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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: 961 | 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 Phyl21ca
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. (339 characters)

Photo of largadeer
4.3/5  rDev +0.7%
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. (540 characters)

Photo of emerge077
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... (377 characters)

Photo of BuckeyeNation
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. (798 characters)

Photo of zeff80
4.49/5  rDev +5.2%
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. (474 characters)

Photo of mikesgroove
3.92/5  rDev -8.2%
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. (1,021 characters)

Photo of oberon
3.92/5  rDev -8.2%
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. (320 characters)

Photo of womencantsail
4.39/5  rDev +2.8%
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. (814 characters)

Photo of TMoney2591
4.3/5  rDev +0.7%
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! (641 characters)

Photo of oline73
3.96/5  rDev -7.3%
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. (532 characters)

Photo of Kegatron
4.32/5  rDev +1.2%
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! (1,005 characters)

Photo of jlindros
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! (1,356 characters)

Photo of TheManiacalOne
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. (976 characters)

Photo of Jason
4.47/5  rDev +4.7%
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. (492 characters)

Photo of RblWthACoz
4.57/5  rDev +7%
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. (394 characters)

Photo of russpowell
4.47/5  rDev +4.7%
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 (495 characters)

Photo of Rifugium
4.29/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

First had: on tap at Washington House, Sellersville, PA

Yep, yep, the good ol' days when doozies like this were [legitimately] distributed to PA. Pours a hazy golden amber with a fluffy white head that retains well and leaves some nice lacing. Pleasantly hoppy aroma with lots of citrus and pale malts. Delightfully light on the palate, with a great balance of light, sweet malts, and crisp, citrus hops. Finishes crisp and just dry enough. Light-medium mouthfeel, and extremely drinkable. (490 characters)

Photo of kojevergas
3.86/5  rDev -9.6%
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.

B+ (1,374 characters)

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.32/5  rDev +1.2%
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. (919 characters)

Photo of MasterSki
4.27/5  rDev 0%
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. (783 characters)

Photo of feloniousmonk
4.82/5  rDev +12.9%
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! (1,558 characters)

Photo of mdfb79
4/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From 6/2/10 notes. Had at a Three Floyds tasting at the Brickskeller in DC.

a - Pours a reddish amber color with one inch white head and light carbonation

s - Smells of citrus hops, grapefruit, pale bready malts, and some piney hops.

t - Tastes citrus hops, and smooth bready malts. Little bit of bitterness but not too much.

m - Medium body and low carbonation.

d - A good pale ale and another strong beer from FFF. Would try again. (438 characters)

Photo of superspak
4.42/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle, no bottle date but I bought a 6 pack last week. Pours hazy red orange color with a nice 2-3 finger off white head with incredible retention that reduces to a thick lacing cap that lasts. Some decent lacing clings to the glass as well. Aromas of big orange zest, pine, lemon zest, caramel, light grapefruit, bread, and a bit of spiciness. Some fantastic aromas here with great balance and strength. Taste of big orange, pine, spiciness, caramel, bread, and a bit of toasted malt. Nice amount of bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of citrus, pine, spiciness, caramel, and bread on the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a fairly creamy mouthfeel. Fantastic drinkability with no alcohol noticed at all except for a slight warming on the finish. Fantastic balance of flavor and bitterness. Overall an incredible pale ale with tons of flavor, hoppiness, and balance. I will be picking up more when I am in Indiana again. (951 characters)

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

12 oz bottle, undated but of very recent vintage according to the salesperson, served in a Belgian snifter.

A: Dark red-amber, definitely dark for style, with a modest size bone-colored head that has very good retention and lacing. Lightly hazy.

Smells unique, partly due to the unfamilair Warrior hops I suppose, with a very balanced and integrated aroma that reflects both malts and hops.

T: also, nicely balanced. Less fruity, more herbal and less bitter than CPA (see below), but as tasty overall, if a bit less intense, and perhaps even more easy drinking. More generally, has the intensity and hop level of a typical IPA.

O: Excellent. I had my first Alpha King immediately after an excellent Odd Side Ales CPA, and suspected it might pale (excuse me) by comparison. Well, it’s different, but similar in both sensory properties and quality. Glad I have 5 more! (876 characters)

Photo of jwc215
4.54/5  rDev +6.3%
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! (631 characters)

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