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Alpha Kong - 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Alpha KongAlpha Kong

Educational use only; do not reuse.

151 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 151
Reviews: 107
rAvg: 4.1
pDev: 11.46%
Wants: 167
Gots: 10 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
3 Floyds Brewing Co. visit their website
Indiana, United States

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Pale Ale |  13.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

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

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

A very complex Belgian sextuple, sweet with caramel notes.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 151 | Reviews: 107
Photo of Westsidethreat
3.35/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Really low level carbonation, leaving only a fine light beige film across the top of the glass. Body is ruby saffron color, very pristine.

S: Cherry, vanilla, banana. Medicinal qualities to it.

T: Begins with loads of cherry; cordial, vicks and maraschino. Very liquer like and syrupy with esters or tangerine, peach and absolute loads of banana. Marshmallow crème plays a part, asserting itself between the fruity flavors. Tastes like some brett as the peach yogurt as really kicking. Overall the yeast is totally strong and lending a serious hand in the flavor. Malt and sugar intertwine and become one and the same, totally unidentifiable from one step to the next. Deeply rich and complex and almost sickenly sweet. Finishes with tropical flavors all over the mouth with butterscotch, caramel and honey mixed in.

M: Full bodied and syrupy.

M: Bit too much for me. Perhaps with some age on it this beer will be drinkable, but right now its just simply too much. Too sweet, too syrypy.

Photo of SammyDavisJrJrJr
4.49/5  rDev +9.5%
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.

Photo of grub
4.08/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

biergotter club brew/tasting 2007. Viggo brought this one. thanks eric!

22oz bottle.

pours deep reddish orange with a small very fine tan head. drops fast and leaves a bit of spotty lace.

aroma is great. big bubblegum. alcohol. bit of solvent. toffee and caramel. lightly floral. hints of tangerine.

taste is good. low bitterness level. alcohol. bubblegum. caramel. bread and crackers. light tangerine. this one is really interesting and complex, but i'm having trouble finding the words to describe it.

mouthfeel is good. low carbonation level. fairly big body.

drinkability is good. surprisingly well balanced and drinkable.

Photo of weeare138
3.37/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Courtesy of axilla at the after Kennett dinner...
Appears a hazy orange with a small with a small white head that quickly fades out. Spotty lacing is left around the glass.
Smell is of peach, bananas, lots of brown sugar, and caramel all over the place.
Taste mimics the aromas but it's just too darn sweet to enjoy. It's cloying up front and in desperate need of aging like a fresh wine.
Mouthfeel is estery, super hot of alcohol burn, med-full bodied, with evident abv from the get-go, and some hot spices in there as well. I think this one just needs time...lots of it.

Photo of GbVDave
4.32/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bomber into two tulip glasses. Thanks to HeatherAnn for the assist!

A: Pours a deep, dark, tarnished copper color. Slightly hazy with a small, unbroken, off-white ring.

S: Wonderful aroma of candi sugar, belgian yeast, bananas, caramel, spicy figs, apricots, with a touch of alcohol.

T: See above! As it comes up to temp the alcohol becomes more pronounced.

M: Creamy and spicy. Makes your lips tingle...

D: OMG! This is effing fantastic! Make sure you have a belly full of food when you attempt this one...

Photo of kundabuffer
3.59/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Many people have mentioned bananas in describing the flavor, and I will confirm this again. It's uncanny...I wouldn't be surprised if bananas were an actual ingredient. I would also second the opinion that the beer is too low in carbonation. Without enough carbonation, the sweetness of this beer too easily penetrates. Still, the alcohol content is VERY well masked and the beer becomes more palatable as it warms (I would recommend leaving it out of the fridge for awhile before even opening it)...or maybe I'm just saying that because I'm rather drunk after finishing 4/5 of the bottle. An interesting brew. As usual with these "special" 3F beers it is much, much too expensive, but I may try it again one day....

Photo of BlindPig
4.12/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Poured pretty hard and got a 2" creamy vanilla ice-cream colored head on a cloudy amber/orange body.
S- Huge banana upfront, tons of fruits, sweet caramel body, hints of alcohol, breads, some floral notes, and a few other fruits I just can't pick out.
T- Flavors follow with the aroma. Have the big sweet caramel body with a ton of hot banana in it. Lots of sugar in it along with some other kinds of fruits like pears and maybe even apple. Cloves and a light pepper come behind the banana. The alcohol can cover most of the flavors but is still good. A light tartness with the yeast in there as well trying to make some bread flavors come through. The alcohol warms back of throat gently but is still pretty hot. Light bitterness lingers on tongue along with bananas, cloves, apples, and of course alcohol.
M-Full thick body and even a bit oily. Low carbonation that tingles the tongue.
D- I think it is tasty but maybe a little less alcohol would be nicer so it doesn't mask the complex flavors so much. It is a great beer but not sure if I will be buying another (I already have another down in cellar).

Photo of cartdan
3.27/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served in a tulip glass.

Pours a reddish brown with low carbonation. Thin white head that fades quickly. Smells of banana / pear with the surprising smell of finger nail polish.

First taste is sweet, with a good deal of alcohol warmth. Right away I can tell that this beer needs more carbonation. The bottle was clearly overfilled, so I wonder if this was just a problem with the bottle that I got.

This beer is too big for it's own good. It seems like there are a lot of good flavors there, but they are dominated by the alcohol. Mouthfeel is heavy, perhaps enhanced due to the my sample being under carbonated.

Overall, I was dissapointed in this offering from Three Floyds. I expect their beers to be big, but this one was way over the top in my opinion.

Photo of rhoadsrage
3.43/5  rDev -16.3%
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.

Photo of bashiba
4.1/5  rDev 0%
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.

Photo of dwilkins
3.65/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5


Now, these reviews are supposed to be in reference to the style. IMHO, there is no way this fits the decription or my view of a BSPA, but I'm not sure where else it fits, except maybe barley wine - doesn't fit well there, but just as close.

A - Gorgeous dark orange or maybe light reddish brown - no haze. Very little head and little retention (as it warms, a ring will form). Too dark for style

S - Very nice and complex. Well beyond the capabilities of my sniffer, but rich, dried fruit and cooked bananas come to mind. Not as crisp or citrusy as I expect for the style.

T - The booziness cuts the obvious underlying sweetness. Again, kinda banana-like with some carmel, but not a malty flavor. Not in style, but I can't say what style it's like.

M - Medium bodied in general, but heavy bodied within the BSPA world. There is an apprehension of stickyness before the swallow, but the dang alcohol counteracts this in the aftertaste.

D - Hmm. Not for me, but If I was back in the days of smoking a good Partagas #10, this would be like a fine glass of Port. This is the kind of thing you drink while smoking a cigar in your walnut ensconced library in front of the fire with the two hunting dogs curled up at your feet, but it's not the "gin and trombones" of a cool afternoon in the Belgium countryside.

Photo of merlin48
3.07/5  rDev -25.1%
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.

Photo of ultralarry2006
3.85/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle. Leaves one finger of a tan head that has no retention, and it leaves no lacing. Body is a red amber with orange and brown highlights.

Smell - candi sugar, honey, caramel, cloves, bananas, cherries, banana bread.

Taste - a wash of medicinal alcohol upfront that gives way to a well spiced banana bread drizzled with toffee, in the middle, and with slightly sour cherries and a little bit of cherry cola spiked with spicy and medicinal alcohol on the finish.

Mouthfeel - medium bodied and semi-dry.

Drinkability - this is good ale. This is one where the alcohol is readily more apparant than is usual in most other high abv 3F brews. Its very high abv severely restricts sessionability, making this a sipper, and not a session beer, and probably best enjoyed with dinner and/or dessert.

Photo of sfoley333
4.52/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 22oz bottle from Sam's wine & Spirits. Poured into glass at the Port's bottle shop. It poured a orange copper color with almost no head. The aroma of candi sugar, malt, belgium yeast, spiced alcohol. Taste of banana, wild honey, corriander, esters dried apricots. Mouth Feel is sticky sweet with a very low carbonation like a medium+ body. I dont think you could throw back much of this beer, but this make an excellent sipper and is truly a beer to ponder.

Photo of brewcrew76
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I wouldn't really consider this a belgian strong pale but then what 3F beers fits into a style.

A - Pours an orangish copper with very little head and no lacing. What more can you expect at 15% abv.

S - Extremely sweet candi sugar, dark fruits, spicy clove and a lot of bubblegum. Typically I would think something this sweet would not be appealing but the aromas blend together to form a very nice, complex treat.

T - Bubblegum, candi sugar, a little banana, caramel, dark fruits, maybe a touch of honey and a bit of alcohol as it warms. Very complex and drinks well for the sweetness.

M - Medium bodied somewhat sticky and sweet but not close to cloying. A bit of alcohol burn is present as it warms.

D - Amazing how easy this drinks for the abv and sweetness. I would buy this by the case if it wasn't $15 a bomber.

Photo of SudDog
3.88/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a luscious almost pumpkin orange, served it in an oversized Belgian tulip to really accent color

S - Holy baseball cards Batman! The gum and candy scents speak of a huge sweet bomb when it hits the mouth. Can there be that much fruity flavor in a beer?

T - Very sweet with a lot of malty sugars up front followed by some spiciness in the midpalate and then....Bamm!!

M - Can you feel the tingle? Alcohol is right up front from beginning to end. Decent carbonation upon mouth contact. But that tingle remains for the whole experience. Can be overpowering by the end of the bottle.

D - Definitely a sipper. At 16% one of these can finish your evening. Suprisingly drinkable for so strong a brew. Only reason the score is low due to the high alcohol. Definitely not a session beer. Another of 3 Floyd's extreme beers taken up yet another notch.

Addendum to previous:
Aged out the second bottle that I purchased in '07. Surprisingly not so good with time. Poured a fizzy orange, smell of over-ripe bananas hits hard. Taste was sugary sweet, and not so pleasant. Alcohol masked any fine taste differences expressed by oxidation. Thought a 16% beer would hold up better than this. Not so much mellow as turned.

Photo of westweasel
3.78/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer displays an amber/orange color with almost no head at all (probaby due to the high alcohol content). It is very clear. The smell is dominated by a sweet caramel smell mixed with a more subtle orange scent.

The taste is mostly caramel and toffee. Also you can taste alcohol and some Belgian spices including clove. The mouthfeel is pretty full.

This is not the most drinkable beer. Belgians aren't my favorite, and in this one the alcohol is not hidden at all - it's right out there.

Photo of kajerm
4.18/5  rDev +2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours cloudy reddish-gold-- light on head, big on lacing. From bottom to top, and from center to perimeter, there is a sunburst gradient, transitioning from red to orange to straw-gold with a thin, almost invisible ring of carbonation at the outermost edge. At least in terms of color, this is one of the nicest-looking beers I've seen; it certainly blows all the other "belgian pale ales" out of the water.

The nose is big on esters and candi sugar. I think FFF has managed to out-Belgian the Belgians-- this beer smells like a fruit bowl floating in bananas and bubble yum. Very solid malt backbone. I could definitely stand to smell this one for a while.

Opens up with light, buttery malts, moving quickly into sticky esters and Belgian candi sugar. Mid-palate is all bubblegum, malt, and alcohol. Esters, light malts, and residual sugar hang on through the finish; alcohol is faintly perceptible in the flavor at the end, along with a shred of hops. Most of the alcohol perception comes from the surprising dryness of the finish.

Mouthfeel is sticky and moderately carbonated; the body is medium.

Drinkability is pretty damn good for 15% ABV.

I didn't think FFF could pull off a Belgian, but I guess I thought wrong.

Photo of mjd83goblue
4.03/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bomber purchased at the brewery for $10. A "sextuple". Poured into a Rogue pint glass (still need to address the glassware issue...)

A: Nice reddish-copper. Not a ton of head.

S: The bubble gum dominates over whatever else might be in there.

T: Again huge bubble gum and candi sugar. I can only assume thats what was intended when you brew a 15% Belgian and market it as a sextuple. A little banana/hefe finish. Not as cloyingly sweet as it seems it would be, which is nice.

M: Scores well here, creamy and smooth. Yeah its a little hot, but c'mon, you know its 15%, what could be expected?

D: Again, better than I thought after the first smell or taste. Very smooth once it warms up a little.

3F's best beer? No. Glad that I snagged a bottle? Yes. A nice sipper for the evening. Really like an imperial tripel, it doesn't get into the darker tastes a quad offers.

Photo of BigTone
4.7/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A- Poured Dark copper with a good half inch of head that left a nice lacing on the glass.

S- Sweet and fruity. Some toffee in there too.

T- Wow, very complex, but not Complicated. Great bitterness at the end that stays with you. Plus the hop burps for the rest of the night tasted just as good.

M- One word - THICK. Good carbonation.

D- Every part of this beer compliments itself. I don't know how many you could have at one sitting... judging by the ABV maybe 2-3 at most. I will definately be hitting up the brew pub for another very soon.

Photo of hoppymeal
4.35/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Stopped into the pub on the way to the Great Taste and had this (and some others) with lunch. Murky copper in color with an off white head. Aroma is very rich and sugary, some sweet banana and spice as well as some sweet fruit and prune scent, incredibly rich. Taste follows the smell as far as its richness goes with sugary caramel and raisins. Mouthfeel was thick and creamy with a little tingle/spiceyness in the finish. Although it is quite rich it was easy to sip on and went rather quick, the pub had it listed at 16% and although a hint of the alcohol is evident in the taste and in its warmth, it is very well hidden and balanced for its strength. Very dangerous beer for me, I could sip on this all day, as is the case with many of FFF beers.

Photo of kirok1999
4.3/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a nice copper with a ton of chunky foam that leaves good lacing.

S- Sweet and creamy toffee. Some sweetness comes through from the ample malts.

T- Very nice balance of hops and malt. Lingering aftertaste of toffee and bittering hops. Very nice balance. No watery characteristics at all.

M- Heavy and thick. Slippery and mildly carbonated.

D- Pretty high ABV but very drinkable after a nice meal. Or better yet with a good chocolate dessert.

Photo of CRJMellor
4.18/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A Sextuppel, now this could get interesting. Pours a deep amber with some golden highlights and a big creamy just off-white head that settles leaving all kinds of tannin alcohol streaks and lace on the chalice.
Aroma candi sugar, aromatic and fruity, estery yeast profile and a hint of melon, banana and some alcoholic cough syrup.
Flavor is very powerfully alcoholic but it settles down after the initial harshness to reveal some banana and clove flavors and a heavy dose of spicy pepper. I think this is the first 3 F's beer that I have had without massive hops. They are there, just subtle.
Mouthfeel is very thick and full but the potent alcohol detracts just a bit as it just burns the plate and throat. I thick fi they dialed it back to say 11-13% range it would even better than it is.
Drinkability was very high given the ABV, I asked about a growler and it was $40. Sorry Pete ! Worth the sample, but overall high ABV makes one enough.

Photo of hero27
4.75/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap @ Three Floyds Brewpub...

Listed on the beer menu as a Sextuppel. Artwork on the tapper is very cool (as always from Three Floyds)

Shiny reddish/orange color. Aroma is mostly spices, yeast, sweet malts, and mild fruits. I really did not get my hopes up for this one, as I didn't think an American brewery focusing on hops and extreme American styles could pull this off with much success.. I couldn't be more glad I was wrong. The taste has the Belgian flair that you can easily pin down, but with a great fresh spice taste and a big-time sweetness that I swear has a life of it's own. Rumor has it this beer's huge sweetness comes from rare imported sugar from East Indonesia..at least that's what they told us at the brewpub...but whatever it is, I've never tasted it in a belgian. The alcohol is very well hidden, but can be sensed by the nearly instant intoxication after a few sips. Mouthfeel is full and carbonation is quite low. This baby slides down as easy as a 4% pilsner..absolutely no agressive/harsh tastes..just sweet, spicy, perfection.

Truth be told, American brewers can (and have) beat many Belgians at their own game..this is one clear example. Don't get me wrong..i love a good true Belgian (from there) just as much as the next guy, but I simply cannot think of a beer at 15.5% that can top this killer.

I'll take Alpha Kong over King Kong any day..a couple big glasses of this, and Kong would be passed out in the corner.
Damn, I love when breweries have the balls to come out with insane beers like this, because when they pay off, they're simply incredible...and this one is.

Photo of HoboAGoGo
4.62/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into the snifter in the brewpub. A reddish clear color with some gold, a light tan head thinly graced the top. Nose was of alcohol, plums, cherries, bannana, biscuits. The beer can only be taken in small sips, but not so much that it is difficult to drink. The fruits again take over the palate with more of the earthy grains and biscuits, sweet biscuits, with a heavy tongue of alcohol. It was good, and it was also good that I wasn't driving. It was one I'd have again, but be cautious about it.

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Alpha Kong from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 151 ratings.