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Alpha Kong - 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Alpha KongAlpha Kong

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

123 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 123
Hads: 253
rAvg: 4
pDev: 7.75%
Wants: 171
Gots: 72 | 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: 253
Photo of JackieTH
3.47/5  rDev -13.3%
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. (781 characters)

Photo of madelfonatree
4.35/5  rDev +8.7%
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. (670 characters)

Photo of mmahanna41
4.01/5  rDev +0.2%
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. (216 characters)

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 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)

Photo of BEERchitect
3.33/5  rDev -16.8%
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. (1,454 characters)

Photo of csustar001
3.81/5  rDev -4.8%
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. (216 characters)

Photo of dleigh
4.05/5  rDev +1.3%
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. (257 characters)

Photo of 4thFloyd
2.86/5  rDev -28.5%
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. (497 characters)

Photo of Stevem68
4/5  rDev 0%
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 (184 characters)

Photo of ivorycannon
3.78/5  rDev -5.5%
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. (215 characters)

Photo of ShadyRigglesbee
4.5/5  rDev +12.5%
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! (164 characters)

Photo of darktronica
4.36/5  rDev +9%
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. (407 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 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 srletend
3/5  rDev -25%
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 (150 characters)

Photo of scootny
3.79/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Pulled this one out of the beer cellar as I reflect on the past year and need a little strong ale to loosen up. It's a lovely color. a ruddy amber, mostly clear but a bit of sediment in suspension. Light tan head and a hint of lacing. Nose carries lots of alcohol, toffee, fruitcake, and faint banana. A bit of the Belgian yeast esters. . LOTS of booze. Taste is sweet and alcoholic. Given the insane ABV however quite smooth. A fair amount of light pilsner malt and fruitiness from the yeast with an overall sweet candied fruit profile to the taste. Notes of sherry and a brandy like finish that show a surprising amount of hops and dry leafy bitterness. Full feel is lovely with a touch of light syrup and slickness. Mild carbonation. While boozy it still goes down easily and really lights up the palate with all kinds of foods like white bean hummus and various cheeses and smokey and roasted meats and veg. Quite a nice beer though I am a little surprised by the amount of heat after all this time. Maybe the hops hid it more when fresher. Nonetheless a lovely brew. (1,071 characters)

Photo of AgentZero
4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks again to dschuster03 for the share.

A - Toffee colored beer with a bit of an off-white head that left a little bit of ghostly stick and didn't stay for very long.

S - Lots of burnt and caramelized sugars, toffee, and booze. There's some yeasty ethers there that are reminiscent of caramelized banana. Smells very sweet, potent, and rich.

T - Nicely fruity and sugary with a bit of booze. Really tastes like this is something that's going to stick to your teeth. Some slight banana like flavor in with the caramel and toffee.

M - Lower carbonation, syrupy, pretty full bodied, all fitting the style.

O - A nice beer, it's a bit over the top, but sometimes you need a beer like that. Definitely one to share, between the alcohol and the sweetness it's hard to drink tons. Would like to have again, particularly if I'm in the mood for something that clocks in at 15%. (876 characters)

Photo of Treebs
3.7/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in Founders Snifter. Shared with a few other people.

A: Pours a semi-hazy copper and amber mixture with a thin off-white head that dissipates into some swirls on top.

S: Lots of bubblegum yeast with some slight banana as well. Nice candied sugars a little booze as well.

T: The oxidation is present with a slight wet cardboard flavor, but there is still really nice notes of sweet sugars, bubble gum and banana. Little booze on the backend.

M: Medium bodied with a coating moutfeel. Very slight heat on the backend, a little on low side carbonation wise.

O: While there was oxidation present it didn't take away too much from the yeasty and sweet flavors. Am I glad I went out of my to get this? Yes. Would I do it again? Probably not. (747 characters)

Photo of Sean9689
4.32/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Dave by way of Alex. Poured into Kuhnhenn tulip.

A - Pours a darker orange/light brown color, off-white colored head, very minimal, thin collar, wisps on top.

S - Big burnt sugars, dark fruity notes, caramel, toffee, booze. Very sweet, rich, and over-the-top, just like FFF is suppose to be. Really enjoyed the sweetness. The booze has had time to mellow out and really is at a nice level at this time.

T - Burnt sugars, candy, toffee, caramel, fruity notes, booze. Again, very sweet and rich...just what I wanted from this beer. The alcohol is there, but well-hidden for the monstrous 15% that it's listed at.

M - Full body, rich, smooth, creamy finish.

O - Finally able to tick this one and I was not disappointed at all. Loved the sweetness and booze and this is pretty much exactly what I was expecting from this one. Would love to have again! (862 characters)

Photo of MasterSki
4.17/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of Dave (dschuster03). I think I traded this to Dave a few years ago. Served in a Russian River tulip.

A - A hard pour yields a small amount of white foam that dissipates to a thin ring of bubble and the faintest wispy patches on top, leaving no lacework. Dark ruby body.

S - The beer has a definite aged aroma to it, but the mild oxidation is complementary. There's some super fruity Belgian yeast, spicy esters, treacle, milled grains, red licorice, and mild nostril-singing alcohol still present. That being said, I wouldn't have guessed this was 15%.

T - Taste is quite similar, but with more caramel and bready malts rounding out the flavor profile, mingling with the estery Belgian yeast. I don't get the banana a lot of people are throwing out there, but perhaps these a touch of banana bread of Bananas Foster. Some mild alcohol flavor in the finish.

M - Smooth texture, full bodied, slightly syrupy, with low carbonation, and a very mild amount of alcohol warmth.

D - This is much more enjoyable than it was when I attempted to drink a bomber in the fall of 2007. The alcohol has mellowed out significantly and there are plenty of enjoyable flavors coming out. That being said, it'd still be a challenge to drink more than 8-10oz of this. (1,268 characters)

Photo of aasher
4.07/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Weirdbeer is my hero, he pulled this out as a semi joke, we opened it. This is possibly my biggest want. It pours a medium bodied bright amber in color with no lacing around the glass. It smells like bubblegum. It has a goofy appealing nose. It's like a Belgian barleywine. It's pretty malty and heavy on Tue caramel malts. The flavors are very sweet and again heavy on the bubblegum. It's very sweet and. Sipper. It's a sextuppel, a huge beer. I like it but its a sipper. This beer is interesting and efficient. Great craftsmanship. (533 characters)

Photo of TurdFurgison
3.45/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle generously shared by smithm1970 at the last Jackie O's release. Very happy to try it, I traded away the only bottle I had last year...

This is a murky golden color, off white foam. Strong aroma, really strong, with toffee and "imperial hefeweizen" notes. Bubblegum and clove, esters, maybe an imperial hefeweizen with Belgian yeast. And alcohol, lots of alcohol.

Caramel and toffee, loads of ethanol, a tasty sipper. Maybe imperial hefeweizen is inaccurate here, more of a Belgian barleywine/hefe. There's a lot going on, threatening to become a mess, sometimes stepping over the line but mostly staying reasonably tasty. (630 characters)

Photo of Urbancaver
4.11/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle shared at Jackie os

Can't believe this one ;)

Pours a pretty clear brownish orange. A nice yellowish tint. Some nice white head that dissipates quickly. Smells malty and boozy. Not much banana on the nose or tongue really. As it warms the booziness becomes more apparent. Banana peaks through. Sme nice light hops. Still pretty nice. (342 characters)

Photo of thetomG
4.35/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Mostly clear with a yellow/orange/brownish hue - nice sized layer of white foamy head on top.

Very sweet in the aroma and flavor wise (but not to the point of making it undrinkable by any means) - along with the ever-present sweetness, some banana & mild tropical fruit flavors lingering as well. A bit of burn from the high ABV make this one a sipper for sure. Well carbonated but with a slightly thick feel to it - very nice mouthfeel.

Very glad I was able to try this - still holding up well after all these years. Seek it out if you can... delicious brew. (561 characters)

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