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Alpha King - 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Alpha KingAlpha King

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,742 Reviews

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Reviews: 1,742
Hads: 5,937
Avg: 4.26
pDev: 16.67%
Wants: 931
Gots: 997 | 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: 5,937
Photo of Yetiman420
4.89/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Picked this up tonight in the cold section at a bottle shop in Highland IN and an consuming in my Munster hotel room Dark Lord Day eve.

Poured in a clear 10 oz plastic cup. Not much head. A dark copper color - darker than what one would expect from a pale ale.

Exceptional pale ale aroma - citrus hop aroma and a touch of bread from the malt.

Flavor is clean and fruity with high hop bitterness.

Halfway through, I'm swirling to generate a head. Interesting that the head is a very light tan. A reflection on the darkness of this pale ale. Not to the point of detracting, but certainly worth noting for a pale ale.

One of the best.

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Photo of Brewganja
4.88/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Hands down one of my favorite beers. It has a strong citrus smell followed by a fresh hoppy scent. It rolls down the palette, intoxicating and bursting with flavor. I have had the opportunity to have a glass from a cask at Three Floyd's brew pub and the flavors are more present than on the tap or in the bottle. Dont expect to like any "lite" beer after this gem.

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Photo of tjfontaine
4.88/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I had this beer on tap several weeks ago at the Comet cafe in Milwaukee. I loved it ... I found it at an offsale in Hudson Wisconsin (chicones) and bought a six .... what a great beer a nice balance between hops and just enough malts. This might become my new go--to beer when I don't feel like an IPA or Imperiall IPA. Others have described the beer well and the nuances - I can highly recommend this beer if you like a great not too hoppy Pale Ale.

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Photo of swamiswamu
4.87/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I remember the first time I has this beer. Instead of a case of Rhinelander, I started buying a bunch of craft and import singles. One booze fueled night, fate led me to 3F Alpha King. The only thing I remember from the actual taste is thinking they'd infused it with grapefruit. Thus was the beginning of my addiction to hops. At this point hopmarred beers are a dime a dozen, it is the rare one that actually balances it that rates high. This is not an extreme beer. It is just a really great IPA. Seek it out.

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Photo of GeoffRizzo
4.87/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Slightly cloudy off-orange in color. Decent tiny tan head that maintains superior retention. Near sugary lines of patching will retain until the sunlight of tomorrow is upon us. The nose is largely citrus hops, a sinus cleansing dose; pine cones and grapefruit, crossing the IPA side here! Bold and big…are the hops, citrus and piney in flavor. To get technical, my seasoned taste buds can quickly pick up on the centennial and cascade hop offerings; warrior hops, hmm. Massive flavor of freshly squeezed grapefruit juice and orange peels. There is a moderate caramel malt backbone, yet it is certainly second fiddle to the three letter h word. Full bodied and loaded with flavor. The best APA on the market, search for it, find it, secure it. World class! A liquid-hops-induced delight!

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Photo of schusterbauer
4.87/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

went in with skepticism, and was quickly put in my place. this may very well live up to the hype of being the best APA out there.

thick, cloudy orange-brown color with a big head and lots of sticky lacing. smells like fruit preserves, orange juice, hops, herbs, caramel. tastes like herbal tea, natural fruit juices -- cherry, orange, grapefruit, peach...; tons of hops, but they're nicely blended with bread and malt flavors. this is complex, which is something i don't normally associate with the style. robust in the mouth, but very smooth, and very refreshing. this could be guzzled by the gallon, the only obstacle being the abv.

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Photo of mattgert
4.87/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a hazy amber into a pint glass, smells of citrus like many others have stated. Man does this stuff taste great. A nice slap of hops, floral aromas and malts. The hoppy aftertaste comes back for another round. Wow! There is no point in rambling any further. If you like APAs - GET SOME! Simply delicious. This is the best beer I have ever had.

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Photo of wilwfu
4.87/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Dark Copper in color, smells like a good southern biscut, but earthier... coming from the hops. The taste and mouthfeel go hand in hand. It's a two stage beer, hops vs malts, with each trying to steal the stage from the other, yet the juxtaposition of the two holds it all together. It has a natural sweetness like maple syrup.

This beer is uber drinkable and is a fantastic, complex beer that will not, no matter how hard you try, taste the same everytime. That is not because it's inconsistent between brewings, but rather because the taste will conjur up different memories and imagery everytime... it's that good.

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Photo of humuloner22
4.87/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Picked this one up on a trade as a toss in. I appreciate it bro!

Appearance: Nice bronze ale in color. Like that of a shiny new penny! Actually it is a solid looking Pale Ale, although its not all that pale. Head retention is pretty solid, nothing overly carbonated but it sits nicely on top of the beer throughout the entire pour.

Smell: Damn! This beer has tons of citrus, grapefruit, tangerines, tropical fruits like mangos and some peach notes. It has a nice aromas, one of the best I have ever ran across.

Taste: The nose pretty much leads you to where the taste is. Its very tropical fruit driven with the aforementioned fruits dominant. Some grassy malts going on as well. Decent body and my only complaint is that it is a bit thick on the mouthfeel. I wish it finished a little cleaner, but that is a mild complaint really.

Overall: Solid brew. I would love to get my hands on more of this one!

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Photo of whoneeds8
4.85/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Big thanks to beereality for the beer.

Pours out to a transparent bronze. Nice offwhite head with good lacing. Smell is interesting, I don't know how to describe it.

Initial taste is nutty. Then the sweet malts hit your palate. Ends with a very fruity hops taste to stay in your mouth. Bitterness doesn't come around until well after your sip.

Texture seems a little thick, compaired to water.

All in All, this is a very fine well built beer. It's a damn shame that it's not available in Texas.

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Photo of ITK4ever
4.85/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pale Ale? Try hoppy IPA. The hops put other PA's to shame. This is one of my fav's, but I don't want to stock it all the time because the artwork on the bottle is a little frightening. If you can get past that, it's one fine PA....probably the best. Typical PA color and head on the pour, but right away you can detect the hops in the nose. Taste is complex and incredible. Good balance of malt and hops at first, then the hops kick in in the finish and you get that citrusy sensation that comes with the stronger IPA's....in fact, close to a Double IPA. Buy this one if you see it!!!

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Photo of osusullins
4.85/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is my go-to beer. I can't express how much I love this one. Whether you want to call this an APA or an IPA it suits either label. Just pure hoppy brilliance.

The beer pours a beautiful deep orange with a nice white head.

The nose is almost all hops. Lots of pine with some subtle grapefruit. As a hop-head, the smell just makes me want to dive right in, and I usually do just that.

The taste does not disappoint the nose. Hops is what you smell, and that is exactly what you taste. Tons of pine and citrus bitterness. Some malt shows up on the back end, but the palate is pretty hop fried by that point. lol.

This is the flag ship beer of my favorite brewery. I love this beer. Top 10 favorite of mine definitly. Thanks, FFF.

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Photo of granger10
4.85/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I have been to the tops of the pale ale mountain after drinking this beer! Looks nice and dark auburn with a creamy head. Good carbonation. Smell is hoppy and earthy with an acidic burn in the nose. Taste brings me those juicy citrus centennial hops. There must be cascade hops in here as well. But there's a sharp acidic bitterness in the finish which makes this beer nearly perfect. Alcohol is wonderful in its bite. Malt is not the strength here but definitely goes well with the hops. There a floral element in the flavor and maybe, just maybe a bit of nuttyness in the bottom. Great, great beer, I need to go get more!

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Photo of Beerdregs
4.85/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Picked up a growler the night before the XV party last weekend.

A: amber color with a orange hue. Carbonation was muted after a week in the growler but still grew a 1 finger head after an aggressive pour. As I am drinking it leaves a modest lacing down the glass.

S: Smells of piney grapefruit. Don't pick up any malt but don't fault them on this based on their hop forward reputation.

T: resinous citrus hop flavor with a modest but good balance of malt sweetness backing it up. Does not have an overly aggressive back of the tongue bitter.

M: This is a growler so again the carbonation is somewhat muted. I enjoy this though as it makes a somewhat dry beer a bit more slick.

O: This is my favorite pale ale style. This is the brewery that started the midwest craft revolution and for good reason. This is a wonderfully balanced beer and hopefully someday will be a session beer that I can enjoy at my local watering hole here in Minnesota!

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Photo of DNICE555
4.85/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured out of a bottle into my pint glass. I've had the dreadnaught which blew my mind and I have a Dark Lord in my fridge. This will be my second FFF offering.

A - A darker golden color with an off white head.

S - Hops, floral aroma, citrus, just as nice as my college GF.

T - Nice level of hops for a pale ale. A subtle piney bitterness with a citrus sweetness to balance it out

M - Smooth, Crisp, Refreshing

D - Probably the best Pale Ale I have ever had. Very well done. I have loved their ipa and pale ale, cant wait to crack open the dark lord.

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Photo of beachbum1975
4.85/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Really unique black and orange label with the green "Alpha King" dropping hops into a fizzy concoction. Looks tasty without even opening it. No freshness date seen, pry off top.

Appearance- Pour a rich, dark amber/apricot with minial haziness. Pushing the color limit for an APA. No chunks or sediment detected, just a nice offwhite 1/8 inch head which hangs around and keeps you company.

Smell - Orange, grapefruit & sour pine mixed with an array of sweet malts. Smells like it's got a lot of hops going on, for a beer considered to be an American Pale Ale, and not an IPA.

Taste- Heavenly balanced spike of bitter citrus mixed with sweet toasted malts. Hints of caramel and grapefruit, as well. Slight alcohol on the finish.

Mouthfeel - Yum,medium body with just the right amount of carbonation. Hop wax sticking at the back of my throat for a few minutes after drinking. Super refreshing.

Drinkability - Delightful. If you are ready for a beer that pushes the flavor limit on a traditional American Pale Ale, this is the one.

I can drink this all night long, very enjoyable. No wonder it's Three Floyds flagship beer. Fantastic.

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Photo of hoppheadIPA
4.85/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My absolute favorite beer at the moment!!!

Pours a hazy copper color into the pint glass with an agressive pour produces a creamy 1" head that dissapears quickly but leaves a medium lace around the glass as I drink.

Smell is like whoa!!!! Very hoppy, which I love so I was excited. Also citrus is very evident especially grapefruit.

Tastes just like I expected after smelling it. Hoppy, citrus, with a slight pine hint. Tastes like fresh cut grapefruit. My favorite tasting pale ale to date. Three Floyds is lying when they call this a pale ale. Should be an IPA. A pleasent bitterness creeps up after you swallow. I love the taste...

Sticks to the mouth perfectly

I consider this to be very drinkable. Wouldn't quite call it a session beer but wouldn't mind having 3 or 4.

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Photo of Chaney
4.85/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I've always told people in the past that if the world were going to end tomorrow and I had to pick one beer for the higher power to save, it would be this one!

A: I can't get enough of that caramel/orange, frothy, hopfest before my eyes. About a 1/2 inch beautiful head and nice, yet subtle retention throughout the session.

S: Whenever I stick my nose down in that glass on this one, I immediately detect that signature FFF hop profile that everyone talks about. It has this very fresh, ultra clean cotton scent (maybe it's the filtered water), and mango, grapefruit, orange to boot.

T: I was walking out of a Whole Foods market one day after buying a pomegranate Lychee Green Tea and after the first sip, I paused in my tracks and said to myself, "This.is.Alpha.King!" Yes, to my mind and tastes, this tastes like pomegranate upfront, followed by the other ingredients that I also got on the nose. Whenever I take a sip, I like to just hold it there and absorb the taste and aroma at the same time. Candy elements such as Pixie Stick dust and the caramel center of a Payday bar are also present.

M: The coating on the palate (and glass) are fantastic, the sweet caramel thickness is remarkable, and the bubbly carbonation is second to none!

D: It's not every day that a beer gets it's own competetion named after it ("Alpha King Challenge" at the Great American Beer Festival). That speaks volumes as to the respectability of this amazing brew. It has always and will continue to be.... my favorite beer.

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Photo of DIM
4.85/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

a: This was a clear golden color with reddish cherry highlights. It was served to me with a thick, creamy white head that lasted until the glass was empty.

s: Wave after wave of fresh citric hops. Wonderful!

t: This is as perfect as a one dimensional beer can be. Just a fresh, citric hop blast. Nothing subtle and very little malt backbone.

m: Bless the Brass Rail for serving this at a proper temperature. I've never had such a creamy pale ale. It also had a nice, sticky, resious feel.

d: What a tease. I find my new favorite pale ale on-tap at the Brass Rail, and now I might never find it again.

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Photo of marcpal
4.84/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

On tap at Hopleaf, poured into American pint glass.

This should be labeled a high quality, highest of quality IPA. Maybe Magic hat could learn something because it seems their IPAs are more Pales to me. This was a great beer.

A: Light amber with great clarity and pillowy head.

S: Wasnt expecting the grassiness and citrus hops that pounded my nose. wow.

T: No, no no... this my friends, is a well balanced IPA in every sense. The malt was there and gave a hello but the hops are tremendously strong and delectable. Grapefruit as well as some lemongrass were terrific.

M: As clean as can be. Spiciness is substantial but leaves you the hop burps.

D: I love the ABV given the taste that represents the balanced hops of a stronger IPA. I compare this one closely to 60 minute, I can absolutely not wait to get a load more of this one.

This was a true treat and 2nd FFF experience after being let down by Baru. This was remarkable and I need to trade for some more and Im happy to say I packed plenty in my luggage to bring home with me along with some GBhead.

Updated review (June - 2008)
Wanted to revisit with a bottle that was sent via trade. The hops are just as present and pleasant. Truly a damn fine beer, even more IPA like than I had remembered. delicious.

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Photo of beerdown77
4.84/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

This pours cloudy amber and has nice fluffy head and good lacing. There are a lot of notable hops on the nose, surprising for a pale ale. The amount of malt is also outstanding, but not surprising once you've seen the dark color. This pale ale is delicious and crisp. There isn’t quite the hop presence that would be in an IPA, but the balance of strong bitterness and heavy malty sweetness packs a powerful yet sessionable flavor combo. The body is fairly heavy for a pale ale, but again, easy to drink.

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Photo of redblacks75
4.84/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Apearance: A hazy amber, copper combination with a two-finger head that quickly dissipates, but leaves nice lacing as this one goes down.

Smell: Hops all the way, pine, citrus.

Taste: You get a nice citrus blast right away. Stronger than most pale ales I've had before.

Mouthfeel: It's a fizzy, refreshing feel in the mouth, with dry a finish.

Overall: If this was available in my area it would be my go to pale ale. This is my favorite pale ale to date. It is surely the most hop forward pale ale I have had, that might be just due to the freshness. I would recommend this to anyone wanting a quality pale ale.

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Photo of jj21
4.83/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

From BA definition of a Pale Ale:
"...expect a good balance of malt and hops. Fruity esters and diacetyl can vary from none to moderate, and bitterness can range from lightly floral to pungent.

American versions tend to be cleaner and hoppier, while British tend to be more malty, buttery, aromatic and balanced."

This beer nails it. Crisp grapefruit tartness and smoothness are outstanding. Very floral aroma and balanced pallet make this beer the best Pale Ale I've had (yet...)

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Photo of badbeer
4.82/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark copper color with a nice off-white head leaving lacing all the way down the glass. Starts off citrusy in the nose, but then hits you with a floral bouquet that seems never ending and always changing. I also noticed grapefruit as others have mentioned, there is also a slight maltiness in the nose, but hardly noticeable. On to the taste, the grapefruit taste came in strong, slight caramel for a second, but finishes with a lemon zest, a hint of pine is present throughout entire taste. Medium bodied and average carbonation level, pretty slick. Just a flat out good beer here, one of my favorites to keep around. Use caution with this one, once having one of these, you will not be able to taste much else in a beer until the following day.

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Photo of objectivemonkey
4.82/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Into a pint glass, pours a beautiful golden copper, with a nice head that shrinks to a thin foam after a few minutes, with amazing lacing stretching down the glass.

Aroma is fantastic, grapefruit and other sweet light fruits, big on floral hops, and maybe a faint sweet malt backing.

Taste is equally exceptional, a burst of flavor, but not excessive or obscene, but a very balanced and even mellowing in the middle, leaving one able to sit back, swirl a bit, and ponder whats going on. My first thought at first shock and then through the rest is hops, fantastic hops. But, there is a subtle malt backing, just enough, that keeps the hops in check and from tasting raw, keeping it from being too bitter, only causing a pucker up front and toward the end.

Body is something around medium, slightly springy carbonation, but really just playing second flute to the flavor rollercoaster going on, which is completely right and good.

Now that I'm finding places in WI to get 3 Floydss, I think i'm going on a 3 Floyds addiction. I mean, if this is their pale ale, what is Dreadnaught IPA going to be like? I grinning with anticipation. Very nice beer, very impressed with 3 Floyds.

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