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Alpha King Pale Ale - Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub

Not Rated.
Alpha King Pale AleAlpha King Pale Ale

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

4,675 Ratings
THE BROS
93
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,675
Reviews: 1,664
rAvg: 4.27
pDev: 9.13%
Wants: 821
Gots: 399 | 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:
3 Floyd’s flagship beer, Alpha King is a big American pale ale that pours a deep amber with a creamy head. This ale is brewed with Centennial, Cascade, and Warrior hops giving it an intense citrus aroma and a crisp hoppy finish.

68 IBU

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 07-23-2000)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Alpha King Pale Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 4,675 | Reviews: 1,664 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Halcyondays
Halcyondays

California

4.72/5  rDev +10.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-12-2007 03:46:43 | More by Halcyondays
Photo of Gavage
Gavage

New Jersey

4.38/5  rDev +2.6%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

06-22-2004 00:48:41 | More by Gavage
Photo of mendvicdog
mendvicdog

Maryland

3.75/5  rDev -12.2%

03-23-2013 21:53:47 | More by mendvicdog
Photo of GClarkage
GClarkage

California

4.8/5  rDev +12.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-31-2005 18:28:05 | More by GClarkage
Photo of kojevergas
kojevergas

Texas

3.85/5  rDev -9.8%
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+

Serving type: bottle

04-04-2013 20:40:33 | More by kojevergas
Photo of beernads
beernads

Florida

4.25/5  rDev -0.5%

01-18-2013 05:38:53 | More by beernads
Photo of corby112
corby112

Pennsylvania

4.22/5  rDev -1.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-03-2011 08:15:44 | More by corby112
Photo of imperialking
imperialking

Illinois

4/5  rDev -6.3%

12-19-2011 05:05:11 | More by imperialking
Photo of weeare138
weeare138

Pennsylvania

4.2/5  rDev -1.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-01-2005 04:10:55 | More by weeare138
Photo of MarkyMOD
MarkyMOD

Colorado

4/5  rDev -6.3%

04-20-2014 04:29:48 | More by MarkyMOD
Photo of barleywinefiend
barleywinefiend

Washington

3.33/5  rDev -22%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a deep orange color with a small white head that disappeared rather quickly. Nose is sweet, malty, citrus and floral and pretty malty too. Taste is malty, some citrus and hop bite. Mouthfeel is ok. Malty, citrus and kind of blah. Nothing spectacular. Overall an average Pale for me.

Serving type: bottle

02-22-2009 04:18:33 | More by barleywinefiend
Photo of tempest
tempest

Pennsylvania

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.

Serving type: bottle

03-23-2006 00:12:06 | More by tempest
Photo of yourefragile
yourefragile

District of Columbia

4.45/5  rDev +4.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-27-2010 03:31:41 | More by yourefragile
Photo of akorsak
akorsak

Pennsylvania

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

A pint glass served at the Brewhouse Grille in Camp Hill, PA. The drinkability comments are the same as the original bottle review.

A: The pale ale is a deep amber, almost red color with a small ring of head and no indication of lacing.

S: The aroma is strong on hops, primarily a medicinal spicy element. The hops are bitter but not overwhelming.

T: The ale has a hop flavor that provides a strong citrus kick and are balanced nicely against the grainy malt body. The hops are grapefruity with just a hint of medicinal tartness.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is dominated by hops but not to the extreme of a dreadnaught.

Drinkability: The ale is quite drinkable and, in my mind, a restrained version of Dreadnaught.

Serving type: on-tap

03-18-2007 18:33:13 | More by akorsak
Photo of Billolick
Billolick

New York

4.22/5  rDev -1.2%
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!

Serving type: bottle

08-19-2004 11:41:09 | More by Billolick
Photo of rhoadsrage
rhoadsrage

Illinois

4.58/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

(Served in an American pint glass)

A-This beer pours a crystal clear golden copper with a gentle carbonation and a nice cream tan thin head.

S- The aroma is pure green floral hops. A bit of pine resin with more citrus but very fresh hops. A hint of sweet malt is hidden in the background

T- This beer has a very fresh hops taste with some grapefruit and citrus flavors that is bold but not overpowering with bitterness. It is gentle enough that you can taste the creamy sweet malt that is mostly pale malt. It the softness of a slight bit of wheat.

M-This has a medium full mouthfeel with some creaminess. There is no alcohol warmth or astringency. Very gentle.

D- This is a very subdued beer with a big hops flavor. It can compete with the hop monsters but still make a nice session beer. Very impressive.

Serving type: bottle

06-23-2005 04:00:59 | More by rhoadsrage
Photo of stakem
stakem

Pennsylvania

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.

Serving type: bottle

01-03-2011 19:20:44 | More by stakem
Photo of XmnwildX12
XmnwildX12

Minnesota

3.75/5  rDev -12.2%

12-13-2013 04:36:27 | More by XmnwildX12
Photo of Zorro
Zorro

California

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

12 Oz bottle Sampled through the efforts of SS 05 BIF and Meathookjones.

Pours a chill hazed copper to red colored ale with a good off white head.

Smell is very hoppy with a tart edge to it like a SNPA. Mild citrus and pine aromas with a slight soapy edge to it.

Taste is mild with almost nothing but caramel and slight astringent bitterness in the first taste. Very subtle flavors here, caramel and butter glide like a ghost across your tongue while the herbal bitterness dries out the palette just leaving a slight woody after taste.

Mouthfeel is good.

Quite a hoppy brew but it is so smooth that you almost wonder if you really are drinking something milder. Very subtle and easy to drink beer that will satisfy the hophead and the Macro drinker equally well.

Serving type: bottle

01-01-2006 04:51:05 | More by Zorro
Photo of woodychandler
woodychandler

Pennsylvania

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!

Serving type: bottle

07-03-2011 22:01:11 | More by woodychandler
Photo of orangesol
orangesol

Pennsylvania

4.25/5  rDev -0.5%

01-07-2013 16:29:25 | More by orangesol
Photo of dbrauneis
dbrauneis

North Carolina

4.26/5  rDev -0.2%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

03-31-2014 02:53:24 | More by dbrauneis
Photo of DoubleJ
DoubleJ

California

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.

Serving type: bottle

06-07-2009 04:48:31 | More by DoubleJ
Photo of Georgiabeer
Georgiabeer

Georgia

4.8/5  rDev +12.4%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

01-13-2008 00:33:44 | More by Georgiabeer
Photo of DrunkinYogi
DrunkinYogi

Connecticut

4/5  rDev -6.3%

05-13-2012 13:01:31 | More by DrunkinYogi
Alpha King Pale Ale from Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub
95 out of 100 based on 4,675 ratings.