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Alpha King Pale Ale - Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub

Alpha King Pale AleAlpha King Pale Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
95
world-class

4,273 Ratings
THE BROS
93
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4273
Reviews: 1646
rAvg: 4.27
pDev: 9.13%


Brewed by:
Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub visit their website
Indiana, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Ale (APA) |  6.66% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
3 Floyd’s flagship beer, Alpha King is a big American pale ale that pours a deep amber with a creamy head. This ale is brewed with Centennial, Cascade, and Warrior hops giving it an intense citrus aroma and a crisp hoppy finish.

68 IBU

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 07-23-2000)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Ratings: 4,273 | Reviews: 1,646 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Bowers-Brew
Bowers-Brew

Illinois

4.59/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A - Nice brownish reddish body. Darker then most IPA's, lighter than some APA's. Good foam head when poured aggressively, lingers for a decent amount of time.

S - Hop intense - citrus and pine notes are well balanced, neither seems to dominate.

T - I usually like APA/IPA(s) with more citrus flavors than pine, but this is one of the exceptions that tastes more earthy/piney and still fantastic.

O - I live within a few hours of 3 floyds, and sadly this is one of the first beers of theirs that I have tried. I am looking forward to the Zombie dust and I plan to make a trip to the Brewery. I think the hype about 3 Floyds is legit. Prost!

Serving type: bottle

12-08-2013 23:27:44 | More by Bowers-Brew
Photo of RickS95
RickS95

Indiana

4.61/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

It's got an extremely dark pour for a pale ale. Think burnt orange with some brown hues. Not quite clear, just a tad murky. The head is gorgeous and resembles an IPA with it's meringue look. Thick sloppy lace.

A citrus bomb in the nose, with plenty of pale malt for support. Orange peel.

Can't think of how you'd improve the taste. I used to think Sierra Nevada made the best pale ale, but this has it beat. Very malty, yet the citrusy hops dominate.

Very smooth and easy to drink. It's really pushing the envelope of pale ales, if it was just a smidge hoppier and more bitter, I'd say it was an IPA with the burst of scent and flavor of the hops and the relatively high ABV. Medium bodied. It's sweet til midsip then the bitterness takes over and lingers.

Arguably the best pale ale in the world, at least of the American variety of pales. This reminds me a LOT of Zombie Dust and with that so hard to get, even with me living in Indiana, this will be my new go to beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-25-2013 03:08:26 | More by RickS95
Photo of jawlessbody
jawlessbody

Indiana

4.71/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Appearance: Pours a not quite hazy, not quite clear honeycomb color with a 1.5 finger slightly tan head.

Smell: Citrusy, mostly oranges and pineapple but just a hint mango. Bits of malty sweetness and piny hops can be detected as well.

Taste: Very balanced. Aggressive, but not harsh hoppiness washed down with a sharp, citrusy malt sweetness.

Mouthfeel: Dry, but not sharp. Very smooth going down, with moderate carbonation.

Overall: Holy shit, I'm impressed. This might be the best beer I've ever had.

Serving type: bottle

11-22-2013 01:14:45 | More by jawlessbody
Photo of TreyIsWilson
TreyIsWilson

Michigan

4.34/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A - Pours a nice amber with a thin white head. Good amount of lacing.

S - Lots of citrus - orange, pineapple, and mango. Some malty sweetness is also present.

T - This is nice. Lots of citrus in the front followed by sweet malts and a nice bitter hops. Extremely well balanced.

M - Medium bodied with medium/high carbonation. Very smooth and easy drinking.

O - One of the best pale ale's I've ever had. Very well balanced and highly recommended.

Serving type: bottle

11-16-2013 04:24:43 | More by TreyIsWilson
Photo of jmccullough108
jmccullough108

Missouri

4.15/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a snifter.

Aroma: impressive citrus, oranges, slight mango, pineapple

Taste: bitterness up front, citrus undertones that lingers well

Overall: 4.5/5 - fantastic pale ale that actually lives up to the hype. Wish this was available to me regularly.. Cheers!

Serving type: bottle

11-09-2013 22:41:56 | More by jmccullough108
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BrewUSA

Ohio

4.46/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Three Floyd's Alpha King
~~~
Look 8/10
Smell 17/20
Taste 37/40
Feel 9/10
Drinkability 19/20
___
Overall 90/100

Solid Pale Ale, great balance of malts and hops. Well rounded and balanced all the way. Nice balance of toast and hoppy goodness. Makes an excellent session beer!

Serving type: bottle

11-08-2013 03:51:34 | More by BrewUSA
Photo of jmaharaj
jmaharaj

Maryland

4.48/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Fantastic! Of all the three floyds pales this really stands out. Balanced, restrained, yet full and satisfying. Its a little dark for a pale, but that's where any criticism ends. bright tropical and citrus notes on the nose, sweet and sharp on the tongue. light-medium and effervescent mouth feel. its really one of the best pale ales out there.

Serving type: bottle

11-05-2013 02:00:13 | More by jmaharaj
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MetricOcean

Minnesota

4.56/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Very balanced, aroma-hop-forward, well crafted American Pale Ale. The nose on this thing is fresh and citrusy, some pine, some sweetness. Taste is not aggressive but very assertive, no harsh bitterness at all. Lemon comes through strong and is followed by a subdued soft bitterness. Modest sweet cereal body ties it all together. Light alcohol flavor, but hidden enough that it could sneak up on you. More drinkable than its 6.6 ABV would suggest. Overall this is an incredible Pale Ale, and it most definitely lives up to the hype it gets. Well done. 89/100

Serving type: bottle

10-31-2013 21:21:19 | More by MetricOcean
Photo of Axnjxn
Axnjxn

North Carolina

4.35/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle into a snifter.

Pours a dark amber color with a nice white head with superb lacing. The smell is mildly hoppy...of the piney variety. not quite an IPA but too much to be a pale, too. The taste is definitely more like a pale than an IPA though (its like a toned down zombie dust honestly) defintely taste the cascade hops here but its not too much and i still would consider this a pale. for the style its superb. Medium bodied with mild carbonation. very creamy feel.

Overall for a pale ale this is one of the best in the world.

Serving type: bottle

10-26-2013 19:31:19 | More by Axnjxn
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brewskifan55

Mississippi

4.31/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint glass

A: Tawney amber; opaque. A white one-finger head that turns to medium sized bubbles. Curtain-y lacing.

S: Piney hops, light malts. Earthy.

T: A fantastic hop/malt mix. Grassy hops meet sweet malts. Spices blend in. Orange peel adds to the citrus effect. Very smooth and balanced. A dry finish. Could drink this one all afternoon.

M: Medium with medium, frothy lacing.

O: An outstanding pale ale. Wish more beers tasted like this.

Serving type: bottle

10-21-2013 17:17:58 | More by brewskifan55
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PaulyB83

Michigan

4.21/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12oz bottle to a straight nonic glass. No bottling date, some numbers on bottom of bottle but can't tell what they mean

A- Pours a medium-deep amber with a good sized lingering slightly off white head

S- Bright citrus hops, not heavy in the bitter aroma. A malty sweetness

T- Nice medium bitter and pine hops and heavy citrus notes on the front. A lingering malty sweetness. Not to heavy on either end to throw it off balance.

M- Medium body not too lingering and refreshing enough to have a couple.

O- This my first Three Floyds offering and felt I should go with this one as it is their flagship beer. Amazing balance of not being too hoppy for a lighter bodied APA.

Serving type: bottle

10-21-2013 01:57:33 | More by PaulyB83
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K80JOHN

Indiana

4.63/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This is my favorite beer. Three Floyds is my favorite beer maker. I love the hop flavor and aroma of this beer. I discovered Three Floyds about 10 years ago and really like most of what they brew. Alpha King is my all time best. It is awsome.

Appearance: amber cloudy
Smell: Citrus hops
Taste: Great hop flavor, but not over powering
Mouthfeel: Clean full flavor
Overall: Beautiful hop flavor aroma and taste

Serving type: bottle

10-11-2013 22:03:50 | More by K80JOHN
Photo of Qbdoo
Qbdoo

Illinois

4.75/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

One of my all-time favorite beers. It's both big and highly drinkable. I have trouble categorizing it as an APA because of its explosive aroma and flavors, its extreme hoppiness. Ten years ago this was moderately priced beer, but as Three Floyds has grown in renown, the price has gone up and it can be hard to find, even here is Chicago. At old prices, it's was my everyday beer. Now it's a treat. Ah, the old days!

Serving type: bottle

10-03-2013 02:29:32 | More by Qbdoo
Photo of MacQ32
MacQ32

South Carolina

4.2/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours mostly a somewhat cloudy amber with an orange hue. Head is very light tan, near white (less than a finger), Retention is only ok, lacing is decent.

S - Oh my, super citrus grapefruit overload. One of the more grapefruity beers ive smelled in a while, maybe ever. Definitely pineapple and lemon zest aromas as well. Smells absolutely phenomenal.

T - Fairly mild with the hop bitternes, but its existant. Lots of sweet and citrusy flavors. Grapefruit, pineapple, and the lemon zest mixes particularlly well with the mildly bitter hops. Sweet caramel malts are undeniable (although subtle). Aftertaste is a mix of everything really (citrus, sweetness, bitterness). Nothing overpowering, very well balanced.

M - Mouthfeel is ideal, lightish bodied, well carbonated and very pleasant to drink.

O - Overall it did not quite meet the hype (but the hype was very difficult to meet), still a fantastic IPA, doesnt hold a torch to ZD IMO, but not much does. Definitely more citrus focused than ZD.

Serving type: bottle

10-01-2013 23:32:33 | More by MacQ32
Photo of SleepyDrunk
SleepyDrunk

Wisconsin

4.33/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into a tulip.

Appearance- Dark amber. Crisp, white head.

Aroma- Strong malts up front with a distinct pine smell towards the middle with citrus notes that linger throughout.

Flavor- A pleasant bitter taste that is immediately followed with the pine up front. The citrus notes come through towards the finish balancing the beer off nicely.

Mouthfeel- Bitterness throughout, medium body, high carbonation. Wonderful finish.

Overall- This is one loaded pale ale - not for the faint of heart. Full of wonderful hop notes and a distinct malt profile. Very bitter for a pale ale, but not unpleasant. Certainly one of the better pales out there. Highly recommended.

Serving type: bottle

09-14-2013 02:45:24 | More by SleepyDrunk
Photo of inlimbo77
inlimbo77

Delaware

3.95/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, no bottle date
New Belgium globe

A: Cloudy deep orange leading to amber. Good full finger of off white head. Sticky lacing sheeting left on the glass.

S: Earthy hops. Sweet malts. Pine. Smells bready but still fresh. Getting more earthy hops than the citrus and grapefruit.

T: Nice punch of pine hops. More middle of the road than I remembered, but its been a while. Dry finish.

M: Medium bodied.

Serving type: bottle

09-10-2013 15:53:11 | More by inlimbo77
Photo of Omnium
Omnium

Pennsylvania

4.3/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottle > Sensory Pils Glass

A - Pours a hazed ambered gold color, one finger of soapy white head, nice lacing.
S - Outstanding aroma, big citrus impact, grapefruit, lemon, lime, pineapple, very light fresh bread kinda malt, some pine kind dankness to it.
T - Follows the aroma perfectly, big juicy citrus hop bite up front, mild sweetness from that, midway you get some bitterness, and finishes with some more of that sweetness and pine. Almost like a orange and lime juice combo.
M - Juicy and crisp, still ultra refreshing, just enough bitterness to give that bite, but well tamed.
O - Outstanding, this one lives up to its hype by all means. Im so glad I got to try this, and that I got two bottles of it. Lives up to expectations.

Serving type: bottle

08-30-2013 01:29:06 | More by Omnium
Photo of SFACRKnight
SFACRKnight

Colorado

4.06/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12oz bottle into oskar blues shaker pint. Thanks Nathan!

Pours a nice amber with a hint of red, about an inch of fluffy off white head after a pretty normal pour. Really a nice looking beer. Getting hints of bread, biscuit, a bit of carmel and some piney hops off this one. Kind of underwhelmed on the aroma. The taste makes up for it though. Tons of hop presence from the first sip. Nice resiney pine base with citrus fruit overtones, also getting some peach through on this one. The malt comes through less in the flavor than on the nose, but the same flavors are there. Good caarbonation, medium mouthfeel. Overall, great beer. I enjoyed the hop presence in this APA, and found it very easy to drink. It isn't exactly to style, but what FFF brew is?

Serving type: bottle

08-29-2013 15:35:35 | More by SFACRKnight
Photo of Whiskeydeez
Whiskeydeez

Kansas

4.29/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle poured into a tulip.

Appearance- Burnt orange almost amber. Creamy white head of about 1/2in.

Aroma- I'm getting a nice malt aroma. PIne and resin comes through with a touch of tropical and citrus notes.

Flavor- A nice bitterness takes front stage. Resin and pine flavor float on top of the bitterness. My palate could have been off but I was getting that onion type hop flavor instead of any big citrus. The malt flavors were sweet and biscuity.

Mouthfeel- Medium body, mid to high carbonation. Smooth, not much for malt sweetness on the tongue. Bitterness carries through and lingers. SSticky as it warms.

Overall- Good beer, big bitterness for a pale. Good display of hops, its loaded up. It gets rather one dimensional as it warms behind the bitterness, I thought at least. Would have it again for sure though.

Serving type: bottle

08-25-2013 20:24:26 | More by Whiskeydeez
Photo of dar482
dar482

New York

4.14/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

The beer comes in a deep amber color with a large three finger head.

The aroma is extremely hoppy. There's sweet caramel malt along with citrus and floral notes and pine. Very distinct of Cascade hops.

The flavor has lots of bittering of pine and grapefruit on the back. The pine and woody notes stand out more than grapefruit or citrus.

It's a simple and elegant pale ale with loads of hops in the flavor with a good amount of bittering. It's a very well balanced brew with the caramel and biscuit malt. The beer did not blow my socks off, but is quite good.

Serving type: bottle

08-24-2013 18:06:00 | More by dar482
Photo of Farewell_Transmission
Farewell_Transmission

Ohio

4.96/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

a. Nice amber color, hints of red. Nic lacing, and a nice small head which dissipates quite quickly.

s. amazing smell of hops.

t. the taste of hops is amazing. When the glass warms a little it even brings out a little more.

m. this is really good.

o. this is a perfect beer. There is really nothing to improve other then to use different styles of hops to give a different pallet. I wish I could get this all the time in ohio, because it would be my go to bee.

Serving type: bottle

08-24-2013 02:51:47 | More by Farewell_Transmission
Photo of StaveHooks
StaveHooks

Oklahoma

4.38/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A - Hazy dark copper with a dense off white head, nice lacing on the upper portion of the glass.

S - Vibrant citrus hop aroma, caramel malts, hints of pine mixed in.

T - Candy citrus, lemon and bright orange flavors, green hops, a solid background of toasted barley and caramel, bitterness starts in the middle with and pairs with the carbonation for a peppery bite. Citrus peel and oils start coming out toward the end along with apricots and general stone fruit flavors. Finishes bitter with some orange oils left on the tongue.

M - Medium/heavy body, lively/stingy carbonation.

I've been waiting a long time to try this beer and it did not disappoint. Fresh bright aroma, zesty citrus hop flavor with a spicy bitterness on the back end. Malt bill was perfect for the amount of hops used. Well crafted and highly enjoyed.

Serving type: bottle

08-24-2013 00:38:35 | More by StaveHooks
Photo of chinchill
chinchill

South Carolina

4.28/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle, undated but of very recent vintage according to the salesperson, served in a Belgian snifter.

A: Dark red-amber, definitely dark for style, with a modest size bone-colored head that has very good retention and lacing. Lightly hazy.

Smells unique, partly due to the unfamilair Warrior hops I suppose, with a very balanced and integrated aroma that reflects both malts and hops.

T: also, nicely balanced. Less fruity, more herbal and less bitter than CPA (see below), but as tasty overall, if a bit less intense, and perhaps even more easy drinking. More generally, has the intensity and hop level of a typical IPA.

O: Excellent. I had my first Alpha King immediately after an excellent Odd Side Ales CPA, and suspected it might pale (excuse me) by comparison. Well, it’s different, but similar in both sensory properties and quality. Glad I have 5 more!

Serving type: bottle

08-18-2013 22:25:50 | More by chinchill
Photo of joe1510
joe1510

Illinois

4.25/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz. Bottle
$7.99 6-Pack
Sam's Downers Grove

This is a constant in my fridge. Looking around on BeerAdvocate today I noticed I never took the time to review it. Here it is.

Alpha King poured a slightly chill hazed dirty copper. A 2 finger white creamy head formed on an aggressive pour. Very few, slowly rising carbonation bubbles rise to the head. Leaves some patchy lacing.

I love the smell of a fresh Alpha King. Big piney hops that make my eyes and mouth water along with a squeeze of orange juice. A solid caramel maltiness in the background, just enough so the hops don't run wild.

This beer is considered a pale ale but drinks more along the lines of an IPA. Caramel maltiness starts things off and is quickly taken of by a strong pine needle mouth puckering hoppiness that lingers through till the finish. The finish is even a little more bitter as the caramel sweetness disappears.

Body is on the lighter side of medium. Sluggish carbonation lets the brew work it's way through at it's own pace. Hop bitterness gives the tongue a beating.

This is an incredibly easy drinking beer. Every sip makes you want another. The lighter body makes it easy on the stomach.

The best pale ale I have yet come across. It helps that it's more along the lines of an IPA. An absolute classic and one of my favorites.

Reviewed: 3/28/07

Serving type: bottle

08-18-2013 22:10:39 | More by joe1510
Photo of BB1313
BB1313

Ohio

4/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've had this on-tap in the past, but this is the first time having it bottled. 12oz bottle poured into a tulip. Pours a hazy amber; small off-white head and great retention; decent lacing. The aromas are full of caramel malts, juniper, blueberries, grapefruit, lemon zest, and the slightest amount of booze. I don't know why, but I'm picking up alot of blueberries in the flavors as well, which is cool. The flavors have a very solid bitterness to this one, which seems to outshine the caramel malts. The malts are strong though. Lots of subtle grapefruit and citrus going on. There's alot of body to this one; it's on the fuller side of medium-bodied; active carbonation. Alcohol goes unnoticed and it's pretty easy to drink.

This is a very nice beer. It blurs the lines between and APA and an IPA, but I have no problem calling this is an APA. Well done.

Serving type: bottle

08-18-2013 20:51:42 | More by BB1313
Alpha King Pale Ale from Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub
95 out of 100 based on 4,273 ratings.