Alpha Kong | 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

very good
136 Reviews
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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

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Reviews: 136 | Ratings: 356
Photo of Phyl21ca
2.53/5  rDev -36.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Bottle courtesy of iconoklaztor: Poured a deep copper color ale with a small foamy head with minimal retention and no lacing. Aroma of sweet malt is totally dominating. Taste is also dominated by sweet malt with some candi sugar notes. I couldn't detect any fruity ester or dry fruits elements or even some toffee notes. The whole taste spectrum is dominated by sweet malt. Medium body with low carbonation and no apparent alcohol. I thought this was really one-dimensional and would have expected some complexity- I don't get why this is arte so high.

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Photo of spacecake9
2.71/5  rDev -32.1%
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 shbobdb
2.81/5  rDev -29.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This beer is certainly a technical accomplishment, but like a lot of technically difficult beers (such as: Bud/Miller/Coors Light, Triple Bock, 120 Minute Ale, ect.) it isn't terribly interesting to drink.

The beer pours a deep red-gold, with almost no head. What little head there is, manages to form a nice right around my chalice, but I can't say I'm terribly impressed.

The beer's smell is awkward. It is as though it can't decide whether it wants to be a Tripel or a weizen, so it splits the difference. Lots of clove, candy-corn, banana, and a hefty dose of booze.

The beer's taste maintains the awkward medley found in the nose, but a deep honey is added to it. That's it. Just honey. A blast of alcohol prevents the beer from beng cloyingly thick, but it is still quite sweet.

The mouthfeel is neither thin nor thick. That strange Belgian neither-nor. I don't much care for it myself, but I can't penalize it for being vaguely in-style. But it is "in-style" in the way a lot of American Belgians are, that is to say, a vaguely offensive mockery of the real thing.

Drinkability. Well, overall this beer tastes like a lot of sub-par American tripels. You know, they have a strong yeast presence, are overly sweet, and don't really come together. It isn't a terrible beer, but at around $20 a pop, I really wouldn't recommend it except for the most die-hard Tripel fan.

I mean, I get it. We have massively malty beers like British Barleywines. Those have been pushed to the extreme, right? We also have massively hoppy beers. Those have also been pushed to extremes, right? We also have yeasty beers that have been pushed to extremes, Tripels and Quads are those beers. But FFF decided that they were less of an "extreme" form of brewing and more the norm, so they would supersize them. Why? It is like an Octoplebock. Why?

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Photo of 4thFloyd
2.86/5  rDev -28.3%
look: 5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

A cloudy deep golden orange color with a thin off-white to tan head. The aroma was subtle with little hops detected and slightly sweet with a little more of the cardamon. The flavor was dominated by the cardamon. I found it difficult to pick up much fruitiness or hoppy bitterness. Just too much spice that overwhelmed the other flavors. Heavy body with little alcohol and good smoothness. Minimal bitterness and no aftertaste. I was excited to get a bomber but was disappointed in this one.

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Photo of mfnmbvp
2.88/5  rDev -27.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

22 oz. bottle, bottled on date is smeared but appears to read 07/13/2015. Acquired a bottle of this stuff from the local bottle shop for $17.99 - not exactly a steal at that price.

Poured into a Duvel tulip glass.

A - Pours a very murky cloudy orange body. A finger or so of frothy quickly fading white head that leaves good thin spindly strands of lace behind. Looks very nice.

S - This is where the beer starts to lose me: a syrupy, malty sweetness meets a very overpowering spice rack note that resembles rosemary or thyme (it's the cardamom, I've learned after reading). Subtle notes of brown sugar. Lots of hot boozy alcohol fumes.

T - Oh wow, what the hell am I drinking? Extremely hot & boozy alcohol fumes. Sweet indistinct maltiness. Overpowering herbal spice rack notes (cardamom). The hot booze fumes seem to dominate. This is pretty awful.

M - Thick & syrupy. Hot & boozy. Full-bodied, with thick carb. Hard to drink at all, much less enjoy.

Overall, this was awful. It became more tolerable as it warmed, but the flavor profile was just all around messy and unenjoyable.. Extremely disappointing; probably the worst beer I've had from Three Floyds. Not worth $9.99 a bomber, much less the near 20 dollars I spent on this. It will be a chore to finish this glass, and I sure as hell won't finish this bottle alone. I'd seriously like my money back on this one. Avoid avoid avoid.

Three Floyds Alpha Kong -----2.5/5

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Photo of ncvbc
2.91/5  rDev -27.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Ruby amber, clear in color. Slowly rising carbonation somewhat thin head that falls to a ring. Looks nice. Smell is strong of spice and candi sugar. Not too bad but a bit sweet overall. Taste has a good variety of flavors but is somewhat hot and again, sweet. Clove, coriander, orange, pear, apple, honey, caramel, some brown sugar, and lightly toasted bread. A lot going on but just out of balance and overwhelming. Not one of my favorites within the style, though it is quite unique. Lightly creamy in the mouth with a bit of heat and slight dryness. Not so drinkable. Huge monster of a beer, which isn't really necessary here. A struggle to even drink half a bottle of this, compared to others that I could drink a 750ml bottle of because they're more approachable. An interesting beer, for sure. Overall, not one I think I'll return to.

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Photo of brentk56
2.94/5  rDev -26.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Pours a clear amber color with hardly any foam; after a minute, it settles down and looks like a liqueur rather than a beer

Smell: Bubblegum, banana, fig and candi sugar on the plus side; on the negative side, lots of alcohol and a hint of acetone

Taste: Candi sugar dominates the front end of this beer, with a developing bubblegum and fig flavor; by mid-palate, the alcohol starts to dominate; after the swallow, the fusel alcohol overwhelms the rest of the flavors

Mouthfeel: Full bodied and sticky; no carbonation but a lot of warmth

Drinkability: With this beer the Floyds have ventured into terra icognita; they should have stayed at home

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Photo of srletend
3/5  rDev -24.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: clear blonde, moderate head
S: spicy, no hint of Belgian yeast
T: light, spicy from the cardamon, not too much Belgian flavor
O: good, but average

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Photo of merlin48
3.07/5  rDev -23.1%
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 RustyDiamond
3.13/5  rDev -21.6%
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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Photo of TheBlackMallard
3.15/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

From the super huge trade I did with ThomasHardy.

Pour orange with a small white head.

Smell: Bananas, Alcohol, Brown Sugar

Taste: Bananas, Maple Syrup, warming alcohol finish. Not bad but not amazing. Finishes sweet, carbonation is very low.

The label is probably the best thing about this beer.

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Photo of hoody711
3.15/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A - into a FFF tulip. Great-looking beer. Beautiful blood orange, great head, sticky lacing. Very nice.

S - is that the cardamon? Some sugary sweetness. I don't know. Smells very different. Boozy at the end.

T - malty sweetness and spice overpower. I'm not a huge fan. That phrase in a 3 Floyd's review makes me :(.

F - creamy and full, really nice. Alcohol astringency at the end.

O - It's okay. Great-looking beer that just doesn't deliver for me on the nose or the tongue. Definitely a sharer.

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Photo of cartdan
3.27/5  rDev -18%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served in a tulip glass.

Pours a reddish brown with low carbonation. Thin white head that fades quickly. Smells of banana / pear with the surprising smell of finger nail polish.

First taste is sweet, with a good deal of alcohol warmth. Right away I can tell that this beer needs more carbonation. The bottle was clearly overfilled, so I wonder if this was just a problem with the bottle that I got.

This beer is too big for it's own good. It seems like there are a lot of good flavors there, but they are dominated by the alcohol. Mouthfeel is heavy, perhaps enhanced due to the my sample being under carbonated.

Overall, I was dissapointed in this offering from Three Floyds. I expect their beers to be big, but this one was way over the top in my opinion.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.33/5  rDev -16.5%
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 NoYouDidnt
3.33/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 5 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.75

Poured into tulip glass. Looks good. Amber color nice head. Smells okay. Sweet aroma, and even like grassy sweetness. Tastes pretty okay NYD. Real similar to the smell. No bad aftertaste. It’s weird not having the Three Floyds smell and taste that all the IPAs and pale ales all have (which are pretty well the same color) so that’s a little surprising. Overall, this is not really up your alley too much. Nice to try, but maybe pick something else up.

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Photo of Westsidethreat
3.35/5  rDev -16%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Really low level carbonation, leaving only a fine light beige film across the top of the glass. Body is ruby saffron color, very pristine.

S: Cherry, vanilla, banana. Medicinal qualities to it.

T: Begins with loads of cherry; cordial, vicks and maraschino. Very liquer like and syrupy with esters or tangerine, peach and absolute loads of banana. Marshmallow crème plays a part, asserting itself between the fruity flavors. Tastes like some brett as the peach yogurt as really kicking. Overall the yeast is totally strong and lending a serious hand in the flavor. Malt and sugar intertwine and become one and the same, totally unidentifiable from one step to the next. Deeply rich and complex and almost sickenly sweet. Finishes with tropical flavors all over the mouth with butterscotch, caramel and honey mixed in.

M: Full bodied and syrupy.

M: Bit too much for me. Perhaps with some age on it this beer will be drinkable, but right now its just simply too much. Too sweet, too syrypy.

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Photo of weeare138
3.37/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Courtesy of axilla at the after Kennett dinner...
Appears a hazy orange with a small with a small white head that quickly fades out. Spotty lacing is left around the glass.
Smell is of peach, bananas, lots of brown sugar, and caramel all over the place.
Taste mimics the aromas but it's just too darn sweet to enjoy. It's cloying up front and in desperate need of aging like a fresh wine.
Mouthfeel is estery, super hot of alcohol burn, med-full bodied, with evident abv from the get-go, and some hot spices in there as well. I think this one just needs time...lots of it.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
3.43/5  rDev -14%
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 TurdFurgison
3.45/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle generously shared by smithm1970 at the last Jackie O's release. Very happy to try it, I traded away the only bottle I had last year...

This is a murky golden color, off white foam. Strong aroma, really strong, with toffee and "imperial hefeweizen" notes. Bubblegum and clove, esters, maybe an imperial hefeweizen with Belgian yeast. And alcohol, lots of alcohol.

Caramel and toffee, loads of ethanol, a tasty sipper. Maybe imperial hefeweizen is inaccurate here, more of a Belgian barleywine/hefe. There's a lot going on, threatening to become a mess, sometimes stepping over the line but mostly staying reasonably tasty.

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Photo of JackieTH
3.47/5  rDev -13%
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 kmeves
3.52/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a very clear amber with minimal head. Aroma of cloves, some citrus, spicy yeast and alcohol. Flavor is a little medicine-y and full of alcohol (light banana and citrus as well). Full bodied and creamy, long fruity finish. Somewhat of a new direction for 3F.

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Photo of FtownThrowDown
3.53/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

If there were ever a beer with a more appropriate name it would be this one.
On tap at the brewpub. Pours a dark ruby in color. Smell is cloyingly sweet. And when I mean sweet, I mean sweet. My teeth began to hurt just at the smell of this beer. Very different and interesting take on this style. Very sweet, with some banana and dark fruits in the taste. Huge and full on the mouthfeel. One glass is just about too much. I also bought a bomber this weekend and it will have to be shared, too much to drink by oneself.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.58/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

this one was a little too aggressive for even me, the belgian yeast has just run away with the thing, its incredibly bitter from the hops, but also has a high degree of residual sugar from the malts, its intense on all fronts, and although there might be some really really heavy balance somewhere in here, its a little lost on me. it seems a bit more like a kitchen sink project, and i have never been a huge fan of stuff like that. a brass to crimson color, depending upon which type of light i hold it up to, pretty enough in the glass, not viscous or anything, hardly showing signs of its flavor intensity at all. red malts and belgian yeast up front in the nose and taste, sweet like molasses, a little nutty, and then spicy and bubblegummy from the yeast, very strong alcohol too. the hops come in a little later on, bitter and a little harsh, vegetal, and enormous. i know this is the kind of beer that has these guys so famous, but this one doesnt make as much sense on the palate as their best stuff, and i would not order this one again. even a small pour was a lot to get through for me...

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Photo of kundabuffer
3.59/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Many people have mentioned bananas in describing the flavor, and I will confirm this again. It's uncanny...I wouldn't be surprised if bananas were an actual ingredient. I would also second the opinion that the beer is too low in carbonation. Without enough carbonation, the sweetness of this beer too easily penetrates. Still, the alcohol content is VERY well masked and the beer becomes more palatable as it warms (I would recommend leaving it out of the fridge for awhile before even opening it)...or maybe I'm just saying that because I'm rather drunk after finishing 4/5 of the bottle. An interesting brew. As usual with these "special" 3F beers it is much, much too expensive, but I may try it again one day....

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Photo of AaronHomoya
3.6/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle filled nearly to top - seemed strangely overfilled compared to ever other bottle of beer I've had. Don't know what's up with that.

Red/auburn color with decent head that fades to nothing. Very little carbonation.

Aroma is sweet with caramel and rocky candy smells. Somewhat medicinal aroma.

Taste is very sweet with clove, spices, peppery alcohol and medicinal notes. Improves and smooths out as it warms with toffee and apple flavors becoming more apparent.

Rich, hugely thick mouthfeel. Somewhat syrupy when combined with the low carbonation.

Drinkability is only so-so, as it's an interesting beer but too sweet and thick and boozy for mass consumption.

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Alpha Kong from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
3.99 out of 5 based on 356 ratings.
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