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Alpha King - 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Alpha KingAlpha King

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
95
world-class

1,761 Reviews
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,761
Hads: 6,077
Avg: 4.26
pDev: 8.92%
Wants: 944
Gots: 1,114 | FT: 28
Brewed by:
3 Floyds Brewing Co.
Indiana, United States | website

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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Alpha King Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,761 | Hads: 6,077
Photo of Vipsanius
4.62/5  rDev +8.5%
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.

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Photo of mattboyer182
4.62/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A - A golden coppery color and a finger of white head.

S - Smells of citrus and piney hops. Theres a sweet balance in this beer as well. it's not all about the hops.

T - A grapefruit, orange citrus to the hops. An Amazing bitter to it. It comes in with an awesome sweetness in the middle and finishes with a great lingering bitter.

M - Light to medium body and good carbonation.

O - Used to be my favorite APA... that is until zombie dust came out.

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Photo of vette2006c5r
4.62/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a dark golden color, with a good size head that lasted through out the beer. There is a strong hoppy and grapfruit aroma. There is a strong hoppy taste, but it lacks that bite that some pale ales have, also a bitter grapefruit like taste is detectable. Not very carbonated and could use some more carbonation. Overall a REALLLY good beer, I enjoyed this one.

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Photo of ski271
4.62/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Lightly hazy reddish copper with a small, frothy/milky, off-white head with good retention and lots of sticky lacing.

Smell: Heavenly citrus and floral hops over a moderate, cookie-like malt sweetness. Grapefruit, toffee, grass, some light doughy yeast, and a little bit of roses. Nicely balanced.

Taste: This isn’t an IPA? Big, dominant hops sting your taste buds right off the bat, filling your mouth with bitter flavors of fruit and herbs. Then the bitterness back off a bit to let the wonderful, solid, lightly sweet malt backbone show through. A little yeast once it warms up a bit. But the hops don’t back off for very long and come rushing back as it head toward the finish. More citrus and a very light (is that diacetyl?) sweetness. The finish is VERY long in duration as the bitterness just refuses to let go. So tasty.

Mouthfeel: Full body, dry texture, and soft carbonation.

Drinkability: I had heard good things about this beer, and being a hophead I knew I would like this. But you fellow BA’s know your stuff. This was a truly impressive brew. Very easy drinking, despite the higher alcohol (which was hidden well). I’m glad I followed the advice of this community and sought it out (thanks hero27 for a great trade), I’d definitely recommend this to a hop-hunter. The first Three Floyds offering I have tried, but I hope to remedy that soon.

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

Isn’t “alpha king” redundant? Whatever.
Pours a tantalizing orange-copper with a sticky, off-white head. Good lacing.
Aromas of toffee and fruit malt mix with juicy, citrus, resiny hop fumes. Very nice! I can tell I’m going to like this.
Big, chewy malts up front; toffee, fruit, light brandy. Nicely balanced by equally big (if not bigger) hops. They enter midway through and swell into the finish with intense citrus (grapefruit) and pine sap flavors. Bitter and oily, with an almost cannabis resiny character. Big-bodied, chewy malts, and an appetizing, oily finish. A great pale ale, that’s big enough to be most breweries’ IPA. Very drinkable as well.

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

First of all, you have to like hops. This is a great American pale ale. It pours a nice rusty reddish brown. Head thick enough to draw your finger through it. Good flowery bouquet on the nose. Lots of malt but way lots of hops. The finish is again hoppy. Plenty of alcohol. The web site says 5.8%. I have drank a lot of this and never get tired of it. There have been some supply issues lately.

Update: I believe Three Floyd's has given up having Schell bottle their beer. I like the new batch better. The head is stronger and the flavor is a little more balanced. I wish they would send their strong beers to Iowa. A top shelf brewer.

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

**The lucky 1,000th review of Alpha King!**

This poured a hazy copper with moderate tan head. It smelled like a sweet array of topical hops including pineapple and apricot, with some orange and mango, balanced with prominent sweet honey malt. It tasted like apricot and orange, with some pineapple and mango and lots of sweet honey, and a bit of white peppercorn. It was slightly thick with some carbonation, and had a clean, tropical bitter aftertaste. Overall this is fantastic. It meets the hype. The super clean and tropical taste meets my ideal for a pale ale or IPA. It had nice body also, and was very easy to drink. Clearly one of the top beers in its class; makes me wonder why I didn't like Dreadnaught nearly as much. I wish I could have an Alpha King every day.

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Photo of rmmm16
4.62/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark amber with a half inch of head. This bottle had some sediment, but most do not, I'm not exactly sure what causes this. Mainly a citrus smell, not very strong, but very pleasant. The taste is very hoppy with a good malt backing. This is a great example of an American pale ale, my personal favorite.

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Photo of IntriqKen
4.63/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pretty reddish amber that is crystal clear fills the glass.
It's topped with a nice solid single finger white head that melts slowly to nice sticky lacing.
Aroma is immediately fresh and clean with the smell of fresh citrus and pine hops (Centenial?).
Taste is subtle balance of sweet pale malt and bright citrus malts. A little orange peel then definate grapefruit.
Ah...this is an INCREDIBLY balance APA...but I can't help but feel it is more IPA than APA...I'm not complaining...I love it. They have made a really nice 'in your face' type of beer here.
This will go down nicely all day long.

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Photo of Px2GrafX
4.63/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

presentation: 12oz. bottle with the typical three floyds name and beer type encircling an image of a green guy with an "A" crown, hops hair and is sprinkling hops dust over a glass of beer. (that's what it looks like to me) a small map to the brewery is printed on the label. the explanation of this three floyds' style is also printed. no sight of an abv or freshness date.

appearance: pours an ever-so-lightly hazy cherry wood red-brown with bright red-orange highlights into a pint glass. good 1" white bread colored head. excellent sticky lace. bubbles rise emphatically through this gem beauty.

smell: my first reaction is this smells like an ipa. very piney and grassy. also very lemony citrusy. some sweet caramel and fruits as well. maybe bananas.

taste: first sip is lightly malty with a ton of citrus grapefruit hop flavor. nice bitterness; not quite ipa bitter, but i love it. some caramelly bread flavors as the brew warms. always finishes a little bitter and dry with a wonderful lasting hop spicy aftertaste.

mouthfeel: crisp but medium body and smooth mouthfeel. good carbonation and pretty good swallow.

drinkability: excellent drinkability. alcohol creeps in at the end, but the aroma, taste and especially aftertaste keep you drinking 'til the end.

overall: this is another one of those beers where even though it gets good ratings, i still believe it deserves even higher. near perfect for this style. a little hoppy for an apa, so i couldn't give a five there, but that's what i love so screw the ratings! get yourself a lot of these if you're able!

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Photo of Jonoesh5
4.63/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Re-review of the flagship of 3 Floyds! Pours an opaque copper body with a small eggshell white head. Smells like clean, crisp hops. Nothing too different for an APA. First sip, however, is still my favorite first sip of any other beer I've had––such bitter, refreshing hops balanced perfectly with a sweet malt backbone. Arugula tartness, fresh baked bread, sweet caramel– it's all there. Mouthfeel is so creamy and smooth, neither wet or dry. Overall, Alpha King was my introduction to 3 Floyd's and remains a nostalgic beer for me. But nostalgia aside, this APA makes all the right moves to allow malts to shine among bright hops, balancing the two perfectly. Seek out this brew now!

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Photo of Imstillthegman
4.63/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Thanks to Hero27 for this bottle.

Pours a cloudy, dark amber with some lighter orange hues around the edge. Big, dense head of dirty off-white bubbles. Nice sticky, chunk lacing rings the glass.

Aroma is of citrus, pine, and light grassy hops. The citrus is big. There is a caramel backbone to help even it out some. Smells yummy.

Wow...this is good. Nice bitter grapefruit and pine hops with a touch of sweetness in the middle. This is hoppier than many IPAs out there.

Nice creamy medium body with good carbonation. Very drinkable. It's been a long time since I had one of these. I really wish 3F would come back to MD soon. Damn good beer. This would easily become my go to beer if I could get it regularly. Thanks, Eric!

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Photo of SwillinBrew
4.63/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I got a sixer of this from Lone Hill liquor in Glendora... my initial thoughts, hot damn, this is a pale ale... halelujah.

A - A rich ambery grenadine strong color with a stucco white head that clung to my glass nicely.
S - a dose of citrus orchards with floral in the mix pleasure my olefactory senses.
T - Husky citrus flavors bordering on grassy meadows on a underlying sublte sweet malt carry this delicous brew. Just a symphony of harmonious flavor in this pale ale... it's definitely more than meets the eye.
M&Dr - nicely carbonated and medium bodied with a crisp and clean finish. I could drink this all day and just wish more pale ales were like this. Heck, this beats out many IPA's!!! Get some if you can. This is the best pale ale i've ever had.

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Photo of schoolboy
4.63/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Alpha King is alphucking good. That's a play on the sofa king fake commercial - it's sofa king good. It is amazing and worth all the praise. I have had other good, no great, brews from this brewer, but never before this gem, and now I think they deserve blind faith from this one great brew.

It is a little dark and has decent lace. The aroma is not pronounced, but it is still sublime.

The taste is amazing. Malty, for sure, but still well balanced with all kinds of hops bitterness. This is the best tasting pale ale ever. The aftertaste is sad, because the ale is going away. Otherwise, it too is sublime, with malts and hops staying on the tongue for a long time. It tastes as though the alcohol would preclude you from drinking more than one, but I think I could do SEVERAL of these, and be in heaven, so I will try to get more. But alas, they are rare, and in demand. Rightfully so.

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Photo of trep
4.64/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a dark amber, perfect clarity, huge frothy head after an aggressive pour. Smells of grapefruity hops, flowers, a nice balance of bitter and malt, although the hops definitely are what you continue to sniff this beer for. Mmm - I love it.

Tastes just the way it smells. Hop bitterness is very present but not overwhelming. Smooth as hell. The head fades to a quarter of an inch layer of thin bubbles with nice lacing around the glass as I continue to sip on the King. I can't get over how smooth this beer is. Reminds me alot of Two-Hearted in its smoothness and balance. Finishes smooth, expectedly.

A quality beer, no doubt about it. Three Floyds should be very proud of this beer.

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Photo of JohnG190
4.64/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Thanks NW2285. Pours orange to brick red with slightly cloudy body. A thick, three finger off-white head with excellent retention and nice lacing. Strong orange notes dominate the nose with a hint of pine needle and faint caramel as well. Orange hits the palate first delivering a strong citrusy taste that’s faintly tart. The next notes are sweeter - sherbet and caramel. Alpha King finishes dry and slightly bitter, with faint resin notes. Medium bodied, not quite as chewy as an IPA, but pretty close. The carbonation is lively. Overall this might be the finest example of an American Pale Ale out there. Great work 3Floyds.

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Photo of Eric_Edwardson
4.64/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A American Pale Ale with slight caramel sweetness balanced by aggressive citrus Hoppiness, this is the kind of beer you find yourself not Able to put down because the flavors become more complex as you drink the beer! My first beer from 3 floyds, and I can always tell I will now be apart of their cult following!

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Photo of brewdude1982
4.64/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I received this bottle of nectar from the gods from a friend that trekked many miles to retrieve for myself and others since the brewery is not shipping their delicious brews nationally.
I had this beer in a bottle at 38*F and poured into a glass beer mug. It had an amazing smell of pine followed by perhaps pineapple (the true maltyness of the beer was hidden). As far as mouthful I'm gonna say slippery and then tingly as if they is a little acid on the back end.
The taste of this brew is great. Bitter that comes on slowly with a nice cool peak that changes over time, like a cool Carolina tide rolling in on a warm afternoon.
I would highly recommended this beer to anyone in the area or anyone that can beg, barter, or steal from someone that has this beer.

One Love

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Photo of wvsabbath
4.64/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Serving Type - Bottle

Appearance - Golden tan/brown with a 1 inch white, foamy head. Nice sticky lacing.

Smell - Sweet citric hops, orange, pineapple, tangerine, honey, added sugars and a caramel malt backbone.

Taste - Starts out with nice citric, sweet fruits and a nice malt backbone. Some grassy and herbal notes, along with some added sugars. Mango, pineapple and orange is present in each sip. Has a nice lemon and cherry flavor near the finish. No alcohol nor any pale malts are noticeable.

Mouthfeel - Sweet cirtic hops coat the tongue with sweetness. Palate gets more hops, along with some caramel malts. Aftertaste is mild, citric sweet.

Overall - Awesome. Pushes the edge of a pale ale. Any more hop kick and this Is a ipa. Incredibly smooth, tasty and full of flavor, theres a reason this is 3 floyds flagship beer. A totally different monster then zombie dust, but equally impressive.

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Photo of merlin48
4.65/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This poured a murky auburn orange color, with an offwhite head that hung around quite a while. Ring lacing was there until the last dram. Mouthfeel is a bit surprising, as that's where I sense the first inkling of the nice malt going on here. The nose is all about grapefruit, tangerine, and spruce. Halfway through, it still looks like southern iced tea in an oldtimey pitcher. The taste is memorable. I've forgotten how long it's been since I've had such a perfect blend of subdued sweet caramel taste teased by such a wonderful sour grapefruit and bitter Mandarin orange hop balance. This one seems like a happy marriage of an excellent North American ESB with a westcoast Double IPA. Extraordinary!

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Photo of thebarnesbomb
4.65/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

One of my all time favorites. One of the few benefits of living in Indiana is being close to Three Floyds brewery.

A- Pours a clear, dark ruby with a thick head that lasts almost all the way down

S- Scents of fruity hops, and a bit of sweet malts

T- Outstanding. A great balance between the copious hops and the malts that keep these hops from running rampant on the palate

M- Rich, inviting, but a bit oily from the hops in the aftertaste

D- Tempted to drink the whole 6, so tasty.

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Photo of peabody
4.65/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours out clear Ice tea color with just a little white suds and very little lacing.
Smell is very complex. Plum and cherry and cinammon and carmel. The hops and the alcohol are in the back but very detectable.
Taste is wonderful. Plum and grapefruit and coffee and caramel with spices. Then the Pine. Man, this is the most Piney brew I have had to date. MMMM these are great hops.
Mouthfeel is a little oily but after the alcohol leaves the piney feel stays with you for quite some time.
6% means you should limit yourself but the flavor says "gimme one more please".

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Photo of Erdinger2003
4.65/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The head has dissipated leaving behind lacing and a good strong lacing with a slight amount of head, but the lacing is thick...maybe 2mm thick at it's weakest point. Color is dark brown to ruby red.

Smell is overwhelmingly hoppy and slightly fruity. The hops are slightly grassy. It has some lemon and raspberry to it.

The taste is primarily hops, but it also has some fruityness that ranges from lemon to strawberry/ raspberry.

Mouthfeel is excellent, it is carbonated quite well which leaves a foamy smooth feel on the tongue.

This will be a regular drink for me, it's great.

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Photo of AdamThomas
4.65/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A: Deep dark amber with a wonderful white whip-cream head for accoutrement.

S: Tropical fruits on the 1st nose with a dominance of hops following.

T: Malt flavor with a slight carbonation. Full body beer with enough pine to balance the malt. Plenty of hops flavor to help mellow the two flavor profiles. This is a typical medium body everyday drinking beer. Perfect in every aspect.

M: Full flavor/body with slight carbonation.

O: Perfect APA. I'd be happy if more breweries cloned Alpha King. Has an exquisite combination of malts/pine/hops and citrus for a wonderful APA. Highly recommended!

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Photo of Damian
4.65/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Drank from a 12 fl oz/355 ml bottle
Served in a pint glass
Thanks to Jeager for including this as an extra in our trade

The beer poured a crystal clear, deep reddish-amber color with a two-finger, frothy, off-white head that slowly faded to a thick ring. Spotty blocks of lacing trickled down the glass.

The aroma was intensely hoppy yet balanced. A bold, citrusy, spicy orange quality was apparent along with rich, sweet, caramel malts.

The taste was hoppy and zesty yet incredibly smooth and well balanced. Malty and a touch sweet up front with some mild brown sugar notes. Citrus fruits (candied orange peel and grapefruit) were immediately noticeable as well. Spicy in the center. The snappy and clean finish was piny and dry initially and became more intense (and more bitter) as the beer warmed.

The mouthfeel was medium/fuller bodied for the style. Outrageously creamy with a fine, medium carbonation. Silky smooth and supple on the palate.

Drinkability was simply outstanding. This is an easy-drinking yet oh-so-flavorful pale ale. What more could one ask for from a session brew?

Simply put, this is an incredibly solid and well-crafted beer. For a pale ale, it was definitely the most intense version I have yet to try (it more closely resembled an IPA than a pale ale). Overall, another winner from the folks at Three Floyds.

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Alpha King from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 1,761 ratings.