Alpha King - 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

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Alpha KingAlpha King

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1,742 Reviews

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Reviews: 1,742
Hads: 5,932
Avg: 4.26
pDev: 16.67%
Wants: 929
Gots: 995 | 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
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Reviews: 1,742 | Hads: 5,932
Photo of Gaddabble
4.57/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Beautiful amber/copper hue. Malty, sweet smell with citrus and dark fruits. Taste follows the smell with rich caramel malt coupled with fruity hop character finishing with very pleasant tobacco on the back end. A wonderful and unique pale ale. For my money, there no one pumps out world-class pale ales like Three Floyds, and this is no exception!

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Photo of leantom
4.81/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Just got to Indiana (Bloomington) to visit the law school. Was anxious to try Three Floyds since I had heard so much about them. Holy Moly, this beer is damn good. This beer alone makes the trip from Virginia worth it. Here goes:

A: Lovely. Beer pours a dark, cloudy brown that's rather opaque (a lot darker than most pale ales, in fact). However, the head was massive; incredibly fluffy. Drinking the beer left a ton of lacing on the side as well. You can tell that this is a very well-made beer.

S: Beautiful. Unlike most APA's, you can smell both the hops AND malt. They're very well-balanced against each other, with American hops giving way to a rich caramel malt backbone. Both sweet and bitter at the same time. Simply superb balance!

T: Taste follows the nose, which is great. Initial taste is one of sweet caramel and amber malt. The beer would have merely been good had they left it at that, but what happens afterwards makes the beer excellent. The malt gives way to a strong hop backbone consisting of grapefruit, pine and lemon peel. Truly magnificent.

Also of note, while the hop backbone is strong, it doesn't leave a lingering hop aftertaste. It's almost as if this beer has come down from heaven.

M: Again, excellent. Lots of carbonation and very full-bodied for an APA. Glides down the throat smoothly, though, even with the carbonation apparent.

O: Exquisite. Par excellence. Three Floyds, you are king!

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Photo of mtomlins
4.28/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a stemmed tulip glass and shared with a buddy.

Pours a deep copper color with a big, foamy white head that settled slowly to a creamy collar and leaving some nice lacing. The nose is a nice balance of malt and hops; bread biscuits and caramel along with some floral, spicy hops. The taste follows suit with again, a really nice balance. The malt presents as nice and toasty, some bread and sweet caramel. The hops were difficult for me to tweeze out, and presented more as those great West coast spicy and floral bouquet. It has a easy drinking body, yet is still round and creamy with enough carb to lighten but not too much. Overall, I was impressed with the balance FFF achieves with this brew and the depth of flavor considering its low-ish ABV.

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Photo of Caveworm
4.36/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Alpha King Pale Ale from Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub, my first by this acclaimed brewer. Poured from the bottle into a glass mug, this brew's got a lumpy, mildly porous head that recedes back down just enough to cap off the translucent, medium brown body. Generous lacing here.

Smells like citrus,floral hops, with a slight earthiness about it.

I taste peppery citrus, floral hops, yes. A slighty sweet-tasting smack of the lips seems to impulsively happen after each sip. I can't seem to put my finger on what this sweetness IS, exactly. But its there, and it does a fantastic job at balancing out this hop bitterness. Very smooth and dry finish from Alpha King

An exceedingly clean finish from this brew. Zero lingering elements, even with the apparent hop taste. I wish more hoppy beers had this clean a finish!

Overall a well-deserved knockout 4.5 for Alpha King Pale Ale from Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub. This had enough bite to taste, and went away as I finished the sips. The clean finish made this very refreshing. I will undeniably buy this brew again.

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Photo of Ian_B
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark amber-orange with a creamy and slightly beige head that has great retention and thick lacing.

Smells sticky sweet, with fresh but nondescript notes of tropical citrus such as orange, and even a bit of caramelized banana when it is backed with a well-bodied caramel malt. A little more malty, but overall very well-blended with hop scents and freshness.

Tastes very similar to the smell, with notes of orange, melon, grapefruit, again a little banana, and a little earthy spice & bitterness on the finish. The sweet malt backbone balances throughout with lots of caramel and buttery malt flavours.

The feel is thicker but also very well balanced and carbonated with a bit of dryness from the alcohol at the end.

Overall perhaps a bit more British than American in style, but packed with plenty of fresh citrus hop goodness.

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Photo of gueuzedreg
4.37/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A- Nice golden ruby color, minimal head, vanilla lacing with low legs. Semi-transparent, this beer has a very nice ruby red to dark golden honey hue to it.

S- Whatever hops they used in this one, they did a great job of getting the aroma out of it. Low to medium malt, but it is in the background. Some pine

T- The hops have taken more of a back seat in the taste, which I approve of. The mild backbone steps up. Kinda watery, but that is minimal and waay in the back. Taste is the highlight for me.

M- Subtle creaminess, the carb works well with this one. I am kinda new to the midwest pale game, but they must have been working on this one for awhile. Very well balanced.

O- Another great pale from FFF. Cheers Kristine and Brian!

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.21/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

It's a game of maneuver- to threaten with the strength and hops of IPA but to balance like American Pale Ale, Three Floyds knows this game all too well. With the allure of citrusy hops to captivate the senses, yet the sweeter balance to balance the bite; this full-bodied pale ale doesn't know what it wants to be, but I know exactly where to put it!

While its near-toffee sweetness coaxes the tastebuds, its creamy body wraps around the tongue with sultry effect. While nutty like peanut brittle, an overcast of grapefruit captures the nose for a balanced sensory perception is every bit what its heady amber shades suggest.

Balancing exceptionally well across the middle, an even-keep taste of deeply caramelized malt slowly gives way to the rise of citrusy grapefruit pith, peel and pulp. While its body drifts from fuller pale to drier IPA, a resinous tone transpires in the form of wintergreen and sap.

Its closing taste is dedicated to the grapefruit rinds and resinous pine bittering that's been foreshadowed in the taste thus far. Dissipating sweetness leads to a snappy toasty-dry finish with a mild crusty bite with a drift of citrus underneath.

So, is it a balanced IPA that makes the perfect ale or is it a hop forward pale ale? Regardless, this could be the epitome of American ale period.

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Photo of Ohiovania
4.46/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Re-review 9.22.15

Been a long time since I've had this one. Bottled 18 days ago and it looks unfiltered and smells amazing.

Dank piney and citrus hops that really kill it in the nose. Taste comes out a little more rounded with the piney citrus hops headlining but a nice malty tea-like character with a slight herbal presence.

Mouthfeel is spot on. Had this beer probably 4 years ago and wasn't impressed. Today was a complete opposite experience. Must have been the days when I didn't check for bottle dates.

Towards the end I started to get a little annoyed by the herbal note.

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

Bottled 5.22.14 and poured into a teku

A: darker amber or copper

S: initially i picked up lots of malty breadiness and tart citrus aromas. after letting it sit awhile, i found an intensely concentrated aroma of orange. there's also a fair bit of pine underneath everything. i was turned off at first but the orange and pine aromas are pretty nice.

T: this beer is dry and bitter. i get a lot of citrus bitterness and a little bit of sweet orange maltiness.
not much going on here for me. it's bitter and malty, so right on point for the style, but it's a bit uninteresting.

M: very dry and bitter; medium-bodied

O: straight-up bitter and hoppy beer that didn't do it for me

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Photo of schoolboy
4.63/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Alpha King is alphucking good. That's a play on the sofa king fake commercial - it's sofa king good. It is amazing and worth all the praise. I have had other good, no great, brews from this brewer, but never before this gem, and now I think they deserve blind faith from this one great brew.

It is a little dark and has decent lace. The aroma is not pronounced, but it is still sublime.

The taste is amazing. Malty, for sure, but still well balanced with all kinds of hops bitterness. This is the best tasting pale ale ever. The aftertaste is sad, because the ale is going away. Otherwise, it too is sublime, with malts and hops staying on the tongue for a long time. It tastes as though the alcohol would preclude you from drinking more than one, but I think I could do SEVERAL of these, and be in heaven, so I will try to get more. But alas, they are rare, and in demand. Rightfully so.

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Photo of zookerman182
4.15/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle poured into my dogfish head IPA glass.
Appearance is a clear amber color with two finger big bubble head.
Aroma is great. Pine, floral, slight citrus.
Flavor is pine, hop bitterness and floral with a perfectly balanced malt backbone.
If I can describe this beer in one word it's "balanced".
Mouthfeel is medium with a slight lingering bitterness.
Overall I could drink 6 of these and not co plain one bit.
Paired excellently with my grilled chicken dinner.
Perfect end to the day.

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Photo of AmericanPaleMale666
4.15/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - rich red/amber color

N - citrus and subtle apple fruit aroma very pleasing to the nostrils

M - light but creamy mouth feel

T - strong hoppy bitterness with the citrus and apples right there to accent. Great refreshing fruit taste

O - love this beer. I wasn't expecting to like this beer as much as I did when first tried. With its relative easy availability (at least here in Illinois close to the Indiana border) and excellent balance of hoppy/fruity flavor, this will be a go to beer for me for all occasions.

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Photo of RyanPoff
4.47/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served on tap in Carmel IN.

A: Very deep amber with about a finger off white head with moderate retention.

S: moderate floral hop aroma with citrus notes, particularly grapefruit and strong orange. Very good.

T: virtually like the smell - floral hop bite with lingering citrus notes without being too piney like an IPA. Hits the right notes.

M: creamy mouthfeel but medium bodied and very fresh.

Not innovative but does everything right in one of my favorite styles.

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4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

I really don't know why I haven't rated this beer in the past. I have been thoroughly enjoying this beer for over 10 years. This truly is one of my favorite go to IPA's. Not over the top and really no frills, just a great drinking brew. And finally here is my review.

I pour this brew from about 4 inches above the glass to achieve two full fingers of rocky light tan head. Body is a perfect tone of deep mahogany amber.

Nose is very nice with tones of citrus and fresh cut grass. Soft but nicely fragrant.

With first sip you are comforted by how incredibly balanced this beer is. The malt backbone is perfect here in how it works with the very piney, woodsy hops that play all over the palate. Abrasive and wonderfully bitter without being harsh in any way.

Really well drinkable and a great accompaniment to lots of food. Mouthfeel is attractive and enjoyable. This is a classic IPA.

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Photo of DrDemento456
4.14/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

I should have know it was fresh but bottled 5/12/14 so less than two weeks old! Does it ever get old though it sells so fast and at $3.99 a bottle DAMN!

A - Looks more like a Old ale than a pale ale. A very deep copper brown with a solid 2 inches of head. Makes for great lacing and still a a ring of lace after a few sips!
S - Really muted smell mild pine or citrus and no pale malts I can detect. I know it's not me I just smelled a Victory 1337 and it was very hoppy.
T - Ok so its defiantly got an intense hop bite which clings to the tongue after each sip. West coast abrasive but mild enough to session I am really digging this.
M - For the ABV its quite light to medium and smooth. I could see why this is popular.

Overall I could see why this brewery is quite good for an extreme pale ale it flourishes and I would consider picking up more offerings especially if they started using the 12oz format more often!

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Photo of kudsak
4.22/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Very solid IPA. Smooth mouthfeel and hoppy taste, with a subtle background maltiness.. Pleasant, hoppy aroma. Gives an even, strong taste of hops while not being overly bitter. Definitely very drinkable as a daily beer, think this would supplant Furious as my go-to if it was available in my area.

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Photo of PBRmeasap1980
4.18/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottled 5/7- drank 5/21...only 2 weeks old!

A- Pours amber with a tallish white head as poured. Fades to a light covering with lacing on the glass.

S- Mid level smell of hops...not overpowering

T- Hops don't disappoint. Citrus flavor are nice and balanced.

MF- Feels smooth in the mouth. Coats it and fades aways at a good pace to not oulive its welcome, but leave you ready for the next gulp.

O- Overall, its an enjoyable pale ale. Easy drinking, tasty and easier to get than most other 3 Floyds.

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Photo of Hoptometrist
4.2/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Served on tap into a nonic glass.

A- Poured a dark orange color with off-white frothy head that left chunky lace.

S- Citrusy, piney, sweet caramel, grapefruit, and floral notes.

T- Citrusy, piney, sweet caramel, sweet cracker malt, grapefruit, and floral notes.

M- Incredibly smooth and creamy, dry, soft carbonation, medium body, and refreshing.

O- An incredibly balanced and smooth pale ale. I was shocked my how impressive and strong the malt character was on this beer, it laid a great foundation for all the hop character.

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Photo of metter98
4.24/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: The beer is very hazy and caramel amber in color. It poured with a quarter finger high beige head that quickly died down, leaving lacy webbing of bubbles on the surface and a collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Moderate aromas of caramel malts are present in the nose underscored by notes of citrusy hops. The citrus becomes stronger as the beer warms up.
T: Like the smell, the taste starts out with flavors of caramel malts and transitions of flavors of citrusy hops that linger through the finish and contribute a light amount of bitterness.
M: It feels medium-bodied and very crisp on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer has a very good balance between the malts and hops—you get a lot of the citrusy aromas and flavors with only a slight amount of bitterness.

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Photo of Carb-Overlord
3.67/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This is a rather enjoyable pale ale. Please note that pale ales, IPA's etc are on the low end of my spectrum for beer likes, which will certainly bias this review.

Appearance: Outstanding pour. Very rich amber color, opaque in nature, with an initial one inch head. The appearance his very appetizing. Head quickly foams down to a thin line.

Smell: There is a slight citrus undertone to the more powerful straight hops aroma. Not overwhelming, but certainly enticing.

Taste: There is a subtle sweetness hiding under the hoppy bitterness. I think the bitterness is a little overpowering for my tastes, it hits quite hard initially, I can detect a citrusy sweetness underneath, and then it finishes quite bitter. The bitterness lingers in the mouth 30 seconds after the last swallow. I understand this is in the IPA spectrum, but that is not the flavor I appreciate to linger in a beer. Some would score this quite high for their fondness of this quality.

Mouthfeel: A rather effervescent beer; sparkly and pops in the mouth with every drink.

Overall: This is a very good craft beer, I would certainly share this among those who love their hoppy bitter beer.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.04/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bottle shared with stillmatic2232.

Pours a dark amber, with a one inch head, and some good lacing down the glass.

Smells like spicy, earthy hops, caramelly, toasty malt, and a bit of pine.

This tastes like a very well balanced pale ale. It's hoppy, but not overwhelmingly so. There's a good malt backbone that tastes crackery and toasty, alongside a nice hoppiness reminiscent of pine, citrus, and earthy pepperiness (whatever, that's not really a word).

Medium bodied, creamy mouthfeel, low carbonation. Quite drinkable.

Not flashy, just pretty delicious.

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Photo of GOBLIN
3.7/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Three Floyds Alpha King

F=6 ?

Poured into pint glass

A: Dark amber to brown in color as carbination slowly rises to the top of glass

S: Meh . . . nothin' really

T: Ok, again . . . Nothin' exciting. Not bad but rather boring

M: Medium-sized feel. Good bitter finish

O: Was kinda excited to try my first 3F offering but Alpha King is a boring beer. Just not fun to me. Not sure what the hype is about. I won't be back.

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Photo of BeerandWhiskeyHQ
4.43/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hazy, Deep Caramel, Amber color, excellent lacing, small-slightly off white head
Not overpowering, subtle, piney hops, slight malt, crisp and clean
Crisp and refreshing hops notes, light malt, citrus, floral with some fresh fruit notes weaving in and out
One of my favorites from 3 Floyds, it often gets overshadowed by Gumball head, but just like I said with Zombie Dust, this is the better pint.

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

I was hoping this would be a better beer, but was slightly disappointed. Slight head and not much if any residual lacing. The aroma was nice, slight citrus but not much else. Flavor was nothing special, a generic IPA. Maybe the batch was old...? Seemed to taste a little ’medicine-y’ at the finish.

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Photo of mabermud
3.91/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is my first time drinking a Three Floyds beer. I am a West Coast/NW IPA type of guy, so this is a first. My first impression was, it's alright. After have a few more drinks I began to appreciate the beer. I will be receiving some other Three Floyds in a couple of trades and am looking forward to tasting some of their other higher rated beers. The difference between the brewing is noticeable. SoCal IPAs are hoppy and NW IPAs are more subdued, but more complex...This APA can fit the mold.

This is a solid beer.

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