Alpha King - 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

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Alpha KingAlpha King

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1,717 Reviews

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Reviews: 1,717
Hads: 5,815
rAvg: 4.27
pDev: 7.73%
Wants: 918
Gots: 927 | FT: 28
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
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Reviews: 1,717 | Hads: 5,815
Photo of jackndan
4.19/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Three Floyds Alpha King: Pale Ale, with the “creepy looking label” according to one South Sider. Deep amber/copper: with a one inch over the rim head, with a Mount Etna Volcano Cone (copyright pending). Sweet honey aroma, with a rolling, complex mix of flowers/fruit/malt. Initial sweet malt stimulates the tip and sides of the tongue and then a big hit of hops takes big pleasant bite. Hops/oranges/some kind of flowers battle it out in the end. Very, very nice beer, and highly recommended.

N.B.: WOW, according to other reviews, this is big in alcohol, but you’d not know it. (605 characters)

Photo of WildTurkey
4.19/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle to pint glass.

A: Dark amber color and clear, wispy but thin head. Visibile carbonation.

S: Lots of hops (for a regular pale ale). Citrus like grapefruit. Light fruit like pear. Also some piney notes. Nice pale carmel malts.

T: Nice carmel malt base. Good amount of sweetness. Nice hop bitterness. More citrus flavor and Pear. Very balanced.

M: Light body. Some carbonation and some dryness.

D: Very good pale ale - good session beer. Terrifiic smell. It seems like it's trying to get as close to being an IPA without crossing the line. One of the best Pale Ales I've had. (590 characters)

Photo of gameface23
4.19/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Amber/copper with a great sized head. Some lacing was left, but not a huge amount.

S: Somewhat subdued citrus & pine hops with a caramel sweetness.

T: Really well balanced and drinkable. I was expecting a hop bruiser, but I was surprised by how easy going this one is. There's a great amount of hop flavor, but it is definitely backed up with malt and body.

M: Simply awesome. It's nice and full, smooth and silky.

D: This is a really good beer. I wish that I didn't have to trade for it. If it was distributed in my area, it would absolutely be a beer that I would buy again and again. (593 characters)

Photo of blammasterj
4.19/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Reviewing my final beer of the six pack: no tears in my beer, but it's definitely fairly sad. Pours a hazy dark copper with a thick eager bubbly head that is decidedly large for the style.

The aroma is overwhelmingly hoppy: resin, grapefruit, lemon zest, orange juice, pine needles. Behind that is a nice sweet bready, maltiness. This has to be one of the best aromas for a so-called pale ale. Three Floyds has proven that they exceed all of the hype around their brews, but I am still astounded at how wonderful and potent all of their beers smell. For a guy who could just sit and smell a beer over and over this is quite a treat.

The flavor is a bit more balanced than the aroma, but still hop dominated. The hops come in spicy before fruity or bitter, but those two follow closely behind with a nice salvo of grapefruit, lemons, oranges and bitter pine. Not to be outdone are the caramel malts that round off some of the heavy hops and lend a subtle sweetness to the finish.

The mouth is full and very thick for the style while the head hangs around and leaves nice spots and legs of lace around the glass. Just an overall fantastic beer that does everything right and will sorely be missed. (1,201 characters)

Photo of chefbigjon
4.19/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

To me, it reminds me more of an amber. Very well balanced between hop and malt although a tad maltier to my palette. Very good but can't believe it goes for $20 a sixer. (169 characters)

Photo of movingtrain
4.19/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle poured into a Piraat glass.

I must admit, I'm a bit nostalgic about this one. It was many years ago, when Three Floyds still distributed to Ohio that I got to try this stuff for the first time. I was just getting in to craft brews, and I knew I liked the hops. Strolling around the beer section at a local store, the wine/beer expert asked if he could help. Ultimately, he led me to this...and it changed my life.

Pours an amber color...not what I would expect from a beer labeling itself a pale ale...perhaps trying to adhere to their slogan. Has a good finger and a half head on it...but slowly falls to less than half in the glass...however sticking quite nicely to the sides of the glass.

Smells of thick, strong honey, grapefruit, cloves, cinnamon, oats/malts, pepper.

Tastes of cinnamon, citrus, raisin, brown sugar notes. Bitter on the sides of the tongue, and sweet up front. Hints of caramel and maybe a tinge of baker's chocolate in there...but not much...this one is spicy for sure...

Overall, it's not what I had remembered it to be. It's mouthfeel has a little less body than I'd expect...which is not to say that it doesn't bring the flavor here...because it does. This is a well-rounded ale, darker than the style is normally, but quite tasty nonetheless. I'm impressed, and very glad to have found this long lost love.

Cheers. (1,364 characters)

Photo of Popkas
4.19/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pour is copper with a nice thick head that persists as a thicker than usual ring and also leaves a nice trail. Smell is muted hops and malty sweetness. A touch muted. Taste is similar to the nose except that it is much less muted. Really enjoy it. A pleasant light yet still somewhat creamy body. A great session beer. (318 characters)

Photo of SethB2
4.19/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a chalice. Appearance is an orangish/ dirty brown color that is a little hazy. Almost no head to speak of and very little lacing. Smells nice. I'm getting a malty sweetness up front followed a small hop bite. Taste is nearly identical to the nose, but much more pronounced. Alpha King is almost an IPA, but the piney and citrisy hops are held in check. Mouthfeel is medium and fairly creamy, but could use a little more carbonation.. Drinkability is very, very nice.

Very good APA. (510 characters)

Photo of ALESwhatCURESya
4.19/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This has always been a sure bet for me. Alpha King satisfies your no-nonsense hop cravings. The appearance is a nice copper orange with an average head. The lacing just stick to the glass and makes intricate patterns along the sides. The smell is like a fresh bag of hops. It really kicks you like a mule. The taste is just explosive with tartness and smooth bitterness. The alcohol content is well hidden by the hops, but it hits the cranium with no problem. If you were to belly up and drink this all night off the tapper, you would be floating higher than Nick Nolte. This is one kick ass pale ale! (601 characters)

Photo of JakeMorgan13
4.19/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

the appearance is a dark copper color. the smell is fruity with hops. the usual fff hoppy smell. it has a fruity taste at first then followed by a hoppy bitterness. the bitterness then dissipates and you want more. slight carmel. overall it is one of my favorite beers. (269 characters)

Photo of JayAre46
4.19/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Big ups to smchenry75 for this extra!
A - a deep auburn rust color that is transparent with a thin film on top and ring around the edges showing ok retention.

A - this is one of the most aromatic brews for the style i've come across, big pineapple, mango, nice clean malt backbone.

T - big hop presence, resiny, sappy, transition to the sweet mango and dry bitter grapefruit, the malt shows and is subtle and clean, i can tell this is not at its peak but is still very good i would love to get this at 2 weeks old. actually able to pick up some slight ethenol.

M - medium to light, moderate carbonation, the body on this is completely appropriate for the style. slight prickly crispness

O - very good APA, dare i say that it reminds me of DR 11's little bro...i may have one tonight just to confirm or reject this thought. i would definitely get a keg of this as i said with gumball head. (894 characters)

Photo of bennetj17
4.19/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Color is very reddish copper, lightly hazy, it pours with only a touch of foam. Aroma is strong and inviting, caramel malt balanced nicely with orange scented hops. Taste is mostly dominated by the strong sweet orange flavor from the hops. Malt flavor is less noticible, and in the finish there is a medium bitterness but perhaps not as much as I expected. Mouthfeel is nice, not too thin, although I would have enjoyed it if were a bit creamier. Carbonation is fine. Alcohol was not overpowering.

I really enjoyed the luscious aroma or orange/tropical hops and sweet malt. The flavor couldn't match the same balance but it was drinkable nonetheless. The fruitiness reminded me of Fruity Pebbles cereal, oddly. It's a very unique pale ale, and I was glad to get a chance to try it... (786 characters)

Photo of glid02
4.18/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got this in a trade with Beereality, much obliged.

Pours a dark copper color with a frothy one finger head that diminishes into a thin layer of bubbles. The lacing is very good.

The smell isn't very strong, but it shouldn't be expected to be. The most prevalent is the bitter smell, then there's a little bit of floral scent and malts. There's certainly nothing unpleasing about this smell.

The taste is pretty good. The bitter smell overrides everything else, but it's not too much. There's also some malt sweetness. Not much other hop flavors, but it goes down smoothly.

The mouthfeel is good, it's got a good thickness and the carbonation is just right.

This beer is very drinkable. It's not too overpowering in any department, although it is a bit bitter. Not necessarily a bad thing.

Definitely recommended, I'm upset I can't buy this as my everyday beer. (866 characters)

Photo of PBRmeasap1980
4.18/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottled 5/7- drank 5/21...only 2 weeks old!

A- Pours amber with a tallish white head as poured. Fades to a light covering with lacing on the glass.

S- Mid level smell of hops...not overpowering

T- Hops don't disappoint. Citrus flavor are nice and balanced.

MF- Feels smooth in the mouth. Coats it and fades aways at a good pace to not oulive its welcome, but leave you ready for the next gulp.

O- Overall, its an enjoyable pale ale. Easy drinking, tasty and easier to get than most other 3 Floyds. (503 characters)

Photo of mikey711
4.18/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a perfect pint glass

A: amber with a little bit of orange. Head is very slightly off white and two fingers thick. Lacing is very good.

S: nice pine notes with a bit of biscuit sweetness. Floral hops present as well.

T: Nice malt backbone with a smooth hoppy finish. The sweetness is caramel and biscuity with some nice bitterness.

M: Very well balanced, a slight bit a creaminess. Good but not great.

D: Very easy to drink and quite refreshing. (461 characters)

Photo of Deconstructionis
4.18/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Three Floyds likes hops and alcohol. Personally, I'd call its Dreadknought IPA a double IPA and ths an IPA.. Fortunately, the penchant for "bigness" is counterbalanced with a lot of skill and taste, unlike, say, Dogfish Head which is in my opinion devoted to extremism for extremism's sake. This is a good and very drinkable beer.
The color is a medium/dark amber with a slight haze and nice dry, stiff head that persists and laces nicely. The aroma is overwhelmingly hops, floral and grassy.

The taste is much more balanced than the aroma suggests.Surprisingly rich and malty and up front, the hops are there for sure but more tangy and citrusy than the aroma and it finishes with a brisk bitterness and surprisingly clean aftertaste.

It's medium bodied with medium/high carbonation and very drinkable. I guess it's labeled an American Pale Ale because it uses American grown barley and hops but it's very similar in character to a traditional IPA and a very good one. (979 characters)

Photo of waltonc
4.18/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a really tasty pale ale. Often I am bored by pales and feel little motivation to drink them. Alpha King is certainly an exception. Serious malt foundation and serious hops. Though the hops are well balanced against the malt flavors and don't drown the flavor. If you told me this was an east coast IPA, I wouldn't question it. Regardless of labels, this is a great one. (377 characters)

Photo of soju6
4.18/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Served a rich copper color with a good head and lots of lacing.

S: Aroma of citrus with some caramel and fresh grain.

T: Taste of citrus and caramel with some fresh grain. A nice bitterness and a clean finish.

F: medium body, smooth and somewhat creamy. Very nice balance

O: Excellent beer, a very solid pale ale. Definitely good for more than one. Well worth a try. (373 characters)

Photo of Braseltonage
4.18/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz. Bottle poured into a standard pint. No bottled on date, but I know this one has about 6 months on it, so take that for what it is.

A- Pours a brilliant copper with slightly off white head, fluffy and quite lacy.
 Looks really clear, quite attractive.
S- Sweet malt aroma right upfront, followed by some tropical fruit and a little pine. Maybe a little biscuity. Not as powerful as I might have expected compared to some of their others, but what's there is really nice.
T- Bold off the top. Some richer caramel, maybe honey like sweetness with a great American hop bite right behind it. Some mango, perhaps pineapple. A bit piney as well. Great balance. This is a solid APA, no doubt.

Mouthfeel is right on par.  Enough richness to let you recognize it, but not overpowering in any sense. Appropriate for the ABV.

A fine beer. (837 characters)

Photo of jzeilinger
4.18/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a clear, deep copper color into my tulip. The head was about 1/4 high and died down quite quickly to a micro-thin ring of lacing around the top. Carbonation is light.

S - Semi-roasted caramel biscuit malt, and light tropical fruit: mango, papaya, pineapple, tangerines.

T - Mirrors the nose. Semi-roasted caramel biscuit malt, and spicy, peppery tropical fruit consisting of mango, papaya, pineapple, and tangerines with the addition of bittersweet, ruby red grapefruit finish, some pine is thrown in the mix as well. Taste is consistent throughout the duration of the sip with all thre flavors blending evenly all the way 'till the end, then the grapefruit emrges to bitterly finish the experience.

M - Very mild pricklies on the tongue, fairly smooth, medium bodied.

O - Aroma is light, I've had this on tap in the past and it had a stronger nose. However, I'm basing this review on what's presently in front of me. I'm torn on the aroma, knowing it should be rated higher based from my previous experience. Taste isn't as bold as an IPA, but for a Pale Ale, it's bold. I would love to give a solid overall "A" score but the nose on this particular bottle really screwed the possibility up. A vs. A-, who's really keeping tabs, it won't affect the overall rating, it's definitely worth seeking out.

Worthless information to this review: Years ago when this was easier to get here in PA, I used to buy this and it was one of the beers that turned me severely steered me in the direction of hoppy beers. I will always have a place in my heart (and wallet) for this beer, it's one I will never grow tired of. It's a first class beer. (1,649 characters)

Photo of bdo894
4.18/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear orange color. Nice and pure looking.
Smells like a woody strawberry, with some vanilla and orange notes as well.
Tastes very springy. Reminds me of clover and oranges. Tangy aftertaste.
Smooth mouthfeel, velvety.
Overall a very good beer, though I'm usually more of an IPA guy. Delicious. Would drink again. (325 characters)

Photo of AJacob81
4.18/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hail to the King, baby... Poured into a flared Guinness-branded pint.

A - Deep amber, like to catch some prehistoric fly. A massive, billowing 3-finger head of white fluff serves as this King's crown. The suds coat the inside of the glass as the head slowly recedes.

S - Caramel and fresh, grassy hops with the smell of fresh-baked bread just beneath.

T - Well-balanced between smooth, caramelly malts and the floral, citrus bite of the hops. Just enough bitterness to keep you smacking your lips.

M - Excellent carbonation and a medium body yield a totally crisp and refreshing feel on the palate with a just-dry-enough hop finish.

D - A little heavy for a session beer, but it sure drinks like one. I can and have killed a sixer in an evening, enjoying each gulp. (772 characters)

Photo of sisuspeed
4.18/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks for the bottle Chris! I'm kind of surprised I hadn't tried this one yet.

Pours a cloudy, burnt orange. About a fingers worth of white, creamy head. Good lacing.

Orange citrus maltiness with some light grassy hops on the nose. Hint of wheat.

Bready caramel, laced with bitter hops, and juicy orange wedge. The flavor has almost a candy sweetness to it up front, but is then washed out by a rush of citrusy, grassy hops.

Mouthfeel is very smooth with a nice dosage of hops. The body has some good weight to it. Feels great for the style.

Overall, this is a solid APA. Alpha King has it all. Lots of citrus, hops and a great malt backbone. Three Floyds has done a great job crafting this brew. Highly recommended for the style. (736 characters)

Photo of purplehops
4.18/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Alpha King pours an amber-orange with a white head that has staying power and leaves some spotty lacing on the glass. The aroma is floral and citrus hops with some fruit notes. The taste starts with a creamy maltness that gives way to hop bitterness quickly. Along the way there are flavors of apricot, caramel, and pear intermixed until the hops take over all flavors. The finish is slightly dry with citrus hop bitterness being the dominant flavor. The aftertaste has a sleight resurgence of malt flavors followed by a tidal wave of hop bitterness that lingers for some time. Mouthfeel is medium to medium heavy with a nice balance of carbonation.
Overall this is a wonderful ale. They call this an IPA? Can't wait to try Three Floyds IPA. (742 characters)

Photo of BeerTruth
4.18/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to nchrist13 and tpd975 for this one!

12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass.

Pours a somewhat murky burnt copper with a very generous two fingered off white head that takes a good while to die down to a nice lacing. Stickiness is very good, stays all over. Smell has alot of grapefuit, pine, and floral aromas in the nose. Extremely crisp odor. Flavor is so balanced. Starts off with the grapefruit then the pale malt comes through and blances it out so well. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a fair amount of carbonation. So clean in the mouth. Drinkability is amazing, this is a pale ale? I'm thinking more like an IPA but who cares about labels, this beer is amazing. (683 characters)

Alpha King from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 1,717 ratings.