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Alpha King - 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Alpha KingAlpha King

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,751 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,751
Hads: 5,996
Avg: 4.26
pDev: 16.67%
Wants: 934
Gots: 1,074 | FT: 29
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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Alpha King Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,751 | Hads: 5,996
Photo of LittleDon
4.3/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Looks beautiful, feels beautiful. Deep amber, almost brown, with plenty of head and sticky lace, the likes of which are unexpected outside of the draft world. Creamy, smooth, medium low carbonation and medium high body gives it a big smooth, and very soft, mouthfeel. Decently balanced, leans toward the dry side, and like Zobie Dust, low acidity. Piney, slightly catty, and at 6.6 ABV, a nice in-between all days and DIPAs. Wouldn't call it intense aroma, though. More understated and consistent with the flavor.

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Photo of infinitebruner
4.44/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

October 14, 2014

12 oz bottle; nonick pint glass

A – Dark amber to light brown, very bubbly, looks dense and malty, a lot like a scotch ale or a lighter barley wine. A couple centimeters of off-white head that disappears quickly, leaving light, lacy bubbles on top.

S – A lot of caramel / crystal malt, mildly sweet toffee, juicy, warm bread. Hops come in second, somewhat piney and resiny, citrus tones, moderate intensity.

T – Sweet and malty, again very reminiscent of some English barley wines, with some bright citrus and tropical hop flavors. Very well balanced. Caramel is quite present here as well.

M – Medium body, very juicy. Bitterness is fairly restrained until the finish, where it lingers in the aftertaste. Maltiness is prominent.

O – I love that this is a fairly high-hop flavor/bitterness beer that also really accentuates the malt, which is very flavorful without being overly sweet. I think it’s equally fit for summer BBQs and late fall campfires. Really excellent.

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Photo of kkleu357
4.01/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.75

From notes on 5/20/14

I’ve had this beer many times. A good solid go-to beer since it is easily available year round in Wisconsin. Pours a light amber color. Good floral smell. Taste is a nice balance of bitter hops and sweet malt.

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Photo of Stevedore
4.24/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle. Dated 8/27/2014. Poured into a Three Floyds red pint glass 9/22/2014.

A- Dark caramel-brown body, hazy with a thick three finger offwhite head with quite a lot of hang time. A bit too much hang time actually. Lots and lots of lacing which I haven't seen in a while. [4]

S- Pine, caramel, citrus, bread, floral resins, grass. Even a little bit of orange marmalade, like an English Special Bitter. [4.25]

F- Smooth caramel, a little bit of grapefruit, floral notes, orange marmalade, bread, slight mineral flavours on the backend accentuated by a nice pine resin bitterness. This is nice and complex, but easy drinking, even more so as it warms- the pine seems to fade a little bit and there's more of the floral, grassy hops that come out. In some ways, this is quite complex. [4.25]

M- Medium bodied, a bit peppy with a nice crisp pine and floral bitterness that is refreshing. Leaves a resinous, sticky bitterness on the finish that nevertheless does not last for long, keeping you ready for the next sip. [4.25]

O- Now that I've had 2 years to get over the Three Floyds hype, try many different other pale ales from across the country, revisiting their flagship beer on a whim was a great decision. This is a very complex but balanced pale ale with quite a bit of great fruity flavours. Slightly expensive at $12/6-pack, but then again the quality of this beer is just as good as the ones you'd have to buy in bombers and is still a better deal. [4.25]

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Photo of JohnnyHopps
4.23/5  rDev -0.7%

I had this one many times. Its about time I reviewed it.

Appearance- The beer was a deep copper color with the head to match.

Aroma- Thus is the pretty standard fff hoppy aroma. You know who brewed this.

Taste- The hops do not overwhelm, but leave there mark. Notes of cinnamon, apple, and lime come to mind. The sweetness gives a peculiar profile to the hops. The aftertaste is dry with the hops fading.

Mouthfeel- The carbonation is mellow which allows the hops to linger. Nice!

Overalll- Three Floyds makes a lot of great beers. People forget about this one.

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Photo of Kasabear
4.75/5  rDev +11.5%

A. Golden with a head that hangs on to glass . Thick creamy head.

S. This is going to be goooood. Citrus hops trying to escape.

T. Delicious , just like the smell. Very drinkable.

M. Creamy soft.

O. One of my favorites and you can get it just by asking.

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Photo of Whiteweasel
4.37/5  rDev +2.6%

Poured from a bottle, drank from a seidel.

A: A rusty red colour. Clear, but with plenty of carbonation flowing upwards. Aggressive white head, with sticky intricate lacing down the side of the glass. 4.3

S: Powerful citrus primarily, rich rich hops, sweet but very clean smelling. Quite flowery and delicious. Pure hop deliciousness abounds, and not much else. Which is okay with me; it smells amazing. 4.65

T: Alright, I get that it's a mega-hop beer, but this is a bit overboard. If you've ever eaten a hop flower, this is a toned down version of that. With that said, the hop overload is nicely complimented by a sweet caramel aspect. Not bad. 4

M: I'm burping flowery hops, this is so awesome. A tiny bit astringent, but an excellent mouthfeel. 4.9

Overall: Fantastic, super hoppy, it does what it set out to do fantastically. 4.4

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Photo of cecilIPA
4.75/5  rDev +11.5%

I know this is not an IPA but you sure would think it was when you first put it to your lips. very bold and has a very distinctive . One of my new favorites and look forward to trying more from this brewery.

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Photo of Franziskaner
3.97/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Light brown color with a fair amount of haziness. There's a good inch thick tightly knit layer of khaki colored head. Brussels lacing. The aroma is a blend of cereal grains. The flavor is a bold burst of cereal grains and subtle hops that blend to give it almost a copper like bitterness. There's a slightly chalky note in the mouth.

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Photo of Gaddabble
4.52/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Beautiful amber/copper hue. Malty, sweet smell with citrus and dark fruits. Taste follows the smell with rich caramel malt coupled with fruity hop character finishing with very pleasant tobacco on the back end. A wonderful and unique pale ale. For my money, there no one pumps out world-class pale ales like Three Floyds, and this is no exception!

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Photo of leantom
4.81/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Just got to Indiana (Bloomington) to visit the law school. Was anxious to try Three Floyds since I had heard so much about them. Holy Moly, this beer is damn good. This beer alone makes the trip from Virginia worth it. Here goes:

A: Lovely. Beer pours a dark, cloudy brown that's rather opaque (a lot darker than most pale ales, in fact). However, the head was massive; incredibly fluffy. Drinking the beer left a ton of lacing on the side as well. You can tell that this is a very well-made beer.

S: Beautiful. Unlike most APA's, you can smell both the hops AND malt. They're very well-balanced against each other, with American hops giving way to a rich caramel malt backbone. Both sweet and bitter at the same time. Simply superb balance!

T: Taste follows the nose, which is great. Initial taste is one of sweet caramel and amber malt. The beer would have merely been good had they left it at that, but what happens afterwards makes the beer excellent. The malt gives way to a strong hop backbone consisting of grapefruit, pine and lemon peel. Truly magnificent.

Also of note, while the hop backbone is strong, it doesn't leave a lingering hop aftertaste. It's almost as if this beer has come down from heaven.

M: Again, excellent. Lots of carbonation and very full-bodied for an APA. Glides down the throat smoothly, though, even with the carbonation apparent.

O: Exquisite. Par excellence. Three Floyds, you are king!

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Photo of mtomlins
4.28/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a stemmed tulip glass and shared with a buddy.

Pours a deep copper color with a big, foamy white head that settled slowly to a creamy collar and leaving some nice lacing. The nose is a nice balance of malt and hops; bread biscuits and caramel along with some floral, spicy hops. The taste follows suit with again, a really nice balance. The malt presents as nice and toasty, some bread and sweet caramel. The hops were difficult for me to tweeze out, and presented more as those great West coast spicy and floral bouquet. It has a easy drinking body, yet is still round and creamy with enough carb to lighten but not too much. Overall, I was impressed with the balance FFF achieves with this brew and the depth of flavor considering its low-ish ABV.

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Photo of Caveworm
4.36/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Alpha King Pale Ale from Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub, my first by this acclaimed brewer. Poured from the bottle into a glass mug, this brew's got a lumpy, mildly porous head that recedes back down just enough to cap off the translucent, medium brown body. Generous lacing here.

Smells like citrus,floral hops, with a slight earthiness about it.

I taste peppery citrus, floral hops, yes. A slighty sweet-tasting smack of the lips seems to impulsively happen after each sip. I can't seem to put my finger on what this sweetness IS, exactly. But its there, and it does a fantastic job at balancing out this hop bitterness. Very smooth and dry finish from Alpha King

An exceedingly clean finish from this brew. Zero lingering elements, even with the apparent hop taste. I wish more hoppy beers had this clean a finish!

Overall a well-deserved knockout 4.5 for Alpha King Pale Ale from Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub. This had enough bite to taste, and went away as I finished the sips. The clean finish made this very refreshing. I will undeniably buy this brew again.

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

Pours a dark amber-orange with a creamy and slightly beige head that has great retention and thick lacing.

Smells sticky sweet, with fresh but nondescript notes of tropical citrus such as orange, and even a bit of caramelized banana when it is backed with a well-bodied caramel malt. A little more malty, but overall very well-blended with hop scents and freshness.

Tastes very similar to the smell, with notes of orange, melon, grapefruit, again a little banana, and a little earthy spice & bitterness on the finish. The sweet malt backbone balances throughout with lots of caramel and buttery malt flavours.

The feel is thicker but also very well balanced and carbonated with a bit of dryness from the alcohol at the end.

Overall perhaps a bit more British than American in style, but packed with plenty of fresh citrus hop goodness.

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Photo of gueuzedreg
4.37/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A- Nice golden ruby color, minimal head, vanilla lacing with low legs. Semi-transparent, this beer has a very nice ruby red to dark golden honey hue to it.

S- Whatever hops they used in this one, they did a great job of getting the aroma out of it. Low to medium malt, but it is in the background. Some pine

T- The hops have taken more of a back seat in the taste, which I approve of. The mild backbone steps up. Kinda watery, but that is minimal and waay in the back. Taste is the highlight for me.

M- Subtle creaminess, the carb works well with this one. I am kinda new to the midwest pale game, but they must have been working on this one for awhile. Very well balanced.

O- Another great pale from FFF. Cheers Kristine and Brian!

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.21/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

It's a game of maneuver- to threaten with the strength and hops of IPA but to balance like American Pale Ale, Three Floyds knows this game all too well. With the allure of citrusy hops to captivate the senses, yet the sweeter balance to balance the bite; this full-bodied pale ale doesn't know what it wants to be, but I know exactly where to put it!

While its near-toffee sweetness coaxes the tastebuds, its creamy body wraps around the tongue with sultry effect. While nutty like peanut brittle, an overcast of grapefruit captures the nose for a balanced sensory perception is every bit what its heady amber shades suggest.

Balancing exceptionally well across the middle, an even-keep taste of deeply caramelized malt slowly gives way to the rise of citrusy grapefruit pith, peel and pulp. While its body drifts from fuller pale to drier IPA, a resinous tone transpires in the form of wintergreen and sap.

Its closing taste is dedicated to the grapefruit rinds and resinous pine bittering that's been foreshadowed in the taste thus far. Dissipating sweetness leads to a snappy toasty-dry finish with a mild crusty bite with a drift of citrus underneath.

So, is it a balanced IPA that makes the perfect ale or is it a hop forward pale ale? Regardless, this could be the epitome of American ale period.

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Photo of Ohiovania
4.46/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Re-review 9.22.15

Been a long time since I've had this one. Bottled 18 days ago and it looks unfiltered and smells amazing.

Dank piney and citrus hops that really kill it in the nose. Taste comes out a little more rounded with the piney citrus hops headlining but a nice malty tea-like character with a slight herbal presence.

Mouthfeel is spot on. Had this beer probably 4 years ago and wasn't impressed. Today was a complete opposite experience. Must have been the days when I didn't check for bottle dates.

Towards the end I started to get a little annoyed by the herbal note.

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Photo of blankenhoney
3.5/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled 5.22.14 and poured into a teku

A: darker amber or copper

S: initially i picked up lots of malty breadiness and tart citrus aromas. after letting it sit awhile, i found an intensely concentrated aroma of orange. there's also a fair bit of pine underneath everything. i was turned off at first but the orange and pine aromas are pretty nice.

T: this beer is dry and bitter. i get a lot of citrus bitterness and a little bit of sweet orange maltiness.
not much going on here for me. it's bitter and malty, so right on point for the style, but it's a bit uninteresting.

M: very dry and bitter; medium-bodied

O: straight-up bitter and hoppy beer that didn't do it for me

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Photo of schoolboy
4.63/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Alpha King is alphucking good. That's a play on the sofa king fake commercial - it's sofa king good. It is amazing and worth all the praise. I have had other good, no great, brews from this brewer, but never before this gem, and now I think they deserve blind faith from this one great brew.

It is a little dark and has decent lace. The aroma is not pronounced, but it is still sublime.

The taste is amazing. Malty, for sure, but still well balanced with all kinds of hops bitterness. This is the best tasting pale ale ever. The aftertaste is sad, because the ale is going away. Otherwise, it too is sublime, with malts and hops staying on the tongue for a long time. It tastes as though the alcohol would preclude you from drinking more than one, but I think I could do SEVERAL of these, and be in heaven, so I will try to get more. But alas, they are rare, and in demand. Rightfully so.

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Photo of zookerman182
4.15/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle poured into my dogfish head IPA glass.
Appearance is a clear amber color with two finger big bubble head.
Aroma is great. Pine, floral, slight citrus.
Flavor is pine, hop bitterness and floral with a perfectly balanced malt backbone.
If I can describe this beer in one word it's "balanced".
Mouthfeel is medium with a slight lingering bitterness.
Overall I could drink 6 of these and not co plain one bit.
Paired excellently with my grilled chicken dinner.
Perfect end to the day.

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Photo of AmericanPaleMale666
4.15/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - rich red/amber color

N - citrus and subtle apple fruit aroma very pleasing to the nostrils

M - light but creamy mouth feel

T - strong hoppy bitterness with the citrus and apples right there to accent. Great refreshing fruit taste

O - love this beer. I wasn't expecting to like this beer as much as I did when first tried. With its relative easy availability (at least here in Illinois close to the Indiana border) and excellent balance of hoppy/fruity flavor, this will be a go to beer for me for all occasions.

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

Served on tap in Carmel IN.

A: Very deep amber with about a finger off white head with moderate retention.

S: moderate floral hop aroma with citrus notes, particularly grapefruit and strong orange. Very good.

T: virtually like the smell - floral hop bite with lingering citrus notes without being too piney like an IPA. Hits the right notes.

M: creamy mouthfeel but medium bodied and very fresh.

Not innovative but does everything right in one of my favorite styles.

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4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

I really don't know why I haven't rated this beer in the past. I have been thoroughly enjoying this beer for over 10 years. This truly is one of my favorite go to IPA's. Not over the top and really no frills, just a great drinking brew. And finally here is my review.

I pour this brew from about 4 inches above the glass to achieve two full fingers of rocky light tan head. Body is a perfect tone of deep mahogany amber.

Nose is very nice with tones of citrus and fresh cut grass. Soft but nicely fragrant.

With first sip you are comforted by how incredibly balanced this beer is. The malt backbone is perfect here in how it works with the very piney, woodsy hops that play all over the palate. Abrasive and wonderfully bitter without being harsh in any way.

Really well drinkable and a great accompaniment to lots of food. Mouthfeel is attractive and enjoyable. This is a classic IPA.

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Photo of DrDemento456
4.14/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

I should have know it was fresh but bottled 5/12/14 so less than two weeks old! Does it ever get old though it sells so fast and at $3.99 a bottle DAMN!

A - Looks more like a Old ale than a pale ale. A very deep copper brown with a solid 2 inches of head. Makes for great lacing and still a a ring of lace after a few sips!
S - Really muted smell mild pine or citrus and no pale malts I can detect. I know it's not me I just smelled a Victory 1337 and it was very hoppy.
T - Ok so its defiantly got an intense hop bite which clings to the tongue after each sip. West coast abrasive but mild enough to session I am really digging this.
M - For the ABV its quite light to medium and smooth. I could see why this is popular.

Overall I could see why this brewery is quite good for an extreme pale ale it flourishes and I would consider picking up more offerings especially if they started using the 12oz format more often!

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Photo of kudsak
4.22/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Very solid IPA. Smooth mouthfeel and hoppy taste, with a subtle background maltiness.. Pleasant, hoppy aroma. Gives an even, strong taste of hops while not being overly bitter. Definitely very drinkable as a daily beer, think this would supplant Furious as my go-to if it was available in my area.

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Alpha King from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 1,751 ratings.