Alpha King
3 Floyds Brewing Co.

Alpha KingAlpha King
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American Pale Ale (APA)
Ranked #27
Ranked #982
4.26 | pDev: 8.92%
3 Floyds Brewing Co.
Indiana, United States
Alpha KingAlpha King
Notes: A bold yet balanced American Pale Ale with slight caramel sweetness and aggressive citrus hoppiness. This is our flagship beer.

68 IBU
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Reviews: 1,892 | Ratings: 6,755
Photo of Pray_For_Mojo
4.34/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: beautiful and wonderfully bright! Copper-amber colored. A 1-finger head of light tan forms immediately and then retreats to a lacing. Fair to good retention.

Aroma: delicate hops; present but reserved. Very nice. The malt is present, but in concert with the hops. Everything is well balanced.

Flavor: floral hops that are well balanced by sweet malt, which comes through as light caramel. No one flavor dominates. The malt and hop flavors hit at the same time, but each standout yet coincide beautifully.

Mouthfeel: heav(ier)-medium, a bit too heavy for the style. Drinking multiple would be a meal.

Overall: this is a very well executed beer. Well balanced. Very clean. I’m impressed. IMO, Alpha King is among the best in style.

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Photo of dacrza1
4.31/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

DATE: August 14, 2019... OCCASION: having faced disappointment by not securing a closing date for our new home, the only thing to do is celebrate Endgame on disc with a quality beer and the family... GLASSWARE: Maudite snifter... this is a beast of a pour: a rich, brown amber body that supports a stout white blanket two fingers thick.... its head smears an equally thick shade around the glass... its aroma is a blessing of toasted caramel malts backing a grapefruit and lime one/two punch, with soft hints of floral elements... the secondary scents are hard fruits and a bit of wood... a strong, medium-bodied first sip, alive and coursing through the teeth, with a smooth finish that resonates long after it is finished... in fact, this is lethal at 6.5%, drinking at a much quicker rate while retaining its heft and character... the grapefruit and lime are sharp and delicious, puckering slightly, with a resinous undertow... caramel and hard fruits also join in the experience, but make no mistake: this is a hop-forward ale that somehow falls under the pale moniker... having had this decades ago, I was thrilled to find this in a trip to Wegman's in Bethlehem... every bit as filling and flavorful as it was in the past, straddling the line between an outsized pale ale and a quaffable IPA...

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Photo of Bouleboubier
3.89/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

(12 oz bottle, bottled 03-27-19; purchased shelf single at Shangy's... poured into a Belhaven pub pint)

L: amber-tawny liquid, mild haze; alarmingly enormous puff of tight, frothy, aged-white foam - great retention, crusting all over the glass... again, left behind lees at first but, once poured in, only increased haze; no floaters

S: lightly-caramel, grapefruit dusted coffee(?) cake (not java, just powdered sugar dusted, lightly-spiced cake)... not terribly sure, but it possibly has a bit of caramel malt oxidation?... little hint of alcohol

T: bit of a caramel approach, but the follow-through is a NW-IPA-style piney, earthy, resinosity, washing away (but maybe also enhancing) any rich malt sweetness, though the beer is fairly lusciously malty, but balanced nonetheless

F: has that dextrinous plump up front, but it slides out the back quiet; little residual evidence... subtle booze warmth; dangerously negligible

O: tasting old? - still tasty... I'll have to pop over to the city to see if any fresher ones are to be found... why is this in APA? - seems like an amber all the way (1429)

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Photo of Chaz
4/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Red-amber in color, with very good clarity. Topped with a pale tan head. Good lacing and duration.

Resiny hop character up front on the nose, this beer is part old school Microbrew tradition of the West Coast style and part new school innovation, with a good mess of different hops used. Not quite “dank”, but flowery and herbal (more on that in the taste). Clean ale character and some biscuit malt on the nose.

On the first sip it’s sweet, smooth, slightly sharp and tangy. Bitterness is restrained but sturdy; This used to be one of the most bitter U.S. ales in the pale ale -to- IPA range, but was eclipsed over the past twentysomething years.

Bitterness lingers and blends with a bittersweet undertone, along with very prominent herbal character. The one herbal note I’m getting now (and bear in mind that I haven’t enjoyed this regularly in close to twenty years) is of damiana, or diviner’s sage. If you’ve never partaken of damiana, it’s a pungent and sweet herb, and though I doubt that FFF would’ve ever brewed with it, maybe they did partake? An interesting note at any rate, and adds depth of flavor to the ale.

Good drinkability, albeit a bit fuller in flavor and character than a good many lower strength examples in the very broad American Pale Ale style.

A very, very good beer overall.

Canned 6/19/19 — less than three weeks ago.

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Photo of beersampler6
4.28/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Excellent pale ale from a famous Indiana brewery that’s new to me. Sampled this one on tap at 3 Floyds. Looks fantastic - dark golden-amber honeyed color with a thin film of white head and rings of lingering lacing. Very nice, appetizing aromas - malty nuttiness, muddled fruity and piney hops, vanilla, caramel, lightly toasted bread. Tastes similarly, with great notes of grapefruit, lemon, orange and guava. Good sweeter malt backbone hit, really well balanced. Smooth, slightly sticky, creamy mouthfeel with just enough carbonation. Really a very enjoyable offering, well deserving of being their flagship beer. I think I enjoyed it just as much as the more-lauded Zombie Dust.

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Photo of 57md
4.43/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark copper color with more than a healthy finger of head. The nose smells of fresh hops. The flavor profile is malty with a trace of sweetness and a robust hoppy finish.

Zombie Dust is an extraordinary IPA masquerading as an APA. By contrast, Alpha King is a genuine APA - and the best damn APA I've ever had!!!

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Photo of jrc1093
3.78/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Canned on 5/10/19

Pours a deep burnished copper capped with a few fingers of thick, decidedly off-white head; excellent retention eases slowly down to a creamy cap and leaves thick soapy layers of lacing in its wake.

Aromas of intense pine and grapefruit balance at first, soon fading to a softness of flaky caramel malt, with a slight but notable florality leaving a mark; vague citrus undertone hovers in the background.

Taste shows pine and grapefruit resuming their position of prominence upfront followed by a quiet citrus interlude; resumes the rest of the way with a deeper caramel malt and some flambéed orange peel for a more pronounced, zesty citrus.

Mouthfeel has a body on the lighter side of medium and a building, faintly creamy carbonation lightening just shy of the aggressive side and bringing a moderate bitterness and drying hop prickle from the crest of the mid-palate onward; the malt-hop balance adds a crispness that implores further sipping.

A bold and fairly intense pale ale that in spite of pushing the boundaries of the style with its higher ABV, remains consistently drinkable, refreshing, and interesting; it would take awhile for me to get tired of this one.

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Photo of q33jeff
3.48/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5


bottle to snifter.

LOOK: copper color, nice off white head.
AROMA: pine, light citrus, grains.
TASTE: pine , wood, veggie. Lighter notes of citrus, licorice, aspartame. There is a solid ESB-like bitterness; but overall it not that tasty.
FEEL: medium body. good carbonation

Above average.


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Photo of spelingchampeon
4.03/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bottled 3-19-19
L: Dark copper. Almost clear. 1 minute post pour, light head, sticky lacing.
A: Floral, earthy, pine and citrus. Malts!
T: Floral, light tropical. Malty caramel.
F: Medium and creamy. Light carbonation and mild bitterness. Malts carry the MF.
O: This has a lot of good flavors going, but gets a tad muddled.

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Photo of justintcoons
3.78/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle poured into a pub-style pint.

Deep amber; almost copper. 2 fingers of tan head. Hazy with moderate carbonation.

Grapefruit, lemon, pine, and caramel.

Grapefruit, lemon zest, and pine. Firm caramel maltiness. Slight touch of dankness.

Medium bodied, smooth, creamy, silky, and lightly bitter.

For such an old style Pale Ale, it's incredibly drinkable for near 7%.

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Photo of drtth
4.21/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

The lightly hazed dark amber almost copper colored beer pours out into a Duvel glass with a 1” light tan head that recedes slowly but visibly to become a cap and then a thin irregular island of foam with a ring around the glass while leaving a sheet, rings and a web of lacing on the sides of the glass. Sipping creates two arches of foam with lots of small patches and legs of lacing.

The aromas include caramel malt and lots of citrus that includes both grapefruit zest and orange zest.

The flavors are basically much as expected from the nose with the grapefruit zest and orange zest backed up by the caramel malt sweetness that smooths out the hop bitterness but does nothing to conceal it.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied and lightly crisp with the active finely bubbled carbonation that persists for a while. The medium length finish begins as the sweetness and malt flavors begin to fade but the citric bitterness fades more slowly and persists for a while as it slowly fades as part of the moderately long dry ending.

Overall this is definitely a drinkable and enjoyable classic APA that I’ll be having again once in a while. Both the hops and the malt are definitely present, but the balance between hops and malt keeps the hops center stage most of the time. Well worth trying if you can find it.

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Photo of defunksta
4.44/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Appearance: Pours a hazy, pure copper color with a foamy, and lacy head that lingers.
Aroma: Strong aromas of citrus, tropical melon and stonefruit. A typical newer American simcoe or mosaic hop profile
Flavor: Taste follows the nose. Strong flavors of citrus, tropical melon, stonefruit. This is followed by a strong hop bitterness to round out the flavor. Yet, not enough to completely clean the strong bready and slightly caramel malty sweetness that comes through underneath at the end. Finishes neither sweet nor dry. The perfect touch at the end.
Finish: Moderate carbonation. Heavily bodied. Strong malt sweetness to balance the bitterness that comes through at the end. Finishes perfectly smooth.

Compared to the old-school Sierra Nevada Pale Ale: This one has more new-age American hops. Centennial and Warrier. Pungent and dank tropical melon are present. Less grapefruit and pine. Strongly bitter like an IPA, yet it finishes with a sweet bread and slightly caramel malt profile that stands up to the bitterness to define the pale ale name.

Overall: This represents the new American standard of a pale ale. Newer-age American hops profile. Much more robust. Balanced perfectly with the malts. You think you're drinking an IPA, but then the sweeter malts come through for such a nice finish. The best classification of new-American hops I can think of. The citrus and tropical flavors are so strong and wonderful. I understand why you wouldn't pick a favorite beer after this one. This is a top notch quality beer.

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Photo of ajmolnar
4/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Great go to beer if you're looking for a Pale Ale with mild hoppiness and a nice sweet malty backbone. Sips from this have a mild citrus bite with a very smooth sweetness that sits on your tongue and cheeks. All though this isn't my goto due to the maltiness I do enjoy getting a sixer from time to time. Beautiful amber color however not a lot of aroma. Overall a nice beer to have during a warm fall night sitting on the porch. Definitely worth a try!

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Photo of puck1225
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bottle into a tulip glass. A beautiful golden amber color with a nice head and great lacing. Piney and citrus smell and taste. Nice earthiness, a very nice pale ale with a classic taste.

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Photo of MNAle
3.92/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Aroma is strong pine and citrus, grapefruit. Clear deep amber. 1/2 inch white thick head, receding moderately to a tall ring and cap leaving thick lacing. Mouth feel is medium. Pine follows through in the taste, with the moderate bittering asserting quickly and maintaining through to the aftertaste. The grapefruit taste re-appears in the finish. An excellent "old school" APA.

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Photo of brewme
4/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked-up in a trade with TimxOr. Only my second brew from these guys (not distributed to MA). Decent APA, a bit too much of a sweet taste for me. Much prefer Zombie Dust.

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Photo of Evantish
3.57/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

The hop character and profile was delicious, but I found the sweetness and malt/caramel flavors to be too heavy for my taste. Not unpleasant but I expected perfection and it seemed a little unbalanced.

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Photo of M_C_Hampton
4.26/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A: poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass, red caramel colored with a short white head that dissipates leaving some lacing, hazy

S: sweet caramel with a nice pine hop profile

T: huge pine resin blast, caramel malts in the middle, assault of bitter pine and grapefruit on the finish

M: full and sticky

O: good quality pale ale that isn't very pale, more of a red ale

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Photo of Cylinsier
4.1/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


Pours mostly clear amber, yellowish white head is finely textured and retains well.

Aroma of biscuit, caramel, walnut and dry woody hops.

Flavor is of biscuit, walnut, almond, pine and earthy hops.

Medium body, lightly stinging carbonation on the roof of the mouth.

This is an exceptionally well balanced IPA. Good flavor and body. Would have again, very enjoyable.

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Photo of dukeandduke
3.42/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

9/12/18 (Chicago): Purchased at Three Floyds 7/21/18 ($11 six pack). Dark murky copper pour, light off-white head and lacing, Faint lemon citrus aroma. Unique blend of citrus, lemon, hops and malt. Balanced, not bitter. Slightly dry mouth feel, thin texture, slightly fizzy, easy smooth drinking. Overall very good offering.

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Photo of ordybill
4/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a the tap into a pint glass at Beer Head Pub in Schaumburg, IL. The appearance was a dark Amber color with a large white head. The aroma was citrus driven with some malt tossed in.

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Photo of Tony210
3.9/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy copper color, big billowy white head that slowly fades. Faint aroma of lemon and a little soap. This is basically an IPA posing as a pale ale; quite bitter, nice floral hops. Appropriate carbonation, medium bodied. Overall a good beer.

12 oz bottle dated 6/31/18
4 rating

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Photo of TooManyGlasses
4.23/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12 oz single from Whole Foods - bottled June 28/18 - so just over 3 weeks old. Poured out a near clear golden amber with off white head. Aroma is citrus peel, a bit of caramel, some floral hops. Taste starts with the sweet caramel, but then overtaken by the hoppy citrus - some mango, pineapple. This is a (great) hoppy pale ale (IPA wannabe) -medium in body lingering bitter finish - just plain great!!

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Photo of Abominator
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

People go nuts for Zombie Dust, but Iactually like this better. It has a much more complex set of hop notes. I know citra is all the rage, and they are delicious but,this one takes it for me.

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Photo of mudROCK
4.14/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A great beer, although it has somehow become the bud light of 3F offerings for me. Maybe just because it is so available? Still, a great beer, no doubt.

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Alpha King from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 95 out of 100 with 6755 ratings