get a bit of of citrus, herb and pine from the hops, with a brewed coffee and chocolate malt.

The flavors are well balanced as a hoppy porter isn't overly appealing sounding. The hops are lightly blended with lemon, pine and ever so slight dankness. The porter like malt backbone isn't overwhelming and emits mostly coffee tones. There is some chocolate malt but the coffee is roasted, brewed and bitter.

This has a relatively full feel with a super easy drinkability and moderate carbonation. Very enjoyable!

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Photo of leantom
4.32/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Another review of a FFF beer. How does it stack relative to Alpha King, a beer of a totally different style (i.e., APA)? Here goes:

A: Like many other FFF beers, this beer looks exquisite. Dark, pitch black with a massive four-finger head. Leaves plenty of lacing as well. The beer is very well-carbonated.

S: I can see how the beer is related to Alpha King; it's relation is in the hops. The hop profile is exactly the same as Alpha King, even though the malt profile is completely different. Beer smells very grassy and citrusy - almost like a bouquet of flowers. This initial hop smell gives way to rich chocolate/coffee malts. Interesting mixture. Both hops and malt scents would be very good stand-alone; I'm not sure how well they combine, however.

T: Very good, but I like Alpha King a little more. The hops just jell better with the APA style. However, again, the beer's still quite good. Initial grassy/flowery hops give way to a very good malt backbone composed of chocolate, toffee, and rich coffee beans. Like most FFF beers, this one is very well-balanced between the malt and the hops.

F: Very good. Well-carbonated, thick, and refreshing.

O: A very good beer. Would have again even though Alpha King is better. A good seasonal release.

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Photo of Tilly
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

Pours a dark opaque brown with 2 fingers of loose foam of khaki colour. Sweet, hoppy, lemon nose. Chocolate, mocha, with orange back tones. I got a bit of leather in the back also. Delicious for a porter!

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Photo of Tucquan
4.12/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on 2014-12-02 in Clarksville, IN

A - Dark brown with a 1.5-finger light brown head with good lace.

S - Mocha, medium roasted grain, dark bread.

T - Sweet and dark chocolate, dark roasted/char grain, milk, earthy spice, Herbal, citrus zest and roast bitterness. Dries nicely.

M - Medium body and mild-medium carbonation. Creamy and smooth. Fairly substantial.

O - A very good brew. On par with Founders Porter

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Photo of pants678
3.38/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Head retains alright atop a black body.

Very slight peppermint, hoppy.

Hoppy, clean, floral with a notable chocolate, won't be mistaken for a black IPA. Dried out from the mexican sugar. Not as superlativey as I expected.

Body's real light, been a while since I had a porter and not a stout.

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Photo of chinchill
4.14/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

From a 12 oz bottle with another great FFF label.

Excellent aroma from this opaque, very dark red-brown ale.

Mouthfeel: Good, smooth feel.

Overall: worthy 'relative' of the excellent Alpha King.

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Photo of mrfrancis
4.18/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours a murky brown-black with an enormous, thick khaki head that takes some time to recede.

S: Aromas of coffee, dark chocolate, cocoa powder, burnt toast, roasted grain, and kola nut vie for dominance against aromas of grass, herbs, grapefruit, lemon, lime, bitter orange, and juniper berry.

T: The entry offers up notes of coffee, dark chocolate, heavy cream, vanilla bean, leather, burnt toast, dried black cherry, kola nut, and roasted grain which are chased by flavors of lemon, lime, grapefruit, kumquat, bitter orange, herbs, grass, cedar, and juniper berry. The finish is slick and oily with a turbulent balance of roasted malt, bitter citrus, and pungent herb flavors.

M: Medium-bodied, slick, and silky. Carbonation is gentle and unobtrusive. All in all, this beer could stand to feature carbonation that is a little firmer, but this is a very minor qualm.

O: This is an excellent porter, one that expertly presents a balance of malt and hop aromas and flavors. I would recommend it highly to fans of the style.

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Photo of angrybabboon
3.85/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Cheers to Goblinmunkey7 for sharing this

Appearance: Deep, dark brown with some lighter brown around the edges - pours with a medium brown head, leaves some nice streaks of lacing

Smell: Dark, cooked, roasty malts and some hops - not the freshest bottle of this, but there are definitely some hops here, leafy and kind of herbal - some dark chocolate, baker's chocolate, semisweet chocolate - some roast and lightly burnt malts - some sweetness and what smells like some spices

Taste: Dark chocolate and some general spiciness - dark chocolate, chocolate malts, some baker's chocolate - some roasty, burnt bitterness, as well as some leafy, herbal, piney bitterness from the hops - some hints of dark fruits and some caramelized sweetness, but finishes dry

Mouthfeel: Medium, nicely carbonated, smooth, finishes very dry with some cinnamon-like spice

Overall: Maybe a beta klaus

This is definitely a nice porter, but the combination of roast and hoppiness could be a little better. Definitely good, but not the best from Three Floyds (which isn't much of a criticism).

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Photo of Goblinmunkey7
4.06/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Appearance: Deep brown near black with some dark reds at the edges. Moderate carbonation keeps a small tan head. A bit creamy with some sticky lacing and a clumpy cap.

Smell: Rich chocolate malts. A bit of cocoa and a mellow spice component. A nice bit of chocolate malt with some solidly roasted malts. A balance of milk chocolate and roasted malt sweetness. Heavily hopped with earth and pine elements. Almost reminds me of spruce. A touch bready with some mild burnt hints. Slightly herbal.

Taste: Pine needle and some serious citrus. A nice backing earthy element with some herbal notes to compliment the spice. A bit of brown sugar sweetness. Malts run heavy on the roast with a sizable cocoa element. Bitter chocolate, some milk chocolate, and a mild burnt edge. Caramelized malts as well as some solid chocolate malt.

Mouthfeel: Slightly creamy with medium body and moderate carbonation. Coats the tongue without sitting heavy.

Overall: You can stuff my stocking with this anytime.

Hoppy with enough malt to be interesting. Well played Christmas beer.

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Alpha Klaus Christmas (Xmas) Porter from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 729 ratings.