Alpha King - 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Alpha KingAlpha King

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BA SCORE
95
world-class

1,717 Reviews
THE BROS
94
outstanding

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Reviews: 1,717
Hads: 5,815
rAvg: 4.27
pDev: 7.73%
Wants: 918
Gots: 927 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 1,717 | Hads: 5,815
Photo of BrewerB
4.4/5  rDev +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. (986 characters)

Photo of glid02
4.18/5  rDev -2.1%
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. (866 characters)

Photo of cnally
4.45/5  rDev +4.2%
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. (361 characters)

Photo of mrsoul12
4.77/5  rDev +11.7%
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. (256 characters)

Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
3.79/5  rDev -11.2%
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. (689 characters)

Photo of Kegatron
4.32/5  rDev +1.2%
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! (1,005 characters)

Photo of khiasmus
4.72/5  rDev +10.5%
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. (961 characters)

Photo of Jwale73
4.1/5  rDev -4%
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. (960 characters)

Photo of DrunkenMaster
3.88/5  rDev -9.1%
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. (286 characters)

Photo of Wetpaperbag
4.12/5  rDev -3.5%
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. (696 characters)

Photo of jjboesen
4.7/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A recent trip to Birreria Paridiso provided me the rare opportunity to quaff this powerhouse.

What a beer! It begins with a quick head and a thick slathering of lace amids a cloudy body of amber. The nose is overwhelmed by an extreme floral blast with small chards of orange and banana. All of which is superceded by a hop explosion on the palate, one in which no taste bud walks out alive.

Alpha King is wonderfully structured in that it can provide a worthy platform for heavy hops and mild malts - they're there, but are timid.

This is one true beer that challenges all your senses - I think I heard it too. It is magnificent too behold and hold.

It may be good to be the king, but it's great to drink an Alpha King. See It. Drink It. Love It. (750 characters)

Photo of hwwty4
4.33/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks jtrockchalk for this one.

Poured a 12oz bottle into my Chimay chalice. This beer pours a Sienna brown, and the hints of red come through pretty generously when held to the light and the big frothy white head left sticky lacing all the way down the glass. The aroma is citrusy hops with lemon in the forefront and nice sweet bready malts coming thorough on the back end. The taste is really complicated. The obvious citrusy and piney hops come through but subtle hints of caramel, anise and rye for some reason come out to me. These tastes are not what I would normally pick out in a APA but man, every single flavor is pretty precise to me. Weird. The mouthfeel is full for an APA and leaves a nice coating on the mouth. This is a great APA, my only knock is it seems a bit hopped for a standard APA, almost more like a mild IPA. (837 characters)

Photo of swizzlenuts
4.47/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The pale ale is poured out with a dark copper colour and a good centimeter head that sticks around for a little bit. The beer is slightly muddy looking as well. The nose on the beer has citrusy hops and a fruity malt backbone.

The initial hit from this beer is the hops with their citrus and slight piney flavours. The beer is really balanced. It has a great fruity malt back bone and is a great addition to the hops. There is a pleasing bitterness to the end of the beer; the bitterness comes across a bit strong at first, but settles out quite nicely after more drinking. The mouthfeel is creamy and a bit thick, perfect for a pale ale. The drinkability of this beer is just absurd... (688 characters)

Photo of Biggness
4.68/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is another beer my wife brought me home :) This beer pours a dark bronze with a very light head. The smell is not overpowering but what I can catch I get nuts and alcohol. The inital taste is nutty! Beautifully nutty and the it follws with malts. A very nice beer and definatley something I could drink all night if it was more readily available on Long Island (365 characters)

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

A: Poured a bright coppery-orange with a foamy 1 finger white head that was sticky and left a modest rim lacing.

S: big and citrusy from the cascade, centennial, and warrior hops.

T: The hoppiness was sharp and spicy with grapefruit and a nice floral finish. There was some lemony hints as well on the finish that left your mouth watering for the next sip.

M: medium and dry, with a great sticky grapefruit hop lacing left on the tongue.

D: A great big drinking pale by all means, will leave your mouth watering anxiously awaiting the next sip. Great drinkability, and case worthy by all means. (601 characters)

Photo of twiggamortis420
4.77/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

We need this stuff in Tejas!!

What can I say? This beer is money. Dark amber color with a peak-filled off white head. Citrus nose with a nice malty balance. Could easily be confused for an IPA...until the clean crisp finish hits you after taking a drink. Perfectly balanced, has a grassy taste and a perfect finish.

I really want to taste more of their offerings. (365 characters)

Photo of whoneeds8
4.85/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Big thanks to beereality for the beer.

Pours out to a transparent bronze. Nice offwhite head with good lacing. Smell is interesting, I don't know how to describe it.

Initial taste is nutty. Then the sweet malts hit your palate. Ends with a very fruity hops taste to stay in your mouth. Bitterness doesn't come around until well after your sip.

Texture seems a little thick, compaired to water.

All in All, this is a very fine well built beer. It's a damn shame that it's not available in Texas. (498 characters)

Photo of BeenJammin
4.17/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - This beer pours a cloudy amber hue. Medium sized head with minimal retention.

S - I can mainly pick out a floral hop aroma but there is definitely some sweet malts coming out of there as well.

T - This is a very well built beer. Some very good tasting spicy hops to go along with a sweet carmelly malts. This beer leaves you with a tangy feeling after you keep sipping it.

M - This is a medium bodied ale. It does down pretty smoothly and is quite refreshing.

D - It is a very enjoyable beer to drink. (512 characters)

Photo of SirSketch
3.95/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a clear, off-white head with very dense bubbles. Much of the head dissipates after a minute, leaving a nice ring. Light amber color to this beer, and it is very clear as well.

S - The two scents that caught my nostrils was the smell of floral hops and the spicy smell of alcohol. Maybe a hint of apple?

T - The hops are undeniable. Little to no malt present. As with most APAs, it left a dry, tart aftertaste in my mouth. The taste of alcohol was a little strong for a beer of this type (in my opinion).

M - Medium bodied with little carbonation

First of all, I really enjoyed the beer. My only concern is that it seems more along the lines of an IPA than APA to me. Otherwise, a great beer! (705 characters)

Photo of joepais
4.03/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Goliath for this one
Bottle poured into my pint glass produced a finger worth of head, then settled to a quick lace. The body on this brew was nice clear amber.

Aromas of sweet malt light citrus lemony hops fill my nose.

Flavors of hops, very bitter for pale, not much malt I think it is more of an IPA than a Pale Ale. Medium mouthfeel ale with great carbonation.

Very drinkable it would be very easy to drink a few of these on a nice summer day. (462 characters)

Photo of roadhouse
4.75/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a deep orange-amber with a two finger head that dissipates into a nice coating on the top of the beer. Very fine particulate matter noticeable when held up to the light. Minimal lacing.

Aroma is very fruity and citrusy with grapefruit dominating. There is also a light orange aroma that I detect. Below that is some sweet malt aroma as well as floral and piney aromatics from the hops. Not an extremely strong aroma, but certainly very mouthwatering.

The taste of this brew is outstanding. Not only are the citrusy and piney hops abundant, but there is also a fairly complex malt backing that contains flavors of caramel and toasted malt.

Mouthfeel is fairly light, but closer to medium. This is one drinkable beer. Probably the most sessionable beer out there for hopheads, in my opinion.

Wow, what a beer. It's a bit on the bitter side but it's remarkably balanced with those sweet malt flavors. I used to think that SNPA was the benchmark for APAs, but now I think Alpha King takes the crown, no pun intended. (1,069 characters)

Photo of SaucyA
4.2/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - A little darker than a standard pale ale, so it obviously has more malt. Almost an amber, at least in terms of color. Slightly off white, 1/2 finger head sits on the top... into a shaker pint.

S - Flowery hops, piney hops, clementine oranges.

T - A well-balanced and well rounded brew. Hoppier than most APA's but keeps a nice malt backbone to hold everything in place. The finish is very slight bitter dryness. Overall a really nice brew.

M - Could stand to be a bit lighter to up the drinkability. Otherwise good.

D - Not the most supremely drinkable brew on the planet, but a good offering from a good brewery. There's a reason it's on the top 100.

Notes: I had my buddy pick me up 2 sixxers of this when he went to Chicago for a couple weeks. He couldn't believe how much he was spending on twelve beers. I couldn't believe that he was around the block from a Binny's. I guess it's all perception. (910 characters)

Photo of throwitallaway
4.12/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Acquired from thickerfreakness. Thanks dude! Decanted from the bottle into a pint glass. Pours an amber color with a one-finger head that fizzles away quickly. Aroma of resiny hops, citrus hops, and big, sweet caramel malt. Taste starts with a pleasant resiny bitterness, then the citrus kicks in, and finally it finishes with caramel and bready malts. Nice medium body, with a quite high drinkability. Honestly this tastes more like an IPA to me, but I'm a hophead, so I'm quite into this beer. (495 characters)

Photo of mhewes
3.4/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A : Pours a good amber color with a thin white head that leaves good lacing behind

S : Some malt but mainly citrus hops.

T : Hop bomb. Loads of hop flavor, a little too much. Mainly citrus flavors. There's a little bit of malt but not enough of a balance.

M : Medium bodied, good carbonation

D : A little too much on the hop side for me. I prefer a more balanced beer. (373 characters)

Photo of dill
4.03/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I poured this from a bottle into a pint glass, looking forward to this hoppy pale ale at the end of the day. There wasn't a lot on the nose initially, but it had a nice white head on top of the golden beer. I was surprised by how creamy it was in the mouth. I was also expecting something a bit more hoppy, but what I got was just a nice American pale ale that I'd happily enjoy again. (385 characters)

Alpha King from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 1,717 ratings.