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Alpha King - 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Alpha KingAlpha King

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,749 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,749
Hads: 5,987
Avg: 4.26
pDev: 16.67%
Wants: 934
Gots: 1,067 | FT: 29
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: 1,749 | Hads: 5,987
Photo of Quaffer
4.2/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up at Dirty John's in Iowa City. Not available in Wichita.

Appearance. Poured a dark amber, slightly burnished copper color. An average height head caused by a relatively rough pour. It was thick and dense and left plenty of lace in its wake.

Smell: Citrus and pine hops assaulted the nose first, but was balanced well with a backbone of roasted malt. For the amount of hops present, the aroma was warm and well rounded.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied and smooth.

Taste: The citrus and pine hops of the aroma carried on into the flavor. They were nice and clean tasting. Wonderful balance was provided by a strong malt presence. Malt was a combination of sweet and roasted. The bitterness was very apparent, but I found it to be relatively low compared to the amount of hop flavor that this beer had.

This was a great beer. Very hoppy but very well balanced. I wish that it was available locally.

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Photo of Thedaver4220
4.2/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. Bottle poured into my Maudite tulip

Alpha King pours a deep red/amber color with nice creamy, fluffy head. The nose is pungent hops with a touch of sweetness. It's got a nice medium body with just enough malt to keep the hops in check, but the hops really do want kick your ass. It's got nice zippy bit bite on the back end. Alpha king is a personal favorite of mine and a for sure go to.

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

I enjoyed this beer whilst tailgating prior to a DMB concert in Noblesville, Indiana. It was a beautiful evening for a concert and a great night to sample really fresh beer.

If you were blind taste-testing this ale you'd think it were a DIPA; it's THAT flavorful. You'll smell the hops from a good 3 feet away and then you'll be pleasantly surprised that 3 Floyds balanced everything well with a copious amount of sweet malt. This is another example of a hopheads dream ale that just might win over some sweet beer lovers as well.


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

Pours nicely, with an opaque amber color topped by a thick resistant head.

Mouthfeel is good also, satisfyingly thick and smooth. The nose is way citrus, a promise of things to come.

This is a big beer, very flavorful...grapefruit is strong, nicely offsetting good hops and balanced malt. Great finish, as citrus and hops balance nicely.

All in all, more of an IPA than a pale, which (for me) is a good thing.

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Photo of Agold
4.2/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer is a medium amber with a fluffy head which leaves nice lacing down the glass. Good color and head. The pour releases a great citrus and pine hop aroma there is a little bit of caramel under it, but not too much. This beer showcases the hops. This is also definitely true in the taste. There is a bit of bitterness which is very smooth, and a piney citrus. The mouthfeel is on the lighter side of medium with light carbonation. Very good drinkability, i could put away 2 or 3 of these in a night easily.

Side note, definitely drink this one fresh. Had them fresh and with about a month on it, and while it is still great, its a different beer fresh.

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

A: Pours to a clear orange color with a persistent one finger beige head.

S: (I fear I may have gotten an older bottle) Nose is a fine balance of caramel malt and citrusy hops.

T: This is delicious citrus hop juice. Labeled an APA, drinks more like an IPA. I mean, this *is* an IPA. An absolutely fantastic IPA. Balanced enough to not be overbearing, but still hop forward. Medium bodied and everything I want out of a hoppy beer. So good.

M: Medium bodied, nice lively carbonation.

O: Buy this beer. Trade for this beer. /drool

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

~ Replacing a deleted review ~

I've heard many a' men speak of this magical brew that can quench the thirst and settle the temper of a dragon...ok, so I've read a lot of good reviews on BA so I just had to get one when I got the chance.

I thought I knew what hops were but this drink has help to redefine my understanding. I could smell them when the glass was just sitting on the table. I admired the golden color and think foam, then I dove in. The hop flavor was very prominent at the tip of my tongue, then did a disappearing act, then came back to haunt the back of my tongue. It was wonderful. It wasn't overbearing and I was a bit sad when I finished my glass. I wish I could get this stuff back in Iowa.

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

Appearance - dark orange in color - as if a little amberish

Smell - very hoppy with a scent of pine and citrus. smells a lot like an IPA than a regular pale ale.

Taste - malts and barley very light - as any PA there is much hop to the taste. one of the better PAs in a long time.

Mouthfeel - little bitterness with a moderate amount of body

Drinkability - very light and airy. I drank 3 during dinner and didn't realize it until the end (when the 6 ABV kicked in).

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

america IPA style for a pale. amber IPA look with spotty lace. quite malty and backed with some hop fruitiness. grapefruit, orange peel, (both mature sweet and young bitter), and the metallic nature of green tea. mild floral jasimine. solid pale. but more an IPA. american. very plentiful approach. doesn't really pick up on the more delicate aspects of a pale. great beer but the power drill mistaken for a screwdriver.

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

A - A little darker than a standard pale ale, so it obviously has more malt. Almost an amber, at least in terms of color. Slightly off white, 1/2 finger head sits on the top... into a shaker pint.

S - Flowery hops, piney hops, clementine oranges.

T - A well-balanced and well rounded brew. Hoppier than most APA's but keeps a nice malt backbone to hold everything in place. The finish is very slight bitter dryness. Overall a really nice brew.

M - Could stand to be a bit lighter to up the drinkability. Otherwise good.

D - Not the most supremely drinkable brew on the planet, but a good offering from a good brewery. There's a reason it's on the top 100.

Notes: I had my buddy pick me up 2 sixxers of this when he went to Chicago for a couple weeks. He couldn't believe how much he was spending on twelve beers. I couldn't believe that he was around the block from a Binny's. I guess it's all perception.

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

A: It pours a nice beige head, the color is a moderate amber, leaning a little toward the darker side.

S: Nice hop presence

T: This is very well balanced, it plays prefectly between hop and malt.

M/D: Nice crisp and creamy. This has to be a hybrid between a pale and an IPA.

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

Thanks to HosP for this one.

Poured from the bottle into a standard pint glass, a nice cloudy amber colour with a small white head, slight lacing. Has a nice sweet hoppy smell, some malty caramel in there...very, very nice. Taste is out of this world. Malty up front with a long lasting bitter finish. Nice weight, not thin and not syrupy...near perfect. I absolutely loved this beer. It really lives up to its hype, this also came to me from Indiana so it was super fresh. I would no doubt have this beer again....and again, and again.

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

Deep turbid amber color, with a decent head. The smell is complex as well as the taste, very spicy, high combination of different hops. The spiciness is combined with high bitterness. I could feel it building up as the beer went down. Light body, clean with a medium to high carbonation.

This one can quench your hop thirst, with a unique and well balanced mix of hops.

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

On tap at the Hopleaf in Chicago.

Appearance - Clear pale orange-straw with a nice white head.

Smell - Certainly has a caramel malt presence, but is dominated with American hops. Tons of citrus and pine.

Taste - Caramel and biscuit malt with tons of hops - fruity and floral, but mostly citrus and pine. Solid bitter backbone grounds this big, malty pale ale.

This is an excellent beer. It may lean more toward the IPA style than Plae Ale; in fact, it's actually hoppier than some IPAs I have tasted.

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

12 oz. bottle received in trade.

Head is foamy, large, orange tan in color. Mild carbonation. Deep copper and russet in color, slight haze. Aroma is sweetly citrus, oranges and some grapefruit, along with some spicy pepperiness. Caramel malt and citrus fill the mouth, good bit of hop bitterness throughout. Alcohol is noticeable, not too strong though. Finishes with a lingering taste of candied orange peel. Reputation is well deserved.

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Photo of Soonami
4.19/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

My first Three Floyds Beer! Alpha King Pale Ale does not quite live up to the tremendous hype out there for this beer, for the top rated American Pale Ale. I feel like I have made better (maltier and hoppier) APA's than this--but that's another story.

When I poured this into a glass, I was struck by how dark this beer was. It is a dark amber that is more red than orange, and should probably be re-categorized. The beer smelled really good. Like walking through a deep pine forest still damp with morning due. There was a hint of orange rind and dankness that perfumes the beer.

The beer tastes solidly bitter with a resinous, sticky hoppiness. There is a little malt sweetness, caramel, and biscuit as the beer warms that was absent at first. The carbonation was good, and there was really good body and a medium chewiness. Highly drinkable, but I could've used more hop aroma and flavor, as well as a better malt character.

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Photo of jackndan
4.19/5  rDev -1.6%
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.

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Photo of WildTurkey
4.19/5  rDev -1.6%
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.

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Photo of gameface23
4.19/5  rDev -1.6%
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.

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Photo of blammasterj
4.19/5  rDev -1.6%
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.

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Photo of chefbigjon
4.19/5  rDev -1.6%
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.

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Photo of movingtrain
4.19/5  rDev -1.6%
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.


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Photo of Popkas
4.19/5  rDev -1.6%
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.

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Photo of SethB2
4.19/5  rDev -1.6%
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.

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Photo of ALESwhatCURESya
4.19/5  rDev -1.6%
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!

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Alpha King from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 1,749 ratings.