Alpha King - 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Alpha KingAlpha King

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,742 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,742
Hads: 5,932
Avg: 4.26
pDev: 8.92%
Wants: 929
Gots: 994 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Alpha King Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,742 | Hads: 5,932
Photo of ITK4ever
4.85/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pale Ale? Try hoppy IPA. The hops put other PA's to shame. This is one of my fav's, but I don't want to stock it all the time because the artwork on the bottle is a little frightening. If you can get past that, it's one fine PA....probably the best. Typical PA color and head on the pour, but right away you can detect the hops in the nose. Taste is complex and incredible. Good balance of malt and hops at first, then the hops kick in in the finish and you get that citrusy sensation that comes with the stronger IPA' fact, close to a Double IPA. Buy this one if you see it!!!

 584 characters

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

The beer pours a hazy dark gold color with a thick frothy white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is awesome. It has a solid malt aroma that boasts of pale, carapils, and crystal malts along with an intensely bitter citrus hop scent; very nice. The taste is great as well. It has a rich and smooth malty flavor that boasts of pale and crystal malts. It also has a very bitter hop taste that goes down easy and finishes hoppy. This is a good tasting beer. It is full of hops, but also well balanced. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a medium bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a damn fine beer. It is a tremendous drinker. This has got to be one of the all time greats.

 686 characters

Photo of Brewfan
4.77/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Chilled to around 50. Should warm up nicely.
Poured from a bottle into my daily-used chalace from cooperrip.
Strong floral and hay aroma immediately hits my nose. No head really to speak of, even though I poured it a bit rough. Nice lace still clinging to the glass 15 minutes after pouring.
Beautiful clean copper color. No haze at all. Quite crisp looking.
As for the taste...WOW. Beautiful hop balance with some citrus notes. Definate "farmy" grain taste. It's like what a fresh mowed hayfield should taste like, minus the dust and bugs.
Warming up now and it's getting better (no surprise there).
Mouthfeel is relatively medium. Beer moves around the mouth nicely, then quietly exits just in time for the next sip.
Beautiful pale ale. Well done. Thank god I'm finally able to get this over here (CT by way of RI).
Up next - Robert the Bruce...

 861 characters

Photo of RoyalT
3.6/5  rDev -15.5%
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 Viggo
4.6/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Damned I love this beer. Many pints on tap at the Yardhouse in Glenview last week. Colour is dark red brown with a nice white tan head that leaves good lacing. The smell is amazing, bitter and lots of floral piney hoppy aroma. Taste is citrusy hops with a pronounced bitterness throughout but with a solid malt backbone to complement. Mouthfeel is smooth, perfect carbonation and perfect bitterness. I think this is a perfect pale ale, I could drink only this for the rest of my life and be happy.

 497 characters

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

Appearance: Ruby caramel. Very clear, with a nice frothy off-white head when poured vigorously from the bottle.

Aroma: Sweet citrusy aromas up front. The bitterness seems subtle in the aroma. This beer smells great. It has a nice floral sweetness that goes along with the citrus that you get when you first take a whiff.

Taste: Sweat caramel breadiness. With lingering bitterness that rolls over the tongue. The floral undertones in the aroma seem to sneak in the flavor too. The hopping isn't over the top, but it definately provides a kick that balances out the sweetness. Mouthfeel is full, but not over the top.

Notes: Great beer. An easy drinking IPA that shares some space in my fridge alongside other favorites like Two-Hearted and Red Seal. Buy a case.

 769 characters

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

12 oz. brown bottle with no dates.

Toffee tinged malts mingle with citric, grassy hops in the nose.

Crisp and well carbonated medium body. Tangy citric hops are there from start to long bitter finish. Malts add a never cloying sweetness and roundness. Super refreshing.

I regret I only picked up one of these, I could have easily drank them for hours. Top notch Pale Ale.

 380 characters

Photo of bigbubba
4.4/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer poured a clear dark copper color with red highlights. The head is light tan and about 1 finger tall. It disintegrated into a lacing film of tight bubbles on the surface. The smell is of serious hops. It also smells a bit fruity. The taste is mild up front then the hops take over. The finish is dry and bitter, which just leaves you wanting another sip. The mouthfeel is very good. It isn't too weak and watery, but it's not thick and sticky either. The drinkability is good, I am always in the mood for an Alpha King, just not a lot in a row.

 553 characters

Photo of brentk56
4.38/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a clear amber color with a nice fluffy head that leaves lacing all over the place

Smell: Candyish treacle, with plenty of ruby red grapefruit

Taste: At the outset, the treacle flavor arrives and makes a statement that this is going to be a different kind of pale ale; not too long thereafter, the citrusy hops take a whack at your taste buds but there is a wonderful blending with the malt; after the swallow, the flavors are incredibly well-balanced so that the bitterness never overwhelms the malt

Mouthfeel: Medium body with a healthy dose of carbonation

Drinkability: Very interesting beer with a big malt bill and plenty of hops, this is not for the faint-hearted

 690 characters

Photo of ybnorml
4.12/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A copper/amber colored beer with a slight haze. Small creamy beige head, with a good lace. There is a strong hop boquet with both spicey notes and citrusy notes. The hops in the flavor are quite assertive but not overpowering. There also seems to be a hint of smokey malt in the background.

 290 characters

Photo of Vancer
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Whoa ! Could be hop addicted after this one! Excellent amber orange pour with nice brown head. That aroma smacked me upon opening the bottle – citrus hops, almost pungent! Smooth very hoppy taste with citrus and floral dominating. Full bodied for a pale ale.

Label stated bottle conditioned, but I couldn’t find any sediment, and the pour was fairly clear, not hazy. Nit picking, had two bottles, ready for more!

 418 characters

Photo of SixpointJMH
4.24/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is one of the hoppiest Pale Ales I've ever tasted and could certainly be consideres an IPA in my book.

It pours a nice but not spectacular amber colour with a minimally sticky, thin head on top.

The smell is a world of goodness: citrusy, juicy hops, sweet fruit notes. It is very 'fresh' smelling, to say the least, overall.

The flavour is equally as good with hops all around, maybe dominating the sweetness a bit more here than in the smell. The finish has a bit of a sharp bite to it and there are notes of alcohol mixed in throughout to give it a bit of a warming feel as well.

This one is pretty much spot on in terms of having a vibrant carbonated mouthfeel to it and is quite drinkable overall. This is a very nice (and very bold in its use of hops) Pale Ale from the Three Floyds folks.

 812 characters

Photo of Star80
4.75/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours out a deep copper with a beige head with lots of little bubbles rising to the top. The head is quite large and thick, and when settled looks like a mess of cobwebbing everywhere on the sides of my glass! Smells like resiny pine, grapefruit, and gumballs! I can smell it across the room! Really, this beer has some sort of candy-like smell and taste due to Three Floyds malts. They give a somewhat sweet caramel like taste which nicely compliments this very hoppy pale ale. Definitely NOT normal! By far the hoppiest pale ale (which isn't very pale either) I've had to date. Mouthfeel is fine, very good actually. I can hardly believe this beer is 7.35% abv because it is so drinkable. Why the heck didn't I pick up another six pack of this beer sooner?

 758 characters

Photo of EPseja
4.7/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Smuggled a 6-pack of these babies home from Indiana after my Godson's Baptism. They sat around for a few weeks (miraculously) during which time I had the fortune of getting a couple of fantastic pints on tap at The Firkin in Libertyville, IL during another trip.

Served in a pint glass at recommended temperature.

A - Massive, bold, oily head forms after a flurry of activity during the pour. Malty, burnished copper colored, clear body. Lace seems to cling for dear life to the glass during consumption. Incredible.

S - Clean, crisp, straight up sweet floral hoppiness. Not as citrusy or piney as others, although the notes are there. Mouthwatering and amazing for this style. Go Amarillo hops!

T - Incredibly balanced. Mild malts up front, quickly crushed by a hop sledgehammer. Clean sweetness in the middle, and a medium bodied finish that leaves a spicy, but ghostly hop spirit lingering in the mouth. For as strong as this beer is, the alcohol is virtually non-present.

M - Rolling and oceanic. Opens up slightly in the mouth upon sipping, simmers down in time for the swallow. No residual carbonation or out-of-character dryness in the finish. I tried to find a flaw but could not.

D - Extremely well crafted, although a touch acidic. I could definitely drink this all day on any spring or summer afternoon. Unfortunately, this perceived seasonality keeps it from the perfect drinkability rating.

 1,409 characters

Photo of Wonka
4.43/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12 FL OZ

Thanks to my pal dfess1 for splitting a case from the Beer Yard in Wayne, PA.

Appearance - slighty opaque; amber with a bit more orange; solid, micronized white head; lace is admirable

Smell - grapefruit hop; herbal; peach

Taste - big grapefruit hop with a good shot of malt at the top; massive hop aftertaste as expected

Mouthfeel - big, lush and beautiful; this is certainly the Alpha King's best quality

Drinkability - feel is tremendous and it certainly benefits the drinkability; the bitter slam brings contemplation prior to going back for more, but its the intrigue and sheer explosive flavor that has me coming back for more.

Oh yes, this is an immediate APA favorite. What a kick in the tongue. Huge props to the guys in Munster.

 768 characters

Photo of HoboAGoGo
4.37/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Every few months, I just need to buy this beer. Pours a brilliant orange with a fluffy head that sticks around and laces the glass. The smell is sweet malt as the minimum characteristic, with the rest of the aroma being dominated by hops, bitter, strong citrus and some floral hops. When you first take a drink, you are once again given a pretty substantial taste of malt, but that is soon replaced by a rush of hop taste. Floral, citrus, bitter, some pine too. I can drink this beer really fast, and have spent a few nights in a stupor because I drink it too fast, and too many. All in all, probably my favorite beer.

 618 characters

Photo of mmmbeer
4.37/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz., bottle conditioned. Pours a reddish orange with a creamy, 1 finger, tan head that leaves decent lacing. Looks more like an amber or an IPA. Big citric/piney/leafy hop aroma with grapefruit, mandarin oranges, and a little bit of alcohol. The beer is fairly bitter and has notes of pine, grapefruits, oranges, and other tropical fruits. The malts are there, but they're overpowered by all the hops. It's somewhat thick, coats the mouth well, and is very drinkable. Delicious but not your typical pale ale - the flavors and appearance (and the ABV) resemble an IPA.

 570 characters

Photo of EagleTalon
4.09/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Amber color and generous off-white head, some lacing. Aroma is very much an American hops extravaganza--extraordinary blend of citrus and pine. Flavor is on the big side for an APA, strong malt balanced with hop bitterness. Caramel and biscuits in the flavor as well. Finishes with an astringent bitterness. Mouthfeel is medium with alcohol warmth and a bit of astringency. I'll have another. Wish it was available in OK.

 421 characters

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

My first beer from Three Floyd's, a brewery I've been waiting to try for some time. This was good introduction I think.

Appearance: Beautiful hazy orange color with a white head that slowly starts to disappear.

Smell: Lemon, orange zest, citrus, strong grapefruit, oily hops. Strong but greatly balanced and extremely refreshing.

Taste: All the smells come through well, with a strong hops aftertaste, though somehow it's balanced very well, even without any sweetness to take away the taste of the hops and citrus flavors. It's also remarkably smooth, even until the last drop, and that's one thing that I find is rare for many strong pale ales.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied with medium carbonation. Could be a bit creamier, maybe, but overall it's pretty good.

Drinkability: I could drink this all the time, but it'd be a sipping beer with food more than a session beer as it's pretty strong. Overall though it's a fantastic take on the style and one of my new favorite pale ales. Can't wait to try the rest of their offerings, if I can find them that is.

 1,071 characters

Photo of MuddyFeet
3.98/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer grew on me as I drank more. Neat bottle picture. It poured a very murky brown. Kind of surprising for a pale ale, but neat. Stained oak. The stain smell also came through the nose. The flavor was a nit tarnish at first. But after I let it breath the hops really started to come through. A full bouquet of flowers. The malts are slightly sweet, but balanced nicely with the hops. The mouthfeel is not crisp, quite heavy on the tongue, probably thanks to the hops and high ABV. I may hold off on a thrid or fourth one of these beers.

 541 characters

Photo of mschofield
4.92/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a medium caramel-amber topped with a two finger creamy ivory head, leaves puffy rings of lacing with webs connecting them.
Nice strong citrus hop aroma, pine and floral, clean and crisp, good malt presence in the background.
Citrus, pine, toffee and floral flavor notes, grapefruit and orange. Hoppy but 'mellow'.
Medium-full bodied, crisp and dry, a very good hoppy session APA. Thanks to Qarre for the sample.

 420 characters

Photo of NastyCanasta
4.7/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very nice clean looking dark amber color with a thick cream colored head that left a nice lacing aorund the rim of my pint glass.

Very pleasent smell. The head did not disappear rewarding my nose with both a pleasant citrus and "green" smell (reminds my of pine trees).

Very hoppy taste not real over-powering. I did not taste the alcohol at all
Very well balanced..

My mouth came alive when I drank this. Very fresh feeling. Highly recommended.

Great with beer can chicken.

 490 characters

Photo of Dantes
4.07/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Package: 12 oz. longneck, crowned brown bottle (and draught). No date information or ABV indicated. Typical 3F mascot, much like Alpha Klaus. Blurb describes this as a classic American Pale Ale and as bottle-conditioned.

Cost: $8.99 per 6-pack at Shop-Rite

Presentation: Poured into a Shaker pint glass at ~45º

Appearance: Pours a typical amber, with a slight haze and some particulates in the body. The head is barely off-white, sticky, and medium-loose in texture, resolving down to an opaque skim with little lacing.

Smell: A vibrant, citrus hoppiness erupts from this cascade powerhouse. Definitely has the aroma of an IPA, as it lacks any real malt or biscuit in the nose. Promises a no-holds-barred hop-attack.

Taste: Assaults the palate with a phalanx of hop-warriors marching across the tongue. The hops lean more toward the grapefruit side of the spectrum rather than the piney; but there are some Pine-like notes. As it warms, the malts begin to peek out just a bit, likely scared by the hoppy centurions. Not very complex, but pretty good. Not much else to describe, as this all about the hops. I do seem to remember preferring the draught for its better balance. Finishes crisply and short.

Mouthfeel: A bit heavy on the carbonation and a bit thin on the palate. The limited number of draught samples I’ve had were much better in this respect.

Drinkability: Nice but not amongst the best of its kind. Maybe I’m not enough of a hop-head, but I prefer a little balance, especially in something called a pale ale. Still, I’ll be buying this on occasion, especially since Brutal Bitter has become so expensive.

Backwash: I was amazed and thrilled when this showed up in my very average local store. I didn’t even know it was coming to NJ. I’m also hoping that this appears in draught at my local watering holes. It’s been some time since I’ve had this (I bought a case about 18 months ago at Shangy’s). Somehow, I remember those examples as being more pleasantly drinkable, with better balance, and a fuller flavor. Perhaps these are very fresh. Also, although the Bros. don’t like this, I have to review this as an IPA rather than a Pale Ale. If I were honest, I’d have to rate this low as a Pale Ale, as it really doesn’t deliver those flavors. I noted at the time of my Ithaca Pale Ale review that it couldn’t possibly compare to SN’s Harvest and 3F’s Alpha King and I think that still stands. Still, this is fine beer that I’m happy to have in NJ.

 2,499 characters

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

Secret Santa 2004 #9

Bottle conditioned.

Orange body, with a touch of haze. Thick, level but dentable oatmeal head. Nice lacing.

Citrusy aroma. Grapefruit, a bit of pineapple, maybe some mango.

The malt slides in, around, and down, leaving a sweet base for the following tidal wave of hops to grap onto and sweep the sweetness along with a crisp, sharp snap of bitterness, which rides slowly into the sunset. Along the way there's a cornacopia of fruit: grapefruit, mango, orange, pineapple.

Good medium mouthfeel. Good drinking despite it's agressive nature.

Never really understood why this is an APA and not an IPA, and my taste buds quake in fear of the day they encounter big brother Dreadnaught.

Nice to revisit an old friend. Nicer still to learn that it has returned to NJ. Heartily recommended. Hail to the King.

 828 characters

Photo of blitheringidiot
4.72/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Golden cloudy peach amber glowing hues with sticking thick meringue tan head cap that stuck to the glass and the walls like it was painted on with a roller.

Superlative scents of pine and resin goodness. If anyone died in the name of beer aroma, this would be the official funeral beer. Coniferous scents shoved up the nose goodness. Lupalin glad injection. Breakfast cereal high.

First swigs: Citrous grapefruit true and orange meets pine cone resin glop. Hop soup. Sizzle hop acidic addiction fix. Bright clean fresh pastry sugar hoppy cool. Liquid sap. Sticky thick bite.

Crisp well carbonated feel. Invisible ABV %. Gimmie more.

Last swigs: Clean pine resin and grapefruit thickness. Reminiscent of Avery IPA but this requires a paint stirrer to get moving.

 774 characters

Alpha King from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 1,742 ratings.