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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

5,057 Ratings
THE BROS
93
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,057
Reviews: 1,673
rAvg: 4.26
pDev: 9.15%
Wants: 850
Gots: 535 | 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
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: 5,057 | Reviews: 1,673 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jakester
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I got this as a gift from my dad, the hop head. I drank it in a pilsner glass. No friggin' date on the case, bottle, or label. Get the fuck with it, guys!

Pours a slightly hazy amber/orange, with a 1" head of sticky, off-white foam. Head drops to a nice coating and a ring. Great lacing throughout the drink. Carbonation bubbles lazily rise to the surface.

Strong, citrus-y grapefruit aroma with lemon peels and orange. Caramel candy malts there in the background. Dried apricots and pear esters, as well. Smells great!

The first flavor is a big caramely malt base, quickly blitzed away by pretty strong hop bittering. Grapefruit and lemon taste from hops, very citrus-y. Amarillo hops? As it warms, you can pick up alcohol. Tastes great! Aftertaste is sweet and citrus-y and bitter and very long. Awesome.

Mouthfeel is smooth, with a nice bite from carbonation. Sweet, but certainly not too sweet. Good grab at the back of the throat from hop bittering. Delicious burps!

A truly wonderful, if slightly overdone, version of the style. A delicious beer worthy of an afternoon of drinking. You'd be trashed if you did, though!

jakester, Aug 19, 2005
Photo of tastybeer
4.75/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours nice hazy golden orange color, with decent creamy head. The smell is amazing. Refeshing fresh squeezed grapefruit and floral. Dank and fresh herbal aroma. Taste is an explosion of hoppy goodness. Finish is nice and bitter before it smooths out. Great mouthfeel. Mouthwateringly drinkable.

This is definitely more of an IPA than a PA. Great pleasant and satisfying hops. I could drink this constantly.

tastybeer, Aug 18, 2005
Photo of ski271
4.6/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Lightly hazy reddish copper with a small, frothy/milky, off-white head with good retention and lots of sticky lacing.

Smell: Heavenly citrus and floral hops over a moderate, cookie-like malt sweetness. Grapefruit, toffee, grass, some light doughy yeast, and a little bit of roses. Nicely balanced.

Taste: This isn’t an IPA? Big, dominant hops sting your taste buds right off the bat, filling your mouth with bitter flavors of fruit and herbs. Then the bitterness back off a bit to let the wonderful, solid, lightly sweet malt backbone show through. A little yeast once it warms up a bit. But the hops don’t back off for very long and come rushing back as it head toward the finish. More citrus and a very light (is that diacetyl?) sweetness. The finish is VERY long in duration as the bitterness just refuses to let go. So tasty.

Mouthfeel: Full body, dry texture, and soft carbonation.

Drinkability: I had heard good things about this beer, and being a hophead I knew I would like this. But you fellow BA’s know your stuff. This was a truly impressive brew. Very easy drinking, despite the higher alcohol (which was hidden well). I’m glad I followed the advice of this community and sought it out (thanks hero27 for a great trade), I’d definitely recommend this to a hop-hunter. The first Three Floyds offering I have tried, but I hope to remedy that soon.

ski271, Aug 17, 2005
Photo of kegerator
5/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

an outstanding brew from Three Floyds.
Pours a vibrant burnt copper orange with a nice 2 finger head thats creamy and sticks around leaving nice lacing
aroma of pine and grass with big aromas of citrus. Grapefruit and orange with very faint hints of caramel like malt in the backdrop
taste is a huge citrus hit with big flavors of grapefruit and orange with those caramel malts making an appearance in the middle. It has a great creamy mouthfeel to it yet finishes crisp and slightly dry leaving a slight hop bitterness but not overwhelming at all. This brew is masterfully blended with great flavors.

kegerator, Aug 15, 2005
Photo of Px2GrafX
4.63/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

presentation: 12oz. bottle with the typical three floyds name and beer type encircling an image of a green guy with an "A" crown, hops hair and is sprinkling hops dust over a glass of beer. (that's what it looks like to me) a small map to the brewery is printed on the label. the explanation of this three floyds' style is also printed. no sight of an abv or freshness date.

appearance: pours an ever-so-lightly hazy cherry wood red-brown with bright red-orange highlights into a pint glass. good 1" white bread colored head. excellent sticky lace. bubbles rise emphatically through this gem beauty.

smell: my first reaction is this smells like an ipa. very piney and grassy. also very lemony citrusy. some sweet caramel and fruits as well. maybe bananas.

taste: first sip is lightly malty with a ton of citrus grapefruit hop flavor. nice bitterness; not quite ipa bitter, but i love it. some caramelly bread flavors as the brew warms. always finishes a little bitter and dry with a wonderful lasting hop spicy aftertaste.

mouthfeel: crisp but medium body and smooth mouthfeel. good carbonation and pretty good swallow.

drinkability: excellent drinkability. alcohol creeps in at the end, but the aroma, taste and especially aftertaste keep you drinking 'til the end.

overall: this is another one of those beers where even though it gets good ratings, i still believe it deserves even higher. near perfect for this style. a little hoppy for an apa, so i couldn't give a five there, but that's what i love so screw the ratings! get yourself a lot of these if you're able!

Px2GrafX, Aug 14, 2005
Photo of DrJay
4.43/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Very clear coppery red topped by cream coloured foam. The head was a bit on the thin side, but it stayed around throughout and left some decent lace on the glass. Intense citrus hop aroma, but still soft like low alpha hops were used for finishing. Also a bit grassy with moderate maltiness that doesn't hang around for long. High bitterness, again soft from the use of lower alpha acid hops, with lots of citrus and floral character. Low malt sweetness. Very dry, hoppy finish with plenty of citrus. Medium body and moderate carbonation with a soft, smooth texture. Very tasty beer with a lot of hop character that isn't overpowering. Highly drinkable and something I'd love to find on tap. Thanks Viggo.

DrJay, Aug 13, 2005
Photo of jimbotrost
4.47/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed at Charlie's Ale House in Munster, Indiana on 8/4/05. Pours a brilliant deep copper color with a medium size white head, compact. Nose screams hops, yeah, Northwestern Hops, yeah again. The flavor is dry and malty, and is dominated by the hops just waiting to attack. Finish is full of hops, the beer is full of hops, this is good stuff.

jimbotrost, Aug 12, 2005
Photo of SwillBilly
4.75/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle.

Appearance: Nice dark amber, with creamy 2 finger head that slowly dissapates leaving thick lacing on the glass. Nice looking beer.

Smell: Slightly sweet, fruity, hints of grapefruit possibly apricots and hops.

Taste: If the label didn't say Pale Ale I would swear that this was an IPA. Starts out slightly sweet, malty, finishing with a big hop finish. Extremely balanced. Fantastic.

Mouthfeel: Creamy and smooth.

Drinkability: Outstanding Pale Ale. I could make a session out of Alpha King, but the 7% abv would put me on my ass. Great beer if you plan on only drinking a few or a lot if you feel like getting shit faced.

Overall a great Pale Ale bordering on a great IPA. Seek this one out and enjoy.

SwillBilly, Aug 12, 2005
Photo of KarlHungus
4.18/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a blood red color with a creamy white head. The aroma is strong and citrusy. Utterly mouth watering. The taste is very hoppy for an APA, not good, none the less. It starts out sweet and finishes hoppy. The aftertaste of this beer is excellent. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with lively carbonation. Overall, a very good over the top APA.

KarlHungus, Aug 10, 2005
Photo of Fish113d
4.43/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured into a pint glass from a chilled bottle, it pours an amber or maybe even a rust color with a nice white surface layer (nice clingage to the glass) along with a slight haze when peering through the glass.

Aroma is mainly of cascade hops with a slight sweet citrus aroma. Mostly a pine smell coming from this ale. Nothing very outstanding or different, but just a nice blend of hops and sweetness the way that pale ales should be.

Taking a sip, I notice a lot of pine flavor from the cascade or centenniel hops. A very slight grapefruit flavor also pokes through on the body, but the finish ends up a little smooth and maybe a bit dry due to the abv. However, this is what a pale ale SHOULD BE!

High amount of carbonation up front on the sip, but the smoothness comes through throughout the tasting (sip) as it spends more than a second or so in my mouth. The ending may be a slight reminder that the avb. is over 7%. However, wonderfully done!

Overall, I could drink this all day long! Refreshing, tasty, and just enough alcohol that helps make this ale truly special. I now know what all the hype was about!

Fish113d, Aug 07, 2005
Photo of rousee
4.33/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to BA Beerguy (Frank) for the sample--

Pours differing shades of color throughout the glass-a dark rusty top 2/3 and the bottom third is a lighter peach/apricot shade.

The smell is an extremely balanced pale ale. It is somewhat hoppy but the nutty character of the malt is also noticed. Taste is a standard ipa/apa taste of (I am guessing cascade or centennial) hops. There is some cedar-like woodiness in the taste as well. I love cedar.

The only problem here is this beer is a great example of how this style should be done properly but it doesnt stand out as being the best for the style. Overall, not many knocks on this and I am glad to see that 3 Floyds appears to be all they are cracked up to be.

A little too high on the abv to be considered very drinkable but plenty smooth though. They do a good job of hiding the alcohol actually as this doesnt taste real strong (abv-wise that is).

rousee, Aug 07, 2005
Photo of DrainBamage
3.1/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a cloudy orangish brown with a quarter inch of head that thins to a trace. It smells of hops and citrusy aromas. Taste is very bitter, but has an average citrusy APA taste to it with mild malt flavors. Mouthfeel is a little acidic and is highly carbonated. It leaves a very bitter after taste in your mouth that seems to last forever. I found this brew to be a little to bitter for an APA, but a big hop lover would most likely enjoy this one.

DrainBamage, Aug 06, 2005
Photo of Tim460
4.45/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle a deep amber color with 1/2 inch head. Smells of citrus and floral hops. A slight hint of malt till the hops kick in. Tastes almost like an IPA with the big hop flavor. Very Nice! Has a medium body and goes down smooth. The hoppiest of the APA's I've tried yet. An awesome beer that I plan to go back to many times in the future.

Tim460, Aug 04, 2005
Photo of RedHaze
4.43/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark amber color with a thick 1.5 inch head with a lot of good lacing.

Great grapefruit and hop smell to it.

Fruity citrus and hop flavor with just the right amount of malt. This is one damn good beer.

Wish that this was sold this in my area. I had to order it from John's Grocery In Iowa City. I have a feeling that I will be ordering more of this in the future. The more I sip it, the better it gets. Wish I could get other Three Floyds brews after this one.

RedHaze, Aug 04, 2005
Photo of yelterdow
4.78/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

All of a sudden, this "rare" find is available in North Jersey! Purchased at Frontier Liquors in Hackensack ($8.99/6-pack) and I'm in the mood tonight for some good beer.

Served at just under fridge temperature in a pint glass.

Appearance- Glows a crystal clear copper/amber with a juicy two finger head that stands tall. Even after falling to a quarter-inch topper several minutes later, the lacing is sticky and dense. Terrific structure that remains throughout, I cannot imagine a more perfect APA.

Smell- Citrus and pine sap come forth immediately, but there is a sweet maltiness that counters and balances their performance with class. The aromas meld perfectly together, and grow even more integrated with time. Another perfect 5, without reservation.

Taste- Loads of grapefruit combined with bitter, pine tree and floral notes. Aggressive bitterness in the back of the mouth that begs for another taste, to be timed with the fantastic hop burps that result.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Slick, smooth, almost creamy. By far the best APA I have ever had, and this is number three for the evening. The hops never overwhelm, just perform. Awesome color, cling-for-dear-life lacing, super drinkability... FFF has wowed my ass. Great job, this is a must-stock always.

yelterdow, Aug 04, 2005
Photo of connecticutpoet
4.22/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to highclassdrinker for the trade.

This was a clear amber ale with a two finger head. Looked very enticing.

Aroma was of sharp grapefruit hops, and not much else. Incredible.

Taste was moderately bitter grapefruit hops, balanced by well by medium malts (caramel?). Pretty darn good.

An excellent pale ale.

connecticutpoet, Aug 01, 2005
Photo of GClarkage
4.8/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

07/30/05- Received from a purchase at Archers Liquors.

Presentation- 12oz bottle with no dating. Poured into my Shipyard pint glass.

Appearance- Darker golden color. Nice 3/4 inch head and average lacing.

Smell- Huge and I mean huge grapefruit hops. That's about all I can detect because the hops overpower everything else.

Taste- Wow, this is one damn good Pale Ale. Starts off with a huge fruity blast of hops and finishes with a nice smooth semi dark malt flavor.

Mouthfeel- Moderate carbonation, heavier mouthfeel.

Drinkability- I actually felt some of the alcohol kick in at the end of the brew. Not sure if I could session more than a couple of these. But, an amazing hoppy pale ale that I would buy again in a second if I could get my hands on it out here. Hands down one of the top two or three Pale Ales I've had. Maybe the best.

GClarkage, Jul 31, 2005
Photo of cypressbob
4.33/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

355ml bottle, poured into a tulip glass.

7.3%abv

Pours with a coppery body, small dense off tan head, not particularly great retention

Smell, tonnes of thick aggressive piney hops, cascade primarily. Lemony, some thick creamy malt, slightly musky

Taste, creamy with a ballsy strong malt backbone. Dirty strong hops, really lasting on the palette

Mmmm...one of those really big tasty american ales, i'd have thought this would be an ipa

cypressbob, Jul 28, 2005
Photo of dirtylou
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

6-pack purchased on sale at City-Wide Liquors, $5.99

appearance: light-medium amber with thin white head, with slight lacing present

smell: Citrus, floral, slight pine flavors, very hoppy

taste: Extremely hoppy, alcohol well hidden, arrangement of citrus flavors. As many have mentioned, strong resemblance to the IPA style.

mouthfeel: Again, very hoppy. Refreshing, powerful, yet crisp.

drinkability: I typically can't drink more than 2 or 3 of extremely hoppy beers, just a personal thing. Goes down easy and leaves you thirsting for more.

A very fine beer available at a reasonable price, especially compared to some other Three Floyd's offerings. If this is going to be considerd and APA, its my favorite of the style.

dirtylou, Jul 26, 2005
Photo of rkhaze
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pors a burnished copper color with a creamy off white head. Noticeable carbonation slowly rising through the viscous liquid.

Excellent fresh grapefruit/citrus aromas upfront. Sweet malt, caramel, and fruit. A bit of hop spiciness rounds it out. Oh yes...this one is all about the hops!

Big citrus/resinous hop flavor balanced by a hefty sweet malt backbone. Some caramel and grassiness lead to a long lingering bitter aftertaste.

Medium bodied with a creamy, slightly oily feel that coats the mouth with flavor. Good level of carbaonation.

Excellent drinkability and a fine beer me thinks.

rkhaze, Jul 20, 2005
Photo of PatYoda
4.8/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance is a clear mahogany with a nice one finger tan colored head and some great lacing. Smell really jumps out at you. Sweet sweet oranges alongside some bready malt. It never ceases to amaze me how powerful that first whiff is. No detectable alcohol. And now to taste. Ahhh, the creamy smoothness is the first thing you notice. Perfect carbonation and body. All the citrus fruits in the world are there, with the orange flavor really standing out next to a little bit of grapefruit and lemon. The malt adds some balance to this brew as a nice bready bisuity aspect, though it is definitely hoppier than your average pale ale. As others have said, it almost crosses the line into an IPA, but the hops in no way overpower the malt in this beer. The finish is extraordinary. Hops all the way, though it's not too bitter. I could drink this all night. In fact, I might just do that now. In case you couldn't tell, this is my favorite APA.

PatYoda, Jul 20, 2005
Photo of GnomeKing
3.78/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

With a a rich, gold color, ample lacing, and a full, vaguely creamy mouthfeel, this hop monster is as pretty as it is potent. Hops hit you the second the beer taps your tongue, and they leave their joyful mark in a linger aftertaste. Although this is a definite hop monster, it's reasonably smooth and has a tinge of sweetness. There are hints in the beer I didn't like, perhaps something about the yeast. There was an imbalance in this beer that spoke of lack of control. I had an entire six pack during the past week, and I reacted to each bottle differently. Is it me, or the beer? I think it's the beer, because I had several cans of Dale's Pale Ale during the same period, and they were consistent.

GnomeKing, Jul 17, 2005
Photo of Jason
4.47/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Beeguy for the sample ...

Its been a while since I have had this brew ... its on the high end for APAs with such a bold and flavorful hop presence. IPA?? DPA??? who cares ... this is damn good stuff.

It has gained cult status as being a hop-head's brew, lots of American hop character with a solid base of malt sweetness to hold things together. Biscuity and caramel malt meet a big citrusy juicy hop for a very enjoyable brew.

If you love hops this is a great one to try.

Jason, Jul 16, 2005
Photo of blitz134
4.45/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

My first offering from Three Floyds...should be good...

Poured a beautiful amber dark caramel color. Crystal clear body with a near two finger off white head on top. Lacing clings heavily to the glass in thick lumps. Very nice. There really isn't much else you could ask for.

Aroma is incredibly strong. Cascade laden fumes waft from under the cap as soon as the seal is cracked. Upon closer inspection a good mix of pine hop aromas intermingle with the grapefruit and other strong orange and tangerine citrus from the cascades. A sweet malt character is present as well.

Damn. This hop character in this is on par with many other breweries IPAs and even exceeds some IPAs I have had. This is fairly balanced though. Hops come through with a resin flavor and character which drys the mouth a bit. An equal portion of grapefruit intermingles as well. A bit of bready malt brings the sweetness of the hops in check.

Mouthfeel is good. Fairly full bodied and crisp from the carbonation. Nothing which hasn't been done with other APA/IPAs, but this is on par with the good ones.

Drinkability is great if you like a hoppy ale. At over 7% ABV not too many of these could be had. But the crisp mouthfeel and balanced flavor make this one which could be enjoyed in multiples.

blitz134, Jul 11, 2005
Photo of waughbrew
3.15/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pretty clear copper. Wonderful dense foamy rocky off-white head stays around for a while and leaves nice rings on my nonic. Great aroma of fresh grapefruity hops with enough spicy quality to keep it interesting. Hints of grainy sweetness carry it along to my nose. Low carbonation, thick 'plasticy' body. Very toasty malt with assertive, slightly prickly herbage. A bit of peppermint Altoid in the finish. No yeast characteristics leave it lacking in development and complexity. Thickness makes it way too filling. Decently made, but fails to stand out from the pack. I still do not think that toasty malt flavors go well with big fruity hoppage.

[Mislabeled. With this big body, slightly elavated alcohol, and big hoppage, this is definitely an IPA and should be compared on that level. To have this listed as a pale ale is unfair to the real versions of the style.]

waughbrew, Jul 10, 2005
Alpha King Pale Ale from Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub
95 out of 100 based on 5,057 ratings.