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

Alpha King Pale AleAlpha King Pale Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
95
world-class

4,223 Ratings
THE BROS
93
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4223
Reviews: 1646
rAvg: 4.27
pDev: 9.13%


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
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Reviewers | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Alpha King Pale Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 4,223 | Reviews: 1,646 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of sm0key
sm0key

Michigan

3.35/5  rDev -21.5%
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...

Serving type: bottle

11-08-2010 00:30:06 | More by sm0key
Photo of eclipse54
eclipse54

Minnesota

3.35/5  rDev -21.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-22-2014 21:13:34 | More by eclipse54
Photo of brystmar
brystmar

Texas

3.38/5  rDev -20.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-30-2010 02:44:02 | More by brystmar
Photo of chicagoanbeerone
chicagoanbeerone

Illinois

3.38/5  rDev -20.8%
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

Serving type: bottle

12-14-2012 17:59:56 | More by chicagoanbeerone
Photo of RaulMondesi
RaulMondesi

California

3.38/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Ok, well... I had an equation ready, set, and ready to go, but then Raul became distracted. Ok, now Raul is back, and he thinks he digs it. When all you drink is IPA's, a pale ale is a bit unsettling at first, but then you gotta realize what territory you are in. Like, when with a freak (IPA) you know that you have to put the chains on the tires and get ready for a bumpy ride. But then when you get into a Pale Ale, you have to know that you have to wine and dine her first. So, for Alpha King, if this was a lil honey, you know Raul would take her to In-N-Out first before looking for a good time.

Yep!

Serving type: bottle

02-08-2013 03:37:58 | More by RaulMondesi
Photo of JudgeRoughneck
JudgeRoughneck

Louisiana

3.4/5  rDev -20.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-20-2006 05:26:50 | More by JudgeRoughneck
Photo of dborginis
dborginis

Pennsylvania

3.4/5  rDev -20.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-30-2009 02:07:38 | More by dborginis
Photo of Prostman81
Prostman81

Illinois

3.4/5  rDev -20.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-27-2011 20:40:44 | More by Prostman81
Photo of OlieIPA
OlieIPA

California

3.43/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Orange and hazy with good head. Not much lacing.

S: Sweet and hoppy; very typical

T: Syrup like taste with a light bitter finish. Couldn't pin-point out any distinct flavors...but perhaps a honey like sweetness.

M: Light body and carbonation; just about perfect for this type of beer.

D: Could drink all night if needed.

Overall: A good beer...not great. One of the better pale ales I have tasted.

Serving type: bottle

09-06-2008 08:10:22 | More by OlieIPA
Photo of aracauna
aracauna

Georgia

3.45/5  rDev -19.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-02-2002 23:29:11 | More by aracauna
Photo of rastaman
rastaman

United Kingdom (England)

3.45/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pretty nice stuff, quite sweet at first, then quite bitter towards the end. Rich palate, full of flavour, a soft smooth texture. Sweet malts, a nicely bitter aromtaic hops. Main flavours of lychee, pine, grapefruit (sweet). Satisfying bitterness. A slightly stronger version of an APA, Tasty stuff.

Serving type: bottle

06-18-2004 13:07:50 | More by rastaman
Photo of frank4sail
frank4sail

New Jersey

3.48/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pale average appearance. Not alot stands out. There is an above average hop presence, but it seems to fade into thin air as you drink. Slight white head. Overall a slightly above average pale ale.

Serving type: on-tap

10-18-2002 11:48:18 | More by frank4sail
Photo of rugger
rugger

Arkansas

3.48/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This beer poured a nice coppery color with a small white head that stuck around for a little while, and then left a nice lace pattern down my glass. The smell was at first very hoppy and then that went away and there was a smell that was very malty. The taste was more malty than hoppy, however you could tell that there were a lot of hops in there. I think that there could have been more hops in this beer, especially seeing as how it is called alpha king. This was a nice beer, but I have had better. I will try this again if I ever get a chance. It is always hard to rate a beer on one experience. i think that this beer would be great with a RANDALL.

Serving type: bottle

08-02-2004 16:35:07 | More by rugger
Photo of SlothB77
SlothB77

Virginia

3.48/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

12 ounce bottle poured into glass

A: Dark copper with half a finger of milky white head, viscous and a little rocky.

S: Grapes, passion fruit and cut grass.

T: Slick sour taste, toast and honey. Lemony sour mixed with hedgerow.

M: Medium-body, medium carbonation, acidic, slick, sour and bitter.

O: This is a little too sour for my taste, but I am more of a fan of IPA's than I am of pale ales.

Serving type: nitro-bottle

03-20-2013 00:07:15 | More by SlothB77
Photo of Phyl21ca
Phyl21ca

Quebec (Canada)

3.5/5  rDev -18%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a deep amber color ale with a small white foamy head with minimal retention. Aroma of strong bitter hops with some floral malt. Taste is mostly overpowered by hops with some caramel malt. I’m not sure I get what is suppose to be so great about this beer, seems to me that it lack balance. Will give this another try though.

Serving type: bottle

10-24-2005 17:02:10 | More by Phyl21ca
Photo of tayner
tayner

Arizona

3.5/5  rDev -18%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle courtesy of buckeyenation, thanks!

Medium nut brown color with a very sticky white head and lots of lacing

Smell is sweet malt and hops of a citrus grapefruit pith in nature.

taste is green. Lots of hot hop oils, bitter, grassy, and pretty unbalanced. Not enough malt backbone to stand up to the hop making it, IMO, a pale ale hop bomb.

mouthfeel is oily but very well carbonated. even with the great carbonation this one was still pretty mouth coating.

It was easy to drink, would have been more enjoyable if it had a bit more maltiness to balance it some.

Serving type: bottle

08-23-2008 21:07:46 | More by tayner
Photo of ShogoKawada
ShogoKawada

Rhode Island

3.5/5  rDev -18%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12oz extra from mikey711. Thanks! Into tulip.

A- That's a damn dark pale ale if I do say so myself. Penny copper brown. Nice sandy head that's mostly white. Large bubbles, nice lacing, head settles to a 1/2 cm and just stays there.

S- Hops! Sweet, sugary malt and fruity, mildly piny hops. Big citrus component. Hmm... west coast hops with an east coast malt bill.

T- Good hop bill here, malt is a bit too much for me. A bit sweeter than I would have liked. Still very tasty.. esp. for a pale ale (drinks like an IPA). Hops are flavorful and don't have too much bitterness. Lots of sugary sweetness... like frosted hops.

M- Again, too much malt. Maybe I'm just not being kind to this beer, but it borders on too sweet. Good carbonation though.

D- Moderate. I'll have to revisit this at some point, maybe my head's just not in the game. Good stuff, not great stuff though.

Serving type: bottle

03-28-2010 02:26:55 | More by ShogoKawada
Photo of alysmith4
alysmith4

District of Columbia

3.5/5  rDev -18%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thought this beer was good, but a little on the 'meh' side as far as my expectations go. Had high hopes as I've absolutely loved everything I've tried from Three Floyds so far, especially since this is their "flagship" beer. But it just didn't do it for me. It was definitely a good pale ale, however one-dimentional. Would have again, but wouldn't seek out.

Serving type: bottle

06-02-2013 21:04:06 | More by alysmith4
Photo of Murphious
Murphious

Illinois

3.5/5  rDev -18%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I was hoping this would be a better beer, but was slightly disappointed. Slight head and not much if any residual lacing. The aroma was nice, slight citrus but not much else. Flavor was nothing special, a generic IPA. Maybe the batch was old...? Seemed to taste a little ’medicine-y’ at the finish.

Serving type: bottle

04-09-2014 03:15:39 | More by Murphious
Photo of Westsidethreat
Westsidethreat

California

3.53/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

A: Pale ale my butt, looks like an IPA to me. Nice darkish orange, parika color. Off white head has fallen to a playfull froth kicking it on top of the body

S: Again, smells like an IPA. Deep, enriching aromas of tangerine, white peach and redwood.

T: Interesting dry bitterness going on here. Notes of grapefruit, kiwi and loads of fresh hops. Looong bitter finish with a buttery aftertaste.

M: Bit astringent, not very full. Too crisp.

D: Um yeah, it was a decent beer. But the ratings its receiving are not worthy IMO.

Serving type: bottle

05-17-2006 04:24:12 | More by Westsidethreat
Photo of Swettenham_Shire
Swettenham_Shire

Ohio

3.54/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Currently on tap in the Pint Room (Dublin, OH). First time trying this pale ale from 3Floyds.

A: copper color with minimal head
S: simple citrus smell; expected more hops
T: expected better; I've had other pale ales that compare to this
M: very smooth and drinkable
O: good, but not extraordinary; maybe I just don't like pale ales that much, but being a 3Floyds brew I had to try it

Serving type: on-tap

03-21-2014 20:20:57 | More by Swettenham_Shire
Photo of katan
katan

Colorado

3.55/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle, no date

A - Poured a nice dark amber color. looks very clear. Had a centimeter high head.

S - No wonder this is called alpha king. I smell cascade hops like crazy. This thing has to be hoppy.

T - First taste is hops, and it hits with a bitter flavor. It finishes with a nice malt hit from the roasted malt.

M - Very smooth - even with the apparent carbonation, it is a easy drinker.

D - I think this is a solid beer if I want to get my hit of alpha acids. I like the flavor, but i wouldn't drink a bunch of these.

All and all, another good 3F offering. This is a very good beer, but as I consider a "5" ranking as the best ever, my ranking is probably lower than most others.

Serving type: bottle

08-18-2007 00:54:25 | More by katan
Photo of robwestcott
robwestcott

Indiana

3.55/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

third glass in a FFF flight.

poured from tap to a 4oz taster a semi translucent light mahogany with a 1/2 finger off white short lasting head.

aroma of piney hops and not much else - except cigarette smoke from that guy next to me.

piney hops forward to the exclusion of all else. it's a hoppy beer not pretending to balance.

bitter on the tongue, medium carbonation.

very drinkable at 6abv.

Serving type: on-tap

08-26-2010 17:52:28 | More by robwestcott
Photo of Nugganooch
Nugganooch

California

3.55/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Another review made possible by my first trade with Shuggy. Cheers mate!

Very excited to try some 3 F's goodness for the very first time and just so happens that I actually got to sample some Alpha King at the PizzaPort Real Ale fest recently. Now sitting down with a bottle and results are sort of a let down for me.

A: Pours a much darker pale - more amber color with almost no head love. Just a dank swirling mass of a brew. Struggling lace.

S: Sweet honey malt notes with ample biscuit characteristics. Picking up some slight citrus but smell is dominant malt.

T: Taste is mostly sweet with a light honey and english biscuity malt character. Good amount of bitterness. Some noticeable spice and pine notes but any delicate hop flavors are just trumped by the abundent bready and honey malts here. Bitters do round it out and finish it up nice. ABV slighlty detectable.

M: Not a bad mix of sticky and creaminess on the palate that is bittered well.

D: Good. Malt forward for the style and lands a bit on the sweeter side.

Maybe my expectations were just too high here for a brew titled the Alpha King. As far as hops go this one is definitely not the King. Maybe back in the day this was considered hoppy? Overall a decent brew but a bit heavy on the malt flavors and aromas for the hops to really shine in my opinion. Perhaps one I will not be seeking out again any time soon with the many other options these days. Glad to have tried though.

Serving type: bottle

04-29-2011 21:44:01 | More by Nugganooch
Photo of ViveLaChouffe
ViveLaChouffe

Georgia

3.58/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Deep hazy copper with a creamy dense tan head. Lacy.

Smell: Citrusy hops, floral and sweet

Taste: Bitter and tart citrus. Smooth lightly sweet malt. Floral.

Mouth: Long hoppy finish, medium bodied.

Drink: Tasty and quite drinkable.

Overall: A bit unbalanced for a pale ale but it does have character. The malt profile could be more steadfast and while it is nicely hopped it doesn't have much to complement it. All in all though a good brew.

Serving type: bottle

04-15-2004 01:55:24 | More by ViveLaChouffe
Alpha King Pale Ale from Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub
95 out of 100 based on 4,223 ratings.