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Alpha King - 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

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Alpha KingAlpha King

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5,455 Ratings

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Ratings: 5,455
Reviews: 1,708
rAvg: 4.26
pDev: 9.15%
Wants: 889
Gots: 711 | FT: 25
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,455 | Reviews: 1,708 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of waldoiverson
4.24/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours orangeish red .

S - Pine and citrus take center stage.

T - Pine and grapefruit with some bitterness but not overwhelming

M - Not too carbonated and with a medium body

D - It is a potent Pale Ale, maybe leaning towards an IPA. Still, this beer is exceptionally drinkable. Recommended.

Photo of soupyman10
4.33/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

UPDATE 05-30-2008 - 4.5/4/4.5/4/4
Got a sixer of these recently to refresh my memory on the deliciousness. Nose is mild, but again the flavor is huge. Strong on floral hops mixing in nicely with a toffee malt...not necessarily as sweet as some APAs - much more focused on a complex bitterness than the general fruity "fun" of most APA. Incredibly lemony, given that lack of sweetness. Nonetheless, it's a unique and interesting brew.

ORIGINAL - 4.5/4/4.5/4/4.5
Finally got my hands on one of these after a friend went down to Indiana to grab a slew of Three Floyds stuff. Appearance is a deep orange color with a nice bit of white head on top that disappears nice and slowly. Nose is strong on crazy fruity hops, strong caramel hops. A good dose of spiciness in there too. Taste is likewise, only stronger. Powerful from both ends, with a nice balance to the hops and malt. How an APA should taste. Feel is solid, well carbonated. I loved this one. I'd drink about a hundred of these at a time if I had the opportunity (and the tolerance).

Photo of brewcrew76
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a light copper with a thin off white head and sticky lacing.

S - Pine and citrus hops with a little caramel toffee in the background.

T - Pine, citrus and grapefruit hops with caramel in the background. Slightly on the bitter side throughout.

M - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation and a dry hoppy finish. Slightly creamy.

D - It tastes and drinks more like an IPA but I am not complaining. A bold hoppy pale ale.

Photo of TheBierBand
4.3/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the brown 12 oz bottle to form a 1-1/2" head of beige foam over the top of a cloudy deep copper. The head stuck around for a long time, but as it diminished, it left huge clumps of lacing behind.

The aroma was quite good. Lots of citrusy hops to the smell, along with a carmel sweetness.

Taste: A nice APA! Nice bold taste of citrus mixed well with the sweetness of the malt. Nicely balanced. A bit of a sour finish is the only detraction. I think that the sour aftertaste prevents it from getting a 4.5 for taste. I prefer the nice balance of another APA: Christian Moerlein OTR Ale has better flavor in my humble opinion. Although Alpha King has it in appearance.

Mouthfeel: Very creamy with just the right amount of carbonation. Nice and bold and "chewey".

Drinkability: I have had better APA's, in my opinion (try Christian Moerlein OTR (Over The Rhine) Ale). But this is right up there. I would recommend this to any discerning beer drinker.

Photo of jcdiflorio
4.94/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks to Sudsdog for the send,had this beer many times but not since i've been a BA. Just finished a case before i joined and haven't found it since. Not readdily avalible in my area. Hope that changes soon.
served in a nonic glass from a 12 brown long neck bottle with crimped cap.

poured a cloudy,coppery color with a 1'' thick,creamy off white head,good retention,leaving some spotty lacing. Had a few tiny staggered bubbles constiantly rising.

Popped the cap on this bottle at an arms length and immediatly smelled citrusy/grapefruity hops,had piney and grassiness after the pour. Has a strong malty aroma, as well with a sweet,honey like carmelled goodness with a toasty and bisquityness with some burnt notes

Strong malty tastes immediatly with honeyied carmell with a toasty/nuttyness and a burnt edge followed by a strong hoppy bite,citrus/grapefruit/pine with some grassiness intertwine perfectly to create an amazing balance and taste. A juicy,cloying maltiness with oily/leafy hoppiness.

So smooth and creamy,yet full and well-rounded. The drinkability? Simple,don't want to stop drinking it. Been a while since i had this beer almost forget excatly how great this beer was.One of my all-time favorite beers. A beer that everybody must try at least once. I know you'll want it again though.

Photo of edbeered
4.55/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Kingpin for the bottle. This pours a hazy reddish amber color, with a minimal whitish head and a scant amount of fine white lacing on the glass. The smell is citrussy. The taste is of intense citrussy hops(primarily grapefruit, as well as a slightly floral flavor)along with a sweet bready malty finish. The mouthfeel is rich and full and the flavors blend smoothly. This is a terrific drinker and may be the definitive APA. I only wish it was available in Minnesota.

Photo of ZimZamZoom
3.73/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nice copper-orange color with a serious off-white head. Many fingers worth and lovely lacing taboot.

Aroma is big on citrusy hops. Some malt in the background, but that's ok. That's not why I bought this beer. Taste is also big on the citrus, mostly grapefruit. I get some malt to balance this out, but the finish is full of hop bitterness and a slight alcohol burn that surprises me based on the 6% ABV.

The body on this APA is pretty thick and heavy, with noticeable viscosity. I could see it filling me pretty quickly, but I bet I could drink another without much trouble.

All in all a pretty nice beer. This is one of my favorite styles, so I do have plenty on my list I'd rate above this one though.

Photo of seaoflament
4.32/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to BuckeyeNation for the sixer; I’ve had these for a while but haven’t gotten around to review one, and this is my last one and it’s a hot one today.

Alpha King pours an amber color with a good inch of head. A few tiny bubble rise from the bottom of the glass and continues to keep a good layer of foam. The aroma is of pine and citrus hops, grapefruit, lemon and biscuit malt—really pushing it to an ipa standard. The taste is pleasantly bitter and refreshing, one of my favorites to drink on a hot day. Caramel and a touch of alcohol are present as the beer warms up a bit. This is one of the best pale ales out there, but not sure if I could drink a six pack of this without the hops and alcohol affecting my taste buds.

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

Pours a nice slightly hazy orange with a thin off-white head. Aroma is some citrus hops and sweet malts with a hint of caramel. The taste is a delightful blend of mild citrus and a hint of pine hops well balanced with sweet malts with just a hint of caramel. The beer is light bodied with just the right amount of carbonation. This is a very enjoyable beer and would make for a decent session had I picked up more than one bottle.

Photo of kellyst
4.35/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Deep orange-copper hue. Slight haze. Medium, off-white head.

S: Spicy and citrusy american hops.

T: Delicious. Well rounded. Bitter, but not quite ipa bitter, but more bitter than a pale ale. Plenty of flavoring hops present. Lots of citrus. Good malt balance to back it all up, with a slight carmel.

D: Very high.

Photo of errantnight
4.2/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The best APA in America? Probably, but only if you call it one...

Pours with a lovely, creamy finger and a half of head, rich amber in color... could almost be an amber ale by appearance, definitely cheating towards IPA territory here by the looks of it. But then, that's pretty much the story of this beer.

Malt is nearly absent here in flavor, just barely some biscuity sweetness to help balance things (although it sticks around a bit too much on the palate for my liking) and hop flavor is pronounced, but there's something very straightforward, particularly in the bitterness. Very astringent, and the bitterness predominates. Reminds me of a Brutal Bitter, but just rounded a bit around the edges.

Mouthfeel is rich and smooth without being heavy, carbonation is definitely medium to mild.

Drinkability is... limited for me. I love searching this beer out, and there's sometimes where it just explodes in wonderfulness for me... but bitterness is so high here, I don't find it terribly sessionable, and although delightfully hoppy (and let me once again reiterate, what a lovely nose to this beer!) it's not as balanced as some of my favorite IPAs.

Still, seek this beer out. It's fantastic.

Photo of katan
3.55/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle, no date

A - Poured a nice dark amber color. looks very clear. Had a centimeter high head.

S - No wonder this is called alpha king. I smell cascade hops like crazy. This thing has to be hoppy.

T - First taste is hops, and it hits with a bitter flavor. It finishes with a nice malt hit from the roasted malt.

M - Very smooth - even with the apparent carbonation, it is a easy drinker.

D - I think this is a solid beer if I want to get my hit of alpha acids. I like the flavor, but i wouldn't drink a bunch of these.

All and all, another good 3F offering. This is a very good beer, but as I consider a "5" ranking as the best ever, my ranking is probably lower than most others.

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

no real reason to not give this a 4.5 over all cept it should be near impossible to reach near perfection...this is very good beer. good pour into my glass, a little less head than expected. good lace and carbonation. wonderful hop aroma and excellent hop and malt balance. this is one fine tasting beer.

i highly recomend. a top 5 American Pale ale for me!!!

suckem up and movem out!


Photo of franksnbeans
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a burned orange with a nice sized off white head that laces. Smells of citrus rind, floral, hops and a malt. Lots of yummy bitter hops with an awesome malt balance. Nice bite and dryness but doesnt linger on the tongue. This reminds me of Nugget Nectar. Feels smooth, crisp and delicious in the mouth. Drinkability goes on and on. A session beer classic. Cheers 3 F's.

Photo of sirk0rebreg
4/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

received in a trade from tpd975 and poured from a bottle into my samuel adams glass...

great copper color with a thin fluffy white head...smelled of floral hops, slightly piney...great mouthfeel, slightly oily with perfect carbonation...taste was great as well, with the underlying floral hop taste with a slight bite at the end...wonderful beer

Photo of kaimcm
4.2/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass

A: nice hazy orange honeyed body with a bubble dusting on top. soapy white ring around the edge.

S: buried, but dank herbal hop profile, dry grass, plenty of orange/grapefruit and citrus. a dense nose of hops that smells wet and fresh.

T/M: dry and grassy up front, followed by a medium body and a touch of sugar. grapefruit, citrus, soft and stinky cheese. more husky grain and bread. finishes with a lingering dryness and grainy mouthfeel. coating but coarse. carbonation is crisp and lively.

D: very enjoyable. very very enjoyable. 6% is a bit high for such a drinkable and flavorful brew. wish i could get all the time, would be happy to purchase repeatedly. cheers.

thanks jamie.

Photo of nullforge
4.52/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Hazy orange-tinted deep amber color. Pours with a one finger orange-tinted head that shortly collapses to a collar. Leaves a fairly sticky lace on the glass. The nose contains piney and citrusy hops, delicately sweetened by malt. A hint of mango can also be found. The taste offers caramel and pale malt sweetness that balances the bitterness while it lasts. The piney and citrusy hops detected in the nose dominate the taste with a strong hop bite. A hint of peach in the background. Bitterness builds into the finish with the hops becoming crisp and herbal. Body is medium. Beer feels slick on the tongue. Malt could be a bit more chewy though. Overall, it's a delicious beer that left me wanting more.

Photo of baos
4.82/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Two fingers in my favorite Trappist glass, poured it from a bottle. A very nice dark caramel color.

S: Hops hit you hard. An awesome floral aroma that perks up your ears and make you smile. Citrusy, juniper bush, catnip.

T: Awesome hoppy bang. Key lime peels, Spicewood leaves, and lemon balm leaves. I love this beer. I remember tasting it at a beer tasting in Bloomington, Indiana, and I ended up walking around with their pitcher drinking from it and throwing a handful of change in the the tuba of the German brass band that was playing there.

M: Very nice to roll around your mouth leaves the mouth a bit oily.

D: A bit potent, but i could drink this beer all night. Gets better setting in your glass and getting warmer, but is really good super chilled as well.

Photo of MCDuhamel
4.33/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle at fridge temperature into a Sam Adams branded special pub glass.

A: Poured moderately aggressively, it formed a brief head that dissipated to a mere ring very quickly, leaving very light lacing on the glass. Dark copper, almost light brown in appearance, vaguely murky, Moderate carbonation visible.

S: Strong note of American hops, probably Cascade, with some malt underlying the nose as well. Hoppy, but not out of balance

T: Hop flavors predominate at first, with a definite grapefruit note. This yields into a toffee-like sweetness then a lingering dry and citrusy finish. Throughout, noticeable but not heavy-handed carbonation provides excellent balance.

M: Medium mouthfeel. The beer has some weight on the tongue, but the carbonation prevents it from being too much.

D: Very drinkable; I could easily drink several without growing tired of it.

Overall: This is an excellent American pale ale, marred only by poor head retention.

Photo of Monkeyknife
4.62/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle a slightly hazy deep copper with a creamy beige head and nice lacing.

A sweet maltiness and a burst of spicy hops and pine await those put it to their nose.

A perfect combination that plays off the aroma. The tastes includes the balance of the malts and the bitterness of the hops with their spice and pine.

Medium bodied and carbonated.

This is an incredible APA and quickly became one of my favorites. Enjoy.

Photo of Atron67
4.57/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Poured a copper clear color with an inch of off-white head. It lasted a reasonable length, and left big lacing
S- Big Floral hops bursting from my snifter glass, smells delicious
T- Burst of sharp bitter hops all over the place, a solid malt background provides a nice base, although they are deep below the hops, leaves a slowly lingering hop bitterness as it leaves your throat
M- medium body with a sharp carbonation
D- very high, delicious

Photo of sessycuban
4.32/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - The beer pours a light amber color with a very small off-white head.
The head does not retain well and you find very little lacing.

S - I smell a strong hop presence, although not overwhelming. I'm also getting some caramel malts as well.

T - The citrus flavor takes over this beer but it's balanced out nicely by the malts that are more apparent as the beer warms.

M - The beer has a medium body. It coats quite well for the style.

D - Supremely drinkable. I could have one of these every day. The only problem is, of course, that Three Floyds does not distribute to SoCal.

Photo of marksto
4.24/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours medium amber and very clear, with a thin head that falls rather quickly. Nose has lots of spicy hops, citrus and pine, and a noticible malt sweetness. Flavor is very nice, as it has an excellent complexity that sets aside the better APA's. The complexity seems to comes predominately from the hop character - bitterness and flavor interplay really nicely, and are multi-dimensional, with a nice carmel and biscuit maltiness lingering in the backgound.

An excellent APA, worth seeking out.

Photo of dfried
4.42/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Deep amber and caramelly in color, thin off white cap for a head. The hop aroma jumped out of the bottle upon popping the cap. After the pour I noticed a lot of herbal and cirtusy hops, orange rind and grapefruit, as well as some floral notes. Significant biscuity and caramelly malt backbone too.

The taste had quite the bitter bite, but far from unpleasant, for a pale ale upon the first sip, definitely the alpha-acid King. Then a rush of citrusy hop flavors comes at you, oranges, grapefruits, and lemons. Some other fruity notes show up like pears and peaches, but its definitely more citrusy than anything. Great citrusy aftertaste lingers forever. Decent malty backbone of caramel and brown sugar, more than most American PAs, but then again there needs to be since there is more hops than in most APAs.

Overall: top shelf APA. This beer walks the line of IPA and PA as far as hoppiness goes. A bit heavier on flavors than most APAs (like thats a problem) but is still pretty much as drinkable as them. Outsanding.

Photo of RixBeer
4.48/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance - Hazy light amber color with a foamy off-white head.
No real retention and lacing.

Smell - Nice Citrus hop presence.

Taste - Sweet and Hoppy with a nice hop after taste.

Mouthfeel - Mouth filling without over doing it. If you like hops this beer will fill your mouth with the flavor and not let go till after it's down your gullet

Drinkability - I'm very glad I have many more of these!!!!

Alpha King from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 5,455 ratings.