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

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

Brewed by:
3 Floyds Brewing Co.
Indiana, United States

Style: American Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

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

Added by zerk on 12-06-2002

For Trade:
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Reviews: 749 | Ratings: 2,175
Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.8/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Dark chestnut with rubiginous highlights beneath a large, sturdy cap of light brown foam that displays admirable persistence; the gently rounded surface looks to be at the same level that it was several minutes ago. Random streaks and swirls of chunky lace stick steadfastly to the glass.

The nose is of chocolate covered hop cones and pine boughs. This is about what I expected, but it's still a treat. The sharply citric evergreen aroma is amazingly powerful, yet doesn't quite smother the roasted maltiness that identifies this as a porter. Other than restrained bittersweet chocolate, no other non-hop aromas are evident. Three Floyds and their hop obsession... gotta love 'em.

The flavor, like the nose, wields a hop cudgel and isn't afraid to swing it with force. It tastes like the brewers threw a couple of Christmas trees into the vats and let them sit for a few months. These hops are much more piney than they are citrusy; I'd be curious to know which varieties were used. Although the first several mouthfuls were almost overwhelmingly evergreen-like, I'm now able to discern the malty goodness underneath.

The first half of each mouthful is wall-to-wall hops, while the second half allows cinnamon-dusted, ground coffee bean-flecked, chocolate liqueur to strut its stuff. The malt backbone is rock solid, as it has to be to stand up to the greatest humulus lupulus assault on a porter that I've ever experienced. The mouthfeel is firmly medium with a creaminess that one usually finds only on bigger beers. If your hop tolerance is high, then this beer is as dangerously drinkable as they come.

I had a good idea what Alpha Klaus had in store before I cracked the crown, but that hasn't kept me from being impressed as hell (drinking is believing). While hops are far and away my first love, I also appreciate massively malty beer. Nothing wrong with combining the two into a two-headed beast of epic proportions. Kudos to Three Floyds for sheer audaciousness, originality and further evidence of genius. 'Christmas in a glass', 'the best of both worlds'... whatever you call it, call it great beer.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.28/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Acquired via trade from FtownThrowDown, so a big “Thank you” goes out to him.
Poured from a 22oz bottle into a mug pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep dark brown color, with a huge foamy brown head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The smell is rich with dark chocolate and floral hops, unique but straight-forward.

T: The taste is much the same as the smell, dark chocolate and hops. The bitterness of the two is blended nicely to compliment each other instead of competing for dominance. The malt character seems quite subdued which is a bit different for the style. This also may be the hoppiest porter that I’ve had. The after-taste is bitter and slightly metallic.

M: Smooth and very crisp, medium body, medium-to-high carbonation (again, different for the style), finish is dry but sticky.

D: Very tasty, goes down easy, not very filling and the ABV is very well hidden, this is the perfect beer to sit and chill out with if you’re looking for something that’s a little bit more than just a sipper.

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Photo of Rifugium
3.83/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

First had: on tap at Miller's Pub, Chicago, IL

Poured a murky dark brown with a foamy tan head that retained well and left some sticky lace on the glass. Smooth toasty caramel malts in the aroma, complimented by big piney hops and a chocolatey essence. The taste followed the aroma, with lots of caramel, chocolate, pine, with notes of cinnamon and brown sugar. Smooth and satisfying, medium-almost-full-bodied, and pleasantly drinkable.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.03/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Totally happy to be reviewing this one today. I had tried and tried to hunt this one down for the longest time, and I was finally able to secure one through the BDAY07 BIF. Awesome looking bottle, with classic Three Floyds artwork. Just a real treat to be able to crack this one open tonight and enjoy it..

A – Poured a very dark, murky brown. A large two inch plus head formed quickly on the top and held on for what seemed like forever. Unrelenting as I thought it would be it finally gave way and left behind tons of gooey sticky brown lace in its wake. Obscured pretty much the whole glass and never really left. Some nice carbonation could be made out as it was not totally opaque, rather some light was able to get through. Overall had a nice thick look to it and I knew right away that it totally meant business.

S – Wow, what a warmer was my first impression of this. Huge roasted caramel like smell, sweet and sugary mixed in with a touch of a brandy like quality upon first aroma. As it started to warm, a lot of subtle things started to come about. Lots of cinnamon and nutmeg were present, a noticeable bitter hoppiness, not quite a citrus hops, more a piney and spicey type of hops. Either way lots of spice was very evident in the nose. Great really great aroma.

T – Wow, a very strong powerful ale this was. Immediate smokey, rustic type of taste would be the best way to describe it. Lots of caramel, nuts, and cinnamon were intermixed with a nice deep cereal and grainey base. The hops were ever present, but no where near in total control. This was really more then balanced, it was more unique and intrsting. Some many flavors, almost tasted like a yule log. It was just everything you would want in a winter brew, lots of spices, and it defiantly kept you warm, with a nice dry hopped bitter finish too!

M – Super smooth, and very creamy. The first sip was actually misleading. I thought it was going to be lighter in feel then it was. Came off quite heavy at times, not in a bad way, just heavy. Drank like a stout more then anything. Very good carbonation kept it lively and it had a great smooth finish, but yet it was somewhat quick and crisp at the same time.

D – Great, this was really a good sipper. Now normally I can have two or three of something, but this one was a one time. I really had to sip through it due to it having such a full heavy feel about it. But it was really good nonetheless. I was actually looking for something in the vain that day so it served its point very very well.

Overall I was really impressed with this. You could tell that a lot of work had gone into it as it was just almost too complex to accurately describe. I was like a kid in a candy shop with this one. Just really fantastic. I would gladly come though with more of this anyday, but will more then likely wait until the winter, as with it being this hot, its just a bit too big for the summer. But really awesome and deserves the reputation that it has. If only three floyds were closer!

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Photo of Slatetank
4.03/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Many thanks to Phatz allowing me to try this.

A - Motor oil dark shades of maltiness with medium tan head that possesses decent retention.

S- Roasty malt scents with piney and chocolate notes

T- Crisp, oily, sweet, chocolatey and moderately bitter. A spectrum of flavors with subtle floral hop and twiggy pine tastes juxtaposed roasted nutty walnutlike dryness.

M- Fully balanced -sweet, dry, nutty, oily bitter. A great blend of textures.

D- Quite easy to knock back oz. after oz. as I could have drank the whole bottle had I not been sharing with other beer lovers.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.75/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Grant for sending this one to me.

A: The pour is a dark brown color with some definite red highlights. A short lived off-white head is present, too.

S: Quite a lot of roast, and perhaps char, with just a touch of smokiness. There are some nice hints of dark fruits, earthy hops, and bitter dark chocolate. I seem to pick up just a touch of licorice.

T: Mostly roasted malt flavor with a nice char character. A mild sweetness in the form of toffee, and the same earthy hop notes. A mild to moderate bitterness to the beer.

M: Medium in body and medium carbonation, too.

D: Kind of heavy on the roast which limits the amount of other qualities you can pick up, but good.

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Photo of russpowell
3.9/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is from cpferrisheers Chad!

Pours mahogany with 3 fingers of mocha colored head. Good lacing & average head retention

S: Roastyness, herbal & citric hops

T: Roasty grains, a touch of baker's chocolate & dryness up front. Coffee bleeds trough as this warms, plus piney & herbal hops dance around charred grains brown sugar & dryness. Finishes dry, roasty, with coffee & cocoa, some grainy astringency pulls this down to a 4.0

MF: Fairly chewy with fairly assertive carbonation. Creamyness comes through as this warms, great balance

Drinks pretty easy for the ABV & style, the dryness, plus slight coffee overkill slows me down a bit. Nice, but give me SN Porter or Black Butte any day

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Photo of Kurmaraja
4/5  rDev -3.6%
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 TMoney2591
3.26/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Sam Adams sensory pint glass.

Thanks to VDubb86 for a taste o' this!

Not sure why Dexter was on, but at least there's beer. And Alex is talkin' this one up, too. It pours a pitch black-brown topped by a finger or so of tan foam. The nose contains a strong contingent of green hops, with some chocolate and light roasted malts in the background. The taste holds a touch more roast, but it's still only a vain attempt at countering the hops, which have maintained their strength. The body is a light-ish medium with a light moderate carbonation. Honestly, I can see why people could like a rather hoppy porter like this one, but I am not one of these people. There's just not enough roast to provide any kind of appreciable balance.

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Photo of mdaschaf
4.23/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to bstyle for this one!

A: Pours a nice black color with a two finger tan colored head on top. Really nice retention, lasting at one finger for quite some time. Nice streaky lacing down the sides.

S: Surprisingly hoppy, lots of pine and citrus mixed in with chocolate and some light coffee.

T: Nice and hoppy on the flavor profile as well. Pine and grapefuit up front with some roasted malt, chocolate, and a little coffee.

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Slightly bitter.

O: Sort of like a black IPA, but I like this one, since it leans more towards a porter, but has a nice hop component.

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Photo of billab914
4.26/5  rDev +2.7%
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.

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Photo of mdfb79
4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into my Duvel tulip. Shared by BigSexy410; thanks man, this was a Want of mine. 2010 vintage.

a - Pours a jet black color with an inch of light tan head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of pine hops, chocolate, roasted malts, and light citrus hops. Interesting.

t - Tastes of pine hops, citrus hops, floral notes, soap, roasted malts, chocolate, and sweet sugar or fruit. Again interesting.

m - Medium to full body and moderate carbonation. Pretty smooth.

d - An interesting porter; can definitely see the resemblance to Alpha King with the pine hops. Lots of pine and chocolate/roasted malts; definitely enjoyable. Would have again.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.75/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appears thick on the pour the color absorbs all visible light on the spectrum, where'd you go Roy G. Biv ; color is dark chocolate hued letting just an inkling of light through when held to the light. It forms a huge tan head with even lacing spread around my pint glass. Aroma contains pine tree scented hops which absolutely rush the senses along with something that is very candy cane esque with a peppermint herbal character underneath the hop layer dark chocolate cake mix and strong imported coffee hibernate. Taste with a little age on this sampe hop bitterness is just beginning to tame a bit, what's left is the pine cone / herbal mix that screams Christmas time. Dark roasted malts add a layer of coffee edged bitterness and dark chocolate roasts bring powdered cake mix onto the flavor profile, hop burps ensue all is well. As more yeast is added from the bottle a bready tone joins in the complexity that really equates to the cohesiveness of this creation, wow I tried it last holdiay season and it's just perfect...pilgrimage to 3F's maybe soon. Mouthfeel is full bodied yet crisp and dangerously smooth I paid $7.99 for a bomber and I don't feel cheated at all one of the few higher priced beers that earns it's value has a velvety texture on the palate carbonation maybe a bit higher but after carrying the higher gravity of this brew it comes of smooth as can be. Drinkability, well this beer is an incredible experience this Limited Liability Corporation from Munster, IN continues to arouse the beer lover deep down in my soul, a treat that one should track down every winter, it's great stuff.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%
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.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
4.59/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours black with a decent crème head. Nose is interesting. Striking characteristics that are a bit difficult to nail down. Coffee perhaps. Candy. Some type of fruit. Almost like a unripe berry or hard apple or something like that. Whatever it is, I like it. Flavor is nice. Spicey robust tones. Thick malts. Pleasant acidity. A nice robust porter with good spices and a touch of fruity sweetness as well. Feel is thick on liquid and carbonation is a bit lower and barely biting. This is a nice porter. I could drink this all night.

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Photo of stakem
4.22/5  rDev +1.7%
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.

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Photo of jwc215
4.29/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

22 oz. bottle - Bottled 11/11/15:

Pours black with a lasting off-white head Trailing lace sticks.

The smell is of rich chocolate with picy pine/resin.

The taste is of dark chocolate with pine/resin (some citrus). Malt and hops blend well together and are both robust. Lightly roasted coffee in the finish adds balance and more complexity without clashing with the bitterness of the hops.

It has a silky smooth body.

A deliciously rich, unique malty yet hoppy, porter.A nice Christmas treat!

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Photo of johnnnniee
4.15/5  rDev 0%
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.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.6/5  rDev +10.8%
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...

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Photo of smakawhat
4.23/5  rDev +1.9%
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 MasterSki
4.4/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2008 22 oz bottle brought to the in-laws Xmas party. Thought I'd share some Midwest craft brews with my deprived Canadian family...

A - Black, two-fingered mocha head that dissipates slowly leaving complex lacing. Tiny amount of visible carbonation.

S - Sweet burnt malts and chocolate juxtaposed with floral piney hops and the slightest hint of citrus, largely orange. Much hoppier than one would expect from a porter - kind of a "Darkness-lite" in that respect.

T - Starts hoppy and sweet, ends chocolate. There's an oatmeal consistency midway through, and the ending bitterness is interesting because it's unclear whether it's from the hops or from bittersweet chocolate or from espresso.

M - Smooth, creamy, great viscosity. The moderate amount of carbonation complements the bitterness in the back end of the palate.

D - It's a little to rich and strong for sessions, but a single 22 oz goes down pretty easy. Nice for sharing during the holidays.

I wish Three Floyds had a regular porter I could get instead of having to wait until December each year. I'm not sure it's worth stashing as the hops will probably fade by March.

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Photo of WoodBrew
4.26/5  rDev +2.7%
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!

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Photo of drabmuh
4.31/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

No date on the bottle but I'll assume it was from this season, extra in a trade. Beer is black and forms a thick brown head of small and medium bubbles that slowly falls away leaving a ton of lacing on the glass.

Aroma is sweet and thin.

Beer is medium to low in body, slight roast / smoke on the back end. Some sweetness up front, easy drinking and smooth. Second taste, really high drinkability. A slight aftertaste is building. Not a lot of bitterness. Its a great porter for sure.

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Photo of GClarkage
3.98/5  rDev -4.1%
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.

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Photo of tempest
4.15/5  rDev 0%
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!

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Alpha Klaus Christmas (Xmas) Porter from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
4.15 out of 5 based on 2,175 ratings.
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