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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: 6,330
Photo of bditty187
4.6/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Tawny-golden brown hue, slightly off-white head, about a finger in size. The head lasted for a moment, faded to a tight cap that lasted throughout consumption. Laced very well. Damn lovely nose, hoppy(!)… acidic, bold grapefruit, hints of pine… very distant caramel malt. Powerful. This is the Alpha King of all Pale Ales, the bitterness is not as assertive as the bouquet would indicate; it is might tasty though. Oh, don’t get me wrong, it is bitter. The maltiness plays more that a secondary roll, I’d say the relationship of malt and hops is 40/60. Yes, the hops steal the show, grapefruit rinds, acidic, zesty, vaguely piney. Flowery too. Savor this one, it’s hoppy enjoyment and complexities only seem to grow… better! Medium body with light carbonation helps produce a silky smooth mouthfeel. So easy to drink, you’d never realize how high the abv is. I snagged a six-pack in Des Moines, now I wish I bought more. Recommended.

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Photo of cannabanaceae
4.6/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured a violent pour into a pint glass. Look was light red copper, nice little lacing.
Smell was fruity, mellow malt, Bannana bread, Smells a little musty. Heavy pale ale odor.
Taste was a hop forward bitterness. Then a perfect balance of the light and carmel malts. Ends with a slight bitterness. Medium body fits the style.
Mouthfell was very smooth yet bitter.
This is by far the best APA ive ever had. It is very drinkable and walks the line of becoming an east coast style ipa. Though not overly bitter. If you haven't had this beer your missing out!

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Photo of schenked
4.6/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I have had many, many bottles of Alpha King, but I have finally gotten around to reviewing this fine brew. This beer is served well by being slightly warmer.

It pours a very-satisfying dark amber with a light head. I typically drink it in an Unibroue tulip glass that allows for a constant flow of tiny, tasty bubbles ascending to the top in the center of the glass.

The nose has a fantastic citrus (grapefruit) quality.

It has a nice mouthfeel. Just he right amount of carbonation to keep it interesting. Nicely balanced body.

The bold-citrus quality of the hops is ever-present in the flavor. It has a slight piney quality that I enjoy. Nice dry finish.

This beer has a regular spot on my shelf, and I always smile when I see a full bottle waiting for me.

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Photo of TheBeerBaron14
4.6/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I found this beer while in Illinois (PLEASE BRING YOUR BEER TO MISSOURI!!!). This might be the finest drinking pale ale I have consumed that was not called an APA or IPA.

A-a nice copper hazey color to it.

S-Like walking through a forest of Hops, very citrusy and piney.

T-It has an nice hop characteristic on the front of the tonuge, but finishes with a smooth malty flaor.

M-Nice and light, yet full.(huh?)

D-The 6% aspect says "I should only have 2-3" the taste says "I should have 6-7"

Good Job Three Floyds!!!! Now please bring it to MIssouri so I can help out the environment by not driving to Illinois to purchase this beer.

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Photo of K80JOHN
4.6/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This is my favorite beer. Three Floyds is my favorite beer maker. I love the hop flavor and aroma of this beer. I discovered Three Floyds about 10 years ago and really like most of what they brew. Alpha King is my all time best. It is awsome.

Appearance: amber cloudy
Smell: Citrus hops
Taste: Great hop flavor, but not over powering
Mouthfeel: Clean full flavor
Overall: Beautiful hop flavor aroma and taste

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Photo of liamt07
4.6/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Wow. Got my hands on this from AJacob81, cheers dude, I've been waiting to give this a shot for quite some time.

Poured from a bottle into a tulip pint glass. My first ever 3F beer, and boy oh boy, was I impressed. Pours a deep orange/ruby red, with a very thin layer of head. Disappeared pretty quick to leave almost no head and minimal lacing; the bottle wasn't dated, no idea how fresh this is. Smells of citrus hops right off the bat, pretty grapefruity I'd say. Taste is right there too, quite hoppy and bitter up front but that sweet warming malt comes in there to finish it off nice and a bit dry. Medium-high carbonation, but doesn't affect the drinkability on this one. Wish I had a six pack of this stuff, it kicks ass and is ridiculously drinkable.

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Photo of GbVDave
4.6/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a 20oz imperial pint.

A: A vigorous pour reveals a creamy, two-finger head that caps a cloudy, copper-colored body. The head gradually recedes to a clumpy skim that provides a decent amount of lace.

S: Piney! Pine forest aroma right off the bat that plays host to the perfect amount of caramel malt and a pinch of sweet, juicy, pineapple.

T: Fresh cut pine boughs mixed with the perfect amount of sweet caramel malt, a toasted bread quality, freshly mown grass, pineapple, and a hint of tangy red apple.

M: Juicy and oily at the very beginning that turns dry and spicy towards the middle and continues on into the finish. There is a delicious lingering bitterness, on the tongue, that sticks around for ages.

D: To me, this is just about as close to perfection as you can get in an APA. Perfectly balance between smell, taste, and mouthfeel. An absolute joy to drink. This is so good it should be illegal.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.6/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A big “Thank You” goes out to Adam & Chris for providing me with this beer. Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a pint glass.

A: Color is dark amber with a bit if a reddish tint. It leaves a thin, white head, which disappears quickly but leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: Strong but pleasant smell of hops, citrus and more hops.

T: Upon the first sip, the hops taste grabs you right away and leaves a faint citrus after-taste. In subsequent sips, you taste the sweet citrus flavor and then the bitter hops flavor hits the back of your mouth. The two tastes compliment each other VERY nicely.

M: Very crisp with not very much after-taste and perfect amount of carbonation for a clean feel and finish.

D: This beer is certainly drinkable. It’s tasty and not-to-filling. I enjoyed this beer a great deal. Beers have roles in which they fit. I think the role for this beer, for me is to throw back a sixer (or more) while watching a wrestling PPV on a Sunday night.

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Photo of drdiesel9483
4.6/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

look - dark golden color with a great frothy tannish white head and great lacing
Smell - slightly piney pretty citrus very hoppy great malt balance
Taste - slightly bitter fruity citrus taste with a great malt backbone to give the bitterness a great complete balance
Feel - medium full body with a crisp carbonation and a bite. With all that its still pretty smooth and
Overall - by far one of the best pale ales out there!!! What makes this beer so good is the great balance.

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Photo of jjhbrfdds
4.6/5  rDev +8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pour a slightly hazy orange copper,solid well established head,which dissipates to leave a nice ring of lacing,smell is exceptional,citrus floral pine,smell reminds me of west coast hops,taste is outstanding well balanced sweetness and acid,hit all the taste buds at one time,this is a beer that I could drink every day and not ever grow tired of,one of my top ten all time.

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Photo of dbalsock
4.6/5  rDev +8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks franksnbeans!

App: Pours clear orange copper with a huge head. Looks bottle conditioned, and on further inspection... it is! Sticks to the glass well with thick lacing, and the head never drops below 1/2 inch of foam.

Smell: Wonderful hops, very complex. A canteloupe sweetness comes out of the malts, reminding me of a hoppy maibock. I can easily pick up berries and roses in there as well.

Taste: As is expected the hops hit first with a floral taste, followed immediately by grapefruit. next comes biscuity malts and caramel malts followed by an aftertaste so bitter I can't find an actual taste in there.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and light bodied with a tingling carbonation from bottle conditioning. The bitterness lasts for days it seems.

Drinkability: Wonderful for the style and much more complex than the average apa, the hop combination is great and the malt profile provides a nice backdrop to the excitement.

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Photo of unholy2
4.6/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

once again three floyds doesnt not let me down this pale ale was hoppier then i thought it was going to be it poured a nice amber color with nice lacing around the glass.This truely is one of the best pale ale i have had.I would recommend getting a hold of this best to have a good session to. It saddens me that I only had one

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Photo of ethosx19
4.6/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Dark red amber color, citrus hop smell, and a really cool label. The taste is a little grapefruit and a whole lot of hops. The hop flavor stays on long after the beer is gone. I like hoppy beer and the 7.3% alcohol is a nice bonus.

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Photo of Viggo
4.6/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Damned I love this beer. Many pints on tap at the Yardhouse in Glenview last week. Colour is dark red brown with a nice white tan head that leaves good lacing. The smell is amazing, bitter and lots of floral piney hoppy aroma. Taste is citrusy hops with a pronounced bitterness throughout but with a solid malt backbone to complement. Mouthfeel is smooth, perfect carbonation and perfect bitterness. I think this is a perfect pale ale, I could drink only this for the rest of my life and be happy.

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Photo of GameFreac
4.6/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Wino's in Bowling Green, KY. Poured into a snifter.

Appearance: Pours a beautiful golden orange color with 2 fingers of a white head.

Smell: Smells of sweet hops, malt, pine, and grapefruit.

Taste - Taste mirrors the nose. Everything is so balanced.

Mouthfeel: Perfect for the style.

Overall: The best pale ale I've ever had. So good.

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Photo of AlphaRanger
4.6/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12oz bottle poured into a Lagunitas jelly jar style glass

A- Slight hazy copper/amber color with nice creamy 2 finger head. Excellent retention and lacing throughout.

S- Beautiful citrus and floral right up front with the perfect balance of malt to complement.

T- WOW! HUUGE hop flavor. Tasting everything I was smelling. Citrus notes lending a slight sweetness and the perfect amount of bitterness. Also a robust somewhat earthiness flavor as well. A nice malt finish to round it all out. Very slight at the end.

M- Med. carbonation. Hops nicely coat the tongue without feeling oily and heavy. Very smooth and refreshing.

O- I've waited YEARS to try this beer. It met AND exceeded my expectations. Hands down one of the finest beers I've had. I loved everything about it including the awesome artwork on the bottles and 6pk carrier! This would easily be my go to APA if I was in the region I purchased these in.

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Photo of Cakanator
4.6/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottle. One of the hoppiest pale ales i've ever had. Pours a darker amber/copper color with small white head. Aromas are more malt focused, with only minor amounts of hops. Great balance on the palate between hop and maltiness. The flavors are rich, but not overpowering. With the hop profile I wouldn't have guessed a pale ale, but thats FFF's style. I wish I lived closer to this stuff.

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Photo of Jnashed
4.6/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From a bottle purchased from the brewery mid Jan 2014. Poured in a Sam Smith pint glass.

Appearance: pretty orange color, good head and retention. Slightly cloudy. 4.5

Smell: sweat citrus. Not all grapefruit, slightly piney 4.5

Taste: Hop forward for sure, not overbearing? Very balanced, certain.y that same citrus smell is tasted also. 4.75

Mouthfeel: smooth, perfect carbonation. Enjoyable

Overall: excellent to be sure. Not ZD but really good APA. For the flagship beer and most attainable of a hard to get brewety, excellent

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Photo of markgugs
4.6/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass
- sent to me graciously by BA member "cardsmith"

Honestly, this beer disappeared so quickly I'm not sure I can even review it, but let's see what I remember.

A: poured beautifully, a delicious-looking copperish orange color, a nice 2-finger head and instant lacing. I can tell right away it's going to be stellar, especially when I stick my nose down to get the...

S: ...wonderful aroma emanating from this brew. It's all very subtle, yet enticing at once. Some floral aroma, a nice pink grapefruit and certainly some piney smells.

T: Wow. Just, wow. Seriously, this beer disappeared so quickly, the flavors are just complex enough, and just subtle enough that it's damned near chuggable. There is without a doubt a gorgeous piney overtone to the beer (from the Centennial hops?) as well as some wonderful malted undertones. Utterly delicious. I could drink this all night.

M: Again, just nothing at all wrong with this beer. It feels "right" in your mouth and bigger than usual gulps are real easy, too easy in fact.

D: As I just mentioned, this is an all day, all night beer. One of the most drinkable I've yet encountered. Even my burps taste good.

Highly recommended.

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Photo of FormatKid
4.6/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This bottle arrived as part of the BIF XII bounty. I’m eager to try this one as Three Floyd’s has really earned my respect with their other fine brews.

I poured this 12oz bottle out into a standard tumbler pint glass. The body is a deep ruby tinged amber. A thick sticky head rolls up nicely and recedes eventually to a frothy cap that leaves clumps of lacing clinging to the glass, the head retention is good. The body of the beer supports the head with steady streams of tiny bubbled carbonation. I can see the pieces of what appear to be "hop skin" floating in this brew like I saw it in the Dreadnaught, I guess it's a Three Floyd's thing.

The scent is absolutely divine and I can smell the hoppiness as soon as I start the pour before my nose gets anywhere near the brew. The malts are sweet and almost syrupy laying a nice foundation for the juicy, fruity hop aromas.

The taste is exactly what the smell would lead you to expect. This is probably the hoppiest APA I have had to date. It some how does not push it’s way into the IPA category though, more of a nicely thick malt balance to it. Sweet, thick and powdery malt flavors lead off, before the reins are quickly yanked away by the dominating hop flavors. Big juicy citrus and apricot flavors are all over the place. No hints at all of the monsterous 7.35% ABV for an APA.

I have to say this is the probably my favorite American Pale Ale I have tried so far. Let’s expand that distribution FFF!

Thanks quarre.

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Photo of afinepilsner
4.6/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12oz brown bottle

Alpha King Pale Ale was an orange-amber in color with a nice off-white head. The head had good retention and left quite a bit lacing behind. The aroma was all about the hops, fresh and fruity citrus hops just begging to be tasted. The taste was also very hoppy and delicious with a good malt base to keep some balance. The bitterness was not as intense as you would expect with all of the hops. The finish was dry and bitter. It was medium bodied with good carbonation. Drinkability was excellent. It's one of the best pale ales that I've tried and I highly recommend it.

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Photo of laintringulis
4.6/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Served in an imperial pint glass.

A: Pours a cloudy dark ruby-amber color with 2 finger little beige head that thins to a 1/2 finger head that last throughout drinking. Very little lacing on glass during drinking. Small, tight carbonation bubbles throughout drinking.

S: Hoppy, grapefruit, pine, and light earth smell

T: Very brief inital sweet maltiness on the front with a nice piney hoppiness during the middle. Nice overtone of grapefruit/citrus and general spiciness. Finishes dry with a pleasant hop and grapefruit bitterness.

M/D: Medium-thin bodied, easy to drink. Excellent sessionable beer. The pleasant dry/bitter finish leaves you wanting more.

I don't know if I would consider this an APA. I think it is more bordering on an IPA; however, I know I really like it, no matter what style they call it.

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Photo of Citadel82
4.6/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I was not sure I would like this brew. I had envisioned it as being undrinkable due to being excessively hoppy. I was pleasantly surprised how much I enjoyed it. It pours a beautiful clear copper with a long lasting rocky off-white-head that left lots of clumpy lace. Aroma is in your face citrus, iodine and notes of pine with some faint swet caramel out there fighting to be noticed. Taste is desert dry with strong grapefruit and juniper obliterating the palate in an agressive but not unpleasing manner. Mouthfeel was just right with a hefty grain bill to match the dryness of this agressively hopped brew. Definitely an exceptional APA and well worth seeking out.

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Photo of dmgeng
4.6/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Decided to try this because of the super high ratings. And I'm very happy about the decision

A - Beautiful deep orange color with superior khaki head that remains for the entire session. Sticky lacing all the way down. Very clear. Pours thick for an APA.

S - Great hoppy fragrance with a floral/citrus character that shines through. Some malt present.

T - Has all the hops from the aroma with more citrus and finishes floral. The front also has a sweetness from the nice blend of caramel malt. The complimenting malt flavor is there but still more hops as a good APA should be. Very smooth finish with minimal bitterness from the hops. The last flavors on the palate are some malt sweet and delicious hops.

M - Medium to full mouth-feel with the tones of sweetness. Has very light bitterness to be mostly covered up by the sweetness on the back of the tongue. Fine carbonation.

Overall, the hoppiest APA I've had and makes it one of the most refreshing beers I've ever had. Not the best example of the style but a great beer none the less. I love the citrus hops and the nice sweetness the malt. Perfect if you don't like overly bitter IPA's but would like a more citrus/hoppy pale ale. Being from Indiana I'm a little biased but seems like it should be the best APA in the country. I could drink these for ever.

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Photo of DovaliHops
4.6/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Been waiting to try this for a long time now. Had Daisy Cutter last night, so this beer has a lot to prove. I doubt it could be better than DC. Pours a very unique amber color with a nice medium sized head on it. Hops smells immediately when pouring. When smelling this, I get a LOT of sweet malts and caramel. Also get a lot of hops, but not nearly as much as DC. The citrus fruits are there, but not very "in your face." This smell is more well balanced than DC. Taste is very sugary sweet up front, then some citrus fruitiness (i also get hints of cherry), followed by the hop bitterness. This is just an amazing pale ale. The mouthfeel is chewier than most pale ales I've had, but keeps an AMAZING drinkability. I wish they sold this here in California. I'm so spoiled after these last two nights with DC last night and now AK tonight (got 1 of each as extras in a trade). I'm gonna go through "Flawless Pale Ale" withdrawals for the rest of the week.

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Alpha King from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
4.26 out of 5 based on 6,330 ratings.
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