1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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

5,015 Ratings
THE BROS
93
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,015
Reviews: 1,671
rAvg: 4.26
pDev: 9.15%
Wants: 841
Gots: 520 | FT: 25
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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Alpha King Pale Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 5,015 | Reviews: 1,671 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mrasskicktastic
3.83/5  rDev -10.1%

A - Head is about two fingers and lingers for a long while with only specks of lacing left above this slightly hazy copper amber brew.

S - Nothing subtle here. A very pronounced and pleasant aroma of roses, lilies, spruces and firs. Underneath there is some caramel malt aroma. Excellent aroma.

T - Malty! Caramel and light bodied malts mesh to form a pleasant flavor that is supported by a bit of piney flavors. The taste is good.

M - Medium viscosity, carbonation is high, not very refreshing though.

D - This is an excellent APA, but it is too drying for extremely good drinkability. It has an good flavor and a fantastic aroma though. Basically, it has too much flavor to be as drinkable as some other APAs.

mrasskicktastic, Jun 01, 2006
Photo of Erdinger2003
4.65/5  rDev +9.2%

The head has dissipated leaving behind lacing and a good strong lacing with a slight amount of head, but the lacing is thick...maybe 2mm thick at it's weakest point. Color is dark brown to ruby red.

Smell is overwhelmingly hoppy and slightly fruity. The hops are slightly grassy. It has some lemon and raspberry to it.

The taste is primarily hops, but it also has some fruityness that ranges from lemon to strawberry/ raspberry.

Mouthfeel is excellent, it is carbonated quite well which leaves a foamy smooth feel on the tongue.

This will be a regular drink for me, it's great.

Erdinger2003, May 31, 2006
Photo of mcallister
4.28/5  rDev +0.5%

A beer really doesn't look much better than this. A dark copper color with a large 2 inch creamy off white tannish head. Carbonation bubbles stick to the side of the glass and thick sticky lacing is left behind.

Rich complex aromas emanate from this beauty. Sweet piney malt, with a big citrusy fruit, with grapefruit and flowery hops.. A little of both worlds in this one. Thick malt, and hop smells make your nose want to stay buried in this one.

Very piney hops, with a clean carbonated spicey mouthfeel. Lush flower, resiny as hell, somewhat of a sweet malt finish, not as much citrus in the mouth as the nose but it is there. Very complex, very balanced, unbelievably drinkable.

mcallister, May 28, 2006
Photo of Cresant
4.1/5  rDev -3.8%

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a Stone IPA glass. No date. Minimal head faded quickly. Cloudy body was yam colored.

Smelled of candied sweet potatoes & figs.

Hoppy, juicy taste. Pleasant grapefruit flavor. Bittering finish.

Mild carbonation with a alcohol tingle when held in the mouth.

Quite drinkable. I will buy again.

Cresant, May 27, 2006
Photo of BAbaracus
4.18/5  rDev -1.9%

One finger buttermilk/off white head with moderate carbonation, earthy straw color. Nose primarily citrus (lemon) and yeastiness, with the hops surprisingly subdued. Fresh, carbonated presence on the tongue with citrus and malt up front, hops bringing up the rear with residual bitterness in the aftertaste. Surprisingly hoppy considering the lack of same in the aroma. Pretty strong hop taste, probably edging closer to an IPA. Good all around balance. Overall, an excellent American pale. A good medium choice between the weaker hops of a typical APA and the overwhelming (to some) hop bitterness of an IPA, making an ideal session beer.

BAbaracus, May 24, 2006
Photo of objectivemonkey
4.83/5  rDev +13.4%

Into a pint glass, pours a beautiful golden copper, with a nice head that shrinks to a thin foam after a few minutes, with amazing lacing stretching down the glass.

Aroma is fantastic, grapefruit and other sweet light fruits, big on floral hops, and maybe a faint sweet malt backing.

Taste is equally exceptional, a burst of flavor, but not excessive or obscene, but a very balanced and even mellowing in the middle, leaving one able to sit back, swirl a bit, and ponder whats going on. My first thought at first shock and then through the rest is hops, fantastic hops. But, there is a subtle malt backing, just enough, that keeps the hops in check and from tasting raw, keeping it from being too bitter, only causing a pucker up front and toward the end.

Body is something around medium, slightly springy carbonation, but really just playing second flute to the flavor rollercoaster going on, which is completely right and good.

Now that I'm finding places in WI to get 3 Floydss, I think i'm going on a 3 Floyds addiction. I mean, if this is their pale ale, what is Dreadnaught IPA going to be like? I grinning with anticipation. Very nice beer, very impressed with 3 Floyds.

objectivemonkey, May 24, 2006
Photo of Westsidethreat
3.53/5  rDev -17.1%

A: Pale ale my butt, looks like an IPA to me. Nice darkish orange, parika color. Off white head has fallen to a playfull froth kicking it on top of the body

S: Again, smells like an IPA. Deep, enriching aromas of tangerine, white peach and redwood.

T: Interesting dry bitterness going on here. Notes of grapefruit, kiwi and loads of fresh hops. Looong bitter finish with a buttery aftertaste.

M: Bit astringent, not very full. Too crisp.

D: Um yeah, it was a decent beer. But the ratings its receiving are not worthy IMO.

Westsidethreat, May 17, 2006
Photo of BeerRun13
3.83/5  rDev -10.1%

Pours a slightly hazy copper tone. A small off white head provides good lacing.
A slight malty hop aroma. Hops seam a little piney. A fruity presence shows as the beer warms.
Flavor is of Piney hops up front of a malty backbone. A quick bittering aspect comes, but doesn't linger. The maltiness grows as the beer warms, and a slight cherry or fruit presence shows. Good beer.
Lighter side of medium bodied. Moderate carbonation and a slight dryness.
A fine Pale Ale with good flavor. Take home a 6 pack, it'll be worth it.

BeerRun13, May 15, 2006
Photo of TurdFurgison
4.1/5  rDev -3.8%

Drank from a 12oz bottle. It's been a while since I tried this, I forgot how hoppy it is. Smells and tastes like citrucy hops. I don't know what an APA is supposed to be, but it must be close to an IPA. Whichever type this is, it's an easy-drinking session beer.

TurdFurgison, May 13, 2006
Photo of OStrungT
4.83/5  rDev +13.4%

I got this beer from MABZ as part of the 2006 Great Race BIF.

This beer pours a golden brown with a thin very light tan head. The head fades slowly, leaving thick laces.

This beer has a nice hoppy aroma. It smells grapefruit like. It has a piney aroma also. It has a subtle malt aroma. It smells quite floral also.

This beer tastes piney with hints of grapefruit. Behind the hoppy flavors, I detect some sweet caramel malt flavor. This beer tastes more like an IPA than a Pale Ale. The flavor is a plesent surprize.

This beer is very smooth. It leaves a piney aftertaste. It is carbonated to perfection.

I think this beer would make an excelent session beer. It tastes great, and couldnt get old. Also, at 6% ADV, I could put back a few of these. I think this might be one of the best Pale Ales I have ever had.

Thank you MABZ for yet another great beer.

OStrungT, May 13, 2006
Photo of DarkerTheBetter
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%

I found this one on tap at The Shanachie.

This beer came a dull amber with bright cherry highlights with a dirty white sandpaper head.

Smelled of powerfully juicy, fruity and piney hopes with hints of pineapple in the background. The assertiveness, yet wholesomeness of these hops are really admirable!

Tastes of the same huge hops with a thin cider and pineapple sweet and sour, but the pine sap hops steal the show. There’s also a small sugar sweetness on the tip of my tongue in the finish along with a smooth light malt.

The mouth feel is medium bodied with a light tingly carbonation that help amplify the hop nature of this beer.

Hop-tastic! This is a really “in your face” hop experience but it doesn’t exceed any boundaries of decency. In fact, if pushes those boundaries nicely.

DarkerTheBetter, May 12, 2006
Photo of schenked
4.6/5  rDev +8%

I have had many, many bottles of Alpha King, but I have finally gotten around to reviewing this fine brew. This beer is served well by being slightly warmer.

It pours a very-satisfying dark amber with a light head. I typically drink it in an Unibroue tulip glass that allows for a constant flow of tiny, tasty bubbles ascending to the top in the center of the glass.

The nose has a fantastic citrus (grapefruit) quality.

It has a nice mouthfeel. Just he right amount of carbonation to keep it interesting. Nicely balanced body.

The bold-citrus quality of the hops is ever-present in the flavor. It has a slight piney quality that I enjoy. Nice dry finish.

This beer has a regular spot on my shelf, and I always smile when I see a full bottle waiting for me.

schenked, May 09, 2006
Photo of bignick
4.4/5  rDev +3.3%

12 oz bottle purchased at Countryside Liquors in Pawtucket, RI. Poured into a pint glass.

The highly-regarded Alpha King pours beautifully, with a hazy, reddish amber and a two finger head. This is a very tasty beer. There is a rough, brash bitterness from the hops, but it is balanced by a nice malt sweetness. Interestingly, the fruitiness is more of oranges than grapefruits. While it is balanced, the abrasiveness of the hops hurts drinkabilty just a bit.

bignick, May 06, 2006
Photo of AaronHomoya
4.05/5  rDev -4.9%

12 oz brown bottle.

My first Three Floyds experience was the Alpha King pale ale, and it was clear at once that this beer was truly not normal. Nice appearance, but the smell totally grabbed my attention. One of the hoppiest, citrus, floral, spicy powerful aromas ever. The taste is also very hoppy with a finish that was almost too bitter for me. This is why I think it's not as drinkable as it could be, it's a bit strong for a pale ale and the bitterness is so extreme that I don't think I could handle a session of these. A great beer, though, that I highly recommed.

AaronHomoya, May 05, 2006
Photo of ism
4.47/5  rDev +4.9%

12oz into pint glass. Mostly copper but with a nice amber tint, topped with a 1-finger wheat-colored head that subsides to a thin layer. Patchy lacing along the glass. Wonderfully citrus-sweet nose, a mix of tangerine and kumquat, with a touch of floral scent, and caramel malt bubbling under. Moderate carbonation, and a medium body with a bit of hop oil slickness, nicely balanced malt and hops in a mix of tropical fruits. Going down is where it's at -- grapefruit bitterness emerging, with a slight pineyness, and a lingering bitter linger that lingers.

A pale ale that nearly borders on being an IPA, but balances its hoppiness with a fruit punch complexity. Good mouthfeel for the style, and definitely sessionable. I think I found my favorite pale ale.

ism, May 04, 2006
Photo of DaggerEyes
4.6/5  rDev +8%

Poured out of a twelve ounce bottle into a pint glass

poured a rich copper with some amber and ruby hints, with a finger thick off white foamy head. Sticky to the sides of the glass with a moderate amount of lacing an even thin head remaining throughout.

A wonderfully aromatic brew with a wonderful floral boquet. The hops are the first to hit the nose and they are as one might expect piney and citrusy, but there is a strong malt back bone, laced with subtle sweet carmel scents which makes the smell wonderfully unique and balanced beautifully

An even mixture of sweet fruity and sligtly carmelesque malts and citric hops up front with a bitter (but not too bitter) grapefruitesque finish. a really solid, well crafted and wonderful taste

Tingles the tip of the tounge and maintins a nice amount of carbonation throughout. Great medium bodied brew with a really clean finish.

What a beer. A buddy shipped these to me and man the hype is to be believed it's some great stuff.

DaggerEyes, May 03, 2006
Photo of SethB2
4.22/5  rDev -0.9%

Poured from a bottle into a chalice. Appearance is an orangish/ dirty brown color that is a little hazy. Almost no head to speak of and very little lacing. Smells nice. I'm getting a malty sweetness up front followed a small hop bite. Taste is nearly identical to the nose, but much more pronounced. Alpha King is almost an IPA, but the piney and citrisy hops are held in check. Mouthfeel is medium and fairly creamy, but could use a little more carbonation.. Drinkability is very, very nice.

Very good APA.

SethB2, May 02, 2006
Photo of maddamish
4.7/5  rDev +10.3%

Ap: Dark brown in color. There is a nice head when poured. Lacing through out.

Smell: Mango, orange and hop notes. The aroma in this beer is superb.

Taste: There is a tropical Orange/Mango thing going on here. It is slightly fruit punchy. I cannot believe that there are Pale Ale's like this. The hops are strong but complex. I could drink a lot of these and have a different experience each time.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and wonderful.

Dr: Yes

Notes: If you pass this up on the shelves at your local beer store... you are crazy. Simply one of the best pale ale's ever made.

maddamish, Apr 23, 2006
Photo of bjohnson
4.63/5  rDev +8.7%

Picked up a 6 pack at Countryside Liquors in Pawtucket, RI.

A: Pours a very reddish amber color with an initial one finger cream colored head that has awesome retention. Great lace.
S: Aromas of piney hops infused with grapefruit and citrus flavors hit the nose first. Wonderful smelling pale ale, almost like an ipa. Biscuity malts also.
T: Tastes of pine hops hit the palate first, followed by a nice malty and bitter aftertaste thats just wonderful. Great tasting pale ale--to repeat, more like an ipa. Bready malt flavor hangs at the roof and back of the mouth.
M & D: Mouthfeel and drinkability are both very high on this offering from 3 Floyds. Slick but smooth mouthfeel allows you to have a bunch of these. The hop complexion makes this a very enticing ale to drink. Sessionable? Yes! Love this one--my new favorite pale ale.

bjohnson, Apr 23, 2006
Photo of phisig137
4.08/5  rDev -4.2%

Pours a copper amber color, with a thin head that quickly disappears.

Aroma is nice, but a bit odd. I get large amounts of hops on the nose, but also a bit of coffee, which seems wierd.

Flavor is very well balanced. Good malt flavor up front, with a nice hoppy finish, and a very solid hoppy bitterness. Dry at the end, and begs for another sip. Mouthfeel is average, and drinkability is good for the style.

I personally think that this is right on the border between pale ale and IPA. It's bitter enough to be an IPA, but has the alcohol of a pale ale. Quite enjoyable either way, and would make a relatively nice session beer... if you drink it a bit slow.

phisig137, Apr 21, 2006
Photo of shbobdb
4.43/5  rDev +4%

Sometimes, living in Indiana rocks. For example, I can find this beautiful offering at the freakin' grocery store right next to the venerable Two-Hearted Ale.

Ahhh. Now this beer is a masterwork from FFF. It pours a slightly hazy amber with a rock-solid dishwater head. Mmmm, that head really released a lot of wonderful aromas. Pine and citrus predominate and, man, it smells good. Very 'Merry Christmas', but not in the tinsel-and-cookies kinda way, but the 'I'm some crank wandering around in a pine forest and I'm giving presents to strangers' kinda way.

It definately ain't normal, but it sure is delicious. The only reason why this beer isn't an IPA is because it isn't bitter. The malt covers up and bitterness from the hops, and they mostly hang out at the fore of the beer anyway. You get a wonderful blast of hops followed by a nice light caramel which preps you for the next blast.

I can (and do) drink this beer all day.

shbobdb, Apr 18, 2006
Photo of Metalmonk
4.35/5  rDev +2.1%

Whoa! Let me jump right to the smell first. This thing drew my nose in immediately. It's got a juicy citrus quality with depth, not like the singular sour mother-pucker grapefruit aroma that many hoppy beers give off (I like that too). This one is pleasant, more like oranges and lemons, and it doesn't forget the malt which shows up right underneath. Can't wait to taste it!

But first: body is a deep-amber/dark-gold. Has a frothy head like on-tap A&W root beer. Didn't retain well, though it kept a skim across the top. Good dabs of lace as the drinking began.

The smells certainly follow through in the flavor, but all are barely overpowered by that typical pine/grapefruit wang you get in a hoppy beer. Would've liked the sweet fruit and malt aspects to emerge bigger and rounder, as in the aroma. Still, there's a fair balance here and I appreciate that it's not all hops all the time.

Slightly thin in the mouth without being watery. Good lighter feel that makes it go down too quickly. Excellent for knocking back a few with friends on a slow summer afternoon.

Superb. A pale ale that doesn't impress with intense sourness or a huge ABV. Nice to experience such a good balance and depth of flavors and especially smells, along with high drinkability. Only bought a single, now wish I would've gotten a sixer (or hell, a whole case).

Metalmonk, Apr 17, 2006
Photo of cameraman
4.72/5  rDev +10.8%

This beer was incredible. Poured into a pint glass, an amber color with a small head that forms and laces very nicely. Several aromas come through from citrusy, floral, and earthy scents, with a slight scent of malt. The taste is amazing, very well balanced. It starts with some malt and barley flavors, then the hops begin to announce themselves midway to the end of each taste. The mouthfeel has the consistancy of skim milk, watery, but it does have some body to the texture. Overall, this beer is incredibly drinkable, great taste, wonderful aroma. This beer surpasses one of my favorite beers in this style in SNPA.

cameraman, Apr 12, 2006
Photo of bigdeuce
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%

Awesome, awesome brew here. Only problem is, it is a little unbalanced. But hoppier than hell. If you are a hophead, this is the brew for you. Decently priced, a little malty on the front end, with a kickass hoppiness at the end. Best APA I've ever had.

bigdeuce, Apr 12, 2006
Photo of trep
4.63/5  rDev +8.7%

Pours a dark amber, perfect clarity, huge frothy head after an aggressive pour. Smells of grapefruity hops, flowers, a nice balance of bitter and malt, although the hops definitely are what you continue to sniff this beer for. Mmm - I love it.

Tastes just the way it smells. Hop bitterness is very present but not overwhelming. Smooth as hell. The head fades to a quarter of an inch layer of thin bubbles with nice lacing around the glass as I continue to sip on the King. I can't get over how smooth this beer is. Reminds me alot of Two-Hearted in its smoothness and balance. Finishes smooth, expectedly.

A quality beer, no doubt about it. Three Floyds should be very proud of this beer.

trep, Apr 11, 2006
Alpha King Pale Ale from Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub
95 out of 100 based on 5,015 ratings.