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

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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:
749
Ratings:
2,174
Avg:
4.15
pDev:
17.35%
 
 
Wants:
281
Gots:
388
For Trade:
17
User Reviews
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Reviews: 749 | Ratings: 2,174
Photo of yelterdow
3.96/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Props to Ego for hauling home some 3F goodness back to NJ... little surprises like this make the world go 'round that much easier.

Served from a bomber into an imperial pint glass at cellar temperature on a chilly November evening the week before Thanksgiving. *takes breath*

Appearance- Four fingers of light chocolate brown head grace this ridiculously fabulous looking beer. The sheer density of the crown is stupefying, with large craters rather than bubbles marking its surface. Like some object from space, it looks like a chunk of ice or rock from the outer limits. Color is real dark and brown for a porter... webs of lacing drape the inside of my glass, I'd have guessed this was an inperial stout blind.

Smell- What a strange and interesting nose on this beer... it's an odd blend of Amarillo and other hops blended with chocolate malt and something from my third grade art room. Solid.

Taste- The initial hop blast rips across the tongue and exudes a balanced display along with a softly roasted, bitter chocolate finish. As with all of this brewery's selections, the character is distinctly their own... big flavors with a hoppy, lasting finish.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Adequately creamy and light in the mouth. The beer's duration of being alive and exciting could be longer, but it's good nonetheless. A satisfying porter that pushes the envelope to go further... but don't try too hard, as the style would be lost completely. Much hops, now I must sleep.

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Photo of fdrich29
3.95/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This bottle was given to me by the one and only Warriorsoul.

I just learned my Holiday part at Dick's Last Resort won't be until January 30th, so any anxiety I had about drinking this beer well after Christmas has disappeared. Justification is a wonderful luxuary the human condition holds dear.

Minimal head sits atop this figgy looking adult beverage. A bit of fine lacing lines the Westmalle Trappist challice I chose to vessel this bit of holiday cheer.

Smells strongly of roasted malts and chocolate. Smooth malt and chocolate taste.

Very thin in the mouth. Roastiness lingers well after the beer has made it's way "down the chimney".

This is a surprisingly easy drinkin' porter. Goes down very smoothly.

I now have the sudden urge to find my copies of Emmit Otter's Jugband Christmas and the Charlie Brown Christmas episode.

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Photo of mfnmbvp
3.95/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle, no bottled on date present, which is typical of Three Floyds.

A - Pours dark as the night. No light shows through. Tiny 1 finger chocolate cream colored head that goes down quick.

S - Surprising hop potency jumps out initially. A bitter boozy chocolate smell creeps out as the beer warms a bit.

T - Hoppy, chocolatey taste. Kind of a strange combination. Nice bitter hops, but I am not a big fan of porters really. I am a big fan of IPA's so the hop forward aspect makes this porter unique and tolerable to me.

M - Sticky, bitter, buttery aftertaste.

Overall, one of the better porters that I've had, but slightly confusing. Why wouldn't they just make this beer an amped up, spiced pale ale of some kind instead of a hop-heavy porter? Still a delicious beer, and I'd be interested to see one of the many other incantations of the Three Floyds Alpha Klaus, one of the barrel aged versions and see how that tastes. Merry f**king Christmas.

Three Floyds Alpha Klaus ---4/5.

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Photo of Strix
3.95/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours near black with a brown head and decent lacing

Smells roasty, yet piney hops are quite evident

I get roasted malts, a bit of dark chocolate, and coffee in the taste. Floral/earthy/piney hops kick in to lead to a slightly bitter finish. Very flavorful.

Mouthfeel quite smooth.

This was a big and interesting beer. Hop kick hampered drinkability for me towards the end of the bottle, but this was enjoyable.

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Photo of jahred
3.95/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I finally found a bottle of this stuff! Of course, post-XMas, but it's still cold plenty cold outside in Chicago... Let's see what all the hype is about.

Pours a very dark black with a medium head. Not much retention, but lots of nice lace on the glass. The scent - wow. Like a liquid pine forest, for lack of a better description. But I didn't detect any spiced flavors/anything resembling the holiday season.

The taste is bitter, with creamy, subtle hints of malt, espresso and chocolate. But then there's that overpowering, hoppy taste. I like it quite a bit, but it's a bit much - it doesn't allow me to really taste all the complex, underlying flavors that I know are there. It's more of a slightly spiced IPA than anything else. Also disappointing was the mouthfeel - despite what I'd read/expected from such a complex beer, my bottle was kind of thin.

Maybe I didn't have the best bottle? Maybe some of the extra flavors disappeared on the shelves over a few months? Alpha Klaus was quite interesting, but not as good as I'd hoped.

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Photo of Jayli
3.95/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Acquired this from gratefulbeerhead so a big THANK YOU goes out to him!
Poured in to my Portsmouth pint glass

A: This beer pours a somewhat thin but deep dark chocolate color with a one finger of creamy, light coffee color head. Head recedes somewhat quickly leaving minor wispy lacing.

S: Nose is full of chocolate, sugar, and hints of coffee.

T: Taste starts with hints of anise, mild sugar and...piney hops. The middle is really filled with rich dark chocolate notes. Finish is like a cup of coffee that hangs on your tongue with a bit of mint that hits the back of your tongue.

M: Medium body, medium carbonation, somewhat thin with a creamy finish.

D: This is drinking quite nice right now. Goes down nicely, not too filling, mild kick. I would love to try a fresher bottle of this to compare.

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Photo of gbarron
3.95/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

From a 22 oz. bomber.

A - pours absolutely black, almost as black as a stout. Completely opaque. Head is a light tan reflecting roasted malts, lots of tiny bubbles all clumped up, pours a couple of fingers thick. Simmers down to a nice little pool of foam, hanging around till the end. Nice lacing sticks all over the sides.

S - Fresh hops, smell like they are the American NW variety - cascade, etc. Citrusy smell. After that goes, here comes the roasty, malty, coffee aromas. Lots of bitter coffee smells. Some flowery, estery notes.

T - hops predominate. But a well balanced beer. Hop flavor comes through first - citrusy, grassy. Backed by bitter, roasted malt flavors - tastes like a nice cup o' joe, but with hops. Tastes like - and I mean this as a compliment - a very good, fresh, homebrew with a bunch of fresh hops. Extremely well balanced porter, very tasty. Not a lot of malt sweetness, but rather roastiness, some bitter chocolate flavors. Great American style porter.

M - this is the only thing I didn't love about this beer - seems overcarbonated. Maybe it's just my bottle, but the gas seem too high for the style here, tickles my tongue too much. Hurts the drinkability a little bit too. Other mouthfeel is nice, though - thin to medium bodied.

D - See above. Great, great hop flavor and roasted, malt flavors. Despite the carbonation issue, I would gladly have this beer again and again due to the strong fresh hop/malt balance.

Overall - highly recommended. Bought this beer after a lot of recommendations from friends, and I went in a bit skeptical - a Xmas porter? It's great, find it, buy it, drink it.

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Photo of Wetpaperbag
3.95/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Christmas in September!

A- The first thing that comes to my attention is the head. Its thick tight knit and very foamy/frothy. This head won't go away either. The beer is a very dark dark brown, almost black.

S- Chocolate, coffee, and vanilla. Got wood? Yes there is an oak smell that is very subtle mixed in. I suppose its the glue that mixes it all together.

T- This has a bitter chocolate taste. Coffee for sure and the roasted malts. This is a nice American Porter, pretty solid tasting.

M- The feel of the mouth is a touch gritty. That could be due in part of the fact that its been sitting around, and it seems like there is some yeast floating around in the beer.

D- This beer drink pretty good.

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Photo of Chriscrundwell12
3.95/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz bomber into a 12 oz snifter

A- Very dark appearance, slight lacing, tan mocha head that disappears fast.
S- Cocoa, molasses as well as espresso aromas, hints of hops at the end.
T- Coffee taste right away, a little bitter but not overpowering, syrupy flavors come out as I continue to drink. Well carbonated.
M- Smooth on the palate, bitter feeling on the tongue as well.
D- Easy drinkability, slight bitter taste but well balanced with the hops and coffee flavors, nothing too unique but enjoyable.

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Photo of tiger88
3.95/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a deep cola color with a thin white head. Head leaves a small amount of lacing but nothing too sticky.Smells slighlt of spice and chocolate. The hops show up but are masked by the roasted malt aroma. Tastes wonderful! Just the right balance of hops and "Christmas beer" taste but what do you expect from FFF? Mouthfeel is normal for a porter. Doesn't hang around too long after the swallow. Fairly drinkable. Good to share with a friend as the whole bomber may be a little rich.

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Photo of Cresant
3.94/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured this 22 oz. undated brown bottle into a pint glass. Body was dark, dark brown with a minor head (even with a vigourous pour). Moderate fine lacing sticks to the glass.

Smell was spicy up front. Cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg...X-mas spices. Some minor cocoa, hops aromas.

Taste presented differently than one would expect based on the smell. Bitter chocolate flavors up front. Crispy hops meets spiced cocoa. Coniferous. Huge juniper flavor. Sweetness bloomed late. Lingering, clean bitter aftertaste. Very well hidden alcohol. Very X-mas-y!

Mouthfeel was full bodied, heavier than I would expect from a traditional porter. Prickly carbonation teased the tastebuds. This is one of my favorite seasonal/Christmas beers. Seek this one if you can think outside rigid definitions, this is not your "normal" porter.

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Photo of mabermud
3.94/5  rDev -5.1%
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 TexIndy
3.93/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Re-review (orig below)
Poured from a 22oz bomber that I brought back from Indy into a pint glass. No dating info. Was pitch black in color but could just see burgundy highlights at the edges when right up to the light. Carb bubbling in the center with slight lacing. It has a small cocoa head that slowly settled into a constant film fed by the carb.

The aroma was heavy on the hops - mainly pine but some citrus. Didn't get as much of the roasted or chocolate malts this time. Liked it better last time - probably had more age on it then so hops were tamer. This is more IPA than porter to me in both aroma and taste. The taste it still good but seems to be between styles and conflicted. Too hoppy for a porter but not enough hops for an IPA. Mouthfeel was good but again would have liked it more creamy.

Overall, a good beer but didn't enjoy it as much as last time. Still recommend. I'd like to try one more time to see how a 3rd compares and which review is closer to normal. If closer to the original then a bottle when I can get is good. If closer to now then maybe even few years on a whim.

***Original 1/9/07 review below***
4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 4.0
Poured from a 22oz bomber with no bottling information. Was basically black with some burgundy deep in the color. Had a 1/4" inch cocoa head that slowly whittled to a constant film. The smell was heavy on the roasted malts - very and of course the hops. Mouthfeel was pretty good but wanted just a little more creamy. The taste was excellent. Goes down very smooth with a not too bitter finish. It's been recent that I've started to enjoy porters so can't wait to try this again next year to see if I love it even more. For now, it's good to have the one bottle and then try again so just 4 on drinkability but sure it will rise in the future. Highly recommend especially if you like porters. (4, RR, T, Y)

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Photo of Bierguy5
3.93/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. bomber. Pours a deep brown with ruby highlights at the bottom of the glass. Huge creamy tan head. Pretty good head retention, and a nice amount of lace on the sides of the glass. Smell has a whiff of chocolate, followed by an onslought of piney hops. Big hop aroma. Dry chocolate beginning, with hints of roasty malt, followed by piney and citrusy hops. Kind of like a porter with a Christmas tree in it. Medium body, moderate carbonation. Very raw and unbalanced. The hops seem to be over the top, and take away somewhat from the malt character. Not very sessionable. However, having said that, if there is any time of the year for beers to be over the top, Christmas is the time. I think that is why this works. Festive beer, certainly worth a try.

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Photo of MrMcGibblets
3.93/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

dark brown/pitch black. creamy brown head/lacing. head diminishes, but lacing persists. light shows clarity and no sediment or particles. aromas of dark chocolate, coffee, raisins, molassess, and a liquer-like alcohol. american hop presence is prominent yet vague-spuce? taste is chocolaty sweet malts with a significant underlying hop bitterness and roastiness cleaning it out. full-bodied, somewhat viscous, with a nice lingering, smooth, bitter and roasty finish. nice creamy carbonation. this is a complex sipper with warming qualities. drinks bigger than it is.

 566 characters

Photo of jzeilinger
3.93/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Many thanks to Etan for sending this bottle!

A - Pours a dark, opaque black with a healthy three fingered light caramel colored head that sticks to the sides of my thistle glass like sticky, cotton candy.

S - Roasted chocolate malt, light charcoal, and pine.

T - Consistent throughout with dark chocolate, charcoal, light smoke, coffee, and ends with some citrus bitterness. Leaves a pleasant coating in the mouth of coffee, roasted chocolate, and citrus.

M - Light medium body and at times it feels too watery and thin.

O - The finish is unique for a porter but I wish it had more body. When I think of a porter, and especially a Christmas type of beer, I think thicker with more body.

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Photo of Phelps
3.93/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Bomber sent by nlmartin as part of the Blind Beers BIF, covered in green construction paper with “10%” written as a warning. I got a whiff of the stuff and decided to pour into a snifter.

Widespread blackness in the glass, inky and impenetrable by light. Atop sits a frothy 1.5-finger head the color of brown sugar that pops away rather quickly to a thick top layer and leaves widespread froth as horizontal lacing.

Impressively hoppy nose. Lots of woody pine and smoked cedar, licorice and crumbled dark chocolate. Some solvent alcohol as well.

Dark chocolate, smoky cedar, tobacco, licorice, toast. Nicely smoky, with the acrid roast playing off piney hops. There’s a subtle sweetness mid-palate, but drying burnt malt swoops in at the finish.

Thin of body, which is somewhat disappointing. Carbonation lightly massages the tongue and causes moderate fizziness in the beer as it moves. The alcohol seems to be using all that flavor as camouflage — other than the steady warming in my chest, I don’t pick up much of it at all.

I actually had the opportunity to try the barrel-aged version of this beer at this Dark Lord Day 2011, but I have to say I like the unadulterated version more. The hops were substantial but kept in check; the toasty notes were offset by a nice sweetness.

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Photo of Hojaminbag
3.93/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I have the pleasure to taste this beer thanks to a trade with GrizzlyAdams (and Gcurlow for sending me a bottle that I used to tweak this review). Thanks!

Alpha Klaus is a dark brown with ruby highlights and two fingers of light brown head that is both fluffy and sticky.

Alpha Klaus has an aroma that is packed with juicy, bitter, hops. Behind the hops there is a bit of toffee and roasted flavors, but the hops are the star here.

The flavor leans heavily on hops once again, but the malt is a little bit stronger than in the aroma. The grapfruit from the hops mixes with a toffee flavor from the malt. The middle has a pine-resin hop presence that pairs up with a roasted flavor. Some chocolate floats around in there, along with a ton of bitter, citric hops. As the beer warms a coffee flavor developes in the background. The hops definitely dominate here, which is no surprise from Three Floyds.

The mouthfeel is good and creamy with a moderate amount of carbonation. The finish is a little bit oily from the hops. I definitely dig the feel.

Alpha Klaus Xmas porter is a good one. Sometimes I don't like porters that are over-hopped, but this one suits me just fine.

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Photo of kingcrowing
3.92/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber poured into a pint glass - 2008 bottle.

Pours a very dark brown with a one finger fluffy light brown head. Nose os surprisingly hoppy with a nice solid maltiness. Very nice lacing.

Mouthfeel is smooth and rich without being too thick, adds to the drinkability, it's smooth and has light carbonation. Taste is rich and roasty, light dark chocolate flavors as well as some holiday spiciness as well.

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Photo of akorsak
3.92/5  rDev -5.5%
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.

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Photo of CRJMellor
3.92/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours very deep brown with a dark off-white head. Aroma confused the heck out of me, was this a chocolate IPA ? Heavy, resiny hop aroma that hides some dark chocolate notes. Had some folks at my house give it a whiff and the range of answers was pine trees to marijuana. Taste was roasted coffee, semi-sweet chocolate and the overpowering hop bitterness. If you sat down 10 blindfolded folks, at least 9 of them would guess this an IPA by aroma and taste. Mouthfeel was good but I look for a little more chewiness and depth in a porter.

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Photo of shanblur
3.92/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at the Beer Trappe in Lexington, KY. Served in a snifter.

A - Dark color with a tan head which leaves moderate lacing.

S - Roasted and chocolate malts dominate over a piney hops.

T - Nice balance of the roasted malts and piney hops, with a bit more hops.

M - Smooth with a light carbonation.

A nice mix of roasted malt and hops.

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Photo of bruachan
3.92/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

picked up this bomber at acme

my perception was that this would be a battle to drink, or an experience worthy of legend. not so. the hoppiness is actually quite tasteful (appreciable, but not overwhelming)

juicy NW hop aroma with dry roasted malt scents
dry darkness in the flavor too
very light bitterness. nothing at the end, really. not a big porter in flavor or malt profile, but it easily hides the 7.5%. hops are in their primacy at the aroma stage, but i can taste 'em too. like i said, minimal bitterness

the appearance is nothing spectacular: dark walnut color with a head that doesn't feel too committed to longevity

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Photo of Fcolle2
3.92/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours deep brown in color with small amounts of light making it through the beer. Head is about 2 fingers tan and has great retention.

Smell has some interesting things going on. Large amounts of grassy hops are forward along with a big presence of chocolate malt that fades quickly to reveal it is dominated by more herbal grassy hops.

Taste has lots of roasted chocolate malt flavors forward. There is a slight roasted bitterness before a large spicy hop presence finishes with mild bitterness. Hoppy oils persist on the palate into the aftertaste but thankfully with not much bitterness. Pretty well balanced

Mouthfeel is great, thick body soft feel and mild carbonation leave this very drinkable. Lots of hoppy oils and resin last on the palate

Overall this was a decent porter. There were lots of good typical porter flavors however the hops overpowered the brew and potentially hid some awesome complexity.

 916 characters

Photo of pwoods
3.91/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz. brown bottle poured into an imperial pint. Notes.

A: Pitch black, completely opaque. Huge dark tan head with good retention and nice lacing.

S: Lots of coffee and a bunch of roast for a porter. A bit of cola.

T/M: More of the roast in this porter. Coffee is big as well. More of the sweet cola. Bitterness is somewhat high but done pretty well. Body is above medium and carbonation is a bit high.

D: Drinkable but maybe a bit off style.

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Alpha Klaus Christmas (Xmas) Porter from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
4.15 out of 5 based on 2,174 ratings.
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