Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to BeerAdvocate magazine?

Learn more about beer and save over 53% with a 3-year subscription.

Subscribe now →

Alpha Kong - 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Alpha KongAlpha Kong

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

128 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 128
Hads: 276
Avg: 3.99
pDev: 17.54%
Wants: 175
Gots: 77 | FT: 6
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: 128 | Hads: 276
Photo of paco1029384756
4.22/5  rDev +5.8%
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 -11.8%
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 -2.8%
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 +25.3%
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 -1.8%
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

Photo of ppoitras
4.2/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle obtained via trade with kmpitz2. Thanks for the opportunity.

Poured into a large glass chalice, formed a 1/8" eggshell head over the cloudy reddish amber brew. Head is gone in a flash, just swirl and rim bubbles left, with lasting delicate lace. Aroma is sweet, fruity, and alcoholic. Taste is malty upfront, fruity in the middle, and then the alcohol warmth comes on strong. Mouthfeel and drinkability are good for the style and what they were apoparently aiming at. For 15%abv, this brew is remarkably drinkable. But don't be fooled, lest morning hit you hard upside the head.

 592 characters

Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
3.92/5  rDev -1.8%
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 Vancer
4.15/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Big ol' 3F Belgium from joe1510 in a nice trade, thanks mucho!

Clear and crisp amber pour, ivory head tries to pop up, but goes down like a 2 foot putt.

Tons of bubblegum, light citrus fruit and good ol' Belgium yeast in the aroma. Surprising blast of orangey medicine alcohol, but this is DA KING! A real sipper, but with a nice finishing aftertaste - Belgium and booze, my favorites. WTF?? With a whopper 15%, it WILL have a kick, of course!

Big, tasty, and drinkable - another 3F winner, glad I could get this in a trade, usually it does not make it down here.

 566 characters

Photo of prototypic
3.78/5  rDev -5.3%
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 brentk56
2.94/5  rDev -26.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Pours a clear amber color with hardly any foam; after a minute, it settles down and looks like a liqueur rather than a beer

Smell: Bubblegum, banana, fig and candi sugar on the plus side; on the negative side, lots of alcohol and a hint of acetone

Taste: Candi sugar dominates the front end of this beer, with a developing bubblegum and fig flavor; by mid-palate, the alcohol starts to dominate; after the swallow, the fusel alcohol overwhelms the rest of the flavors

Mouthfeel: Full bodied and sticky; no carbonation but a lot of warmth

Drinkability: With this beer the Floyds have ventured into terra icognita; they should have stayed at home

 660 characters

Photo of akorsak
3.99/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A 650 mL bomber courtesy of Autumnaldave. Long may he reign!

A: The ale is a ruddy brown color, hazy with a port cclor. Little head arose on pour and it now little more than a white band at the edges of the glass. The beer is much darker than paler.

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.

 1,240 characters

Photo of RustyDiamond
3.13/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured into an Ommegang stem, with no best-by date on bottle. Pretty reddish-brown with 1 finger of off-white head. Aromas of hot alcohol and mucho banana. I could taste all of the 15% ABV...hot waves of alcohol blended sharply with a lot of banana flavor. I guess this IS Alpha Kong...not impressed.

 300 characters

Photo of russpowell
4.26/5  rDev +6.8%
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 Crosling
4.2/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appears autumn colored in the glass, a fire-like orange, with a small, quicky diminishing foam. Nose of caramel, light and dark fruits, as well as a touch of booze. Incredibly flavorful and well balanced between sweetness and bitterness. Notes of Banana, pear skins, golden raisin, cinnamon, apples and pastries, with loads of caramel. Alcohol hidden well, of course I have a special palate in that I hardly ever taste alcohol in beer and this is no different. Nice mouth feel.

 477 characters

Photo of TheBlackMallard
3.15/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

From the super huge trade I did with ThomasHardy.

Pour orange with a small white head.

Smell: Bananas, Alcohol, Brown Sugar

Taste: Bananas, Maple Syrup, warming alcohol finish. Not bad but not amazing. Finishes sweet, carbonation is very low.

The label is probably the best thing about this beer.

 302 characters

Photo of ndekke39
3.68/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tried this on-tap at the Three Floyds' brewpub. Menu said it's 20 IBUs and 13% ABV.

Poured into a snifter. It's a very hazy reddish-copper. Thin, off-white head. Little ring of lace around the glass.

Smells are definitely sweet! Raisins, maple syrup, caramel, loads of alcohol, bourbon, some white wine, port, cotton candy, brown sugar, bananas. A touch of acetone, almost. Wow. Good stuff going on, but maybe too much it.

Tastes are sweet x3. Syrup, raisins, candy, apples, bananas, and again a definite alcohol burn. It's almost too much!

Mouthfeel is a moderate thickness, which goes with the syrupy character.

This is one for the maltheads, of which I count myself one. This is almost too sweet, but it still manages to be drinkable. Although this isn't to say I wouldn't try it again!

 794 characters

Photo of david131
4.64/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Coppery and clear with a very small white head with barely any retention.

S- Lots of bubble gum, cotton candy, banana, and vanilla. The alcohol is barely noticeable. Smells amazing.

T- Same as the aroma. The alcohol is noticeable but is not hot and blends really well with everything.

M- The stickiness and creaminess of this is great. The alcohol does not thin this up or cause it to be harsh.

D- For the ABV, this is killer. I was expecting a boozy mess, but this is excellent. A little pricey though...

 512 characters

Photo of FtownThrowDown
3.53/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

If there were ever a beer with a more appropriate name it would be this one.
On tap at the brewpub. Pours a dark ruby in color. Smell is cloyingly sweet. And when I mean sweet, I mean sweet. My teeth began to hurt just at the smell of this beer. Very different and interesting take on this style. Very sweet, with some banana and dark fruits in the taste. Huge and full on the mouthfeel. One glass is just about too much. I also bought a bomber this weekend and it will have to be shared, too much to drink by oneself.

 518 characters

Photo of mikesgroove
4.52/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I received this one a good wile back and had really been looking forward to giving it a try, but had not found the right time to really get into something this big. Well this past Saturday I decided it was as good a time as any and decided to dive right into , well as best I could. A 2007 bottle that I let warm up and served in a goblet over the course of a couple hours.

Appearance - This one poured out an odd orange and pink colored liquid. Weird color to be honest, with a nice one inch high head of off white colored foam across the top. It faded somewhat slowly, but left behind a nice little bit of a crown across the top and some decent side glass rings, but nothing really to write home about in that department. Good overall haze to it, and it had the look of something that was going to hurt in the end.

Smell - The aroma was huge, but not obnoxious, just really very big. A lot of sweet tones were rumbling all through here. Lots of candied apple, bubble gum, and the unmistakable smell of banana were all clearly evident here and really quite nice. Some light sugary alcohol in the back but I was surprised there was not more to it. It really smelled like candy to me, and in a very good way.

Taste - The flavor was just right along the same path. I was expecting something that was this big to really come off rather strong, but instead it was really quite mellow, relatively speaking. It was enormously sweet with candied sugars, almost unbearably so at times, but really just insanely good. Lots of bubble gum, cotton candy, and candy apple flavors here 9can you catch my drift) with a huge bounce of banana and maybe a touch of apricot. Light alcohol in there, it was remarkable how well it was covered up, though it did start to warm you from the inside out after a while. Finish was nice, smooth with a lingering banana and grain like flavor, super sweet.

Mouthfeel - One of the thickest and most syrup like liquids I have ever come in contact with. It reminded me of strawberry syrup in its consistency. There was some carbonation in it, though not a lot, but enough to make it sickingly sweet, still though it was a thick one to put down.

Drinkability - I am going to have to score this one a five here and I will tell you why. For something that is 15%ABV, I could not tell at all by drinking it. It was insanely smooth and drinkable. In fact I sipped and finished this bottle in about two hours and loved every minute of it. It was just perfect for sipping on and one of the best of the really big beers I have seen.

Overall this was outstanding, and easily one of my favorite three Floyds brews to date. A remarkable example of the style and really just totally solid all around. I would love to get another bottle of this one someday, it was just that good.

 2,790 characters

Photo of tiger88
4.28/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at FFF Friday night. This is an outstanding brew! I wanted to try it even though I had just bought a bottle earlier that day. Now I wish I had a couple more. It poured hazy and bright yellow with a thin white head. The head hung around for several minutes and left little to no lace. The first thing I tasted was bananas then the sweet warm of alcohol. The sweetness stayed right till the end...an hour later. It was fairly fluffy in the mouth considering how big a beer this is. It was very easy to sip while enjoying friendly conversation at a wonderful brewpub. I will be seeking this out again most definitely!

 630 characters

Photo of GPHarris
4.02/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

a - first pour from the bomber into a tulip glass had a two-fingers thick beautiful eggshell-colored cascading head. but it was gone almost as quickly as it came. the second pour had some staying power and left nice lace and sheeting. not sure what the difference was. the body was a dark amber color.
s - sweet and fruity, hints of candy apple and bubble gum.
t - caramel, toffee with an underlying spiciness. this is syrupy sweet, almost too sweet.
m - heavy and sticky, really coats the tongue.
d - definitely a sipper. comes through a little hot. best to be shared with someone and it's definitely one of a kind.

 616 characters

Photo of younger35
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked up this bad boy at Binny's for $15.99 (it better be good). Have been wanting to try it for some time so I'm glad I found it. Drank from my Stone India Pale Ale tulip.

Appearance- Pours a nice orange/red with excellent clarity and about a ¼ very fine white head. The cap recedes pretty quickly revealing a spotty top and a ultra thin collar that leaves no lacing.
Smell- Very in-yo-face and easy to tell this one's gonna be a sipper. Very sweet with tons of banana, clove and nutmeg. Brown sugar and toffee is plentiful adding to the aforementioned sweetness. Slightly dirty with that old familiar Belgium bite and warm whiffs of alcohol abound.
Taste- Hella warming with a big blast of fruity alcohol from the start. Lots of Belgium body and style with a nice American twist. A bit grainy and raw with all of the sweetness that was mentioned in the nose. Almost cloying but I think this bottle probably has enough age on it to help cut some of the early sweetness. Bananas and cloves are the primary flavors along with the mustiness from the yeast. Finishes a bit hot but not bad for 15%.
Mouthfeel- Medium to heavy body with about perfect carbonation. Slightly warming and sticky as it goes down.
Drinkability- Like most people who have reviewed this brew already said, find a friend. It's a big beer to mess with by yourself. Like most FFF offerings this is very well done and pretty damn tasty, plus over-the-top. If you have a

 1,439 characters

Photo of lightindarkness
3.9/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A bomber, which is too much of this beer to drink alone in good judgement (but that's not stopping me), into a large tulip.

Pours a thick clear deep coppery amber. No head at first, as the carbonation fights and cascades through the body to form a tight creamy head that fades slowly to a bubbly film.

Nose is very deep, sweet, and full, with up front banana and grains. Almost like banana bread or bananas foster, with caramel and sugar plus a myriad of other scents. Rich fruity smells of raisin and date deepen the banana, with a lot of breadiness and some whiffs of tangy fruit hiding out in the back.

Taste - go easy on this guy, a big swig could easily lay you out. Caramelly, sweet, with tangy fruits. Again, rich with syrupy banana, dates, and some alcohol heat at the finish. There's a lot more than that, but it's like drinking a rich sweet fruit bread.

Feel puts this one at one of the heaviest beers I've tried. Body doesn't seem as thick as it feels, a bit like syrup, making 22oz somewhat intimidating. Some astringency cuts through the thickness. Carbonation is only present enough to lightly tingle on the tongue, swallowed in the body of this beast.

As much as I really like this beer, I can't reasonably give it more of a rating for drinkability. It's a good sipper, but it's big, with an abv to match at 15%. I'll be working on this one all afternoon. If you can't handle serious and intimidating beer, walk away from this one.

 1,452 characters

Photo of naproxen
3.93/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Obtained in an awesome trade with Blanchette (many many thanks)

I think I could have let this sit another few months as it is a bit hot on the alcohol, but i've been waiting awhile to try this...

A- poured a very hazy dark amber into the glass, not an impressive head retained at all

S- besides alcohol (no surprise there) the upfront nose is a sugary banana and something else candy-like, bubblegum maybe?

T- following in suite with the aroma, this is one sweet yet boozy beer. There are traces of banana, raisin, and pear that I could pick out but the alcohol does cut it down a little.

M- i was not surprised at the heavier feel of this beer given its hazy appearance and high abv. It kinda leaves a residue in the mouth that is sweet burn.

D- oh, oh it's tasty and was well worth trading for. The high abv however packs a punch, this bottle is worth sharing (or not, i definitely didnt)

 897 characters

Photo of Bitterbill
4.37/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I got this in a trade with joe1510. Thanks Joe!

This pours a clear amber with a very small head of foam that leaves the scene rather quickly.

The smell...yeah...lots of dark fruit, caramel malt, bubble gum, clove, banana, and alcohol.

The taste on first sip and man, I'm getting a lot of candy sugar along with notes of banana, clove, apple, dark fruit, caramel, some yeast, and some alcohol. Very warming but no surprise there but this will do me for the night, me thinks. ;^)

The mouthfeel is medium though at times, it seems to border on syrupy, the carbonation is light, and it finishes with a slight tartness that lingers on through the aftertaste. Wow.
I love how the sweet part of this brew mixes so well with the tartness from the apple and dark fruit. To me, this one definitely taste like a Belgian and my hat's off to Three Floyd's. Very very nice brew!

 869 characters

Alpha Kong from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 128 ratings.