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Alpha King - Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub

Not Rated.
Alpha KingAlpha King

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

5,284 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,284
Reviews: 1,686
rAvg: 4.26
pDev: 9.15%
Wants: 871
Gots: 609 | FT: 24
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:
A bold yet balanced American Pale Ale with slight caramel sweetness and aggressive citrus hoppiness. This is our flagship beer.

68 IBU

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 07-23-2000)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,284 | Reviews: 1,686 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Absumaster
4.55/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Got this from a trade with dogfooddog.

An amber, brown beer with a small head and very little visible carbonation.

Smell is near perfect, very hoppy with grapefruit and lemon smells, citric. It is all very fresh and pleasant. After the first hop explosion there is a nice malty smell that is also a bit wort-like (mash).

Taste is bitter, citric and grapefruit, with some piny flavors. Very fresh and pleasant to drink, from now on this is my favorite beerstyle, easy to drink, low in alcohol and high in taste. The hop is backed up by the maltiness, which comes alive when my tongue gets used to the bitterness. Body is medium and gives a nice balance to the bitterness. The beer is not sweet and sticky. Aftertaste is piny and grapefruit bitter which is lingering and even my burps taste good.

This is one of the best beers I have ever tasted! Thanks dogfooddog!

Absumaster, Jan 12, 2007
Photo of MDekker
4.38/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a clear brown color, darker than I expected for a pale ale. Small, but subtantial head.

S: Floral, fresh, piney and hoppy with hints of citrus. Pleasant.

T: Quite subtle and delicious. Hard to pinpoint exactly what I'm tasting. Very well-balanced.

M: Smooth, somewhat creamy, and well-carbonated, but not irritating. Pretty thick for a pale ale.

D: Went down easy. The bitter finish doesn't linger too long, and makes you want more. Overall, very nice.

MDekker, Jan 12, 2007
Photo of Enola
4.78/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Received as part of the Double Trouble BIF.

This beer is a slightly murky orange with a thin head and not much lacing. But the smell is hop heaven. Sweet hop aroma fills the air. Cirtus hints are present as well. This beer is what I think a hopped up beer should be. Sweet, bitter but not harsh. Just nice and smooth to make a very drinkable brew. Mouthfeel is silky smooth. The drinkability is high. In fact, the beer is gone before the this reveiw is even finished. I could certainly go for more of this beer. Off to add it to my wants.

Enola, Jan 10, 2007
Photo of cabsandking
3.95/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark amber color and a thin but sturdy white foam cap. Big floral, fruity nose...citrus, caramel malts, and more floral alcohol esters. Really nice dry hop character, not too spicy, sprucey, juicy citrus notes of orange and grapefruit rind, and all balanced with sticky diacetyl. Sweetness varies between hard candy and honey. Medium body and a full mouthfeel that ends dry, bitter froth. The finish is bitter, some grapefruit twang and spicy hops. Extremely juicy and aggressive hop characters might push this beyond its style a little but its still very tasty and an easy drinker.

cabsandking, Jan 09, 2007
Photo of nortmand
4.97/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours brilliant ruby amber with a half finger of white head.

Aroma is total fresh ruby red grapefruit domination.

Rounded caramel maltiness and massive citrus flavor. Nice citric acid lingering bitterness. Grapefruit all the way.

Medium bodied and very smooth. Refreshing hoppy and flavor. Just fantastic.

nortmand, Jan 09, 2007
Photo of orfeu
4.33/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Review #300.
Maximum respect to czoch75 for throwing this special surprise into our recent trade. 12 ounce bottle, no best before date. Tawny amber-gold with a moderately-sized, creamy, just off-white head and undying sheets of lacing. A lovely hyperactive citrus aroma greets my nose, with tangerine, grapefruit, and bergamot predominating. There is also a distinct scent to the bouquet that is not at all unlike high-grade cannabis, all sticky and resinous. Exceptional aroma for me, if only due to the affective evocations it elicits. Big pine and citrus flavors with a crystal malt sweetness in the very back. Bitterness is the dominant characteristic of the taste, but it's not rough (so I'm guessing no Chinooks in this one). Lip-smacking, but not for the faint of heart, at least as regards hoppiness. Fairly light in body; there's a stickiness to the mouthfeel that borders on syrupy but doesn't quite get there. The floral character of this beer is making me pine for spring and summer. What a treat it must be to have this available year-round to pick up before a summer barbeque. Many thanks, Clint.

orfeu, Jan 07, 2007
Photo of malcontent
4.47/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Rich mahogany body capped by a thick, sticky head. Looks good enough to drink.

Impressive citrus themes with undercurrents of ginger and hibiscus. This needs drinkin'.

Piney hops coat the tongue with a fantastic sweet/sour duality (almost like a loganberry; look it up if you don't know what it is). Spicy finish. Awesome.

Low on carbonation, almost like an English bitter with a creamy mouthfeel perfect for all-night consumption. God, I love this beer. One of my favorite sessions with a taste that keeps on giving.

malcontent, Jan 04, 2007
Photo of pmcadamis
4.63/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Tried this at Navy Pier in downtown Chicago.

A - Ruby amber and clear with a thin white head.

S - Pine and citrus hop aromas mainly. Zesty and zingy.

T - Big ole dose of ctrus and pine hop flavors. Orange rind, pine, and lemon. Much more powerful than the nose. Biscuity malts hold it together.

M - Acidic, medium bodied, and chewy. Excellent dryish finish.

D - Awesome! I could drink these regularly.

pmcadamis, Jan 02, 2007
Photo of barefootbrewer
4.05/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured a clear copper color with a thin head that dissipated quickly. The smell is very hoppy – and has a fresh cut grass type aroma. The taste is bitter and very hoppy with just enough malt to counter the hops. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and slightly creamy. If you are in a mood for hops, this would be highly drinkable. I love pale ales, but can usually only drink one or two before it gets too bitter. I’d have to say, this is the best one I’ve had the pleasure of tasting.

barefootbrewer, Dec 31, 2006
Photo of scoobybrew
4.33/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was poured from the bottle into a pint glass. It has a deep, clear ruby-like amber color with a decent head that is well retained. It has a wonderful hop aroma with notes of malt. The flavor delivers the aroma with a strong, full hop flavor profile backed by sweet, tasty malt. It has hops 'at every level' with a great hop finish that is somewhat bitter, but not over-the-top. It has a medium body with moderate carbonation.

This is an excellent APA, a contender for my favorite of the style. It seems to have a sweeter malt character than some, and more hop flavor than others. In perspective, I think it's somewhere between a Burning River and a Sierra Nevada, but closer to a Burning River (two beers I enjoy very much).

scoobybrew, Dec 23, 2006
Photo of
4.08/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz. bottle.

Hazy amber fluid, with a medium sized head. Lots of lacing as I drank.

Aroma was grapefruit, peaches, honey and bread.

Taste was excellent. Biscuity malt, grapefruit and honey. A very hoppy beer, but with plenty of malt to balance.

Medium + in body. Medium carbonation. Drying.

I really enjoyed it. Sessionable if you are into hops. Great balance. Easy to see why it scores well. This one falls into the category of expectations met. Not sure I would call it a Pale Ale, though....

, Dec 19, 2006
Photo of BeerBelcher
4.2/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours very dark for a pale ale...is a dark amber that is more reminiscent of a barley wine. The head appears a bit soapy, with large uneven bubbles, particularly a moment after pouring.

Smell is less like familiar hop bitterness than it is like pure citrus-ness. Given the very dark appearance of this beer, the smell is much lighter than I would've guessed.

The taste is extremely good. Full and sweet up front, with citrus note throughout the finish. This beer is very apparently bitter, but not in an intimidating or challenging way.

Like Gumballhead, mouthfeel is light and pleasant for such a big beer. This beer is not at all "sticky" the way many big IPAs/APAs are today.

I could drink a few of these...I should say, I would really enjoy having a few of these.

BeerBelcher, Dec 19, 2006
Photo of fisherman34
3.83/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottled sample from trevorwideman via demcorhip. Medium amber in colour with a bit of haze. Slightly below average carbonation for the style. Dominant pine needle aroma, with some background notes of sweet citrus, both sweet and toasted malts, and even a bit of yeastiness. In the mouth, there is more pine, but more reminiscent of the wood itself as opposed to the fragrant needles. The citrus notes become more distinctive and remind me of tangerine, mandarin orange, and grapefruit. The hop flavors are substantial, but their sharpness is blunted by the equally assertive malt presence. The bitterness is about on par with the style, which is somewhat of a disappointment considering the name of the beer. Overall, this is a very well executed beer, but not the mind blowing, mouth-puckering experience I was hoping for. Something a little dryer and a little more bitter with the same amount of complexity would have garnered a higher rating from me.

fisherman34, Dec 12, 2006
Photo of Pegasus
4.22/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Crystal-clear light copper in color, with a small white head, thick broken lacing, and faint carbonation.

Aroma: Massive pine tar and grapefruit hops, with sweet caramel malt beneath, and a dazzling array of light fruits, including peach, melon, and orange.

Taste: Strong pine tar hops dominate from start to finish, sweet caramel malt notes struggle to assert themselves, largely failing in the attempt. The pine tar hop notes linger on and on, well past the end of the taste, with a persistent bitter note.

Mouth feel: Very soft and full, almost syrupy, with no carbonation noted.

Drinkability/notes: Superbly well-made, but quite biased toward the hops, hop-heads will surely be delighted, for everyone else, it may be a bit much.

Pegasus, Dec 10, 2006
Photo of hckyfn9999
4.58/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a hazy amber color with a cream colored head and has some nice lacing.

Aroma is strong of citrusy and floral hops, like something such as a IIPA. Very nice with notes of grapefruit, bubble gum and a faint caramel smell.

Despite smelling more like an IPA, the taste is more up to par with an APA. A great tasting pale ale with a little malty sweetness up front followed up by some nice citrus flavor.

Mouthfeel is smooth and pleasantly carbonated.

A very drinkable beer. I will buy this again if it is available too me. I had to go out of my way to get this and I am not disappointed. A great beer.

hckyfn9999, Dec 08, 2006
Photo of quasimoto
3.8/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

A - Deep amber/light copper color I seem to have stirred up the yeast in the bottom. Has a light off-white head, that leaves a little lace.

S - Strong aromas of citrusy hops, Grapefruit, lemon-lime, some bubble gum and some grass. The malt just barely peeks out from the back.

T - The aromas transfer to the taste of it. Nice Grapefruit citrus hops are dominate, but then turn to a nice resiny hop flavor. The is the malt in the back ground but its gone out.

M - Actually for a pale ale it seems a little heavy. Normally they tend to be a little lighter.

D - Definitely drinkable, but a little heavy for the style.

quasimoto, Dec 07, 2006
Photo of LongBeachHopHead
4.43/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

3 Floyds Brewing Co.
Alpha King - Pale Ale @ 6.0%

Appearance: Slightly cloudy amber color. Darker than I expected from a pale ale. Great head with sufficient lacing throughout the entire glass. The cap almost broke my opener so this was sealed with love!

Smell: Citrusy large presence of hops. More of an IPA type smell to it than a Pale Ale. A nice sweet malt hint that I can't wait to taste.

Taste: Wow, not any typical Pale ale for sure! A huge concentration of hops. I'm getting a toffee-like hint along with big hops, piney, grapefruit undertones. A well balanced pale ale? Didn't know that this could exist. For a Pale Ale, this is superb, hell if you told me this was an IPA, I wouldn't argue. It blows many IPA's I've had, away.

Mouthfeel: The brew has a creamy feel which covers the palate with flavor from first swig. I don't know if this is a pale ale. I would classify it closer to an IPA.

Drinkability: This beer puts SNPA to shame. It is an APA on steriods and holds a very solid complex hoppy, malty, bitter-sweet masterpiece together. I could drink this all night. Too bad its not readily available in SoCal. I got this in a trade from Northertimber.

In all, this beer would rate as one of the best Pale Ales that I've ever tried. The folks at 3 Floyds are amazing and I can't wait to try Dreadnaught someday. Thanks Chris for this one!

LongBeachHopHead, Dec 06, 2006
Photo of emerge077
4.15/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hazy orange-amber pour, with a good head of foam.
Smells of sweet citrus, and piney hops.

Tastes malty with a hoppy zing upfront, and an almost smoky grain note in the aftertaste. Very balanced, not heavy-handed with the hops, just right. Feels "round" in the mouth, not too rich, but there's a fullness there. Velvety and smooth.

Wish I had more than one, oh well...

emerge077, Nov 29, 2006
Photo of Realale
4.43/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Copper red. Extra fine beige head settles quickly to an incomplete cap.

Resiny, citric hops lead the nose. Caramelly, bready malt lies underneath providing more than ample support. Excellent balance, and complexity. Very nice indeed.

Even better in the mouth, where a medium body conveys that magic FFF juicy hop flavor. Again, there is excellent balance between the big maltiness and even bigger hop load. Finishes with a long, lingering hop bitterness. Major league.

Mild, extremely fine carbonation from the bottle conditioning gives a lush mouthfeel. Liquid velvet. Perilously drinkable. Amazingly this is probably my third favorite of the regular FFF line-up, but that speaks to the quality of Pride & Joy and Robert the Bruce rather than to any problems with this beer. Top notch stuff.

Realale, Nov 27, 2006
Photo of msubulldog25
4.35/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Received in trade with DavidEddie (thanks!). Poured to a pint glass. What is an "Alpha King"? - the label shows what seems to be a tubby version of the Hulk, sporting a golden crown and sprinkling loose hop cones into a pint of beer. All hail the Alpha King...

A: Hazy amber with a creamy/fluffy 1.5 finger head. Retains the head nicely and offers a thick lace. Bottle-conditioning means there are some floating particulates - still a very nice looking brew.

S: Hops - sweet and juicy citrus with a liberal dose of resinous pine. Cascade and Centennial hops mostly. Caramel sugary sweetness provides balance.

T: Malt presence is sweet and full. Zesty citrus hop flavors of grapefruit, oranges and rind. A little spicy tasting and with a slight hint of toasted nuts. Very, very juicy and great balance. Bitterness is less pronounced.

M: Smooth and almost creamy. Medium mouthfeel and body. Salivation-causing hops leave you craving more.

D: Very nice beer, excellent flavors and balance - one that you could drink several of...

msubulldog25, Nov 22, 2006
Photo of GeoffRizzo
4.88/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Slightly cloudy off-orange in color. Decent tiny tan head that maintains superior retention. Near sugary lines of patching will retain until the sunlight of tomorrow is upon us. The nose is largely citrus hops, a sinus cleansing dose; pine cones and grapefruit, crossing the IPA side here! Bold and big…are the hops, citrus and piney in flavor. To get technical, my seasoned taste buds can quickly pick up on the centennial and cascade hop offerings; warrior hops, hmm. Massive flavor of freshly squeezed grapefruit juice and orange peels. There is a moderate caramel malt backbone, yet it is certainly second fiddle to the three letter h word. Full bodied and loaded with flavor. The best APA on the market, search for it, find it, secure it. World class! A liquid-hops-induced delight!

GeoffRizzo, Nov 21, 2006
Photo of ndekke39
4.33/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Drank this from a 12 oz bottle with no freshness date. Pours a nice reddish-orange color, with a small, off-white head. Very good retention. Sweet and hoppy aroma, smells like a cross between an IPA and a Scottish Ale. Piney hops, touch of caramel. Excellent aroma of toasted barley that comes out as the beer warms to room temperature. Taste is dominated by the hops, but the barley balances it nicely. Good, creamy mouthfeel. Very easily drinkable beer. This is my first time trying a Three Floyd's offering, and I will definitely sample more.

ndekke39, Nov 20, 2006
Photo of flexabull
4.15/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours bright orange, slightly hazy, a small head with a little lacing.

Aromas are quite nice. Citrus and pine like hop notes. A touch of sweetness is present in the smell too.

Mouthfeel is good on the first sip, a very full well rounded beer. This reminds me a bit more like an IPA than a standard APA... but so what... it's good.

Flavors are sweet and creamy up front, with a nice touch of hoppy citrus on the finish.

Another East Coast beer that I have tried that would lend itself well to sessions. Not over the top, just well done. A nice beer, thanks for the opportunity MuenchenerKindl.

flexabull, Nov 18, 2006
Photo of goochpunch
4.43/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a peached copper/amber with a bumpy almond head that retains very well and leaves thick sheets of lacing. Smells primarily of juniper and grapefruit. There is some toasted grain in the background along with malt sweetness. Pretty much the same lines in terms of flavor, although I never expected the hop flavors to be this pronounced and bitter. There's a slight nuttiness to the malt as well. Mouthfeel is incredibly soft and of sturdy body. If I had more than one of these, I could drink them all night.

goochpunch, Nov 17, 2006
Photo of ddarden
4.58/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12 oz bottle poured dark copper with a small off white head that fell pretty quickly. Dark for a pale ale. The smell is all hops...grapefruit and pine, but more citrus. A small amount of malt comes through, but the smell is definitely about the hops. The first sip yeilds a very balanced hop punch and nice malt. The hops are predominate in this brew and are very citrusy. This is a bit over the top to be classified as a pale ale, this is definitely a very nice American IPA. As the grapefruit flavor dies down, a nice doughy malt flavor comes through and then ends with a nice bitter. Mouthfeel of this beer is medium and nicely carbonated. I will have to say this is another great beer by 3 Floyds and I would drink it very regularly if it was available locally. This beer tastes like the Dreadnaughts little brother. Excellent beer but I think it is mis-catagorized as an APA.

ddarden, Nov 15, 2006
Alpha King from Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub
95 out of 100 based on 5,284 ratings.