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Alpha King - Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub

Not Rated.
Alpha KingAlpha King

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

5,278 Ratings
THE BROS
93
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,278
Reviews: 1,685
rAvg: 4.26
pDev: 9.15%
Wants: 868
Gots: 606 | 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: 5,278 | Reviews: 1,685 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of hopman333
5/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Cannot belive I have never reviewed my all time favorite beer. Being from Chi town I remember tasting the very first batches of this beer on tap at The Hop Leaf in Andersonville. My friend's and I were blown away. Keep in mind that 10 -11 year's ago, there were no really big beer's like this. The floral and citrus flavor that is derived from this beer was mind blowing. We would drink pitcher after pitcher... And the alpha king on the tap handle looked very alluring, you knew you were in for a treat.

Forget about the look's and the lacing with this one. The only thing you need to know is the superbly balanced malt and hop ratio... Yes this is a hop bomb, however in a very gentle sort of way... The aroma just wreak's of floral and citrusy hop's galore, in addition to the Belgian Caravienna malt's that hide in the backround. It's fine touches like the different malt and hop blend's that push this beer above and beyond greatness...

Drinkability is off the chart's. I could and have drank a case of these when I'm on a bender.
Sure you will have a hangover but you will have a good time knocking them down

I'm trying to keep this review simple. This beer just kick's ass. But don't take my word for it. Go out and get some and see for youre'self. All in all, one of the best brew's ever made. Do not miss this one...

hopman333, Apr 15, 2009
Photo of cadizkyguy
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Three Floyds is fast becoming my favorite brewery (Gumballhead, Dreadnaught, Miloko Plus, etc.) and I'm so happy to have regular access to all their beers (my mother lives minutes from Three Floyds and I visit her often to help with household chores). This Three Floyds offering is no different. This is what beer should taste like. If you can trade for this beer, I say go for it.

cadizkyguy, Apr 15, 2009
Photo of alovesupreme
4.28/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A dark orange color with a great off-white head. Very dark for a Pale Ale.
Hops and fruity esters dominate but bread is also present.
Very interesting malt profile. Very unique, unfortunately I cannot place the flavor. Lots of hops and a biscuity sweet body to keep things balanced.
A full body and a great mouthfeel with great carbonation.
An absolutely fabulous APA. Possibly the best I have yet to try.

alovesupreme, Apr 13, 2009
Photo of alleykatking
4.2/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The Alpha King....is it really the king or just another beer claiming to be? Oh FFF how I love you.

A- Poured into my pint glass. Dark amber color a little hazy. Little head that went away kind of fast...maybe I just had a bad pour (doing that here a lot as of lately). Little lacing thast sdticks to the side of the glass and slowly falls into beer.

S-I can really smell a sweet malt in this beer that I poured. Not really remembering that smell from all the other times I have drank this. Nice hop smell that goes along with the malt.

T-This has a nice crisp hop taste that well...FFF is known for. Very easy going and drinkable. Nice hop finish that lingers in your mouth afterward for a few minutes.

M- Just goes over all your tastebuds smoothly neither overcoating them or undercoating them. Very easy going feeling with not having to bite into it or pucker up.

D- I find this beer to be an fantastic everyday drinker. FFF has never steered me in a terrible direction. I could easily and have many times before drink a sixer of this brew.

alleykatking, Apr 10, 2009
Photo of youngblood
4.28/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured into pint glass. Bright amber with orange hinting at the sides of the glass. Nice fluffy white head, very strong looking.
S - Very citric, lots of lemon/lime/orange in this one. Bit of florals and some strawberry hanging in the back? Slight malt sweetness coming through as well.
T - Strong hop flavor cuts through the malt sweetness with some nice citric juiciness. Getting a little bit of bread from the malt, but the hop oil is really pushing this brew.
M - Leaves mouth semi-dry, but the body has a slightly chewy nature to it.
D - Easy to kick back.

youngblood, Apr 07, 2009
Photo of jfunkk79
4.22/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had a Three Floyd's tasting with a fellow ba. Thanks twelvsies!

Pours a dark amber with nice lacing on the head. Very nice hop on this one and really well balanced. Def on the hoppy side for a pale but very tasty and easy to drink. Medium mouthfeel with some maltiness to balance it out.

jfunkk79, Apr 05, 2009
Photo of twelvsies
4.65/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Hands down my favorite beer out of the Three Floyds haul I just received (thanks Josh, aka alleykatking). Rich amber in color, great head and lacing on the glass. This beer is just perfectly balanced. Some might push this beer into the IPA category, but I believe it's right where it belongs as a pale ale. It's darker than most IPAs, and while yes it is very hoppy, it's not super bitter or dry. It really has an excellent "hop efficiency", yes I just made that up. Basically I mean that the hops used in this beer seem like they go a long way and the utmost flavor is achieved from the ingredient, therefore it's not overloaded with extra hops or clouded by other ingredients trying to balance out the hops. Fruity, ripe, delicious fresh hop taste. A nice malt backdrop. Wish I had more...

twelvsies, Apr 05, 2009
Photo of JohnQVegas
4.35/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle into Sam Adams Lager glass. Thanks to Dev (buckeyesox) for the opportunity!

Pours a hazy, almost murky dark-copper, thin off-white cap on top that actually grows due to the laser etching on the bottom of the glass. Nice lacing and persistent cap raise this one up a notch.

Nose is nice - big sweet citrus and caramel. Fairly one dimensional, but very pleasant.

Reviewed at around 45 degrees and up. Taste is very hop forward, but at the same time, not at all tiresome. Up front, you get a nice smack of citrusy, piney hops, just a bit astringent, over a big biscuity malt body that just a bit sweet, but not overly so. Plenty of backbone and balance in this one. Finish is bitter, dry, of an IPA level or just a bit under, slightly astringent, but definitely not overwhelmingly so. This would absolutely be one of my go-to beers if I could get it regularly. Color me impressed.

Mouthfeel is full bodied, lightly crisp carbonation. Well done - carbonation is active, but never gets in the way of the flavor.

This is a beer that I could drink till the cows come home. Love it.

JohnQVegas, Apr 03, 2009
Photo of kinnaird
4/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I received this bottle in a trade from alleykatking. Thanks Josh!

A beautiful off-white, 1 finger head results from a fairly vigorous pour into a tumbler from the bottle. A gorgeous hazy copper, with a slight orange tint body is revealed when I hold it up to the light.

A strong citrus, pine smell is given off making my mouth water. There's also a touch of sugary caramel malt that conveys to me that there's probably some good body to back up all of those hops.

Mmmmm. There is definitely a malty, caramel body taste to hold up to the substantial hop presence. This is no SNPA and I like it! A balanced bitterness rounds out the flavor profile of this delicious brew.

The smoothest body I've ever tasted on an APA.

Excellent drinkability. With a moderate abv and lots of great aromas and tastes, I'd be happy with a bunch of these at a barbecue with no need to switch it up.

This is definitely no West Coast APA and I really dig it. I look forward to the day that FFF could meet their current demand enough to possibly bring this to California. Recommended.

kinnaird, Apr 03, 2009
Photo of Vonerichs
4.38/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a slightly hazy bronze color with a nice thick, two finger, off-white head. There is a slight lacing.

The smell is citrus and floral hops and a tinge of sweet malt.

I absolutely love the taste of Alpha King. What a fantastic hop profile of mainly citrus, then floral hops. There is just the right touch of malt for a slight balance and it compliments the hops extremely well.

This is a very smoothe pale ale, almost chewy. The finish is slightly bitter, but again the malts keep it from being over-the-top bitter.

These go down extremely easy and this is a beer I can enjoy all year round, even in the hot summer months. For such a big hop profile it is quite refreshing.

Overall, this is one of my favorite brews that's available year round. Every time the "favorite beer" discussion comes up, Alpha King certainly gets a mention from me.

Vonerichs, Apr 03, 2009
Photo of ahalloin
4.28/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from my last bottle from a case of Alpha King brought "across state lines" by a friend. I have had this at the brewery a few times now as well.

Pours a hazy dark gold color with a wonderful glow of slight orange as light penetrates the brew. The head formed from a rather slow pour is a very light tan color taking up about two fingers width at the top of the glass. The head receded to about a 1/4" while I typed this with some clingy lacing stuck to the upper rim of the glass.

I could smell the bouquet of hops and malt as I poured. Since this is a pale ale(not an IPA), the hops shouldn't be totally dominant and they aren't in A. King. The malt profile is spectacular with hints of caramel, toffee, and scotch ale malt (possibly?). Their is a slight hint of lemony citrus from the hops in the aroma as well.

The flavor has a nice sweet malty nose full of toffee and candy sweetness giving way to a bitter back end where the hops reign. The back end of the flavor and the aftertaste are all grapefruit. Acidic, with a slight citric burn to go with it.

The mouthfeel is very good with a lower carbonation. This beer is very smooth to drink.

Drinkability, I find to be exceptional as is evidenced in my score of 5. This beer is very sessionable and also a good start for someone just getting into real craft beers.

ahalloin, Apr 02, 2009
Photo of mjl21
3.9/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Acquired in a trade with alleykatking...thanks Josh!

12 ounce bottle poured into a snifter. No bottling info is given and no abv info is given.

A-Pours a semi-hazy amber that veers toward the darker side of the amber spectrum. When poured a small white head disappears very fast to a small ring. The head dissolves into a cool spotted print in the middle of the glass. Nice spotted lacing is left as this goes down.

S-Not nearly as citrusy as I was expecting. Would say I get more sweet malt and grassy/floral/earthy hops in the nose.

T-Get some citrus hop flavor and grassy hop flavor along with a lot of sweet caramel malt.

M-Light to medium bodied with lighter carbonation. Is very smooth and the hops leave a pleasant level of lingering bitterness.

D-Goes down easily.

All in all I thought this was a pretty good beer. I think I was expecting more hops than were delivered. I would love to try this fresh on tap to use as a comparison. If this were available in CA I would definitely pick it up due to its relatively low abv and the fact it goes down easily and does not fill you up fast.

mjl21, Apr 01, 2009
Photo of naproxen
4.3/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

appearance: I was taken aback by the color. When I think pale ale, pardon me for being old school but Sierra Nevada is the first that comes to mind. That is not at all what poured into my glass, it is really more of an IPA colorwise. ALmost a medium golden brown, hints of brighter gold and a touch of garnet. I expect there to be a real nice body to this as it is just about opaque as well. I love that the lacing marks the glass as I sip this like a geological diagram of sediment.

Aroma: Again..pale ale or IPA?? There is truth in advertising when FFF put on the bottle a note about the citrus hops. I get some sweetness as well at the end and little bit of grassy goodness.

Taste: I may have found my favorite IPA, I mean pale ale. It hits the tongue with a quick bite of bitter that is replaced by a more grassy and citrus character. I don't get too much malt on this, but at the same time I don't get the feeling that this is really unbalanced either.

Drinkability: yes please.

naproxen, Mar 25, 2009
Photo of schroederm
4.15/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

In a snifter:

Pours a murky dark amber. Head dissipates quickly, leaving cool visible cascading carbonation on the sides of the glass. A little icing (as in cake) smell. Bit of pepper, dark fruit. As far as the smell is concerned, this is a very unique pale ale, missing generic aromas. In the taste, lots of citrus - much more bold than any pale ale I've had. It's however a touch watery, but makes up for that in its carbonation. Alpha King is extremely drinkable, fairly gentle on the palate. Very inviting.

Overall: This is closer to an ipa than a pale ale, but it really defies classification. Another Three Floyds winner.

schroederm, Mar 22, 2009
Photo of PeprSprYoFace
4.43/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks to Jeager for the trade on this one.

Pours a nice amber color with a white head that dissipated fast. Nice lacing.

Smells nice and malty but not that much hop aroma. Caramel malt is the main aroma.

Taste is great. Probably one of the best pale ales I have had. Lots of great flavor and hop bitterness. Great balance between the caramel malty flavor and the dry finish of the hops.

Mouthfeel is perfect for the style.

Overall a great brew and i am glad he sent me 2 of them. I will probably trade for more of this another time...

PeprSprYoFace, Mar 21, 2009
Photo of Rainne
4/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Brown that glows orange in the light, clear. 1 finger head stays around for a minute or two. Leaves a little lacing.

S- Hops right away, floral and citrus.

T- IPA, that's what the taste is. Straight up hops with the grapefruit and floral tastes all in there. A little toasty malt doesn't even convince me it's not an IPA. Dry finish with hops bitterness.

M- A little fizzy, body is medium. Smooth and crisp.

D- Uh, yeah. Definitely drinkable.

Rainne, Mar 20, 2009
Photo of Sean9689
4.38/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - dark amber color, nearly brown.

Smell - Yummy...citrius smell that I really like.

Taste - Very hoppy, I like! Not quite the typical APA tastes...more like an IPA. A distinct aftertaste makes this brew easy to pick out if given blind.

Mouthfeel - Light and chewy...this beer bites back!

Drinkability - Very easy to drink...

Sean9689, Mar 19, 2009
Photo of BacklitAvenger
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation - Six pack with typically ridiculous looking 3 floyds labels on the bottles. No label on the back or neck, just the front. Into my pint glass with the handle painted 'republic of liberia'

Appearance - Shit is brown nearly. A lovely orangey brown, when held to the light it glows amber, tinged with tangerine and gold around the edges. Head retreats rapidly into foam, likely just my sedate pour. I have seen this stuff foam before at my friends. Against the light there's some floaty bits and constant bubbles nucleating and rising to sustain the foam in the middle of my glass. Don't mind the floaty bits, they're good for you.

Smell - Floral, citrus, and light light hints of malt. Can't really comment here more than that, other than to say it smells straight up like an IPA, not no APA.

Taste - Massive hops. This ain't an APA folks, this is a improvised explosive device full of hops. Comin in under the radar like, fooling me into expecting something akin to an SNPA. This has very similar hop flavors to two hearted ale by bell, and has the bitterness in the aftertaste of GL commodore perry IPA. There's a light malt backbone, it's definitely there, enough to distinguish itself from the aforementioned brews. Bready perhaps, or toast, or biscuit-like. Then the orange and grapefruit and flowery notes.

Mouthfeel - Light, crisp, refreshing, effervescent. Medium body resting on those few malt notes.

Drinkability - Other than a bit of a bitter citrus aftertaste this stuff is plenty refreshing. If you like hops, this will be right up your alley. If not, approach with caution.

The only problem here is that the malt isn't there enough for this style. While objectively I like this beer tons, it is not an APA. So I gotta go with all 4.5s here. It's three floyds, sure, but its no dark lord or behemoth, something that dominates the playing field in its respective field.

BacklitAvenger, Mar 19, 2009
Photo of gibby
4.38/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle thanks to Mike a.k.a. MGL on here. I have wanted to try this brew for a long time.

Pours a deep orange/amber color with 1 finger head that went away quickly. Smells of very nice citrus hops, very pleasant. Couple floaties in the bottle which is no big deal. Taste is very good and goes down easily. Massive lacing on the glass. Seems like more of an IPA as opposed to a pale ale which is fine with me. I think I could get in trouble with this brew if it was more widely available around here. I really want to try a very fresh one b/c I know this one is atleast 3 or 4 months old. Another winner from FFF and a very good pale ale. I will have to keep trading for this and dreadnaught until they distribute in PA. Cheers.

gibby, Mar 17, 2009
Photo of BringusKilkenney
4.43/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a very good beer i loved it alot and was well worth the trip to chicago for it.
Apperance-light brown in color and light in the head when served slightly foamy not to much to distract you from this good beer.
Smell- Smells of well most brown and light IPA's citrusy and inviing.
Taste- This is where you really get into the good beer. It tasted amazing and really brought you to want more and more. citrus and malty hints at the same tame quite a unique beer and i can understand the cult following.

BringusKilkenney, Mar 15, 2009
Photo of Hojaminbag
4.1/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I got this one from SHRlsu. Thanks Stephen, I've been wanting to try this for a long time.

Alpha king has a copper colored body with a fairly lumpy beige head. Has above average retention and leaves a litte bit of lacing on the glass.

Smell is a pretty big whiff of citrusy hops with just a hint of maltiness underneath. Floral and citrus notes combine here to make this one smell excellent.

The taste is just like the smell, but the citrus flavor is stronger. Tons of biting, bitter, grapefruit hops and a little bit of a floral flavor. Just a touch of sweet malt. Actually tastes a little bit like some sort of perfume...a hop perfume anyway. That may not sound too appetizing, but this stuff is pretty good.

Mouthfeel is about what it shoud be. Full enough with adequate carbonation.

This is a pretty drinkable beer, but I don't think anyone should crack into this sucker expecting an APA because this is really an IPA. At least as far as my taste buds and nose are concerned it is anyway.

Hojaminbag, Mar 14, 2009
Photo of brewdoc75
4.68/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I tried to find this when I was in Chicago this week, but nobody had it in bottles. I was told there was something wrong with the bottling lines and it would be a few weeks. My last night there I stopped at the Hopleaf and sure enough they had it on tap.

A-Golden-yellow-orange in color. Nice white fluffy head.

S-Beautiful bouquet of hops. Floral is the best description I can give. Plenty of citrus aromas. I even get a slight grassiness, but in a good way. The malts are there too with a faint sweetness.

T-This beer slams you with the glory of the hop, but not in a bitter aspect. The beer is really not that bitter at all, but the hops do really come out. I got a lot of citrus flavors like orange, tangerine and grapefruit. Additionally there was a nice fruity, ester component. The malts added a slightly biscuty-sweet backbone to the hop flavors. Really flavorful for a APA.

M-Crisp and clean. Reasonable carbonation.

D-A really good APA. Really it seems like an IPA in the hoppy flavors, but not the bitterness. It reminds me a lot of Two Hearted Ale in its hop bouquet. Really drinkable, but the price may turn me off a bit (6 bucks a pint). Hopheads must try.

brewdoc75, Mar 14, 2009
Photo of mugglesandhops
4.13/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this as an extra on a trade I think. This is the first beer I have had from Three Floyds and it did not disappoint. Pours a dark redish orange color with a moderate head that faded to a faint layer of bubbles that rested on the top of the beer. Smelled of sweet citrus/floral hops with some bready malt smells in there too. Taste was awesome, sweet, citrusy, grassy hops, sharp bitter hop finish. Medium bodied. Very drinkable. Awesome beer.

mugglesandhops, Mar 13, 2009
Photo of natasharai
4.4/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Poured with 2 fingers of tan frothy bubbly head that dissipated to a thin layer over 3 minutes leaving nice lacing. The beer is orangish gold and transparent.

Smell: Pretty light, fresh malt smell and small crisp citrus hops

Taste: Refreshing slightly sweet malt, a fresh cut grass taste, then the hops pop up, refreshing citrus/flower hops with some bitterness to them.

Mouthfeel: Very well carbonated, medium body, very refreshing

Overall: VERY easy to drink, very refreshing, good flavors! really well rounded with good malt and hops! Not too overly sweet or bitter.

natasharai, Mar 12, 2009
Photo of PerzentRizen
4.1/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into a Duvel glass straight from the fridge and allowed to warm for 15 minutes in the glass. This beer is a very dark pale ale. I was expecting something, well, a little paler. I still like the look. Huge swirling bubbles almost like fresh brewed tea are at the top.

The aroma is strong and hoppy. There is a tea like aroma (this could be sight imposed). I can also detect earthy tones, cut grass, and dried fruit.

The taste is light and there is a great balance between hops and malt. Carbonation is a little light but it's in line with the style. This is the first pale ale I've had that actually leaned more toward malt than hops. There is a residual sweetness in the finish with a playful hop bite.

The mouthfeel is a bit too light for my liking. I would prefer a little more body. I do like this beer but between body and appearance I can't give it an "A".

I would drink this for the rest of the day if 1)it wasn't so expensive 2)I still lived in Indiana 3)I didn't like the variety I now enjoy. This is a fine beer and one I wouldn't mind having again in the near future.

PerzentRizen, Mar 08, 2009
Alpha King from Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub
95 out of 100 based on 5,278 ratings.