Welcome to BeerAdvocate!

Looking to talk, rate or trade beer? Join today by creating your free account.

Dismiss Notice
Curious about recent updates to the site and app? Check the Announcements forum for updates.
Dismiss Notice
Love Belgian Beer?

Join us Sep 17 in Portland, Maine for Return of the Belgian Beer Fest, featuring hundreds of authentic Belgian beers and Belgian-inspired offerings.

Tickets + more: beeradvocate.com/belgian

Alpha Kong | 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

very good
133 Reviews
no score
Send samples
Alpha KongAlpha Kong

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

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

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 133 | Ratings: 347
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.

 840 characters

Photo of Redwood21
4.07/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thank you again Scubarex for this fantastic brew in my SS BIF box

A: the head just does not exist which for me is disappointing but at 15% not surprising the body is a very turbulent hazy sunrise of a color. almost like wet hay and straw.

S: the smell is a bit sweet and syrupy, almost cloying, but not bad. there is definitely that cough syrupy sorta aroma, but not so over powering that it dominates the whole show

T: there is a certain sugary sweetness that like the aroma is syrupy in taste but less viscous on the finish there is an apparent malt and caramel backbone that is pushed back by the almost candied fruit taste, most noticeably is the green apple and a prune or raisin taste.

M/D: one think i will have to say, is at 15% you would expect this beer to be a bit of a bear, but its not overly boozy and is really easy on the finish. it has that dried and sugared fruit thing going on, but that's fine and if it is your thing you will love this beer

 967 characters

Photo of dirtylou
3.77/5  rDev -5.5%
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

 798 characters

Photo of dukedevil0
3.68/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Picked up a bomber from Lush Wine and Spirits in Roscoe Village in Chicago, IL.

A: Pours a dark orangy red color with a very little white colored head that reduces to almost nothing. Some lacing on the glass while drinking.

S: acidic, citrousy, alcoholic aromas with some banana too

T: Definitely a big kick in the mouth when drinking this. Tastes similar to the smell with some rye/piney flavors in there too, but that might just be the bite from the alcohol. I get more used to the intensity as I drink it and I like it more either as it warms or as I get acclimated to the flavor, not sure which.

M: Like I said, a kick in the mouth. Very stingy/bitey. Slightly warming from the alcohol. Full bodied.

D: I didn't really fall in love with this beer and being able to taste the high ABV has this low on the drinkibility meter for me.

 840 characters

Photo of Wetpaperbag
4.04/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- A Dark golden copper color, almost the color of apple juice. The head is very non-existent. Wow I would say sparkling apple juice or something to what this looks like mostly. This isn't normal Belgian Strong Pale Ale look.

S- I can smell clove, honey, and apples. I don't know if the apple juice look has got me hooked on apples or what, but I'm smelling them. I'm also, for the first time, getting the pink bubble gum smell. Also the presence of the high alcohol is there as well. I'm wondering if this is going to be a hot beast or what.

T- Complex for sure. There is the apple juice there up front and on the buds. Bubble gum taste is slightly there. There is honey taste for sure, the slight clove taste is there as well. The fact that this is such a big beer its hard to put a finger on all the tastes here. I think because this has such a high ABV that the tastes are so intense they can't have their own individuality. As far as the abv, its hidden for the most part.

M- This is thick, but it has to be for the high ABV, however, it could have used more carbination to help cut this down a bit.

D- It is good, but I think tis could live in a small bottle as well. But that wouldn't be the style of this brewery. When I think of FFF, its go big or go home. This is big for sure. But This could be big in a smaller bottle. Since I'm a greedy MOFO, I'm not going to share it.

 1,387 characters

Photo of paco1029384756
4.22/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a ruby brown color with no head.

Scent of bubble gum, caramel, candi sugar, hops, and a hint of oak.

Taste of caramel, candi sugar, strawberries, bananas, and slight bubble gum. Lasting taste of hops. Very sweet and savory taste. Bourbon flavor becomes apparent with some warmth.

Smooth, cloying mouthfeel balanced out with a nice bite.

 345 characters

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.

 263 characters

Photo of koopa
3.88/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Rec'd a 22oz bomber in a trade with Brandonman63. Thanks for the opportunity and for being a great trader!

Three Floyds has long been a brewery I've had a fascination with. Probably because of the lack of distribution on the east coast and because they have a reputation of delivering a high quality line of products.

Alpha Kong should be called a Really Strong Pale Ale considering its 15% ABV!

Appearance: Quite orange to copper in appearance with a 2 finger foam head that dissipates rapidly leaving the tiniest swirl. My bottle was very carbonated and produced lush bubbles.

Smell: Lots going on in the nose including bubblegum, banana, candied sugar, and alcohol.

Taste: Same as smell. Alcohol tinge is a bit strong for my liking but still the flavor is impressive considering its 15% ABV. Candied Sugar and Banana upfront then alcohol warmth dominates.

Mouthfeel: Sticky and fuller in body than I expected. What is most surprising to me is how much carbonation the head showed during the pour vs. how little carbonation is in the brew while you drink it.

Drinkability: I only gave it a 4.0 because its very drinkable for a 15% ABV brew. Its still a sipper though and I'd say having more than one 22oz bomber in a night would spell out trouble for me. Next time I have this brew I will wait until I can share it amongst guests.

 1,340 characters

Photo of rivertrance420
5/5  rDev +25.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is one of my top Three Floyds beers. I have enjoyed in on tap in the past, and finally had to make the trip to Chicago Binny's to buy the last up. Cracked open a 22 oz. and poured it into a snifter. Sweet smell of candy and banana on the nose. No head. Reminds me of a liquore in many ways. Very delicious. The initial taste is sweet and syrupy, and then it goes into yeasty,clove-like flavor followed by a sweet banana finish. Alcohol presence is not hidden at all. Very warming to drink. The banana flavor is out of this world. One of the greatest beers ever made, and definitely an after dinner drink. One bomber will get you buzzed.

 641 characters

Photo of joepais
3.92/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks Dim
Bottle poured into a pint glass produced next to no white head. All on top of a cloudy brownish orange body

Aromas of Belgian yeast (bananas, clove) and sweet malts filled my nose. You could tell this thing had some alcohol in it as well

This one was sweet for sure tons of sweet malts and candy sugar. A light spiciness and some alcohol warmth also are present very thick mouthfeel almost no carbonation at all

Drinkability on this, well face it is a sipper at 15% .I cracked this one open the day I made the Jerk recipe from the BA mag and I was glad I did. It really helps tame the heat from the Jerk sauce. I know I could not have handled more than this bomber myself. I did however thoroughly enjoy it

 721 characters

Photo of ppoitras
4.2/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle obtained via trade with kmpitz2. Thanks for the opportunity.

Poured into a large glass chalice, formed a 1/8" eggshell head over the cloudy reddish amber brew. Head is gone in a flash, just swirl and rim bubbles left, with lasting delicate lace. Aroma is sweet, fruity, and alcoholic. Taste is malty upfront, fruity in the middle, and then the alcohol warmth comes on strong. Mouthfeel and drinkability are good for the style and what they were apoparently aiming at. For 15%abv, this brew is remarkably drinkable. But don't be fooled, lest morning hit you hard upside the head.

 592 characters

Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
3.92/5  rDev -1.8%
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!

 1,240 characters

Photo of Vancer
4.15/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Big ol' 3F Belgium from joe1510 in a nice trade, thanks mucho!

Clear and crisp amber pour, ivory head tries to pop up, but goes down like a 2 foot putt.

Tons of bubblegum, light citrus fruit and good ol' Belgium yeast in the aroma. Surprising blast of orangey medicine alcohol, but this is DA KING! A real sipper, but with a nice finishing aftertaste - Belgium and booze, my favorites. WTF?? With a whopper 15%, it WILL have a kick, of course!

Big, tasty, and drinkable - another 3F winner, glad I could get this in a trade, usually it does not make it down here.

 566 characters

Photo of prototypic
3.78/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of lightindarkness. Thanks dood.

Appearance: It pours a very hazy, golden brown to copper color. Head is honey colored and stands about a finger tall. It fell victim to the high abv hit job really quickly. Little to no lacing remaining.

Smell: The nose is simply above average in just about every respect. It's not very strong and is pretty limited in its range. There's a very sweet pineapple and banana aroma that lingers throughout. Malts are notable. There's a distinct sugary smell to it. Spices are present, but a little subdued. Alcohol is noted, but not that strong. There's a little cinammon and perhaps some nutmeg. That wraps it up and it was work to get there.

Taste: The flavor profile is actually good. Better than I expected from the nose. It's very sweet and sugary. Malts are sweet and give it a nice base. Citrus pineapple and a distinct banana flavor blend pretty well. Cinammon and light nutmeg spices give it some character. Alcohol is definitely noticeable in taste and warms on the way down. I was expecting it to some degree, but it's not as pervasive as I imagined.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: It's medium bodied, lightly carbonation, and actually has a very smooth, creamy feel. A little more carbonation would be good, but it's very smooth as it is. Drinkability would be good, but at 15% abv, it's too strong. I was actually a little reluctant to crack it open on a weeknight.

Alpha Kong's a pretty good beer that could definitely be improved with some work on the nose and a little more carbonation. The abv could probably be toned down a decent bit. The high level doesn't really add anything. But, it's not normal...and not intended to be.

 1,688 characters

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

 660 characters

Photo of akorsak
3.99/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A 650 mL bomber courtesy of Autumnaldave. Long may he reign!

A: The ale is a ruddy brown color, hazy with a port cclor. Little head arose on pour and it now little more than a white band at the edges of the glass. The beer is much darker than paler.

S: The aroma is loaded with candi sugars and spices, including cinnamin and nutmeg. I was expecting an absolute malt bomb (it is labelled as a sextupel ale), so the restraint and spice profile are quite welcome.

T: The ale reminds me of a biere de Noel, strong on both candi sugars and spices. The first sip reveals a yeasty dryness that I'd normally mistake for St. Bernardus 12 or Rochefort 10. The delicious depth of raisins, candi sugars and plums is intoxicatingly good, both flavorwise and strengthwise. The trademark amarillo hops of FFF are gone, which is fairly surprising when even the Irish stout is a hop bomb. Their absence is not missed and the depth is quite impressive without them. This is a true grand cru offering.

M: Spicy with a great Belgian yeast finish. This beer would taste awesome on a cold wintery, snowy day.

D: Hot damn, 15%? You'd never know it while sipping it but this one is gonna hurt in the morning. One bottle, shared with another would be perfect.

 1,240 characters

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% ABV...hot waves of alcohol blended sharply with a lot of banana flavor. I guess this IS Alpha Kong...not impressed.

 300 characters

Photo of russpowell
4.26/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got this from joe1510, cheers Joe!

Pours an orange-hued caramel with a pinky of sand colored head. Makes some great noises, Fred Eckhardt (sic) would be pleased! A bit of lacing & zero head retention

S: Bubble gum, dark candi sugar, apricots. Bubble gum faded after the initial rush,

T: Figs, apricot, bananas, dryness & booze up front. Booze warmth tones down as this warms, more candi sugar, a bit of caramel, some green apple & some red wine qualities, some cinnamon, & some dryness. Finishes with tangerine, bananas, sweetness, a touch of Amaretto, dryness, oakyness, & some caramel. Works for me!

MF: Medium bodied with stickyness & syruppy notes, skews fruitty

Drinks very easy for the ABV & style, another winner from FFF! Love the complexity

 755 characters

Photo of Crosling
4.2/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appears autumn colored in the glass, a fire-like orange, with a small, quicky diminishing foam. Nose of caramel, light and dark fruits, as well as a touch of booze. Incredibly flavorful and well balanced between sweetness and bitterness. Notes of Banana, pear skins, golden raisin, cinnamon, apples and pastries, with loads of caramel. Alcohol hidden well, of course I have a special palate in that I hardly ever taste alcohol in beer and this is no different. Nice mouth feel.

 477 characters

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.

 302 characters

Photo of ndekke39
3.68/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tried this on-tap at the Three Floyds' brewpub. Menu said it's 20 IBUs and 13% ABV.

Poured into a snifter. It's a very hazy reddish-copper. Thin, off-white head. Little ring of lace around the glass.

Smells are definitely sweet! Raisins, maple syrup, caramel, loads of alcohol, bourbon, some white wine, port, cotton candy, brown sugar, bananas. A touch of acetone, almost. Wow. Good stuff going on, but maybe too much it.

Tastes are sweet x3. Syrup, raisins, candy, apples, bananas, and again a definite alcohol burn. It's almost too much!

Mouthfeel is a moderate thickness, which goes with the syrupy character.

This is one for the maltheads, of which I count myself one. This is almost too sweet, but it still manages to be drinkable. Although this isn't to say I wouldn't try it again!

 794 characters

Photo of david131
4.64/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Coppery and clear with a very small white head with barely any retention.

S- Lots of bubble gum, cotton candy, banana, and vanilla. The alcohol is barely noticeable. Smells amazing.

T- Same as the aroma. The alcohol is noticeable but is not hot and blends really well with everything.

M- The stickiness and creaminess of this is great. The alcohol does not thin this up or cause it to be harsh.

D- For the ABV, this is killer. I was expecting a boozy mess, but this is excellent. A little pricey though...

 512 characters

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.

 518 characters

Photo of mikesgroove
4.52/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I received this one a good wile back and had really been looking forward to giving it a try, but had not found the right time to really get into something this big. Well this past Saturday I decided it was as good a time as any and decided to dive right into , well as best I could. A 2007 bottle that I let warm up and served in a goblet over the course of a couple hours.

Appearance - This one poured out an odd orange and pink colored liquid. Weird color to be honest, with a nice one inch high head of off white colored foam across the top. It faded somewhat slowly, but left behind a nice little bit of a crown across the top and some decent side glass rings, but nothing really to write home about in that department. Good overall haze to it, and it had the look of something that was going to hurt in the end.

Smell - The aroma was huge, but not obnoxious, just really very big. A lot of sweet tones were rumbling all through here. Lots of candied apple, bubble gum, and the unmistakable smell of banana were all clearly evident here and really quite nice. Some light sugary alcohol in the back but I was surprised there was not more to it. It really smelled like candy to me, and in a very good way.

Taste - The flavor was just right along the same path. I was expecting something that was this big to really come off rather strong, but instead it was really quite mellow, relatively speaking. It was enormously sweet with candied sugars, almost unbearably so at times, but really just insanely good. Lots of bubble gum, cotton candy, and candy apple flavors here 9can you catch my drift) with a huge bounce of banana and maybe a touch of apricot. Light alcohol in there, it was remarkable how well it was covered up, though it did start to warm you from the inside out after a while. Finish was nice, smooth with a lingering banana and grain like flavor, super sweet.

Mouthfeel - One of the thickest and most syrup like liquids I have ever come in contact with. It reminded me of strawberry syrup in its consistency. There was some carbonation in it, though not a lot, but enough to make it sickingly sweet, still though it was a thick one to put down.

Drinkability - I am going to have to score this one a five here and I will tell you why. For something that is 15%ABV, I could not tell at all by drinking it. It was insanely smooth and drinkable. In fact I sipped and finished this bottle in about two hours and loved every minute of it. It was just perfect for sipping on and one of the best of the really big beers I have seen.

Overall this was outstanding, and easily one of my favorite three Floyds brews to date. A remarkable example of the style and really just totally solid all around. I would love to get another bottle of this one someday, it was just that good.

 2,790 characters

Photo of tiger88
4.28/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at FFF Friday night. This is an outstanding brew! I wanted to try it even though I had just bought a bottle earlier that day. Now I wish I had a couple more. It poured hazy and bright yellow with a thin white head. The head hung around for several minutes and left little to no lace. The first thing I tasted was bananas then the sweet warm of alcohol. The sweetness stayed right till the end...an hour later. It was fairly fluffy in the mouth considering how big a beer this is. It was very easy to sip while enjoying friendly conversation at a wonderful brewpub. I will be seeking this out again most definitely!

 630 characters

Alpha Kong from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 133 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Return of the Belgian Beer Fest

    BeerAdvocate Brings its All-Belgian Fest to Portland, Maine on September 17, 2016. Tickets are on sale now.

    Learn More
  • Get the Mag

    Become a BeerAdvocate magazine print subscriber today.