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Alpha King - 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Alpha KingAlpha King

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,742 Reviews

(Read More)
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
Reviews: 1,742 | Hads: 5,929
Photo of ridglens
4.08/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured into a portsmouth snifter, a little cold so allowed to warm up a little

A: Pretty beer, darker broen with jsut a hint of red glow when held up to light. pours a 2 1/2 finger head that quickly dissapaites to a thin, light brown but smooth looking layer.

S: just a little fresh hoppy small at first, but opens up a little as it warms. soon includes some grapefruity fresh citrus, with maybe the slightest hint of malty richness. hard to pul anything else out (still too cold?) not a ton here, but smells really fresh and good

T: much more than the smell. fresh citrus bitter hops, but also with a balancing sweet profile. lots of a grape-fruity like citrus (do i have grapefruit on the brain or something?) honestly more malty characteristics than i thought at first, makes this a greatly balanced beer.

M: great for the style. i love the level of carbonation. not too thin (but not what i would call "thick"), but really, really smooth. feels great

D: because of the balance and the smoothness make this beer great for drinkability. i could (and have) drank 1 or 12 without any thought of "this is getting rough/old"

a beer i get all the time, but actually under appreciated the balanced qualities. great beer from the Floyds

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Photo of wedgie9
3.68/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tasted from a twelve ounce bottle. Pours clear amber with a one finger beige head. The aromas are lightly roasted malts, hops, and prune juice. On the palate, the flavors are lemongrass, and then hoppy bitterness. There is a hint of the malt on the mid-palate, but the bitterness is the main flavor. On the palate, everything is fairly medium. The body, carbonation, and finish are all in the middle. Overall, this is a very high quality beer, perfect for sessions. I could drink this one all night long.

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Photo of kirkpjr
4.4/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured into a pint glass.

A: Pours a deep amber with one finger of head. Spotted lacing develops.

S: Light citrus and grapefruit hops with a nice heavy toasted malt in the background. Not in your face, but solid.

T: Huge flavors here. Citrus and grapefruit bitterness takes off, but the malt keeps right up with it. Notes of caramel and crystal malts. Extremely bold yet balanced beer. Finishes with orange and pine flavors.

M: Resinous hops, medium body, and moderate carbonation.

D: Phenomenal APA for the hopheads. Had this beer on draft in Chicago and it tastes just as good down here out of the bottle. Would love to have access to Three Floyds.

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Photo of DrainBamage
3.15/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a cloudy orangish brown with a quarter inch of head that thins to a trace. It smells of hops and citrusy aromas. Taste is very bitter, but has an average citrusy APA taste to it with mild malt flavors. Mouthfeel is a little acidic and is highly carbonated. It leaves a very bitter after taste in your mouth that seems to last forever. I found this brew to be a little to bitter for an APA, but a big hop lover would most likely enjoy this one.

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

12oz into pint glass. Mostly copper but with a nice amber tint, topped with a 1-finger wheat-colored head that subsides to a thin layer. Patchy lacing along the glass. Wonderfully citrus-sweet nose, a mix of tangerine and kumquat, with a touch of floral scent, and caramel malt bubbling under. Moderate carbonation, and a medium body with a bit of hop oil slickness, nicely balanced malt and hops in a mix of tropical fruits. Going down is where it's at -- grapefruit bitterness emerging, with a slight pineyness, and a lingering bitter linger that lingers.

A pale ale that nearly borders on being an IPA, but balances its hoppiness with a fruit punch complexity. Good mouthfeel for the style, and definitely sessionable. I think I found my favorite pale ale.

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

Typical of a APA, pour if a hazy and copper with a beige head that leaves a lacy trace on the glass.
Pine, lemon, bread notes and malt.
Taste is very similar to the aroma with subtal grapefruit at the back. Delicious.
Feel is dry with great carbonation and bitterness!
Another great beer from 3F!!!

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

Bottle poured into one my standard curved-rim pint glass. No freshness date available on the bottle. Once again, thanks to Matt for bring this 3F offering back for me to try.

A: Pours a translucent orange with a thick frothy off-white head on top, 2-fingers worth to be exact. 3F beers always have such great head retention.

S: Citrus, grapefruit, and pine collide here. It's that "bright", hoppy smell that I've come to expect from Three Floyds. And I love it.

T: Taste follows the nose. A wave a grapefruit rushes in and holds all the way through the finish. In the process, notes of pine and citrus also make an appearance. A pale-malt backbone underneath is surprisingly most prominent on the finish, but is certainly not "showcased" here. Something resiny seems to linger on the finish.

The hops are showcased. And I love that. My only complaint would be that for all the floral, citrus and flavorfull hops as are here, they really could have used a bit more bittering hops to help really drive the point home for me. As it is, this beer runs just a shade to sweet for my liking.

M: Carbonation is a bit light for my liking. As such, it sits in the mouth with a bit of *heft*. Loads of flavorful hops and sugars are left behind on the finish. Lots of tongue coating.

D/O: I love hoppy beer. This was enjoyable, and I will repeat it again soon.

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Photo of AWolfAtTheDoor
4.38/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in my Pizza Port commemorative pint glass. Pours deep orange amber with minimal white head.
Smells citrusy and grassy.
Tastes hoppy and smooth. Hops are present but not overwhelming.
Mouthfeel nice as well. I drank this straight, but I'd love to pair it with a good pizza. Very drinkable as well. The more I drank this beer, the smoother it got.

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Photo of joefuzz
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Beer pours cloudy amber with a decent sized head...great lacing.

Smell is a hop bomb for a APA, awesome sense of grapefruit, pineapple and fresh apples

Taste is great piney hops upfront that mellows out as you sip leads into a very bready malt profile

Mouthfeel and carbonation are session beer all the way, light and easy drinking with a lower than normal carbonation

Overall this beer is amazing....a hop heads session beer. I really wish I could get this regularly

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Photo of cproioi
2.88/5  rDev -32.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

The body is an almost caramel color, or reddish brown, with a white head that dissipates to create a cover just slightly over the top of the beer leaving decent lacing. The aroma is full of citrus hops and a rather large malt sweetness which is basically a non-descript fruity flavor. The taste follows the aroma nicely. Big citrus hops flavor with a fruity malt backbone. The beer had a medium body that gives way to a long dry finish. Very nice beer to drink could be a little thinner for the style giving it a more refreshing hot day beer character.

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Photo of TCHopCraver
4.26/5  rDev 0%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes on 10/12/10. Thanks to TCGoalie for this bottle.

A: AKPA has an amber color when not held to light and a ruby-orange color when held to light. I find it to be a beautiful hue. A light khaki head sits at a finger and a half from a medium pour into a snifter. A full-covering film retains nicely, with scallion-like circles residing in it. Sleek, stringy carbonation bubbles move at a mezzo pace up the glass. The lacing is so good - sticky with fine hieroglyphic patterns all over the glass.

S: Big citrus aromas of orange, grapefruit, and a hint of lime blend with a subdued caramel malt presence and a dry, biscuity yeast scent. A dry, piney hop aroma also emanates from the beer.

T: Those dry, piney hops ride my palate for the length of the sip, supported by grapefruit and an inkling of caramel. The caramel sweetness and an orange flavor linger on my tongue past each swallow, then are trumped by grapefruit and pine hop dryness that has serious staying power. I am pretty astounded by how dry and bitter AK is. It is certainly the the king of PAs in term of bitterness, so much so that it almost tastes like it was aged in oak barrels.

M: In a word: puckering. The feel is medium bodied overall with just about the right carbonation. The bitterness sort of turns the MF into a one-dimensional feel.

D: I will be seeking this out again. This is the second Three Floyds beer that I have imbibed, and I am blown away so far. I knock this down just a notch because the bitterness detracts from session-ability a little bit, which I find to be a key component of a pale ale.

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Photo of smanders
4.2/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I enjoyed this beer whilst tailgating prior to a DMB concert in Noblesville, Indiana. It was a beautiful evening for a concert and a great night to sample really fresh beer.

If you were blind taste-testing this ale you'd think it were a DIPA; it's THAT flavorful. You'll smell the hops from a good 3 feet away and then you'll be pleasantly surprised that 3 Floyds balanced everything well with a copious amount of sweet malt. This is another example of a hopheads dream ale that just might win over some sweet beer lovers as well.


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Photo of stoutfiend27
3.65/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle thanks to beerad666 poured into nonic

a-rusty copper color...little to no head at all..sort of disappointing...oh well

s-citrusy hop nose...malt backbone...a little lackluster imo and i was really looking forward to this

t-more like the smell..cirtusy and a little piney hops and bitterness with a little to big of a malt backbone for me

m-good mouthfeel...was oily and had nice carbonation and prickly

d-a couple a night and then i would probably move on to dales pale ale or something

overall a nice pale ale but i think its lacking in a few departments

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Photo of Mississipping
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into a Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale snifter (thanks Urbancaver!)

A: Pours a very nice hazy resin color with a small one finger beige head that slowly settles to a ring with great lacing.

S: Lots of hops up front, with citrus (mostly grapefruit) and caramel. A bit of pine and grass emerge as it warms slightly. Absolutely fantastic aroma.

T: Much like the smell, hops in the fore, with a sweet maltiness to balance it out almost perfectly. Citrusy and earthy, again as it warms, making this quite complex and very, very well balanced. I'm impressed with this one for sure.

M: Medium bodied, slightly sticky, and fairly low carbonation ... overall, it's creamy. Nice lingering bitterness and slightly drying.

D: Although this is an excellent APA, I wouldn't say that it's especially easy to drink. It's a big APA, with more body than most, which makes it a sipper, but I'd say sipping is very easy to do. I only had one bottle of this, but was perfectly satisfied with it and may had ended it there if another one was in the fridge. Lower drinkability doesn't take away from its quality, however, and I'd love to get a few more of these.

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Photo of TastyAdventure
4.3/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Scored one of these at Gerst Huas in Evansville IN.

A - caramel. brown caramel. A little dark for the style. But a great 1 and 1/2 finger head that lasts.

S - mmm. The best part. Citrus. Strong citrus. But still balanced.

T - Strong hops. This is where I get confused between Pale Ales and IPAs. This one is right in the middle! It leaves a strong after taste of hops, but during tasting it still had a well balanced malt profile. Citrus hops with some rough (but not overpowering) cut grass.

Mouthfeel was absolutely great.

Overall, I think this should be classified as an IPA. I dont normally like IPAs, but this was good!

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Photo of jokelahoma
4.39/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

An ever-so-slightly cloudy "old penny" copper liquid sits in my glass, with a good-sized, rocky, eggshell colored head that falls quickly to a small, thin, dishwater foam layer.

The aroma is hops. Not surprising from Three Floyds in general, or from a beer called Alpha King specifically. I'm sure there's malt in there somewhere, but if you're going to find it, you'll have to look behind the curtains, beneath the couch cushions, under the bed... it's there, but it hides very, very well. What an amazingly enticing aroma.

The taste is hoppy as hell, as expected. There's good bitterness up front, good hop flavor mid-drink, and a good floral hop atertaste that lingers on, and on, and on... About the time it starts to fade, you're ready for another hit. I really couldn't find the malt in this one at all. Granted, I wasn't searching too hard, enjoying the hop utopia I had found myself imprisoned within. I know it's there, same as with the aroma. This would be undrinkable otherwise, and it's anything but that. This is a very, very good hop-oriented beer. I can't find the malt, but I honestly don't miss it.

The mouthfeel is oddly a tad thinnish, yet, like the malt, I don't miss the body. Thin is in, where this beer is concerned.

I'd heard rave reviews over Alpha King for a long time, but since they don't distribute here, I couldn't locate a sample to try. Closest I came was another Three Floyd's brew, Pride and Joy, which I panned due to style, not due to quality. When I finally located bottles of this in Vienna, Virginia, I snagged a couple to bring home and try. I'm very glad I did. This is an outstanding beer.

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Photo of Spidey13
3.99/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Alpha King pours a fairly murky, amber color with gold highlights and an off-white head. Lots of citrus hops on the nose, along with some underlying caramel notes.

The taste starts with sweet caramel, followed by bunches of hop flavor and bitterness. Lots of citrus flavors, including pineapple juice. The mouthfeel is nice and full with a medium amount of carbonation.

Overall, I really liked this beer but it didn't quite live up to the hype.

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Photo of BrokenStones
3.88/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Auburn/Orange....2" inch golden head, nice lacing, poured into a Goose Island snifter.

Smell: Hops, honey, mellow, not serious depth.

Taste: Hops up font, citrus and honey, nice finish with a bit bitter and fresh hops.

Mouth Feel: nice carbonation, good finish on the pallet.

Overall: A very solid pale ale. A pleasure to drink, if it was available I would have it regularly. Find it and drink it.

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Photo of mjohn27603
4.51/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle. Looks copper in the glass with a dense foamy and biscuit like head. Smell is simply wonderful. Lots of green hops smell. I want to take in deep breaths of this beer. Taste is great. So much hops it leaves the end of my tongue numb. Lots of hops taste without being very bitter. Piney notes seem most present. I've had more citrus notes in IPA's. Maybe even a slight peppery taste on the initial sip. Ends very pleasantly with a nice lingering hops aftertaste. How many times can you write the word hops in a review? As much hops as is here it doesn't make you gag with bitterness. Very assertive but not too unbalanced. A very unique and well done pale ale.

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Photo of MDekker
4.35/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a clear brown color, darker than I expected for a pale ale. Small, but subtantial head.

S: Floral, fresh, piney and hoppy with hints of citrus. Pleasant.

T: Quite subtle and delicious. Hard to pinpoint exactly what I'm tasting. Very well-balanced.

M: Smooth, somewhat creamy, and well-carbonated, but not irritating. Pretty thick for a pale ale.

D: Went down easy. The bitter finish doesn't linger too long, and makes you want more. Overall, very nice.

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Photo of bigbeerdrinka
4.23/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Well I must say whenever I find myself with a 3F brew its just an exciting time. This one pours a deep copper with amber highlights and a nice head about a half inch thick which leaves only the slightest of slight laces. Aromas are dominated by a citrus hop, with a slight malty background. Intially this beer hits up front with citrusy, grapefruity, juicy hops. Following some malts make themselves present giving a nice caramel and toffee like flavors but the hops just crash right in again showing that they are the king of this beer. More flavors of an assortment of fruits and some oily piney flavors just coat the top of my mouth. Literally this beer just sticks on the pallate and won't let go. This beer finishes spicy and hoppy with just a nice zing to it that makes it killer Pale ale, not for the faint hearted I must say. This beer has a nice light to medium body to it, with a fair amount of carbonation that just adds to the crispness of it. A wonderful brew from a wonderful company.

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Photo of Matthew
4.42/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark dirty orange color with a medium sized off white head that has pretty good retention.
Big fresh and pungent aromas of grapefruit, peach, and pine. Sweet maltiness is also very present in the nose. This is really a great smelling beer.
Big fresh hop notes up front characterized by citrusy fruit sweetness surrounded with nice bready malt backbone. Hints of pine and a bitter bite is in the trail end of each sip.
Very drinkable. Tasty and pretty well balanced, the hop profile is nice and pronounced, if I had better access to this beer it would be a regular in my fridge.

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Photo of amphion1065
4.04/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks to whitemomba for this bottle. Poured at fridge temp into a Duvel tulip.

Alpha King pours a deep copper red, almost ruby, with glints of gold. Even after a vigorous pour I was only able to muster a 1/2 finger head, but it does last for some time. Webby, sticky lacing all around.

I've had this beer on tap before, but I don't remember it smelling quite this good. Even before I finished pouring I noticed a strong piney hop aroma, crisp and bright like a great IPA. The smell only opened up as the beer warmed, revealing a resinous hop profile that I absolutely loved.

The taste is very good, if not quite the equal of the smell. Predictably, there's a strong pine flavor here, with just the slightest hint of residual malt sweetness. There's a certain "kick" missing here, a hop jolt that I never quite got from this beer. That said, the balance is excellent, and the flavors are very clean.

The mouthfeel does fall a little short: a bit more carbonation would put this over the top for me. Even with a slightly dull feel to it, Alpha King is an easy-to-drink beer with a touch of complexity, and it does a nice job straddling the APA/IPA border.

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Photo of ahq514
4.11/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This brew pour a beautiful orange/amber color with a great head. It definitely smells of hops and citrus. Hops are much more subtle than I expected, as the smell is much stronger than the taste. Perhaps the most refreshing pale ale I've ever tried. Initial citrus and hop flavor dominate as I drink with an ever so slight sweetness, and a mild bitterness kicks in as it goes down. A perfect balance of bittering, flavor, and aroma hops are used in this brew. Lacing is evident all the way down to my last sip. Tastes like it should be around 4 to 5% ABV, but is 6.5%.

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Photo of matttttYCE
4.77/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours with a bright and clear amber orange color and a nice foamy off-white head of about one and a half fingers. The lacing is nice and the retention is decent.

Aromas of citrus/oranges and grapfruit, oily and resinous hop juice, honey, floral hops, some lighter biscuity malt and caramel sweetness, and maybe even hints of mint and spicy hops in there.

The taste is of juicy citrus, grapefruit, and maybe even some papaya, floral and estery notes, moderate hop bitterness that isn't too much, mint sprig and spicy hop notes, and a mild but pleasant dry biscuit and caramel malt flavor to support all the assertive hops.

The mouthfeel is higher than expected for an APA, but nice. Solid medium or round carbonation, with almost a creamy consistency, a moderat nearly chewy body (in a good way), and a slightly dryer moderate length finish.

Alright, so I've had Zombie Dust, I've had Daisy Cutter, and now, I've had Alpha King. Three of the top five APAs at the moment. For one, I must say Three Floyds knows how to make an assertive, hoppy brew, be it APA, IPA, or DIPA. Secondly, I have to say that Alpha King is my new favorite APA, without a doubt. There's just something about it that rubs me the right way. The mouthfeel is wonderful, the hops are bordering on IPA territory, and the smell is absolutely great.

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