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Alpha King Pale Ale - Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub

Not Rated.
Alpha King Pale AleAlpha King Pale Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
95
world-class

5,033 Ratings
THE BROS
93
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,033
Reviews: 1,671
rAvg: 4.26
pDev: 9.15%
Wants: 842
Gots: 525 | FT: 26
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:
3 Floyd’s flagship beer, Alpha King is a big American pale ale that pours a deep amber with a creamy head. This ale is brewed with Centennial, Cascade, and Warrior hops giving it an intense citrus aroma and a crisp hoppy finish.

68 IBU

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 07-23-2000)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,033 | Reviews: 1,671 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of toolbrew
4.58/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12oz bottle with the most difficult cap to take off that I've ever had to do - I was using a lighter though. Poured a slightly hazy deep copper color with a nice off-white head. Decent head retention and some lacing on the glass.

Hoppy aroma - I can detect maybe some citrus (lemon) and some grassy notes.

Sweet and crisp taste with a nice hop finish.

Goes down very well. Get a sharp attack on the roof of the mouth that dissipates quickly, but then comes back slightly as an aftertaste.

A very drinkable beer. I have enjoyed this one many times and only wish they distributed to Michigan.

toolbrew, Sep 12, 2008
Photo of PatronWizard
4.05/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Stan the Man at Lone Hill Liqour. Was fairly excited to try a pale ale that made the BA Top 100.

Light copper bronze. Big bubbled frothy white head sits atop a sea of tiny replenishing bubbles. This one is lively.

Not too strong in the nose, but hops are there alright.

Great pale ale. I may have been drinking too many DIPAs lately to fully appreciate this little guy, but definitely good.

Could drink a ton of these.

Overall: great pale ale

PatronWizard, Sep 09, 2008
Photo of OlieIPA
3.43/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Orange and hazy with good head. Not much lacing.

S: Sweet and hoppy; very typical

T: Syrup like taste with a light bitter finish. Couldn't pin-point out any distinct flavors...but perhaps a honey like sweetness.

M: Light body and carbonation; just about perfect for this type of beer.

D: Could drink all night if needed.

Overall: A good beer...not great. One of the better pale ales I have tasted.

OlieIPA, Sep 06, 2008
Photo of Nesued
4.28/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

After having reviewed Avery's Maharaja, I thought my taste buds were primed to pay my respects to the Alpha King. I picked up a six-pack on a trip to Indy, and have been holding them for...heck, I don't know...

Appearance - Light amber in coloring, no haze. The carbonation is very fine, supporting a slight ring. Lacing is minimal.

Smell - After reading several reviews, I was expecting the typical "grapefruit/hop bomb" nose. Not the case with this one. Minor citrus nose. Slight grassy and "fresh feel nose" is about the best I can describe.

Taste - Starting from the end, nice dry finish. Well done. This could have hindered the acceptance of this brew, but thankfully the need for balance was well considered. Good malt sweetness middle adds to the profile with little hop "stickyness" hindering the taste. The initial presentation was again well balanced. I hang on this word (i.e. "balanced") for the simple reason that it is far easier to err on the side of a hop-bomb than to present a well-balanced offering.

Mouthfeel - Smooth and mellow, considering the potential. Very nicely balanced with the typical hop bite absent. Kudos to those who understand the role malt plays in the overall profile.

Drinkability - What shall I do with my remaining 5 bottles? Drink them seems in order. Very nice offering and approachable for someone who isn't a hop-head. Nicely balanced and well presented.

Nesued, Sep 01, 2008
Photo of OWSLEY069
4.2/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clean copper color with a white head. In the the aroma, big citrus/ grapefruity hops. In the taste, sweet, grapefruity hops and a nice balanceing maltiness. A small bite and medium mouthfeel, with a citrus/ grapefruity hops in the aftertaste. Big hops and mellow for a pale, easy to drink.

OWSLEY069, Aug 30, 2008
Photo of Reagan1984
4.33/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed this beer on tap at Hopleaf in Chicago.

Really enjoyed it. My first impression was that it reminded me of a "hopped UP" Pete's Wicked Ale from the old days. (It's been a while since I've had Pete's and this is meant as a compliment)

Came with a thin but fairly creamy head that did show some resilience. Mostly clear with an Orange Amber color. Very nice lacing.

Aroma was of Citrus and some other fruits. Pineapple maybe??

Taste was excellent and very well balanced. Deep flavor and one that was nicely complex. A lot going on here with the different fruit flavors. The finish was surprising dry but did work with the flavor profile. Nice hop assertiveness but not overly done for an APA.

Light to light/medium body and very drinkable. I was in Chicago on business and wanted to sample a few local brews. If not for that, I would have enjoyed several of these throughout the night.

I'll be back for more of this one

Reagan1984, Aug 25, 2008
Photo of tayner
3.5/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle courtesy of buckeyenation, thanks!

Medium nut brown color with a very sticky white head and lots of lacing

Smell is sweet malt and hops of a citrus grapefruit pith in nature.

taste is green. Lots of hot hop oils, bitter, grassy, and pretty unbalanced. Not enough malt backbone to stand up to the hop making it, IMO, a pale ale hop bomb.

mouthfeel is oily but very well carbonated. even with the great carbonation this one was still pretty mouth coating.

It was easy to drink, would have been more enjoyable if it had a bit more maltiness to balance it some.

tayner, Aug 23, 2008
Photo of jwc215
4.53/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to jcwattsrugger for this one!

Pours dark amber with a thin white head. Some lacing sticks.

The smell is of mega alpha hops - citric/piney/earthy/leafy. This is an APA?? Smells like an IPA - vey hoppy - and nicely done, to boot (to say the least).

The taste is citric/piney with balancing sweet malt (hoppy APA/more balanced IPA border). Some acidity. Rounded bitterness comes through in the finish.

The body is slightly thinner than expected - still, it's pretty chewy and medium bodied. Smooth.

A hop-head's version of a pale ale, for sure! And nicely done, Firm malt backbone keeps the hops tied in nicely. A goodie!

jwc215, Aug 22, 2008
Photo of thethrone
3.9/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a deep copper with small white head which quickly disappeared into a thin ring.

S - Smells of pine, and caramel malt. Also a hint of fruity sourness creeps in at the end.

T - Subdued hop flavor, with a malty backbone.

M - Medium body, very smooth, not a lot of carbonation.

D - I get the impression that the bottle I had didn't hold up as well as most, since it is missing the same hoppy profile most others are talking about. Still a great brew, but I would be curious to try it again fresh for comparison.

thethrone, Aug 20, 2008
Photo of everetends
4.35/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle thanks to Goliath. Poured into a shaped pint glass.

A:Poured a nice caramel/copper color that had a beautiful inch and a half of head. The head had great retention, lasting almost the entire beer. Big time, sticky lacing.

S: Smell is of citrus/earthy hops, sweet, bready malt, and a touch of medicinal alcohol.

T: Taste is an amazing balance of citrus hops and sweet bread malt. This beer has nice tones of grapefruit and orange, but the malt adds a nice sweetness that balances this sweet heart out. There is also a touch of medicinal, herbal, metallic flavor, but is welcome and not at all unpleasant. So nice.

M: Medium in body. Carbonation is a bit low but that is the only gripe I have. Smooth and easy drinking. After taste of grapefruit and a just a touch of alcohol heat on the back of the throat.

D: This beer is truly great. I am now a fan. Great balance to this beer and that is what I like in my APAs. Damn near perfect.

everetends, Aug 17, 2008
Photo of bluemoonswoon
4.63/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pulled from a cask at the Map Room and served in an imperial pint glass.

A: The beer is an impeccable looking dark copper brown with a thick and creamy one inch head that fades into a cap about halfway though the session and leaves behind a nice amount of lacing.

S: Smell is very subtle and very unlike Alpha King from the bottle, this beer seems like an almost entirely different animal. Mild pine and citrus with a good amount of sweet brown sugary malt greet the nose, you can already tell this beer is going to be something special.

T/MF: First sip is a bit unassuming but all that follow are pure hoppy and malty goodness. Super fresh pine and grassy lemony nuttiness, just about the freshest livest thing that has ever passed my lips. Mouthfeel is super smooth and creamy with just the right amount of hop bitterness and carbonation to hold everything together.

D: Insanely drinkable, one of the freshest cleanest tasting "Pale ales" I've had in recent memory. Alpha King is a must try from the cask.

bluemoonswoon, Aug 14, 2008
Photo of bosco7
4.58/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a copper color with a creamy off white head.

Smells of grapefruit, pine, orange, strawberry, and some caramel. Very pungent.

Starts with sweet caramel and a slight nutty malt flavor. Fresh hops soon take over the palate. Lots of orange, grapefruit rind, pine resin and hop leaf flavors. Finish is bitter but far from being extreme.

So damn drinkable, unlike a lot of American IPAs there is no harsh lingering aftertastes, yet has more hop flavor than those same IPAs. This is a beautiful beer (especially if you get to try it out of the serving tanks at the brewpub). If I could get this beer where I live, it would be in the fridge at all times. Highly recommended.

bosco7, Aug 10, 2008
Photo of BrewerB
4.43/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to alemechanic from The Brewing Network's forum for hand delivering this beer to California.

The BJCP classifies this beer in the American IPA category and I evaluated it against those guidelines.

Appearance was a light amber, slightly hazy. Formed a white head that thinned out but hung around. Should have been more prominent.

Lots of resiny/grassy hop character with some citrus-kicking in at lower intensity. Hop bitterness was medium and lingered on into a dry finish. Clean malt component felt balanced. Missing out on the mid-high to high bitterness level. Varied hop character was very pleasing on the palate.

Medium-bodied, moderately carbonated. Smooth. No hop-derived astringency.

This is a fairly well-balanced American IPA with a variety of hop flavors - fruity, resiny, piney, all balanced by a clean malt backbone. Only points for improvement are a bit more head retention and increased bitterness. Despite this, I could drink it all night long. Delicious.

BrewerB, Aug 02, 2008
Photo of glid02
4.18/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got this in a trade with Beereality, much obliged.

Pours a dark copper color with a frothy one finger head that diminishes into a thin layer of bubbles. The lacing is very good.

The smell isn't very strong, but it shouldn't be expected to be. The most prevalent is the bitter smell, then there's a little bit of floral scent and malts. There's certainly nothing unpleasing about this smell.

The taste is pretty good. The bitter smell overrides everything else, but it's not too much. There's also some malt sweetness. Not much other hop flavors, but it goes down smoothly.

The mouthfeel is good, it's got a good thickness and the carbonation is just right.

This beer is very drinkable. It's not too overpowering in any department, although it is a bit bitter. Not necessarily a bad thing.

Definitely recommended, I'm upset I can't buy this as my everyday beer.

glid02, Aug 01, 2008
Photo of cnally
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours with a light amber hue. It has absolutely great coloring and density. The smell is almost sweet, setting the stage for the surprisingly sweet taste as well. You can taste the hops - but is not an overwhelming amount. The feel is crisp and light. There is no dry texture here. This beer is delicious and more drinkable than your average pale ale.

cnally, Jul 27, 2008
Photo of mrsoul12
4.78/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Wow. This is like hops in a bottle. This beer has the aroma and hop flavor of a double IPA with the drinkability of a pale ale. BIG BIG hop aroma. A little out of balance and could use some more residual sweetness to even things out, but overall very good.

mrsoul12, Jul 25, 2008
Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
3.75/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. brown bottle > imperial pint glass

Deep, clear amber color...not at all pale. 1/2" deep crown, dark cream color and very dense.

Amazingly citrus and sweet fruit aroma, oh yeah, pineapple, strawberry and tart green apples. Smooth, buttery scented malt, overall sweet and citric hop scent. Really nice.

This is a clean, hearty and spicey hop bite right off. Big earthy flavor's of dry wheat, corn husks and recently tilled earth. The malt is crispy and clean with an herbal bite. citric acid and dried leaves in the finish. displays a nice subtle lingering bitterness. Medium bodied, nice bite and a mellowing smoothness.

Easily drinkable Pale ale with a solid complexity.

GratefulBeerGuy, Jul 22, 2008
Photo of Kegatron
4.33/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a clear golden copper with 2 fingers of foamy off-white head. A solid layer of retention yields some very nice looking lacing. The aroma is a nose tickling mix of fresh smelling floral hops, citric notes, spice, and a firm underlying scent of caramel sweetness and toasted malts.

The taste starts out with a tingling yet still subtle hop bitterness that glides along on a backbone of juicy citrus character and a mix of both sweet and toasty malts. Very nice balance to the whole affair. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with an overall solid feel and just the slightest bit of alcohol beef.

There's definitley a reason why this is considered one of the best in its style. With a fantastic balance and full flavored nature, this is hands down one of the best Pale Ales I've ever had the pleasure of trying. My only quibble is that there is a touch too much heat in the body that hinders the drinkibility a bit. Otherwise, I could drink this all night. Good stuff!

Kegatron, Jul 21, 2008
Photo of khiasmus
4.75/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

The Alpha King pours a perfectly clear dark golden orange into my glass, with a bit of soapy white head that seems to dissipate all too quickly. certainly looks like a beer I want to drink though.
The smell is a perfect union of sweet, caramel-grain malt and sharp, piney/grapefruity hops that give it an almost spicy character.
The taste is the same... perfectly balanced, but not in a weak manner. You can actually taste each aspect of the beer. The hops and malt compliment one another instead of masking one another. Initially sweet and malty, giving way to an almost husky grain flavor, and then transitioning into a grapefruit-full bitter, hoppy finish.
Mouthfeel is medium-full bodied, with medium carbonation and a good bit of astringency in the finish.
This beer is by far the best pale ale I've had. Just like everything FFF does, there's much more flavor here than many of their contemporaries' beers. Delicious. And officially my favorite pale ale.

khiasmus, Jul 19, 2008
Photo of Jwale73
4.1/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another extra from bgramer; an unbelievably generous trader (thanks Brendan). Served in a standard pint glass. Poured a translucent copper red; excellent clarity. Tight, off-white head approached the rim of the pint before reducing its volume in half within about 30 seconds. Cap eventually settled into a thin semi-consistent skim with strands of watery lacing spattered around the walls of the glass. Aromas of floral, piney hops immediately hits the nose. Taste consistent with nose with a strong grapefruit character that leaves a lingering bitterness between quaffs. Mouthfeel is between light- and medium-bodied with a distinct tingle across the tongue. This is an excellent representation of the APA style and I can see why it is a Three Floyds flagship brew, as such, I tried to be true to the style in my rating; however, a little too hoppy for my preference. If you are a fan of the style, this is definitely a brew to measure all other APAs against.

Jwale73, Jul 19, 2008
Photo of DrunkenMaster
3.9/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Coles. Great looking orange/amber colored beer. Smells a bit sweet with some tropical fruit and floral notes. Moderately bitter and fruity. I get berries in there somewhere. Alcohol comes through late but its subtle and adds to the flavor. An all around unique and tasty pale.

DrunkenMaster, Jul 17, 2008
Photo of Wetpaperbag
4.1/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Acquired in a trade from bulldogp04, thanks a ton!

A- The golden copper color beer left a pillowie head that dissipated quickly and left a slight bit of lacing around the edges.

S- The smell is fruity, with a strong note of pineapple. The hop smell is a good benefactor in the smell of the beer. Reminds me of HOTD Fred.

T- The taste is a mixture of hop character and a bread malt character. The pineapple smell is a light subtle taste. I like this brew and am enjoying it quite throughly.

M- The hops do tend to dry out the tongue just a tad. Light carbonation, which I think is a plus.

D- Very much so, would be a great thing to have on a hot summer day by the lake, like I'm doing now.

Wetpaperbag, Jul 17, 2008
Photo of jjboesen
4.75/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A recent trip to Birreria Paridiso provided me the rare opportunity to quaff this powerhouse.

What a beer! It begins with a quick head and a thick slathering of lace amids a cloudy body of amber. The nose is overwhelmed by an extreme floral blast with small chards of orange and banana. All of which is superceded by a hop explosion on the palate, one in which no taste bud walks out alive.

Alpha King is wonderfully structured in that it can provide a worthy platform for heavy hops and mild malts - they're there, but are timid.

This is one true beer that challenges all your senses - I think I heard it too. It is magnificent too behold and hold.

It may be good to be the king, but it's great to drink an Alpha King. See It. Drink It. Love It.

jjboesen, Jul 13, 2008
Photo of hwwty4
4.35/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks jtrockchalk for this one.

Poured a 12oz bottle into my Chimay chalice. This beer pours a Sienna brown, and the hints of red come through pretty generously when held to the light and the big frothy white head left sticky lacing all the way down the glass. The aroma is citrusy hops with lemon in the forefront and nice sweet bready malts coming thorough on the back end. The taste is really complicated. The obvious citrusy and piney hops come through but subtle hints of caramel, anise and rye for some reason come out to me. These tastes are not what I would normally pick out in a APA but man, every single flavor is pretty precise to me. Weird. The mouthfeel is full for an APA and leaves a nice coating on the mouth. This is a great APA, my only knock is it seems a bit hopped for a standard APA, almost more like a mild IPA.

hwwty4, Jul 11, 2008
Photo of swizzlenuts
4.47/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The pale ale is poured out with a dark copper colour and a good centimeter head that sticks around for a little bit. The beer is slightly muddy looking as well. The nose on the beer has citrusy hops and a fruity malt backbone.

The initial hit from this beer is the hops with their citrus and slight piney flavours. The beer is really balanced. It has a great fruity malt back bone and is a great addition to the hops. There is a pleasing bitterness to the end of the beer; the bitterness comes across a bit strong at first, but settles out quite nicely after more drinking. The mouthfeel is creamy and a bit thick, perfect for a pale ale. The drinkability of this beer is just absurd...

swizzlenuts, Jul 09, 2008
Alpha King Pale Ale from Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub
95 out of 100 based on 5,033 ratings.