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: 5,797
rAvg: 4.27
pDev: 7.73%
Wants: 917
Gots: 924 | 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
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Reviews: 1,717 | Hads: 5,797
Photo of AylwinForbes
4.7/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

We have had the Alpha King all over, in bottle and on-tap, at the brewery and other places, but I don't think we had it from the cask before. What a fantastic beer! Nice dark amber with a good froth in the glass. The smell is full, hoppy and floral. On the palate, all the good things of Alpha King are emphasized in this super-smooth and drinkable brew, floral hops, fruit, length. I was reminded of Fuller's London Pride and Brakspears (RIP) in particular as examples of a complex fruity bitter. (497 characters)

Photo of cameraman
4.7/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer was incredible. Poured into a pint glass, an amber color with a small head that forms and laces very nicely. Several aromas come through from citrusy, floral, and earthy scents, with a slight scent of malt. The taste is amazing, very well balanced. It starts with some malt and barley flavors, then the hops begin to announce themselves midway to the end of each taste. The mouthfeel has the consistancy of skim milk, watery, but it does have some body to the texture. Overall, this beer is incredibly drinkable, great taste, wonderful aroma. This beer surpasses one of my favorite beers in this style in SNPA. (620 characters)

Photo of thydarkprevails
4.7/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

How have I not reviewed this? This beer helped me discover craft beer and began my love of three floyds. 12 oz bottle into a duvel tulip. Pours a clear copper with a 2 inch off white head that shrinks slowly. Very nice lacing. Aroma is grapefruit, toffee, grass, and mild citrus. Flavor is bright citric hops. Grapefruit, caramel, mild toffee, and a mild creaminess. Mouthfeel is medium and sticky. Flavor lingers and alcohol is invisible. This is THE go to beer at any respectable pub I go to. Amazing. (503 characters)

Photo of jawlessbody
4.7/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Appearance: Pours a not quite hazy, not quite clear honeycomb color with a 1.5 finger slightly tan head.

Smell: Citrusy, mostly oranges and pineapple but just a hint mango. Bits of malty sweetness and piny hops can be detected as well.

Taste: Very balanced. Aggressive, but not harsh hoppiness washed down with a sharp, citrusy malt sweetness.

Mouthfeel: Dry, but not sharp. Very smooth going down, with moderate carbonation.

Overall: Holy shit, I'm impressed. This might be the best beer I've ever had. (510 characters)

Photo of MrMcGibblets
4.7/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

man, i loved this via bottle but on-tap this shit is even better. deep orange amber in color with slightly more clarity than the bottled version, the freshness from drinking it at the 3f pub took this over the top for me. even via bottle this has a thick, creamy off-white head that cannot be denied, leaving globs of lacing even after the beer is gone. citrusy hops dominate the nose with nice, rich, bready malts mixed in. subtle floral and pine notes as well, along with some caramel and honey. nice amount of sweetness at the front and with plenty of hop bitterness clearing it out leading to a long, complex, crisp/bitter finish. medium in body, this beer just leaves you wanting more and more. almost drinks like a dipa but at 6% you can have several of these. this is a must-try beer. if you ever have the misfortune of being in munster go get this stuff fresh. and when you're done, inhale the bouqet left behind-an absolute grapefruit bomb remains in the bottom of the glass. (984 characters)

Photo of EPseja
4.7/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Smuggled a 6-pack of these babies home from Indiana after my Godson's Baptism. They sat around for a few weeks (miraculously) during which time I had the fortune of getting a couple of fantastic pints on tap at The Firkin in Libertyville, IL during another trip.

Served in a pint glass at recommended temperature.

A - Massive, bold, oily head forms after a flurry of activity during the pour. Malty, burnished copper colored, clear body. Lace seems to cling for dear life to the glass during consumption. Incredible.

S - Clean, crisp, straight up sweet floral hoppiness. Not as citrusy or piney as others, although the notes are there. Mouthwatering and amazing for this style. Go Amarillo hops!

T - Incredibly balanced. Mild malts up front, quickly crushed by a hop sledgehammer. Clean sweetness in the middle, and a medium bodied finish that leaves a spicy, but ghostly hop spirit lingering in the mouth. For as strong as this beer is, the alcohol is virtually non-present.

M - Rolling and oceanic. Opens up slightly in the mouth upon sipping, simmers down in time for the swallow. No residual carbonation or out-of-character dryness in the finish. I tried to find a flaw but could not.

D - Extremely well crafted, although a touch acidic. I could definitely drink this all day on any spring or summer afternoon. Unfortunately, this perceived seasonality keeps it from the perfect drinkability rating. (1,409 characters)

Photo of Phocion
4.7/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Brought back by my amazing girlfriend a couple weeks ago after visiting her parents in Indiana. Let's hope it's still fresh.

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a shaker pint. Gold with just the slightest hue of red and a finger of frothy nearly-white head with decent retention. Ample but not particularly sticky lacing.

Yup, this is still fresh. Initial aroma is mostly grapefruit and other citrus along with a slight hint of pine. Slight caramelized malts providing just a bit of balance.

When this first hits your mouth, it's significantly less bitter than the nose would lead you to believe. Slightly sweet grapefruit followed by a hint of floral hops. Reasonable amount of toffee/brown sugar/bready malts, although (as expected from a pale) the hops continue to dominate. Nice, dry finish. Every sip is a massive bouquet of flavors, this thing is very complicated.

Slightly chewy and with moderate carbonation. Very silky and smooth mouthfeel.

All in all, this could easily be one of my new favorites. I'm pretty glad 3F doesn't distribute in my state because this could be dangerous. Oh well, it might be a good excuse, after eight months, to visit the girlfriend's family. Two thumbs up. My big toes, too. (1,215 characters)

Photo of beaker30
4.7/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Color is a beautiful copper color...

Smell is so citrus, so awesomely hoppy. I love IPAs and this reminded me of some of my favorites. I am a huge fan of Pride & Joy Mild Ale, so I expected some more hops out of this. I was not disappointed. Bitter, citrus and a just a hint of something sweet.

I could guzzle this right down, but the ABV is keeping me from doing that. This is going to be one of my new favorites.

Yummmy. (427 characters)

Photo of jjboesen
4.7/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A recent trip to Birreria Paridiso provided me the rare opportunity to quaff this powerhouse.

What a beer! It begins with a quick head and a thick slathering of lace amids a cloudy body of amber. The nose is overwhelmed by an extreme floral blast with small chards of orange and banana. All of which is superceded by a hop explosion on the palate, one in which no taste bud walks out alive.

Alpha King is wonderfully structured in that it can provide a worthy platform for heavy hops and mild malts - they're there, but are timid.

This is one true beer that challenges all your senses - I think I heard it too. It is magnificent too behold and hold.

It may be good to be the king, but it's great to drink an Alpha King. See It. Drink It. Love It. (750 characters)

Photo of NastyCanasta
4.7/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very nice clean looking dark amber color with a thick cream colored head that left a nice lacing aorund the rim of my pint glass.

Very pleasent smell. The head did not disappear rewarding my nose with both a pleasant citrus and "green" smell (reminds my of pine trees).

Very hoppy taste not real over-powering. I did not taste the alcohol at all
Very well balanced..

My mouth came alive when I drank this. Very fresh feeling. Highly recommended.

Great with beer can chicken. (490 characters)

Photo of Newglarusguy
4.7/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into my mug stein, ah what a beautiful thing.

Appearance: This ale pours a wonderful deep orange cloudy expierence.

Smell: Glory, wonderful, superb, it smells of citrusy hops predominatly Cenntennial, Cascade & Warrior Hops.

Taste: Excellent, nothing like it around I've tasted, and I've tasted plenty of APA's before but anyway it tastes of again citrus hops a dinty hint of malts in there to balance the equasion of this fine brew, but this is definently a hop lovers brew I tell you what.

Mouthfeel: It's like everything you've ever asked for in a ale, great taste, great smoothness and all of the above it's like premium heaven washing around your mouth.

Drinkability: Near perfect and that's all there is to it. (759 characters)

Photo of lovindahops
4.71/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Finally a Three Floyds brew in my hand! Thanks to livewire78 for making this east coast/mid west trade happen. Trading is the best

A- pours and impressive golden orange with the fluffiest head of rocky foam around. The lacing is almost equivalent to marshmallows all over the glass. The haziness of the brew is very amazing. Not many APAs look like this

S- a nice slap of grapefruit, earthy scents, and caramel malt flavors. There is a major balance to the scent. There are some orange and tangerine themes present as well. Again, just a big balance in the smell department

T- incredible! The citrus flavor and caramel malts contribute to massive flavor. It's bitter and tasty all at the same time. The quality of the brew is outstanding. The flavors are all over the place and it makes alpha king delicious

M- creamy with good chewy flavor. It paints your mouth with flavor

D- Alpha King was who I thought it was! This is the best APA on the planet. There are so many flavors and balance in the brew. It's definitely sessionable and tasty. I swear if this brewery could ever get to Syracuse, I would drink mountains of this stuff! I will get to Munster somehow this summer (1,178 characters)

Photo of TrojanMan
4.72/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

You know how when you're eating a peach and you get towards the pit and the flavor starts to get a little bitter? That's this beer!

Outstanding, all the way. Total class. The sweetness is perfect for the style, which is actually closer to an American IPA I would argue. Just a tiny hint of residual sugar, on par with Harpoon IPA, DFH 60min, Stone IPA and so on. The hops are *very* interesting and I can't quite pin them down, but they are in ideal proportion, just bitter enough without asserting themselves over the malt. Just a fantastic, balanced brew.

I had mine at Bierreria Paradiso in DC. First time tasting it, in fact, since nobody really distributes it around here. I was surprised they even had it. I knew right away that I needed to try it.

From the bottle, it poured a *perfect* clear, slightly translucent amber with a few rising bubbles. Wow, this looks great! Puffy head settles to a fine lace that clings to the glass after each sip. Just enough carbonation to maintain the lace over the whole pour without getting too wild.

The taste is biscuity malt and very clean, green hops. A little raisin and olive along with fresh pit and vine fruit and just a *hint* of apple and perhaps some spice as well. Towards the tarragon/juniper side, but very, very subtle. There's a flavor in the finish that I can't quite nail down...

As I said, the peach-pit flavor stands out the most, but that's not nearly all that's going on here. A little citrus, perhaps, my wife guessed Cascade hops, and maybe some green, slightly earthy flavors as well. Tough to pin down.

Mouthfeel is spot on. Sliky enough to introduce the flavors, but just a slight bit heavy in fact. Suck just a little air in through the front teeth to draw out some additional flavors and then roll that around the mouth for the full experience.

Again, I'm going to say that this is more IPA than PA and that the complexity of flavor is really a little too deep for me to pin down after just one bottle. I'm reviewing it anyhow because I think it's more than worthy of a try by anyone who likes beer.

This one is a bit of a wild card. It's not really East or West Coast style IPA and, for that matter, it's not really American in some ways. A little more biscuity than I'd expect and the hop profile is excellent, but just that little bit unfamiliar. Great beer and I'd highly recommend it. (2,369 characters)

Photo of sholland119
4.72/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

On tap at Clark Street Ale House.

A-Pours a clear copper amber with a thin white head and good sticky lacing.

S-Piney sweet hops with a strong malt backing.

T-Sweet malty front, then a malty and hoppy finish. Lots of flavor throughout. Sweet and citrus hops and a malt backbone that stands up to the flavor, all in great balance. Does not get much better than that.

M-Medium bodied with carbonation a little light but sufficient.

D-My favorite pale ale ever, or at least so far. It lives up to its well earned rep.

HV (523 characters)

Photo of uwmgdman
4.72/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This APA pours brilliantly clear very deep copper color with a clingy, white, soapy head. The aroma is intensely hoppy, loads of pine and good burst of citrus. Alpha King? Yes. The flavor is highly hoppy, citrus rind, floral and slightly piney. After the burst of hop flavor chewy, bready malt emerges and that is finally wiped clean by moderate hop bitterness. The beer finishes perfectly balanced between dryness from the hops and sweet, bready malt, very smooth and well rounded. The carbonation is medium-low and body medium. Overall this beer is incredible, deliciously hoppy, tremendous nose, and yet somehow a wonderful malt flavor emerges. One of the best APAs you can buy. Very highly recommended! (706 characters)

Photo of blitheringidiot
4.72/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Golden cloudy peach amber glowing hues with sticking thick meringue tan head cap that stuck to the glass and the walls like it was painted on with a roller.

Superlative scents of pine and resin goodness. If anyone died in the name of beer aroma, this would be the official funeral beer. Coniferous scents shoved up the nose goodness. Lupalin glad injection. Breakfast cereal high.

First swigs: Citrous grapefruit true and orange meets pine cone resin glop. Hop soup. Sizzle hop acidic addiction fix. Bright clean fresh pastry sugar hoppy cool. Liquid sap. Sticky thick bite.

Crisp well carbonated feel. Invisible ABV %. Gimmie more.

Last swigs: Clean pine resin and grapefruit thickness. Reminiscent of Avery IPA but this requires a paint stirrer to get moving. (774 characters)

Photo of maddamish
4.72/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Ap: Dark brown in color. There is a nice head when poured. Lacing through out.

Smell: Mango, orange and hop notes. The aroma in this beer is superb.

Taste: There is a tropical Orange/Mango thing going on here. It is slightly fruit punchy. I cannot believe that there are Pale Ale's like this. The hops are strong but complex. I could drink a lot of these and have a different experience each time.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and wonderful.

Dr: Yes

Notes: If you pass this up on the shelves at your local beer store... you are crazy. Simply one of the best pale ale's ever made. (573 characters)

Photo of thetomG
4.72/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Can't believe I've waited until now to review this one seeing as its my de-facto go-to everyday pair with anything beer. Alpha King is that good.

Aroma: caramel, roasty, floral, grass, citrus

Appearance: hazy, amber

Taste: medium sweetness, medium bitterness

Palate: medium body, a bit sticky but not too thick, average carbonation, long and mild bitterness in the finish

Overall: Truly outstanding. I can drink this one ANYTIME. Based upon its near constant availability (in my area at least), amazing aroma, and delicious flavors this is my favorite beer on the planet. (576 characters)

Photo of kmpitz2
4.72/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This beer pours a golden amber color with head that just coats the beer. The nose is awesome. There is lots of grapefruit hops overlaying some mellow caramel tones and some orange peel tones. Nice nice and nice. The flavor is so nice. There is a great grapefruit hop, deliscious sweet orange caramel malt and a peppery and mellow hop finish. I really like this beer a lot. I like the Pride and Joy, but this is more my style. Sweet beer. The feel is moderate to thick...maybe a touch thin. Drinability is awesome on this one. I dig this beer a lot. (548 characters)

Photo of khiasmus
4.72/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

The Alpha King pours a perfectly clear dark golden orange into my glass, with a bit of soapy white head that seems to dissipate all too quickly. certainly looks like a beer I want to drink though.
The smell is a perfect union of sweet, caramel-grain malt and sharp, piney/grapefruity hops that give it an almost spicy character.
The taste is the same... perfectly balanced, but not in a weak manner. You can actually taste each aspect of the beer. The hops and malt compliment one another instead of masking one another. Initially sweet and malty, giving way to an almost husky grain flavor, and then transitioning into a grapefruit-full bitter, hoppy finish.
Mouthfeel is medium-full bodied, with medium carbonation and a good bit of astringency in the finish.
This beer is by far the best pale ale I've had. Just like everything FFF does, there's much more flavor here than many of their contemporaries' beers. Delicious. And officially my favorite pale ale. (961 characters)

Photo of AlexJ
4.72/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

All I can say is Mmmm, I want another. Draft pour yeilds appropriate level of dense, white head with superior lacing throughout the beer. Mouthwatering aromas of sweet grapefruit hops with bright sprucey notes followed by light bready malts and apricot/nectarine sweetness. Taste is sublime...dominated by those grapefruit and resinous pine hops up front, and perfectly balanced by a pleasantly sweet, but very subtle malt back . Perfectly balanced with a medium body and perfect level of fizz. Alcohol level not evident till you have more than 1 or 2, which is very easy to do. This is an extraordinary beer, go find some, NOW!!! (630 characters)

Photo of SwillBilly
4.73/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle.

Appearance: Nice dark amber, with creamy 2 finger head that slowly dissapates leaving thick lacing on the glass. Nice looking beer.

Smell: Slightly sweet, fruity, hints of grapefruit possibly apricots and hops.

Taste: If the label didn't say Pale Ale I would swear that this was an IPA. Starts out slightly sweet, malty, finishing with a big hop finish. Extremely balanced. Fantastic.

Mouthfeel: Creamy and smooth.

Drinkability: Outstanding Pale Ale. I could make a session out of Alpha King, but the 7% abv would put me on my ass. Great beer if you plan on only drinking a few or a lot if you feel like getting shit faced.

Overall a great Pale Ale bordering on a great IPA. Seek this one out and enjoy. (751 characters)

Photo of Converge
4.73/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

355ml bottle poured into a 16oz tulip. This will be my first review for a brew I received via trade. Huge thanks to Matt!

A - Pours a deep, cloudy reddish-amber, with a foamy, off-white head that retains as a thin, soapy film and leaves generous curtains of lacing and suds down the glass. Much darker than expected, but also a really nice looking brew.

S - Big hop aroma. Citrusy, fruity, floral and piney. Mango, pineapple, and grapefruit upfront with some floral spice and pine resin. Pronounced caramel malt presence, which I didn't really expect. Pretty much ideal for the style, even poking it's head into IPA-territory though. Orange marmalade, citric rind, and toasty toffee notes as well.

T - Big, piney and citrusy hops, with a big malty backbone. Bright notes of tropical fruit, grapefruit, mango and pineapple, with a resinous and earthy pine character as well. A touch of onion spice, and some subtle floral notes round out the hop profile. On the maltier side of things, this brew offers up a lot, providing a big earthy caramel malt balance, with sweet toffee and mild spiciness. Finish and aftertaste is an excellent balance of bitter and sweet between the bright hop flavors and rich malty backbone, making for a superb and drinkable profile all around.

M - Medium bodied, with some chew to it. Carbonation is pronounced but fine and unobtrusive. Floral spice and bitterness linger on the palate. Sticky for the style as well.

D - An all around fantastic pale ale from FFF. While the pungent and assertive hop profile pushes this brew towards IPA-territory, the big presence of sweet malty flavors gives it some real balance. Almost like an Imperial-APA. At only 6.00% ABV this brew packs some serious flavor, but remains balanced and most importantly, incredibly drinkable. A truly world-class beer from FFF. (1,832 characters)

Photo of tastybeer
4.74/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours nice hazy golden orange color, with decent creamy head. The smell is amazing. Refeshing fresh squeezed grapefruit and floral. Dank and fresh herbal aroma. Taste is an explosion of hoppy goodness. Finish is nice and bitter before it smooths out. Great mouthfeel. Mouthwateringly drinkable.

This is definitely more of an IPA than a PA. Great pleasant and satisfying hops. I could drink this constantly. (407 characters)

Photo of Seumas
4.74/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

That massive whack of hops is what gets you. Yeah the body is really good: heck, 7.3 percent alcohol and alcohol never shows up in the taste profile. It's bitter, but not massively so, and while others have noted some sweetness, I never noticed it. Give me this over Arrogant Bastard any day. (292 characters)

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