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

Not Rated.
Alpha King Pale AleAlpha King Pale Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

4,928 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,928
Reviews: 1,668
rAvg: 4.26
pDev: 9.15%
Wants: 840
Gots: 498 | FT: 23
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
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Ratings: 4,928 | Reviews: 1,668 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of cfrances33


4.08/5  rDev -4.2%

Not sure how I haven't reviewed this one yet, but here we go. Bottle poured into a tulip glass.

Pour: Deep , mostly clear amber orange with two fingers of bread colored head. Super sticky lacing, and head hang around for most of the glass.

Smell: Caramel malts hit first, followed by some breadyness. Very malt forward nose. Some pine and light citrus hangs around in the back, but not much.

Taste: Follows the nose with a heavy caramel, followed by a resinous bitterness. To be honest, the hop profile only lends bitterness rather than flavor. Caramel breadyness hangs around on the palate.

Mouthfeel: Kind of light, but the bitterness and heavy malt backbone make this beer feel bigger than it is. Normally, I would rate lower for this attribute in this style, but the heavy caramel in the taste make the heavier body of this beer a plus.

Overall: Good, but not great. It tickles my fancy every now and then, and I would definitely stress that I enjoy this beer. However, I view it more as an amber ale than a pale ale.

09-24-2012 21:13:24 | More by cfrances33
Photo of heidelbeerg


4.08/5  rDev -4.2%

Pours out a copper orange color with a thick, rocky off white head. The smell is moslty sweet malt with a floral hop aroma. The taste is very hoppy. A little too hoppy to say it is balanced but it does taste good. Citrous hop bite is really noticeable in the finish. A nice malt flavor is detectible through the strong hop flavor but barely. The mouthfeel is very thick and chewy. Quite nice. Very good tasting pale ale although probably just a touch too heavy on the hops for this style. Highly reccomended for IPA lovers.

12-24-2004 00:52:10 | More by heidelbeerg
Photo of LairdChisholm


4.08/5  rDev -4.2%

A - Pours a transparent, dark copper color with a steady stream of carbonation bubbles in the center heading towards the top. There is a one finger, off white, creamy head that has good retentions and leaves some fair lacing.

S - Sweet pine hops is what I get at first. These are followed by some citrus notes mixed with a more spruce smell. Very good nose.

T - Upfront there isn't a lot going on besides some slight lemon an citrus notes. The back end of the sip the stinging pine hops come out with a spike of orange flavor. It would be a lot better if it tasted like this all the time though.

M - Just a little too light. A little less carbonation would maybe help bring out those flavors at the beginning a little more.

D - A good staple session APA, I've had better and I've had worse, but not a bad one to try.

02-09-2011 02:49:10 | More by LairdChisholm
Photo of

4.08/5  rDev -4.2%

12oz. bottle.

Hazy amber fluid, with a medium sized head. Lots of lacing as I drank.

Aroma was grapefruit, peaches, honey and bread.

Taste was excellent. Biscuity malt, grapefruit and honey. A very hoppy beer, but with plenty of malt to balance.

Medium + in body. Medium carbonation. Drying.

I really enjoyed it. Sessionable if you are into hops. Great balance. Easy to see why it scores well. This one falls into the category of expectations met. Not sure I would call it a Pale Ale, though....

12-19-2006 15:14:31 | More by
Photo of Pintofbrown


4.08/5  rDev -4.2%

I had the "King" of pale ales in a nonic pint. Also, Three Floyd's may have the coolest bottle cap I have seen. Thanks to Geneseohawk for supplying this one.

Appearance- An orange-tinged, two-fingered foam builds quickly in the glass. It leaves a dense and smooth cap with a decent amount of big bubbles. Retention is decent and a webbing of lace stays on the side of the pint glass.

A transparent, copper- amber body has carbonation that is spread out and climbing lazily to the cap.

Smell- This has a very hoppy nose. It is a bit piney, sort of grassy, and an earthy - citrus quality that almost comes across as vinegary. The citrus is a little lemon and papaya in nature.

Taste- The grassy and citrus flavors get a second before the bitterness kicks in. Does a very nice job of giving a little bit of tongue tingle and then backing off.

The flavors are that same grassy hop and citrus-sweet quality. It is a lemon-like taste that mixes with pineapple or papaya, a musty kind of sweet.

The finish hangs mostly on the piney and grassy quality with a grainy flavor mixed in. I would like it more if the citrus flavors would sort themselves out and not be so muddled. Otherwise, it works very well.

Mouth feel- There are no real complaints here. It is a big medium body and very creamy. A very easy drinking experience.

Overall- The citrus qualities inherent in the beer are a little muddled. If they had as much zing as the grassy and piney hop notes this would be a really great beer. It is still good as it stands, thanks to the hop profile and the mouth feel.

02-05-2012 00:11:46 | More by Pintofbrown
Photo of HopHead84


4.08/5  rDev -4.2%

A great extra from a generous BA knocks off an unlisted want. A vigorous pour yields a 1 finger head. Dark reddish brown with minimal lacing. There is a nice floral hop aroma with a trace of citrus. The taste is well balanced, with a small and sweet malt backbone balancing out the astringent hops. The beer is medium bodied with good carbonation, and I want another.

10-23-2008 03:53:20 | More by HopHead84
Photo of bearrunner44


4.08/5  rDev -4.2%

Appearance- Cloudy, brownish-amber color. Bubbly, slightly filmy head, the color of pancake batter. Once the bulk of the head dissipates, a millimeter or two remains perched on top.

Aroma- Sharply acidic hops sting the nose; piney grapefruit aroma all the way. Agitation reveals a sweet, bready hop profile.

Taste & Mouthfeel- Quite a hop bomb! They're brash and assertive, filling the taste buds with citric flavor. The malt is smooth, sweet, and slightly toasty, but it's only in there to help take a little of the edge off the hops. The leftover head and ample carbonation lends the beer a light, slightly airy mouthfeel.

Verdict- The sole purpose of this beer is to serve as a hop delivery system. The strength of the hops might rub some drinkers the wrong way. I appreciated it, though.

02-22-2006 09:19:18 | More by bearrunner44
Photo of phisig137


4.08/5  rDev -4.2%

Pours a copper amber color, with a thin head that quickly disappears.

Aroma is nice, but a bit odd. I get large amounts of hops on the nose, but also a bit of coffee, which seems wierd.

Flavor is very well balanced. Good malt flavor up front, with a nice hoppy finish, and a very solid hoppy bitterness. Dry at the end, and begs for another sip. Mouthfeel is average, and drinkability is good for the style.

I personally think that this is right on the border between pale ale and IPA. It's bitter enough to be an IPA, but has the alcohol of a pale ale. Quite enjoyable either way, and would make a relatively nice session beer... if you drink it a bit slow.

04-21-2006 04:05:40 | More by phisig137
Photo of PsilohsaiBiN

New York

4.08/5  rDev -4.2%

Thanks to Krl2112 for the bottle

Appearance: Frothy 1 finger head lingers for a bit. Dark amber beauty rules the day.

Smell: Roasted malts and some hops are prevalent.

Taste: Nice bready taste upfront rolls off into some nice tart hops, with a smooth finish. There may be some bitterness, but it blends really well into a smooth, pleasant finish that cuts off nice and dry.

Mouthfeel: Average carbonation that attacks and coats the tongue in an exceptional way.

Overall: Better than your typical pale ale, it just has that extra magic in the hops. Sessionable and tasty.

12-01-2012 04:49:22 | More by PsilohsaiBiN
Photo of mz3frs


4.08/5  rDev -4.2%

Thanks to RockerD for the bottle!

A: Pours a clear deep orange-red, 1 finger head with some lacing 4.5

N: Alight hop aroma, 'fresh' and floral 4

T: Follows nose up front, medium bitterness, orange rind, a bit spicy with a bit of caramel malt background 4

M: Medium, not too dry not too sweet. Very drinkable! 4.5

O: Drinkable with a good hop flavor and malt backbone. Sad I can't get it around here. 4.5

02-21-2012 03:27:53 | More by mz3frs
Photo of whartontallboy

New York

4.08/5  rDev -4.2%

Pours out a very deep coppery amber with a decent sized head of big bubbles that left a fair amount of lacing in my glass. Very hoppy aroma offset with some citrus notes. Hoppy flavor with a certain orange rind twang, although there's also some nice spice and grapefruit in there, too. Medium-bodied smoothness that goes down with the faintest malt notes before a hop aftertaste and bitterness kicks through. A very nice pale ale that I'm glad made an appearance on my living room tour of top American micro hop juices.

01-21-2005 03:04:23 | More by whartontallboy
Photo of budsboy


4.08/5  rDev -4.2%

Clear, mahogony brown with a thick, fluffy and sticky tan head.

Woody, piney smell, nearly all hops. Sweet carmel and a sugary toffee smell as well.

Bitter and hoppy, pine and wood ash. Sweeter malts are in there, and a wallop of warming alcohol comes near the end. Woody flavors are more pronounced as it warms, but its still a hop bomb. Piney flavor lingers.

Slick and full in the mouth. Oily and smooth generally.

Man, this is good sh*t. One of the most hoppy, aggressive pale ales I've had. Another one of those beers I couldn't believe I hadn't reviewed already.

06-12-2006 23:43:09 | More by budsboy
Photo of tewaris


4.08/5  rDev -4.2%

Thanks to dvelcich (Dan) for this extra!

66 IBUs
12 oz bottle with no freshness date poured into a Samuel Adams "perfect pint" glass. I was assured of its freshness by Dan.

Appearance 4.5/5
Poured clear and deep amber, to the extent of seeming light brown; there was sediment in the bottle that might have caused the beer to a look a little murky. Moderate off white head with moderate retention and fantastic lacing.

Aroma 4.5/5
There is a great balance between malts and hops in the nose that is almost reminiscent of Arrogant Bastard, although weaker. Smells like sweet candy at times with malts upfront, and at times like a typical IPA, with strong hop presence. The malt aroma is toasty and caramelly, the hop aroma is classic American hops: piney and herbal...

Taste 4/5
Like the aroma, the balance is excellent. Even though the malts are certainly more prominent than AIPA's, the flavor is still dominated by hops; however, the malts add a definite sweetness. Riding on this sweetness is a zesty bitterness from the hops, that stays even after the medium-long finish. The finish is the only downside, taste wise, and is a tad too sweet.

Mouthfeel 3.5/5
Medium body, medium carbonation; this ale seems to coat the mouth at times. This beer cannot be called refreshing, and is a little too big for its own good.

Drinkability 4/5
I would like to have a more drinkable Pale Ale. Yet, I will seek out this one again because styles aside, this is a very good beer. However, as I said before, is reminiscent of the quintessential American Strong Ale to me.

10-08-2010 08:03:07 | More by tewaris
Photo of Hopfist


4.08/5  rDev -4.2%

A great "affordable luxury" pale ale. The name alone tells you what to expect. What the name doesn't say, the label surely does. A king made of hops. This quite heavily-hopped pale could easily be one dimensional without that heavy dose of malt for balance. This beer won't change your life, but it's a great introduction to the brews and philosophy of Three Floyds. Hop first, compromise never.

02-07-2010 19:35:18 | More by Hopfist
Photo of calicaliente

4.08/5  rDev -4.2%

Pours a hazy orange color into my glass with a nice white head that lasts a long time and forms very nice lacing on the glass.The aroma is malty sweetness along with a good amount of citrus, pine and grapefruit tang. Hoppiness is present throughout the taste but a bit too sweet for my taste. Overall very nice.

03-24-2012 20:16:42 | More by calicaliente
Photo of writerLJBerg


4.09/5  rDev -4%

On tap at Apex for Gigantic Beer Week.

A: Nearly red with a thin white head. Fairly translucent.

N: Good nose with a pure pineapple and pine nose. A hin tof mango, some earth, and plenty of malt shining through.

T: Well balanced while leaning towards the hoppy side. Lots of biscuit, and plenty more of the pine. Showcases the hops well.

M: Dry with a round mouthfeel. It's quite light and very easy to drink.

O: Cleans out the palate while remaining easy to put back. I would have this any time, and I'm really glad I was able to try it on tap. It's strange how good Three Floyds is with APA and yet their DIPAs are at best, average.

05-12-2013 04:33:01 | More by writerLJBerg
Photo of Mora2000


4.1/5  rDev -3.8%

Thanks to Pellinore1 for sending me this bottle. I had been wanting to try this for quite some time.

The beer pours an amber color with a white head. The aroma is heavy on the citrus hops with some bready malt and sugar notes.

The flavor is bread and oranges. The orange is both juicy and pithy and is very well done. Low bitterness.

Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

11-17-2010 05:02:45 | More by Mora2000
Photo of GilGarp


4.1/5  rDev -3.8%

Big thanks to BuckeyeNation for this one! I'm having it tonight to celebrate OSU over PSU in the big game today!

No date code. Pours a hazy copper orange color with thin white head that settles quickly leaving just a little lacing on the glass.

Aroma is sweet citrusy hops. Hard to tell if it's really fresh but it's nice.

Flavor is sweet up front with big citrus and grass hops coming through. Very bitter and strong for a pale ale but I'm not surprised. I figured the best pale ale on BA would be a hop bomb. Caramel sweetness is just enough to begin to balance things out.

Mouthfeel is smooth other than the bitterness. Medium bodied and medium-low carbonation.

A very good pale ale.

11-08-2009 00:55:29 | More by GilGarp
Photo of Golden2wenty1


4.1/5  rDev -3.8%

Picked up a single at Riley's here in Madison.

Pours a dark clear amber with a short finger of white head with decent retention. Nose is big and hoppy, the bitter floral variety, some citrus, and sweet malts. Taste starts off with a sharp bitter hop bite and transitions nicely into tropical fruits and caramel malts Alcohol is mildly present. Mouthfeel is crisp and refreshing, though a little on the thin side. This is a tasty APA. Didn't wow me, but a solid bitter hopped pale ale.

10-17-2005 02:46:47 | More by Golden2wenty1
Photo of MiScusi


4.1/5  rDev -3.8%

The cap actually took a bit of effort to pry off, it was on there pretty well, and released quite a large hiss when it did come off. It poured a deep orange, almost clear, but ever so slightly hazy. The head picked up quite some steam in the last 1/3 of the pour, forming a couple finger, semi-rocky head, though it did dwindle down into a cap fairly fast. Good lacing was left on the glass as well.

The aroma was of fruity citrus, plain and simple. The hops exert themselves very nicely. The taste is a punch of juicy berry and citrus at the beginning that transitions ever so nicely into pine at the end. No lingering bitterness present here.

The mouthfeel was ok. This bottle was well carbonated but the carbonation only exerts itself on the very tip of the tongue at the start of each sip. Towards the back end it feels a bit too smooth, if that's possible, but still good overall. Just a fantastically flavorful pale ale without being too over-the-top for the style. I was leery about the hype, not having tried anything from Three Floyd's before, but this was superb.
4.5 / 4.5 / 5 / 4 / 4.5

Just had another bottle last night. I'm not as big on this beer now as I was when I originally had it. It's good. It's pretty tasty, but it's more like an interestingly hopped amber ale. Easy to drink though.
Ratings adjusted to:
4 / 4 / 4 / 4 / 4.5

06-19-2007 03:33:21 | More by MiScusi
Photo of beerthulhu

New Jersey

4.1/5  rDev -3.8%

A: Poured a bright coppery-orange with a foamy 1 finger white head that was sticky and left a modest rim lacing.

S: big and citrusy from the cascade, centennial, and warrior hops.

T: The hoppiness was sharp and spicy with grapefruit and a nice floral finish. There was some lemony hints as well on the finish that left your mouth watering for the next sip.

M: medium and dry, with a great sticky grapefruit hop lacing left on the tongue.

D: A great big drinking pale by all means, will leave your mouth watering anxiously awaiting the next sip. Great drinkability, and case worthy by all means.

07-02-2008 00:09:43 | More by beerthulhu
Photo of philbe311


4.1/5  rDev -3.8%

A - Pours without a head, only a slight lacing the bubbles up and quickly fades leaving only some small blob lace in the center of the glass and a ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass... A burnt glowing orange copper color which is slightly lighter at the bottom of the glass and darker at the thop... Loads or medium to fast paced carbonation rise throughout... Some lace clings to the sides of the glass as the session proceeds...

S - A wonderful sweet citrus aroma... Mandarin oranges... Peachy... The hops are present, but are far from overpowering... Pale malts... Weak scent of caramel... The overall aroma leads me to believe that this will be a very well balanced Pale Ale...

T - The taste doesn't disappoint... Wonderful balance... Sweet fruit and caramel are first to arrive on the palette... The citrus hops slowly rise to the forefront without ever overwhelming... Some mild piney notes are noticeable as the aftertaste lingers...

M - Just the slightest carbonated bite on the tongue... Medium bodied and slightly syrupy... Even and smooth sip after sip... A tad chalky with a slight bitterness after ever sip... Loads of character without ever being overpowering...

D - A wonderfully crafted Pale Ale... Many in the style seem to be timid and lacking any discernible character, however that is not the case with Alpha King... This is a Pale Ale this is oozing with character and charm without ever being overpowering or off putting... Excellent in all facets and well balanced...

10-10-2009 01:57:48 | More by philbe311
Photo of nataku00


4.1/5  rDev -3.8%

Bottle poured into a tulip glass. A clear copper color with maybe half a finger of off white soapy head initially. Head dissipates to a collar of small bubbles and some lace along the surface quickly. Light lacing when swirling the beer, but it slides quickly back into the glass. Some nice carbonation visible through the beer, ascending at a decent clip but not overly vigorous.

Nose is orange peel, juicy ripe orange flesh, and caramel malt. Some dank earthy hops come up as the beer warms further. Not strongly aromatic.

Taking a sip, good balance of orange peel, pine needle and earthy hops with a good malt backbone. Short bitter hit on the tongue initially, but is then washed away by malt sweetness and finishes dry and clean.

Pretty easy to drink beer, light bodied and perfectly carbonated with some refreshing bubbles that cleanly remove the bitterness after your taste buds are done with it. A solid example of a well made pale ale.

04-24-2011 03:22:58 | More by nataku00
Photo of ZorPrime

Quebec (Canada)

4.1/5  rDev -3.8%

This one was sent to by BigBry in a recent trade.

Color: The beer is copper color and veiled.
Head: Nice head made of different bubbles size. It is a soapy looking head.

Aroma: Intense and hoppy. wow, more like an IPA than Pale Ale. The hops are citrusy with some grapefruits and piny notes.

Taste: Again, it is hoppy and intense. Presence of caramel malts too. The finish is very dry and with a strong bitterness. Again, the taste lingers for a good time in the mouth. Nice.

Mouthfeel: Medium-body with the presence of carbonation.

Drinkability: Very good.

A nice Pale Ale from FFF. I wish I could buy this one more often now.

03-28-2010 19:46:39 | More by ZorPrime
Photo of flaminghomer


4.1/5  rDev -3.8%

this is a nice clean crisp pale ale that will knock you on your ass if you do not watch yourself. abv is a little over seven percent but doesn't taste over 5. very little alcohol taste. taste is clean crisp and hoppy. from the things that i read i expected some sort of hop freak show but instead had good hop character which is what i like. wait a minute... it is pretty freakin hoppy. i'm looking forward to trying other three floyds brews.

09-12-2004 05:25:51 | More by flaminghomer
Alpha King Pale Ale from Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub
95 out of 100 based on 4,928 ratings.