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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.

4,268 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4268
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
Ratings: 4,268 | Reviews: 1,646 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of WVbeergeek


4.3/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance: Pours a copper amber tone with a nice sized off white cream hued head leaves nice appeasing rings of lacing, not bad at all. Aroma: First thing that hits me is the grapefruit like citrus hop tone with a rich malty barley presence this beer is a big pale ale at about 7%abv I think this one smells absolutely wonderful. Taste: Rich balance between the full hop bitterness some pine cone like and earthy tones available to the palate the juicy robust malt backbone also is here teasing the taste buds just so good. Mouthfeel: Medium body not sticky but texture just enough to let the sweet maltiness and hop oils run across the palate with some consistency. Drinkability: Freaking amazin' so damn drinkable perfect with a sixer and a ball game on the tube just one of those beers, I personally love the Dreadnaught but this is so damn good and palatable for a flagship beer they better never touch the recipe.

Serving type: bottle

10-30-2003 03:13:03 | More by WVbeergeek
Photo of bditty187


4.6/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Tawny-golden brown hue, slightly off-white head, about a finger in size. The head lasted for a moment, faded to a tight cap that lasted throughout consumption. Laced very well. Damn lovely nose, hoppy(!)… acidic, bold grapefruit, hints of pine… very distant caramel malt. Powerful. This is the Alpha King of all Pale Ales, the bitterness is not as assertive as the bouquet would indicate; it is might tasty though. Oh, don’t get me wrong, it is bitter. The maltiness plays more that a secondary roll, I’d say the relationship of malt and hops is 40/60. Yes, the hops steal the show, grapefruit rinds, acidic, zesty, vaguely piney. Flowery too. Savor this one, it’s hoppy enjoyment and complexities only seem to grow… better! Medium body with light carbonation helps produce a silky smooth mouthfeel. So easy to drink, you’d never realize how high the abv is. I snagged a six-pack in Des Moines, now I wish I bought more. Recommended.

Serving type: bottle

10-29-2003 19:53:25 | More by bditty187
Photo of Gusler


4.28/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A stuporous deep copper color as it sets in the glass adorned by a massive and semi-creamy off white head, and after dissipating the resultant lace a velum like sheet conceals the glass perfectly. The hops produce a marvelous floral aroma at the front, sweet malt in the middle, fresh crisp ending to the nose with a semi-sweet malt start and the middle a moderate feel on the taste buds. Finish is lenient in acidity with the hops dynamic in their spiciness, “WOW”, they make your whole sensory system sit up and take notice, dry and long lasting aftertaste. Ranks in my top ten all time favorite “Pale Ale” category, need to get another order in for this magnificent beer.

Serving type: bottle

10-25-2003 16:15:33 | More by Gusler
Photo of yen157

New Jersey

3.63/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Hazy orange-brown body, almost iced tea-like. Topped by a sticky, chunky head. No missing the big, citrusy hop aroma with mild, but noticeable, hints of banana esters. I’m not talking about hefeweizen, but they’re there. Great hop taste and bitterness which is kinda implied by a name like “Alpha King. Usually with a hopping like this one would expect to find a sticky malt body, but remember this is a pale ale not an IPA. The malt provides precarious balance to the big hop flavor and assertive bitterness. The hop flavor is rather complex and changes throughout the mouthfuls. There is a little apple late in the finish. Looking back on this brew, it seems like this is about as close to a big, homebrewed PA as you are going to find out there with the hops, haze, and esters. This is one beer I wish would come to the Garden State.

Serving type: bottle

10-24-2003 00:19:53 | More by yen157
Photo of BierReise


4.1/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle fresh from the brewery. Beautiful copper colored ale with a thick frothy head. Big piney citrusy hoppy aroma which smells like a good amount of Cascade but I could be wrong. None the less, fantasticly hopped. Smooth body with a bitter slightly dry finish. Terrific flavor with nice blend of malts and hops. A bitter pale but fantastic and nearly an IPA in my opinion. Delicate lacing. Wish I had more of this.

Serving type: bottle

10-08-2003 22:43:24 | More by BierReise
Photo of cerevisiaephilus


4.75/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

OHHH...me gusta esta cervesa! Its very good. The nose and taste screams Hops, hops hops. Malt malt malt. (In that order) Huge grapefruit bitterness that the malt attempts to balance, but has a hard time doing so, however it has a nice maltiness that isn't lost to the hops. The head was a bit small and the carbonation was low, but I think this was good as an overcarbonated hoppy beer tends to burn ones tongue pretty good.

Serving type: bottle

10-08-2003 03:23:02 | More by cerevisiaephilus
Photo of marc77


4.25/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Lightly turbid dark copper hue. Topped by a solid, stiff, cream white head that leaves steadfast Belgian lace. The aroma is comprised of pronounced pink grapefruit with sprinkled with hints of acidic lemon zest. Overshadowed, non descript light lovibond caramel malt tapers the pungency slightly and couples with understated hints of pine to lend a sweet, sappy spruce counterpart to the dominant citrus character. Obviously hop driven and very welcoming aromawise. Brusque snap of simple caramel sweetness initially in flavor is nearly overrun by a barbed, yet agreeable melange of grapefruit flesh and barely burnt biscuit. A suggestion of candied lemon surfaces mid palate along with rounding hints of toffee, and manages to facilitate a lingering, rich, nearly balancing malt presence. A balmy, grassy, dry hop derived component surfaces late and extends the lemony citrus theme in a fresh lemongrass like nature. A bit skimpy in body to support the pervasive hop character, but certainly passably dextrinous in mouthfeel. Finishes with a deceptively light and balanced mix of clean hop bitterness and stately caramel sweetness. Alpha King is a unique and highly enjoyable American brew. Its overall flavor profile precariously teeters between an American pale and a northwest IPA, but manages to find balance. The quintessential sugared grapeftuit impression is there, but never becomes cloying. Reminescent of a Hop Ottin / Liberty Ale hybrid. Superlatively drinkable, and ominously so at that.

Serving type: bottle

10-03-2003 01:49:17 | More by marc77
Photo of beerguy101


4.38/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Medium gold color. Medium head. Aroma is hoppy and malty. A medium bodied pale ale. Nice citrusy floral hops, balanced by sweet crystal malts. Great malt and hops flavors that are different and distinct, yet still well balanced. Very tasty. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is clean and kind of dry. Aftertaste is slightly bitter. VERY nice beer.

Serving type: bottle

09-27-2003 17:30:18 | More by beerguy101
Photo of Tballz420


4.13/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This one pours out a copper color with a good sized, slightly-less-than-white head on top. Great lace trail. One wiff of this garden-like beer will smack you with hops, with a touch of ginger scent in there. As for the taste it is completly dominated by a kick of hops. Spicy hops. Not much else to say except that if you like hops this is a good one to seek out.

Serving type: bottle

09-18-2003 03:16:27 | More by Tballz420
Photo of clvand0


2.9/5  rDev -32.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Pours a dark amber color with a medium head and little lacing on the glass. Tons of floaty stuff in the glass - almost scary how much there is. Lots of hops in the aroma as well as a grassy and citrus smell. The flavor was mostly hops with some grass and citrus tastes thrown in, just like in the aroma. The finish is ... you guessed it, hops. Not a bad beer. Not the easiest drink, but I may have another sometime down the road.

Serving type: bottle

09-15-2003 14:46:05 | More by clvand0
Photo of Seumas

Ontario (Canada)

4.75/5  rDev +11.2%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

09-13-2003 04:56:34 | More by Seumas
Photo of UnionMade


4.43/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a medium amber color, kind of looks like an english bitter or pale ale. Light misting of head that remains throughout the entire pint. Sticky cobwebby lacework. Very nice.
Aroma is hugely floral and hoppy, massive hops aroma. Tons of aroma hopping with something really high alpha. Citric, a touch grassy, akin to sticking your nose in a bag of raw hop pellets. Very nice, though. Solid malts coming through from behind, providing a slightly toasty sweetness with moderate esters.
Flavor is not as hoppy as i expected, and malts really come through well. Great balance, the likes of which I was not expecting. Solid malts to balance the powerful hopping. Mild fruitiness, with a bit of toasted maltiness. A hint of toffee. Very drinkable, with a smooth carbonation mingling with the agressive rough hop bitterness.
I'm impressed with this beer, as much as i thought i wasn't going to like it.

Serving type: bottle

08-29-2003 18:24:33 | More by UnionMade
Photo of steelreign

New York

4.4/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hop heads rejoice! This one will dominate you and make you beg for more of those delicious flowering cones! Hops, hops and more hops are in the aroma, predominate in the taste, and are present in the finish. Not nearly as bitter as you may expect. Very smooth and luxurious mouthfeel - I love this beer! I dare say on par with Sierra Nevada's Pale Ale and then some! Recommended!

Serving type: bottle

08-28-2003 02:53:01 | More by steelreign
Photo of Jarod


4.33/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Non dated bottle

This beer poured amber/orange colored that was clear and well carbonated. It created a creamy beige colored foam that lasted the whole way to the last sip and more. The consistency of the foam was watery (as it moved fairly well), thick, sticky and creamy. It created a sheet like lace on the sides to about ½ way down the glass then slowly broke into a spotted lace to the bottom of the glass. The aromas were dominated by hops, fresh (just harvested), then aromas of grass, citrus (grapefruit), pine trees and sap, and some malt soon began to mix in to the nose of the beer. The flavors that rolled over my tongue were also dominated by hops. Tastes of dry hops, fresh hops, pine needles, floral hops, fresh grass, citrus fruit (grapefruit), and some malt at the end. The aftertaste was mainly of hops, some citrus, some fresh, with malt tones, but light. Semi dry appeal and not overly bitter. The body was on the light to medium side. I did notice that as I came to the finish and the beer was allowed to warm, it became thicker and the malt flavors seemed to become more pronounced. This is a really good Pale Ale, good flavors, and very pleasing to the senses. A really good example of the style it is brewed in. A must get.

Serving type: bottle

08-06-2003 19:37:14 | More by Jarod
Photo of ngandhi


3.98/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

AK is an ultimate pale ale. Hops completely dominate this beer, but the wonderful brewmasters at Three Floyds have managed to create a flavor unlike anything I'd previously encountered. Usually, AK is too much beer for me. It's very busy with strong notes of grapefruit. Some mango on the nose. On tap, I notice an even greater complexity of flavor with mango on the nose and palate. Both tap and bottle have a medium body (a little fuller than most pale ales) that I guess is supported by some (otherwise unnoticeable) presence of malt.

The bottled version is a bit drier than the tap (not that that's a bad thing). In fact, it reminds me of the saison style of beer. I wish I had some Fantome saison to with me so I could be more accurate in my comparison, but Alpha King does call on a lot of that dry saison flavor. Maybe a little Dogfish head too.

The finish is long, especially on the back of the tongue.

If you give it time and try to work your nose and tongue through it, this is a commendable, complex brew. For everyday drinking, I would prefer Gumball Head Wheat or Robert the Bruce Scottish.

Relax, relax.

Serving type: bottle

07-22-2003 04:14:16 | More by ngandhi
Photo of avylover


4.43/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Should be noted I love hops. Seemed a bit less citrousy and mellower than in the bottle. I actually prefered the bottled version to this. Not quite as grapefruity & tasty as the bottled version.

see review for bottle here


Serving type: on-tap

07-17-2003 23:52:54 | More by avylover
Photo of brakspear


4.5/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Alpha King moves near the top of my favorite pale ales, which was surprising because I did not really enjoy Three Floyd's Dreadnaught IPA.

The ale poured a perfect orange body with a lingering head. It looked beautiful in the glass. The aroma is citrus, pine and grapefruit tang, but a malty sweetness is also present.

The taste is bracing, but well-balanced. The NW hops are loaded into the flavor, but not at the expense of a very enjoyable, almost session-beer like smoothness. Wow, a very, very good beer.

Perhaps, my experience with this pale ale was the result of perfect lining up of the planets, but I can't remember drinking a better tasting pale ale in a long time.

Serving type: on-tap

06-16-2003 17:19:14 | More by brakspear
Photo of jcalabre


3.93/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Originally sampled on 5 October 2002. Alpha King has a beautiful citrus hop aroma, along with a nice bitter taste w/ a clean finish. It is a very nice example of an American Pale Ale (APA). In my opinion, it's a very good session beer. I'd rather have Dreadnaught, but if you want to drink a few, this is a better choice.

Serving type: bottle

06-06-2003 15:35:26 | More by jcalabre
Photo of daledeee


4.65/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

First of all, you have to like hops. This is a great American pale ale. It pours a nice rusty reddish brown. Head thick enough to draw your finger through it. Good flowery bouquet on the nose. Lots of malt but way lots of hops. The finish is again hoppy. Plenty of alcohol. The web site says 5.8%. I have drank a lot of this and never get tired of it. There have been some supply issues lately.

Update: I believe Three Floyd's has given up having Schell bottle their beer. I like the new batch better. The head is stronger and the flavor is a little more balanced. I wish they would send their strong beers to Iowa. A top shelf brewer.

Serving type: bottle

05-25-2003 13:54:00 | More by daledeee
Photo of AtLagerHeads


4.03/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Well this sure is one great looking beer. The head came up three full fingers and lingered like crazy, creating super sticky lacing down the glass. The body is crystal clear dark amber topped by the ivory head mentioned above. Great nose that gives off plenty of hops aromas and hints of the malt body. The taste is about hops - citrusy and floral in the main, with great rind and grapefruit accents. Plenty of great bitterness it lingers on the palate like some great oily lotion to leave a creamy sense to remind you of the great taste you've just experienced. Full body and ultra creamy feel make this an exceptionally fine flavorfest.

Serving type: bottle

05-18-2003 19:59:02 | More by AtLagerHeads
Photo of wofat


2.75/5  rDev -35.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Call me crazy... or maybe the bottle I had was past its expiration date, but I had been searching for this beer for some time and am quite dissapointed now that I have found it.

This is a dark copper ale with immediate aromas of citrus hops, carmel and grain. My mouth begins to water...

The flavor is quite good to start... mild malt character, with notes of grain and carmel and a nice, consistent bitterness and citrus hop flavor... until... pow! Is that steel wool? A bizzarre metalic aftertaste that I have only experienced before in my first batch of homebrew. Very strange indeed. This brew began quite tasty, but the lingering aftertaste of metal will keep me from enjoying it.

I will be finding another of these and revisiting this beer.

Serving type: bottle

05-15-2003 06:43:43 | More by wofat
Photo of tar


3.98/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark coppery color, nice foamy white head. Lacing on glass as head dissipates. Lacing persists as beer is consumed as does a very thin head. A very attractive beer. Smells of citrus and hops, not overpowering but very pleasant. Decent taste, hoppy with a citrus overtone. A nice feel, not very heavy. Readily drunk, a good overall beer.

Serving type: bottle

05-11-2003 09:16:14 | More by tar
Photo of jaz


4.58/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This bees is defiantly the "King" of Pale Ales in my book. The wonderful golden copper color and thick creamy head delighted me at the start. The smell was rich and floral from perfect dry hopping. The taste was excellent. A complex blend of grains balanced with hoppy floral esters and bitterness balanced this beer beautifully. Starts out smooth and sweet, becoming bitter and piney, with a citrus middle and a tart, floral finish. Hail the King!!

Serving type: on-tap

05-08-2003 07:24:15 | More by jaz
Photo of dwarbi

New York

4/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a nice head, but it goes away rather quickly. Beautiful color: a rich caramel/amber. The smell? surprise! hops! Also, a little bit like apples. I can taste the apples, too. Very smooth and refreshing.
(Tasted this beer at the Blind Tiger's Three Floyds event)

Serving type: on-tap

04-24-2003 20:10:42 | More by dwarbi
Photo of StevieW


4.5/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle with a crazy looking guru depicted on the label. Full copper bronze color. Shiny. Medium beige head. Full, bubbly head. Great hop infused aromas. Thick hop bitterness punches you right in the nose. Rich, creamy full bodied hop bitterness dominates the taste. Snappy, citrus, and tangy florals. Some crisp lemon snap flavors zip by. Dry, puckering finish. Sticky hop bitterness. Yum. Medium bodied, medium charged. I would swear this was an IPA. Well worth the wait.

Cheers to MJR for the blockbuster.

Serving type: bottle

04-12-2003 18:38:30 | More by StevieW
Alpha King Pale Ale from Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub
95 out of 100 based on 4,268 ratings.