Alpha King - 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

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Alpha KingAlpha King

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BA SCORE
95
world-class

1,717 Reviews
THE BROS
94
outstanding

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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 Treebs
3.88/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on draft at the Yardhouse in Glenview. Served in a pint glass.

A: Pours a clear amber color with some lighter straw notes around the edges. A one finger bubbly white head forms on the pour and subsides to thin film. Leaves some sticky lace behind.

S: Slighty malty with nice high hop presence. The main note is grapefruit and with a subtle floral component mixed in.

T: The taste follows the nose, but with the hops more amplified. The oaty malt provides a nice backbone for the citrus hop flavors with a slight flowery sweetness.

M: Light to medium bodied with a sticky mouthfeel to it. Nice bubbly carbonation though and the finish is slightly bitter.

O:This is definitely more hopped up than I remember from years past. It drinks more like an IPA than a pale ale, but is still a delicious and hoppy brew. (821 characters)

Photo of regspeir
3.88/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle (courtesy of Brundo4) into a Duvel tulip.
Pours a small one-finger head that dissaptes quickly. Color is a dark, hazy amber. Nose has some pine but prevalent bready malts and caramel. This beer is unique - nothing else I can compare it to. The hops and bitterness are forward. There is citrus in there and sweet malts that kick in part way through. By that or whatever means, the bitterness goes and is only faint in the finish. Refreshing. It has a light mouthfeel and good carbonation. At 6% and a warm day, could delve into this more, if I had the chance. Nice. (577 characters)

Photo of casemw
3.88/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks for the trade beereality!

Pours a deep amber color with quarter inch head and slight lacing which lasts till the end. This one doesn't appear to be filtered, at least not very tight.

As expected, strong hop aroma of citrus and pine. Much like your typical west-coast style pale.

A nicely balanced pale from Three Floyds. Not nearly as bitter as I expected from the aroma.

Mouthfeel is pretty light, and the carbonation is just right...natural for sure. I could drink a few of these and be just fine.

This being my first beer from 3F I am very impressed and am anxious to try their others. If you ever have a chance to try this beer I highly recommend it. (669 characters)

Photo of barczar
3.88/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a hazy caramel copper color with a dense quarter inch tan head that quickly dissipates.

Aroma is heavily pine and citrus pith, with caramel malt sweetness and floral hop notes.

Bready, toasted malt forms the backbone of the beer, with underlying grapefruit pith and spruce flavors adding intrigue. Mint surfaces at the finish, with grassy and herbal tones. Bitterness is slightly dominant.

Body is moderate, with slightly high carbonation and a somewhat dry, crisp finish.

Overall, a fairly complex pale ale. Balanced to the extremes. But it's a little too bitter for my tastes. Just not my style. (608 characters)

Photo of tiger88
3.88/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this one on draft the night before DLD and on DLD as well. Liked it and bought a 6 pack to bring home. I initially ordered this one to come down off my Alpha Kong high. It was a very pleasant APA. It was a clear, golden-orange with a nice, fluffy white head. It left a little lacing as the beer disappeared from my glass. A strong hop aroma did not translate into an overwhelming hoppy taste, which I was glad of since the Kong almost destroyed my tastebuds. It was a clean, crisp tasting pale ale. Light in the mouth with minimal aftertaste, this beer would be a great addition to my regular rotation....if I didn't live in Alabama. (637 characters)

Photo of mjl21
3.88/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Acquired in a trade with alleykatking...thanks Josh!

12 ounce bottle poured into a snifter. No bottling info is given and no abv info is given.

A-Pours a semi-hazy amber that veers toward the darker side of the amber spectrum. When poured a small white head disappears very fast to a small ring. The head dissolves into a cool spotted print in the middle of the glass. Nice spotted lacing is left as this goes down.

S-Not nearly as citrusy as I was expecting. Would say I get more sweet malt and grassy/floral/earthy hops in the nose.

T-Get some citrus hop flavor and grassy hop flavor along with a lot of sweet caramel malt.

M-Light to medium bodied with lighter carbonation. Is very smooth and the hops leave a pleasant level of lingering bitterness.

D-Goes down easily.

All in all I thought this was a pretty good beer. I think I was expecting more hops than were delivered. I would love to try this fresh on tap to use as a comparison. If this were available in CA I would definitely pick it up due to its relatively low abv and the fact it goes down easily and does not fill you up fast. (1,101 characters)

Photo of punkrkr27
3.88/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep copper pour, with a one-finger, white head. The aroma has loads of sweet caramelized barley with peppery, spicy, piny hops to balance. The flavor follows through from the nose and adds a few notes of mango and toast also. Creamy medium body with a slightly aqueous finish. (277 characters)

Photo of IowaBiertrinker
3.88/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Orangey-brown to Burnt-orange. Pours with a lasting 1 finger tan colored head.

S: Hops dominate with some subtle malt.

T: Hops dominate again but are not overpowering. Some mellow maltiness comes through with a medium, clean finish.

M: Medium Mouthfeel - catching some Carbonation yet.

O: Drank this chilled around 50 degrees. Nice drink for a warm day. Paired it with a cheesy brat and it was a good combination. Not real complex, but a nice, drinkable beer. (466 characters)

Photo of capra12
3.88/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed solo served out of a pint glass.

Appearance: Poured 2 finger head, tangerine orange with a shade of brown, spotty thin lacing.

Smell: piney hops with a hint of floral hops.

Taste: Upon first sip, it get a huge piney hop with a hop bitter middle leading to a mildly floral finish, but letting this brew warm up does really bring out the malt profile in this Pale ale. As this warmed there is a ckean piney and malty open as a hop bitter profile sinks in as the finish comes leaving a mild hop bitter, mildly malty aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Light bodied, with minimal carbonation and slightly smooth.

Drinkability: I would have this again and I recommend this to someone who enjoys a solid Pale ale with a malt profile that really makes this enjoyable. (761 characters)

Photo of thethrone
3.88/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a deep copper with small white head which quickly disappeared into a thin ring.

S - Smells of pine, and caramel malt. Also a hint of fruity sourness creeps in at the end.

T - Subdued hop flavor, with a malty backbone.

M - Medium body, very smooth, not a lot of carbonation.

D - I get the impression that the bottle I had didn't hold up as well as most, since it is missing the same hoppy profile most others are talking about. Still a great brew, but I would be curious to try it again fresh for comparison. (523 characters)

Photo of Thur123
3.87/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A somewhat heavy pour yields very little head on this one. The color is dark burnt orange with moderate carbonation. Looks more like an IPA than most APAs I've seen. The smell is crisp and hoppy, both bitter and citrus smells coming through. A sweet malty backbone shows up too making this bold, slightly subdued but balanced.

Glug glug glug

The flavor reflects the smell mostly. I've a feeling I should have gotten this fresher somehow but I'm glad to be able to try it either way. The flavor is balanced and the hops that do come though are citrus all the way. A nice bittersweet edge with lemon feeling most prominent. The malt is sweet and kind of dry, it reminds me of a brown ale at this point. Overall a good APA by my standards but sadly I feel I've an old bottle so....bummer. (788 characters)

Photo of gdogalishus
3.87/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Serving from a bottle into a tumbler.
Serving temperature 46 degrees F.
pH measured 4.51
Alcohol content measured was 7.8% by residual extract method

Significantly higher alcohol content measured than that quoted for this beer... double checked the measurements.
Alpha King poured nicely into the glass and resulted in a rather typical pale ale in appearance. Very clear with a 3/4 to 1 inch head of fluffy bubles with a ever so slight green hue in the head. The bottle claims that this beer is bottle conditioned and that is the reason for the slight haze in the beer. I didn't notice the haze at all and can read this review through the tumbler. The head dissipated quickly in the glass. Low carbonation almost vanished by mid glass. The color was a hint dark for a pale ale, but not out of the ordinary.
The aroma was distinctively hoppy. Flavor was an initial maltly sweetness for a brief moment, then a rush of hop bitterness that spread across the entire mouth and throat. The mouthfeel was a little more thick than I expected, but I didn't notice until after the third or fourth swallow.
I feel this beer is a perfectly acceptable example of an American Pale Ale and Three Floyds deserves the praise and recognition they recieve for this beer. I will drink this again. (1,284 characters)

Photo of bmwats
3.87/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a nonic.

A: Amber hue. Pours a 1 finger, foamy, white head. Settles slowly leaving a blanket of foam on the surface. Beer ring lacing.

S: Pine resin, caramel, and pecan.

T: Pine, fresh tea leaf, and oak.

M: Earthy and hearty. Bittersweet finish.

D: Sip and enjoy.

Atmosphere is really nice. Nice head, foamy blanket, and beer ring lacing. Nose is sweet pine resin, candied and wood notes. Pine, tea leaf, and some woody tones. Overall, this is a really good quaff. (502 characters)

Photo of harrymel
3.87/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks (again!) to Jrod1969 for this extra!
Poured to NB globe.

A: Pours a cherry orange ale with supreme clarity. A 2.5 finger peanut head falls to 0.5 finger. No apparent carbonation. Jesus, lacing like a corset!

S: Mmmm. Beautiful malts help accentuate the herbal, piney, resinous hop profiles. Goddam, this keeps me leaning in. The nose reminds me of a really good red ale, not really so much a Pale, but I ain't a hater.

T: The malts die down a bit here. Allowance for the hops to shine, provide the bitterness and balance I anticipated in the nose. There's a woodiness and oaky profiling that nearly dominate the entire palate experience.

M: Medium body with medium-high carbonation. Slight slickness initially, then dies out within seconds. Average.

D: This beer is drinkable. However, the taste puts me off a bit. Wish there were less early bittering hops to prevent such severe dryness. (901 characters)

Photo of BrewCrew2010
3.87/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: A hazy light brown hue capped with a 1 finger off white creamy head. After each sip it leaves behind a decent amount of sticky lacing.

S: Right off the bat I thought I was smelling an IPA. A strong floral hop aroma with a sweet malty backbone like caramelized sugar. Hints of clove and other spices are in the background, but I can't quite put my finger on it.

T: A very well balance flavor of a bitter hops up front and mildly sweet caramel malts. A bit earthy with strong hints of pine and spices and a juicy finish. Although it has a great flavor, almost too hoppy for an APA.

M: An oily texture with lively carbonation and a medium body.

D: I absolutely love this beer. What played against it is that if you handed me this beer and asked me what style it was, I would say it was an IPA. It would be a let down if I hated that style or was really in the mood for an APA. Put that aside, very easy to drink and great flavor. I would definitely get this again! (968 characters)

Photo of Tone
3.86/5  rDev -9.6%

Pours a hazy, copper color. One inch head of an off-white color. Great retention and great lacing. Smells of resin, pine, strong hops, sweet malt, alcohol, and strong tea/hop essence. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of resin, pine, hops, sweet malt, and alcohol. Overall, great appearance, strong pine/resin/hop aroma and body, and decent blend. (392 characters)

Photo of kojevergas
3.86/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Expections were very high given its reputation. I dig the label art. 12 fl oz bottle acquire for $6 at Hopleaf in Chicago and served into a pilsner glass. Reviewed from notes taken in March 2013.

A: Pours a one finger beige soft head of good cream and thickness, and very good retention. Body colour is a clear vibrant amber. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. Translucent. Well executed for the style.

Sm: Timid floral hops, light nectary hop character, and light hop oil. Pale malts. Very fresh; I pick up a hop nugget just smelling it. A mild strength aroma. No yeast character or alcohol is detectable.

T: Tropical bright fruit esters, floral hop character, light nectary character, and hop oil. Balanced, but the tropical fruit (banana, mango, perhaps passionfruit) doesn't suit the style or the build as well as it could. Evocative and tasty, but there isn't impressive depth of flavour here. Well executed and refreshing. Good pale malt body.

Mf: Smooth and wet. A bit oily. Good carbonation, if slightly overdone. Good presence on the palate.

Dr: Highly drinkable for the style. Hides its ABV well. I'd get it again. I can see why it's coveted; it's pretty good stuff. Mostly lives up to its reputation, but I wouldn't say I'm blown away by it. Solid for a pale ale. Another impressive beer from Three Floyds. I'd definitely get it again.

B+ (1,374 characters)

Photo of jamesdergen
3.86/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: A dark caramel brown with a decent off-white head that dissipates but a little bit sticks around.

S: Very sticky, piney hop aroma but it is a little hard to detect

T: The hop profile follows the nose: resiny, sticky, piney hop attack with an ample nutty malt background. The alcohol presence makes it seem more like a Double IPA. Well-balanced without wimping out on the hops!

M&D: Relatively light-bodied and pretty well carbonated. Goes down pretty easy, but not one I would session. (497 characters)

Photo of BattleRoadBrewer
3.86/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a standard pint from 12 oz amber bottle at about 35F.

Attractive pour, a little bit hazy, orangish amber, slight floaters. Leaves good lacing.

Aroma is a hit of potent hops, a bit piney, bit floral, a lot citrus.

Citrus hop flavor dominates the malts, but the beer is still bold on both counts.

Mouthfeel is slick, a bit effervescent, appropriately bitter.

This is definitely an IPA in Pale Ale clothing. A great beer. (435 characters)

Photo of kevanb
3.86/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle poured into a White Three Floyds/Intelligentsia Mini Snifter.

The beer pours a true copper color, slight chill haze with a good finger of foamy white head that has good retention and leaves some spotted lace behind. The aroma rather light but showcases bitter piney hops with some crisp spice, light grapefruit with quite a bit of malt backbone. The flavors are more impactful, lots of bitter piney hops, light citrus character, some spiciness from the hops and a smooth, malt backbone at the finish. The body is great, moderate to high carbonation but it has a nice creaminess to it with a nice dry finish.

Verdict: A pretty standard APA from Three Floyds and it's no wonder why they've been making this for over 16 years. It's crisp, it's refreshing, it's hoppy without being abrasive and most of all, it's clean and balanced. (842 characters)

Photo of mrasskicktastic
3.86/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A - Head is about two fingers and lingers for a long while with only specks of lacing left above this slightly hazy copper amber brew.

S - Nothing subtle here. A very pronounced and pleasant aroma of roses, lilies, spruces and firs. Underneath there is some caramel malt aroma. Excellent aroma.

T - Malty! Caramel and light bodied malts mesh to form a pleasant flavor that is supported by a bit of piney flavors. The taste is good.

M - Medium viscosity, carbonation is high, not very refreshing though.

D - This is an excellent APA, but it is too drying for extremely good drinkability. It has an good flavor and a fantastic aroma though. Basically, it has too much flavor to be as drinkable as some other APAs. (723 characters)

Photo of NewGeneric
3.85/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this as part of a tasting session with a buddy a while back. Poured an amber color with white foamy head that left decent lacing. Smelled of citrus hops, malt and caramel. Tasted of earthy hops, malt and caramel. Smooth, but slightly overcarbed. Could drink more. (267 characters)

Photo of Steasy66
3.85/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Deep amber, nice head retention
S- floral, citrus, hint of malt
T- Citrus hops, hint of malt, bitter finish, would prefer a bit more malty
M- Very undercarbed, probably because this is a taproom growler pour
O- Good beer, worth a try, need to try this from a bottle to really give it a fair shake. (300 characters)

Photo of Parrotbeak
3.85/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pristine amber, with plenty of bubbles rising from the bottom. Quarter-inch, white head that thins out a bit, becoming slightly patchy.
Smell is fresh, hoppy, and malty, with a good balance between the latter two. Little bit of pineapple and citrus.
Bitter and hoppy up front, with a malty finish accompanied by some citrus hints, as well as another wave of bitterness.
Pleasant bitterness on the tongue, along with a good level of carbonation.
Good on drinkability. Vvfffh. (474 characters)

Photo of HardTarget
3.85/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed 8/5/04
Aroma-3: Juicy sweet hops. Hops come across as grapefruit and floral. Strong
Appearance-4: Clear amber-copper body with a trace coating of off white head. I didn’t note any of the haze that the bottle describes as conditioning. Left a couple strands of lace, but not much.
Flavor-3.5: Hops are up front and pretty heavy, but they slowly fade out into a nice biscuit malt base. Hops are very citric in the taste and maybe a touch too assertive for a Pale Ale, but that’s probably a personal preference. Later in the beer, I noticed that after the malt briefly shows the flag, a peppery bitter settles in and stays the night.
Mouthfeel-3.5: A fairly light body and smooth texture. The hop oils coat and last. It seemed that with each sip, another coat of hop oil was added, making the aftertaste last longer and longer.
Overall Impression-3: An American Pale with hard core hops which are enjoyable, but I was hoping for a little more of the nice malt base that backs them. It’s a high quality beer that I would probably enjoy aged a bit more to let the hops settle down. If I want this level of hops, I’ll drink an IPA. Beyond my petty “too hoppy” whine, this is a really good beer. It’s obviously well crafted, but a bit weak in the head retention. Drinkability, well, for me, a bitter session beer, but I wouldn’t mind having a few in the cellar.
Major thanks to mattcrill for the opportunity to taste this one.

Reviewed- 11/1/05

A 4.5- Fresh citric hops nose with a sugary malt base to support it.

A 4- Clumpy tan-white head crowns a deep red/amber glass that glows with clarity. Laced like grandma between tidemarks.

T 4- Smells like an IPA, tastes like a pale. Hops are subdued and have a strong tea quality, almost grassy

M 4- Edge of a chew, medium-heavy body, spot on carbonation level and a touch of oil

O 4.5- Taking large and quick quaffs, outstanding drinkability. I had a strong hop itch and the King assuaged it.

Thanks to Rick and Betty for dragging one back with them. I'll average the two scores. (2,064 characters)

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