Alpha King - 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

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Alpha KingAlpha King

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BA SCORE
95
world-class

1,718 Reviews
THE BROS
94
outstanding

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Reviews: 1,718
Hads: 5,825
rAvg: 4.27
pDev: 7.73%
Wants: 918
Gots: 928 | FT: 29
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: 1,718 | Hads: 5,825
Photo of ShogoKawada
3.51/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12oz extra from mikey711. Thanks! Into tulip.

A- That's a damn dark pale ale if I do say so myself. Penny copper brown. Nice sandy head that's mostly white. Large bubbles, nice lacing, head settles to a 1/2 cm and just stays there.

S- Hops! Sweet, sugary malt and fruity, mildly piny hops. Big citrus component. Hmm... west coast hops with an east coast malt bill.

T- Good hop bill here, malt is a bit too much for me. A bit sweeter than I would have liked. Still very tasty.. esp. for a pale ale (drinks like an IPA). Hops are flavorful and don't have too much bitterness. Lots of sugary sweetness... like frosted hops.

M- Again, too much malt. Maybe I'm just not being kind to this beer, but it borders on too sweet. Good carbonation though.

D- Moderate. I'll have to revisit this at some point, maybe my head's just not in the game. Good stuff, not great stuff though. (878 characters)

Photo of SlothB77
3.53/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

12 ounce bottle poured into glass

A: Dark copper with half a finger of milky white head, viscous and a little rocky.

S: Grapes, passion fruit and cut grass.

T: Slick sour taste, toast and honey. Lemony sour mixed with hedgerow.

M: Medium-body, medium carbonation, acidic, slick, sour and bitter.

O: This is a little too sour for my taste, but I am more of a fan of IPA's than I am of pale ales. (399 characters)

Photo of Swettenham_Shire
3.54/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Currently on tap in the Pint Room (Dublin, OH). First time trying this pale ale from 3Floyds.

A: copper color with minimal head
S: simple citrus smell; expected more hops
T: expected better; I've had other pale ales that compare to this
M: very smooth and drinkable
O: good, but not extraordinary; maybe I just don't like pale ales that much, but being a 3Floyds brew I had to try it (384 characters)

Photo of Nugganooch
3.55/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Another review made possible by my first trade with Shuggy. Cheers mate!

Very excited to try some 3 F's goodness for the very first time and just so happens that I actually got to sample some Alpha King at the PizzaPort Real Ale fest recently. Now sitting down with a bottle and results are sort of a let down for me.

A: Pours a much darker pale - more amber color with almost no head love. Just a dank swirling mass of a brew. Struggling lace.

S: Sweet honey malt notes with ample biscuit characteristics. Picking up some slight citrus but smell is dominant malt.

T: Taste is mostly sweet with a light honey and english biscuity malt character. Good amount of bitterness. Some noticeable spice and pine notes but any delicate hop flavors are just trumped by the abundent bready and honey malts here. Bitters do round it out and finish it up nice. ABV slighlty detectable.

M: Not a bad mix of sticky and creaminess on the palate that is bittered well.

D: Good. Malt forward for the style and lands a bit on the sweeter side.

Maybe my expectations were just too high here for a brew titled the Alpha King. As far as hops go this one is definitely not the King. Maybe back in the day this was considered hoppy? Overall a decent brew but a bit heavy on the malt flavors and aromas for the hops to really shine in my opinion. Perhaps one I will not be seeking out again any time soon with the many other options these days. Glad to have tried though. (1,453 characters)

Photo of robwestcott
3.55/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

third glass in a FFF flight.

poured from tap to a 4oz taster a semi translucent light mahogany with a 1/2 finger off white short lasting head.

aroma of piney hops and not much else - except cigarette smoke from that guy next to me.

piney hops forward to the exclusion of all else. it's a hoppy beer not pretending to balance.

bitter on the tongue, medium carbonation.

very drinkable at 6abv. (396 characters)

Photo of katan
3.55/5  rDev -16.9%
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. (707 characters)

Photo of Westsidethreat
3.56/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

A: Pale ale my butt, looks like an IPA to me. Nice darkish orange, parika color. Off white head has fallen to a playfull froth kicking it on top of the body

S: Again, smells like an IPA. Deep, enriching aromas of tangerine, white peach and redwood.

T: Interesting dry bitterness going on here. Notes of grapefruit, kiwi and loads of fresh hops. Looong bitter finish with a buttery aftertaste.

M: Bit astringent, not very full. Too crisp.

D: Um yeah, it was a decent beer. But the ratings its receiving are not worthy IMO. (534 characters)

Photo of trxxpaxxs
3.58/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a nice translucent deep honey gold. There is about one and a half fingers of off-white head that settle nicely along the top of the beer. There is a decent amount of lacing as it drinks.

S: The nose is is mainly light sweet malt, some citrus hops, and that familiar FFF yeast note.

T: It starts out with some malt character up front. It's actually a bit musty. I wonder how long this bottle has been sitting on the shelf. I get a bit of herbal tea and the citrus hops come on the the middle and last until the finish. That distinctive FFF flavor is totally evident.

M: Light to medium bodied beer. There is a bit of heft, more than I was expecting for an APA. The flavors hit the palate and shift off. Only a bit of lingering bitters.

O: This is a pretty good beer, but It's not quick what I imagined it to be. This particular bottle seems a bit old, but without any bottle dates, it's hard to know when it was brewed. I'd like to try this again, but when I know it's a fresh bottle. (996 characters)

Photo of ViveLaChouffe
3.58/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Deep hazy copper with a creamy dense tan head. Lacy.

Smell: Citrusy hops, floral and sweet

Taste: Bitter and tart citrus. Smooth lightly sweet malt. Floral.

Mouth: Long hoppy finish, medium bodied.

Drink: Tasty and quite drinkable.

Overall: A bit unbalanced for a pale ale but it does have character. The malt profile could be more steadfast and while it is nicely hopped it doesn't have much to complement it. All in all though a good brew. (468 characters)

Photo of tapman
3.59/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I get that the 3Fs make decent brews, but why the hefty price tag for the big bottles? Oh well, as for their more affordable Alpha King...

Pours rusty-red and orange hues towards the lighter bottom of the glass. Not much head at 1 finger, but the lacing sticks with it pretty well.

The aromas are citrus and grass with hints of pomegranate for that not-too-sweet fruitiness.

I believe the hops I'm getting are cascade, the most abundant American hop unless I am mistaken then please tell me. Earthy/grassy tartness with a bit of an alcohol sting. There is a sea-saltiness that compliments the bread-like malt back.

The carbonation is crispy. Overall the beer is creamy and smooth with a stingy finish.

Quite decent. I could enjoy 2-3 of these before the taste buds need a break from being worked so hard. I look forward to trying the $17 bottles one day, but for now this will do just fine. (905 characters)

Photo of RoyalT
3.6/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance – This one poured a nice, clear orangish-brown with a huge, puffy, retentive head.

Smell – The sharp, East Coast hop profile seems to have a bit of pine. This was a welcome surprise. I can pick up some light grain as well but clearly this is a hop-dominated APA.

Taste – The hops came out big at the taste but did not show a lot of depth, leaving this flavor profile a bit unbalanced. The malts were light and overmatched.

Mouthfeel – This one was somewhere between light and medium-bodied and didn’t hold up well to the big hops, but the bitterness was just wonderfully done.

Drinkability – This is a light, easy-drinking APA that I thought could have used a bit more depth. (704 characters)

Photo of PCampbell
3.6/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a tulip glass. Pours a nice dark amber color with a long lasting off-white thick head.

Has a very nice pineapple / mango smell to it on first whiff. A little bit of sweet malt in the background. Upfront it tastes hoppy malty with a light malt flavor to balance it out. Has a medium amount of body and carbonation to it to round it all out.

A very nice pale ale overall, worth getting if you like pale ales. (441 characters)

Photo of FtownThrowDown
3.6/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into my Dogfish Head pint glass.
Pours a very dark amber brown color. It has a frothy head that quickly recedes and leaves lots of nice lacing on the side of the glass.
Smell is very piny hops with some grassy undertones.
Taste is much the same, except with a good amount of hop bitterness to it. Mouthfeel is crisp with a good amount of bitterness. This has a decent about to maltiness and pretty full mouthfeel.
This is a highly sessionable beer which doesn't get old after drinking a few. (503 characters)

Photo of ATPete
3.6/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle
no date on the label, received in a recent trade.

Pours a hazy reddish brown color with a mediocre small white head and minimal sticking. A mellow nose of resinous hops and pine, musty pale malts lay balanced in the nose but overall its aroma doesnt necessarily strike me as inviting. Sweet malt character, brown sugar, big notes of grapefruit and orange peel. Lively bubbles, coating medium body and a long lingering bittersweet aftertaste. Good drinkability, but i was expecting so much more from this beer, possibly i got an old bottle, and i would love to experiment with Alpha King again but until that day, im unimpressed. (641 characters)

Photo of Soneast
3.6/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a slightly cloudy, orange color, with a pretty thick head that lasts quite awhile, leaving a lot of suds on the glass.

The aroma consists of a lot of citrus character, most notably orange and pineapple, but there is also a light graininess and maybe even caramel notes in the aroma.

The flavor starts out with some nice hop flavors of the citrus variety but then the beer gives up a lot of sweet malt character, mostly caramels and brown sugar. Some may call this well-balanced but for my money, it is too sweet for an APA.

Alpha King does have a very good mouthfeel, nice and creamy, and finishes well, but overall I thought the sweetness of the beer was a bit much. It is possible to bring out a lot of hop aroma/flavor without making a bitter beer, unfortunately FFF's decided to leave just a bit much residual sweetness which I think ruins the hoppy character. The beer isn't bad for what it is, but it is not a great APA, IMO. (940 characters)

Photo of ehammond1
3.61/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle (2011)

Acquired via online
Thanks, www.archerliquors.com!

Dark caramel auburn with a tight, light khaki colored head that eventually leaves splotches and lines of lacing down the glass. This beer is gorgeous.

The aroma is particularly sweet, dominated by honey, sweet and sticky toffee and caramel, and some pine and citrus hop components. Not nearly as pungent, bright, or clean as I hoped and have found in other hoppy Three Floyds offerings. I expected great, I was given slightly better than average.

The flavor is similar to the aroma, with bready, malty, and sweet components leading the way. The hops present in the way of a relatively high bitterness, especially for a pale ale. Great drinkability, however.

Medium to full bodied with ample carbonation.

Highly drinkable, somewhat bitter, bready, and sweet pale ale. (838 characters)

Photo of bishopdc0
3.62/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Got this as a trade extra.

Poured into my new Belgium tulip. The beer is pretty dark almost brown. with a decent size head. the head is thick creamy and hugs the glass.

The nose is hops first with a solid malt back. The hops are pungent earthy and piny. I don't get citrus.

The taste matches the nose. Hops first earthy and pungent. After the initial hop flavor the carbonation comes in and pale and lightly roasted malts mix in. As the carbonation subsides the hops present themselves again as a earthy bitterness. (518 characters)

Photo of Jredner
3.62/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Citrusy hop aroma, but it is muted. Copper/tea colored with a finger thick white head. very quaffable. Nothing revolutionary here just a good malt base followed by ample hopping that leaves a mildly sweet malty beer that finishes citrusy and grapefruit bitter. Very solid if you like lots of hops. (297 characters)

Photo of mfnmbvp
3.62/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle, no bottled on date present, but I doubt this was the freshest bottle of Three Floyds Alpha King that was available. Poured into a Boulevard tulip.

A - Poured an obnoxious three and a half fingers of creamy fluffy beige colored head with excellent retention that sits on top with a root beer float like appearance and a very nice looking ruby / burnt sienna orange colored body.

S - Pine needles. Fresh lemon. Oranges. Nice lively array of hop smells going on here.

T - Hoppy. Fruity. Floral. Sweet iced tea kind of taste that I have become accustomed to in pale ales and IPA's. Tastes good, but like I have said before, a lot of Three Floyds beers are way way way too over carbonated, and this beer is no exception. Very overly carbonated to the point where it is distracting.

M - Sticky, piney mouthfeel with the lingering taste of green apple sugars. I love hops, and I think this is a wonderful tasting beer, but like I said it is just too damn carbonated and bloating for my liking.

Overall, a decent tasting American pale ale, but I definitely feel this beer is over-hyped, and there are many much more subtle and complex APA's to be had. I think I would personally rather drink the New Holland Hopivore or the Grand Teton Sweetgrass APA instead. Still a decent year-round beer from Three Floyds, but being their landmark beer, I would probably choose something else of theirs like the Three Floyds Arctic Panzer Wolf.

Three Floyds Alpha King ---3.5/5 (1,477 characters)

Photo of nhindian
3.62/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a Victory tulip. Bottle provided by UMNbeerhunter, thanks Joe!

Hard to determine a date for this as Three Floyds refuses to code their bottles...

A - A steady pour yields a dark orange beer with 1-fingers worth of creamy head. The head has low retention, quickly dissolving into speckles dotted on top of the beer. I can't seem to see much carbonation in this beer, but it does lace nicely.

S - The smell is mild and not over-the-top. Light hops release a faint aroma of pine and citrus, but there is also a strong malt presence in this beer as well. Subtle notes of baked bread.

T - In the taste, the hops aren't as pronounced, and there is actually a tight balancing act between the hops and the malts. The first word I first used to describe it were 'unoriginal'. It's a taste that isn't reflective of other Three Floyds beer and is just a bit bland. The finish is moderately long and a bit bitter.

M - The mouthfeel is medium heavy with good carbonation despite the absence of streams in the glass. Leaves a slight coating in the mouth but little to remember it by besides the bitter finish.

D - Drinkability is moderate. As I look back on the notes, I describe it as inoffensive but not very inspired or worth seeking out. A standby in Three Floyds rotation, it wouldn't be hard to find something comparable in local shelves. (1,360 characters)

Photo of oakbluff
3.62/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Born on date- who the hell knows? Pours out a cloudy copper with minimal head - some soapy lacing. Smell is nothing to write home about- some fading hops. Taste- quite spritzy which surprised me given the lack of head. Grassy hops with a soapy aftertaste. Malt is solid- tobacco and solid caramel flavours. Its quite tasty, but doesn't blow me away. Maybe its the age- I can't imagine I have a bottle at its peak of freshness. First time trying, so I risked the purchase in my excitement not knowing its age. The hops are there, just in weird muted kind of way. given the rep of FFF, I was expecting more. Truthfully, pass the SNPA, as this pale ale doesn't match the benchmark classic american pale that is Sierra Nevada. I would love a chance to try fresh on tap or bottle. Until they date these suckers, I can't cut any slack. (829 characters)

Photo of mondegreen
3.63/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz into a DFH Signature Glass

Pours a reasonable clear amber with a dense, quickly receding head. Not much lacing.

Not much going on with the nose. A little spicy hops, a little sweet malt. I'm wondering if I got an old bottle. What is there smells nice.

Flavor is somewhat grassy. Sweetness and a touch of booze in the middle. Big bitter finish.

Mouth is medium thin and pretty crisp. Highlight of the beer for me.

Somewhat disappointed. I've heard such great things about this beer, but I'm finding it to be kind of blah. I'm on the third of a six pack, so it isn't just one bad bottle. FFF needs to start bottle dating, especially for these hoppy brews. Not sure if this is old or what. I had a friend bring this back from Indiana for me, but based on this experience, I will not try this beer again until the FFF starts dating bottles. (846 characters)

Photo of kalkavekkian
3.63/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Tried this for the first time and liked what i found.
A- Clear golden- orange with light head.
S- Fruity hops, slightly spicy.
T- Sharp citrus hops and grains. Nicely bitter. Stone ipa-like, but not quite as harsh.
M- Strong carbonation.
D- Good drinkability with the abv a non-factor. (286 characters)

Photo of iabeerbaron
3.63/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A nice amber colored pour with a medium off-white head. Nice lacing on the glass. Aroma is floral with citrusy hops and malt. Nice malt flavor with citrus hops and pine; nice bitter finish. A good balanced beer. Love getting my hands on any Three Floyds beers. (260 characters)

Photo of yen157
3.63/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Hazy orange-brown body, almost iced tea-like. Topped by a sticky, chunky head. No missing the big, citrusy hop aroma with mild, but noticeable, hints of banana esters. I’m not talking about hefeweizen, but they’re there. Great hop taste and bitterness which is kinda implied by a name like “Alpha King. Usually with a hopping like this one would expect to find a sticky malt body, but remember this is a pale ale not an IPA. The malt provides precarious balance to the big hop flavor and assertive bitterness. The hop flavor is rather complex and changes throughout the mouthfuls. There is a little apple late in the finish. Looking back on this brew, it seems like this is about as close to a big, homebrewed PA as you are going to find out there with the hops, haze, and esters. This is one beer I wish would come to the Garden State. (839 characters)

Alpha King from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 1,718 ratings.