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Alpha King | 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

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1,806 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:
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Reviews: 1,806 | Ratings: 6,329
Photo of TheHungryHiker
4.38/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is next-to-impossible to find in L.A. Lucky for me, whilst visiting back east, I came across an outdoor bar serving this. I sat and sipped in the sweltering sun, savoring every drop, when my cell went off. Text from a friend: "Ever hear of Three Floyds Brewery?" I looked around for the spy cam...nothing. Turns out my friend came across a 6pk of Robert the Bruce as I was indulging in Alpha King. We joined forces and shared our rare finds. (See Robert the Bruce review next.)

A= Dark, deep brown with red edging, topped by a good two fingers of well-tanned head, the bubbles woven tightly together and clinging to the edge of the glass as the center slowly caved in.

S= Pine? Grapefruit? I check the label... "Pale Ale." Hmmm, what trickery is this!?! Malts, as I expected, but this is screaming IPA. The hops are jumping out of the glass.

T= Mmmm... IPA heaven. Lots of grapefruit and piney bitterness, a fair hit of malts, the slightest suggestion of clove and nutmeg and orange. All three of the Floyds must be pulling a fast one...

M= enough carbonation and alcohol to make it a thirst quencher, enough hops to make it a good IPA (err, APA), enough malts to tame the finish.

D= In a blind tasting, I would smugly proclaim "IPA, not quite hoppy enough to be from SoCal, ergo northwest coast," before crawling under the nearest rock upon discovering it to be an APA from (DARE NOT SAY) Munster, Indiana! Who would of thought?
Point is, this is one damn fine beer. A heavy-hopper from the heartland. Next time I am in Indiana, I am taking a ride to Munster and filling my trunk.
As for a food pairing, try this with traditional English Fish & Chips w/Malt Vinegar. The citrus notes and carbonation will cut through the batter coating and help play up the sweetness of the cod, and the sweet maltly background in the beer will tame the bite of the vinegar while marrying the malts together. I am getting hungry just writing about it.

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Photo of jayhawk73
4.38/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Major props to BA Chaney for bringing me a bottle from the brewery- Thanks Brandon!

Alpha King pours a medium copper color with a half finger coffee colored head. Good lacing on the side of my snifter glass. Fairly clear in appearance. The nose is very nice- hops, some malt, citrus fruit, a little grass. Very well blended, and pleasant smelling for the style. The flavor is almost like an IPA- much more flavor and hops than I was expecting. Big hop bite, with grapefruit, orange, pine, and a decent malt backbone holding everything together. Really big taste for the style. Fairly smooth, malty aftertaste.. but the hops are definitely still there. Feel is medium, with a nice bite, good carbonation and a fairly dry finish. Overall, I can see why this is the #3 beer for it's style. Really well done- another winner from FFF. Cheers.

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Photo of homebrew311
4.38/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: appears a bright clear golden with dense white head, the lacing it leaves on the glass indicates it is somewhat sticky

S: pine needle hops, some spruce, very pungent and resinous, followed by a significant bready malt profile

T: just like the nose, lots of pine hops on the front which are followed by notes of toast and brown bread, the finish is all hops... this one isn't all that balanced, but there is a nice malt presence. In other words, the hops take center stage and are delicious, but the finish is slightly bitter

MF: nice light crisp mouthfeel, high carbonation

D: this is a very drinkable brew, nice hop presence, crisp body and nice mouthfeel.. makes for a nice brew to enjoy on a warm day

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Photo of Dope
4.38/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: A very dark amber, darkest APA I've seen I think. Looks more like (you guessed it) amber ale. Perfect head with some nice retention.

S: Surprisingly subtle aroma. Smells a bit hoppy and wheaty but nothing strong or overpowering. Bit of caramel in there too I think.

T: Surprisingly not overly hoppy like I was expecting (but it's still there). Beautifully balanced with a nice citrus flavor. Very little bitterness.

M: Medium body with perfect carbonation to compliment the flavors.

D: Nice and light and well balanced, I could put down 6 of these without even blinking.

I usually prefer the more hoppy APAs, but this is just awesome. Overall a fantastic APA. Might be the best one I've had.

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Photo of brentk56
4.38/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a clear amber color with a nice fluffy head that leaves lacing all over the place

Smell: Candyish treacle, with plenty of ruby red grapefruit

Taste: At the outset, the treacle flavor arrives and makes a statement that this is going to be a different kind of pale ale; not too long thereafter, the citrusy hops take a whack at your taste buds but there is a wonderful blending with the malt; after the swallow, the flavors are incredibly well-balanced so that the bitterness never overwhelms the malt

Mouthfeel: Medium body with a healthy dose of carbonation

Drinkability: Very interesting beer with a big malt bill and plenty of hops, this is not for the faint-hearted

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Photo of MMansfield
4.38/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle sent to me by democorhip. Thanks a billion for this one!

Appearance: Pours a murky, rusty copper colour with a frothy two finger cap, leaving lots of lace. Good retention.

Aroma: Hops galore! Big pine scents, grass and florals. Grapefruit, some spice from the hops and sweet caramel.

Taste: Hops. Piney and grassy hops with lots and lots of grapefruit. Although the bitterness is very high, its also quite sweet on the front end. Somewhat sour and medicinal in the finish, but not overly cloying.

Mouthfeel - Not too carbonated, I like that. Creamy and lots of body.

Final Statement - This is Hop Bomb!! There should be a warning on the label, not for the faint of heart. It's a delicious APA suitable for hop heads such as myself. I'd love to have regular access to this one.

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Photo of BretSikkink
4.38/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12-oz bottle into a pint glass. Beige head poured about two fingers (the first of my six pack may be a little too warm - the fridge was broken at the store). Very sticky lacing, I'll need to thoroughly rinse between beers.

All manner of hop character. With the high temperature, it becomes estery toward the end, and hints of caramel emerge. Mostly just those good old Three Floyds hops.

Awesome beer - I drank three the first night properly and slammed three on the golf course and I think they would be just as tasty and satisfying in any situation.

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Photo of steelreign
4.38/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hop heads rejoice! This one will dominate you and make you beg for more of those delicious flowering cones! Hops, hops and more hops are in the aroma, predominate in the taste, and are present in the finish. Not nearly as bitter as you may expect. Very smooth and luxurious mouthfeel - I love this beer! I dare say on par with Sierra Nevada's Pale Ale and then some! Recommended!

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Photo of AWolfAtTheDoor
4.38/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in my Pizza Port commemorative pint glass. Pours deep orange amber with minimal white head.
Smells citrusy and grassy.
Tastes hoppy and smooth. Hops are present but not overwhelming.
Mouthfeel nice as well. I drank this straight, but I'd love to pair it with a good pizza. Very drinkable as well. The more I drank this beer, the smoother it got.

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Photo of Urbancaver
4.38/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a beautiful amber gold with a ton of white head. The head hangs out for ever and there is beautiful lacing on the glass. Smells hoppy and malty. Smells as hoppy as any IPA I've had. some light citrus and piney hints on the nose. Tastes very balanced between a solid malt profile and some great hops. Pine and citrus on the tongue. A bit of grapefruit as well. Very good mouthfeel and very drinkable. A top notch brew

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Photo of auroracrisis
4.38/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Brooklyn pint glass. Pours a hazy orangish brown. Very good looking, it reminds me of darker caramel. The head of it is probably 1/4 of an inch and quickly dissipates into various sized bubbles.

Smells like a perfect blend of piney and citrus hops. The smell is so balanced between the two. There is a little sweetness but not much.

The taste is much like the smell, delicious. A great belnd of hops at first then after a second or two later there is a bite from the hops. In the background of all of the hops is a malty sweetness. The aftertaste is a tad bit bitter but the sweetness of the matls prevail.

Mouthfeel is great for this style. The malts chalk up to a wonderful amount of thickness that most APAs don't have. It's mouthfeel is definitely it's strong suit but that's not to say that everything else isn't up to par, this is just it's best characteristic in my opinion.

Drinkability is high. The flavors are just strong enough to keep you coming back for more and the ABV allows you to pound these beers but not be abliterated after a six pack of them in one night.

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Photo of TonyRay
4.38/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Crisp and refreshing. Creamy head. Very pleasant, long-lasting finish. Neither the hop character or the body overpower one another. It is also quite thirst-quenching. This is a rare APA that would be appropriate for a winter or summer session. One of the finest offerings from Three Floyd's.

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Photo of mattcrill
4.38/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This pale ale rocks! Pours an orange-amber color with a nice white head that retains throughout the beer. Nice lacings all over the place. This bad boy smells hoppy and a hint of citrus or fruit. I definitely tast hops, a touch of citrus, a hint of floral, and a smidgen of alcohol. This stuff goes down easy. Drinkability...are you kidding me? It's gone already? I could easily throw down a six pack of this over friends and a cookout. Pale ales aren't even my favorite style but this will be a regular in my stash. Drink it if you got it!

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Photo of billab914
4.38/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this one a few times now and it's always a a pleasure. I just got this one fresh in a shipment from Chicago and it's time to finally review it. Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Dogfish shaped pint glass. Pours amber, slightly reddish in color with a two finger white head. It had excellent head retention and laced all the way down the glass.

Aroma is hoppy with good amounts of citrus and pine and a little malt sweetness to back it up. Taste is hoppy like the nose with citrus, grapefruit and pine from the hops. it's not quite IPA hoppy but pretty close. There is also some malty and caramely sweetness to it that helps balance it out pretty nicely.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Drinkability is very good, I really enjoy this beer. This is pretty close to the perfect session beer for me. It's hoppy but not too hoppy and has a nice malt backbone. This would be a regular drinking beer for me if only I could buy it locally.

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Photo of bobhits
4.38/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I’m not sure where a pale ale end and an ipa begins. This beer truly challenges this notion. Orange amber color, a middle of the road dark color, decent amounts of bubbles, good head, excellent retention, nearly perfectly clarity with just a few floaters that makes me think this was either bottle conditioned or they wanted it to look that way.

A nose of citrus grape fruit, orange, subtle alcohol ethers, and just perfect IPA malt.

I’ve had this beer on tap a lot…but wow it’s better in the bottle. Just wish we got bottles here in Kentucky (btw wtf is up with that guys?). The hops are over the top or maybe just at the top of the APA style. I think great lakes has a darn good APA but wow does this just blow it way. There is enough malt here though to say yeah, it’s an APA.

There has yet to be a day when this wouldn’t bring a smile to my face. Just an amazing beer and beyond worthy of the reviews.

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Photo of Hophead101
4.38/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

had on draft at Brass Rail Beverage on 11.13.08.

Wow - couldn't believe it when I went into Cisco's place and saw 3F Alpha King. I was quite excited as I have never had this one before much less on draft.

Great head in the pour. Immediately was screaming out my name waiting for me to take my first sip. The head was very thick and bubbly and the beer had a nice brownish copper color. balanced hop smell, thought there might have been a little more. it was soft in nature, a bit piney but not overpowering what so ever.

great taste. it definitely lives up to the hype. great feel on the palate, no real aftertaste. initially a bit crisp and carbonated that blends into a wonderfully creamy and smooth mouthfeel. great hop flavor, and an over superbly balanced beer.

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Photo of Metalmonk
4.39/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Whoa! Let me jump right to the smell first. This thing drew my nose in immediately. It's got a juicy citrus quality with depth, not like the singular sour mother-pucker grapefruit aroma that many hoppy beers give off (I like that too). This one is pleasant, more like oranges and lemons, and it doesn't forget the malt which shows up right underneath. Can't wait to taste it!

But first: body is a deep-amber/dark-gold. Has a frothy head like on-tap A&W root beer. Didn't retain well, though it kept a skim across the top. Good dabs of lace as the drinking began.

The smells certainly follow through in the flavor, but all are barely overpowered by that typical pine/grapefruit wang you get in a hoppy beer. Would've liked the sweet fruit and malt aspects to emerge bigger and rounder, as in the aroma. Still, there's a fair balance here and I appreciate that it's not all hops all the time.

Slightly thin in the mouth without being watery. Good lighter feel that makes it go down too quickly. Excellent for knocking back a few with friends on a slow summer afternoon.

Superb. A pale ale that doesn't impress with intense sourness or a huge ABV. Nice to experience such a good balance and depth of flavors and especially smells, along with high drinkability. Only bought a single, now wish I would've gotten a sixer (or hell, a whole case).

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Photo of vandemonian
4.39/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Three Floyds Alpha King Pale Ale is a very nice pale ale. It smells amazing and tastes good too.

A: Orange colour and a good 5 mm head that lasts pretty well. 4

S: Intensely hoppy. Grapefruit citrus. So good. 5

T: Grapefruit citrus flavour with pretty strong bitterness. Very strong. 4.5

M: Some carbonation but a little watery. 3.5

O: 4

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Photo of BeerDocT
4.39/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Big shout out to my friend Bill F. who brought me back one of these from a trip through Indiana. Thanks, Bill!

Appearance 4.25: Pours out a dark amber. Completely translucent. One half inch head is impressive. Excellent lacing.

Smell 4.5: Wow, great bouquet on this one. Sharp, pleasant hit of citrusy hops and a very nice malt hit.

Taste 4.5: Front is slightly malty and somewhat sour. Middle also has a remarkable sour quality in the mid-palate, along with a big hit of low-level bitterness hops and some more very nice maltiness. Finish is dry, like a broom sweeping it all away. Aftertaste is almost non-existent, which makes me want to pick up the glass, drink more and try to figure out these crazy flavors!

Mouthfeel 4.0: Somewhat dry in the mouth, but satisfying.

Overall 4.25: Great beer. It has this very unusual sour quality blended with a pronounced maltiness and a very appealing hop blend. Would be a great sessioner and I imagine it would be equally impressive paired with any number of foods...my mind goes to a char-grilled cheeseburger as a perfect pair. Now I just made myself hungry. Anyway, this brew is worth the hype, IMHO, and worth tracking down. Thanks again, Bill!

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Photo of jokelahoma
4.39/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

An ever-so-slightly cloudy "old penny" copper liquid sits in my glass, with a good-sized, rocky, eggshell colored head that falls quickly to a small, thin, dishwater foam layer.

The aroma is hops. Not surprising from Three Floyds in general, or from a beer called Alpha King specifically. I'm sure there's malt in there somewhere, but if you're going to find it, you'll have to look behind the curtains, beneath the couch cushions, under the bed... it's there, but it hides very, very well. What an amazingly enticing aroma.

The taste is hoppy as hell, as expected. There's good bitterness up front, good hop flavor mid-drink, and a good floral hop atertaste that lingers on, and on, and on... About the time it starts to fade, you're ready for another hit. I really couldn't find the malt in this one at all. Granted, I wasn't searching too hard, enjoying the hop utopia I had found myself imprisoned within. I know it's there, same as with the aroma. This would be undrinkable otherwise, and it's anything but that. This is a very, very good hop-oriented beer. I can't find the malt, but I honestly don't miss it.

The mouthfeel is oddly a tad thinnish, yet, like the malt, I don't miss the body. Thin is in, where this beer is concerned.

I'd heard rave reviews over Alpha King for a long time, but since they don't distribute here, I couldn't locate a sample to try. Closest I came was another Three Floyd's brew, Pride and Joy, which I panned due to style, not due to quality. When I finally located bottles of this in Vienna, Virginia, I snagged a couple to bring home and try. I'm very glad I did. This is an outstanding beer.

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Photo of Savan
4.39/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured a illustrious amber, the scent of grapefruit and juniper if delightful! Taste is well balanced... well hopped and slightly sweet. Overall, its not a beer I would have many of, it is however one that should be appreciated slowly and down to the last drop and then repeated!

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Photo of womencantsail
4.39/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to cvaypai for sending me a bottle of this. I've had it before but never reviewed, so now I can do so!

A: A 12 oz bottle poured into my Firestone Walker pint glass. The beer is a hazy, amber color with little to no head.

S: A great citrus (grapefruit and orange) aroma fills the nose and a mild pine is present as well. There is also a bit of sweet, caramel malt smell coming through.

T: Exceptional flavor for a pale ale! Wonderful bitterness up front and on the finish. There is also quite a bit of citrus in there, but not much in the way of the malt.

M: A fairly light beer on the tongue, but certainly not a bad thing. Good carbonation and a bit of a lingering bitterness.

D: Pale ales are known for their high level of drinkability, and this one is no exception. A very nice beer by Three Floyds.

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Photo of kagent777
4.39/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle from trade with Another6Pack, many thanks! Poured into a goblet.

Appearance: Pours a hazy deep orange with an off white head that settled quickly to leave small patches of bubbles.

Smell: Nice citric and floral hops. I also smell an toasted almost caramel malt backbone.

Taste: A wonderful mixture of semi-sweetness from the malts and bitterness from the hops. I am getting a strong orange flavor from the hops, complex and nice.

Mouthfeel: This one has staying power, it coats your mouth with flavor. The body is on the viscous side, which I like and the carbonation is on the low side.

Overall: This is a beer that I enjoy a lot. I wish I could get this one regularly

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Photo of JohnWaynes44
4.39/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours rust orange and opaque. Creamy head, dissipated quickly to small lumps. Smells nice. Sweet malts, aroma is heavy with earthy, nuts and hops. Taste is a good balance of hops and malts. Sugar is prominent, hops linger through finish and well after. Mellow feel, not sharp or fizzy. Sticky and smooth...I love this brew. Proud to call this my favorite local brew. This bottle was awesome. Best from the tap. With tournament time coming, pitcher of Alpha at Chumley's in Broad Ripple are a sure bet.

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Photo of Lothore
4.39/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

A- Pours a deep, sunset orange with a small head.

S- Smell is absolutely perfect. Sweet, floral tones with a huge aromatic pineyness.

T- Taste is milder than expected from the ipaesque nose but good none the less. Starts off with a huge hit of piney hop flavor but mellows quickly into sweet maltiness and very little if any hop bitterness.

M- Creamy with a good amount of carbonation. Theres something different about the three floyds mouthfeel that I can't put my finger on. At first with Dreadnaught I thought it was lack of carbonation but now im thinking it may be to creamy for a pale ale or ipa.

D- This would be an absolutely excellent session beer. One of my favorite pale ales to date. Has all of the hop flavor but none of the bitterness which makes it pretty drinkable.

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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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