Alpha King - 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

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Alpha KingAlpha King

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BA SCORE
95
world-class

1,717 Reviews
THE BROS
94
outstanding

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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 rastaman
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. (298 characters)

Photo of OlieIPA
3.45/5  rDev -19.2%
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. (405 characters)

Photo of frank4sail
3.47/5  rDev -18.7%
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. (200 characters)

Photo of rugger
3.49/5  rDev -18.3%
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. (655 characters)

Photo of charlzm
3.49/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Consumed 04/25/08/.

Pours a hazy medium gold with a two finger, white (light yellow?) head.

Aroma is soapy.

Flavor is restrained but interesting. Some caramel maltiness and strong but smoothly bitter. Juicy, whistle-whetting brew.

Well balanced, very drinkable. (265 characters)

Photo of Phyl21ca
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. (339 characters)

Photo of Murphious
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. (302 characters)

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

Bottled 5.22.14 and poured into a teku

A: darker amber or copper

S: initially i picked up lots of malty breadiness and tart citrus aromas. after letting it sit awhile, i found an intensely concentrated aroma of orange. there's also a fair bit of pine underneath everything. i was turned off at first but the orange and pine aromas are pretty nice.

T: this beer is dry and bitter. i get a lot of citrus bitterness and a little bit of sweet orange maltiness.
not much going on here for me. it's bitter and malty, so right on point for the style, but it's a bit uninteresting.

M: very dry and bitter; medium-bodied

O: straight-up bitter and hoppy beer that didn't do it for me (679 characters)

Photo of tayner
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. (578 characters)

Photo of alysmith4
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. (358 characters)

Photo of ShogoKawada
3.51/5  rDev -17.8%
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. (878 characters)

Photo of SlothB77
3.53/5  rDev -17.3%
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. (399 characters)

Photo of Swettenham_Shire
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 (384 characters)

Photo of Nugganooch
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. (1,453 characters)

Photo of robwestcott
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. (396 characters)

Photo of katan
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. (707 characters)

Photo of Westsidethreat
3.56/5  rDev -16.6%
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. (534 characters)

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

A: Pours a nice translucent deep honey gold. There is about one and a half fingers of off-white head that settle nicely along the top of the beer. There is a decent amount of lacing as it drinks.

S: The nose is is mainly light sweet malt, some citrus hops, and that familiar FFF yeast note.

T: It starts out with some malt character up front. It's actually a bit musty. I wonder how long this bottle has been sitting on the shelf. I get a bit of herbal tea and the citrus hops come on the the middle and last until the finish. That distinctive FFF flavor is totally evident.

M: Light to medium bodied beer. There is a bit of heft, more than I was expecting for an APA. The flavors hit the palate and shift off. Only a bit of lingering bitters.

O: This is a pretty good beer, but It's not quick what I imagined it to be. This particular bottle seems a bit old, but without any bottle dates, it's hard to know when it was brewed. I'd like to try this again, but when I know it's a fresh bottle. (996 characters)

Photo of ViveLaChouffe
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. (468 characters)

Photo of tapman
3.59/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I get that the 3Fs make decent brews, but why the hefty price tag for the big bottles? Oh well, as for their more affordable Alpha King...

Pours rusty-red and orange hues towards the lighter bottom of the glass. Not much head at 1 finger, but the lacing sticks with it pretty well.

The aromas are citrus and grass with hints of pomegranate for that not-too-sweet fruitiness.

I believe the hops I'm getting are cascade, the most abundant American hop unless I am mistaken then please tell me. Earthy/grassy tartness with a bit of an alcohol sting. There is a sea-saltiness that compliments the bread-like malt back.

The carbonation is crispy. Overall the beer is creamy and smooth with a stingy finish.

Quite decent. I could enjoy 2-3 of these before the taste buds need a break from being worked so hard. I look forward to trying the $17 bottles one day, but for now this will do just fine. (905 characters)

Photo of RoyalT
3.6/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance – This one poured a nice, clear orangish-brown with a huge, puffy, retentive head.

Smell – The sharp, East Coast hop profile seems to have a bit of pine. This was a welcome surprise. I can pick up some light grain as well but clearly this is a hop-dominated APA.

Taste – The hops came out big at the taste but did not show a lot of depth, leaving this flavor profile a bit unbalanced. The malts were light and overmatched.

Mouthfeel – This one was somewhere between light and medium-bodied and didn’t hold up well to the big hops, but the bitterness was just wonderfully done.

Drinkability – This is a light, easy-drinking APA that I thought could have used a bit more depth. (704 characters)

Photo of PCampbell
3.6/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a tulip glass. Pours a nice dark amber color with a long lasting off-white thick head.

Has a very nice pineapple / mango smell to it on first whiff. A little bit of sweet malt in the background. Upfront it tastes hoppy malty with a light malt flavor to balance it out. Has a medium amount of body and carbonation to it to round it all out.

A very nice pale ale overall, worth getting if you like pale ales. (441 characters)

Photo of FtownThrowDown
3.6/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into my Dogfish Head pint glass.
Pours a very dark amber brown color. It has a frothy head that quickly recedes and leaves lots of nice lacing on the side of the glass.
Smell is very piny hops with some grassy undertones.
Taste is much the same, except with a good amount of hop bitterness to it. Mouthfeel is crisp with a good amount of bitterness. This has a decent about to maltiness and pretty full mouthfeel.
This is a highly sessionable beer which doesn't get old after drinking a few. (503 characters)

Photo of ATPete
3.6/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle
no date on the label, received in a recent trade.

Pours a hazy reddish brown color with a mediocre small white head and minimal sticking. A mellow nose of resinous hops and pine, musty pale malts lay balanced in the nose but overall its aroma doesnt necessarily strike me as inviting. Sweet malt character, brown sugar, big notes of grapefruit and orange peel. Lively bubbles, coating medium body and a long lingering bittersweet aftertaste. Good drinkability, but i was expecting so much more from this beer, possibly i got an old bottle, and i would love to experiment with Alpha King again but until that day, im unimpressed. (641 characters)

Photo of Soneast
3.6/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a slightly cloudy, orange color, with a pretty thick head that lasts quite awhile, leaving a lot of suds on the glass.

The aroma consists of a lot of citrus character, most notably orange and pineapple, but there is also a light graininess and maybe even caramel notes in the aroma.

The flavor starts out with some nice hop flavors of the citrus variety but then the beer gives up a lot of sweet malt character, mostly caramels and brown sugar. Some may call this well-balanced but for my money, it is too sweet for an APA.

Alpha King does have a very good mouthfeel, nice and creamy, and finishes well, but overall I thought the sweetness of the beer was a bit much. It is possible to bring out a lot of hop aroma/flavor without making a bitter beer, unfortunately FFF's decided to leave just a bit much residual sweetness which I think ruins the hoppy character. The beer isn't bad for what it is, but it is not a great APA, IMO. (940 characters)

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