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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.

4,683 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,683
Reviews: 1,664
rAvg: 4.27
pDev: 9.13%
Wants: 821
Gots: 403 | 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
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Alpha King Pale Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 4,683 | Reviews: 1,664 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of corby112


4.22/5  rDev -1.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-03-2011 08:15:44 | More by corby112
Photo of MayLattimore

North Carolina

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

Okay there is not much I can add to the reviews already given. This is a great APA. I give it 4s to 4.5s across the board. It's an A beer. If you can find it, drink it. Watch dating however. I really liked it and wish I had picked up more than one bottle from the store.

Serving type: bottle

02-02-2011 23:01:21 | More by MayLattimore
Photo of BradDurbin89


3.78/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First, I was lucky enough to trade for this beer.

It is quite dark orange in color and unfiltered with a small head after standard pour.

Great smell of citrus and big hop nose.

This beer has a huge hoppy bitterness and a crazy hop flavor that covers the whole mouth. The bitterness lingers. It is good.

The beer has a nice mouth feel and slightly higher than expected amount of carbonation.

This is a good beer, and I enjoyed it very much. I'd wouldn't have more than one is a session, but I will definitely have another one of these beers! Great beer.

Serving type: bottle

02-02-2011 03:57:23 | More by BradDurbin89
Photo of OakedCanuck


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

12oz bottle into pint glass.

This beer pours a dark orange with hints of brown in the middle. Quick head leaving decent lacing. It has a musty orange bitterness smell with lemon citrus. Taste is very bitter, a very good hop bomb. Powerful orange and grapefruit with grassy undertones. This beer leaves a tackiness in your mouth with some malty sugar stick. A good beer and I would definitely like more!

Serving type: bottle

01-27-2011 19:24:16 | More by OakedCanuck
Photo of Huhzubendah

District of Columbia

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

A: This beer appears an orange sunburst color with a half inch of head. The head hangs out for a few minutes before leaving some decent lacing in its tracks.

S: The aroma consists primarily of hops with some citrus, followed by malt. This is more hop forward than is normal for a pale ale.

T: The beer tastes well balanced and full of flavor, with hops shining through.

M: Crisp and refreshing finish, with a solid carbonation level. An all around nice feel. Well done.

D: Really easy to drink. A great beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-24-2011 17:29:26 | More by Huhzubendah
Photo of thagr81us

South Carolina

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

Massive thanks to aasher for this as an extra in a past in-person trade. Served from bottle into a Stone nonic. Poured yellow-orange with a two and a half finger off-white head that subsided to a half finger very slowly. Maintained excellent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, caramel, citrus, and citrus hop. The flavor was of sweet malt, caramel, chocolate, citrus, and citrus hop. It had a medium feel on the palate with medium carbonation. Overall this was a pretty excellent brew. Very well balanced and complex. Not too much missing on this one. If you haven't tried this before, get off your ass or trade for it. You won't be disappointed.

Serving type: bottle

01-24-2011 12:57:58 | More by thagr81us
Photo of Tncapehart


4.28/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- A dark orange beer. Cloudy and murky. Obviously unfiltered and a good sign of hop presence. Head drops fast but still leaves lacing on the glass.

S- Smell of citrus comes through. Pungent but pleasant hop variety is present. It's nice but I suggest warming it up before opening to get the full aroma.

T- This is where it gets good. A hop bomb! Bitterness plus a complex hop flavor cover your mouth. It coats your mouth and lasts well after your sip. To the point where you want another taste to get a fresh coating.

M - Medium mouth feel with a good amount of carbonation.

D - A good beer to enjoy over a long period of time. Not one to drink many of, but one to savor and make last a while.

Serving type: bottle

01-20-2011 02:26:00 | More by Tncapehart
Photo of tsatem


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

Poured from a growler into a pint glass, thanks to calbertb2

A - Copper with a slight reddish tint and a nice two finger head, which stays around a little while but leaves some lacing as soon as it recedes. Some floaties as well.

S - I get pine off of this first with some citrus behind that. Lots of hops, with malt sweetness supporting it the whole way. Surprising hop presence for a pale ale and not an IPA. Nothing extraordinary, but it smells great - very well balanced.

T - I get more malt here than in the nose, but the hops immediately follow. Very close to the nose otherwise. Again, a little more hoppy than I would expect a pale ale to be. Very well balanced resulting in a kind of sweet, slightly bitter malty finish

M - A little bit flatter than I was expecting from the pour, but generally agreeable. Definitely very smooth with a nice lingering finish that continues to ask for another sip.

D - Extremely drinkable, had no problem finishing most of a growler by myself. The finish leads me to keep drinking more and more. There's nothing too special about it, but when I finish my glass I realize how good it was and pour another. I'd definitely like to get some more of this. One of the better American Pale Ale's I've had, holding its own with a lot of IPA's.

Serving type: growler

01-20-2011 00:43:42 | More by tsatem
Photo of kirkpjr


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

Poured into a pint glass.

A: Pours a deep amber with one finger of head. Spotted lacing develops.

S: Light citrus and grapefruit hops with a nice heavy toasted malt in the background. Not in your face, but solid.

T: Huge flavors here. Citrus and grapefruit bitterness takes off, but the malt keeps right up with it. Notes of caramel and crystal malts. Extremely bold yet balanced beer. Finishes with orange and pine flavors.

M: Resinous hops, medium body, and moderate carbonation.

D: Phenomenal APA for the hopheads. Had this beer on draft in Chicago and it tastes just as good down here out of the bottle. Would love to have access to Three Floyds.

Serving type: bottle

01-20-2011 00:43:26 | More by kirkpjr
Photo of Urbancaver


4.4/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a beautiful amber gold with a ton of white head. The head hangs out for ever and there is beautiful lacing on the glass. Smells hoppy and malty. Smells as hoppy as any IPA I've had. some light citrus and piney hints on the nose. Tastes very balanced between a solid malt profile and some great hops. Pine and citrus on the tongue. A bit of grapefruit as well. Very good mouthfeel and very drinkable. A top notch brew

Serving type: bottle

01-20-2011 00:03:24 | More by Urbancaver
Photo of TriGuy20


4.2/5  rDev -1.6%
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!

Serving type: on-tap

01-17-2011 21:06:31 | More by TriGuy20
Photo of southsider


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

Poured from the tap into a pint glass.

A-Poured an orangy,coppery hazy gold into my glass. The head was a frothy off white with sticky lacing.

S-Strong aroma of piney,citrusy,piney hops with a toasty malt background. Big IPA type smell for an APA.

T-Spicy,slightly alcoholic beginning with more carbonation than expected. Lots of piney and citrusy hops more in overall presentation than bittering which is restrained enough to let the toasted biscuity malt backbone shine through.Finish is dry and a little bitter.

M-Combination of high carbonation,initial bitterness and alcohol create a buzzing sensation like a swarm of bees in my mouth. "It's not normal" is the mantra of Three Floyds and it certainly applies to Alpha King. Medium mouthfeel due to a big malt backbone clothed in generous aromatic hops.

D-A damn fine Midwest APA masquerading as a West coast IPA. My favorite American Pale Ale so far.

Serving type: on-tap

01-17-2011 15:09:11 | More by southsider
Photo of wschmit


4.15/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint.

A: Clear, vaguely orange, brandy-like body with some effervescence underneath a pretty fluffy, ivory head. Sticky, thick lacing around the rim as the head diminishes.

S: Big hope nose up front--all the great hop notes there, from flowery to citrusy, even a touch of pine. After the hops comes a complex malt sweetness, with soft residual maltose mingled with toffee, fruit.

T: The taste reflects the nose pretty well. The hops are a bit more long-lasting, but more muted, too--pine dominates citrus or floral-ness. The malt appears throughout the sip as well, and is neither cloyingly sweet nor bland and boring. This is almost certainly too hoppy for a mere "Pale Ale" tag, but who cares...

M: Medium body, a bit flat carbonation. Very smooth, eminently quaffable.

D: Pretty damn high. Admittedly, I'm biased--I cut my craft beer teeth on Alpha King and Gumballhead, but this brew really is tops in the $10/six pack Chicago market. It trumps many other beers in the style, for sure. Great hop and malt complexity for an acceptable price.

Serving type: bottle

01-16-2011 19:02:44 | More by wschmit
Photo of bevenson


4.25/5  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.

Serving type: bottle

01-16-2011 04:00:36 | More by bevenson
Photo of Tifore


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

Recieved from Josh (Alleykatking). Thanks buddy. Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into my Unibroue Tulip.

A - Copper red in color as I pour with a very slight tinge of haziness in the glass. Still can see through it but its not crystal clear. Forms a nice 3 finger head as I pour and I have to stop pouring the last ounce or so because the head is coming out of the glass. The head is a tan / light off white color and looks pretty sticky but only some stays as the rest fades.

S - Smells of citrusy hops, pineapple, grapefruit and some orange. This beer has a nice malty smell to it as well which I like to smell in it. I smell some cinnamon or some spice in it as well. Intriguing.

T - Really smooth citrusy hops come through and stay there as the malt comes through after and add a nice smoothness to the beer. A very nice combination of flavors and complexities in this one, I really like the taste of this one. The flavor is so much bigger than the smell.

M - Good carbonation and a very crisp mouthfeel make this one nice and refreshing to go along with the nice flavors.

D - A very drinable beer, not something I'm reaching for first in the fridge but definitely a old standby that I could always rely on. Bummed out that FFF doesn't distribute to Ohio. That needs to happen again.

Serving type: bottle

01-14-2011 00:39:00 | More by Tifore
Photo of edmonan


4.18/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a deep, though transparent, amber, with a thin off white head. The head dissipates quickly taking the most potent aromatics with it.

The aroma is very subtle with a distant, deep, earthy hop smell. Hints of

There is a malty opening that is obscured almost immediately by a bitterness that crescendos and then settles into a background flavor. This flavor slowly decays, setting off different notes as the drink is consumed.

The mouthfeel is a little anemic, with a lingering aftertaste.

This is one to savor.

Serving type: bottle

01-13-2011 03:28:30 | More by edmonan
Photo of THECPJ


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

Reviewed from notes 1/12/2011

A: citrus hops and sweet malts, hard to decipher anything else

Ap: copper-red, 2 finger off white head, nice lacing

B/T: mild carbonation, crisp, smooth

Af: slightly dry, sweet malts, and citrusy hops

O: not a go-to beer, but one I'd be willing to have again.


Serving type: bottle

01-12-2011 23:57:22 | More by THECPJ
Photo of CuriousMonk


4.48/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Big American Pale Ale - a hop lover's cult beer and Three Floyds' flagship beer, I understand, is brewed with centennial, cascade, and warrior hops. Pours a reddish amber/dark copper hue. Not much going on with the nose but pick up a little citrus aroma. Taste a bold citrus hop character. Mouthability was the highlight of this beer. Drinks down smooth and dangerously. A close second best Pale Ale I ever had next to Stone Pale Ale. I really wish Three Floyds would start dating their bottles so I would be able to fully vouch the freshness of a 3f beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-11-2011 23:26:05 | More by CuriousMonk
Photo of Erish


4.55/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I poured this 12 oz. bottle into a large wine glass.

A: a whisper of cloudiness, deep orange-amber color, 1-finger orange-beige head quickly falls into a lovely, sticky cap with good, persistent lacing.

S: tropical/citrus fruit; including pineapple, tangerine, blood orange, grapefruit, underneath the abundant fruit aromas there is a rich, sweet malt core, reminiscent of panettone, also there is juniper, caramel, and orange zest. Wonderful balance and depth; I could sniff this beer forever!

T: all of the aforementioned fruits make a grand entrance at the front, including a bit of apple, quickly followed by the sweet, malty backbone, the middle showcases juniper, pine, and floral notes, as well as honey and caramel, and the long, long finish is tongue-squeezingly bitter with plenty of grass, pine, and white pepper.

M: medium-bodied, creamy/silky start, mineral/oily finish, low to moderate carbonation.

D: This is one wicked Pale Ale. Drinking it again after so many months I am reminded why I love this beer so.

Serving type: bottle

01-11-2011 00:30:02 | More by Erish
Photo of Burt

Rhode Island

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

Served in a Pilsner Urquell Pokal from a 12 oz. bottle that is over a year old. The last of my stash from my pilgrimage to Munster.

A. Hazy amber, off white thick head that left some nice lacing.

S. Citrus and malt

T. caramel and some hops a little subdued

M. smooth with some carbonation

D. This beer is old but still very good.

This is by far my favorite beer. Its a little subdued from its age. I will update when I get a fresher batch.

Serving type: bottle

01-10-2011 23:08:15 | More by Burt
Photo of mpcrump


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

Poured from bottle into pint glass

A: Nice unique amber color with an off white head. Fair amount of carbonation.

S: Grapefruit and other citrus.

T: Strong taste of grapefruit and other citrus. Some caramel. Some bitterness from the hops.

M: Medium bodied with some slight sweetness from the fruits. Good lively carbonation.

D: Quite enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

01-10-2011 04:54:53 | More by mpcrump
Photo of Vdubb86


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

Served in a pint glass

This beer pours a nice clear amber color with an ecru foam on the surface. The smell is mainly of hop characteristics such as grapefruit and floral notes. There are some hints on the nose of caramel, but they aren't too strong. The taste is interesting, as it is a combination of hop fruitiness and a slight nutty background. The pale malt is still rather hidden behind both of those flavors. The mouthfeel has some bitterness that you'd assume with an IPA, but it's still quite a drinkable beer and an interesting take on an APA.

Serving type: bottle

01-10-2011 01:59:56 | More by Vdubb86
Photo of AwYeh


4.35/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into pint glass, courtesy of arvjunk. Thanks Ankur!

A: Cloudy amber-orange color with less than 1/2 finger of head, which dissipates quickly.

S: Very hoppy for an APA- citrus and pine both very clear, along with caramel, biscuity malts.

T: Malty sweetness dominates- once again there's a heavy amount of caramel and biscuity, bready flavors. Hops provide a bitterness level that would more likely be expected from an IPA, but the balance is great and taste is overall very enjoyable.

M: Medium bodied, smooth and a little bit creamy thanks to the moderate to lively carbonation.

D: This glass went down fast, let's hope FFF starts distributing across Ohio again soon.

Serving type: bottle

01-10-2011 00:33:59 | More by AwYeh
Photo of mondegreen


3.63/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz into a DFH Signature Glass

Pours a reasonable clear amber with a dense, quickly receding head. Not much lacing.

Not much going on with the nose. A little spicy hops, a little sweet malt. I'm wondering if I got an old bottle. What is there smells nice.

Flavor is somewhat grassy. Sweetness and a touch of booze in the middle. Big bitter finish.

Mouth is medium thin and pretty crisp. Highlight of the beer for me.

Somewhat disappointed. I've heard such great things about this beer, but I'm finding it to be kind of blah. I'm on the third of a six pack, so it isn't just one bad bottle. FFF needs to start bottle dating, especially for these hoppy brews. Not sure if this is old or what. I had a friend bring this back from Indiana for me, but based on this experience, I will not try this beer again until the FFF starts dating bottles.

Serving type: bottle

01-08-2011 02:55:07 | More by mondegreen
Photo of bigfnjoe


4.08/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. Acquired in a trade with RC0032, thanks buddy!Top ranked pale ale, here we go...

A- pours a really dark amber, nearly brown, with a robust three finger offwhite head. Head sticks around for a decent bit of time and laces really nicely

S- sweet hops, though the aroma is a little weak...some earthiness, some fruitiness. Would be a lot nicer if it were more powerful

T- a slight bit of bitterness from the hops to start, and a slightly sweet finish...it's very mild and not overwhelming at all. Real nice

M- real great body, not too thick at all. If anything, it's too thin...but with the style, I'm not complaining

D- not sure how fresh this is thanks to FFF and their lack of dating, but it's damn good...not as hoppy as SNPA, but very easy to drink. I wonder how this would taste on draught. The ABV is hidden extremely well. I can see why this is ranked so highly

Serving type: bottle

01-07-2011 01:21:24 | More by bigfnjoe
Alpha King Pale Ale from Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub
95 out of 100 based on 4,683 ratings.