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Alpha King - 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Alpha KingAlpha King

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5,509 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,509
Reviews: 1,710
rAvg: 4.26
pDev: 9.15%
Wants: 898
Gots: 761 | FT: 28
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: 5,509 | Reviews: 1,710 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of paco1029384756
3.9/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear orange color with a small white head.

Scent of citrus and hops with a hint of caramel. A good, simple scent with a good hop presence.

Taste of citrus, bitter flowery hops, and a hint of caramel. Finishes fairly hoppy and lasts for a decent amount of time.

Mouthfeel is light bodied and fairly smooth with good carbonation.

Photo of NewGeneric
3.85/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this as part of a tasting session with a buddy a while back. Poured an amber color with white foamy head that left decent lacing. Smelled of citrus hops, malt and caramel. Tasted of earthy hops, malt and caramel. Smooth, but slightly overcarbed. Could drink more.

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

Poured into Sierra Nevada Tulip Pint Glass

Pours a 1/r finger of dark beige head. Retention not the best, nor the lacing. Color is an extremely hazed orange caramel brown.

Aroma: Initially, I get some caramel, then comes the hops and citrus. Pine and floral hops are well complimented with mango and peaches. Wow, this is really good coming from a Pale Ale. Almost gets a 4.5.

Taste: Right off the top I get the citrus and hop blend. Nice mango and peach flavor mixed in with a big pine flavor, backed up with some floral hops. Then the caramel malts come into play and balance things out a bit. For a pale ale. this deserves the 4.5 I am giving it.

Mouthfeel: Has a nice bite to it, but a little creamy from the malts. Somewhat balanced, but the hops are a bit dominate. Medium bodied along with a lower level of carbonation.Ends with a slight dry hoppy aftertaste.

Overall, this pale ale is great. I think it is really hard for a brewer to brew a pale ale that tastes very good, but FFF did a great job. This one went fast and even the family enjoyed a few samples.

Photo of jrallen34
4.35/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I drank this from the bottle into a chalice.

The beer poured amber in color with a weak small white head and poor lacing.

It smells hoppy with citrus and spice, but the hops are a sweer smelling hops.

This is an IPA at its core but incedibly drinkable. Its sweet but hoppy and bitter.

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

Served in a pint glass. Red/Orange in color with a creamy tan head. Super fine carbonation bubbles. Smell is a blast of Pacific Northwest hops. Taste is well balanced, caramel malt, piney, citrus hops, and a nice bitter finish. Super creamy mouthfeel, great drinkability. An excellent APA, tastes more like an IPA though, but it doesn't matter what the classification, it's great.

Photo of bfields4
4.17/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very dark amber border line brown with a lacy head.

Caramel, toffee and maybe even a little light roasted coffee aromas outweigh the light pine hops. This nice balance leans a little to the malty side.

The taste doesn't disappoint after the wonderful smells either. A very malty rich stickiness offsets the light grapefruit hops. Very complex brew.

A very well crafted beer. Medium to slightly heavy bodied with the rich malty backbone the light carbonation is a nice touch. Somewhat reminds me of a light barleywine.

Photo of bryanbrick
4.02/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Another great beer received in my first trade ever with d0b. He caressed me and really made me feel like he cared. Such a gentleman.

From a 12oz bottle with no apparent freshness dating.

A pretty amber, cat's eye color with a parchment head that perks right up and will come back with ease the beer pours about a ½ inch head but remains stiff throughout.

The nose here is something special. It has so much more than the American Pale Ales that I've had previous to this experience. The hops and malt are both turned way up; the surprise is not the hops though. Everyone is doing that these days; the surprise is the malt bill. Almost pushing the Amber category here. Full of crème brulee crust, coffee bean, hollowed out grapefruit halves and plenty of hazelnut candy filling. But the nicest thing is that it does all this without all the unnecessary sugary/sweet notes.

That same malt bill gives way, ever so apprehensively, to the hops on the palate. First you taste all the caramel and butterscotch, then comes this wave of bitterness that is something like juniper berries and burnt meats. The hops become very aggressive from the mid-palate on and take on a sort of metallic lean that is a touch off putting for my "balance is everything, hops will only get you so far" pallet. That being said this is still enjoyable and would be more of a Fall/Winter beer for me.

Side note-This reminds me of some of the more Amarillo based hop bomb/nightmares I've had in the past. Wonder what they are using here

The mouthfeel is slick and polished, seemingly seamless. With the exception of the bitter metallic streak this is one sexy feeling beer. Sort of weightless and gliding over the tongue, it feels kind of like how cotton candy feels as it melts, just without all the sugar and the sticky lips.

I really don't know if I could have more that 1-2 of these in anyone setting. The aforementioned metallic aspect builds to a point where it becomes cumbersome and annoying. I just wish it step out of the way and leave this otherwise well crafted beer alone.

Photo of kels
4.78/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

It's quite surprising that I haven't reviewed this beer yet. It is definitely one of my favorite every day beers. Review is on a pour into a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a lovely toasted reddish brown with slight golden highlights. The liquid is slightly opaque, hazy, and shows good amounts of carbonation feeding a 2 finger foamy, rocky, cream-colored head. The head fades and retains solidly at a full finger or more, with tons of thick lacing blanketing the glass all around.

Smell: Smell is full of citrus and pine hops with the slightest hint of toasted grains/malts coming through. The smell comes through slightly sweet, slightly buttery.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Taste bursts with hops for an APA - toasted, dry grains and super-sticky grassy and grapefruity hops. The bitterness of the hops hangs in the back of the throat. The aftertaste reveals hints of caramelized malt and the slightest indication of alcohol. Feel is moderate, with enough carbonation to spread the flavors throughout the palate and keep the feel bright and refreshing. Stickiness remains in the aftertaste.

Drinkability: So high...this is one of those beers that's good whenever, wherever and with anything. I realize Three Floyd's take on most of their beers is hoppier than traditionally done, but they do hops very well - possibly best.

Photo of Bung
4.33/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Cask at Clark Street Ale House in Chicago. Surprisingly dark amber pour with a cream colored head. Piney hops dominate the aroma of coarse, but some malt also. Taste has some nice caramel covered apple, citrus and the hops. Smooth mouthfeel, just enough carbonation, hand pull helps this of coarse. Finish is not overly bitter. Not a frequenter of pales, but this is the best American pale I've had. Three Floyds hop heavy style obviously works well with this.

Photo of aerozeppl
4.52/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Another want down.

A: Poured a mostly translucent copper color with a finger of white head. Only spotty lacing which was kind of surprising.

S: A nice big blast of hops. Candied sugar as well. Very sweet smelling. The hops are massive but the malt is as well. Just from the nose I would think this is around 10%.

T: Just a really nice hop blast tempered by a ton of sweetness. One of the most balanced pale ales that I have ever had. It almost has a touch of tobacco in the back.

M: A little on the thick side but damn who cares for the amount of flavor they packed into this. Carbonation is a little on the low side as well.

D: Again one of those beers that pisses me off I cannot simply go to a store to get. Probably the single best pale ale I have ever had.

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

I have enjoyed this many times from the bottle; now, I tried it on tap at a local chain restaurant.

Poured a clear, copper color with a creamy off-white head with plenty of lacing.

Smelled strongly of piney, citrusy hops.

I was surprised that the ale on tap was actually far more restrained in the hoppy, bitterness of its bottled version. If anything, it was a slightly more balanced with the malt flavor lingering a little longer.

Creamy mouthfeel, moderate carbonation and medium bodied. It left very satisfying, rounded flavor in the mouth.

Both the bottled and tap versions are excellent with both showing slightly different characteristics.

Photo of Onenote81
4.27/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks go to akokandy for sending me a few bottles of this fine brew. I've had this on my 'wants' list since I started in on this site. You're a good man, Adam.

Pours a very dark amber with a thin half-inch off-white head on top. Some spotty lacing present. Big scents of caramel, floral hops, and orange zest smack the nose.

The mouth is creamy and smooth, but with just the right amount of carbonation to tickle the mouth. Well done. Flavor is slightly bitter at first sip, but this gives way to a big malty caramel sweetness that finishes with a grapefruit punch. This is much sweeter than I though it would be, but I like it. I like it alot! Dang fine brew. I want more of this...

Photo of drgonzo3705
4.45/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Pours a deep amber color with a thin off white head that leaves nice lacing in the glass.

S: Big caramel malty nose with a good dose of hops thrown in to balance it out.

T: A lot more balanced than the nose led me to believe. Again the caramel malt is up front and the hops are right there with it. Very nicely balanced APA here.

M: Medium body with good amount of carbonation and a nice slight hop bitterness.

D: Very good. I could enjoy a nice evening with a few of these. Good brew here!

Photo of bgreg3
4.04/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

ALPHA KING! great beer!

app- Hazy dark amber with a nice light cream color head that sticks muy bien.

smell- Amazing! a floral citrus smell hits you hard with a smell of some sweetness to it that seems to be hiding in this hoppy beer.

taste- citrus hop gives it to you first then it is followed by a caramel sweetness and then you get the strongly sought after hop after taste. I love it!

Mouthfeel- a good amount of carbonation to it between medium to heavy in its feel , about average in my opionion

Drinkability-Isn't the best but with conditioning you can become very use to it and then it becomes very appealing.

Just Brilliant.

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

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass

Alpha King pours a clear amber/brown color with an almond colored head. The foam is very even and maintained by a lot of action within the glass. It also has a very nice lacing quality which sort of surprised me.

The aroma is prominent and very refreshing. It has a complex floral quality and I detect pineapple and orange notes within that as well. The floral aspect reminds me of marigolds.

With all it's hop-related hype, I was surprised by the well balanced taste of Alpha King. Make no mistake, this beer is a hop bomb, but it starts out with a rather sweet flavor up front. The warmer the beer, the more prominent this sweet note becomes. Mixed in the middle are fruit notes and a little grain in the transition. When the hop flavor arrives it definitely dominates the brew with a sharp edge. There is also a nice long and drawn out aftertaste from the hop side.

The mouthfeel is similar to an English IPA -- medium body with a slightly creamy feel. There's enough carbonation to make the beer feel refreshing without filling you up. So it's really drinkable... to the point that I really had to pace myself in order to appreciate it enough for a review.

I'm not a hop head, but I enjoyed this beer. I'm sure that it's a little overrated and probably a bit overpriced. However, if you are looking to try strong-hopped beers, Alpha King is a good place to start.

(tasting notes from 23 Jun 2009)

Photo of zdk9
3.79/5  rDev -11%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours out a deep bronze color with two fingers of head that leaves gorgeous lacing.

S- Smells of caramel, slightly dried and crushed pine needles. The aroma could use some more strength to it.

T- There's hints of orange liquor surrounded by pretty intense malt flavors. I had the King on draft about a year ago and remember the hops dominating way more than now. This is good but not as good. I'd like more pine.

M- I could use more carbonation. Besides that it's good- syrupy at just the right level.

D- This is quite a beer, but I wish it was fresher.

Photo of laintringulis
4.6/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Served in an imperial pint glass.

A: Pours a cloudy dark ruby-amber color with 2 finger little beige head that thins to a 1/2 finger head that last throughout drinking. Very little lacing on glass during drinking. Small, tight carbonation bubbles throughout drinking.

S: Hoppy, grapefruit, pine, and light earth smell

T: Very brief inital sweet maltiness on the front with a nice piney hoppiness during the middle. Nice overtone of grapefruit/citrus and general spiciness. Finishes dry with a pleasant hop and grapefruit bitterness.

M/D: Medium-thin bodied, easy to drink. Excellent sessionable beer. The pleasant dry/bitter finish leaves you wanting more.

I don't know if I would consider this an APA. I think it is more bordering on an IPA; however, I know I really like it, no matter what style they call it.

Photo of SmithwicksNut
4.17/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Has an amber-orange, semi-cloudy body with a light tan head that leaves too quickly but still manages to lace the side of the glass.

Smell: Great aroma with grapefruit, pine resin, pineapple, and a touch of sweet malt. There's Cascade in here, but that's probably not the only hop used.

Taste: This is a really well balanced American Pale Ale! It starts with hop flavor, and ends with a shot of piney bitterness, all the while letting the malt shine through. Lots of grapefruit and citrus in here as well. Good spiciness. Outstanding flavor and balance.

Mouthfeel: Medium mouthfeel, with a semi-crisp, dry body. Good at rousing the appetite!

Drinkability: Very high. The incredible balance and dryness combine to make a very drinkable beer. Start a big meal with this brew. A great example of the style.

Photo of BitterPachyderm
3.9/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

after reading washburnkid's review, i felt that i needed to revisit an old favorite...

12 oz. bottle (no freshness) into THE sn pint glass...

A-two fingers of tan bubbles with decent lacing. deep auburn body with glistening ruby hues abounding...

S-loads of spicy hops with a nice citrus punch...some spices are also prominent (cinammon, nutmeg,), and a minute dilution of caramel.

T-spices come through immediately making it nice and peppery with a bitter finish. lots of grapefruit and mild hops...

M-creamy with a good kick of carbonation...good on the mouth

D-who couldn't drink boatloads of this nectar? this is without a doubt, one of the top 100 session beers, and an even better get-together beer

the taste always seems to let me down, but it's still a great beer. sometimes i need a reminder of why it's great living in Indiana!

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

On-tap at the Yardhouse @ The Glen. Reviewed from notes on 8 June 2009.

A - Hazy dark amber with a thin head that leaves good lacing.

S - Big-time floral hops and toasted grains and caramel malt. Notes of apple and grapefruit as well.

T - Blast of hops, almost overpowering. Nice dry floral hop bitterness.

M - Light to medium body with slight carbonation.

D - A great sipper. High bitterness keeps it from being sessionable.

Simply an outstanding pale ale.

Photo of kbutler1
4.12/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured form bottle into my favorite tulip glass. A: Poured a nice reddish brown color with offwhite tan head. About a finger of head.
S: Hops right off the bat with some sweet undertones
T: smooth upfront transitioning to the bitter hops afterward. Not as balanced as I would have thought.
M: Good mouthfeel
D: A very drinkable APA that goes well on a nice warm day...or any day for that matter!

Photo of ruckus232
4.07/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

!2 Ounce brown bottle

Appearance: Clear amber coloring with great white lacing

Smell: Really nice floral and fruit aromas which has a very refreshing smell (if you can have a refreshing smell)

Taste: Very nice citrus taste with strong hoppiness but not an overpowering amount which I really enjoy for that reason

Photo of beerhobo22
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very aromatic take on the APA. Lots of citrus hop aroma, but still had some caramel malt character. A light amber appearance with good head retention. Good, clean, hop flavor with a good balance with the malt. Tasted as part of a sampler, so it was less hoppy than the IPA, but still had a good amount of hop bitterness. The bitterness didn't linger and finished clean. Had a good mouthfeel, carbonation was just right. Even with the hops (68 IBUs) it was not overly astringent and was very refreshing. A very well balanced beer and definitely their "flagship" beer.

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

Its nice to try this beer, so big thanks to Bryan for sending it my way.

A hazy orange pour with a light tan head that laced well and stayed the course. Great appearance, and with the aroma to match. Very fresh, leafy and resiny with lots of citrus. Tastes like an IPA, which probably explains why its ranked as the top APA. Lots of citrus and pine, but with enogh sweet malt to reel it back in. Chewy medium body.

Its not to style, but its a damn fine brew.

Photo of washburnkid
4.33/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Mason (BitterPachyderm) for this delicious 4-pack.

A: Somewhat hazy dark amber with a gorgeous 2+ fingers of white head that's bubbly and frothy. Great retention and sticky lacing.
S: Caramel malts and an inviting piney, floral hop kick. A bit of brown sugary sweetness.
T: Tons of herbals and florals right away. Really delicious hops, but also not out of balance. Caramel and slightly toasted malty sweetness. Residual but only slightly bitter herbal notes. Slightly smoky with warmth. Dark fruit esters and bready malts also pull through later in the session.
M: Lighter to medium body with lower carbonation.
D: This is a tasty pale ale. I wanted another pint of this brew right away!

Alpha King from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 5,509 ratings.