Alpha King - 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

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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: 5,818
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: 5,818
Photo of markgugs
4.6/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass
- sent to me graciously by BA member "cardsmith"

Honestly, this beer disappeared so quickly I'm not sure I can even review it, but let's see what I remember.

A: poured beautifully, a delicious-looking copperish orange color, a nice 2-finger head and instant lacing. I can tell right away it's going to be stellar, especially when I stick my nose down to get the...

S: ...wonderful aroma emanating from this brew. It's all very subtle, yet enticing at once. Some floral aroma, a nice pink grapefruit and certainly some piney smells.

T: Wow. Just, wow. Seriously, this beer disappeared so quickly, the flavors are just complex enough, and just subtle enough that it's damned near chuggable. There is without a doubt a gorgeous piney overtone to the beer (from the Centennial hops?) as well as some wonderful malted undertones. Utterly delicious. I could drink this all night.

M: Again, just nothing at all wrong with this beer. It feels "right" in your mouth and bigger than usual gulps are real easy, too easy in fact.

D: As I just mentioned, this is an all day, all night beer. One of the most drinkable I've yet encountered. Even my burps taste good.

Highly recommended. (1,239 characters)

Photo of xnicknj
3.98/5  rDev -6.8%
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. (704 characters)

Photo of DefenCorps
4.32/5  rDev +1.2%
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 (476 characters)

Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.15/5  rDev -2.8%
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. (659 characters)

Photo of tectactoe
3.93/5  rDev -8%
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. (1,528 characters)

Photo of clayrock81
4.05/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a clear auburn amber body with minimal head but some good lace. A very citric hop smell hit me in the nose first, along with a minor mix of sweet malt. A great pale ale taste - medium-boded with a mix of hops for a dry, citric taste and blended with sweet malts for a balanced beer that lights up the palate as it goes down smooth (almost buttery) and finishes with a nice dry backbite. A solid beer to have anytime. (423 characters)

Photo of VelvetExtract
4.16/5  rDev -2.6%
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. (711 characters)

Photo of barnzy78
4.52/5  rDev +5.9%
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. (747 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 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 rfgetz
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%
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. (922 characters)

Photo of cpetrone84
4.47/5  rDev +4.7%
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! (841 characters)

Photo of ZAP
4.47/5  rDev +4.7%
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.... (406 characters)

Photo of thagr81us
4.42/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Massive thanks to aasher for this as an extra in a past in-person trade. Served from bottle into a Stone nonic. Poured yellow-orange with a two and a half finger off-white head that subsided to a half finger very slowly. Maintained excellent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, caramel, citrus, and citrus hop. The flavor was of sweet malt, caramel, chocolate, citrus, and citrus hop. It had a medium feel on the palate with medium carbonation. Overall this was a pretty excellent brew. Very well balanced and complex. Not too much missing on this one. If you haven't tried this before, get off your ass or trade for it. You won't be disappointed. (679 characters)

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

This is a nearly bronze beer, a thick and opaque sort of orange-brown. An almost white head rises to about one finger and has good retention, and the lacing evidences fantastic stick as this beer makes itself known the entire way down.
I expect a hop-forward APA and it's no disappointment. Lots of citrus juice hops bitterness is rounded out by a solid malts support that doesn't detract. A bit of citrus peel without the bitter rind aspect, more like the zest grated off for desserts and the like, complements the grapefruit aroma further complemented by caramel malts. It all works together here.
The taste follows suit precisely. This is one of the few beers in which I can't taste anything coming out that wasn't in the smell and isn't diminished in anything that was.
The mouth feel starts off silky smooth and is completely balanced by a crispness that doesn't bite but never lets go. Semi-dry, with a medium body and light carbonation, this is as easy-drinking a beer as I've had.
This is great stuff and one of the best out there. (1,039 characters)

Photo of Dogbrick
4.52/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Barley's Smokehouse. Definitely a nice surprise to find this on draught considering how much of a fan I am of the bottled version. Pours a dark amber color with thin chunks of a light beige head that disappeared quickly. Thin and quick lacing. The aroma has a nice bouquet of floral hops, grapefruit and malt. Medium-bodied with a mouthfeel that really cannot be improved upon. Robust hops flavor with citrus and a great malt balance. The finish is long and nicely bitter. I would never tire of this beer. (515 characters)

Photo of ColForbinBC
4.4/5  rDev +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. (737 characters)

Photo of OWSLEY069
4.22/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clean copper color with a white head. In the the aroma, big citrus/ grapefruity hops. In the taste, sweet, grapefruity hops and a nice balanceing maltiness. A small bite and medium mouthfeel, with a citrus/ grapefruity hops in the aftertaste. Big hops and mellow for a pale, easy to drink. (297 characters)

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

A - Dark copper color with a small white head that had some mild lacing.

S - Lot of citrusy hops on this, but light, not heavy grapefruitish like some hop bombs will do. Light malt notes, and some resiny finish.

T - Really nice citrusy sweet profile, not sugary sweet, but sweet. Malt backbone with a nicely bitter finish.

M - Medium bodied with a nice amount of carbonation.

D - Really easy and refreshing to drink, could do a few of these. (446 characters)

Photo of tavernjef
4.57/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Clear copper color, small beige compact head, lots of sheeting lace - Alpha King "Gorgeous George the III" Pale Ale, yep...that'll do.

Mighty fine hopified wiffer for an aroma, highly sweet, softly resinous, calming citrus, slick pine, freshly floral; its got it all in the hop profile. Dreadnaughts little brother for a nose. A hop bouquet! Nicey nice. Yum.

Taste has a well rounded front, slight fruity malts with hop flavors of dulled citrusy stuff. Builds quickly from there with fresh floral tones, crisp yet green like a green bean, toasty just past midway, growing into lingering hop piney bitterness which is pretty full of good Ol' alpha acids to fade off and squeeze out any sweetness remaining. Quite juicy and resinous with a favorable drying of bitterness. Some slight toffee eeks its way onto the sides of the cheeks super later.

Feel is clean, slick, quick the whole way through, about medium body, nearing more lighter due to its remarkable cleanness - calming and smooth in the front, wafting hoppy finish of refined bitterness and light drying for its back.

It's been along while since I've had this, my memory of it had completely diminished 'til now. Now that I've had it again; well I'm wishing 3F still was available here. (1,256 characters)

Photo of RBorsato
3.7/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark gold, bronze-ish color with a low tan head and good lace. Hoppy, piney, tar(?) aroma with light malt aroma detected. Piney, sprucey hop flavor with a good malt balance. Medium bodied with a bitter finish.

One of the coolest bottle labels I've seen around. (263 characters)

Photo of sweemzander
4.38/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz. bottle poured into an imperial pint. No bottled date.

(A)- Pours a clear reddish to orange amber color that produced a nice off-white foamy head that stuck around awhile. Left some legs behind.

(S)- Fruity citrus of lemon, lime, pineapple, & grapefruit with a respectable wet pine behind it. The tiniest caramel-like sweetness in the background.

(T)- Exactly like the smell. Great citrus & pine. A respectable bitterness. I am loving how creamy the fruits are. A tiny caramel/honey sweetness in the far background.

(M)- A great carbonation level & balance. Dry, bitter, & great citrus. Great creamy citrus. Just what a pale ale should be like. . . and them some.

(D)- Exactly what a pale ale should be like! The balance & complexity is simple, but smooth. The bitterness, dryness, & citrus is borderline near what I would expect from an IPA, but I have no complaints about that! Just a simple yet delightful beer to enjoy one after another. The essence of the style. (981 characters)

Photo of Darkmagus82
4.03/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into a pint glass

Appearance – The beer pours a burnt orange-amber color with a bit of redishness and a nice three finger head of pure white foam. The head has an amazing level of retention, very slowly fading to leave a fantastic level of foamy lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma of the beer is heaviest bready smell mixed with a lighter level of a grapefruit hop. Along with these aromas comes some grass and pine as well as little bit of caramel to produce a rather nice aroma overall.

Taste- The taste begins with a great bready and slightly doughy taste. Along with these flavors comes some hop notes of a mainly grapefruit hop taste along with a little bit of a caramel and some light toast. The toast and caramel remain rather light throughout the taste, with the bready and doughy tastes fading just a bit. Other hop flavors of a grassy and pine flavor join the now slightly stronger grapefruit to leave a rather bready and nicely hopped flavor to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the brew is average to slightly thicker than average with a carbonation level that is on the average side. The feel is very good for the hop and bready flavors of the brew and makes for a nice more mouth coating medium, but is not overly thick to kill the more refreshing pale ale characteristics of the beer.

Overall – A very nice pale ale overall with tons of great flavors and a nice hop blend. This is renowned for a reason… it is very good. (1,503 characters)

Photo of barczar
3.88/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | 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. (608 characters)

Photo of ArrogantB
4.57/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I have been waiting to try this for a while. I broke down and ordered a sixer from Archer Liquors in Chicago. Very cool looking bottle with the king himself featured on the front. The beer poured a dark orange with a very good head. The smell was so amazing. fresh hops permeated my nose and reminded me of grass, herbs, and flowers. The taste matched up very nicely with hops really shining through. Wow, believe the hype! I think this was better than dreadnaught. This probably ties with Deschutes Hop Trip for my favorite Pale Ale. Outstanding. (547 characters)

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