1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

Alpha King - 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Alpha KingAlpha King

Educational use only; do not reuse.

5,557 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,557
Reviews: 1,718
rAvg: 4.26
pDev: 9.15%
Wants: 902
Gots: 802 | 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
to view all ratings, reviews and sorting options.
Ratings: 5,557 | Reviews: 1,718
Photo of TheDudeRules
4.15/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of Spider889
4.68/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

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.

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

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.

Photo of Chriscrundwell12
4.3/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of kingcrowing
3.99/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of larryi86
4.42/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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!

Photo of buschbeer
4.24/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 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.

Photo of Kelly88
4.37/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

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.

Photo of Janderson91
4/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

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

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.

Photo of secondtooth
4.44/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 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!

Photo of exonthebottle
4.37/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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

Photo of dciBA
3.82/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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.

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

33 cl bottel poured into my tulipglass

A: Poured into a fluted glass, pours a bright amber color, crystal clear, with a clumpy 2 finger head. Good retenion and lace. A bit darker than you would expect from a pale.

S: Citrus, a little bready/caramel malt.

Taste- Loads of fresh citrus hops right up front, grapefruit, pineapple, some lemon and orange notes. A little pine is in there too. Smooth and malty toward the finish, well balanced, finishes slightly bitter with a lingering fruity finish.

M: smooth and creamy, very good. Medium body and carbonation.

A bit on the hoppy side overall for an APA, but I absolutely love this beer.

Photo of thecarster1
4/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a- bottle poured into a snifter, full fingers worth of head, warm chesnut coloring, nice lacing.

s- ample citric hops in the nose, smooth malt backing it up, a bit more hop forward here for an apa though.

t- hops hit big, earthy, citric, and bitter, caramel malt opens the way. this tastes like many a mediocre ipa that i've had - compliment.

m- medium.

d- this is a really nice apa, nice and hop forward like i like them. i'd drink this again for sure, not sure if it's something i'd trade for again but would be more than happy to knock back a few more.

Photo of vette2006c5r
4.62/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a dark golden color, with a good size head that lasted through out the beer. There is a strong hoppy and grapfruit aroma. There is a strong hoppy taste, but it lacks that bite that some pale ales have, also a bitter grapefruit like taste is detectable. Not very carbonated and could use some more carbonation. Overall a REALLLY good beer, I enjoyed this one.

Photo of afksports
4.42/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

You know. For a pale ale, Alpha King isn't very pale.

But that's ok. It's amber medium body with a brilliant bubbly head is just chillin' in my glass looking at me like: "drink me, I dare you."

Challenge accepted.

It is Thursday, after all.

The smell is hop citrus and flower forward, with a hint of toasty malts in the back. The taste follows with a greeting of malt at the start and finish, and a hop kick in the middle and back. Interesting for sure.

Well-composed, affordably priced (although I got mine in a trade) and with a fun illustration on the label, I don't see what there's not to love about this 6.5% American Pale Ale from Three Floyds.

Cheers to the Alpha King!

Photo of n2185
4.55/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a perfectly clear reddish copper with about two fingers of white head. The head fades into a thin white cap with exceptional lacing.

S: Very good hop bouquet going on here. Lots of citrus aromas--sweet orange, grapefruit, etc. It smells amazing.

T: There is some citrus rind up front followed by a bit of piny and grassy hop flavors. There's a light bitterness as well, but it doesn't linger around. Quite nice, all around, with the hops definitely present without being as in-your-face as an IPA.

M: Light-medium body with medium carbonation that goes fairly well with the hop flavors.

D: No real lingering bitterness and fairly smooth body mean this beer goes down pretty smooth.

Overall, one of the best pale ales I've had.

Photo of harrymel
3.87/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks (again!) to Jrod1969 for this extra!
Poured to NB globe.

A: Pours a cherry orange ale with supreme clarity. A 2.5 finger peanut head falls to 0.5 finger. No apparent carbonation. Jesus, lacing like a corset!

S: Mmmm. Beautiful malts help accentuate the herbal, piney, resinous hop profiles. Goddam, this keeps me leaning in. The nose reminds me of a really good red ale, not really so much a Pale, but I ain't a hater.

T: The malts die down a bit here. Allowance for the hops to shine, provide the bitterness and balance I anticipated in the nose. There's a woodiness and oaky profiling that nearly dominate the entire palate experience.

M: Medium body with medium-high carbonation. Slight slickness initially, then dies out within seconds. Average.

D: This beer is drinkable. However, the taste puts me off a bit. Wish there were less early bittering hops to prevent such severe dryness.

Photo of oline73
3.96/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours an almost clear amber with just under a finger of off white head. Some lacing remains throughout.

Smell: Not a very strong smell. Some malt and fruity notes along with mild hops.

Taste: Mostly citrus peel hop bitterness. In the background there is a little bit of malt and a very mild fruity sweetness. The finish is all hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with a somewhat dry finish.

Drinkability: I like this beer and am likely to pick some up again in the future.

Photo of Axic10
4.1/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle thanks to Vdubb86. Poured from a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass.

Appearance: Pours a semi-hazy amber (orangish when held up to light) with a finger of off white foam that settles down to a thin layer.

Smell: Heavy on the hops mixed with lemony citrus and a sweet malt aroma.

Taste: Bitter hops, lemony zest, grapefruit, pine and subtle malty hints as well.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium bodied and nicely carbonated.

Drinkability: Very good drinking beer that I would buy the hell out of it were readily available to me. Another good brew from Three Floyds.

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

Poured a brown/orange with nice white head and great lacing.

The smell was great with mostly chocolate but I also picked up some sweet fruit like mango.

The taste was of slightly bready, chocolate, and carmel malt. The hops pack a great punch for a pale ale. Just the right amount of bitterness but with that fresh sweet fruit that comes through in the smell.

I was very impressed.

Photo of LairdChisholm
4.1/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a transparent, dark copper color with a steady stream of carbonation bubbles in the center heading towards the top. There is a one finger, off white, creamy head that has good retentions and leaves some fair lacing.

S - Sweet pine hops is what I get at first. These are followed by some citrus notes mixed with a more spruce smell. Very good nose.

T - Upfront there isn't a lot going on besides some slight lemon an citrus notes. The back end of the sip the stinging pine hops come out with a spike of orange flavor. It would be a lot better if it tasted like this all the time though.

M - Just a little too light. A little less carbonation would maybe help bring out those flavors at the beginning a little more.

D - A good staple session APA, I've had better and I've had worse, but not a bad one to try.

Photo of nhindian
3.62/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a Victory tulip. Bottle provided by UMNbeerhunter, thanks Joe!

Hard to determine a date for this as Three Floyds refuses to code their bottles...

A - A steady pour yields a dark orange beer with 1-fingers worth of creamy head. The head has low retention, quickly dissolving into speckles dotted on top of the beer. I can't seem to see much carbonation in this beer, but it does lace nicely.

S - The smell is mild and not over-the-top. Light hops release a faint aroma of pine and citrus, but there is also a strong malt presence in this beer as well. Subtle notes of baked bread.

T - In the taste, the hops aren't as pronounced, and there is actually a tight balancing act between the hops and the malts. The first word I first used to describe it were 'unoriginal'. It's a taste that isn't reflective of other Three Floyds beer and is just a bit bland. The finish is moderately long and a bit bitter.

M - The mouthfeel is medium heavy with good carbonation despite the absence of streams in the glass. Leaves a slight coating in the mouth but little to remember it by besides the bitter finish.

D - Drinkability is moderate. As I look back on the notes, I describe it as inoffensive but not very inspired or worth seeking out. A standby in Three Floyds rotation, it wouldn't be hard to find something comparable in local shelves.

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

A delightfully well balanced and easy to drink American Pale Ale.

Cloudy amber pour, subtly hopped aroma followed by a well balanced, malty sweetness. The finish is pleasantly bitter, but not "over the top". Unfortunately there's not a brew date on the bottle, so I can't tell whether the sweetness is a result of design or of age. The bottle was recently purchased from a reputable shop, but I expected more hops on the finish from such a flagship APA...

Look forward to trying it again at the earliest possible opportunity!

to view all ratings, reviews and sorting options.
Alpha King from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 5,557 ratings.