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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

5,015 Ratings
THE BROS
93
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,015
Reviews: 1,671
rAvg: 4.26
pDev: 9.15%
Wants: 842
Gots: 521 | 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
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Ratings: 5,015 | Reviews: 1,671 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Viggo
4.6/5  rDev +8%

Damned I love this beer. Many pints on tap at the Yardhouse in Glenview last week. Colour is dark red brown with a nice white tan head that leaves good lacing. The smell is amazing, bitter and lots of floral piney hoppy aroma. Taste is citrusy hops with a pronounced bitterness throughout but with a solid malt backbone to complement. Mouthfeel is smooth, perfect carbonation and perfect bitterness. I think this is a perfect pale ale, I could drink only this for the rest of my life and be happy.

Viggo, May 15, 2005
Photo of beerinator
4.35/5  rDev +2.1%

Appearance: Ruby caramel. Very clear, with a nice frothy off-white head when poured vigorously from the bottle.

Aroma: Sweet citrusy aromas up front. The bitterness seems subtle in the aroma. This beer smells great. It has a nice floral sweetness that goes along with the citrus that you get when you first take a whiff.

Taste: Sweat caramel breadiness. With lingering bitterness that rolls over the tongue. The floral undertones in the aroma seem to sneak in the flavor too. The hopping isn't over the top, but it definately provides a kick that balances out the sweetness. Mouthfeel is full, but not over the top.

Notes: Great beer. An easy drinking IPA that shares some space in my fridge alongside other favorites like Two-Hearted and Red Seal. Buy a case.

beerinator, May 10, 2005
Photo of Shultzerdugen
4.47/5  rDev +4.9%

12 oz. brown bottle with no dates.

Toffee tinged malts mingle with citric, grassy hops in the nose.

Crisp and well carbonated medium body. Tangy citric hops are there from start to long bitter finish. Malts add a never cloying sweetness and roundness. Super refreshing.

I regret I only picked up one of these, I could have easily drank them for hours. Top notch Pale Ale.

Shultzerdugen, May 08, 2005
Photo of bigbubba
4.4/5  rDev +3.3%

This beer poured a clear dark copper color with red highlights. The head is light tan and about 1 finger tall. It disintegrated into a lacing film of tight bubbles on the surface. The smell is of serious hops. It also smells a bit fruity. The taste is mild up front then the hops take over. The finish is dry and bitter, which just leaves you wanting another sip. The mouthfeel is very good. It isn't too weak and watery, but it's not thick and sticky either. The drinkability is good, I am always in the mood for an Alpha King, just not a lot in a row.

bigbubba, May 05, 2005
Photo of brentk56
4.4/5  rDev +3.3%

Appearance: Pours a clear amber color with a nice fluffy head that leaves lacing all over the place

Smell: Candyish treacle, with plenty of ruby red grapefruit

Taste: At the outset, the treacle flavor arrives and makes a statement that this is going to be a different kind of pale ale; not too long thereafter, the citrusy hops take a whack at your taste buds but there is a wonderful blending with the malt; after the swallow, the flavors are incredibly well-balanced so that the bitterness never overwhelms the malt

Mouthfeel: Medium body with a healthy dose of carbonation

Drinkability: Very interesting beer with a big malt bill and plenty of hops, this is not for the faint-hearted

brentk56, Apr 28, 2005
Photo of ybnorml
4.1/5  rDev -3.8%

A copper/amber colored beer with a slight haze. Small creamy beige head, with a good lace. There is a strong hop boquet with both spicey notes and citrusy notes. The hops in the flavor are quite assertive but not overpowering. There also seems to be a hint of smokey malt in the background.

ybnorml, Apr 27, 2005
Photo of Vancer
4.22/5  rDev -0.9%

Whoa ! Could be hop addicted after this one! Excellent amber orange pour with nice brown head. That aroma smacked me upon opening the bottle – citrus hops, almost pungent! Smooth very hoppy taste with citrus and floral dominating. Full bodied for a pale ale.

Label stated bottle conditioned, but I couldn’t find any sediment, and the pour was fairly clear, not hazy. Nit picking, had two bottles, ready for more!

Vancer, Apr 27, 2005
Photo of SixpointJMH
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%

This is one of the hoppiest Pale Ales I've ever tasted and could certainly be consideres an IPA in my book.

It pours a nice but not spectacular amber colour with a minimally sticky, thin head on top.

The smell is a world of goodness: citrusy, juicy hops, sweet fruit notes. It is very 'fresh' smelling, to say the least, overall.

The flavour is equally as good with hops all around, maybe dominating the sweetness a bit more here than in the smell. The finish has a bit of a sharp bite to it and there are notes of alcohol mixed in throughout to give it a bit of a warming feel as well.

This one is pretty much spot on in terms of having a vibrant carbonated mouthfeel to it and is quite drinkable overall. This is a very nice (and very bold in its use of hops) Pale Ale from the Three Floyds folks.

SixpointJMH, Apr 26, 2005
Photo of Star80
4.72/5  rDev +10.8%

Pours out a deep copper with a beige head with lots of little bubbles rising to the top. The head is quite large and thick, and when settled looks like a mess of cobwebbing everywhere on the sides of my glass! Smells like resiny pine, grapefruit, and gumballs! I can smell it across the room! Really, this beer has some sort of candy-like smell and taste due to Three Floyds malts. They give a somewhat sweet caramel like taste which nicely compliments this very hoppy pale ale. Definitely NOT normal! By far the hoppiest pale ale (which isn't very pale either) I've had to date. Mouthfeel is fine, very good actually. I can hardly believe this beer is 7.35% abv because it is so drinkable. Why the heck didn't I pick up another six pack of this beer sooner?

Star80, Apr 24, 2005
Photo of EPseja
4.68/5  rDev +9.9%

Smuggled a 6-pack of these babies home from Indiana after my Godson's Baptism. They sat around for a few weeks (miraculously) during which time I had the fortune of getting a couple of fantastic pints on tap at The Firkin in Libertyville, IL during another trip.

Served in a pint glass at recommended temperature.

A - Massive, bold, oily head forms after a flurry of activity during the pour. Malty, burnished copper colored, clear body. Lace seems to cling for dear life to the glass during consumption. Incredible.

S - Clean, crisp, straight up sweet floral hoppiness. Not as citrusy or piney as others, although the notes are there. Mouthwatering and amazing for this style. Go Amarillo hops!

T - Incredibly balanced. Mild malts up front, quickly crushed by a hop sledgehammer. Clean sweetness in the middle, and a medium bodied finish that leaves a spicy, but ghostly hop spirit lingering in the mouth. For as strong as this beer is, the alcohol is virtually non-present.

M - Rolling and oceanic. Opens up slightly in the mouth upon sipping, simmers down in time for the swallow. No residual carbonation or out-of-character dryness in the finish. I tried to find a flaw but could not.

D - Extremely well crafted, although a touch acidic. I could definitely drink this all day on any spring or summer afternoon. Unfortunately, this perceived seasonality keeps it from the perfect drinkability rating.

EPseja, Apr 23, 2005
Photo of Wonka
4.45/5  rDev +4.5%

12 FL OZ

Thanks to my pal dfess1 for splitting a case from the Beer Yard in Wayne, PA.

Appearance - slighty opaque; amber with a bit more orange; solid, micronized white head; lace is admirable

Smell - grapefruit hop; herbal; peach

Taste - big grapefruit hop with a good shot of malt at the top; massive hop aftertaste as expected

Mouthfeel - big, lush and beautiful; this is certainly the Alpha King's best quality

Drinkability - feel is tremendous and it certainly benefits the drinkability; the bitter slam brings contemplation prior to going back for more, but its the intrigue and sheer explosive flavor that has me coming back for more.

Oh yes, this is an immediate APA favorite. What a kick in the tongue. Huge props to the guys in Munster.

Wonka, Apr 13, 2005
Photo of HoboAGoGo
4.38/5  rDev +2.8%

Every few months, I just need to buy this beer. Pours a brilliant orange with a fluffy head that sticks around and laces the glass. The smell is sweet malt as the minimum characteristic, with the rest of the aroma being dominated by hops, bitter, strong citrus and some floral hops. When you first take a drink, you are once again given a pretty substantial taste of malt, but that is soon replaced by a rush of hop taste. Floral, citrus, bitter, some pine too. I can drink this beer really fast, and have spent a few nights in a stupor because I drink it too fast, and too many. All in all, probably my favorite beer.

HoboAGoGo, Apr 11, 2005
Photo of mmmbeer
4.38/5  rDev +2.8%

12 oz., bottle conditioned. Pours a reddish orange with a creamy, 1 finger, tan head that leaves decent lacing. Looks more like an amber or an IPA. Big citric/piney/leafy hop aroma with grapefruit, mandarin oranges, and a little bit of alcohol. The beer is fairly bitter and has notes of pine, grapefruits, oranges, and other tropical fruits. The malts are there, but they're overpowered by all the hops. It's somewhat thick, coats the mouth well, and is very drinkable. Delicious but not your typical pale ale - the flavors and appearance (and the ABV) resemble an IPA.

mmmbeer, Apr 05, 2005
Photo of EagleTalon
4.05/5  rDev -4.9%

Amber color and generous off-white head, some lacing. Aroma is very much an American hops extravaganza--extraordinary blend of citrus and pine. Flavor is on the big side for an APA, strong malt balanced with hop bitterness. Caramel and biscuits in the flavor as well. Finishes with an astringent bitterness. Mouthfeel is medium with alcohol warmth and a bit of astringency. I'll have another. Wish it was available in OK.

EagleTalon, Apr 02, 2005
Photo of asabreed
4.45/5  rDev +4.5%

My first beer from Three Floyd's, a brewery I've been waiting to try for some time. This was good introduction I think.

Appearance: Beautiful hazy orange color with a white head that slowly starts to disappear.

Smell: Lemon, orange zest, citrus, strong grapefruit, oily hops. Strong but greatly balanced and extremely refreshing.

Taste: All the smells come through well, with a strong hops aftertaste, though somehow it's balanced very well, even without any sweetness to take away the taste of the hops and citrus flavors. It's also remarkably smooth, even until the last drop, and that's one thing that I find is rare for many strong pale ales.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied with medium carbonation. Could be a bit creamier, maybe, but overall it's pretty good.

Drinkability: I could drink this all the time, but it'd be a sipping beer with food more than a session beer as it's pretty strong. Overall though it's a fantastic take on the style and one of my new favorite pale ales. Can't wait to try the rest of their offerings, if I can find them that is.

asabreed, Mar 24, 2005
Photo of MuddyFeet
4/5  rDev -6.1%

This beer grew on me as I drank more. Neat bottle picture. It poured a very murky brown. Kind of surprising for a pale ale, but neat. Stained oak. The stain smell also came through the nose. The flavor was a nit tarnish at first. But after I let it breath the hops really started to come through. A full bouquet of flowers. The malts are slightly sweet, but balanced nicely with the hops. The mouthfeel is not crisp, quite heavy on the tongue, probably thanks to the hops and high ABV. I may hold off on a thrid or fourth one of these beers.

MuddyFeet, Mar 22, 2005
Photo of mschofield
4.93/5  rDev +15.7%

Pours a medium caramel-amber topped with a two finger creamy ivory head, leaves puffy rings of lacing with webs connecting them.
Nice strong citrus hop aroma, pine and floral, clean and crisp, good malt presence in the background.
Citrus, pine, toffee and floral flavor notes, grapefruit and orange. Hoppy but 'mellow'.
Medium-full bodied, crisp and dry, a very good hoppy session APA. Thanks to Qarre for the sample.

mschofield, Mar 22, 2005
Photo of NastyCanasta
4.72/5  rDev +10.8%

Very nice clean looking dark amber color with a thick cream colored head that left a nice lacing aorund the rim of my pint glass.

Very pleasent smell. The head did not disappear rewarding my nose with both a pleasant citrus and "green" smell (reminds my of pine trees).

Very hoppy taste not real over-powering. I did not taste the alcohol at all
Very well balanced..

My mouth came alive when I drank this. Very fresh feeling. Highly recommended.

Great with beer can chicken.

NastyCanasta, Mar 20, 2005
Photo of Dantes
4.05/5  rDev -4.9%

Package: 12 oz. longneck, crowned brown bottle (and draught). No date information or ABV indicated. Typical 3F mascot, much like Alpha Klaus. Blurb describes this as a classic American Pale Ale and as bottle-conditioned.

Cost: $8.99 per 6-pack at Shop-Rite

Presentation: Poured into a Shaker pint glass at ~45º

Appearance: Pours a typical amber, with a slight haze and some particulates in the body. The head is barely off-white, sticky, and medium-loose in texture, resolving down to an opaque skim with little lacing.

Smell: A vibrant, citrus hoppiness erupts from this cascade powerhouse. Definitely has the aroma of an IPA, as it lacks any real malt or biscuit in the nose. Promises a no-holds-barred hop-attack.

Taste: Assaults the palate with a phalanx of hop-warriors marching across the tongue. The hops lean more toward the grapefruit side of the spectrum rather than the piney; but there are some Pine-like notes. As it warms, the malts begin to peek out just a bit, likely scared by the hoppy centurions. Not very complex, but pretty good. Not much else to describe, as this all about the hops. I do seem to remember preferring the draught for its better balance. Finishes crisply and short.

Mouthfeel: A bit heavy on the carbonation and a bit thin on the palate. The limited number of draught samples I’ve had were much better in this respect.

Drinkability: Nice but not amongst the best of its kind. Maybe I’m not enough of a hop-head, but I prefer a little balance, especially in something called a pale ale. Still, I’ll be buying this on occasion, especially since Brutal Bitter has become so expensive.

Backwash: I was amazed and thrilled when this showed up in my very average local store. I didn’t even know it was coming to NJ. I’m also hoping that this appears in draught at my local watering holes. It’s been some time since I’ve had this (I bought a case about 18 months ago at Shangy’s). Somehow, I remember those examples as being more pleasantly drinkable, with better balance, and a fuller flavor. Perhaps these are very fresh. Also, although the Bros. don’t like this, I have to review this as an IPA rather than a Pale Ale. If I were honest, I’d have to rate this low as a Pale Ale, as it really doesn’t deliver those flavors. I noted at the time of my Ithaca Pale Ale review that it couldn’t possibly compare to SN’s Harvest and 3F’s Alpha King and I think that still stands. Still, this is fine beer that I’m happy to have in NJ.

Dantes, Mar 08, 2005
Photo of RonfromJersey
4.55/5  rDev +6.8%

Secret Santa 2004 #9

Bottle conditioned.

Orange body, with a touch of haze. Thick, level but dentable oatmeal head. Nice lacing.

Citrusy aroma. Grapefruit, a bit of pineapple, maybe some mango.

The malt slides in, around, and down, leaving a sweet base for the following tidal wave of hops to grap onto and sweep the sweetness along with a crisp, sharp snap of bitterness, which rides slowly into the sunset. Along the way there's a cornacopia of fruit: grapefruit, mango, orange, pineapple.

Good medium mouthfeel. Good drinking despite it's agressive nature.

Never really understood why this is an APA and not an IPA, and my taste buds quake in fear of the day they encounter big brother Dreadnaught.

Nice to revisit an old friend. Nicer still to learn that it has returned to NJ. Heartily recommended. Hail to the King.

RonfromJersey, Mar 06, 2005
Photo of blitheringidiot
4.7/5  rDev +10.3%

Golden cloudy peach amber glowing hues with sticking thick meringue tan head cap that stuck to the glass and the walls like it was painted on with a roller.

Superlative scents of pine and resin goodness. If anyone died in the name of beer aroma, this would be the official funeral beer. Coniferous scents shoved up the nose goodness. Lupalin glad injection. Breakfast cereal high.

First swigs: Citrous grapefruit true and orange meets pine cone resin glop. Hop soup. Sizzle hop acidic addiction fix. Bright clean fresh pastry sugar hoppy cool. Liquid sap. Sticky thick bite.

Crisp well carbonated feel. Invisible ABV %. Gimmie more.

Last swigs: Clean pine resin and grapefruit thickness. Reminiscent of Avery IPA but this requires a paint stirrer to get moving.

blitheringidiot, Mar 03, 2005
Photo of BeerFink
4.35/5  rDev +2.1%

Freed from the bottle, this brew cascades into an intriguing reddish orange. Very hazy appearance with a decent head comprised of tightly knit bubbles. The nose is citrous with some fruit, as well as a slight floral quality. The taste is bold yet very refined. Although generously hopped, there is some good toasted malt to even things out. Some caramel and spice add their balance to the citrous explosion of hops. Slightly thicker mouthfeel than some other pale ales also helps to counter the sharp hops bite. The toasted malt flavor sticks around with the aftertaste, blending wonderfully with the hop oils in the finish. The most striking facet of this ale is the dance between hops and malt, without one dominating too much.

BeerFink, Mar 01, 2005
Photo of warriorsoul
4.8/5  rDev +12.7%

Thanks to IrishMike for this awesome rarity in my neck of the woods.
Pours a real nice dark copper w/ a full frothy tan head...the lacing is thin, but holds on nicely.
Smell is a nice, sweet blend of fruits...oranges and tangerines come to mind. Nice detection of malt as well...smells very inviting.
Damn...this stuff is scrumptous!! What a fresh blast of hops, malt, and caramel...the best Pale Ale I've had to date. Of course, it is no surprise I like hops...and this one is more hoppy than some IPA's I've had, but it is blended so magically w/ the malts, that it can call itself an APA.
The mouthfeel is sublime...so refreshing and just the slightest bitter aftertaste, but it is the sweet malt that sticks with you.
I could enjoy this beer for an entire evening...one of the best I've tried to date in this, or any style.

warriorsoul, Mar 01, 2005
Photo of beveragecaptain
4.8/5  rDev +12.7%

Pours out clear amber with a huge, rocky white head. A good deal of lacing on the glass. The aroma is a burst of fruity hops that smells amazing. Extremely fresh hop flavor, and plenty of it. I agree with one of the other reviewers of this beer who wrote that he tasted peach and mango. This is no mere hop bomb without the malt to back it up. There is a nice malty sweetness that complements the hop. No sign of the 7+% abv, as this goes down so easy. This is classified as a pale ale, but it's one the most unique beers I've had in recent memory. Having previously tried the Gumballhead and the Alpha Klaus, Three Floyds is quickly becoming one of my favorite American breweries.

beveragecaptain, Feb 27, 2005
Photo of goodbyeohio
3.93/5  rDev -7.7%

orange with a thin head. hops! hops! fresh hops with orange and grapefruit very pronounced. this beer covered my cheeks and tongue with severe hop oil. some pine flavor detectable and a strong clover honey aftertaste. complex but lacking something.. density perhaps?

good beer, but a pain in the ass beer if you have to go through trading and shipping for it. bring on the gumballhead and dark lord por favor si vous plait.

goodbyeohio, Feb 21, 2005
Alpha King Pale Ale from Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub
95 out of 100 based on 5,015 ratings.