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

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Ratings: 2,226 |  Reviews: 758
Photo of BeerLover99
3.83/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: solid black with hue of dark brown/mahogany, trace head evident. good lacing occurred.

S: coffee, roasted nuts, bitter chocolate, malt.

T: sweet chocolate and malt up front with hint of roasted nuts and bitter in the finish.

M: medium body, very smooth pour and drink. a little more carbonation than I like in my porters, but the flavors make up for it.

D: Quite good. Not my favorite porter, but a good one and nice offering by Three Floyds; give it a spin.

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Photo of beerman207
3.62/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Been wanting to try this for a while now. Finally got around to buying it.

A: Dark brown with a tan head

S: Chocolate, malt, smells sweet

T: On the first few sips of this beer, It was almost a drain pour. Not sure why it was so bad on the first part of the pour but the second half of the bottle is what I'm reviewing now. - Coffee, malt, chocolate, slightly sweet.

M: - Mild mouthfeel

D: Decent but not as impressive as other offerings.

Not sure if I had a bad bottle or what was going on with this one. Just a strange session experience. In any event. Not the best porter - but not the worst.

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Photo of JoEBoBpr
4.36/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass from a 22oz bomber.

A - Pours a nice dark mahogany brown color with some nice ruby reddish hints. There is a gorgeous 1-inch head that is nice and light tan with some tight bubbles and some intermingled bigger bubbles. Retention is near perfection. I think I can float a dime on that head. (5.0)

S - Roasted malt notes are coming in very strong and delicious. There are some slight bitter chocolate notes and some nice chocolate sweetness. There are some mild hop notes in the nose as well with some slight citrus and some nice grassy hints. The roasted malt and hop balance in the nose is near perfection. (4.0)

T & M - Flavor starts off with some nice roasted coffee notes with some French roasted hints and some slight espresso hints. There are some delicious chocolate notes in this beer. Nice dark chocolate bitterness is quite smooth and silky and the slight milk chocolate sweet notes really hold well. Now the hop hints in this beer are quite impressive. There is some nice grass and great citrus notes. I would say that this is a nice roasted Classical Porter with the hop profile of Alpha King. I love the way the chocolate malt notes combine and play well with the hops. Mouthfeel is nice and smooth with some nice balanced carbonation. (4.5)(4.0)

D - The beer is delicious and all the flavors are very well represented and well crafted but also work well together. This is something that might not be expected. Very refreshing and yummy brew. (4.5)

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Photo of biglite351
3.01/5  rDev -27.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

A - a good bit of orange around the edges. Creamy off-white head.

S - roasted malts with minor dark chocolate in the mix. Hops are also present.

T - certain hop flavor throughout. Mild roasted malts, chocolate and nearly caramel.

M - mild coating, but thin. Tiny bit of tingle on sides of tongue.

D - maybe one, but most likely not.

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Photo of Dreadnaught33
4.17/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

And my love for FFF continues, though this isn't quite as good as most of their offerings.

This beer pours black with good lacing and dark brown highlights as the glass is held to the light. Thick look with a ring of head.

The smell is alluring. Smoky, hoppy esters, roasty malt notes and coffee notes all hit at once. Very savory and a little sweet, this aroma is nice.

The taste is good with highlighted roasted chocolate notes and some bitter hops leading to a bittersweet finish. Doesn't seem to live up the smell, but it tastes tastes good.

Very creamy mouthfeel and a nice balanced body overall, which makes this an easy to drink beer. Nice stuff.

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Photo of Duff27
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%
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.

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Photo of Another6Pack
4.1/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Black as night. Even put it up to a halogen lamp to try to see through it. No dice. Very little head, thin band of lacing.

S: coffee - like slightly over-roasted coffee. I did not pick up on any pine notes like previous reviewers, though I'm finding my nose doesn't have the same skill as many others.

T: Malt tastes just short of roasted - more like toasted. Now I pick up some of the hop flavor. Finishes with a hint of spicy booze on the back of the tongue. Didn't expect that pleasant surprise.

M: Nothing like it should be based on looks. Lots of carbonation on the tongue and surprisingly solid body.

D: Easy drinkin'. Not one designed for chugging, but could be done.

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Photo of Erish
3.88/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this on tap in a nonic pint glass at the FFF brew pub.

A: dark coffee color, goodly cappuccino-colored head with good retention and good lacing.

S: coffee, chocolate, pine and floral hops, oaky malt backbone.

T: so much coffee.... in the front, middle, and finish, also lots of citrus and grassy hop character, the finish has vanilla smokiness and a nicely bitter hop backbone.

M: medium-bodied, creamy to oily, moderate carbonation.

D: very tasty, but the overwhelming coffee flavor was a bit much for me at times. This beer needs a dessert to go with it!

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Photo of DAllspaw
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

served at FFF brewpub before Christmas. This is a first, after recently trying more porters and was pleasantly surprised by the balance of traditional porter characteristics with hops, I didn't expect to enjoy as much as I did. Great pour with solid dark brown head and lacing. Nice hop aroma with dark malt, chocolate aroma.

Really great beer, enjoyed two and wish they had some bombers to go.

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

A- Very dark in color. Almost black. A fingers worth of almond colored head. Runny lacing that sticks then slides

S- Massive hop nose that almost completely masks a toasty malt backbone. Strong pine and citrus hop varieties are noted. Faint booze is picked up at the end

T- Similar to the nose. Very hoppy for a porter but certainly delicious! The roasted malts are very well balanced with the hops.

M- full mouth feel that has a decent amount of carbonation and balance.

D- Very drinkable brew that is an interesting blend and is great for the holidays!

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Photo of grover37
3.88/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

22oz bottle (for $8.49 from Indiana) poured into two imperial pint glasses.

Appearance: Very dark brown, nearly black. Reddish brown around the edges with a cream colored head which shrinks from half an inch to a full, thin but covering layer, of small and medium sized bubbles. This reduces to large patches with a heavy ring around the outside. Not much lacing.

Aroma: I can't believe this beer is only 6%. Huge aromas of bitter chocolate, vanilla, (whisky soaked?) oak, and some pine. This smells like a 10% imperial stout, like Yeti or Left Hand RIS.

Taste: The flavors don't do the aroma justice. A bit more watery than I imagined with some sweet chocolate up front. Earthy hops in the middle with a little bit of bitterness and a hint of the sweet vanilla in the aroma. Roasted barley in the finish along with pine which really sticks around along with a prominent burnt chocolate taste. The roastiness has a bit of a mocha, coffee with cream flavor as well. The finish is enjoyable but the initial flavor is somewhat underwhelming.

Mouthfeel: As mentioned, a bit thin, but the long-lasting flavors make you forget about it quickly. Medium carbonation, perhaps a bit more than I expected.

Drinkability: I could definitely drink a lot of this. It smells huge but drinks easy. The taste in the finish leaves you craving more.

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Photo of steve8robin
3.38/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Got this in the 2010 Secret Santa BIF. Loved Alpha King, let's give this on a go. 22oz bottle opened on Christmas night 2010 poured into my new Pumpking tulip...

A: Super dark with no light shining through. A 1 inch mocha colored head that fades extremely slowly leaving a huge fluffy lace on the glass. Very good.

S: I get some mild roasty chocolate blended with earthy citrus hops. Some lemon quickly follows in the middle with some piney spices on the backend. Some molasses and black licorice hideout on the backend. Smells kind of like a Black IPA or a Black and Tan. Good.

T: Tastes of roasty licorice upfront with some watery vegetable dishwater in the middle. Ok.

M: Medium body with a good carbonation. A dry finish. Decent.

D: Once you get past the strange flavors, this is ok.

All in all, this is an ok brew to try around the holidays if you have access. Don't bother hunting. Many better brews in the style.

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Photo of morimech
3.7/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pitch black with one finger of head that suddenly settled to a thick cap. Moderate amount of sticky lacing is left on the glass. Bizarre aroma of piney/grassy hops and burnt, roasted malt. I can tell they packed the aroma hops into this beer. I have never tasted a beer that tastes like Alpha Klaus. Even the over-hopped Imperial Stouts do not pack the hop flavor of this porter. A lot of resinous pine (pine forest or Chritmas tree fire comes to mind) and grass. The yeast did their job because despite the sugar addition, this is one dry beer. The chocolate malt does not play a very large part of the flavor profile and that is a bit of a shame. The malt gets overpowered by the hops. Tastes almost wet hopped. A wet hopped, Christmas Porter or a Black Christmas IPA? Don't give lesser brewers any ideas now. Bitterness is higher than any porter that I can recall. I just cannot give this beer a higher score because it is so unporter-like. The appearance and mouthfeel are the only things reminiscent of porters. Nicely carbonated but could of used a little more heft in body. A hopheads dream of a porter. One of these a year would be enough.

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Photo of jdflyer06
4.08/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz. into a snifter.

A: Dark, like pitch. Very little head but does leave some lacing as it goes down.

S: Burnt grains, coffee and some spice. The hops really do come through quite nicely, mostly a bitter smell, like rubber. It's actually a good thing.

M: The carbonation on this one is a bit high but is somewhat creamy on the finish. Dries out a bit as it lingers. Pretty darn good on the palate.

T: Molasses, coffee, burnt malt and hops shine through. Having trouble picking up the spice at first but there's an allspice quality to this one as it warms. Very understated which I prefer for a holiday brew.

O: Very drinkable for the style, although I wouldn't suggest more than one. I believe these beers are meant to be shared anyway. Another solid offering from a fantastic brewery. Next up, Fireside Chat!

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Photo of afksports
4.16/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Ah man, yes! Alpha Klaus on Christmas Eve! I'm enjoying this with my mother while we decorate the tree and get ready for church. Thanks to stevefinny (and probably TJBurgess) for the hookup on the bottle. Steve, a Merry Christmas is on its way for you from Brooklyn.

The beer pours line a porter should. Nice head, sustained lacing, dark brown and rich - specks on the glass... it's a truly nice appearance. This bad boy is malty too. But surprising to me were the hops in the first whiff. Woo! This one is tasty without being too big, sweet without stamping it on your palate, and balanced like I'm about to be hanging this ornament.

It's drinkable, smooth like a porter, an an excellent example of the style. I'll be enjoying the rest of this bottle before Church.


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

Thanks to Dreadnaught33 (Jonathan) for bringing this brew to a tasting. It's funny: I hooked this guy up all year with FFF brews and now he hooked me up with one for a change!

A: Poured a dark, dark brown, with very minimal lacing that dropped right back down into the glass. The soft, one finger beige head stayed frothy throughout the session.

S: FFF hop profile and then some! Actually, I thought I could smell "Gumballhead" imbedded in the dark candy-chocolate-coffee madness!

T: Chocolate and citrus? How could that be? Well, it certainly does in this brew. Very fruity and hoppy for a porter and this beer sort of reminder me of Heavy Seas' "Letter of Marque"... only better. A tinge of vanilla held everything together nicely.

M: Not too thick, but thick enough for the style. The fruity elements definitely kept the bitterness in check and the carbonation was both prickly and comfortable at the same time.

D: A bit of nostalgia: This was the brew my wife and I split on our first New Year's Eve as a married couple. I'll be getting more of this stuff soon from friends and family in the Midwest. This is one of the strangest beers on the market!

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Photo of SuperNova777
4.45/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A:Pours a pitch black with a fat head on top of it, excellent lacing is left down
the glass

S:Nose picks up some great aromas. Roasted malts come thru first
followed up by a huge amount of citrus hops that really cut thru everything else.

T:Up front in the initial sip a smooth amount of roasted malts come thru that follows
into the middle. On the backend the hops really come thru that follows as in runs down the
throat.Very exciting and tasty.

M:The body was expecting to be a little thicker but still does a good job overall, the palate
is left slightly dry from the alcohol and the hops begging you to take another sip.

D:This is a really easy drinking that is extremely tasty with that FFF twist on it. Taste like
a porter that you would expect with a awesome hop kick on it as well, definitely going
pick some more of this up to take to some holiday parties.

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

Thanks to beerman207 for the hook up on this one. Review is from notes taken on 12/18/2010 and poured from the bottle to a tasting glass.

Appearance: Pours like a standard looking porter -- a deep dark brown color and it starts with a 1/2 finger tan head that fades quickly to nothing other than thin ring around the surface; body is dark and nearly opaque, showing highlights on the edges and where the light manages to pierce it through the center; body does show a little bit of carbonation, but leaves no lacing.

Smell: Um, hops, but I want to say that it actually smells more like pot. Tons of grassy hops are right up front on the immediate pour and I'm a little let down -- I like hoppy beers, don't get me wrong, but this comes across as overly hopped at first; thankfully, after a while the smell starts to settle down, and while the hops are definitely present throughout, a nice bittersweet and syrupy sweet chocolate presence sneaks in and kind of brightens my night; some roasty and toasty maltiness is in there as well, with a bit of a burnt espresso presence. It ends up quite good, but it really had to work its way there for me.

Taste: Much like the smell, starts as totally hops and really nothing else, and they're very bitter and grassy, again, kind of like pot (I almost feel like I'm drinking at a Dave Matthews show or something here) and the hops dominate, until, after a while of warming and settling, the syrupy sweet and bittersweet baker's chocolate/cocoa start to sneak in and offer a balance and suddenly this beer comes across more like a Black IPA as opposed to a porter -- really, I feel it's a bit of a lucky save.

Mouthfeel: A little thin and watery, but not "light" by any means like some porters tend to struggle with; the carbonation is quite full; a thin, semi-dry sticky coating is left on the roof of the mouth; belly is left warm from the acidity, but not likely the ABV as it's quite doable at 6%.

Drinkability: There was a little bit of contention amongst the tasting group about what to do with this bottle. I feel that it would do well to sit for some time, perhaps 6 months to 1 full year to allow the hops to mellow out and allow the malts to showcase their flavors; the argument to that would be that it is only 6% ABV and may not stand the test of time, even if kept in a relatively decent closet/cellar or whatever. Frankly, I'm willing to give it a shot -- after all, what's 6 moths?

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Photo of hardy008
3.88/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Jet black with a 2 finger creamy tan head with good retention and lacing. The aroma has dark chocolate malt, roasted malt, and hops.

The taste of the beer has dark chocolate malt, roasted malt, sugar, and hops. There is a light amount of sweetness, balanced by the bitterness from the roasted malt and hops.

Medium bodied, creamy, smooth, and properly carbonated. This is a nice, easy to drink Porter. Not too hoppy, which is a plus for a porter in my book. I would buy this again.

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

Poured from a bomber into my New Belgium tulip

Pours a dark brown, almost black with almost an inch of tan foam. Leaves nice lacing on the glass

Smells of hops, moreso than I would expect based off the appearance

Taste is dominated by hops upfront but before you realize it transforms into mild coffee and chocolate, not overly sweet

I could drink this beer without much problem. I'm not always in the mood for that flavor profile but when I am it will be a nice option. I have another bottle chilling in the basement so we'll see what it's like in a bit.

Another solid offering from FFF

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Photo of BlueCat1
4.35/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Knowing that Xmas holiday beers are short-lived I make a point to try as many as I can during the season. Three Floyd's Alpha Claus Xmas Porter immediately jumped to the top of my list as best of 2010. I consider this beer a true celebration!

The color is dark. It's a clean looking dark but in holding it up to a light I could not see through it.

The smell is piney, citrusy hops and chocolate malt. Breathe deep and you know you're in for a treat.

It has a full rich taste and wonderful mouth feel. Certainly not the drinkability of a session beer but it is very problem having more that one.

At $10 a bottle I can't afford to drink a lot of 'em, but it was definitely worth the price. Hopefully Santa will leave me a few, though I haven't been that least that's what my wife says!

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Photo of DavoleBomb
4.08/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter. I believe this is an 09.

4.5 A: Pours a black color. Two fingers of dense creamy light brown head. Good retention and some lacing.

4.0 S: Lot of chocolate in this one. Toasted and roasted malts next. Hop character is subtle at this point, but is herbal and citrusy.

4.0 T: The taste is still pretty hoppy however. Orange, pine, and grapefruit hops are most powerful and give an almost sourish flavor. Roasty, but more so toasty and burnt flavors. Some grainy malts as well.

4.5 M: Medium body. Moderate amounts of carbonation. Reasonably creamy and quite smooth.

4.0 D: Good hoppy porter. Definitely a good one to try. Solid in each category.

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Photo of movingtrain
4.08/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce bomber sampled from a 12 ounce snifter.

Pours a coffee black with a light, though creamy tan head on top. Looks like a porter.

The smell is quite hoppy for a porter...but, this is Three Floyds, and the name is Alpha Klaus, and the slogan is, "It's Not Normal," so what is to be expected? It's piny in the nose, with subtle hints of chocolate and coffee. There is a citrus overtone in the aroma, which is lightly balanced by a roasted, chocolate malt essence.

Quite a unique flavor. Almost like a black IPA...well, I guess you could call it that. There are the typical elements of chocolate roasty notes, coffee, molasses...but there are also some spicy notes in there as cinnamon, brown sugar, and clove. The standout flavor is in the hops, for sure. The finish is quite bitter, and the lasting flavor on the tongue is citrus from the hops.

Overall, this is a pretty good beer...I like the take on the classic porter style, giving it a little more depth with a lot more hops. It is black in color, but looks are often deceiving.

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Photo of Franz4
3.14/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Friend brought back a growler, we broke this open 2 days later.

A- poured with a huge head that settled nicely with lots of lacing. Very dark, just a touch of translucence.

S- Very much a pine scent to it, a bit antiseptic. Nose really downgraded my hopes for this beer.

T- Tastes like a christmas tree, add in a touch of toasted brown sugar and some dark chocolate, but nothing really works it's way through the pine.

M- medium bodied with a hoppy pine aftertaste.

D- I was somewhat disappointed, this wasn't a bad beer, but it seemed to be a bit one-dimensional and the pine overpowered everything else.

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

22oz bomber, served in a standard pint glass

A - pours with about a quarter inch of loose, yet creamy dark tan colored foam. the beer is very dark brown, appears black yet lets some light in around the edges.

S - smells of dark roasted yet not charred malts. fair amount of sweetness with a touch of dark fruits in a bed of vanilla and chocolate. hints of ground coffee beans and a light spice, also a kiss of minerals and ash.

T - begins fairly clean, with a fair amount of mineraly and lightly roasted malts. just a touch of old-style pour sourness, meshes with a robust charred bitterness, followed up by bits of vanilla and milk chocolate at the end. some faint earthy hops as well.

M - light to barely medium body, with carbonation a little low, yet pleasant and working well for the style. very creamy as well, but finishes slightly dry from malty bitterness and hops.

D - good all around, nothing here stands out and its a bit surprising for a Three Floyds beer not to be over the top with the hops. decently drinkable.

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Alpha Klaus Christmas (Xmas) Porter from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
4.15 out of 5 based on 2,226 ratings.
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