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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.

5,013 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,013
Reviews: 1,671
rAvg: 4.26
pDev: 9.15%
Wants: 841
Gots: 519 | FT: 25
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: 5,013 | Reviews: 1,671 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of vkv822
4.1/5  rDev -3.8%

12oz bottle into tulip snifter.
extra sent by iadler!

Pours a slightly hazy amber orange with quite active rising carbonation and a thick off white head.

The aroma is of strong citric fruits that blend quite nicely with a caramel malt backing.

The taste is sweet, with caramel, biscuit malts, with a pleasant citric hop blend.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with pleasant carbonation, though not nearly as active as the appearance leads to believe.

This reminded me more of an IPA in the nose, though the hops and malts did balance out a bit more in the taste. A very well done APA overall.

vkv822, May 11, 2011
Photo of AgentZero
4.1/5  rDev -3.8%

A - Dark copper color with a small white head that had some mild lacing.

S - Lot of citrusy hops on this, but light, not heavy grapefruitish like some hop bombs will do. Light malt notes, and some resiny finish.

T - Really nice citrusy sweet profile, not sugary sweet, but sweet. Malt backbone with a nicely bitter finish.

M - Medium bodied with a nice amount of carbonation.

D - Really easy and refreshing to drink, could do a few of these.

AgentZero, Apr 29, 2010
Photo of Wisconsinality
4.1/5  rDev -3.8%

Poured from 12oz bottle into SA Perfect Pint.

A- Where they get the pale ale from beats me. A nice deep amber with hints of orange around the edges. With a little bit of cloudiness, this beer pours a nice finger worth of head that recedes quickly but leaves a little bit of lacing on the side of the glass.

S- A big burst of pine and citrus hops right out of the bottle. A little bit of a sweet scent to go along with some faint grassiness. The alcohol barely makes its self known, but it is there.

T- The taste is a little more toned down than the nose but still is very good nonetheless. A sweet orange with a pine bite make this not your average pale ale. A little bit of a malt backbone compliments a hint of yeast.

M- When they call it a pale ale I am expecting a little more carbonation and maybe even just a tad bit lighter of a body. Medium bodied, it reminds me more of an IPA without the bite.

D- There is a good amount of flavor but it never really affects the palate. Like I have mentioned before, this reminds me more of an IPA than an APA. You can't tell the amount of alcohol in here and I have no problem knocking back a few of these in a sitting.

Wisconsinality, Mar 24, 2010
Photo of Bubba83
4.1/5  rDev -3.8%

Thanks go out to Kegatron for this bottle in a trade. Great BA and awesome friend.

Pours a dark, hazy amber with 2 finger widths of slightly off-white yet bright head. Very creamy looking 1/8 inch thick ring is there the whole way through. There's some spotty lacing, but it's scraggly.

Aroma is made up of mostly brown sugar, but has some caramel and citrus lurking around too. Some indescript forest smell is here too, I don't want to label it pine though, as it seems a bit more generic than that. A hint of peppery-ness as well.

The malt plays a huge role up front, with lots of thick brown sugar flavor as well as caramel. The hops are well balanced though, and bring a LOT of citrus to the table. It's not that grapefruity type of citrus though, it's more of a soft orange/lemon type. Finishing up we get some sprucey/pine type flavors and a little bit of alcoholic cherry with some faint spice for the swallow.

Mouthfeel can't be improved in my opinion, it's absolutely fantastic. Somewhat creamy feeling with little tiny bubbles, a fair bit of heft in the body makes it a really good chewy consistency.

Overall this is a nice beer. Not the typical Pale Ale by any means, as the beer drinks pretty big. Surprising that it's only 6% with how much malt there is here. Overall this beer reminds me a lot of Drake's Gold Medal IPA, but maltier. Good stuff.

Bubba83, Jan 31, 2010
Photo of mayor55
4.1/5  rDev -3.8%

I have had this many times and it's time for a review. Dark color with foamy head. Color is a little darker than what I would expect for a APA. Citrus/Malt smell that is a little confusing. Feels very good in the mouth. Nice aftertaste.

Very good beer. Not my favorite style and the hoppy/malty split is somewhat confusing. Beer hides its alcohol level.

mayor55, Nov 27, 2010
Photo of Ellbert
4.1/5  rDev -3.8%

Appearance: Orange with brown highlights. A yellowish head crowns this brew. A beautiful sight. What is this... floaties... bits of hops... you can't get much bette.r

Smell: It smells like fresh hops. There is little malt in the smell but the hops just smell so inviting. They over-take the aroma and invite you in. Very citrusy.

Taste: This is not as apealing as the smell but it is good. If you like sharp fresh hops this is great. The hops are upfront... They seem to overpower until halfway into the brew. As it warms up it balances more. The malt decides to play more of a role and steps up to the plate to hand it to the hops. The hops linger and leave an oily coating on your tongue. There is a little caramel in there towards the end. The alcohol is not evident.

Mouthfeel: Rich and dense. The hops impart an oily smoothness that coats your mouth. The malt adds body to the beer and the hop oils strengthen it.

Drinkability: This is not for the faint of heart. It is very blunt with the hops in aroma, flavor, and even appearance with the hop floaties.

Ellbert, Apr 24, 2004
Photo of leakyfaucet12
4.1/5  rDev -3.8%

a- a ton of lacing. orangish white head 1 finger. body is orangish brown, not what I have come to know from an IPA

S- tons of hops in the smell. the obvious fruits/citrus and piny notes. just very potent. smells really good.

t-hoppy, but boozie, tastes like alot of IPAs that I have had but stronger hops taste.

m- lots of carbonation when I hold on my tounge almost starts to burn.

d- Really good. I am starting to think that IPAs are all really drinkable but the flavor on this one keeps it apart from the rest. I really enjoy this beer

leakyfaucet12, Jan 03, 2011
Photo of merryjoulton
4.1/5  rDev -3.8%

Pours a slightly cloudy deep orange hue that has a nice head at first. Then it fades to a prisitne white foam around the edges that laces tightly to the glass. Smell is tight and sticky, very well constructed concoction of piny, sticky, citrusy sweet hops and a binder of nice malt. Taste is a perfect blend of bitter hops and sticky goodness that is balanced by the sweet malt character. Mouthfeel is full with a superb drinkability.

merryjoulton, Jul 25, 2010
Photo of strikertown
4.1/5  rDev -3.8%

Big thanks to Sean(Sean9689) for sending me the growler. I won his LIF, and it was received in excellent condition.

A-Not so much pale, but more of an light orange coloring with a small head that dissipated quickly to a thin lacing. Looks very enticing.

S-I am not sure if this was a cause of being in a growler for a couple weeks (I didn't drink it right away), but the aroma was faint although pleasant. Floral citrus but just not much of it.

T-This beer tastes more along the lines of an American IPA. Very bitter and citrusy hoppy. Added in was a decent malt backbone that led to some perceived sweetness. It sort of took on a pineapple flavor with the citrus and sweetness mixed together.

M-Has a solid mouthfeel that is not small and not big but rather right in the middle which makes this an easy drinker, IMO.

O-Overall I am still surprised that this is listed as an American Pale because it is similar to other IPAs I've had with decent body and a strong bitterness with citrus hops. This is a beer I could drink a whole lot of and be content.

Thanks again to Sean9689, for an excellent beer. I will definitely be seeking this out when i am in the distro area.

strikertown, Apr 24, 2011
Photo of brewintheLou
4.1/5  rDev -3.8%

Pours a dark amber with a 1 inch foam head that stuck around a left lacing down the glass.

Does not have a strong smell, but I think I am getting hints of a citrus smell.

Taste has a nice smooth malt at the start with a little hop bite to finish. This beer is very well balanced. Would probably be nice up higher ABV session beer.

brewintheLou, Jan 03, 2009
Photo of throwitallaway
4.1/5  rDev -3.8%

Acquired from thickerfreakness. Thanks dude! Decanted from the bottle into a pint glass. Pours an amber color with a one-finger head that fizzles away quickly. Aroma of resiny hops, citrus hops, and big, sweet caramel malt. Taste starts with a pleasant resiny bitterness, then the citrus kicks in, and finally it finishes with caramel and bready malts. Nice medium body, with a quite high drinkability. Honestly this tastes more like an IPA to me, but I'm a hophead, so I'm quite into this beer.

throwitallaway, Jun 05, 2008
Photo of herman77
4.1/5  rDev -3.8%

A: Dark orange almost a brown. Awesome color. Light khaki colored head that forms a cap and collar. Very good clarity. Nice spider web lacing.

S: Great aroma! Tons of citrus, oranges and grapefruit. Nice big whiffs of toffee/carmel malt as well. A hint of pine hops as well. Very nice.

T: How is this a APA? Its a hoppy IPA no doubt. Pretty much every hop taste imaginable hits you right off the bat. Pine, Grapefruit, citrus, floral, grassy and even slight earthy hops. There is some carmel malt as well, but its not nearly as prevalent as the hops. Long bitter, hoppy finish that grows more bitter by the second. As it warms, it becomes very smooth. I can see why hopheads go crazy over this stuff.

M/D: Medium body, pretty slick feeling over the mouth. Carbonation is spot on, not too much, not too little. Very good drinkability even though its pretty damn hoppy. The malt balance makes me coming back for more.

Best "APA" I've had

herman77, Jul 19, 2010
Photo of kmeves
4.1/5  rDev -3.8%

Hazy copper body topped by small beige head. Aroma is medium sweet, grapefruit. Taste is grapefruit, medium sweet, fairly intense bitterness. Still, the sweetness lends decent balance to the hops. Medium body. Nice hoppy ale. A little fruity, nice finish. Another great beer from Three Floyds.

kmeves, Sep 30, 2008
Photo of abcsofbeer
4.1/5  rDev -3.8%

Pours a pale orange color, clear, with ample carbonation. The head is very nice, off white and bubbly. There is lots of sticky lace all over the glass. Aroma is abundantly citrus with
a great deal of hops throughout. The taste is grapefruit and nicely bitter in the aftertaste. A fine APA, I must say. Very refreshing and good for quenching the thirst.

abcsofbeer, Nov 27, 2004
Photo of gbarron
4.1/5  rDev -3.8%

From a 12 oz. bottle, no freshness dating that I can find.

A - light copper, orangey/golden. Head is creamy, off-white, coverage is excellent. Leaves nice lacing.

S - great aroma on this one. Strong hop presence - pine, resin, citrus, grapefruit. Little bit of alcohol. Malt in the nose as well - can smell some malty, bready sugar. Very, very well balanced nose.

T - forceful bitterness, but not overwhelming. Bitterness hits the tip of your tongue and goes all the way to the back of your mouth. Hop flavors of citrus, grapefruit, NW American hop variety. Some malt here - toffee, bread. But hops win out. A little bit of warming alcohol, but very slight.

M - very smooth mouthfeel. Carbonation appears average. If you let this beer sit out and warm up a little bit, carbonation calms down.

D - very, very tasty brew. Very nice on a warm spring day. Refreshing hop content livens up your tastebuds.

gbarron, Apr 01, 2006
Photo of lackenhauser
4.1/5  rDev -3.8%

Thanks to BUCKEYENATION for the trade sample. I had tried this ages ago and was not impressed. Poured a nice coppery red color with a damn nice head that remained the whole way down the glass. Wonderful aroma-citrusy,almost spuce like. Big hoppy flavor up front-almost thirst quenchingly bitter if thats possible. Good body-well balanced to the hoppiness. A killer pale ale-more towards an American India Pale to me but a great beer all around. Funny what a second chance will do.

lackenhauser, Sep 12, 2004
Photo of livewire78
4.1/5  rDev -3.8%

Pours the color of copper tubing. Creamy lacing that settles into a rather unremarkable head.

Smells of intense citrus, and a pine cone dunked in a malt bath. Oooh yummy.

I was expecting this to be rather one-sided on the hops end because its a FFF brew but was surprised at how prevelant the malt is in the taste. Make no mistake the hops dominate but the malt is definitely up there with it. Very citrusy like the nose and the pine isn't as intense.

Mouthfeel is decent. Not slick and oily enough for me but not watery either.

I always have some of this on hand so I guess its my idea of drinkable. This one for me blurs the line between APA and IPA but its good either way. Trade with ME to get it though.

livewire78, Apr 22, 2010
Photo of TechMyst
4.1/5  rDev -3.8%

355 ml. bottle. Hazy orange. Upon first sense of aroma I thought this was an India Pale Ale. This is highly hopped. If I’m not wrong the Warror hop has high amounts of alpha acids and the Centennial is lower. But this is where is must get part of its name, yes? Bottle conditioned. Finely crafted. More on the grassy side than citrusy side for me. Nice long lasting bittering finish. No sweetness here. I thought pale ales would try more of a balance between sweet and bitter...this is all hops...I’m not complaining, but why is this not in an (American) India Pale Ale style? Very good beer though.

TechMyst, Sep 08, 2006
Photo of expatsteve
4.1/5  rDev -3.8%

Appearance: Orange amber in color, with 1/4 head that thins to a light sudsy skin. Medium visibility. Low/medium viscosity.

Aroma: Kiwifruit and mild grapefruit. Sweet malts underneath, and some orange and honey notes. Great fresh aroma.

Taste: Nice balance - pine and grapefruit hops bristle on the front and middle palates, while sweet cantaloupe and honey notes develop alongside this and control the aftertaste. Fruity developments as it warms - kiwi, orange and sweet citric bursts.

Mouthfeel: Thinner than it looks, which keeps this really drinkable; no bitterness in the aftertaste - just a hint of toffee malts.

Drinkability: Great pale ale, though the fruitiness is more reminiscent of an IPA than it is an APA (which I tend to think have heavier malts). Nonetheless, this is a fairly unique flavor that displayed a lot more balance than I thought I'd find in a FFF pale ale. Refreshing and sessionable brew.

expatsteve, Jul 22, 2006
Photo of Hojaminbag
4.1/5  rDev -3.8%

I got this one from SHRlsu. Thanks Stephen, I've been wanting to try this for a long time.

Alpha king has a copper colored body with a fairly lumpy beige head. Has above average retention and leaves a litte bit of lacing on the glass.

Smell is a pretty big whiff of citrusy hops with just a hint of maltiness underneath. Floral and citrus notes combine here to make this one smell excellent.

The taste is just like the smell, but the citrus flavor is stronger. Tons of biting, bitter, grapefruit hops and a little bit of a floral flavor. Just a touch of sweet malt. Actually tastes a little bit like some sort of perfume...a hop perfume anyway. That may not sound too appetizing, but this stuff is pretty good.

Mouthfeel is about what it shoud be. Full enough with adequate carbonation.

This is a pretty drinkable beer, but I don't think anyone should crack into this sucker expecting an APA because this is really an IPA. At least as far as my taste buds and nose are concerned it is anyway.

Hojaminbag, Mar 14, 2009
Photo of genog
4.1/5  rDev -3.8%

Got to sample this on tap at the Map Room.

Poured a light ruby red amber color with a great sparkling body and sudsy light colored hear. Smell was very grainy with spicy citrusy hops that jump through. Taste is a balanced IPA with plenty of hops present as well as a strong grain bill. Some lemongrass comes through as well making this a really smooth mouth feeling. Drinkability is really high and this is one of my favorite sessionable beers if only it was more available in Ohio.

genog, May 02, 2008
Photo of Jwale73
4.1/5  rDev -3.8%

Another extra from bgramer; an unbelievably generous trader (thanks Brendan). Served in a standard pint glass. Poured a translucent copper red; excellent clarity. Tight, off-white head approached the rim of the pint before reducing its volume in half within about 30 seconds. Cap eventually settled into a thin semi-consistent skim with strands of watery lacing spattered around the walls of the glass. Aromas of floral, piney hops immediately hits the nose. Taste consistent with nose with a strong grapefruit character that leaves a lingering bitterness between quaffs. Mouthfeel is between light- and medium-bodied with a distinct tingle across the tongue. This is an excellent representation of the APA style and I can see why it is a Three Floyds flagship brew, as such, I tried to be true to the style in my rating; however, a little too hoppy for my preference. If you are a fan of the style, this is definitely a brew to measure all other APAs against.

Jwale73, Jul 19, 2008
Photo of Gobzilla
4.1/5  rDev -3.8%

A: poured an amber brown with yellow highlights and a thin head that left very little lacing.

S: booze malts and mild hop aromas with hints of citrus fruit and caramel.

T: nice mild piney sweet hop flavor with bready notes with hints of booze and citrus. The final taste is that of ice tea.

M: medium body with light carbonation and a sweet mild bitter finish

D: pretty decent pale ale from FFF I'm glad I have more on the way. I'm itrested to see how it taste a little more fresh.

Gobzilla, Jun 06, 2010
Photo of SheepNutz
4.1/5  rDev -3.8%

12oz. bottle poured into a tulip-style glass. It pours a deep bronze color with one finger of head. There is a good amount of lacing left down the sides of the glass. The smell hints at pineapple and grapefruit, with a good dose of hops as well. A very full smell. The taste starts a little sweet and malty, but ends with a fury of hops. This brew reminds me of Burning River, because both are pale ales that have lots of IPA characteristics. The body is fairly thick and strong for a pale ale. The drinkability is really good for a 7.25% brew. A fantastic pale that works anytime!

SheepNutz, Oct 30, 2003
Photo of JBogan
4.1/5  rDev -3.8%

Caramel color with a one finger creamy head which leaves moderate lacing.

Smells of sweet malt with some citric hop notes. A nice balance.

Up front this has a sweet malty taste which lays on the tongue, but it hits you with a fair amount of bitter hop bite afterwards.

Thick and slippery mouthfeel.

This was my first beer from Three Floyds, so I didn't know what to expect. It ended up reminding me a lot of SN Pale Ale or a Firestone Double Barrel Ale with a hoppier finish. Nice beer, but I won't feel too upset that we don't get it where I live. There's a number of beers in this style we do get here which are less expensive and just as enjoyable. However, I am still glad I got to try it.

JBogan, Mar 02, 2009
Alpha King Pale Ale from Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub
95 out of 100 based on 5,013 ratings.