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Alpha King Pale Ale - Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub

Not Rated.
Alpha King Pale AleAlpha King Pale Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
95
world-class

4,671 Ratings
THE BROS
93
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,671
Reviews: 1,664
rAvg: 4.27
pDev: 9.13%
Wants: 821
Gots: 396 | FT: 23
Brewed by:
Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub visit their website
Indiana, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Ale (APA) |  6.66% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
3 Floyd’s flagship beer, Alpha King is a big American pale ale that pours a deep amber with a creamy head. This ale is brewed with Centennial, Cascade, and Warrior hops giving it an intense citrus aroma and a crisp hoppy finish.

68 IBU

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 07-23-2000)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,671 | Reviews: 1,664 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of RblWthACoz
RblWthACoz

Pennsylvania

4.58/5  rDev +7.3%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

12-30-2007 15:25:56 | More by RblWthACoz
Photo of MasterSki
MasterSki

Illinois

4.25/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-29-2008 20:30:40 | More by MasterSki
Photo of Jason
Jason

Massachusetts

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.

Serving type: bottle

07-16-2005 22:04:01 | More by Jason
Photo of feloniousmonk
feloniousmonk

Minnesota

4.83/5  rDev +13.1%
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!

Serving type: bottle

05-04-2004 06:44:03 | More by feloniousmonk
Photo of drabmuh
drabmuh

Maryland

4.15/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Beer poured from bottle into a standard pint glass. Beer is hazy and brown / orange, forms a thin head of small bubbles that falls away to nearly nothing leaving some lacing on the glass. Carbonation is low.

Beer kind of smells like a brown ale (also looks like a brown ale). Caramel and some hops, citrusy.

Nice and smooth overall. Medium body, good hop bitterness in the back, some malt sweetness up front. Beer overall is a good pale ale. Drinkability is high, no real aftertaste, citrus hop flavors, bitterness builds as you drink, beer flavors become more pronounced as beer warms a little.

Serving type: bottle

12-11-2009 02:15:29 | More by drabmuh
Photo of russpowell
russpowell

Oklahoma

4.5/5  rDev +5.4%
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

Serving type: bottle

05-19-2008 16:40:17 | More by russpowell
Photo of WVbeergeek
WVbeergeek

West Virginia

4.3/5  rDev +0.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-30-2003 03:13:03 | More by WVbeergeek
Photo of Kegatron
Kegatron

Pennsylvania

4.33/5  rDev +1.4%
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!

Serving type: bottle

07-21-2008 16:51:21 | More by Kegatron
Photo of Slatetank
Slatetank

Pennsylvania

4.5/5  rDev +5.4%

03-09-2012 14:51:02 | More by Slatetank
Photo of WesWes
WesWes

New York

4.43/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a hazy dark gold color with a thick frothy white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is awesome. It has a solid malt aroma that boasts of pale, carapils, and crystal malts along with an intensely bitter citrus hop scent; very nice. The taste is great as well. It has a rich and smooth malty flavor that boasts of pale and crystal malts. It also has a very bitter hop taste that goes down easy and finishes hoppy. This is a good tasting beer. It is full of hops, but also well balanced. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a medium bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a damn fine beer. It is a tremendous drinker. This has got to be one of the all time greats.

Serving type: bottle

06-02-2005 23:22:54 | More by WesWes
Photo of jlindros
jlindros

Massachusetts

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!

Serving type: bottle

08-21-2009 01:57:39 | More by jlindros
Photo of Mora2000
Mora2000

Texas

4.1/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Pellinore1 for sending me this bottle. I had been wanting to try this for quite some time.

The beer pours an amber color with a white head. The aroma is heavy on the citrus hops with some bready malt and sugar notes.

The flavor is bread and oranges. The orange is both juicy and pithy and is very well done. Low bitterness.

Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

Serving type: bottle

11-17-2010 05:02:45 | More by Mora2000
Photo of Rifugium
Rifugium

Pennsylvania

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.

Serving type: on-tap

07-03-2011 20:45:13 | More by Rifugium
Photo of SocalKicks
SocalKicks

California

4.25/5  rDev -0.5%

04-07-2013 06:17:34 | More by SocalKicks
Photo of mdfb79
mdfb79

New York

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.

Serving type: on-tap

06-07-2010 23:16:32 | More by mdfb79
Photo of oline73
oline73

Maryland

3.98/5  rDev -6.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-11-2011 00:55:05 | More by oline73
Photo of StonedTrippin
StonedTrippin

Colorado

4.18/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

real hoppy for a pale ale, more of an ipa to me. very red in color, not quite amber, but definitely moving in that direction, with a big rich tan head that doesn't fade at all. bold hop aromas are just blasting out of this, with equal parts forest and fruit grove. definitely some higher alpha acid varieties, this beer seems by the smell to be very appropriately named. the flavor actually does find some malt balance, despite the intense hopping. there is a sweeter yet dry American caramel malt going on, which holds up the hops quite well. plenty of citrus bitterness in the finish too, not lemony, but equally pungent. there is also a sort of woody character to this that I sometimes find in hoppy beers, not like its been oaked, but like its made in part from freshly milled timber. in any event, the finish is about an 7 on a 10 point bitter scale, strong but not overbearing. nice mouthfeel too, maybe a little dense for the style, but this is a style that's constantly in flux anyways. plenty of carbonation and a decent abv make this about the perfect 6pack beer in my mind. One of my first few beers from the much hyped three floyds, and it did not disappoint, although I can think of several American pales that are every bit as good as the alpha king here. still fantastic.

Serving type: bottle

03-26-2013 17:24:02 | More by StonedTrippin
Photo of Gueuzedude
Gueuzedude

Arizona

4.05/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours an amber color, quite clear except for a few large floaties. Forms a thin beige head that does not stick around too long. An immediate aroma of American hops wafts from my glass. Notes of lychee, grapefruit & other citrus fruits are in the nose, it smells slightly sweet & nectar like, there is a hint of caramel malt here as well. Ooh, quite bitter; this beer finishes with a drying intense bitterness. Overall this beer is only slightly sweet, it has a light body & is focused entirely on the hop component. The hops are over the top, but perhaps it is missing some hop flavor. There is lots of bitterness, but it feels like it is missing some balancing hop nectar flavor. Underlying the hop attack there seems to be some nuttiness, as well as some caramel notes. This beer is all about the hop attack, not much malt here, so if you don't like hops stay away. Luckily I do like hops so this beer is just fine. Perhaps a bit too unbalanced for an everyday drinking beer, but every once in a while is nice.

Serving type: bottle

02-04-2004 18:55:51 | More by Gueuzedude
Photo of jwc215
jwc215

Wisconsin

4.53/5  rDev +6.1%
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!

Serving type: bottle

08-22-2008 21:27:14 | More by jwc215
Photo of Rochefort10nh
Rochefort10nh

New Hampshire

4.5/5  rDev +5.4%

11-22-2011 17:55:59 | More by Rochefort10nh
Photo of Halcyondays
Halcyondays

California

4.72/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12 oz. bottle,

A: Deep cloudy amber, with a thick white head which lasts the glass long.

S: Piney hops mostly, some citrus, but also toffee malts make an appearance, very balanced.

T: The taste is exceptional. This is by far my favorite American Pale Ale, as Tony Kornheiser would say - "That's it, that's the list!" I love Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, but this is its superior. Delicious pink grapefruit coats the tongue, with a perfect malt backbone to hold it together. Fabulous.

M: Chewy bitterness, citrus hops abound, that extra kick of hops at the end adds to its smoothness and helps keep its body together through the finish.

D: The greatest APA that i've tried so far, it's just a shame I can't get it very often, an American craft brewing classic.

Serving type: bottle

07-12-2007 03:46:43 | More by Halcyondays
Photo of Gavage
Gavage

New Jersey

4.38/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Clear amber / orange in color with a 1" head that produced some mild lacing. The aroma is very hoppy, which gets your tastebuds ready for the initial taste. The hops are all over this one, as malt and fruity tones balance this out well. This really leans towards the IPA scale with bitterness and bite, but doesn't go overboard.

The mouthfeel was smooth and the finish was too. The bitterness and fruitiness lasted a short while on the tongue. This was a medium bodied brew that had nice carbonation levels. Very drinkable and could easily be a session brew for any hophead.

Serving type: on-tap

06-22-2004 00:48:41 | More by Gavage
Photo of mendvicdog
mendvicdog

Maryland

3.75/5  rDev -12.2%

03-23-2013 21:53:47 | More by mendvicdog
Photo of GClarkage
GClarkage

California

4.8/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

07/30/05- Received from a purchase at Archers Liquors.

Presentation- 12oz bottle with no dating. Poured into my Shipyard pint glass.

Appearance- Darker golden color. Nice 3/4 inch head and average lacing.

Smell- Huge and I mean huge grapefruit hops. That's about all I can detect because the hops overpower everything else.

Taste- Wow, this is one damn good Pale Ale. Starts off with a huge fruity blast of hops and finishes with a nice smooth semi dark malt flavor.

Mouthfeel- Moderate carbonation, heavier mouthfeel.

Drinkability- I actually felt some of the alcohol kick in at the end of the brew. Not sure if I could session more than a couple of these. But, an amazing hoppy pale ale that I would buy again in a second if I could get my hands on it out here. Hands down one of the top two or three Pale Ales I've had. Maybe the best.

Serving type: bottle

07-31-2005 18:28:05 | More by GClarkage
Photo of kojevergas
kojevergas

Texas

3.85/5  rDev -9.8%
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+

Serving type: bottle

04-04-2013 20:40:33 | More by kojevergas
Alpha King Pale Ale from Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub
95 out of 100 based on 4,671 ratings.