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Alpha Kong - 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Alpha KongAlpha Kong

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
89
very good

123 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 123
Hads: 250
rAvg: 4
pDev: 11.25%
Wants: 171
Gots: 74 | FT: 7
Brewed by:
3 Floyds Brewing Co. visit their website
Indiana, United States

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Pale Ale |  10.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: orbitalr0x on 03-13-2005

A super fruity, dry hopped, Belgian sextuple, with notes of cardamon.

70 IBU
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 123 | Hads: 250
Reviews by davod23:
Photo of davod23
4.31/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a Bruery tulip. This is my first time having this for almost two years, so I'm interested in seeing how it is drinking these days. I remember that it blew me away when I first had it.

The pour is a burned orange color, like the sun slipping under the horizon on a clear day in Santa Monica. Golden highlights are evident, but the deep orange is predominant. Enchanting, really. An off-yellow head forms and fights vainly for survival, but with a beer of this strength it doesn't have much of a chance. I admire its tenacity though. Clarity is great - this is a beautiful beer.

Smell is very nice. Sweet aromas of banana, bubble gum, and a hint of clove strike me first. As the beer warms, more candy aromas come out, predominantly butterscotch.

While bananas hit me first in the aroma, the taste is all candy up front. Butterscotch, English toffee, caramel, with dried fruit and banana dancing in the background. Booze. What kind of candy is Werther's Originals? It has a lot of that kind of flavor. Clearly this beer is quite sweet, but I don't find it terribly off-putting. The sweetness is not overbearing and the flavors are well-integrated. Long, warming finish.

Mouthfeel is pretty damn good. Sticky, thick, but with enough carbonation that it does not feel heavy or weigh me down.

Drinkability is a tough one. Considering the strength and sweetness of this brew, it's dangerously drinkable. That said, it's not a beer that I can really drink a lot of, certainly no more than a single bomber on my own. But... man... 15%? This is just a beast, and I will review it with that in mind.

Really great beer, very unusual (a Belgian sextuple?) and tasty. I don't know why they stopped brewing this one. Perhaps they will revisit it again in the future. I have two more bottles sitting there waiting for me which I look forward to drinking. This beer is a few years old at this point but I think that it will be fine for years to come.

Highly recommended. (1,992 characters)

More User Reviews:
Photo of Hopheadjeffery
3.84/5  rDev -4%
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. (367 characters)

Photo of mynie
3.9/5  rDev -2.5%
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. (1,514 characters)

Photo of tectactoe
3.5/5  rDev -12.5%

Photo of orbitalr0x
4.25/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Alpha Kong Belgian Style Strong Ale, labeled as a Sextupel, sampled on-tap at Three Floyds on 3-12-05. Comes off the tap with a big viscous pour that leaves a nice big dark amber body with a khaki head on top. Aromas of some sweet candi sugar, nice yeasty profile and hints of banana and light fruits.

First sip brings a big blast of maltiness along with banana flavors and hints of fruit. Belgian yeast with a big full flavor that coats the palate. A hint spicy and well balanced overall. The 15% is incredibly well hidden in the flavor. Quite an interesting departure from the big hoppy brews for Three Floyds.

Mouthfeel is thick and creamy...big and bold. This was served as a half pint...and rightfully so...the alcohol is deceptive and one could easily go over the edge drinking this. Three Floyds doesn't fail to impress...check this out if you happen to stop by the brewery. (887 characters)

Photo of sabitu
3.75/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of merlin48
3.07/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Bomber pours a radiant pumpkin orange body that almost looks like iodine. Small almond head quickly falls to a cap with a few flecks of lace. Aroma is bubble gum, creamed bananas, and airplane glue. Very phenolic. Medium body, restrained carbonation, and an intense alcohol burn. Whoa! This is hot. Taste is a bit fusel. Candy sugar, green pears, faint bananas, and dominant alcohol. This is remarkable for being the first Three Floyds brew I don't like. This one is an alcohol bomb. (483 characters)

Photo of ohmybock
4.36/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I just picked this one up in Chicago at $16.99 for a 22oz bomber...ouch! A little voice inside my head kept saying, "don't waste your money", but I went ahead and bought one anyway. (I love hoppy beers, but I haven't been too excited about the other hoppy, and/or high-gravity, and/or expensive 3F beers I've purchased.) Additionally, I had previously read some reviews about this one which made me think I might not like it.

Well...It turns out I like this one a lot!

The first thing I noticed was that there was very little "phhhitt" when I popped the cap. Carbonation is low with this bad boy. That’s too bad because more carbonation would certainly help cut the thickness of this brew and improve it. Next, I noticed the aroma which heavily consists of spices (think clove) and bananas. The aroma (and the taste) remind me somewhat of a potent German wheat beer. However, AK is much thicker and sweeter than any German wheat beer I’ve had. Could this be a quadruple weizenbock? If you like the flavors found in weizenbiers or weizenbocks, try this one. There’s a nice, clear, amber color to the beer, but there’s no head (which corresponds with the low carbonation). There’s a bit of hot alcohol character mixed in with the flavor along with an alcohol bite in the finish, but for a beer of this strength, it’s surprisingly drinkable...at least in small sips. The malt and spiciness dominate in this brew with hops taking an almost indistinguishable backseat. I read some other reviews that claimed this beer is sweet and syrupy. That’s somewhat true, but it’s not as over-the-top sweet as a fresh Samichlaus, Thomas Hardy, or JW Lees Harvest (none of which I like when they’re fresh), and it’s nothing like the sickly-sweet Beast Grand Cru and Samael from Avery which went down my drain. However, AK does remind me a bit of Avery’s Reverend, but with a more evident alcohol character and burn. Even though AK is on the "sweet side", I still find it totally drinkable as it stands today. Still, if there was more carbonation, this beer would be even better.

Well, it’s nice to see something quite different being produced by 3F and also something that I (surprisingly) enjoyed a lot. I still think the price doesn’t fit the contents of the bottle, but unlike most other high-priced 3F beers I’ve had, I might actually revisit this one in the future. Until then, I’ll be content drinking The Reverend at 1/3 the price of AK. (2,447 characters)

Photo of Cynic-ale
3.23/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Photo of jeonseh
4.32/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at 3F brewpub on 1/10/08.

A- a deep golden amber/orange color that represents maybe what I would call a bronze. The color itself was rather attractive but there was really no head on it at all. I am beginning to think that the lack of head is a feature of on tap beers at 3F. It seems that they try to max the amount of beer in the glass so they give you no head. I think they should just buy bigger glasses n give us some more foam.

S - Super fragrant. The smell is a ton of large notes of mango/banana and clove. Very sweet smelling and hard to not notice the sweetness of this brew. Love how the smell just comes off of it so that there is not a huge struggle to tell if there is anything there at all.

T- A sextuple and with that comes some super sweetness that at first hits the tongue. Tastes a lot like a candied banana dipped in caramel and mango sauce. It actually also kinda had the taste of your normal pink bubble gum too. After this shocking sweetness, the beer becomes a bit spicy and almost think that I taste some pepper in it. Also, can definitely taste the warm alcohol in this one which is expected given the high ABV. However, don't find this overpowering at all but instead think that it actually adds something to the beer that is a bit necessary to offset the sweetness. A very big beer and pretty good overall the only downside would be that it is kinda sweet.

MF - very sticky in the mouth at first with a low amount of carbonation that comes in later as the flavors and warming character of the alcohol hits the mouth. I think that the mouthfeel matches the character of the flavor and I really like when a beer does that. Also, the higher alcohol flavors leaves the mouth with a warming, numbing character to the mouth.

D - A very good beer on the whole but I definitely could not drink more than one beer. The high alcohol of this one and the super sweetness makes it such that I could never really have more than one of these guys. This is definitely a beer that pushes the limits but it does so in a way that makes it good and not overbearing. Another quality beer from 3F. (2,124 characters)

Photo of rhoadsrage
3.43/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

1year old 2007 brew
(Served in a tulip glass)
A- This beer has a crystal clear golden-reddish body with a slow carbonation of tiny bubbles and butter cream colored head that last for a bit.

S- Smell is circus peanuts, ether,dried apricots with faint notes of pears and caramel apples as it warms finish has a hint of cheese.

T- taste of soft fruit hints with a bigger sweetness that increase as the beer warms. There is a big boozy flavor that has a hint of red wine that lead to a bigger alcohol bite in the finish.

M- This beer has a light crisp fizz to the medium mouthfeel and a big alcohol burn.

D- The aroma has improved a bit but this beer is still a hot alcohol bomb with a big sweetness. There was no sediment in the bottom so I don't think this beer has any hope of aging out any of the heat.
---
(Served in a tulip glass)

A- This beer has a reddish-brown body with a big carbonation of big bubbles in a crystal clear body. There is a thin off-white film that soon fades to a few bubbles around the rim.

S- The big smell of banana is followed by a big fusel smell of fingernail polish remover. There is a soft note of circus peanuts and a laffy-taffy quality to the bananas.

T- The big taste of bananas has a bit of clove spice and caramel malt to follow. There is a big fusel alcohol flavor that covers all other flavors. There is a soft caramel note and white sugar hint along with the circus peanuts hint.

M- This beer has a medium-light mouthfeel with a big fusel alcohol heat that burns down the throat after each sip. There is a thin texture to the mouthfell also.

D- This beer has a big, huge hot fusel quality to every aspect of this beer. I like a big boozy beer but this is to much. The flavors buried underneath are quite nice and I will give this beer another shot in a year and two. (1,820 characters)

Photo of acurtis
4/5  rDev 0%

Photo of Hubert_i
4.05/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
3.92/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

22 oz. bottle > Chimay goblet

This is a vibrant, deep clover honey color with red and oranges hues. Mesmerizing tiny bubbles stream to the top in perfect single-file lines to create an 1" tan colored crown that falls very fast and pretty much evaporates.

amazingly sweet nose, candied fruit's in the malt, sugar coated dates with spicey wheat. Very pleasant. Assorted berries, clover honey, ripe red grapes and....yep, gummy worms. Big, boozy, vodka-like heat.

This is a serious attack on the palate. Massive full bodied malt slickness with a sugar daddy-sweetness and the biggest candied fruit flavor ever in a beer; it's like driniking a bag sugar coated dates and rainsins. The yeast is herbal and earthy with a slight hint of hops. Clover, honey and a tart bitterness...then comes the deep, warming heat that you can feel all the way down. A smokey wood finish and a lingering mostly bitter earthiness gets mellowed out as the temprature goes up. It get's even boozier as it mellows but it's full, thick body feel makes it work.

This thing is a real experience, I actually finished the 22 oz's myself and I was pretty buzzed half way through! Watch out, it's a hefty, intense buzz after the bottles gone. "Sex Tupple" indeed! (1,240 characters)

Photo of zachpaschal
3.76/5  rDev -6%
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. (191 characters)

Photo of Sammy
3.89/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of rossracing
3.75/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of PBRmeasap1980
4.25/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of dirtylou
3.77/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

22oz bottle, obtained from the brewery about 16 months ago, shared with a few during the nfl playoffs

appearance: poured into a pint glass, clear amber body with virtually no head...darker than you would expect from the style with a lot less lace - this beer certainly streches past the boundaries of the style

smell: strong alcohol, buttery biscuit, candied sugars, honey, sweet caramel, cinnamon and spice, brown sugar, yeast

taste: candied sugar, brown sugar, heavy dosage of booze, buttery. Sweet and fruity - apple, passion fruit, banana and peach. thick malt core with a fiery alcohol presence. this bomber would be near impossible to consume in its entirety without some assistance - interesting but off-style and a bit over the top

mouthfeel: smooth but fiery

drinkability: rough stuff (798 characters)

Photo of prototypic
3.78/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of lightindarkness. Thanks dood.

Appearance: It pours a very hazy, golden brown to copper color. Head is honey colored and stands about a finger tall. It fell victim to the high abv hit job really quickly. Little to no lacing remaining.

Smell: The nose is simply above average in just about every respect. It's not very strong and is pretty limited in its range. There's a very sweet pineapple and banana aroma that lingers throughout. Malts are notable. There's a distinct sugary smell to it. Spices are present, but a little subdued. Alcohol is noted, but not that strong. There's a little cinammon and perhaps some nutmeg. That wraps it up and it was work to get there.

Taste: The flavor profile is actually good. Better than I expected from the nose. It's very sweet and sugary. Malts are sweet and give it a nice base. Citrus pineapple and a distinct banana flavor blend pretty well. Cinammon and light nutmeg spices give it some character. Alcohol is definitely noticeable in taste and warms on the way down. I was expecting it to some degree, but it's not as pervasive as I imagined.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: It's medium bodied, lightly carbonation, and actually has a very smooth, creamy feel. A little more carbonation would be good, but it's very smooth as it is. Drinkability would be good, but at 15% abv, it's too strong. I was actually a little reluctant to crack it open on a weeknight.

Alpha Kong's a pretty good beer that could definitely be improved with some work on the nose and a little more carbonation. The abv could probably be toned down a decent bit. The high level doesn't really add anything. But, it's not normal...and not intended to be. (1,688 characters)

Photo of Gonzoillini
4.5/5  rDev +12.5%

Photo of russpowell
4.26/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got this from joe1510, cheers Joe!

Pours an orange-hued caramel with a pinky of sand colored head. Makes some great noises, Fred Eckhardt (sic) would be pleased! A bit of lacing & zero head retention

S: Bubble gum, dark candi sugar, apricots. Bubble gum faded after the initial rush,

T: Figs, apricot, bananas, dryness & booze up front. Booze warmth tones down as this warms, more candi sugar, a bit of caramel, some green apple & some red wine qualities, some cinnamon, & some dryness. Finishes with tangerine, bananas, sweetness, a touch of Amaretto, dryness, oakyness, & some caramel. Works for me!

MF: Medium bodied with stickyness & syruppy notes, skews fruitty

Drinks very easy for the ABV & style, another winner from FFF! Love the complexity (755 characters)

Photo of SammyDavisJrJrJr
4.49/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I can't say I've ever tried a Belgium style offering from this brewery, and although I love pretty much everything they do, this could be very different and interesting... Into the Atomium goblet...

A - Amber body with a tab bit of head poking through . No retention.

S - Tart cherry seems to dominate the aroma, with lots of alcohol and a healthy malt back bone. Notes of coriander, vanilla, and strawberry also present. Good, powerful and complex without anything really feeling off or muddled.

T - Tart cherry and alcohol again noted at the entry. This smoothly melts into sweet malty strawberry flavored goodness. Prickly alcohol at the swallow, which lingers in the finish, along with some hop balance, spice, and strawberry notes. Definitely some interesting things going on here.

M - Ridiculously silky-smooth mouthfeel, and very thick body makes me a happy boy...

D - Damn, this is real good, wish I had another bottle to age... well, next year I'll know better. I definitely noticed the alcohol, but in a good way. (1,030 characters)

Photo of bashiba
4.1/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a deep shade of reddish copper with a light tan head, lots of bubbles running through it the entire time.

Smell is candy sweet and fruity with a strong bit of banana and toffee.

Flavors are intense with a big sweet candy flavor, some nice spices with pepper and cloves being noticeable, a small amount of alcohol flavor breaking through along with hints of apples, bananas and pears. Just a bit of tartness and bitterness of the hops and yeast trying to even out the sweetness, but the sugar overpowers it.

Mouthfeel is warm, thick, and oily.

Pretty drinkable giving its high ABV, its like and Imperial Tripel, still a pretty good beer even though its a bit over the top. Kind of reminds me of a good port in its complexity and sweetness, would make a great dessert beer. (783 characters)

Photo of Austin32
3.68/5  rDev -8%
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. (328 characters)

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Alpha Kong from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 123 ratings.