Alpha King | 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,797 | Ratings: 6,285
Photo of jwc215
4.54/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to jcwattsrugger for this one!

Pours dark amber with a thin white head. Some lacing sticks.

The smell is of mega alpha hops - citric/piney/earthy/leafy. This is an APA?? Smells like an IPA - vey hoppy - and nicely done, to boot (to say the least).

The taste is citric/piney with balancing sweet malt (hoppy APA/more balanced IPA border). Some acidity. Rounded bitterness comes through in the finish.

The body is slightly thinner than expected - still, it's pretty chewy and medium bodied. Smooth.

A hop-head's version of a pale ale, for sure! And nicely done, Firm malt backbone keeps the hops tied in nicely. A goodie!

 631 characters

Photo of feloniousmonk
4.82/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

When I was first introduced to this beer, I was warned that it wasn't for everyone, and at the very least took some getting used to, after all "it's not normal." I'd already had an affection for the hops, and, well, it was love at first sniff and sip.
Years later, after the bloom of fresh infatuation has mellowed, how does the beer compare, especially after this tongue has met so many others, with abundant charms? That is what we seek to discover...
Perfect crimson-tinged nectarine hue, hazy, and blessed with a beautiful bed of froth up on top, leaving delicate lace, enticing the eye. Aroma makes matters worse for the thirst, big fruit, fresh hops, peachy, melon, orange, and, yes, mango, and more, a bountiful bouquet that keeps the nose happy and hoppy. Man, but I need a taste, though!
An explosion in the mouth, the hops are a bursting throughout, but so well buttressed by malt, that any bitterness is mellow and well smoothed out, after an initial bite, at least. Like chomping into a ripe tangerine, juice splashing on the corners of the mouth and dripping down the chin. Though hoppiness flows freely, and bitterness peeks through time and again, the mouthfeel is actually soft and luxuriant, body is medium, and the overall effect is a constant joyride for the palate. A lively and rewarding ale, and a real American classic, a jewel in the craft-brew crown. Count yourself lucky if you can grab these with ease.
Ah, I once had it on-tap around here...those were some fine days...
Thanks to jables for the reunion, after too, too long!

 1,558 characters

Photo of johnnnniee
4.37/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Received in trade from phisigben, thanks for the opportunity.
Pours a deep clear copper color with a big fluffy white head that slowly dissipates to a wisp of foam on top. Smells of citrus, lots and lots of grapefruit fresh from the produce isle. a bit of toffee, bread and a hint of caramel malt are buried deep underneath. Taste is citrus and resinous with bits of bread and malt barely breaking onto the scene. Long lingering hop bite in the finish is there but never harsh. Medium to light body with a moderate level of carbonation with a smooth resinous mouthfeel. This is a very nice beer, but to call this a pale ale is a bit of a stretch. I would drink these a lot more often if they were more available in my area.

 724 characters

Photo of tdm168
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Dunn for bringing this one back from his travels.

A - pours copper with a soft, thin layer of pure white head that has decent retention

S - big bready malt, citrusy hop aromas

T - bready, citrusy, birthday cake-like sweetness

M - medium bodied, smooth, well carbonated

This is an awesome pale ale. It's big and malty with a nice, citrusy hop character that leads to superb balance. This is easy to drink and very enjoyable. I'm glad I have a few more of these to enjoy.

 484 characters

Photo of MasterSki
4.27/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle poured into a pint glass - nothing unusual or spectacular here. There are some numbers on the bottom of the bottle, but no decipherable date.

A - Pretty inconspicuous brew. One-fingered head that dissolves to a ncie lace. Brownish amber in color - not all that "pale" looking.

S - Mandarin orange, hops, grapefruit, pine. Delicious! Smell reminds me of IPAs and DIPAs.

T - Taste is a little more subdued than the smell. Starts sweet with citrus accents, buts leaves a bitter aftertaste.

M - Excellent - just the right viscosity and mild amount of carbonation. Smooth and creamy.

D - Very sessionable - if the aftertaste wasn't as bitter it'd be perfect.

It's my second favorite Pale Ale (behind Founder's Harvest), and a great brew to buy a sixer and share with friends.

 783 characters

Photo of smakawhat
4.41/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured on tap into a sampler 4 oz. taster at Pizza Paradiso Dupont. Way overdue for reviewing this one.

A good basic amber copper, with light light tan to off white color and leaving a solid collar. Good lacing on this drink while finishing, and fairly crystal clear very nice.

Aroma jumps out. Wonderful juicy orange with a nice sweetness. No hop bitterness noticeable, with a little white grass. It's very pleasant and inviting.

Palate is rich and full on first sip. Wonderful mix of mild wood hop and orange and tangerine citrus. Light hints of grapefruit with a spritzy hop feel and character. Palate is juicy matching the hinted bouquet.

Juicy. Full. Stupid easy to drink, and full of flavor. A great touch of juice and spicy finish quality. This is either way better on tap, or I had an old bottle cause this is nothing like I remember it.

Old review - bottle (4)(4)(3.5)(4)(3) ---

Poured into a pint glass resembling a really nice golden/brown color body that is clear. Cream off/white head with fairly tight bubbles and some minor visible carbonation. Real good head retention.

Standard bouquet but a good one. Simple citrus grapefruit with a sweetness and hop aroma. Very nice.

Upon drinking first comes a very hoppy front more in the standard of an American IPA, with a good finish. I keep forgetting this is suppose to be a pale ale but it sure doesn't feel like one. This is quite an okay drink but nothing here I would desperately want to have for an APA.

 1,479 characters

Photo of drabmuh
4.15/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Beer poured from bottle into a standard pint glass. Beer is hazy and brown / orange, forms a thin head of small bubbles that falls away to nearly nothing leaving some lacing on the glass. Carbonation is low.

Beer kind of smells like a brown ale (also looks like a brown ale). Caramel and some hops, citrusy.

Nice and smooth overall. Medium body, good hop bitterness in the back, some malt sweetness up front. Beer overall is a good pale ale. Drinkability is high, no real aftertaste, citrus hop flavors, bitterness builds as you drink, beer flavors become more pronounced as beer warms a little.

 597 characters

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

12 ounce bottle, with no freshness dating. Pours dark auburn, cloudy and with a few chunks swirling around. Rich, creamy, tiny bubble head and leaving quality lacing. nose is richly, malty and resiny hop filled. Full bodied nectar. Citrus hops explode on the palate. Deeply flavorful. High quality brew,seek out and enjoy. Cheers!

 330 characters

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

A – Deep, beautiful, peach ice-tea with intense orange highlights. White head sits low but what’s there hangs around with nice retention.

S – Caramel layered with soft, citrusy, orange and grapefruit hops notes.

T – Rosewater, honey suckle, and orange play out prominently on a backdrop of dry bitterness. Resiny hops show themselves on the backend with juniper and black pepper.

M – Medium body with nice carbonation and a bitter-dry finish.

O – A stellar pale ale. One of my favorites.

 503 characters

Photo of GClarkage
4.77/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

07/30/05- Received from a purchase at Archers Liquors.

Presentation- 12oz bottle with no dating. Poured into my Shipyard pint glass.

Appearance- Darker golden color. Nice 3/4 inch head and average lacing.

Smell- Huge and I mean huge grapefruit hops. That's about all I can detect because the hops overpower everything else.

Taste- Wow, this is one damn good Pale Ale. Starts off with a huge fruity blast of hops and finishes with a nice smooth semi dark malt flavor.

Mouthfeel- Moderate carbonation, heavier mouthfeel.

Drinkability- I actually felt some of the alcohol kick in at the end of the brew. Not sure if I could session more than a couple of these. But, an amazing hoppy pale ale that I would buy again in a second if I could get my hands on it out here. Hands down one of the top two or three Pale Ales I've had. Maybe the best.

 857 characters

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

Thanks to korguy123 for this beer!
Tasting notes from 8/10/10
Poured in to Duvel tulip

A - Cloudy amber colour with an orange glow and one finger of thick cream coloured head.

S - Bitter hops up front with grapefruit and tangerine notes and a nice sweet caramel backbone. The nose is more of an IPA than a pale ale.

T - Follows the nose but the malts are more present in the palate and dominate the flavour with a sweet caramel taste. The hops are there too with a nice citrus flavour but they are not dominant enough to get any specific flavours out of them. If I tasted this blind I would bet money that it was an IPA.

M - Medium body, lightly carbonated.

D - An excellent beer but there are definitely better out there

 730 characters

Photo of Gobzilla
4.12/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: poured an amber brown with yellow highlights and a thin head that left very little lacing.

S: booze malts and mild hop aromas with hints of citrus fruit and caramel.

T: nice mild piney sweet hop flavor with bready notes with hints of booze and citrus. The final taste is that of ice tea.

M: medium body with light carbonation and a sweet mild bitter finish

D: pretty decent pale ale from FFF I'm glad I have more on the way. I'm itrested to see how it taste a little more fresh.

 485 characters

Photo of Mebuzzard
4.15/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a copper, hazy, amberish body. Head is huge, good retention.
Smell erupts with pine and hints of citrus. Smells like an IPA. Some toffee and malt can be detected as well.
Taste is a very crisp pine/citrus PA. The IPA smell is counteracted by the presence of malt and some rich yeast flavors just under the surface. Very delicate.
Feels a bit thin for an IPA, which is why this is a PA. Good drinking. Wish I had another (cool label)

 441 characters

Photo of tempest
4.05/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Deep orange and garnet color. White lacing but no real head retention. Smells of sweet fruity malts with a touch of alcohol as it warms. Plain bitter taste with rich esters and malts. Bit a of caramel. Just the right carbonation and body here. Pretty tasty and easy drinking. Nicely balanced

I am, however, a little confused with this beer. It tastes very similar to Pride and Joy Mild and I wonder if it wasn't mislabeled. I bought a 6'er of P&J and found 2 Alpha King bottles in it. I figured someone had just pulled a switcharoo with a couple bottles from an Alpha King 6'er. Whatever, this is good beer.

 610 characters

Photo of WesWes
4.42/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a hazy dark gold color with a thick frothy white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is awesome. It has a solid malt aroma that boasts of pale, carapils, and crystal malts along with an intensely bitter citrus hop scent; very nice. The taste is great as well. It has a rich and smooth malty flavor that boasts of pale and crystal malts. It also has a very bitter hop taste that goes down easy and finishes hoppy. This is a good tasting beer. It is full of hops, but also well balanced. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a medium bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a damn fine beer. It is a tremendous drinker. This has got to be one of the all time greats.

 686 characters

Photo of Tone
3.86/5  rDev -9.4%

Pours a hazy, copper color. One inch head of an off-white color. Great retention and great lacing. Smells of resin, pine, strong hops, sweet malt, alcohol, and strong tea/hop essence. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of resin, pine, hops, sweet malt, and alcohol. Overall, great appearance, strong pine/resin/hop aroma and body, and decent blend.

 392 characters

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

Clear amber / orange in color with a 1" head that produced some mild lacing. The aroma is very hoppy, which gets your tastebuds ready for the initial taste. The hops are all over this one, as malt and fruity tones balance this out well. This really leans towards the IPA scale with bitterness and bite, but doesn't go overboard.

The mouthfeel was smooth and the finish was too. The bitterness and fruitiness lasted a short while on the tongue. This was a medium bodied brew that had nice carbonation levels. Very drinkable and could easily be a session brew for any hophead.

 578 characters

Photo of Mora2000
4.12/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Pellinore1 for sending me this bottle. I had been wanting to try this for quite some time.

The beer pours an amber color with a white head. The aroma is heavy on the citrus hops with some bready malt and sugar notes.

The flavor is bread and oranges. The orange is both juicy and pithy and is very well done. Low bitterness.

Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

 380 characters

Photo of Duff27
4.23/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Dark, cloudy, copper/ruby. Half-inch head that recedes. Ample, ample lacing. Wow, the King is a brute/beaut.

S- Floral hops.

T- The taste, oh man the taste. if there was ever such a style called DIPA Light (not IPA/APA) then Alpha King would be top tier there as well. Caramel, grapefruit and other assorted citruses. Got the alcohol bite of a strong IPA/weak DIPA.

M- Medium+ mouthfeel for the style. Leaves a hop bitterness in your mouth that makes you salivate.

D/O- It would be a blast to have 2 or 3 of these in a night but the way that these go down - so would you, in my opinion. Great great APA. Cheers Three Floyds.

 631 characters

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

We're back to continue the Third Unorganized Invitational. Eight crazy nights in eight crazy beers, and Alpha King is #6 in the lineup. Is this the alpha of pale ales? On to the beer:

Pours rich copper into a pint glass, good clarity in the body, topped off by a creamy, one cm thick head which drops to a thin lacing on top. At first, the aroma is dominated by fresh hops. Eventually, it evens up to a mix of tropical fruit juice, caramel, bread, and some juicy hop leftovers.

The first thing I notice is the light mouthfeel when I was expecting something a little heavier. Maybe my judgement is clouded from drinking so many high ABV brews recently. At least there's no annoying carbonation. That's okay though, as long as it tastes good. Certainly more hop dominate, though not terribly unbalanced. The hops are herbal, juicy, citrusy, and resiny in this brew. Subtle biscuity notes pop up from time to time. This could pass as an IPA.

My first Three Floyds beer is a good one. But is this going to be enough to take the title of being the best in the T.U.I.? Only two more beers left, we'll resume tomorrow night.

 1,122 characters

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.

 761 characters

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

A - Pours a slightly cloudy dark golden yellow, nice carbonation, tiny head, not much lacing though.

S - Scents of hops, sweetness, slight caramel.

T - The taste is sweet, but pretty hoppy for an APA. Nice clean finish.

M - Medium body.

D - Very drinkable. This is a very tasty APA, more of a slight IPA flavor to me. Totally different than a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. Glad I got a chance to try some.

 411 characters

Photo of aasher
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 a DFH pint glass

Appearance: smoothly with a light white head which stays out top of the beer and laces the rim of the glass, is amber in color and features a full bodied pour

Smell: piny and hoppy, excellent fresh hop aromas, slight bitterness

Taste: a little dry and hoppy, somewhat malty, great flavor, sweet with a mellow hoppy finish

Mouthfeel: very creamy initially, moderate body, slight carbonation

Drinkability: very drinkable Pale Ale, features great aromas and is very hoppy for a pale, drinks very smoothly

I'd definitely recommend Alpha King, in bottle or on tap

 612 characters

Photo of Gueuzedude
4.07/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours an amber color, quite clear except for a few large floaties. Forms a thin beige head that does not stick around too long. An immediate aroma of American hops wafts from my glass. Notes of lychee, grapefruit & other citrus fruits are in the nose, it smells slightly sweet & nectar like, there is a hint of caramel malt here as well. Ooh, quite bitter; this beer finishes with a drying intense bitterness. Overall this beer is only slightly sweet, it has a light body & is focused entirely on the hop component. The hops are over the top, but perhaps it is missing some hop flavor. There is lots of bitterness, but it feels like it is missing some balancing hop nectar flavor. Underlying the hop attack there seems to be some nuttiness, as well as some caramel notes. This beer is all about the hop attack, not much malt here, so if you don't like hops stay away. Luckily I do like hops so this beer is just fine. Perhaps a bit too unbalanced for an everyday drinking beer, but every once in a while is nice.

 1,012 characters

Photo of Stinkypuss
4.06/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a reddish amber hue with a respectable foam topping. Lacework going down the glass in an epic way leaving foam rings like clumps of styrofoam on the glass.

Aroma bright and hoppy with some floral, fruity elements, a bit of caramel and ale yeast fruit. Fresh and hoppy smelling this bottle is under a month old.

The taste has fresh hops, with pine, citrus, herb, and melon elements. A bit of fuggles type action perhaps with the tea like and herbal element. Floral, nicely bitter. Tasty. Well carbonated ale, not overly bitter but certainly fooled some blind taste subjects into thinking it was a west coast IPA. It is tasty, and has good bones, which is to say the recipe is quite good. If the price was right and I could get this all day, I would.

 764 characters

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

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Return of the Belgian Beer Fest

    BeerAdvocate Brings its All-Belgian Fest to Portland, Maine on September 17, 2016. Tickets are on sale now.

    Learn More
  • Get the Mag

    Become a BeerAdvocate magazine print subscriber today.

    Subscribe