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

Not Rated.
Alpha King Pale AleAlpha King Pale Ale

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

5,029 Ratings
THE BROS
93
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,029
Reviews: 1,671
rAvg: 4.26
pDev: 9.15%
Wants: 841
Gots: 524 | FT: 26
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
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Ratings: 5,029 | Reviews: 1,671 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of HoboAGoGo
4.38/5  rDev +2.8%
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.

HoboAGoGo, Apr 11, 2005
Photo of mmmbeer
4.38/5  rDev +2.8%
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.

mmmbeer, Apr 05, 2005
Photo of EagleTalon
4.05/5  rDev -4.9%
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.

EagleTalon, Apr 02, 2005
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.

asabreed, Mar 24, 2005
Photo of MuddyFeet
4/5  rDev -6.1%
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.

MuddyFeet, Mar 22, 2005
Photo of mschofield
4.93/5  rDev +15.7%
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.

mschofield, Mar 22, 2005
Photo of NastyCanasta
4.72/5  rDev +10.8%
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.

NastyCanasta, Mar 20, 2005
Photo of Dantes
4.05/5  rDev -4.9%
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.

Dantes, Mar 08, 2005
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.

RonfromJersey, Mar 06, 2005
Photo of blitheringidiot
4.7/5  rDev +10.3%
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.

blitheringidiot, Mar 03, 2005
Photo of BeerFink
4.35/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Freed from the bottle, this brew cascades into an intriguing reddish orange. Very hazy appearance with a decent head comprised of tightly knit bubbles. The nose is citrous with some fruit, as well as a slight floral quality. The taste is bold yet very refined. Although generously hopped, there is some good toasted malt to even things out. Some caramel and spice add their balance to the citrous explosion of hops. Slightly thicker mouthfeel than some other pale ales also helps to counter the sharp hops bite. The toasted malt flavor sticks around with the aftertaste, blending wonderfully with the hop oils in the finish. The most striking facet of this ale is the dance between hops and malt, without one dominating too much.

BeerFink, Mar 01, 2005
Photo of warriorsoul
4.8/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to IrishMike for this awesome rarity in my neck of the woods.
Pours a real nice dark copper w/ a full frothy tan head...the lacing is thin, but holds on nicely.
Smell is a nice, sweet blend of fruits...oranges and tangerines come to mind. Nice detection of malt as well...smells very inviting.
Damn...this stuff is scrumptous!! What a fresh blast of hops, malt, and caramel...the best Pale Ale I've had to date. Of course, it is no surprise I like hops...and this one is more hoppy than some IPA's I've had, but it is blended so magically w/ the malts, that it can call itself an APA.
The mouthfeel is sublime...so refreshing and just the slightest bitter aftertaste, but it is the sweet malt that sticks with you.
I could enjoy this beer for an entire evening...one of the best I've tried to date in this, or any style.

warriorsoul, Mar 01, 2005
Photo of beveragecaptain
4.8/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours out clear amber with a huge, rocky white head. A good deal of lacing on the glass. The aroma is a burst of fruity hops that smells amazing. Extremely fresh hop flavor, and plenty of it. I agree with one of the other reviewers of this beer who wrote that he tasted peach and mango. This is no mere hop bomb without the malt to back it up. There is a nice malty sweetness that complements the hop. No sign of the 7+% abv, as this goes down so easy. This is classified as a pale ale, but it's one the most unique beers I've had in recent memory. Having previously tried the Gumballhead and the Alpha Klaus, Three Floyds is quickly becoming one of my favorite American breweries.

beveragecaptain, Feb 27, 2005
Photo of goodbyeohio
3.93/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

orange with a thin head. hops! hops! fresh hops with orange and grapefruit very pronounced. this beer covered my cheeks and tongue with severe hop oil. some pine flavor detectable and a strong clover honey aftertaste. complex but lacking something.. density perhaps?

good beer, but a pain in the ass beer if you have to go through trading and shipping for it. bring on the gumballhead and dark lord por favor si vous plait.

goodbyeohio, Feb 21, 2005
Photo of swamiswamu
4.88/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I remember the first time I has this beer. Instead of a case of Rhinelander, I started buying a bunch of craft and import singles. One booze fueled night, fate led me to 3F Alpha King. The only thing I remember from the actual taste is thinking they'd infused it with grapefruit. Thus was the beginning of my addiction to hops. At this point hopmarred beers are a dime a dozen, it is the rare one that actually balances it that rates high. This is not an extreme beer. It is just a really great IPA. Seek it out.

swamiswamu, Feb 16, 2005
Photo of santoslhalper
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearence: Pours a wonderful golden copper with a enormous creamy tan head that clings to the glass the whole way down.

Smell: The citrus hop smell is out of this world! Smells like fresh clementines or something.

Taste and Mouthfeel: The hops are brilliantly placed and incrdibly well balanced. The 7.35% alcohol does not hinder the incredible balance this beer produces. The mouthfeel is thick and creamy.

Drinkability and Overall: The best APA I've had. No question about it. Many thanks to Patyoda for fiving me the chance to try this delicious brew.

santoslhalper, Feb 16, 2005
Photo of IrishRedRock
4.47/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

OK, so this isn't your typical Pale Ale. At over 7% with a big hop and malt profile that would make many IPA's look like a wee small beer, it's not what you see every day in this category. This puppy is balanced! Dark amber colored with a thin, bubbly head and a nice balance of juicy, citrusy hops and sweet malt in the nose. Flavor comes at you in layers, which makes this baby so interesting and complex. Starts rich and malty, with darker notes of fruit and dare I say, a bit of sweet chocolate? Then come the piney, grapefruit hop flavors, giving way to a dry, sweet malty finish. Wowzers. Balanced. Not a hop bomb, not the "best tasting" beer ever, but wow. An awesome beer. One I want to drink all night. This is there with HopDevil on drinkability, and I think due to the balance, actually surpasses it. Great stuff.

IrishRedRock, Feb 12, 2005
Photo of vladtheimpaler
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Clear orange, lighly tan head, nice lacing anda few floaties. Fresh, and very fresh, fruity/hoppy aroma. Big hop flavors roll over some nice malts with a big hop bitter finish. The hops linger nicely. Very creamy mouth feel. Very drinkable and quenching. THis is a great session brew, and a welcome addition to my cellar!

vladtheimpaler, Feb 09, 2005
Photo of Dogbrick
4.53/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Barley's Smokehouse. Definitely a nice surprise to find this on draught considering how much of a fan I am of the bottled version. Pours a dark amber color with thin chunks of a light beige head that disappeared quickly. Thin and quick lacing. The aroma has a nice bouquet of floral hops, grapefruit and malt. Medium-bodied with a mouthfeel that really cannot be improved upon. Robust hops flavor with citrus and a great malt balance. The finish is long and nicely bitter. I would never tire of this beer.

Dogbrick, Feb 06, 2005
Photo of hero27
4.83/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12 oz bottle.

Appearance: Pours a somewhat hazy golden/orange color with a billowing, fluffy white head. Sticky lacing residue on the glass that is there to stay.

Smell: This is a PA?? Am I not seeing the word "India" somewhere on the bottle?..I had to look at it a few times just to make sure. Definitely an IPA in style, but what the hell, no complaints here. This bad boy is loaded with gorgeous floral hops..

Taste: Metaphorically speaking, the dominant grapefruit hops have the malts handcuffed to the bed here. Being somewhat of a self-proclaimed hophead, this was indeed heaven on earth for me. This thing should have an American flag on the label, because it is the pinnacle of the great American hop flavor. Very lively in the mouth, stinging hops jump back and forth on the tongue..the bitterness running it's due course. This is why I drink beer...

Mouthfeel: Very crisp and refreshing for such a complex and strong taste. Clean finish and lingering bitterness.

Drinkability: Easy to drink is the understatement of the year. This can be found in my fridge year round, and is perfect on a hot summer day or just when you need a quick hop fix. One to be respected and definitely a treat for any beer lover. If you haven't tried it yet, track it down and do so ASAP. Still one my my all-time favs..

hero27, Feb 01, 2005
Photo of ZAP
4.47/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Re-review....the old review noted shit floating around in it..this is fresher...and better...

One of the better Pale Ale's I've had...great citrus nose...grapefruit, oranges, mangos, pineapples...taste has that juicy fruit cocktail hoppiness but also a great sweet malt balance....caramel...full bodied for a pale ale and smooth..

Easy driinking top notch pale ale that lives up to its reputation....

ZAP, Jan 23, 2005
Photo of neonbrown82
4.35/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was expecting a pale ale, but this seemed to be more of an IPA. Nonetheless, it was a pleasant surprise. The beer poured to an amber color with a gorgeous head composed of thick off-white bubbles. The head retention was great, keeping at at least a half inch through the entire glass. The aroma was a bouquet of hops and caramelized malts.

The taste was great, leaving a trace of hops bitterness eventually fading into a malty sweetness that beckons you back for more. I will definately buy more in the near future.

neonbrown82, Jan 21, 2005
Photo of whartontallboy
4.08/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours out a very deep coppery amber with a decent sized head of big bubbles that left a fair amount of lacing in my glass. Very hoppy aroma offset with some citrus notes. Hoppy flavor with a certain orange rind twang, although there's also some nice spice and grapefruit in there, too. Medium-bodied smoothness that goes down with the faintest malt notes before a hop aftertaste and bitterness kicks through. A very nice pale ale that I'm glad made an appearance on my living room tour of top American micro hop juices.

whartontallboy, Jan 21, 2005
Photo of kmo1030
4.7/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

cloudy dark copper color. a little hard to coax a good head out of this, but i got an adequate one. it quickly dissipates leaving some sticky lacing. ridiculously grapefruity piney hop aroma with a slightly spicy malt character. this taste is as excellent as i could have hoped for. it kicks you in the teeth witha boat load of fruity hops, that are then backed up by a light caramel slightly fruit malt flavor. really achieves a non "hop water" taste that many very hoppy beers have (not that i am not a fan of that sometimes too, but for a beer to achieve greatness it's needs some balance). fizzy medium sticky resinous body that really adds to the experience. a really excellent beer that i'm really glad i had a chance to pick up.

kmo1030, Jan 21, 2005
Photo of crookedhalo
4.22/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a pale bronze color with a light cream colored head. Good lacing. Piney, hoppy nose. What do you expect from a beer named "Alpha King"? As hoppy as any IPA, and packs the same kind of punch. A bit of honey-like maltiness comes through, but the hops are more powerful and a dryness ensues in the finish. Some lingering grapefruit astringency in the aftertaste. A fine ale brewed for serious, hardcore hopheads. I had it on-tap a year ago, and it has been too long since I revisited...

crookedhalo, Jan 13, 2005
Alpha King Pale Ale from Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub
95 out of 100 based on 5,029 ratings.