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

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92
outstanding
756 Reviews
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Alpha Klaus Christmas (Xmas) PorterAlpha Klaus Christmas (Xmas) Porter
BEER INFO

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

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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
756
Ratings:
2,209
Avg:
4.15
pDev:
10.12%
 
 
Wants:
283
Gots:
400
For Trade:
15
User Reviews
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Reviews: 756 | Ratings: 2,209
Photo of SupaCelt
4.37/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This Christmas time treat pours a heavyduty brown and holds a substantial cocoa coloured head upon its shoulders. Eventually the cap departs leaving only the tell tale shreds of froth floating and some nicely strewn lace work. The darkness makes a gaze into the core of this beer's soul an impossibility, but small bubbles near the outskirts of my glass can be seen rising upward. This creation is quite pleasing to the eye.

Upon cracking the festive looking bomber, the smell offered up a hearty jab of hoppy pine and green cannabinoid skunkiness as I nosed the opening to the bottle. After evacuating a portion of the contents into my glass, aromas of scorched malt entered the forray. This burnt character carries a smoky aspect that envelopes the bouquet and draws some of the attention away from the florals. The hops are still notable, but chocolate scents and black patent qualities assert themselves just as aggressively while cloaked in the smokiness. The burnt overtones greatly contribute to the overall character of the nose. Nice. The second pour seems to be even more intensely scented.

The flavours cascade through a sort of milky chocolate into a dry bitterness. The burnt quality lingers on the palate with the hop dry and bitterness to great effect. Sweetness is relatively low, or at least seems to be held in check by the hops and smoke tones. The flavour ends up being fairly well balanced for something so robust. As the bottle wears on, sensitization seems to cause the smoke character to become less pronounced to my taste buds. The hops still seem to hold up without much fading. The "heavy handed" use of said hops must produce enough bittering that even with acclimation to their presence, it is impossible to become numb to their effects. This is a pretty impressive beer. These guys can whip up a mean recipe.

The body is medium with a strong lean to the heavier side. It is somewhat creamy and fluffy. Very satisfying to be sure.

The drinkability factor is self contained. Most reasonable humanoids wouldn't drink a few of these in succession. One bomber is capable of providing all of the enjoyment one could ask for in a sitting. Not to say that you couldn't have something a bit less intense before or after. FFF! Unbelievable brews! Thanks for the Christmas present.

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Photo of asabreed
4.65/5  rDev +12%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

So here it is. I've been looking for this for over a year now, and finally I saw a bomber and snagged one. I was going to grab both left on the shelf on general principle of Three Floyds kicking ass and the beer's reviews, but alas, at $8.99, I opted just for one.

Why pour this into a pint glass when it certainly would go much better, as far as presentation and aroma go -- along with the deep sipping -- in an oversized wine glass? So in the glass it goes.

Appearance: Head stays beautifully frothy despite its at-first possibility of dying quickly. Rather than a Belgian, it bubbles up slowly, then hangs out and refuses to go anywhere, like the top of a malted milkshake. Lacing's thick, clumpy, with layers folding atop one another down the glass. Body is thick and oh-so-close to near opaque black, though the faintest hint of dark amber can be discerned.

Smell: Oh the beauty of the citrus and piney hops. I don't know exactly what's used, but that's the backbone, and beneath it lies the subtle flavors of burnt-to-all-hell toasted malt, dark and deep unsweetened chocolate, molasses, and slight maple and raisins. Also somehow some dark and tropical fruit flavors inch their way in as it warms. Just awesome, especially when the hops lessen slightly and the malt (and slight fruit) character gets more dominant and complex when it warms. Tons of stuff going on, and it's all extremely well balanced.

Taste: Total malted milkshake at first, walking the line between burnt and frothy and creamy, it brings the party to the mouth. Dark and burned chocolate malt come next, sliding into the maple, vanilla, and raisin combination for some subtleness. Then it finishes beautifully dry, with the hops lingering on the tongue along with the malted milkshake divine thickness and taste.

Mouthfeel: Thick, creamy, a bit velvety but somehow a bit astringent, and somehow it works really well. I like the slight astringency, yet it's not quite up to the standard of a five, though close.

Drinkability: The biggest thing decreasing its drinkability is the price. In addition, it's so thick, complex, and tasty that to me it's more of a sharing porter, or else a nightcap to be enjoyed but maybe purchased months down the road for another treat. Still one of the best porters out there though, and one of the best that uses a fantastic combination of hop and malt to near perfection, in a porter to boot. It ain't easy, and Three Floyds have it down. At least snag one of these to see what you think.

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Photo of GIVEMEBACKMYSON
4.18/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

The smell is all cascade and chinook and similar smelling hops. Things that I love. If I were going by the scent alone, I'd be planning on having myself a nice IPA here, and friends, that ain't no jive. Deeper huffs show a percieved rye background and then a pine needle reprise.
As far as superficial looks are concerned, this is opaque brown with a head that is sexier'n a black thong.
Tastewise, the first notion is of dark rye toast. Maybe it's because I was braced for a hop blasting as eluded to by the olfactory hues of yesterbreath. The toast becomes more burnt, and the hops a bigger bringer of alpha acids. I didn't really find some of your more traditional porter suggestions like chocolate, coffee, and nuts to be players in these reindeer games. And maybe that should be chalked up as a real achievement here-pulling off a depth of flavor and intensity in a porter using hops as the main event without bastardizing the whole project.
My only ding here is that this lacks the girth I was hoping for in a big porter. For all the hops and loudness, it seems to me that there oughtta be a little bit more around the midsection. Especially for a beer named after Santa Klaus, big fat old fucking gluttonous slob that he is. Be that as it may. I can't really complain about the overall drinkability with this one. I drank the shit out of it.

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Photo of champagnelsc
4.74/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another wonderful beer by the brewers at Three Floyds! They have really mastered the art of blending citrussy flavors with heavy hops.

This beer had a wonderful aroma that even my wife (who cannot stand beer) enjoyed.

The flavor was thouroughly enjoyable as well. What began as a pleasant citrus taste progressed into a wonderful porter, ending with just enough bitter at the roof of the mouth.

Drinkability? I wish I had a couple more!

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Photo of battlekow
4.92/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Comparing this directly to 3F's Black Sun Stout, as they're fairly similar and I wanted to get a feel for the subtle differences.

Alpha Klaus has a slightly less dark head, but the same inky black color. Smells plenty hoppy, though a touch less than the Black Sun. There's also more depth to the smell; whereas Black Sun's nose is almost all hops, there's a sizeable amount of roasted malt and chocolate in Alpha King. The taste pretty much follows suit, similar to the Black Sun, but heavier on the roasted and chocolate malts and a bit lighter on the hops.

Personally, I think I prefer the Alpha Klaus, but only by a hair's breadth. My friend murrayswine likes his beers to be hoppy and unbalanced, and so prefers the Black Sun. Either way, though, you can't really go wrong. Two damn fine beers.

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Photo of shbobdb
3.99/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

In typical 3F fashion, this beer is heavily hopped. Wow, is this ever one hoppy porter; however, most (if not all) hops are hanging out in the taste and aroma. Mmmm, the beer has a nice hoppy/vegetable flavour up front that is quickly cut off by the burnt flavour of the porter presenting a nice, clean taste.
The only thing that prevents me from really wanting this beer again is its price.

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Photo of Xadoor
4.42/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured thick and creamy into the glass with a nice thick head. It smelled divine as it poured into the glass with the aromas of roasted grains, chococlate and coffee. Rich coffee and chocolate flavours to start, but a wave of hop bitterness slowly took over. It finishes slightly dry and bitter which lingers in the mouth for a while. Very well balanced. Highly drinkable.

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

Pours with a huge coffee-colored head of tiny bubbles that slowly settles leaving decent lacing. Pitch black and no light makes it through. Big and hoppy smell of pine and sap. The taste is roasty and coffee-filled with chocolate that finishes sweet with hints of chocolate powder and piney hops. Medium body and medium carbonation make it relatively light on the palate. Nice and smooth and highly drinkable, if a bit pricey.

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Photo of mynie
4.85/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Growler. One half of one gallon. Poured and consumed the same evening.

Pours as blank and black as the time before you were born. Excellent head. You couldn't see through this if you held it up to the sun.

Smells like grapefruit death hops mixed with raw porter chocolate. Wow. Nearly as hoppy as the Alpha King only with a wonderful malt balancing it out.

Tastes; mix a perfect IPA with a perfect porter and somehow have them both retain their perfect complexity and not bash into each other and this what you get. The stages are so distinct it's like you're taking a sip of one beer and then a sip of another. Big bread, yeast, and grapefruit hops in stage one, hitting you all in a rush. Followed up by earthy roasted chocolate, raw like potting soil or summertime sex, growing into a more processed, candied chocolate, and ending on a big hit of hops.

One of the very best beers I've ever had.

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Photo of zjungleist
4.3/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

First of '06. This looks great. Pours damn near black, with a hefty mocha head. Smells heavily of malts, hops, and maybe some spice or something. The flavor has a karate chop of roasted malts and a meaty portion of hops. As my palate adjusts the the intense taste, bittersweet chocolate and espresso come through. There is also that "something" that I can't put my finger on. It may be just a spicy hop. The mouthfeel is thick and foamy and slighly astringent. A strong sipper, in my opinion. A great way to start the year.

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Photo of jreitman
4.45/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Aged bomber from xmas of 2003. Most beers lost their hop and spice aromas after a year in the bottle. Happily that was not the case with the Alpha Klaus. Head was nice, thick and quite brown in color. Beer was dark brown to black. Mouthfeel was light but not detractingly so. Flavor was full of hop spiciness and something else I could not place my finger on. Chocolate and a slight coffee bitterness came through once the mouth adjusted to the hops. Luckily I have one more of there I can sit on and see how it fairs next year.

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Photo of Dithyramb
4.4/5  rDev +6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bomber bought from the wine joint in Hamden. Enjoyed last evening as a NYE warmup during a viewing of "War of the Worlds"

Pitch black porter with a dark tan head. Nice retention and excellent lacing.

Hops? I could've sworn that this was a batch of kind bud swimming around with dark roasted malts.

Dark chocolate, coffee, and a bunch of spices that I couldn't figure out. That is, after your tongue is assaulted with Christmas tree sappy hops. Even with the big flavor, a bit lighter than a lot of porters out there. Though not traditional in any sense, very enjoyable and worth a few.

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Photo of Zorro
4.1/5  rDev -1.2%
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.

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Photo of MaltyGoodness
3.98/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz. bomber

Pours a jet black with a thick mocha head that maintains. Nice lacing on the glass.

Lots of hops in the aroma, smells like Cascade to me. The aroma of roasted grains and coffee mesh nicely with the hop aroma.

A nice citrusy hop flavor upfront followed by a nice flavor of raosted grains and coffee. This washes away with a nice bitterness with a lingering hop taste.

Even with the ample carbonation, this one feels a little on the thin side.

Nice and easy to drink. I have yet to try a 3F brew that I don't enjoy.

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Photo of Mitchster
4.44/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

All I have to say is that this better be one amazing brew, cause it cost me $8.19 for a 220z bomber about 2 miles down the road from the brewery.

This pours out to a dense very dark brown, forming a dark cocoa head with average retention and lacing. Carbonation is a little stronger than most 3F's (I find the mild carbonation of their brews appealing). Oh yum, the aroma is intense and wonderful...there is a ton of chocolate, toast, and deeply roasted grains, but it's wonderfully balanced by amazing resinous skunkweed hops. I'm thinking Chinook. The nose is awesome. The mouthfeel is slick, oily and mineral with a dense body, but has a touch too much carbonation for my preferences. Powdery and almost flittery. The taste makes me think Bear Republic Stout mixed 60:40 with Stone IPA...kinda like a tweaked Barney Flats. The huge amount of chocolate malt and black patent adds a sharp astringency to the finish. Bitterness is medium-strong and very woodsy. The aftertaste seems to linger forever with burnt grains, charcoal, and pine sap. The finish is very dry and as it warms, a touch of isopropyl alcohol enters the picture.

This isn't your Dad's porter, but it's quite the tasty little brew. It's hard to justify the price as other similarly stylized brews would go for $5.99/bomber or so. I found it more enjoyable after it warmed up and the carbonation mellowed. One of a kind, but I'd be hard pressed to buy it again considering the cost.

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Photo of BigDaddyWil
4.2/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a pint glass. Much anticipated treat for Christmas day, courtesy of nisjer05.

Cool label, as the case with all Three Floyds beers!!!
Very dark brown color, almost black, but not quite. A decent one inch tan colored head that dissappated quickly. Not much lacing.

Great smell, a combination of coffee, chocolate, with piney floral accents.

Awesome taste, first it hits you with roasted malts, coffee, and chocolate. It ends with a perfect amount of piney hop bitterness. Very well balanced!!!

Mouthfeel is creamy and smooth and not too heavy.

Great drinkability, if I had more of this beer, I would have drank more. Not filling and very easy too drink. Overall a great brew from Three Floyds. I must find some more of this treat before the holiday season is over. A must try!!!

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Photo of DrJay
4.35/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer is very dark brown with mahogany highlights and there was a bit of cascading from the pour. The light brown head showed good lacing and decent retention. Quite nice! There's some roasted character to the aroma, but pine and grapefruit from the hops covered most of this up. In fact, it smelled quite a lot like pine trees. The same happened in the flavour to a lesser extent, with malt becoming more evident as it warmed. Strong hop bitterness. There were hints of semi-sweet chocolate and coffee, along with herbal hops, throughout. The finish really lingered and had a lot of hop flavour and roasted bitterness. Medium bodied and quite dry, there was a bit of slickness and well-integrated carbonation. This is a big, hoppy interpretation of a porter and exactly what I expect from 3F. You can tell there's a solid porter malt base lurking underneath all the hops. Quite enjoyable. Thanks for the pick-up Viggo!

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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 lackenhauser
4.38/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very dark in color-basically black though not quite thru and thru like some beers. Great tan head on top. Extremely hoppy and floral aroma. Very perfume like. It actually reminds me of Victory's Storm King which I have recently found to be very, very hoppy. Fantastic flavor-great blend of hops and roasted malt. Its balanced enough that the high hop levels meld into the roasted malts. Hops do tend to dominate overall. Nice mouthfeel-full bodied and not too dry or sweet in the finish. An extremely drinkable beer. I actually read a recent review in a newspaper column about Xmas beers and the writer stated he didnt remember 3 Floyds beers tasting this good when he lived right near the brewery. I sort of have to agree-in that it has taken them a few years to come around to my liking. For a while they were really nothing special but have really come into their own. Well done I say!!

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Photo of scruffwhor
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance- A great creamy brown head. Color was black all the way, no light could penetrate its dark soul.

Smell- Immeadiate hops mixed chocolate and coffee.

Taste- An excellent bitter cappuchino flavor. Starts with hops and ends with hops bitterness.

Mouthfeel- A chewy, creamy palate leaving your taste buds realing with hops and chocolate.

Drinkability- Not to overbearing if your having this AS desert. Definetly a meal in bottle.

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Photo of cracker
4.27/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First this is a damn good beer. Pours a dark opaque black color with a faint creamy head. The aroma is to kill for. I've never smelled such fresh piney resins in a bottled beer. It's as if this beer were served on draft at the brewery. It clearly has benefited from late hop additions and dry hopping. Fresh, fresh , fresh. Somewhat of a subtle touch of sweet molasses aroma. Taste is of warming alcohol and an overwhelming yet delightful dry dark chocolate presence. Lots of bittering hops which linger as an aftertaste which is pleasant nevertheless. Well balanced despite being hop heavy. Chocolate malts back it up adequately. A wonderful seasonal beer. Oh I love this time of the year!!!

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Photo of beveragecaptain
4.72/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle. Three Floyd's Alpha Klaus pours out a nearly, but not quite, black color with a creamy head. The aroma is very roasty, nutty, and hoppy. Incredibly, the hops go very well with the roastiness. The flavor is sweet at first with caramel and chocolate. Roasted flavors come in at the middle. The finish is bitter, with citrus hops. This beer is probably more hoppy than any porter I've had. Furthermore, the hop flavor melds with the roasty flavors to create a delicious whole. Mouthfeel is medium. A beer this tasty is almost drinkable by default. Great beer. I'm falling in love with this brewery, even as I despise it for the price of it's beer ($9 for this bomber).

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Photo of ClearDog
4.12/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance -- Pours a deep midnight black with a thick, creamy, two finger light-brown head. It looks pretty good. Can't wait to try it. Nice lacing.

Smell -- Initial smell is light hops followed by chocolate. The chocolate scent is more pronounced as the porter warms. The hops are distinct but I am not good with identifying all hop varieties. Reminds me in a way of how Alpha King smells, but not as strong.

Taste -- Burnt chocolate, coffee, and some bitterness. Reminds me of excellent porters like GL's Edmund Fitzgerald. Very enjoyable.

Mouthfeel -- A little more on the heavier side. Slightly chewy and creamy.

Drinkability -- This one is very quaffable. If it didn't cost $8 for a bomber I'd probably purchase more. I've got one more bottle I'll save for closer to Christmas. In many ways it reminds me of Edmund Fitzgerald. A nice offering from Three Floyds but due to the cost and similarity to Edmund Fitzgerald, I won’t be purchasing it again anytime soon.

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Photo of whartontallboy
4.62/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours out a rich cola-brown with a finger and a half of dense tan foam that fades slowly and leaves a decent amount of lace.

Smell is rather intense, and it's hard to unpack at first. The initial wave in your nose is pure West Coast hoppiness, almost like you're sniffing a pale ale. A seriously bitter pine/spruce hop nose kicks in, but underneath there's a solid roasted maltiness with some coffee and chocolate.

Flavor is more of the unusual same: a big, IPA-ish wave of evergreen hop flavors that then mellows out into a slightly bitter, balanced chocolate and coffee flavor. The lingering aftertaste is an interesting blend of bitterness, both from the coffee and hop flavors and sweet chocolate/roasty tastes. Quite unique. Some little spices slip in as well, notably cinnamon, but I also get a little tiny licorice flavor. Mouthfeel is creamy and pleasant.

Overall: I didn't buy this one last year because I thought it was too much for a single bottle. Wow. I was wrong. A completely unique porter that really uses aggressive hopping without being over-the-top and losing all of its porter characteristics. Outstanding.

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

The beer is black with a thick tan head. The head dies down to a bubbly layer of film. There is quite a bit of lacing on the glass.

The beer smells strongly of pine. Not really expected with a porter, but this is a Three Floyds beer and mega-hopped beers are their thing.

There is a lot of pine in the taste as well. Somewhere in there meek hints of dark chocolate and coffee attempt to make themselves known, but are crushed behind a wall of pine. This would be great if Three Floyds called this a black IPA, but they don't, they call it a porter, and I'm having trouble figuring out what is supposed to make this beer very porter-like.

Mouthfeel is medium with a moderate level of carbonation.

The drinkability of this beer is pretty good, goes down easy.

Overall this is a pretty good beer, but it is certainly not worth $8.99 for a 22 oz bottle.

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Alpha Klaus Christmas (Xmas) Porter from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
4.15 out of 5 based on 2,209 ratings.
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