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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 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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Photo of Sammy
3.88/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A pale slant to an IPA which makes it a great pale. Excellently hopped, beautiful hoppy appearance and a good meal accompanyment. Grapefruit hops, green tea, some malts, some peachy melon and dark fruit taste in finish. Fresh medium clean mouthfeel. Thanks Joey Capps.
On tap at Cole's 3.5 years later, a very good pale but not the best, aroma missing from bleached glass.

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Photo of BrewIndy
3.88/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured with about a fingers worth of head that went away pretty quickly. Has an amazing dark orange color to it. It actually looks just like a cup of properly steeped Lipton tea. Except for the head of course.

S: It smells pretty good. It's very sweet and inviting and all that. I haven't tasted it yet but you can almost taste the bitterness to it just by smelling.

T: It's actually doesn't have as much bite as I thought it would. The bite definitely waits until the end to hit you though but up front you have nice smooth citrusy flavors. That goes into some malty balance leaving with a bit of bitterness. It's fairly sweet... almost too sweet, but nicely balanced.

M: It feels smooth in my mouth. A great feel. It leaves the back of my tongue feeling strange though, not sure if I like that. Kind of makes me want to take another drink to get rid of that sensation.

D: I could drink a couple of these and be content. Not sure if this is one I'd pick up a sixer of but I'd grab a pint when I'm out to dinner or out with friends anytime.

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Photo of DrewZ926
3.88/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Rich amber and copper pour, an inch of off-white head and only a bit of lacing

S- far more sweet and spicy malt than I had expected, perhaps this bottle is a bit older? lots of toffee and caramel with ample supporting hop character. that being said, I would've liked more citrus as advertised.

T- very refreshing hop bitterness, nice complement to the sweet malt backbone, slightly floral and earthy, a touch of orange citrus

M- full bodied and well carbonated

O- a very solid APA with fantastic flavors and superb balance. citric and malty at the same time. would have liked a lighter, less malt forward profile, though would certainly seek this beer out again. drinks big for the style.

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Photo of yamar68
3.88/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy but lively bronze body, with a milky finger of well-retaining and lacing head.

Mellow pineapple and mango, orange juice, bitter pine qualities, sweet bread, balanced but straight forward.

Sweet malts are the first thing I notice on the tongue... some citrus peel or lemon zest beneath that. Dries up pretty quickly on the finish. Not as pungent a hop profile as I was anticipating. Definitely makes for an easy drinking beer though.

Big thanks to brew33 for giving me the chance to try this out!

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Photo of FreshmanPour77
3.88/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed on 8-5-10
Reviewed cold from a bottle to a glass

A - Pours with one finger of foam, cloudy amber color, nice lacing ring with a decent amount of carbonation present

S - Hops, orange peel and roasted malts

T /M - Smooth at first but finishes with a piney bitter taste along with noticeable citrus taste to it

D - Pretty drinkable APA, and easily have more than one in a sitting. I would for sure get this brew again and I would recommend it

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Photo of PartyHatjo
3.88/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Hazy Orange/Copper hued beer with a sticky tan-white head.

Aroma: Orange/grapefruit hoppiness with some biscuit hints.

Taste: Citrus hops are the first thing you notice. But a good malt backbone is present. Light caramel and a breadiness define the malt. Doesn't seem to be an overly complex malt bill, but the simplicity is what makes it delicious.

Mouthfeel: Well-balanced brew. Bitterness hits early and late, but the medium bodied light sweetness balances it well.

Drinkability: Couldn't drink it all night, but wouldn't mind having a couple in a session.

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Photo of GreatPondBrewer
3.88/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Just a decent all around pale ale. Deep copper color with an off-white head and a decent amount of lacing. Smell was judiciously garnished with piney hops as if the brewers merely dropped dripping hop cones into the boil. To me it was a somewhat raw unrefined smell that was not balanced exceptionally well by any malts. Taste was very true to style with more hops although a tad on the citrus side in the taste with a cracker like malt taste and a fair bit of alcohol punch. Much more alcoholic than expected for a pale ale so this is not what you would call a session beer, but a nice way to mix things up and kick your taste buds around a bit. The unrefined hops make it something to drink towards the end of the night when you are ready to not taste anything else.

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Photo of cbutova
3.88/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Shared by Chico1985 at our last tasting, another good beer he traded for.

A- Clear red with an off-white head that has decent retention. Good cloud atop the ale that leaves a coat of fine lace.

S- Slight citrus and pine above a caramel malt, sweet backbone. Almost like a lighter version of a Barleywine. Grapefruit. Could use some strength.

T- Once again, the malt and hops remind me of a less aggressive version of a Barleywine. Citrus/zest/grapfruit hops for the most part over a malt profile that is a bit nutty, toasty and slightly sweet. Close to an IPA but more malty.

MF- Light creamy body with moderate carbonation. Slightly bitter on the palate.

DB- Unique flavor for a pale ale. Good hop presence lends nice citrus flavors. Really felt like a small Barleywine IPA hybrid.

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Photo of BrokenStones
3.88/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Auburn/Orange....2" inch golden head, nice lacing, poured into a Goose Island snifter.

Smell: Hops, honey, mellow, not serious depth.

Taste: Hops up font, citrus and honey, nice finish with a bit bitter and fresh hops.

Mouth Feel: nice carbonation, good finish on the pallet.

Overall: A very solid pale ale. A pleasure to drink, if it was available I would have it regularly. Find it and drink it.

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Photo of DrunkenMaster
3.88/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Coles. Great looking orange/amber colored beer. Smells a bit sweet with some tropical fruit and floral notes. Moderately bitter and fruity. I get berries in there somewhere. Alcohol comes through late but its subtle and adds to the flavor. An all around unique and tasty pale.

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Photo of Treebs
3.88/5  rDev -8.9%
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.

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Photo of regspeir
3.88/5  rDev -8.9%
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.

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Photo of casemw
3.88/5  rDev -8.9%
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.

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Photo of tiger88
3.88/5  rDev -8.9%
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.

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Photo of mjl21
3.88/5  rDev -8.9%
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.

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