Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to BeerAdvocate magazine and get 12 issues / year of fresh beer content delivered to your door each month.

Already subscribe? to manage your subscription.

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: 246
rAvg: 4
pDev: 11.25%
Wants: 171
Gots: 75 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 123 | Hads: 246
Photo of Arenbeer
4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review #200

Decided to pull out something special for this milestone so here it is!

22oz Bottle Into a Tulip Glass at fridge temperature

A- Pours a nice murky almost pinkish brown with a real thin 1 finger white head that dissipates right away. Not much lacing but some serious alcohol legs on the side of the glass.

S- Sweet caramel and toffee up front with tons of banana, bubble gum, and clove from the Belgian yeast. Definitely some alcohol in the background, hard to miss it. Has a slight must to it as well, probably from the age and the cellar it was in.

T- Just like the smell you get a strong creamy caramel body up front with plenty of belgian spice notes to follow. Really sweet overall and plenty of heat in the finish as it warms.

M- Full bodied with low carbonation and a nice wet finish.

SkÅL! (821 characters)

Photo of TriGuy20
4.87/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Shared this bad boy with two other BA's. Poured from bomber into snifters.

A: Golden orange with no head. Slight lace clings to side of the glass. This beer has a beautiful Tawny Port appearance.

S: Apricot/ Carmel/ Toffee/ Burnt Sugar/ Boozy

Taste: The apricot and toffee really come out on the palate with a nice warming alcohol feel on the finish.

MF: Port like. Silky and full body, coats the mouth very nicely.

Drink: For 15% abv this goes down easily. Each sip of this brew begs for another.

A fabulous beer and a rare treat to savor with friends. As this beer warms the complexity grows. I could not keep my nose of the glass. For those lucky enough to have a bottle of this, it will continue to age beautifully. Cheers! (742 characters)

Photo of Huhzubendah
3.9/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Just found my notes on this guy! I, in my infinite wisdom, decided to crack this beast open well into the night at a tasting I hosted last summer.

Scrawled in my notebook, my notes are exactly as follows:

Wow strong
Strong abv throughout
wow big

In retrospect, that about sums up this beer. Huge, gargantuan, palate attacking (see the label), sweet, strong, bold flavor.

"They were who we thought they were." - Dennis Green (435 characters)

Photo of Brent
4.25/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

How can you not like a Belgian "Sex Tupel?" Almost too much going on here to ferret out the various flavors. Sweet, heading in the direction of syrupy. 15% abv? I have no doubt about that - sharp, peppery alcohol almost stings the tongue at times. Cotton candy, dates, some brown sugar and pear . . . I think. (309 characters)

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)

Photo of drabmuh
4.42/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle generously shared by Matt at a recent tasting. BTW, I am ISO this beer. If you have it and want to trade, send me a message. This beer was bottled in 2006 and advertised on the label as a Belgian sextuple, I think we get the point, its big.

Beer is brown and has no head, carbonation is low and there is no lacing. Beer is mostly clear. I swirl it around the snifter to see what's happening and the beer leaves mild legs on the walls of the glass.

The aroma is strong but its not super sweet or boozy, it actually smells a little like bananas. OK, strongly like bananas. I wonder if this is intended, there is a giant monkey on the label. I personally found this quite funny and proceeded to the drinking portion with high hopes.

Beer is sweet and really smooth. There is very little heat for such a big beer and its surprisingly drinkable. It was my general understanding that this beer was quite hot but this is kind of a dream, especially for a 15% beer. It leads off with this maltiness to it, and follows that with this complex, mildly alcoholic fruit center and finishes a little dry. Its interesting. Surprisingly drinkable for such a huge endeavor. I'd definitely have it again. (1,196 characters)

Photo of htomsirveaux
3.96/5  rDev -1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. bottle tried 9 Dec 2007. Courtesy of Phil, thanks!

Head lasts for approximately 3 nanoseconds after pouring. Bright coppery almost ruby in color. Sweet syrupy boozy aroma, reminiscent of bourbon or brandy. Wow that is sweet and strong! Lots of dates, alcohol, bananas foster. Sticky heavy body. Finish is fairly bitter and warming.

Definitely want to sip this one... (375 characters)

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

Listen! What's the hell is that? OMG it's Alpha Kong here to destroy!!! AK pours up with a light carbonation that creates a tannish-white head that dissipates slowly under a barrage of alcohol, but manages to cover the deep copper-orangish amber body. The sweet candied caramel character almost completely dominates the aroma with hints of allspice, dried herbs and orange blossom honey underlying a noticeable alcoholic warmth. The flavor starts off quite fruity with an expressive caramel maltiness that shows hints of brown sugar, hot caramel apple, buttered rum & toffee/treacle. There's a slight astringent nuttiness (Brazil nut) in the finish that's marked by a slight bitterness which helps to bring balance to this chewy full-bodied barley monster. This self-described "sextuppel" is sure to please a seasoned beer connoisseur, but definitely NOT a beer for the uninitiated. I recommend sharing this Belgian-style Strong Armed Blue Beast with your friends, because handling him wholly could cause temporary blindness. Long live the Alpha Kong from Munster!

CHEERS! Beertracker (1,086 characters)

Photo of Lukafer
4.67/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. Bomber, thanks alleykatking!

Looks like an unfiltered apple cider, a dark golden color and very hazy. Smells like bananas, a little yeasty but mostly bananas and some alcohol. Tastes sweet, alcohol, and bananas. Honestly, I taste Now-N-Later banana candies, very delicious! Mouthfeel is good, the carbonation is still holding up for being aged a year or two, feels good! If you can't tell, I really like this beer and it is unbelieveably drinkable for a beer of this ABV (15abv I think?). Great beer, please brew this again! (532 characters)

Photo of gford217
4.14/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Massive thanks to oldstylecubsfan for passing this one along.

Pours a hazy caramel brown that shows bright orange in the light, with a small off-white head that doesn't leave much lacing, just some sticky legs after each sip.

The aroma is massively sweet - vanilla, caramel, bananas, booze-soaked plums, caramelized sugar, fruity ester galore. It's all surrounded by the ever-present alcohol presence.

The taste is just as huge, definition of a sipper. It's got the shockingly sweet molasses and caramel backbone with chewy sugary fruits just exploding on the palate. The finish has a hint of wood but much, much more than a hint of alcohol.

The mouthfeel is thick, chewy and, of course, sugary sweet.

This is a seriously big beer with tons of flavors (mostly sweet) fighting for attention with the alcohol. I'm not sure I'd peg it at 15%, but it definitely feels higher than 10%. In that respect, it's fairly drinkable for the ABV, but I wouldn't recommend chugging this one...or really even drinking the bomber by yourself. Overall, it's an excellent beer. (1,063 characters)

Photo of maximum12
4.02/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked this up in Chicago in Sept 2008, no idea that this was a discontinued, fondly recalled beer. Just saw there was one on the shelf, looked good, & away I went. Blind squirrel, nut, & all that. No idea how old it was, I'm sure it sat for so long due to the price tag!

Anyways, split the bomber with the wife on our annual vacation, assuring that we didn't have to rise & do anything with syringes or keep anyone alive the next day (OK, that's just my wife). Kong came out flat & muscled, orange flame-red. It looked a little angry. Smell sweet & low.

This simian came to play. Lots of depth in this monkey, with some soft caramel, sweet apples, candied fruit rolled in sugar. All of which took a back seat to the terrifying specter of lighter fluid soaked in fresh fruit, lashing out with a roar. Yikes. I wonder how many decades it would take for this beast to mellow out.

No carbonation, & the alcohol is, ah, apparent, burning like a forest fire before the helicopters & smoke jumpers arrive on the scene. Almost medicinal. Drinkable? Not if I want to go to work with two brain cells to rub together.

Overall? Man. Very good beer. Unique, complex, deep, overwhelming. Hope 3F brings this one back someday, I'd like to sit on one for a decade or two & see what it evolves into further. (1,298 characters)

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

A: The pour of this beer looked like it was in slow motion it was so thick. A translucent amber color. There was a touch of white head on the pour but it went away almost immediately.

S: Tons of sweetness. Candi sugar abounds. Quite a bit of fruit in there as well but everything sort of yielded to the smell of booze.

T: Very sweet and dry. The fruit was there and doing it;s best to try to balance out all of the alcohol and for the most part it did a nice job. Really over the top.

M: Like used motor oil. Super thick and coating.

D: Somehow this was really drinkable. The bomber was split amongst several people so that really did help out. Could I drink a bomber of this by myself? Sure. Is it better shared? Definately. Worth checking out at least once. (763 characters)

Photo of drseamus
4.04/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Lighter amber body with no head.

S: Every light colored fruit on the planet. There is some anise and lots of sugar.

T: Very sweet with tons of candi sugar. Tons of fruit. Slight bitterness In the aftertaste. Pretty boozey.

M: Pretty heavy especially for the color. Almost feels like a liquor.

D: Considering the abv, it's pretty decent, however you can't drink a bottle. (380 characters)

Photo of alleykatking
4.42/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer has to be one of my favorite offerings from FFF

A-Poured into a pint glass. Deep amber color pours out a little thick to my eye. The ABV on this I think keeps there from pouring a head no matter how hard I try. The lacing on this too is almost non existent.

S- While I was pouring this all I could smell was bananna. I let it sit for a couple of minutes to give it some time to calm down and when I came back although I still smelled the bananna I also picked up some hints of malt and cloves. Also, a little sugary smell (sweet) and of course an alcohol smell.

T- First off let me say that once this beer warms up you can taste more of the alcohol to it and less of everything else. On that note..it had a sugary bananna bread taste to it. While it was still cooler the alcohol didn't really come through like it did once it warmed up. This is an amazing beer.

M- Big, thick, heavy mouthfeel I thought. It packs a little kick with it but is still not over the top as with some beers.

D- I know I hear most people they couldn't drink a full bomber but I have almost always drank this one by myself the many times I have had it. I have had two before in a row and wouldn't suggest that but hey when you like a beer you like a beer right?? (1,253 characters)

Photo of FarmHouseJam
4.03/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

S: The aroma is loaded with candi sugars and spices, including cinnamin and nutmeg. I was expecting an absolute malt bomb (it is labelled as a sextupel ale), so the restraint and spice profile are quite welcome.

T: The ale reminds me of a biere de Noel, strong on both candi sugars and spices. The first sip reveals a yeasty dryness that I'd normally mistake for St. Bernardus 12 or Rochefort 10. The delicious depth of raisins, candi sugars and plums is intoxicatingly good, both flavorwise and strengthwise. The trademark amarillo hops of FFF are gone, which is fairly surprising when even the Irish stout is a hop bomb. Their absence is not missed and the depth is quite impressive without them. This is a true grand cru offering.

M: Spicy with a great Belgian yeast finish. This beer would taste awesome on a cold wintery, snowy day.

D: Hot damn, 15%? You'd never know it while sipping it but this one is gonna hurt in the morning. One bottle, shared with another would be perfect. (988 characters)

Photo of ncvbc
2.91/5  rDev -27.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Ruby amber, clear in color. Slowly rising carbonation somewhat thin head that falls to a ring. Looks nice. Smell is strong of spice and candi sugar. Not too bad but a bit sweet overall. Taste has a good variety of flavors but is somewhat hot and again, sweet. Clove, coriander, orange, pear, apple, honey, caramel, some brown sugar, and lightly toasted bread. A lot going on but just out of balance and overwhelming. Not one of my favorites within the style, though it is quite unique. Lightly creamy in the mouth with a bit of heat and slight dryness. Not so drinkable. Huge monster of a beer, which isn't really necessary here. A struggle to even drink half a bottle of this, compared to others that I could drink a 750ml bottle of because they're more approachable. An interesting beer, for sure. Overall, not one I think I'll return to. (840 characters)

Photo of Redwood21
4.07/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thank you again Scubarex for this fantastic brew in my SS BIF box

A: the head just does not exist which for me is disappointing but at 15% not surprising the body is a very turbulent hazy sunrise of a color. almost like wet hay and straw.

S: the smell is a bit sweet and syrupy, almost cloying, but not bad. there is definitely that cough syrupy sorta aroma, but not so over powering that it dominates the whole show

T: there is a certain sugary sweetness that like the aroma is syrupy in taste but less viscous on the finish there is an apparent malt and caramel backbone that is pushed back by the almost candied fruit taste, most noticeably is the green apple and a prune or raisin taste.

M/D: one think i will have to say, is at 15% you would expect this beer to be a bit of a bear, but its not overly boozy and is really easy on the finish. it has that dried and sugared fruit thing going on, but that's fine and if it is your thing you will love this beer (967 characters)

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 dukedevil0
3.68/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Picked up a bomber from Lush Wine and Spirits in Roscoe Village in Chicago, IL.

A: Pours a dark orangy red color with a very little white colored head that reduces to almost nothing. Some lacing on the glass while drinking.

S: acidic, citrousy, alcoholic aromas with some banana too

T: Definitely a big kick in the mouth when drinking this. Tastes similar to the smell with some rye/piney flavors in there too, but that might just be the bite from the alcohol. I get more used to the intensity as I drink it and I like it more either as it warms or as I get acclimated to the flavor, not sure which.

M: Like I said, a kick in the mouth. Very stingy/bitey. Slightly warming from the alcohol. Full bodied.

D: I didn't really fall in love with this beer and being able to taste the high ABV has this low on the drinkibility meter for me. (840 characters)

Photo of Wetpaperbag
4.04/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- A Dark golden copper color, almost the color of apple juice. The head is very non-existent. Wow I would say sparkling apple juice or something to what this looks like mostly. This isn't normal Belgian Strong Pale Ale look.

S- I can smell clove, honey, and apples. I don't know if the apple juice look has got me hooked on apples or what, but I'm smelling them. I'm also, for the first time, getting the pink bubble gum smell. Also the presence of the high alcohol is there as well. I'm wondering if this is going to be a hot beast or what.

T- Complex for sure. There is the apple juice there up front and on the buds. Bubble gum taste is slightly there. There is honey taste for sure, the slight clove taste is there as well. The fact that this is such a big beer its hard to put a finger on all the tastes here. I think because this has such a high ABV that the tastes are so intense they can't have their own individuality. As far as the abv, its hidden for the most part.

M- This is thick, but it has to be for the high ABV, however, it could have used more carbination to help cut this down a bit.

D- It is good, but I think tis could live in a small bottle as well. But that wouldn't be the style of this brewery. When I think of FFF, its go big or go home. This is big for sure. But This could be big in a smaller bottle. Since I'm a greedy MOFO, I'm not going to share it. (1,387 characters)

Photo of paco1029384756
4.22/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a ruby brown color with no head.

Scent of bubble gum, caramel, candi sugar, hops, and a hint of oak.

Taste of caramel, candi sugar, strawberries, bananas, and slight bubble gum. Lasting taste of hops. Very sweet and savory taste. Bourbon flavor becomes apparent with some warmth.

Smooth, cloying mouthfeel balanced out with a nice bite. (345 characters)

Photo of kmeves
3.52/5  rDev -12%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a very clear amber with minimal head. Aroma of cloves, some citrus, spicy yeast and alcohol. Flavor is a little medicine-y and full of alcohol (light banana and citrus as well). Full bodied and creamy, long fruity finish. Somewhat of a new direction for 3F. (263 characters)

Photo of koopa
3.88/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Rec'd a 22oz bomber in a trade with Brandonman63. Thanks for the opportunity and for being a great trader!

Three Floyds has long been a brewery I've had a fascination with. Probably because of the lack of distribution on the east coast and because they have a reputation of delivering a high quality line of products.

Alpha Kong should be called a Really Strong Pale Ale considering its 15% ABV!

Appearance: Quite orange to copper in appearance with a 2 finger foam head that dissipates rapidly leaving the tiniest swirl. My bottle was very carbonated and produced lush bubbles.

Smell: Lots going on in the nose including bubblegum, banana, candied sugar, and alcohol.

Taste: Same as smell. Alcohol tinge is a bit strong for my liking but still the flavor is impressive considering its 15% ABV. Candied Sugar and Banana upfront then alcohol warmth dominates.

Mouthfeel: Sticky and fuller in body than I expected. What is most surprising to me is how much carbonation the head showed during the pour vs. how little carbonation is in the brew while you drink it.

Drinkability: I only gave it a 4.0 because its very drinkable for a 15% ABV brew. Its still a sipper though and I'd say having more than one 22oz bomber in a night would spell out trouble for me. Next time I have this brew I will wait until I can share it amongst guests. (1,340 characters)

Photo of rivertrance420
5/5  rDev +25%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is one of my top Three Floyds beers. I have enjoyed in on tap in the past, and finally had to make the trip to Chicago Binny's to buy the last up. Cracked open a 22 oz. and poured it into a snifter. Sweet smell of candy and banana on the nose. No head. Reminds me of a liquore in many ways. Very delicious. The initial taste is sweet and syrupy, and then it goes into yeasty,clove-like flavor followed by a sweet banana finish. Alcohol presence is not hidden at all. Very warming to drink. The banana flavor is out of this world. One of the greatest beers ever made, and definitely an after dinner drink. One bomber will get you buzzed. (641 characters)

Photo of joepais
3.92/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks Dim
Bottle poured into a pint glass produced next to no white head. All on top of a cloudy brownish orange body

Aromas of Belgian yeast (bananas, clove) and sweet malts filled my nose. You could tell this thing had some alcohol in it as well

This one was sweet for sure tons of sweet malts and candy sugar. A light spiciness and some alcohol warmth also are present very thick mouthfeel almost no carbonation at all

Drinkability on this, well face it is a sipper at 15% .I cracked this one open the day I made the Jerk recipe from the BA mag and I was glad I did. It really helps tame the heat from the Jerk sauce. I know I could not have handled more than this bomber myself. I did however thoroughly enjoy it (721 characters)

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