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Alpha King - 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Alpha KingAlpha King

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,742 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,742
Hads: 5,929
Avg: 4.26
pDev: 16.67%
Wants: 929
Gots: 994 | 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: 1,742 | Hads: 5,929
Photo of devilben02
3.92/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Each of the past two times I visited the Midwest, I made a point to seek out this beer based primarily on its reputation as a great pale ale. The reputation is certainly warranted, as this beer is so hop-forward that it blurs the line between american pale ale and IPA.

It pours a deep, surprisingly dark, hazy amber color with a dense, fluffy, cream-colored head. The aroma is bright, bold, and fragrant. Fruity, citrusy hops dominate, with notes of grapefruit and pineapple catching the most attention. The big hop character is present in the flavor as well, but the citrus is less pronounced, giving way to more of an earthy and spicy hop presence. Unfortunately, although the light, fine carbonation is pleasant enough for the style, the texture doesn't stand up to the resinous, coating hop profile.

Overall, this is certainly one of the boldest, most flavorful pale ales I have tried, and I can understand why a hop lover would enjoy this beer. Its boldness borders on abrasive, however, which keeps it from being the kind of easy-drinking pale ale I often crave.

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Photo of jcalabre
3.92/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Originally sampled on 5 October 2002. Alpha King has a beautiful citrus hop aroma, along with a nice bitter taste w/ a clean finish. It is a very nice example of an American Pale Ale (APA). In my opinion, it's a very good session beer. I'd rather have Dreadnaught, but if you want to drink a few, this is a better choice.

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Photo of DonFrap
3.92/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

From the bottle into a Funky Buddha snifter. I love the smell of this beer, it's super hoppy, but with a bit of balance to it. It's very dark for a pale. Nice 2-3 finger head, great retention and lacing. Very citrusy taste, but doesn't live up to the smell. A very good pale, not in my top 10, but still very good.

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Photo of domtronzero
3.92/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Slightly murky orange copper with the standard, average-lasting whitish head. Little lacing.

S - Piny citrusy hop aroma. Slight caramelly malt sweetness. Otherwise clean.

F/M - Piny/citrusy hops, slight malty sweetness, caramelly and bready. Medium-high bitterness, clean, dry finish. Slightly oily with a slight astringency in the finish. Medium body, moderate carbonation.

D - Good, clean, dry finish. Refreshing and easy drinking, but the astringency is a little distracting.

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Photo of Koufax21
3.92/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at 3 Floyd's Brewpub. Pours a dark amber color with 1" of an off white colored head. Smells of big grapefruit and pine. Tastes of big citrus and fruit flavors. Big grapefruit here. This has got to be a borderline IPA. I've had many IPA's that couldn't hold up to this one. Great beer. I wish I could get it where I'm at.

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Photo of alyankus
3.92/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours a nice golden orange with a solid head that fades into some nice lacing.

The nose exhibits very primary hop characteristics of grassy herbal notes and citrus and tropical fruits.

On the palate there is more of the citrus qualities especially a notable tangerine quality.

This is very smooth and well balanced except for a slight astringency on the finish. All in all a very good pale ale.

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Photo of sinstaineddemon
3.92/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - this APA pours a burnt umber, dark brownish/ruddy red color with a thin than head that fades quickly to a lacing, several streams of swift carbonation keep it afloat

S - wow, a nice big floral hoppy aroma, with a strong sweet background of a caramel/brown sugar type scent, with also some slight citrus undertones

T - an amazing flavor, again big floral hoppiness, but it tastes much more mellow than one would expect, the citrus that the bottle mentions is present but takes a backseat to the floral taste, the sweetness from the nose is extant, however has diminished further into the background

M&D - smooth and highly palatable with a manageable bitterness, nice mouthcoat and easy down carbonation, all in all a great APA, probably one of, if not the best i've had to date

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Photo of nsmartell
3.92/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I enjoyed this beer from the comfort of my own living room. From the 12oz bottle to a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a cloudy copper color with a small head that does not last long at all.

Smell: Citrusy hop aroma with a hint of malt.

Taste: Muted hops here and nicely balanced. Just as the smell suggests, this beer tastes citrusy and is then balanced out by the malt.

Mouthfeel: Thin to medium-bodied. Nice carbonation.

Drinkability: Goes down smooth. Nice, solid APA. Would definitely recommend and drink again.

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Photo of paulthebeerguru
3.92/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Three Floyds Alpha King
12oz. brown bottle

Poured into a snifter. Alpha King pours a reddish amber color, with an off-white head that drops quickly. Really nice lacing. Great hop aroma..very floral, citrusy and piney. Taste starts with an iced tea, malty background, with a very nice hoppy twang that reminds me of centennial and cascade. Mouthfeel is smooth and a little dry. Light mouthfeel as well. I could drink a ton of these if only Three Floyds was in Florida. Very nice American Pale Ale.

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Photo of ibbjamin
3.91/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Paid $9.49 for a 6pack of 12oz bottles from Discount Liquor in Milwaukee, WI. Poured the last bottle of the pack into a pint glass to review.

Off white head of about an inch after a standard pour. Light, pillowey head that retains well. Transparent copper color with minimal carbonation bubbles rising from the bottom of the glass. Superb lacing.

Deep grapefruit tones and some tropical fruitiness dominate the nose, yet there is still an apparent maltiness. A well balanced beer appropriate to style.

Certainly well balanced with a strong malt backbone. Quite a fruity hop bouquet; I'd imagine many different hop strains went into this brew.

Medium body and nicely carbonated. A nice fruity hop finish. Nice drinkability.

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Photo of Brunite
3.91/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a golden orange color with a 2 finger slightly off-white head. Great retention and lacing.

S - Reminds me of an IPA: nice citrus hop character and mild yet slightly sweet malt character.

T - The taste is just like the aroma. Very good medium bitterness with strong citrus hop character. Not as intense as a west coast IPA, though well balanced and delicious.

M - Medium bodied and well carbonated.

O - Good beer. Pushes the line between styles but very drinkable.

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Photo of DeFaz
3.91/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

It's no wonder that many beeradvocaters, if that's a word, admire this beer. It has a nice appearance--typical pale ale color but with very nice lacing and head retention. It's got the hop presence of an IPA but is labeled as an APA. The smell is not outstanding at all, and while the hop profile really is quite nice, the one-dimensional malt character (oversweet caramel) contributes an odd and unappreciated balance to all of the hops. The mouthfeel is the strong suit here--despite all of the super-sweet caramel flavors, it's not sticky and the thickness and carbonation are near spot-on. While I very much enjoyed this brew, I can't say it quite lives up to its hype.

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Photo of mabermud
3.91/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is my first time drinking a Three Floyds beer. I am a West Coast/NW IPA type of guy, so this is a first. My first impression was, it's alright. After have a few more drinks I began to appreciate the beer. I will be receiving some other Three Floyds in a couple of trades and am looking forward to tasting some of their other higher rated beers. The difference between the brewing is noticeable. SoCal IPAs are hoppy and NW IPAs are more subdued, but more complex...This APA can fit the mold.

This is a solid beer.

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Photo of juliusseizure
3.91/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to cfrances33 for this!

A - dark orange almost ruby with half inch of head. Head recedes over time to 2 mm

S - surprisingly not as pleasant as expected. Slightly medicinal.

T - hoppy bitterness from first sip to aftertaste

M - perfect for style, bubbly in mouth, weirdly inviting, can't explain it

O - a hoppy interpretation of a pale ale which is fine by me, but ZD is better

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Photo of Stubbie1
3.9/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Rust orange is the color of this beer. It is topped off with an OK head that left to spotty lacing.

Aroma is sweet pine. Hints of sticky grapefruit are present and yes and hops are present. There is very little malt to notice in the aroma.

The taste is a touch of malt then the pine twang of the hops joins in to the end. I thought I was drinking an IPA for a moment. There is a hint of alcohol mixed in on the taste. I didn’t think it was too overpowering but I did get a strong hint. There is a bit of dryness on the finish.

I enjoyed this beer, it didn’t kick me out of my shoes but it is good. It has a nice flavor and (IMHO) with a decent punch to it.

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Photo of magnj
3.9/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

From my mental notes.

A - Deep amber body, 1 finger head.

S - Mildly hoppy aroma of the more earthy variety, classic pale and caramel malts detectable.

T - Well hopped for an APA but still appropriate, earthy hops, well balanced. Not real sweet but rather a bit bready malt-wise.

M/D - Medium to full body, easy to drink, but I can find similar examples of the style locally.

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Photo of John_M
3.9/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Sampled a the recent 3 Floyd's event at the Brick.

The beer pours a copper amber color with good head retention and lacing. The nose is an interesting melange of hoppy citrus (naturally and sweet malt, except this beer has a very perfumy, sweet and spicy hop aroma. Flavors replicate the nose.... hmmmm.... while undenialbly tasty, this beer is definitely on the sweet side for a pale ale, and has a light alcoholic bite in the finish. The considerable hoppy bitterness tames the sweetness somewhat, but this beer is still dominated by sweet malt. Otherwise, the beer is medium bodied, with smooth, bitter finish. Drinkability is pretty good, but the sweetness and slight alcoholic bite in the finish detracts just a bit from the beer's drinkability.

This is a solid beer, no doubt, but I can't say it's one of my favorite pale ales or beers from 3 Floyds.

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Photo of BitterPachyderm
3.9/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

after reading washburnkid's review, i felt that i needed to revisit an old favorite...

12 oz. bottle (no freshness) into THE sn pint glass...

A-two fingers of tan bubbles with decent lacing. deep auburn body with glistening ruby hues abounding...

S-loads of spicy hops with a nice citrus punch...some spices are also prominent (cinammon, nutmeg,), and a minute dilution of caramel.

T-spices come through immediately making it nice and peppery with a bitter finish. lots of grapefruit and mild hops...

M-creamy with a good kick of carbonation...good on the mouth

D-who couldn't drink boatloads of this nectar? this is without a doubt, one of the top 100 session beers, and an even better get-together beer

the taste always seems to let me down, but it's still a great beer. sometimes i need a reminder of why it's great living in Indiana!

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Photo of semihobo
3.9/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

After hearing so much about Three Floyds, I picked some up on a road trip to Chicago and brought it home with me.

Odd looking label, I guess "alpha" probably refers to alpha acids. Good name. Pours with a slightly off white, large, dense head. Color is a beautiful ruby / amber. The color is entrancing, and bubbles rising slowly to the top round out the appearance.

Smell is hoppy for an APA, as citrusy as they say on the label. Fruity and lemony, very inviting. The fruit scent is enhanced by some sweet malt notes that take a backseat to the hops.

The taste is certainly not that of a "classic" APA. It's all hops, potent and citrusy with a pleasant bitter finish. There is a subtle malt background, but this is quite the hophead take on an APA. Interesting, and the hops are tasty, but the imbalance is a bit extreme. Points for creativity, though. Alcohol is well masked in the taste, although there's no denying its effect.

Mouthfeel is a little thin, although the carbonation is pleasant. About average. Very dry finish, in a good way.

This brew suffers on the drinkability. Not so much the high alcohol, but the one-dimensional taste. An interesting take on an American Pale Ale, not the classic advertised on the bottle but quite tasty. Still, more like an IPA or DIPA, and after one I'm ready for something else.

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Photo of paco1029384756
3.9/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear orange color with a small white head.

Scent of citrus and hops with a hint of caramel. A good, simple scent with a good hop presence.

Taste of citrus, bitter flowery hops, and a hint of caramel. Finishes fairly hoppy and lasts for a decent amount of time.

Mouthfeel is light bodied and fairly smooth with good carbonation.

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Photo of KajII
3.9/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

[Suggested Glassware: Shaker Glass]

The pour was a clear copper brown with an average (1-2 finger) beige fluffy head that had great retention and possessed really good sheets of streaky lacing.

The aroma was of a sweet biscuit malt, spruce and cascade hops and a sweet doughy yeast with notes of citrus (orange), caramel and a pronounced dark fruit (plum) presence.

The taste was lightly sweet and malty with a note of caramel and a strong fruity presence in the beginning, and then became somewhat hoppy with a nice creamy bitter citrus peel ending. The flavor lasted an average duration following the swallow with a wonderful sweet hoppiness left lying on the taste buds.

Mouthfeel was a bit beyond light in body with a creamy dry texture and a medium carbonation.

Overall this was a very well balanced Pale Ale, with just the right amount of bitterness to go along with the mild fruity sweetness...


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Photo of NYCWheatFanSC
3.9/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Perhaps more of an IPA than a pale ale, but what can you expect from Three Floyds?

A - Pours an dark amber, with a creme colored head that persists and slowly fades leaving significant lacing.

S - Citrusy hop nose, even a bit tart.

T - Very hoppy for a pale ale, to the point that its a bit one dimensional but still a fine example of the style.

M - Light, perhaps a bit watery for my taste.

D - Very sessionable

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Photo of goodbyeohio
3.89/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

orange with a thin head. hops! hops! fresh hops with orange and grapefruit very pronounced. this beer covered my cheeks and tongue with severe hop oil. some pine flavor detectable and a strong clover honey aftertaste. complex but lacking something.. density perhaps?

good beer, but a pain in the ass beer if you have to go through trading and shipping for it. bring on the gumballhead and dark lord por favor si vous plait.

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Photo of brstls4drmrs
3.89/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Nice copper, cloudy brew with a white foam head. Good lacing occurs.

S - Pineapple, caramel citrus with a touch of hops. Almost smells like a caramelized apple. A nice blend of scents.

T - A solid apple hoppy bite to it with some caramelized sugar taste as well. Not as much as I expected but still good.

M - Very good feel and a little sticky on the tongue. Nice finish.

O - A good IPA. Can I have another please?

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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.

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Alpha King from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 1,742 ratings.