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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

5,024 Ratings
THE BROS
93
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,024
Reviews: 1,671
rAvg: 4.26
pDev: 9.15%
Wants: 841
Gots: 522 | 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: 5,024 | Reviews: 1,671 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ZimZamZoom
3.75/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nice copper-orange color with a serious off-white head. Many fingers worth and lovely lacing taboot.

Aroma is big on citrusy hops. Some malt in the background, but that's ok. That's not why I bought this beer. Taste is also big on the citrus, mostly grapefruit. I get some malt to balance this out, but the finish is full of hop bitterness and a slight alcohol burn that surprises me based on the 6% ABV.

The body on this APA is pretty thick and heavy, with noticeable viscosity. I could see it filling me pretty quickly, but I bet I could drink another without much trouble.

All in all a pretty nice beer. This is one of my favorite styles, so I do have plenty on my list I'd rate above this one though.

ZimZamZoom, Sep 16, 2007
Photo of seaoflament
4.33/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to BuckeyeNation for the sixer; I’ve had these for a while but haven’t gotten around to review one, and this is my last one and it’s a hot one today.

Alpha King pours an amber color with a good inch of head. A few tiny bubble rise from the bottom of the glass and continues to keep a good layer of foam. The aroma is of pine and citrus hops, grapefruit, lemon and biscuit malt—really pushing it to an ipa standard. The taste is pleasantly bitter and refreshing, one of my favorites to drink on a hot day. Caramel and a touch of alcohol are present as the beer warms up a bit. This is one of the best pale ales out there, but not sure if I could drink a six pack of this without the hops and alcohol affecting my taste buds.

seaoflament, Sep 03, 2007
Photo of atsprings
4.05/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice slightly hazy orange with a thin off-white head. Aroma is some citrus hops and sweet malts with a hint of caramel. The taste is a delightful blend of mild citrus and a hint of pine hops well balanced with sweet malts with just a hint of caramel. The beer is light bodied with just the right amount of carbonation. This is a very enjoyable beer and would make for a decent session had I picked up more than one bottle.

atsprings, Aug 31, 2007
Photo of kellyst
4.35/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Deep orange-copper hue. Slight haze. Medium, off-white head.

S: Spicy and citrusy american hops.

T: Delicious. Well rounded. Bitter, but not quite ipa bitter, but more bitter than a pale ale. Plenty of flavoring hops present. Lots of citrus. Good malt balance to back it all up, with a slight carmel.

D: Very high.

kellyst, Aug 29, 2007
Photo of errantnight
4.18/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The best APA in America? Probably, but only if you call it one...

Pours with a lovely, creamy finger and a half of head, rich amber in color... could almost be an amber ale by appearance, definitely cheating towards IPA territory here by the looks of it. But then, that's pretty much the story of this beer.

Malt is nearly absent here in flavor, just barely some biscuity sweetness to help balance things (although it sticks around a bit too much on the palate for my liking) and hop flavor is pronounced, but there's something very straightforward, particularly in the bitterness. Very astringent, and the bitterness predominates. Reminds me of a Brutal Bitter, but just rounded a bit around the edges.

Mouthfeel is rich and smooth without being heavy, carbonation is definitely medium to mild.

Drinkability is... limited for me. I love searching this beer out, and there's sometimes where it just explodes in wonderfulness for me... but bitterness is so high here, I don't find it terribly sessionable, and although delightfully hoppy (and let me once again reiterate, what a lovely nose to this beer!) it's not as balanced as some of my favorite IPAs.

Still, seek this beer out. It's fantastic.

errantnight, Aug 21, 2007
Photo of katan
3.55/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle, no date

A - Poured a nice dark amber color. looks very clear. Had a centimeter high head.

S - No wonder this is called alpha king. I smell cascade hops like crazy. This thing has to be hoppy.

T - First taste is hops, and it hits with a bitter flavor. It finishes with a nice malt hit from the roasted malt.

M - Very smooth - even with the apparent carbonation, it is a easy drinker.

D - I think this is a solid beer if I want to get my hit of alpha acids. I like the flavor, but i wouldn't drink a bunch of these.

All and all, another good 3F offering. This is a very good beer, but as I consider a "5" ranking as the best ever, my ranking is probably lower than most others.

katan, Aug 18, 2007
Photo of giblet
4.47/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

no real reason to not give this a 4.5 over all cept it should be near impossible to reach near perfection...this is very good beer. good pour into my glass, a little less head than expected. good lace and carbonation. wonderful hop aroma and excellent hop and malt balance. this is one fine tasting beer.

i highly recomend. a top 5 American Pale ale for me!!!

suckem up and movem out!

giblet

giblet, Aug 16, 2007
Photo of franksnbeans
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a burned orange with a nice sized off white head that laces. Smells of citrus rind, floral, hops and a malt. Lots of yummy bitter hops with an awesome malt balance. Nice bite and dryness but doesnt linger on the tongue. This reminds me of Nugget Nectar. Feels smooth, crisp and delicious in the mouth. Drinkability goes on and on. A session beer classic. Cheers 3 F's.

franksnbeans, Aug 15, 2007
Photo of sirk0rebreg
4/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

received in a trade from tpd975 and poured from a bottle into my samuel adams glass...

great copper color with a thin fluffy white head...smelled of floral hops, slightly piney...great mouthfeel, slightly oily with perfect carbonation...taste was great as well, with the underlying floral hop taste with a slight bite at the end...wonderful beer

sirk0rebreg, Aug 14, 2007
Photo of kaimcm
4.22/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass

A: nice hazy orange honeyed body with a bubble dusting on top. soapy white ring around the edge.

S: buried, but dank herbal hop profile, dry grass, plenty of orange/grapefruit and citrus. a dense nose of hops that smells wet and fresh.

T/M: dry and grassy up front, followed by a medium body and a touch of sugar. grapefruit, citrus, soft and stinky cheese. more husky grain and bread. finishes with a lingering dryness and grainy mouthfeel. coating but coarse. carbonation is crisp and lively.

D: very enjoyable. very very enjoyable. 6% is a bit high for such a drinkable and flavorful brew. wish i could get all the time, would be happy to purchase repeatedly. cheers.

thanks jamie.

kaimcm, Aug 13, 2007
Photo of nullforge
4.53/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Hazy orange-tinted deep amber color. Pours with a one finger orange-tinted head that shortly collapses to a collar. Leaves a fairly sticky lace on the glass. The nose contains piney and citrusy hops, delicately sweetened by malt. A hint of mango can also be found. The taste offers caramel and pale malt sweetness that balances the bitterness while it lasts. The piney and citrusy hops detected in the nose dominate the taste with a strong hop bite. A hint of peach in the background. Bitterness builds into the finish with the hops becoming crisp and herbal. Body is medium. Beer feels slick on the tongue. Malt could be a bit more chewy though. Overall, it's a delicious beer that left me wanting more.

nullforge, Aug 12, 2007
Photo of baos
4.83/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Two fingers in my favorite Trappist glass, poured it from a bottle. A very nice dark caramel color.

S: Hops hit you hard. An awesome floral aroma that perks up your ears and make you smile. Citrusy, juniper bush, catnip.

T: Awesome hoppy bang. Key lime peels, Spicewood leaves, and lemon balm leaves. I love this beer. I remember tasting it at a beer tasting in Bloomington, Indiana, and I ended up walking around with their pitcher drinking from it and throwing a handful of change in the the tuba of the German brass band that was playing there.

M: Very nice to roll around your mouth leaves the mouth a bit oily.

D: A bit potent, but i could drink this beer all night. Gets better setting in your glass and getting warmer, but is really good super chilled as well.

baos, Aug 12, 2007
Photo of MCDuhamel
4.35/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle at fridge temperature into a Sam Adams branded special pub glass.

A: Poured moderately aggressively, it formed a brief head that dissipated to a mere ring very quickly, leaving very light lacing on the glass. Dark copper, almost light brown in appearance, vaguely murky, Moderate carbonation visible.

S: Strong note of American hops, probably Cascade, with some malt underlying the nose as well. Hoppy, but not out of balance

T: Hop flavors predominate at first, with a definite grapefruit note. This yields into a toffee-like sweetness then a lingering dry and citrusy finish. Throughout, noticeable but not heavy-handed carbonation provides excellent balance.

M: Medium mouthfeel. The beer has some weight on the tongue, but the carbonation prevents it from being too much.

D: Very drinkable; I could easily drink several without growing tired of it.

Overall: This is an excellent American pale ale, marred only by poor head retention.

MCDuhamel, Aug 08, 2007
Photo of Monkeyknife
4.65/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle a slightly hazy deep copper with a creamy beige head and nice lacing.

A sweet maltiness and a burst of spicy hops and pine await those put it to their nose.

A perfect combination that plays off the aroma. The tastes includes the balance of the malts and the bitterness of the hops with their spice and pine.

Medium bodied and carbonated.

This is an incredible APA and quickly became one of my favorites. Enjoy.

Monkeyknife, Jul 31, 2007
Photo of Atron67
4.55/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Poured a copper clear color with an inch of off-white head. It lasted a reasonable length, and left big lacing
S- Big Floral hops bursting from my snifter glass, smells delicious
T- Burst of sharp bitter hops all over the place, a solid malt background provides a nice base, although they are deep below the hops, leaves a slowly lingering hop bitterness as it leaves your throat
M- medium body with a sharp carbonation
D- very high, delicious

Atron67, Jul 27, 2007
Photo of sessycuban
4.33/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - The beer pours a light amber color with a very small off-white head.
The head does not retain well and you find very little lacing.

S - I smell a strong hop presence, although not overwhelming. I'm also getting some caramel malts as well.

T - The citrus flavor takes over this beer but it's balanced out nicely by the malts that are more apparent as the beer warms.

M - The beer has a medium body. It coats quite well for the style.

D - Supremely drinkable. I could have one of these every day. The only problem is, of course, that Three Floyds does not distribute to SoCal.

sessycuban, Jul 23, 2007
Photo of marksto
4.28/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours medium amber and very clear, with a thin head that falls rather quickly. Nose has lots of spicy hops, citrus and pine, and a noticible malt sweetness. Flavor is very nice, as it has an excellent complexity that sets aside the better APA's. The complexity seems to comes predominately from the hop character - bitterness and flavor interplay really nicely, and are multi-dimensional, with a nice carmel and biscuit maltiness lingering in the backgound.

An excellent APA, worth seeking out.

marksto, Jul 21, 2007
Photo of dfried
4.43/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Deep amber and caramelly in color, thin off white cap for a head. The hop aroma jumped out of the bottle upon popping the cap. After the pour I noticed a lot of herbal and cirtusy hops, orange rind and grapefruit, as well as some floral notes. Significant biscuity and caramelly malt backbone too.

The taste had quite the bitter bite, but far from unpleasant, for a pale ale upon the first sip, definitely the alpha-acid King. Then a rush of citrusy hop flavors comes at you, oranges, grapefruits, and lemons. Some other fruity notes show up like pears and peaches, but its definitely more citrusy than anything. Great citrusy aftertaste lingers forever. Decent malty backbone of caramel and brown sugar, more than most American PAs, but then again there needs to be since there is more hops than in most APAs.

Overall: top shelf APA. This beer walks the line of IPA and PA as far as hoppiness goes. A bit heavier on flavors than most APAs (like thats a problem) but is still pretty much as drinkable as them. Outsanding.

dfried, Jul 20, 2007
Photo of RixBeer
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance - Hazy light amber color with a foamy off-white head.
No real retention and lacing.

Smell - Nice Citrus hop presence.

Taste - Sweet and Hoppy with a nice hop after taste.

Mouthfeel - Mouth filling without over doing it. If you like hops this beer will fill your mouth with the flavor and not let go till after it's down your gullet

Drinkability - I'm very glad I have many more of these!!!!

RixBeer, Jul 19, 2007
Photo of stereosforgeeks
4.43/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Hazy light amber color with a foamy off-white head.
Decent retention and lacing.

Smell - Nice hop presence. Some sweet caramel malts as well.

Taste - Starts sweet from the caramel malts then the citrus hops take hold and dont let go. The caramel comes back into the mix later. It's a nice combination.

Mouthfeel - Medium/Thick body. Slides nicely accross the palate.

Drinkability - I wish this was more plentiful in my area.

stereosforgeeks, Jul 17, 2007
Photo of wilwfu
4.88/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Dark Copper in color, smells like a good southern biscut, but earthier... coming from the hops. The taste and mouthfeel go hand in hand. It's a two stage beer, hops vs malts, with each trying to steal the stage from the other, yet the juxtaposition of the two holds it all together. It has a natural sweetness like maple syrup.

This beer is uber drinkable and is a fantastic, complex beer that will not, no matter how hard you try, taste the same everytime. That is not because it's inconsistent between brewings, but rather because the taste will conjur up different memories and imagery everytime... it's that good.

wilwfu, Jul 17, 2007
Photo of Halcyondays
4.72/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12 oz. bottle,

A: Deep cloudy amber, with a thick white head which lasts the glass long.

S: Piney hops mostly, some citrus, but also toffee malts make an appearance, very balanced.

T: The taste is exceptional. This is by far my favorite American Pale Ale, as Tony Kornheiser would say - "That's it, that's the list!" I love Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, but this is its superior. Delicious pink grapefruit coats the tongue, with a perfect malt backbone to hold it together. Fabulous.

M: Chewy bitterness, citrus hops abound, that extra kick of hops at the end adds to its smoothness and helps keep its body together through the finish.

D: The greatest APA that i've tried so far, it's just a shame I can't get it very often, an American craft brewing classic.

Halcyondays, Jul 12, 2007
Photo of BattleRoadBrewer
3.83/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a standard pint from 12 oz amber bottle at about 35F.

Attractive pour, a little bit hazy, orangish amber, slight floaters. Leaves good lacing.

Aroma is a hit of potent hops, a bit piney, bit floral, a lot citrus.

Citrus hop flavor dominates the malts, but the beer is still bold on both counts.

Mouthfeel is slick, a bit effervescent, appropriately bitter.

This is definitely an IPA in Pale Ale clothing. A great beer.

BattleRoadBrewer, Jul 08, 2007
Photo of number1bum
4.68/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to BeerTruth for this one.

Pours a slightly hazy amber with one finger of light beige head. Head diminishes slowly leaving just a thin film of lace. Some blotchy stick hugs the glass as it goes down.

You don't have to get too close to catch a whiff of this one. Awesome hop aromas of citrus, pineapple, pine and some floral notes. Smells like hop nectar and I can't wait to taste it. What else should the smell do other than make you want to drink it? Divine.

Taste is a wonderful journey of complex hop deliciousness. Starts out super fruity with some sweet malt there, as well. Then comes the pine, some more grapefruit and in creeps some hop bitterness. Finishes slightly bitter with the malt backbone coming back into the picture to provide some balance. Taste is definitely dominated by hops, but it's oh so good.

Mouthfeel is medium-bodied and a little bit chewy. Carobnation is very subdued, and overall it's very smooth and almost too easy to drink. Awesome.

number1bum, Jul 04, 2007
Photo of jaxon53
4.43/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Recieved from brandoman63 from the brews-n-tunes summer '07 tour. Served slightly chilled in a pint glass from a twelve ounce bottle. Poured a deep copper orange , almost brown color. A thick, tight, two finger off-white head formed with a rather easy pour. Awesome nose on this one, very bitter hop aroma, grapefruit, pine, pineapple, with a nice balancing malt aroma to it. Taste was more of the same. Piney hops, mild citrus fruit notes, and somewhat grainy. Very well balanced in my opinion, mild carbonation, and some well hidden alcohol. Mouthfeel was full bodied, thick, and pleasant. Drinkability was great. An easy beer to sit down and enjoy.

jaxon53, Jul 01, 2007
Alpha King Pale Ale from Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub
95 out of 100 based on 5,024 ratings.