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Alpha King - 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Alpha KingAlpha King

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,742 Reviews

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Reviews: 1,742
Hads: 5,928
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Alpha King Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,742 | Hads: 5,928
Photo of pwoods
4.28/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Big thanks to ahatcher78 for this extra. Off my wants list and everyone.

12oz. brown bottle poured into an imperial pint. I don't see any dating.

A: Pours an IPAish golden oranger. A bit hazy but more of a glow. More than 2 fingers of rocky white head form strong and holds on for quite a bit. Solitary little chunks of lacing form a neat pattern.

S: Very citrus-y, orange, grapefruit, without harsh resins... just a very clean hop freshness. Some sweet malts in the back.

T/M: Nice controlled hop bitterness with plenty of citrus. A surprising pepper spice bite that's nicely controlled as well. Some bread-y malts that are slightly sweet come in the even things out. Body is medium light and lively carbonation maintains this.

D: A simple brew that just does everything right. Probably the best of its style that I've had. Too bad this isn't available in my area. Would make a great session brew and I'd love to bring this to gatherings to try and convert some people.

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Photo of jeffmonarch
4.15/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle in a pint glass.

A - Cloudy ice tea brown with a white head that has some good staying power. There is a nice lace when the head does start to fade.

S - Hops, hops, hops and some more wonderful hops.

T - Wow, this is an amazingly good pale ale. Enormous hop flavor with a slightly fitter finish.

M - Full bodied with great bite and a great finish.

D - I generally don't care for pale ales because of the finish. It's usually too bitter but this is great. It has a little bitterness but much less than most pale ales. I definitely recommend this to anyone who loves beer.

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Photo of Steaks
3.8/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

our of a bottle into a nice pint glass of my friend's. the beer pours a nice dark amber. a small thin white head and it goes good with chicken fingers and watching THE WIRE on a cold winter night. pretty dark for a pale ale but it goes down fairly smooth. good beer.

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

Nice darker amber fairly reddish body topped with a very nice thick foamy white head. Perhaps a touch dark for a pale ale in general, but a picturesque beer none the less. Good citrusy aroma but it could be stronger. The flavor is wicked smooth and tasty. Good amount of citrus flavor and a bunch of malt with some caramel. I could drink this stuff all day long. This is a great beer to go with the quesadilla I'm eating right now.

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

12oz bottle poured into a standard pint glass
Wow what a great hoppy pale ale!
A - Pours out a nice amber orange color, slightly hazy and boastes a nice off white rocky head.
S - Hops and more hops. Hop aromas are strong with citrus and a mild sweetness. Also present is a nice sweet floral aroma, very fresh. Malt is there but only slightly.
T - Tastes of citrus hops with a nice clean bitterness. Floral hints are present and not to mention a nice sweet caramel malt hint almost masked by the hoppy finish.
D - Very drinkable beer that has such a good flavor you will easily drink more and more.

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Photo of t0rin0
4.15/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This came from a 12 oz bottle purchased at lone hill liquor. It pours a very nice reddish copper color that is quite clear. There is an off white foam that builds up and stays in the glass for a while. Nice lacing. The beer smells great. It reminds me of the first barleywine I brewed a year ago. Malty and I'm almost positive that I'm smelling columbus hops in there. Theres a faint hint of alcohol on the nose as well.

The taste was almost as impressive. Very malty and hoppy. Fairly bitter, with a smooth sweet aftertaste. Good body to this beer, nice and heavy. Very drinkable. The heavy body and bitterness is surprising coming from the East Coast.

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Photo of younger35
4.55/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Received this beer in a trade with ClockworksOrange. Love Three Floyds and have been wanting to suck down this bad boy for quite some time. Drank from my Deschutes Black Butte Porter pint glass while watching the Broncos vs. Titans game.

Appearance- Poured a very nice copper orange with a huge two finger dirty white head. Recedes fairly quickly but leaves a great cap and collar along with a buttload of foamy lacing.
Smell- This thing is loaded with tons of fresh citrus in the form of grapefruit and tangerines. I’d swear this brew had 200% of our daily value of vitamin C. Maybe a tiny bit of sweet bread in the background but not much.
Taste- Terrific citrus bitterness starts on the tongue before it gets a nice sweet fruitiness. Lots of fresh grapefruit and lemon zest that gives way to a nice mellow pineapple/strawberry/orange fruit. Maybe a tiny bit of caramel in the background but I think I might be pushing it. The hop is in charge here as it leaves a lingering bitter aftertaste.
Mouthfeel- Nice body that is full yet remains light and crisp. Nice carbonation that tickles the tongue.
Drinkability- This brew really reminds me of the “fresh hop” ales that come out around harvest season. What sets it apart is the depth in the flavor. It’s not a one trick hop pony like some of those fresh hopped brews. Big thanks to ClockworksOrange! Awesome brew!

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Photo of Gatch
4.53/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a 6-pack back in June during a Road Trip across the country. Finally drinking the last one and finally reviewing this phenomenal beer. It deserves the hype that it gets.

A - Deep amber with a thick, frothy head that fades very slowly. Lace really sticks to the glass, no particles floating around at all (really, really clean), and the foam sitting on top begs you to take a sip.

S - All kinds of crazy stuff. Hops, fruit, caramelized sugar, sour grapes. Very different from most Pale Ale's.

T - A lot of what comes in on the nose shows up in the mouth as well. A little bit of alcohol comes through but it's warming and gives a slight bite and dryness to the finish. The hops and the sweet malt balance perfectly.

M/D - Fresh, clean, and so much flavor. There's almost a creaminess to it because it moves around your mouth so smoothly and coats every corner. One of the best beers I've had as far as "mouthfeel" goes but I can see myself being overwhelmed by all the flavor if I drink this beer all night. I'll recommend this to anyone.

Update: bought a 6-pack at the brewery in April. Forgot how amazing this beer is. Big, juicy, pungent, dank, resiny hops. Good balance that keeps this enjoyable. Such a delicious hop profile. Why I didn't pick up a 6-pack of Zombie Dust while I was there will haunt me for a while.

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Photo of 908carson
4.92/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Had this beer first at a great pub in indiana... pitchers were on sale that night and i was a happy camper. Finally found it again at a gourmet grocery store in Indianapolis and paid a pretty penny for it. absolutely worth every shiny copper coin. first bottle i opened had almost no carbonation i was quite disappointed... and in a cunning play by the beer gods, i never got to drink that first bottle.

let me pause for a second to tell a quick story... i've now purchased 2 different highly rated pale ales for 10 bucks a six pack. beeradvocate users gave Bell's Two Hearted Ale and Alpha King great reviews... and apparently cursed them in the process. when i purchased Two Hearted Ale a couple months ago, i spilled 2 of the bottles in a matter of an hour. a tragedy! now fast forward to the present when i just spilled a pint glass of semi-uncarbonated Alpha King on my brand new printer.

I told you the Beer Gods didn't want me to drink that sub-par brew. Thank God the next beer i cracked open produced a beautiful head with great lacing... every sip has been a pleasure and i'm gripping the glass with 2 hands this time.

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Photo of bjoyce12
3.65/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A good solid APA. Maybe not the best I've tried(Stoudt's and Flying Dog come to mind), but not a bad choice. In fact, I'd say a definite solid choice. Pours cloudy golden. Nice hoppy aroma, not too strong. Hoppy without being bitter in taste, nice and clean and crisp. Its best quality may be that it is very drinkable. Smoothness is its second best.

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Photo of willjschmidt
4.69/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: A dark amber hue with some orangish undertones.

S: Lots of glorious floral and piney hops!

T: A damn good IPA (this really is an IPA, don't let the name on the bottle fool you), one of the better ones that I've had. This brew if bursting with delicious hops and has probably the most juicy fruit that I've ever encountered in an IPA. Orange, grapefruit, mango, you name it, it's in here. It's all balanced very well with a solid malt backbone and is finished off with just the right amount of bitterness.

M: Smooth, medium-bodied, and goes down easy.

D: An excellent beer, eminently drinkable and thoroughly enjoyable. This would quite possibly be my go to beer if I happened to live in Three Floyds distribution area.

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Photo of JamesS
4.92/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is excellent! Three Floyds has done a great job with their flagship beer. Comes out a nice copper color and has very good head and nice lacing. It has a wonderful scent, very hoppy without being overly bitter. The same for the taste, along with a great caramel taste as well that serves to sweeten it a bit. Went down very easy. It was so good I got a growler of it to take home.

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Photo of sleazo
4.53/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks Monsone, been looking for this one for a while.

A-Pours a beautiful slightly cloudy brown. The two finger head is as fluffy as can be with long lasting staying power. Sheets of lace cling to the sides of the glass. Beautiful to behold.

S-A wonderful aroma of pine and citrus wafts at me from across the table. The aroma is both powerful and lovely. Slight hints of caramel sweetness round it out.

T-Strong pine hop oils hit the tongue at first sip, this is followed up by a slight acidity and a vague sweetness. The overall character is dry however. There are hints of caramel as well though less than in the smell. Overall it is very well balanced. The hops have a way of lingering through the mouth leaving a great aftertaste. as it warms hints of cocoa and melon peek through

M-Slightly thick and creamy with a bit of oil presence. Mild carbonation.

D-This is one of if not the best APA I have had. Very hoppy yet balanced with a great mouthfeel. I wish this were available in NYC


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Photo of dbalsock
4.6/5  rDev +8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks franksnbeans!

App: Pours clear orange copper with a huge head. Looks bottle conditioned, and on further inspection... it is! Sticks to the glass well with thick lacing, and the head never drops below 1/2 inch of foam.

Smell: Wonderful hops, very complex. A canteloupe sweetness comes out of the malts, reminding me of a hoppy maibock. I can easily pick up berries and roses in there as well.

Taste: As is expected the hops hit first with a floral taste, followed immediately by grapefruit. next comes biscuity malts and caramel malts followed by an aftertaste so bitter I can't find an actual taste in there.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and light bodied with a tingling carbonation from bottle conditioning. The bitterness lasts for days it seems.

Drinkability: Wonderful for the style and much more complex than the average apa, the hop combination is great and the malt profile provides a nice backdrop to the excitement.

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Photo of Imstillthegman
4.63/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Thanks to Hero27 for this bottle.

Pours a cloudy, dark amber with some lighter orange hues around the edge. Big, dense head of dirty off-white bubbles. Nice sticky, chunk lacing rings the glass.

Aroma is of citrus, pine, and light grassy hops. The citrus is big. There is a caramel backbone to help even it out some. Smells yummy.

Wow...this is good. Nice bitter grapefruit and pine hops with a touch of sweetness in the middle. This is hoppier than many IPAs out there.

Nice creamy medium body with good carbonation. Very drinkable. It's been a long time since I had one of these. I really wish 3F would come back to MD soon. Damn good beer. This would easily become my go to beer if I could get it regularly. Thanks, Eric!

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Photo of waldoiverson
4.24/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours orangeish red .

S - Pine and citrus take center stage.

T - Pine and grapefruit with some bitterness but not overwhelming

M - Not too carbonated and with a medium body

D - It is a potent Pale Ale, maybe leaning towards an IPA. Still, this beer is exceptionally drinkable. Recommended.

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Photo of soupyman10
4.33/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

UPDATE 05-30-2008 - 4.5/4/4.5/4/4
Got a sixer of these recently to refresh my memory on the deliciousness. Nose is mild, but again the flavor is huge. Strong on floral hops mixing in nicely with a toffee malt...not necessarily as sweet as some APAs - much more focused on a complex bitterness than the general fruity "fun" of most APA. Incredibly lemony, given that lack of sweetness. Nonetheless, it's a unique and interesting brew.

ORIGINAL - 4.5/4/4.5/4/4.5
Finally got my hands on one of these after a friend went down to Indiana to grab a slew of Three Floyds stuff. Appearance is a deep orange color with a nice bit of white head on top that disappears nice and slowly. Nose is strong on crazy fruity hops, strong caramel hops. A good dose of spiciness in there too. Taste is likewise, only stronger. Powerful from both ends, with a nice balance to the hops and malt. How an APA should taste. Feel is solid, well carbonated. I loved this one. I'd drink about a hundred of these at a time if I had the opportunity (and the tolerance).

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Photo of brewcrew76
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a light copper with a thin off white head and sticky lacing.

S - Pine and citrus hops with a little caramel toffee in the background.

T - Pine, citrus and grapefruit hops with caramel in the background. Slightly on the bitter side throughout.

M - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation and a dry hoppy finish. Slightly creamy.

D - It tastes and drinks more like an IPA but I am not complaining. A bold hoppy pale ale.

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

Poured from the brown 12 oz bottle to form a 1-1/2" head of beige foam over the top of a cloudy deep copper. The head stuck around for a long time, but as it diminished, it left huge clumps of lacing behind.

The aroma was quite good. Lots of citrusy hops to the smell, along with a carmel sweetness.

Taste: A nice APA! Nice bold taste of citrus mixed well with the sweetness of the malt. Nicely balanced. A bit of a sour finish is the only detraction. I think that the sour aftertaste prevents it from getting a 4.5 for taste. I prefer the nice balance of another APA: Christian Moerlein OTR Ale has better flavor in my humble opinion. Although Alpha King has it in appearance.

Mouthfeel: Very creamy with just the right amount of carbonation. Nice and bold and "chewey".

Drinkability: I have had better APA's, in my opinion (try Christian Moerlein OTR (Over The Rhine) Ale). But this is right up there. I would recommend this to any discerning beer drinker.

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Photo of jcdiflorio
4.94/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks to Sudsdog for the send,had this beer many times but not since i've been a BA. Just finished a case before i joined and haven't found it since. Not readdily avalible in my area. Hope that changes soon.
served in a nonic glass from a 12 brown long neck bottle with crimped cap.

poured a cloudy,coppery color with a 1'' thick,creamy off white head,good retention,leaving some spotty lacing. Had a few tiny staggered bubbles constiantly rising.

Popped the cap on this bottle at an arms length and immediatly smelled citrusy/grapefruity hops,had piney and grassiness after the pour. Has a strong malty aroma, as well with a sweet,honey like carmelled goodness with a toasty and bisquityness with some burnt notes

Strong malty tastes immediatly with honeyied carmell with a toasty/nuttyness and a burnt edge followed by a strong hoppy bite,citrus/grapefruit/pine with some grassiness intertwine perfectly to create an amazing balance and taste. A juicy,cloying maltiness with oily/leafy hoppiness.

So smooth and creamy,yet full and well-rounded. The drinkability? Simple,don't want to stop drinking it. Been a while since i had this beer almost forget excatly how great this beer was.One of my all-time favorite beers. A beer that everybody must try at least once. I know you'll want it again though.

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Photo of edbeered
4.55/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Kingpin for the bottle. This pours a hazy reddish amber color, with a minimal whitish head and a scant amount of fine white lacing on the glass. The smell is citrussy. The taste is of intense citrussy hops(primarily grapefruit, as well as a slightly floral flavor)along with a sweet bready malty finish. The mouthfeel is rich and full and the flavors blend smoothly. This is a terrific drinker and may be the definitive APA. I only wish it was available in Minnesota.

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Photo of ZimZamZoom
3.73/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nice copper-orange color with a serious off-white head. Many fingers worth and lovely lacing taboot.

Aroma is big on citrusy hops. Some malt in the background, but that's ok. That's not why I bought this beer. Taste is also big on the citrus, mostly grapefruit. I get some malt to balance this out, but the finish is full of hop bitterness and a slight alcohol burn that surprises me based on the 6% ABV.

The body on this APA is pretty thick and heavy, with noticeable viscosity. I could see it filling me pretty quickly, but I bet I could drink another without much trouble.

All in all a pretty nice beer. This is one of my favorite styles, so I do have plenty on my list I'd rate above this one though.

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

Thanks to BuckeyeNation for the sixer; I’ve had these for a while but haven’t gotten around to review one, and this is my last one and it’s a hot one today.

Alpha King pours an amber color with a good inch of head. A few tiny bubble rise from the bottom of the glass and continues to keep a good layer of foam. The aroma is of pine and citrus hops, grapefruit, lemon and biscuit malt—really pushing it to an ipa standard. The taste is pleasantly bitter and refreshing, one of my favorites to drink on a hot day. Caramel and a touch of alcohol are present as the beer warms up a bit. This is one of the best pale ales out there, but not sure if I could drink a six pack of this without the hops and alcohol affecting my taste buds.

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

Pours a nice slightly hazy orange with a thin off-white head. Aroma is some citrus hops and sweet malts with a hint of caramel. The taste is a delightful blend of mild citrus and a hint of pine hops well balanced with sweet malts with just a hint of caramel. The beer is light bodied with just the right amount of carbonation. This is a very enjoyable beer and would make for a decent session had I picked up more than one bottle.

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Photo of kellyst
4.35/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Deep orange-copper hue. Slight haze. Medium, off-white head.

S: Spicy and citrusy american hops.

T: Delicious. Well rounded. Bitter, but not quite ipa bitter, but more bitter than a pale ale. Plenty of flavoring hops present. Lots of citrus. Good malt balance to back it all up, with a slight carmel.

D: Very high.

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