Alpha King - 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Alpha KingAlpha King

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BA SCORE
95
world-class

5,659 Ratings
THE BROS
93
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,659
Reviews: 1,738
rAvg: 4.26
pDev: 9.15%
Wants: 911
Gots: 863 | FT: 30
Brewed by:
3 Floyds Brewing Co. visit their website
Indiana, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Ale (APA) |  6.66% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 07-23-2000

A bold yet balanced American Pale Ale with slight caramel sweetness and aggressive citrus hoppiness. This is our flagship beer.

68 IBU
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,659 | Reviews: 1,738
Reviews by rsdaugherty:
More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.92/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The labeling on the six-pack caught my with the crazy looking king on it to begin with,poured a hazy-yellow color with extreme hoppy mown grass smell.Taste was a little piney,with definent hop overtones.Alittle malty in the background but in my opinion not quite balanced enough,a decent beer but maybe a bit overated.

Photo of RoyalT
3.6/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance – This one poured a nice, clear orangish-brown with a huge, puffy, retentive head.

Smell – The sharp, East Coast hop profile seems to have a bit of pine. This was a welcome surprise. I can pick up some light grain as well but clearly this is a hop-dominated APA.

Taste – The hops came out big at the taste but did not show a lot of depth, leaving this flavor profile a bit unbalanced. The malts were light and overmatched.

Mouthfeel – This one was somewhere between light and medium-bodied and didn’t hold up well to the big hops, but the bitterness was just wonderfully done.

Drinkability – This is a light, easy-drinking APA that I thought could have used a bit more depth.

Photo of DaPeculierDane
4.6/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Juniper! The second I open this bottle my hot and humid kitchen becomes an alpine mountain side. I love it!

This could be dangerous, however, because sometimes beers with a juniper nose of this magnitude have an overly juniper or gin like taste. This is not something that I tend to enjoy since I am not, never have been, and god willing never will be a gin drinker. This doesn’t necessarily kill a beer for me but it does reduce its drinkability.

Thankfully, the Alpha King delivers a taste of intense hops and chilled citrus instead of juniper berries. I’m not sure how the good folks at Three-Floyds struck this balance, offering an uber bold scent while maintaining a smooth cool taste, but they did.

Also to its benefit, this beer is hyper drinkable. Despite its relative strength, I could polish off a sixer in a sitting and enjoy it.

This just might be the best APA I’ve ever had. If it’s not, it’s darn close.

Photo of tectactoe
3.93/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy copper color with a small, off-white head that settles pretty quickly and doesn't leave too much lacing behind. Aroma is pretty strong and pungent right from the start; peppery, earthy, and raw, dirty hops come up and smack your nostrils hard. Heavy, heavy malt backdrop on this one, almost so much that it's hard to refer to it as just a "backdrop" - it's nearly as strong as the hops. Just front the nose, this one smells a little stronger than 6.66% ABV, I'm picking up some slightly warm alcohol notes behind everything else.

Alpha King hits the palate and seemingly evaporates in my mouth. Slick and medium bodied with a boat-load of carbonation that starts to fizzle away as soon as it touches my tongue. Pungent grapefruit rind is the first flavor to pop into my head - raw, bittersweet, and certainly unadulterated. Some spicy, herbal, and leafy hops dance around the thick malt underlaying, full of ever-so-slightly toasted caramel malts. White pepper crowds the aftertaste, finishing alongside a light bitterness. A sweet, bready flavor sits heavy on all edges of the mouth - noticeable even minutes after having taken a sip. As strong as the hop punch is, the malt is nearly as dominant in this beer.

A nice tasty concoction of malt and hops, heavy on both and not holding back from much. Doesn't taste much like an APA, rather I think this one is more deserving of a malty IPA title. Either way, it's pretty drinkable and goes down easily. Maybe a tad overrated in my opinion, but good nonetheless.

Photo of ricke
4.3/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Reddish amber color, slightly hazy. A rather big off-white head dissipates quite fast and leaves some chunky lacings.

S: Big hop character - grapefruit, mango, lemon peel. Grass, pine-needles and hop resins. Plenty of malt as well. Some fudge, chocolate and rye bread. Very nice smell.

T: Despite massive hop flavors, the taste seems balanced. Exotic fruits (grapefruits, mango), solid backbone of sweet, caramel-like and nutty malts. Some bready notes. Floral hop flavors, resins and grass. A very fresh hop character overall. Great! gentle note of chocolate. The bitterness in the finish is quite big, but manageable. Lingering notes of juicy malts and more hop resins.

M: Medium body, very crisp, slightly dry in the finish.

D: A quite astonishing APA. Considering the amount of hop aromas and flavors in this one, it could easily go head to head with an IPA. And despite all of the hops, it still feels well balanced.

Photo of TCHopCraver
4.26/5  rDev 0%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes on 10/12/10. Thanks to TCGoalie for this bottle.

A: AKPA has an amber color when not held to light and a ruby-orange color when held to light. I find it to be a beautiful hue. A light khaki head sits at a finger and a half from a medium pour into a snifter. A full-covering film retains nicely, with scallion-like circles residing in it. Sleek, stringy carbonation bubbles move at a mezzo pace up the glass. The lacing is so good - sticky with fine hieroglyphic patterns all over the glass.

S: Big citrus aromas of orange, grapefruit, and a hint of lime blend with a subdued caramel malt presence and a dry, biscuity yeast scent. A dry, piney hop aroma also emanates from the beer.

T: Those dry, piney hops ride my palate for the length of the sip, supported by grapefruit and an inkling of caramel. The caramel sweetness and an orange flavor linger on my tongue past each swallow, then are trumped by grapefruit and pine hop dryness that has serious staying power. I am pretty astounded by how dry and bitter AK is. It is certainly the the king of PAs in term of bitterness, so much so that it almost tastes like it was aged in oak barrels.

M: In a word: puckering. The feel is medium bodied overall with just about the right carbonation. The bitterness sort of turns the MF into a one-dimensional feel.

D: I will be seeking this out again. This is the second Three Floyds beer that I have imbibed, and I am blown away so far. I knock this down just a notch because the bitterness detracts from session-ability a little bit, which I find to be a key component of a pale ale.

Photo of JudgeRoughneck
3.42/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Thin head evaporates to surface mottling over dark, brownish-amber beer. Nose is fruity and piney hops. Alpha indeed. This beer is straight up bitter. It may be the bitterest beer I've ever had. Deeply resinous with bigearthy/ cinnemon in finish. Mouthfeel is thick and sticky.

This is a well-made brew but not my style. I'm way more into FFF's Gumballhead, which I consider an IPA also (though it is wheat-based), and showcases Amarillo hop flavor beautifully.

Photo of kaimcm
4.2/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass

A: nice hazy orange honeyed body with a bubble dusting on top. soapy white ring around the edge.

S: buried, but dank herbal hop profile, dry grass, plenty of orange/grapefruit and citrus. a dense nose of hops that smells wet and fresh.

T/M: dry and grassy up front, followed by a medium body and a touch of sugar. grapefruit, citrus, soft and stinky cheese. more husky grain and bread. finishes with a lingering dryness and grainy mouthfeel. coating but coarse. carbonation is crisp and lively.

D: very enjoyable. very very enjoyable. 6% is a bit high for such a drinkable and flavorful brew. wish i could get all the time, would be happy to purchase repeatedly. cheers.

thanks jamie.

Photo of weatherdog
3.75/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a tulip glass

It pours a amber reddish color with a small off white head, medium lacing and low retention.

The nose is a nice fairly balanced blend of orange, grassy hop aromas and some sweet toffee like malt aromas

The taste is much less balanced and more hop forward as I expect. Grassy hops dominate with just enough orange citrus to make me feel like I'm not chewing on the lawn. The bitterness is fairly harsh and resiny which I do not always appreciate. On the backend some vegetal flavors emerge which isn't so great and not what I usually remember. I know this is a fresh bottle as well.

Mouthfell is ok, some dryness because of the lasting bitterness. Drinkability is good for an APA. Overall I have always enjoyed this beer as something that is sometimes available in places that have a bad selection, and that's about where I'll keep it.

Photo of tbryan5
4.46/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to griffeyb for sending me this one to try.

12 oz. bottle poured into a tulip.

A- 1.5 - 2 finger head that steadily dissipates. Deep, rich copper. Almost red in color. Lots of lacing on the sides of the glass.

S- The light fruit aroma hits up front but is immediately followed by the gorgeous hop aroma that is characteristic of an APA. It is very pleasant.

T- Same as the smell. The sweet fruit is up front followed by the bitter hop characteristics. They mesh really well here though.

M- Light to medium carbonation. It coats the tongue for a second after every sip. Even more so ad it warms slightly.

O- Excellent APA. If I could get this around here I would definitely pick this up again. And as a side note, three floyds bottle artwork really jumps out at you. Truly a great beer...

Photo of nuggetnectar01
4.15/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a copper color with a one finger head.

Caramel, malts, some floral notes, citrusy.

Slightly sweet upfront with a mild bitter hop taste that follows.

Fresh, Crisp, and refreshing with decent carbonation.

I could guzzle down quite a few of these, there delicious.

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

Presentation: 12 oz brown long neck with no freshness date to be found.

Appearance: Dark amberish orange with an awesome off white head ... rocky, dense and sticky all over.

Smell: Lots of citrius and a sweet floral aroma. Clean in the nose with hints of malt and fruity esters also.

Taste: Medium bodied with a slightly chewy and textured mouth feel, nice mellow malt flavour holds up to a huge pile of juicy citric hop. Hop bitterness is great ... not too much though enough bite to be assertive. Mild fruity esters and a faint caramel malt are in the backround. Lots more hop flavour in the finish, slowly fading and letting a lightly toasted malt taste through.

Notes: Well built and one of the best ales in the US. Hop character is above the rest ... a must buy.

Photo of blackearth
4.43/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a reddish amber body with an off white head that falls to a cap and leaves great lacing behind in the glass. Aroma is citrus hops with caramel malts. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with low to medium carbonation. Flavors are a hint of sweet malt that quickly gives way to a big hop flavor that last through the finish but not for too long, and then it dries out your tongue which makes you beg for another sip. Excellent drinkability!

Photo of orbitalr0x
4.59/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

APA + Three Floyd's = one damn fine luscious brew I assume!

This pours from the bottle a lovely deep amber with about a half inch of sticky head. The are even subtle hues of red in the mix. The first smell is freakin amazing. It's like I'm running naked through a beautiful sunny field of ripe hops. Yummy grapefruit and citrus tones tickle my nose along with a wonderful floral bouqet. If my nose could have an orgasm...it'd probably be reachin for a smoke right about now. I could sit here and smell this all night!

The first sip reminds me of why APA is my fave stlye...it tastes like a citrusy hop bomb went off in the bottle. Grapefruit, lemon and orange tones ride on a frothy wave of malt. Alpha King is like an ocean wave where everything is drawn together in perfect harmony only to come crashing down on my tounge and journey into my stomach. Bitterness is in harmonious balance as well...this is a brew that begs to be consumed.

Mouthfeel is wonderful...goes down smooth, not too much carbonation, very easy to drink. The same goes for drinkability...this is going to become one of my new session brews alongside SNPA. I could down these heavenly brews all night. 3 Floyd's deserves much praise for this fine example of the style!

Photo of blitz134
4.45/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

My first offering from Three Floyds...should be good...

Poured a beautiful amber dark caramel color. Crystal clear body with a near two finger off white head on top. Lacing clings heavily to the glass in thick lumps. Very nice. There really isn't much else you could ask for.

Aroma is incredibly strong. Cascade laden fumes waft from under the cap as soon as the seal is cracked. Upon closer inspection a good mix of pine hop aromas intermingle with the grapefruit and other strong orange and tangerine citrus from the cascades. A sweet malt character is present as well.

Damn. This hop character in this is on par with many other breweries IPAs and even exceeds some IPAs I have had. This is fairly balanced though. Hops come through with a resin flavor and character which drys the mouth a bit. An equal portion of grapefruit intermingles as well. A bit of bready malt brings the sweetness of the hops in check.

Mouthfeel is good. Fairly full bodied and crisp from the carbonation. Nothing which hasn't been done with other APA/IPAs, but this is on par with the good ones.

Drinkability is great if you like a hoppy ale. At over 7% ABV not too many of these could be had. But the crisp mouthfeel and balanced flavor make this one which could be enjoyed in multiples.

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

A damn fine beer. They use this as the base for the Alpha King Challenge, held annually during the Great American Beer Festival at Falling Rock.

Photo of sponberg
2.98/5  rDev -30%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bright golden amber, reasonable head.

Nose of citrus and spruce over a hint of malt. The flavor... It starts out OK, but about a third of the way through a medicinal, herbal note kicks in that I can't get my tastebuds around. I found it slightly off-putting, but can appreicate that it makes it different from other APAs out there. Decent balance otherwise. Good, bit it wouldn't be my first or second choice.

Photo of dill
4.03/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I poured this from a bottle into a pint glass, looking forward to this hoppy pale ale at the end of the day. There wasn't a lot on the nose initially, but it had a nice white head on top of the golden beer. I was surprised by how creamy it was in the mouth. I was also expecting something a bit more hoppy, but what I got was just a nice American pale ale that I'd happily enjoy again.

Photo of babyhobbes
3.88/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a beautiful amber/orange color with a small cream colored head...lots of lacing after a few minutes. This smells hoppy and citrus-y. Taste is sweet and smoothat first but is followed by a hoppy bite. This tastes good and not overly hoppy for the style. I wouldn't want too many at once though. This is certainly something to try.

Photo of bishopdc0
3.62/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Got this as a trade extra.

Poured into my new Belgium tulip. The beer is pretty dark almost brown. with a decent size head. the head is thick creamy and hugs the glass.

The nose is hops first with a solid malt back. The hops are pungent earthy and piny. I don't get citrus.

The taste matches the nose. Hops first earthy and pungent. After the initial hop flavor the carbonation comes in and pale and lightly roasted malts mix in. As the carbonation subsides the hops present themselves again as a earthy bitterness.

Photo of Hoppity1
4.19/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

If you want 3 Floyds and can't get zombie dust it is a good back up. Good beer.

Photo of Jason
4.47/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Beeguy for the sample ...

Its been a while since I have had this brew ... its on the high end for APAs with such a bold and flavorful hop presence. IPA?? DPA??? who cares ... this is damn good stuff.

It has gained cult status as being a hop-head's brew, lots of American hop character with a solid base of malt sweetness to hold things together. Biscuity and caramel malt meet a big citrusy juicy hop for a very enjoyable brew.

If you love hops this is a great one to try.

Photo of tjthresh
5/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bought a case from the brewery on July 3.
Amber with and off white head. Fair retention. Minimal haze.
I get some bold citrus (orange or tangerine) hops and rich breadyness for malt in the nose.
Very full flavor. Again citrus hops and robust breadiness from the malt. Maybe some caramel. Moderate body. Not a lot of ligering flavor.
SNPA is considered to be the classic example of this style. For my money, I'll take Alpha King any time.
Re-review: Since this beer is listed as a APA, I say it is the best possible APA. I rated it before assuming it was an IPA

Photo of merlin48
4.65/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This poured a murky auburn orange color, with an offwhite head that hung around quite a while. Ring lacing was there until the last dram. Mouthfeel is a bit surprising, as that's where I sense the first inkling of the nice malt going on here. The nose is all about grapefruit, tangerine, and spruce. Halfway through, it still looks like southern iced tea in an oldtimey pitcher. The taste is memorable. I've forgotten how long it's been since I've had such a perfect blend of subdued sweet caramel taste teased by such a wonderful sour grapefruit and bitter Mandarin orange hop balance. This one seems like a happy marriage of an excellent North American ESB with a westcoast Double IPA. Extraordinary!

Photo of Billolick
4.2/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle, with no freshness dating. Pours dark auburn, cloudy and with a few chunks swirling around. Rich, creamy, tiny bubble head and leaving quality lacing. nose is richly, malty and resiny hop filled. Full bodied nectar. Citrus hops explode on the palate. Deeply flavorful. High quality brew,seek out and enjoy. Cheers!

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Alpha King from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 5,659 ratings.