Alpha King - 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

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Alpha KingAlpha King

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BA SCORE
95
world-class

5,722 Ratings
THE BROS
93
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,722
Reviews: 1,754
rAvg: 4.26
pDev: 9.15%
Wants: 917
Gots: 895 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,722 | Reviews: 1,754
Photo of mynie
4.45/5  rDev +4.5%
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.

Photo of seedee17
4.42/5  rDev +3.8%
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.

Photo of cubedbee
4.57/5  rDev +7.3%
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.

Photo of barknee
4.44/5  rDev +4.2%
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.

Photo of fdrich29
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%
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.

Photo of rhoadsrage
4.59/5  rDev +7.7%
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.

Photo of karst
4.92/5  rDev +15.5%
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.

Photo of board45
4.37/5  rDev +2.6%
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.

Photo of Gritsak
4.4/5  rDev +3.3%
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.

Photo of ggroller
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
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.

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's....in fact, close to a Double IPA. Buy this one if you see it!!!

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.

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...

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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!

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.

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?

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.

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.

Alpha King from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 5,722 ratings.