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Alpha King - 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Alpha KingAlpha King

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BA SCORE
95
world-class

5,509 Ratings
THE BROS
93
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,509
Reviews: 1,710
rAvg: 4.26
pDev: 9.15%
Wants: 898
Gots: 762 | 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: 5,509 | Reviews: 1,710 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jraycee
4.42/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a beautiful clear amber with a small head.
Smell is over he top fruity hops, like tangelos from my christmas stocking.
Taste is great light malt base followed quickly by citrus, honeysuckle, pine bark and lingering bitterness hiding some sweet flowers.
Good mouthfeel. If it was a little less watery and slick it would be perfection. I'm stretching here cause, its close.
This beer is definitely sessionable. I think my fiance will drink all of mine though, so someone send me more! Daddy like!

Photo of littlekidlover
4.57/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The color is a medium amber, a little bit darker than your average APA. Had a 1 finger head that disappeared quickly, lacing was minimal. There is a walloping hop nose of grapefruit, pine, and flowery esters. My friend calls this "Kind bud beer". The taste is mostly hops, spicy, citrus, yet balanced Medium to light body with a little carbonation. Very drinkable, possibly sessionable, but I usually like to switch up my beer anyway.

Photo of ckeegan04
4.06/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Received from mikereaser. Thanks!

A - Cloudy orange/brown color with huge khaki head. Excellent retention and lacing.

S - Burnt caramel and citrusy/tropical hop juice. The malts are much stronger in the nose than I expected from all the hop-head hype I have heard.

T - Biscuity and caramel sweetness up front. A citrusy hop taste comes through but is not as strong as I anticipated. Finishes with a somewhat grainy taste.

M/D - Medium to full bodied and very smooth. A passable beer but certainly not living up to the hype.

Not sure if something happened to this bottle, but my first FFF experience was certainly a let down. I will definitely give this one another try down the road though.

Update: Just had what I know to be relatively fresh and it was much better. Still not living up to the hype, but the citrusy nose is very clear and strong and then taste is much hoppier. A very solid bre.

Photo of toolbrew
4.57/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12oz bottle with the most difficult cap to take off that I've ever had to do - I was using a lighter though. Poured a slightly hazy deep copper color with a nice off-white head. Decent head retention and some lacing on the glass.

Hoppy aroma - I can detect maybe some citrus (lemon) and some grassy notes.

Sweet and crisp taste with a nice hop finish.

Goes down very well. Get a sharp attack on the roof of the mouth that dissipates quickly, but then comes back slightly as an aftertaste.

A very drinkable beer. I have enjoyed this one many times and only wish they distributed to Michigan.

Photo of PatronWizard
4.05/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Stan the Man at Lone Hill Liqour. Was fairly excited to try a pale ale that made the BA Top 100.

Light copper bronze. Big bubbled frothy white head sits atop a sea of tiny replenishing bubbles. This one is lively.

Not too strong in the nose, but hops are there alright.

Great pale ale. I may have been drinking too many DIPAs lately to fully appreciate this little guy, but definitely good.

Could drink a ton of these.

Overall: great pale ale

Photo of OlieIPA
3.45/5  rDev -19%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Orange and hazy with good head. Not much lacing.

S: Sweet and hoppy; very typical

T: Syrup like taste with a light bitter finish. Couldn't pin-point out any distinct flavors...but perhaps a honey like sweetness.

M: Light body and carbonation; just about perfect for this type of beer.

D: Could drink all night if needed.

Overall: A good beer...not great. One of the better pale ales I have tasted.

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

After having reviewed Avery's Maharaja, I thought my taste buds were primed to pay my respects to the Alpha King. I picked up a six-pack on a trip to Indy, and have been holding them for...heck, I don't know...

Appearance - Light amber in coloring, no haze. The carbonation is very fine, supporting a slight ring. Lacing is minimal.

Smell - After reading several reviews, I was expecting the typical "grapefruit/hop bomb" nose. Not the case with this one. Minor citrus nose. Slight grassy and "fresh feel nose" is about the best I can describe.

Taste - Starting from the end, nice dry finish. Well done. This could have hindered the acceptance of this brew, but thankfully the need for balance was well considered. Good malt sweetness middle adds to the profile with little hop "stickyness" hindering the taste. The initial presentation was again well balanced. I hang on this word (i.e. "balanced") for the simple reason that it is far easier to err on the side of a hop-bomb than to present a well-balanced offering.

Mouthfeel - Smooth and mellow, considering the potential. Very nicely balanced with the typical hop bite absent. Kudos to those who understand the role malt plays in the overall profile.

Drinkability - What shall I do with my remaining 5 bottles? Drink them seems in order. Very nice offering and approachable for someone who isn't a hop-head. Nicely balanced and well presented.

Photo of OWSLEY069
4.22/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clean copper color with a white head. In the the aroma, big citrus/ grapefruity hops. In the taste, sweet, grapefruity hops and a nice balanceing maltiness. A small bite and medium mouthfeel, with a citrus/ grapefruity hops in the aftertaste. Big hops and mellow for a pale, easy to drink.

Photo of Reagan1984
4.3/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed this beer on tap at Hopleaf in Chicago.

Really enjoyed it. My first impression was that it reminded me of a "hopped UP" Pete's Wicked Ale from the old days. (It's been a while since I've had Pete's and this is meant as a compliment)

Came with a thin but fairly creamy head that did show some resilience. Mostly clear with an Orange Amber color. Very nice lacing.

Aroma was of Citrus and some other fruits. Pineapple maybe??

Taste was excellent and very well balanced. Deep flavor and one that was nicely complex. A lot going on here with the different fruit flavors. The finish was surprising dry but did work with the flavor profile. Nice hop assertiveness but not overly done for an APA.

Light to light/medium body and very drinkable. I was in Chicago on business and wanted to sample a few local brews. If not for that, I would have enjoyed several of these throughout the night.

I'll be back for more of this one

Photo of tayner
3.5/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle courtesy of buckeyenation, thanks!

Medium nut brown color with a very sticky white head and lots of lacing

Smell is sweet malt and hops of a citrus grapefruit pith in nature.

taste is green. Lots of hot hop oils, bitter, grassy, and pretty unbalanced. Not enough malt backbone to stand up to the hop making it, IMO, a pale ale hop bomb.

mouthfeel is oily but very well carbonated. even with the great carbonation this one was still pretty mouth coating.

It was easy to drink, would have been more enjoyable if it had a bit more maltiness to balance it some.

Photo of jwc215
4.54/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to jcwattsrugger for this one!

Pours dark amber with a thin white head. Some lacing sticks.

The smell is of mega alpha hops - citric/piney/earthy/leafy. This is an APA?? Smells like an IPA - vey hoppy - and nicely done, to boot (to say the least).

The taste is citric/piney with balancing sweet malt (hoppy APA/more balanced IPA border). Some acidity. Rounded bitterness comes through in the finish.

The body is slightly thinner than expected - still, it's pretty chewy and medium bodied. Smooth.

A hop-head's version of a pale ale, for sure! And nicely done, Firm malt backbone keeps the hops tied in nicely. A goodie!

Photo of thethrone
3.88/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a deep copper with small white head which quickly disappeared into a thin ring.

S - Smells of pine, and caramel malt. Also a hint of fruity sourness creeps in at the end.

T - Subdued hop flavor, with a malty backbone.

M - Medium body, very smooth, not a lot of carbonation.

D - I get the impression that the bottle I had didn't hold up as well as most, since it is missing the same hoppy profile most others are talking about. Still a great brew, but I would be curious to try it again fresh for comparison.

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

12 oz bottle thanks to Goliath. Poured into a shaped pint glass.

A:Poured a nice caramel/copper color that had a beautiful inch and a half of head. The head had great retention, lasting almost the entire beer. Big time, sticky lacing.

S: Smell is of citrus/earthy hops, sweet, bready malt, and a touch of medicinal alcohol.

T: Taste is an amazing balance of citrus hops and sweet bread malt. This beer has nice tones of grapefruit and orange, but the malt adds a nice sweetness that balances this sweet heart out. There is also a touch of medicinal, herbal, metallic flavor, but is welcome and not at all unpleasant. So nice.

M: Medium in body. Carbonation is a bit low but that is the only gripe I have. Smooth and easy drinking. After taste of grapefruit and a just a touch of alcohol heat on the back of the throat.

D: This beer is truly great. I am now a fan. Great balance to this beer and that is what I like in my APAs. Damn near perfect.

Photo of bluemoonswoon
4.62/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pulled from a cask at the Map Room and served in an imperial pint glass.

A: The beer is an impeccable looking dark copper brown with a thick and creamy one inch head that fades into a cap about halfway though the session and leaves behind a nice amount of lacing.

S: Smell is very subtle and very unlike Alpha King from the bottle, this beer seems like an almost entirely different animal. Mild pine and citrus with a good amount of sweet brown sugary malt greet the nose, you can already tell this beer is going to be something special.

T/MF: First sip is a bit unassuming but all that follow are pure hoppy and malty goodness. Super fresh pine and grassy lemony nuttiness, just about the freshest livest thing that has ever passed my lips. Mouthfeel is super smooth and creamy with just the right amount of hop bitterness and carbonation to hold everything together.

D: Insanely drinkable, one of the freshest cleanest tasting "Pale ales" I've had in recent memory. Alpha King is a must try from the cask.

Photo of bosco7
4.57/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a copper color with a creamy off white head.

Smells of grapefruit, pine, orange, strawberry, and some caramel. Very pungent.

Starts with sweet caramel and a slight nutty malt flavor. Fresh hops soon take over the palate. Lots of orange, grapefruit rind, pine resin and hop leaf flavors. Finish is bitter but far from being extreme.

So damn drinkable, unlike a lot of American IPAs there is no harsh lingering aftertastes, yet has more hop flavor than those same IPAs. This is a beautiful beer (especially if you get to try it out of the serving tanks at the brewpub). If I could get this beer where I live, it would be in the fridge at all times. Highly recommended.

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

Thanks to alemechanic from The Brewing Network's forum for hand delivering this beer to California.

The BJCP classifies this beer in the American IPA category and I evaluated it against those guidelines.

Appearance was a light amber, slightly hazy. Formed a white head that thinned out but hung around. Should have been more prominent.

Lots of resiny/grassy hop character with some citrus-kicking in at lower intensity. Hop bitterness was medium and lingered on into a dry finish. Clean malt component felt balanced. Missing out on the mid-high to high bitterness level. Varied hop character was very pleasing on the palate.

Medium-bodied, moderately carbonated. Smooth. No hop-derived astringency.

This is a fairly well-balanced American IPA with a variety of hop flavors - fruity, resiny, piney, all balanced by a clean malt backbone. Only points for improvement are a bit more head retention and increased bitterness. Despite this, I could drink it all night long. Delicious.

Photo of glid02
4.18/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got this in a trade with Beereality, much obliged.

Pours a dark copper color with a frothy one finger head that diminishes into a thin layer of bubbles. The lacing is very good.

The smell isn't very strong, but it shouldn't be expected to be. The most prevalent is the bitter smell, then there's a little bit of floral scent and malts. There's certainly nothing unpleasing about this smell.

The taste is pretty good. The bitter smell overrides everything else, but it's not too much. There's also some malt sweetness. Not much other hop flavors, but it goes down smoothly.

The mouthfeel is good, it's got a good thickness and the carbonation is just right.

This beer is very drinkable. It's not too overpowering in any department, although it is a bit bitter. Not necessarily a bad thing.

Definitely recommended, I'm upset I can't buy this as my everyday beer.

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

This beer pours with a light amber hue. It has absolutely great coloring and density. The smell is almost sweet, setting the stage for the surprisingly sweet taste as well. You can taste the hops - but is not an overwhelming amount. The feel is crisp and light. There is no dry texture here. This beer is delicious and more drinkable than your average pale ale.

Photo of mrsoul12
4.77/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Wow. This is like hops in a bottle. This beer has the aroma and hop flavor of a double IPA with the drinkability of a pale ale. BIG BIG hop aroma. A little out of balance and could use some more residual sweetness to even things out, but overall very good.

Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
3.79/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. brown bottle > imperial pint glass

Deep, clear amber color...not at all pale. 1/2" deep crown, dark cream color and very dense.

Amazingly citrus and sweet fruit aroma, oh yeah, pineapple, strawberry and tart green apples. Smooth, buttery scented malt, overall sweet and citric hop scent. Really nice.

This is a clean, hearty and spicey hop bite right off. Big earthy flavor's of dry wheat, corn husks and recently tilled earth. The malt is crispy and clean with an herbal bite. citric acid and dried leaves in the finish. displays a nice subtle lingering bitterness. Medium bodied, nice bite and a mellowing smoothness.

Easily drinkable Pale ale with a solid complexity.

Photo of Kegatron
4.32/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a clear golden copper with 2 fingers of foamy off-white head. A solid layer of retention yields some very nice looking lacing. The aroma is a nose tickling mix of fresh smelling floral hops, citric notes, spice, and a firm underlying scent of caramel sweetness and toasted malts.

The taste starts out with a tingling yet still subtle hop bitterness that glides along on a backbone of juicy citrus character and a mix of both sweet and toasty malts. Very nice balance to the whole affair. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with an overall solid feel and just the slightest bit of alcohol beef.

There's definitley a reason why this is considered one of the best in its style. With a fantastic balance and full flavored nature, this is hands down one of the best Pale Ales I've ever had the pleasure of trying. My only quibble is that there is a touch too much heat in the body that hinders the drinkibility a bit. Otherwise, I could drink this all night. Good stuff!

Photo of khiasmus
4.72/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

The Alpha King pours a perfectly clear dark golden orange into my glass, with a bit of soapy white head that seems to dissipate all too quickly. certainly looks like a beer I want to drink though.
The smell is a perfect union of sweet, caramel-grain malt and sharp, piney/grapefruity hops that give it an almost spicy character.
The taste is the same... perfectly balanced, but not in a weak manner. You can actually taste each aspect of the beer. The hops and malt compliment one another instead of masking one another. Initially sweet and malty, giving way to an almost husky grain flavor, and then transitioning into a grapefruit-full bitter, hoppy finish.
Mouthfeel is medium-full bodied, with medium carbonation and a good bit of astringency in the finish.
This beer is by far the best pale ale I've had. Just like everything FFF does, there's much more flavor here than many of their contemporaries' beers. Delicious. And officially my favorite pale ale.

Photo of Jwale73
4.1/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another extra from bgramer; an unbelievably generous trader (thanks Brendan). Served in a standard pint glass. Poured a translucent copper red; excellent clarity. Tight, off-white head approached the rim of the pint before reducing its volume in half within about 30 seconds. Cap eventually settled into a thin semi-consistent skim with strands of watery lacing spattered around the walls of the glass. Aromas of floral, piney hops immediately hits the nose. Taste consistent with nose with a strong grapefruit character that leaves a lingering bitterness between quaffs. Mouthfeel is between light- and medium-bodied with a distinct tingle across the tongue. This is an excellent representation of the APA style and I can see why it is a Three Floyds flagship brew, as such, I tried to be true to the style in my rating; however, a little too hoppy for my preference. If you are a fan of the style, this is definitely a brew to measure all other APAs against.

Photo of DrunkenMaster
3.88/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Coles. Great looking orange/amber colored beer. Smells a bit sweet with some tropical fruit and floral notes. Moderately bitter and fruity. I get berries in there somewhere. Alcohol comes through late but its subtle and adds to the flavor. An all around unique and tasty pale.

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

Acquired in a trade from bulldogp04, thanks a ton!

A- The golden copper color beer left a pillowie head that dissipated quickly and left a slight bit of lacing around the edges.

S- The smell is fruity, with a strong note of pineapple. The hop smell is a good benefactor in the smell of the beer. Reminds me of HOTD Fred.

T- The taste is a mixture of hop character and a bread malt character. The pineapple smell is a light subtle taste. I like this brew and am enjoying it quite throughly.

M- The hops do tend to dry out the tongue just a tad. Light carbonation, which I think is a plus.

D- Very much so, would be a great thing to have on a hot summer day by the lake, like I'm doing now.

Alpha King from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 5,509 ratings.