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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

5,058 Ratings
THE BROS
93
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,058
Reviews: 1,673
rAvg: 4.26
pDev: 9.15%
Wants: 850
Gots: 534 | 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: 5,058 | Reviews: 1,673 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of donnebaby
4.18/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Mostly opaque, dark copper color body, covered by flakey snowflake lacing and a frost haze. Solid hop aroma, with a bunch of oils and esters popping about, but nothing too special. Some alcohol whiffs.

Taste is tangy and full of fruits in the mouth. Very sweet in the mouth, loaded with ruby red grapefruit juiciness--and followed by a grapefruit drying of the mouth. Medium and totally smooth body. Not the biggest IPA around (oh wait...it's NOT an IPA ;), but very much balanced with an intense, yet drinkable, flavor.

donnebaby, Nov 01, 2004
Photo of bashiba
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer is a nice amber hue with a creamy tan head which clings to the side of the glass still even an hour later.

The scent is very powerful with scents of citrusy hops and fresh pine cones.

Taste is very good, malty caramel sweetness with some toastiness, quickly consumed by very strong hop flavors combined with a grapefruity cirtus taste.

Moutfeel and Drinkability are both great, and overall great Pale Ale.

bashiba, Oct 23, 2004
Photo of marcobrau
4.55/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wow. It's been too long since I've had this fantastic American Pale Ale. As I poured this beer into a straight-sided pint glass, the huge, piney hop aroma and wonderfully sustaining, lacy foam was the first thing I noticed about this beer. The first sip was full of juicy, sugary and caramel malt flavors laced with heaps of spicy, citrusy hops. The body is fairly thick, but doesn't keep me from taking larger sips. The alcohol does slow me down. I don't recall this beer being so strong. The lasting bitterness stay with you for a long time. The finish is not only quite bitter, but much drier than I remember. (I really like a dry finish.) All the complexities of this beer, the sugary, almost tropical fruit flavors that seem to meld with the citrusy hops and caramel malt are truly wonderful. When this beer is fresh the hops really shine through and almost steal the show. The remarkable complex hoppiness and maltiness of this beer make it really stand out on its own.

marcobrau, Oct 05, 2004
Photo of Boilermaker88
4.18/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Presented in a 12oz bottle and poured into one of my trusty tulip glasses I reserve for first-time beers. Alpha King had a clear rusty color with some random bubbles lazily drifting to the bottom of a large and durable vanilla colored head. Lots of sticky lace coated the walls as the brew egressed the glass.
Whew, this Americanized pale ale packs some hops! The citrusy hops aroma virtually erupted from the head, easily overpowering a toasty malt aroma. The scents of grapefruit rinds and orange peels were quite enticing but seemed more in keeping with a lot of American IPA's I've sampled. A modest dose of alcohol fumes also was detected.
The first thing I noticed was the abundance of grapefruit-inspired flavor that immediately got to work on my palate. Next came a slathering of sprucy, resinous flavor that lingered long after each taste was swallowed. All the while I kept searching for some indications that malts were present. A mild toasted malt flavor and touch of oak briefly played across the tongue as if running for their lives from a horde of rampaging hops. A faint hint of alcohol bit the throat with each swallow. The feel was lighter and thinner than anticipated and quite dry.
Okay, I'm gonna throw this out: Alpha King may be mis-styled. This brew strikes closer to being an American IPA than a pale ale. The hops character is of such a higher order than the malt aspect as to smell and taste more like a U.S.-bred IPA than a pale ale, American or other. Not that I'm complaining; I love this brew. I've just had a number of IPA's that were similar to Alpha King and not very many pale ales. That said, if you can get the King, do so. If not, work your connections for a trade. Big thanks to qarre for the hook-up!

Boilermaker88, Sep 29, 2004
Photo of profzoom
4.4/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Wow, I'd forgotten how much I liked this beer. It reminds me so much of my senior year in college, where my favorite local bar often had Alpha King on tap. Ah, those were the days...

Anywho, on to the review. This brew pours a lovely golden oaky color with a medium-sized head. The smell is absolutely to die for, a sweet and complex aroma of hops, hops, hops! The taste is similarly divine, a sharp, spicy bite with the sweetness of a flower garden. It's a relatively intense experience, and probably not everyone enjoys this fine ale as much as I, but this is one brew I'll be coming back to over and over again.

profzoom, Sep 28, 2004
Photo of BarrelBrother
3.25/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I'll qualify this by saying Pale Ales aren't my favorite type of brew, but I tried this one after alot of encouraging from my IPA friends and was pleasantly surprised! The taste was very interesting and hoppiness didn't overwhelm the fruit overtones. The aroma caught my interest immeadiately. The bitter finish was quite strong which I know is typical, but not to my liking. If I had to choose a Pale Ale of those I've tasted, I found Alpha King to be quite unusual and worth a try.

BarrelBrother, Sep 22, 2004
Photo of orbitalr0x
4.58/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

APA + Three Floyd's = one damn fine luscious brew I assume!

This pours from the bottle a lovely deep amber with about a half inch of sticky head. The are even subtle hues of red in the mix. The first smell is freakin amazing. It's like I'm running naked through a beautiful sunny field of ripe hops. Yummy grapefruit and citrus tones tickle my nose along with a wonderful floral bouqet. If my nose could have an orgasm...it'd probably be reachin for a smoke right about now. I could sit here and smell this all night!

The first sip reminds me of why APA is my fave stlye...it tastes like a citrusy hop bomb went off in the bottle. Grapefruit, lemon and orange tones ride on a frothy wave of malt. Alpha King is like an ocean wave where everything is drawn together in perfect harmony only to come crashing down on my tounge and journey into my stomach. Bitterness is in harmonious balance as well...this is a brew that begs to be consumed.

Mouthfeel is wonderful...goes down smooth, not too much carbonation, very easy to drink. The same goes for drinkability...this is going to become one of my new session brews alongside SNPA. I could down these heavenly brews all night. 3 Floyd's deserves much praise for this fine example of the style!

orbitalr0x, Sep 14, 2004
Photo of lampkins
4.1/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Three Floyds Alpha King a perfect example of a pale ale that is not dominated by a overwhelming presence of alcohol in a beer. The beer pours a copper color that reminds me of a amber ale with a nice head. Beer smells like grape fruit and whole wheat bread. Tast of this beer is something spectacular, the taste of the hops do not dominate this beer and blends smoothly with the malty finish of this beer. It is easy to drink a lot of these beers, but they do catch up with you given the modest ABV. Give this beer a try, you will not be dissapointed.

lampkins, Sep 13, 2004
Photo of lackenhauser
4.1/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to BUCKEYENATION for the trade sample. I had tried this ages ago and was not impressed. Poured a nice coppery red color with a damn nice head that remained the whole way down the glass. Wonderful aroma-citrusy,almost spuce like. Big hoppy flavor up front-almost thirst quenchingly bitter if thats possible. Good body-well balanced to the hoppiness. A killer pale ale-more towards an American India Pale to me but a great beer all around. Funny what a second chance will do.

lackenhauser, Sep 12, 2004
Photo of flaminghomer
4.1/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

this is a nice clean crisp pale ale that will knock you on your ass if you do not watch yourself. abv is a little over seven percent but doesn't taste over 5. very little alcohol taste. taste is clean crisp and hoppy. from the things that i read i expected some sort of hop freak show but instead had good hop character which is what i like. wait a minute... it is pretty freakin hoppy. i'm looking forward to trying other three floyds brews.

flaminghomer, Sep 12, 2004
Photo of ppoitras
4.4/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle purchased as a single somewhere in VA, one of many things gathered at either Vienna Whole Foods, Norm's, or Westpark Wine & Beer.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1" frothy beige head over the orangey amber brew. Head hangs around, and lacing is good. Aroma is of piney citrusy hops. Taste is all about the hops, but they aren't dissolving your taste buds, rather massaging them vigorously. Mouthfeel and drinkability are both great. Another reason I wish Three Floyds would branch out their distribution a bit...

ppoitras, Sep 10, 2004
Photo of mntlover
4.22/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Beautiful amber with big fluffy head that leaves thick spider web of lace, whats that floating in my beer hop flowers? Guess its yeast because of the bottle conditioning but judging by the smell hops sound good. Wonderful hop aromas fill the air mostly citrus along with sweet floral hints could be the malt I guess but not a very malt heavy brew. Taste is you guessed it hops more hops along with a good dose of bitterness more IPA like the APA. Alpha King is a very good name because alpha acid is king with this pale ale first pale ale I have had thats bitter enough for a IPA usually other way around IPA that tastes more like a pale ale. Only problem with this beer is lacks malt enough to balance the hops hell I have had more malt in double IPA's that scorch the taste buds with hops then in this beer. Very fine beer for hop lovers wich I am but reduced taste and mouthfeel score by .5 for lack of malt backbone. Otherwise very fine beer very drinkable if you like hops try it you will like it says Sam. I would drink it in a box I would drink it with a fox.

mntlover, Sep 08, 2004
Photo of mobyfann
4.45/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Paid $8.99 for a 6-pack from the Jungle...

The appearence is one to be noted: dark amber base with a medium off-white head, solid retention and real nic elacing effects make this a worthy appearence beer. With beauty comes smell, I would personally dip a car freshner in this beer and hang it in my car, the aroma is packed with a nice garden of hops touched with a sprinkle of some malty sweets...

With the great smell comes a great taste. Full flavored, I will compare this a nose ahead of the Magic Hat Hi.P.A. I first had a month ago because it resembles it so much. The taste explodes you mouth with that before mentioned garden of hops and on this journey you will also notice the fruits to you r left consisting of lemons and oranges... The mouthfeel is the low point of the beer, however it is still solid. When I take my gulp there is a little harshness, however it's still a nice ride. OK Drinkability, this is a 7.35% right??? One would not detect any alcohol from this whatsoever. However not a session beer, minus half-point.

Fianl Thought: Well now, Three Floyds is making a case against Great Lakes for best Midwest brewery... what's that... is that a tear... running down my face??? I love beer!

mobyfann, Sep 07, 2004
Photo of FormatKid
4.6/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This bottle arrived as part of the BIF XII bounty. I’m eager to try this one as Three Floyd’s has really earned my respect with their other fine brews.

I poured this 12oz bottle out into a standard tumbler pint glass. The body is a deep ruby tinged amber. A thick sticky head rolls up nicely and recedes eventually to a frothy cap that leaves clumps of lacing clinging to the glass, the head retention is good. The body of the beer supports the head with steady streams of tiny bubbled carbonation. I can see the pieces of what appear to be "hop skin" floating in this brew like I saw it in the Dreadnaught, I guess it's a Three Floyd's thing.

The scent is absolutely divine and I can smell the hoppiness as soon as I start the pour before my nose gets anywhere near the brew. The malts are sweet and almost syrupy laying a nice foundation for the juicy, fruity hop aromas.

The taste is exactly what the smell would lead you to expect. This is probably the hoppiest APA I have had to date. It some how does not push it’s way into the IPA category though, more of a nicely thick malt balance to it. Sweet, thick and powdery malt flavors lead off, before the reins are quickly yanked away by the dominating hop flavors. Big juicy citrus and apricot flavors are all over the place. No hints at all of the monsterous 7.35% ABV for an APA.

I have to say this is the probably my favorite American Pale Ale I have tried so far. Let’s expand that distribution FFF!

Thanks quarre.

FormatKid, Sep 05, 2004
Photo of garthwaite
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled from a 12 oz bottle. Pours a hazy amber with a big, enticing aroma of grapefruit & mild background sweetness. In the mouth, this is very bitter & damn tasty. Big grapefruit throughout & some light pine. Caramel malt lays a foundation, but is thoroughly dominated by the brew's hoppiness. Medium bodied with active carbonation. Lightly sweet & moderately acidic, this brew finishes with more strong bitterness. A damn good pale ale.

garthwaite, Sep 03, 2004
Photo of frazbri
4.22/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a clear mahogony topped with a frothy cream head. Head never completely dissappears from the glass. Aroma starts with a wiff of pine and a floral accent. Carbonation is low to moderate. The taste blankets the tongue with hops, but there is some malty sweetness underneath.

If you are a hophead, this is a must have, but don't rule this out if you aren't. For a beer with this kind of hop bitterness, it is very drinkable.

frazbri, Sep 02, 2004
Photo of stevef
4.53/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the beer fridge at 48 degrees.
Poured a nice creamy off white head that lasted for a while.
The color was copper and the body clear and sparkling.
The smell was absolutely heavenly! Hops, hops, hops. A heavy citrus smell with grapefruit and a hint of orange.
Mouth feel was creamy, slightly oily and very lightly carbonated.
The taste was just like it smelled - citrus, grapefruit with an ever so slight bit of orange. It had a very light hint of malty sweetness in the middle but the hops just stayed with you and coated your tongue.
I love this brew! Many thanks to my son for bringing it back from Indianapolis.
Hey Three Floyds - contact Southwestern Distributing Company in Memphis and let's get your beer to Tennessee!

stevef, Aug 28, 2004
Photo of TastyTaste
4.4/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Deep red copper color. 3/4" of tan foamy head that leaves sticky rings on the sides of the glass. Light floral hops aroma, slightly citrusy. Taste is abounding with hops, makes your mouth water with every sip. There is definitely a malt backbone to this, though. A hophead approved beer, that is a little more balanced than many IPA's or even PA's for that matter.

TastyTaste, Aug 27, 2004
Photo of rajendra82
4.05/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

The body is hazy amber with a 1 ½ inch thick creamy white head with medium carbonation. The aroma is citric with the fragrance of grapefruits and orange rinds. The taste is crisp and refreshing grapefruit juice with a nice hop bite to it. Mouthfeel is a bit thinner than an IPA, but is right on the money for an APA. Nice sessionable beer with no noticeable faults as long as you can tolerate hops. Very nice bonus in a box of trades, thanks to eyedrinkale.

rajendra82, Aug 24, 2004
Photo of pootz
4.22/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottled...part of a trade with Brooklyn Boy. Poured a delicious deep amber-orange with a wonderful sand colored tight. sticky cap which goes to a surface covering clinging lace which lasts. Lively in the glass with a continuous stream of tiny effervessent bubbles coming from the glass base. Glorious hop aromas...floral, lime, grapefruits, pine and sweet malts. Best APA aroma yet. Dandy mouthful of sweet bready malts at the start then the peppery carbonation helps in literally shotgunning the tongue with alpha oils....like bittered grapefruit and key lime with a floral background...malts sit well in the background mid point....the finish is long with the drying effect dominated by the piney hops and a very subtle bubble gum taste... then the metalic aftertaste followed by a slow warming from the alcohol...a very flavorful refreshing and satisfying ale. Thanks Edward...this brew is an American jewel.

pootz, Aug 19, 2004
Photo of Billolick
4.22/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle, with no freshness dating. Pours dark auburn, cloudy and with a few chunks swirling around. Rich, creamy, tiny bubble head and leaving quality lacing. nose is richly, malty and resiny hop filled. Full bodied nectar. Citrus hops explode on the palate. Deeply flavorful. High quality brew,seek out and enjoy. Cheers!

Billolick, Aug 19, 2004
Photo of Southernbrew
4.43/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark bronze color, small bubbly head. Darker than most pale ales i've seen.

Big citrusy hop aroma. Really bordering on IPA territory.

Medium body, big hoppy citrus flavor, some piney flavors blend in halfway through as well and finish up with a light bitterness in the finish along with a slight dryness.

A very exceptional pale ale, one of the hoppiest i've had. This gets me even more excited about the Dreadnaught I have waiting.

Southernbrew, Aug 19, 2004
Photo of HardTarget
3.85/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed 8/5/04
Aroma-3: Juicy sweet hops. Hops come across as grapefruit and floral. Strong
Appearance-4: Clear amber-copper body with a trace coating of off white head. I didn’t note any of the haze that the bottle describes as conditioning. Left a couple strands of lace, but not much.
Flavor-3.5: Hops are up front and pretty heavy, but they slowly fade out into a nice biscuit malt base. Hops are very citric in the taste and maybe a touch too assertive for a Pale Ale, but that’s probably a personal preference. Later in the beer, I noticed that after the malt briefly shows the flag, a peppery bitter settles in and stays the night.
Mouthfeel-3.5: A fairly light body and smooth texture. The hop oils coat and last. It seemed that with each sip, another coat of hop oil was added, making the aftertaste last longer and longer.
Overall Impression-3: An American Pale with hard core hops which are enjoyable, but I was hoping for a little more of the nice malt base that backs them. It’s a high quality beer that I would probably enjoy aged a bit more to let the hops settle down. If I want this level of hops, I’ll drink an IPA. Beyond my petty “too hoppy” whine, this is a really good beer. It’s obviously well crafted, but a bit weak in the head retention. Drinkability, well, for me, a bitter session beer, but I wouldn’t mind having a few in the cellar.
Major thanks to mattcrill for the opportunity to taste this one.

Reviewed- 11/1/05

A 4.5- Fresh citric hops nose with a sugary malt base to support it.

A 4- Clumpy tan-white head crowns a deep red/amber glass that glows with clarity. Laced like grandma between tidemarks.

T 4- Smells like an IPA, tastes like a pale. Hops are subdued and have a strong tea quality, almost grassy

M 4- Edge of a chew, medium-heavy body, spot on carbonation level and a touch of oil

O 4.5- Taking large and quick quaffs, outstanding drinkability. I had a strong hop itch and the King assuaged it.

Thanks to Rick and Betty for dragging one back with them. I'll average the two scores.

HardTarget, Aug 05, 2004
Photo of bigbeerdrinka
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Well I must say whenever I find myself with a 3F brew its just an exciting time. This one pours a deep copper with amber highlights and a nice head about a half inch thick which leaves only the slightest of slight laces. Aromas are dominated by a citrus hop, with a slight malty background. Intially this beer hits up front with citrusy, grapefruity, juicy hops. Following some malts make themselves present giving a nice caramel and toffee like flavors but the hops just crash right in again showing that they are the king of this beer. More flavors of an assortment of fruits and some oily piney flavors just coat the top of my mouth. Literally this beer just sticks on the pallate and won't let go. This beer finishes spicy and hoppy with just a nice zing to it that makes it killer Pale ale, not for the faint hearted I must say. This beer has a nice light to medium body to it, with a fair amount of carbonation that just adds to the crispness of it. A wonderful brew from a wonderful company.

bigbeerdrinka, Aug 03, 2004
Photo of rugger
3.48/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This beer poured a nice coppery color with a small white head that stuck around for a little while, and then left a nice lace pattern down my glass. The smell was at first very hoppy and then that went away and there was a smell that was very malty. The taste was more malty than hoppy, however you could tell that there were a lot of hops in there. I think that there could have been more hops in this beer, especially seeing as how it is called alpha king. This was a nice beer, but I have had better. I will try this again if I ever get a chance. It is always hard to rate a beer on one experience. i think that this beer would be great with a RANDALL.

rugger, Aug 02, 2004
Alpha King Pale Ale from Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub
95 out of 100 based on 5,058 ratings.