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Alpha King - 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

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Alpha KingAlpha King

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5,512 Ratings

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Ratings: 5,512
Reviews: 1,711
rAvg: 4.26
pDev: 9.15%
Wants: 899
Gots: 767 | FT: 28
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: 5,512 | Reviews: 1,711 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mpcrump
4.2/5  rDev -1.4%
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.

Photo of Vdubb86
4/5  rDev -6.1%
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.

Photo of AwYeh
4.32/5  rDev +1.4%
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.

Photo of mondegreen
3.63/5  rDev -14.8%
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.

Photo of bigfnjoe
4.06/5  rDev -4.7%
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

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

First review, thought I would start with a familiar friend that I've tried numerous times both on tap and in bottle. This time it's from a labeled bottle with some random numbers (no date), poured into a standard pint glass.

A - Pours more of a brown than an amber, can really only get a reddish-amber out of it by placing the glass in direct sunlight. 1 finger head that lingers for a little while then dissolves into a decent lace.

S - Primarily hops, pine, and citrus (lemon or orange, can't quite tell).

T - Citrus flavors at the start. After a few swirls the citrus gives way to the bitterness from the hops. Reminiscent of an IPA for me.

M - Very nice. Smooth, good carbonation.

D - Staple session beer that I'll need to get some of my IPA-avid friends to try. I think they'd be quite surprised that it's a Pale Ale considering the amount of that bitterness.

Photo of Gosox8787
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12 oz. bottle poured into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass. Served slightly chilled.

Appearance: Medium brown in color. Nice clear tone. One finger, fizzy beige head with below average retention.

Aroma: Big citrus and pine notes. Very strong hop presense for an APA. Some light caramel and biscuit notes in the background too.

Taste: Orange, grapefruit, and pine notes. The hop pofile here balances fruity and bitter really well. Light caramel sweetness in the background.

Mouthfeel: Medium to light bodied with some nice bite from the carbonation. Refreshing.

Drinkability: The hop character is pretty in your face and the flavor is certainly amped up, but I could definitely see myself having a couple of these, even though the ABV is high for this style.

Overall, a really impressive American Pale Ale. Certainly up there with the best of the style. The really strong hop character is definitely the emphasis here and this beer's biggest strength.

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

on-tap at Bar Deville. Hard to go wrong with 3F's. Great pour from the bartender. Rich amber color with a hoppy but balanced nose. What a great beer. Will do a bottle review sometime too. Try it for yourself. If you can find it. I go out sometimes even when I feel like kicking back and watching a movie to drink this on-tap because 6 packs are so hard to find, even though this brewery is not far from Chicago.

Photo of stakem
4.03/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this brew serveral times over the last year but only getting around to reviewing it now care of a bottle from adamb0719. Thanks Adam! Reviewed on 12/13/10.

Pours a perfectly clear amber color that depending on how you look at it, appears more ruby or orange colored depending on the angle. A yellowish tan head appears and clings around the edges. Patchy lace clings to the glass.

Aroma is fruity with citrus notes and a toasty caramel malt suggestion that is sweet like almost brown sugar through to the back. A little spicy and herbal with grassy notes. Lightly piney with a tingle of alcohol in the nose.

Taste is toasty caramel malt, moderate herbal hoppy bitterness that is clingy and almost grassy. A good ratio of sweet maltiness to hoppy bitterness. A lingering resinous hoppy aftertaste is enjoyable with a light musty character.

Light to medium in the feel with a modest amount of carbonation. Quite a bold, herbal hop character with toasty caramel to offset the bitterness. This is a very solid brew that is easy drinking.

Photo of leakyfaucet12
4.12/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a- a ton of lacing. orangish white head 1 finger. body is orangish brown, not what I have come to know from an IPA

S- tons of hops in the smell. the obvious fruits/citrus and piny notes. just very potent. smells really good.

t-hoppy, but boozie, tastes like alot of IPAs that I have had but stronger hops taste.

m- lots of carbonation when I hold on my tounge almost starts to burn.

d- Really good. I am starting to think that IPAs are all really drinkable but the flavor on this one keeps it apart from the rest. I really enjoy this beer

Photo of ratedz
3.95/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep copper color with about a half inch of off-white head. The head dissipates quickly and leaves behind a lot of lacing on the glass.

The nose is full of sweet malts and citrus hops.

The taste starts with the sweet malts, but quickly fades to the refreshing citrus hops. Finishes slightly bitter.

Medium bodied with an average amount of carbonation. Fairly drinkable, but I've had other APAs that I enjoy more.

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

I'm reviewing this again so I can review this as the beer alone, not as a pale ale.
A couple bottles provided to me by Dunt.

A- Darn purdy, especially Ryans glass. Nice dense head with aggressive lacing. This beer is a deep copper, think English pale ale, but we aren't talking pale ales here.

S- Super nice and bright hoppy nose. Nice citrus and pine melange. Some butter, crackery and caramelly malts (which helps explain this deep color. )

T- Nicely hoppy with a buttery smooth malt base. Starts hoppy with some pine and finishes sweet and citrusy.

I sucked this one down. For some reason I like this better the second time around. It helps to go into it not expecting a pale ale.

Photo of brendanbeer
4.8/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

at the map room in chicago.

a. absolutely gorgeous golden orange, rich color. finger or two of thick sensuous white head that is always there and leaves an awesome web of lace on the glass.

s. the smell is superb, its hard for me to describe, even to myself (just wait to i get to the taste!) its really hoppy and fresh, woodsy. also sweet.

t. oh my goodness, characteristics dont do it justice. it deserves a "oh my" and a "hell yea". really bready and hoppy, the mix is incredible, the hops add this amazing sweetness and tartness that is familiar yet utterly mind-blowing. its just so good.

m. perfect amount of carbonation and silky beer texture.

d. i could drink an infinite amount of this beer and continue to be happy and curiously engaged.

Photo of rpardon7
4.22/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at Pazzos in lexington, came to me a amber orange color with a nice fluffy white head that lingered for a good amount of time and left a small amount of lacing on the glass. The smell was fresh hops citrus lemon and perhaps some tropical fruit. Taste was just what I expected fresh citrus hops with a good bready malt backbone and a great zesty hop finish! Mouthfeel is very smooth and almost creamy, good amount of carbonation which brings out the hops in this beer even more. Drinkability is great this is a great session beer by three floyds!

Photo of cadaugherty
4.22/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle into a tulip-

I will keep this brief. Pour is a nice light copper with 2 fingers of off-white head. Great citrus pop on the nose. Fresh hop taste right up front, nice light malt balance, strong bitter finish. Nice full body and good carbonation. It's highly hopped but finishes clean so it really is quite drinkable.

Overall an excellent example of the style.

Photo of steve8robin
4.28/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got this one in the 2010 Secret Santa BIF. 12oz bottle...

A: A murky ruby red with hints of brown with a thick off white / pinkish head that fades at a decent pace. Looks gorgeous!

S: I get a nice citrus hop with some breadiness upfront. I get some lemon, orange peel, and hop bitterness in the middle. Faint booziness and tropical flavors hidden on the back. Very good.

T: A breadiness upfront with a mild boozy bite. Some lemon quickly follows with some earthy bitterness next to follow. A little dirty dishwater on the backend, but very faint. Good.

M: Medium body with a heavy carbonation feel. Creamy clean finish. Good.

D: Exceptionally drinkable. Very good.

All in all, this is a great brew. It would be awesome if I had access. This would be a regular 6 pack in my fridge at all times. Definitely give this a try for a very well done session brew. Definitely worth hunting.

Photo of in780
4.21/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass. Here we go:

A - Pours a clear copper color with just off-white head and great lacing

S - Lots of citrus, a bit of floral hops, not much else

T - Great hop-forward taste, with just enough malt at the tail end to keep it in great balance.

M - Rich, not creamy but not over-carbonated either, really good.

D - A great beer with enough alcohol to keep it interesting without being overpowering, I could go for a few.

Really nice Pale Ale

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

12oz bottle poured into a Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale snifter (thanks Urbancaver!)

A: Pours a very nice hazy resin color with a small one finger beige head that slowly settles to a ring with great lacing.

S: Lots of hops up front, with citrus (mostly grapefruit) and caramel. A bit of pine and grass emerge as it warms slightly. Absolutely fantastic aroma.

T: Much like the smell, hops in the fore, with a sweet maltiness to balance it out almost perfectly. Citrusy and earthy, again as it warms, making this quite complex and very, very well balanced. I'm impressed with this one for sure.

M: Medium bodied, slightly sticky, and fairly low carbonation ... overall, it's creamy. Nice lingering bitterness and slightly drying.

D: Although this is an excellent APA, I wouldn't say that it's especially easy to drink. It's a big APA, with more body than most, which makes it a sipper, but I'd say sipping is very easy to do. I only had one bottle of this, but was perfectly satisfied with it and may had ended it there if another one was in the fridge. Lower drinkability doesn't take away from its quality, however, and I'd love to get a few more of these.

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

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Bruges snifter.

A - Dark, rich amber body with a nice foamy off-white head that dissipates fairly quickly leaving beautiful lacing all over the side of the glass.

S - Very prominent pine and citrus hop aromas. I'm gathering mostly grapefruit citrus smells and some sweet pineapple and mango on the finish. Well balanced by a light roasted malt aroma.

T - Wonderful hop bitterness with a very well balanced maltiness to round out the flavor. This is a great pale ale that is so great that it doesn't quite reach the IPA territory and stays within its bounds masterfully. I'm mostly tasting citrus hop flavors as well as great wet hops.

M -Nice medium body with a spiky carbonation thats just perfect.

D - I'm finding this very drinkable and even at the ABV, i can see myself having several in a sitting. This is more hop forward than many beers in the style and i'm loving it for that. This is a solid APA. This is easily one of my favorites along side Sierra Nevada, Dales Pale Ale. Too bad is not sold in California.

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

12oz bottle to pint glass.

A: Dark amber color and clear, wispy but thin head. Visibile carbonation.

S: Lots of hops (for a regular pale ale). Citrus like grapefruit. Light fruit like pear. Also some piney notes. Nice pale carmel malts.

T: Nice carmel malt base. Good amount of sweetness. Nice hop bitterness. More citrus flavor and Pear. Very balanced.

M: Light body. Some carbonation and some dryness.

D: Very good pale ale - good session beer. Terrifiic smell. It seems like it's trying to get as close to being an IPA without crossing the line. One of the best Pale Ales I've had.

Photo of imagese
4.48/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to fellow BA's for tipping me off that Pizza Port C-Bad had this on tap. One of my must haves in bottle when home in Chicago

A- Dark golden amber with thick head that hangs around and laces the glass the whole way

S- a great mixture of subtle pine and sweet caramel

T- much more aggressive on the hops than the nose. I thought this was an IPA the 1st time I had this, especially compared to other midwest ales

M- very full bodied and leaves the perfect amount of residue in your mouth

D- I down a sixer w/o thinking, and the draft pints go down as smooth

Photo of GregBlatz
4.24/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I have heard of Three Floyds but i don't think I have ever had the chance to try one. Buddy was working in Indy and brought me a bunch of samples. This was one of them.

A - Color is definitely red. This could pass as an irish red or american amber. The beer is clear with a little bit of chill haze. Head is a around 1/2 inch then laces the glass nicely.

S - Strong pine and resin in your face. Hint of malt sweetness. I think I smell simcoe hops. A bit more pacific northwest than I was expecting from an Indiana beer.

T - Wow, very hop forward. This could easily pass as an American IPA rather than a Pale Ale. Caramel malts are a strong backbone for a very very hop forward beer. Alcohol warmth is noticeable, in fact it warms as it goes down. A resin-like taste lingers mid-tongue after the finish.

M - Carbonic bite is solid, alcohol warmth is not subtle. Creamy in texture.

D - I could sit around and knock a few of these out.

I'm really impressed. This is a very good beer. I think it is clearly falling into the IPA style guidelines. Much too big to be a pale ale. Fantastic, I would like to try others from this brewery.

Photo of lovindahops
4.71/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Finally a Three Floyds brew in my hand! Thanks to livewire78 for making this east coast/mid west trade happen. Trading is the best

A- pours and impressive golden orange with the fluffiest head of rocky foam around. The lacing is almost equivalent to marshmallows all over the glass. The haziness of the brew is very amazing. Not many APAs look like this

S- a nice slap of grapefruit, earthy scents, and caramel malt flavors. There is a major balance to the scent. There are some orange and tangerine themes present as well. Again, just a big balance in the smell department

T- incredible! The citrus flavor and caramel malts contribute to massive flavor. It's bitter and tasty all at the same time. The quality of the brew is outstanding. The flavors are all over the place and it makes alpha king delicious

M- creamy with good chewy flavor. It paints your mouth with flavor

D- Alpha King was who I thought it was! This is the best APA on the planet. There are so many flavors and balance in the brew. It's definitely sessionable and tasty. I swear if this brewery could ever get to Syracuse, I would drink mountains of this stuff! I will get to Munster somehow this summer

Photo of mryuk
4.75/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

a-pours with a small head that does not stick around very long. Beautiful clear caramel amber color. A very nice looking beer in a glass.

s-bitter and with a lot of grapefruit. Strong smell overall.

t-strong, bitter, delicious, hoppy. This is powerful APA that keeps hitting.

m-fairly carbonated but it is light and sits well.

d-this is one of my favorite beers. It really works well as a session for someone like me who loves hops. This is an APA on steroids.

Photo of zoso1967
4.48/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to TCGoalie for bringing this back from the brewery for me.

Pours a very nice clear copper tinged amber with a parchment head. The head is tightly packed and frothy with great staying power. This beer leaves some of the sickest lace I have ever seen. On some sections of the pint it manifests itself as a sheen of bubbles stuck to the glass, not the lines you usually see with a hoppy beer like this. Insanity I tell you!

The aroma is super hoppy with tons of grapefruity goodness. It also has some marmalade like notes to it and a very nice caramel malt sweetness. Clean, simple and exactly what I want in an APA.

The flavor is even more dominated by hops than the nose. Loads of ruby red grapefruit, some orange zest and a touch of pine. There malt is sugary sweet and not as caramely as in the aroma. I find that there is just enough malt to hold up the hop load. This beer has some ridiculous bitterness, but manages to stay away from being too resinous. Once again, this beer strikes me as having a fairly straight forward profile, but the flavors are amazing. As hoppy as I find this beer, I still would call it balanced.

The mouthfeel is on the light side of medium, and it has a very nice smoothness to it. The finish is dry and laden with hop oils, yet it seems to stay just shy of crossing the line.

This is an amazing session beer if you are a hop head. So much hop flavor and aroma in a nice drinkable package. This is only the third FFF beer I have tried and so far they are three for three. Probably one of the best American Pales that I have ever had.

Alpha King from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 5,512 ratings.