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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.

4,895 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,895
Reviews: 1,667
rAvg: 4.26
pDev: 9.15%
Wants: 838
Gots: 483 | FT: 22
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: 4,895 | Reviews: 1,667 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of madvermin


4.2/5  rDev -1.4%

Big thanks to ChadQuest for sending me this awesome pale ale, I've been waiting a while to try it along with all the other FFFs stuff he sent.

Pours a deep orange, a lot darker than most pale ales out there. A billowing three-finger off-white head emerges, is rocky and thick, leaves incredible checkered lacing, and retains beautifully for just the right amount of time.

Nose is a balanced deal, with good amounts of grapefruit and orange to go with a nice solid malty backbone. Doesn't smell sweet, just full. Citrus smells good, but it feels restrained - I think it will come out more in the taste.

And boy does it do that. Orange, grapefruit, resin, pine and malt combine for a phenomenally complex pale ale that never gets messy. The initial citrus flavor lingers while the hoppy planty parts do their work, all while malts keep the beer grounded and never get too sweet. This is a very strong and different pale ale, but it definitely fits the style in its balance. The finish is slightly acrid which I don't like, but the rest of the beer is great.

Mouthfeel is smooth with a rough ended as mentioned in the taste, but overall it's a crisp and juicy beer. This isn't its strong point, but I think it traded this for the taste and nose. Drinkability is quite good on the other hand as the beer is well balanced and only slightly harsh at the end. I think I get the fervor around this brewery after having this and some of their other beers - everything is phenomenal.

03-29-2011 07:29:46 | More by madvermin
Photo of kbrinson


4.83/5  rDev +13.4%

This is my first BA review...

Appearance is a burnt Amber with a one 1-2 finger head with decent lacing.
Smells of citrus notes as advertised, but by no means overpowering.
Taste - has the bite of other hopped pale ales, however a much smoother finish.
Mouthfeel - Coats well. Very smooth.

I've been on BA for over a year now and have had several Alpha Kings. In an effort to temper my bias i've tried several other APA's to compare. Honestly, they don't measure up. It's a great beer from a great brewery. I truly am fortunate living in Indiana. If you can buy it, do so, if not, buddy up with someone and trade for it.

03-27-2011 20:25:23 | More by kbrinson
Photo of sisuspeed

New Hampshire

4.18/5  rDev -1.9%

Thanks for the bottle Chris! I'm kind of surprised I hadn't tried this one yet.

Pours a cloudy, burnt orange. About a fingers worth of white, creamy head. Good lacing.

Orange citrus maltiness with some light grassy hops on the nose. Hint of wheat.

Bready caramel, laced with bitter hops, and juicy orange wedge. The flavor has almost a candy sweetness to it up front, but is then washed out by a rush of citrusy, grassy hops.

Mouthfeel is very smooth with a nice dosage of hops. The body has some good weight to it. Feels great for the style.

Overall, this is a solid APA. Alpha King has it all. Lots of citrus, hops and a great malt backbone. Three Floyds has done a great job crafting this brew. Highly recommended for the style.

03-27-2011 19:51:55 | More by sisuspeed
Photo of abuliarose

New Hampshire

4.2/5  rDev -1.4%

Poured into a fluted pint, revealing cloudy amber brown body under a finger of thick buttercream head. Smells fruity and hoppy, like fresh peaches dipped in raw honey. Very yummy smells.

Tastes refreshingly light with a mealy malt backbone and a hint of bitterness that fades back to gentle malts on the finish. Mouthfeel is creamy and on the heavier side of medium-bodied with a gentle but intensely volume adding carbonation which gives the beer a certain thickness. Extremely drinkable, almost filling like a meal.

Overall this is one of my favorites of the style.

03-27-2011 19:47:16 | More by abuliarose
Photo of Preismj


4.33/5  rDev +1.6%

a: hazy amber, a bit dark. Nice half inch head that sticks around for the whole drink. nice stickiness to it as well...great lacing.

s: hops! pine tree scent up front with a citrus in the background. Made my mouth water.

t: very hoppy in the front of this brew. A very strong bitterness up front, like chewing on a pine tree. Hits you hard, hits you fast, then fades into a citrus sweetness that washes it all down. Left my palette wanting more.

m: creamy, rich and full bodied. Mild carbonation. The aftertaste of sweet citrus left my mouth watery and salivating. This was what I noticed most about this beer...really made me want another sip.

o: Very good beer. Similar to others out there, though there is nothing wrong with that. I would have liked a stronger presence of the citrus in the finish, though the sweetness you get as it all washes away made this a great beer to start the night with. Very good.

03-27-2011 14:32:10 | More by Preismj
Photo of EricCioe


4.13/5  rDev -3.1%

This pours a burnt orange with a nice, tight, one finger head that faces down to a collar and leaves good lace behind. On the nose are earthy, caramel malts that I don't remember being around before, but on top of that is a huge orange peel and other citrus note assortment. In the mouth is more of the same, maybe with the caramel hanging back a bit further and the orange peel mixed with some dirtiness, really a great hop profile that's a little different than the centennial bombs I'm most familiar with like Two-Hearted. The body is on the thin side of medium with a big bitter finish. It goes down really fast and my two bottles were gone quickly. One of the great fake session brews of the Upper Midwest, at least those that I've had experience with, and something of a high-water mark for pale ales.

03-22-2011 02:34:55 | More by EricCioe
Photo of b3shine


4/5  rDev -6.1%

A good draft. When I put it in the pond of pale ales, I rate it towards the top. Yet the hoppiness almost warrants it being amongst ipa's, in which case I'd put it towards the middle of its peers. How you review it depends on if you wanna group it with the label's title or your or your palate's.

03-22-2011 01:58:58 | More by b3shine
Photo of LacquerHead


4.22/5  rDev -0.9%

It had a nice hopped aroma. There seemed to be a hodgepodge of hoppy aromas. Some citrus, pine, grapefruit peel, etc.

The taste fell in line with the smell. This had a dried floral nature. It had a bold flavor for a pale ale. This could easily compete with some IPA's out there.

M/F - D: Dry and smooth with high drinkability.

Conclusion: This is a great "anytime brew." It's perfect for just about any occasion, and a good beer to kick off spring.

03-21-2011 00:21:37 | More by LacquerHead
Photo of mdvatab


3.98/5  rDev -6.6%

Poured from 12oz. bottle into pint glass.
(Could not find a bottled-on date.)

Aroma: Hoppy pine and grapefruit backed by a light caramel note.

Appearance: Three fingers of off-white head slooowly compact to two, & then one. Foam clings onto sides of glass to form sticky lacing. Body of beer has a light amber color with great clarity.

Flavor: Delicious herbal, slightly piney hop flavor is balanced by brown sugar-like malty sweetness. Slight hoppy bitterness remains through the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium body and medium carbonation.

Drinkability: Full of hop flavor, but doesn't pack the bitter whallop of an IPA or IIPA. Very well-balanced from the perspective of someone who likes a hoppier APA. Highly sessionable, and highly recommended. One of my new go-to beers in Indy, my new home town.

03-20-2011 23:39:18 | More by mdvatab
Photo of azdback


4.5/5  rDev +5.6%

Beautiful burnt orange color poured into my Sam Adams Lager glass. Big off white to tan color head. Sticky in appearance. Lace stays around like the neighborhood bum. "I ain't going anywhere!!"

If this was brewed by any other brewery it would probably be called an IPA. But because we are talking about the three floyd's it is only classified a Pale. The smell is candied citrus, orange? Sweet malts. Booze.

The taste is great. Alot like the nose it is sweet malty, Mild citrus hopped. I think a blood orange.

The mouth is exactly what it should be for this style (if it were an IPA). because it's not, it gets a better score

What a great surprise this was. Thanks to claaark13 for sending this extra my way. He was the second mid westerner to send this to me as an extra. Must be rough having this one cluttering the shelves at the local bottle shop.

03-19-2011 15:30:49 | More by azdback
Photo of perryw


4.33/5  rDev +1.6%

Served from a bottle in to a pint glass. Pours a nice amber-y copper-y color. Lacing sticks to the side of the glass all the way down and lives on when the beer is gone. There's a nice citrus smack to the scent that carries on to the taste. There's a bitter / sour grapefruit taste that hits me pretty hard as well. That seems to make the alcohol feel a littler higher to my mouth than rated. That bitter bite kept going thru the whole glass and one or two would be enough for me in an evening.

03-18-2011 23:43:34 | More by perryw
Photo of henryd30


3.78/5  rDev -11.3%

A: Deep amber with slightly orange/red tint. 1 thumb off-white heat of fine bubbles that leaves a nice sticky lacing.

S: Outstandingly fresh. Oranges, grapfruit, and xmas trees.

T: Strong flavored hops out of the gate, slight malt backup, then quite a bitter finish. The first few drinks, the bitter is a little too much, but by the 4th or 5th, it starts to mellow out a bit.

M: Lively carbonation.

D: Not as drinkable as I'd hoped.

03-15-2011 00:50:00 | More by henryd30
Photo of TheDudeRules


4.13/5  rDev -3.1%

From a tap to my brandy snifter.

Pours a very nice copper color. Grapefruit, pineapple, citrus and hops spews from my glass. Very nicely carbonated. As much fruit as I took in the smell, it was lacking in the taste. This isn't a bad thing. It was just slightly citrus and tropical tasting with a pretty dry finish.

A really well balanced beer here. Very sessionable in this guys opinion.

03-14-2011 04:41:47 | More by TheDudeRules
Photo of Spider889


4.72/5  rDev +10.8%

Live review from the bottle, I bought this six pack on my second trip into Chicago. I was apprehensive about having to carry this and three bombers the 10+ blocks and train transfer back to my friend's apartment, but now I am so happy I forced myself to carry the extra beer. This is one of the truly exceptional Pale Ales out there today.

I love the label art, it's bold, graphic, and impressive with shiny gold inlays on the label. The beer was poured into my Duvel tulip (I am really excited that my Lost Abbey tulip should arrive tomorrow!) The beer is a crystal clear red agate color - with glowing hues of ruby, amber, and caramel. I got a one finger white head that had really good retention, and the lacing is superb for a pale.

The aroma is mostly softer pine - sort of like the difference between a Douglas Fir and a Blue Spruce - both smell like a pine tree, but the spruce is far more aromatic. The softer fir notes are mingled with citrus - red sweet grapefruit with floral aspects similar to clover honey.

The taste is also mostly pine - but the bitterness is well in check, this is a pale ale after all. The hop character might rival an IPA though - as it is bold and complex. Resinous pine sap and crackery malt provide body and sweetness to the hop bitterness.

The mouthfeel is very creamy, though the carbonation is medium to high. Visible bubbles are coming off of the etching on the glass. The finish is slightly slick, but not too bitter, nor does it overstay its welcome.

I found this beer very amiable, and incredibly drinkable. The best Three Floyd's offering I have had to date, and I think I have to include Dark Lord in that statement as well.

03-09-2011 05:45:20 | More by Spider889
Photo of MarcatGSB


4.15/5  rDev -2.6%

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a La Fin du Monde tulip. Purchased from Woodmans in Madison WI.

Appearance: Pours a beautiful copper ruby color. Thick, two finger head, minimal lacing. Did not expect such a dark color.

Smell: The hop aroma bursts out of the bottle as I pour vigorously. Very piney, (is this a glass of gin or PA?) hops, grapefruit follow.

Taste: Very mellow hop, grapefruit. Bit spicy. Good balance between with nice malt background and hop finish.

Mouth: Mouth is nice. Great amount of carbonation, keeps the mouth lively.

Drink and overall: A very good Pale Ale. Very good. Easy drinking, yet packs the flavor you want, yet keeps the ABV to a drink-more-than-three level. Highly recommended.

03-09-2011 01:48:45 | More by MarcatGSB
Photo of Chriscrundwell12


4.33/5  rDev +1.6%

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a snifter

A- 1 ½ inch frothy head, dark bronze body that is pretty clear. Excellent lacing.

S- Malts kick in right away, hops follow. Nice piney aroma, hints of grapefruit.

T- Bready taste to it, malts are evident, hops are there but not overpowering. As it warms up citrus notes come out.

M- Light on the palate, great piney after taste, well carbonated.

D- Very drinkable, well balanced. The malts and bready/woody taste mixed with the hops and the piney taste makes this brew excellent. Highly recommend this one.

03-07-2011 01:13:18 | More by Chriscrundwell12
Photo of kingcrowing


3.98/5  rDev -6.6%

12oz bottle poured into a tumbler.

Pours a dark amber, almost brown with a small light brown head that's nice and creamy. Nose is fresh, fruity and sweet, light maltiness but the pineapple fruit shines through well.

Taste is quite bitter, lots more harsh flavors rather than the light fruitiness that the nose implied. There is a pretty strong graininess that takes the flavor down a bit, but it's still a tasty beer. Mouthfeel is fairly creamy and smooth.

03-06-2011 19:14:33 | More by kingcrowing
Photo of larryi86


4.43/5  rDev +4%

Thanks betsona for this one!
12 oz bottle poured into a snifter

A- A deep red with a small off-white head.

S- Citrus hops, some woodiness, sweet caramel malts.

T- Hoppy! Great bitter hops with a nice malt balance that adds just enough sweetness.

M- Smooth, medium body.

D- Easy to drink but really surprised me, not really a Pale Ale, but still really good. I wish I could get this more often!

03-04-2011 03:52:00 | More by larryi86
Photo of buschbeer


4.2/5  rDev -1.4%

12oz bottle
Served in nonic pint glass

A - It pours a very dark amber in color with an inch of beige head.

S - I get a mild citrus aroma followed by the distinct smell of pears. There is also a sugary sweetness to it.

T - The taste starts out sweet like mango and pear. The finish is some juniper/pine taste and bitterness.

M - Moderate with a little bit of viscosity in there.

D - This is different. It is really sweet to start and hoppy on the finish. I love the smell. I think I need to do some more research (drinking) on this one.

03-02-2011 00:11:52 | More by buschbeer
Photo of Kelly88


4.35/5  rDev +2.1%

Had on tap at keystone in Covington.

A- bronze copper appearance. Very dark for a pale ale. Nice half inch white head That fades to a bubbly cap. Lacing is sticking after each sip.

S- grassy woody hops are the main event with the slightest suggestion of lemon in the nose.

T- the taste mirrors the nose with the herbal hops taking the lead. A dash of soapiness is there But isn't distracting.

M- light to medium bodied is eight in line with style. Maybe and Just maybe a touch more carbonation. Overall great feel

D- I could down multiple pints because of the mouthfeel and taste. Glad I had this great beer on Tap.

02-25-2011 22:45:16 | More by Kelly88
Photo of Janderson91


4/5  rDev -6.1%

Finally the opportunity to try a beer from what I've heard is one of the best breweries in America. The opportunity to try this down here in the beer desert of Alabama was given to me by awhipker (Andy). Thanks for the great extra! Can't seem to find a bottled on date.

A - Poured into a DFH pint glass. Nice amber color with a one finger white head. Leaves great lacing. Pretty dark for a regular pale ale, looks more like an IPA.

S - I can smell this thing from about 5 feet away! Very citrusy and grapefruity hops. A nice nutty malt sweetness in the background as well. The hops are the star of the show here.

T - This really toes the line between APA and IPA. Nice grapefruit, citrus, juicy hops. A slight malt sweetness is present throughout. Finish is pretty dry with a spicy hoppiness.

M/D - Mouthfeel is more full-bodied than an APA, pretty much on par with an IPA, it works well. Drinkability is high, dry finish and good carbonation.

My first beer from Three Floyds did not disappoint. Can't wait to try more of their brews. Alpha King would constantly be in my fridge if I had access to it.

02-25-2011 06:20:36 | More by Janderson91
Photo of blammasterj


4.15/5  rDev -2.6%

Reviewing my final beer of the six pack: no tears in my beer, but it's definitely fairly sad. Pours a hazy dark copper with a thick eager bubbly head that is decidedly large for the style.

The aroma is overwhelmingly hoppy: resin, grapefruit, lemon zest, orange juice, pine needles. Behind that is a nice sweet bready, maltiness. This has to be one of the best aromas for a so-called pale ale. Three Floyds has proven that they exceed all of the hype around their brews, but I am still astounded at how wonderful and potent all of their beers smell. For a guy who could just sit and smell a beer over and over this is quite a treat.

The flavor is a bit more balanced than the aroma, but still hop dominated. The hops come in spicy before fruity or bitter, but those two follow closely behind with a nice salvo of grapefruit, lemons, oranges and bitter pine. Not to be outdone are the caramel malts that round off some of the heavy hops and lend a subtle sweetness to the finish.

The mouth is full and very thick for the style while the head hangs around and leaves nice spots and legs of lace around the glass. Just an overall fantastic beer that does everything right and will sorely be missed.

02-24-2011 17:15:26 | More by blammasterj
Photo of secondtooth


4.43/5  rDev +4%

Pours a beautiful amber with superb white head. Solid lace.

Aromatic perfection! Lovely nose of rich and spicy citrus hops.

Drinks smoothly, with a strong and delicious flavor that's bitter and hoppy, with an extra wallop of sharpness at the finish.

Heavy-bodied, Alpha King is a big and assertive brew for IPA-lovers (though it's categorized as an American Pale Ale), and a definite winner. I'll be drinking more of these!

02-23-2011 23:03:00 | More by secondtooth
Photo of exonthebottle


4.38/5  rDev +2.8%

amber nice head looks good
fruity citrus hops malty bread nice nose
bitter hops nicely hopped APA
malt finish
mouthfeel carbonated creamy
drinkability good a nice beer pretty easy to drink a few will drink this again soon

02-23-2011 00:08:06 | More by exonthebottle
Photo of dciBA


3.8/5  rDev -10.8%

Pours a dark amber with a fingers worth of off white head. Quite a bit of grapefruit hops in the nose. Just a little bready malt mixed in. Taste is similar with the malt coming forward more to balance the hops almost perfectly. Theres a fair amount of bitterness from the hops but it's not overpowering at all. Carbonation is perfect. There's a nice a residual hop resin that coats the palate after every sip. Body may be a bit on the heavy side for the style which keeps drinkability down a bit.

02-21-2011 23:26:18 | More by dciBA
Alpha King Pale Ale from Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub
95 out of 100 based on 4,895 ratings.