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Alpha King | 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

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1,807 Reviews
Alpha KingAlpha King

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

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.66%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
A bold yet balanced American Pale Ale with slight caramel sweetness and aggressive citrus hoppiness. This is our flagship beer.

68 IBU

Added by BeerAdvocate on 07-23-2000

For Trade:
User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,807 | Ratings: 6,329
Photo of dwarbi
3.98/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a nice head, but it goes away rather quickly. Beautiful color: a rich caramel/amber. The smell? surprise! hops! Also, a little bit like apples. I can taste the apples, too. Very smooth and refreshing.
(Tasted this beer at the Blind Tiger's Three Floyds event)

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Photo of MuddyFeet
3.98/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer grew on me as I drank more. Neat bottle picture. It poured a very murky brown. Kind of surprising for a pale ale, but neat. Stained oak. The stain smell also came through the nose. The flavor was a nit tarnish at first. But after I let it breath the hops really started to come through. A full bouquet of flowers. The malts are slightly sweet, but balanced nicely with the hops. The mouthfeel is not crisp, quite heavy on the tongue, probably thanks to the hops and high ABV. I may hold off on a thrid or fourth one of these beers.

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Photo of xnicknj
3.98/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into pint glass - thanks to crushedvol

Pours a darker burnt orange with a thinner head, fading to some bubbled film with curtains of lacing running around the glass.

Subtler scents in the nose overall, with some grassy hops, fruit sweetness, and hints of grain.

Begins with a pleasant fruit sweetness and nice bitter hops. Touches of pine and caramel malt continue through the middle, along with some bread crust and toasted barley. Another splash of bitterness couples with sweet before finishing dry.

Medium body, decent carbonation, a little chewy. Very refreshing and easy to drink with plenty of solid flavor. Even with the higher ABV for the style, everything meshes well.

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Photo of kjyost
3.98/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Undated bottle received from funkyaudio in US/Can BIF. Thanks! Poured at 4C into a Perfect Pint glass.

A. Quite dark and amber-like for a "pale" win a bit of haze and a nice head that leaves oodles of lacing.
S: A fairly dank nose for a pale ale, with loads of citrus and pine in the nose, but finishes with a caramel sweetness.
T: Follows closely with the nose. Sweetness battling the bitterness with notes of caramel, citrus, hints of pine and finishing with a touch of oranges and lemon.
M: Decent carbonation makes the beer pop a little but the bitterness clings mightily to the palate.
O: Virtually an IPA here. Quite nice, though not super-sensational.

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Photo of Franziskaner
3.97/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Light brown color with a fair amount of haziness. There's a good inch thick tightly knit layer of khaki colored head. Brussels lacing. The aroma is a blend of cereal grains. The flavor is a bold burst of cereal grains and subtle hops that blend to give it almost a copper like bitterness. There's a slightly chalky note in the mouth.

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Photo of PGHeppJr
3.97/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From notes 29OCT2010

Pint from Kuma's whilst waiting to pickup a KILLER burger

A damn crisp and tasty hop forward ale, that I would argue doesn't quite fit the category it is placed in. That aside, a very enjoyable beer that I wish i could get my hands on back home.

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Photo of malthead
3.97/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark copper color, off-white head that fades quickly. Smells of pine and citrus hops, maybe a vegetal aroma... some bitterness, like dark leafy greens. Big hop taste, spruce, lemons, nice kick to it. Mouthfeel is thicker than I expected it to me, cloying and sticky. (which is nice in some respects, but I was looking for a medium pale ale, this strikes me as a lot bigger than I was looking for.

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Photo of MisSigsFan
3.97/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a dark amber color with a thick white head. Smell is quite malty. I'm thinking this isn't too fresh. Date on bottle looks rubbed off. Slight citrus and pine. Taste follows the nose. Pretty malty, with a good amount of citrus. Quite bitter for an APA. Mouthfeel is a little thick but very sessionable and crisp. Overall a decent APA. A little sweet for my taste. ZD is much much much better.

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Photo of YonderWanderer
3.97/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This brew pours a nice clear copper with a finger's worth of foam. Smell if of citrus, a hint of pine, some resin, and a nice malt backbone. Taste follows suit - incredible balance in this brew. Hops lead the way, with a nice citrus and pine flavors, followed by a caramel and toasted malt flavor. Great balance in this once. Drinks smooth with a nice crisp finish. This is a great pale ale, and if it were available, I'd likely drink it on a regular basis. Another great brew from Three Floyds.

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Photo of pokesbeerdude
3.97/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks goes out to yeahnatenelson for this as an extra! 12oz. Into a New Belgium globe.

A: Pours a deep copper color with a khaki head, not quite half an inch that recedes to a thick, dense cap with gobs of sticky lacing. Slightly cloudy, and a decent amount of bubbles moving through the glass. Maybe a little on the dark side, but looks nice.

S: Hops, resinous, high AA hops, maybe a little more towards the citrus side, but definitely resiny, if blindfolded, this would scream IPA to me. This may fall into the one dimensional hops category, but that's okay, I like it. Just a hint of sharp alcohol, very faint, but still there. Nice on the nose here.

T: Interesting, not really what I expected, the hops are there, and a good sweet dark bread malt profile falls underneath that, I'm detecting a bit of a burnt flavor, maybe just a bit, but definitely enough to notice. Then its pretty much straight into bitterness with a few citrus and minty notes from the hops. I'm not sure what hop provides the minty flavor, but I've experienced it in a few Scandinavian beers, not sure if I like it, just seems odd. Alcohol note on the end. Overall pretty darn tasty.

M: A little towards the heavy side, finishes about right not too dry or too sweet, but there is a bit of perceived dryness from the alcohol which is a little strong. I don't know why its so noticeable in this 6% beer, but it definitely is.

D: I could drink a few of these, really a tasty beer, nice flavors, a bit in your face but I like it. Overall nice beer that could be a session if it was on draft. Glad I finally got to try it!

Thanks Nate!

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Photo of ejquin
3.97/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark brown, but mildly transparent with white head that dissapates quickly, but leaves lacing during the entire glass.

Smell: Grapefruit citrus type smell definitive of a pale ale. You can tell the beer is very hoppy but not blow you away strong.

Taste: Very good pale ale type flavor. Well balanced, and not too strong on the hops. Still very present though Dry aftertaste. Can taste a bit of the alcohol but hides it pretty well.

Mouthfeel: Good. A little more corbonated than I'd like.

Drinkibility: Does a decent job of hiding the alcohol.

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Photo of winomark
3.97/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a nice deep amber with a substantial light tan head. Crystal clear.

Aroma: Wonderful hop bitterness and citrus. Malt makes a tiny appearance.

Taste: Hoppiness is present throughout with some malty richness filling in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Coating, flavorful and nicely bitter. Lingering, dry finish.

Drinkability: A great beer. Hoppier than most Pale Ale's, but who cares! A staple in my fridge. Seek this one out.

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Photo of jaasen64
3.97/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle thanks to EdwardFortyHands. Poured into CCB snifter.

A- Pours a translucent slightly golden amber, thin layer of head, a little bit below average carbonation, leaves spotty lacing here and there.

S- Aroma of sweet floral, slightly earthy hops, malts, and a little bit of grass and pine.

T- Sweet and bitter hops with a malty background, a little bit of pine, definitely a little bit bitter on the finish but balanced with a nice sweet citrusy fruits + sugary aftertaste.

M- Medium bodied to a little bit on the lighter side, average carbonation, well balanced, goes down smooth.

O- FFF really knows how to make good APAs. This isn't as good as Zombie Dust, but for a flagship beer that they make in large quantities this was definitely quality stuff. Although there wasn't a freshness date, I could tell it wasn't exactly the freshest but it still tasted good. One of the better APAs I've had, but nothing amazing. Good go to flagship beer for the mideast.

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Photo of yemenmocha
3.97/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Basic amber color, generous head with good retention.

Ample pine needles on the nose. Very piny. Almost all hops on the nose, maybe a tad of candied malty notes.

Flavor is predominatly of the hop flavors, especially up front. Only later on the palate do you detect the malt. Huge hoppy peak and aftertaste. This beer is all about the hops.

IPA fans will find this very drinkable (compared to other IPA's, in my view) however I find it slightly challenging. Likely I'll only drink one at a time and then move on to a different beer.

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Photo of oline73
3.96/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours an almost clear amber with just under a finger of off white head. Some lacing remains throughout.

Smell: Not a very strong smell. Some malt and fruity notes along with mild hops.

Taste: Mostly citrus peel hop bitterness. In the background there is a little bit of malt and a very mild fruity sweetness. The finish is all hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with a somewhat dry finish.

Drinkability: I like this beer and am likely to pick some up again in the future.

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Photo of JWU
3.96/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a tumbler glass

A- A deep amber/orange with a big ol' rocky, foamy off white head. Great lacing.

S- Straightforward grapefruit oriented hops, with some biscuity/caramel malts hiding underneath.

T- Balanced. Biscuity/slightly caramel malts have some depth from some fruity esters, and some grapefruit/floral hops balance. Not overly bitter, very approachable.

M- Lighter side of medium, ample carbonation.

O- Very nice american pale. I feel like I've had this beer before (other beers that are similar) but at the same time, there's something slightly different about this one.

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Photo of ngandhi
3.96/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

AK is an ultimate pale ale. Hops completely dominate this beer, but the wonderful brewmasters at Three Floyds have managed to create a flavor unlike anything I'd previously encountered. Usually, AK is too much beer for me. It's very busy with strong notes of grapefruit. Some mango on the nose. On tap, I notice an even greater complexity of flavor with mango on the nose and palate. Both tap and bottle have a medium body (a little fuller than most pale ales) that I guess is supported by some (otherwise unnoticeable) presence of malt.

The bottled version is a bit drier than the tap (not that that's a bad thing). In fact, it reminds me of the saison style of beer. I wish I had some Fantome saison to with me so I could be more accurate in my comparison, but Alpha King does call on a lot of that dry saison flavor. Maybe a little Dogfish head too.

The finish is long, especially on the back of the tongue.

If you give it time and try to work your nose and tongue through it, this is a commendable, complex brew. For everyday drinking, I would prefer Gumball Head Wheat or Robert the Bruce Scottish.

Relax, relax.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.95/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass.

Appearance - Deep golden amber body that looks darker than it really is. That sounds strange, but when it pours it looks amber, but held up to the light, it's closer to a golden body. Nice white head, nice lacing. I expected this to be paler.

Smell - Floral and pine hops. Some citrus. Biscuit malts and some sweetness back it up. Interesting hop profile, but not over the top.

Taste - Hop flavor of predominantly pine up front, but it fades quickly to a toasty and slightly sweet malt base. The finish goes back to the pine hops and a slight earthiness. Not too bitter in the finish.

Mouthfeel - Heavy for an APA. Medium carbonation and slick on the tongue. The flavors hang around, but it feels just a bit sluggish.

Overall - Nice flavors, none over the top. Complex hop profile, even if it isn't in-your-face. Not really what I expected from such a high rated APA. In some ways, it's good that a beer as balanced as this is so highly rated on BA. But I'm not looking for balanced. As an American craft beer drinker, I want extreme everything.

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Photo of cabsandking
3.95/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark amber color and a thin but sturdy white foam cap. Big floral, fruity nose...citrus, caramel malts, and more floral alcohol esters. Really nice dry hop character, not too spicy, sprucey, juicy citrus notes of orange and grapefruit rind, and all balanced with sticky diacetyl. Sweetness varies between hard candy and honey. Medium body and a full mouthfeel that ends dry, bitter froth. The finish is bitter, some grapefruit twang and spicy hops. Extremely juicy and aggressive hop characters might push this beyond its style a little but its still very tasty and an easy drinker.

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Photo of neelyjr1
3.95/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: A nice dark amber, pours with a very nice light rusty head.

S: Hoppy, citrusy, very little to no malt smell.

T: Sweet at first, although not a malt sweetness. The hops seem to come in towards the middle of the taste and really come through at the end, leaving a bitterness in the back and top of the mouth. You can taste notes of grapefruit, other citrus flavors.

M: Very nice mouthfeel, not too heavy that you can't get rid of it but not light enough to make you forget you ever drank any.

D: Excellent, I could drink these all night.

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Photo of EgadBananas
3.95/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Big ups to injuredreserve for the share a while back and seeswo for the bottle I could actually review!

Pours a nice pale orange, with touches of yellow around the edges. A half finger of milky, creamy light beige head with stellar retention.

Aroma is big with juicy citrus, light pine notes and bits of malty sweetness.

Initially bitter, with juicy citrus notes, pine and resin with a bit of maltiness. A little bit of lingering bitterness.

Feel is slightly creamy, light-medium bodied, not extremely crisp.

Drink ability is good, and overall, a wicked tasty apa!

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Photo of Etan
3.95/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pilsner glass.

A: Pours a murky dark orange with a spongy tower of off-white foam. Fantastic lacing left behind.

S: Lots of un-neutered citrus hops in the nose. Bitter smelling rind, squeezed orange and grapefruit. A bit of solvent alcohol lurks behind.

T: Hops are much grassier in the taste. Initial burst of somewhat citrusy hop oil turns to grassy, earthy resin resting on bready caramel malts. Pleasing wave of bitterness throughout, with a bit of alcohol, hop leaf, and doughy malt in the dry finish.

M: Well-carbonated.

O: Gets a slight edge over Daisy Cutter from the beefier malt and hop profile. Still too grassy in the taste.

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Photo of ChrisPro
3.95/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(rating transcribed from ratebeer)

On tap at the Three Floyds brewpub on 7/21/09.

Pours dark gold with a touch of amber and nice white head.

Solid pine aroma with just a touch of vanilla and caramel.

Mild sweetness and then bam! The hops hit hard. Great hoppy pale ale.

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Photo of FirstBrewsoon
3.95/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle into Dogfish Head pint glass for this live review.

A - Two fingers of thick foam with medium retention, the result of a hard pour into the pint glass. Colour is a beautiful, lustrous ruby-amber with barely a hint of cloudiness.

S - Incredible. A bold and complex hop aroma, perhaps with an inkling of sweetness from malt. Floral and citrus-zesty.

T - After being spoiled by the looks and smell of this beer, I find the taste to be a bit of a let down. Nice hop bitterness, with an interesting, complex flavour up front, but the body is light and the aftertaste is a bit bland. Not to suggest this isn't enjoyable, but plenty of pale ales taste similar.

M - Thick and chewy for the style, nice amount of carbonation.

O - Certainly a well-made beer, refreshing and enjoyable. I could sit around smelling this all day; perhaps future experiments with a snifter in order?

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Photo of zeledonia
3.95/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at the Nova Wine Bar in Hudson, Wisconsin.

Clear medium amber with really dense 1-finger yellowish tan head. Good retention, great lacing. A bit of visible bubbling.

Smell is excellent. Crisp grassy hops with some solid grapefruit and pine character. Has a really nice snap to it that is quite refreshing. Light bready malt fills in the gaps. This is the kind of beer that I sniff and can't help but say "Mmmm".

Taste is much more bitter than anything else. A bit disappointing given the smell. Malt support is there, slightly bready but mostly providing a base. I don't get much from the hops other than the bitter kick. Hopped up, more like an IPA than an APA in my opinion. Finishes bitter and crisp, fading slowly. The smoothness of the finish is what saves it for me. I want more variety in the flavor.

Medium-light body, carbonation is average. Body works just fine with the beer.

I find this to be a good, hoppy pale ale. I wish the taste had more than the heavy dose of hop bitterness. But I could smell it all day, and I definitely don't mind drinking it.

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Alpha King from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
4.26 out of 5 based on 6,329 ratings.
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