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Alpha King Pale Ale - Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub

Alpha King Pale AleAlpha King Pale Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
95
world-class

4,255 Ratings
THE BROS
93
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4255
Reviews: 1646
rAvg: 4.27
pDev: 9.13%


Brewed by:
Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub visit their website
Indiana, United States

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

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
3 Floyd’s flagship beer, Alpha King is a big American pale ale that pours a deep amber with a creamy head. This ale is brewed with Centennial, Cascade, and Warrior hops giving it an intense citrus aroma and a crisp hoppy finish.

68 IBU

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 07-23-2000)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Reviewers | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Alpha King Pale Ale Alström Bros
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Ratings: 4,255 | Reviews: 1,646 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of John
John

New York

5/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is one of my favorite beers. Beautiful rocky head, great citrus aroma, unfiltered copper color, awesome hop finish. Nice malt balance.

Serving type: bottle

09-17-2001 13:37:32 | More by John
Photo of kegerator
kegerator

Maryland

5/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

an outstanding brew from Three Floyds.
Pours a vibrant burnt copper orange with a nice 2 finger head thats creamy and sticks around leaving nice lacing
aroma of pine and grass with big aromas of citrus. Grapefruit and orange with very faint hints of caramel like malt in the backdrop
taste is a huge citrus hit with big flavors of grapefruit and orange with those caramel malts making an appearance in the middle. It has a great creamy mouthfeel to it yet finishes crisp and slightly dry leaving a slight hop bitterness but not overwhelming at all. This brew is masterfully blended with great flavors.

Serving type: bottle

08-15-2005 12:26:44 | More by kegerator
Photo of tjthresh
tjthresh

Indiana

5/5  rDev +17.1%
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

Serving type: bottle

08-30-2005 15:45:47 | More by tjthresh
Photo of ultralarry2006
ultralarry2006

Illinois

5/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance - Poured from 12 oz.' er with no freshness data. Left a nice two finger head that receded to 1/4 inch that did stick around to the end, and left thick lacing all the way down. Head is lightly biege and the body is a nice orange copper.

Smell - Grapefruit, grapefruit, grapefruit, oh, and did I mention grapefruit? Slight hint of mild bready, breakfast tea malt which is of course totally subsumed by grapefruit.

Taste - Of course it's grapefruit, grapefruit, grapefuit, right upfront. The malt is just barely there with mild bready, biscuity and a hint of breakfast tea flavor. The focus is emphatically on the hops, with the malt laying way back, but definintely present enough to more than adequately do it's job of providing backbone, because if it was not, then the hops would have thrown this insanely out of balance. Of course the finish is grapefruit, grapefruit, and biscuity tea, more grapefruit, and it all lingers in a pleasant aftertaste ( of the same, grapefruit and bread). Belch, and you get yet more of this great ale's grapefruit hops and bready malts ( gross, I know, but it's true !, and great ! ).

Mouthfeel - full, thick even - kind of chewy, very satisfying with just right amout of moderate carbonation. Pleasingly slick mouth coating from the hop oils.

Drinkability - I could easily sit here and finish a whole six pack myself and savor, and I mean savor each and every sip, in just one sitting, absolutely no problem. Also, I could just sip and chill with this, or serve this with any kind of meal, event, etc. I just plain love this ale !!

Serving type: bottle

04-07-2006 20:41:36 | More by ultralarry2006
Photo of ClearDog
ClearDog

Wisconsin

5/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance -- Pours a deep amber-orange color with a creamy, clean white head. Leaves a sticky lacing on the glass.

Smell -- Very intoxicating! Rich, citrus smelling hops. Just a touch of malty sweetness. I love the smell of this beer on a hot day like today.

Taste -- Complex citrus. This is not a beer that is lacking in hoppy bitterness. I seek out this hop goodness in a lot of my beers and find that few deliver like this beer does.

Mouthfeel -- Nice . . . very nice. Creamy and wet. A slight bitterness just kisses the tip of your tongue.

Drinkability -- This is the first beer I've rated all 5s and I now declare it the official beer of my summer. I plan to drink a lot of it. I've been drinking this beer off and on for several years now, but this is the first time I rated it. This beer delivers what few others do. It's just excellent.

Serving type: bottle

07-16-2006 19:56:47 | More by ClearDog
Photo of HopsHops
HopsHops

Indiana

5/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

HOLY SHIT...

To me this is just about as good as it gets...

I'm on my second one and i just got home about 20 minutes ago

i poured it into my big mug...it sticks to it great, thin but nice head,

not too strong not too weak, hoppy bitterness is there which i absolutely love...it isnt sticky but this stuff is great i could drink it all night....3 floyds is the shit...wow....this stuff is probably the best pale ale ive ever tried... there was sediment in the bottom of my mug for f**k sake....i apologize for my language on this one i just want people to know i am serious about this review...the color is beautiful....this will be my main from now on i reckon ....I love it ..its too good i will drink too much of it tonight im sure...GREAT JOB FFF

Serving type: bottle

10-24-2006 05:47:56 | More by HopsHops
Photo of PhxHorn
PhxHorn

Arizona

5/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Goddamn, this is one of the best beers I've ever had. It pulls down my pants and taunts me. Thanks to Louisdog for the trade. Pours a deep orange color, lots and lots of white foam that leaves an opaque layer on the glass. Smells strongly of citrus. Tastes of citrus, some malt, and a solid amount of bitterness. Outstanding balance of flavor. Close to IPA territory, and in fact I've had IPAs that were less intense. Strong but not too much carbonation, and I was done with it before I realized what had happened. Jesus, how do those Floyd guys do it? And by the way, which one's Pink?

Serving type: bottle

02-23-2008 03:36:08 | More by PhxHorn
Photo of razorsdescent
razorsdescent

Pennsylvania

5/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had at pizzeria paradiso in geargetown

A) Toasted honey generous light head.

S) Light pine scent with a hint of wildflower.

T) Deliciously hoppy with pine and sweetness.

M) Light and refreshing.

D) I could drink this until the floor came up and smacked me in the face.

This is an exceptional IPA and well deserves its reputation. My only complaint is that it is not readily available.

Serving type: bottle

01-10-2009 17:18:39 | More by razorsdescent
Photo of hopman333
hopman333

Illinois

5/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Cannot belive I have never reviewed my all time favorite beer. Being from Chi town I remember tasting the very first batches of this beer on tap at The Hop Leaf in Andersonville. My friend's and I were blown away. Keep in mind that 10 -11 year's ago, there were no really big beer's like this. The floral and citrus flavor that is derived from this beer was mind blowing. We would drink pitcher after pitcher... And the alpha king on the tap handle looked very alluring, you knew you were in for a treat.

Forget about the look's and the lacing with this one. The only thing you need to know is the superbly balanced malt and hop ratio... Yes this is a hop bomb, however in a very gentle sort of way... The aroma just wreak's of floral and citrusy hop's galore, in addition to the Belgian Caravienna malt's that hide in the backround. It's fine touches like the different malt and hop blend's that push this beer above and beyond greatness...

Drinkability is off the chart's. I could and have drank a case of these when I'm on a bender.
Sure you will have a hangover but you will have a good time knocking them down

I'm trying to keep this review simple. This beer just kick's ass. But don't take my word for it. Go out and get some and see for youre'self. All in all, one of the best brew's ever made. Do not miss this one...

Serving type: bottle

04-15-2009 21:00:46 | More by hopman333
Photo of salvo
salvo

Indiana

5/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

It's probably becoming more trendy to find something wrong with Alpha King now, but this is the beer that started my obsession with craft brew. Something about its rich mouth feel and unlikely balance of malt and hops in a HUGE hop bomb of a bitter beer ... well, it just makes me happy to live in Indiana within striking distance of the brewery.

The tap is completely different from the bottle: richer, thicker, hoppier. Don't get me wrong, the bottled king is great. Off the tap it's just different.

A: Brown to red malt goodness with an inch of fine foam that dissipates to a lacy top.

S: Pine. Pine with some citrus - grapefruit if grapefruit trees were conifers. Roasted malty back fills the sinuses.

T: If I had known this taste before I may never have said I didn't care for beer. And on tap, the first taste is bitter hop pine and grapefruit that gives over to malty sweetness and the mouth-filling hop punch just lingers and crackles and fades slowly.

M: Chewy, big, and dense: it's got body and coats the mouth, fills the mouth, and satisfies with every sip.

Serving type: on-tap

06-15-2010 23:26:33 | More by salvo
Photo of cpz28
cpz28

Indiana

5/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The King and I:
I've had this beer a million times. At nineteen, it was my introduction to micros. Why I'm just reviewing it now, at 26, is beyond me.

A- Clear, red-orange with a nice white head atoo

S- American hop dankity-dank, a senses slap, deep citrus and pine backed up by malt sweetness. Divine. The hops, oh, the hops.

T- Initial bitterness is sharp, forward and appropriate. It fades into slight caramel and dark fruit sweetness and comes back bitter, hoppy and with a faint,but necessary alcohol indication. If you want to talk about balance, this is it. This is a perfect beer. It has everything you could ever want in a beer. AK exemplifies how to have huge hops in a beer backed up by malt that is not a sweet mess.

M-Carbonation is the money shot here...and it's spot on. Very full bodied without being heavy.

O- I'd say this is the quintessential American Pale Ale, but it's more of an IPA by style. I don't care what it is; it's good. In a sea of breweries with hype surrounding them, FFF is truly not a pretender. This is their flagship beer, and boy, does it ever represent what they stand for...big hops, big malt, big beers and shattering of style guidelines. FFF always does what they want to, and other breweries try to emulate or jealously choose to ignore what they're doing. Bow Down!

Serving type: on-tap

06-16-2011 22:40:53 | More by cpz28
Photo of dhollar2
dhollar2

Indiana

5/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I've had this in bottles and on tap at Three Floyds in Munster, IN. Pours a dark amber with an off-white head. Smells of piny, citrus hops and caramel malt. Taste is of high-alpha citrus hops with assertive bitterness and is beautifully balanced by rich caramel malts. It's really more of an IPA than an APA, but I like to give 3Floyds the benefit of the doubt. I love this beer. It's been my go-to for years and is a must-try for anyone.

Serving type: on-tap

08-17-2011 17:45:52 | More by dhollar2
Photo of KingRascal
KingRascal


5/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Look: Translucent gold/amber with a thick off-white head

Aroma: Floral, hoppy aroma with a pleasant hint of barley

Taste: Pleasant hop taste with a smooth finish and pleasant aftertaste. Bordering the flavor of an IPA

Feel: Refreshing, well rounded, frothy, smooth on the palate and crisp

Overall: Perhaps my favorite beer. An extraordinary bold flavor with a crisp and refreshing finish.

Serving type: bottle

06-18-2012 05:58:14 | More by KingRascal
Photo of tyleeis
tyleeis

Wisconsin

5/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a bottle into a beer glass...

Great light brown/ dark golden color, decent 2 finger head....a perfect looking summer ale.

Big nose of hops!!! Slightly piney with caramel notes.

Taste is amazing!!!! Hoppy, sweet and a little bitterness, tastes like the smell with a nice caramel aftertaste.

Light carbination but relatively smooth, an easy drinker.

Overall this pale ale is King and is what got me into trying the more complex IIPA's....another great from 3F's! Try this beer!

Serving type: bottle

07-12-2012 01:44:37 | More by tyleeis
Photo of IrishHockey
IrishHockey

Indiana

5/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is the beer that got it all started for me. I love this beer. From the grapefruit, hoppy taste, to the citrus smell. This beer is my kryptonite. I can't go into the brew pub, or local shop and not walk out with a six pack of this. Seek it out. This beer is a gem.

Serving type: bottle

10-17-2012 14:04:17 | More by IrishHockey
Photo of wiseguywood
wiseguywood

Indiana

5/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is probably the best APA I have ever had. Pours a nice creamy amber with a very intense hop character. THe best I can find for this style. If you can find it, I highly recommend it. Since it's in my home state, we have pride in our Indiana brewer and brewpub.

Serving type: bottle

05-21-2013 22:51:14 | More by wiseguywood
Photo of JerzDevl2000
JerzDevl2000

New Jersey

4.97/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I had never heard of Three Floyds before I was up at the New England Beer Festival and told a few people there that I might be heading to the midwest (the trip's off now, but that's another story) sometime around Christmas. Everyone's telling me "You have to pick up some Three Floyds" or "Do what you can to get your hands on the Alpha King". I didn't know what the big deal was, but two weeks ago, the liquor store in my town got this and a few of their other brews in from Indiana. Needless to say, I was pretty excited, but cautious if the beer could live up to the hype...

...today, I write this review with no caution in my voice, and undoubtedly one the best beers I've ever had in my hand. Yes, it's that freaking good! Poured out a nice orange-amber color with a slight haze/transluscence, and had a bouquet whose only rival is another Pale Ale which I adore (in Sierra Nevada). The head could have been a bit higher, but the full citrus and pine scents kick in nicely and intermingle wonderfully with the dry hops that make this pale ale different from any I've had before. One sip after that won me over - there was so much going on and it almost seemed like an orgainzed mess, but somehow, all of it fit together beautifully. Flavors are wonderful up front and they linger on top of the hops as I swished around the beer and swallowed it ever so slowly. Not having any time, or lots of time between sips didn't matter as the aftertaste was wonderful in itself. Neither heavy nor watery, there was very little malt aftertaste and the beer just danced around on my tongue. It's not often that I forgot that I'm drinking this early in the game!

The lacing could be a bit better, but everything else about this brew makes up for it. It's a lot to take in, even down to it's strong finish, and unlike any Pale Ale I've ever had. Floral notes can also be detected in it's taste, and it's not as buttery as the runner up from northern California is. That being said, this beer is unique, bold, and was worth all of the hype and advance word of mouth. Three Floyds could change the name of this brew to just "King" - I am certain that few, if any, would beg to differ...

Serving type: bottle

11-27-2005 07:09:16 | More by JerzDevl2000
Photo of CAMRAhardliner
CAMRAhardliner

Ontario (Canada)

4.97/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks goes to BeerPanther for the sample. I love the guy on the label.

It pours a copper color with a frothy shortlived cap. Great lace webs cling to the glass. The aroma is full of perfumy, citrusy, coniferous hops flowers. Theres also substantial malt dough in the nose. The first sip took me aback, I have never tried such perfect hop character. Its immensely hoppy, with multiple layers of floral, piney, grapefruity and herbal flavors. Theres even some sea air like Saaz hops. As the beer warms the complexity just increases. Biscuity malt shows in the background, but its meek compared to the hops. The finish is very dry and bitter. Tonnes of pine and grapefruit concentrate clog my tastes and clear my sinuses. There is no sweetness. The mouthfeel is thick with perfect (medium-low) carbonation.

This is the best Pale Ale I have ever tried, by far. Its not as bitter or pungent as some IPAs, but the sheer depth and delicousness of the hop profie make this beer feel huge. One of my favorite beers ever. If only this was readily available in Ontario.

Serving type: bottle

04-07-2006 23:28:48 | More by CAMRAhardliner
Photo of nortmand
nortmand

Virginia

4.97/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours brilliant ruby amber with a half finger of white head.

Aroma is total fresh ruby red grapefruit domination.

Rounded caramel maltiness and massive citrus flavor. Nice citric acid lingering bitterness. Grapefruit all the way.

Medium bodied and very smooth. Refreshing hoppy and flavor. Just fantastic.

Serving type: bottle

01-09-2007 01:37:57 | More by nortmand
Photo of becktone
becktone

Ohio

4.97/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Eye: Color of this brew is amber-orange. Looks a bit like apple juice or cider. The head is creamy in appearance and is off white. Formation and retention of the head could be better. Lacing appears to be good. Larger head would definitely be an improvement.

Nose: Great aroma to this beer. Very full and potent hop aroma. Cascade hops give this brew a citrus aroma. Under the hops there is a strong sweet malt aroma providing a backbone for the brew. Potent aroma of this brew literally makes my mouth water.

Tongue: Great balance of hops and malt sweetness in this brew. Right upfront there is a sweet malt flavor, followed by the citrus character of the cascade hops. This brew finishes with hop flavor. It is quite unique, most unlike any APA I've had before.

Mouthfeel and Drinkability: Silky smooth on the palate this beer easily flows down the throat. Alpha King is medium bodied and feels great on the palate. This beer is something I would most definitely buy again, that is if I can ever find it again. One of the best and most unique APAs I've ever had.

Serving type: bottle

04-01-2007 23:15:18 | More by becktone
Photo of beereality
beereality

Illinois

4.97/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks to 3 Floyds for producing this incredible brew.
I poured this vigorously into an imperial pint. Dark, orange, hazy, thick looking with about one fat finger of very clingy foam. Left lacing that looks like a church window.
Super floral hoppy, citrusy fresh aroma, kinda piney.
Well rounded super hoppy, malty flavor, that improves as it warms. Bursting with flavor! This should be drank slowly, but goes down so easly. for me this is as about as good as it gets.

Serving type: bottle

04-01-2008 01:33:36 | More by beereality
Photo of BierGartenok
BierGartenok

Oklahoma

4.97/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had on tap at Floyds / Growler and bottle. WOW! Enough cannot be said about this gem. Definitely one of the best pale ales Ive ever tasted. So balanced and wonderful. Aroma contains some fruit hints and hop character. Appearance beautiful golden brown/red. Taste amazingly balanced, the hops and malt are mated in the smoothest fashion. On the palate it is almost medium bodied with sweetness and hop covering your tongue. Overall I must say Three Floyds is an amazing craft brewer who has hit the mark with this and all their amazing beers. Definitely one of the best!

Serving type: on-tap

07-16-2011 15:35:04 | More by BierGartenok
Photo of Farewell_Transmission
Farewell_Transmission

Ohio

4.96/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

a. Nice amber color, hints of red. Nic lacing, and a nice small head which dissipates quite quickly.

s. amazing smell of hops.

t. the taste of hops is amazing. When the glass warms a little it even brings out a little more.

m. this is really good.

o. this is a perfect beer. There is really nothing to improve other then to use different styles of hops to give a different pallet. I wish I could get this all the time in ohio, because it would be my go to bee.

Serving type: bottle

08-24-2013 02:51:47 | More by Farewell_Transmission
Photo of jcdiflorio
jcdiflorio

West Virginia

4.95/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks to Sudsdog for the send,had this beer many times but not since i've been a BA. Just finished a case before i joined and haven't found it since. Not readdily avalible in my area. Hope that changes soon.
served in a nonic glass from a 12 brown long neck bottle with crimped cap.

poured a cloudy,coppery color with a 1'' thick,creamy off white head,good retention,leaving some spotty lacing. Had a few tiny staggered bubbles constiantly rising.

Popped the cap on this bottle at an arms length and immediatly smelled citrusy/grapefruity hops,had piney and grassiness after the pour. Has a strong malty aroma, as well with a sweet,honey like carmelled goodness with a toasty and bisquityness with some burnt notes

Strong malty tastes immediatly with honeyied carmell with a toasty/nuttyness and a burnt edge followed by a strong hoppy bite,citrus/grapefruit/pine with some grassiness intertwine perfectly to create an amazing balance and taste. A juicy,cloying maltiness with oily/leafy hoppiness.

So smooth and creamy,yet full and well-rounded. The drinkability? Simple,don't want to stop drinking it. Been a while since i had this beer almost forget excatly how great this beer was.One of my all-time favorite beers. A beer that everybody must try at least once. I know you'll want it again though.

Serving type: bottle

09-18-2007 03:14:59 | More by jcdiflorio
Photo of MillySox
MillySox

Illinois

4.95/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is the beer that is responsible for me not being able to be satisfied with any other.

Excellent color, although that doesn't do much for me. Strong hop aroma. Equal hop flavor with just enough body to balance it and a clean mouthfeel.

I can enjoy one or two, or enjoy it all day and night.

Serving type: bottle

11-25-2008 03:14:28 | More by MillySox
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Alpha King Pale Ale from Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub
95 out of 100 based on 4,255 ratings.