Alpha Klaus Christmas (Xmas) Porter - 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

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Alpha Klaus Christmas (Xmas) PorterAlpha Klaus Christmas (Xmas) Porter

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BA SCORE
93
outstanding

719 Reviews
THE BROS
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Reviews: 719
Hads: 2,019
rAvg: 4.18
pDev: 9.33%
Wants: 266
Gots: 317 | FT: 18
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
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Reviews: 719 | Hads: 2,019
Photo of stakem
4.22/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bomber into a snifter. Pours black in color with the faintest clarity of brown around the edges. A tan cap about a finger strong slowly fades leaving a webby lacing pattern on the glass. A light swirl revives a finger of froth back to the surface.

Smells quite hoppy with elements that are herbal with piny. Some toasty grain, chocolate with black licorice and dark fruit inclusion like plum and raisins. This has a familiar aspect to it, almost like an American Black ale but the roasty grain elements really mesh well with the hop selection.

The taste includes pine and herbal hops upfront that are quit fresh tasting even though this bottle is a year old. Dark unsweetened chocolate, coffee, raisins and an oaty sweetness provides a fresh grainy character. The backend includes a touch of sulfur. Very nice toasty aftertaste mixed with something along the lines of grapefruit zest.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest level of carbonation. Overall not a bad brew. Decent alcohol warmth is noticeable but integrated well. I don't know what makes this a Christmas beer but it's quite enjoyable. Maybe it's the pine-like essence of the hops that is minorly reminiscent of Christmas wreath? Its like a black ipa but without the oily and overdone feel. This is worth checking out. (1,288 characters)

Photo of GClarkage
3.98/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12/24/05- Purchased via mail order with Archer Liquors in Chicago, ILL.

Presentation- 2005 release. 22oz bottle with a crazy ass tattoed carnie looking thing dumping hops into a pint glass. Kinda a scary way to celebrate Christmas Eve. Poured into two wine goblets.

Appearance- Pretty damn black in color, off white, light brown sugar colored head of about 3/4 inches. Pretty nice lacing left along the inside of the glass.

Smell- Damn, they weren't lying about the hops. Smelled quite bitter with a nice bucketload of some spices...maybe cinnimon?

Taste- Lots, in fact maybe the most dark chocolate flavor I have had in a porter before. Tastes like some funky ass coffee as well. Not really Starbucks like, but maybe some Mexican or Turkish coffee. Has a nice bite to it. Has a nice sugary tang as well in the flavor. Spices come through in every sip. Hops takeover as the prominent taste though, which is odd for a porter, at least ones that I have tried.

Mouthfeel- Pretty well carbonated, in fact way too much IMO for a porter.

Drinkability- Nice change of pace beer. I wouldn't recommend it as a traditional porter, but if someone love hops and love porters, this would be a nice fix for them. Probably a once a year beer for me. Definitely not a session brew. (1,283 characters)

Photo of Huhzubendah
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2008 bottling consumed Dec 18, 2009

This is actually the first time I have had this beer, and it's from a bottle that has been in my cellar for a year.

Nice thick brown head atop a rich, dark beer. Aromas of chocolate, hops, roasted malt, toffee. A fabulous tasting brew, and easily one of the best porters I have had. This beer is really easy to drink, and I will definitely be picking up a few of these from FFF in a couple of days. (436 characters)

Photo of Gueuzedude
4/5  rDev -4.3%
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. (954 characters)

Photo of Gavage
4.78/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: pours a dark brown / black color with a 2" head that lasts forever. Thick lacing paints the glass.

Smell: loads of chocolate, roasted malts, and huge hop bitterness. Pure pleasure for the nose.

Taste: roasted malts, brown sugar sweetness, rich dark chocolates, licorice, and a large but non-offensive bitterness. This beer just absolutely excites the tastebuds.

Mouthfeel: smooth from start to finish. Aftertaste is loaded with the great flavor profile and lasts quite a bit. Heavy in body.

Drinkability: this is simply a great beer. Alcohol is barely noticeable. One of my favorites. (610 characters)

Photo of Halcyondays
3.82/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a 22 oz. bomber, courtesy of an unknown Beachwood patron,

A: Pours a dark brown with a medium tan head, spotty lace.

S: Dark chocolate, Dutch cocoa, hint of coffee, charcoal, straight up porter nose.

T: Creamed coffee, dark chocolate with a nice roasted malt undecurrent. Well made, classic flavours.

M: Medium-bodied, drying finish, crisp carbonation.

O: A beer I had a long time ago, well before I was a BA, so it was cool to revisit it. I remember when this you to be in the old Top 100. I don't think it's that good, but it's very solid and a nice holiday treat. (576 characters)

Photo of billab914
4.26/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bottle into my Portsmouth snifter glass. Poured nearly black with a thin tan head covering the top. The head faded out pretty quick, and didn't leave much lacing behind.

I'm getting three distinct flavors in the aroma. First the most present is the citrus hoppyness that really comes through pretty well. Almost as present is the strong roasted, bitter malts that add a strong coffee flavor. Last is the sugar that adds a sweet sugary smell to it. It's nice that all three come through so well and none of them overpower the beer.

The taste is a lot like the flavors in the nose suggest. The big roasted bitter coffee and chocolate seem to take the forefront of the flavor a little, but the citrus hops come through in the finish. The sugar gives it a sweetness, that helps balance out all the roasted bitterness very well.

Mouthfeel on the heavier side with moderate carbonation. Drinkability is good, I really enjoyed drinking this one. They really balanced out the citrus hops, bitter malts and sweet sugars very well to make a very good complex beer. I would gladly drink this one again. (1,113 characters)

Photo of smakawhat
4.23/5  rDev +1.2%
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. (1,149 characters)

Photo of DoubleJ
3.9/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

What a random surprise to taste at Beachwood BBQ. Don't get the wrong idea, this was from a fellow customer, not the restaurant itself. On to the beer:

A dark porter, as its color goes into obsidian territory. Head retention is acceptable, and it leaves a few spots of lace. The nose is strangely hopped up. There are tons of hops in the aroma, leaving a very bitter aroma. There's bitter chocolate in there as well, so it isn't a total hop assult (not that I was asking for more anyways).

As hoppy as the aroma was, the taste is more bittersweet, with the malt and hops fighting more supremecy. It starts sweet with great amounts of fudge and chocolate. The sensation of spice, like that of chipotle peppers, diversifies the beer. Finally, we get the blast of hops which taste very raw and green. Yet despite their rawness, the beer isn't really bitter. It's actually on the smooth side with a medium full body, helping to knock down any lingering concerns I had over the dose of hops used in this porter. Turns out to be a good one, in fact. (1,046 characters)

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

Big thanks to crazynelson for this an extra in a one-bottle trade! Pours a dark, clear brown with a tall head. I think this might be a year old or so, foam pokes out the top of the bottle and the smooth chocolate flavors reminds me of other vintage brew. It's surprisingly hoppy for possible age and finishes with a pleasant pepper and spice bitterness. The chocolate aromas and flavors remind me of fine milk chocolate and liquor with sweet, fruity icing and deep roasted espresso. Delicious. Very drinkable and the finish reminds me of tasty Irish dry stout.

Thanks again Nelson! (582 characters)

Photo of Georgiabeer
4.42/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark brown with some garnet notes. Decent head that fadesa little quickly. Still, its a pretty beer. Smells a bit sugary but this is balanced by nice roasty and chocolate notes. The taste is beautifully balanced between candi sugar, citrusy hops, and chocolate. Their is a very slightly metallic finish, but that is not too unusual in a porter and it doesn't distract from the brew. Mouthfeel is smooth and slightly sweet without being sticky. Delicious- its the candi sugar that adds a sweet note that makes this beer. Also,its a nice change of pace from all the winter warmers around. (592 characters)

Photo of corby112
3.43/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours pitch black and completely opaque with a thick two finger beige head that slowly fades into a lasting ring. Chunks and streaks of lace coat the glass on the way down.

Roasted malt aroma that's slightly smokey with hints of chocolate, caramel, oatmeal and toffee. Slightly balanced by earthy, piny hops.

Thinner bodied than expected with some tight carbonation, possibly the beginning sign of oxidization. The hop presence is much stronger than the aroma hinted at making it very dry and bitter, outshining the roasted malt notes. Just too hoppy for the style in my opinion. Roasted malt backbone with dark chocolate, oatmeal, toffee, caramel and dark fruit. Smoother as it warms but still too hoppy with a dry finish. (727 characters)

Photo of weeare138
4.15/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appears a dark chestnut brown and black with a small tan head that fades into a a mild cap. Tons and tons of spotty and scattered lacing is all over the glass.
Smell is of roasty malt with vanilla, dark chocolate, bitter citrus hops, and mild coffee, and chestnut notes.
Taste is of the same aromas with a decent hop expolosion and dark fruit.
Mouthfeel is bitter, roasty, full bodied, along with a coffee like finish. (421 characters)

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

Pours a solid black with a creamy off white head that sticks around for a while before attaching itself to the sides of my glass. Aroma is chocolate, bitter roasted malts, throw in a slight alcohol aroma as well. Tastes of chocolates and coffees, reminds me more of a stout than a porter, but that line is so blurry these days. Smooth creamy mouthfeel with a hint of hops in the finish. Ample carbonation. Solid brew all around. (428 characters)

Photo of Zorro
4.1/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 Oz bottle Sampled through the efforts of SS 05 BIF and Meathookjones.

A jet-black porter through which light can pass through only a few millimeters on the extreme edges.

Smell is strong black coffee and a heavy dose of hops. Very deeply roasted Italian espresso to the nose with good smoky char aromas. Lots of citrus, mint, menthol and spruce and willow aromas.

Taste is creamy black coffee with quite a lot of hops in the initial sip. Nice balanced bitterness levels here but there is little chocolate, this is a coffee lover’s beer. I expected more from this one since I LOVE the Dreadnaught IPA they make but this is just a good porter taste wise.

Mouthfeel is on the thin side.

OK drinkability here but not great. An interesting beer to be sure but the Dreadnaught IPA rocked my senses; this one did not. This is a beer I will try again at another time. Maybe my mood was just not in harmony for this tonight; but I didn't like it as much as most do. (975 characters)

Photo of biegaman
4.2/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Oil slicked black with walnut stained foam that will easily climb three, even four, fingers high without the exercising of a little caution. The over-anxious carbonation levels in the two bottles I've tried have been a bit testing to my patience. Eventually in both cases, however, things would settle down to a very handsome level. Alpha Klaus is uncompromisingly opaque.

It's simply in Three Floyds' nature to use hops liberally - they do it often and they do it well - so why should an English style porter be the exception? It certainly isn't! Waves of green, pungent cones slip under the nose with every sniff and carry with them an unusual (but complimenting) cast that includes lactose, toffee, nuts, caramel, coffee and milk chocolate.

I may aptly consider this a 'Christmas Porter' due to its flavour which blends pecans, dark caramel and milk chocolate so as to fit a strong resemblance to those little chocolate turtles that seem to be everywhere in my house around the holidays. There are very prominent notes of cold coffee. This bottle seems to have a slight lactic character which I can't tell is intended or not.

The flavours seem a little delicate, which is a surprising thing to find from this brewery. The taste of chocolate is brittle as if it were powder form. The hops are present but none too aggressive. The malts sense stripped of much of the roast, leaving the nutty, nectar-like taste of pecans and hazelnut to linger unimpeded with considerable length.

The carbonation is set a little too high for this style beer; it pricks the mouth and distracts from the lovely, rich, chocolaty coffee syrup taste that is near completely void of roast. Aside from that, however, the mouthfeel couldn't be much better. The flavours are silky smooth and the hops add a bitter, but heavenly, touch.

I grew to like this beer more and more while making my way through the 650ml bomber. The extra bit of alcohol never seemed to catch up with me and the flavours became ever more decadent with a delicious dark caramel taste coming forth with warmth. Like I've thought of everything else I've tried by Three Floyds: this is wonderful and definitely recommended. (2,179 characters)

Photo of rhoadsrage
4.85/5  rDev +16%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in an Imperial pint glass

A- Dark in black color with a dark tan head that last pretty long. To dense to see bubbles rising

S- Even during the pour the smell of hops wafts through the air. The roasted malt, bright green hops and a hint of yeastiness is strong in the presentation

T- A rich chocolate malt is the initial taste with a strong bitterness of hops at the end. Just a bit of grassiness in the HUGE hop flavor that hangs on in the end. No alcohol taste in the finish which is surprising.

M- Full body mouth feel with good hardy astringency and a little alcohol warmth in the mouthfeel

D- This is a big beer with a bigger hoppiness. The aroma and bitterness of the hops are well balanced so it feels like there are fresh hops right in the glass. It would be nice to see a bit more maltyness in this beer but I can see hops are the driving force in this brew. (888 characters)

Photo of akorsak
3.92/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 650 mL bomber from a trade with liverletdie. I believe that it is a 2005 bottle.

A: The porter is a deep brown with ruby red highlights that appear when held to light. It pours with a very vigourous and active head that weighed in at close to 3 fingers. As the head recedes, it laces nicely.

S: The aroma has elements of an American porter, a winter warmer and a DIPA. There are roasted chocolate notes, brown sugar sweetness and explosive hops.

T: The flavor is primarily roasted malts and chocolate depth that I associate with a porter. The hops hit hard, providing a piney taste that is not too intense. Because I am familiar with FFF's beers, I think that the year's aging has softened up the hops a bit. In conjunction with the chocolate and hop flavors, there is a brown sugar sweet spiciness.

M: The mouthfeel is a good blend of chocolate, sugar and hops. I like the flavor and I like the mellowed hops.

D: A nice combination of flavors, with chocolate, sugars and hops all making appearances. It's too warm outside (despite it being mid-December, it is near 50) to properly enjoy this. It goes best in front of a fire on a cold snowy night. (1,166 characters)

Photo of Wasatch
3.83/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to ybnorml for this one. I forgot I had it, sat around for about 7 months.

Pours a black color, nice carbonation, nice creamy tan head which lasts for quite awhile, very nice sticky lacing throughout the drink. The nose is of slight sweet malts, slight vanilla, and coffee/caramel. The taste follows the nose pretty much, their is a nice bitter finish. Medium body. Drinkable, a nice offering from 3Fs. (412 characters)

Photo of kscaldef
2.85/5  rDev -31.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.75

A: A dark brown ale, raises a small head with poor retention. Splotchy lacing.

S: roasty chocolate malts, mild hints of spices.

T: Starts with watery chocolate milk, developing nutmeg and cinnamon on the mid-palate. Initially finishes with an unpleasant rubbing alcohol aftertaste, but as the beer warms that off-flavor seems to subside.

M: Moderate-low carbonation. Finishes with dry, slightly astringent spices.

O: A fairly run-of-the-mill porter. I don't find the spices adding much, but at least they aren't overdone. I was rather worried about the initial off-flavors, but that seems to be remedied by letting the beer warm for 15 minutes. (648 characters)

Photo of Kurmaraja
4/5  rDev -4.3%
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. (402 characters)

Photo of WoodBrew
4.26/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I recommend that this Porter recipe be indoctrinated into the year round offerings by 3Fs. It is a solid "run of the mill" Porter....nothing fancy...just outstanding. The beer poured an opaque dark with ecru head that left a nice laceing. The scent was subtle earth and peat...did not get much hops. The taste was a wonderful, what I would call, standard porter. There was subtle hints of earth/peat and a very faint touch of pepper. The mouthfeel was medium in body and very creamy....there was smooth carbonation. Overall....the best nonchalant porter I have ever had! (570 characters)

Photo of ppoitras
4.42/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle from Secret Santa jay23. Thanks for the opportunity. I assume this is the recent 2006 release.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a minimal 1/4" brown head above the almost opaque dark brown brew. Head is quickly down to an uneven layer of bubbles, with plenty of sticky delicate lacing. Aroma is sweet and roasty, with hoppy notes too. Taste is rich chocolatey sweetness coupled with plenty of piney hops. Mouthfeel is a tad on the flattish side, but drinkability remains excellent. A classic I enjoying revisiting each year during the holiday season. (575 characters)

Photo of aasher
4.65/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a New Belgium snifter. It poured smoothly and had a quickly dissipating khaki head, lacing the glass. It looked as if it were the prototype for a porter. The smell was excellent. It was rich, malty, roasted, and had a sweet fruit aroma as well, perhaps cranberry. It had great flavor. The flavor mimicked the aromas. It was spot on. It had a great consistency and was incredibly smooth. It's one of the most drinkable beers I've had, and my list is extensive. The only knock on this beer is that it only comes in 22oz bombers. This one is a masterpiece. (565 characters)

Photo of Duff27
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours black with a mocha head.

S- Chocolate, roasted malts. Coffee?

T- Rich chocolaty goodness with pronounced "Xmas" (hah) hop spice aftertaste. Pine. One-of-a-kind taste...and if not, please let me know!

M- Medium mouthfeel. Creamy, smooth.

D/O- The drinkability of this is ridiculously high. Perhaps the best porter I've ever had. Will be a holiday staple for years to come for me. Three Floyds does it again. (419 characters)

Alpha Klaus Christmas (Xmas) Porter from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 719 ratings.