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Alpha King - Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub

Not Rated.
Alpha KingAlpha King

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

5,366 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,366
Reviews: 1,691
rAvg: 4.26
pDev: 9.15%
Wants: 880
Gots: 648 | 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: 5,366 | Reviews: 1,691 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of GPHarris
4.6/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

a - poured a one finger thick off-white head into a snifter. the body is a dark amber color with a light haze. the head leaves a bubbly lace throughout with light sheeting, it only takes a light swirl to really agitate the head again.
s - hops! grapefruit and pine with a little malt hint.
t - orange zest is the dominant flavor but it has a little grassy taste with some malt in the finish.
m - it's bubbly, smooth and creamy all at the same time. it is so clean it leaves zero aftertaste or lingering on the tongue immediately after the sip.
d - this is superb. i could drink this beer all night long. if there is a better APA out there i haven't had it and they've really done something if it's better than the alpha king. this alpha king is the alpha male of APAs.

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

Pours amber orange with a small light tan head that fades fairly quickly. A film of lace when agitated, fades to a lingering washed pattern. A dominant citrus hop aroma with an underlying earthiness. Creamy while hopped, with a nice amount of carbonation that adds to a very satisfying complexity. Tastes somewhere between an IPA and a Pale Ale. Enjoyed it. Thanks JH!

Photo of kimcgolf
4.38/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured to a hazy reddish-orange with thin off-white hhead that lingered well and left good lacing along the glass. Nice strong aroma of grapefruit citrus, with a hint of grassy hops. Taste followed along the citrus vein. A tangy mouthfeel led to a dry bitter finish, much more like an IPA than an APA. A most enjoyable beer!!

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

poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass
- sent to me graciously by BA member "cardsmith"

Honestly, this beer disappeared so quickly I'm not sure I can even review it, but let's see what I remember.

A: poured beautifully, a delicious-looking copperish orange color, a nice 2-finger head and instant lacing. I can tell right away it's going to be stellar, especially when I stick my nose down to get the...

S: ...wonderful aroma emanating from this brew. It's all very subtle, yet enticing at once. Some floral aroma, a nice pink grapefruit and certainly some piney smells.

T: Wow. Just, wow. Seriously, this beer disappeared so quickly, the flavors are just complex enough, and just subtle enough that it's damned near chuggable. There is without a doubt a gorgeous piney overtone to the beer (from the Centennial hops?) as well as some wonderful malted undertones. Utterly delicious. I could drink this all night.

M: Again, just nothing at all wrong with this beer. It feels "right" in your mouth and bigger than usual gulps are real easy, too easy in fact.

D: As I just mentioned, this is an all day, all night beer. One of the most drinkable I've yet encountered. Even my burps taste good.

Highly recommended.

Photo of jasonjlewis
4.43/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got in a trade with David Eddie.

Nice head that has good retention. I poured this beer into a pint glass.

Smell of glorious hops. MMM. Hoppier than most pale ales. Hoppier than certain IPAs. Very nice hoppy taste, but not one dimensional at all. Pale malts come into balance. A little bit of caramel, but not as much as other pale ales. Brewed more like an ipa, but it's not. It's just a stronger pa. Tastes like centennial hops rather than cascade, however different than westcoast brewers like stone and alesmith's cascades.

Decent mouthfeel. A nice sessionable beer. MMM.

Photo of Grundle20
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The color is copper with an orange shift to it. There's quite a bit more haze than I remember there being but I'm drinking this beer awfully cold. The head is tan in color and about a quarter inch in size, with mediocre retention and lacing.

The scent is strong and pleasing with big notes of apricot, caramel, and pineapple.

Taste and Mouthfeel:
For an American pale ale this beer falls on to the malty side of the spectrum. The strong scents don't really translate to strong flavors as the malts dominate the hops in this beer. Not to say the hops aren't present because there is a minor note of apricot. The body is malty and smooth with some bitter orange rind sting in the fore. The finish is moderately clean leaving a pure aftertaste.

It's not quite as refreshing as other American pale ales but it's a very savory beer. It's a good balance of flavor versus substance.

Bottom Line:
This is my favorite beer of all time possibly but this is certainly not my favorite bottle of this beer I've ever had. The hops didn't present themselves as much as they usually do and the beer drank a little flat, possibly an old bottle.

Photo of DrMalt
4.68/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Acquired in a trade with Demcorhip.

Expectations were high, shouldn't have read about it before I tried it.

Shared a 12oz bottle (thankfully friend enjoyed as much as I ).

Poured a somewhat hazy amber with hints of orange & a medium sized frothy head.

Taste was definitively APA with loads of hop bitterness, but for me without some of the sometimes "off" bitterness that others can bring. I was surprised by the unique & impressive hop flavours that this beer brought to an APA.

Mouthfeel was good & I think because of the balance of the brew. Malt vs. hop.

Drinkability was simply outstanding. I have always enjoyed drinking APA's for their drinkability & thought it would be hard to top a Liberty or Red Seal Ale. But for my palatte this tops em' all.

My sense is the other BA's that tasted & reviewed this must know a thing or two. Just a great rendition of an APA!

Photo of Absumaster
4.55/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Got this from a trade with dogfooddog.

An amber, brown beer with a small head and very little visible carbonation.

Smell is near perfect, very hoppy with grapefruit and lemon smells, citric. It is all very fresh and pleasant. After the first hop explosion there is a nice malty smell that is also a bit wort-like (mash).

Taste is bitter, citric and grapefruit, with some piny flavors. Very fresh and pleasant to drink, from now on this is my favorite beerstyle, easy to drink, low in alcohol and high in taste. The hop is backed up by the maltiness, which comes alive when my tongue gets used to the bitterness. Body is medium and gives a nice balance to the bitterness. The beer is not sweet and sticky. Aftertaste is piny and grapefruit bitter which is lingering and even my burps taste good.

This is one of the best beers I have ever tasted! Thanks dogfooddog!

Photo of MDekker
4.38/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a clear brown color, darker than I expected for a pale ale. Small, but subtantial head.

S: Floral, fresh, piney and hoppy with hints of citrus. Pleasant.

T: Quite subtle and delicious. Hard to pinpoint exactly what I'm tasting. Very well-balanced.

M: Smooth, somewhat creamy, and well-carbonated, but not irritating. Pretty thick for a pale ale.

D: Went down easy. The bitter finish doesn't linger too long, and makes you want more. Overall, very nice.

Photo of Enola
4.78/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Received as part of the Double Trouble BIF.

This beer is a slightly murky orange with a thin head and not much lacing. But the smell is hop heaven. Sweet hop aroma fills the air. Cirtus hints are present as well. This beer is what I think a hopped up beer should be. Sweet, bitter but not harsh. Just nice and smooth to make a very drinkable brew. Mouthfeel is silky smooth. The drinkability is high. In fact, the beer is gone before the this reveiw is even finished. I could certainly go for more of this beer. Off to add it to my wants.

Photo of cabsandking
3.95/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark amber color and a thin but sturdy white foam cap. Big floral, fruity nose...citrus, caramel malts, and more floral alcohol esters. Really nice dry hop character, not too spicy, sprucey, juicy citrus notes of orange and grapefruit rind, and all balanced with sticky diacetyl. Sweetness varies between hard candy and honey. Medium body and a full mouthfeel that ends dry, bitter froth. The finish is bitter, some grapefruit twang and spicy hops. Extremely juicy and aggressive hop characters might push this beyond its style a little but its still very tasty and an easy drinker.

Photo of nortmand
4.97/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours brilliant ruby amber with a half finger of white head.

Aroma is total fresh ruby red grapefruit domination.

Rounded caramel maltiness and massive citrus flavor. Nice citric acid lingering bitterness. Grapefruit all the way.

Medium bodied and very smooth. Refreshing hoppy and flavor. Just fantastic.

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

Review #300.
Maximum respect to czoch75 for throwing this special surprise into our recent trade. 12 ounce bottle, no best before date. Tawny amber-gold with a moderately-sized, creamy, just off-white head and undying sheets of lacing. A lovely hyperactive citrus aroma greets my nose, with tangerine, grapefruit, and bergamot predominating. There is also a distinct scent to the bouquet that is not at all unlike high-grade cannabis, all sticky and resinous. Exceptional aroma for me, if only due to the affective evocations it elicits. Big pine and citrus flavors with a crystal malt sweetness in the very back. Bitterness is the dominant characteristic of the taste, but it's not rough (so I'm guessing no Chinooks in this one). Lip-smacking, but not for the faint of heart, at least as regards hoppiness. Fairly light in body; there's a stickiness to the mouthfeel that borders on syrupy but doesn't quite get there. The floral character of this beer is making me pine for spring and summer. What a treat it must be to have this available year-round to pick up before a summer barbeque. Many thanks, Clint.

Photo of malcontent
4.47/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Rich mahogany body capped by a thick, sticky head. Looks good enough to drink.

Impressive citrus themes with undercurrents of ginger and hibiscus. This needs drinkin'.

Piney hops coat the tongue with a fantastic sweet/sour duality (almost like a loganberry; look it up if you don't know what it is). Spicy finish. Awesome.

Low on carbonation, almost like an English bitter with a creamy mouthfeel perfect for all-night consumption. God, I love this beer. One of my favorite sessions with a taste that keeps on giving.

Photo of pmcadamis
4.63/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Tried this at Navy Pier in downtown Chicago.

A - Ruby amber and clear with a thin white head.

S - Pine and citrus hop aromas mainly. Zesty and zingy.

T - Big ole dose of ctrus and pine hop flavors. Orange rind, pine, and lemon. Much more powerful than the nose. Biscuity malts hold it together.

M - Acidic, medium bodied, and chewy. Excellent dryish finish.

D - Awesome! I could drink these regularly.

Photo of barefootbrewer
4.05/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured a clear copper color with a thin head that dissipated quickly. The smell is very hoppy – and has a fresh cut grass type aroma. The taste is bitter and very hoppy with just enough malt to counter the hops. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and slightly creamy. If you are in a mood for hops, this would be highly drinkable. I love pale ales, but can usually only drink one or two before it gets too bitter. I’d have to say, this is the best one I’ve had the pleasure of tasting.

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

This was poured from the bottle into a pint glass. It has a deep, clear ruby-like amber color with a decent head that is well retained. It has a wonderful hop aroma with notes of malt. The flavor delivers the aroma with a strong, full hop flavor profile backed by sweet, tasty malt. It has hops 'at every level' with a great hop finish that is somewhat bitter, but not over-the-top. It has a medium body with moderate carbonation.

This is an excellent APA, a contender for my favorite of the style. It seems to have a sweeter malt character than some, and more hop flavor than others. In perspective, I think it's somewhere between a Burning River and a Sierra Nevada, but closer to a Burning River (two beers I enjoy very much).

Photo of
4.08/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz. bottle.

Hazy amber fluid, with a medium sized head. Lots of lacing as I drank.

Aroma was grapefruit, peaches, honey and bread.

Taste was excellent. Biscuity malt, grapefruit and honey. A very hoppy beer, but with plenty of malt to balance.

Medium + in body. Medium carbonation. Drying.

I really enjoyed it. Sessionable if you are into hops. Great balance. Easy to see why it scores well. This one falls into the category of expectations met. Not sure I would call it a Pale Ale, though....

Photo of BeerBelcher
4.2/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours very dark for a pale ale...is a dark amber that is more reminiscent of a barley wine. The head appears a bit soapy, with large uneven bubbles, particularly a moment after pouring.

Smell is less like familiar hop bitterness than it is like pure citrus-ness. Given the very dark appearance of this beer, the smell is much lighter than I would've guessed.

The taste is extremely good. Full and sweet up front, with citrus note throughout the finish. This beer is very apparently bitter, but not in an intimidating or challenging way.

Like Gumballhead, mouthfeel is light and pleasant for such a big beer. This beer is not at all "sticky" the way many big IPAs/APAs are today.

I could drink a few of these...I should say, I would really enjoy having a few of these.

Photo of fisherman34
3.83/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottled sample from trevorwideman via demcorhip. Medium amber in colour with a bit of haze. Slightly below average carbonation for the style. Dominant pine needle aroma, with some background notes of sweet citrus, both sweet and toasted malts, and even a bit of yeastiness. In the mouth, there is more pine, but more reminiscent of the wood itself as opposed to the fragrant needles. The citrus notes become more distinctive and remind me of tangerine, mandarin orange, and grapefruit. The hop flavors are substantial, but their sharpness is blunted by the equally assertive malt presence. The bitterness is about on par with the style, which is somewhat of a disappointment considering the name of the beer. Overall, this is a very well executed beer, but not the mind blowing, mouth-puckering experience I was hoping for. Something a little dryer and a little more bitter with the same amount of complexity would have garnered a higher rating from me.

Photo of Pegasus
4.22/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Crystal-clear light copper in color, with a small white head, thick broken lacing, and faint carbonation.

Aroma: Massive pine tar and grapefruit hops, with sweet caramel malt beneath, and a dazzling array of light fruits, including peach, melon, and orange.

Taste: Strong pine tar hops dominate from start to finish, sweet caramel malt notes struggle to assert themselves, largely failing in the attempt. The pine tar hop notes linger on and on, well past the end of the taste, with a persistent bitter note.

Mouth feel: Very soft and full, almost syrupy, with no carbonation noted.

Drinkability/notes: Superbly well-made, but quite biased toward the hops, hop-heads will surely be delighted, for everyone else, it may be a bit much.

Photo of hckyfn9999
4.58/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a hazy amber color with a cream colored head and has some nice lacing.

Aroma is strong of citrusy and floral hops, like something such as a IIPA. Very nice with notes of grapefruit, bubble gum and a faint caramel smell.

Despite smelling more like an IPA, the taste is more up to par with an APA. A great tasting pale ale with a little malty sweetness up front followed up by some nice citrus flavor.

Mouthfeel is smooth and pleasantly carbonated.

A very drinkable beer. I will buy this again if it is available too me. I had to go out of my way to get this and I am not disappointed. A great beer.

Photo of quasimoto
3.8/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

A - Deep amber/light copper color I seem to have stirred up the yeast in the bottom. Has a light off-white head, that leaves a little lace.

S - Strong aromas of citrusy hops, Grapefruit, lemon-lime, some bubble gum and some grass. The malt just barely peeks out from the back.

T - The aromas transfer to the taste of it. Nice Grapefruit citrus hops are dominate, but then turn to a nice resiny hop flavor. The is the malt in the back ground but its gone out.

M - Actually for a pale ale it seems a little heavy. Normally they tend to be a little lighter.

D - Definitely drinkable, but a little heavy for the style.

Photo of LongBeachHopHead
4.43/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

3 Floyds Brewing Co.
Alpha King - Pale Ale @ 6.0%

Appearance: Slightly cloudy amber color. Darker than I expected from a pale ale. Great head with sufficient lacing throughout the entire glass. The cap almost broke my opener so this was sealed with love!

Smell: Citrusy large presence of hops. More of an IPA type smell to it than a Pale Ale. A nice sweet malt hint that I can't wait to taste.

Taste: Wow, not any typical Pale ale for sure! A huge concentration of hops. I'm getting a toffee-like hint along with big hops, piney, grapefruit undertones. A well balanced pale ale? Didn't know that this could exist. For a Pale Ale, this is superb, hell if you told me this was an IPA, I wouldn't argue. It blows many IPA's I've had, away.

Mouthfeel: The brew has a creamy feel which covers the palate with flavor from first swig. I don't know if this is a pale ale. I would classify it closer to an IPA.

Drinkability: This beer puts SNPA to shame. It is an APA on steriods and holds a very solid complex hoppy, malty, bitter-sweet masterpiece together. I could drink this all night. Too bad its not readily available in SoCal. I got this in a trade from Northertimber.

In all, this beer would rate as one of the best Pale Ales that I've ever tried. The folks at 3 Floyds are amazing and I can't wait to try Dreadnaught someday. Thanks Chris for this one!

Photo of emerge077
4.15/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hazy orange-amber pour, with a good head of foam.
Smells of sweet citrus, and piney hops.

Tastes malty with a hoppy zing upfront, and an almost smoky grain note in the aftertaste. Very balanced, not heavy-handed with the hops, just right. Feels "round" in the mouth, not too rich, but there's a fullness there. Velvety and smooth.

Wish I had more than one, oh well...

Alpha King from Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub
95 out of 100 based on 5,366 ratings.