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Alpha King - 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

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Alpha KingAlpha King

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5,451 Ratings

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Ratings: 5,451
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: 5,451 | Reviews: 1,708 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of backfat
4.32/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

pours a nice copper with highlights of straw and a light tan/white one finger head. smells of citrus/lemony hops and a light caramel malt. juicy and fantastic. i had an argument with a fellow BA over who would win in a fight between this beer and bell's two hearted. it had been awhile since i had them both, but i swore by two hearted up and down. we had a side by side. my opinion was shifted. with balance, flavor, and being FFF hopped up as much as an IPA, the king takes the cake. chewy viscosity and a lingering pleasantness. FFF has me floored again. surprise

Photo of Greggy
4.08/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Pours a nice 1+ finger light tan head over a slightly hazed amber body. Sticky lacing rings the glass and a thin cap sticks around for quite a while.

S- Definite hop aroma, some nice maltiness as well. The hops are slightly grassy and piney with bits of pineapple present.

T- Starts out with a nice piny hop note well balanced by a nice maltiness. The maltiness is almost biscuitty but has some peachy notes to it (combo of malt and hops). The finish is the beautiful malt with the nice hopiness.

M- Nice light carbonation with very creamy mouthfeel.

D- Quite drinkable pale ale here. Some argue that this is more of an IPA. It's not my call to make but I would say it's somewhere between a pale and an IPA. Overall, I would get this again.

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

(a)Pours a ruby-esque dark carmel with a deep tan medium foam head. Leaves good lacing, perfect carbonation. (4/5)

(s) Hopheads World-wide, get a good sniff of this brew. Heavy on the hops but a perfect citrus balance. Not your traditional APA, this stuff puts some of the strongest IPA's to shame. (5/5)

(t) Taste delivers what the smell promises. Hints of orange, lemon...like a gumballhead on juice who just 5lbs of hops for dinner. (4/5)

(m) Good amount of bite, works the palette nicely. Not too sweet with the citrus and not too overpowering on the bitterness. (4/5)

(d) I would say the most I would have of these in one sitting would be 3...but for as much bite and punch this packs its suprizingly drinkable. (4/5)

Photo of tippebrewcrew2
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Three Floyds
Alpha King
American Pale Ale

L= 4.5 Beautiful pour. Dark ruby orange with medium sized bubbles. Off-white, well sustaining, frothy head with good lacing.

S= 4.5 big whiffs of citrus and piney sweetness.

T= 4.0 It's more malty then I thought it would be. Upfront sweetness followed by tart citric bitterness that smoothes out and plays a dance between sweetness and bitterness for a long finish.

F= 4.0 Lively and bitter on the tongue makes for a dry feel.

D= 4.5 (non-session) This is an amazingly well balanced beer. Different flavors in each sip. The peaks are mellowed out with the valleys and makes for a great drinking experience. Good beer, Great brewery. Good job FFF

Photo of ChadQuest
4.18/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Well, this is the top of the echelon for American Pale Ales. Interestingly enough, this could be classified as a IPA and no one would say differant, its 60ibus, which while not a skull crushing IPA is safely in the territory. Its hoppyness is citrus bound and packs a big punch of flavor, retains a somewhat balanced malt side, that puts it in a perfect place overall between the styles, and has a great creamy mouthfeel and neverending drinkability.

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

Poured from 12oz bottle into SA Perfect Pint.

A- Where they get the pale ale from beats me. A nice deep amber with hints of orange around the edges. With a little bit of cloudiness, this beer pours a nice finger worth of head that recedes quickly but leaves a little bit of lacing on the side of the glass.

S- A big burst of pine and citrus hops right out of the bottle. A little bit of a sweet scent to go along with some faint grassiness. The alcohol barely makes its self known, but it is there.

T- The taste is a little more toned down than the nose but still is very good nonetheless. A sweet orange with a pine bite make this not your average pale ale. A little bit of a malt backbone compliments a hint of yeast.

M- When they call it a pale ale I am expecting a little more carbonation and maybe even just a tad bit lighter of a body. Medium bodied, it reminds me more of an IPA without the bite.

D- There is a good amount of flavor but it never really affects the palate. Like I have mentioned before, this reminds me more of an IPA than an APA. You can't tell the amount of alcohol in here and I have no problem knocking back a few of these in a sitting.

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

Pours a hazy, dark amber with 2 finger off-white head. Very creamy looking.

Lots of citrus, floral aroma in this one. Catch some fruit aroma in the end. Very hoppy, hops with more hops and a hint of malt.

Great flavor profile of citrus wrapped with a semi-sweet caramel malt with wonderful balance. A slight amount of bitterness, but maybe the best ho malt balance I've ever experienced from an IPA. Very, very well done.

Medium bodied and has a very silky mouthfeel. Very smooth and well-rounded.

I can drink these all night. In fact, I think I will.

Photo of kalkavekkian
3.63/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Tried this for the first time and liked what i found.
A- Clear golden- orange with light head.
S- Fruity hops, slightly spicy.
T- Sharp citrus hops and grains. Nicely bitter. Stone ipa-like, but not quite as harsh.
M- Strong carbonation.
D- Good drinkability with the abv a non-factor.

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

I had FFF's Pride and Joy earlier in the session and wasn't impressed. Fortunately, I had this Alpha King to cleanse my palate!

Poured a full two fingers of amber colored, fine bubbled head with perfect clarity. There was also nice lacing throughout my drinking experience. The color was a nice mahogany orange that looked both appealing and enticing.

The aroma was of roasted malt and grain with some piney resinous hops.

The flavor is wonderfully rich. Malt, hops, ripe fruit. There is a very drinkable sweet/bitter balance to this ale which makes drinking it very enjoyable.

Mouthfeel is a s rich as the flavor, and despite a slightly high abv. this is a wonderful session beer.

Photo of Arenbeer
4.45/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks To Beerwolf77 for this one!!!

12oz into a Snifter Glass

A- Poured a reddish orange light brown with a thin tightly bubled off white head that left little lacing on the way down.

S- Like all FFF I've had so far, their strong floral citrusy hops hit you up front with a sweet lemony smell.

T- Sweet citrusy hops dominate overall, but hidden behind is a decent amount of maltiness that creat a solid body for this brew. Very lemony overall, not to fruity like most APA's.

M- Medium light body with a fair amount of carbonation that leaves a slight bitter dryness after it leaves the tounge.

Overall this is an exceptional APA, at least it has the most flavor out of the ones i've had. Very flavorful and a great ABV level makes this brew a tasty session beer.


Photo of hawks10
4.3/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz. bottle poured into my FFF's Alpha King imperial pint glass...

Pours a somewhat hazy dark amber with some ruby highlights...a decent white two finger head quickly dissipates and leaves a cap of white film on top of the brew....good lacing down the glass...

That hard to categorize, special, Three Floyds hop scent is the first thing that hits your nose, completely unique to FFF's brews, I don't know what it is, but I love it...kinda sweet but piny and resiny at the same time. Grapefruit maybe? Citrusy no doubt with a hint towards a decent malt base...

Damn this is such a fine tasting brew, hard to say its only an APA, maybe an APA on steroids, but damn good. I don't know if they have a special yeast strain or some super top secret hop that gives all their brews a very unique taste, but I find it in no other brewery's beer. Resiny hop flavor at first, then the caramel flavored malt tries to peek out a bit, but it is pretty much overshadowed by the piny hops. Drying and bitter, very tasty...

Moutfeel is good, medium bodied and somewhat chewy. Hits every taste bud, well carbonated and very drying in the finish...

Could drink these all day...easy on the ABV, huge on the flavor, great combination in my mind...

Photo of semibaked
3.98/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass.

A - Pours a dark copper color and clear. The head is the best part, the foam is like marshmallows with a light reddish color. Awesome lacing too.

S - The aroma of hops is present right away, then citrus and floral smells.

T - Sharp bitterness from the hops and some toast qualities to it too. Off the charts with carbonation and it is prickly too but not bad.

M - Pretty decent, coats the tongue pretty well.

D - Definitely good stuff and would buy it if it was available in my area.

I certainly wouldn't call this a pale ale at all by definitely good stuff.

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

Man do I love Three Floyds beer.

A- Light amber gold tint with a puffy soft half inch head that held.

S- Smelled of soft citrus and grapefruit and some pine. No mango tropical flavors like the IPA dreadnaught. Not to aromatic and in your face but still a good hop presence. Sweet malt behind that.

T- Tasted some piney citrus. Nothing dominated the hop base. There was also some earthy tones to it. Good malt backbone with caramel straw flavors. thick malt profile is enjoyable.

M- Medium body and a good malt to hop ratio. Heavier malt mixes with the acidic hop well. Good steady carbonation keeps it crisp.

D- Drinkable and enjoyable. Nothing overpowering but no more then two.

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

Pours a dark orange body, almost a reddish colour. Head is a foamy white, and thick. Aromas are hops like crazy, pine, citrus, malt. taste is lots of hops, but not overpowering, subtle citrus and some mild malt that balances it out nicely. FInish is smooth, crisp, and the 6.5% is not noticable. I wish I could get more.

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

12 oz bottle from a fresh six pack acquired in a trade, poured into a nonic.

Haven't had this in over two years, or whenever I was last able to buy this in PA. I remembered loving this so I'm excited to see how my memory holds up. Pours a clear copper color with a massive rocky off white head that has great retention and impressive strings of clumpy lacing. Aroma is very rich, full of bready malt and grapefruit hops like an IPA, impressive balance. Hop bitterness grabs you from the beginning, unusual for an APA but is supported by a strong biscuit malt backbone and finishes slightly sweeter with smooth citrus hops. Medium thick body with moderate carbonation and a smooth dry finish result in a very hoppy, drinkable APA. Not quite as impressive as I remember, but still the class of APAs.

Photo of dickroop
4.67/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I found this long-sought, much-heralded beer at Bigby's Pour House in Addison, IL. What a find, and not just a bottle but on tap.

Served clear, coppery with puffy 1-finger head. It had outstanding lacing that draped down the sides of the glass, foreshadowing a rich experience.

A powerful nose, with grapefruit rind, some floral aspects, but most of all sawmill pine resin. It was resin so fresh that you could believe you were next to a pine tree in the woods or in the mill.

Hops overwhelm malt flavor - you know it's there, expressed as sweetness, but I was hard pressed to dissect the flavor. Sips produce a clean bitter finish, followed by a grainy, bitter aftertaste.

Carbonation produces a lively mouthfeel that leads the way to enjoyment of hops. Some stickiness.

Drinkability is good, a great flavor treat.

Photo of Parrotbeak
3.85/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pristine amber, with plenty of bubbles rising from the bottom. Quarter-inch, white head that thins out a bit, becoming slightly patchy.
Smell is fresh, hoppy, and malty, with a good balance between the latter two. Little bit of pineapple and citrus.
Bitter and hoppy up front, with a malty finish accompanied by some citrus hints, as well as another wave of bitterness.
Pleasant bitterness on the tongue, along with a good level of carbonation.
Good on drinkability. Vvfffh.

Photo of WJVII
3.93/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks for the sample 6 pack from Jdostal... poured into a pint glass this brew has a wonderful hazy orange color with a 2 finger pure white head that settles into a nice cap leaving sticky lacing down the glass. The aroma is strong and full of citrus and pine, some nuttiness and burnt caramel. The taste hits you with pine hops up front but then cools off with some malt balance in the middle and finishes with a great bitter bite. The strong carbonation and medium body give an astringent feel that intensifies the hop flavors. Very good brew.

Photo of BDLbrewster
3.42/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a darker than expected, ruby hued amber with about 50% clarity and a small fizzy head.

The smell is hop forward, more so than anticipated. Sweet ripe citrus, grapefruit and lemon mostly. Also there is a candy-like sweetness that is very apparent along with green, leafy notes as well.

Hop candy and loads of grapefruit kick this one off. Solid caramel infused backbone that works fairly well with the fruity hop oils. When you exhale some bitter pine and citrus pith are evident, but not overwhelming. Loads of fruity esters along with the seriously sugary malts make me feel like this would be hard to drink a bunch of. Interesting and fairly complex.

Mouthfeel leans on syrupy for such a low ABV brew. The carbonation rests on the low end of the scale here and doesn't help me to enjoy the brew as much as I would like.

I thought this would be a knock out. I'm sad to say that I am somewhat disappointed, I bet I would groove with this more if I'd tried it on tap. I can see why people would really dig this, but for a PA it just doesn't do it for me.

Photo of drumrboy22
4.13/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12oz. bottle into a Harpoon IPA glass. Beer was a hazy copper color, with a creamy, three-finger, light brown head. Heavy carbonation and thick lacing around the glass.

Aroma was citrus, hops, malt and caramel.

Taste was rather sweet. Caramel, malt and brown sugar, followed by citrus hops.

Very sessionable. Tasty pale ale.

Photo of schanker21
4.77/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A- Golden-brown. Clear with lots of carbonation. White, two finger head sits on top and dissipates a little, but a decent head sticks around.

S- Pineapple, lemon, orange, pine, hoppy.

T- Same as the smell, but with a great malt backbone to balance out the hopiness.

M- Good mouthfeel. Lots of carbonation makes this one refreshing.

D- Excellent. It's always hard for me to judge APA's because I have a tendency to think of them as weak IPA's, but keeping the style in mind, it's hard to think of too many ways this could improve.

Photo of nsmartell
3.92/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I enjoyed this beer from the comfort of my own living room. From the 12oz bottle to a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a cloudy copper color with a small head that does not last long at all.

Smell: Citrusy hop aroma with a hint of malt.

Taste: Muted hops here and nicely balanced. Just as the smell suggests, this beer tastes citrusy and is then balanced out by the malt.

Mouthfeel: Thin to medium-bodied. Nice carbonation.

Drinkability: Goes down smooth. Nice, solid APA. Would definitely recommend and drink again.

Photo of Hopfist
4.09/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A great "affordable luxury" pale ale. The name alone tells you what to expect. What the name doesn't say, the label surely does. A king made of hops. This quite heavily-hopped pale could easily be one dimensional without that heavy dose of malt for balance. This beer won't change your life, but it's a great introduction to the brews and philosophy of Three Floyds. Hop first, compromise never.

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

Pour is copper with a nice thick head that persists as a thicker than usual ring and also leaves a nice trail. Smell is muted hops and malty sweetness. A touch muted. Taste is similar to the nose except that it is much less muted. Really enjoy it. A pleasant light yet still somewhat creamy body. A great session beer.

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

Pours a deep, semi-hazy copper color with a light and lacy off-white head. The nose is well balanced between malty sweetness and citrus hoppiness. The flavor is also well balanced between the sweet and bitter with big citrus bitterness composing the majority of the flavor. It is a medium bodied beer with moderately high levels of carbonation. The finish is bitter and citrus but the sweetness flavor returns as the beer fades away.

Alpha King from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 5,451 ratings.