Alpha King | 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

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BA SCORE
95
world-class
1,797 Reviews
Alpha KingAlpha King
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
3 Floyds Brewing Co.
Indiana, United States | website

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:
1,797
Ratings:
6,285
Avg:
4.26
pDev:
16.9%
 
 
Wants:
965
Gots:
1,258
For Trade:
32
User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,797 | Ratings: 6,285
Photo of livewire78
4.07/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours the color of copper tubing. Creamy lacing that settles into a rather unremarkable head.

Smells of intense citrus, and a pine cone dunked in a malt bath. Oooh yummy.

I was expecting this to be rather one-sided on the hops end because its a FFF brew but was surprised at how prevelant the malt is in the taste. Make no mistake the hops dominate but the malt is definitely up there with it. Very citrusy like the nose and the pine isn't as intense.

Mouthfeel is decent. Not slick and oily enough for me but not watery either.

I always have some of this on hand so I guess its my idea of drinkable. This one for me blurs the line between APA and IPA but its good either way. Trade with ME to get it though.

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Photo of camp0474
3.95/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a nice copper amber color with a frothy tan head.

S: Citrus and pine hops covering some faint but detectable sweet malt.

T: Solid balance of hops and malt. Citrus notes and the sweet malt blend well. Well balanced even with the upfront hops.

M/D: Medium body which is very drinkable. Good amount of fine carbonation. Bitterness from hops at the end.

Overall this well balanced beer is very drinkable.

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Photo of jlh8643
4.47/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in an imperial pint glass. A nice, tight tanish-white head sits on top of a dark copper body. The head falls down to a small cap leaving good lace all the way down the glass. Piney, citrusy hops greet the nose. More juicy citrus hops with good malt backbone to support the hopload. The beer finishes full and long. A great beer and a good reason why its 3F's flagship beer.

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Photo of pbr85
4.35/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a clear, amber red with an inch high off white head.
S: Oily, piney hops, sweet flower scent with some grapefruit.
T: Pretty hoppy. There is a substantial malt backbone mainly of sourdough and rye. Earthy and piney hops. Very well balanced.
M: Decent carbonation, slick mouthfeel from the hop oils. Goes down smooth.
D: Great beer. Very nicely balanced. A great alternative for someone who is craving hops but also craving balance.

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

thanks to malcontent for the opportunity.

A: pours a dark copper orange color with a 1.5 finger beige head. Good lacing. 4

S: citrus notes, and a good hop profile. the malt is quite evident too. 4

T: A very refreshing pale ale. there's a lot of malt to make up for the hoppiness. 4

M: the hops sting quite a bit. medium body. good carbonation. 4

D: I could drink a lot of these. But I wouldn't because they're so hard for me to get that I only drink one at a time.

Personally, I think dreadnaught kicks this one's ass in taste. This is still a very nice and refreshing pale ale though.

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

12 oz bottle thanks to mattboyer182 poured into Dogfish Head tulip pint.

A- Aggressive pour resulted in 2-3 finger head. Clear amber. Nice sticky lacing.

S- Nice citrus hop aroma. Caramel undertones.

T- Great big citrus hops balanced beautifully with a caramel malt backbone. Great drinker.

M- Nice light-medium body with a nice level of carbonation.

O- This is the second time I have visited this beer. It is up there with my favorite pale ales. So wonderfully balanced. Nice work. Three Floyds knows their stuff.

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Photo of dgugliuzza
4.47/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Mild amber in appearance with two fingers thick tan head. Soft and pillowy head that latches onto the sides of the glass and doesn't let go. Plenty of carbonation as well.

Tropical fruit aromas such as pineapple and mango dominant this brew. Has a nice sweet malt backbone to go along with the beautiful balance of piney and citrusy hops.

Tastes of tropical flavors and bitter hops followed by a lightly sweet maltiness. Again, the blend of piney and citrusy hops prove to be excellent in smell as well as taste.

Medium bodied mouthfeel that is a bit oily. Feels very smooth and goes down even smoother. Perfect amount of carbonation. This is one of the more drinkable and smooth pale ales that comes to mind.

Overall this is an exceptional pale in every facet. Incredible piney, citrusy and bittersweet flavors. Has sufficient maltiness to balance out the hops. This one is worth seeking out pretty much any time.

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Photo of Bumpon10s
4.47/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured a slightly thick, deep amber, almost red with a narrow head that dissapeared.

S - A very deep aroma of hops, pine and a little citrus, very enticing.

T - Wow, thats hoppy. Good hops with a bit of a pine cone. A refreshing APA.

M - Very thin and smooth, I let it slip around the tongue for a second before letting it go down.

D - Great drinkability, this is a great beer to have a few while fishing. Don't have too many though, the 7.3% may sneak up on you.

I like this beer, I bought a sixer of it, and glad I did. This beer though did remind me alot of Bell's Two Hearted with a little more body, to any fans of that I'd reccomend them Alpha King.

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Photo of tiger88
3.88/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this one on draft the night before DLD and on DLD as well. Liked it and bought a 6 pack to bring home. I initially ordered this one to come down off my Alpha Kong high. It was a very pleasant APA. It was a clear, golden-orange with a nice, fluffy white head. It left a little lacing as the beer disappeared from my glass. A strong hop aroma did not translate into an overwhelming hoppy taste, which I was glad of since the Kong almost destroyed my tastebuds. It was a clean, crisp tasting pale ale. Light in the mouth with minimal aftertaste, this beer would be a great addition to my regular rotation....if I didn't live in Alabama.

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Photo of hammer09
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A friend of mine gave me a bottle of this to try, and I've been thanking him ever since. This is an excellent beer!

The Alpha King poured a nice, deep amber with very little head. Lacing was minimal with a fine amount adhering to the glass. Not as cloudy as I expected from a bottle conditioned beer. Carbonation was minimal with only a few visible bubbles.

Smell exhibited a very pleasant hop aroma with citrus accents. I was quite surprised at the hoppiness; this is more characteristic of an IPA than a pale ale.

Taste was very bitter, but good, with a strong hop presence in the beer also. Slight citrus flavor throughout.

Mouthfeel was crisp and dry. Amazingly, the Alpha King was well carbonated considering that visual observations indicated otherwise.

This beer is very drinkable and I will definately add this to my "must drink again" list. Depending on its local availability, I will most likely pick up this beer whenever I see it on the shelf at my local retailer.

Overall, a solid, very drinkable, very enjoyable beer. However, I still can't figure out why this is classified as a pale ale and not an IPA.

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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 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 btorsdog
4.45/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Wish I had access to this ,but no Ohio distribution means RoadTrip! Anyhow...
Beautiful pour looks like a Red Rocket Ale, Nice!
Taste is somewhat strong for an APA but it gets tamed down with a nice malt sweetness, oh yeah LOTS of HOPS, excellent!
Smell was citrus and floral like (almost passed up smellin this in Rush to taste it!)
mouth had somewhat of an alcohol sting to it , not bad but slightly distracting.
drink was preety good for me,went down real nice like , just tell youself it's an IPA and all is GREAT!

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Photo of Rope
4.3/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance-
A copper brown, with a finger white head that leaves excellent lacing.

Smell-
Light floral pine, followed by a buttery malt.

Taste-
Strangely, I found it to start with the malt, move to the bitter side of the hops, then to the floral, then to the buttery side of the malt.

Mouthfeel-
Not as crisp as I was hoping, there is a heavier presence than expected.

Overall-
A flavorful APA that does not end the night.

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

Appearance: Solid all the way round. Nice color, head, lacing.

Smell: Sprucy hop oil all the way.

Taste and Mouthfeel: Hopsmack but enjoyable, this like 90 min. IPA I may prefer in the bottle, maybe its because with the air hop aromatics take charge, to me they seemed designed for bottle drinking, since such a small portion of the beer drinking public even craft beer fans drink it from the bottle anyway. Sweet upfront a healthy dose of malt balanced by the piney hop oils, leaving you with a perfectly dry finish. A bit of toasted malt gives you a wisp of caramel but much more nutty goodness. Rolling it around on the tongue, gives it a creamy goodness that stands up to much maltier brews.

Drinkability: I'd drink more in a night but I like diversity in all things, a classic from a legendary brewer.

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Photo of hoppheadIPA
4.85/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My absolute favorite beer at the moment!!!

Pours a hazy copper color into the pint glass with an agressive pour produces a creamy 1" head that dissapears quickly but leaves a medium lace around the glass as I drink.

Smell is like whoa!!!! Very hoppy, which I love so I was excited. Also citrus is very evident especially grapefruit.

Tastes just like I expected after smelling it. Hoppy, citrus, with a slight pine hint. Tastes like fresh cut grapefruit. My favorite tasting pale ale to date. Three Floyds is lying when they call this a pale ale. Should be an IPA. A pleasent bitterness creeps up after you swallow. I love the taste...

Sticks to the mouth perfectly

I consider this to be very drinkable. Wouldn't quite call it a session beer but wouldn't mind having 3 or 4.

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Photo of jlb307
4.45/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got in trade from cdflem.
Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: Rich, deep amber color. Nice and clear with a thick, fluffy yellowish white head. Excellent retention, and a sticky film down all sides of the glass.

S: Nice hop aroma tempered with grapefruit and sweet malt. Slight hints of spice and honey.

T: Nicely balanced beer with the sweet and bitter. Finishes very clean. A little bready, and the flavor just lasts and lasts on the palate.

M: A bit thinner than most APAs I've had, I'd call this almost light in body, but definitely not in flavor.

D: This is a great beer. Perfect for summer.

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

A-Pours a nice almost clear amber color with a 1+ finger head and nice lacing about the glass.
S-Piney hops, malt and citrus fruits principally grapefruit and lemon with hints of honey.
T-Malty richness but not heavy with a nice blend of bitterness of the hops. The afternotes have some mild citrus flavor but definitely a hops finish.
M-Creamy up front with some bite at the end and mild to moderate carbonation.
D-This is a really nice APA. Definitely a good session beer. I will be looking forward to the rest of this 6'r I picked up after DLD.

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

Bottle poured into Founders tulip.

AK pours pretty dark for the style, with 3/4 inch of cream colored head. Smell is quite well balanced, getting both earthy hops & sweet malts as well. Smells great. The taste starts with more of the malty sweetness: plum/raisin/dark fruit. It finishes with a bitter kick that lingers on the palate.

This brew defines the style for me. Incredibly well balanced, and looks stunning in a tulip glass. There are several outstanding APAs that really taste like IPAs, or at least "light" IPAS. AK does not fall into that category, IMO. Incredible balancing act here.

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Photo of osusullins
4.85/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is my go-to beer. I can't express how much I love this one. Whether you want to call this an APA or an IPA it suits either label. Just pure hoppy brilliance.

The beer pours a beautiful deep orange with a nice white head.

The nose is almost all hops. Lots of pine with some subtle grapefruit. As a hop-head, the smell just makes me want to dive right in, and I usually do just that.

The taste does not disappoint the nose. Hops is what you smell, and that is exactly what you taste. Tons of pine and citrus bitterness. Some malt shows up on the back end, but the palate is pretty hop fried by that point. lol.

This is the flag ship beer of my favorite brewery. I love this beer. Top 10 favorite of mine definitly. Thanks, FFF.

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Photo of Suds_With_Buds
3.75/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I am surprised by this, I usually love everything by 3 Floyds, especially their Pale ales, unfortunately this one isn't as good

I could drink this, but I thought it was far too bitter for my liking, it was less than 2 weeks old so it wasn't a freshness issue.

Strange, but still a solid beer.

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

Had this from draft at the Trion in New Haven.
It's suprisingly dark for a "pale ale" and this coupled with the intense hoppy aromas let's you know you are dealing with a serious brew. Taste is burly with sharp flavors up front and smooth on the finish. For some reason this reminds me of Stone's Ruination, and yes, I know the styles are different. Maybe it's just the up front machismo that both of those beers deliver. Whatever the case, this is a fantastic beer. Of the 3F's that are available all the time, I put this right behind Gumballhead. On tap, this actually gets the slight edge, the Gumballhead seems to shine a little brighter out of the bottle. Either way, that is a potent one-two punch from the crew up in Munster, one that can stand up to any brewer in the nation.

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

APPEARANCE

This is a typical APA, albiet it's a bit hazier than other I have seen. It's an yellowish-orange color, and had a nice two-finger khaki head that stuck around for awhile, and left a great amount of lacing. A very gorgeous beer.

SMELL

Big amount of hops. Tons of grapefruit and orange, as well as some pinnapple. This is the american citrusy hop, and it's plain old delicious. Believe it or not, there's a smidge of alcohol but only the slightest bit. This isn't as hoppy as an IPA, but it has a lot of hop character.

TASTE

Just like the nose, this has tons of American hop flavor. It's overly bitter, but there is a nice slight crisp bitterness in here. Most of the flavor is hop flavor - orange, citrus, grapefruit, and sweet mango. This is a typical FFF overly hopped beer, and I dig it.

MOUTHFEEL

If this was any more drinkable, I'd drink this instead of water. It goes down easily, and is dry and crisp. It's got a bit of body In the middle.

OVERALL

Incredible APA! This has the typical FFF hop flavor that only seems present in their beers. They must do some crazy stuff with hops to make it taste like that, but good lord I crave it. This is one of the beers that makes American beers great. Get this, and get a lot of it.

Cheers.

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Photo of gustogasmic
4.53/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Just wow. Poured into a 12 oz tulip, forms a luscious pillowy off-white head. The beer is a translucent amber with very active carbonation. Great pillowy lacing.

The smell is of ruby red grapefruit, bitter orange rind, and pine needles... A really potent and exciting bouquet.

Very orangey and bitter hop, hoppy as hell, and incredibly balanced. The body is there, but at the perfect level- not too big, not too sweet, but with no breaks on flavor. nice dry sticky leave that makes you smack your tongue and appreciate the flavor as it rolls out for minutes after a sip.

The mouthfeel is a bit thick for my liking but really works well with the beer. I can't knock it.

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Alpha King from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 1,797 ratings.
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