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: 5,930
Avg: 4.26
pDev: 16.67%
Wants: 929
Gots: 994 | 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: 5,930
Photo of mlhyatt
4.02/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into tulip glass

Thanks to brewzma for this!

A- a dark red with a very frothy head. Looks almost like a cream.

S- citrus hops with a little but of pine and sweetness to it. Hints of grape as well.

T- a lot of honey taste with hints of citrusy hops and pine. Aftertaste has a strong pine taste like eating grass or flowers , but in a good way.

M- very very thick for a pale ale. Especially on the back end. Slight carbonation but nothing too fizzy in the mouth which is strange for how carbonated it was when i poured it.

O- overall, this is good. Smooth and delicious. The hops aren't over powering and the hops blend really with the malt. Not the best pale ale but very good.

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Photo of VelvetExtract
4.16/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Pours darker than I would have expected. It's coppery. Head is an off-white growth. It retains quite well, keeping most of its height throughout. Consistent lacing rings.

S-Pine and citrus without a doubt. Grassy as well. Also some caramel malt and bread. Assertively hoppy upon each sniff. More IPA than anything else.

T-Chewy pine and grass with a bunch of candied oranges and grapefruits. Some caramel and bread crust. Straightforward but well built.

M-Bitter and dry. Medium bodied. Drinks quite easily. Aftertaste is moderately long lasting.

O-I have always wanted an Alpha King. Finally got the go-ahead on this one. I found it to be an above average IPA/Pale Ale hybrid but not much more than that.

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Photo of dbrauneis
4.27/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Served on-tap at Sergio's World Beers in Louisville, KY

A: Pours a very lightly hazy medium golden honey orange in color with light to moderate amounts of active visible carbonation and significant amounts of copper highlights. The beer has a finger tall dense foamy light beige head that slowly reduces to a thin film covering the majority of the surface of the beer and a medium thick ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate to significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Strong aromas of citrus/grapefruit zest, citrus/orange rind, and herbal hops over a light aroma of slightly sweet grainy malts.

T: Upfront there are light flavors of slightly sweet grainy malts with a touch of caramel malts as well. That is followed by the just shy of moderate flavors of the hops - citrus/grapefruit zest, citrus/orange rind, and herbal. Light amounts of lingering bitterness are observed.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Slightly sticky and hints of dryness in the finish.

O: This is a wonderful beer that I thoroughly enjoyed and really appreciated trying after looking for it during my travels over the last couple of years. Definitely one I wish I had easier access to and that I could enjoy more readily. Highly recommend and definitely in my top 100 of all time.

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Photo of 1000lbgrizzly
3.84/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Hazy almond shell brown, solid stream of bubbles. Off-white head with stellar retention, polka dotted lacing. A little dark for a 'pale ale' but enticing nevertheless. Plus that head....

S: Pine resins and citrus. Clean and clear.

T: Nose plus mild malt sweetness. Tasty.

M: Medium bodied, creamy. Fine carbonation.

O: Really nice, good hop presence and balanced by malts. But if I've gone out of my way enough to find it, there will probably be it's better version (Zombie Dust) available, too.

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Photo of pkalix
4.33/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

very copper pour with lots of effervescence and a super creamy tan head. a very beautiful pour and almost perfect in appearance. that's my take....
some citrus aroma, and another, unidentifiable smell... not a great smell... kind of metallic. might have been the ride from indiana....
taste is crisp, mellow and smooth. hop bitterness at the finish, citrus in the middle. some mentioned a 'bubble gum' taste; I can see that although it's not altogether distinguishable. a very nice flavor, very easy to drink with a decent abv to boot!
very smooth. very decent. been waiting a long time to try my first Three Floyds.... thank you to Mike!!!! for the opportunity.... overall, a very good beer! no date on the bottle, which sucks, but very very good....

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Photo of Swettenham_Shire
3.54/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Currently on tap in the Pint Room (Dublin, OH). First time trying this pale ale from 3Floyds.

A: copper color with minimal head
S: simple citrus smell; expected more hops
T: expected better; I've had other pale ales that compare to this
M: very smooth and drinkable
O: good, but not extraordinary; maybe I just don't like pale ales that much, but being a 3Floyds brew I had to try it

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Photo of Kramerbarthomer
3.82/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle dated 1/16/14

A - bright orange hue

S - Citrus notes on the nose...

T - Citrus, but not nearly as hoppy as what I'm comparing it too, Zombie Dust

M - Solid, not too sticky, enjoyable

Overall, this is a solid pale ale, but not up there with the top beers I've had. Crisp and enjoyable though.

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Photo of scotorum
3.85/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

One of the last of my wonderful haul from my rather one-sided trade with BigStein88. I got so much more than he did. But Im working on evening that out a little.

Funny metallic multi-colored label of a crazy-eyed, naked Alpha King dropping hops into a glass of beer.

Poured from the 12 oz. bottle into a Sierra Nevada IPA glass. Clear amber with a two inch tall white head which receded slowly to rocky surface foam and dense patterned lacing.

s: Citrus so strong it made me cough. But then so did the FW Velvet Merlin I had earlier, so maybe it's just me. Vinegar later, which always makes me cough. So maybe it's the beer after all. Fortunately after awhile that fades away.

t: A sort of bubble gummy initial flavor was quickly overshadowed by a wave of piney hop bite. Became slightly vinegary, but not enough to be bothersome. Later a pleasing malt/hop balance is achieved with piney hops prominent.

m: Medium with good body and very smooth.

o; It looked and at first smelled so good, the taste was a bit odd but ok. Perhaps an old bottle, no date info anywhere I could find, and Dating Beer does not list any info on how to find it if it IS there somewhere. None of the fruitiness a pale ale ought to at least hint at.

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Photo of 3sheets2wind
4.54/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into my Branchline tumbler. Bottle dated 1/16/14. Right at two months.

Gold brown put with thick white head. Liners and left a lot of lacing. Dark for a pale.

Pine and bread in the aroma. Like a bakery in a forest.

Smooth and balanced. The second best balance I've ever had with a hoppy beer (after Pliny). Herbal, grassy up front with a pine after-taste.

Smashing pale ale. I think the best I've tried. Thanks to BeerJesus for this throw in!

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Photo of BeerZombies1
4.3/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

American pale ale
6.66% ABV 68 IBU

APPEARANCE: Poured out a vibrant rust color. Star bright clear no haziness at all. Great big pillowy egg shell white head. Great retention and lacing.

AROMA: Strong pine and citrus right away. Smells like breakfast of fresh squeezed orange juice and warm toast. Malty sweetness and carmel.

TASTE: Another 3 Floyds APA that drinks like an IPA to me. Very piney and citrus right up front. Hops hit in the middle and rounds out with that great maltiness I got on the nose. Literally taste so good makes you want to slap yo mama!

MOUTHFEEL: Medium to light body along with the carbonation. Dry snappy finish that almost leaves you thirsty.

OVERALL: Once again very impressed with a 3 Floyds brew. Still can't believe this is an APA reminds me of a wonderful low key west coast IPA. Would for sure try and get more of this goodness.

RATING: 4.4/5 Zombie Heads!

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

I haven't been disappointed by a three floyds brew yet. Great flagship brew. I love the citrus hops that FFFs uses. The hops are similar to that of zombie dust and gumballhead, but this one has more notes of pine. This one doesn't have quite as crisp of a finish as those two. Still an awesome beer and will drink it anywhere it's available.

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Photo of Emnmarko
4.33/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This brew was given to me by my bud Ben straight from Chicago. Thanks, Ben.

Bottled 1-23-14 enjoyed 2-28-14

A- Amber and hazy. A heavy pour produces a creamy off white one finger head. After a short time it forms a nice cap that leaves moderate to minimal lacing on my glass.

S- Definitely a citrusy hop aroma. An earthy feel behind the hops. Bold, smells delicious.

T- oh, yeah. Tangy , bitter and citrus hops first. Orange, grapefruit, lemon, pine. Almost immediately followed with a sweet earthy malt bill that instantly balances out the bitterness. The end features a sweet peppery aftertaste.

M- Although this brewski is medium bodied it is fairly easy to drink. A slight buttery feel in the end but overall a good feel.

O- This is my second beer form Three Floyds and Again I am extremely impressed. Zombie Dust was the first and this one isn't far behind. Alpha king in a very good example of a pale ale and one I highly recommend. Unfortunately I only have the one.

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Photo of Fellatamas182
4.32/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.75

A: red with about 1 finger white head fine lacing
S: citrus with hints of piney sweetness to it
T: very drinkable smooth hoppiness, pine after taste leaves you wanting more
M: perfect carbonation there but not overly pronounced, slightly on the thicker side for a pale ale.
O: great beer overall have yet to hate a beer from three Floyd's another must try beer

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Photo of eclipse54
3.4/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a robust copper color with about a finger’s breadth of off-white, almost ivory colored head comprised of medium-sized bubbles. Respectable retention and lacing. The aroma is of spicy and earthen hop cones, a bit of pine sap, some wet earth, and orange citrus. It tastes similar, but with a greater emphasis on the orange citrus. A bit of lemon rind and grapefruit come through as well. Earthen notes, including grass and pine, are more predominant than the spicy character that was notable on the nose. Hint of caramel malt on the end. Mouthfeel is somewhat thin, but rich in carbonation with a nearly effervescent quality. Finish is wet and refreshing, but doesn’t linger longer than wanted. Overall, this is a very drinkable and enjoyable pale ale. While commendable, it lacks a certain depth that some other top-tier examples may provide, seeming somewhat one-dimensional. Still, this only adds to the drinkability, as it prevents it from becoming too filling or overwhelming; in that regard, great success here.

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Photo of drdiesel9483
4.6/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

look - dark golden color with a great frothy tannish white head and great lacing
Smell - slightly piney pretty citrus very hoppy great malt balance
Taste - slightly bitter fruity citrus taste with a great malt backbone to give the bitterness a great complete balance
Feel - medium full body with a crisp carbonation and a bite. With all that its still pretty smooth and
Overall - by far one of the best pale ales out there!!! What makes this beer so good is the great balance.

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Photo of Jnashed
4.6/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From a bottle purchased from the brewery mid Jan 2014. Poured in a Sam Smith pint glass.

Appearance: pretty orange color, good head and retention. Slightly cloudy. 4.5

Smell: sweat citrus. Not all grapefruit, slightly piney 4.5

Taste: Hop forward for sure, not overbearing? Very balanced, certain.y that same citrus smell is tasted also. 4.75

Mouthfeel: smooth, perfect carbonation. Enjoyable

Overall: excellent to be sure. Not ZD but really good APA. For the flagship beer and most attainable of a hard to get brewety, excellent

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Photo of ryan1788a5
4.21/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Bottling date of 1/16 puts this at almost three weeks old.

A: Darker amber-red color. Mild haze. Creamy off white head holds out at an eighth of an inch.mthin, delicate rings of lacing.

S: Fragrant pine, honeydew melon, mandarin orange. Doughy and bready malt base with undertones of caramel.

T: Pine and resin. Raw and oily. A bit more abrupt and aggressive at the beginning as it shows a lot of centennial character. Lemony and almost catty. Melon and tangerine start to pull through. Some bubblegum fruitiness too. Dough and caramel from the malt. Drier grainy tastes start to come of toward the end. Sweet finish of dough and raw hop power with a lingering catty bitterness.

M: Medium bodied. Slick and creamy with a bit of a chewy feel. Lots of lifting and scrubbing carbonation add a great crip and refreshing bite and help to take the edge off of the hop astringency.

O: Somewhat rough and abrupt in the hops department at times, but the body and mouthfeel go a long way to promote drinkability. In the end it's a crushable pale capable of delivering quite a hop fix, and it really makes you want to come back for more.

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Photo of Tsar_Riga
4.27/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - Beautifully crafted brew of copper, mostly clear, with an substantial head that fades but does not disappear. Lacing is extensive.

S - Strong pine and lemon, combined with some shades of grass and other vegetal notes.

T - Hop hop hop. The smells of lemon and pine come through in the front, with a sudden and bitter bite that starts out mirrored with certain sweet notes of honey and malt coupled with subtle minerality but ends with a ferocious bitter blast of grapefruit pith and a sour lemon note that lingers.

M - This is a beer that lingers. Carbonation does help keep some of the resins off, the oils do coat the tongue and tingle there long after the beer itself has been swallowed.

O - I find this beer a pleasure, but not always an easy one. Though other Three Floyds might represent a finer example of what beer can be, this is a pretty clear statement of what a Three Floyds beer is. Strong, almost brutish, an explosion of flavor. I enjoy the contrasts, and think the beer represents a very successful statement of how big and robust a beer can be below 7% ABV.

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Photo of Jho3325
4.26/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Darker amber color than I was expecting and there was a good two fingers of head that stays the whole way down.

Smell of citrus hops is crisp and clean.

Taste is of citrus and hop forward that is pulled back by the malt backbone before it wrecks your palate. The best part about this beer is the slight hint of pine as the beer finishes. A slight bitterness leaves you wanting more. Overall a smooth mouthfeel considering the bold taste.

This is another quality pale ale from FFFs. Lots of flavor, yet enough balance to allow you to drink a few of them!

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Photo of DVoors
4.93/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A- thick fluffy head (3 fingers in speigel IPA glass). Great lacing. Copper, almost ruby-red and clear, no haze.

S - classic 3 Floyd's clean, amazingly floral and citric, resinous hop aromas, with slight Carmel malt presence

F- Forward, rich Carmel and sweet bread are balanced out by big hop flavor (Centennial perhaps?).

M - perfect mouth feel for an APA. Smooth and drinkable, not too thick or syrupy

O - Overall, this is a great beer. One of my favorites. big Flavors on both sides of the spectrum, but they manage to find a perfect balance.

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Photo of AdamThomas
4.65/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A: Deep dark amber with a wonderful white whip-cream head for accoutrement.

S: Tropical fruits on the 1st nose with a dominance of hops following.

T: Malt flavor with a slight carbonation. Full body beer with enough pine to balance the malt. Plenty of hops flavor to help mellow the two flavor profiles. This is a typical medium body everyday drinking beer. Perfect in every aspect.

M: Full flavor/body with slight carbonation.

O: Perfect APA. I'd be happy if more breweries cloned Alpha King. Has an exquisite combination of malts/pine/hops and citrus for a wonderful APA. Highly recommended!

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Photo of DeFaz
3.91/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

It's no wonder that many beeradvocaters, if that's a word, admire this beer. It has a nice appearance--typical pale ale color but with very nice lacing and head retention. It's got the hop presence of an IPA but is labeled as an APA. The smell is not outstanding at all, and while the hop profile really is quite nice, the one-dimensional malt character (oversweet caramel) contributes an odd and unappreciated balance to all of the hops. The mouthfeel is the strong suit here--despite all of the super-sweet caramel flavors, it's not sticky and the thickness and carbonation are near spot-on. While I very much enjoyed this brew, I can't say it quite lives up to its hype.

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Photo of WesMantooth
4.33/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

An opaque, dark orange-copper. Off-white head that leaves evidence it was there all over the glass when it finally subsides.

Smells of rich, toasted caramel malts, and dark and citrus fruits.

Tastes semi sweet, a bit like an amber ale, with some sort of dark fruit that is cherry or date like. Gives it a mouth puckering sourness along with red apple, grapefruit, and maybe peach or apricot. Very unique flavors. Bitterness is solid and building, but never overwhelming, with some spicy and herbal hops on the back side. Very well balanced.

Lots of resin. Medium body, but very creamy texture.

This is like a Dale's Pale Ale on crack. Even better than I remeber it the first time 2 years ago.

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

Picked up two 12oz bottles in a trade with a person from Illinois I met randomly at Stone Brewing - Liberty Station a few weeks back. Nice to know a hand shake is still good for a trade with some people these days. All he wanted was Pliny and all I wanted was 3 Floyds. It panned out for both of us!

Pours a slightly hazed copper hue, big fat fluffy white head, amazing retention that leaves a ring of foam from start to finish with good lacing. Aroma is sweet malt and bitter peach, tropical fruit and fresh cut grain. Flavor is sweet and malty up front - the hops seem to be an afterthought upon the first sip, merely there to balance the classic carmel malt flavor, but man do they slowly creep up to dominate the palate with earthy bitterness and stone fruit that lingers well after the malt gives way in the overall flavor. Finish is dry and clean, light effervescence with sappy hop oil lingering for days! Overall top 5 pale ale i've ever had the opportunity to try. Right up there with Alpine's Hoppy Birthday. Wish I had a 6'r... Arctic Panzer Wolf up next!

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Photo of joeseppy
4.31/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours a bruised/overripe tropical fruit color. Less than generous white cap with low lacing.

A mellifluous tropical blend, sweet base malt and pine.

Love the hop profile giving me bitter hop leaf, pine needle and melded well with semi-sweet malt.

Medium to full bodied. Very smooth as in a Canadien Mist way. Bitter hop, not earthy at all, lingers well in the cranium with alcohol.

How can one come to the Chicagoland area and not fall in love with this having tried it-I would be heart sick to leave this behind. Nothing pretentious or screaming out "look at me!". Fantastic American pale ale and one from FFF to pull the trigger on!

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