Alpha King - 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Alpha KingAlpha King

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BA SCORE
95
world-class

1,719 Reviews
THE BROS
94
outstanding

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Reviews: 1,719
Hads: 5,829
rAvg: 4.27
pDev: 7.73%
Wants: 917
Gots: 930 | 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
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Reviews: 1,719 | Hads: 5,829
Photo of Gueuzedude
4.07/5  rDev -4.7%
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. (1,012 characters)

Photo of tdm168
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Dunn for bringing this one back from his travels.

A - pours copper with a soft, thin layer of pure white head that has decent retention

S - big bready malt, citrusy hop aromas

T - bready, citrusy, birthday cake-like sweetness

M - medium bodied, smooth, well carbonated

This is an awesome pale ale. It's big and malty with a nice, citrusy hop character that leads to superb balance. This is easy to drink and very enjoyable. I'm glad I have a few more of these to enjoy. (484 characters)

Photo of Gavage
4.35/5  rDev +1.9%
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. (578 characters)

Photo of Halcyondays
4.68/5  rDev +9.6%
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. (768 characters)

Photo of Billolick
4.2/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle, with no freshness dating. Pours dark auburn, cloudy and with a few chunks swirling around. Rich, creamy, tiny bubble head and leaving quality lacing. nose is richly, malty and resiny hop filled. Full bodied nectar. Citrus hops explode on the palate. Deeply flavorful. High quality brew,seek out and enjoy. Cheers! (330 characters)

Photo of billab914
4.38/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this one a few times now and it's always a a pleasure. I just got this one fresh in a shipment from Chicago and it's time to finally review it. Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Dogfish shaped pint glass. Pours amber, slightly reddish in color with a two finger white head. It had excellent head retention and laced all the way down the glass.

Aroma is hoppy with good amounts of citrus and pine and a little malt sweetness to back it up. Taste is hoppy like the nose with citrus, grapefruit and pine from the hops. it's not quite IPA hoppy but pretty close. There is also some malty and caramely sweetness to it that helps balance it out pretty nicely.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Drinkability is very good, I really enjoy this beer. This is pretty close to the perfect session beer for me. It's hoppy but not too hoppy and has a nice malt backbone. This would be a regular drinking beer for me if only I could buy it locally. (960 characters)

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

12 oz bottle from a fresh six pack acquired in a trade, poured into a nonic.

Haven't had this in over two years, or whenever I was last able to buy this in PA. I remembered loving this so I'm excited to see how my memory holds up. Pours a clear copper color with a massive rocky off white head that has great retention and impressive strings of clumpy lacing. Aroma is very rich, full of bready malt and grapefruit hops like an IPA, impressive balance. Hop bitterness grabs you from the beginning, unusual for an APA but is supported by a strong biscuit malt backbone and finishes slightly sweeter with smooth citrus hops. Medium thick body with moderate carbonation and a smooth dry finish result in a very hoppy, drinkable APA. Not quite as impressive as I remember, but still the class of APAs. (799 characters)

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

Pours a copper, hazy, amberish body. Head is huge, good retention.
Smell erupts with pine and hints of citrus. Smells like an IPA. Some toffee and malt can be detected as well.
Taste is a very crisp pine/citrus PA. The IPA smell is counteracted by the presence of malt and some rich yeast flavors just under the surface. Very delicate.
Feels a bit thin for an IPA, which is why this is a PA. Good drinking. Wish I had another (cool label) (441 characters)

Photo of smakawhat
4.41/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured on tap into a sampler 4 oz. taster at Pizza Paradiso Dupont. Way overdue for reviewing this one.

A good basic amber copper, with light light tan to off white color and leaving a solid collar. Good lacing on this drink while finishing, and fairly crystal clear very nice.

Aroma jumps out. Wonderful juicy orange with a nice sweetness. No hop bitterness noticeable, with a little white grass. It's very pleasant and inviting.

Palate is rich and full on first sip. Wonderful mix of mild wood hop and orange and tangerine citrus. Light hints of grapefruit with a spritzy hop feel and character. Palate is juicy matching the hinted bouquet.

Juicy. Full. Stupid easy to drink, and full of flavor. A great touch of juice and spicy finish quality. This is either way better on tap, or I had an old bottle cause this is nothing like I remember it.

Old review - bottle (4)(4)(3.5)(4)(3) ---

Poured into a pint glass resembling a really nice golden/brown color body that is clear. Cream off/white head with fairly tight bubbles and some minor visible carbonation. Real good head retention.

Standard bouquet but a good one. Simple citrus grapefruit with a sweetness and hop aroma. Very nice.

Upon drinking first comes a very hoppy front more in the standard of an American IPA, with a good finish. I keep forgetting this is suppose to be a pale ale but it sure doesn't feel like one. This is quite an okay drink but nothing here I would desperately want to have for an APA. (1,479 characters)

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

We're back to continue the Third Unorganized Invitational. Eight crazy nights in eight crazy beers, and Alpha King is #6 in the lineup. Is this the alpha of pale ales? On to the beer:

Pours rich copper into a pint glass, good clarity in the body, topped off by a creamy, one cm thick head which drops to a thin lacing on top. At first, the aroma is dominated by fresh hops. Eventually, it evens up to a mix of tropical fruit juice, caramel, bread, and some juicy hop leftovers.

The first thing I notice is the light mouthfeel when I was expecting something a little heavier. Maybe my judgement is clouded from drinking so many high ABV brews recently. At least there's no annoying carbonation. That's okay though, as long as it tastes good. Certainly more hop dominate, though not terribly unbalanced. The hops are herbal, juicy, citrusy, and resiny in this brew. Subtle biscuity notes pop up from time to time. This could pass as an IPA.

My first Three Floyds beer is a good one. But is this going to be enough to take the title of being the best in the T.U.I.? Only two more beers left, we'll resume tomorrow night. (1,122 characters)

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

Deep orange and garnet color. White lacing but no real head retention. Smells of sweet fruity malts with a touch of alcohol as it warms. Plain bitter taste with rich esters and malts. Bit a of caramel. Just the right carbonation and body here. Pretty tasty and easy drinking. Nicely balanced

I am, however, a little confused with this beer. It tastes very similar to Pride and Joy Mild and I wonder if it wasn't mislabeled. I bought a 6'er of P&J and found 2 Alpha King bottles in it. I figured someone had just pulled a switcharoo with a couple bottles from an Alpha King 6'er. Whatever, this is good beer. (610 characters)

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.95/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass.

Appearance - Deep golden amber body that looks darker than it really is. That sounds strange, but when it pours it looks amber, but held up to the light, it's closer to a golden body. Nice white head, nice lacing. I expected this to be paler.

Smell - Floral and pine hops. Some citrus. Biscuit malts and some sweetness back it up. Interesting hop profile, but not over the top.

Taste - Hop flavor of predominantly pine up front, but it fades quickly to a toasty and slightly sweet malt base. The finish goes back to the pine hops and a slight earthiness. Not too bitter in the finish.

Mouthfeel - Heavy for an APA. Medium carbonation and slick on the tongue. The flavors hang around, but it feels just a bit sluggish.

Overall - Nice flavors, none over the top. Complex hop profile, even if it isn't in-your-face. Not really what I expected from such a high rated APA. In some ways, it's good that a beer as balanced as this is so highly rated on BA. But I'm not looking for balanced. As an American craft beer drinker, I want extreme everything. (1,090 characters)

Photo of Georgiabeer
4.77/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I've had this a number of times but never had the occasion to review it. This review is based on a some I had on draft at the Map Room. Poured an orange/amber with a thin head that faded to a ring that stuck around. Smells of fruity apricot, cherry, a touch of rhubarb, with citrus as a top note. The taste is beautifully balanced and fruity,similar flavors as those found in the aroma, with cherry, vanilla, and citrus being especially pronounced. Nice hoppy bitterness in the finish. Mouthfeel is smooth, perfectly carbonated, a little rich. My absolute favorite session beer.I would have this around all the time if it were available in my area. (648 characters)

Photo of corby112
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From notes:

Pours a hazy, dark golden orange/amber color with a two finger frothy, pillowy off-white head that has excellent retention, only slowly fading into a lasting cap. Large chunks of soapy lacing are left coating the glass.

Sweet citrus hop aroma with hints of earthy pine and tropical fruit. Subtle malt backbone but the nose of this beer is all about the hops with lots of grapefruit, citrus peel, mango and pineapple.

Medium bodied and very hop forward for the style with a blast of bitter, earthy hops that are countered by sweet citrus presence and a subtle malt backbone. Hints of pine needle, grapefruit, citrus peel, mango and pineapple as well as a subtle biscuit/graham cracker flavor that provides nice balance. This beer is much closer to an IPA than a pale ale with lots of oily, resinous hop flavor and a nice dry finish. Complex, well balanced and extremely quaffable. Recommended. (908 characters)

Photo of weeare138
4.22/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appears a copper/amber with a two finger off white head that retains a foamlike state for more than a few minutes. Lacing is webbed through the glass with a chunky clinginess.
Smells of ripe grapefruit, sweet caramel malts, and a touch of pine.
Taste is of a beautiful mix of hops, malt, sugar, bitterness, and overall citrus that is so well blended that I'm not sure how this isn't really an IPA.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a swirl of citrusy hops that dominates the tastebuds but does not dare sting in the smooth, malty mix.
Drinkability is great. What 7.35%? Down at least 3 or 4 of these in one sitting with no problem. This doesn't even creep, it's just outright amazing for an APA....uh, make that the "King" of APA's.

Finger licking good. (758 characters)

Photo of johnnnniee
4.37/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Received in trade from phisigben, thanks for the opportunity.
Pours a deep clear copper color with a big fluffy white head that slowly dissipates to a wisp of foam on top. Smells of citrus, lots and lots of grapefruit fresh from the produce isle. a bit of toffee, bread and a hint of caramel malt are buried deep underneath. Taste is citrus and resinous with bits of bread and malt barely breaking onto the scene. Long lingering hop bite in the finish is there but never harsh. Medium to light body with a moderate level of carbonation with a smooth resinous mouthfeel. This is a very nice beer, but to call this a pale ale is a bit of a stretch. I would drink these a lot more often if they were more available in my area. (724 characters)

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

12 Oz bottle Sampled through the efforts of SS 05 BIF and Meathookjones.

Pours a chill hazed copper to red colored ale with a good off white head.

Smell is very hoppy with a tart edge to it like a SNPA. Mild citrus and pine aromas with a slight soapy edge to it.

Taste is mild with almost nothing but caramel and slight astringent bitterness in the first taste. Very subtle flavors here, caramel and butter glide like a ghost across your tongue while the herbal bitterness dries out the palette just leaving a slight woody after taste.

Mouthfeel is good.

Quite a hoppy brew but it is so smooth that you almost wonder if you really are drinking something milder. Very subtle and easy to drink beer that will satisfy the hophead and the Macro drinker equally well. (777 characters)

Photo of HopHead84
4.07/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A great extra from a generous BA knocks off an unlisted want. A vigorous pour yields a 1 finger head. Dark reddish brown with minimal lacing. There is a nice floral hop aroma with a trace of citrus. The taste is well balanced, with a small and sweet malt backbone balancing out the astringent hops. The beer is medium bodied with good carbonation, and I want another. (367 characters)

Photo of barleywinefiend
3.32/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a deep orange color with a small white head that disappeared rather quickly. Nose is sweet, malty, citrus and floral and pretty malty too. Taste is malty, some citrus and hop bite. Mouthfeel is ok. Malty, citrus and kind of blah. Nothing spectacular. Overall an average Pale for me. (289 characters)

Photo of John_M
3.9/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Sampled a the recent 3 Floyd's event at the Brick.

The beer pours a copper amber color with good head retention and lacing. The nose is an interesting melange of hoppy citrus (naturally and sweet malt, except this beer has a very perfumy, sweet and spicy hop aroma. Flavors replicate the nose.... hmmmm.... while undenialbly tasty, this beer is definitely on the sweet side for a pale ale, and has a light alcoholic bite in the finish. The considerable hoppy bitterness tames the sweetness somewhat, but this beer is still dominated by sweet malt. Otherwise, the beer is medium bodied, with smooth, bitter finish. Drinkability is pretty good, but the sweetness and slight alcoholic bite in the finish detracts just a bit from the beer's drinkability.

This is a solid beer, no doubt, but I can't say it's one of my favorite pale ales or beers from 3 Floyds. (859 characters)

Photo of biegaman
4.32/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured an awesome tawny, sunset orange with a slow moving head - took a second to start up then (like bread in an over) slowly raised to the perfect spot, and just leveled off and would keep for the tasting. A very nice semi-clouded shade. Thorough lacing too. Explosive aromatics. One of the most full bouquets I've encountered with any style. And lively too, quite vibrant. Mouthfeel is surprisingly smooth, drinkability is at a super high level. A polished mouthfeel leaves the flavour almost undetectable for a second, then you can feel the hops come back and coat your mouth. A great deal of citrus character. Different hops come out but the malt is blended in well enough it keeps this beer level without interfering with the hops. In other words, this taste and smells (and well overall, just plain IS) ultra hoppy - but it doesn't feel like it! Immense job with their flagship beer. A big, huge thanks to HogTownHarry! (926 characters)

Photo of rhoadsrage
4.59/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

(Served in an American pint glass)

A-This beer pours a crystal clear golden copper with a gentle carbonation and a nice cream tan thin head.

S- The aroma is pure green floral hops. A bit of pine resin with more citrus but very fresh hops. A hint of sweet malt is hidden in the background

T- This beer has a very fresh hops taste with some grapefruit and citrus flavors that is bold but not overpowering with bitterness. It is gentle enough that you can taste the creamy sweet malt that is mostly pale malt. It the softness of a slight bit of wheat.

M-This has a medium full mouthfeel with some creaminess. There is no alcohol warmth or astringency. Very gentle.

D- This is a very subdued beer with a big hops flavor. It can compete with the hop monsters but still make a nice session beer. Very impressive. (823 characters)

Photo of akorsak
4.2/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A pint glass served at the Brewhouse Grille in Camp Hill, PA. The drinkability comments are the same as the original bottle review.

A: The pale ale is a deep amber, almost red color with a small ring of head and no indication of lacing.

S: The aroma is strong on hops, primarily a medicinal spicy element. The hops are bitter but not overwhelming.

T: The ale has a hop flavor that provides a strong citrus kick and are balanced nicely against the grainy malt body. The hops are grapefruity with just a hint of medicinal tartness.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is dominated by hops but not to the extreme of a dreadnaught.

Drinkability: The ale is quite drinkable and, in my mind, a restrained version of Dreadnaught. (716 characters)

Photo of kscaldef
3.16/5  rDev -26%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Copper amber with very little head and no lacing. A bit of sweet maltiness in the aroma as well as some tropical fruit and pine. Taste is a nice balance of mildly sweet malts and floral hops. Low carbonation and body. Quite drinkable, but nothing exceptional. (259 characters)

Photo of Wasatch
4.35/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a slightly cloudy dark golden yellow, nice carbonation, tiny head, not much lacing though.

S - Scents of hops, sweetness, slight caramel.

T - The taste is sweet, but pretty hoppy for an APA. Nice clean finish.

M - Medium body.

D - Very drinkable. This is a very tasty APA, more of a slight IPA flavor to me. Totally different than a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. Glad I got a chance to try some. (411 characters)

Alpha King from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 1,719 ratings.