Alpha King | 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

1,828 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

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Reviews: 1,828 | Ratings: 6,408
Photo of RocketWidget
4/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cheers to BuckeyeNation for letting me sample this brew.

Pours a deep, dark red amber with moderate lacy off-white head. Smell is light, smells crisp with a little hoppyness. Taste is good, hoppy yet smooth, there is nothing to complain about here. Very drinkable, this would be a great conversion beer to recruit fine men and women to the BeerAdvocate army. Yummy.

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

I have actually had this beer at the Three Floyds brewery. Doesn’t get much closer to the source than that! As a matter of fact, when we were leaving they were bottling beer that would literally be sold inside the brewpub. So yeah, it was fresh! I like this beer a LOT too, so I am stoked this is on the list.

The brewery is located in Indiana. It’s just south of Chicago, so if you are ever in the windy city stop by the brewery. It’s actually funny; it’s located in an industrial park. It doesn’t fit at all. And when you walk in, the place does not look like a place for beer but rather narcotics and marijuana. (I say that in the nicest way possible. If you have ever been there, you know what I am talking about.)

The beer smells incredible! There is so much going on. It’s the epitome of complex. For a beer that is often referred to as a blond, it’s not very… blond in the glass. It’s almost red, but once you take a sip it doesn’t matter what color it is.

The beer hits your palate and does somersaults down your throat. There is SO much going on, it’s hard to keep up. Perhaps I shall have another drink and try to explain what you experience here. At first, it’s a bit carbonated but that is quickly replaced with a sweet, almost dry mouthfeel. Then you are hit with sheer utter bitterness. But that’s okay… that is what makes this beer so darn good.

The beer itself is pretty low in alcohol content, which makes this a dangerous beer to fall in love with. But it’s got such a good aftertaste, I will drink until I can’t drink no more! Plus, the logo is sick. Sick and creepy! This is a great beer, and not what you expect from a beer made right here in the Hoosier state. Funny thing is, their Dark Lord is oftentimes voted as the best beer in the world. It’s also nearly impossible to get.

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Photo of Vdubb86
4/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a pint glass

This beer pours a nice clear amber color with an ecru foam on the surface. The smell is mainly of hop characteristics such as grapefruit and floral notes. There are some hints on the nose of caramel, but they aren't too strong. The taste is interesting, as it is a combination of hop fruitiness and a slight nutty background. The pale malt is still rather hidden behind both of those flavors. The mouthfeel has some bitterness that you'd assume with an IPA, but it's still quite a drinkable beer and an interesting take on an APA.

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

Thanks to jac5084 for bringing this out a few months ago. Reviews are from March notes. Poured from the 12oz bottle into my tulip glass...

A: Pours a glowing orange copper with a half finger off-white head. Pretty hazy as I was expecting it to be much clearer. Pretty still looking as well with not much carbonation at all in the look.

S: Smell is very sweet with a lot of caramel, toffee and citrus. The hop presence that I was expecting was not there as much as I would have thought. Rather, it smelled a tad aged with some sweet caramel balanced by some faded cascade hops.

T: Taste is fairly nice and sweet with some nice C hops that are on the verge fading. Some sweet caramel and toffee also comes into play.

Overall, for a pale ale I was expecting a more hop profile, as this was more a light barleywine.

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

I had FFF's Pride and Joy earlier in the session and wasn't impressed. Fortunately, I had this Alpha King to cleanse my palate!

Poured a full two fingers of amber colored, fine bubbled head with perfect clarity. There was also nice lacing throughout my drinking experience. The color was a nice mahogany orange that looked both appealing and enticing.

The aroma was of roasted malt and grain with some piney resinous hops.

The flavor is wonderfully rich. Malt, hops, ripe fruit. There is a very drinkable sweet/bitter balance to this ale which makes drinking it very enjoyable.

Mouthfeel is a s rich as the flavor, and despite a slightly high abv. this is a wonderful session beer.

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

Appearance: Dark amber with an off-white head that provided excellent lacing down to the bottom of the glass.
Aroma: A big nose of citrus and florals, the malt fights it way through.
Taste: The flavors of grapefruit and juniper are everywhere, nice malt sweetness to balance the hops, with a big hoppy finish.
Drinkability: Nice balance of flavors and paired nicely with a traditional Hoosier tenderloin.
Notes: Served on tap in a pint glass. Dark atmosphere made it a little difficult to judge appearance.

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Photo of pagriley
4/5  rDev -6.1%

Fresh 12oz into a pint

A - Poured golden copper color with a relatively thick 2 finger head that hung around for a few minutes - not a ton of lacing
S - Not a lot really - some hints of malt and a bit of piney hops but a bit uninspiring actually
T - Some malt sweetness but then a thwack of piney hops that overwhelms with a very bitter finish
M - lighter body, easy drinking but with a bit of substance - exactly what I want in a pale ale

O - Overall underwhelmed a little - very nice, but I am glad I didn't seek this out - it was just in the fridge at my local whole foods. Given the $2 or $3 premium compared to similar pale ales I don't think this is worth it, but if I ever saw it on tap I would have again

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

L: The beer itself is a dark orange amber color. The head is a light off white.
S:I am picking up a combination or apricots and grapefruit. Niehter of which totally stick out.
T:The hops a nice floral on the back. Those are matched up and balanced well with a touch of sweet malt.
M:Like many pale ales, this one is big fat, round and syrupy.
D:This is probably one of the best pale ales I have had.

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

12oz bottle received as an extra. Had many times bror but finally getting around to reviewing.

A - Pours a medium amber/copper Clear. Medium white head. Good lacing.
S - Harmonious balance of hops and malt. Not enough hops to be an IPA, but great for an APA.
T - Much more malts than I remember from the past. Not sure if the recipie has changed or my palate has, but much more malty than I remember. Where did the hoppy goodness go?
M - Medium body/carbonation.
O - Either the recipie has changed, or I have, but Alpha King is nowhere near as hoppy and delicious as I remember. Regardless, it's still a GOOD APA, but pales in comparison to the Zombie King I just had. Will re-visit again to confirm freshness.

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

Bottle thanks to FlssmrBrewAlum. I've been waiting to try this one for quite some time now. Pours a semi-cloudy orange-brown with a small white head. Aroma of caramel malt, brown sugar, citrus hops, and grapefruit. Flavor is initially rather tangy with hop oils and citrus and then mellows with a maltier finish. This is pretty tasty. I'd love to have this as a session beer, if only it was distributed in NY. Good stuff.

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

A- Orange/gold color. Pretty thin head that dissipates quickly, but it leaves a nice, sticky lace on the glass.

S- Big pine and citrus hop aromas, but nothing in the malt department. Nice, though.

T- Some sweet malt up front, but hops quickly take over with more pine and citrus. Pine is especially evident, though. Fairly bitter aftertaste, with some lingering biscuity malt flavors.

M- Medium-bodied, goes down smooth. Nothing really notable, but solid.

D- Decent drinkability. I could definitely have more than one in a sitting.

Quite good, quite good. For a regular pale ale, this is ridiculously hoppy. It's hoppier than some IPA's I've tried. I would prefer the hop flavor to be more citrusy than piney, but it was still good. Recommended for hop-lovers.

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Photo of kingcrowing
3.99/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a tumbler.

Pours a dark amber, almost brown with a small light brown head that's nice and creamy. Nose is fresh, fruity and sweet, light maltiness but the pineapple fruit shines through well.

Taste is quite bitter, lots more harsh flavors rather than the light fruitiness that the nose implied. There is a pretty strong graininess that takes the flavor down a bit, but it's still a tasty beer. Mouthfeel is fairly creamy and smooth.

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Photo of Spidey13
3.99/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Alpha King pours a fairly murky, amber color with gold highlights and an off-white head. Lots of citrus hops on the nose, along with some underlying caramel notes.

The taste starts with sweet caramel, followed by bunches of hop flavor and bitterness. Lots of citrus flavors, including pineapple juice. The mouthfeel is nice and full with a medium amount of carbonation.

Overall, I really liked this beer but it didn't quite live up to the hype.

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Photo of SportsandJorts
3.99/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Type: 12 oz bottle
Glass: pint
From: Big Red Liquor in French Lick IN
Price: $11 a six pack

Appearance: deep orange, slightly coppery. pretty hazy. small off white head that fades slowly and lacing on the sides

Smell: Strong hops, mostly pine, some citrus. a strong graininess that doesn't quite take the backseat to the hops

Taste: Opens up with hops strong pine with some citrus sneaking in. The grains take over in the form of toasted malts. the two tastes are well balance and neither comes out the clear king.

Mouthfeel: a tad to sticky. lingering bitterness. medium body good carbonation

Overall: a pretty tasty hop-strong pale ale. not quite an amazing beer. I'd like a bit more citrus but another solid from a brewery that should expand to Michigan, now that they have added Ohio

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Photo of bylerteck
3.99/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Coppery colour with a haze. Mild carbonation and a nice one finger soapy white head. Spotty lace and no retention.

S - Citrus, grapefruit, pineapple, sugar.

T - Huge flavours. All intense notes of dankness, citrus, grass, and a lemony finish.

M - Nice bitterness, good carbonation, medium body.

O/D - Really drinkable and enjoyable. Missing a certain special thing to take it above and beyond like the hype says it should be, but I think this is a nice APA.

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

Poured from 12oz. bottle into pint glass.
(Could not find a bottled-on date.)

Aroma: Hoppy pine and grapefruit backed by a light caramel note.

Appearance: Three fingers of off-white head slooowly compact to two, & then one. Foam clings onto sides of glass to form sticky lacing. Body of beer has a light amber color with great clarity.

Flavor: Delicious herbal, slightly piney hop flavor is balanced by brown sugar-like malty sweetness. Slight hoppy bitterness remains through the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium body and medium carbonation.

Drinkability: Full of hop flavor, but doesn't pack the bitter whallop of an IPA or IIPA. Very well-balanced from the perspective of someone who likes a hoppier APA. Highly sessionable, and highly recommended. One of my new go-to beers in Indy, my new home town.

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

Poured into a pint glass.

A - Pours a dark copper color and clear. The head is the best part, the foam is like marshmallows with a light reddish color. Awesome lacing too.

S - The aroma of hops is present right away, then citrus and floral smells.

T - Sharp bitterness from the hops and some toast qualities to it too. Off the charts with carbonation and it is prickly too but not bad.

M - Pretty decent, coats the tongue pretty well.

D - Definitely good stuff and would buy it if it was available in my area.

I certainly wouldn't call this a pale ale at all by definitely good stuff.

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

Thanks to d0b for this bottle.

Poured from a 12oz brown bottle into a turbulator.
2 fingers of foamy white head creat big sticky clumps of lace.
Transparent pale copper in color

Aroma of white bread, citric hops, caramel, and a touch of sweetness.

Well balanced flavor between hops and malt. Its semi sweet up front with a rush of carbonation. A good amount of pine and citris hops that take over the taste through the swallow. Lingering for a good deal of time.

Solid apa.

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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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Alpha King from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
4.26 out of 5 based on 6,408 ratings.
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