For this sampling I’m going to be sipping on the Alpha Klaus Christmas Porter produced by the Three Floyds Brewing Company located in Munster, Indiana.
Those that know me understand that I’m a big Three Floyds fan, so when I saw a bottle of this sitting on the shelf of my bottle shop, I had to grab it.
Let’s check out the commercial description from the website, 3floyds.com.
Alpha Klaus is 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!
Ok. Let’s pour.
This brew had an ABV of 6.0% and it came in a 22 oz. bomber.
The Alpha Klaus poured a very dark brown to black color. No highlights were shown through the glass. The crown was a khaki color. It was large, fluffy, slightly rocky, creamy, soft and smooth. It looked very much like the top of a chocolate milkshake. The head seemed to stick around forever and when it did finally decide to settle it left behind some very nice lacing. One thing of note was the cap was easily regenerated with a quick and aggressive swirl. This brew had quite the aesthetic appeal.
The aroma conceded hints of pine and citrus commingled with bittersweet chocolate and tones of toasted grains and breads. It seemed to be somewhat “earthy” with deeper whiffs and as the brew warmed it definitely became more apparent. One thing of note was that I had anticipated some Christmas spices, but never really stumbled upon any. That didn’t really bother me I don’t guess, but I just figured I might find a small inkling. However, what fragrances that were noticed implied an nice balance.
With the first sip, I derived a nice hop punch and bitterness from some of those piny hops. Further indications of bittersweet chocolate and roasted malts coalesced with some “herbal” goodness. I found that the taste had a little bit of “char” and “chalkiness”, which I thought to be quite pleasing. Again, I never really obtained any significant seasonings of a Christmas spice. Maybe just a tad of ginger and some brown sugar after it warmed, although it wasn’t much. Maybe my palate is broken or something.
The mouthfeel was medium to full bodied. Very smooth, creamy, dry and slightly chewy. A very relaxed and subdued warmth was felt from the relatively modest 6.0% ABV, yet the palate was left with a sufficient amount of flavor after the swallow.
Well. Three Floyds definitely knows how to add hops to just about anything. This beer seems to follow that Black IPA distinction that has become ever so popular over the last few years by combining the heavy malts with plenty of hops. This brew had enough aroma and flavor to satisfy most any craft beer drinker and it was, more or less, very easy to drink. Although I did find myself getting a bit full once I got to the end of the bottle. I would, without a doubt, recommend that you give this a try if you see it, but don’t expect a traditional Christmas style of beer. What spices that are present are very restrained to say the least. So, give the Alpha Klaus a try this Holiday Season and see what you think of it.
Be sure to leave a comment if you wish. I would love to hear how you interpreted this beer.
Thanks for reading and commenting everyone. I really appreciate it. Until next time.
Score: 4.0 out of 5