Alpha King - 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Alpha KingAlpha King

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BA SCORE
95
world-class

1,719 Reviews
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,719
Hads: 5,829
rAvg: 4.27
pDev: 7.73%
Wants: 917
Gots: 930 | 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
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Reviews: 1,719 | Hads: 5,829
Photo of chinchill
4.28/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle, undated but of very recent vintage according to the salesperson, served in a Belgian snifter.

A: Dark red-amber, definitely dark for style, with a modest size bone-colored head that has very good retention and lacing. Lightly hazy.

Smells unique, partly due to the unfamilair Warrior hops I suppose, with a very balanced and integrated aroma that reflects both malts and hops.

T: also, nicely balanced. Less fruity, more herbal and less bitter than CPA (see below), but as tasty overall, if a bit less intense, and perhaps even more easy drinking. More generally, has the intensity and hop level of a typical IPA.

O: Excellent. I had my first Alpha King immediately after an excellent Odd Side Ales CPA, and suspected it might pale (excuse me) by comparison. Well, it’s different, but similar in both sensory properties and quality. Glad I have 5 more! (876 characters)

Photo of dbrauneis
4.27/5  rDev 0%
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. (1,292 characters)

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

The beer pours a hazy dark gold color with a thick frothy white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is awesome. It has a solid malt aroma that boasts of pale, carapils, and crystal malts along with an intensely bitter citrus hop scent; very nice. The taste is great as well. It has a rich and smooth malty flavor that boasts of pale and crystal malts. It also has a very bitter hop taste that goes down easy and finishes hoppy. This is a good tasting beer. It is full of hops, but also well balanced. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a medium bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a damn fine beer. It is a tremendous drinker. This has got to be one of the all time greats. (686 characters)

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

Thanks to korguy123 for this one!

A: Pours a dark amber/copper with a chunky white head that dissipates down to a a small layer of bubbles on the top of the beer. Amazing lacing for the duration of this beer.

S: A lot of citrus and nice floral aroma. Also get some grapefruit and a hint of strawberries with some malt right at the end.

T: A really nice hop characteristic that plays well with a malt backbone. Very balanced between those two. Also get some lemon, a little caramel, and surprisingly a hint of mint.

M/D: Medium bodied and extremely drinkable. It may be one of the easiest beers to drink that I have ever had. This is a great beer and I need to get my hands on some more of it. (699 characters)

Photo of mothman
4.3/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into Sierra Nevada Tulip Pint Glass

Pours a 1/r finger of dark beige head. Retention not the best, nor the lacing. Color is an extremely hazed orange caramel brown.

Aroma: Initially, I get some caramel, then comes the hops and citrus. Pine and floral hops are well complimented with mango and peaches. Wow, this is really good coming from a Pale Ale. Almost gets a 4.5.

Taste: Right off the top I get the citrus and hop blend. Nice mango and peach flavor mixed in with a big pine flavor, backed up with some floral hops. Then the caramel malts come into play and balance things out a bit. For a pale ale. this deserves the 4.5 I am giving it.

Mouthfeel: Has a nice bite to it, but a little creamy from the malts. Somewhat balanced, but the hops are a bit dominate. Medium bodied along with a lower level of carbonation.Ends with a slight dry hoppy aftertaste.

Overall, this pale ale is great. I think it is really hard for a brewer to brew a pale ale that tastes very good, but FFF did a great job. This one went fast and even the family enjoyed a few samples. (1,074 characters)

Photo of Mora2000
4.12/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Pellinore1 for sending me this bottle. I had been wanting to try this for quite some time.

The beer pours an amber color with a white head. The aroma is heavy on the citrus hops with some bready malt and sugar notes.

The flavor is bread and oranges. The orange is both juicy and pithy and is very well done. Low bitterness.

Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. (380 characters)

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

Had this brew serveral times over the last year but only getting around to reviewing it now care of a bottle from adamb0719. Thanks Adam! Reviewed on 12/13/10.

Pours a perfectly clear amber color that depending on how you look at it, appears more ruby or orange colored depending on the angle. A yellowish tan head appears and clings around the edges. Patchy lace clings to the glass.

Aroma is fruity with citrus notes and a toasty caramel malt suggestion that is sweet like almost brown sugar through to the back. A little spicy and herbal with grassy notes. Lightly piney with a tingle of alcohol in the nose.

Taste is toasty caramel malt, moderate herbal hoppy bitterness that is clingy and almost grassy. A good ratio of sweet maltiness to hoppy bitterness. A lingering resinous hoppy aftertaste is enjoyable with a light musty character.

Light to medium in the feel with a modest amount of carbonation. Quite a bold, herbal hop character with toasty caramel to offset the bitterness. This is a very solid brew that is easy drinking. (1,041 characters)

Photo of Huhzubendah
4.35/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: This beer appears an orange sunburst color with a half inch of head. The head hangs out for a few minutes before leaving some decent lacing in its tracks.

S: The aroma consists primarily of hops with some citrus, followed by malt. This is more hop forward than is normal for a pale ale.

T: The beer tastes well balanced and full of flavor, with hops shining through.

M: Crisp and refreshing finish, with a solid carbonation level. An all around nice feel. Well done.

D: Really easy to drink. A great beer. (512 characters)

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

07/30/05- Received from a purchase at Archers Liquors.

Presentation- 12oz bottle with no dating. Poured into my Shipyard pint glass.

Appearance- Darker golden color. Nice 3/4 inch head and average lacing.

Smell- Huge and I mean huge grapefruit hops. That's about all I can detect because the hops overpower everything else.

Taste- Wow, this is one damn good Pale Ale. Starts off with a huge fruity blast of hops and finishes with a nice smooth semi dark malt flavor.

Mouthfeel- Moderate carbonation, heavier mouthfeel.

Drinkability- I actually felt some of the alcohol kick in at the end of the brew. Not sure if I could session more than a couple of these. But, an amazing hoppy pale ale that I would buy again in a second if I could get my hands on it out here. Hands down one of the top two or three Pale Ales I've had. Maybe the best. (857 characters)

Photo of woodychandler
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

LesleyH recently included this as an extra (!) in a box of CANs he was trading to me and my mouth flew open when I saw it. I have NO idea why I never reviewed it until now, but I am grateful for the opportunity.

From the bottle: "Alpha King is an American Pale Ale with a bold citrus hop character. We brew all our beers for our own demanding tastes. If you're unwilling to compromise on your beer, we urge you to try it."

My pour was as aggressive as Nick would have wanted, I am sure. I ended up with a finger-and-a-half of rocky tawny head with retention like a bad guest: it would not go away. Color was a deep coppery-amber with NE-quality clarity. Now, before I say, "BUPGOO!", imagine putting this in kids' hands ... How about a box of matches to go with? Even after all of that thinking and typing, the head was still hanging in, leaving behind the kind of lacing that will require a jackhammer to remove later. Nose had the kind of upfront hops intensity that seared my nostrils! Really, it was big on piney hops and underlain with caramel malt sweetness. This should be an air freshener, especially for my classroom. Mouthfeel was creamy, exploding with hops initially and then letting the malt get a chance. I amend my initial take on the mouthfeel to "oily". Man, they squeezed those hops for all that they were worth! Once more, I began to hear my Hops Monkey screeching for his Jones. F**k! I rue the day Victory Hop Devil touched my lips and sent me down the road to Perdition. I am a Hops Junkie, nay, a Hops Fiend and every time I wean myself off the hops, a beer comes along to pull me back in. Finish had the hops that I crave and although the malt tried to assert itself, I was focused on dem hops, baby. S**t, what can I hock in this dump and get some scratch? I need to be on the road, like tomorrow if not sooner, so I can score some more of this! Hey, man, is it normal to itch like this? My skin is crawlin'. Dig, my neighbor across the way deals in hops, so maybe I can cop a taste to hold me over. He lets me buy a pellet at a time, just to dissolve under my tongue. Yo, lemme get a hit of some Columbus or some Amarillo, bro. He's down, but I gotta hit the source (again). This tongue-poppin' bottle-swiilin' nonsense ain't makin' it. I gotta get a hit offa the tap, baby! (2,302 characters)

Photo of Gueuzedude
4.07/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours an amber color, quite clear except for a few large floaties. Forms a thin beige head that does not stick around too long. An immediate aroma of American hops wafts from my glass. Notes of lychee, grapefruit & other citrus fruits are in the nose, it smells slightly sweet & nectar like, there is a hint of caramel malt here as well. Ooh, quite bitter; this beer finishes with a drying intense bitterness. Overall this beer is only slightly sweet, it has a light body & is focused entirely on the hop component. The hops are over the top, but perhaps it is missing some hop flavor. There is lots of bitterness, but it feels like it is missing some balancing hop nectar flavor. Underlying the hop attack there seems to be some nuttiness, as well as some caramel notes. This beer is all about the hop attack, not much malt here, so if you don't like hops stay away. Luckily I do like hops so this beer is just fine. Perhaps a bit too unbalanced for an everyday drinking beer, but every once in a while is nice. (1,012 characters)

Photo of tdm168
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Dunn for bringing this one back from his travels.

A - pours copper with a soft, thin layer of pure white head that has decent retention

S - big bready malt, citrusy hop aromas

T - bready, citrusy, birthday cake-like sweetness

M - medium bodied, smooth, well carbonated

This is an awesome pale ale. It's big and malty with a nice, citrusy hop character that leads to superb balance. This is easy to drink and very enjoyable. I'm glad I have a few more of these to enjoy. (484 characters)

Photo of Gavage
4.35/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Clear amber / orange in color with a 1" head that produced some mild lacing. The aroma is very hoppy, which gets your tastebuds ready for the initial taste. The hops are all over this one, as malt and fruity tones balance this out well. This really leans towards the IPA scale with bitterness and bite, but doesn't go overboard.

The mouthfeel was smooth and the finish was too. The bitterness and fruitiness lasted a short while on the tongue. This was a medium bodied brew that had nice carbonation levels. Very drinkable and could easily be a session brew for any hophead. (578 characters)

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

12 oz. bottle,

A: Deep cloudy amber, with a thick white head which lasts the glass long.

S: Piney hops mostly, some citrus, but also toffee malts make an appearance, very balanced.

T: The taste is exceptional. This is by far my favorite American Pale Ale, as Tony Kornheiser would say - "That's it, that's the list!" I love Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, but this is its superior. Delicious pink grapefruit coats the tongue, with a perfect malt backbone to hold it together. Fabulous.

M: Chewy bitterness, citrus hops abound, that extra kick of hops at the end adds to its smoothness and helps keep its body together through the finish.

D: The greatest APA that i've tried so far, it's just a shame I can't get it very often, an American craft brewing classic. (768 characters)

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

12 ounce bottle, with no freshness dating. Pours dark auburn, cloudy and with a few chunks swirling around. Rich, creamy, tiny bubble head and leaving quality lacing. nose is richly, malty and resiny hop filled. Full bodied nectar. Citrus hops explode on the palate. Deeply flavorful. High quality brew,seek out and enjoy. Cheers! (330 characters)

Photo of billab914
4.38/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this one a few times now and it's always a a pleasure. I just got this one fresh in a shipment from Chicago and it's time to finally review it. Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Dogfish shaped pint glass. Pours amber, slightly reddish in color with a two finger white head. It had excellent head retention and laced all the way down the glass.

Aroma is hoppy with good amounts of citrus and pine and a little malt sweetness to back it up. Taste is hoppy like the nose with citrus, grapefruit and pine from the hops. it's not quite IPA hoppy but pretty close. There is also some malty and caramely sweetness to it that helps balance it out pretty nicely.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Drinkability is very good, I really enjoy this beer. This is pretty close to the perfect session beer for me. It's hoppy but not too hoppy and has a nice malt backbone. This would be a regular drinking beer for me if only I could buy it locally. (960 characters)

Photo of yourefragile
4.43/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

12 oz bottle from a fresh six pack acquired in a trade, poured into a nonic.

Haven't had this in over two years, or whenever I was last able to buy this in PA. I remembered loving this so I'm excited to see how my memory holds up. Pours a clear copper color with a massive rocky off white head that has great retention and impressive strings of clumpy lacing. Aroma is very rich, full of bready malt and grapefruit hops like an IPA, impressive balance. Hop bitterness grabs you from the beginning, unusual for an APA but is supported by a strong biscuit malt backbone and finishes slightly sweeter with smooth citrus hops. Medium thick body with moderate carbonation and a smooth dry finish result in a very hoppy, drinkable APA. Not quite as impressive as I remember, but still the class of APAs. (799 characters)

Photo of Mebuzzard
4.15/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a copper, hazy, amberish body. Head is huge, good retention.
Smell erupts with pine and hints of citrus. Smells like an IPA. Some toffee and malt can be detected as well.
Taste is a very crisp pine/citrus PA. The IPA smell is counteracted by the presence of malt and some rich yeast flavors just under the surface. Very delicate.
Feels a bit thin for an IPA, which is why this is a PA. Good drinking. Wish I had another (cool label) (441 characters)

Photo of smakawhat
4.41/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured on tap into a sampler 4 oz. taster at Pizza Paradiso Dupont. Way overdue for reviewing this one.

A good basic amber copper, with light light tan to off white color and leaving a solid collar. Good lacing on this drink while finishing, and fairly crystal clear very nice.

Aroma jumps out. Wonderful juicy orange with a nice sweetness. No hop bitterness noticeable, with a little white grass. It's very pleasant and inviting.

Palate is rich and full on first sip. Wonderful mix of mild wood hop and orange and tangerine citrus. Light hints of grapefruit with a spritzy hop feel and character. Palate is juicy matching the hinted bouquet.

Juicy. Full. Stupid easy to drink, and full of flavor. A great touch of juice and spicy finish quality. This is either way better on tap, or I had an old bottle cause this is nothing like I remember it.

Old review - bottle (4)(4)(3.5)(4)(3) ---

Poured into a pint glass resembling a really nice golden/brown color body that is clear. Cream off/white head with fairly tight bubbles and some minor visible carbonation. Real good head retention.

Standard bouquet but a good one. Simple citrus grapefruit with a sweetness and hop aroma. Very nice.

Upon drinking first comes a very hoppy front more in the standard of an American IPA, with a good finish. I keep forgetting this is suppose to be a pale ale but it sure doesn't feel like one. This is quite an okay drink but nothing here I would desperately want to have for an APA. (1,479 characters)

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

We're back to continue the Third Unorganized Invitational. Eight crazy nights in eight crazy beers, and Alpha King is #6 in the lineup. Is this the alpha of pale ales? On to the beer:

Pours rich copper into a pint glass, good clarity in the body, topped off by a creamy, one cm thick head which drops to a thin lacing on top. At first, the aroma is dominated by fresh hops. Eventually, it evens up to a mix of tropical fruit juice, caramel, bread, and some juicy hop leftovers.

The first thing I notice is the light mouthfeel when I was expecting something a little heavier. Maybe my judgement is clouded from drinking so many high ABV brews recently. At least there's no annoying carbonation. That's okay though, as long as it tastes good. Certainly more hop dominate, though not terribly unbalanced. The hops are herbal, juicy, citrusy, and resiny in this brew. Subtle biscuity notes pop up from time to time. This could pass as an IPA.

My first Three Floyds beer is a good one. But is this going to be enough to take the title of being the best in the T.U.I.? Only two more beers left, we'll resume tomorrow night. (1,122 characters)

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

Deep orange and garnet color. White lacing but no real head retention. Smells of sweet fruity malts with a touch of alcohol as it warms. Plain bitter taste with rich esters and malts. Bit a of caramel. Just the right carbonation and body here. Pretty tasty and easy drinking. Nicely balanced

I am, however, a little confused with this beer. It tastes very similar to Pride and Joy Mild and I wonder if it wasn't mislabeled. I bought a 6'er of P&J and found 2 Alpha King bottles in it. I figured someone had just pulled a switcharoo with a couple bottles from an Alpha King 6'er. Whatever, this is good beer. (610 characters)

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

12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass.

Appearance - Deep golden amber body that looks darker than it really is. That sounds strange, but when it pours it looks amber, but held up to the light, it's closer to a golden body. Nice white head, nice lacing. I expected this to be paler.

Smell - Floral and pine hops. Some citrus. Biscuit malts and some sweetness back it up. Interesting hop profile, but not over the top.

Taste - Hop flavor of predominantly pine up front, but it fades quickly to a toasty and slightly sweet malt base. The finish goes back to the pine hops and a slight earthiness. Not too bitter in the finish.

Mouthfeel - Heavy for an APA. Medium carbonation and slick on the tongue. The flavors hang around, but it feels just a bit sluggish.

Overall - Nice flavors, none over the top. Complex hop profile, even if it isn't in-your-face. Not really what I expected from such a high rated APA. In some ways, it's good that a beer as balanced as this is so highly rated on BA. But I'm not looking for balanced. As an American craft beer drinker, I want extreme everything. (1,090 characters)

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

I've had this a number of times but never had the occasion to review it. This review is based on a some I had on draft at the Map Room. Poured an orange/amber with a thin head that faded to a ring that stuck around. Smells of fruity apricot, cherry, a touch of rhubarb, with citrus as a top note. The taste is beautifully balanced and fruity,similar flavors as those found in the aroma, with cherry, vanilla, and citrus being especially pronounced. Nice hoppy bitterness in the finish. Mouthfeel is smooth, perfectly carbonated, a little rich. My absolute favorite session beer.I would have this around all the time if it were available in my area. (648 characters)

Photo of corby112
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From notes:

Pours a hazy, dark golden orange/amber color with a two finger frothy, pillowy off-white head that has excellent retention, only slowly fading into a lasting cap. Large chunks of soapy lacing are left coating the glass.

Sweet citrus hop aroma with hints of earthy pine and tropical fruit. Subtle malt backbone but the nose of this beer is all about the hops with lots of grapefruit, citrus peel, mango and pineapple.

Medium bodied and very hop forward for the style with a blast of bitter, earthy hops that are countered by sweet citrus presence and a subtle malt backbone. Hints of pine needle, grapefruit, citrus peel, mango and pineapple as well as a subtle biscuit/graham cracker flavor that provides nice balance. This beer is much closer to an IPA than a pale ale with lots of oily, resinous hop flavor and a nice dry finish. Complex, well balanced and extremely quaffable. Recommended. (908 characters)

Photo of weeare138
4.22/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appears a copper/amber with a two finger off white head that retains a foamlike state for more than a few minutes. Lacing is webbed through the glass with a chunky clinginess.
Smells of ripe grapefruit, sweet caramel malts, and a touch of pine.
Taste is of a beautiful mix of hops, malt, sugar, bitterness, and overall citrus that is so well blended that I'm not sure how this isn't really an IPA.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a swirl of citrusy hops that dominates the tastebuds but does not dare sting in the smooth, malty mix.
Drinkability is great. What 7.35%? Down at least 3 or 4 of these in one sitting with no problem. This doesn't even creep, it's just outright amazing for an APA....uh, make that the "King" of APA's.

Finger licking good. (758 characters)

Alpha King from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 1,719 ratings.