Alpha Kong | 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

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Alpha KongAlpha Kong
367 Ratings
Alpha KongAlpha Kong

Brewed by:
3 Floyds Brewing Co.
Indiana, United States

Style: Belgian Strong Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
A super fruity, dry hopped, Belgian sextuple, with notes of cardamon.

70 IBU

Added by orbitalr0x on 03-13-2005

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 367 |  Reviews: 137
Reviews by RustyDiamond:
Photo of RustyDiamond
3.13/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured into an Ommegang stem, with no best-by date on bottle. Pretty reddish-brown with 1 finger of off-white head. Aromas of hot alcohol and mucho banana. I could taste all of the 15% waves of alcohol blended sharply with a lot of banana flavor. I guess this IS Alpha Kong...not impressed.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of Hopheadjeffery
3.84/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tasted in a Teku glass from a 1 ppt 6 fl oz bottle on August 15, 2015. Look is cloudy deep orange, thick initial head and nice lingering lacing. Smell is cardamom, with hints of orange blossom, some citrus fruit, caramel and cake. Taste is cardamom, with hints of citrus and tropical fruit, and caramelized banana. Feel is medium to full bodied with a dry finish.

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Photo of JackieTH
3.47/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Rusty orange appearing brew with a faded off-white foam cap that set up initially fading to a skein leaving sheets of lacing. Smells of ginger, cloves and cinnamon or perhaps that's the cardamon speaking yes I do believe that's cardamon. Taste is..daunting. A blast of ginger initially fading into a rather intense marmalade like fruitiness, with cardamon notes, cloves and other spices. There is a distinct and powerful boozy alcohol presence pressing in around the edges of the palate. There is some sweetness but the ginger flattens it. Nonetheless you know this is a big beer. Medium heavy body with mild carb. Lingering spicy gingery finish. Alpha Kong. Quite an adventure, all over the map really, lost and reveling in its own complexity. Eighth wonder of the world indeed.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.33/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

At the intersection where Belgian-style quadruple ale meets American barleywine, this kitchen sink of a beer does it all- sweet, bitter, spicy, fruit and hot are all on the table and in equal display. While some will say "balanced" others will cry "messy".

Burnish blood orange with a strong tinge of rust, the ale's fruit juice appearance is hazy and visually dense. A creamy and thick blanket of foam carries a complicated scent- cherry, fig, date, dried apricot, bruised peach, spiced pear, rose wine and apple cider are just the start of the show while its cakey malts slather on the sweetness with caramel, brown sugar and buckwheat honey.

A kaleidoscope of flavors explode on the tongue. Rich malt flavors are persistent and robust while the boisterous orchard, tropical and melon fruits resists any fade to dryness or lightened fatigue. Its spicy rebuttal evokes Christmas-type of flavors: cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, clove, peppercorn and spruce equal the fruit and score the late palate with its peppery potpourri.

Long, sweet and spicy, the beer never quivers or waivers as those layers of flavor keep building and complicating the taste the deeper the taste transpires. Its massively full body is weighted and desert-like and never allows any dryness to develope to lessen any fatigue on the palate. With an aftertaste of christmas candles and cough drops on the finish, the ale is simply begging for a decade of age. Must cellar with care.

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Photo of mynie
3.9/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This was a strange, personal whale.

I went to the 3 Floyds brewpub a few days after it opened. That was my first trip--I never made it to the old growler station thing that the pub replaced. Alpha Kong was on tap, but I started with a Drunk Monk. Then I ordered an Alpha Kong and was told sorry, we just kicked it.

Then they stopped making it entirely for nearly a decade. A lesser, smarter man wouldn't have cared, seeing as how there's like 2000 good American beers now and AK wasn't ever held in particularly high regard. But me... I'm spiteful. I could have been The Guy Who Drank the Last Ever Alpha Kong. Only instead I went with the hefe, like a jerk.

Now, it turns out that I was wrong. I went to the pub in December of 05. You could still apparently find AK up until 08. Whatever. The mystique still remained. The fact that I had squandered even more opportunities to sample it was all the more infuriating.

So it was with not small amount of excitement that I made this my first selection of a recent trip to the Floyds. And it was entirely okay.

I honestly would have pegged it for a British Barleywine. The front end was pleasantly, strongly sweet and hoppy, and it got gradually more bitter until the end. It wasn't too alcoholic, as some have noted, so much as it was just too sweet in a manner that was all too common with old school barleywines. Compared to, say, JW Lee's, this is actually quite well balanced. But overall it's not most of our respective cups of tea.

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Photo of don1481
4.23/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

22 oz bomber poured into tulip.

Appearance: Hazy dark amber pour with an eggshell head that slowly dissipates and leaves a thick lacing on the glass.

Smell: Hops, hops, and... is that a faint hint of bananas?

Taste: that's an awful lot of hops. Good amount of maltiness, too.

Mouthfeel: slightly bitter aftertaste.

Overall: Sipper, for sure. Should get me through the debate tonight.

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Photo of tectactoe
3.5/5  rDev -12.5%

Photo of orbitalr0x
4.25/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Alpha Kong Belgian Style Strong Ale, labeled as a Sextupel, sampled on-tap at Three Floyds on 3-12-05. Comes off the tap with a big viscous pour that leaves a nice big dark amber body with a khaki head on top. Aromas of some sweet candi sugar, nice yeasty profile and hints of banana and light fruits.

First sip brings a big blast of maltiness along with banana flavors and hints of fruit. Belgian yeast with a big full flavor that coats the palate. A hint spicy and well balanced overall. The 15% is incredibly well hidden in the flavor. Quite an interesting departure from the big hoppy brews for Three Floyds.

Mouthfeel is thick and creamy...big and bold. This was served as a half pint...and rightfully so...the alcohol is deceptive and one could easily go over the edge drinking this. Three Floyds doesn't fail to impress...check this out if you happen to stop by the brewery.

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

Photo of merlin48
3.07/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Bomber pours a radiant pumpkin orange body that almost looks like iodine. Small almond head quickly falls to a cap with a few flecks of lace. Aroma is bubble gum, creamed bananas, and airplane glue. Very phenolic. Medium body, restrained carbonation, and an intense alcohol burn. Whoa! This is hot. Taste is a bit fusel. Candy sugar, green pears, faint bananas, and dominant alcohol. This is remarkable for being the first Three Floyds brew I don't like. This one is an alcohol bomb.

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Photo of ohmybock
4.36/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I just picked this one up in Chicago at $16.99 for a 22oz bomber...ouch! A little voice inside my head kept saying, "don't waste your money", but I went ahead and bought one anyway. (I love hoppy beers, but I haven't been too excited about the other hoppy, and/or high-gravity, and/or expensive 3F beers I've purchased.) Additionally, I had previously read some reviews about this one which made me think I might not like it.

Well...It turns out I like this one a lot!

The first thing I noticed was that there was very little "phhhitt" when I popped the cap. Carbonation is low with this bad boy. That’s too bad because more carbonation would certainly help cut the thickness of this brew and improve it. Next, I noticed the aroma which heavily consists of spices (think clove) and bananas. The aroma (and the taste) remind me somewhat of a potent German wheat beer. However, AK is much thicker and sweeter than any German wheat beer I’ve had. Could this be a quadruple weizenbock? If you like the flavors found in weizenbiers or weizenbocks, try this one. There’s a nice, clear, amber color to the beer, but there’s no head (which corresponds with the low carbonation). There’s a bit of hot alcohol character mixed in with the flavor along with an alcohol bite in the finish, but for a beer of this strength, it’s surprisingly least in small sips. The malt and spiciness dominate in this brew with hops taking an almost indistinguishable backseat. I read some other reviews that claimed this beer is sweet and syrupy. That’s somewhat true, but it’s not as over-the-top sweet as a fresh Samichlaus, Thomas Hardy, or JW Lees Harvest (none of which I like when they’re fresh), and it’s nothing like the sickly-sweet Beast Grand Cru and Samael from Avery which went down my drain. However, AK does remind me a bit of Avery’s Reverend, but with a more evident alcohol character and burn. Even though AK is on the "sweet side", I still find it totally drinkable as it stands today. Still, if there was more carbonation, this beer would be even better.

Well, it’s nice to see something quite different being produced by 3F and also something that I (surprisingly) enjoyed a lot. I still think the price doesn’t fit the contents of the bottle, but unlike most other high-priced 3F beers I’ve had, I might actually revisit this one in the future. Until then, I’ll be content drinking The Reverend at 1/3 the price of AK.

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Photo of Cynic-ale
3.23/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Photo of jeonseh
4.32/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at 3F brewpub on 1/10/08.

A- a deep golden amber/orange color that represents maybe what I would call a bronze. The color itself was rather attractive but there was really no head on it at all. I am beginning to think that the lack of head is a feature of on tap beers at 3F. It seems that they try to max the amount of beer in the glass so they give you no head. I think they should just buy bigger glasses n give us some more foam.

S - Super fragrant. The smell is a ton of large notes of mango/banana and clove. Very sweet smelling and hard to not notice the sweetness of this brew. Love how the smell just comes off of it so that there is not a huge struggle to tell if there is anything there at all.

T- A sextuple and with that comes some super sweetness that at first hits the tongue. Tastes a lot like a candied banana dipped in caramel and mango sauce. It actually also kinda had the taste of your normal pink bubble gum too. After this shocking sweetness, the beer becomes a bit spicy and almost think that I taste some pepper in it. Also, can definitely taste the warm alcohol in this one which is expected given the high ABV. However, don't find this overpowering at all but instead think that it actually adds something to the beer that is a bit necessary to offset the sweetness. A very big beer and pretty good overall the only downside would be that it is kinda sweet.

MF - very sticky in the mouth at first with a low amount of carbonation that comes in later as the flavors and warming character of the alcohol hits the mouth. I think that the mouthfeel matches the character of the flavor and I really like when a beer does that. Also, the higher alcohol flavors leaves the mouth with a warming, numbing character to the mouth.

D - A very good beer on the whole but I definitely could not drink more than one beer. The high alcohol of this one and the super sweetness makes it such that I could never really have more than one of these guys. This is definitely a beer that pushes the limits but it does so in a way that makes it good and not overbearing. Another quality beer from 3F.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
3.43/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

1year old 2007 brew
(Served in a tulip glass)
A- This beer has a crystal clear golden-reddish body with a slow carbonation of tiny bubbles and butter cream colored head that last for a bit.

S- Smell is circus peanuts, ether,dried apricots with faint notes of pears and caramel apples as it warms finish has a hint of cheese.

T- taste of soft fruit hints with a bigger sweetness that increase as the beer warms. There is a big boozy flavor that has a hint of red wine that lead to a bigger alcohol bite in the finish.

M- This beer has a light crisp fizz to the medium mouthfeel and a big alcohol burn.

D- The aroma has improved a bit but this beer is still a hot alcohol bomb with a big sweetness. There was no sediment in the bottom so I don't think this beer has any hope of aging out any of the heat.
(Served in a tulip glass)

A- This beer has a reddish-brown body with a big carbonation of big bubbles in a crystal clear body. There is a thin off-white film that soon fades to a few bubbles around the rim.

S- The big smell of banana is followed by a big fusel smell of fingernail polish remover. There is a soft note of circus peanuts and a laffy-taffy quality to the bananas.

T- The big taste of bananas has a bit of clove spice and caramel malt to follow. There is a big fusel alcohol flavor that covers all other flavors. There is a soft caramel note and white sugar hint along with the circus peanuts hint.

M- This beer has a medium-light mouthfeel with a big fusel alcohol heat that burns down the throat after each sip. There is a thin texture to the mouthfell also.

D- This beer has a big, huge hot fusel quality to every aspect of this beer. I like a big boozy beer but this is to much. The flavors buried underneath are quite nice and I will give this beer another shot in a year and two.

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Photo of mgwagman
4.76/5  rDev +19%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

22 Oz bomber. If I were choose a type of beer this is it. Pours a light orange to yellow. Excellent lacing. Smell is lemon, orange, banana, and cereal. Goes down easy. This is more of summer type beer. Pricey for the bomber $18-$22 her in Chicago, but well worth it.

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Photo of acurtis
4/5  rDev 0%

Photo of Hubert_i
4.05/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Indy_Josh2
3.63/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
3.92/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

22 oz. bottle > Chimay goblet

This is a vibrant, deep clover honey color with red and oranges hues. Mesmerizing tiny bubbles stream to the top in perfect single-file lines to create an 1" tan colored crown that falls very fast and pretty much evaporates.

amazingly sweet nose, candied fruit's in the malt, sugar coated dates with spicey wheat. Very pleasant. Assorted berries, clover honey, ripe red grapes and....yep, gummy worms. Big, boozy, vodka-like heat.

This is a serious attack on the palate. Massive full bodied malt slickness with a sugar daddy-sweetness and the biggest candied fruit flavor ever in a beer; it's like driniking a bag sugar coated dates and rainsins. The yeast is herbal and earthy with a slight hint of hops. Clover, honey and a tart bitterness...then comes the deep, warming heat that you can feel all the way down. A smokey wood finish and a lingering mostly bitter earthiness gets mellowed out as the temprature goes up. It get's even boozier as it mellows but it's full, thick body feel makes it work.

This thing is a real experience, I actually finished the 22 oz's myself and I was pretty buzzed half way through! Watch out, it's a hefty, intense buzz after the bottles gone. "Sex Tupple" indeed!

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Photo of zachpaschal
3.76/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Just way too boozy for me. I was disappointed as I had high high expectations for this one. Wish I would have tried it at the Sun King Fishers opening for only $5 vs. paying $15 for a bomber.

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Photo of Sammy
3.89/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

Photo of PBRmeasap1980
3.85/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A- Orangish
S- Spices and candied belgium sugar
T- Booze and agressive christmas like spices.
F- Medium
O- At about a year old, this feels more agressive than it did when it first came out.

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Photo of spacecake9
2.71/5  rDev -32.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

A - This beer looks great. Dark golden color, big pillowy head, looks so creamy.
S - Aroma is a bit different. After reading figured it must be the cardamon.
T - This is where they lost me. I've never tasted a beer like this and I assume it must be the cardamon. Way too much cardamon, overpowers everything.
M - It is nice and creamy, great feel.
O - I'm a big fan of 3 Floyds and Belgian strong ales but this one did not work for me.

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Photo of dirtylou
3.77/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

22oz bottle, obtained from the brewery about 16 months ago, shared with a few during the nfl playoffs

appearance: poured into a pint glass, clear amber body with virtually no head...darker than you would expect from the style with a lot less lace - this beer certainly streches past the boundaries of the style

smell: strong alcohol, buttery biscuit, candied sugars, honey, sweet caramel, cinnamon and spice, brown sugar, yeast

taste: candied sugar, brown sugar, heavy dosage of booze, buttery. Sweet and fruity - apple, passion fruit, banana and peach. thick malt core with a fiery alcohol presence. this bomber would be near impossible to consume in its entirety without some assistance - interesting but off-style and a bit over the top

mouthfeel: smooth but fiery

drinkability: rough stuff

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Alpha Kong from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4 out of 5 with 367 ratings