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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: 5,984
Avg: 4.26
pDev: 16.67%
Wants: 933
Gots: 1,062 | 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
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: 5,984
Photo of feloniousmonk
4.82/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

When I was first introduced to this beer, I was warned that it wasn't for everyone, and at the very least took some getting used to, after all "it's not normal." I'd already had an affection for the hops, and, well, it was love at first sniff and sip.
Years later, after the bloom of fresh infatuation has mellowed, how does the beer compare, especially after this tongue has met so many others, with abundant charms? That is what we seek to discover...
Perfect crimson-tinged nectarine hue, hazy, and blessed with a beautiful bed of froth up on top, leaving delicate lace, enticing the eye. Aroma makes matters worse for the thirst, big fruit, fresh hops, peachy, melon, orange, and, yes, mango, and more, a bountiful bouquet that keeps the nose happy and hoppy. Man, but I need a taste, though!
An explosion in the mouth, the hops are a bursting throughout, but so well buttressed by malt, that any bitterness is mellow and well smoothed out, after an initial bite, at least. Like chomping into a ripe tangerine, juice splashing on the corners of the mouth and dripping down the chin. Though hoppiness flows freely, and bitterness peeks through time and again, the mouthfeel is actually soft and luxuriant, body is medium, and the overall effect is a constant joyride for the palate. A lively and rewarding ale, and a real American classic, a jewel in the craft-brew crown. Count yourself lucky if you can grab these with ease.
Ah, I once had it on-tap around here...those were some fine days...
Thanks to jables for the reunion, after too, too long!

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Photo of leantom
4.81/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Just got to Indiana (Bloomington) to visit the law school. Was anxious to try Three Floyds since I had heard so much about them. Holy Moly, this beer is damn good. This beer alone makes the trip from Virginia worth it. Here goes:

A: Lovely. Beer pours a dark, cloudy brown that's rather opaque (a lot darker than most pale ales, in fact). However, the head was massive; incredibly fluffy. Drinking the beer left a ton of lacing on the side as well. You can tell that this is a very well-made beer.

S: Beautiful. Unlike most APA's, you can smell both the hops AND malt. They're very well-balanced against each other, with American hops giving way to a rich caramel malt backbone. Both sweet and bitter at the same time. Simply superb balance!

T: Taste follows the nose, which is great. Initial taste is one of sweet caramel and amber malt. The beer would have merely been good had they left it at that, but what happens afterwards makes the beer excellent. The malt gives way to a strong hop backbone consisting of grapefruit, pine and lemon peel. Truly magnificent.

Also of note, while the hop backbone is strong, it doesn't leave a lingering hop aftertaste. It's almost as if this beer has come down from heaven.

M: Again, excellent. Lots of carbonation and very full-bodied for an APA. Glides down the throat smoothly, though, even with the carbonation apparent.

O: Exquisite. Par excellence. Three Floyds, you are king!

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Photo of OStrungT
4.8/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I got this beer from MABZ as part of the 2006 Great Race BIF.

This beer pours a golden brown with a thin very light tan head. The head fades slowly, leaving thick laces.

This beer has a nice hoppy aroma. It smells grapefruit like. It has a piney aroma also. It has a subtle malt aroma. It smells quite floral also.

This beer tastes piney with hints of grapefruit. Behind the hoppy flavors, I detect some sweet caramel malt flavor. This beer tastes more like an IPA than a Pale Ale. The flavor is a plesent surprize.

This beer is very smooth. It leaves a piney aftertaste. It is carbonated to perfection.

I think this beer would make an excelent session beer. It tastes great, and couldnt get old. Also, at 6% ADV, I could put back a few of these. I think this might be one of the best Pale Ales I have ever had.

Thank you MABZ for yet another great beer.

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Photo of dreadnatty08
4.8/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a crystal clear light caramel color. Off white plumes of bubbly head is formed, tracing impecable. After transfering my IIPA to secondary and getting a good whiff of cascade and centennial hops, this beer comes off as a hop tea, the aroma as fresh as those hops. A little sweetness is also detected in the aroma, but American hops dominate. Flavor starts out sweet with the hop flavor dominating. Lots of complexity in hop and malt flavor swirls around the mouth ending in a stab of bitterness. This beer is almost too perfect in the realm of APAs or IPAs whatever you want to call it. I've yet to experience one like it, but I hope I can make one damn close.

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Photo of yelterdow
4.8/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

All of a sudden, this "rare" find is available in North Jersey! Purchased at Frontier Liquors in Hackensack ($8.99/6-pack) and I'm in the mood tonight for some good beer.

Served at just under fridge temperature in a pint glass.

Appearance- Glows a crystal clear copper/amber with a juicy two finger head that stands tall. Even after falling to a quarter-inch topper several minutes later, the lacing is sticky and dense. Terrific structure that remains throughout, I cannot imagine a more perfect APA.

Smell- Citrus and pine sap come forth immediately, but there is a sweet maltiness that counters and balances their performance with class. The aromas meld perfectly together, and grow even more integrated with time. Another perfect 5, without reservation.

Taste- Loads of grapefruit combined with bitter, pine tree and floral notes. Aggressive bitterness in the back of the mouth that begs for another taste, to be timed with the fantastic hop burps that result.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Slick, smooth, almost creamy. By far the best APA I have ever had, and this is number three for the evening. The hops never overwhelm, just perform. Awesome color, cling-for-dear-life lacing, super drinkability... FFF has wowed my ass. Great job, this is a must-stock always.

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Photo of brendanbeer
4.8/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

at the map room in chicago.

a. absolutely gorgeous golden orange, rich color. finger or two of thick sensuous white head that is always there and leaves an awesome web of lace on the glass.

s. the smell is superb, its hard for me to describe, even to myself (just wait to i get to the taste!) its really hoppy and fresh, woodsy. also sweet.

t. oh my goodness, characteristics dont do it justice. it deserves a "oh my" and a "hell yea". really bready and hoppy, the mix is incredible, the hops add this amazing sweetness and tartness that is familiar yet utterly mind-blowing. its just so good.

m. perfect amount of carbonation and silky beer texture.

d. i could drink an infinite amount of this beer and continue to be happy and curiously engaged.

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Photo of hero27
4.8/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12 oz bottle.

Appearance: Pours a somewhat hazy golden/orange color with a billowing, fluffy white head. Sticky lacing residue on the glass that is there to stay.

Smell: This is a PA?? Am I not seeing the word "India" somewhere on the bottle?..I had to look at it a few times just to make sure. Definitely an IPA in style, but what the hell, no complaints here. This bad boy is loaded with gorgeous floral hops..

Taste: Metaphorically speaking, the dominant grapefruit hops have the malts handcuffed to the bed here. Being somewhat of a self-proclaimed hophead, this was indeed heaven on earth for me. This thing should have an American flag on the label, because it is the pinnacle of the great American hop flavor. Very lively in the mouth, stinging hops jump back and forth on the tongue..the bitterness running it's due course. This is why I drink beer...

Mouthfeel: Very crisp and refreshing for such a complex and strong taste. Clean finish and lingering bitterness.

Drinkability: Easy to drink is the understatement of the year. This can be found in my fridge year round, and is perfect on a hot summer day or just when you need a quick hop fix. One to be respected and definitely a treat for any beer lover. If you haven't tried it yet, track it down and do so ASAP. Still one my my all-time favs..

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Photo of FirkinDave
4.79/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Where to begin!?! Pours a beautiful amber hue with a strong head 1in. to bring the flavors flying up to the surface. The nose is of a perfect brightly green fresh picked hop. Taste is amazingly big. Citrus and hops abound to beat the living crap out of my tongue. A tiny touch of grapefruit does appear midway through, but not enough to overpower the floral hops. Great finish leaves my mouth a bit dry, but understandably so because I immediatly need to order another. Sneakily designed!!
The bottle version is pretty tasty also, but no comparison to the experience of a tap Alpha King. This beer lives far up to and over it's name, and is definitely one worth picking up!

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Photo of znarf
4.78/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Being raise Roman Catholic, I have few favorites of anything. Three Floyd's has seduced me with their highly hopped beers. The easiest to find in Wisconsin is Alpha King. Recently I made a day trip to the Brew Pub and was happily surprised with the food. Already knew that the beer would be a treat.

All of their hopped beers are exceptional for my taste. Alpha King is not for the faint of heart. This is a hop lovers dream with a citrus punch and a strong bitter finish that pleasantly stays with you. Highly recommended for those who like unique ales.

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Photo of PatYoda
4.78/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance is a clear mahogany with a nice one finger tan colored head and some great lacing. Smell really jumps out at you. Sweet sweet oranges alongside some bready malt. It never ceases to amaze me how powerful that first whiff is. No detectable alcohol. And now to taste. Ahhh, the creamy smoothness is the first thing you notice. Perfect carbonation and body. All the citrus fruits in the world are there, with the orange flavor really standing out next to a little bit of grapefruit and lemon. The malt adds some balance to this brew as a nice bready bisuity aspect, though it is definitely hoppier than your average pale ale. As others have said, it almost crosses the line into an IPA, but the hops in no way overpower the malt in this beer. The finish is extraordinary. Hops all the way, though it's not too bitter. I could drink this all night. In fact, I might just do that now. In case you couldn't tell, this is my favorite APA.

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Photo of kels
4.78/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

It's quite surprising that I haven't reviewed this beer yet. It is definitely one of my favorite every day beers. Review is on a pour into a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a lovely toasted reddish brown with slight golden highlights. The liquid is slightly opaque, hazy, and shows good amounts of carbonation feeding a 2 finger foamy, rocky, cream-colored head. The head fades and retains solidly at a full finger or more, with tons of thick lacing blanketing the glass all around.

Smell: Smell is full of citrus and pine hops with the slightest hint of toasted grains/malts coming through. The smell comes through slightly sweet, slightly buttery.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Taste bursts with hops for an APA - toasted, dry grains and super-sticky grassy and grapefruity hops. The bitterness of the hops hangs in the back of the throat. The aftertaste reveals hints of caramelized malt and the slightest indication of alcohol. Feel is moderate, with enough carbonation to spread the flavors throughout the palate and keep the feel bright and refreshing. Stickiness remains in the aftertaste.

Drinkability: So high...this is one of those beers that's good whenever, wherever and with anything. I realize Three Floyd's take on most of their beers is hoppier than traditionally done, but they do hops very well - possibly best.

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Photo of beerman207
4.78/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I LOVE alpha king - period. So...when my local beer store sent out an email that they had it on growler - I certainly added another stop to my grocery list this week.

A: Pours a dark orange with a fluffy head that has almost some hints of tan in it as it just slowly tapers off to a beautiful skim. This is what all pale ales should look like.

S: Wow. Like walking in a forest of pine trees. Citrus could fill the room. Smells sweet as well.

T: Hops up front, malt to mellow out. The perfect combination. Doesn't get much better than this

M: Creamy and easy to swig. A lot more balanced than the bottle - much more mellow.

D: I have a whole growler waiting for me tonight. I believe this will do the trick and the abv is just right.

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Photo of warriorsoul
4.77/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to IrishMike for this awesome rarity in my neck of the woods.
Pours a real nice dark copper w/ a full frothy tan head...the lacing is thin, but holds on nicely.
Smell is a nice, sweet blend of fruits...oranges and tangerines come to mind. Nice detection of malt as well...smells very inviting.
Damn...this stuff is scrumptous!! What a fresh blast of hops, malt, and caramel...the best Pale Ale I've had to date. Of course, it is no surprise I like hops...and this one is more hoppy than some IPA's I've had, but it is blended so magically w/ the malts, that it can call itself an APA.
The mouthfeel is sublime...so refreshing and just the slightest bitter aftertaste, but it is the sweet malt that sticks with you.
I could enjoy this beer for an entire evening...one of the best I've tried to date in this, or any style.

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Photo of twiggamortis420
4.77/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

We need this stuff in Tejas!!

What can I say? This beer is money. Dark amber color with a peak-filled off white head. Citrus nose with a nice malty balance. Could easily be confused for an IPA...until the clean crisp finish hits you after taking a drink. Perfectly balanced, has a grassy taste and a perfect finish.

I really want to taste more of their offerings.

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Photo of Lupe
4.77/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

While being poured the citrus hop aroma hits you and your mouth starts watering. This is the start of something good.

Pours a hazy copper color with a tight, creamy, off-white head that leaves some lace. Citrus aroma greets you with some grapefruit, pineapple, and hints of sweet malt. Smooth and creamy mouthfeel with a medium body. Starts with a short blast of hop bitterness that smoothes out into a citrus flavor, all the while sweet malt flavors dance about your tounge. Amazingly well balanced, nothing dominates but all the flavors come out nicely. Finishes dry with some sweetness.

7.3% abv?? You have to be kidding me. Not even the least bit noticable in taste. Highly drinkable but watch out or this will hit you like a hammer to the head. A great Pale Ale!

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Photo of Brewfan
4.77/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Chilled to around 50. Should warm up nicely.
Poured from a bottle into my daily-used chalace from cooperrip.
Strong floral and hay aroma immediately hits my nose. No head really to speak of, even though I poured it a bit rough. Nice lace still clinging to the glass 15 minutes after pouring.
Beautiful clean copper color. No haze at all. Quite crisp looking.
As for the taste...WOW. Beautiful hop balance with some citrus notes. Definate "farmy" grain taste. It's like what a fresh mowed hayfield should taste like, minus the dust and bugs.
Warming up now and it's getting better (no surprise there).
Mouthfeel is relatively medium. Beer moves around the mouth nicely, then quietly exits just in time for the next sip.
Beautiful pale ale. Well done. Thank god I'm finally able to get this over here (CT by way of RI).
Up next - Robert the Bruce...

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Photo of schanker21
4.77/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A- Golden-brown. Clear with lots of carbonation. White, two finger head sits on top and dissipates a little, but a decent head sticks around.

S- Pineapple, lemon, orange, pine, hoppy.

T- Same as the smell, but with a great malt backbone to balance out the hopiness.

M- Good mouthfeel. Lots of carbonation makes this one refreshing.

D- Excellent. It's always hard for me to judge APA's because I have a tendency to think of them as weak IPA's, but keeping the style in mind, it's hard to think of too many ways this could improve.

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Photo of beveragecaptain
4.77/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours out clear amber with a huge, rocky white head. A good deal of lacing on the glass. The aroma is a burst of fruity hops that smells amazing. Extremely fresh hop flavor, and plenty of it. I agree with one of the other reviewers of this beer who wrote that he tasted peach and mango. This is no mere hop bomb without the malt to back it up. There is a nice malty sweetness that complements the hop. No sign of the 7+% abv, as this goes down so easy. This is classified as a pale ale, but it's one the most unique beers I've had in recent memory. Having previously tried the Gumballhead and the Alpha Klaus, Three Floyds is quickly becoming one of my favorite American breweries.

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Photo of GClarkage
4.77/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

07/30/05- Received from a purchase at Archers Liquors.

Presentation- 12oz bottle with no dating. Poured into my Shipyard pint glass.

Appearance- Darker golden color. Nice 3/4 inch head and average lacing.

Smell- Huge and I mean huge grapefruit hops. That's about all I can detect because the hops overpower everything else.

Taste- Wow, this is one damn good Pale Ale. Starts off with a huge fruity blast of hops and finishes with a nice smooth semi dark malt flavor.

Mouthfeel- Moderate carbonation, heavier mouthfeel.

Drinkability- I actually felt some of the alcohol kick in at the end of the brew. Not sure if I could session more than a couple of these. But, an amazing hoppy pale ale that I would buy again in a second if I could get my hands on it out here. Hands down one of the top two or three Pale Ales I've had. Maybe the best.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
4.77/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I've had this a number of times but never had the occasion to review it. This review is based on a some I had on draft at the Map Room. Poured an orange/amber with a thin head that faded to a ring that stuck around. Smells of fruity apricot, cherry, a touch of rhubarb, with citrus as a top note. The taste is beautifully balanced and fruity,similar flavors as those found in the aroma, with cherry, vanilla, and citrus being especially pronounced. Nice hoppy bitterness in the finish. Mouthfeel is smooth, perfectly carbonated, a little rich. My absolute favorite session beer.I would have this around all the time if it were available in my area.

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Photo of matttttYCE
4.77/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours with a bright and clear amber orange color and a nice foamy off-white head of about one and a half fingers. The lacing is nice and the retention is decent.

Aromas of citrus/oranges and grapfruit, oily and resinous hop juice, honey, floral hops, some lighter biscuity malt and caramel sweetness, and maybe even hints of mint and spicy hops in there.

The taste is of juicy citrus, grapefruit, and maybe even some papaya, floral and estery notes, moderate hop bitterness that isn't too much, mint sprig and spicy hop notes, and a mild but pleasant dry biscuit and caramel malt flavor to support all the assertive hops.

The mouthfeel is higher than expected for an APA, but nice. Solid medium or round carbonation, with almost a creamy consistency, a moderat nearly chewy body (in a good way), and a slightly dryer moderate length finish.

Alright, so I've had Zombie Dust, I've had Daisy Cutter, and now, I've had Alpha King. Three of the top five APAs at the moment. For one, I must say Three Floyds knows how to make an assertive, hoppy brew, be it APA, IPA, or DIPA. Secondly, I have to say that Alpha King is my new favorite APA, without a doubt. There's just something about it that rubs me the right way. The mouthfeel is wonderful, the hops are bordering on IPA territory, and the smell is absolutely great.

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Photo of mrsoul12
4.77/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Wow. This is like hops in a bottle. This beer has the aroma and hop flavor of a double IPA with the drinkability of a pale ale. BIG BIG hop aroma. A little out of balance and could use some more residual sweetness to even things out, but overall very good.

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Photo of rhinos00
4.77/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured out of 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

A- Dark golden brown color. Slight amount of white fluffy head that dissipated through consumption.

S- Smell of west coast hops and citrus galore.

T- Taste is in the same category as Pliny and Dreadnaught. Hops are very present, but not overly powering. Citrus flavor adds a nice balance to even out the strong hop flavor.

D- Medium bodied beer with little carbonation.

Wow! Three Floyds has impressed me again. This is a quality beer that can easily be mistaken for an IPA and still hang with the best of them.

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Photo of Netdigger2
4.77/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I'll preface this by saying that this is my favorite all-time sessioner.

It pours a light red-walnut color with tight white head, medium lacing.

The smell is of citrus and pine hops, maybe some crystal malt.

The taste is hoppier than most mainstream ipas and incredibly complex with pine, citrus and resin, for not being a DIPA. Wow.

The mouthfeel is medium with great carb, very refreshing.

I could look forward to this as the last beer on earth, A+

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Photo of brushtachio
4.77/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Coworker drove home a few cases for me from a recent extended Chicago business trip. I'm down to my last one (only one today) so I think I should review.

A - nice glowing amber color with a creamy, very light beige head

S - Juicy! Grapefruit, orange with a slight floral note. This is my kind of hop scent - it lets you know exactly what's coming... not exactly a "hop bomb" but a citrusy hop explosion of some sort.

T - Did I say Juicy? Take that juice and add a strong balancing malt backbone with elements of vanilla and caramel.

M- Much prefered this from the bottle over from cask - probably personal preference but the increased carbonation was a plus for me.

D - A guy can dream. During said recent trip to Chicago, this was my go-to beer. As a 300lb guy, this easily qualifies as sessionable at 6%. Not only could I drink it at every chance possible, I craved it. Case of a beer living up to the hype.

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