Alpha King | 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
95
world-class
1,773 Reviews
BEER STATS
Reviews:
1,773
Ratings:
6,166
Avg:
4.26
pDev:
16.9%
 
 
Wants:
949
Gots:
1,188
For Trade:
32
Alpha KingAlpha King
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
3 Floyds Brewing Co.
Indiana, United States | website

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.66%

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

Added by BeerAdvocate on 07-23-2000

User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,773 | Ratings: 6,166
Photo of BrewCrew2010
3.87/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: A hazy light brown hue capped with a 1 finger off white creamy head. After each sip it leaves behind a decent amount of sticky lacing.

S: Right off the bat I thought I was smelling an IPA. A strong floral hop aroma with a sweet malty backbone like caramelized sugar. Hints of clove and other spices are in the background, but I can't quite put my finger on it.

T: A very well balance flavor of a bitter hops up front and mildly sweet caramel malts. A bit earthy with strong hints of pine and spices and a juicy finish. Although it has a great flavor, almost too hoppy for an APA.

M: An oily texture with lively carbonation and a medium body.

D: I absolutely love this beer. What played against it is that if you handed me this beer and asked me what style it was, I would say it was an IPA. It would be a let down if I hated that style or was really in the mood for an APA. Put that aside, very easy to drink and great flavor. I would definitely get this again!

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Photo of Tone
3.86/5  rDev -9.4%

Pours a hazy, copper color. One inch head of an off-white color. Great retention and great lacing. Smells of resin, pine, strong hops, sweet malt, alcohol, and strong tea/hop essence. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of resin, pine, hops, sweet malt, and alcohol. Overall, great appearance, strong pine/resin/hop aroma and body, and decent blend.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.86/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Expections were very high given its reputation. I dig the label art. 12 fl oz bottle acquire for $6 at Hopleaf in Chicago and served into a pilsner glass. Reviewed from notes taken in March 2013.

A: Pours a one finger beige soft head of good cream and thickness, and very good retention. Body colour is a clear vibrant amber. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. Translucent. Well executed for the style.

Sm: Timid floral hops, light nectary hop character, and light hop oil. Pale malts. Very fresh; I pick up a hop nugget just smelling it. A mild strength aroma. No yeast character or alcohol is detectable.

T: Tropical bright fruit esters, floral hop character, light nectary character, and hop oil. Balanced, but the tropical fruit (banana, mango, perhaps passionfruit) doesn't suit the style or the build as well as it could. Evocative and tasty, but there isn't impressive depth of flavour here. Well executed and refreshing. Good pale malt body.

Mf: Smooth and wet. A bit oily. Good carbonation, if slightly overdone. Good presence on the palate.

Dr: Highly drinkable for the style. Hides its ABV well. I'd get it again. I can see why it's coveted; it's pretty good stuff. Mostly lives up to its reputation, but I wouldn't say I'm blown away by it. Solid for a pale ale. Another impressive beer from Three Floyds. I'd definitely get it again.

B+

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Photo of jamesdergen
3.86/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: A dark caramel brown with a decent off-white head that dissipates but a little bit sticks around.

S: Very sticky, piney hop aroma but it is a little hard to detect

T: The hop profile follows the nose: resiny, sticky, piney hop attack with an ample nutty malt background. The alcohol presence makes it seem more like a Double IPA. Well-balanced without wimping out on the hops!

M&D: Relatively light-bodied and pretty well carbonated. Goes down pretty easy, but not one I would session.

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Photo of BattleRoadBrewer
3.86/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a standard pint from 12 oz amber bottle at about 35F.

Attractive pour, a little bit hazy, orangish amber, slight floaters. Leaves good lacing.

Aroma is a hit of potent hops, a bit piney, bit floral, a lot citrus.

Citrus hop flavor dominates the malts, but the beer is still bold on both counts.

Mouthfeel is slick, a bit effervescent, appropriately bitter.

This is definitely an IPA in Pale Ale clothing. A great beer.

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Photo of kevanb
3.86/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle poured into a White Three Floyds/Intelligentsia Mini Snifter.

The beer pours a true copper color, slight chill haze with a good finger of foamy white head that has good retention and leaves some spotted lace behind. The aroma rather light but showcases bitter piney hops with some crisp spice, light grapefruit with quite a bit of malt backbone. The flavors are more impactful, lots of bitter piney hops, light citrus character, some spiciness from the hops and a smooth, malt backbone at the finish. The body is great, moderate to high carbonation but it has a nice creaminess to it with a nice dry finish.

Verdict: A pretty standard APA from Three Floyds and it's no wonder why they've been making this for over 16 years. It's crisp, it's refreshing, it's hoppy without being abrasive and most of all, it's clean and balanced.

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Photo of mrasskicktastic
3.86/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

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.

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Photo of NewGeneric
3.85/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this as part of a tasting session with a buddy a while back. Poured an amber color with white foamy head that left decent lacing. Smelled of citrus hops, malt and caramel. Tasted of earthy hops, malt and caramel. Smooth, but slightly overcarbed. Could drink more.

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Photo of Steasy66
3.85/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Deep amber, nice head retention
S- floral, citrus, hint of malt
T- Citrus hops, hint of malt, bitter finish, would prefer a bit more malty
M- Very undercarbed, probably because this is a taproom growler pour
O- Good beer, worth a try, need to try this from a bottle to really give it a fair shake.

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Photo of rorykanderson
3.85/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

East coast BA excited to get my hands on this - enjoyed a couple 12 oz bottles about a month after bottling. Aroma and taste are in synch - roasted malt that's more caramel than cracker, a little pine and citrus. Nothing tropical or juicy or overly sweet - very balanced like a classic pale ale. Drinkable and clean. I prefer more of an imbalanced hop profile but this is a great beer. I always read the brewer's description after I drink the beer and I'm glad I did in this case - the phrase "aggressively hopped" is often out of context in this day and age of super hopped beers.

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Photo of Parrotbeak
3.85/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pristine amber, with plenty of bubbles rising from the bottom. Quarter-inch, white head that thins out a bit, becoming slightly patchy.
Smell is fresh, hoppy, and malty, with a good balance between the latter two. Little bit of pineapple and citrus.
Bitter and hoppy up front, with a malty finish accompanied by some citrus hints, as well as another wave of bitterness.
Pleasant bitterness on the tongue, along with a good level of carbonation.
Good on drinkability. Vvfffh.

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Photo of HardTarget
3.85/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed 8/5/04
Aroma-3: Juicy sweet hops. Hops come across as grapefruit and floral. Strong
Appearance-4: Clear amber-copper body with a trace coating of off white head. I didn’t note any of the haze that the bottle describes as conditioning. Left a couple strands of lace, but not much.
Flavor-3.5: Hops are up front and pretty heavy, but they slowly fade out into a nice biscuit malt base. Hops are very citric in the taste and maybe a touch too assertive for a Pale Ale, but that’s probably a personal preference. Later in the beer, I noticed that after the malt briefly shows the flag, a peppery bitter settles in and stays the night.
Mouthfeel-3.5: A fairly light body and smooth texture. The hop oils coat and last. It seemed that with each sip, another coat of hop oil was added, making the aftertaste last longer and longer.
Overall Impression-3: An American Pale with hard core hops which are enjoyable, but I was hoping for a little more of the nice malt base that backs them. It’s a high quality beer that I would probably enjoy aged a bit more to let the hops settle down. If I want this level of hops, I’ll drink an IPA. Beyond my petty “too hoppy” whine, this is a really good beer. It’s obviously well crafted, but a bit weak in the head retention. Drinkability, well, for me, a bitter session beer, but I wouldn’t mind having a few in the cellar.
Major thanks to mattcrill for the opportunity to taste this one.

Reviewed- 11/1/05

A 4.5- Fresh citric hops nose with a sugary malt base to support it.

A 4- Clumpy tan-white head crowns a deep red/amber glass that glows with clarity. Laced like grandma between tidemarks.

T 4- Smells like an IPA, tastes like a pale. Hops are subdued and have a strong tea quality, almost grassy

M 4- Edge of a chew, medium-heavy body, spot on carbonation level and a touch of oil

O 4.5- Taking large and quick quaffs, outstanding drinkability. I had a strong hop itch and the King assuaged it.

Thanks to Rick and Betty for dragging one back with them. I'll average the two scores.

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Photo of scotorum
3.85/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

One of the last of my wonderful haul from my rather one-sided trade with BigStein88. I got so much more than he did. But Im working on evening that out a little.

Funny metallic multi-colored label of a crazy-eyed, naked Alpha King dropping hops into a glass of beer.

Poured from the 12 oz. bottle into a Sierra Nevada IPA glass. Clear amber with a two inch tall white head which receded slowly to rocky surface foam and dense patterned lacing.

s: Citrus so strong it made me cough. But then so did the FW Velvet Merlin I had earlier, so maybe it's just me. Vinegar later, which always makes me cough. So maybe it's the beer after all. Fortunately after awhile that fades away.

t: A sort of bubble gummy initial flavor was quickly overshadowed by a wave of piney hop bite. Became slightly vinegary, but not enough to be bothersome. Later a pleasing malt/hop balance is achieved with piney hops prominent.

m: Medium with good body and very smooth.

o; It looked and at first smelled so good, the taste was a bit odd but ok. Perhaps an old bottle, no date info anywhere I could find, and Dating Beer does not list any info on how to find it if it IS there somewhere. None of the fruitiness a pale ale ought to at least hint at.

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Photo of vdoz3
3.85/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A "stand up pale ale" according to the supplier from whom I received this in a trade. Thanks Ben! 12 oz bottle poured into an Arrogant Bastard pint glass, enjoyed with dinner (roast beef sandwich)

A - more like an amber in color (reddish orange), totally clear with a minimal head but some nice lacing trailing the level down the glass
S - a sweet (caramel?) malt presence is fighting the floral hops for representaiton in the nose
T - a very nicely balanced brew with both the malt and the hops into a clean finish, leaving behind maybe a hint of hop bitterness
M - well carbonated, like a good pale ale should be, although the aftertaste is a little sticky and dry
D - definitely enjoyable, would probably go through a few of these on a summer day

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Photo of 1000lbgrizzly
3.84/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Hazy almond shell brown, solid stream of bubbles. Off-white head with stellar retention, polka dotted lacing. A little dark for a 'pale ale' but enticing nevertheless. Plus that head....

S: Pine resins and citrus. Clean and clear.

T: Nose plus mild malt sweetness. Tasty.

M: Medium bodied, creamy. Fine carbonation.

O: Really nice, good hop presence and balanced by malts. But if I've gone out of my way enough to find it, there will probably be it's better version (Zombie Dust) available, too.

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Photo of RedwoodGeorge
3.84/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

You know, I was a bit dubious when I tasted this "pale ale" from Three Floyds as it sure tastes like an IPA to me. Now that I see it listed as 7.3% ABV (even though the 3F website lists it as 6% ABV) I'm even more tempted to consider this a misclassified IPA and deduct points because it deviates from the APA style. Tempted, yes but it's such a good beer I'm going to cut it some slack - after does it really matter what they call the beer if you like it?

The pour is surprisingly uninspired - not much carbonation to speak of, no real head an no lacing on the glass. The beer itself is a deep golden brown that hints of the caramelized malts to come.

The smell is very inviting with lots of resinous hop notes. The beer smells piney and floral with some herbaceous odors as well. The taste is quite wonderful - lots of strong malts to balance the hops and bring a real robustness to the brew. The hops are large and in charge with assertive bitterness and a strongly floral flavor (very "East Coast") Big doses of Centennial hops with a peppery spiciness as well as a strong complex herbal flavoring. No citric notes to be found, the hopping seems quite similar to Stone's IPA.

Mouthfeel is disappointing especially for a bottle conditioned ale. I can only hope that this particular bottle didn't have enough residual sugar for the yeast to carbonate with. Mouthfeel is a little on the oily side without enough effervesence to cleanse the palate. Bitter finish to the drink but not overpowering (if you're a hop head)

In many ways I'm very pleased with this beer and I can understand why it's a crowd favorite. For a "Pale Ale" it's got a tremendous amount of personality with both a strong malt body and a powerful hop finish. This'll please and impress any IPA fan but will also likely scare way any drinker of lighter brews. Personally the hop combination isn't my favorite (it's a bit too floral) but it's quite well crafted and something I'd look forward to drinking again.

[Thanks to IrishRedRock for sending this westward in a trade...]

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

Thanks to TheodorHerzl for helping me get my hands on this.

Poured into a snifter a very nice, deep amber color. A thin head was present upon pouring but dissipated very quickly. Nice lacing is present though that is definitely clinging to the sides of my glass.

Smell, I love the smell of Pale Ales and this one doesn't disappoint Definitely bitter with some floral notes and a little citrus. Also noticed a little caramel after it warmed up for a few minutes. Some toasted notes are also present.

The first taste that hit my tongue was definitely very bitter, but refreshing. The bitterness seems to stay throughout each sip actually, with hints of that caramel and some citrus. Some taste of alcohol is also present.

Mouthfeel is good, medium bodied. Leaves my mouth feeling a little dry afterwards.

Drinkability is fantastic, especially after this one warms up a bit. At first it was a little overpowering compared to what I was expecting. 5 minutes after the first sip though, things mellowed out and are very smooth going down.

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

A: Pours a beautiful cascading largish head of light tan on an orangy/brown beer. There's a little haze but good active carbonation and ok lacing.

S: Hoppy, duh. A mild grapefruit scent. Not too strong, but good.

T: Pale Malts and hops mostly. A little heavy on the grapefruit up front. But over all a good pale.

M: Flat, unfortunately.

D: Good, better if it was more carbonated.

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

A- A nice amber color with one finger white head. Very nice lacing.

S- A lot of malt stands out in the aroma. Some hops behind.

T- Always a good drinker. Smooth almost rye flavor leading up to the hop hit. Piney and delicious. Nicely balanced.

M- Crisp. Very nice. Doesn't leave any tongue burn but nice for an APA especially one that's so readily available in Chicago.

O- It's legit. It's a go to when the other's aren't there but it's also something that if pressed I would be seeking out.

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

Have had this beer twice now. Once when a friend (Bigturo) brought a bottle back with him from his vacation in Chicago (with a short trip down to Indiana)and shared it with me. The second time, is when another friend (thanks Skuter) got a bottle in a trade, and split it with me. This review is from notes compiled from both tastings.

A: Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Bruery tulip glass. The beer pours a golden orange, with a copper amber hue. A frothy off white head rose a good inch in a half, then slowly settled leaving spotty lacing.

S: I pick up scents of grass, pine, and a sweet caramel malt.

T: Flavors of pine, mild citrus fruits, earthy grains, and a light caramel bread malt provides a nice back bone. The hops circle back for a dry crisp finish.

M: Medium to high carbonation, with light to medium body, pretty smooth, with a mildly bitter dry finish.

O: Good. Always a great treat to try some Three Floyds beers, being so far from them. Hope to see their Brewery some day.

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Photo of stephenjmoore
3.83/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Very much on the amber side of a pale ale. Deep, transparent amber body with a huge, fluffy slightly off-white head.

S- Piney hops come through on the nose first, along with a big bready malt aroma. Some citrus comes through too.

T- A very balanced taste, with lots of bready malt flavor coming through with the piney hops. Very rich and full-flavored with good balance.

M- Medium bodied, medium carbonation, good drinkability.

O- A nice, balanced APA. At times it is close to a hoppy amber, and borders on being a balanced IPA.

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Photo of distantmantra
3.82/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a straight pint glass. January 8th, 2012.

A: The beer pours a deep amber color with a small head of white foam and some light lacing.

S: There is a hint of pine and citrus in the nose but there is more sweet malt than I figured would be there. This bottle was purchased in early December by my wife's cousin in South Bend IN, so I don't think it's very old.

T: There is a nice initial hop bitterness that is balanced well with the caramel malt and some earthy notes. Well-balanced flavor for a pale.

M: Pretty full bodied for a pale ale with nice carbonation. Alcohol not present.

O: This is my first FFF beer. It's a solid pale ale with a nice balance, but with all the hype I was expecting a little more. Not as hoppy as I thought it was going to be.

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Photo of dciBA
3.82/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a dark amber with a fingers worth of off white head. Quite a bit of grapefruit hops in the nose. Just a little bready malt mixed in. Taste is similar with the malt coming forward more to balance the hops almost perfectly. Theres a fair amount of bitterness from the hops but it's not overpowering at all. Carbonation is perfect. There's a nice a residual hop resin that coats the palate after every sip. Body may be a bit on the heavy side for the style which keeps drinkability down a bit.

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Photo of glazeman
3.82/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a snifter

A: Wow, for a pale ale, I am quite surprised at how dark in color this beer is. The pour yields a dark, dark, amber colored beer with a ½ finger off-white head. The head has moderate retention and some nice lacing.

S: The nose is pretty one-dimensional with pine being the dominant smell. There's also a little bit of apple cider at the start.

T: A nice contrast in the hop profile as compared to the Bell's Two Hearted I just had. This beer is almost all piney hops whereas the prior was almost all citrusy hops. Nice amount of pine and a tad of malty sweetness at the start. Lots of bitterness at the finish.

M: A bit thin for my liking. Also the aftertaste and carbonation weren't quite as high as I would have liked.

D: Pretty good drinkability, although this beer isn't as exciting or interesting as I would like in order to drink several of them...I feel like I would get bored.

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Photo of henryd30
3.82/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Deep amber with slightly orange/red tint. 1 thumb off-white heat of fine bubbles that leaves a nice sticky lacing.

S: Outstandingly fresh. Oranges, grapfruit, and xmas trees.

T: Strong flavored hops out of the gate, slight malt backup, then quite a bitter finish. The first few drinks, the bitter is a little too much, but by the 4th or 5th, it starts to mellow out a bit.

M: Lively carbonation.

D: Not as drinkable as I'd hoped.

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Alpha King from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 1,773 ratings.