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Alpha Kong | 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

very good
132 Reviews
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Alpha KongAlpha Kong

Brewed by:
3 Floyds Brewing Co.
Indiana, United States | website

Style: Belgian Strong Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
A super fruity, dry hopped, Belgian sextuple, with notes of cardamon.

70 IBU

Added by orbitalr0x on 03-13-2005

User Reviews
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Reviews: 132 | Ratings: 339
Photo of mgwagman
4.76/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

22 Oz bomber. If I were choose a type of beer this is it. Pours a light orange to yellow. Excellent lacing. Smell is lemon, orange, banana, and cereal. Goes down easy. This is more of summer type beer. Pricey for the bomber $18-$22 her in Chicago, but well worth it.

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Photo of don1481
4.23/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

22 oz bomber poured into tulip.

Appearance: Hazy dark amber pour with an eggshell head that slowly dissipates and leaves a thick lacing on the glass.

Smell: Hops, hops, and... is that a faint hint of bananas?

Taste: that's an awful lot of hops. Good amount of maltiness, too.

Mouthfeel: slightly bitter aftertaste.

Overall: Sipper, for sure. Should get me through the debate tonight.

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Photo of smakawhat
4.21/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from the bottle into a tulip glass. Bottled July? 7th 2015.

Creamy topped small one finger head, with sheets of large lacing, like a faint caramel crème brulle top. Body color is a solid orange getting into chestnut brown with a nice healthy glow. Very faint side carbonation as well, but quite hard to see. Decent looker.

Aroma is heavily spiced. Big notes of cardamom, with angles that go to fenegreek, cumin, tumeric almost and all those wonderful curried like spices. Very dry smelling and large. Hints of also soft herbal tea sweetness as it opens and warms up as well. No excessive booze or sulfuric tones either. Quite nice, but big. Nothing is subtle about this.

Palate manages more of the same, but does keep itself grounded but without going overboard. Light and simple malt bodied, with a faint hint of sweetness. The hop angle on this real is slow growing and notes large on the aftertaste of green and black tea, sharp and thick but real aromatic. Mid palate fills with lots of spices, cardamom, cumin, allspice and nutmeg like as well with some classic hot clove just a touch in the front and the back. Big stomach warming booze feeling long after, but not while drinking which is nice.

A real aggressive Belgian, and certainly as always rarely is there anything subtle about Three Floyd's.

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Photo of NoYouDidnt
3.33/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 5 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.75

Poured into tulip glass. Looks good. Amber color nice head. Smells okay. Sweet aroma, and even like grassy sweetness. Tastes pretty okay NYD. Real similar to the smell. No bad aftertaste. It’s weird not having the Three Floyds smell and taste that all the IPAs and pale ales all have (which are pretty well the same color) so that’s a little surprising. Overall, this is not really up your alley too much. Nice to try, but maybe pick something else up.

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Photo of mfnmbvp
2.88/5  rDev -27.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

22 oz. bottle, bottled on date is smeared but appears to read 07/13/2015. Acquired a bottle of this stuff from the local bottle shop for $17.99 - not exactly a steal at that price.

Poured into a Duvel tulip glass.

A - Pours a very murky cloudy orange body. A finger or so of frothy quickly fading white head that leaves good thin spindly strands of lace behind. Looks very nice.

S - This is where the beer starts to lose me: a syrupy, malty sweetness meets a very overpowering spice rack note that resembles rosemary or thyme (it's the cardamom, I've learned after reading). Subtle notes of brown sugar. Lots of hot boozy alcohol fumes.

T - Oh wow, what the hell am I drinking? Extremely hot & boozy alcohol fumes. Sweet indistinct maltiness. Overpowering herbal spice rack notes (cardamom). The hot booze fumes seem to dominate. This is pretty awful.

M - Thick & syrupy. Hot & boozy. Full-bodied, with thick carb. Hard to drink at all, much less enjoy.

Overall, this was awful. It became more tolerable as it warmed, but the flavor profile was just all around messy and unenjoyable.. Extremely disappointing; probably the worst beer I've had from Three Floyds. Not worth $9.99 a bomber, much less the near 20 dollars I spent on this. It will be a chore to finish this glass, and I sure as hell won't finish this bottle alone. I'd seriously like my money back on this one. Avoid avoid avoid.

Three Floyds Alpha Kong -----2.5/5

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Photo of hoody711
3.15/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A - into a FFF tulip. Great-looking beer. Beautiful blood orange, great head, sticky lacing. Very nice.

S - is that the cardamon? Some sugary sweetness. I don't know. Smells very different. Boozy at the end.

T - malty sweetness and spice overpower. I'm not a huge fan. That phrase in a 3 Floyd's review makes me :(.

F - creamy and full, really nice. Alcohol astringency at the end.

O - It's okay. Great-looking beer that just doesn't deliver for me on the nose or the tongue. Definitely a sharer.

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Photo of spacecake9
2.71/5  rDev -31.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

A - This beer looks great. Dark golden color, big pillowy head, looks so creamy.
S - Aroma is a bit different. After reading figured it must be the cardamon.
T - This is where they lost me. I've never tasted a beer like this and I assume it must be the cardamon. Way too much cardamon, overpowers everything.
M - It is nice and creamy, great feel.
O - I'm a big fan of 3 Floyds and Belgian strong ales but this one did not work for me.

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Photo of do_ob
4.33/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bomber dated 07/17/2015 into a Boulevard Tank 7 tulip. Pours a vibrant gold and settles as a beautiful translucent amber/gold in the glass. 2 fingers of dense & sticky eggshell-white foam. Amazingly complex aroma of cardamom, brown sugar, malted white sugar, cinnamon, peppermint, vanilla, caramel, figs, and leather. The aroma alone reminds me of christmas morning. Very warm and inviting. Very dense, chewy mouthfeel with little to no carbonation. Very syrupy. A huge blast of cardamom up front with very little else. As it warms on the palate, notes of peppermint, caramel, and cinammon shine through. A spicy bitterness engulfs the palate on the back end, and lingers after a smooth, syrupy finish. Strong cinammon and cardamom on the adtertaste.

Overall, incredibly complex and hard to rate. While the cardamom definitely overpowers the taste in this beer, the flavor of it alone possesses enough complexity to make this beer interesting. Imagine vanilla extract, gingerbread cookies, maple syrup, pumpkin pie, and some bourbon mixed in a blender and bottled. This is probably the most complex beer I've ever had, and I'm sure I'm a bit off on my analysis. But I definitely enjoyed this one. I'd love to have a bottle of this to sip on while watching the snow fly this winter.

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Photo of RossiDaMan
4.33/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Really enjoyed this one even though the aroma reminded me of terikayaki sauce. But since I tend to like sweet and boozy beers with a kick, this one was a win for me. Very smooth and tasty.

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Photo of JackieTH
3.47/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Rusty orange appearing brew with a faded off-white foam cap that set up initially fading to a skein leaving sheets of lacing. Smells of ginger, cloves and cinnamon or perhaps that's the cardamon speaking yes I do believe that's cardamon. Taste is..daunting. A blast of ginger initially fading into a rather intense marmalade like fruitiness, with cardamon notes, cloves and other spices. There is a distinct and powerful boozy alcohol presence pressing in around the edges of the palate. There is some sweetness but the ginger flattens it. Nonetheless you know this is a big beer. Medium heavy body with mild carb. Lingering spicy gingery finish. Alpha Kong. Quite an adventure, all over the map really, lost and reveling in its own complexity. Eighth wonder of the world indeed.

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Photo of madelfonatree
4.35/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Apparently bottled 7/17/2015 enjoyed 8/22/2015 in a Hopslam tulip/snifter.

Look - Finger of off white head. Settles to a ring and leaves blotchy lacing. Fine, medium, and large bubbles. Bright but translucent dark orange body.

Smell - Ginger. Biscuit. Booze. Floral. Nose deep in it picks up dank hop and grapefruit. Banana. It smells chewy.

Taste - Ginger overpowers everything else. Caramel. Biscuit. Floral. Booze.

Feel - Heavy. Juice up front, dries up quickly. Spice and alcohol burn.

Overall - I drank this earlier than planned because figured was hop forward like most Floyds. Hops on nose. Ginger beer. I wish Alpha Kong and Alpha Klaus would switch names.

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Photo of mmahanna41
4.01/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

So many flavors it's unreal.... Unfortunately not a beer I would usually choose for sunny summer day... I can see myself really enjoying this beer in December around Christmas drinking it by the fireplace as dessert.

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Photo of Hopheadjeffery
3.84/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tasted in a Teku glass from a 1 ppt 6 fl oz bottle on August 15, 2015. Look is cloudy deep orange, thick initial head and nice lingering lacing. Smell is cardamom, with hints of orange blossom, some citrus fruit, caramel and cake. Taste is cardamom, with hints of citrus and tropical fruit, and caramelized banana. Feel is medium to full bodied with a dry finish.

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Photo of Austin32
3.68/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pretty disappointed with this one. Too boozy and ridiculous cardamom....that's basically all I could taste. For the price point of a bottle If you have a chance to get it on tap or a pour from a bottle share go for it and see for yourself but definite pass on purchasing.

It would be worth seeing what some aging does to this.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.33/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

At the intersection where Belgian-style quadruple ale meets American barleywine, this kitchen sink of a beer does it all- sweet, bitter, spicy, fruit and hot are all on the table and in equal display. While some will say "balanced" others will cry "messy".

Burnish blood orange with a strong tinge of rust, the ale's fruit juice appearance is hazy and visually dense. A creamy and thick blanket of foam carries a complicated scent- cherry, fig, date, dried apricot, bruised peach, spiced pear, rose wine and apple cider are just the start of the show while its cakey malts slather on the sweetness with caramel, brown sugar and buckwheat honey.

A kaleidoscope of flavors explode on the tongue. Rich malt flavors are persistent and robust while the boisterous orchard, tropical and melon fruits resists any fade to dryness or lightened fatigue. Its spicy rebuttal evokes Christmas-type of flavors: cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, clove, peppercorn and spruce equal the fruit and score the late palate with its peppery potpourri.

Long, sweet and spicy, the beer never quivers or waivers as those layers of flavor keep building and complicating the taste the deeper the taste transpires. Its massively full body is weighted and desert-like and never allows any dryness to develope to lessen any fatigue on the palate. With an aftertaste of christmas candles and cough drops on the finish, the ale is simply begging for a decade of age. Must cellar with care.

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Photo of csustar001
3.81/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

I think I would have like it more if the booziness was a little more tame. Once I got past that I thought it had a goo d hop flavor and the cardamon was not over powering. It is not one I would seek out to try again.

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Photo of dleigh
4.05/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A super cloudy pale ale-like appearance. Spicy hops and the characteristic Belgian "banana" smell in the nose. Taste carries through with the spicy hops and Belgian banana taste with an added hint of citrusy hops. Quite nice overall. Bomber dated 7/17/2015.

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Photo of 4thFloyd
2.86/5  rDev -28.1%
look: 5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

A cloudy deep golden orange color with a thin off-white to tan head. The aroma was subtle with little hops detected and slightly sweet with a little more of the cardamon. The flavor was dominated by the cardamon. I found it difficult to pick up much fruitiness or hoppy bitterness. Just too much spice that overwhelmed the other flavors. Heavy body with little alcohol and good smoothness. Minimal bitterness and no aftertaste. I was excited to get a bomber but was disappointed in this one.

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Photo of Stevem68
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Has pours a nice golden color. Has a fruity aroma with a presence of Belgian Yeats. Flavor is nice, fruity, a touch of hops and a nice cardamom finish. A very interesting and good beer

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Photo of ivorycannon
3.78/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Smell and taste, maybe clove, some burnt sugars, bananas, there is something else like cinnamon oil but is not cinnamon.(or maybe it is). It is a good beer but not worth the price that is being charged for a bomber.

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Photo of ShadyRigglesbee
4.5/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Amped up quad. Hoppy. Notes of bananas, dark fruits, cardamom, maybe some rum cake or just rum. Love this beer. Better than I remember from the last release. Enjoy!

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Photo of darktronica
4.36/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Served on draft in a snifter at 3 Floyds brewpub, this has a pleasant foam with plenty of retention and light fluffiness. Smells of pineapple, citrusy hop character, bread yeast, and clove. Tastes primarily of tropical fruits, with the hops falling off once the Kong hits your tongue. Great mouthfeel is the highlight, with a very slight chalkiness that slides easily around the mouth and is rare in a beer.

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Photo of mynie
3.9/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This was a strange, personal whale.

I went to the 3 Floyds brewpub a few days after it opened. That was my first trip--I never made it to the old growler station thing that the pub replaced. Alpha Kong was on tap, but I started with a Drunk Monk. Then I ordered an Alpha Kong and was told sorry, we just kicked it.

Then they stopped making it entirely for nearly a decade. A lesser, smarter man wouldn't have cared, seeing as how there's like 2000 good American beers now and AK wasn't ever held in particularly high regard. But me... I'm spiteful. I could have been The Guy Who Drank the Last Ever Alpha Kong. Only instead I went with the hefe, like a jerk.

Now, it turns out that I was wrong. I went to the pub in December of 05. You could still apparently find AK up until 08. Whatever. The mystique still remained. The fact that I had squandered even more opportunities to sample it was all the more infuriating.

So it was with not small amount of excitement that I made this my first selection of a recent trip to the Floyds. And it was entirely okay.

I honestly would have pegged it for a British Barleywine. The front end was pleasantly, strongly sweet and hoppy, and it got gradually more bitter until the end. It wasn't too alcoholic, as some have noted, so much as it was just too sweet in a manner that was all too common with old school barleywines. Compared to, say, JW Lee's, this is actually quite well balanced. But overall it's not most of our respective cups of tea.

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Photo of zachpaschal
3.76/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Just way too boozy for me. I was disappointed as I had high high expectations for this one. Wish I would have tried it at the Sun King Fishers opening for only $5 vs. paying $15 for a bomber.

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Photo of srletend
3/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: clear blonde, moderate head
S: spicy, no hint of Belgian yeast
T: light, spicy from the cardamon, not too much Belgian flavor
O: good, but average

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Alpha Kong from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 132 ratings.