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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: 6,331
Photo of sm0key
3.4/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I was actually a little disappointed based on the hype. Don't get me wrong, it's pretty good, but i do not think it is the class act of its style.
Poured into a pint glass, has a nice head for a bit, gives pretty lacing like you would expect. It looks really good. The taste is where it loses me a little. It's good, but I think there are others that are better. Pretty drinkable, could easily sip at it all day...

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Photo of eclipse54
3.4/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a robust copper color with about a finger’s breadth of off-white, almost ivory colored head comprised of medium-sized bubbles. Respectable retention and lacing. The aroma is of spicy and earthen hop cones, a bit of pine sap, some wet earth, and orange citrus. It tastes similar, but with a greater emphasis on the orange citrus. A bit of lemon rind and grapefruit come through as well. Earthen notes, including grass and pine, are more predominant than the spicy character that was notable on the nose. Hint of caramel malt on the end. Mouthfeel is somewhat thin, but rich in carbonation with a nearly effervescent quality. Finish is wet and refreshing, but doesn’t linger longer than wanted. Overall, this is a very drinkable and enjoyable pale ale. While commendable, it lacks a certain depth that some other top-tier examples may provide, seeming somewhat one-dimensional. Still, this only adds to the drinkability, as it prevents it from becoming too filling or overwhelming; in that regard, great success here.

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Photo of mhewes
3.4/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A : Pours a good amber color with a thin white head that leaves good lacing behind

S : Some malt but mainly citrus hops.

T : Hop bomb. Loads of hop flavor, a little too much. Mainly citrus flavors. There's a little bit of malt but not enough of a balance.

M : Medium bodied, good carbonation

D : A little too much on the hop side for me. I prefer a more balanced beer.

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Photo of JudgeRoughneck
3.42/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Thin head evaporates to surface mottling over dark, brownish-amber beer. Nose is fruity and piney hops. Alpha indeed. This beer is straight up bitter. It may be the bitterest beer I've ever had. Deeply resinous with bigearthy/ cinnemon in finish. Mouthfeel is thick and sticky.

This is a well-made brew but not my style. I'm way more into FFF's Gumballhead, which I consider an IPA also (though it is wheat-based), and showcases Amarillo hop flavor beautifully.

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Photo of BDLbrewster
3.42/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a darker than expected, ruby hued amber with about 50% clarity and a small fizzy head.

The smell is hop forward, more so than anticipated. Sweet ripe citrus, grapefruit and lemon mostly. Also there is a candy-like sweetness that is very apparent along with green, leafy notes as well.

Hop candy and loads of grapefruit kick this one off. Solid caramel infused backbone that works fairly well with the fruity hop oils. When you exhale some bitter pine and citrus pith are evident, but not overwhelming. Loads of fruity esters along with the seriously sugary malts make me feel like this would be hard to drink a bunch of. Interesting and fairly complex.

Mouthfeel leans on syrupy for such a low ABV brew. The carbonation rests on the low end of the scale here and doesn't help me to enjoy the brew as much as I would like.

I thought this would be a knock out. I'm sad to say that I am somewhat disappointed, I bet I would groove with this more if I'd tried it on tap. I can see why people would really dig this, but for a PA it just doesn't do it for me.

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Photo of Prostman81
3.44/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I waited for awhile to try this beer. In fact, probably ever since I joined this website I've been wanting to try it. APAs and IPAs are my favorite two styles, and as this was highly ranked, was on my "to-drink" list, yet I could never find it at my local liquor stores. (Too much demand, limited quantities stocked).

Finally found this and tried it. Drinkable, with good but not intense hop flavors/aromas. Lighter body.

Overall it's just an OK pale ale. Not bad, just not great. If you have the option of buying a Daisy Cutter (and I know this isn't really a fair option to many), buy the DC. Daisy Cutter is by far a top example of the APA style, and has a certain crispness to it that Alpha King can't boast.

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Photo of aracauna
3.44/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The appearance isn't too much. Color of one of the lighter shades of leather with an off-white head that was neither large nor long lasting. Nose is malty with hops that are dominated by the Christmas tree-like over the citrus but both are present. Flavor is surprisingly thick malt for a pale beer with a nice balance with the hops. Kind of a slick mouthfeel, but not as slimy as some.

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Photo of dborginis
3.44/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Really cool bottle label, foil backed picture with "It's not normal" visible in the right light. Great packaging.

Poured into a standard pint glass, brownish red, a bit turbid with a foamy head. Smell is of citrus and bitter bitter hops.

Taste, at first I taste the yummy citrus hops. Then it gets really bitter with the taste of a dark bitter malt backbone. A bit of an earthy planty flavor in there too. Maybe with a sweeter malt flavor I would, but I'm not especially enjoying this. The lingering bitterness is just not doing it for me. A Dale's Pale ale is a bit more accessible to my taste. As I go though, it's going down easier, but still not ideal.

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Photo of M_chav
3.44/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Full head of foam, covers an almost Amber looking beer.
Aroma is dominate with citrus hops and a heavy malt character.
Taste is caramel and orange citrus.
Mouthfeel is nice and bold, good balance, heavier on the malts.
Overall... Been wanting to try this for some time and it's a good beer, just not my style.

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Photo of rastaman
3.45/5  rDev -19%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pretty nice stuff, quite sweet at first, then quite bitter towards the end. Rich palate, full of flavour, a soft smooth texture. Sweet malts, a nicely bitter aromtaic hops. Main flavours of lychee, pine, grapefruit (sweet). Satisfying bitterness. A slightly stronger version of an APA, Tasty stuff.

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Photo of OlieIPA
3.45/5  rDev -19%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Orange and hazy with good head. Not much lacing.

S: Sweet and hoppy; very typical

T: Syrup like taste with a light bitter finish. Couldn't pin-point out any distinct flavors...but perhaps a honey like sweetness.

M: Light body and carbonation; just about perfect for this type of beer.

D: Could drink all night if needed.

Overall: A good beer...not great. One of the better pale ales I have tasted.

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Photo of frank4sail
3.47/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pale average appearance. Not alot stands out. There is an above average hop presence, but it seems to fade into thin air as you drink. Slight white head. Overall a slightly above average pale ale.

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Photo of rugger
3.49/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This beer poured a nice coppery color with a small white head that stuck around for a little while, and then left a nice lace pattern down my glass. The smell was at first very hoppy and then that went away and there was a smell that was very malty. The taste was more malty than hoppy, however you could tell that there were a lot of hops in there. I think that there could have been more hops in this beer, especially seeing as how it is called alpha king. This was a nice beer, but I have had better. I will try this again if I ever get a chance. It is always hard to rate a beer on one experience. i think that this beer would be great with a RANDALL.

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Photo of charlzm
3.49/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Consumed 04/25/08/.

Pours a hazy medium gold with a two finger, white (light yellow?) head.

Aroma is soapy.

Flavor is restrained but interesting. Some caramel maltiness and strong but smoothly bitter. Juicy, whistle-whetting brew.

Well balanced, very drinkable.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.5/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a deep amber color ale with a small white foamy head with minimal retention. Aroma of strong bitter hops with some floral malt. Taste is mostly overpowered by hops with some caramel malt. I’m not sure I get what is suppose to be so great about this beer, seems to me that it lack balance. Will give this another try though.

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Photo of Murphious
3.5/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I was hoping this would be a better beer, but was slightly disappointed. Slight head and not much if any residual lacing. The aroma was nice, slight citrus but not much else. Flavor was nothing special, a generic IPA. Maybe the batch was old...? Seemed to taste a little ’medicine-y’ at the finish.

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Photo of blankenhoney
3.5/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled 5.22.14 and poured into a teku

A: darker amber or copper

S: initially i picked up lots of malty breadiness and tart citrus aromas. after letting it sit awhile, i found an intensely concentrated aroma of orange. there's also a fair bit of pine underneath everything. i was turned off at first but the orange and pine aromas are pretty nice.

T: this beer is dry and bitter. i get a lot of citrus bitterness and a little bit of sweet orange maltiness.
not much going on here for me. it's bitter and malty, so right on point for the style, but it's a bit uninteresting.

M: very dry and bitter; medium-bodied

O: straight-up bitter and hoppy beer that didn't do it for me

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Photo of tayner
3.5/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle courtesy of buckeyenation, thanks!

Medium nut brown color with a very sticky white head and lots of lacing

Smell is sweet malt and hops of a citrus grapefruit pith in nature.

taste is green. Lots of hot hop oils, bitter, grassy, and pretty unbalanced. Not enough malt backbone to stand up to the hop making it, IMO, a pale ale hop bomb.

mouthfeel is oily but very well carbonated. even with the great carbonation this one was still pretty mouth coating.

It was easy to drink, would have been more enjoyable if it had a bit more maltiness to balance it some.

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Photo of JackRWatkins
3.5/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

A: Deep amber, pretty two finger head, seemingly quite effervescent
S: the perfect marriage of hops and malt, a very pale ale kinda breadiness
T: malt and a tinge of sunflower seed like bitterness and after tastes, it tastes like wort smells, very sweet in its own way, smells of fresh fruit in a generic sense, a bit of acidity in the aftertaste and some melon juiciness
M: juicy
O: oh how I wish this were as good as zombie dust, it's still quite good but nowhere close in comparison. I wish that I had tasted this first so that I could have been fair to it.

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Photo of alysmith4
3.5/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thought this beer was good, but a little on the 'meh' side as far as my expectations go. Had high hopes as I've absolutely loved everything I've tried from Three Floyds so far, especially since this is their "flagship" beer. But it just didn't do it for me. It was definitely a good pale ale, however one-dimentional. Would have again, but wouldn't seek out.

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Photo of ShogoKawada
3.51/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12oz extra from mikey711. Thanks! Into tulip.

A- That's a damn dark pale ale if I do say so myself. Penny copper brown. Nice sandy head that's mostly white. Large bubbles, nice lacing, head settles to a 1/2 cm and just stays there.

S- Hops! Sweet, sugary malt and fruity, mildly piny hops. Big citrus component. Hmm... west coast hops with an east coast malt bill.

T- Good hop bill here, malt is a bit too much for me. A bit sweeter than I would have liked. Still very tasty.. esp. for a pale ale (drinks like an IPA). Hops are flavorful and don't have too much bitterness. Lots of sugary sweetness... like frosted hops.

M- Again, too much malt. Maybe I'm just not being kind to this beer, but it borders on too sweet. Good carbonation though.

D- Moderate. I'll have to revisit this at some point, maybe my head's just not in the game. Good stuff, not great stuff though.

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Photo of SlothB77
3.53/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

12 ounce bottle poured into glass

A: Dark copper with half a finger of milky white head, viscous and a little rocky.

S: Grapes, passion fruit and cut grass.

T: Slick sour taste, toast and honey. Lemony sour mixed with hedgerow.

M: Medium-body, medium carbonation, acidic, slick, sour and bitter.

O: This is a little too sour for my taste, but I am more of a fan of IPA's than I am of pale ales.

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Photo of Swettenham_Shire
3.54/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Currently on tap in the Pint Room (Dublin, OH). First time trying this pale ale from 3Floyds.

A: copper color with minimal head
S: simple citrus smell; expected more hops
T: expected better; I've had other pale ales that compare to this
M: very smooth and drinkable
O: good, but not extraordinary; maybe I just don't like pale ales that much, but being a 3Floyds brew I had to try it

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Photo of Nugganooch
3.55/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Another review made possible by my first trade with Shuggy. Cheers mate!

Very excited to try some 3 F's goodness for the very first time and just so happens that I actually got to sample some Alpha King at the PizzaPort Real Ale fest recently. Now sitting down with a bottle and results are sort of a let down for me.

A: Pours a much darker pale - more amber color with almost no head love. Just a dank swirling mass of a brew. Struggling lace.

S: Sweet honey malt notes with ample biscuit characteristics. Picking up some slight citrus but smell is dominant malt.

T: Taste is mostly sweet with a light honey and english biscuity malt character. Good amount of bitterness. Some noticeable spice and pine notes but any delicate hop flavors are just trumped by the abundent bready and honey malts here. Bitters do round it out and finish it up nice. ABV slighlty detectable.

M: Not a bad mix of sticky and creaminess on the palate that is bittered well.

D: Good. Malt forward for the style and lands a bit on the sweeter side.

Maybe my expectations were just too high here for a brew titled the Alpha King. As far as hops go this one is definitely not the King. Maybe back in the day this was considered hoppy? Overall a decent brew but a bit heavy on the malt flavors and aromas for the hops to really shine in my opinion. Perhaps one I will not be seeking out again any time soon with the many other options these days. Glad to have tried though.

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Photo of robwestcott
3.55/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

third glass in a FFF flight.

poured from tap to a 4oz taster a semi translucent light mahogany with a 1/2 finger off white short lasting head.

aroma of piney hops and not much else - except cigarette smoke from that guy next to me.

piney hops forward to the exclusion of all else. it's a hoppy beer not pretending to balance.

bitter on the tongue, medium carbonation.

very drinkable at 6abv.

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Alpha King from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
4.26 out of 5 based on 6,331 ratings.
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