Dismiss Notice
Microbrew Invitational
Join us June 3 + 4 in Boston and help us drink 300+ beers, ciders, kombuchas, meads, sakes and more!

TICKETS: beeradvocate.com/micro/

Alpha King | 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
95
world-class
1,780 Reviews
BEER STATS
Reviews:
1,780
Ratings:
6,200
Avg:
4.26
pDev:
16.67%
 
 
Wants:
956
Gots:
1,214
For Trade:
33
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,780 | Ratings: 6,200
Photo of IowaBiertrinker
3.88/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Orangey-brown to Burnt-orange. Pours with a lasting 1 finger tan colored head.

S: Hops dominate with some subtle malt.

T: Hops dominate again but are not overpowering. Some mellow maltiness comes through with a medium, clean finish.

M: Medium Mouthfeel - catching some Carbonation yet.

O: Drank this chilled around 50 degrees. Nice drink for a warm day. Paired it with a cheesy brat and it was a good combination. Not real complex, but a nice, drinkable beer.

 466 characters

Photo of capra12
3.88/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed solo served out of a pint glass.

Appearance: Poured 2 finger head, tangerine orange with a shade of brown, spotty thin lacing.

Smell: piney hops with a hint of floral hops.

Taste: Upon first sip, it get a huge piney hop with a hop bitter middle leading to a mildly floral finish, but letting this brew warm up does really bring out the malt profile in this Pale ale. As this warmed there is a ckean piney and malty open as a hop bitter profile sinks in as the finish comes leaving a mild hop bitter, mildly malty aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Light bodied, with minimal carbonation and slightly smooth.

Drinkability: I would have this again and I recommend this to someone who enjoys a solid Pale ale with a malt profile that really makes this enjoyable.

 761 characters

Photo of thethrone
3.88/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a deep copper with small white head which quickly disappeared into a thin ring.

S - Smells of pine, and caramel malt. Also a hint of fruity sourness creeps in at the end.

T - Subdued hop flavor, with a malty backbone.

M - Medium body, very smooth, not a lot of carbonation.

D - I get the impression that the bottle I had didn't hold up as well as most, since it is missing the same hoppy profile most others are talking about. Still a great brew, but I would be curious to try it again fresh for comparison.

 523 characters

Photo of Thur123
3.87/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A somewhat heavy pour yields very little head on this one. The color is dark burnt orange with moderate carbonation. Looks more like an IPA than most APAs I've seen. The smell is crisp and hoppy, both bitter and citrus smells coming through. A sweet malty backbone shows up too making this bold, slightly subdued but balanced.

Glug glug glug

The flavor reflects the smell mostly. I've a feeling I should have gotten this fresher somehow but I'm glad to be able to try it either way. The flavor is balanced and the hops that do come though are citrus all the way. A nice bittersweet edge with lemon feeling most prominent. The malt is sweet and kind of dry, it reminds me of a brown ale at this point. Overall a good APA by my standards but sadly I feel I've an old bottle so....bummer.

 788 characters

Photo of gdogalishus
3.87/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Serving from a bottle into a tumbler.
Serving temperature 46 degrees F.
pH measured 4.51
Alcohol content measured was 7.8% by residual extract method

Significantly higher alcohol content measured than that quoted for this beer... double checked the measurements.
Alpha King poured nicely into the glass and resulted in a rather typical pale ale in appearance. Very clear with a 3/4 to 1 inch head of fluffy bubles with a ever so slight green hue in the head. The bottle claims that this beer is bottle conditioned and that is the reason for the slight haze in the beer. I didn't notice the haze at all and can read this review through the tumbler. The head dissipated quickly in the glass. Low carbonation almost vanished by mid glass. The color was a hint dark for a pale ale, but not out of the ordinary.
The aroma was distinctively hoppy. Flavor was an initial maltly sweetness for a brief moment, then a rush of hop bitterness that spread across the entire mouth and throat. The mouthfeel was a little more thick than I expected, but I didn't notice until after the third or fourth swallow.
I feel this beer is a perfectly acceptable example of an American Pale Ale and Three Floyds deserves the praise and recognition they recieve for this beer. I will drink this again.

 1,284 characters

Photo of bmwats
3.87/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a nonic.

A: Amber hue. Pours a 1 finger, foamy, white head. Settles slowly leaving a blanket of foam on the surface. Beer ring lacing.

S: Pine resin, caramel, and pecan.

T: Pine, fresh tea leaf, and oak.

M: Earthy and hearty. Bittersweet finish.

D: Sip and enjoy.

Atmosphere is really nice. Nice head, foamy blanket, and beer ring lacing. Nose is sweet pine resin, candied and wood notes. Pine, tea leaf, and some woody tones. Overall, this is a really good quaff.

 502 characters

Photo of harrymel
3.87/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks (again!) to Jrod1969 for this extra!
Poured to NB globe.

A: Pours a cherry orange ale with supreme clarity. A 2.5 finger peanut head falls to 0.5 finger. No apparent carbonation. Jesus, lacing like a corset!

S: Mmmm. Beautiful malts help accentuate the herbal, piney, resinous hop profiles. Goddam, this keeps me leaning in. The nose reminds me of a really good red ale, not really so much a Pale, but I ain't a hater.

T: The malts die down a bit here. Allowance for the hops to shine, provide the bitterness and balance I anticipated in the nose. There's a woodiness and oaky profiling that nearly dominate the entire palate experience.

M: Medium body with medium-high carbonation. Slight slickness initially, then dies out within seconds. Average.

D: This beer is drinkable. However, the taste puts me off a bit. Wish there were less early bittering hops to prevent such severe dryness.

 901 characters

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!

 968 characters

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.

 392 characters

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+

 1,374 characters

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.

 497 characters

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.

 435 characters

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.

 842 characters

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.

 723 characters

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.

 267 characters

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.

 300 characters

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.

 581 characters

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.

 474 characters

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.

 2,064 characters

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.

 1,230 characters

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

 751 characters

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.

 502 characters

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...]

 2,060 characters

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.

 1,038 characters

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.

 383 characters

Alpha King from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 1,780 ratings.