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Alpha King - 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Alpha KingAlpha King

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,742 Reviews

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Reviews: 1,742
Hads: 5,929
Avg: 4.26
pDev: 16.67%
Wants: 929
Gots: 994 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Alpha King Alström Bros
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Reviews: 1,742 | Hads: 5,929
Photo of Sammy
3.88/5  rDev -8.9%
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.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4/5  rDev -6.1%
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.

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Photo of t0rin0
4.15/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This came from a 12 oz bottle purchased at lone hill liquor. It pours a very nice reddish copper color that is quite clear. There is an off white foam that builds up and stays in the glass for a while. Nice lacing. The beer smells great. It reminds me of the first barleywine I brewed a year ago. Malty and I'm almost positive that I'm smelling columbus hops in there. Theres a faint hint of alcohol on the nose as well.

The taste was almost as impressive. Very malty and hoppy. Fairly bitter, with a smooth sweet aftertaste. Good body to this beer, nice and heavy. Very drinkable. The heavy body and bitterness is surprising coming from the East Coast.

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Photo of kylehay2004
4.45/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Review from notes over Thanksgiving 2011. Ordered this as my fish and chips arrived at the brewery.

A: two finger off white head on a copper and crimson body with nice lacing

S: grass, citrus and floral which comes across as very fresh with some caramel malts in the background.

T: Follows the nose well with grassy and pine hop bitterness with citrus (mostly pineapple) hops flavors on a bready and caramel malt body.

M: medium body and moderate carbonation. Fairly standard for the style.

Overall: Its fairly clear that FFF has this genre locked up however this is may actually be an IPA or one in disguise.

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Photo of metter98
4.24/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: The beer is very hazy and caramel amber in color. It poured with a quarter finger high beige head that quickly died down, leaving lacy webbing of bubbles on the surface and a collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Moderate aromas of caramel malts are present in the nose underscored by notes of citrusy hops. The citrus becomes stronger as the beer warms up.
T: Like the smell, the taste starts out with flavors of caramel malts and transitions of flavors of citrusy hops that linger through the finish and contribute a light amount of bitterness.
M: It feels medium-bodied and very crisp on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer has a very good balance between the malts and hops—you get a lot of the citrusy aromas and flavors with only a slight amount of bitterness.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.17/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

real hoppy for a pale ale, more of an ipa to me. very red in color, not quite amber, but definitely moving in that direction, with a big rich tan head that doesn't fade at all. bold hop aromas are just blasting out of this, with equal parts forest and fruit grove. definitely some higher alpha acid varieties, this beer seems by the smell to be very appropriately named. the flavor actually does find some malt balance, despite the intense hopping. there is a sweeter yet dry American caramel malt going on, which holds up the hops quite well. plenty of citrus bitterness in the finish too, not lemony, but equally pungent. there is also a sort of woody character to this that I sometimes find in hoppy beers, not like its been oaked, but like its made in part from freshly milled timber. in any event, the finish is about an 7 on a 10 point bitter scale, strong but not overbearing. nice mouthfeel too, maybe a little dense for the style, but this is a style that's constantly in flux anyways. plenty of carbonation and a decent abv make this about the perfect 6pack beer in my mind. One of my first few beers from the much hyped three floyds, and it did not disappoint, although I can think of several American pales that are every bit as good as the alpha king here. still fantastic.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.45/5  rDev +4.5%
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.

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Photo of Knapp85
4.25/5  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.

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Photo of brentk56
4.38/5  rDev +2.8%
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

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.21/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

It's a game of maneuver- to threaten with the strength and hops of IPA but to balance like American Pale Ale, Three Floyds knows this game all too well. With the allure of citrusy hops to captivate the senses, yet the sweeter balance to balance the bite; this full-bodied pale ale doesn't know what it wants to be, but I know exactly where to put it!

While its near-toffee sweetness coaxes the tastebuds, its creamy body wraps around the tongue with sultry effect. While nutty like peanut brittle, an overcast of grapefruit captures the nose for a balanced sensory perception is every bit what its heady amber shades suggest.

Balancing exceptionally well across the middle, an even-keep taste of deeply caramelized malt slowly gives way to the rise of citrusy grapefruit pith, peel and pulp. While its body drifts from fuller pale to drier IPA, a resinous tone transpires in the form of wintergreen and sap.

Its closing taste is dedicated to the grapefruit rinds and resinous pine bittering that's been foreshadowed in the taste thus far. Dissipating sweetness leads to a snappy toasty-dry finish with a mild crusty bite with a drift of citrus underneath.

So, is it a balanced IPA that makes the perfect ale or is it a hop forward pale ale? Regardless, this could be the epitome of American ale period.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.5/5  rDev -17.8%
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.

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Photo of largadeer
4.3/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Brilliantly clear amber with a dense head of white that leaves behind thick sheets of lace.

Smell: Loaded with citrus and pine, a hint of fresh herbs and the slightest bready malt foundation linger beneath.

Taste & mouthfeel: This is a pale ale? Dry and ultra-hoppy, this drinks more like an American IPA. Oily hops present flavors of grapefruit and lemon peel that segue into a resiny bitter finish. Malts are subdued and provide little more than a foundation for the hops - I wouldn't call this balanced, but it's delicious.

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Photo of emerge077
4.15/5  rDev -2.6%
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...

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.6/5  rDev +8%
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.

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Photo of zeff80
4.49/5  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.

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Photo of oberon
3.92/5  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.A little malty in the background but in my opinion not quite balanced enough,a decent beer but maybe a bit overrated.

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.92/5  rDev -8%
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.

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Photo of womencantsail
4.39/5  rDev +3.1%
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.

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Photo of oline73
3.96/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours an almost clear amber with just under a finger of off white head. Some lacing remains throughout.

Smell: Not a very strong smell. Some malt and fruity notes along with mild hops.

Taste: Mostly citrus peel hop bitterness. In the background there is a little bit of malt and a very mild fruity sweetness. The finish is all hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with a somewhat dry finish.

Drinkability: I like this beer and am likely to pick some up again in the future.

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Photo of TMoney2591
4.3/5  rDev +0.9%
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!

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Photo of Kegatron
4.32/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a clear golden copper with 2 fingers of foamy off-white head. A solid layer of retention yields some very nice looking lacing. The aroma is a nose tickling mix of fresh smelling floral hops, citric notes, spice, and a firm underlying scent of caramel sweetness and toasted malts.

The taste starts out with a tingling yet still subtle hop bitterness that glides along on a backbone of juicy citrus character and a mix of both sweet and toasty malts. Very nice balance to the whole affair. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with an overall solid feel and just the slightest bit of alcohol beef.

There's definitley a reason why this is considered one of the best in its style. With a fantastic balance and full flavored nature, this is hands down one of the best Pale Ales I've ever had the pleasure of trying. My only quibble is that there is a touch too much heat in the body that hinders the drinkibility a bit. Otherwise, I could drink this all night. Good stuff!

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Photo of jlindros
4.45/5  rDev +4.5%
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!

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.6/5  rDev +8%
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.

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Photo of Jason
4.47/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Beeguy for the sample ...

Its been a while since I have had this brew ... its on the high end for APAs with such a bold and flavorful hop presence. IPA?? DPA??? who cares ... this is damn good stuff.

It has gained cult status as being a hop-head's brew, lots of American hop character with a solid base of malt sweetness to hold things together. Biscuity and caramel malt meet a big citrusy juicy hop for a very enjoyable brew.

If you love hops this is a great one to try.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.86/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Expections were very high given its reputation. I dig the label art. 12 fl oz bottle acquire for $6 at Hopleaf in Chicago and served into a pilsner glass. Reviewed from notes taken in March 2013.

A: Pours a one finger beige soft head of good cream and thickness, and very good retention. Body colour is a clear vibrant amber. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. Translucent. Well executed for the style.

Sm: Timid floral hops, light nectary hop character, and light hop oil. Pale malts. Very fresh; I pick up a hop nugget just smelling it. A mild strength aroma. No yeast character or alcohol is detectable.

T: Tropical bright fruit esters, floral hop character, light nectary character, and hop oil. Balanced, but the tropical fruit (banana, mango, perhaps passionfruit) doesn't suit the style or the build as well as it could. Evocative and tasty, but there isn't impressive depth of flavour here. Well executed and refreshing. Good pale malt body.

Mf: Smooth and wet. A bit oily. Good carbonation, if slightly overdone. Good presence on the palate.

Dr: Highly drinkable for the style. Hides its ABV well. I'd get it again. I can see why it's coveted; it's pretty good stuff. Mostly lives up to its reputation, but I wouldn't say I'm blown away by it. Solid for a pale ale. Another impressive beer from Three Floyds. I'd definitely get it again.


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Alpha King from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 1,742 ratings.