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Alpha King - 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

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Alpha KingAlpha King

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5,452 Ratings

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Ratings: 5,452
Reviews: 1,708
rAvg: 4.26
pDev: 9.15%
Wants: 889
Gots: 708 | FT: 25
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,452 | Reviews: 1,708 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Avantyawn
3.65/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Amber , brown, modest head

S: Wet Hay. Brown Sugar , toffee, Orange Rind , cane sugar,burnt popcorn, complex , heavy , and very sweet smelling, sugar dominates

T: Sugary malt , graininess, almost a bit of rye , faint hops , but the flavor is heavy and sweet. Slight bitter ending, but it never quite breaks through the sweet malt.

M: Very heavy mouthfeel for this style, a bit sugary and heavy. not entirely refreshing.

O: Overall, maybe this 6er was old, as its my first time trying this and it was a bit disappointing, albeit a good beer. It has a complicated taste, but it just doesn't move me or refresh me very much. I'd like to try this fresh on tap as I suspect this beer can / should be better than this.

Photo of avalon07
4.47/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a copper color and a slightly hazy consistency. There was an inch of foamy, fairly long-lasting head. Good lacing.

S: A sweet, hoppy smell, with traces of caramel and malt as well.

T: Tasted primarily of hops, with a nice citrusy backbone and tinges of caramel, malt and biscuity flavors. Much hoppier than most APAs, but it doesn't matter because this beer tastes so good.

M: A well-carbonated beer with a silky smooth finish. Light- to medium-bodied.

O: A thorough enjoyable, well made beer.

Photo of DustinPowers74
4.15/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hazy browish-red pour with a one finger head, decent retention and lacing. Aroma is a brown-sugary citrus hop explosion with some almost thyme-like herbal notes. Big hop taste, pine, citrus, with nutty malt backbone. Full bodied and definitely drinks more like an IPA than an APA. Pretty darn good.

Photo of vande
4.04/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Golden-ruby in color with a nice thin layer of off-colored white lacing left on top..

S: Pine + Citrus = Hops delight. Unmistaken sweeter malts seep through.

T: See Smell!

M: Decent. Nothing too exciting.

O: Great on draft. Great out of the bottle.

Photo of Netdigger2
4.77/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I'll preface this by saying that this is my favorite all-time sessioner.

It pours a light red-walnut color with tight white head, medium lacing.

The smell is of citrus and pine hops, maybe some crystal malt.

The taste is hoppier than most mainstream ipas and incredibly complex with pine, citrus and resin, for not being a DIPA. Wow.

The mouthfeel is medium with great carb, very refreshing.

I could look forward to this as the last beer on earth, A+

Photo of Azurescens
3.73/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle with no bottled on or freshness date poured into Hair of the Dog tulip, reviewed on 8/6/11.

A: Pours a clear orange-amber color with fluffy off-white head that leaves some lacing around glass.

S: Herbal and citrus hops, honey, with some sweet pale malt.

T: Some mild hop bitterness up front followed by sweet malt, honey and herbal hops. Finishes somewhat bland and watery, not quite how I remember this tasting last time I had it.

M: Medium body with low-moderate carbonation, somewhat resinous feel, semi-dry finish.

O: I've had this before and this time around isn't as hoppy or flavorful as I remember it being before. Perhaps its not as fresh as the last time I had it, but its hard to say for sure without any dating on the bottle.

Photo of Phocion
4.7/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Brought back by my amazing girlfriend a couple weeks ago after visiting her parents in Indiana. Let's hope it's still fresh.

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a shaker pint. Gold with just the slightest hue of red and a finger of frothy nearly-white head with decent retention. Ample but not particularly sticky lacing.

Yup, this is still fresh. Initial aroma is mostly grapefruit and other citrus along with a slight hint of pine. Slight caramelized malts providing just a bit of balance.

When this first hits your mouth, it's significantly less bitter than the nose would lead you to believe. Slightly sweet grapefruit followed by a hint of floral hops. Reasonable amount of toffee/brown sugar/bready malts, although (as expected from a pale) the hops continue to dominate. Nice, dry finish. Every sip is a massive bouquet of flavors, this thing is very complicated.

Slightly chewy and with moderate carbonation. Very silky and smooth mouthfeel.

All in all, this could easily be one of my new favorites. I'm pretty glad 3F doesn't distribute in my state because this could be dangerous. Oh well, it might be a good excuse, after eight months, to visit the girlfriend's family. Two thumbs up. My big toes, too.

Photo of brian44556
4.27/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a 12oz bottle into a Southern Tier 2XIPA glass. No dating on the bottle.

Pours a nice amber with a creamy white head. The head diminishes rather quickly, but leaves a great ring of lace around the sides of the glass. Nice smell of earthy hops and a sweet bread character. This beer flavor profile is very crisp and refreshing up front with a great balance of bitter hops on the backbone. Great balance and smooth delivery with each drink. The mouthful is right on point. Another solid beer by FFF. This is a staple beer in my fridge.

Photo of mltobin
4.2/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A visiting friend from the midwest brought a couple bottles of this.
The appearance is an amber tone with a larger one finger head. Alpha King has a smell that contains bread malts, some citrus hops, and flora. Upon tasting from my pint glass and I taste more citrus, some spice, also an appropriate amount of hops for the style. MF is medium with similar carbonation levels. All in all, a very nice APA, which I am glad that I finally got to try.

Photo of Jishguy
4.32/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

A- Poured an unexpected, but appealing dark ruby red body. Looks more like an amber than an APA. Nice creamy white head that sticks to the glass all the way down.

S- Wonderful citrus, earthy, and pine-like hops fill the nose. There is a sweet caramel and lightly toasted malt aroma in the background. There is also the faintest hint either cinnamon or nutmeg. Very complex.

T- A caramel sweetness with a pleasantly lingering pine/hop bitterness. The balance between the malt and hops is near perfect.

M- Good carbonation and body. A bit creamy. Nothing to write home about.

Photo of BigB415
4.2/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Dark golden color with medium head. Heavy lacing.

S: Smells of oranges and hops

T: More oranges and hops which is now more fitting since the side of the bottle says this is a citrus hop character kind of beer or something to that effect.

MF: leaves a sour kick which is from the citrus like flavor. That's what oranges do to you when you eat them. Unfortunately citrus and hop profiles is all I get which is fine by me but I would like more than just 2 flavors present but it's still good.

O: My first beer from FFF and I really like it. I hope to try more in the near future and eventually make it out to the brewery. I'll get there when I go to Chicago.

Photo of Neffbeer
4/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle with no freshness dating. Poured into a tulip.

A: Pours an amber color with some serious orange hues. There is a two finger head with great retention. It lasts for some time and leaves behind a bunch of lacing.

S: Hops are out front with grapefruit and pine cones. As the my nose adjusts to the lupulin haze the malt presence bursts through. Caramel and toasted grain balance out the aroma.

T: It starts of pretty darn hoppy with a flash of grapefruit and pine, but the malt is not lost. Caramel and toasted bread hit mid-palate and follow to the end as it finishes with a bitter hop blast nice and dry.

M: Medium feel with some creamy carbonation. The malts provide some heft as I swish it around in my mouth.

O: Good example of the APA. More hoppy than its predecessors for sure, but just malty enough to hang on.

Photo of PCampbell
3.6/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a tulip glass. Pours a nice dark amber color with a long lasting off-white thick head.

Has a very nice pineapple / mango smell to it on first whiff. A little bit of sweet malt in the background. Upfront it tastes hoppy malty with a light malt flavor to balance it out. Has a medium amount of body and carbonation to it to round it all out.

A very nice pale ale overall, worth getting if you like pale ales.

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

On-tap at the brewery into an imperial pint.

A: Clear deep amber body under an inch of frothy ecru head. Good retention, plenty of lace. Very nice.

S: Caramel drizzled on grapefruit. Simple and terrific.

T: Grapefruit hops dominated, finally being balanced with a nice touch of caramel malt on the back end. Hugely bitter finish. Long, slightly astringent aftertaste. Way too big for the style, but it's still a great beer.

M: Lively, slightly prickly medium body. Pretty standard.

O: I love this beer, but can't for the life of me figure out why it's called an APA - it's way too strong, way too malty, and way too bitter. I'll take Zombie Dust and its crispness over the sheer hugeness of Alpha King any day.


Photo of bpgpitt10
4.29/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: Deep caramel color... especially for the style. Full, thick white head that lingers and leaves a good bit of lacing.
S: Piney hops up front that are at the forefront. Notes of mango, malt, and light caramel.
T: Very crisp hops taste that is mellowed by the strong malts in the beer. Light bits of alcohol heat as it warms (not in a bad way).
M: Right on for a Pale ale / IPA... maybe a bit on the creamier side. Nice light carbonation. I personally really, really like the creamier aspect.
O: This is my style. It's hoppy for a pale ale, but if you view it as an IPA then it's incredibly balanced. The malt backbone really makes this very drinkable. One of my favorites in the style for sure.

Photo of dgugliuzza
4.47/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Mild amber in appearance with two fingers thick tan head. Soft and pillowy head that latches onto the sides of the glass and doesn't let go. Plenty of carbonation as well.

Tropical fruit aromas such as pineapple and mango dominant this brew. Has a nice sweet malt backbone to go along with the beautiful balance of piney and citrusy hops.

Tastes of tropical flavors and bitter hops followed by a lightly sweet maltiness. Again, the blend of piney and citrusy hops prove to be excellent in smell as well as taste.

Medium bodied mouthfeel that is a bit oily. Feels very smooth and goes down even smoother. Perfect amount of carbonation. This is one of the more drinkable and smooth pale ales that comes to mind.

Overall this is an exceptional pale in every facet. Incredible piney, citrusy and bittersweet flavors. Has sufficient maltiness to balance out the hops. This one is worth seeking out pretty much any time.

Photo of rfgetz
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The bottle says pale ale, but there is nothing pale about what is inside.

Pours a lovely copper tinted orange with only a faint cap of white bubbles, diminishes quickly into a small ring and splotch in the middle. Leaves some sticky lacing. First whiff is an attack of hops. Pungent notes of grapefruit and orange backed by notes of pine and a little apple cider to boot. Malt backbone is quite strong, husky kiln dried malts with the faintest touch of roast. Taste begins bitter, much stronger then any pale I have knows. Hops flavor is big on citrus (bitter grapefruit and orange rind) and the malt does more then just provide the backbone. The malt presence is high, but the sweetness is quite low. Medium bodied, smooth, creamy and very dry on the palate. This beer was quite a revalation... unexpected boldness throughout with the pale moniker as notes of IPAs and Barleywines danced on the tongue - and at 6.5% too.

Photo of musicforairports
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Clear amber, darker than you might think, with a small head.

Smells like pine and citrus hops, clean and hoppy, with sweet malt beneath. Nice smooth aroma.

Taste is hoppy up front with a blast of citrus. The bready caramel malt shows itself adequately in the middle and end, but the hops steal the show.

Smooth medium mouthfeel, appropriately carbonated.

This is an easy drinking and flavorful APA. Hoppy, but not overpoweringly so. Still has a good malt balance.

Photo of JayAre46
4.19/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Big ups to smchenry75 for this extra!
A - a deep auburn rust color that is transparent with a thin film on top and ring around the edges showing ok retention.

A - this is one of the most aromatic brews for the style i've come across, big pineapple, mango, nice clean malt backbone.

T - big hop presence, resiny, sappy, transition to the sweet mango and dry bitter grapefruit, the malt shows and is subtle and clean, i can tell this is not at its peak but is still very good i would love to get this at 2 weeks old. actually able to pick up some slight ethenol.

M - medium to light, moderate carbonation, the body on this is completely appropriate for the style. slight prickly crispness

O - very good APA, dare i say that it reminds me of DR 11's little bro...i may have one tonight just to confirm or reject this thought. i would definitely get a keg of this as i said with gumball head.

Photo of suspect
4.3/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Samuel Adams Perfect pint glass. Thanks to my buddy Todd for the Indiana > NY trade.

A: Beautiful, crystal clear, amber color. Mildly aggressive pour leads to a fluffy white two finger head that takes some time to go away and leaves a thick layer of lacing.

S: Woah - smells like an IPA. A really really nice IPA. Piney hops up front, caramel malt back end. This is a wonderfully smelling Pale Ale that really can't be understated.

T: Boom goes the hop dynamite. Hops up front, hops on the back end, hops hops hops. The malt is there to create some balance but holy wow is this the hop-heads wet dream of a Pale Ale.

M: Bitter back end, bitter aftertaste. The aftertaste doesn't linger but that's what makes this a great Pale Ale, not an IPA!!

O: Probably the best Pale Ale I've ever had. I'm a hop head and this is easily the hoppiest pale ale I've ever had. It's easy drinking, a perfect 6.5%. This beer is one I'll be getting a steady supply of as it's one of the best beers I've ever had.

Photo of uwmgdman
4.72/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This APA pours brilliantly clear very deep copper color with a clingy, white, soapy head. The aroma is intensely hoppy, loads of pine and good burst of citrus. Alpha King? Yes. The flavor is highly hoppy, citrus rind, floral and slightly piney. After the burst of hop flavor chewy, bready malt emerges and that is finally wiped clean by moderate hop bitterness. The beer finishes perfectly balanced between dryness from the hops and sweet, bready malt, very smooth and well rounded. The carbonation is medium-low and body medium. Overall this beer is incredible, deliciously hoppy, tremendous nose, and yet somehow a wonderful malt flavor emerges. One of the best APAs you can buy. Very highly recommended!

Photo of rrski198
4.35/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Beautiful deep orange, almost ruby red colored. Good sized off white head and slightly hazy.

S: Bright fresh crisp american hops. Spicy, alcohol, orange peel.

T: Awesome big time hop flavors here. This is almost like Sierra Nevada just amped up. The hops are so bight, crisp, and fresh. THere is a decent sweetness but it is quite beaten up.

M: Full, spicy, and the bitterness lingers forever. Carbonation is perfect.

O: Awesome. One of the better american pale ales. Period.

Photo of armock
4.32/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to tgeorgf for hooking a bottle of this up in a trade

A - Poured a copper color with a tan head that leaves lacing behind

S - Is a nose full of citrus and pine hops with some malt sweetness

T - Follows the nose with citrus and pine hops up front then the malt comes through to balance things out

M - This beer has a medium body with medium carbonation to it

O - This is a very enjoyable beer with a taste that keeps me reaching for more worth picking up or trading for to give it a try

Photo of BigPapiBrewingCo
4.57/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep amber/orange with a beauitful white pillow one finger head. Lots of citrus and pine hops, with a malt sweetness supporting it the whole way. Taste is very balanced between a solid malt profile and some great hops. We could drink this bad boy all day.

Photo of Viciousknishs
4.23/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- pours a rich caramel tinged amber. Lovely fluffy finger of off white head. Good retention with a bit of lacing. Solid.

S- oh yeah there's the hops. This is a hop heads APA. Assertive hop aromas jump out with notes of pine and ruby red grapefruit. Resiny tones wander in and out with a touch of hemp and American high alpha oil goodness. A hint of caramel sweetness and a balancing biscuit malt bring a balance to the nose. Finishes with a leafy hop combo. This is a hop sandwich with the malt being the meat.

T- biscuity malt with a touch of caramel builds a foundation to the generous hops that you experience. Big citrus ruby red grapefruit with notes of pine and orange explode on the palate. Finishes with a leafy hop flavor and a touch of bitter yellow grapefruit peel with a hemp like note lasting into the aftertaste.

MF- smooth and full mouthfeel with a medium body and average carbonation.

D- hop heads rejoice Alpha King is your loving regal savior. Drinkable and full flavored.

Alpha King from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 5,452 ratings.