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Sneak peek! BeerAdvocate magazine #104 (September 2015) featuring Leah & Oscar from Highland Brewing in Asheville, North Carolina. Learn more ...

Alpha King - 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Alpha KingAlpha King

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BA SCORE
95
world-class

1,732 Reviews
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,732
Hads: 5,887
rAvg: 4.27
pDev: 7.96%
Wants: 922
Gots: 961 | FT: 24
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: 1,732 | Hads: 5,887
Photo of yeahnatenelson
4.57/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance -- Pours a ruddy amber with two fingers of creamy beige head. Lace all over the place.

Smell -- Grapefruit rind, tropical fruit, some resin, caramel malt. The aroma on this beer puts most IPA's to shame!

Taste -- Massive grapefruit hop flavor, tropical fruit, pine resin, biscuit, caramel malt in spades. Big hop bitterness toward the back end leading to a finish of resin and grapefruit zest.

Mouthfeel -- Medium-bodied, moderate prickly carbonation. Crisp.

Drinkability -- This is a pale ale for the ages. So big, but so balanced. This is never not in my refrigerator. Never. (592 characters)

Photo of aglose45
4.57/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to Yetiman420 for his generosity; a truly great BA. Poured from a bottle into my DFH curved pint glass.

A: Pours a dark reddish-brown with a 3/4 inch thick, off-white, head that dissipated over the course of about a minute or so.

S: Pineapple up front, then I picked up some piney hops. This beer is very clean smelling. There is a sweet/ breadiness note in their as well. As I moved through the beer, about 3/5 of the way, I picked up a note of mint. Near the end of the glass I picked up a hint of grapefruit on the nose.

T: There is a bit of orange/ piney hops up front, followed by a bit of sweet pineapple, but this doesn't last too long before giving way to a very small amount of caramel malts which then gives way to a very nice clean bitter finish. It's so amazing that this beer has the complexities that it does, and then it hits a wall and finishes with a dry, bitter, clean finish. Wowing! Great 'til the last drop.

M: Minimal stickiness/ oiliness from the hops, but it finishes dry - which is nice. The carbonation is amazing for the style. While this beer has a lighter body overall, it is more of a fuller body when regarding pale ales, but I think the body is just how it should be.

D: The drinkability of this beer is through the roof! This beer is excellent, has great flavor, is refreshing and has a decently low abv (6%). I could drink this beer anytime and anywhere. (1,400 characters)

Photo of Monsone
4.57/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - Pours a nice copper hue with a big white head. Leaves nice lace.

S - I guess there must be hops in there, cause I can smell 'em. A little bit of sweet carmel malt too.

T - Nice orangy, citrus hop flavors. Good carmel malt backbone.

M - Good carbo with a medium body

D - Pretty drinkable for that much hops.

Overall, my favortie APA so far. Hopefully it will be easier to locate with the upcomming brewery expansion. (425 characters)

Photo of RblWthACoz
4.57/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a hazed golden amber. Nose seems to have apricots on it. Flavor is heavy with hops with the apricot present on the palate as well. Just as with other hop happy brews, you get that taste of hops lodged in the back of your mouth and it lingers. Feel is great. I get a silky smooth texture that slides over my tongue. Oh so drinkable. A hop lover and a craft brew lovers dream. Awesome beer. (394 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 RyanC84
4.57/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Rich cooper color. Small white head that leaves minimal lacing.

S: Citrus and piney hop aroma backed up by nice caramel malt.

T: Taste, just like the smell, is a wonderful citrus hop blend. It's balanced out nicely by the caramel malt.

M & D: Medium bodied with light carbonation. Wonderful mouthfeel on this one making it extremely drinkable. Will satisfy your hop fix but backs it up with the smooth malt to turn this one into a great session beer. Wish this was readily accessible. (490 characters)

Photo of LordAdmNelson
4.57/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- A nice light amber color. Really nice and surprising in a pale ale. About an inch or so of off-white head. Laces moderately. Good retention on the head.

S- This just blew me away the first time I had it. A blast of citrus hops followed by a light malt sweetness (almost caramel-y). The hops are just out of control (grapefruit, orange zest, floral hops).

T- Good stuff. Again, hoppy and fruity. A little pine that was absent from the nose comes through. Nicely balanced with the malt. Hoppier than most APAs, but just great. This will probably replace SN as my go-to APA. Not the most mind blowing beer I've had (although the nose was probably among the most appealing), but one of the most enjoyable and well put together brews I've had.

M- A little light, smooth, clean. Moderate carbonation. Slight dry finish.

D- Great--I could definitely make a great session out of this.

Totally surprised by this one. I had heard it was good, but I didn't quite understand how good it is. Thought it would be an underwhelming run-of-the-mill APA. Shame on me for doubting FFF. (1,074 characters)

Photo of canoehornpoint
4.57/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Nice deep amber. Aroma of malt, citrus and fruit. Taste follows aroma. This has amazing taste. There is a bit of everything going on here...you have it all in nice proportions. This really gives the tastebuds a workout. Starts somewhat yeasty, thenmaltiness, then citrus/grapefruit then fruity finish. Feels a bit heavy and would make it difficult to put many of these away over a short period if time. (402 characters)

Photo of tavernjef
4.57/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Clear copper color, small beige compact head, lots of sheeting lace - Alpha King "Gorgeous George the III" Pale Ale, yep...that'll do.

Mighty fine hopified wiffer for an aroma, highly sweet, softly resinous, calming citrus, slick pine, freshly floral; its got it all in the hop profile. Dreadnaughts little brother for a nose. A hop bouquet! Nicey nice. Yum.

Taste has a well rounded front, slight fruity malts with hop flavors of dulled citrusy stuff. Builds quickly from there with fresh floral tones, crisp yet green like a green bean, toasty just past midway, growing into lingering hop piney bitterness which is pretty full of good Ol' alpha acids to fade off and squeeze out any sweetness remaining. Quite juicy and resinous with a favorable drying of bitterness. Some slight toffee eeks its way onto the sides of the cheeks super later.

Feel is clean, slick, quick the whole way through, about medium body, nearing more lighter due to its remarkable cleanness - calming and smooth in the front, wafting hoppy finish of refined bitterness and light drying for its back.

It's been along while since I've had this, my memory of it had completely diminished 'til now. Now that I've had it again; well I'm wishing 3F still was available here. (1,256 characters)

Photo of littlekidlover
4.57/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The color is a medium amber, a little bit darker than your average APA. Had a 1 finger head that disappeared quickly, lacing was minimal. There is a walloping hop nose of grapefruit, pine, and flowery esters. My friend calls this "Kind bud beer". The taste is mostly hops, spicy, citrus, yet balanced Medium to light body with a little carbonation. Very drinkable, possibly sessionable, but I usually like to switch up my beer anyway. (434 characters)

Photo of budgood1
4.57/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

can't believe this is brewed and bottled at schell in new ulm. what a serious and bold beer...cloudy, hazy burnt orange color. nice off white head that sticks. hops explosion in the nose...a citric dynamite blast. tastes awesome. bitter alpha hop madness in the mouth is meakly balanced by a caramel malt body. it IS slightly thin in mouthfeel but the hop party doesn't let you worry about that. hits the spot after a hot day in the sun! a hop-head delite. (468 characters)

Photo of hckyfn9999
4.57/5  rDev +7%
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. (617 characters)

Photo of ArrogantB
4.57/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I have been waiting to try this for a while. I broke down and ordered a sixer from Archer Liquors in Chicago. Very cool looking bottle with the king himself featured on the front. The beer poured a dark orange with a very good head. The smell was so amazing. fresh hops permeated my nose and reminded me of grass, herbs, and flowers. The taste matched up very nicely with hops really shining through. Wow, believe the hype! I think this was better than dreadnaught. This probably ties with Deschutes Hop Trip for my favorite Pale Ale. Outstanding. (547 characters)

Photo of ddarden
4.57/5  rDev +7%
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. (880 characters)

Photo of kirok1999
4.57/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Hop heaven!! I once described this as grapefruit and beer mixed together to a friend, and he was startled to agree. The citrus hop note is unmistakable. The perfect malt note to balance the citrus. If you can find this fresh, it's spectacular. I can't seem to find a fresh 6 pack anywhere. Grapefruit and pine dominate. Mouthfeel is wonderful; smooth and creamy. Three Floyds can't make a bad beer. Buy anything they make, you can't go wrong. (442 characters)

Photo of Atron67
4.57/5  rDev +7%
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 (450 characters)

Photo of Birdiebeagle
4.57/5  rDev +7%
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. (424 characters)

Photo of hoppymeal
4.57/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours amber and orange in color with a cream colored head. Aroma is outstanding, smells of a hint of grassiness, sweet vitamin C citrus, red grapefruit, and sweet peaches. Complex taste of sweet oranges up front, quickly followed with bitter grapefruit,a little biscuity and then a dry slightly peppery finish. Mouthfeel is also very good, crisp and clean with a nice mild dryness in the finish. Definitely pushes the envelope of the Pale Ale style category in a very good way. I could very easily continue to drink more and more of this beer, and I probably will. (564 characters)

Photo of RockyTopHeel
4.58/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Part of the Spoils of Charlottesville Run, 4.30.04.

A lovely, slightly candied hop aroma came a-bubbling up from my Alpha King after I poured the translucent nectarine-shaded (yes, I stole that, but it's a perfect description--thanks felonious) brew.

On the front end, I'll say that my expectations for this beer were exceedingly high.

It met them.

This has "everyday beer" written all over it -- in that, it's so good, you'd be lucky to be able to drink it every day. I know I would...if I could. It's flavor is all-around brilliance, subtle yet bright, an intoxicating (beyond the alcohol) blend of sweet citrus and floral hops, melded perfectly with a touch of soft malts around the edges, giving the beer a nice, stiff backbone for the hops to layer upon.

A little more subtle than Stone IPA (expected, because it's not an IPA), but similarly brilliant, especially to be so hoppy, yet so drinkable.

I'm sold. Too bad the nearest place I know to buy one is a four hour drive away...But you know, it's almost worth it. (1,038 characters)

Photo of phnphilly
4.58/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer poured a light Amber color and was almost clear. Bottle said bottle conditioned but similar to Dogfish IPA's I see no sediment at the bottom of the bottle. Beer poured with a good head and had a long lasting lace on the side of the glass.

Smell has a ton of hop arroma...very fruity

This beer tastes better than it smells and it smells really good. Hop flavor throughout but not overwhelming. Each sip and I wanted to drink more. One of the few times I don't mind living in PA because I had to purchase an entire case of this and I'm thrilled I did. (564 characters)

Photo of match1112
4.58/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

thanks to brewmasternate for this in a trade!

a: dark beautiful copper color with two fingers of thick sudsy head that is leaving big clumps of lacing behind.

s: big burst of citrus with some pine and a sweet bready malt.

t: hops galore with a nice malt presence to balance this out.

m:great carbonation, full body with a hop bite and a clean finish.

o: they dont get much better than this, thanks again nate! (415 characters)

Photo of rangel2
4.58/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle into pint glass, nearly one and half fingers off-white head.

Aroma is orange zest, piney, grapefruit, hints of lemon peel.

Taste is warming alcohol up front with smooth bitterness, followed by lemon notes and decent malt background. Some pepper spiciness, but very little. Lingering bitterness I expect from a good APA, with citrus notes aplenty: orange, lemon, grapefruit. Longer it sits more sweet malt comes through, giving it an extreme balance rarely ever achieved in this style. Hops win out, obviously, but you get such a pleasant amount of perfect caramel malt. It's ridiculous. Definite honey there as it warms up.

Mouthfeel isn't prickly, somewhat drying, makes me ready for another sip. This one goes down so smooth and so fast.

Overall, a damn good brew. Dreadnaught's more balanced little brother, really. (843 characters)

Photo of Floydster
4.58/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

12 ounce bottle purchased from Walnut Liquorette for three dollars

A-Golden brown color with an orange tint, 3/4 inch soapy white head, great retention, phenomenonal lacing

S-Various types of hoppiness, lots of citrus, some nice bready malt aromas, pine scents, straw, barley

T-Lots of citrus at the beginning, grapefruit and lemon mostly, some chewy biscuit-like malt balances it out beautifully, dry and chewy finish, got a little sweeter when it warmed, amazingly smooth

M-Chewy mouthfeel, medium size body, lots of carbonation, fairly bitter and creamy at the same time

D-Could drink these all night, would make a great session beer, low in alcohol, super light on the stomach, great diversified taste keeps you coming back

Have heard this beer is cream of the crop of Three Floyds releases other than Dark Lord, did not disappoint, best pale ale I have ever had, will buy a six pack next time I make it to this store even though it is fifteen dollars (961 characters)

Photo of jaz
4.58/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This bees is defiantly the "King" of Pale Ales in my book. The wonderful golden copper color and thick creamy head delighted me at the start. The smell was rich and floral from perfect dry hopping. The taste was excellent. A complex blend of grains balanced with hoppy floral esters and bitterness balanced this beer beautifully. Starts out smooth and sweet, becoming bitter and piney, with a citrus middle and a tart, floral finish. Hail the King!! (449 characters)

Photo of orangemoustache
4.58/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a watermelon pinkish color in dim pub lighting,quite nice looking. The covering of thin off-white bubbles hangs for a minute,before falling to a quick death,sheets of lace are bringing this full tilt. This is like a whopping rainbow of hoppy fruitiness pine-apple(zebra stripes gum on steroids). Big bubble gum notes(Bubble Yum) and Star Burst candy flavors,creamy and dreamy. Pretty hoppy for a APA,but not the intense taste bud assaulting hops,more fruity. Juicy and mouth watering from start to finish. Cotton candy beer.A three ring circus of hop,malt and more hops that never disappoints. Well orchestrated and delightful. (633 characters)

Alpha King from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 1,732 ratings.