Dismiss Notice
Hello, is it beer you're looking for?

Learn more about beer. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for as low as 68% off the single issue price.

Subscribe now →

Alpha King - 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Alpha KingAlpha King

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,742 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,742
Hads: 5,939
Avg: 4.26
pDev: 8.92%
Wants: 931
Gots: 1,002 | FT: 24
Brewed by:
3 Floyds Brewing Co. visit their website
Indiana, United States

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

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 07-23-2000

A bold yet balanced American Pale Ale with slight caramel sweetness and aggressive citrus hoppiness. This is our flagship beer.

68 IBU
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Alpha King Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,742 | Hads: 5,939
Photo of xgrigorix
3.95/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Twelve ounce brown bottle. No dates.

Deep auburn colour, topped by a dense beige head. Plenty of sticky lace is left clinging to the glass.

Big grapefruity citrus aromas wrapped around resinous pine notes. Dive in!

Hopheads delight! Big juicy orange / grapefruit flavous, along with intense pine. Fortunately theres enough sweetness / malt to hold this thing together. Medium bodied, slightly creamy, gentle carbonation.

 429 characters

Photo of ark57
4.47/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

It pours a clear dark copper/amber with a good sized beige head and it has some lacing. The aroma has a lot of hops (mostly cirtus with some floral notes) and some malt. I get juicy grapefruit from the hops and a slight caramel maltiness in the background. It becomes slightly sweet and malty and then the hops finish up with a well balanced bitterness. It is over the top, but just a fine pale ale.

 399 characters

Photo of andyo
4.33/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a dark red, almost slightly brown. Left a real nice head that stuck around for a while. Whilst drinking this beer, I noticed a very nice lace that clung to the glass for dear life. Very nice.

This beer had a very big taste. Most notable was the floral/bitter combination, mixed with some very heavy citrus malt flavors. Great balance with the hops too. Nice crisp mouthfeel with just the right amount of carbonation. The aftertaste was huge, with a pleasant bitter/fruity taste that lingered on my tongue till the next sip.

This is a great beer that begs to be drunk time after time

 595 characters

Photo of Skidz
4.12/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours out deep yellow and sits a reddish-amber in the glass. Small white head stays with the whole way down, and leaves a good amout of skim on the surface.

Smells largely hoppy, with notes of raisins, prunes, caramel and a slight nutty aroma blended in an all-together earthy blend.

Tastes sweet overall with caramel and drak fruity esters making the mass of the beer. Nice hoppy finish with good bitterness to boot. Light citrus zest-like flavor picks up at the very end.

Super smooth with very mild carbonation. Easy to drink, with good taste and silky flow.

 570 characters

Photo of rabidawg
3.93/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Crystal-clear glowing orange with a medium white head. Decent sticky and irregular lacing, with moderate carbonation. Obviously filtered.

Smell: For a beer that's dry hopped, I'm not altogether impressed with the aroma. Slightly spicy hops with a decent backbone of sweet malts.

Taste: Initial bittersweet mix of spicy hops and complex malts. Creamy in the mouth, with nice balance. Don't get me wrong, it is a bitter beer, with massive high-alpha bittering hops for a pale ale. But balance is the name of the game here. Relatively high alcohol is barely noticeable except for a warming of the face. Nice finish, with juicy citrus flavor.

 656 characters

Photo of benmiliron
4.05/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Paid $1.71 for a 12 oz single.

This is probably the best standard pale ale I've ever had. Definitely the Alpha King; as the name implies, a seriously hopped beer here. Malt is second (but still present) to citrusy hops. Wonderful. A great session beer. I wish we could get more 3 Floyds stuff in NW Ohio.

 307 characters

Photo of yemenmocha
3.97/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Basic amber color, generous head with good retention.

Ample pine needles on the nose. Very piny. Almost all hops on the nose, maybe a tad of candied malty notes.

Flavor is predominatly of the hop flavors, especially up front. Only later on the palate do you detect the malt. Huge hoppy peak and aftertaste. This beer is all about the hops.

IPA fans will find this very drinkable (compared to other IPA's, in my view) however I find it slightly challenging. Likely I'll only drink one at a time and then move on to a different beer.

 541 characters

Photo of RockyTopHeel
4.58/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Part of the Spoils of Charlottesville Run, 4.30.04.

A lovely, slightly candied hop aroma came a-bubbling up from my Alpha King after I poured the translucent nectarine-shaded (yes, I stole that, but it's a perfect description--thanks felonious) brew.

On the front end, I'll say that my expectations for this beer were exceedingly high.

It met them.

This has "everyday beer" written all over it -- in that, it's so good, you'd be lucky to be able to drink it every day. I know I would...if I could. It's flavor is all-around brilliance, subtle yet bright, an intoxicating (beyond the alcohol) blend of sweet citrus and floral hops, melded perfectly with a touch of soft malts around the edges, giving the beer a nice, stiff backbone for the hops to layer upon.

A little more subtle than Stone IPA (expected, because it's not an IPA), but similarly brilliant, especially to be so hoppy, yet so drinkable.

I'm sold. Too bad the nearest place I know to buy one is a four hour drive away...But you know, it's almost worth it.

 1,038 characters

Photo of feloniousmonk
4.82/5  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!

 1,558 characters

Photo of GreenWBush
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
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.

 406 characters

Photo of wailingwench
4.67/5  rDev +9.6%
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.

 1,121 characters

Photo of Ellbert
4.14/5  rDev -2.8%
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.

 1,072 characters

Photo of beergeek279
4.12/5  rDev -3.3%
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.

 428 characters

Photo of ViveLaChouffe
3.58/5  rDev -16%
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.

 468 characters

Photo of Quaffer
4.2/5  rDev -1.4%
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.

 912 characters

Photo of soper2000
4.22/5  rDev -0.9%
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

 627 characters

Photo of mjohn27603
4.51/5  rDev +5.9%
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.

 671 characters

Photo of masterbruewer
3.8/5  rDev -10.8%
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.

 668 characters

Photo of TinusTime
4.1/5  rDev -3.8%
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

 905 characters

Photo of pio
4.29/5  rDev +0.7%
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!

 1,028 characters

Photo of babyhobbes
3.88/5  rDev -8.9%
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.

 335 characters

Photo of Bierguy5
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%
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.

 532 characters

Photo of silenius
4.48/5  rDev +5.2%
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.

 770 characters

Photo of stewart124
4.32/5  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.

 373 characters

Photo of Crosling
4.32/5  rDev +1.4%
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.

 271 characters

Alpha King from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 1,742 ratings.