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Alpha King - 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Alpha KingAlpha King

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,749 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,749
Hads: 5,991
Avg: 4.26
pDev: 16.67%
Wants: 935
Gots: 1,072 | FT: 29
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: 1,749 | Hads: 5,991
Photo of leakyfaucet12
4.12/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a- a ton of lacing. orangish white head 1 finger. body is orangish brown, not what I have come to know from an IPA

S- tons of hops in the smell. the obvious fruits/citrus and piny notes. just very potent. smells really good.

t-hoppy, but boozie, tastes like alot of IPAs that I have had but stronger hops taste.

m- lots of carbonation when I hold on my tounge almost starts to burn.

d- Really good. I am starting to think that IPAs are all really drinkable but the flavor on this one keeps it apart from the rest. I really enjoy this beer

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

Thanks Chase2634 (Brent) for this want!

A - Ruby red, nice frothy head that laces the glass well

S - Strong citrus, pine, a little bready

T - More citrus, pine, bitter, but has a nice balanced malt backbone.

M - Sticky and delicious. Coats the mouth nicely and goes down easy on a hot summer day.

O - Great Pale Ale. Could not find a freshness date on the bottle and I suspect it's just a little past it's prime, but still a great example of an APA. Would like more on a hot summer day.

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Photo of IrishHockey
5/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is the beer that got it all started for me. I love this beer. From the grapefruit, hoppy taste, to the citrus smell. This beer is my kryptonite. I can't go into the brew pub, or local shop and not walk out with a six pack of this. Seek it out. This beer is a gem.

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Photo of ChrisA
3.8/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Unfortunately for Alpha King I drank this right after I had my first Bell's Two Hearted. It's very difficult to go from a tremendous IPA like that to a Pale Ale. Since I love the hops, I was disappointed in the taste of Alpha King. In retrospect, It was probably much better than I realized and actually stood up well for being an APA. As far as pale ales go, this should be a solid offering. But why drink Pale Ales when you can drink IPA's?

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

I had this on draft at the Beer Cellar in Indy. This is a serious beer. It has a significant hoppiness that made me think it was an IPA rather than an APA. It has a citrus flavor with spiciness and a dash of sweetness. It smacks you in the mouth before it is done with you. I will be visiting Three Floyds the next time I am in Chi-town. A very very good brew.

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Photo of littlekidlover
4.57/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The color is a medium amber, a little bit darker than your average APA. Had a 1 finger head that disappeared quickly, lacing was minimal. There is a walloping hop nose of grapefruit, pine, and flowery esters. My friend calls this "Kind bud beer". The taste is mostly hops, spicy, citrus, yet balanced Medium to light body with a little carbonation. Very drinkable, possibly sessionable, but I usually like to switch up my beer anyway.

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Photo of TriGuy20
4.22/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On draft at Kuma's Corner, poured into pint glass.

A: Copper and Orange with a nice off white head and a lace that sticks fairly well to the glass.

S: mmm big hops! Pine/ Grapefruit/ Biscuit/ Malt/ Yeast/ Bitter orange/

T: Grape fruit and pine upfront with a nice yeasty mid palate followed by a nice long hoppy bitterness. Nice long finish.

MF: This beer has some good carbonation to it and feels medium bodied on the palate.

D: This beer is so fun to drink would have no problem drinking several of these.

This was one of the first craft beers I fell in love with and sometimes I forget about this beer, however, it never disappoints. Well done!

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

From notes. Numerous samples: tap and cask at FFF, bottle, growler.

A - Clear amber, sticky head lots of lacing.

S - light on the malty, complex hop aroma (mostly citrus, some pine).

T - bold hops, slight hint of sweet from the malt. Complex flavor from the hops with a perfect amount of contribution from the malt.

M - medium bodied, good carbonation, clean and crisp.

O - excellent. Perfect APA.

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Photo of ddarden
4.57/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12 oz bottle poured dark copper with a small off white head that fell pretty quickly. Dark for a pale ale. The smell is all hops...grapefruit and pine, but more citrus. A small amount of malt comes through, but the smell is definitely about the hops. The first sip yeilds a very balanced hop punch and nice malt. The hops are predominate in this brew and are very citrusy. This is a bit over the top to be classified as a pale ale, this is definitely a very nice American IPA. As the grapefruit flavor dies down, a nice doughy malt flavor comes through and then ends with a nice bitter. Mouthfeel of this beer is medium and nicely carbonated. I will have to say this is another great beer by 3 Floyds and I would drink it very regularly if it was available locally. This beer tastes like the Dreadnaughts little brother. Excellent beer but I think it is mis-catagorized as an APA.

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Photo of abankovich
3.83/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to TheodorHerzl for helping me get my hands on this.

Poured into a snifter a very nice, deep amber color. A thin head was present upon pouring but dissipated very quickly. Nice lacing is present though that is definitely clinging to the sides of my glass.

Smell, I love the smell of Pale Ales and this one doesn't disappoint Definitely bitter with some floral notes and a little citrus. Also noticed a little caramel after it warmed up for a few minutes. Some toasted notes are also present.

The first taste that hit my tongue was definitely very bitter, but refreshing. The bitterness seems to stay throughout each sip actually, with hints of that caramel and some citrus. Some taste of alcohol is also present.

Mouthfeel is good, medium bodied. Leaves my mouth feeling a little dry afterwards.

Drinkability is fantastic, especially after this one warms up a bit. At first it was a little overpowering compared to what I was expecting. 5 minutes after the first sip though, things mellowed out and are very smooth going down.

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

A-Pours a brownish red with a 1-finger white head. Leaves good lacing.

S-Hops and thats it.

T-Opens with citrus and transitions into strong, bitter hops. More of an IPA than a standard pale ale.

M-Just the right amount of carbonation to break up this full-bodied ale.

D-Higher-than-average alcohol content and strong flavor make it easy and pleasurable to have a couple, but more difficult to take down a sixer. More of a premium beer or finisher than a session beer.

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Photo of GameFreac
4.6/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Wino's in Bowling Green, KY. Poured into a snifter.

Appearance: Pours a beautiful golden orange color with 2 fingers of a white head.

Smell: Smells of sweet hops, malt, pine, and grapefruit.

Taste - Taste mirrors the nose. Everything is so balanced.

Mouthfeel: Perfect for the style.

Overall: The best pale ale I've ever had. So good.

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Photo of Jishguy
4.32/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

A- Poured an unexpected, but appealing dark ruby red body. Looks more like an amber than an APA. Nice creamy white head that sticks to the glass all the way down.

S- Wonderful citrus, earthy, and pine-like hops fill the nose. There is a sweet caramel and lightly toasted malt aroma in the background. There is also the faintest hint either cinnamon or nutmeg. Very complex.

T- A caramel sweetness with a pleasantly lingering pine/hop bitterness. The balance between the malt and hops is near perfect.

M- Good carbonation and body. A bit creamy. Nothing to write home about.

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Photo of IchabodcraneIpa
4.17/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass from the bottle.

The color of this one is a honey golden color that has a half inch of cream colored foam as a crown but it fades to just a top dusting of foam.

The smell of this one is a nice citrusy hop smell that is pretty inviting on the nose.

The first time I tried this one I wasn't really sure about it, but after this second try ( while sober) I can see why people praise three floyds. The flavor of this one was a citrusy sweetness at first that is overtaken by the maltiness fairly quick. But shortly after that both flavors give way to the nice hoppy goodness of a nice slightly bitter hop frenzy. This also fades away to a nice sweet finish that I thoroughly enjoyed.

The mouthfeel of this one was light and refreshing to me with a perfect balance of carbonation to tone out the king.

Overall I'm sad I only bought one of these, but I would definitely seek this one out actively again. A great citrus pale ale that I could enjoy any time of the year.

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Photo of kohoutek
4.31/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a beautiful orange amber color with sticky, fluffy persistent white head. Clinging lace and the perfect amount of haze hint at the raw character of this brew. Micro-bubbles swell and boil throughout the body of this brew. It's so nice to see a lack of the ubiquitous "glug, glug, glug" bubble chains that mark filtered and fined beer. Gas forming beer nuclei anyone?

The hops just pour out of the glass. Definitely led by the grassy smell of dry hops. Columbus stands out. Grass, geranium, armpit of s(he) who dines frequently on light colored curries, grapefruit, fresh Muscat grape, apricot and lemongrass. Some catty biscuit. characteristics. A tad bit too grassy and biting for me.

The hops present in the nose are not expressed as completely in the mouth. Lots of luscious flavors though: grapefruit rind, blood orange, the bark of devil's claw, geranium, tangerine, perfumed desert cacti blossoms. The color of this beer suggests that there is some malt character. It is tough to find buried beneath the mound of juicy hops. Some medium weight crystal malt adds to the caramel complexity and the biscuit malt is present. Something about the harshness of the biscuit/malt profile detracts from this overall experience. Tannic/astringent, maybe?

The mouth feel is very nice. The bitterness is present and very apparent in the finish. The burps associated with this beer are hop heaven. A nice touch of residual sweetness melds well with the hop flavors and the bitterness.

In all honesty, I drank two bottles of this beer during the course of the review because it is just that good.

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Photo of ChiSox05
4.47/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

smell: hops across the board, floral with fruits all paired with citrus. put it in a tulip or wide wine glass and got strawberry-banana-kiwi smells, all the while sugary ruby red grapefruit as the base. great, strong hop scent, but not aggravating in the least, floral.

noticeably clear, amber/orange beer, in a pint glass poured a stout, off-white head that held up well. unique bottle art, looks great

the aftertaste is when the malt finally shows itself with a warm buttery biscuit flavor over most of the tongue. before that, the malt seemed to lead one hop taste to the next. hops are citrusy and oily. Mouth smacking fresh bitterness stays on the sides of the tongue with faint spiciness.

oily, smooth, balanced bitterness on sides of tongue, spiciness in aftertaste with some dryness, clean, crisp, fine carbonation

so drinkable that 3Floyd's can't make enough of it. 7.35% alchohol isn't believable if not for warmth and adding to your good mood after finding this. dry APA with a hop backbone that shows in every characteristic of this stuff, can't get enough of it lately. session king.

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

Pours a beautiful clear amber with a small head.
Smell is over he top fruity hops, like tangelos from my christmas stocking.
Taste is great light malt base followed quickly by citrus, honeysuckle, pine bark and lingering bitterness hiding some sweet flowers.
Good mouthfeel. If it was a little less watery and slick it would be perfection. I'm stretching here cause, its close.
This beer is definitely sessionable. I think my fiance will drink all of mine though, so someone send me more! Daddy like!

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Photo of TheLostGringo
2.26/5  rDev -46.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.25

Poured from a bottle into my Hill Farmstead chalice.

A: Pours a hazy copper color with an inch of head, just a touch of lace.

S: Aroma is sickly sweet, unpleasant to me.

T: Very malty, unbalanced.

M: Sticky, tough to drink..

O: Really disappointing!

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Photo of DrMalt
4.62/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Acquired in a trade with Demcorhip.

Expectations were high, shouldn't have read about it before I tried it.

Shared a 12oz bottle (thankfully friend enjoyed as much as I ).

Poured a somewhat hazy amber with hints of orange & a medium sized frothy head.

Taste was definitively APA with loads of hop bitterness, but for me without some of the sometimes "off" bitterness that others can bring. I was surprised by the unique & impressive hop flavours that this beer brought to an APA.

Mouthfeel was good & I think because of the balance of the brew. Malt vs. hop.

Drinkability was simply outstanding. I have always enjoyed drinking APA's for their drinkability & thought it would be hard to top a Liberty or Red Seal Ale. But for my palatte this tops em' all.

My sense is the other BA's that tasted & reviewed this must know a thing or two. Just a great rendition of an APA!

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Photo of BlackJeremiah
4.52/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle, poured into a pint glass.

A: Reddish-copper in hue, a bit hazy. Full white head gives plenty of lacing, spotty around the glass.

S: Sweet malts, cocoa, raisin/fig. Oily hop scents--orange and pine--mix beautifully with the manifold malts. One of the best-smelling brews I've ever encountered.

T: Endlessly unfolding malt flavors--baker's chocolate, raisins/figs, sweet bread and biscuit. Intertwining hop, oily pine, slick citrus tastes. Incredibly complex and flavorful. Seems like an IPA base with many interesting and complementary additions.

M: Light feel, slight drying, clean through the aftertaste. Smooth.

D: An excellent beer, well-crafted. Three Floyds deserves their reputation, and it's even better that they are located in my parents' hometown.

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Photo of steadydose
4.21/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle recieved in a trade, poured into a pint glass. A vigorous pour produced a 3 finger fluffy khaki cap, that has some staying power. Lacing collects on the side, nice.

The aroma is nice and sweet, candy like fruitiness, bready, as the beer warms up light hints of caramel and butterscotch. I would have liked more hop aroma too come through.

The taste starts with good sweetness and finishes with firm bitterness that lingers. Piney, cirtusy hops. I could taste a little tangerine with a grapefruit bitterness on the finish. This is one of the hoppiest pale ales I have ever had. It's really good, nice mix between the hops and malt, with a slight edge going to the hops.

Mouthfeel is good, silky smooth, full mouthfeel. No complaints here.

The drinkability of theses pale is outstanding. I wish I had more of these and I could easily see myself drinking a 6er of these in a night, if I had regular access to this beer. I had trouble not drinking this too fast while trying to take tasting notes. Get some!

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Photo of normZurawski
4.43/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I rate the taste here on the basis of the category of American Pale Ale. It clearly is exceptional in its category, and stands head and shoulders above Sierra's like brew. To say the taste is anything less than explosive is not giving it a fair shake, IMO. The taste is strong, yet balanced, loaded with flavor on the sides and back of the tongue. The obvious downside is that most people just aren't always in the mood for a pale ale, and if that's the case you shouldn't reach for this beer (thus the 4 I give it for drinkability). That's not a statement of the beer, so much as the beer drinker and knowing their mood.

Either way, I was shocked to see this in the liquor store down the road, having no idea this was distributed in NJ. When I went to the liquor store to get a few bags of ice for a NYE party and came back with ice plus a 6 pack of this and a Dogfish Head Raison that I had run out of, I was forced to go with the explanation that this is the top ranked APA and I couldn't pass it up. While dubious, the wife understood. In any event, the high ranking is well warranted and I'm damn glad I got this beer.

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

A - Pours a deep copper with small white head which quickly disappeared into a thin ring.

S - Smells of pine, and caramel malt. Also a hint of fruity sourness creeps in at the end.

T - Subdued hop flavor, with a malty backbone.

M - Medium body, very smooth, not a lot of carbonation.

D - I get the impression that the bottle I had didn't hold up as well as most, since it is missing the same hoppy profile most others are talking about. Still a great brew, but I would be curious to try it again fresh for comparison.

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Photo of drummstikk
3.76/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a medium amber with red highlights -- lasting taupe head. Smells of Centennial and Cascade. Taste is a lot of mid-boil dark bark and resin without any cattiness. Yum. Later-boil tastes are pine needles, oranges, lemons, grapefruit (of course), with a bit of melon and peach. Caramel peaks its head at the end, and overall the malt is sweet without being cloying. Carbonation and body are medium. Thought it's clearly more bitter than a Pale Ale by most sane drinkers' standards, Alpha King (despite its name) achieves balance by reigning in crystal malt sweetness and not allowing overall bitterness to outpace its size. Beer appears to be bottled on yeast, and after swirling up the lees and pouring them into my remaining beer, I get a nice bit of apricot fruitiness that was clearly adhering to those friendly single-cells.

There is no date printed on the bottle, but it's been in my fridge for a good six months. Perhaps the hop aromas would be more overpowering in a fresher example, but I enjoy this beer very much.

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

Fantastic! Of all the three floyds pales this really stands out. Balanced, restrained, yet full and satisfying. Its a little dark for a pale, but that's where any criticism ends. bright tropical and citrus notes on the nose, sweet and sharp on the tongue. light-medium and effervescent mouth feel. its really one of the best pale ales out there.

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Alpha King from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 1,749 ratings.