Alpha King - 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

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Alpha KingAlpha King

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1,717 Reviews

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Reviews: 1,717
Hads: 5,819
rAvg: 4.27
pDev: 7.73%
Wants: 918
Gots: 926 | 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: 1,717 | Hads: 5,819
Photo of Farewell_Transmission
4.96/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

a. Nice amber color, hints of red. Nic lacing, and a nice small head which dissipates quite quickly.

s. amazing smell of hops.

t. the taste of hops is amazing. When the glass warms a little it even brings out a little more.

m. this is really good.

o. this is a perfect beer. There is really nothing to improve other then to use different styles of hops to give a different pallet. I wish I could get this all the time in ohio, because it would be my go to bee. (464 characters)

Photo of StaveHooks
4.37/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A - Hazy dark copper with a dense off white head, nice lacing on the upper portion of the glass.

S - Vibrant citrus hop aroma, caramel malts, hints of pine mixed in.

T - Candy citrus, lemon and bright orange flavors, green hops, a solid background of toasted barley and caramel, bitterness starts in the middle with and pairs with the carbonation for a peppery bite. Citrus peel and oils start coming out toward the end along with apricots and general stone fruit flavors. Finishes bitter with some orange oils left on the tongue.

M - Medium/heavy body, lively/stingy carbonation.

I've been waiting a long time to try this beer and it did not disappoint. Fresh bright aroma, zesty citrus hop flavor with a spicy bitterness on the back end. Malt bill was perfect for the amount of hops used. Well crafted and highly enjoyed. (827 characters)

Photo of chinchill
4.28/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle, undated but of very recent vintage according to the salesperson, served in a Belgian snifter.

A: Dark red-amber, definitely dark for style, with a modest size bone-colored head that has very good retention and lacing. Lightly hazy.

Smells unique, partly due to the unfamilair Warrior hops I suppose, with a very balanced and integrated aroma that reflects both malts and hops.

T: also, nicely balanced. Less fruity, more herbal and less bitter than CPA (see below), but as tasty overall, if a bit less intense, and perhaps even more easy drinking. More generally, has the intensity and hop level of a typical IPA.

O: Excellent. I had my first Alpha King immediately after an excellent Odd Side Ales CPA, and suspected it might pale (excuse me) by comparison. Well, it’s different, but similar in both sensory properties and quality. Glad I have 5 more! (876 characters)

Photo of joe1510
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz. Bottle
$7.99 6-Pack
Sam's Downers Grove

This is a constant in my fridge. Looking around on BeerAdvocate today I noticed I never took the time to review it. Here it is.

Alpha King poured a slightly chill hazed dirty copper. A 2 finger white creamy head formed on an aggressive pour. Very few, slowly rising carbonation bubbles rise to the head. Leaves some patchy lacing.

I love the smell of a fresh Alpha King. Big piney hops that make my eyes and mouth water along with a squeeze of orange juice. A solid caramel maltiness in the background, just enough so the hops don't run wild.

This beer is considered a pale ale but drinks more along the lines of an IPA. Caramel maltiness starts things off and is quickly taken of by a strong pine needle mouth puckering hoppiness that lingers through till the finish. The finish is even a little more bitter as the caramel sweetness disappears.

Body is on the lighter side of medium. Sluggish carbonation lets the brew work it's way through at it's own pace. Hop bitterness gives the tongue a beating.

This is an incredibly easy drinking beer. Every sip makes you want another. The lighter body makes it easy on the stomach.

The best pale ale I have yet come across. It helps that it's more along the lines of an IPA. An absolute classic and one of my favorites.

Reviewed: 3/28/07 (1,344 characters)

Photo of BB1313
4.05/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I've had this on-tap in the past, but this is the first time having it bottled. 12oz bottle poured into a tulip. Pours a hazy amber; small off-white head and great retention; decent lacing. The aromas are full of caramel malts, juniper, blueberries, grapefruit, lemon zest, and the slightest amount of booze. I don't know why, but I'm picking up alot of blueberries in the flavors as well, which is cool. The flavors have a very solid bitterness to this one, which seems to outshine the caramel malts. The malts are strong though. Lots of subtle grapefruit and citrus going on. There's alot of body to this one; it's on the fuller side of medium-bodied; active carbonation. Alcohol goes unnoticed and it's pretty easy to drink.

This is a very nice beer. It blurs the lines between and APA and an IPA, but I have no problem calling this is an APA. Well done. (858 characters)

Photo of DonFrap
3.92/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

From the bottle into a Funky Buddha snifter. I love the smell of this beer, it's super hoppy, but with a bit of balance to it. It's very dark for a pale. Nice 2-3 finger head, great retention and lacing. Very citrusy taste, but doesn't live up to the smell. A very good pale, not in my top 10, but still very good. (314 characters)

Photo of JohnG190
4.64/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Thanks NW2285. Pours orange to brick red with slightly cloudy body. A thick, three finger off-white head with excellent retention and nice lacing. Strong orange notes dominate the nose with a hint of pine needle and faint caramel as well. Orange hits the palate first delivering a strong citrusy taste that’s faintly tart. The next notes are sweeter - sherbet and caramel. Alpha King finishes dry and slightly bitter, with faint resin notes. Medium bodied, not quite as chewy as an IPA, but pretty close. The carbonation is lively. Overall this might be the finest example of an American Pale Ale out there. Great work 3Floyds. (629 characters)

Photo of BWED
4.15/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 oz. bottle poured into a tumbler at B's Po Boy, Fountain Square, Indianapolis, IN

A- Caramel chestnut with a slight haze in the body. Yellowish/light tan head, with some great rings of lacing.

S- Dry citrus rind. Slight caramel maltiness.

T- Snappy citrus, dry hop. A little sweetness, caramel to backup the hop character.

M- Medium body. Carbonation is smooth. Dry finish, bitterness is moderate and pleasant.

O- A great ale. I've been lucky enough to be able to drink this beer a lot, and I have finally reviewed it. (526 characters)

Photo of Chibeerguy1
4.82/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Most nights i pour from a bottle into a Teku glass

A: Amber reddish hue. Perfect head two fingers right to the brim of the glass, lots of lacing, really brings out the aroma. Love the artwork, metallic, shiny and tons to look at. I think Ive spent more time admiring the art on 3F bottles than on almost any other beer

S: Very nice hop forward aroma, you can tell its well balanced as well

T: Outstanding. A high quality traditional IPA but a little bit more than that.

M: Very smooth taste, perfect amount of bitterness without going overboard. Just the right amount of carbonation.

O: This is probably one of my favorite go to IPA's from my area. I have had this beer many times and I like it more every time I try another IPA from the next up and coming brewery. 3F knows APA's and there is a reason this is almost always in my fridge. (843 characters)

Photo of stephenjmoore
3.83/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Very much on the amber side of a pale ale. Deep, transparent amber body with a huge, fluffy slightly off-white head.

S- Piney hops come through on the nose first, along with a big bready malt aroma. Some citrus comes through too.

T- A very balanced taste, with lots of bready malt flavor coming through with the piney hops. Very rich and full-flavored with good balance.

M- Medium bodied, medium carbonation, good drinkability.

O- A nice, balanced APA. At times it is close to a hoppy amber, and borders on being a balanced IPA. (535 characters)

Photo of DougT
4.11/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Beautiful amber color with a 3 finger rich, creamy,off-white head that sticks to the glass. Nice lacing.

Smells thick of hops, like standing in a hop field. The name is apt, smells of high alpha hops. If you love hops you would love that smell. Personally, too much, I can't get past all the hops. I can't smell the beer.

Taste is not as bitter as the smell suggests. More balanced. A little yeast, some malt, somewhat woody, and then the hops comes on in the end. Not overpowering. Very pleasant.

Medium body, smooth, zesty. Nice effervescent tingle. That's beer!

I am not a huge hophead. In fact I don't like most IPAs. This is an APA. But I do like this one! The smell of hops is a bit thick, and the aftertaste is a bit to hoppy for me, but that's the style. It absolutely represents the style well. There are times when I'm in a hoppy mood. I usually turn to an Imperial Stout, but those are quite heavy. This is a little lighter, a bit more drinkable. I could have another. (984 characters)

Photo of Smurf2055
4.35/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Aquired in a trade with hombrepalo, thanks!

Pours a rich clear copper with three fingers of off-white head and good retention.

Smell is tropical fruits, mango and a slight floral hop.

Taste is bittersweet, floral hops and some fruitiness, earthy finish.

Very drinkable. Very good beer. (293 characters)

Photo of Birdsong73
4.41/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Alpha king is the flag ship beer for Three Floyd's. As a result, it needs to be a solid tasting beer and it is. It is a bit cloudy, but it has a very hoppy taste that is common in many of the Three Floyd's beers. If I was at a party and that was among a variety of other beers, I would grab it first (followed by a Zombie Dust). The only problems with the beer are the price, around $12 a six pack, and availability. (416 characters)

Photo of nickapalooza86
4.06/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy amber

Smell is citrus, pine, caramel malt,

Taste is bitter citrus and pine up front, malt is there with caramel mostly

mouthfeel Light, Is medium, average carbonation, finishes clean with slight bitterness,

Nice apa, would buy more if it was dated. (267 characters)

Photo of guityler83
4.59/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A: As i poured forth this necktor into my goblet (a FFF Teku) a off white head, 2 fingers tall arose and sustained for a couple of spins of the minute hand. As it fell a chunky honeycomb texture was revealed and laced the edge of said goblet. The ale that spewed from the glass bottle was a dark shade of crimson with a strong haze, but not enought to let the light shine through the edges to provide a glowing orange hue.

S: A fruit from a tropical land; mango, strawberry and melon burst forth from the firm pine forefront. Meager amounts of caramel and bread cower in the background.

T: Firm bittering spews forth to tame the malty sweetness. The tropical melons and stonefruit follow your tounge from the beggining to end, but durring the finale the pine jumps in to steal the last word. Caramel malty flavors are more dominant than the nose would indicate making a nice complex flavor even better.

M: Moderate to dry finish from this ale, carbonation is moderate as well. no off flavors, just a smooth hoppy beer.

O: A very tasty, easy drinking, hoppy beer. The bitterness is smooth and round with lots of aroma but there is still a malt flavor that make it interesting. An old favorite. (1,196 characters)

Photo of TheSixthRing
4.12/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance - Pours a clear amber color with an off-white, 2 finger head. Great retention, giving way to a thin layer of microbubbles across the surface. Lacing is fair, spotty in parts, with good stick.

Smell - Hits on a multitude of hop character, though all closely knit; citrus, pine, floral and a touch of soap. A malt presence is faintly detected.

Taste - Hoppy upfront, hitting on the aforementioned characters in the aroma with a great and tight harmony. Balanced out nicely with a sweet caramel malt that hits mid-taste and rides into the finish, though the hop flavor never relinquishes it's control. Mild orange pith bitterness lingers in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel - Medium body with light but lively carbonation. Smooth, near creamy, with an easygoing finish.

Overall - A well-balanced pale with a great flavor profile and fine drinkability. This one did not disappoint. Right up there with some of the better West Coast hoppy pales, IMO. (953 characters)

Photo of macher0
4.59/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Winos In Bowling Green

A. Dark copper/medium copper color. Excellent lacing. Frothy egg-shell color head that sustains very well. Translucent.

S. Very nice fragrance of citrus, grass, pineapple, and resin. Very balanced. Very pleasant.

T. A very balanced taste that follows the nose. A combination of resin/grass and citrus/tropical fruits. Awesome. A nice peppery tingle on the tongue from the freshness. Moderately bitter.

M. Very smooth. High carbonation. Full bodied.

O. This serves as my standard for a pale ale. There are a few better, but many-many that are worse. Of course it is better fresh, but can hold up over time. I love the complex balance of hops: citrusy and resiny. I would keep this in the fridge 24/7 if always available. I see a 6er here and there a few times a year. (804 characters)

Photo of garuda
4.34/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Copper, hazed, off white head is tightly packed with good retention and lacing.

S/T - Hop forward, with mostly pine backed up by some citrus notes. Caramel malt stays in the background. Finishes mostly crisp and clean with moderate lingering bitterness.

M - Medium to light body, delicate medium carbonation, very smooth.

O - I was not disappointed with this one. The lightish body and delicate carbonation makes this one an easy drinker. (445 characters)

Photo of MattyG85
4.29/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a Sam Adams "Perfect Pint" glass.

Appearance: Pours a deep copper amber orange with a lot of rising bubbles. Big three fingers of off white head with good retention. Leaves a good amount of lacing around the glass.

Smell: A hop forward but balanced pale ale aroma with good citrus, floral. and earthy hints. Floral and earthy hops upfront with hints of grass and some pine. Citrus esters of orange peel, grapefruit, tangerine, mango, and lemon zest. Good toasty malt balance with bready hints of biscuit, grains, caramel, and yeast. Aroma leans towards the hoppy side but the malts hold up well. Pretty solid aroma.

Taste: Like it smells, a bright and crisp balanced pale ale taste with notes of citrus, floral and earthy hops, and caramel malt. Good taste of citrus upfront with notes of orange peel, grapefruit, tangerine, lemon zest, and mango. Floral, earthy, and herbal hop notes with some grass and pine. Solid malt balance with notes of biscuit, grains, caramel, toast, and yeast. Juicy and hoppy with a good caramel presence. Very solid taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Fairly wet and juicy. Pretty smooth.

Overall: A very good take on the American Pale Ale style. Good mix of citrus and earthy hops with a nice biscuity caramel malt presence. (1,328 characters)

Photo of dmgeng
4.6/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Decided to try this because of the super high ratings. And I'm very happy about the decision

A - Beautiful deep orange color with superior khaki head that remains for the entire session. Sticky lacing all the way down. Very clear. Pours thick for an APA.

S - Great hoppy fragrance with a floral/citrus character that shines through. Some malt present.

T - Has all the hops from the aroma with more citrus and finishes floral. The front also has a sweetness from the nice blend of caramel malt. The complimenting malt flavor is there but still more hops as a good APA should be. Very smooth finish with minimal bitterness from the hops. The last flavors on the palate are some malt sweet and delicious hops.

M - Medium to full mouth-feel with the tones of sweetness. Has very light bitterness to be mostly covered up by the sweetness on the back of the tongue. Fine carbonation.

Overall, the hoppiest APA I've had and makes it one of the most refreshing beers I've ever had. Not the best example of the style but a great beer none the less. I love the citrus hops and the nice sweetness the malt. Perfect if you don't like overly bitter IPA's but would like a more citrus/hoppy pale ale. Being from Indiana I'm a little biased but seems like it should be the best APA in the country. I could drink these for ever. (1,318 characters)

Photo of TastyAdventure
4.3/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Scored one of these at Gerst Huas in Evansville IN.

A - caramel. brown caramel. A little dark for the style. But a great 1 and 1/2 finger head that lasts.

S - mmm. The best part. Citrus. Strong citrus. But still balanced.

T - Strong hops. This is where I get confused between Pale Ales and IPAs. This one is right in the middle! It leaves a strong after taste of hops, but during tasting it still had a well balanced malt profile. Citrus hops with some rough (but not overpowering) cut grass.

Mouthfeel was absolutely great.

Overall, I think this should be classified as an IPA. I dont normally like IPAs, but this was good! (630 characters)

Photo of NiceTaps
4.53/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle into a tulip.

A- dark copper-amber color, brilliant and glowing. Fluffy 1-plus finger linen-white head with good retention and lacing to go.

S-mild intoxicating aroma of pine hops, fresh citrus, and pale malts.

T-piney, refreshing mild citrus, caramel maltiness.

M- One of the smoothest , best feeling beers that I've had. Not light, just smooth. Tingly up front, some hop bite in the end. Refreshing carbonation. Resinous.

O- Wow! So complete and balabced, flavorful and drinkable. Spot on ABV and IBUs. The one thing that I don't like...the butt-ugly label. Petty, I know. (591 characters)

Photo of TonyRay
4.38/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Crisp and refreshing. Creamy head. Very pleasant, long-lasting finish. Neither the hop character or the body overpower one another. It is also quite thirst-quenching. This is a rare APA that would be appropriate for a winter or summer session. One of the finest offerings from Three Floyd's. (291 characters)

Photo of alysmith4
3.5/5  rDev -18%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thought this beer was good, but a little on the 'meh' side as far as my expectations go. Had high hopes as I've absolutely loved everything I've tried from Three Floyds so far, especially since this is their "flagship" beer. But it just didn't do it for me. It was definitely a good pale ale, however one-dimentional. Would have again, but wouldn't seek out. (358 characters)

Photo of kevanb
3.86/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle poured into a White Three Floyds/Intelligentsia Mini Snifter.

The beer pours a true copper color, slight chill haze with a good finger of foamy white head that has good retention and leaves some spotted lace behind. The aroma rather light but showcases bitter piney hops with some crisp spice, light grapefruit with quite a bit of malt backbone. The flavors are more impactful, lots of bitter piney hops, light citrus character, some spiciness from the hops and a smooth, malt backbone at the finish. The body is great, moderate to high carbonation but it has a nice creaminess to it with a nice dry finish.

Verdict: A pretty standard APA from Three Floyds and it's no wonder why they've been making this for over 16 years. It's crisp, it's refreshing, it's hoppy without being abrasive and most of all, it's clean and balanced. (842 characters)

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