Alpha King | 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

1,826 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:
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Reviews: 1,826 | Ratings: 6,405
Photo of Netdigger2
4.77/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I'll preface this by saying that this is my favorite all-time sessioner.

It pours a light red-walnut color with tight white head, medium lacing.

The smell is of citrus and pine hops, maybe some crystal malt.

The taste is hoppier than most mainstream ipas and incredibly complex with pine, citrus and resin, for not being a DIPA. Wow.

The mouthfeel is medium with great carb, very refreshing.

I could look forward to this as the last beer on earth, A+

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

Coworker drove home a few cases for me from a recent extended Chicago business trip. I'm down to my last one (only one today) so I think I should review.

A - nice glowing amber color with a creamy, very light beige head

S - Juicy! Grapefruit, orange with a slight floral note. This is my kind of hop scent - it lets you know exactly what's coming... not exactly a "hop bomb" but a citrusy hop explosion of some sort.

T - Did I say Juicy? Take that juice and add a strong balancing malt backbone with elements of vanilla and caramel.

M- Much prefered this from the bottle over from cask - probably personal preference but the increased carbonation was a plus for me.

D - A guy can dream. During said recent trip to Chicago, this was my go-to beer. As a 300lb guy, this easily qualifies as sessionable at 6%. Not only could I drink it at every chance possible, I craved it. Case of a beer living up to the hype.

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Photo of bloberglawp
4.76/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to tpd975 for this one on a recent trade!

Pour medium dark cooper with a thick white head that lingers around (pale ale?).

Holy crap, what a bouquet! Intense hops, then more hops, a faint buttersweet maltiness and more hops. Flavor is even better, its like drinking hop juice, there's also a hint of fresh mellon, a very intense floral note, generous citrus, slight spice.

And to top it off, its not overpowering like some hoppy ales tend to be, its incredibly well balanced and drinkable.

Man candy.

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Photo of Enola
4.76/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Received as part of the Double Trouble BIF.

This beer is a slightly murky orange with a thin head and not much lacing. But the smell is hop heaven. Sweet hop aroma fills the air. Cirtus hints are present as well. This beer is what I think a hopped up beer should be. Sweet, bitter but not harsh. Just nice and smooth to make a very drinkable brew. Mouthfeel is silky smooth. The drinkability is high. In fact, the beer is gone before the this reveiw is even finished. I could certainly go for more of this beer. Off to add it to my wants.

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Photo of SerialHiker
4.76/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This thing is awesome, a total must have...a perfectly balanced pale ale, yummy caramel malts, delicious citrus hops...fluffs up so nicely on the palate...can't believe I'm here at the brew ff the tap is all i need, this would go so well with a round of disc golf...having a bit of a beergasm...

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Photo of pat61
4.75/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I am drinking this a week after it was bottled from a hotel water glass. It pours brilliant amber with a moderately thick off-white foam cap. It has a spicy hop nose while the palate starts with fruit and a little sweetness to finish dry and grainy with a bitter hop accent. The carbonation is medium low and the body is medium. A very very good pale ale.

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Photo of Barracudas
4.75/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

On tap at the brewery. This is the beer that sets the tone for 3 Floyds. Very well done beer. One of the better American Pale Ale. Highly recommended!

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Photo of wkcyr4
4.75/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Appearance is golden with very clingy white lacing. VERY inviting to say the least!!

S: Citrus right from the opening of the bottle. Hop aroma and a little pine scent.

T: Dead on for this style. Alpha King I am not worthy of your greatness.

M: Full and sticky. Stays with you all the way from front to back and leaves you wanting that next sip!!

D: Exceptionally high. I have had this beer on so many occasions yet never took the time to review. Could easily drink the four that I have left.

This is just a fantastic american pale ale. Three Floyds shows me again that they know how to put out high quality beer. From now on ,I will give the King the respect he deserves!!

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Photo of Kasabear
4.75/5  rDev +11.5%

A. Golden with a head that hangs on to glass . Thick creamy head.

S. This is going to be goooood. Citrus hops trying to escape.

T. Delicious , just like the smell. Very drinkable.

M. Creamy soft.

O. One of my favorites and you can get it just by asking.

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Photo of Qbdoo
4.75/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

One of my all-time favorite beers. It's both big and highly drinkable. I have trouble categorizing it as an APA because of its explosive aroma and flavors, its extreme hoppiness. At the same time though there's a great malty sweetness that makes this a pretty big, complex APA. Ten years ago this was moderately priced beer, but as Three Floyds has grown in renown, the price has gone up and it can be hard to find, even here is Chicago. At old prices, it was my everyday beer. Now it's a treat. Ah, the old days!

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Photo of Roadking1979
4.75/5  rDev +11.5%

After reading several reviews about how this beer can be difficult to find, I suppose I should be grateful that it is so plentiful in my town north of Indy. I have this a few times a month on draft, and it is always excellent- perhaps the best balanced APA I've had. Aggressively hopped with fantastic citrus and caramel at the same time. One of so many great Three Floyd's offerings. Believe it or not, this one can be had for $3 a pint or less year-round at two bars in my town.

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Photo of nanchen
4.75/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This was a delicious, smooth, go-to beer. Poured a deep, rich amber orange. You can see through it, but only dimly.

I didn't really observe the head too much, but it seemed fairly standard. Had a few centimeters and then disappeared.

Aroma was definitely fruity or hoppy, some floral elements and really a treat to smell. Oranges, slightly caramel or toffee scents lend a more smooth texture to the smell. The hops don't become overpowering because of this.

The taste was similar in that you can definitely taste the hops, but they are not so prominent as to be the star. They mix well with the maltiness and some toffee, creamyness and make for a very easy to drink beer.

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Photo of roadhouse
4.75/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a deep orange-amber with a two finger head that dissipates into a nice coating on the top of the beer. Very fine particulate matter noticeable when held up to the light. Minimal lacing.

Aroma is very fruity and citrusy with grapefruit dominating. There is also a light orange aroma that I detect. Below that is some sweet malt aroma as well as floral and piney aromatics from the hops. Not an extremely strong aroma, but certainly very mouthwatering.

The taste of this brew is outstanding. Not only are the citrusy and piney hops abundant, but there is also a fairly complex malt backing that contains flavors of caramel and toasted malt.

Mouthfeel is fairly light, but closer to medium. This is one drinkable beer. Probably the most sessionable beer out there for hopheads, in my opinion.

Wow, what a beer. It's a bit on the bitter side but it's remarkably balanced with those sweet malt flavors. I used to think that SNPA was the benchmark for APAs, but now I think Alpha King takes the crown, no pun intended.

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Photo of jhammerly
4.75/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I finally acquiried this brew during a roadtrip to John's Grocery in Iowa City. I must say it was worth the wait. To be honest though, I think I was attracted to the beer due to its artwork on the label more than the beer itself. Labeling once again pays off for the brewery. This was a delightful treat.

Poured into an imperial pint glass from the bottle, I received a near perfect pour. An orangish amber body with an off-white two-fingered head. A wonderful aroma of citrusy hops with a hint of pine (can someone please market this aroma as an air freshener?). The hop flavor just coats the tongue and lingers there for awhile. It is strong, but not overpowering. If not for the high ABV, this could be a nice session beer because it isn't heavy and it is very drinkable.

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Photo of mryuk
4.75/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

a-pours with a small head that does not stick around very long. Beautiful clear caramel amber color. A very nice looking beer in a glass.

s-bitter and with a lot of grapefruit. Strong smell overall.

t-strong, bitter, delicious, hoppy. This is powerful APA that keeps hitting.

m-fairly carbonated but it is light and sits well.

d-this is one of my favorite beers. It really works well as a session for someone like me who loves hops. This is an APA on steroids.

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Photo of Star80
4.75/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours out a deep copper with a beige head with lots of little bubbles rising to the top. The head is quite large and thick, and when settled looks like a mess of cobwebbing everywhere on the sides of my glass! Smells like resiny pine, grapefruit, and gumballs! I can smell it across the room! Really, this beer has some sort of candy-like smell and taste due to Three Floyds malts. They give a somewhat sweet caramel like taste which nicely compliments this very hoppy pale ale. Definitely NOT normal! By far the hoppiest pale ale (which isn't very pale either) I've had to date. Mouthfeel is fine, very good actually. I can hardly believe this beer is 7.35% abv because it is so drinkable. Why the heck didn't I pick up another six pack of this beer sooner?

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Photo of cecilIPA
4.75/5  rDev +11.5%

I know this is not an IPA but you sure would think it was when you first put it to your lips. very bold and has a very distinctive . One of my new favorites and look forward to trying more from this brewery.

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Photo of tastybeer
4.74/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours nice hazy golden orange color, with decent creamy head. The smell is amazing. Refeshing fresh squeezed grapefruit and floral. Dank and fresh herbal aroma. Taste is an explosion of hoppy goodness. Finish is nice and bitter before it smooths out. Great mouthfeel. Mouthwateringly drinkable.

This is definitely more of an IPA than a PA. Great pleasant and satisfying hops. I could drink this constantly.

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Photo of Seumas
4.74/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

That massive whack of hops is what gets you. Yeah the body is really good: heck, 7.3 percent alcohol and alcohol never shows up in the taste profile. It's bitter, but not massively so, and while others have noted some sweetness, I never noticed it. Give me this over Arrogant Bastard any day.

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Photo of wardough
4.74/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked up this gem at the brewery. This is a great session beer.

Great citrusy smell that is a pleasure. Awesome aroma.
Taste is sweet, followed by bitter, followed by a sweet finish. Nice taste.

Mouthfeel is good, but it needs a tad bit more carbonation.

Overall, this is an excellent APA and well worth the money and the effort of finding.

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Photo of cerevisiaephilus
4.74/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5 gusta esta cervesa! Its very good. The nose and taste screams Hops, hops hops. Malt malt malt. (In that order) Huge grapefruit bitterness that the malt attempts to balance, but has a hard time doing so, however it has a nice maltiness that isn't lost to the hops. The head was a bit small and the carbonation was low, but I think this was good as an overcarbonated hoppy beer tends to burn ones tongue pretty good.

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Photo of stephens101
4.74/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Finally getting to some of the Three Floyds brews. A golden amber pour is topped off by a one-finger tan head that dissipates in it's own good time leaving a jagged lacing behind. Smells of bold, citrusy hops which are rounded at the edge and present perfectly. I've never experienced this aroma in an APA. It's of a different class. Tastes of grapefruit covered with table sugar. The hop bitterness that follows is actually icing on the cake. I'm so enjoying drinking this one that I find it hard to write. Mouthfeel is smooth and comforting, but it also leaves you feeling like you're drinking a real-mans beer. There's something going on here that sets this one apart from the rest of the pack, and that's a mighty big pack we're speaking of.

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Photo of SwillBilly
4.73/5  rDev +11%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle.

Appearance: Nice dark amber, with creamy 2 finger head that slowly dissapates leaving thick lacing on the glass. Nice looking beer.

Smell: Slightly sweet, fruity, hints of grapefruit possibly apricots and hops.

Taste: If the label didn't say Pale Ale I would swear that this was an IPA. Starts out slightly sweet, malty, finishing with a big hop finish. Extremely balanced. Fantastic.

Mouthfeel: Creamy and smooth.

Drinkability: Outstanding Pale Ale. I could make a session out of Alpha King, but the 7% abv would put me on my ass. Great beer if you plan on only drinking a few or a lot if you feel like getting shit faced.

Overall a great Pale Ale bordering on a great IPA. Seek this one out and enjoy.

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Photo of Converge
4.73/5  rDev +11%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

355ml bottle poured into a 16oz tulip. This will be my first review for a brew I received via trade. Huge thanks to Matt!

A - Pours a deep, cloudy reddish-amber, with a foamy, off-white head that retains as a thin, soapy film and leaves generous curtains of lacing and suds down the glass. Much darker than expected, but also a really nice looking brew.

S - Big hop aroma. Citrusy, fruity, floral and piney. Mango, pineapple, and grapefruit upfront with some floral spice and pine resin. Pronounced caramel malt presence, which I didn't really expect. Pretty much ideal for the style, even poking it's head into IPA-territory though. Orange marmalade, citric rind, and toasty toffee notes as well.

T - Big, piney and citrusy hops, with a big malty backbone. Bright notes of tropical fruit, grapefruit, mango and pineapple, with a resinous and earthy pine character as well. A touch of onion spice, and some subtle floral notes round out the hop profile. On the maltier side of things, this brew offers up a lot, providing a big earthy caramel malt balance, with sweet toffee and mild spiciness. Finish and aftertaste is an excellent balance of bitter and sweet between the bright hop flavors and rich malty backbone, making for a superb and drinkable profile all around.

M - Medium bodied, with some chew to it. Carbonation is pronounced but fine and unobtrusive. Floral spice and bitterness linger on the palate. Sticky for the style as well.

D - An all around fantastic pale ale from FFF. While the pungent and assertive hop profile pushes this brew towards IPA-territory, the big presence of sweet malty flavors gives it some real balance. Almost like an Imperial-APA. At only 6.00% ABV this brew packs some serious flavor, but remains balanced and most importantly, incredibly drinkable. A truly world-class beer from FFF.

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Photo of TrojanMan
4.72/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

You know how when you're eating a peach and you get towards the pit and the flavor starts to get a little bitter? That's this beer!

Outstanding, all the way. Total class. The sweetness is perfect for the style, which is actually closer to an American IPA I would argue. Just a tiny hint of residual sugar, on par with Harpoon IPA, DFH 60min, Stone IPA and so on. The hops are *very* interesting and I can't quite pin them down, but they are in ideal proportion, just bitter enough without asserting themselves over the malt. Just a fantastic, balanced brew.

I had mine at Bierreria Paradiso in DC. First time tasting it, in fact, since nobody really distributes it around here. I was surprised they even had it. I knew right away that I needed to try it.

From the bottle, it poured a *perfect* clear, slightly translucent amber with a few rising bubbles. Wow, this looks great! Puffy head settles to a fine lace that clings to the glass after each sip. Just enough carbonation to maintain the lace over the whole pour without getting too wild.

The taste is biscuity malt and very clean, green hops. A little raisin and olive along with fresh pit and vine fruit and just a *hint* of apple and perhaps some spice as well. Towards the tarragon/juniper side, but very, very subtle. There's a flavor in the finish that I can't quite nail down...

As I said, the peach-pit flavor stands out the most, but that's not nearly all that's going on here. A little citrus, perhaps, my wife guessed Cascade hops, and maybe some green, slightly earthy flavors as well. Tough to pin down.

Mouthfeel is spot on. Sliky enough to introduce the flavors, but just a slight bit heavy in fact. Suck just a little air in through the front teeth to draw out some additional flavors and then roll that around the mouth for the full experience.

Again, I'm going to say that this is more IPA than PA and that the complexity of flavor is really a little too deep for me to pin down after just one bottle. I'm reviewing it anyhow because I think it's more than worthy of a try by anyone who likes beer.

This one is a bit of a wild card. It's not really East or West Coast style IPA and, for that matter, it's not really American in some ways. A little more biscuity than I'd expect and the hop profile is excellent, but just that little bit unfamiliar. Great beer and I'd highly recommend it.

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Alpha King from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
4.26 out of 5 based on 6,405 ratings.
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