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Alpha King - 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Alpha KingAlpha King

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,761 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,761
Hads: 6,077
Avg: 4.26
pDev: 16.67%
Wants: 944
Gots: 1,115 | FT: 28
Brewed by:
3 Floyds Brewing Co.
Indiana, United States | website

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: 1,761 | Hads: 6,077
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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Photo of Kramerbarthomer
3.82/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle dated 1/16/14

A - bright orange hue

S - Citrus notes on the nose...

T - Citrus, but not nearly as hoppy as what I'm comparing it too, Zombie Dust

M - Solid, not too sticky, enjoyable

Overall, this is a solid pale ale, but not up there with the top beers I've had. Crisp and enjoyable though.

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

Picked up a six pack at Chuck's Wine & Liquors in Chagrin Falls, OH.

A: Dark russet copper. Thin off white head. Brilliant clarity.

S: Strong intense grassy hoppy aroma, which is also slightly citrusy. Sweet malty background notes also come through.

T: Strong hoppy grapefruit flavor with a lingering aftertaste. Sweet malt is detectable towards the back end. Not caramel if anything a little toasty. Bitterness is also clearly present and prominent.

MF: Medium. Soapy, nearly cloying mouthfeel. Overall a smooth finish without astringency.

D: A muscular in your face hoppy pale ale. If I didn't know what I was drinking I would say it was an IPA. That being said it grew on me. I'll get it again when I am back in Ohio - too bad 3F does not get out to Massachusetts.

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Photo of seh410
3.82/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Copper colored with a finger's worth of white head that quickly dissipates into a thin layer over the top of the beer. Nice lacing.

Aroma: Pine, grass and citrus mostly with some malts in the back and a hint of strawberries

Taste/Mouthfeel: Well balanced. Citrus and piney hops, and again, that hint of strawberry that I wasn't expecting. There's a bit of bitterness that hits as the aftertaste, and it's nice. The mouthfeel is smooth, creamy and felt medium bodied in the mouth. Overall, nice.

Notes: Drinkability is good. Overall, it's a good beer. Emphasis on good. It isn't phenomenal, but definitely holds it's own. This beer is out of my distribution range, and for that reason, I probably won't try it again. There's just so much more out in the MidWest that I'd rather drink again/try than this. If I could pick it up at the packey whenever though, that might be a different story.

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Photo of MmmIPA
3.81/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Very murky amber colored body with a white head that stood for a while.There were flooties in the beer,im assuming they where yeast.Citrusy hop smell,Hops,this is a hoppy tasting beer but there is somthing blocking the hops it seems.Like there shielded.Slick mouthful and very easy going down.Good beer but lacing somthing.I thought it would have been more but it just lacks something.Good though.I will have again.

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Photo of jucifer1818
3.81/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

a: slightly murky, blond/golden color, with a clear body and a weak head

S: Sweet and fruity, with some sweet hoppy aromas

T: It starts off mild, then hits with a hard hoppy crack. this is odd, and it then quickly goes back to mellow, with minimal hoppy aftertastes
Odd, but intersting

M: offly wattery, but has a ok maltyness

Overall: I give this one a 3.5/5. It not bad, but it is a weird brew and I felt that it needed more definition.

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Photo of DrinkSlurm
3.8/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from tap into nonic pint at the brewery. Deep caramel color with a nice foamy head. Piney hop and sweet caramel aroma. taste is bitter hops with some sweet caramel finish. For me the bitterness is just too much. Its actually way too bitter for my likes; which is the norm for FFF. Huge malt and bitter profile - and lots of people like that, just not me. Good brew for sure, I just don't get the hype on this one.

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Photo of BradDurbin89
3.8/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First, I was lucky enough to trade for this beer.

It is quite dark orange in color and unfiltered with a small head after standard pour.

Great smell of citrus and big hop nose.

This beer has a huge hoppy bitterness and a crazy hop flavor that covers the whole mouth. The bitterness lingers. It is good.

The beer has a nice mouth feel and slightly higher than expected amount of carbonation.

This is a good beer, and I enjoyed it very much. I'd wouldn't have more than one is a session, but I will definitely have another one of these beers! Great beer.

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Photo of tykees88
3.8/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a light amber with one finger head. Minimal to no lacing as she goes down.

S- Piney right off the bat and citrus hops. You can smell the bitters in it as well.

T- Pine is again the starter. The hops finish is surprisingly more bitter than I expected, I don't care for the finish here.

M- Thinner easily a beer for a warmer day with the mouthfeel as light and carbonated as it is.

D- For 6 percent I would say it is very drinkable and hides the booze well. Some beers when you reach this point struggle to hide the booze while maintaining the integrity of the beer.

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Photo of Steaks
3.8/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

our of a bottle into a nice pint glass of my friend's. the beer pours a nice dark amber. a small thin white head and it goes good with chicken fingers and watching THE WIRE on a cold winter night. pretty dark for a pale ale but it goes down fairly smooth. good beer.

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Photo of ChrisA
3.8/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Unfortunately for Alpha King I drank this right after I had my first Bell's Two Hearted. It's very difficult to go from a tremendous IPA like that to a Pale Ale. Since I love the hops, I was disappointed in the taste of Alpha King. In retrospect, It was probably much better than I realized and actually stood up well for being an APA. As far as pale ales go, this should be a solid offering. But why drink Pale Ales when you can drink IPA's?

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Photo of WastingFreetime
3.8/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes.

A. Orangish-Amber in color with a single finger of head that recedes to a foam collar in about two minutes, light lacing left behind.

S. Evenly matched power chords of citrus peel, floral scents and caramel malt. A real stripped down to basics and streamlined aroma which works well mostly because of the balance levels being properly adjusted to hit just the right spot between bitter and sweet. If only it were slightly more complex in aroma I would even rate it higher than just a 4.

T. Taste is more about the grapefruit peel (and large amounts of pith as well, it seems) up front with a lengthy denouement of pine sap dryness.

M. Medium body and carbonation levels.

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Alpha King from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 1,761 ratings.