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Alpha King - Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub

Not Rated.
Alpha KingAlpha King

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
95
world-class

5,275 Ratings
THE BROS
93
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,275
Reviews: 1,684
rAvg: 4.26
pDev: 9.15%
Wants: 868
Gots: 604 | FT: 23
Brewed by:
Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub visit their website
Indiana, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Ale (APA) |  6.66% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
A bold yet balanced American Pale Ale with slight caramel sweetness and aggressive citrus hoppiness. This is our flagship beer.

68 IBU

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 07-23-2000)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,275 | Reviews: 1,684 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mendvicdog
3.75/5  rDev -12%

mendvicdog, Mar 23, 2013
Photo of Rifugium
4.29/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

First had: on tap at Washington House, Sellersville, PA

Yep, yep, the good ol' days when doozies like this were [legitimately] distributed to PA. Pours a hazy golden amber with a fluffy white head that retains well and leaves some nice lacing. Pleasantly hoppy aroma with lots of citrus and pale malts. Delightfully light on the palate, with a great balance of light, sweet malts, and crisp, citrus hops. Finishes crisp and just dry enough. Light-medium mouthfeel, and extremely drinkable.

Rifugium, Jul 03, 2011
Photo of MarkyMOD
4/5  rDev -6.1%

MarkyMOD, Apr 20, 2014
Photo of mdfb79
4/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From 6/2/10 notes. Had at a Three Floyds tasting at the Brickskeller in DC.

a - Pours a reddish amber color with one inch white head and light carbonation

s - Smells of citrus hops, grapefruit, pale bready malts, and some piney hops.

t - Tastes citrus hops, and smooth bready malts. Little bit of bitterness but not too much.

m - Medium body and low carbonation.

d - A good pale ale and another strong beer from FFF. Would try again.

mdfb79, Jun 08, 2010
Photo of beernads
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%

beernads, Jan 18, 2013
Photo of WesWes
4.43/5  rDev +4%
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.

WesWes, Jun 03, 2005
Photo of DrunkinYogi
4/5  rDev -6.1%

DrunkinYogi, May 13, 2012
Photo of Mora2000
4.1/5  rDev -3.8%
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.

Mora2000, Nov 17, 2010
Photo of jwc215
4.53/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to jcwattsrugger for this one!

Pours dark amber with a thin white head. Some lacing sticks.

The smell is of mega alpha hops - citric/piney/earthy/leafy. This is an APA?? Smells like an IPA - vey hoppy - and nicely done, to boot (to say the least).

The taste is citric/piney with balancing sweet malt (hoppy APA/more balanced IPA border). Some acidity. Rounded bitterness comes through in the finish.

The body is slightly thinner than expected - still, it's pretty chewy and medium bodied. Smooth.

A hop-head's version of a pale ale, for sure! And nicely done, Firm malt backbone keeps the hops tied in nicely. A goodie!

jwc215, Aug 22, 2008
Photo of Rochefort10nh
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%

Rochefort10nh, Nov 22, 2011
Photo of kojevergas
3.85/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Expections were very high given its reputation. I dig the label art. 12 fl oz bottle acquire for $6 at Hopleaf in Chicago and served into a pilsner glass. Reviewed from notes taken in March 2013.

A: Pours a one finger beige soft head of good cream and thickness, and very good retention. Body colour is a clear vibrant amber. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. Translucent. Well executed for the style.

Sm: Timid floral hops, light nectary hop character, and light hop oil. Pale malts. Very fresh; I pick up a hop nugget just smelling it. A mild strength aroma. No yeast character or alcohol is detectable.

T: Tropical bright fruit esters, floral hop character, light nectary character, and hop oil. Balanced, but the tropical fruit (banana, mango, perhaps passionfruit) doesn't suit the style or the build as well as it could. Evocative and tasty, but there isn't impressive depth of flavour here. Well executed and refreshing. Good pale malt body.

Mf: Smooth and wet. A bit oily. Good carbonation, if slightly overdone. Good presence on the palate.

Dr: Highly drinkable for the style. Hides its ABV well. I'd get it again. I can see why it's coveted; it's pretty good stuff. Mostly lives up to its reputation, but I wouldn't say I'm blown away by it. Solid for a pale ale. Another impressive beer from Three Floyds. I'd definitely get it again.

B+

kojevergas, Apr 04, 2013
Photo of Gueuzedude
4.05/5  rDev -4.9%
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.

Gueuzedude, Feb 04, 2004
Photo of drewone
4/5  rDev -6.1%

drewone, May 25, 2013
Photo of GClarkage
4.8/5  rDev +12.7%
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.

GClarkage, Jul 31, 2005
Photo of Halcyondays
4.72/5  rDev +10.8%
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.

Halcyondays, Jul 12, 2007
Photo of Gavage
4.38/5  rDev +2.8%
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.

Gavage, Jun 22, 2004
Photo of imperialking
4/5  rDev -6.1%

imperialking, Dec 19, 2011
Photo of yourefragile
4.45/5  rDev +4.5%
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.

yourefragile, Feb 27, 2010
Photo of orangesol
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%

orangesol, Jan 07, 2013
Photo of woodychandler
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
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!

woodychandler, Jul 03, 2011
Photo of duceswild
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%

duceswild, May 21, 2013
Photo of stakem
4.03/5  rDev -5.4%
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.

stakem, Jan 03, 2011
Photo of corby112
4.22/5  rDev -0.9%
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.

corby112, Feb 03, 2011
Photo of weeare138
4.2/5  rDev -1.4%
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.

weeare138, Jul 01, 2005
Photo of dbrauneis
4.26/5  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.

dbrauneis, Mar 31, 2014
Alpha King from Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub
95 out of 100 based on 5,275 ratings.