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Sneak peek! BeerAdvocate magazine #104 (September 2015) featuring Leah & Oscar from Highland Brewing in Asheville, North Carolina. Learn more ...

Alpha King - 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Alpha KingAlpha King

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
95
world-class

1,733 Reviews
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,733
Hads: 5,888
rAvg: 4.27
pDev: 4.22%
Wants: 922
Gots: 963 | FT: 24
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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Alpha King Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,733 | Hads: 5,888
Photo of beeragent
5/5  rDev +17.1%

Poured into a pint glass from a 12oz bottle.

A - Poured a medium copper, forming a 1/2 inch white head. Light lacing on the glass.

S - Intense hop aroma. Very floral. Not much else is detectible due to the high hop profile.

T - Strong citrusy hop taste coats the palate. A hint of light malt in the middle, before ending with a sharp hop finish.

M - Medium bodied, with a good amount of carbonation.

D - This is a great example of a pale ale! It really doesnt get any better than this. Outstanding flavor and high drinkability. If this wasnt such a rarity for Texas, I would easily drink the entire six pack in one night. Highly recommended!!!! (651 characters)

Photo of razorsdescent
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. (390 characters)

Photo of salvo
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. (1,073 characters)

Photo of ultralarry2006
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 !! (1,588 characters)

Photo of HopsHops
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 (762 characters)

Photo of IrishHockey
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. (268 characters)

Photo of dhollar2
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. (438 characters)

Photo of nortmand
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. (314 characters)

Photo of BierGartenok
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! (569 characters)

Photo of CAMRAhardliner
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. (1,065 characters)

Photo of becktone
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. (1,073 characters)

Photo of JerzDevl2000
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... (2,181 characters)

Photo of beereality
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. (472 characters)

Photo of Farewell_Transmission
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. (464 characters)

Photo of coryking
4.95/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Honestly, one of the best beers I have ever had. I cant believe that i havent reviewed this yet!

Dont know what to say. Beautiful orange/red color in the glass with a big sticky head that lasts forever. Smells like you just zested a grapefruit onto a hint of pine onto a little pumpernickel bread dough. Just fantastic! Taste gives you an upfront malty sweetness from the caramel malts with a hint of maybe some roasted barley and then a slam of fresh American hops. Bitterness perfectly balances everything out to make it perfectly drinkable. Mouthfeel is right under medium and fits perfectly into the balancing act. I love this beer.

One of my top 3 beers since I first tried it 3 years ago... (699 characters)

Photo of Microbrewtaster
4.95/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Poured a slightly hazy amber color with a small 1 finger head that is a beige color and dissipates at an average rate. The lacing is mild and remains nicely. The color of the stagnant beer is a translucent amber.
Grade: 5/5

Smell: The most distinguished smell is that of Roses. There is also a citrus maybe grapefruit smell. some sweetness honey maybe or some type of sugar. a small amount of hops is detectable in the tail end of the aroma.
Grade: 5/5

Taste: Grapefruit upfront and in your face but not overwhelming magnificently made. a minute amount of bitterness is evident from the hops. Sweet but not abusive, with a hint of maybe Raspberries, Blueberries and maybe blackberries as well. orange a lemon zest may have been added in minute amounts.
Grade: 5/5

Mouthfeel: This is a medium bodied brew with maybe a little more carbonation that i would care for and it is crisp and dry to the finish.
Grade: 4.5/5

Overall: I Think I may have found another beer that can be a relatively inexpensive go to beer for the foreseeable future. I would Recommend this Beer to everyone Alpha king is a must for every Fridge and Stock.
Grade: 5/5

Serving type: Bottle (1,178 characters)

Photo of jcdiflorio
4.94/5  rDev +15.7%
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. (1,307 characters)

Photo of Aircow86
4.94/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Served chilled, poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a burnt orange color with a finger of head. Head is a little less than I expected, also less lacing than expected.

Smell: Centennial hops, baby. As Centennial is my favorite hop, I deem this a very good thing. Further whiffs reveal strong citrusy, hoppy aromas reminiscent of an IPA.

Taste: Again, up front hop punch. Citrus hop flavors dominate, but give way to a solid backbone of sweet malt. What flavor for an APA.

Mouthfeel: Very creamy, lots of carbonation. A surprisingly full and satisfying mouthfeel for a pale ale.

Overall: This is absolutely one of my all-time favorite beers. Three Floyds works such wonderously hoppy magic that really raises the bar for the style. I could drink this beer every day. (777 characters)

Photo of sacrelicio
4.94/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Juicy, grainy, biscuity malts. Citrusy, sweet fruity hops. Nice color, not much head, but not bad at all. Amazing overall. A great session beer. One of my absolute favorites of any style. Can't believe how much flavor this has for an APA. Almost an IPA, but not quite. (268 characters)

Photo of MillySox
4.94/5  rDev +15.7%
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. (298 characters)

Photo of DVoors
4.93/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A- thick fluffy head (3 fingers in speigel IPA glass). Great lacing. Copper, almost ruby-red and clear, no haze.

S - classic 3 Floyd's clean, amazingly floral and citric, resinous hop aromas, with slight Carmel malt presence

F- Forward, rich Carmel and sweet bread are balanced out by big hop flavor (Centennial perhaps?).

M - perfect mouth feel for an APA. Smooth and drinkable, not too thick or syrupy

O - Overall, this is a great beer. One of my favorites. big Flavors on both sides of the spectrum, but they manage to find a perfect balance. (551 characters)

Photo of richkrull
4.92/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured a copper color with quite a bit of beige head on it. Lots of citrus and floral hops in the aroma, great smelling beer. Taste is about the same as the smell, good hop flavor with some citrus notes as well. Pretty well balanced beer. Easy to drink, light mouthfeel, this beer went down really smooth. I really really liked this beer a lot. I'll definitely be looking for it in the future. (393 characters)

Photo of MarkBlackout
4.92/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I love Alpha King. It was one of the first craft beers I really got into when living in the Pilsen neighborhood of Chicago, around 2003. There was a liquor store down the street that had 3-4 craft beers and this was one of them. (Another was a spoiled sixer of Abita Turbodog I bought once. It was AWFUL. Pure soy sauce!). I loved Alpha King from the start, and still do. I drank it when I was at the brewery way back then, before the brewpub existed and it was just a well-lit factory atmosphere. Some old-timers were drinking their Light Lager offering and eating some potato chips they had brought. It ruled. Citrus, caramel malt, a bit sticky, excellent. I had it on tap at MacNiven's during lunch (a liquid lunch in my case).. to celebrate the end of my first semester at grad school. I also had Bell's Sparkling Ale, which I was less impressed by but still enjoyed. Indianapolis is a good beer city. We have lots of good options. (935 characters)

Photo of avaulteriam
4.92/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Huge hop presence in the nose, with much to offer in the malt department. Taste is quite sweet with huge hops to make it nice and bitter. I actually used to prefer this from the bottle slightly more, as it is less sweet, but now tap is where it's at. At any rate, an amazing session ale. (287 characters)

Photo of blsfreak
4.92/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Being a hophead, I love this one. I would not recommend this to the average Bud or Corona drinker, they would not be happy. I do recommend this awesome beer to my friends, I love this one. I have yet to find anything Three Floyd's brews I don't like. They and I seem to share the love of hops and this is by far a great hoppy beer. Highly recommended for the hophead (366 characters)

Alpha King from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 1,733 ratings.