Alpha King - 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

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Alpha KingAlpha King

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1,717 Reviews

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Reviews: 1,717
Hads: 5,819
rAvg: 4.27
pDev: 4.22%
Wants: 918
Gots: 926 | 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: 5,819
Photo of thebeerisgood
4.42/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Aroma: Tropical fruit, grapefruit, citrus and big floral hops. A great first impression for this brew.

Appearance: Copper/Amber with an off-white head that leaves rows of lace clinging to the glass.

Taste: Lots of citrus and hops flavor balanced well with pale malt sweetness. As with most 3 Floyds brews, Alpha King has huge flavor and is very enjoyable.

Mouthfeel: Good carbonation and a medium body, finishing dry and clean.

Overall: This is a very smooth, delicious brew and has easily become one of my favorite pale ales. With a ton of flavor, Alpha King leaves the bodies of most other pale ales in its wake. Over the course of two evenings, I killed a sixer without destroying my taste buds and keeping most of my wits about me.

Notes: Alpha King is brewed with Centennial, Cascade and Warrior hops and is one of 3 Floyds flagship brews. I've seen a sixer of this at pretty much every Citywide and Belmont in the area, as well as Martin's Supermarket. (964 characters)

Photo of IdrinkGas
4.42/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Amber color with little head and almost no lacing.

S: Mostly grapefruit, but I also pick up tropical fruits and pineapple. Terrific aroma!

T:Tastes almost exactly replicates the smell which is really nice.

M: Smedium body, good carbonation, with a refreshing mouthfeel.

D: Its got a great taste, the ABV isn't too high, and its quite a refreshing beer. Its a great summer type beer that I would consider highly drinkable.

I was unimpressed when I had this from a bottle but in a growler it was GREAT!! (513 characters)

Photo of angrybabboon
4.42/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Cheers to Goblinmunkey7 for giving me two bottles of this for no reason whatsoever

Consumed 3/12/12

Appearance: Unexpectedly dark - amber with copper - hazy, but mostly clear - minimal white head, leaves a little spotty lacing

Smell: Hoppy with some balance - lots of citrus - floral citrus, orange and grapefruit rind, some flesh, some pine as well - definitely interesting, but not IPA-level (which is appropriate) - malt profile is interesting - biscuits, slightly toasted, some sweetness, some earthy notes that just scream APA

Taste: So good and so balanced - I am not sure what stands out more, the malts or the hops - malty, with dry, toasted biscuits, some toasted grains, and some earthiness - hoppy, with lots of citrus - oily, pithy, with some citrus peel, nicely bitter

Mouthfeel: Medium body, nice carbonation, dry

Overall: A well-balanced, great APA

Everything about this beer is great. It is well-rounded. Hoppy, yet not as extreme as something like Three Floyds' Zombie Dust, and nicely malty. But just like Zombie Dust, I wish I could easily acquire this. (1,079 characters)

Photo of CBlack85
4.42/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to JAYBLACK for this one.

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

The beer pours a hazy deep golden color with a huge fluffy off white head that recedes slowly leaving behind thick sheets of sticky lacing.

The aroma is of citrus and tropical fruits. Lots of orange and grapefruit with some pineapple and mango notes as well.

The taste is orange and grapefruit, with a nice malt presence to balance it out. Really this seems to be flirting with the IPA/APA border with the amount of hops this beer is packing. Medium bodied and moderately carbonated, very smooth and easy to drink. I could see myself enjoying several of these in a sitting.

All in all this is another great beer from the guys at FFF. (718 characters)

Photo of biggred1
4.42/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Orange amber with lots of tiny suspended yeast particles visible. Very fine whipped tan head that settles into a nice collar of foam that leaves lots of sticky rings of lace on the glass. Smells of floral hops and caramel maltiness. Tastes pretty hoppy for an APA,with lots of grapefruit upfront with a solid malt backbone. I think their mild ale is more an APA and this is more IPA, but who cares? It is outstanding. Medium bodied mouthfeel with a fine carbonation. A hop head's beer for sure. (494 characters)

Photo of jasonjlewis
4.42/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got in a trade with David Eddie.

Nice head that has good retention. I poured this beer into a pint glass.

Smell of glorious hops. MMM. Hoppier than most pale ales. Hoppier than certain IPAs. Very nice hoppy taste, but not one dimensional at all. Pale malts come into balance. A little bit of caramel, but not as much as other pale ales. Brewed more like an ipa, but it's not. It's just a stronger pa. Tastes like centennial hops rather than cascade, however different than westcoast brewers like stone and alesmith's cascades.

Decent mouthfeel. A nice sessionable beer. MMM. (583 characters)

Photo of Yesac
4.42/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got this on trade from jwinship83 - thanks!

A - Pours a hazy copper/orange. Small off-white head that stays throughout the glass.

S - Floral aroma with strong citrus hops. Very crisp smelling.

T - Where the malts at? Hop dominance up front, but without the typical bitterness, they are sweet and crisp. Subtle malt finish.

M - Medium body, slightly sticky sweet hop aftertaste.

D - So crisp and fresh tasting, easy drinker here. Excellent APA. (452 characters)

Photo of gatornation
4.42/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

alpha king pours a nice dark orange color with nice carbonation/head... the smell is great.. sweet malts,hops ,citrus,pine, and other floral/fruity smells..superb it smells and taste more like an IPA to me it starts with a malt sweetness followed by a citrus hop flavor all in perfect fills the mouth with all of the before mentioned and is so very drinkable..this is my favorite PALE ALE but not my favorite IPA.. its easy to down 3 of these quickly in fact i got to go get another. buy/try this one for sure (521 characters)

Photo of BringusKilkenney
4.42/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a very good beer i loved it alot and was well worth the trip to chicago for it.
Apperance-light brown in color and light in the head when served slightly foamy not to much to distract you from this good beer.
Smell- Smells of well most brown and light IPA's citrusy and inviing.
Taste- This is where you really get into the good beer. It tasted amazing and really brought you to want more and more. citrus and malty hints at the same tame quite a unique beer and i can understand the cult following. (509 characters)

Photo of djhowell
4.42/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. Has a copper colored body with two fingers of fluffy tan head. Leaves some lacing. This beer was darker than I expected.
S: More hops than anticipated. Grapefruit, caramel, some grass and a little pine. Smells more like an IPA than an APA.
T: Lots of citrus and some pine first, backed up by some more floral hops with caramel sweetness in the middle, pine hops and sweet malt finish.
M: Medium bodied and medium carbonation makes for a smooth mouthfeel.
D: Great. I could drink this all afternoon.

Sure seems more like an IPA than an APA, but it is delicious either way. (615 characters)

Photo of hamilton23
4.42/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a nice amber color with a thick, creamy beige head.

S: Some citrus hops with some caramel and malt.

T: The sweetness is well balanced with the bitterness of the citrus hops. Notes of caramel malts.

M: Smooth, drinkable, clean finish.

O: For a style I usually do not enjoy, this was one of the better beers I have had in this style. A great summer beer. I could see myself drinking a few of these at a session. (423 characters)

Photo of OneDropSoup
4.42/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had Alpha King before, but a buddy of mine picked this particular bottle up from his recent trip to Indiana. Thanks, sean0505!

Poured into a tulip pint: Reddish-brown with some golden-orange highlights under two fingers of very light tan head, thick, sticky, lumpy. Drops to an island, but retains well.

Very fresh smell of slightly cooked orange & grapefruit, some tea leaves, a little burnt sugar, & some biscuity malt in the background. Resinous & "close," fresh. Just great.
Not quite as "hoppy" as I remember it -- like, I remember it smelling like a bag of pellets before -- but still pretty awesome.

Taste is citrus up front, the orange & grapefruit again, that cooked sugar followed by a tea-like dryness, moving into a sort of woody, even toasty malt profile. Finishes moderately bitter, piny, with a little booze presence. Goes through motions after the swallow, malty, biscuity, woody, sugary, piney again. Good stuff.

Medium-bodied, smooth with a little bit around the edges, slightly sticky in the aftertaste.

Great stuff, a slightly different animal from what I remember -- the green & resinous character is overshadowed by citrus & pine this time around, falling a little more in traditional American IPA territory. Still damn fine, & easily quaffable -- I could drink this all evening. (1,306 characters)

Photo of Ryan011235
4.42/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter on 4/6/10

Alpha King is a rather dark shade of copper, nearly to the point of ruby depending on how the light catches it. Highlights of rust & burnt brownish-orange are apparent around the edges. The poured resulted in a one finger cap of foam that has since receded to a thin layer of bubbles - swirling fleshes it out a bit, though retention is pretty thin. Lacing is ok despite being spotty & hit-or-miss.

Upon opening the bottle I was greeted with a burst of potent citric hoppiness. The citrus aroma is in fine form once in the glass with notes of grapefruit, lemon zest & orange rind. This is rounded out by complementary wisps of floral hops & pine. While the hops are undoubtedly the feature there is also a reasonably support malt bill with a touch of caramel sweetness, sugar cookies & a hint of fresh, toasted bread.

The nose sets a high bar & Alpha King doesn't disappoint. While it's tilted in the direction of hoppiness, there is still a prominent malt profile, though the latter seems intended to stay in a supportive role. Citrus hops are apparent from the start - grapefruit rind & lemon zest mostly. Piney bitterness is more appreciable to taste. Caramel & toasted bread make up the discernable aspects of the malt profile. Overall, it's well integrated & darn tasty.

Medium body with a decent bit of resin stickiness & grit. Moderate carbonation seems appropriate & accentuates the grittiness; fine by me. Residual notes of bitterness & toasted caramel linger well after the finish.

This beer is an impressive effort to blend high amounts of alpha hops into the APA style. I have no hesitations about buying more next time I am within the Three Floyds distribution area; in fact, if I lived in said area this would occupy space in my fridge on a regular basis. Recommended. (1,821 characters)

Photo of chilly460
4.42/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Copper body, quite dark, somewhat cloudier then expected. Off white head sticks around well, good lacing.

S - Yeasty malt hits immediately, then huge citrus aroma comes in, lots of clementine. Some grassy hops in there too, very strong apparent smell to this one.

T - Very hoppy beer, but somehow finds a way to still feel like a balanced PA to me, versus just another hopped up PA. Lemon zest, clementines up front..sweeter oranges as well. Grassy overtones as well. The hops are nice, but the butter cookie malts are what sets this one apart. Balances perfectly, some ginger or cinnamon in there too. Freaky good tasting PA.

M - Very well done for the style, slick, somewhat chewy, but still light on the tongue.

O - Excellent. Most complex PA I've tried that doesn't simply become a hopped up PA that is really an IPA. Malt character sets it apart, hop profile is delicious. (889 characters)

Photo of jaxon53
4.42/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Recieved from brandoman63 from the brews-n-tunes summer '07 tour. Served slightly chilled in a pint glass from a twelve ounce bottle. Poured a deep copper orange , almost brown color. A thick, tight, two finger off-white head formed with a rather easy pour. Awesome nose on this one, very bitter hop aroma, grapefruit, pine, pineapple, with a nice balancing malt aroma to it. Taste was more of the same. Piney hops, mild citrus fruit notes, and somewhat grainy. Very well balanced in my opinion, mild carbonation, and some well hidden alcohol. Mouthfeel was full bodied, thick, and pleasant. Drinkability was great. An easy beer to sit down and enjoy. (651 characters)

Photo of oregonskibum
4.42/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass.

A: Deep orange to brown color with a thin off-white colored head. Head quickly disippates to a few bubbles and light ring around the edge. Some faint, spotty lacing.

S: Lots of hops, grapefruit, other citrus, a little piney. Slight spicey notes, almost earthy. Nice.

T: Citrus continues into the taste. Some biscuity, almost faintly nutty malts flavors show up in the middle that trail off as the beer finishes with a faint bitterness. Finishes just a touch on the chewy side.

M: Medium body (for a pale, light by general standards) with medium carbonation.

D: Very nice hop-centric pale ale. Could easily enjoy this on a regular basis. This APA stands up with many light weight IPAs in the market today. Will hunt down again. (777 characters)

Photo of zrab11
4.42/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a beautiful amber color with nice white head

S- Has a nice ipa aroma to it with some citrus and sweet smells

T- has a very nice citrus hops flavor throughout. Hints you with some sweet malts and goes down crisp and clean

M- Medium bodied with nice carbonation

D-Over this is an exceptional APA. almost an IPA for me. love the flavors and balance. If you havent had this beer try it. its super tasty (412 characters)

Photo of DaveHack
4.42/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a Ithaca tulip at 52 degrees.

This beer is darker than I expected. Pours a dark copper, with a nice large head that settles down and leaves very nice lacing all around the glass.
The smell is of a very bitter hop. Very aromatic beer.
The taste is very good, especially for a pale ale. Very nice bitter hops upfront, then a smooth finish at the end.
Mouthfeel is good, not too thin or thick.

Overall this is a great beer, especially for a pale ale. Im usually into bigger IPA/DIPAs, but this brew can definately hold its own. (537 characters)

Photo of seedee17
4.42/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Great beer. Pours into the glass and leaves a nice tan head, which remains for the entire beer. A beautiful copper colored ale with a little bit of cloudiness from the yeast from the bottom of the bottle. A few small bubbles make their way up, not overly carbonated. Smells like pine and citrus, and slightly sweet, maybe like caramel. The taste is outstanding, finding a nice balance between hops and malts. Hints of grapefruit at first with a nice, earthy aftertaste. A pleasant hop flavor lingers long after swallowing. Leaves a nice, slightly slick feeling in the back of the mouth. This is a fantastic APA which seems to find a hop/malt harmony that can satisfy hop-heads and non-hop-heads alike. (701 characters)

Photo of superspak
4.42/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle, no bottle date but I bought a 6 pack last week. Pours hazy red orange color with a nice 2-3 finger off white head with incredible retention that reduces to a thick lacing cap that lasts. Some decent lacing clings to the glass as well. Aromas of big orange zest, pine, lemon zest, caramel, light grapefruit, bread, and a bit of spiciness. Some fantastic aromas here with great balance and strength. Taste of big orange, pine, spiciness, caramel, bread, and a bit of toasted malt. Nice amount of bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of citrus, pine, spiciness, caramel, and bread on the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a fairly creamy mouthfeel. Fantastic drinkability with no alcohol noticed at all except for a slight warming on the finish. Fantastic balance of flavor and bitterness. Overall an incredible pale ale with tons of flavor, hoppiness, and balance. I will be picking up more when I am in Indiana again. (951 characters)

Photo of WesWes
4.42/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a hazy dark gold color with a thick frothy white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is awesome. It has a solid malt aroma that boasts of pale, carapils, and crystal malts along with an intensely bitter citrus hop scent; very nice. The taste is great as well. It has a rich and smooth malty flavor that boasts of pale and crystal malts. It also has a very bitter hop taste that goes down easy and finishes hoppy. This is a good tasting beer. It is full of hops, but also well balanced. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a medium bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a damn fine beer. It is a tremendous drinker. This has got to be one of the all time greats. (686 characters)

Photo of Matthew
4.42/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark dirty orange color with a medium sized off white head that has pretty good retention.
Big fresh and pungent aromas of grapefruit, peach, and pine. Sweet maltiness is also very present in the nose. This is really a great smelling beer.
Big fresh hop notes up front characterized by citrusy fruit sweetness surrounded with nice bready malt backbone. Hints of pine and a bitter bite is in the trail end of each sip.
Very drinkable. Tasty and pretty well balanced, the hop profile is nice and pronounced, if I had better access to this beer it would be a regular in my fridge. (589 characters)

Photo of RedHaze
4.42/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark amber color with a thick 1.5 inch head with a lot of good lacing.

Great grapefruit and hop smell to it.

Fruity citrus and hop flavor with just the right amount of malt. This is one damn good beer.

Wish that this was sold this in my area. I had to order it from John's Grocery In Iowa City. I have a feeling that I will be ordering more of this in the future. The more I sip it, the better it gets. Wish I could get other Three Floyds brews after this one. (478 characters)

Photo of stxSS07
4.42/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Killian's Imperial Pint

A- Pours a dark orange copper with a fingers worth of head. Carbonation streaming off the bottom of the glass. Sticky lacing.

S- One word. Amazing. This has the aggressiveness and complexity of a DIPA with a malt background. One of the best smelling beers I've encountered.

T- Where does the APA end and the IPA begin? This is such a fantastic take on the style. On the first sip I'm overwhelmed with hops and citrus fruits giving way to a wee bit o' malt. Fantastic.

M- Light and crisp. Very refreshing with a juicy feel that finishes with a perfect dryness that gets you ready for the next sip.

O- This is one of my "go-to" beers that also happens to be one of the best that I have encountered. I consider myself lucky to live so close to FFF that I can get this with regularity.
A fantastic beer from an awesome brewery. (867 characters)

Photo of scottum
4.42/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy amber with a huge white head which leaves trails all along the glass. A nice chewy almost toasty malt attempts to hold it's own against citrus hop attack. Hop profile is wonderful. The flavors make mouth happy! This is an incredible beer which I wish were available in Vermont, or even New England at large. (320 characters)

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