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Alpha King Pale Ale - Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub

Alpha King Pale AleAlpha King Pale Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
95
world-class

4,272 Ratings
THE BROS
93
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4272
Reviews: 1646
rAvg: 4.27
pDev: 9.13%


Brewed by:
Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub visit their website
Indiana, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Ale (APA) |  6.66% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
3 Floyd’s flagship beer, Alpha King is a big American pale ale that pours a deep amber with a creamy head. This ale is brewed with Centennial, Cascade, and Warrior hops giving it an intense citrus aroma and a crisp hoppy finish.

68 IBU

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 07-23-2000)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Reviewers | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Alpha King Pale Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 4,272 | Reviews: 1,646 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of feloniousmonk
feloniousmonk

Minnesota

4.83/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

When I was first introduced to this beer, I was warned that it wasn't for everyone, and at the very least took some getting used to, after all "it's not normal." I'd already had an affection for the hops, and, well, it was love at first sniff and sip.
Years later, after the bloom of fresh infatuation has mellowed, how does the beer compare, especially after this tongue has met so many others, with abundant charms? That is what we seek to discover...
Perfect crimson-tinged nectarine hue, hazy, and blessed with a beautiful bed of froth up on top, leaving delicate lace, enticing the eye. Aroma makes matters worse for the thirst, big fruit, fresh hops, peachy, melon, orange, and, yes, mango, and more, a bountiful bouquet that keeps the nose happy and hoppy. Man, but I need a taste, though!
An explosion in the mouth, the hops are a bursting throughout, but so well buttressed by malt, that any bitterness is mellow and well smoothed out, after an initial bite, at least. Like chomping into a ripe tangerine, juice splashing on the corners of the mouth and dripping down the chin. Though hoppiness flows freely, and bitterness peeks through time and again, the mouthfeel is actually soft and luxuriant, body is medium, and the overall effect is a constant joyride for the palate. A lively and rewarding ale, and a real American classic, a jewel in the craft-brew crown. Count yourself lucky if you can grab these with ease.
Ah, I once had it on-tap around here...those were some fine days...
Thanks to jables for the reunion, after too, too long!

Serving type: bottle

05-04-2004 06:44:03 | More by feloniousmonk
Photo of GreenWBush
GreenWBush

Oregon

4.47/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

An amazingly dark ruby beer that pulls up a bleached white head. Sticky lacing on the glass, none inside of the pitcher.

This beer doesn't have the rich maltiness found in the bottle. The nose and taste is not the citrusy grapefruit bouquet of the bottle, its a rich cherry-like blend of large up-front hops.

The mouthfeel was not as pleasant as the bottle, but a damned good experience nonetheless.

Serving type: on-tap

05-01-2004 03:15:36 | More by GreenWBush
Photo of wailingwench
wailingwench

New Mexico

4.7/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I initially have a problem with anything from Indiana. Syracuse vs. Indiana, 1987, Keith Smart, need I say more? This beer almost made up for those last 3.4 seconds. Randomly tried at The Raven, Oswego, NY.

Foam Factor: Cloudy yellow with some orange highlights. Thick yellow tinted head present throughout.Mesmerized by the dry hops that were floating in it. They captivated me and commanded me to drink more. Of course I complied. A beer that talks to me is a beer worth drinking.

Skunk Factor: Bold and complex. Hops initially overpower. As Alpha warms, floral, citrus, and a hint of something pine chime in.

Tongueland: Tongue was happy. Blunt and bold hop offering at first, but like the aroma, taste became more complex. Finished rich, dense, and well balanced at the end.

Bender: At 7%, whoo hoo. I had the intention of just trying one of these before going with Black Forest for the night. Well, I never made it to the Forest as I detoured staright into Hopland. In addition, I was on my way home to Buffalo. This beer convinced me to get a hotel room and stay over so we could become better friends.

Serving type: on-tap

04-28-2004 17:58:46 | More by wailingwench
Photo of Ellbert
Ellbert

Ohio

4.1/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Orange with brown highlights. A yellowish head crowns this brew. A beautiful sight. What is this... floaties... bits of hops... you can't get much bette.r

Smell: It smells like fresh hops. There is little malt in the smell but the hops just smell so inviting. They over-take the aroma and invite you in. Very citrusy.

Taste: This is not as apealing as the smell but it is good. If you like sharp fresh hops this is great. The hops are upfront... They seem to overpower until halfway into the brew. As it warms up it balances more. The malt decides to play more of a role and steps up to the plate to hand it to the hops. The hops linger and leave an oily coating on your tongue. There is a little caramel in there towards the end. The alcohol is not evident.

Mouthfeel: Rich and dense. The hops impart an oily smoothness that coats your mouth. The malt adds body to the beer and the hop oils strengthen it.

Drinkability: This is not for the faint of heart. It is very blunt with the hops in aroma, flavor, and even appearance with the hop floaties.

Serving type: bottle

04-24-2004 03:17:55 | More by Ellbert
Photo of beergeek279
beergeek279

Pennsylvania

4.1/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in the 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass. The color is copper, with a foamy white head. The smell is a strong citrus hop. The taste is fairly hoppy, but at over 7% the malt shows up quite a bit as well, and a lingering bitter aftertaste. Mouthfeel is average. As for drinkability, I could have a few of these.

Ahh, a not bad pale ale at all, and I appreciated the chance to give it a try, and I might well have it again.

Serving type: bottle

04-23-2004 03:56:04 | More by beergeek279
Photo of ViveLaChouffe
ViveLaChouffe

Georgia

3.58/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Deep hazy copper with a creamy dense tan head. Lacy.

Smell: Citrusy hops, floral and sweet

Taste: Bitter and tart citrus. Smooth lightly sweet malt. Floral.

Mouth: Long hoppy finish, medium bodied.

Drink: Tasty and quite drinkable.

Overall: A bit unbalanced for a pale ale but it does have character. The malt profile could be more steadfast and while it is nicely hopped it doesn't have much to complement it. All in all though a good brew.

Serving type: bottle

04-15-2004 01:55:24 | More by ViveLaChouffe
Photo of Quaffer
Quaffer

Nevada

4.22/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up at Dirty John's in Iowa City. Not available in Wichita.

Appearance. Poured a dark amber, slightly burnished copper color. An average height head caused by a relatively rough pour. It was thick and dense and left plenty of lace in its wake.

Smell: Citrus and pine hops assaulted the nose first, but was balanced well with a backbone of roasted malt. For the amount of hops present, the aroma was warm and well rounded.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied and smooth.

Taste: The citrus and pine hops of the aroma carried on into the flavor. They were nice and clean tasting. Wonderful balance was provided by a strong malt presence. Malt was a combination of sweet and roasted. The bitterness was very apparent, but I found it to be relatively low compared to the amount of hop flavor that this beer had.

This was a great beer. Very hoppy but very well balanced. I wish that it was available locally.

Serving type: bottle

04-13-2004 14:32:21 | More by Quaffer
Photo of soper2000
soper2000

Texas

4.22/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Serving: 12 oz bottle with green hop god?

This beer makes me proud to be a Hoosier. It pours a gorgeous copper color with a cream head protecting it's hoppy citric body. Smell is wonderfully full of citrus notes backed by some bitter hop scents. First taste makes me question why this is called a pale ale, i guess an IPA by any other name... This beer is massively hopped but it's balanced well by fruity esters. Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy. This beer suffers a tad in the drinkability department as the high alcohol content takes it's toll. I also love being able to get this beer at almost ever liquor store in Indiana

Serving type: bottle

03-23-2004 01:47:49 | More by soper2000
Photo of mjohn27603
mjohn27603

Michigan

4.5/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle. Looks copper in the glass with a dense foamy and biscuit like head. Smell is simply wonderful. Lots of green hops smell. I want to take in deep breaths of this beer. Taste is great. So much hops it leaves the end of my tongue numb. Lots of hops taste without being very bitter. Piney notes seem most present. I've had more citrus notes in IPA's. Maybe even a slight peppery taste on the initial sip. Ends very pleasantly with a nice lingering hops aftertaste. How many times can you write the word hops in a review? As much hops as is here it doesn't make you gag with bitterness. Very assertive but not too unbalanced. A very unique and well done pale ale.

Serving type: bottle

03-21-2004 06:04:45 | More by mjohn27603
Photo of masterbruewer
masterbruewer

Ohio

3.83/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a copper amber color with a thin off-white head that faded quick and left decent lacing.

The smell is hoppy and bitter. Maybe a little pine and citrus.

The flavor is tart and citrusy with a floral taste to boot. There's almost a perfumy candy flavor, for lack of a better description. That flavor pushes the border of off-flavor but is actually kind of nice and distinctive.

The mouthfeel is punchy and assertive. The hops and carbonation let your mouth know this is a real ale. But the punchiness quickly dissolves into a solid shot of distinctive flavor.

If you like the pale, hoppy ales, you'll like this one. It's highly drinkable for the style.

Serving type: bottle

03-17-2004 23:56:47 | More by masterbruewer
Photo of TinusTime
TinusTime

Virginia

4.1/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours an copper colour with a fairly standard white head.. the head doesnt last too long but the beer laces well. Smell is of piney hops and a little citrus in the hops. Taste is actually a bit of sweet malt at first then the hops over take that without being overly bitter or hoppy.. Nice carbonation makes for an easy drinking beer. It would be a great session beer.. Over all the beer is good, but It didnt blow me away as much as I thought it would.. I guess i thought it would be hoppier. Still a good solid beer that I would drink again

EDIT-- maybe my first review was with an older bottle or maybe i was in a bad mood, but on second glance this was better than i thought.. The nose on this one was pure piney hops.. Hell my wife even noted that the room smelled like evergreens. Taste was still as good but the Hops much more pronounced. Still goes down smooth .. Glad I gave it a second glance

Serving type: bottle

03-13-2004 16:07:28 | More by TinusTime
Photo of pio
pio

Virginia

4.33/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

it's a ruddy orange beer with golden highlights. a meager white head dies unexpectantly (everytime too) to a halo or 3/4 moon head. less than medium activity in the volume and satisfactory lace, no more.
a blended hop scent abounding with subtlety. floral, cheesier stinky, musty notes, candied citrus like nectorene and naval oranges. evergreen and candy too. a nice hop balancing act with a not too sweet, scanty malt akin to orange marmalade.
a really nice sweet orange kicks off the flavor and then it pines up and the drying hops start to play on the tongue. it dries up and then a balanced long long finish begins. piney, floral of rose type and softly bitter sweet lingering. intriguing and inviting.
the mouthfeel is not very extraordinary but sturdy and supportive. crisp effervescance and easy going body, pretty smooth.
this beer is attractive, just plain attractive. easy to drink while not being "ordinary", it's got nothing bad but wishing i had bought a sixer if i hadn't. if i had i wish i got a sevener. HA!

Serving type: bottle

03-12-2004 00:36:25 | More by pio
Photo of babyhobbes
babyhobbes

Ohio

3.9/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a beautiful amber/orange color with a small cream colored head...lots of lacing after a few minutes. This smells hoppy and citrus-y. Taste is sweet and smoothat first but is followed by a hoppy bite. This tastes good and not overly hoppy for the style. I wouldn't want too many at once though. This is certainly something to try.

Serving type: bottle

03-03-2004 02:28:15 | More by babyhobbes
Photo of Bierguy5
Bierguy5

Ohio

4.25/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep copper color with a white foamy head. There was a great amount of lace present on the glass throughout. Smells somewhat grassy and herbal, along with citrusy. Taste is sweet upfront, then with an intense bitterness. Citrusy bitterness, very sticky. Wonderful! Good mouthfeel. This may not be the most drinkable beer for a session, but it sure did hit the spot. When I am looking for some hops, this is a good beer to have. To me, it almost seems more like an IPA than a plae, but whatever it is, don't pass this one up.

Serving type: on-tap

02-25-2004 03:03:48 | More by Bierguy5
Photo of silenius
silenius

Illinois

4.5/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a chunky off white head that diminishes slowly and reappears with a swirl to the glass. The color is a reddish amber. A very handsome beer.

Smell is a light piney hop, but then again my nose is stuffed up right now.

Taste is first rate crisp hopness, but not overbearing. This is a great session beer. Smooth and integrated. Nothing awkward about this one at all.

The mouthfeel is solid. Not thick, solid. A slight prickle from the carbonation and and a smooth swallow. Nice.

This is a very drinkable beer. I would have one after another easily. An easy choice when it is served in a bar.

The thing is, I remember this being even better on tap. The freshness was overwhelming to me at the time. I will have to re-review once I get this on tap again.

Serving type: bottle

02-19-2004 02:25:51 | More by silenius
Photo of stewart124
stewart124

Ohio

4.33/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Amber color with a little lingering head and nice lacing. Very aromatic smell of hops and floral hints. Taste is a delicious blend of hops and malts. Notes of citrus. Bitter hoppiness that doesn't take over the beer but works very well. Sweet clean taste that leaves a crisp aftertaste of citrus hops. This is a very good pale ale and a must try for anyone who adores hops.

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2004 01:16:09 | More by stewart124
Photo of Crosling
Crosling

Colorado

4.35/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dirty cedar with a white head that quickly fell.

Smells wonderfully hoppy. Citrus scents and loads of leather.

Tastes mainly of grapefruit hops with other tropical flavors. Well balanced and well hopped. The finish is full of lemons.

Excellent Pale Ale.

Serving type: bottle

02-12-2004 03:46:25 | More by Crosling
Photo of yankeeheel
yankeeheel

Maine

4.3/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a light amber with quite a bit of particulate matter that isn't yeast. Kind of disconcerting. Nice light off white head.

Smells deliciously floral with a bit of citrus. Perhaps little grass like.

The taste is outstanding. Lots of sweetness up front followed by some well balanced hop twang and sweetness in the back. Grapefruit, lemon, grass. It has a lot going on. A really good PA/IPA.

Mouthfeel is medium with just enough carbonation to get by.

Drinkability is high. Alcohol gets know fast though it isn't really detectable.

Thanks to JahNoth for the trade.

Serving type: bottle

02-09-2004 22:00:21 | More by yankeeheel
Photo of merlin48
merlin48

Kentucky

4.7/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This poured a murky auburn orange color, with an offwhite head that hung around quite a while. Ring lacing was there until the last dram. Mouthfeel is a bit surprising, as that's where I sense the first inkling of the nice malt going on here. The nose is all about grapefruit, tangerine, and spruce. Halfway through, it still looks like southern iced tea in an oldtimey pitcher. The taste is memorable. I've forgotten how long it's been since I've had such a perfect blend of subdued sweet caramel taste teased by such a wonderful sour grapefruit and bitter Mandarin orange hop balance. This one seems like a happy marriage of an excellent North American ESB with a westcoast Double IPA. Extraordinary!

Serving type: bottle

02-07-2004 02:07:42 | More by merlin48
Photo of Gueuzedude
Gueuzedude

Arizona

4.05/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours an amber color, quite clear except for a few large floaties. Forms a thin beige head that does not stick around too long. An immediate aroma of American hops wafts from my glass. Notes of lychee, grapefruit & other citrus fruits are in the nose, it smells slightly sweet & nectar like, there is a hint of caramel malt here as well. Ooh, quite bitter; this beer finishes with a drying intense bitterness. Overall this beer is only slightly sweet, it has a light body & is focused entirely on the hop component. The hops are over the top, but perhaps it is missing some hop flavor. There is lots of bitterness, but it feels like it is missing some balancing hop nectar flavor. Underlying the hop attack there seems to be some nuttiness, as well as some caramel notes. This beer is all about the hop attack, not much malt here, so if you don't like hops stay away. Luckily I do like hops so this beer is just fine. Perhaps a bit too unbalanced for an everyday drinking beer, but every once in a while is nice.

Serving type: bottle

02-04-2004 18:55:51 | More by Gueuzedude
Photo of Maestro
Maestro

Pennsylvania

4.6/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I was extremely impressed with this pale ale. I like the idea of dropping the "India" moniker. The nose is great. Lots of citrus and pine, coupled with a sweet malt profile. The head is white and thin, but leaves a decent lacing. The color is orange with lots of red highlights. The taste is extremely balanced. The hops are quite present, but they seem to be just right. This isn't an Imperial IPA, just a well-hopped pale ale. There are some grapefruit notes alongside some hints of pine. These are balanced by a taste of toast or a biscuit flavor that balances the hops very well. The ABV is warming as you move through the beer. The finish is very clean and keeps you coming back for more. Wow! This is a great beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-22-2004 00:16:40 | More by Maestro
Photo of freed
freed

Oregon

4.3/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

More from WeeFishHeads...

Poured a surprising amber color (wait! doesn't the bottle say pale?) with no head, and leaving no lacing. The color is rather nice though.

The aroma is slightly grassy, slightly citrusy, but not overbearing. The taste is a very satisfying mixture of bucolic malt flavors, very traditional British tasting. Combined with the nice firmness of the hop flavor, it makes for a great beer. Its a tad high in ABV for a pale, but you don't sense this when drinking. And its very drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

01-21-2004 16:57:26 | More by freed
Photo of sulldaddy
sulldaddy

Connecticut

4.03/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This brew pours amber with hints of orange. The beer is very clear. A white creamy, puffy head foams up easily and dissipates slowly. As it fades leaves very tight latticework on my glass.
Aroma is all hops, dominated by grapefruity scents with some mild pine aromas in there too.
First sip reveals average carbonation and medium body.
The flavor is similar to aroma, slightly bitey hops up front, just a pinch of malt sweetness on the middle, and the finish leaves the same grapefruity hop presence that I found in the nose.
This is a very smooth brew for being very hoppy.
Fairly easy to drink, you gotta try this one even if you dont consider yourself a "hophead".

Serving type: bottle

01-13-2004 03:52:02 | More by sulldaddy
Photo of byrd
byrd

Virginia

4.55/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Clear copper-amber in color with a good, frothy head that dissipates very slowly. Huge grapefuity aroma that I think has some pine notes (I have a hard time distinguishing pine notes). Medium bodied with a good carbonation. The ever-present malt backbone, which is most noticeable at the start, is pretty overshadowed by hops after mid-swallow. The finish is citrusy and grapefuity with an aftertaste that lasts for a long while. As a pale ale, I think I’ve had some IPAs with less hops than Alpha King. Nonetheless, it’s a great brew that is very drinkable and very well balanced. This one would make for a nice session brew. Alpha King almost reminds me of a VERY mild Dreadnaught.

Serving type: bottle

01-12-2004 01:43:17 | More by byrd
Photo of cretemixer
cretemixer

Indiana

4.5/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Glowing deep copper with a dense, eggshell colored head. It soon settles, leaving a "cling-ring" and a lot of intricate lace.
Piney, citrusy hop aroma. Juicy. Caramel malts with a slight biscuity note too.
The flavor starts with a full, sharp, grapefruit bitterness. A bit of warming brings the crystal maltiness up a couple of notches, but the hops maintain their dominance until the very end. More of an IPA than Pale ale in my mind, but a fantastic beer no matter what you call it.
Medium body, soft mouthfeel and tingly carbonation. I could (and have) drink this beer all night.

Serving type: on-tap

01-09-2004 03:44:30 | More by cretemixer
Alpha King Pale Ale from Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub
95 out of 100 based on 4,272 ratings.