Alpha King - Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub

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Alpha KingAlpha King

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BA SCORE
95
world-class

5,373 Ratings
THE BROS
93
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,373
Reviews: 1,691
rAvg: 4.26
pDev: 9.15%
Wants: 882
Gots: 652 | 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: 5,373 | Reviews: 1,691 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mdfb79
4/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From 6/2/10 notes. Had at a Three Floyds tasting at the Brickskeller in DC.

a - Pours a reddish amber color with one inch white head and light carbonation

s - Smells of citrus hops, grapefruit, pale bready malts, and some piney hops.

t - Tastes citrus hops, and smooth bready malts. Little bit of bitterness but not too much.

m - Medium body and low carbonation.

d - A good pale ale and another strong beer from FFF. Would try again.

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

received as an extra from TheTomG, thanks!

A - beautiful caramel brown
S - soft citrus notes with an even softer hint of pine
T - really nicely balanced malt/hop flavor that hits the spot. Huge fan of beers that have that kind of balance.
M - hop-linger and then salivation
D - if I had 6 of these, they would be gone tonight.

Almost everything I encouter that comes with hype ends up dissapointing me or pissing me off to the point that I stay away. Three Floyds and this beer in particular seemed overhyped but I gotta say, "damn good beer!'

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

A: poured an amber brown with yellow highlights and a thin head that left very little lacing.

S: booze malts and mild hop aromas with hints of citrus fruit and caramel.

T: nice mild piney sweet hop flavor with bready notes with hints of booze and citrus. The final taste is that of ice tea.

M: medium body with light carbonation and a sweet mild bitter finish

D: pretty decent pale ale from FFF I'm glad I have more on the way. I'm itrested to see how it taste a little more fresh.

Photo of John_M
3.9/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Sampled a the recent 3 Floyd's event at the Brick.

The beer pours a copper amber color with good head retention and lacing. The nose is an interesting melange of hoppy citrus (naturally and sweet malt, except this beer has a very perfumy, sweet and spicy hop aroma. Flavors replicate the nose.... hmmmm.... while undenialbly tasty, this beer is definitely on the sweet side for a pale ale, and has a light alcoholic bite in the finish. The considerable hoppy bitterness tames the sweetness somewhat, but this beer is still dominated by sweet malt. Otherwise, the beer is medium bodied, with smooth, bitter finish. Drinkability is pretty good, but the sweetness and slight alcoholic bite in the finish detracts just a bit from the beer's drinkability.

This is a solid beer, no doubt, but I can't say it's one of my favorite pale ales or beers from 3 Floyds.

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

Had this on tap at the brewpub. Pours an amber-copper type colour with a nice head. Smells of citrus and pine hops with lots of caramel malt. Taste has some sticky pine to go with an great bitterness level. Tons of grapefruit in there too. This is hoppier than many IPA's I've had, but it still has a big enough malt presense. The pint finished way too quickly.

I had this the day after Daisy Cutter and I can't decide which is my favourite APA, but they are number 1 & 2 in some order.

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

I've had this beer a million times, but never got around to reviewing it. Tonight is the night!

Poured into my favorite mug.

A: Beautiful, deep amber color.

S: mmm. Subtle hoppiness, with citrus, pine, and malt. I love this smell.

T: Just as I remember. I love this beer. Very smooth blend that gives my taste buds a high-five on the way down to kidney-town.

M: Medium bodied and perfect carbonation.

D: Very smooth, and, although not technically a session beer...this is a great session beer.

Photo of aasher
4.4/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a DFH pint glass

Appearance: smoothly with a light white head which stays out top of the beer and laces the rim of the glass, is amber in color and features a full bodied pour

Smell: piny and hoppy, excellent fresh hop aromas, slight bitterness

Taste: a little dry and hoppy, somewhat malty, great flavor, sweet with a mellow hoppy finish

Mouthfeel: very creamy initially, moderate body, slight carbonation

Drinkability: very drinkable Pale Ale, features great aromas and is very hoppy for a pale, drinks very smoothly

I'd definitely recommend Alpha King, in bottle or on tap

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

12oz bottle poured into a Michelob celebrate tulip. Thanks to trep for the share!

Pours with a brilliant, coppery amber hue that displays crystal clarity. The khaki head slowly drops to a globular patch of bubbles that leave behind lots of sticky lace on the tulip. Holy God, this is a fresh-hop beer...resinous, piny hops dazzle the nose with gobs of pungent Amarillo & Simcoe greenery. Pale Ales just don't smell better than this. I'd give the aroma a 6.0 if I could.

Alpha King brings a solid maltiness to the palate, but it tastes a bit hollow beneath the massive hop presence. A bitter blast of resinous hop oils coats the tongue and lingers well into the finish--a bit woody. The medium-thin body is nicely carbonated, with a sticky finish and lots of hops. Alpha King could use a bit more of a malt backing, but when all's said & done it's still an incredible beer. A must-try for any hop-head.

Photo of tykees88
3.78/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a light amber with one finger head. Minimal to no lacing as she goes down.

S- Piney right off the bat and citrus hops. You can smell the bitters in it as well.

T- Pine is again the starter. The hops finish is surprisingly more bitter than I expected, I don't care for the finish here.

M- Thinner easily a beer for a warmer day with the mouthfeel as light and carbonated as it is.

D- For 6 percent I would say it is very drinkable and hides the booze well. Some beers when you reach this point struggle to hide the booze while maintaining the integrity of the beer.

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

A-Pours a nice almost clear amber color with a 1+ finger head and nice lacing about the glass.
S-Piney hops, malt and citrus fruits principally grapefruit and lemon with hints of honey.
T-Malty richness but not heavy with a nice blend of bitterness of the hops. The afternotes have some mild citrus flavor but definitely a hops finish.
M-Creamy up front with some bite at the end and mild to moderate carbonation.
D-This is a really nice APA. Definitely a good session beer. I will be looking forward to the rest of this 6'r I picked up after DLD.

Photo of samie85
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on-tap at The Twisted Spoke on 5/21; reviewed from notes.

A-Pours a dark amber color with a two finger white. Leaves minimal lacing behind (My habit of swirling, especially aromatic beers, tends to destroy lacing though).

S-Resiny pine cone aroma with orange, lemon, and grapefruit citrus hop notes.

T-Mellow grapefruit and pine bitterness upfront balanced with some caramel malt and finishes with a bit of spicy pine bitterness. A pretty subtle, balanced taste to this one.

M-It's on the low end of medium carbonated with medium body and a nice smooth mouthfeel.

D-Really nice, easy drinking pale ale. I remember having this years ago and not liking it all. I'm glad I finally got around to giving it another chance.

Photo of DmanGTR
4.38/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to BJ for this awesome brew.

A - Wow, what can I say? I simply cannot fault the appearance at all. Beautiful deep amber hue, quite clear, with many bubbles rising from the apex of the Duvel tulip. A rich 1" off white head that left ample lacing and lasted nearly the entire 15 minutes that the beer was left in my glass. Good gracious, I don't think I've ever seen a better pale ale. Although I do question the "paleness" of this beer ;) 5.0

S - Rich caramel and honey malt with a nice juicy grapefruitiness and a very slight hint of pine. Altogether a bit subdued. 4.0

T - Holy cow I feel like I'm sucking on a grapefruit rind and chasing it with pine cones. Initial citrusy and piney goodness followed a moderately sweet malt backbone. Bitterness really shows in the finish with a lingering piney flavor. 4.5

M - Medium bodied, pretty dry finish and nice smooth carbonation. Touch of warmth from the alcohol in the finish. Hmm, I have to dock half a point for that. It's only 6%, I shouldn't be tasting any alcohol. 4.0

D - I could drink this all day. And most of the night too. 4.5

Overall - I think it would make an awesome IPA. No doubt about it. Perhaps a bit over the top for an APA. Regardless, I dig this a lot. A great beer all around and I would love to get some fresh from the tap at the brewery again. Thanks again to BJ for sending this over :)

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

Acquired this from gratefulbeerhead so a big THANK YOU goes out to him!

A: This beer pours a rich deep rust/burnt orange to amberish color. A two finger of rocky, creamy, off white head caps this brew. Head recedes at a slower pace leaving heaps of sticky lacing on the glass.

S: Nose has a healthy dose of caramel malts, citrus hops, and some slight floral hops.

T: Taste starts with citrus hops - lots of lemon and grapefruit with some minor orange peel. The middle has just a light touch of floral hops and some caramel malt sweetness. Finish has a bit of piney hops and a lingering malt sweetness.

M: Lighter side of medium body, medium carbonation, slick and oily on the tongue the whole way through.

D: Goes down nicely, well balanced - at first seems like a hop bomb, but then the malts even out nicely. Great drinkability and another fine brew from Three Floyd's.

Photo of wedgie9
3.68/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tasted from a twelve ounce bottle. Pours clear amber with a one finger beige head. The aromas are lightly roasted malts, hops, and prune juice. On the palate, the flavors are lemongrass, and then hoppy bitterness. There is a hint of the malt on the mid-palate, but the bitterness is the main flavor. On the palate, everything is fairly medium. The body, carbonation, and finish are all in the middle. Overall, this is a very high quality beer, perfect for sessions. I could drink this one all night long.

Photo of Irish212
3.65/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a dark carmel color with an inch of head which partially disolves leaving a thin layer of lacing.

S: Hops with a good amount of citrus as well.

T: Very sweet with a strong amount of Hoppiness.

M: Above average carbonation and a fair amount of stickiness.

D: Doesn't seem like a Pale Ale, but is a nice one none the less.

Photo of Gtreid
4.15/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle thanks to TMoney2591. Poured into my CCB tulip.

A: Much darker than expected. Hazy, copper color. The pour dropped a big 2 finger off white head, that retained well and some some sticky lace.

A: Hop forward for sure. Big notes of grapefruit and orange. But the citrus is balanced quite nicely with the sweet malt.

T: Again very nice balance between the citrus and the sticky sweet malt. A little caramel and honey, with orange, grapefruit, and a little pine sap.

M: Actually a little heavier than the traditional APA here. Medium body and average carbonation.

D and overall impression: Drinkability is really nice, I would have no problem having a few of these. Overall, I think this is a really nice brew. I do not think it is a APA though, much more of a well balanced midwest IPA. But who really cares, a very nice beer. Skal.

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

thanks to meisterburger for this one

Poured a darker colour than expected with a grapefruit tang on the nose. Funny how this beer is hoppier than a lot of Canadian IPAs but when you drink next to a bunch of west coast IPAs you see how the malt comes into play to balance the beer and place right in the APA zone. Lots of complexity in the finish and more than enough hops for the style this is a classic

Photo of BigBry
4.38/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle from Chicago, label as above.
Poured slightly hazy orange/copper color with a short white head. A bit of lacing left in the glass. Nice hoppy smell - pine needles and grapefruit. Very hoppy flavor with more resinous pine, fresh grapefruit. Earthy and herbal finish. Some caramel malt come through trying to balance the bitterness. Great flavor.
Nice level of carbonation, medium body, good mouthfeel. Crisp finish helps cleanse the palate. Will definatley search this one out again (this was last bottle, traded a couple more away).

Edit: Would agree with other reviewers that this is closer to a IPA due to the strong hop flavor, but hey - I'm not complaining!

Note to Self: Ranked #5 American Pale Ale (APA) when I tried it.

Photo of Cmack15
4.22/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wow! 3F does a great job with all their beers and this is no exception. The beer looks good but then you take a sniff and get intoxicated by the piney citrusy hop aroma. The taste does not dissapoint at all either with the hops carrying through very nicely and a solid malt backbone to help sweeten it up. This is a damn good beer and I wish either 3F ditributed in MA or I lived closer.

Photo of regspeir
3.9/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle (courtesy of Brundo4) into a Duvel tulip.
Pours a small one-finger head that dissaptes quickly. Color is a dark, hazy amber. Nose has some pine but prevalent bready malts and caramel. This beer is unique - nothing else I can compare it to. The hops and bitterness are forward. There is citrus in there and sweet malts that kick in part way through. By that or whatever means, the bitterness goes and is only faint in the finish. Refreshing. It has a light mouthfeel and good carbonation. At 6% and a warm day, could delve into this more, if I had the chance. Nice.

Photo of KickInTheChalice
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

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

Appearance: Alpha King pours a slightly hazy, robust copper color, with a soft, pillowy, off-white head. Good retention, and some resilient lace stick.

Smell: Sweet malt, citrus hops. Some floral hops provide support. Always a nice, strong hop profile in FFF offerings.

Taste: Sweet caramel biscuity malt, which gets sweeter as it warms. The sweetness clings to my taste buds as a citrus hoppiness comes into play.

Mouthfeel: The malt provides a surprising amount of creamy and chewy feel. Medium carbonation. All this wrapped up in a medium body.

Drinkability: For me, this is the ultimate drinkable pale ale. Maybe it is more IPA than pale ale, but I could care less. I almost always keep this in my fridge. The balanced hop flavor really does it for me.

Photo of HitokiriNate85
4.43/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours amber with some brighter red and orange highlights. Thick, frothy tan head that looks like it's going to have staying power. Fades to a solid cap that leaves some nice lacing.

S - Big, juicy fresh hops. Three Floyds is one of the few breweries whose beers have this kind of fresh hop profile. They have a dankness to them(which I love in hoppy beers), some light pine, citrus peel and herbal notes.

T - Follows the nose nicely. Really juicy, fresh hop taste. Alpha King doesn't have the 'oomph' of some IPAs, though it's closer to that style than it is to an APA. The only big difference is that the bitterness is kept more in check by a backing sweetness.

MF - Slightly dry and sticky in the finish with enough, though not a lot of carbonation, which provides a full body. It's fine, even good, but it seems like it's missing something to make it standout.

D - Three Floyds definitely hits a sweet spot here. It's not palate-wrecking, but has a great hop profile to keep me going back. I really wish I had regular access to it. Definitely the best APA I've had.

Photo of ajayma
3.95/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

LOOK.
Translucent brown--like maple syrup but clearer.

AROMA.
Only a light whiff of malt when it's cold. But as it warms, a hops-in-hand aroma makes it self apparent.

BODY AND TASTE.
An oily full body perked up by a moderate small-bubbled carb. An assertive wash of citrusy hop flavors right up front. The swallow brings exapnds the flavor specturum with whispers of malt and molasses, and more hoppiness. The citrus favors fade in the finish to leave a tingling bitterness that drips pleasantly down the through. The finish is long and includes a subtle essence of peanuts, if you believe it.

AFTERMATH.
Hoppy? Oh yes. Citrusy hop stands forefront but without overloading the senses. One for drinking on its own. Though if you want to eat something a robust cheese might play well with it.

Photo of AJacob81
4.18/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hail to the King, baby... Poured into a flared Guinness-branded pint.

A - Deep amber, like to catch some prehistoric fly. A massive, billowing 3-finger head of white fluff serves as this King's crown. The suds coat the inside of the glass as the head slowly recedes.

S - Caramel and fresh, grassy hops with the smell of fresh-baked bread just beneath.

T - Well-balanced between smooth, caramelly malts and the floral, citrus bite of the hops. Just enough bitterness to keep you smacking your lips.

M - Excellent carbonation and a medium body yield a totally crisp and refreshing feel on the palate with a just-dry-enough hop finish.

D - A little heavy for a session beer, but it sure drinks like one. I can and have killed a sixer in an evening, enjoying each gulp.

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

Can't believe I've waited until now to review this one seeing as its my de-facto go-to everyday pair with anything beer. Alpha King is that good.

Aroma: caramel, roasty, floral, grass, citrus

Appearance: hazy, amber

Taste: medium sweetness, medium bitterness

Palate: medium body, a bit sticky but not too thick, average carbonation, long and mild bitterness in the finish

Overall: Truly outstanding. I can drink this one ANYTIME. Based upon its near constant availability (in my area at least), amazing aroma, and delicious flavors this is my favorite beer on the planet.

Alpha King from Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub
95 out of 100 based on 5,373 ratings.