Alpha King - 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

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Alpha KingAlpha King

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BA SCORE
95
world-class

1,717 Reviews
THE BROS
94
outstanding

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Reviews: 1,717
Hads: 5,815
rAvg: 4.27
pDev: 7.73%
Wants: 918
Gots: 927 | FT: 28
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: 1,717 | Hads: 5,815
Photo of DrainBamage
3.15/5  rDev -26.2%
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. (449 characters)

Photo of jokelahoma
4.39/5  rDev +2.8%
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. (1,643 characters)

Photo of Spidey13
3.99/5  rDev -6.6%
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. (446 characters)

Photo of BrokenStones
3.88/5  rDev -9.1%
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. (404 characters)

Photo of mjohn27603
4.51/5  rDev +5.6%
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. (671 characters)

Photo of MDekker
4.35/5  rDev +1.9%
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. (473 characters)

Photo of bigbeerdrinka
4.23/5  rDev -0.9%
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. (998 characters)

Photo of Matthew
4.42/5  rDev +3.5%
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. (589 characters)

Photo of smanders
4.2/5  rDev -1.6%
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.

Enjoy! (539 characters)

Photo of amphion1065
4.04/5  rDev -5.4%
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. (1,163 characters)

Photo of ahq514
4.11/5  rDev -3.7%
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%. (567 characters)

Photo of matttttYCE
4.77/5  rDev +11.7%
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. (1,320 characters)

Photo of purplehops
4.18/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Alpha King pours an amber-orange with a white head that has staying power and leaves some spotty lacing on the glass. The aroma is floral and citrus hops with some fruit notes. The taste starts with a creamy maltness that gives way to hop bitterness quickly. Along the way there are flavors of apricot, caramel, and pear intermixed until the hops take over all flavors. The finish is slightly dry with citrus hop bitterness being the dominant flavor. The aftertaste has a sleight resurgence of malt flavors followed by a tidal wave of hop bitterness that lingers for some time. Mouthfeel is medium to medium heavy with a nice balance of carbonation.
Overall this is a wonderful ale. They call this an IPA? Can't wait to try Three Floyds IPA. (742 characters)

Photo of dmarch
4.67/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours with an amber color. Grapefruit comes through in the aroma and in the taste as well. It's labeled a pale ale, but I might go as far as to call it an IPA. It's a wonderful beer with a wonderful hop character. I hope I find more of it around here. (251 characters)

Photo of MPLS
4.3/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to the tall southern gentlemen for a few 6-packs of this.

A: Nice amber, fizzy head with hot aired balloon bubble to match. Negligible lacing.

S: Sweet aroma, lather on the hops.

T: Deliciousness meets balanced. Nice sweet malt, fruity with hints of pine. The sweetness is nice and after someone said peach it kind of stuck with my tastebuds. A very clean hop aftertaste.

M: This guy has a lot of carbonation that rolls off the tongue, rather light.

D: Easy to drink, could drink and did drink 3 of these no problem. So where's the distribution for this guy? (570 characters)

Photo of ryrust5301
4.48/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On tap at the map room in Chicago

Appearance - A hazy copper color with some orange highlights to it. Head is thin and an off white in color. It sets up camp and sticks around for the long haul with a nice touch of lacing.

Smell - Hoppy but does not get carried away. A honey malt helps to give the hops a little more character, and something to prop themselves up against.

Taste & Mouthfeel - Hops are citrusy and somewhat biting, with a grapefruit flavor to them. Malt is of a sweet caramel honey flavor and once again provides a good anchor. A smooth and wonderful feel to it that doesn't crush the palate.

Drinkability - This beer is legendary and is a staple at the map room at all times. Was excited to try it, and thought it was good enough to have earned it's respect. I wasn't awwed, but would have no problem having this as a fixture in my house. (860 characters)

Photo of waldoiverson
4.24/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours orangeish red .

S - Pine and citrus take center stage.

T - Pine and grapefruit with some bitterness but not overwhelming

M - Not too carbonated and with a medium body

D - It is a potent Pale Ale, maybe leaning towards an IPA. Still, this beer is exceptionally drinkable. Recommended. (297 characters)

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

12oz. bottle poured a dark hazy amber color with very little head and just a few specks of lace. Smells mostly of citrusy hops. The taste is a blast of fresh bitter hops up front then is followed by a bit of yeast and malts towards the end. The feel is light to medium and has a little stickiness to it. This brew is pretty easy to drink and I'm glad I tried it but I'm not much of a fan of the extra yeast they put in the bottle. (430 characters)

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

actually poured into my wurzburger chalice, it really does this beer justice in terms of appearance and color. the balance of hops and malt is excellent, and i cant get past the nice resiny aspect. i may have made a mistake by drinking this beet shortly after finishing
my arctic panzer, but its done... only because i couldnt wait any
longer. i love how close it is to an ipa, and stradles the line but the malt just holds it back enough. i wish i had a steady supply of this beer so i could experiment more but alas, it cant be true. ive just begun experimenting with three floyds beers, but this one certainly helps point me in the right direction. (651 characters)

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

Grabbed a sixer of this great brew. This beer is a gift from FFF that I'm happy to get. It's hoppy and balanced. It has hints of grapefruit and a little, subtle, carmel taste as well.

This is a great brew!

Overall, its a great session or go to beer. I really enjoy it. (271 characters)

Photo of AJacob81
4.18/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hail to the King, baby... Poured into a flared Guinness-branded pint.

A - Deep amber, like to catch some prehistoric fly. A massive, billowing 3-finger head of white fluff serves as this King's crown. The suds coat the inside of the glass as the head slowly recedes.

S - Caramel and fresh, grassy hops with the smell of fresh-baked bread just beneath.

T - Well-balanced between smooth, caramelly malts and the floral, citrus bite of the hops. Just enough bitterness to keep you smacking your lips.

M - Excellent carbonation and a medium body yield a totally crisp and refreshing feel on the palate with a just-dry-enough hop finish.

D - A little heavy for a session beer, but it sure drinks like one. I can and have killed a sixer in an evening, enjoying each gulp. (772 characters)

Photo of Caveworm
4.36/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Alpha King Pale Ale from Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub, my first by this acclaimed brewer. Poured from the bottle into a glass mug, this brew's got a lumpy, mildly porous head that recedes back down just enough to cap off the translucent, medium brown body. Generous lacing here.

Smells like citrus,floral hops, with a slight earthiness about it.

I taste peppery citrus, floral hops, yes. A slighty sweet-tasting smack of the lips seems to impulsively happen after each sip. I can't seem to put my finger on what this sweetness IS, exactly. But its there, and it does a fantastic job at balancing out this hop bitterness. Very smooth and dry finish from Alpha King

An exceedingly clean finish from this brew. Zero lingering elements, even with the apparent hop taste. I wish more hoppy beers had this clean a finish!

Overall a well-deserved knockout 4.5 for Alpha King Pale Ale from Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub. This had enough bite to taste, and went away as I finished the sips. The clean finish made this very refreshing. I will undeniably buy this brew again. (1,082 characters)

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

12 oz. brown bottle with no dates.

Toffee tinged malts mingle with citric, grassy hops in the nose.

Crisp and well carbonated medium body. Tangy citric hops are there from start to long bitter finish. Malts add a never cloying sweetness and roundness. Super refreshing.

I regret I only picked up one of these, I could have easily drank them for hours. Top notch Pale Ale. (380 characters)

Photo of trep
4.64/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a dark amber, perfect clarity, huge frothy head after an aggressive pour. Smells of grapefruity hops, flowers, a nice balance of bitter and malt, although the hops definitely are what you continue to sniff this beer for. Mmm - I love it.

Tastes just the way it smells. Hop bitterness is very present but not overwhelming. Smooth as hell. The head fades to a quarter of an inch layer of thin bubbles with nice lacing around the glass as I continue to sip on the King. I can't get over how smooth this beer is. Reminds me alot of Two-Hearted in its smoothness and balance. Finishes smooth, expectedly.

A quality beer, no doubt about it. Three Floyds should be very proud of this beer. (695 characters)

Photo of Grundle20
4.54/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance:
The color is copper with an orange shift to it. There's quite a bit more haze than I remember there being but I'm drinking this beer awfully cold. The head is tan in color and about a quarter inch in size, with mediocre retention and lacing.

Smell:
The scent is strong and pleasing with big notes of apricot, caramel, and pineapple.

Taste and Mouthfeel:
For an American pale ale this beer falls on to the malty side of the spectrum. The strong scents don't really translate to strong flavors as the malts dominate the hops in this beer. Not to say the hops aren't present because there is a minor note of apricot. The body is malty and smooth with some bitter orange rind sting in the fore. The finish is moderately clean leaving a pure aftertaste.

Drinkability:
It's not quite as refreshing as other American pale ales but it's a very savory beer. It's a good balance of flavor versus substance.

Bottom Line:
This is my favorite beer of all time possibly but this is certainly not my favorite bottle of this beer I've ever had. The hops didn't present themselves as much as they usually do and the beer drank a little flat, possibly an old bottle. (1,178 characters)

Alpha King from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 1,717 ratings.