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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

4,246 Ratings
THE BROS
93
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4246
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
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Ratings: 4,246 | Reviews: 1,646 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Rainblows
Rainblows

Illinois

4.34/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Had on cask yesterday at the FFF brewpub. 10 oz pour into a nonic pint, amber colored with a beautiful whitish head that laced the whole way down. Smooth mouthfeel, almost undercarbed. Hops are almost understated yet balanced making Alpha King an easy drinker compared to Zombie Dust. One of my favorite regular bottlings from FFF, a treat to have on cask!

Serving type: cask

02-27-2013 22:22:56 | More by Rainblows
Photo of Docrock
Docrock

Illinois

4.26/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Served on cask at Three Floyd's in an Imperial pint glass

A - deep orange brown in color with a nice thick 1"+ head. The lacing was so sticky it looked like there was masking tape inside the glass. The head dissipated to a nice 1/4" cap that remained there for the entire time.

S - a couple different citrus notes, grapefruit, orange peel, some earthiness and a bit of pine.

T - the pine and earthiness dominates over the citrus. Nice malt balance.

M - the carbonation is nice and the balance of hop and ABV is really spot on.

O - finally reviewed after drinking on - tap previously and in bottle several times. On cask seemed to really accentuate the carbonation, it was really smooth. This beer is always available but when I saw it on cask I had to give it a try, we'll worth it and as Three Floyd's "everyday" beer, its always a good solid option.

Serving type: cask

01-27-2013 04:05:09 | More by Docrock
Photo of jegross2
jegross2

Illinois

4.53/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewing a cask-conditioned Alpha King from Three Floyds.
Score: 95

Drinking a fresh, cask-conditioned pint of one of my absolute favorite brews of all time.

Appearance: Pours a hazy, dark reddish-brown amber with three fingers of foamy cream-colored head that sticks around quite some time. Falls somewhere between opaque and translucent, but closer to opaque. Excellent lacing. 5/5

Smell: Roses. Floral, grapefruit and citrus hops. A little honey. Lots of malty, hoppy sweetness in the aroma. 4.5/5

Taste: Huge grapefruit citrus bitterness. Malty-sweet backbone. Hints of berry flavors too. Absolutely refreshing. Finishes with sweet oranges and hops bitterness. Yum! 4.5/5

Mouthfeel: Light-medium bodied, medium-plus carbonation. Finish is surprisingly dry for such a malty mid-palate beverage. 4.5/5

Overall: Alpha King is one of my favorite beers of all time. The cask-conditioned version of this brew is much maltier and less hops-aggressive than the bottled version that I have had a thousand times over. How do I know? I had a side-by-side taste test at the bar. This is one to seek out!

Recommendation: If you have not had a six pack of this stuff, go buy one already. For those who have had Alpha King before, I absolutely recommend seeking out the cask-conditioned version. I am about as big of a hop-head as they come -- I have a well-known soft spot for IIPA's -- but cask-conditioned Alpha King's creamy malt-for-hops tradeoff is absolutely divine. Alpha King is the best year-round American Pale Ale (sorry Sierra Nevada!).

Pairings: Medium-cooked hamburgers. Particularly the ones they serve at Kuma's Corner in Chicago. Also probably pairs well with an earthy salad with feta and walnuts. Could really add some kick to spicy foods.

Cost: $9.99 for a six pack, or $7 for a cask-conditioned 16 oz pour.

Serving type: cask

11-26-2011 05:47:07 | More by jegross2
Photo of coryking
coryking

Missouri

4.95/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Honestly, one of the best beers I have ever had. I cant believe that i havent reviewed this yet!

Dont know what to say. Beautiful orange/red color in the glass with a big sticky head that lasts forever. Smells like you just zested a grapefruit onto a hint of pine onto a little pumpernickel bread dough. Just fantastic! Taste gives you an upfront malty sweetness from the caramel malts with a hint of maybe some roasted barley and then a slam of fresh American hops. Bitterness perfectly balances everything out to make it perfectly drinkable. Mouthfeel is right under medium and fits perfectly into the balancing act. I love this beer.

One of my top 3 beers since I first tried it 3 years ago...

Serving type: cask

12-10-2010 07:49:09 | More by coryking
Photo of botham
botham

Illinois

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

on cask at Lemmings in Chicago. this brew pairs quite well with a couple intense games of Jenga. pours a mildly hazy amber color with a single finger of super thick off-white head that retains wonderfully and leaves solid lacings.

aroma is of rich hop oils mixed with light malts and a solid smoothness that blends everything together. some mellow caramel malts show up upon a bit of swirling.

taste follows the nose with a wonderful character and a solid spiced hop quality that blends perfectly with caramel malts. a touch of crystal malt make the brew lightly sweet overall. very well balanced.

mouthfeel is light to medium bodied and super smooth with a solid hop character ad satisfying finish.

drinkability is solid. very well proportioned and easy drinking on cask. cheers!

Serving type: cask

12-01-2009 15:52:22 | More by botham
Photo of Bung
Bung

North Carolina

4.35/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Cask at Clark Street Ale House in Chicago. Surprisingly dark amber pour with a cream colored head. Piney hops dominate the aroma of coarse, but some malt also. Taste has some nice caramel covered apple, citrus and the hops. Smooth mouthfeel, just enough carbonation, hand pull helps this of coarse. Finish is not overly bitter. Not a frequenter of pales, but this is the best American pale I've had. Three Floyds hop heavy style obviously works well with this.

Serving type: cask

07-07-2009 00:32:52 | More by Bung
Photo of bluemoonswoon
bluemoonswoon

Illinois

4.63/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pulled from a cask at the Map Room and served in an imperial pint glass.

A: The beer is an impeccable looking dark copper brown with a thick and creamy one inch head that fades into a cap about halfway though the session and leaves behind a nice amount of lacing.

S: Smell is very subtle and very unlike Alpha King from the bottle, this beer seems like an almost entirely different animal. Mild pine and citrus with a good amount of sweet brown sugary malt greet the nose, you can already tell this beer is going to be something special.

T/MF: First sip is a bit unassuming but all that follow are pure hoppy and malty goodness. Super fresh pine and grassy lemony nuttiness, just about the freshest livest thing that has ever passed my lips. Mouthfeel is super smooth and creamy with just the right amount of hop bitterness and carbonation to hold everything together.

D: Insanely drinkable, one of the freshest cleanest tasting "Pale ales" I've had in recent memory. Alpha King is a must try from the cask.

Serving type: cask

08-14-2008 06:20:16 | More by bluemoonswoon
Photo of AylwinForbes
AylwinForbes

Illinois

4.72/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

We have had the Alpha King all over, in bottle and on-tap, at the brewery and other places, but I don't think we had it from the cask before. What a fantastic beer! Nice dark amber with a good froth in the glass. The smell is full, hoppy and floral. On the palate, all the good things of Alpha King are emphasized in this super-smooth and drinkable brew, floral hops, fruit, length. I was reminded of Fuller's London Pride and Brakspears (RIP) in particular as examples of a complex fruity bitter.

Serving type: cask

01-28-2008 22:51:15 | More by AylwinForbes
Photo of AudioGilz
AudioGilz

Pennsylvania

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

My first cask-conditioned beer....the head was large and fluffy and the aroma was strong of citrus and fruits. The balance was amazing, a sweet malty mouthfeel among the strong citrus hoppy domination. The hop flavor sticks around past the very dry and crisp finish. What a refreshing and enjoyable beer. I've never had a beer with such a dry and crisp finish. Is that a trait of cask-conditioned? Not the slightest hint of the 7.3% ABV at all. This beer just came damn close to Two Hearted Ale as my favorite pale ale.

Serving type: cask

02-14-2003 11:36:27 | More by AudioGilz
Photo of GOBLIN
GOBLIN

Ohio

3.7/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Three Floyds Alpha King

F=6 ?

Poured into pint glass

A: Dark amber to brown in color as carbination slowly rises to the top of glass

S: Meh . . . nothin' really

T: Ok, again . . . Nothin' exciting. Not bad but rather boring

M: Medium-sized feel. Good bitter finish

O: Was kinda excited to try my first 3F offering but Alpha King is a boring beer. Just not fun to me. Not sure what the hype is about. I won't be back.

Serving type: bottle

04-13-2014 00:27:05 | More by GOBLIN
Photo of BeerandWhiskeyHQ
BeerandWhiskeyHQ

Illinois

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

Appearance:
Hazy, Deep Caramel, Amber color, excellent lacing, small-slightly off white head
Nose:
Not overpowering, subtle, piney hops, slight malt, crisp and clean
Palate:
Crisp and refreshing hops notes, light malt, citrus, floral with some fresh fruit notes weaving in and out
Overall:
One of my favorites from 3 Floyds, it often gets overshadowed by Gumball head, but just like I said with Zombie Dust, this is the better pint.

-BeerandWhiskeyHQ.com

Serving type: bottle

04-09-2014 14:08:21 | More by BeerandWhiskeyHQ
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 mabermud
mabermud

Washington

3.93/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is my first time drinking a Three Floyds beer. I am a West Coast/NW IPA type of guy, so this is a first. My first impression was, it's alright. After have a few more drinks I began to appreciate the beer. I will be receiving some other Three Floyds in a couple of trades and am looking forward to tasting some of their other higher rated beers. The difference between the brewing is noticeable. SoCal IPAs are hoppy and NW IPAs are more subdued, but more complex...This APA can fit the mold.

This is a solid beer.

Serving type: bottle

04-08-2014 01:41:12 | More by mabermud
Photo of mlhyatt
mlhyatt

Georgia

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

Poured from a bottle into tulip glass

Thanks to brewzma for this!

A- a dark red with a very frothy head. Looks almost like a cream.

S- citrus hops with a little but of pine and sweetness to it. Hints of grape as well.

T- a lot of honey taste with hints of citrusy hops and pine. Aftertaste has a strong pine taste like eating grass or flowers , but in a good way.

M- very very thick for a pale ale. Especially on the back end. Slight carbonation but nothing too fizzy in the mouth which is strange for how carbonated it was when i poured it.

O- overall, this is good. Smooth and delicious. The hops aren't over powering and the hops blend really with the malt. Not the best pale ale but very good.

Serving type: bottle

04-04-2014 03:56:35 | More by mlhyatt
Photo of VelvetExtract
VelvetExtract

Massachusetts

4.16/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Pours darker than I would have expected. It's coppery. Head is an off-white growth. It retains quite well, keeping most of its height throughout. Consistent lacing rings.

S-Pine and citrus without a doubt. Grassy as well. Also some caramel malt and bread. Assertively hoppy upon each sniff. More IPA than anything else.

T-Chewy pine and grass with a bunch of candied oranges and grapefruits. Some caramel and bread crust. Straightforward but well built.

M-Bitter and dry. Medium bodied. Drinks quite easily. Aftertaste is moderately long lasting.

O-I have always wanted an Alpha King. Finally got the go-ahead on this one. I found it to be an above average IPA/Pale Ale hybrid but not much more than that.

Serving type: on-tap

04-02-2014 23:54:05 | More by VelvetExtract
Photo of dbrauneis
dbrauneis

North Carolina

4.26/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Served on-tap at Sergio's World Beers in Louisville, KY

A: Pours a very lightly hazy medium golden honey orange in color with light to moderate amounts of active visible carbonation and significant amounts of copper highlights. The beer has a finger tall dense foamy light beige head that slowly reduces to a thin film covering the majority of the surface of the beer and a medium thick ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate to significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Strong aromas of citrus/grapefruit zest, citrus/orange rind, and herbal hops over a light aroma of slightly sweet grainy malts.

T: Upfront there are light flavors of slightly sweet grainy malts with a touch of caramel malts as well. That is followed by the just shy of moderate flavors of the hops - citrus/grapefruit zest, citrus/orange rind, and herbal. Light amounts of lingering bitterness are observed.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Slightly sticky and hints of dryness in the finish.

O: This is a wonderful beer that I thoroughly enjoyed and really appreciated trying after looking for it during my travels over the last couple of years. Definitely one I wish I had easier access to and that I could enjoy more readily. Highly recommend and definitely in my top 100 of all time.

Serving type: on-tap

03-31-2014 02:53:24 | More by dbrauneis
Photo of 1000lbgrizzly
1000lbgrizzly

Illinois

3.83/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Hazy almond shell brown, solid stream of bubbles. Off-white head with stellar retention, polka dotted lacing. A little dark for a 'pale ale' but enticing nevertheless. Plus that head....

S: Pine resins and citrus. Clean and clear.

T: Nose plus mild malt sweetness. Tasty.

M: Medium bodied, creamy. Fine carbonation.

O: Really nice, good hop presence and balanced by malts. But if I've gone out of my way enough to find it, there will probably be it's better version (Zombie Dust) available, too.

Serving type: bottle

03-23-2014 06:21:55 | More by 1000lbgrizzly
Photo of pkalix
pkalix

California

4.35/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

very copper pour with lots of effervescence and a super creamy tan head. a very beautiful pour and almost perfect in appearance. that's my take....
some citrus aroma, and another, unidentifiable smell... not a great smell... kind of metallic. might have been the ride from indiana....
taste is crisp, mellow and smooth. hop bitterness at the finish, citrus in the middle. some mentioned a 'bubble gum' taste; I can see that although it's not altogether distinguishable. a very nice flavor, very easy to drink with a decent abv to boot!
very smooth. very decent. been waiting a long time to try my first Three Floyds.... thank you to Mike!!!! for the opportunity.... overall, a very good beer! no date on the bottle, which sucks, but very very good....

Serving type: bottle

03-22-2014 20:01:14 | More by pkalix
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 Kramerbarthomer
Kramerbarthomer

Colorado

3.95/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle dated 1/16/14

A - bright orange hue

S - Citrus notes on the nose...

T - Citrus, but not nearly as hoppy as what I'm comparing it too, Zombie Dust

M - Solid, not too sticky, enjoyable

Overall, this is a solid pale ale, but not up there with the top beers I've had. Crisp and enjoyable though.

Serving type: bottle

03-21-2014 03:15:41 | More by Kramerbarthomer
Photo of scotorum
scotorum

Massachusetts

3.84/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

One of the last of my wonderful haul from my rather one-sided trade with BigStein88. I got so much more than he did. But Im working on evening that out a little.

Funny metallic multi-colored label of a crazy-eyed, naked Alpha King dropping hops into a glass of beer.

Poured from the 12 oz. bottle into a Sierra Nevada IPA glass. Clear amber with a two inch tall white head which receded slowly to rocky surface foam and dense patterned lacing.

s: Citrus so strong it made me cough. But then so did the FW Velvet Merlin I had earlier, so maybe it's just me. Vinegar later, which always makes me cough. So maybe it's the beer after all. Fortunately after awhile that fades away.

t: A sort of bubble gummy initial flavor was quickly overshadowed by a wave of piney hop bite. Became slightly vinegary, but not enough to be bothersome. Later a pleasing malt/hop balance is achieved with piney hops prominent.

m: Medium with good body and very smooth.

o; It looked and at first smelled so good, the taste was a bit odd but ok. Perhaps an old bottle, no date info anywhere I could find, and Dating Beer does not list any info on how to find it if it IS there somewhere. None of the fruitiness a pale ale ought to at least hint at.

Serving type: bottle

03-17-2014 05:30:22 | More by scotorum
Photo of 3sheets2wind
3sheets2wind

Texas

4.56/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into my Branchline tumbler. Bottle dated 1/16/14. Right at two months.

Gold brown put with thick white head. Liners and left a lot of lacing. Dark for a pale.

Pine and bread in the aroma. Like a bakery in a forest.

Smooth and balanced. The second best balance I've ever had with a hoppy beer (after Pliny). Herbal, grassy up front with a pine after-taste.

Smashing pale ale. I think the best I've tried. Thanks to BeerJesus for this throw in!

Serving type: bottle

03-13-2014 19:52:09 | More by 3sheets2wind
Photo of BeerZombies1
BeerZombies1

Nevada

4.3/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

American pale ale
6.66% ABV 68 IBU

APPEARANCE: Poured out a vibrant rust color. Star bright clear no haziness at all. Great big pillowy egg shell white head. Great retention and lacing.

AROMA: Strong pine and citrus right away. Smells like breakfast of fresh squeezed orange juice and warm toast. Malty sweetness and carmel.

TASTE: Another 3 Floyds APA that drinks like an IPA to me. Very piney and citrus right up front. Hops hit in the middle and rounds out with that great maltiness I got on the nose. Literally taste so good makes you want to slap yo mama!

MOUTHFEEL: Medium to light body along with the carbonation. Dry snappy finish that almost leaves you thirsty.

OVERALL: Once again very impressed with a 3 Floyds brew. Still can't believe this is an APA reminds me of a wonderful low key west coast IPA. Would for sure try and get more of this goodness.

RATING: 4.4/5 Zombie Heads!

Serving type: bottle

03-07-2014 10:12:42 | More by BeerZombies1
Photo of Cory_Brown
Cory_Brown

Kentucky

4.48/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I haven't been disappointed by a three floyds brew yet. Great flagship brew. I love the citrus hops that FFFs uses. The hops are similar to that of zombie dust and gumballhead, but this one has more notes of pine. This one doesn't have quite as crisp of a finish as those two. Still an awesome beer and will drink it anywhere it's available.

Serving type: bottle

03-03-2014 07:22:33 | More by Cory_Brown
Photo of Emnmarko
Emnmarko

Michigan

4.34/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This brew was given to me by my bud Ben straight from Chicago. Thanks, Ben.

Bottled 1-23-14 enjoyed 2-28-14

A- Amber and hazy. A heavy pour produces a creamy off white one finger head. After a short time it forms a nice cap that leaves moderate to minimal lacing on my glass.

S- Definitely a citrusy hop aroma. An earthy feel behind the hops. Bold, smells delicious.

T- oh, yeah. Tangy , bitter and citrus hops first. Orange, grapefruit, lemon, pine. Almost immediately followed with a sweet earthy malt bill that instantly balances out the bitterness. The end features a sweet peppery aftertaste.

M- Although this brewski is medium bodied it is fairly easy to drink. A slight buttery feel in the end but overall a good feel.

O- This is my second beer form Three Floyds and Again I am extremely impressed. Zombie Dust was the first and this one isn't far behind. Alpha king in a very good example of a pale ale and one I highly recommend. Unfortunately I only have the one.

Serving type: bottle

03-01-2014 03:16:28 | More by Emnmarko
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Alpha King Pale Ale from Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub
95 out of 100 based on 4,246 ratings.