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Alpha King - Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub

Not Rated.
Alpha KingAlpha King

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

5,278 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,278
Reviews: 1,685
rAvg: 4.26
pDev: 9.15%
Wants: 868
Gots: 606 | FT: 24
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:
A bold yet balanced American Pale Ale with slight caramel sweetness and aggressive citrus hoppiness. This is our flagship beer.

68 IBU

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 07-23-2000)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,278 | Reviews: 1,685 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Alieniloquium
3.95/5  rDev -7.3%
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.

Alieniloquium, Oct 01, 2011
Photo of heebes
4.43/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to whitelightheat for the bottle.

Pours a clear, dark golden with a finger and a half of off white fluffy foam head. Nose is all citrus, grapefruit, an abundance of floral hops. Taste follows suit, lots of hoppy goodness, sweet citrus flavors, with a caramel malt underneath and a bitter pine like taste afterwards. A distinct white grapefruit rind flavour going on. Mouthfeel is medium to heavy, ends dry and chewy.
Overall, a highly enjoyable American Pale Ale that makes great use of major hop auromas and flavours.

heebes, Sep 30, 2011
Photo of Gushue3
4.13/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a Hill Farmstead wine glass.

A- Nice and full 1 finger head thats just slightly off white. This head is going nowhere and turns foamy, great retention. The body is an orangy red and relatively dark until held near light.

S- Orange and citrus thats right between sweet and bitter smelling. Theres a light malt in there too that helps round this out.

T- Much like the nose with citrus thats bitter not overkill that turns to sweeter citrus and then a light caramel and bready malt.

M- medium mouthfeel that is accompanied by a heavier carbonation. leaves my mouth wet and ready for another sip.

O- Nice APA. pretty good all around brew

Gushue3, Sep 24, 2011
Photo of divineaudio
3.8/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

fff alpha king 12oz. no date.

a - pours deep copper with a slight chill haze. forms a pinky of off white head, that calmed to a thin film right away. some spotty lacing.

s - grass, slight citrus, honey.

t - biscuity malt with some tart fruity notes. lemon maybe? a piney bitter twang hits the back of the tongue but fades quickly.

m - feel is medium in body with enough carbonation to help the flavors pop a bit.

o - pretty good and fits the style well. could easily have a few in a night.

divineaudio, Sep 21, 2011
Photo of Brenden
4.47/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a nearly bronze beer, a thick and opaque sort of orange-brown. An almost white head rises to about one finger and has good retention, and the lacing evidences fantastic stick as this beer makes itself known the entire way down.
I expect a hop-forward APA and it's no disappointment. Lots of citrus juice hops bitterness is rounded out by a solid malts support that doesn't detract. A bit of citrus peel without the bitter rind aspect, more like the zest grated off for desserts and the like, complements the grapefruit aroma further complemented by caramel malts. It all works together here.
The taste follows suit precisely. This is one of the few beers in which I can't taste anything coming out that wasn't in the smell and isn't diminished in anything that was.
The mouth feel starts off silky smooth and is completely balanced by a crispness that doesn't bite but never lets go. Semi-dry, with a medium body and light carbonation, this is as easy-drinking a beer as I've had.
This is great stuff and one of the best out there.

Brenden, Sep 20, 2011
Photo of deadonhisfeet
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beautiful clear dark copper color. Nice fluffy head with good retention. The beer has a punchy nose offering pine, flowers, citrus and ginger(?).

Nice malty backbone well-balanced with loads of hops. The flavors are IPA-like. Some biscuit and cookie, but predominantly citrus. Very very dry with a good biting finish.

It's hard to find anything wrong with this beer, unless you just don't like hops. If I could get this stuff all the time (I can't), it would probably be one of my regular go-to beers. It's a big, bold, flavorful, hoppy-as-heck American pale ale.

deadonhisfeet, Sep 17, 2011
Photo of Bendurgin
3.7/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got a growler of this as an extra from Sean. Thanks homey, I owe you for this. Poured into a pint glass. Pours amber with a finger of creamy beige head that seems to be lasting nicely with some sticky lace along the collar.

Hints of caramel come through in the aroma with some candied orange in the the finish. Real nice citrus hop aroma in the finish. The flavor mirrors the aroma on this one, a little bit of caramel on the pallet with candied orange and canteloupe rounding it out.

The body is light and the carbonation holds up nicely in the growler. Overall this one is pretty rock solid. Glad to have a growler of this bad boy.

Bendurgin, Sep 16, 2011
Photo of andrewinski1
3.95/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Ben for sharing! Poured into a pint glass. There is a white fluffy head on a copper colored slightly hazy body.

The aroma has nice melon and a bit of hoppy spice.

The tast starts nice dry and with some cucumber and pine. The finish is nice and crisp. There is only a bit of light malt sweetness.

This is very nice and drinkable with good crisp carbonation.

andrewinski1, Sep 16, 2011
Photo of DaveHack
4.43/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a Ithaca tulip at 52 degrees.

This beer is darker than I expected. Pours a dark copper, with a nice large head that settles down and leaves very nice lacing all around the glass.
The smell is of a very bitter hop. Very aromatic beer.
The taste is very good, especially for a pale ale. Very nice bitter hops upfront, then a smooth finish at the end.
Mouthfeel is good, not too thin or thick.

Overall this is a great beer, especially for a pale ale. Im usually into bigger IPA/DIPAs, but this brew can definately hold its own.

DaveHack, Sep 13, 2011
Photo of cwguy5
4/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to jisom123 for this one! Poured from bottle into Dogfish Head pint/pilsner glass.

A - pretty deep, clear amber color with thin white head that quickly faded to the thinnest white cap; some spotty lacing
S - light aroma of pear, honeysuckle, some honey, light funk at end that i can't quite put my finger on
T - hard to describe for me; some aromatic hops at beginning that lead to a little dark honey, maybe some pecan; very dry finish
M - light-medium prickly carbonation; medium body, slightly coating; dry finish leads to bitter linger along with faint floral notes
D - not in love with this one though not bad at all; having a hard time putting my finger on a specific flavor/smell - more curious than good or bad; a little bitter for me at end but i'm not really a hop head; wondering if this has started to fade at all.

cwguy5, Sep 06, 2011
Photo of king75
4.22/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- hazy golden color, solid carbonation, a generous foamy head. Looks delicious.

S- a definitive amount of hops is present in the nose, just a slight trace of citrus, and a light crisp bread smell.

T- this is way hoppier then I expected, which is not a bad thing just surprising. Hops heavy at first then mellows out in the end with a crisp bready malt flavor.

M- This one is tangy at the front with a crisp dry maltiness at the end that finishes with a dry bitter bite.

This is the most flavorful pale ale I have ever tasted. A very solid beer that should probably be under the style of an IPA, but either way a very solid brew.

king75, Sep 03, 2011
Photo of IowaBiertrinker
3.9/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Orangey-brown to Burnt-orange. Pours with a lasting 1 finger tan colored head.

S: Hops dominate with some subtle malt.

T: Hops dominate again but are not overpowering. Some mellow maltiness comes through with a medium, clean finish.

M: Medium Mouthfeel - catching some Carbonation yet.

O: Drank this chilled around 50 degrees. Nice drink for a warm day. Paired it with a cheesy brat and it was a good combination. Not real complex, but a nice, drinkable beer.

IowaBiertrinker, Sep 02, 2011
Photo of haywire77
3.68/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brew poured a nice dark copper with about 3/4" of slightly off white head that faded rather quickly. The color reminds me of good summer sun tea.

The smell is all malt to me. A little citrus and pine, but barely any scent of hops on the nose. Nothing that stands out particularly.

From the taste, I get malt forward and then the lingering hop bitters on the tail end with a little wheat bread. The hops aren't quite strong enough to last too long like some IPAs/APAs, but it lingers for a few minutes.

Mouthfeel Is very solid and standard for all the better brews of this style. Creamy and well carbonated so that it just dances on the tongue enough to make you want another sip. Fairly Dry finish.

Overall I didn't like this beer until after my first few drinks. Maybe because I had to trade for it and I might have had it on a pedestal, but it grew on me as it went down rather quickly. I think I could drink several of these and at a nice low abv, it would make for a long evening.

haywire77, Sep 02, 2011
Photo of mattboyer182
4.64/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A - A golden coppery color and a finger of white head.

S - Smells of citrus and piney hops. Theres a sweet balance in this beer as well. it's not all about the hops.

T - A grapefruit, orange citrus to the hops. An Amazing bitter to it. It comes in with an awesome sweetness in the middle and finishes with a great lingering bitter.

M - Light to medium body and good carbonation.

O - Used to be my favorite APA... that is until zombie dust came out.

mattboyer182, Sep 01, 2011
Photo of ONUMello
4.05/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a FFF pint glass
A: Burnt orange color; 1.5 finger head that lingers
S: Floral hops with some citrus and a malt backbone.
T: Malt-forward, yet with a nice hop bite. A bit earthy. I'm having a hard time picking out specific notes, but it tastes very good.
M: Medium bodied and incredibly balanced. Rich malt but the hops make their presence known; pleasant & lengthy finish.
O: A very good beer, and one that I wish were available in Ohio as it would definitely be a go-to summer beer.

ONUMello, Aug 30, 2011
Photo of StlHopHead77
4.35/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-Pours a rich coppery,amber body with just a slight haze and a regal 2 1/2 inches of bone white foam that had great retention and left attractive rings of sudsy lace.

S-Really clean and natural citric hop nose with some musky,tropical fruit(starfruit,mango)and then pale malts that add an almost butter cracker note.A slight touch of weak pine and fresh floral hints as well.

T-Jammy citrus,biscuit malts,summer flowers,caramel,sourdough pretzels,pine and hop oil.

M-Light/medium bodied with a subtle hop bite and slickness.Tastiest Pale ever for me.Great carbonation and ridiculous drinkability.

O-One pale to rule them all!

StlHopHead77, Aug 29, 2011
Photo of wnh
4.22/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass.

Pours a clear and bright copper, quite dark for a pale ale, with a large frothy, creamy and sticky off-white head.

Nose is big on the citrus hops but with a nice tropical fruit (mango, pineapple) character besides. Rich buttery caramel malt base justifies the beer's color, and the added complexity is welcomed. A bit spicy and vegetal.

Much more malt-forward on the palate, surprisingly balanced. A good bit earthier and breadier than the malt notes in the nose suggest. Hop flavor takes on a rather straightforward and distinct slightly dry navel orange note with a touch of pithy bitterness. A bit of dried leaf flavor on the finish.

On the light side of medium bodied, soft and round and what I might call "fleshy." Quite palatable. Finishes with a moderately drying hoppy bitterness, but otherwise doesn't lean too far in any one direction. Nice.

wnh, Aug 29, 2011
Photo of Retail1LO
4.33/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to whitemomba for including this awesome extra in our trade.

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

This one pours a beautiful amber color with about a half an inch thick head. The nose is a beautiful hoppy one. It's a nice smooth hoppy inhale. It's not beastly strong. The taste is sublime. It's got a sublime hoppy draw that's so smooth it's criminal. This isn't a taste bud scorcher at all. The hops are just perfect. Considering this is an APA versus an IPA, the hops are really forward all the way around. I'm not complaining. Over all this is a crazy solid beer. I've now been fortunate enough to have had Zombie Dust, Gumballhead, and now this. I have Dreadnaught, Arctic Panzer Wolf, and Apocalypse Cow out in the fridge. Can't wait to see how they stack up against this. Another winner from FFF. These guys are good.

Retail1LO, Aug 27, 2011
Photo of brstls4drmrs
3.85/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Nice copper, cloudy brew with a white foam head. Good lacing occurs.

S - Pineapple, caramel citrus with a touch of hops. Almost smells like a caramelized apple. A nice blend of scents.

T - A solid apple hoppy bite to it with some caramelized sugar taste as well. Not as much as I expected but still good.

M - Very good feel and a little sticky on the tongue. Nice finish.

O - A good IPA. Can I have another please?

brstls4drmrs, Aug 27, 2011
Photo of gopens44
4/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Clear reddish brown with generous lacing from a slightly off white thick frothy head

S -Grapefruit comes blasting through, followed by a touch of a malty backbone

T - Very much like the nose, but the grapefruit is powerful at first, then muted by the maltiness. Incredibly well balanced.

M - Medium bodied with decent carbonation. Just a touch of film left on the tongue, but otherwise fairly devoid of much aftertaste at all.

O - This is a great representation of an American Pale Ale. Just the right balance of darn near everything. Great beer.

gopens44, Aug 27, 2011
Photo of SDtastentune
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Darker amber/gold, has some small floaty sediments but not much. Small head, and a lingering haze over with some lace following.

S - Smell is citrus like, almost a little on the orange side of things but not orangey at all. Maybe orange peel and hops, mixed with some citrus notes. Some malty oat thing but the hops over power that quick.

T - Taste is great for a pale ale, one of the best I can think of. Bold orange peel bitterness, but the ibu's are not crazy like grapefruit ipa stlye or anything. Bold medium citrus like maltyness. Little bit of fresh malts on the end.

M - Feel is great with a medium to lower carbonation, Starts off smooth and works into a smaller bubble formation going down. Easy aftertaste but tasty so don't worry!

O - Over all this is another winner, especially for a pale ale! Whoa... Did not know pale ales could be this good. Very hop head friendly! Balanced hop and malts make this a great beer. THUMBS UP! Thanks Dave!

SDtastentune, Aug 27, 2011
Photo of ngeunit1
4.38/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a fairly clear copper-orange color with a finger of frothy slightly off-white head atop. The head fades slowly leaving behind some nice lacing.

S - Aroma has a nice kick of fresh citrus hops. There is also a nice balance provided by the sweet caramel malts in the background. Really excellent nose.

T - Starts off with a nice punch of citrus hops and some bitterness. Not far behind is the sweet caramel malts playing catchup to provide a good balance. Through the middle, the caramel malts get a bit deeper and richer and the hop flavor stays balanced alongside. The finish is a mix of some citrus hops and bitterness with some sweet caramel malts that linger.

M - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. The beer is super smooth and extremely well balanced from start to end.

D - Super drinkable. Pretty much every aspect of this beer is excellently balanced. The hop profile is really fantastic from start to end and everything else just falls into place around that.

ngeunit1, Aug 26, 2011
Photo of output01x
4.13/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Huge thanks to Dan3279 for this phenomenal trade!

Poured from a 12 oz. capped bottle (no date) into a pint glass.

A strong pour yields a 1 1/2-finger creamy tan head that falls apart after a few minutes to a thin but clumpy dusting with a thin foam ring around the edge of the glass. The body is a slightly hazy brilliant orange amber with very few carbonation bubbles. Some light lacing can be seen clinging to the glass throughout consumption.

A quick sniff discovers a strong pine hop presence along with some decent citrus peel. Diving deeper, I find the citrus aroma to be composed of orange peel and grapefruit juice. A good toasted malt backbone is also seen in the background, lending a little extra structure to the nose.

Interestingly, the first sip gives a creamy, almost muted caramelized malt flavor. Biscuit, toffee, and caramel are all present as the beer is held in the mouth. Some sharp floral and citrus hops can also be noticed struggling to break through the malt barricade. As soon as the beer is swallowed, pine and citrus hops explode across the palate with a great bitterness that rests on the middle of the tongue. A lingering floral bitter aftertaste persists long after the other flavors dissipate but never becomes very drying.

Medium bodied with great carbonation, this beer is deceptively drinkable. The body is rather full and somewhat coating for the style but never becomes sticky. The carbonation has no noticeable fizz at all but seems to give the beer a great creaminess.

output01x, Aug 25, 2011
Photo of cratez
4.58/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle purchased from the brewery in Munster, IN. Enjoyed at cellar temperature.

Pours a dark amber hue, basically copper, with one finger of beige froth and sheets of webbed lacing on the pint glass. Good clarity and head retention.

Smell is pine sap, spruce needle, burnt caramel, bubblegum, thyme, honey, pineapple, mango, complex hop oils, passion fruit, ethanol, orange rind, lemon, marmalade, highly crystallized weed, perfume, and cake batter. Very citric, herbaceous, and piney nose.

Taste mimics the aromas with juicy and citrusy navel orange, unripened peach, nectarine, smooth caramel and taffy flavours, floral, herbal, and resinous hops, sugary malts, spicy and astringent bitterness to end.

Mouthfeel is silky-soft, medium bodied, clean and oily juiciness mid-palate, bitter spiciness lingers in the long, drying finish. IBUs make themselves known, yet this is more balanced than your typical hop bomb.

Probably the most complex APA that I've sampled. Just a masterpiece of a beer. If you can get your hands on some Alpha King, don't hesitate to try this raw, unadulterated nectar.

cratez, Aug 20, 2011
Photo of tvv375ia
4.3/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass

A- A dark amber with about a finger of head that ends fairly quickly leaving a little lacing on the glass.

S-I smell the hop resin at the begining, then the malts come in with their sweetness.

T-Well balanced hops and malt, It starts out with some orange type hops up front that compliment the malt perfectly

M-Good carbonation, well balanced

O-A week or so ago my friends wind to Indiana and gave me a call while I was work and asked if there was anything that I wanted from Indiana, and of course the first thing that came to mind was Three Floyds so this was in a mixed 6er that they brought back for me. I didn't really want to follow along with the pack and say something was good just because of the name on the baottle since this was my first experience with Three Floyds, but I do have to say that I wish I could pick some of this up in Iowa. I may have to make my own trip to pick some other FFF up, I can't wait to try some of the others in the 6er but unfortunatley they are not all FFF. If everything from them is this good I cant wait to try the others.

tvv375ia, Aug 19, 2011
Alpha King from Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub
95 out of 100 based on 5,278 ratings.