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Alpha King - 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Alpha KingAlpha King

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,751 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,751
Hads: 5,996
Avg: 4.26
pDev: 16.67%
Wants: 933
Gots: 1,074 | FT: 29
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: 1,751 | Hads: 5,996
Photo of avalon07
4.47/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a copper color and a slightly hazy consistency. There was an inch of foamy, fairly long-lasting head. Good lacing.

S: A sweet, hoppy smell, with traces of caramel and malt as well.

T: Tasted primarily of hops, with a nice citrusy backbone and tinges of caramel, malt and biscuity flavors. Much hoppier than most APAs, but it doesn't matter because this beer tastes so good.

M: A well-carbonated beer with a silky smooth finish. Light- to medium-bodied.

O: A thorough enjoyable, well made beer.

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Photo of Whiskeydeez
4.3/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle poured into a tulip.

Appearance- Burnt orange almost amber. Creamy white head of about 1/2in.

Aroma- I'm getting a nice malt aroma. PIne and resin comes through with a touch of tropical and citrus notes.

Flavor- A nice bitterness takes front stage. Resin and pine flavor float on top of the bitterness. My palate could have been off but I was getting that onion type hop flavor instead of any big citrus. The malt flavors were sweet and biscuity.

Mouthfeel- Medium body, mid to high carbonation. Smooth, not much for malt sweetness on the tongue. Bitterness carries through and lingers. SSticky as it warms.

Overall- Good beer, big bitterness for a pale. Good display of hops, its loaded up. It gets rather one dimensional as it warms behind the bitterness, I thought at least. Would have it again for sure though.

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Photo of jrallen34
4.35/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I drank this from the bottle into a chalice.

The beer poured amber in color with a weak small white head and poor lacing.

It smells hoppy with citrus and spice, but the hops are a sweer smelling hops.

This is an IPA at its core but incedibly drinkable. Its sweet but hoppy and bitter.

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Photo of Gusler
4.27/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A stuporous deep copper color as it sets in the glass adorned by a massive and semi-creamy off white head, and after dissipating the resultant lace a velum like sheet conceals the glass perfectly. The hops produce a marvelous floral aroma at the front, sweet malt in the middle, fresh crisp ending to the nose with a semi-sweet malt start and the middle a moderate feel on the taste buds. Finish is lenient in acidity with the hops dynamic in their spiciness, “WOW”, they make your whole sensory system sit up and take notice, dry and long lasting aftertaste. Ranks in my top ten all time favorite “Pale Ale” category, need to get another order in for this magnificent beer.

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Photo of barczar
3.94/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a hazy caramel copper color with a dense quarter inch tan head that quickly dissipates.

Aroma is heavily pine and citrus pith, with caramel malt sweetness and floral hop notes.

Bready, toasted malt forms the backbone of the beer, with underlying grapefruit pith and spruce flavors adding intrigue. Mint surfaces at the finish, with grassy and herbal tones. Bitterness is slightly dominant.

Body is moderate, with slightly high carbonation and a somewhat dry, crisp finish.

Overall, a fairly complex pale ale. Balanced to the extremes. But it's a little too bitter for my tastes. Just not my style.

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

Reviewed from notes 1/12/2011

A: citrus hops and sweet malts, hard to decipher anything else

Ap: copper-red, 2 finger off white head, nice lacing

B/T: mild carbonation, crisp, smooth

Af: slightly dry, sweet malts, and citrusy hops

O: not a go-to beer, but one I'd be willing to have again.


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

12oz bottle received from czoch75 via trade

A: Crystal clear amber with an off-white head that recedes leaving sticky lace

S: Hoppy and sweet. Pine, citrus with tons of caramel in there. Hints of mango

T: A blast of pine hops with just enough malt to back it all up. The finish is dry and hoppy. Very good.

M: Maybe a little undercarbonated for the style but it allows the hops to coat the palate pretty well.

D: I'd drink another. Definitely the hopppiest APA i've tried

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

6-pack purchased on sale at City-Wide Liquors, $5.99

appearance: light-medium amber with thin white head, with slight lacing present

smell: Citrus, floral, slight pine flavors, very hoppy

taste: Extremely hoppy, alcohol well hidden, arrangement of citrus flavors. As many have mentioned, strong resemblance to the IPA style.

mouthfeel: Again, very hoppy. Refreshing, powerful, yet crisp.

drinkability: I typically can't drink more than 2 or 3 of extremely hoppy beers, just a personal thing. Goes down easy and leaves you thirsting for more.

A very fine beer available at a reasonable price, especially compared to some other Three Floyd's offerings. If this is going to be considerd and APA, its my favorite of the style.

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Photo of tbeckett
3.99/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Coppery colour with a haze. Mild carbonation and a nice one finger soapy white head. Spotty lace and no retention.

S - Citrus, grapefruit, pineapple, sugar.

T - Huge flavours. All intense notes of dankness, citrus, grass, and a lemony finish.

M - Nice bitterness, good carbonation, medium body.

O/D - Really drinkable and enjoyable. Missing a certain special thing to take it above and beyond like the hype says it should be, but I think this is a nice APA.

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Photo of barnzy78
4.52/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle, no obvious date - had back-to-back with Three Floyds Zombie Dust for my comparison purposes.
Pours amber with a frothy off-white head, great retention & excellent chunky lacing is left on the glass. Aromas are juicy grapefruit & citrus, mild pine, bold bready, caramely malt character. Tastes are complex and plentiful with bready & caramel malt followed up with bold pungency of grapefruit & piny hops with a bit of a tropical kick at the end with mango & pineapple. Finishes semi-dry with some astringency. Medium body, nice carbonation. One of my favorite APA's. Borderlines on being an American IPA but I think there's enough of a malt backbone to be considered an APA.
This one wins just by a little in comparison to Zombie Dust.

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

12 oz tap pour into an American Tumbler at The Lucky Monk in South Barrington, IL.

A - The tap pour comes out a hazy amber color with a thin dense, off-white head that produced thick lacing.

S - Huge aroma of American hops. Grapefruit and resins abound but are well-backed by a sweet caramel nose and malt balance.

T - A toasted malty backbone supports the huge American hop kick to the mouth. Pine and citrus are all over the place here.

M - Medium-bodied and smooth with a dry and crazy bitter finish. Still well balanced though!

D - This is one of those beers I love to have every so often, but when I do I stop at one. It's no exception from the tap.

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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.

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Photo of xnicknj
3.98/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into pint glass - thanks to crushedvol

Pours a darker burnt orange with a thinner head, fading to some bubbled film with curtains of lacing running around the glass.

Subtler scents in the nose overall, with some grassy hops, fruit sweetness, and hints of grain.

Begins with a pleasant fruit sweetness and nice bitter hops. Touches of pine and caramel malt continue through the middle, along with some bread crust and toasted barley. Another splash of bitterness couples with sweet before finishing dry.

Medium body, decent carbonation, a little chewy. Very refreshing and easy to drink with plenty of solid flavor. Even with the higher ABV for the style, everything meshes well.

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

The bottle says pale ale, but there is nothing pale about what is inside.

Pours a lovely copper tinted orange with only a faint cap of white bubbles, diminishes quickly into a small ring and splotch in the middle. Leaves some sticky lacing. First whiff is an attack of hops. Pungent notes of grapefruit and orange backed by notes of pine and a little apple cider to boot. Malt backbone is quite strong, husky kiln dried malts with the faintest touch of roast. Taste begins bitter, much stronger then any pale I have knows. Hops flavor is big on citrus (bitter grapefruit and orange rind) and the malt does more then just provide the backbone. The malt presence is high, but the sweetness is quite low. Medium bodied, smooth, creamy and very dry on the palate. This beer was quite a revalation... unexpected boldness throughout with the pale moniker as notes of IPAs and Barleywines danced on the tongue - and at 6.5% too.

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Photo of dar482
4.13/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

The beer comes in a deep amber color with a large three finger head.

The aroma is extremely hoppy. There's sweet caramel malt along with citrus and floral notes and pine. Very distinct of Cascade hops.

The flavor has lots of bittering of pine and grapefruit on the back. The pine and woody notes stand out more than grapefruit or citrus.

It's a simple and elegant pale ale with loads of hops in the flavor with a good amount of bittering. It's a very well balanced brew with the caramel and biscuit malt. The beer did not blow my socks off, but is quite good.

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Photo of tectactoe
3.93/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy copper color with a small, off-white head that settles pretty quickly and doesn't leave too much lacing behind. Aroma is pretty strong and pungent right from the start; peppery, earthy, and raw, dirty hops come up and smack your nostrils hard. Heavy, heavy malt backdrop on this one, almost so much that it's hard to refer to it as just a "backdrop" - it's nearly as strong as the hops. Just front the nose, this one smells a little stronger than 6.66% ABV, I'm picking up some slightly warm alcohol notes behind everything else.

Alpha King hits the palate and seemingly evaporates in my mouth. Slick and medium bodied with a boat-load of carbonation that starts to fizzle away as soon as it touches my tongue. Pungent grapefruit rind is the first flavor to pop into my head - raw, bittersweet, and certainly unadulterated. Some spicy, herbal, and leafy hops dance around the thick malt underlaying, full of ever-so-slightly toasted caramel malts. White pepper crowds the aftertaste, finishing alongside a light bitterness. A sweet, bready flavor sits heavy on all edges of the mouth - noticeable even minutes after having taken a sip. As strong as the hop punch is, the malt is nearly as dominant in this beer.

A nice tasty concoction of malt and hops, heavy on both and not holding back from much. Doesn't taste much like an APA, rather I think this one is more deserving of a malty IPA title. Either way, it's pretty drinkable and goes down easily. Maybe a tad overrated in my opinion, but good nonetheless.

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Photo of ColForbinBC
4.4/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Had this on-tap at The Map Room in Chicago
(from notes)

Appeared a reddish amber, rather clear with a white head. Had nice staying power and left some good lacing.

Nose is of citrus and floral hops. Hints of tangerines and flowers. A nice burst right off the bat makes this one a winner already.

The hops really come through in the flavor. A giant punch of floral hops hits the tongue and then a perfectly sized toasted malt backbone takes over. A really bitter hop presence.

Smooth and velvety with a medium body.

The drinkability on this guy is right about where it should be for the style.

This is a great go-to...pale ale? Really? Could have fooled me. Anywho, consider yourself lucky if you can grab these on a regular basis.

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Photo of cpetrone84
4.47/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had on draft at ESPN Zone in Chicago (while watching my Steelers start one of the most embarrassing skids known to defending champions...)

A-deep reddish orange in color that pours a thin one finger of a white head that leaves a decent lacing on the glass

S-nice floral hop aroma with hints of citrus hit the nose, pale ale? great hop aroma for a pale, so far so great!

T-this is similar to this nose, blows me away for being a pale ale, more like a session style ipa. nice pine comes through up front with a floral and citrus hop taste coming to finish

M-it has a medium body, is extremely smooth, and is slightly slick on the back of the throat with a light carbonation that is placed in there nicely

D-so tasty for a pale ale and great mouthfeel, only 6% (not quite a session but damn near). i could pound cases during summer months!

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Photo of twiggamortis420
4.77/5  rDev +12%
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.

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

A visiting friend from the midwest brought a couple bottles of this.
The appearance is an amber tone with a larger one finger head. Alpha King has a smell that contains bread malts, some citrus hops, and flora. Upon tasting from my pint glass and I taste more citrus, some spice, also an appropriate amount of hops for the style. MF is medium with similar carbonation levels. All in all, a very nice APA, which I am glad that I finally got to try.

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Photo of Immortale25
4.2/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to IrishHockey for this awesomeness! Poured into a 3floyds tumbler (also thanks to IrishHockey). No freshness date.

A- Pours a copperish amber color with a 3/4 inch beige head that retains very well before resolving to a thick, solid sheet of surface foam. Jagged spikes of lacing.

S- Light, biscuity malt with some mildly citrusy hop character. A quick dash of caramel plus some trace astringency from the hops/alcohol.

T- Lightly toasted malt flavor with a nice dose of hops to back it up. Clean and slightly fruity with a small amount of lingering bitterness. There's a bitter/sweet balance that tips slightly toward the bitter end of the spectrum. Very drinkable.

M- Solid body with a touch of creaminess and subtle prickle from the hops. Medium carbonation.

O- Obviously not as impressive of a hop profile as Zombie Dust but it's still very satisfying. Definitely wins points for balance and overall smoothness.

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

Re-review....the old review noted shit floating around in it..this is fresher...and better...

One of the better Pale Ale's I've had...great citrus nose...grapefruit, oranges, mangos, pineapples...taste has that juicy fruit cocktail hoppiness but also a great sweet malt balance....caramel...full bodied for a pale ale and smooth..

Easy driinking top notch pale ale that lives up to its reputation....

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

Cask at Clark Street Ale House in Chicago. Surprisingly dark amber pour with a cream colored head. Piney hops dominate the aroma of coarse, but some malt also. Taste has some nice caramel covered apple, citrus and the hops. Smooth mouthfeel, just enough carbonation, hand pull helps this of coarse. Finish is not overly bitter. Not a frequenter of pales, but this is the best American pale I've had. Three Floyds hop heavy style obviously works well with this.

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Alpha King from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 1,751 ratings.