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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

4,254 Ratings
THE BROS
93
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4254
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
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Ratings: 4,254 | Reviews: 1,646 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Sammy
Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

3.9/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A pale slant to an IPA which makes it a great pale. Excellently hopped, beautiful hoppy appearance and a good meal accompanyment. Grapefruit hops, green tea, some malts, some peachy melon and dark fruit taste in finish. Fresh medium clean mouthfeel. Thanks Joey Capps.
On tap at Cole's 3.5 years later, a very good pale but not the best, aroma missing from bleached glass.

Serving type: bottle

12-08-2004 00:06:28 | More by Sammy
Photo of UCLABrewN84
UCLABrewN84

California

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

Thanks to Pellinore1 for sending me this one!

Pours a clear honey orange with a 1 inch puffy tan head that settles to a film on the top of the beer. Thin sticky rings of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smell is of tons of herbal and citrus zest. Taste is of sweet malt up front with a mainly citrus zest hop finish. Mild bitterness lingers on the palate after each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp and slightly sticky mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good pale ale with a nice kick of hops in the smell and taste.

Serving type: bottle

10-09-2011 08:36:13 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of BuckeyeNation
BuckeyeNation

Iowa

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

Slightly hazy orange-gold, almost copper, with a pale toffee-colored cap that is somewhat stiff and resembles softly beaten egg whites. The crown has good staying power and deposits quite a bit of lace in thick rings and sheets.

The nose is citrusy hoppy. Not overpowering, not the 'olfactory bomb' that is Stone IPA. The flavor has a citrusy hop bite, but there's also plenty of malt to balance things out. Flavors include grapefruit and orange peel primarily. Delicious. The mouthfeel is plenty smooth, no complaints here. Drinkability is high... nice and smooth, very well-balanced.

Alpha King does seem more like an IPA than a true pale ale. I could definitely make this a regular in my rotation if it was more available. I plan to pick up a couple of fresh sixers (at the brewery) next week.

Serving type: bottle

12-10-2003 20:45:51 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of mikesgroove
mikesgroove

South Carolina

3.88/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a cloudy burnt amber, with no real large head. What was there faded quickly but left a film of gooey, drippy lace skimming on the top, lots of eddys and swirls rounding about on it. Deep dripping lace down the glass, and a bit of a bubble stream coming up from the bottom. Smell was big and strong. Big citrus players here, lots of orange and grapefruit. Very sweet smell, like orange sherbert or candy. Very nice and plesing to the nose, smells like it will be a winner. Taste struck me as odd, after all the sugary itrus in the smell, none really came through in the taste. There was a strong bitter hop presence, providing lots of IBU's however it was more of a pine,resiney type of hops, rather then the sweet candy orange that came through at first. Nice and crisp, clean, very dry and long lingering finish, leaving a taste of burntor raosted pine for several minutes after a sip. Goes down very smooth and clean, not overally carbonated, and not syrupy either. A nice IPA, and a good call from Three Floyds.

Serving type: bottle

02-24-2007 17:40:47 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of womencantsail
womencantsail

California

4.4/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to cvaypai for sending me a bottle of this. I've had it before but never reviewed, so now I can do so!

A: A 12 oz bottle poured into my Firestone Walker pint glass. The beer is a hazy, amber color with little to no head.

S: A great citrus (grapefruit and orange) aroma fills the nose and a mild pine is present as well. There is also a bit of sweet, caramel malt smell coming through.

T: Exceptional flavor for a pale ale! Wonderful bitterness up front and on the finish. There is also quite a bit of citrus in there, but not much in the way of the malt.

M: A fairly light beer on the tongue, but certainly not a bad thing. Good carbonation and a bit of a lingering bitterness.

D: Pale ales are known for their high level of drinkability, and this one is no exception. A very nice beer by Three Floyds.

Serving type: bottle

12-23-2009 20:41:29 | More by womencantsail
Photo of brentk56
brentk56

North Carolina

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

Appearance: Pours a clear amber color with a nice fluffy head that leaves lacing all over the place

Smell: Candyish treacle, with plenty of ruby red grapefruit

Taste: At the outset, the treacle flavor arrives and makes a statement that this is going to be a different kind of pale ale; not too long thereafter, the citrusy hops take a whack at your taste buds but there is a wonderful blending with the malt; after the swallow, the flavors are incredibly well-balanced so that the bitterness never overwhelms the malt

Mouthfeel: Medium body with a healthy dose of carbonation

Drinkability: Very interesting beer with a big malt bill and plenty of hops, this is not for the faint-hearted

Serving type: bottle

04-28-2005 21:12:05 | More by brentk56
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 BEERchitect
BEERchitect

Kentucky

4.45/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Good, God, this bee may be the opidome of all Pale ales! I have had this beer several times, both on tap and in the bottle-- interestingly enough, I think the beer holds much better aromas than on tap and it holds the creamy carbonated body just as well. I don't expect bottled beers to compete favorably with tap versions.

A very juicy, aromatic, citrus aroma leaps out of th glass and greets me as I use the aromas to explore the taste, but get so much more. The citrus, pine, and fruity aspects of the hops compliment the caramelly, malty notes of the grains excepionally well. Extremely intense and mouthwatering throughout.

A darker than usual amber-rusty ale takes the appearance of an Amber Ale than the typical golden-straw colored beer. Because of

Those extreme fresh characteristics flow seamlessly into the taste. Very intense tastes of oranges, lemons, grapfruit, pine, and fresh-cut grass transer effortlessly. But all that goes unnoticed if not for a firm but understates toasty, cracker-like maltiness. Clean, crisp, and supportive of the hop flavor all the way.

A clean, crisp, cracker-like maltiness sets the tone for a dry, snappy finish to the beer. A light caramel sweetness lingers along with slight fruitinessl. Spicy hop bitterness and citrus lingers a bit longer than the malts; as a Pale Ale should.

Is this beer a perfect Pale Ale? Yea, pretty much.

Serving type: bottle

06-17-2006 18:24:37 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of Thorpe429
Thorpe429

Illinois

4.47/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a dark color for its style, color is somewhat of a caramel amber. The scent is initially some clear hops followed up by a pretty decent malt backbone. The taste increases on both of these, with quite a bit of hops coming through for the style. The mouthfeel is that of a medium body and moderate carbonation--fairly full-bodied for the style. Drinkability is supreme--my go to all-night beer back when I lived in Chicago.

Serving type: on-tap

09-24-2009 22:37:34 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of oberon
oberon

North Carolina

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

The labeling on the six-pack caught my with the crazy looking king on it to begin with,poured a hazy-yellow color with extreme hoppy mown grass smell.Taste was a little piney,with definent hop overtones.Alittle malty in the background but in my opinion not quite balanced enough,a decent beer but maybe a bit overated.

Serving type: bottle

02-13-2003 07:12:44 | More by oberon
Photo of TMoney2591
TMoney2591

Illinois

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

Served in an Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade shaker pint glass.

I Am - Alpha King - Bun Dee. Tee-hee. This Hoosier icon pours a clear auburn-amber topped by a finger of light-ish ecru foam. The nose comprises sticky pine, Squirt-style grapefruit, a tiny bit o' honeydew, flowers, and a decidedly understated undercurrent of caramel. The taste brings the caramel forward, but doesn't forget about the pine and the grapefruit (which itself leans a bit toward the white grape area). The body is a nice medium, with a very-light moderate carbonation and a smooth feel. Overall, a very good brew, more than worthy of its reputation. Get some!

Serving type: bottle

11-03-2010 20:09:15 | More by TMoney2591
Photo of feloniousmonk
feloniousmonk

Minnesota

4.83/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

When I was first introduced to this beer, I was warned that it wasn't for everyone, and at the very least took some getting used to, after all "it's not normal." I'd already had an affection for the hops, and, well, it was love at first sniff and sip.
Years later, after the bloom of fresh infatuation has mellowed, how does the beer compare, especially after this tongue has met so many others, with abundant charms? That is what we seek to discover...
Perfect crimson-tinged nectarine hue, hazy, and blessed with a beautiful bed of froth up on top, leaving delicate lace, enticing the eye. Aroma makes matters worse for the thirst, big fruit, fresh hops, peachy, melon, orange, and, yes, mango, and more, a bountiful bouquet that keeps the nose happy and hoppy. Man, but I need a taste, though!
An explosion in the mouth, the hops are a bursting throughout, but so well buttressed by malt, that any bitterness is mellow and well smoothed out, after an initial bite, at least. Like chomping into a ripe tangerine, juice splashing on the corners of the mouth and dripping down the chin. Though hoppiness flows freely, and bitterness peeks through time and again, the mouthfeel is actually soft and luxuriant, body is medium, and the overall effect is a constant joyride for the palate. A lively and rewarding ale, and a real American classic, a jewel in the craft-brew crown. Count yourself lucky if you can grab these with ease.
Ah, I once had it on-tap around here...those were some fine days...
Thanks to jables for the reunion, after too, too long!

Serving type: bottle

05-04-2004 06:44:03 | More by feloniousmonk
Photo of MasterSki
MasterSki

Illinois

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

Bottle poured into a pint glass - nothing unusual or spectacular here. There are some numbers on the bottom of the bottle, but no decipherable date.

A - Pretty inconspicuous brew. One-fingered head that dissolves to a ncie lace. Brownish amber in color - not all that "pale" looking.

S - Mandarin orange, hops, grapefruit, pine. Delicious! Smell reminds me of IPAs and DIPAs.

T - Taste is a little more subdued than the smell. Starts sweet with citrus accents, buts leaves a bitter aftertaste.

M - Excellent - just the right viscosity and mild amount of carbonation. Smooth and creamy.

D - Very sessionable - if the aftertaste wasn't as bitter it'd be perfect.

It's my second favorite Pale Ale (behind Founder's Harvest), and a great brew to buy a sixer and share with friends.

Serving type: bottle

11-29-2008 20:30:40 | More by MasterSki
Photo of TheManiacalOne
TheManiacalOne

Rhode Island

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

A big “Thank You” goes out to Adam & Chris for providing me with this beer. Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a pint glass.

A: Color is dark amber with a bit if a reddish tint. It leaves a thin, white head, which disappears quickly but leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: Strong but pleasant smell of hops, citrus and more hops.

T: Upon the first sip, the hops taste grabs you right away and leaves a faint citrus after-taste. In subsequent sips, you taste the sweet citrus flavor and then the bitter hops flavor hits the back of your mouth. The two tastes compliment each other VERY nicely.

M: Very crisp with not very much after-taste and perfect amount of carbonation for a clean feel and finish.

D: This beer is certainly drinkable. It’s tasty and not-to-filling. I enjoyed this beer a great deal. Beers have roles in which they fit. I think the role for this beer, for me is to throw back a sixer (or more) while watching a wrestling PPV on a Sunday night.

Serving type: bottle

01-29-2006 04:43:36 | More by TheManiacalOne
Photo of emerge077
emerge077

Illinois

4.15/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hazy orange-amber pour, with a good head of foam.
Smells of sweet citrus, and piney hops.

Tastes malty with a hoppy zing upfront, and an almost smoky grain note in the aftertaste. Very balanced, not heavy-handed with the hops, just right. Feels "round" in the mouth, not too rich, but there's a fullness there. Velvety and smooth.

Wish I had more than one, oh well...

Serving type: bottle

11-29-2006 00:28:32 | More by emerge077
Photo of russpowell
russpowell

Oklahoma

4.5/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Cheers to joe1510 for this beauty!

Poured an orangey caramel with 3+ fingers of rocky sand colored head. Above average head retention & lacing

S: resiny pine & breadyness, fades a bit as it warms

T: Resiny pine, doughy malt, & orange & leafy hops up front. Toffee, dryness & grapefruit as this warms along with caramel & a hint of booze. Finishes fruitty with nice toffee & leafy hops

MF: Medium bodied, soft carbonation & great balance

Drinkability was great, a very well put together APA

Serving type: bottle

05-19-2008 16:40:17 | More by russpowell
Photo of WesWes
WesWes

New York

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

The beer pours a hazy dark gold color with a thick frothy white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is awesome. It has a solid malt aroma that boasts of pale, carapils, and crystal malts along with an intensely bitter citrus hop scent; very nice. The taste is great as well. It has a rich and smooth malty flavor that boasts of pale and crystal malts. It also has a very bitter hop taste that goes down easy and finishes hoppy. This is a good tasting beer. It is full of hops, but also well balanced. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a medium bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a damn fine beer. It is a tremendous drinker. This has got to be one of the all time greats.

Serving type: bottle

06-02-2005 23:22:54 | More by WesWes
Photo of drabmuh
drabmuh

Maryland

4.15/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Beer poured from bottle into a standard pint glass. Beer is hazy and brown / orange, forms a thin head of small bubbles that falls away to nearly nothing leaving some lacing on the glass. Carbonation is low.

Beer kind of smells like a brown ale (also looks like a brown ale). Caramel and some hops, citrusy.

Nice and smooth overall. Medium body, good hop bitterness in the back, some malt sweetness up front. Beer overall is a good pale ale. Drinkability is high, no real aftertaste, citrus hop flavors, bitterness builds as you drink, beer flavors become more pronounced as beer warms a little.

Serving type: bottle

12-11-2009 02:15:29 | More by drabmuh
Photo of Mora2000
Mora2000

Texas

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

Thanks to Pellinore1 for sending me this bottle. I had been wanting to try this for quite some time.

The beer pours an amber color with a white head. The aroma is heavy on the citrus hops with some bready malt and sugar notes.

The flavor is bread and oranges. The orange is both juicy and pithy and is very well done. Low bitterness.

Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

Serving type: bottle

11-17-2010 05:02:45 | More by Mora2000
Photo of zeff80
zeff80

Missouri

4.5/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - Poured out a burgandy/amber color with a small, short-lived, white head. It left very nice lace.

S - It smelled strongly of citrus. Also, notes of grass, malt and sweetness.

T - It tasted very hoppy (Cascade). Also, a good dose of bitterness. The roasted malt flavor was outstanding, too.

M - It was crisp and sharp. A medium-bodied beer.

D - This truly is an outstanding tasting APA. I was surprised at the lackluster appearance, but maybe that was a fluke.

Serving type: bottle

06-20-2007 16:59:21 | More by zeff80
Photo of jlindros
jlindros

Massachusetts

4.45/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to dpodratsky3 for this tasty beverage: poured from bottle to oversized snifter.

A: Dark amber brownish color with slight haze and light head that stays for a while

N: Nose is a lot of pine, some bitter hops but mostly pine, some crystal caramel malts as well, touch of burnt brown sugar

T: Lots of darker malts surprisingly, lots of crystal malts, roasted I think, biscuit, lots of bitter hops but not overbearing, the fresh hop quality is great, slight ripe fruits, lots of pine and a little citrus, some tropical fruit like taste (strange), a nice smooth malt center that's almost chewy, its got a nice pale ale quality towards the end that makes me thing its gots some british fuggles or goldings hops as well

M: Somewhat thick and chewy on the mouth, good carbonation, slightly sticky

F: More piney and some citrus hops, but not overbearing again, pretty bitter, a little dry, more malts on the finish too surprisingly, the bitter hop lingers for a few seconds then leaves your mouth refreshed waiting for more

Final THoughts: Great IPA, great malt backbone with crystal, some darker malts that give it a slight stout/porter quality, some biscuit, but maintains a great hop with lots of pine, slight citrus, some UK pale ale quality, and some ripe fruits even, great beer, very drinkable, wish I could get it regularly.

Thanks again Dan!

Serving type: bottle

08-21-2009 01:57:39 | More by jlindros
Photo of Gueuzedude
Gueuzedude

Arizona

4.05/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours an amber color, quite clear except for a few large floaties. Forms a thin beige head that does not stick around too long. An immediate aroma of American hops wafts from my glass. Notes of lychee, grapefruit & other citrus fruits are in the nose, it smells slightly sweet & nectar like, there is a hint of caramel malt here as well. Ooh, quite bitter; this beer finishes with a drying intense bitterness. Overall this beer is only slightly sweet, it has a light body & is focused entirely on the hop component. The hops are over the top, but perhaps it is missing some hop flavor. There is lots of bitterness, but it feels like it is missing some balancing hop nectar flavor. Underlying the hop attack there seems to be some nuttiness, as well as some caramel notes. This beer is all about the hop attack, not much malt here, so if you don't like hops stay away. Luckily I do like hops so this beer is just fine. Perhaps a bit too unbalanced for an everyday drinking beer, but every once in a while is nice.

Serving type: bottle

02-04-2004 18:55:51 | More by Gueuzedude
Photo of Knapp85
Knapp85

Pennsylvania

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

My parents had taken a trip to Indiana last year and I had asked them to swing by the brewery since I was unable to get these in PA. The main reason why I wanted them to go there was for this beer. I have a friends who said he used to drink this when 3 Floyd's used to distribute their stuff here. They brought me back a 6 pack of this along with the other year round releases.

The Alpha King pours out as a lightly hazy golden color. The head was thick and white. It's leaves a trail of lacing down the glass with each sip. This beer smells very hoppy with a good amount of malt too. The taste of the beer has a good amount of pine like flavors and some sweet malts in the mix. The mouthfeel tingles the taste buds. Overall it's a really good Pale Ale. Well worth the wait and look forward to having more one day.

Serving type: bottle

07-08-2011 17:21:59 | More by Knapp85
Photo of jwc215
jwc215

Wisconsin

4.53/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to jcwattsrugger for this one!

Pours dark amber with a thin white head. Some lacing sticks.

The smell is of mega alpha hops - citric/piney/earthy/leafy. This is an APA?? Smells like an IPA - vey hoppy - and nicely done, to boot (to say the least).

The taste is citric/piney with balancing sweet malt (hoppy APA/more balanced IPA border). Some acidity. Rounded bitterness comes through in the finish.

The body is slightly thinner than expected - still, it's pretty chewy and medium bodied. Smooth.

A hop-head's version of a pale ale, for sure! And nicely done, Firm malt backbone keeps the hops tied in nicely. A goodie!

Serving type: bottle

08-22-2008 21:27:14 | More by jwc215
Photo of RblWthACoz
RblWthACoz

Pennsylvania

4.58/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a hazed golden amber. Nose seems to have apricots on it. Flavor is heavy with hops with the apricot present on the palate as well. Just as with other hop happy brews, you get that taste of hops lodged in the back of your mouth and it lingers. Feel is great. I get a silky smooth texture that slides over my tongue. Oh so drinkable. A hop lover and a craft brew lovers dream. Awesome beer.

Serving type: on-tap

12-30-2007 15:25:56 | More by RblWthACoz
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Alpha King Pale Ale from Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub
95 out of 100 based on 4,254 ratings.