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Sneak peek! BeerAdvocate magazine #104 (September 2015) featuring Leah & Oscar from Highland Brewing in Asheville, North Carolina. Learn more ...

Alpha King - 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Alpha KingAlpha King

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BA SCORE
95
world-class

1,732 Reviews
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,732
Hads: 5,887
rAvg: 4.27
pDev: 7.96%
Wants: 922
Gots: 963 | FT: 24
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: 1,732 | Hads: 5,887
Photo of Tilly
4.24/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Typical of a APA, pour if a hazy and copper with a beige head that leaves a lacy trace on the glass.
Pine, lemon, bread notes and malt.
Taste is very similar to the aroma with subtal grapefruit at the back. Delicious.
Feel is dry with great carbonation and bitterness!
Another great beer from 3F!!! (298 characters)

Photo of MisSigsFan
3.97/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a dark amber color with a thick white head. Smell is quite malty. I'm thinking this isn't too fresh. Date on bottle looks rubbed off. Slight citrus and pine. Taste follows the nose. Pretty malty, with a good amount of citrus. Quite bitter for an APA. Mouthfeel is a little thick but very sessionable and crisp. Overall a decent APA. A little sweet for my taste. ZD is much much much better. (396 characters)

Photo of SWOhio-aquifer
4.04/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I had this at Jungle Jims about 15 years ago. Well, I actually bought a six pack. You could buy three f. in OH back then.
It was something that was a magical tasting experience with beer. Amazing. I'm not to far from the IN border and have bought a few times since then. With all of the other great beers flooding the market it got pushed aside.
If you get fresh, my bottle read late march/early april about two ish months. Doing some rounding, but it is definitely fresh enough to instill in me that the brewer has not cheapened ingredients.
One of the best. A classic that is still way above par. Seek it out if your within a few hours of a distributor. (671 characters)

Photo of AndyAvalanche
4.1/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle poured into my sweet new Notre Dame bulbed pint glass (from the university). Nice Amber, close to copper color in the liquid and has excellent clarity. Orange/vanilla colored head with some pretty nice lacing to it.

Smells pretty good. This is an aggressively hoppy pale ale but you can tell it's well balanced and actually sweet smelling as well like fresh baked crusty bread with honey and butter then smacked with some citrus type hops.

Taste is on par with the smell Maybe a little better I'd grade it like a 4.15/5 if I could. Same sweet malty tones providing the same bread/honey flavors I mentioned before in the aroma. Good citrus and sea bit of sappy pine; well balanced.

Mouthfeel is probably the best part. Medium body with an ad adequate carbonation level. Balance of sweetness and bitterness is really good balance is the key word here. Great drinkability, really smooth with a slightly bitter finish. Great anytime beer. A little expensive for my liking but worth a try. (1,013 characters)

Photo of collk22
3.93/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.25

Sum > the parts

Look: Cloudy amber, fluffy head that was more tan than ivory

Smell: Sweet, fruity

Taste: malt forward / caramel, fruit, citrus, mild bitterness

Feel: light

Overall: Very good beer. I really like the malt forward profile I get in this beer. Well balanced. Hope to find more soon. (299 characters)

Photo of BradfordStuckey
4.56/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Very good Pale. Definitely heavier on the malt side than what I had expected but in a good way. I got notes of biscuit, toffee and carmel that i would usually get from an Amber. (177 characters)

Photo of Big_V
4.28/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

From the first sip I knew this was a well crafted beer. Lemon and citrus notes. Very creamy and smooth. Easily the best pale ale I've had. Had ZD but I don't think it was fresh.Wish this was available in my area. (212 characters)

Photo of Gunna20
5/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Most well balanced pale ale on the market...it is made to go with food! Pair it with stake, burgers or pizza and you will love it...not as good as a standalone, but that is kind of the idea. (190 characters)

Photo of madelfonatree
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Look - Darker than a typical Pale Ale. Head has more of a ten color to it than ivory. Head is medium and lacing is there. Medium carbonation size.

Smell - Subtle dankness. Lemon/lime. Is there very faint bubble gum?

Taste - Bready. Caramel. Not too bitter. Citrus finish.

Feel - Smooth. Doesn't sting. Doesn't explode but not flat.

Overall - Why do you need to be blown away with bitterness? This is drinkable beer with a hint of what you want in an IPA. I liked it more out of a bottle. (494 characters)

Photo of MattJ85
3.18/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Smells of fruit, and tropical hops. The smell might be hops and malt but the Deep malt backbone comes through in a crisp malt finish/taste. The hops are up front and quickly fade into a really nice dry finish. I prefer my pales a touch hoppier, and less malt. This beer was very enjoyable, however since I cannot get on the regular did not live up to the Three Floyds hype. (377 characters)

Photo of JLeineke
4.36/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a deep red-orange with an off-white head that dissipates quickly. Very clear with little to no yeast residue. The colour is surprising, expecting something lighter. Very hop intensive smell! Lots of citrus, and floral notes. Some alcohol in the nose as well.
Tastes fantastic! The citrusy hops really shine through. A lot of grapefruit and pineapple flavours. Carameley malts a dry finish leave you wanting more. I wish they had a larger distribution network so I could drink this more. (492 characters)

Photo of Austin32
4.41/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

One of the most drinkable pale ales I have ever enjoyed. Full of citrus hop flavor but smooth enough you can keep drinking them without bitterness. Excellent offering. (167 characters)

Photo of Clockwork420
4.44/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

L - Amber bronze pour with slight off white creamy head. Retention was good (cold) with semi aggressive pour.

S - Smell is citrus. Sugary. Slightly hoppy bitterness. A bit of a smell of jelly beans. Fresh opened bag of candies. Mixture of different fruit smells. Tart and sour notes.

T - Taste is upfront in the hops region. No hiding it. Slightly bitter but had a hint of grapefruit and citrus. Leaves slightly tart taste in the end and last long after.

M - Mouth feel is pleasurable, carbonation on par. Carbonation is right in the middle of the spectrum. A bit thin but fits style. Could spend a long time sipping on this one.

Overall very solid. Quality wise it is one to strive to replicated and duplicate. Very good. High drink ability. I hate saying it, but if I wanted an IPA I would get a Alpha King without thinking. Its perfectly balanced. (857 characters)

Photo of SaltofOH
4/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Pies & Pints, Worthington, OH. Imperial pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a deep copper with 1.5 fingers foamy white head. Little visible carbonation. EPIC lacing, but not much retention [and that says a lot, because I don't think the glasses were as clean as I would clean them at home].

Aroma: Lovely. Centennial? Hoppy goodness. Tart citrus, tropical - Mango? Lime. slight hint of Simcoe; the sample glass reeked of Simcoe/gasoline.

Taste: Slightly malty, tart arrival; fruity, malty mid-palate; hops throughout; slow burn, lingering bitterness, slightly medicinal. I found this improved tremendously as it warmed.

Mouthfeel: Solidly mid-weight. Decent carbonation, pretty astringent.

Overall: Better as it warms. Unbalanced, at 68 IBUs it drinks much hoppier. Not really refreshing, and not balanced, but notable.


Mouthfeel: Solidly midweight, decent carbonation. (894 characters)

Photo of kbwalters
4.21/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured cold into a tulip glass. Bottled on 1/20 and consumed on 1/30.
Look = 4.25 Pours a clear rich, deep gold color with red and orange highlights and 2 fingers of off white head. Thick lace and great retention.
Aroma = 4.5 Hops everywhere. Big citrus and tropical fruit notes, juicy smelling; a little candied sugar notes form the malt backbone.
Taste = 4.0 Hop forward with citrus notes and grapefruit and hint of pine balanced a little with a sweet malty backbone of bready notes. Significant bitter finish.
Feel = 4.25 Syrupy with a medium to full body and medium carbonation. A substantial feel for a pale ale.
Drinkability = 4.0 Easy drinking hop forward pale ale.
Overall = 4.2 Great, well rounded, easy to obtain and drink, pale ale. (748 characters)

Photo of mmahanna41
4.37/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

As the flagship for 3 Floyds, Alpha King shows us why this brewery has continued to find success... it's hard to top a beer like Alpha King. This beer is continuously in my rotation. Rarely will you find my beer fridge lacking an Alpha King. (244 characters)

Photo of chefbigjon
4.19/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

To me, it reminds me more of an amber. Very well balanced between hop and malt although a tad maltier to my palette. Very good but can't believe it goes for $20 a sixer. (169 characters)

Photo of do_ob
4.56/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle into a snifter. Pours dark amber with lots of carbonation. 1 finger head of sticky white foam sits on top. Very aromatic with strong notes of grapefruit, peaches, oranges, citrus, and malt. Medium weight to the body, and incredibly smooth from start to finish. Taste is identical to smell; good amount of hops and grapefruit initially, and faded into a tart citrus taste. Very balanced with lots of malt on the back end.

Probably one of the best balanced APA's I've had. It reminds me a lot of Little Sumpin' Sumpin' with the strong grapefruit-forward smell and taste. This is a tiny bit more toned down and refined, though. Very good APA. Would probably be one of my go-to's if it were readily available. (721 characters)

Photo of Eric_Edwardson
4.64/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A American Pale Ale with slight caramel sweetness balanced by aggressive citrus Hoppiness, this is the kind of beer you find yourself not Able to put down because the flavors become more complex as you drink the beer! My first beer from 3 floyds, and I can always tell I will now be apart of their cult following! (314 characters)

Photo of ONovoMexicano
3.73/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a snifter from a 12 ounce bottle.

A- Light and fluffy pale oatmeal-colored head. Dark amber body. 4.5

S- Sweet, resinous, floral, dank and reminiscent of fresh cut grass. Not particularly exciting but good. 4

T- Surprisingly sweet, malty and grape-like. Seems dated with an aged citrus flavor. 3.5

M- Nice vibrant spice from the hops, creamy malted medium body. Very light bitterness. 4

Wish I could read the bottled on date. I can see 2015 but could be anywhere from a month to a month and a half old. The beer doesn't hold up that well it seems. (562 characters)

Photo of El_Farto_Magico
4.23/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Alpha King is a great beer. It delivers what you would expect from a well crafted APA. The aromas are bananas, and the taste is complex. Enjoy it on tap. (153 characters)

Photo of Bisco42
4.21/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

What a delicious beer!

Presentation - 12 oz brown bottle on 7/24/2014 printed on the base of the neck.

L - Poured vigorously into a snifter with a one inch head that quickly subsided. Lacing continues down as it is consumed. Dark brown/redish with little carbonation apparent. It is opaque and hazy.

S - Sweet, yet subtle aroma with traces of citrus hints of earth.

T - Very smooth, surprisingly easy to drink. The alcohol finish isn't until it's already been swallowed, and even then it's only traces. Leaves the mouth wanting more, and the notes of hops/citrus are there. The malt is also tasty.

F - Thicker than I expected. The carbonation, although nearly invisible to the eye, is there with each sip. Leaves the mouth a bit dry, but very drinkable.

O - Unfortunately I'm in Ohio and this is not available at any of the stores I frequent, or to the best of my knowledge, unavailable outside of bars, but I would but this regularly if it was easily available. A fine experience. (1,008 characters)

Photo of ThePorterSorter
4.04/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, dark copper color topped by a creamy off-white head that laces. The nose is aromatic, earthy/piney hops, but not smashing in your face - quite a reserved hop profile that mixes well into the malty sweetness. The beer drink with a malt sweetness upfront, which quickly transitions into modestly bitter and flavorful hops that linger. It's well carbonated, has balanced malt-hop character, a pleasant aftertaste, minimal alcohol, and a hint of bready yeast. This is a pretty crush-able beer, balanced and with good availability - I'd definitely recommend. (568 characters)

Photo of Joshuafzylatra
3.29/5  rDev -23%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

way to hoppy for my taste..seems overly bitter ..tried on a number of occasions in a bomber poured into a pint glass also sampled on tap..just not my thing this more a matter of personal taste (193 characters)

Photo of Beer-Revelry
4.31/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a standard pint glass

A - 3.75 - Poured a decent golden honey color. Formed a finger of lightly tanned head. Medium/low head retention, whispy lacing left on the walls of the glass.
S - 4 - Nice and piney, hops, smells of rain and grapefruit rinds. Not too sweet or savory, just right.
T - 4.5 - Balance is the theme here. Theres a decent amount of piney, hoppy citrus sweetness up front that is perfectly balanced by a decently bitter and slightly malt finish.
F - 4.25 - Good mouthfeel, medium bodied brew.
O - 4.5 - A really solid and sessionable go-to pale ale. Truly remind me of a not quite so strong variant of their Zombie Dust. This is the type of beer that drinks easy enough for me to go through a six pack, but packs enough flavor to keep it interesting to the last sip. Highly recommended. (817 characters)

Alpha King from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 1,732 ratings.