Alpha King - 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
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: 5,820
rAvg: 4.27
pDev: 7.73%
Wants: 918
Gots: 927 | FT: 29
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: 5,820
Photo of scottfrie
3.14/5  rDev -26.5%
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. (617 characters)

Photo of 7ways
3.14/5  rDev -26.5%
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. (771 characters)

Photo of Bighuge
3.15/5  rDev -26.2%
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. (481 characters)

Photo of DrainBamage
3.15/5  rDev -26.2%
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. (449 characters)

Photo of jpmclaug
3.16/5  rDev -26%
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. (740 characters)

Photo of kscaldef
3.16/5  rDev -26%
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. (259 characters)

Photo of MattJ85
3.18/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Smells of fruit, and tropical hops. The smell might be hops and malt but the Deep malt backbone comes through in a crisp malt finish/taste. The hops are up front and quickly fade into a really nice dry finish. I prefer my pales a touch hoppier, and less malt. This beer was very enjoyable, however since I cannot get on the regular did not live up to the Three Floyds hype. (377 characters)

Photo of waughbrew
3.21/5  rDev -24.8%
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.] (871 characters)

Photo of BarrelBrother
3.24/5  rDev -24.1%
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. (483 characters)

Photo of bulletrain76
3.26/5  rDev -23.7%
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 (475 characters)

Photo of jwhawkins81
3.28/5  rDev -23.2%
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. (291 characters)

Photo of Joshuafzylatra
3.29/5  rDev -23%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

way to hoppy for my taste..seems overly bitter ..tried on a number of occasions in a bomber poured into a pint glass also sampled on tap..just not my thing this more a matter of personal taste (193 characters)

Photo of barleywinefiend
3.32/5  rDev -22.2%
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. (289 characters)

Photo of Northsider
3.33/5  rDev -22%
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. (510 characters)

Photo of YankChef
3.34/5  rDev -21.8%
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 (987 characters)

Photo of chicagoanbeerone
3.35/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Very smooth hoppy but less hoppy then zombie dust tatse way better then pride and joy a mild pale ale but not to mild. malty and bitter describes this pale ale also a light hint of citrus hops but overall a good beer i would have this once in a while but gumball and zombie are still there best beers on the market (314 characters)

Photo of brystmar
3.36/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I'll preface this by saying that IPAs aren't really my thing.

A: dark amber in color, just over a finger if head with good lacing and retention.

S: very hoppy, hops with more hops and a hint of malt.

T: much like the smell, but smoother than expected. Starts & ends bitter, pretty well done for an IPA tho.

M: medium-body with average carbonation. Feels really pleasant in the mouth, a strongpoint of this brew for sure.

D: again IPAs aren't really my thing, but considering the style this is about what I'd expect. (520 characters)

Photo of sm0key
3.4/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I was actually a little disappointed based on the hype. Don't get me wrong, it's pretty good, but i do not think it is the class act of its style.
Poured into a pint glass, has a nice head for a bit, gives pretty lacing like you would expect. It looks really good. The taste is where it loses me a little. It's good, but I think there are others that are better. Pretty drinkable, could easily sip at it all day... (415 characters)

Photo of eclipse54
3.4/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a robust copper color with about a finger’s breadth of off-white, almost ivory colored head comprised of medium-sized bubbles. Respectable retention and lacing. The aroma is of spicy and earthen hop cones, a bit of pine sap, some wet earth, and orange citrus. It tastes similar, but with a greater emphasis on the orange citrus. A bit of lemon rind and grapefruit come through as well. Earthen notes, including grass and pine, are more predominant than the spicy character that was notable on the nose. Hint of caramel malt on the end. Mouthfeel is somewhat thin, but rich in carbonation with a nearly effervescent quality. Finish is wet and refreshing, but doesn’t linger longer than wanted. Overall, this is a very drinkable and enjoyable pale ale. While commendable, it lacks a certain depth that some other top-tier examples may provide, seeming somewhat one-dimensional. Still, this only adds to the drinkability, as it prevents it from becoming too filling or overwhelming; in that regard, great success here. (1,025 characters)

Photo of mhewes
3.4/5  rDev -20.4%
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. (373 characters)

Photo of JudgeRoughneck
3.42/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Thin head evaporates to surface mottling over dark, brownish-amber beer. Nose is fruity and piney hops. Alpha indeed. This beer is straight up bitter. It may be the bitterest beer I've ever had. Deeply resinous with bigearthy/ cinnemon in finish. Mouthfeel is thick and sticky.

This is a well-made brew but not my style. I'm way more into FFF's Gumballhead, which I consider an IPA also (though it is wheat-based), and showcases Amarillo hop flavor beautifully. (465 characters)

Photo of BDLbrewster
3.42/5  rDev -19.9%
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. (1,064 characters)

Photo of Prostman81
3.44/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I waited for awhile to try this beer. In fact, probably ever since I joined this website I've been wanting to try it. APAs and IPAs are my favorite two styles, and as this was highly ranked, was on my "to-drink" list, yet I could never find it at my local liquor stores. (Too much demand, limited quantities stocked).

Finally found this and tried it. Drinkable, with good but not intense hop flavors/aromas. Lighter body.

Overall it's just an OK pale ale. Not bad, just not great. If you have the option of buying a Daisy Cutter (and I know this isn't really a fair option to many), buy the DC. Daisy Cutter is by far a top example of the APA style, and has a certain crispness to it that Alpha King can't boast. (714 characters)

Photo of aracauna
3.44/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The appearance isn't too much. Color of one of the lighter shades of leather with an off-white head that was neither large nor long lasting. Nose is malty with hops that are dominated by the Christmas tree-like over the citrus but both are present. Flavor is surprisingly thick malt for a pale beer with a nice balance with the hops. Kind of a slick mouthfeel, but not as slimy as some. (386 characters)

Photo of dborginis
3.44/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Really cool bottle label, foil backed picture with "It's not normal" visible in the right light. Great packaging.

Poured into a standard pint glass, brownish red, a bit turbid with a foamy head. Smell is of citrus and bitter bitter hops.

Taste, at first I taste the yummy citrus hops. Then it gets really bitter with the taste of a dark bitter malt backbone. A bit of an earthy planty flavor in there too. Maybe with a sweeter malt flavor I would, but I'm not especially enjoying this. The lingering bitterness is just not doing it for me. A Dale's Pale ale is a bit more accessible to my taste. As I go though, it's going down easier, but still not ideal. (659 characters)

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