Alpha King - 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

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Alpha KingAlpha King

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BA SCORE
95
world-class

1,717 Reviews
THE BROS
94
outstanding

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Reviews: 1,717
Hads: 5,798
rAvg: 4.27
pDev: 7.73%
Wants: 917
Gots: 924 | FT: 28
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
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Reviews: 1,717 | Hads: 5,798
Photo of Treyliff
4.38/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Growler, poured into a tulip

A- pours a clear deep amber color with some reddish hue, small fizzy and creamy white head, eventually reduces completely, leaving a few patches of lace behind

S- fresh citrusy hop aroma up front with an emphasis on grapefruit & orange zest. Fresh grassy & leafy hop notes as well. Caramel malt aroma rounds it out with just a hint of bready notes at the end

T- citrus hoppy notes come through first with lots of orange peel and grapefruit juice, followed by fresh leafy & resinous hop flavors. Slight caramel melt sweetness kicks in mid-palate before finishing slightly bready with more citrusy hop linger

M- medium body and carbonation leads to a foamy mouthfeel and a crisp and foamy finish

O- one of the best pale ales out there. The citrus hops and caramel malt are so well balanced, that it remains incredibly drinkable, while still being packed with flavor (903 characters)

Photo of Guas11
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%

Neck and neck with Zombie Dust as my favorite pale ale. Wonderful hop aroma and delicious hop bite. Beautiful amber color is very inviting in the glass. Personally find Aloha King equally enjoyable from a bottle or on draft.....yes please. Salute (249 characters)

Photo of Roadking1979
4.75/5  rDev +11.2%

After reading several reviews about how this beer can be difficult to find, I suppose I should be grateful that it is so plentiful in my town north of Indy. I have this a few times a month on draft, and it is always excellent- perhaps the best balanced APA I've had. Aggressively hopped with fantastic citrus and caramel at the same time. One of so many great Three Floyd's offerings. Believe it or not, this one can be had for $3 a pint or less year-round at two bars in my town. (480 characters)

Photo of mr-jj
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. Reviewed 9/10/14.

Amber color, large white head, lots of lacing. Smells nice - sugar-coated grapefruit. Flavor is pretty balances. Lots of citrus hops, but nicely balanced by the caramel malts. Finish is crisp and bitter-sweet. Body is medium with moderate carbonation.

Very tasty APA. Definitely worthy of its ratings. More juicy than dry. (393 characters)

Photo of Tone
3.86/5  rDev -9.6%

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 Jonoesh5
4.75/5  rDev +11.2%

[Ph]attest eggshell, 3 inch head I've ever seen! Hung around unto the last sip. A beautiful, copper-bodied pale ale with refreshing citrus hops and a subtle malt combo. Poured into 12oz glass, slightly translucent, and absolutely ZERO floaties. Most refreshing beer I've had in a long time! (290 characters)

Photo of pagriley
4/5  rDev -6.3%

Fresh 12oz into a pint

A - Poured golden copper color with a relatively thick 2 finger head that hung around for a few minutes - not a ton of lacing
S - Not a lot really - some hints of malt and a bit of piney hops but a bit uninspiring actually
T - Some malt sweetness but then a thwack of piney hops that overwhelms with a very bitter finish
M - lighter body, easy drinking but with a bit of substance - exactly what I want in a pale ale

O - Overall underwhelmed a little - very nice, but I am glad I didn't seek this out - it was just in the fridge at my local whole foods. Given the $2 or $3 premium compared to similar pale ales I don't think this is worth it, but if I ever saw it on tap I would have again (716 characters)

Photo of Darkmagus82
4.03/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into a pint glass

Appearance – The beer pours a burnt orange-amber color with a bit of redishness and a nice three finger head of pure white foam. The head has an amazing level of retention, very slowly fading to leave a fantastic level of foamy lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma of the beer is heaviest bready smell mixed with a lighter level of a grapefruit hop. Along with these aromas comes some grass and pine as well as little bit of caramel to produce a rather nice aroma overall.

Taste- The taste begins with a great bready and slightly doughy taste. Along with these flavors comes some hop notes of a mainly grapefruit hop taste along with a little bit of a caramel and some light toast. The toast and caramel remain rather light throughout the taste, with the bready and doughy tastes fading just a bit. Other hop flavors of a grassy and pine flavor join the now slightly stronger grapefruit to leave a rather bready and nicely hopped flavor to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the brew is average to slightly thicker than average with a carbonation level that is on the average side. The feel is very good for the hop and bready flavors of the brew and makes for a nice more mouth coating medium, but is not overly thick to kill the more refreshing pale ale characteristics of the beer.

Overall – A very nice pale ale overall with tons of great flavors and a nice hop blend. This is renowned for a reason… it is very good. (1,503 characters)

Photo of LittleDon
4.3/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Looks beautiful, feels beautiful. Deep amber, almost brown, with plenty of head and sticky lace, the likes of which are unexpected outside of the draft world. Creamy, smooth, medium low carbonation and medium high body gives it a big smooth, and very soft, mouthfeel. Decently balanced, leans toward the dry side, and like Zobie Dust, low acidity. Piney, slightly catty, and at 6.6 ABV, a nice in-between all days and DIPAs. Wouldn't call it intense aroma, though. More understated and consistent with the flavor. (513 characters)

Photo of infinitebruner
4.44/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

October 14, 2014

12 oz bottle; nonick pint glass

A – Dark amber to light brown, very bubbly, looks dense and malty, a lot like a scotch ale or a lighter barley wine. A couple centimeters of off-white head that disappears quickly, leaving light, lacy bubbles on top.

S – A lot of caramel / crystal malt, mildly sweet toffee, juicy, warm bread. Hops come in second, somewhat piney and resiny, citrus tones, moderate intensity.

T – Sweet and malty, again very reminiscent of some English barley wines, with some bright citrus and tropical hop flavors. Very well balanced. Caramel is quite present here as well.

M – Medium body, very juicy. Bitterness is fairly restrained until the finish, where it lingers in the aftertaste. Maltiness is prominent.

O – I love that this is a fairly high-hop flavor/bitterness beer that also really accentuates the malt, which is very flavorful without being overly sweet. I think it’s equally fit for summer BBQs and late fall campfires. Really excellent. (1,010 characters)

Photo of kkleu357
4.01/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.75

From notes on 5/20/14

I’ve had this beer many times. A good solid go-to beer since it is easily available year round in Wisconsin. Pours a light amber color. Good floral smell. Taste is a nice balance of bitter hops and sweet malt. (234 characters)

Photo of Stevedore
4.24/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle. Dated 8/27/2014. Poured into a Three Floyds red pint glass 9/22/2014.

A- Dark caramel-brown body, hazy with a thick three finger offwhite head with quite a lot of hang time. A bit too much hang time actually. Lots and lots of lacing which I haven't seen in a while. [4]

S- Pine, caramel, citrus, bread, floral resins, grass. Even a little bit of orange marmalade, like an English Special Bitter. [4.25]

F- Smooth caramel, a little bit of grapefruit, floral notes, orange marmalade, bread, slight mineral flavours on the backend accentuated by a nice pine resin bitterness. This is nice and complex, but easy drinking, even more so as it warms- the pine seems to fade a little bit and there's more of the floral, grassy hops that come out. In some ways, this is quite complex. [4.25]

M- Medium bodied, a bit peppy with a nice crisp pine and floral bitterness that is refreshing. Leaves a resinous, sticky bitterness on the finish that nevertheless does not last for long, keeping you ready for the next sip. [4.25]

O- Now that I've had 2 years to get over the Three Floyds hype, try many different other pale ales from across the country, revisiting their flagship beer on a whim was a great decision. This is a very complex but balanced pale ale with quite a bit of great fruity flavours. Slightly expensive at $12/6-pack, but then again the quality of this beer is just as good as the ones you'd have to buy in bombers and is still a better deal. [4.25] (1,472 characters)

Photo of JohnnyHopps
4.23/5  rDev -0.9%

I had this one many times. Its about time I reviewed it.

Appearance- The beer was a deep copper color with the head to match.

Aroma- Thus is the pretty standard fff hoppy aroma. You know who brewed this.

Taste- The hops do not overwhelm, but leave there mark. Notes of cinnamon, apple, and lime come to mind. The sweetness gives a peculiar profile to the hops. The aftertaste is dry with the hops fading.

Mouthfeel- The carbonation is mellow which allows the hops to linger. Nice!

Overalll- Three Floyds makes a lot of great beers. People forget about this one. (571 characters)

Photo of Kasabear
4.75/5  rDev +11.2%

A. Golden with a head that hangs on to glass . Thick creamy head.

S. This is going to be goooood. Citrus hops trying to escape.

T. Delicious , just like the smell. Very drinkable.

M. Creamy soft.

O. One of my favorites and you can get it just by asking. (258 characters)

Photo of Whiteweasel
4.37/5  rDev +2.3%

Poured from a bottle, drank from a seidel.

A: A rusty red colour. Clear, but with plenty of carbonation flowing upwards. Aggressive white head, with sticky intricate lacing down the side of the glass. 4.3

S: Powerful citrus primarily, rich rich hops, sweet but very clean smelling. Quite flowery and delicious. Pure hop deliciousness abounds, and not much else. Which is okay with me; it smells amazing. 4.65

T: Alright, I get that it's a mega-hop beer, but this is a bit overboard. If you've ever eaten a hop flower, this is a toned down version of that. With that said, the hop overload is nicely complimented by a sweet caramel aspect. Not bad. 4

M: I'm burping flowery hops, this is so awesome. A tiny bit astringent, but an excellent mouthfeel. 4.9

Overall: Fantastic, super hoppy, it does what it set out to do fantastically. 4.4 (840 characters)

Photo of cecilIPA
4.75/5  rDev +11.2%

I know this is not an IPA but you sure would think it was when you first put it to your lips. very bold and has a very distinctive . One of my new favorites and look forward to trying more from this brewery. (211 characters)

Photo of Franziskaner
3.97/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Light brown color with a fair amount of haziness. There's a good inch thick tightly knit layer of khaki colored head. Brussels lacing. The aroma is a blend of cereal grains. The flavor is a bold burst of cereal grains and subtle hops that blend to give it almost a copper like bitterness. There's a slightly chalky note in the mouth. (333 characters)

Photo of Gaddabble
4.57/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Beautiful amber/copper hue. Malty, sweet smell with citrus and dark fruits. Taste follows the smell with rich caramel malt coupled with fruity hop character finishing with very pleasant tobacco on the back end. A wonderful and unique pale ale. For my money, there no one pumps out world-class pale ales like Three Floyds, and this is no exception! (351 characters)

Photo of leantom
4.81/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Just got to Indiana (Bloomington) to visit the law school. Was anxious to try Three Floyds since I had heard so much about them. Holy Moly, this beer is damn good. This beer alone makes the trip from Virginia worth it. Here goes:

A: Lovely. Beer pours a dark, cloudy brown that's rather opaque (a lot darker than most pale ales, in fact). However, the head was massive; incredibly fluffy. Drinking the beer left a ton of lacing on the side as well. You can tell that this is a very well-made beer.

S: Beautiful. Unlike most APA's, you can smell both the hops AND malt. They're very well-balanced against each other, with American hops giving way to a rich caramel malt backbone. Both sweet and bitter at the same time. Simply superb balance!

T: Taste follows the nose, which is great. Initial taste is one of sweet caramel and amber malt. The beer would have merely been good had they left it at that, but what happens afterwards makes the beer excellent. The malt gives way to a strong hop backbone consisting of grapefruit, pine and lemon peel. Truly magnificent.

Also of note, while the hop backbone is strong, it doesn't leave a lingering hop aftertaste. It's almost as if this beer has come down from heaven.

M: Again, excellent. Lots of carbonation and very full-bodied for an APA. Glides down the throat smoothly, though, even with the carbonation apparent.

O: Exquisite. Par excellence. Three Floyds, you are king! (1,428 characters)

Photo of mtomlins
4.28/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a stemmed tulip glass and shared with a buddy.

Pours a deep copper color with a big, foamy white head that settled slowly to a creamy collar and leaving some nice lacing. The nose is a nice balance of malt and hops; bread biscuits and caramel along with some floral, spicy hops. The taste follows suit with again, a really nice balance. The malt presents as nice and toasty, some bread and sweet caramel. The hops were difficult for me to tweeze out, and presented more as those great West coast spicy and floral bouquet. It has a easy drinking body, yet is still round and creamy with enough carb to lighten but not too much. Overall, I was impressed with the balance FFF achieves with this brew and the depth of flavor considering its low-ish ABV. (781 characters)

Photo of Caveworm
4.36/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Alpha King Pale Ale from Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub, my first by this acclaimed brewer. Poured from the bottle into a glass mug, this brew's got a lumpy, mildly porous head that recedes back down just enough to cap off the translucent, medium brown body. Generous lacing here.

Smells like citrus,floral hops, with a slight earthiness about it.

I taste peppery citrus, floral hops, yes. A slighty sweet-tasting smack of the lips seems to impulsively happen after each sip. I can't seem to put my finger on what this sweetness IS, exactly. But its there, and it does a fantastic job at balancing out this hop bitterness. Very smooth and dry finish from Alpha King

An exceedingly clean finish from this brew. Zero lingering elements, even with the apparent hop taste. I wish more hoppy beers had this clean a finish!

Overall a well-deserved knockout 4.5 for Alpha King Pale Ale from Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub. This had enough bite to taste, and went away as I finished the sips. The clean finish made this very refreshing. I will undeniably buy this brew again. (1,082 characters)

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

Pours a dark amber-orange with a creamy and slightly beige head that has great retention and thick lacing.

Smells sticky sweet, with fresh but nondescript notes of tropical citrus such as orange, and even a bit of caramelized banana when it is backed with a well-bodied caramel malt. A little more malty, but overall very well-blended with hop scents and freshness.

Tastes very similar to the smell, with notes of orange, melon, grapefruit, again a little banana, and a little earthy spice & bitterness on the finish. The sweet malt backbone balances throughout with lots of caramel and buttery malt flavours.

The feel is thicker but also very well balanced and carbonated with a bit of dryness from the alcohol at the end.

Overall perhaps a bit more British than American in style, but packed with plenty of fresh citrus hop goodness. (839 characters)

Photo of gueuzedreg
4.37/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A- Nice golden ruby color, minimal head, vanilla lacing with low legs. Semi-transparent, this beer has a very nice ruby red to dark golden honey hue to it.

S- Whatever hops they used in this one, they did a great job of getting the aroma out of it. Low to medium malt, but it is in the background. Some pine

T- The hops have taken more of a back seat in the taste, which I approve of. The mild backbone steps up. Kinda watery, but that is minimal and waay in the back. Taste is the highlight for me.

M- Subtle creaminess, the carb works well with this one. I am kinda new to the midwest pale game, but they must have been working on this one for awhile. Very well balanced.

O- Another great pale from FFF. Cheers Kristine and Brian! (739 characters)

Photo of BEERchitect
4.21/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

It's a game of maneuver- to threaten with the strength and hops of IPA but to balance like American Pale Ale, Three Floyds knows this game all too well. With the allure of citrusy hops to captivate the senses, yet the sweeter balance to balance the bite; this full-bodied pale ale doesn't know what it wants to be, but I know exactly where to put it!

While its near-toffee sweetness coaxes the tastebuds, its creamy body wraps around the tongue with sultry effect. While nutty like peanut brittle, an overcast of grapefruit captures the nose for a balanced sensory perception is every bit what its heady amber shades suggest.

Balancing exceptionally well across the middle, an even-keep taste of deeply caramelized malt slowly gives way to the rise of citrusy grapefruit pith, peel and pulp. While its body drifts from fuller pale to drier IPA, a resinous tone transpires in the form of wintergreen and sap.

Its closing taste is dedicated to the grapefruit rinds and resinous pine bittering that's been foreshadowed in the taste thus far. Dissipating sweetness leads to a snappy toasty-dry finish with a mild crusty bite with a drift of citrus underneath.

So, is it a balanced IPA that makes the perfect ale or is it a hop forward pale ale? Regardless, this could be the epitome of American ale period. (1,306 characters)

Photo of blankenhoney
3.5/5  rDev -18%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled 5.22.14 and poured into a teku

A: darker amber or copper

S: initially i picked up lots of malty breadiness and tart citrus aromas. after letting it sit awhile, i found an intensely concentrated aroma of orange. there's also a fair bit of pine underneath everything. i was turned off at first but the orange and pine aromas are pretty nice.

T: this beer is dry and bitter. i get a lot of citrus bitterness and a little bit of sweet orange maltiness.
not much going on here for me. it's bitter and malty, so right on point for the style, but it's a bit uninteresting.

M: very dry and bitter; medium-bodied

O: straight-up bitter and hoppy beer that didn't do it for me (679 characters)

Alpha King from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 1,717 ratings.