Alpha King | 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

BA SCORE
95
world-class
1,826 Reviews
Alpha KingAlpha King
BEER INFO

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

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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
1,826
Ratings:
6,404
Avg:
4.26
pDev:
8.92%
 
 
Wants:
972
Gots:
1,328
For Trade:
30
User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,826 | Ratings: 6,404
Photo of tjthresh
5/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bought a case from the brewery on July 3.
Amber with and off white head. Fair retention. Minimal haze.
I get some bold citrus (orange or tangerine) hops and rich breadyness for malt in the nose.
Very full flavor. Again citrus hops and robust breadiness from the malt. Maybe some caramel. Moderate body. Not a lot of ligering flavor.
SNPA is considered to be the classic example of this style. For my money, I'll take Alpha King any time.
Re-review: Since this beer is listed as a APA, I say it is the best possible APA. I rated it before assuming it was an IPA

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Photo of brewQ
4.2/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer is a good reason for me to move back towards the Great Lakes!

Beyond gold but not really brown, a floral and sweet aroma beckons. Of course, it is the snap, crackle, pop of hops that pulls me in. However, there is enough malt to make it work, to make me drink AK all night.

For me, this beverage represents a balanced diet.

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Photo of RedwoodGeorge
3.84/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

You know, I was a bit dubious when I tasted this "pale ale" from Three Floyds as it sure tastes like an IPA to me. Now that I see it listed as 7.3% ABV (even though the 3F website lists it as 6% ABV) I'm even more tempted to consider this a misclassified IPA and deduct points because it deviates from the APA style. Tempted, yes but it's such a good beer I'm going to cut it some slack - after does it really matter what they call the beer if you like it?

The pour is surprisingly uninspired - not much carbonation to speak of, no real head an no lacing on the glass. The beer itself is a deep golden brown that hints of the caramelized malts to come.

The smell is very inviting with lots of resinous hop notes. The beer smells piney and floral with some herbaceous odors as well. The taste is quite wonderful - lots of strong malts to balance the hops and bring a real robustness to the brew. The hops are large and in charge with assertive bitterness and a strongly floral flavor (very "East Coast") Big doses of Centennial hops with a peppery spiciness as well as a strong complex herbal flavoring. No citric notes to be found, the hopping seems quite similar to Stone's IPA.

Mouthfeel is disappointing especially for a bottle conditioned ale. I can only hope that this particular bottle didn't have enough residual sugar for the yeast to carbonate with. Mouthfeel is a little on the oily side without enough effervesence to cleanse the palate. Bitter finish to the drink but not overpowering (if you're a hop head)

In many ways I'm very pleased with this beer and I can understand why it's a crowd favorite. For a "Pale Ale" it's got a tremendous amount of personality with both a strong malt body and a powerful hop finish. This'll please and impress any IPA fan but will also likely scare way any drinker of lighter brews. Personally the hop combination isn't my favorite (it's a bit too floral) but it's quite well crafted and something I'd look forward to drinking again.

[Thanks to IrishRedRock for sending this westward in a trade...]

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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 Spica66
4.3/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Cloudy, medium copper color. Short head, virtually no lacing.

S: Much more hops nose than I expected from an APA. Really don't get much malty or sweet smell through the amount of hops in your nose.

T: If you like Two Hearted Ale, you will love this beer. It really tastes like an IPA instead of an APA. It really, really tastes like 2H to me. I am going to have to have a side-by-side to figure out the difference.

M: Medium feel. Not a lot of hop bite at all for as much as the nose warns you might be coming.

D: Now I know why this is their self-proclaimed "flagship beer". I could easily make these go away in large quantity.

A very, very good beer.

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Photo of Ellbert
4.14/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Orange with brown highlights. A yellowish head crowns this brew. A beautiful sight. What is this... floaties... bits of hops... you can't get much bette.r

Smell: It smells like fresh hops. There is little malt in the smell but the hops just smell so inviting. They over-take the aroma and invite you in. Very citrusy.

Taste: This is not as apealing as the smell but it is good. If you like sharp fresh hops this is great. The hops are upfront... They seem to overpower until halfway into the brew. As it warms up it balances more. The malt decides to play more of a role and steps up to the plate to hand it to the hops. The hops linger and leave an oily coating on your tongue. There is a little caramel in there towards the end. The alcohol is not evident.

Mouthfeel: Rich and dense. The hops impart an oily smoothness that coats your mouth. The malt adds body to the beer and the hop oils strengthen it.

Drinkability: This is not for the faint of heart. It is very blunt with the hops in aroma, flavor, and even appearance with the hop floaties.

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Photo of BattleRoadBrewer
3.86/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a standard pint from 12 oz amber bottle at about 35F.

Attractive pour, a little bit hazy, orangish amber, slight floaters. Leaves good lacing.

Aroma is a hit of potent hops, a bit piney, bit floral, a lot citrus.

Citrus hop flavor dominates the malts, but the beer is still bold on both counts.

Mouthfeel is slick, a bit effervescent, appropriately bitter.

This is definitely an IPA in Pale Ale clothing. A great beer.

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Photo of montageman
4.48/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

My parents recently took a road trip to Chicago. Living in Michigan, we (for some odd reason) do not have access to Three Floyds, so I had my parents pick up a couple sixers for me - Alpha King and Pride & Joy Mild. What a treat these are! Ok, on to the review...

Pours a cloudy deep amber into a pint glass. Big 2 finger head that is quite luxurious and creamy. The head has staying power, too and leaves some insane lacing. The nose is heavy on pine, some grapefruit, and slight flowery note. Very balanced flavor - hops up front/malt on the back & some definite citrus in between; really nice. Mouthfeel is nearly perfect for this style - well carbonated, refreshing and a little on a creamy side. This is an easy drinkin' all night beer - I could easily have another and another 5 after that. Highly recommended.

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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 SSS
4.77/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

A-Dark Orange, almost brown in color, with a slightly off white head that lingers and remains
S-Subtle sank hops and lots of caramel and toffee with a little pine and citrus underneath
M-Medium and resinous mouthfeel that is quite nice. Low carbonation
T-Sweet all around with very little bitterness
O-This beer reminds me of 60 minute...it is a solid pale ale.

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Photo of nickss
4.35/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark for a pale ale... looks almost like an IPA. Pours a deep copper hue that is almost brown with a 1/2" head. The head could be alot better, but the bartenders pour wasnt exactly aggressive.

Big citrusy hop aroma. Lots of lemon with some resin in the backbone... the aroma, too, is IPA-esque.... very nice.

Huge hoppy citurs flavour... reminds me alot of Dale's Pale Ale, if maybe a touch more bitter. Very nice, and significantly more hoppy than your typical PA.

Decently thick body with a crisp feel.... quite nice.

This is one hop bomb of a PA, but still maintains its drinkability. An absolutely fantastic pale, and one I expect will be a regular in my fridge.

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Photo of gameface23
4.19/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Amber/copper with a great sized head. Some lacing was left, but not a huge amount.

S: Somewhat subdued citrus & pine hops with a caramel sweetness.

T: Really well balanced and drinkable. I was expecting a hop bruiser, but I was surprised by how easy going this one is. There's a great amount of hop flavor, but it is definitely backed up with malt and body.

M: Simply awesome. It's nice and full, smooth and silky.

D: This is a really good beer. I wish that I didn't have to trade for it. If it was distributed in my area, it would absolutely be a beer that I would buy again and again.

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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 SacoDeToro
4.22/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Ahh, the elusive Three Floyds beer are always a treat (I'm stuck on the West Coast) and this was no exception.

The beer poured a rich orange hue and had a nice tan head. The aroma was a pungent burst of citrus and pine. The maltiness was a light caramel sweetness with some dextrins adding to a hearty mouthfeel for a pale ale. The hops were bold, but well balanced by the malt. Carbonation was right on.

This is an excellent beer that I would never pass up if I saw some in front of me. It's on par with the Bell's Two Hearted ale, which in my opinion really puts it in the category of IPA, albeit on the milder side of American IPAs.

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Photo of mondegreen
3.63/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz into a DFH Signature Glass

Pours a reasonable clear amber with a dense, quickly receding head. Not much lacing.

Not much going on with the nose. A little spicy hops, a little sweet malt. I'm wondering if I got an old bottle. What is there smells nice.

Flavor is somewhat grassy. Sweetness and a touch of booze in the middle. Big bitter finish.

Mouth is medium thin and pretty crisp. Highlight of the beer for me.

Somewhat disappointed. I've heard such great things about this beer, but I'm finding it to be kind of blah. I'm on the third of a six pack, so it isn't just one bad bottle. FFF needs to start bottle dating, especially for these hoppy brews. Not sure if this is old or what. I had a friend bring this back from Indiana for me, but based on this experience, I will not try this beer again until the FFF starts dating bottles.

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Photo of Erish
4.57/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I poured this 12 oz. bottle into a large wine glass.

A: a whisper of cloudiness, deep orange-amber color, 1-finger orange-beige head quickly falls into a lovely, sticky cap with good, persistent lacing.

S: tropical/citrus fruit; including pineapple, tangerine, blood orange, grapefruit, underneath the abundant fruit aromas there is a rich, sweet malt core, reminiscent of panettone, also there is juniper, caramel, and orange zest. Wonderful balance and depth; I could sniff this beer forever!

T: all of the aforementioned fruits make a grand entrance at the front, including a bit of apple, quickly followed by the sweet, malty backbone, the middle showcases juniper, pine, and floral notes, as well as honey and caramel, and the long, long finish is tongue-squeezingly bitter with plenty of grass, pine, and white pepper.

M: medium-bodied, creamy/silky start, mineral/oily finish, low to moderate carbonation.

D: This is one wicked Pale Ale. Drinking it again after so many months I am reminded why I love this beer so.

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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 tvv375ia
4.28/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass

A- A dark amber with about a finger of head that ends fairly quickly leaving a little lacing on the glass.

S-I smell the hop resin at the begining, then the malts come in with their sweetness.

T-Well balanced hops and malt, It starts out with some orange type hops up front that compliment the malt perfectly

M-Good carbonation, well balanced

O-A week or so ago my friends wind to Indiana and gave me a call while I was work and asked if there was anything that I wanted from Indiana, and of course the first thing that came to mind was Three Floyds so this was in a mixed 6er that they brought back for me. I didn't really want to follow along with the pack and say something was good just because of the name on the baottle since this was my first experience with Three Floyds, but I do have to say that I wish I could pick some of this up in Iowa. I may have to make my own trip to pick some other FFF up, I can't wait to try some of the others in the 6er but unfortunatley they are not all FFF. If everything from them is this good I cant wait to try the others.

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Photo of tony223366
4.33/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to jzmaxson27 for sending me this beer!

A: Dark copper amber color. Nice off white fluffy head. Only about one finger. Gorgeous beer... would have been a 5 with a bigger head. Nice lacing.

S: Big time citrus hops hit me up front. Getting a nice presence from the caramel malts. Can definitely tell cascade hops are present! Slight orange zest too.

T: Whoa! This is great! Huge hop presence in this "APA". Big citrus hop presence. This is followed by a nice chewy caramel malt. Some fruitiness is present in the middle with a bitter/sweet finish. There's a nice interplay on the finish between the sweet malts and bitter hops.

M: Nice medium body. Definite chewy malt presence. Great carbonation.

O: This is absolutely a unique beer. There's a definite battle between sweet and bitter going on at the finish that I enjoyed. Being a hop head I totally dig the huge citrus hop presence. Worth the accolades it receives.

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Photo of Thur123
3.87/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A somewhat heavy pour yields very little head on this one. The color is dark burnt orange with moderate carbonation. Looks more like an IPA than most APAs I've seen. The smell is crisp and hoppy, both bitter and citrus smells coming through. A sweet malty backbone shows up too making this bold, slightly subdued but balanced.

Glug glug glug

The flavor reflects the smell mostly. I've a feeling I should have gotten this fresher somehow but I'm glad to be able to try it either way. The flavor is balanced and the hops that do come though are citrus all the way. A nice bittersweet edge with lemon feeling most prominent. The malt is sweet and kind of dry, it reminds me of a brown ale at this point. Overall a good APA by my standards but sadly I feel I've an old bottle so....bummer.

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Photo of DrainBamage
3.15/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a cloudy orangish brown with a quarter inch of head that thins to a trace. It smells of hops and citrusy aromas. Taste is very bitter, but has an average citrusy APA taste to it with mild malt flavors. Mouthfeel is a little acidic and is highly carbonated. It leaves a very bitter after taste in your mouth that seems to last forever. I found this brew to be a little to bitter for an APA, but a big hop lover would most likely enjoy this one.

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Photo of fdrich29
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle purchased at City Liquors in Providence, RI. Thanks Nick (beerpanther) and Frank (beerguy) for pointing me in the right direction in finding 3 Floyds brews outside of Indiana.

Beautiful pour, thick, rich head. Hazy copper body. Nice lacing.

Smells of hops and straw. Light hoppy taste, smooth! Teases the palate then disappears leaving little evidence that it was ever in your mouth.

I can see myself enjoying more than my fair share of these treats on a hot summer day.

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Photo of NeutroMan
4.32/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at the Yardhouse @ The Glen. Reviewed from notes on 8 June 2009.

A - Hazy dark amber with a thin head that leaves good lacing.

S - Big-time floral hops and toasted grains and caramel malt. Notes of apple and grapefruit as well.

T - Blast of hops, almost overpowering. Nice dry floral hop bitterness.

M - Light to medium body with slight carbonation.

D - A great sipper. High bitterness keeps it from being sessionable.

Simply an outstanding pale ale.

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Photo of BeerRun13
3.8/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly hazy copper tone. A small off white head provides good lacing.
A slight malty hop aroma. Hops seam a little piney. A fruity presence shows as the beer warms.
Flavor is of Piney hops up front of a malty backbone. A quick bittering aspect comes, but doesn't linger. The maltiness grows as the beer warms, and a slight cherry or fruit presence shows. Good beer.
Lighter side of medium bodied. Moderate carbonation and a slight dryness.
A fine Pale Ale with good flavor. Take home a 6 pack, it'll be worth it.

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

Serving type- 12 ounce bottle poured into my new Surly Pint glass. No born on or freshness date on bottle.

A- Pours a dark amber color white a light tan head and small head that disipates about half way down. No carbonation activity present in the beer.

S- Smells of citrusy hops and a biscuit malt undertone.

T- Nice hoppy flavor for a pale ale. Smooth, not bitter for the amount of hops present. Finishes mellow as the malt takes over. Good combination of hops and malt so that you aren't drinking a hop bomb of a beer.

Got this in the Educators BIF and I think that this is a solid pale ale. Most others I have tried have been a little hop weak in my opinion but this beer does not fall into that category. I think that it almost boderlines on an IPA, with its hop presence but it obviously falls short. A very solid pale ale that I wouldn't mind having around here.

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Alpha King from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
4.26 out of 5 based on 6,404 ratings.
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