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Alpha King Pale Ale - Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub

Alpha King Pale AleAlpha King Pale Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
95
world-class

4,246 Ratings
THE BROS
93
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4246
Reviews: 1646
rAvg: 4.27
pDev: 9.13%


Brewed by:
Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub visit their website
Indiana, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Ale (APA) |  6.66% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
3 Floyd’s flagship beer, Alpha King is a big American pale ale that pours a deep amber with a creamy head. This ale is brewed with Centennial, Cascade, and Warrior hops giving it an intense citrus aroma and a crisp hoppy finish.

68 IBU

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 07-23-2000)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Reviewers | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Alpha King Pale Ale Alström Bros
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Ratings: 4,246 | Reviews: 1,646 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of TheLostGringo
TheLostGringo

Connecticut

2.26/5  rDev -47.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.25

Poured from a bottle into my Hill Farmstead chalice.

A: Pours a hazy copper color with an inch of head, just a touch of lace.

S: Aroma is sickly sweet, unpleasant to me.

T: Very malty, unbalanced.

M: Sticky, tough to drink..

O: Really disappointing!

Serving type: bottle

05-25-2013 00:58:22 | More by TheLostGringo
Photo of bigdonniebrasco
bigdonniebrasco

Kansas

2.63/5  rDev -38.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Appearance: Light amber-copper color. Clear body, filtered, average carbonation. Inch head of white retains better than average.

Smell: Some piney hops, some floral qualities, but not in the skillfully dry-hopped sense of delicacy. This doesn't have a real strong nose. Some sweet carmelized sugar scents from the malts. Oranges.

Taste: Some light citrus notes, orange and piney hop flavors. Not a real substantial malt base, some dry biscuit and carmel flavors. Not very different than the masses of pale ales out there. This tries to breach the PA - IPA boundary, but doesn't really commit to either. Only the slightest bitterness in the finish. I can't reccommend this beer because it doesn't have any direction.

Mouthfeel: Medium to low carbonation. The body is light and easy to quaff, but doesn't really offer any substance.

Drinkability: Not difficult to drink, but not interesting enough to make me want another. Just because this brewery makes some real gems, doesn't mean that everything it makes is good, or even competent.

Serving type: bottle

10-10-2010 01:16:12 | More by bigdonniebrasco
Photo of wofat
wofat

Pennsylvania

2.75/5  rDev -35.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Call me crazy... or maybe the bottle I had was past its expiration date, but I had been searching for this beer for some time and am quite dissapointed now that I have found it.

This is a dark copper ale with immediate aromas of citrus hops, carmel and grain. My mouth begins to water...

The flavor is quite good to start... mild malt character, with notes of grain and carmel and a nice, consistent bitterness and citrus hop flavor... until... pow! Is that steel wool? A bizzarre metalic aftertaste that I have only experienced before in my first batch of homebrew. Very strange indeed. This brew began quite tasty, but the lingering aftertaste of metal will keep me from enjoying it.

I will be finding another of these and revisiting this beer.

Serving type: bottle

05-15-2003 06:43:43 | More by wofat
Photo of cproioi
cproioi

Ohio

2.88/5  rDev -32.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

The body is an almost caramel color, or reddish brown, with a white head that dissipates to create a cover just slightly over the top of the beer leaving decent lacing. The aroma is full of citrus hops and a rather large malt sweetness which is basically a non-descript fruity flavor. The taste follows the aroma nicely. Big citrus hops flavor with a fruity malt backbone. The beer had a medium body that gives way to a long dry finish. Very nice beer to drink could be a little thinner for the style giving it a more refreshing hot day beer character.

Serving type: bottle

03-29-2007 16:12:58 | More by cproioi
Photo of clvand0
clvand0

Kentucky

2.9/5  rDev -32.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Pours a dark amber color with a medium head and little lacing on the glass. Tons of floaty stuff in the glass - almost scary how much there is. Lots of hops in the aroma as well as a grassy and citrus smell. The flavor was mostly hops with some grass and citrus tastes thrown in, just like in the aroma. The finish is ... you guessed it, hops. Not a bad beer. Not the easiest drink, but I may have another sometime down the road.

Serving type: bottle

09-15-2003 14:46:05 | More by clvand0
Photo of Landfill21
Landfill21

Ohio

2.9/5  rDev -32.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

A friend left this in my fridge so I endulged today.

Poured into a pint glass. Poured into a dark amber/copper color with a finger head that laces down the glass as you drink.

Has a piny smell, not too strong.

Has a balance taste of hops and some fruits.

Has a medium mouthfeel with perfect amount of carbonation.

I personally don't like IPA's so I marked it as a low drinkablity.

Serving type: bottle

10-02-2010 19:05:04 | More by Landfill21
Photo of hopsbreath
hopsbreath

Oregon

2.9/5  rDev -32.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Thanks to sweemzander for a bottle of this. Thanks to steamhead for the twelve ounce Alpha King glass I poured this thing into.

A: Good clarity, caramel-orange, two finger white head that dissipates but still maintains a full cap, moderate lacing. 3/5

S: Sweet and caramel/malty with some stone fruit. Classic signature Three Floyds citrus hops here. 4/5

T: Nice and bitter with a solid sweet sugary malt back bone is the core of this beer. Grapefruit meat and pith add some character. 3/5

M: I wish this were drier. It's big, full, and sticky with moderate creamy carbonation. SNPA kills in the mouthfeel category for me and in comparison, this APA is lacking. 2/5

O: I prefer my Pale Ales to be a little more stripped down and simplistic with subtle nuances (again with the SNPA). This is trying a little too hard to be great and forgets to be good first. 2/5

Serving type: bottle

05-12-2011 03:55:59 | More by hopsbreath
Photo of sponberg
sponberg

New York

2.93/5  rDev -31.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bright golden amber, reasonable head.

Nose of citrus and spruce over a hint of malt. The flavor... It starts out OK, but about a third of the way through a medicinal, herbal note kicks in that I can't get my tastebuds around. I found it slightly off-putting, but can appreicate that it makes it different from other APAs out there. Decent balance otherwise. Good, bit it wouldn't be my first or second choice.

Serving type: bottle

10-12-2002 19:34:56 | More by sponberg
Photo of 99bottles
99bottles

Pennsylvania

2.98/5  rDev -30.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Light amber-copper color. Clear body, filtered, average carbonation. Inch head of white retains better than average.

Smell: Some piney hops, some floral qualities, but not in the skillfully dry-hopped sense of delicacy. This doesn't have a real strong nose. Some sweet carmelized sugar scents from the malts. Oranges.

Taste: Some light citrus notes, orange and piney hop flavors. Not a real substantial malt base, some dry biscuit and carmel flavors. Not very different than the masses of pale ales out there. This tries to breach the PA - IPA boundary, but doesn't really commit to either. Only the slightest bitterness in the finish. I can't reccommend this beer because it doesn't have any direction.

Mouthfeel: Medium to low carbonation. The body is light and easy to quaff, but doesn't really offer any substance.

Drinkability: Not difficult to drink, but not interesting enough to make me want another. Just because this brewery makes some real gems, doesn't mean that everything it makes is good, or even competent.

Serving type: bottle

11-13-2004 21:55:44 | More by 99bottles
Photo of DrainBamage
DrainBamage

Michigan

3.1/5  rDev -27.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a cloudy orangish brown with a quarter inch of head that thins to a trace. It smells of hops and citrusy aromas. Taste is very bitter, but has an average citrusy APA taste to it with mild malt flavors. Mouthfeel is a little acidic and is highly carbonated. It leaves a very bitter after taste in your mouth that seems to last forever. I found this brew to be a little to bitter for an APA, but a big hop lover would most likely enjoy this one.

Serving type: bottle

08-06-2005 02:14:05 | More by DrainBamage
Photo of Bighuge
Bighuge

Minnesota

3.13/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Hazy orange tinted amber color. Frothy white head. A bit of a pungent hop scent. An oily hop taste present. Quite bitter. More like an IPA though. An average pale ale. Tastes more like a British-style pale ale to me. American styles have more of a floral and herbal aroma reminiscent of the NW hop varieties. To me, this one doesn't possess that characteristic. I see I'm not in agreement with most on this beer, but SN, Summit and Big Sky are a lot better in my opinion.

Serving type: bottle

03-24-2002 22:24:04 | More by Bighuge
Photo of PDXHops
PDXHops

South Carolina

3.13/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to BitterPachyderm for this 12 oz bottle, poured into an oversized snifter.

An aggressive pour directly into the middle of my snifter coaxes 1/4 inch of head that doesn't stick around for long. Surprisingly dark body- kind of a hazy deep copper/amber/orange combo. Just a hint of lacing. Disappointed in the lack of head and lace.

Smells of (stale?) refrigerated hop pellets, with lots of general bready sweetness. Some caramel and citrus, but mainly sweetness. A bit weird for an APA.

Tastes pretty good, although not as hoppy as I was hoping for. As in the nose, lots of general bready and malty sweetness. Some caramel, some citrus and hints of (faded?) piny bitterness.

Moderate-low carbonation. Could definitely use some more zip to help scrub some of the sweetness away. Medium body.

Overall impression: It's OK, but disappointing as I was expecting a hophead's delight and instead got a very sweet (and flattish) brew. Older bottle, maybe? If I get a chance to try it again and have a different experience, I'll adjust my review/ratings accordingly.

Serving type: bottle

05-09-2009 18:23:43 | More by PDXHops
Photo of scottfrie
scottfrie

California

3.13/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into Duvel tulip. Thanks HosP.

A: Pours a dark amber with a large, dense, stiff, tan head that left a sheet of lace around the whole glass as it receded into a pillow-y lumpy film.
S: Notes of malt, pineapple, and olives?
T: Light grapefruity bitter hops peak through a big caramel malt backbone. Body is sweet and the finish is slightly bitter. Very juicy and citrusy.
M: Medium body that feels "wet" in the mouth. Very juicy. Not very crisp, not very carbonated.
D: Not my favorite Pale Ale, but still nothing really wrong with the beer. Fairly hoppy for a PA, but not as crisp as I would have liked.

Serving type: bottle

07-04-2010 00:27:32 | More by scottfrie
Photo of 7ways
7ways

Georgia

3.13/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Dark copper with small tan head. No lace. It looks thin, and kind of pathetic.

Smells bright and airy, not too pungent. Fresh green hops, flowers, orange peel, and tropical fruit can't quite cover the cereal maltiness. A little meaty, but not rotten.

Tastes about like it smells, creeping into IPA territory. It's balanced on the front, but finishes sharply citric, bitter, and metallic. Not too complex or quaffable.

Decent mouthfeel.

I don't get the hype, is it just because everything from 3Floyds has to be awesome? This is a decent beer, everything about this seems well put together; however, it's pretty lackluster. It would be swell if 3F cared enough to date their bottles.

And calling an IPA a pale ale isn't "pushing the envelope", it's just mislabeling.

Serving type: bottle

11-21-2010 03:48:46 | More by 7ways
Photo of waughbrew
waughbrew

Massachusetts

3.15/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pretty clear copper. Wonderful dense foamy rocky off-white head stays around for a while and leaves nice rings on my nonic. Great aroma of fresh grapefruity hops with enough spicy quality to keep it interesting. Hints of grainy sweetness carry it along to my nose. Low carbonation, thick 'plasticy' body. Very toasty malt with assertive, slightly prickly herbage. A bit of peppermint Altoid in the finish. No yeast characteristics leave it lacking in development and complexity. Thickness makes it way too filling. Decently made, but fails to stand out from the pack. I still do not think that toasty malt flavors go well with big fruity hoppage.

[Mislabeled. With this big body, slightly elavated alcohol, and big hoppage, this is definitely an IPA and should be compared on that level. To have this listed as a pale ale is unfair to the real versions of the style.]

Serving type: bottle

07-10-2005 00:43:07 | More by waughbrew
Photo of jpmclaug
jpmclaug

South Carolina

3.15/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from the bottle into my Black Butte pint glass. I got this in a generous BIF box from sopernicus.

A - Orange/Brown body with a small off white head

S - A light citrus hop aroma but not much. A hint of sweetness. I remember this smelling better when I had it on draft in Chicago.

T - Light hop flavor with a bit malt backbone. I could have sworn this was more hoppy when I had it on draft as well. A bit of a citrus hop bitterness but mostly sweet malt notes.

M - medium bodied with a fair amount of carbonation

D - I think this bottle may be old but it isn't dated so I have no clue. A decent pale ale but not nearly as hoppy and delicious as I remember when I had it in the past. Hopefully I'll have a chance to try this again.

Serving type: bottle

10-03-2010 18:05:29 | More by jpmclaug
Photo of kscaldef
kscaldef

Oregon

3.15/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Copper amber with very little head and no lacing. A bit of sweet maltiness in the aroma as well as some tropical fruit and pine. Taste is a nice balance of mildly sweet malts and floral hops. Low carbonation and body. Quite drinkable, but nothing exceptional.

Serving type: bottle

04-10-2011 02:40:39 | More by kscaldef
Photo of BarrelBrother
BarrelBrother

Illinois

3.25/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I'll qualify this by saying Pale Ales aren't my favorite type of brew, but I tried this one after alot of encouraging from my IPA friends and was pleasantly surprised! The taste was very interesting and hoppiness didn't overwhelm the fruit overtones. The aroma caught my interest immeadiately. The bitter finish was quite strong which I know is typical, but not to my liking. If I had to choose a Pale Ale of those I've tasted, I found Alpha King to be quite unusual and worth a try.

Serving type: bottle

09-22-2004 02:43:21 | More by BarrelBrother
Photo of bulletrain76
bulletrain76

California

3.25/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Draught at The Red in Santa Cruz. Black with a dense tan head. The aroma is super chocolate powered; leaning a little toward the dark side, but still milky and creamy. The flavor takes that and adds in a roasted bitterness that doesn't completely blend, but works out alright. The body is a little thin, but pretty smooth. This is a really nice smelling beer, with a pretty good flavor to back it up, but the chocolate and roasted malt don't seem to gel as well as they could

Serving type: bottle

05-11-2009 23:30:20 | More by bulletrain76
Photo of jwhawkins81
jwhawkins81

Ohio

3.25/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Aroma - Pine and citrus hops and a lot of them.

Appearance - Poured reddish yellow with a trickle of residual carbonation

Taste - Surprisingly sweet and not overly bitter at all. Smooth but this must be an older bottle since I'm not getting the hop bite that I would expect from a FFF APA.

Serving type: bottle

04-18-2010 14:02:31 | More by jwhawkins81
Photo of Northsider
Northsider

Illinois

3.3/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Definitely not my style of beer, but I wanted to try something different.

Pour deep yellow, with white head. Smell was that of grapefruits and other citruses.

Taste wasn't doing it for me. I'm not sure what a "good" pale ale or IPA is supposed to taste like, but this tasted like Pine Sol to me. Not very pleasant at all.

Seems like this is a hit for certain beer drinkers, but for those with my tastes it's best to avoid. Overall it's just a wacky, piney taste that somehow seems shouldn't be in any drink.

Serving type: bottle

05-29-2011 21:18:29 | More by Northsider
Photo of barleywinefiend
barleywinefiend

Washington

3.33/5  rDev -22%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a deep orange color with a small white head that disappeared rather quickly. Nose is sweet, malty, citrus and floral and pretty malty too. Taste is malty, some citrus and hop bite. Mouthfeel is ok. Malty, citrus and kind of blah. Nothing spectacular. Overall an average Pale for me.

Serving type: bottle

02-22-2009 04:18:33 | More by barleywinefiend
Photo of YankChef
YankChef

Louisiana

3.33/5  rDev -22%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into uk size sam smith pint glass

appearance: very slightly hazy amber/reddish with an initial 1/2 inch head that drifts down to a wisp that just covers the top of the beer and leaving some attractive lacing.

Smell: At first i get some nice grainy malty aromas of barley and then of course there are the hops which are predominant. Little bit of citrus and floral notes here as swell a little bit subdued actually, maybe its too cold.

Taste: There is a slight upfront flavor of the malt and then it is all hops, pretty intense for the style actually. Even tastes a little boozy? citrus punch from the hops, very dry beer with not too much sweetness.

Overall: this is the 6th ive had of this 6-pack that i had imported from indiana (not all at one time) and i can honestly say that this one didnt do it for me. I would take a dales pale, snpa, or a anchor liberty ale over this any day of the week and all of those beers are cheaper and easier to get. A let down

Serving type: bottle

02-28-2009 21:23:49 | More by YankChef
Photo of mhewes
mhewes

Colorado

3.35/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A : Pours a good amber color with a thin white head that leaves good lacing behind

S : Some malt but mainly citrus hops.

T : Hop bomb. Loads of hop flavor, a little too much. Mainly citrus flavors. There's a little bit of malt but not enough of a balance.

M : Medium bodied, good carbonation

D : A little too much on the hop side for me. I prefer a more balanced beer.

Serving type: bottle

06-04-2008 20:34:43 | More by mhewes
Photo of BDLbrewster
BDLbrewster

Minnesota

3.35/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a darker than expected, ruby hued amber with about 50% clarity and a small fizzy head.

The smell is hop forward, more so than anticipated. Sweet ripe citrus, grapefruit and lemon mostly. Also there is a candy-like sweetness that is very apparent along with green, leafy notes as well.

Hop candy and loads of grapefruit kick this one off. Solid caramel infused backbone that works fairly well with the fruity hop oils. When you exhale some bitter pine and citrus pith are evident, but not overwhelming. Loads of fruity esters along with the seriously sugary malts make me feel like this would be hard to drink a bunch of. Interesting and fairly complex.

Mouthfeel leans on syrupy for such a low ABV brew. The carbonation rests on the low end of the scale here and doesn't help me to enjoy the brew as much as I would like.

I thought this would be a knock out. I'm sad to say that I am somewhat disappointed, I bet I would groove with this more if I'd tried it on tap. I can see why people would really dig this, but for a PA it just doesn't do it for me.

Serving type: bottle

02-22-2010 20:24:00 | More by BDLbrewster
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Alpha King Pale Ale from Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub
95 out of 100 based on 4,246 ratings.