Alpha King - 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

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Alpha KingAlpha King

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1,742 Reviews

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Reviews: 1,742
Hads: 5,932
Avg: 4.26
pDev: 8.92%
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
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Reviews: 1,742 | Hads: 5,932
Photo of Pdiddey3d
4.1/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to GDBEERMAN for hooking me up with this one.

A - Pours a nice hazy amber, almost orange. About one finger of head that reduces to slim halo after a couple minutes. Very minimal lacing.

S - Very pleasant aroma. Picking up mostly grapefruit but there are some hints of malt and some hops but the citrus prevails.

T - Great balance of citrusy hops and a smooth maltiness. Leaves some bitterness on the tongue int the finish but nothing too overwhelming. It surprises me that this is not an IPA with the nice amount of hops in here.

M/D - Very smooth. great carbonation, perfect balance. This is a bit on the hoppy side for an APA but it goes down easy and I would say this is a sessionable beer. Wish I had more than one to enjoy.

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Photo of Macky20
4.12/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Have several bottles of this thanks to generous extras in trades, this is a great beer, so keep 'em coming!

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass. One finger head that is a bit splotchy, and somewhat thin. Amber color with a reddish tint.

Smells primarily of a pine, citrus (grapefruit is what I'm picking up on) and an extremely attractive hop bite.

The taste is the best thing about this beer (good thing right?) Even though this doesn't seem like a high IBU beer (probably so for a Pale Ale though)... there is a hop explosion that immediately calms itself right after hitting your taste buds. The aroma acccurately represents this beer... and it has everything, regarding tastes, that I love in my IPA's.... and again, this is a Pale Ale. Pleasant bitterness left on the tongue.

Mouthfeel is appropriate, if anything a bit thin. You can almost always tell by the pour and the head what it will feel like in the mouth (I'm no professional, but just from my own experience) When the head was a bit thin, I expected the feel in the mouth to be a bit thin also. It is nothing that dramatically changes the beer IMO though.

Drinkability is fantastic... low ABV... hop kick of an IPA, goes down pleasantly and smooth. It's probably a good thing I can't get these in NC... It would certainly be one of my "go to's" during football season!

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Photo of Patchmaster
4.33/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours with a nice two finger head. Darker amber texture with some heavy lacing on the glass.

S - Malty with some citrusy undertone

T - Some great maltiness that finishes off with a citrusy mouthfeel

M - A little higher carbonation, but definitely tolerable. Somewhat of a bitterness

D - I am so lucky to have FFF at my disposal anytime I want. This is a great beer. For the price at my liquor store of $9.99 for a sixer I've reached for it many times. The hardest part is deciding Gumballhead or Alpha King!!!

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Photo of bpgpitt10
4.29/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: Deep caramel color... especially for the style. Full, thick white head that lingers and leaves a good bit of lacing.
S: Piney hops up front that are at the forefront. Notes of mango, malt, and light caramel.
T: Very crisp hops taste that is mellowed by the strong malts in the beer. Light bits of alcohol heat as it warms (not in a bad way).
M: Right on for a Pale ale / IPA... maybe a bit on the creamier side. Nice light carbonation. I personally really, really like the creamier aspect.
O: This is my style. It's hoppy for a pale ale, but if you view it as an IPA then it's incredibly balanced. The malt backbone really makes this very drinkable. One of my favorites in the style for sure.

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

Appearance -- Pours a deep amber-orange color with a creamy, clean white head. Leaves a sticky lacing on the glass.

Smell -- Very intoxicating! Rich, citrus smelling hops. Just a touch of malty sweetness. I love the smell of this beer on a hot day like today.

Taste -- Complex citrus. This is not a beer that is lacking in hoppy bitterness. I seek out this hop goodness in a lot of my beers and find that few deliver like this beer does.

Mouthfeel -- Nice . . . very nice. Creamy and wet. A slight bitterness just kisses the tip of your tongue.

Drinkability -- This is the first beer I've rated all 5s and I now declare it the official beer of my summer. I plan to drink a lot of it. I've been drinking this beer off and on for several years now, but this is the first time I rated it. This beer delivers what few others do. It's just excellent.

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Photo of balconybrew
3.78/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into a flute. Amber with orange and red hues. Large head rose and fell slowly. Small bubbled head fell and left lacing on the sides. I smell oranges and grapefruits. Definate "c" hops. Same taste as aroma hits you, then leaves a grapefruit hop bitterness as an aftertaste. Mouthfeel is good and bubbly with a dry finish. A clean drink that you could have more than one of...

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Photo of bevenson
4.28/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint glass.

A - Copper and crystal clear. Off white head that hangs around for a minute before falling to the sides. One of the best looking beers I've seen in a while.

S - Strong grapefruit and pine aroma. Hop aroma is very fresh and crisp. Bready, toasty malt in the background with thankfully little caramel.

T - Bold hop bitterness. Grapefruit and pine hop flavors. Bread crust flavor is just strong enough to back up the hops. Clean yeast character.

M - Medium to thin body. Moderate carbonation, dry finish and smooth.

D - A very easy drinking pale ale. Hits the malt/hop balance just right, which isn't easy to do. Would've liked a little more body to the beer. Well worth seeking out.

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

On tap at Coles. Great looking orange/amber colored beer. Smells a bit sweet with some tropical fruit and floral notes. Moderately bitter and fruity. I get berries in there somewhere. Alcohol comes through late but its subtle and adds to the flavor. An all around unique and tasty pale.

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

Appearance: Has an amber-orange, semi-cloudy body with a light tan head that leaves too quickly but still manages to lace the side of the glass.

Smell: Great aroma with grapefruit, pine resin, pineapple, and a touch of sweet malt. There's Cascade in here, but that's probably not the only hop used.

Taste: This is a really well balanced American Pale Ale! It starts with hop flavor, and ends with a shot of piney bitterness, all the while letting the malt shine through. Lots of grapefruit and citrus in here as well. Good spiciness. Outstanding flavor and balance.

Mouthfeel: Medium mouthfeel, with a semi-crisp, dry body. Good at rousing the appetite!

Drinkability: Very high. The incredible balance and dryness combine to make a very drinkable beer. Start a big meal with this brew. A great example of the style.

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Photo of eyncognito
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

APA, IPA-who cares? Not me.
Pours a rich copper/amber with orange tint. Head disappears rather quickly leaving a lingering halo. Smell is a wonderful mix of lemon zest, grapefruit, oily pine, and healthy dose of caramel malt.

Taste is the same, no surprises. Slighly oily, resiny pine hops, big citric punch or grapefruit, zest, caramel malt-even slightly doughy in the middle. Finishes with a nice bitter kick, but no bite (don't know how fresh this bottle is though). A moderate dryness balances out the ample sweet malt. Slightly astringent.

Mouthfeel is on the lighter end of medium with light carbonation. For a beer this pleasantly bitter it is so round, so smooth. Three Floyds always kills me in the mouthfeel/carbonation department-something that I think gets overlooked in favor of their hop-centric approach to many styles. I could drink this a lot. Unfortunately I can find good APAs for less money-I'm looking at you SNPA and Lake Louie Arena Premium. Regardless, this is a well put together brew that pushes the limits of hop hearty American Pale Ales.

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Photo of gdogalishus
3.87/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Serving from a bottle into a tumbler.
Serving temperature 46 degrees F.
pH measured 4.51
Alcohol content measured was 7.8% by residual extract method

Significantly higher alcohol content measured than that quoted for this beer... double checked the measurements.
Alpha King poured nicely into the glass and resulted in a rather typical pale ale in appearance. Very clear with a 3/4 to 1 inch head of fluffy bubles with a ever so slight green hue in the head. The bottle claims that this beer is bottle conditioned and that is the reason for the slight haze in the beer. I didn't notice the haze at all and can read this review through the tumbler. The head dissipated quickly in the glass. Low carbonation almost vanished by mid glass. The color was a hint dark for a pale ale, but not out of the ordinary.
The aroma was distinctively hoppy. Flavor was an initial maltly sweetness for a brief moment, then a rush of hop bitterness that spread across the entire mouth and throat. The mouthfeel was a little more thick than I expected, but I didn't notice until after the third or fourth swallow.
I feel this beer is a perfectly acceptable example of an American Pale Ale and Three Floyds deserves the praise and recognition they recieve for this beer. I will drink this again.

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Photo of ITK4ever
4.85/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pale Ale? Try hoppy IPA. The hops put other PA's to shame. This is one of my fav's, but I don't want to stock it all the time because the artwork on the bottle is a little frightening. If you can get past that, it's one fine PA....probably the best. Typical PA color and head on the pour, but right away you can detect the hops in the nose. Taste is complex and incredible. Good balance of malt and hops at first, then the hops kick in in the finish and you get that citrusy sensation that comes with the stronger IPA' fact, close to a Double IPA. Buy this one if you see it!!!

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Photo of chuckd123
4.3/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Have now had 4 bottles of this beer, and it has to rank near the top of my sessionable beer list. I'm a big IPA/DIPA fan, and this could easily be one instead of a pale. Very fresh hop aroma and taste, and drinkable given the moderate abv%. Mouthfeel is good, nothing special, but a great overall example of the pale ale style. For what it's worth, I generally avoid PA's in favor of an IPA, but this one blows away most other pure PA's (think SNPA) I've had due to the more present hop aromas and flavor. Great beer by FFF.

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Photo of Jonoesh5
4.75/5  rDev +11.5%

[Ph]attest eggshell, 3 inch head I've ever seen! Hung around unto the last sip. A beautiful, copper-bodied pale ale with refreshing citrus hops and a subtle malt combo. Poured into 12oz glass, slightly translucent, and absolutely ZERO floaties. Most refreshing beer I've had in a long time!

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Photo of bryanbrick
4.02/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Another great beer received in my first trade ever with d0b. He caressed me and really made me feel like he cared. Such a gentleman.

From a 12oz bottle with no apparent freshness dating.

A pretty amber, cat's eye color with a parchment head that perks right up and will come back with ease the beer pours about a ½ inch head but remains stiff throughout.

The nose here is something special. It has so much more than the American Pale Ales that I've had previous to this experience. The hops and malt are both turned way up; the surprise is not the hops though. Everyone is doing that these days; the surprise is the malt bill. Almost pushing the Amber category here. Full of crème brulee crust, coffee bean, hollowed out grapefruit halves and plenty of hazelnut candy filling. But the nicest thing is that it does all this without all the unnecessary sugary/sweet notes.

That same malt bill gives way, ever so apprehensively, to the hops on the palate. First you taste all the caramel and butterscotch, then comes this wave of bitterness that is something like juniper berries and burnt meats. The hops become very aggressive from the mid-palate on and take on a sort of metallic lean that is a touch off putting for my "balance is everything, hops will only get you so far" pallet. That being said this is still enjoyable and would be more of a Fall/Winter beer for me.

Side note-This reminds me of some of the more Amarillo based hop bomb/nightmares I've had in the past. Wonder what they are using here

The mouthfeel is slick and polished, seemingly seamless. With the exception of the bitter metallic streak this is one sexy feeling beer. Sort of weightless and gliding over the tongue, it feels kind of like how cotton candy feels as it melts, just without all the sugar and the sticky lips.

I really don't know if I could have more that 1-2 of these in anyone setting. The aforementioned metallic aspect builds to a point where it becomes cumbersome and annoying. I just wish it step out of the way and leave this otherwise well crafted beer alone.

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Photo of sprinkle
4.33/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Even more beautiful than I remember,deep,clear coppery amber in color.Nice lace about a half an inch head that stays.Deep fruity hop nose.Awesome drinker,nice balance of sweetness with lingering hops.A little citrusy.

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Photo of thebarnesbomb
4.65/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

One of my all time favorites. One of the few benefits of living in Indiana is being close to Three Floyds brewery.

A- Pours a clear, dark ruby with a thick head that lasts almost all the way down

S- Scents of fruity hops, and a bit of sweet malts

T- Outstanding. A great balance between the copious hops and the malts that keep these hops from running rampant on the palate

M- Rich, inviting, but a bit oily from the hops in the aftertaste

D- Tempted to drink the whole 6, so tasty.

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Photo of WildTurkey
4.19/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle to pint glass.

A: Dark amber color and clear, wispy but thin head. Visibile carbonation.

S: Lots of hops (for a regular pale ale). Citrus like grapefruit. Light fruit like pear. Also some piney notes. Nice pale carmel malts.

T: Nice carmel malt base. Good amount of sweetness. Nice hop bitterness. More citrus flavor and Pear. Very balanced.

M: Light body. Some carbonation and some dryness.

D: Very good pale ale - good session beer. Terrifiic smell. It seems like it's trying to get as close to being an IPA without crossing the line. One of the best Pale Ales I've had.

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Photo of kalkavekkian
3.63/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Tried this for the first time and liked what i found.
A- Clear golden- orange with light head.
S- Fruity hops, slightly spicy.
T- Sharp citrus hops and grains. Nicely bitter. Stone ipa-like, but not quite as harsh.
M- Strong carbonation.
D- Good drinkability with the abv a non-factor.

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

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Thanks to livewire78 for this one.

A - Cloudy coppery gold color with a quarter inch of thin off white head.

S - Grassy citrus hops. Grapefruit, tangerines, and fresh cut grass. Definitely smells more like an IPA than an APA.

T - Again, more like an IPA than an APA. Big luscious juicy citrus and piney hops with a bit of bitterness in the back of the mouth.

M - Moderate carbonation. Slightly creamy. Very nice, medium to full bodied mouthfeel. Finish is the only reason that I could possibly see for calling this an APA. It finishes a little thinner than I'd expect of an IPA.

D - Very drinkable. If I had easy access to this, I would drink it regularly in the summer.

Overall, this is a very good APA, though I definitely wouldn't call it that in a blind tasting. Either way, it's a top notch APA or IPA, whichever you want to call it.

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

I've had this beer a million times, but never got around to reviewing it. Tonight is the night!

Poured into my favorite mug.

A: Beautiful, deep amber color.

S: mmm. Subtle hoppiness, with citrus, pine, and malt. I love this smell.

T: Just as I remember. I love this beer. Very smooth blend that gives my taste buds a high-five on the way down to kidney-town.

M: Medium bodied and perfect carbonation.

D: Very smooth, and, although not technically a session beer...this is a great session beer.

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

Deep turbid amber color, with a decent head. The smell is complex as well as the taste, very spicy, high combination of different hops. The spiciness is combined with high bitterness. I could feel it building up as the beer went down. Light body, clean with a medium to high carbonation.

This one can quench your hop thirst, with a unique and well balanced mix of hops.

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Photo of bigdonniebrasco
2.66/5  rDev -37.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Appearance: Light amber-copper color. Clear body, filtered, average carbonation. Inch head of white retains better than average.

Smell: Some piney hops, some floral qualities, but not in the skillfully dry-hopped sense of delicacy. This doesn't have a real strong nose. Some sweet carmelized sugar scents from the malts. Oranges.

Taste: Some light citrus notes, orange and piney hop flavors. Not a real substantial malt base, some dry biscuit and carmel flavors. Not very different than the masses of pale ales out there. This tries to breach the PA - IPA boundary, but doesn't really commit to either. Only the slightest bitterness in the finish. I can't reccommend this beer because it doesn't have any direction.

Mouthfeel: Medium to low carbonation. The body is light and easy to quaff, but doesn't really offer any substance.

Drinkability: Not difficult to drink, but not interesting enough to make me want another. Just because this brewery makes some real gems, doesn't mean that everything it makes is good, or even competent.

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Photo of BrewIndy
3.88/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured with about a fingers worth of head that went away pretty quickly. Has an amazing dark orange color to it. It actually looks just like a cup of properly steeped Lipton tea. Except for the head of course.

S: It smells pretty good. It's very sweet and inviting and all that. I haven't tasted it yet but you can almost taste the bitterness to it just by smelling.

T: It's actually doesn't have as much bite as I thought it would. The bite definitely waits until the end to hit you though but up front you have nice smooth citrusy flavors. That goes into some malty balance leaving with a bit of bitterness. It's fairly sweet... almost too sweet, but nicely balanced.

M: It feels smooth in my mouth. A great feel. It leaves the back of my tongue feeling strange though, not sure if I like that. Kind of makes me want to take another drink to get rid of that sensation.

D: I could drink a couple of these and be content. Not sure if this is one I'd pick up a sixer of but I'd grab a pint when I'm out to dinner or out with friends anytime.

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Photo of andyo
4.33/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a dark red, almost slightly brown. Left a real nice head that stuck around for a while. Whilst drinking this beer, I noticed a very nice lace that clung to the glass for dear life. Very nice.

This beer had a very big taste. Most notable was the floral/bitter combination, mixed with some very heavy citrus malt flavors. Great balance with the hops too. Nice crisp mouthfeel with just the right amount of carbonation. The aftertaste was huge, with a pleasant bitter/fruity taste that lingered on my tongue till the next sip.

This is a great beer that begs to be drunk time after time

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