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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 Mora2000
3.88/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to thirdeye11 for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours a dark brown color with a tan head. The aroma is strong toffee malt and coffee. The flavor is coffee and roasted malt. The flavor is pretty basic American porter. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

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

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

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

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

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

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Photo of Gueuzedude
4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours with a thick creamy light brown head that sits atop a deep, almost black colored beer. The aroma has notes of chocolate, espresso, and an astringent roast grain husk character. These notes are joined by a strong American hop presence that is redolent of tangerine, orange, and grapefruit. The taste is definitely rich and roasty, with solid notes of coffee, and chocolate. The hops are also here, but not as prevalent as they were in the nose. Nevertheless the hops are here from beginning to end. I get notes grapefruit, tangerines and other citrus fruits. There is a sweetness to this beer that accentuates the fruity hop notes, in fact I really like how the chocolate porter notes pair with the citrus notes of the hops, it is like a good orange flavored milk chocolate nougat.

While this is definitely quite tasty, it could certainly use a bit more thick, rich, malt notes. Thicker malt notes would make it just that little bit more festive.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Photo of Halcyondays
3.82/5  rDev -8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"Hey porter! Hey porter!
What time did ya say?
How much longer will it be till I can
see the light of day?"

A: Dark black; cream/tan head, very little retention or lace.

S: Chocolate and molases with a pleasant hint of fruityness. Slightly bready.

T: Dark chocolate, VERY chocolatey, molases, bread/biscuit, slight nut & fruit, slight tartness in finish. Alcohol is subtle, but becomes more perceptible as it warms.

M: Moderate to full body is very creamy. Light to moderate carbonation; slightly chalky.

D: Very drinkable.

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Photo of weeare138
4.15/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

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Photo of corby112
3.43/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

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

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

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

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Photo of rudzud
4.28/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Received as an extra in a trade and poure dinto my Duvel tulip.

A - Pours a nice rich dark brown hue with a creamy two finger mocha head that never goes away. No, this slumps down to a solid fat finger leaving sticky lacing in its wake and never goes lower than that.

S - Woah..this is fun aromas. Chocolate, light anise notes, sweet sugars, and an assortment of hop notes. Light pine, citrus (oranges, lemons), spicy hops. This is like some weird black IPA porter thing. Really was not expecting hops here.

T - Taste is just as fun as the nose, though MUCH more roasty. Tons of roast here, almost burnt and smoky. Dark chocolate, acrid coffee, sweet malts/sugar. Big pine notes, resinous, spicy hops, citrus hops. I second what another viewer said...this is like a cross between a stout and a black IPA.

M - Mouthfeel is nice and creamy, works great with the style, light prickly/spicy carbonation.

O - Overall, this was not what I was expecting at all. Its definitely not your average porter, and its much more smokey than your run of the mill black IPA. A pleasant surprise.

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

Served in an Imperial pint glass

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

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

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

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

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

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Photo of kscaldef
2.85/5  rDev -31.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.75

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

S: roasty chocolate malts, mild hints of spices.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Photo of barczar
4.08/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an opaque brown black with garnet highlights and a frothy tan head that dissipates slowly, leaving sheets of lacing.

Roast malt, espresso, and chocolate dominate the aroma initially. Earthy hops, pine, muted grapefruit, and roast malt fruitiness form the aroma.

Flavor reveals a huge pine base, with roast malt at the backbone, dating to onion and coffee at the finish. Floral hops and muted citrus add complexity. Chocolate surfaces late to balance the toast and coffee. The pine cone flavor harkens memories of cinnamon and Christmas spices, turning minty and slightly bitter at the finish.

Body is moderate to a touch full, with moderate to low carbonation, and light alcohol warmth.

Interesting combo of less-popular hops and chocolate/malt/coffee roast. The mint and pine notes really hit home on a nice porter base to make this a non-traditional seasonal. The bitterness is just a touch too much for me.

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Photo of bluejacket74
4.45/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I have a much fresher bottle of Alpha Klaus to review now, so let's see how this one compares to the one I had in the past.

22 ounce bottle. Served in a snifter, the beer pours dark brown/black with about an inch frothy tan head. Head retention is good, and there's a lot of lacing, too. Aroma is roasty and hoppy, it smells like piney hops, roasted malt, coffee and bittersweet chocolate. The taste is pretty much just like the aroma, but with the addition of some citrusy (grapefruit) hops. None of the flavors overpower the other ones, which is a good thing in this case. There's also a nice bitter hoppy finish. Mouthfeel/body is medium/full, it's a bit creamy and coating, and is well carbonated. I like this brew a lot, it's really good hoppy porter. I'd certainly buy this again in the future, and it's really worth trying if you've never had this before.

First review of this beer from 8/4/2006:
The beer pours black, with a huge foamy head. There's a bit too much carbonation with this one. Even then, it's still a pretty good looking beer. It smells like roasted malt, coffee, chocolate and some floral hops too. The main taste in this beer is coffee, with some bitter chocolate and a good bit of hoppiness. The taste did get better as the beer warmed. There's also a lingering bitter aftertaste. This is a full bodied beer, with a creamy but overcarbonated mouthfeel. You can't tell the alcohol too much with this beer, it hides the 7.5% ABV well. Overall, this is a pretty good beer, but it could be better if the carbonation was cut down a bit. Cheers!

L: 4.5 S: 4 T: 4 F: 3.5 O: 4

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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 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 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 DefenCorps
4.13/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

While it's still early December, I'm going to get a head start in my resolutions for 2011 - rid my cellar of detritus in a way that makes me keenly aware of the idiocy that is aging more beers than I can consume in time. Exhibit A: the Alpha Klaus I picked up at Three Floyds at my first (and only) DLD, back in 2008

Highly carbonated, this beer is a very dark brown with coffee colored highlights, there's a dense, brown head with excellent retention and particularly spectacular lacing. The nose is pretty solid too. A very strong anise character is noticeable right away, along with a blend of lactose and moderate roast. The lactose creaminess is particularly enjoyable, working very well with the dark grains which lend chocolate, coffee and graham crackers. And despite its age, there's a definite pine hop presence. It makes me wonder what sort of beast this was fresh. Pretty solid.

The palate opens surprisingly fruity, there's some mellow oxidation with raisins present. This works particularly well with the chocolate and the moderate creaminess that are present, creating a true cookie-like character. Roast character is light, there isn't too much of the balancing bitterness one expects from the heavily kilned grains, especially in a porter. The anise character that I picked out up front isn't as prominent on the palate. While present, it does lend a balancing spiciness to the sweetness. Again, as with the nose, with time, what my palate does pick up is a firm, but present hop undercurrent, piney and mildly juicy.

Medium-light in body with a wonderfully soft and creamy carbonation, this beer has a blend of lactose sweetness, a touch of coffee-like acidity and a little oxidation. At this point, the hops have faded and by quite a bit, but I quite like it this way. I don't remember how much I paid for this, but I'm happy to report that this doesn't fall into the shouldanevercellaredthat file. Enjoyable, I'd drink this again.

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

Pours an opaque dark brown, red visible on the sides, big tan head forms, nice sticky lace. Smell is coffee/chocolate, roast, then big pine and grapefruit hope blasts. Taste is chocolate, coffee and caramel, with a super resinous piney finish. Mouthfeel is medium to full with low carbonation. True 3F interpretation, my only complaint is that by the end of the glass the hops have killed taste buds enough to weaken the roasty flavour, but other than that spectacular.

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

Clear deep ruby. Almost black. Thin creamy brown head recedes to a fluffy coating that retains nicely. Lacing is quite nice.

One helluvan aroma. While the hops are the main player, there's some great underlying chocolate and roasted bitterness. The hops impart a Huge citric characteristic and some pine notes as well. Some burnt malts, tobacco and char hit the spot as well. One of the best smelling beers I've ever sniffed.

The taste is a plethora of goodies. Many different aspects kick in with some big flavors. I'll start with the hops again. Big, bitter, piney, citric and raw. But that's not all and they don't overwhelm other flavors. Tobacco juice and char, burnt malts and bitter sweet chocolate. Spicy black pepper mingles with sweet molasses. And there's a dry cocoa residue left on the tongue after the swallow.

Mouthfeel is nice and creamy. Lightly carbonated. Body is about medium-full.

This is a great fucking experiment in Porter Brewing. It's rough and raw and jagged and fabulous.

Thank You Dale!!

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

Bottle opened on 8.21.12.

A - Pours an opaque dark brown with a one finger medium brown head with good retention.

S - Roasted malts, coffee and some hoppiness as well.

T - Subtle and smotth coffee and roasted malts, the hop backbone is still there.

D - Good carbonation with a medium body. Coffee finish lingers.

O - It's a nice porter with a hop background. It's Christmas in August.

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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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