Alpha King - 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

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Alpha KingAlpha King

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BA SCORE
95
world-class

1,717 Reviews
THE BROS
94
outstanding

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Reviews: 1,717
Hads: 5,797
rAvg: 4.27
pDev: 7.73%
Wants: 917
Gots: 924 | FT: 28
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: 1,717 | Hads: 5,797
Photo of Tim460
4.45/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle a deep amber color with 1/2 inch head. Smells of citrus and floral hops. A slight hint of malt till the hops kick in. Tastes almost like an IPA with the big hop flavor. Very Nice! Has a medium body and goes down smooth. The hoppiest of the APA's I've tried yet. An awesome beer that I plan to go back to many times in the future. (348 characters)

Photo of RedHaze
4.42/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark amber color with a thick 1.5 inch head with a lot of good lacing.

Great grapefruit and hop smell to it.

Fruity citrus and hop flavor with just the right amount of malt. This is one damn good beer.

Wish that this was sold this in my area. I had to order it from John's Grocery In Iowa City. I have a feeling that I will be ordering more of this in the future. The more I sip it, the better it gets. Wish I could get other Three Floyds brews after this one. (478 characters)

Photo of yelterdow
4.8/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

All of a sudden, this "rare" find is available in North Jersey! Purchased at Frontier Liquors in Hackensack ($8.99/6-pack) and I'm in the mood tonight for some good beer.

Served at just under fridge temperature in a pint glass.

Appearance- Glows a crystal clear copper/amber with a juicy two finger head that stands tall. Even after falling to a quarter-inch topper several minutes later, the lacing is sticky and dense. Terrific structure that remains throughout, I cannot imagine a more perfect APA.

Smell- Citrus and pine sap come forth immediately, but there is a sweet maltiness that counters and balances their performance with class. The aromas meld perfectly together, and grow even more integrated with time. Another perfect 5, without reservation.

Taste- Loads of grapefruit combined with bitter, pine tree and floral notes. Aggressive bitterness in the back of the mouth that begs for another taste, to be timed with the fantastic hop burps that result.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Slick, smooth, almost creamy. By far the best APA I have ever had, and this is number three for the evening. The hops never overwhelm, just perform. Awesome color, cling-for-dear-life lacing, super drinkability... FFF has wowed my ass. Great job, this is a must-stock always. (1,280 characters)

Photo of connecticutpoet
4.2/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to highclassdrinker for the trade.

This was a clear amber ale with a two finger head. Looked very enticing.

Aroma was of sharp grapefruit hops, and not much else. Incredible.

Taste was moderately bitter grapefruit hops, balanced by well by medium malts (caramel?). Pretty darn good.

An excellent pale ale. (324 characters)

Photo of GClarkage
4.77/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

07/30/05- Received from a purchase at Archers Liquors.

Presentation- 12oz bottle with no dating. Poured into my Shipyard pint glass.

Appearance- Darker golden color. Nice 3/4 inch head and average lacing.

Smell- Huge and I mean huge grapefruit hops. That's about all I can detect because the hops overpower everything else.

Taste- Wow, this is one damn good Pale Ale. Starts off with a huge fruity blast of hops and finishes with a nice smooth semi dark malt flavor.

Mouthfeel- Moderate carbonation, heavier mouthfeel.

Drinkability- I actually felt some of the alcohol kick in at the end of the brew. Not sure if I could session more than a couple of these. But, an amazing hoppy pale ale that I would buy again in a second if I could get my hands on it out here. Hands down one of the top two or three Pale Ales I've had. Maybe the best. (857 characters)

Photo of cypressbob
4.32/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

355ml bottle, poured into a tulip glass.

7.3%abv

Pours with a coppery body, small dense off tan head, not particularly great retention

Smell, tonnes of thick aggressive piney hops, cascade primarily. Lemony, some thick creamy malt, slightly musky

Taste, creamy with a ballsy strong malt backbone. Dirty strong hops, really lasting on the palette

Mmmm...one of those really big tasty american ales, i'd have thought this would be an ipa (451 characters)

Photo of dirtylou
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

6-pack purchased on sale at City-Wide Liquors, $5.99

appearance: light-medium amber with thin white head, with slight lacing present

smell: Citrus, floral, slight pine flavors, very hoppy

taste: Extremely hoppy, alcohol well hidden, arrangement of citrus flavors. As many have mentioned, strong resemblance to the IPA style.

mouthfeel: Again, very hoppy. Refreshing, powerful, yet crisp.

drinkability: I typically can't drink more than 2 or 3 of extremely hoppy beers, just a personal thing. Goes down easy and leaves you thirsting for more.

A very fine beer available at a reasonable price, especially compared to some other Three Floyd's offerings. If this is going to be considerd and APA, its my favorite of the style. (740 characters)

Photo of rkhaze
4.27/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pors a burnished copper color with a creamy off white head. Noticeable carbonation slowly rising through the viscous liquid.

Excellent fresh grapefruit/citrus aromas upfront. Sweet malt, caramel, and fruit. A bit of hop spiciness rounds it out. Oh yes...this one is all about the hops!

Big citrus/resinous hop flavor balanced by a hefty sweet malt backbone. Some caramel and grassiness lead to a long lingering bitter aftertaste.

Medium bodied with a creamy, slightly oily feel that coats the mouth with flavor. Good level of carbaonation.

Excellent drinkability and a fine beer me thinks. (601 characters)

Photo of PatYoda
4.78/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance is a clear mahogany with a nice one finger tan colored head and some great lacing. Smell really jumps out at you. Sweet sweet oranges alongside some bready malt. It never ceases to amaze me how powerful that first whiff is. No detectable alcohol. And now to taste. Ahhh, the creamy smoothness is the first thing you notice. Perfect carbonation and body. All the citrus fruits in the world are there, with the orange flavor really standing out next to a little bit of grapefruit and lemon. The malt adds some balance to this brew as a nice bready bisuity aspect, though it is definitely hoppier than your average pale ale. As others have said, it almost crosses the line into an IPA, but the hops in no way overpower the malt in this beer. The finish is extraordinary. Hops all the way, though it's not too bitter. I could drink this all night. In fact, I might just do that now. In case you couldn't tell, this is my favorite APA. (941 characters)

Photo of GnomeKing
3.76/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

With a a rich, gold color, ample lacing, and a full, vaguely creamy mouthfeel, this hop monster is as pretty as it is potent. Hops hit you the second the beer taps your tongue, and they leave their joyful mark in a linger aftertaste. Although this is a definite hop monster, it's reasonably smooth and has a tinge of sweetness. There are hints in the beer I didn't like, perhaps something about the yeast. There was an imbalance in this beer that spoke of lack of control. I had an entire six pack during the past week, and I reacted to each bottle differently. Is it me, or the beer? I think it's the beer, because I had several cans of Dale's Pale Ale during the same period, and they were consistent. (703 characters)

Photo of Jason
4.47/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Beeguy for the sample ...

Its been a while since I have had this brew ... its on the high end for APAs with such a bold and flavorful hop presence. IPA?? DPA??? who cares ... this is damn good stuff.

It has gained cult status as being a hop-head's brew, lots of American hop character with a solid base of malt sweetness to hold things together. Biscuity and caramel malt meet a big citrusy juicy hop for a very enjoyable brew.

If you love hops this is a great one to try. (492 characters)

Photo of blitz134
4.45/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

My first offering from Three Floyds...should be good...

Poured a beautiful amber dark caramel color. Crystal clear body with a near two finger off white head on top. Lacing clings heavily to the glass in thick lumps. Very nice. There really isn't much else you could ask for.

Aroma is incredibly strong. Cascade laden fumes waft from under the cap as soon as the seal is cracked. Upon closer inspection a good mix of pine hop aromas intermingle with the grapefruit and other strong orange and tangerine citrus from the cascades. A sweet malt character is present as well.

Damn. This hop character in this is on par with many other breweries IPAs and even exceeds some IPAs I have had. This is fairly balanced though. Hops come through with a resin flavor and character which drys the mouth a bit. An equal portion of grapefruit intermingles as well. A bit of bready malt brings the sweetness of the hops in check.

Mouthfeel is good. Fairly full bodied and crisp from the carbonation. Nothing which hasn't been done with other APA/IPAs, but this is on par with the good ones.

Drinkability is great if you like a hoppy ale. At over 7% ABV not too many of these could be had. But the crisp mouthfeel and balanced flavor make this one which could be enjoyed in multiples. (1,282 characters)

Photo of waughbrew
3.21/5  rDev -24.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pretty clear copper. Wonderful dense foamy rocky off-white head stays around for a while and leaves nice rings on my nonic. Great aroma of fresh grapefruity hops with enough spicy quality to keep it interesting. Hints of grainy sweetness carry it along to my nose. Low carbonation, thick 'plasticy' body. Very toasty malt with assertive, slightly prickly herbage. A bit of peppermint Altoid in the finish. No yeast characteristics leave it lacking in development and complexity. Thickness makes it way too filling. Decently made, but fails to stand out from the pack. I still do not think that toasty malt flavors go well with big fruity hoppage.

[Mislabeled. With this big body, slightly elavated alcohol, and big hoppage, this is definitely an IPA and should be compared on that level. To have this listed as a pale ale is unfair to the real versions of the style.] (871 characters)

Photo of beerislove
4.33/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to mynie for the bottle...

Pours a beautiful rusty color bordering on mahogony. It has a thick lasting head that leaves a nice oily slick when it finally relents.

The nose is pure citrus hops that tells your tongue what to expect. The beer is sharp up front with a great biting bitterness. But this quickly fades before it gets too far down the tongue and reveals a sweet matly backbone. To me this is the mark of a great APA in that it cuts off the hops earlier than an IPA would. The malts then fade cleanly leaving a slight citric aftertaste.

It has a nice medium body and the alternating hops and malts are perfectly done. I could drink this all day...if I had more than one bottle that is. (711 characters)

Photo of weeare138
4.22/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appears a copper/amber with a two finger off white head that retains a foamlike state for more than a few minutes. Lacing is webbed through the glass with a chunky clinginess.
Smells of ripe grapefruit, sweet caramel malts, and a touch of pine.
Taste is of a beautiful mix of hops, malt, sugar, bitterness, and overall citrus that is so well blended that I'm not sure how this isn't really an IPA.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a swirl of citrusy hops that dominates the tastebuds but does not dare sting in the smooth, malty mix.
Drinkability is great. What 7.35%? Down at least 3 or 4 of these in one sitting with no problem. This doesn't even creep, it's just outright amazing for an APA....uh, make that the "King" of APA's.

Finger licking good. (758 characters)

Photo of mynie
4.45/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours excellent. The perfect amber haze I expect from an APA only with a wonderful head to boot.

The nose is much stronger from a keg, I think. Hops and hops and hops and roses and hops and slight hints of fruit and hops.

Tastes like it smells, more or less. I don't want to write the word "hops" fifty times over but I feel the need to. There's a decent malt backbone to this brew that makes it very easy to drink.

Simply put: A hophead's dream. One of the best PAs you'll ever come across, heck--it's one of the best beers your going to come across. (560 characters)

Photo of seedee17
4.42/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Great beer. Pours into the glass and leaves a nice tan head, which remains for the entire beer. A beautiful copper colored ale with a little bit of cloudiness from the yeast from the bottom of the bottle. A few small bubbles make their way up, not overly carbonated. Smells like pine and citrus, and slightly sweet, maybe like caramel. The taste is outstanding, finding a nice balance between hops and malts. Hints of grapefruit at first with a nice, earthy aftertaste. A pleasant hop flavor lingers long after swallowing. Leaves a nice, slightly slick feeling in the back of the mouth. This is a fantastic APA which seems to find a hop/malt harmony that can satisfy hop-heads and non-hop-heads alike. (701 characters)

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

Pours a dark reddish amber with a finger of white head and moderate amount of lacing. Nose is a strong burst fresh resinous piney hops, maybe some grapefruit in there as well, wonderful. Taste is a nice juicy grapefruit and ctirus hoppiness, almost hoppy enough to call this an IPA, but definitely more flavor than bitterness from the hops. A smooth creamy malt flavor perfectly balances any hops, leaving this as an immensely drinkable beer, even for non-hopheads. This beer is absolutely delicious, I don't know if you can find a tastier APA out there. (554 characters)

Photo of barknee
4.44/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Been looking around for this for a while..Then I saw it--that Poseidon/Hulk thing with the crown in the bottom of the cooler, HOLY SCHNIEKEES! The elusive Alpha King..
3-F's-A-K is the same color as grade A pure dark maple syrup..Exactly. There was not much in the way of carbonation after the aggressive pour but a quarter inch head remained for a few moments. The nose of this brew is akin to an IPA; Smuttynose comes to mind, but AK is neither as fragrant nor as floral but rather more evolved, serious and mature. The flavor is the quintessential combination of fine hops and sweet roasted malt-nuttiness with a fine effervescence present on the tongue.
Unlike many brews, the mouthfeel of AK is amazing and unique. At first the fine effervescence and vibrant bitter effects of the copious amounts of hops are evident on the tongue, but then upon swallowing, the entire mouth is coated with a thick viscous maple-maltiness that lasts forever. This beer almost has an well-aged edge to it, complexity and evolution are evident in the entire package with roasted malt and hops lingering onto every moment as you consider the diversity of flavor exploding out of its innards. As I continue to sample this beer-as it warms slightly-the nose is absolutely splendid, developing into this out-of-this-world combination of roasted sweet malts and cedar.
The after taste finishes with a definitive hoppy snap, kicking-up this full-bodied monster to the point of decent drinkability. So rich & so profound, this is no session beer-nor was it intended to be. It is a full throttled, no holds barred, in your face example of the style.
Designed and created with love and respect, this product is absolutely phenomenal. (1,715 characters)

Photo of fdrich29
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle purchased at City Liquors in Providence, RI. Thanks Nick (beerpanther) and Frank (beerguy) for pointing me in the right direction in finding 3 Floyds brews outside of Indiana.

Beautiful pour, thick, rich head. Hazy copper body. Nice lacing.

Smells of hops and straw. Light hoppy taste, smooth! Teases the palate then disappears leaving little evidence that it was ever in your mouth.

I can see myself enjoying more than my fair share of these treats on a hot summer day. (493 characters)

Photo of rhoadsrage
4.59/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

(Served in an American pint glass)

A-This beer pours a crystal clear golden copper with a gentle carbonation and a nice cream tan thin head.

S- The aroma is pure green floral hops. A bit of pine resin with more citrus but very fresh hops. A hint of sweet malt is hidden in the background

T- This beer has a very fresh hops taste with some grapefruit and citrus flavors that is bold but not overpowering with bitterness. It is gentle enough that you can taste the creamy sweet malt that is mostly pale malt. It the softness of a slight bit of wheat.

M-This has a medium full mouthfeel with some creaminess. There is no alcohol warmth or astringency. Very gentle.

D- This is a very subdued beer with a big hops flavor. It can compete with the hop monsters but still make a nice session beer. Very impressive. (823 characters)

Photo of karst
4.92/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

My favorite to drink from the Tap at the Three Floyds brewery. Served a little cool for my taste but with some warming ( I transfered it from the cup to my glass) became bursting with hop aroma and hop flavor that I swear were just picked from the binds. Even with the competing aromas of the brewery in the background, I found Alpha King could dominate them and put them in their place

. The hops were just another level above what I found in the bottled Alpha King. Rich malt flavors that I love are not accidental. Only the best barleys are used at this brewery.

I drank several other 3F's offerings outside in front of the new brewpub that will soon open - finding their delicate flavors and taste easier to appreciate.

Worth a trip to the brewery to taste these beers as Nick Floyd and his associates intended them. (831 characters)

Photo of board45
4.37/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz. bottle

Amber and cloudy in color with a thick copper colored head. Stinks of hops and has a lot of apricot and lime flavor to it. It doesnt have so much body to it but is a great tasting brew. Very easy to drink. The finish is very mild and floral, and disapates quickly. Im very impressed with the Alpha King. This is the first of Three Floyds that i have and i look forward to trying more. (400 characters)

Photo of Gritsak
4.4/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- dark orange with a lingering off-white head.

S- strong hop aroma. citrus and pine come out the most.

T- lots of depth here with grapefruit and pine being the most prevelant.

M- faily thick for the style, but not overly. almost perfect in my book.

D- this is the only part that suffers a bit because the strong hop presence, i wouldnt want to drink more then a couple at a time.

overall- great beer here. When i read the reviews out how hoppy this was, i knew i would enjoy it. Even with the knowlage of this it still struck me suprised as to how much hop flavor and bitterness this beer has. Great beer for those of us who enjoy hops. If you dont, its still worth a try. (688 characters)

Photo of ggroller
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had this beer on tap at Which Brew back in January of this year and was very impressed by the wonderful hop aroma in the nose. I knew that I wanted to drink this beer again and in quantity so I made the drive to Shangy's yesterday.

I found the pyramid of neatly stacked white boxes with purplish text but was a bit sceptical. No bottled on date. Shit! Now what? Shangy's is the THE place for beer in the area but then again who knows how long they've had this stuff. One thing making the decision even harder was the pyramid of Two Hearted Ale sitting immediatley next to the Alpha King WITH a bottled on date of 3/28/05. I glanced at my watch, twirled my cell phone in my hands, then grabbed a case of the Alpha King.

Very cool bottles with a vibrantly colored label and the same green and purple swirled cap as their Jack the Bruce Scottish Ale. I plan to re-use these bottles for home brew and I can tell these labels are going to be a pain in the ass to remove. Anyway, who cares about that right now, let's drink.

Popped the top, poured the beer, closed my eyes, and inhaled. Ahhh, I'm back at Which Brew eating dinner with my wife. Memories.

The beer is a clear amber liquid with a nice rocky white head. Good, sticky lacing on my Victory Hop Devil pint glass. It's ok, Victory, you're still my #1 girl.

HUGE flowery hops in the nose, same as what I remembered as that on tap.

Wonderfully bitter with just enough maltiness to balance. A nice clean finish, BBUUUURRRRPP! YES! I taste hops in the belch. Oh, life is so good.

Go out and buy some of this now. This beer is delicious. (1,612 characters)

Alpha King from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 1,717 ratings.