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

Not Rated.
Alpha King Pale AleAlpha King Pale Ale

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

5,127 Ratings
THE BROS
93
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,127
Reviews: 1,675
rAvg: 4.26
pDev: 9.15%
Wants: 865
Gots: 562 | FT: 26
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:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Alpha King Pale Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 5,127 | Reviews: 1,675 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Derek
4.45/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

At 6% abv and 66 IBU's, isn't it really more of an American IPA?

A: Clear copper in colour, pours with a nice white head, which leaves a little lace.

S: Tons of citrousy American hop aroma (mostly grapefruit) .

T: Lots of American hop flavour (grapefruit with a little pine), it's powerful, but not overwhelming. Certainly balanced to the bitter side, but it's a very pleasant bitterness. There's a little bit of pale malt flavour in the background, with a hint of caramel as well.

M: Light to moderate body is slightly oily. Carbonation is moderate.

D: At 6% alcohol, it could certainly be trouble!

Thanks for picking this one up Dave!

Derek, Mar 03, 2006
Photo of Jredner
3.6/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Citrusy hop aroma, but it is muted. Copper/tea colored with a finger thick white head. very quaffable. Nothing revolutionary here just a good malt base followed by ample hopping that leaves a mildly sweet malty beer that finishes citrusy and grapefruit bitter. Very solid if you like lots of hops.

Jredner, Feb 27, 2006
Photo of bearrunner44
4.08/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance- Cloudy, brownish-amber color. Bubbly, slightly filmy head, the color of pancake batter. Once the bulk of the head dissipates, a millimeter or two remains perched on top.

Aroma- Sharply acidic hops sting the nose; piney grapefruit aroma all the way. Agitation reveals a sweet, bready hop profile.

Taste & Mouthfeel- Quite a hop bomb! They're brash and assertive, filling the taste buds with citric flavor. The malt is smooth, sweet, and slightly toasty, but it's only in there to help take a little of the edge off the hops. The leftover head and ample carbonation lends the beer a light, slightly airy mouthfeel.

Verdict- The sole purpose of this beer is to serve as a hop delivery system. The strength of the hops might rub some drinkers the wrong way. I appreciated it, though.

bearrunner44, Feb 22, 2006
Photo of Prufrock
3.7/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a pilsner.

orange-red amber with a slight haze and 3/4 inch of foamy white head that leaves perfect rings of lace.

nose is peachy, piney, and rindy; all sorts of nice hop aromas.

taste is nice; tons of hop bitterness with a slightly fruity, peachy touch to the overall hoppy aftertaste that lasts forever. nice mouthfeel with some hop oiliness. not overly complex or interesting; mostly just straightforward hop bitterness.

on another note, shouldn't this be under IPA? how does something labeled Alpha King not make it into the IPA category?

Prufrock, Feb 21, 2006
Photo of bennetj17
4.15/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Color is very reddish copper, lightly hazy, it pours with only a touch of foam. Aroma is strong and inviting, caramel malt balanced nicely with orange scented hops. Taste is mostly dominated by the strong sweet orange flavor from the hops. Malt flavor is less noticible, and in the finish there is a medium bitterness but perhaps not as much as I expected. Mouthfeel is nice, not too thin, although I would have enjoyed it if were a bit creamier. Carbonation is fine. Alcohol was not overpowering.

I really enjoyed the luscious aroma or orange/tropical hops and sweet malt. The flavor couldn't match the same balance but it was drinkable nonetheless. The fruitiness reminded me of Fruity Pebbles cereal, oddly. It's a very unique pale ale, and I was glad to get a chance to try it...

bennetj17, Feb 18, 2006
Photo of vtfan77
4/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Orange/gold color. Pretty thin head that dissipates quickly, but it leaves a nice, sticky lace on the glass.

S- Big pine and citrus hop aromas, but nothing in the malt department. Nice, though.

T- Some sweet malt up front, but hops quickly take over with more pine and citrus. Pine is especially evident, though. Fairly bitter aftertaste, with some lingering biscuity malt flavors.

M- Medium-bodied, goes down smooth. Nothing really notable, but solid.

D- Decent drinkability. I could definitely have more than one in a sitting.

Quite good, quite good. For a regular pale ale, this is ridiculously hoppy. It's hoppier than some IPA's I've tried. I would prefer the hop flavor to be more citrusy than piney, but it was still good. Recommended for hop-lovers.

vtfan77, Feb 13, 2006
Photo of DeaconBluez
4.47/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

received via trade from maltygoodness

awesome amber color. there is a great citrus hop to the taste and smell. great fruit esters. built like an american pale should be built. taste is very crisp, not too much carbonation. man i love the citrusy/leafy/piney taste to this. a very sessionable beer from well known american micro brew. wish this beer would make it down south. i could drink this bad boy daily

DeaconBluez, Feb 10, 2006
Photo of Jacobob10
4.33/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Purchased a 12 oz. bottle from Fire Waters in Hackensack, NJ.

Had the chance to try 3F's flagship brew and I'm glad I took the opportunity to. Pours a reddish-orange color with a medium head. Lots of citrus hops in the aroma. The taste follows suit but really brings this beer together. Lots of flavor. Fruity with a nice malty backbone. A really well-rounded beer! Delicious and drinkable, I could sip this all night long. But honestly, a Pale Ale this is not. Give me a break, this is an IPA.

The beer bar I was at sold 12 oz. bottles of this for $4. Compared to the 22 oz. Gumballhead priced at $16, this was a steal! Seek it out and embrace it.

Jacobob10, Feb 09, 2006
Photo of sopor
4.28/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Perfect amber with a thin haze of bottle conditioned sediment. Medium sized head leaves a splotchy thing film, decent lacing. Smells of bready and caramelly malts and some juicy grapefruit rind hop notes.

"Alpha" King is right, by balance this should nearly be an IPA, and a pretty good one at that. Hops are slightly floral, but mostly resinous grapefruit rind again. Malt is slightly sweet, with cereal and bready tones growing as it warms, but finishing before a dry bitterness in the aftertaste.

Pale body & carbonation, again, no surprises.

Pretty darn drinkable, but THE best APA? We shall see...

sopor, Feb 09, 2006
Photo of timtheenchanta
4.18/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Gorgerous copper brown color with a two finger head with good lacing. Huge oily hop notes. Plenty of lemony leafy hops. Very sweet citrus hop oil taste. A little hop balance. This beer is delightfully smooth and creamy. A textbook APA that I've heard lots about and certainly hasn't disappointed. Thanks to hero27 for this one.

timtheenchanta, Feb 09, 2006
Photo of jlh8643
4.47/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in an imperial pint glass. A nice, tight tanish-white head sits on top of a dark copper body. The head falls down to a small cap leaving good lace all the way down the glass. Piney, citrusy hops greet the nose. More juicy citrus hops with good malt backbone to support the hopload. The beer finishes full and long. A great beer and a good reason why its 3F's flagship beer.

jlh8643, Feb 05, 2006
Photo of Citadel82
4.6/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I was not sure I would like this brew. I had envisioned it as being undrinkable due to being excessively hoppy. I was pleasantly surprised how much I enjoyed it. It pours a beautiful clear copper with a long lasting rocky off-white-head that left lots of clumpy lace. Aroma is in your face citrus, iodine and notes of pine with some faint swet caramel out there fighting to be noticed. Taste is desert dry with strong grapefruit and juniper obliterating the palate in an agressive but not unpleasing manner. Mouthfeel was just right with a hefty grain bill to match the dryness of this agressively hopped brew. Definitely an exceptional APA and well worth seeking out.

Citadel82, Feb 05, 2006
Photo of Birdiebeagle
4.58/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12 oz Bottle Pours a hazy amber with an off white head. Head has good lacing. Aroma has a good mix. I pick up lemon citrus and a good prsence of what may be carmel or molasses malts. aste is excellent a clean well carbonated beer wit great flavors. The mix is perfect. Has a good bitter finish with a nice duration. This is one awesome pale ale. I would drink all of these I can get my hands on. If I see it, I am buying it.

Birdiebeagle, Jan 30, 2006
Photo of danielocean03
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a pint glass. Appearance is a red-hued clear amber color with a half-finger white head that slowly fell to light sticky lacing that slightly clings to the glass as I drink. Aroma is fresh citrus and floral hops, along with hints of sweet maltiness present, smells very fresh and clean. Taste is exceptionally balanced between the citrusy hops and the caramelly sweet hops that stand out in this brew, just enough fresh hop oils/ hop resins to create a nice appreciative bitterness that is kept in check by the sweet malt. Tastes great overall, very refreshing and drinkable. Mouthfeel is slick with a moderate body. Perfect level of carbonation, would definitely seek out again.

danielocean03, Jan 29, 2006
Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.6/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A big “Thank You” goes out to Adam & Chris for providing me with this beer. Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a pint glass.

A: Color is dark amber with a bit if a reddish tint. It leaves a thin, white head, which disappears quickly but leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: Strong but pleasant smell of hops, citrus and more hops.

T: Upon the first sip, the hops taste grabs you right away and leaves a faint citrus after-taste. In subsequent sips, you taste the sweet citrus flavor and then the bitter hops flavor hits the back of your mouth. The two tastes compliment each other VERY nicely.

M: Very crisp with not very much after-taste and perfect amount of carbonation for a clean feel and finish.

D: This beer is certainly drinkable. It’s tasty and not-to-filling. I enjoyed this beer a great deal. Beers have roles in which they fit. I think the role for this beer, for me is to throw back a sixer (or more) while watching a wrestling PPV on a Sunday night.

TheManiacalOne, Jan 29, 2006
Photo of hrockefeller
4.18/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Purchased 1/28/05, poured in to a pint glass.

Appearance: deep gold/light amber in color with a 1/2 inch head that fades quickly but does not go away. Lacing sticks to the glass till the end.

Smell: Heavy citrus smell...mostly grapefruit in my opinion. I also smell a hint of caramel sweetness that is quickly taken over by citrus again.

Taste: Citrusy hops are nearly overpowering in the front and end of the taste. The middle contains a little of the previously mentioned caramel. Well balanced, with a bitter finish that fades slowly.

Mouthfeel: Not thick, but definitely not thin. Does a good job of quenching thirst and not leaving the mouth dry.

Drinkability: Good drinkability, borderline very good. Bitter, but not so much as to leave me turned away. Will absolutely buy again, when I am in one of my not quite as common hoppy moods.

hrockefeller, Jan 28, 2006
Photo of bruachan
4.03/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

my stop in indiana on the world tour at winking lizard

pours into my glass a rosy amber with some lacing
big shot of NW hops lend a coarse bitterness and some big citrus
not very exciting in my book; seems to lose itself in the c-hop pale ale parade. yeah, it's OK but i've got no real reason to seek this out

bruachan, Jan 24, 2006
Photo of crwills
4.4/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Loved it. An awesome example of the style, although much more IPA-like than I expected.

Bought a single bottle of this from Circle Liquors in Pennington, NJ.

Poured into a standard pint glass, a very nice semi-clear amber with not much head. STRONG hoppy smell, with sinus-clearing pine and citrus.

Flavour is very bitter, but in a good way, and held up by the grapefruit and pine. A bit of soapiness, as well as a nice bitter, peppery aftertaste that is pleasant and not overpowering. Mouthfeel is great -- this is quite a dry beer and doesn't coat unpleasantly at all.

Highly recommended, and I plan to get a bunch of this when I go back.

crwills, Jan 21, 2006
Photo of SupaCelt
4.22/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This brilliant little number shows a lovely amber colour. A well mannered head came forth from a delicate pour and crashed into a soapy film. Positive for lace. This beer is so clean. I can see my fingers on the other side with sharp clarity. I can even see the dirt under my fingernails. Just gorgeous. The nose is far from exaggerated. It is a very tasteful and well controlled array of luscious malt sweetness and a mild but nonetheless, dare I say, dazzling hop bouquet. Great citrus notes and nice herbal impressions. The taste shows wonderful synergy betwixt green and grain. The sweetness slides in and swirls into a fruity citrus notion. Everything seems to be lightly expressed with the sum total of flavours leading into complexity. One may find a very subdued grapefruit as a subtle hint, or vague orange inflections, or muted grass and pine. The possibilities are many and intriguing with a refreshingly dry finish that begs the thought of orange peel bitterness and a lemon squeeze. All of these culminating while adrift in the well scaled structure of the malt profile. The body is model. Light but full enough to please the palate and float the myriad flavours. This beer is so graceful and even tempered. Balance exemplified. An abslolute pleasure to imbibe!

SupaCelt, Jan 20, 2006
Photo of swid
4.22/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Beer #8 (of 13) from my beer purchase in Indiana.

Alpha King Pale Ale pours a gold-amber color into my pint glass. Atop the slightly hazy liquid sits a 1/2", off-white head, which slowly dissipates. Decent levels of carbonation, moderate lacing. The aroma is a pleasant mix of citrus/floral hop smells and sweet caramel tones from the malt. Not as complex as one can find in other APAs, however...

Any shortcomings Alpha King may have in the aroma are made up for in the taste. All the various flavor elements come together so very, very well. The citrus, pine and floral flavors from the hops mesh wonderfully with the caramelized flavors from the malt, with just a hint of sweetness coming from the alcohol itself. The amount of balance among all the tastes here is outstanding. The mouthfeel is quite full and "wet", the fullness is probably a bit too much for an APA. Finishes crisp, with a pleasant citrus/bitter aftertaste.

Overall, this is a beer I'd love to have again; it's insanely tasty and drinkable. However (like so many other great beers), I'll have to leave Nebraska to do so...

swid, Jan 16, 2006
Photo of blackie
4.4/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

appearance: The pour produces a low, white head that soon recedes. The beer is a clear, burnished copper color.

smell: Fresh, green, floral hops greet the nose...accompanied by a well balanced caramel malt sweetness. Some aromas of tropical fruits and light estery notes are also present. Great balance.

mouthfeel: The carbonation is towards the lower end of the medium range. The body is medium and slightly slick.

taste: Awesome taste...one of the more exciting and interesting APAs I've had the pleasure of sampling. Fresh tasting, green, resinous hops give the beer a great hop flavor, but are used liberally enough to stay true to the style. A moderate bitterness balances the sweet caramel-like malt flavors.

drinkability: very good, and easy to drink as a result, though the full body limits drinkability somewhat

Brought back a bottle from my trip to Madison, WI

blackie, Jan 16, 2006
Photo of gdogalishus
3.88/5  rDev -8.9%
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.

gdogalishus, Jan 14, 2006
Photo of Vipsanius
4.68/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Just got in a couple of six packs of this much heralded beer. After trying a few glasses, I found my Orval chalice to be the most rewarding (pint glass and others just didn't do it justice). The appearance is a fairly transparent amber color with a little bit of a red tint, very small off white head but with surprisingly decent lacing, however.

Floral and citrus hops dominate the aroma, which also has some sweet caramel malt, piney hop and dark fruit undertones.

The taste is as hoppy as a bunny rabbit on caffeine pills but in a very controlled and balanced sort of way. Not insanely out of control with the hops like some pale ales I've had. This is by far the widest range of flavors I've had from an APA to date. There's no one taste really dominating the others but a lot going on there. Citrus hops, floral hops, small amount of piney hops, which is good because a little goes a long way, vanilla, pomegranate (wth), honey, plum and many other flavors. Also, there's a surprising amount of malt flavors that come through and leave a very nice aftertaste.

This beer is velvety smooth going down and has just the right amount of carbonation. The alcohol is somewhat noticeable but not too bad considering the percentage.

Overall, a great and very drinkable American Pale Ale and definitely the first one I would recommend to someone interested in trying out the style. A great APA, in my mind, should also be a good session beer and this one certainly is...just be careful with the alcohol % as it can sneak up on you.

Vipsanius, Jan 14, 2006
Photo of Schwarzbart
4.28/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Honey orange amber color. The bottle said there may be some sediment, but mine was very clear with no sediment. Hardly any head and very little lacing.
Smell: Lots of nose to this one with smells of papaya, mango, raison, orange, grapefruit, orange rind, lemon, clean lemon grass hops. The malt gives it a grainy quality. Awesome.
Taste: Lots of grassy hop flavor with slight grapefruit on the tongue. Aftertaste is all grass. As it warmed the hops seemed to get more leafy and earthy tasting. Not as flavorful as the nose indicated and a little peppery, but a good tasting APA that is bordering an IPA.
Mouthfeel: Carbonation and mouthfeel is prickly and jumpy at first and slowly smoothes out. As the beer warms it is less prickly and more smooth. Good mouthfeel.
Drinkability: Easy to drink and one of the best APA's.

Schwarzbart, Jan 11, 2006
Photo of normZurawski
4.47/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I rate the taste here on the basis of the category of American Pale Ale. It clearly is exceptional in its category, and stands head and shoulders above Sierra's like brew. To say the taste is anything less than explosive is not giving it a fair shake, IMO. The taste is strong, yet balanced, loaded with flavor on the sides and back of the tongue. The obvious downside is that most people just aren't always in the mood for a pale ale, and if that's the case you shouldn't reach for this beer (thus the 4 I give it for drinkability). That's not a statement of the beer, so much as the beer drinker and knowing their mood.

Either way, I was shocked to see this in the liquor store down the road, having no idea this was distributed in NJ. When I went to the liquor store to get a few bags of ice for a NYE party and came back with ice plus a 6 pack of this and a Dogfish Head Raison that I had run out of, I was forced to go with the explanation that this is the top ranked APA and I couldn't pass it up. While dubious, the wife understood. In any event, the high ranking is well warranted and I'm damn glad I got this beer.

normZurawski, Jan 06, 2006
Alpha King Pale Ale from Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub
95 out of 100 based on 5,127 ratings.