12/15/19: Three Floyds Brewing Co.'s Alpha Klaus

1:02 PM

It was nice and sunny for the first part of the day. We took Lottie for a walk then to see/get her picture taken with Santa. Now she's sleepy and snuggled up as the clouds roll in--it's about to snow heavily here all night.

I'd be lying if I didn't say I was excited for it. The lights around our Christmas tree are glowing, a candle's burning on our coffee table, and we have plenty of wood for a fire in our stove tonight. We're pretty well set to enjoy the snow while it lasts. The only thing that could make all this preparation more perfect is a Christmas beer. That's where Three Floyds' Alpha Klaus comes into play.

Based in Munster, IN, Three Floyds, according to the brewery's "About" page, has been cranking out not-normal beer since 1996. While only original armed with a few hundred bucks, a five-barrel brew kettle, Hammond Squares, and a cola tank, they've since grown to be pretty renowned in my neck of the Midwest. They brew beer with four ingredients only (hops, water, yeast, barley), thereby being one of the few craft breweries (of which I know) sticking to the Reinheitsgebot.

Well, scratch what I just said. While most of most of the brewery's beers may stick to that Germanic beer purity law, Alpha Klaus, as seen on its official page, does not. Sure, it's brewed with chocolate malt and hops, but this Christmas porter also contains Mexican sugar. Ringing in at 6% ABV, this brew isn't Reinheitsgebot-approved.

The bouquet is mainly piney dark chocolate. There's also some bright citrus here, a little caramely sugar, and some black cold brew coffee. It's a decidedly wintry nose, I'll certainly give the porter that. Purrl was head over heels with the beer's aroma; she gave my bottle eighteen whiffs! So, if nothing else, Alpha Klaus is a cat-friendly porter.

That pine I noted just now? Yeah, it's reigns supreme in the beer's flavor profile. It's there first in each swig and it's the note that lingers longest in the finish. But there, in the middle of all that pineyness, are a few more flavors to suss out. Chocolate (more milk than dark), bitter black coffee, and a wee bit of that carameliness (maybe this can be attributed to the sugar?). Over all, this is a mighty fine hoppy porter, and one I can't believe is only 6% ABV at that.

Through the brown glass of my bottle, I can see the porter has a mighty fine head. Maybe that's why I'm not surprised that Alpha Klaus' mouthfeel is full and robust. Because that's what it is. If a beer's touted as a Christmas porter, this is exactly how I want it to feel.

When I was in highschool my family lived out in the country. My dad still put up Christmas lights each year like he did when we lived in town, but he didn't go as all-out as he once had. I didn't mind, though. I was just happy they were still up.

They were on a timer (that kicked off at something like 11? 11:30? I can't remember exactly) and each (week)night, I'd fall asleep while they light my room with an incandescent yellow warmth. Today's porter is giving me that same feeling.

Three Floyds has done a great job with Alpha Klaus. It's suited perfectly for those long, dark winter months. While I can't say it's exactly Christmasy, I can give the porter an 8.5/10. Better grab it while you can.

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