Alpha King | 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

1,822 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

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Reviews: 1,822 | Ratings: 6,387
Photo of Redrover
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap from the home kegerator, served in an Imperial Pint glass, the beer is a dark bronze with a dense light copper head. Very good lacing.

The beer has a big aroma of hops (citrus & pine) back with sweet caramel.

The taste is bracing and attention getting. Nice bitterness with pine undertones. The beer is balanced by some semi-sweet malts that add a slightly sweet counterpoint. This is a hopped up APA and could easily fall into the IPA camp. Beer is complex with some slight molasses and citrus notes.

The mouth is pleasantly oily and a bit thick. Drinkabity is very nice. Session beer all the way. My favorite of the 3F’s regulars.

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Photo of mattgert
4.87/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a hazy amber into a pint glass, smells of citrus like many others have stated. Man does this stuff taste great. A nice slap of hops, floral aromas and malts. The hoppy aftertaste comes back for another round. Wow! There is no point in rambling any further. If you like APAs - GET SOME! Simply delicious. This is the best beer I have ever had.

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

Pours a slightly hazy, coppery-orange. A light tan head nearly 2" high leaves nice lace.
Smell is malt, yeast, fruit(citrus, green apple & raisin), hops and floral.
Taste is malt, hops,fruit, floral with an alcohol note and yeast.
Smooth-ish, kind of dry with a hoppy/yeasty aftertaste and a hint of malt. Decent hop note with out overpowering this medium bodied offering. A very good beer, too bad they don't sell in FL, I had to drive this home. Well, what else was I gonna do on vacation?

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Photo of bluejacket74
4.03/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a pint glass, the Alpha King pours a hazy amber/orange color, with around a half inch or so off-white head. The main aroma I get from this is citrusy hops (grapefruit), with a little spicyness too. It tastes hoppy with citrus being the main flavor, and with a bit of caramel sweetness in there too. There's a bitter finish/aftertaste, but it wasn't as strong as I expected (not that I'm complaining). The mouthfeel is kinda slick, with medium body. It's a pretty drinkable beer. Overall it's pretty good, you can't go wrong with this!

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

This is a fine beer, though not for the faint of heart!

Appearance: we were sitting outside and it was pretty dark, but copper color with a good head.

Smell: huge hops aroma that you can smell as it pours and from surprisingly far away. delicious and tantalizing. citrus.

Taste: So good! Lots of fresh hops flavor here, obviously very bitter, but not at all harsh. Again, citrus. An APA done right - actually, I thought this was an IPA.

Mouthfeel: very good mouthfeel, better than the IPA I'd had earlier.

Drinkability: Just keep it coming

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Photo of Dizzy
4.44/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours with plenty of head into my pint glass, transparent orange color....retains it's head fairly well

The aroma is wonderful! All I smell is citrusy hops. Smells kind of like grapefruit. A little alcohol odor is evident, but not too strong.

Taste is great! Lots of citrusy hops (a lot of hop flavor, but not too much biterness like a lot of other APAs) There's some caramel like malt there to balance.

Medium bodied withs moderate carbonation.

Really enjoyed this one. If you're lucky enough to be somewhere where you can get this stuff, I'd definatly recomend picking up a six pack.

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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.

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

Appearance: Orange amber in color, with 1/4 head that thins to a light sudsy skin. Medium visibility. Low/medium viscosity.

Aroma: Kiwifruit and mild grapefruit. Sweet malts underneath, and some orange and honey notes. Great fresh aroma.

Taste: Nice balance - pine and grapefruit hops bristle on the front and middle palates, while sweet cantaloupe and honey notes develop alongside this and control the aftertaste. Fruity developments as it warms - kiwi, orange and sweet citric bursts.

Mouthfeel: Thinner than it looks, which keeps this really drinkable; no bitterness in the aftertaste - just a hint of toffee malts.

Drinkability: Great pale ale, though the fruitiness is more reminiscent of an IPA than it is an APA (which I tend to think have heavier malts). Nonetheless, this is a fairly unique flavor that displayed a lot more balance than I thought I'd find in a FFF pale ale. Refreshing and sessionable brew.

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Photo of edmundfitzoil
4.67/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Alpha King poured from a 12 oz. brown bottle into a standard pint glass on the eve of our move to Florida.

The beer poured a very deep, reddish amber with a finger of thick off white head that left fine lacing around the top of the intial pour. The beer's nose was quite nice: big and bigger piney and spicey hops.

How do I catergorize the flavor of this beer? Seems unbelievable that this is an American Pale Ale, but my first thought is how good this spicey, hoppy beer would be with pizza. Upfront spicey hoppiness with a warming, subdued aftertaste. The spiciness wasn't as prevalent with the second sip, which hinted at various citrus juices. Later, a light maltiness barely peeks through. No alcohol to be found anywhere in the beer, and even at 6.0% ABV. I'm thinking about sessioning this one. A creaminess appears further into the glass. Alpha King is a medium bodied, hop bomb that is super drinkable. Believe the hype about this one.

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Photo of aforbes10
4.4/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Dispholidus brought a six pack of this to work for our friday beer drinkin' time, and im glad he did. mmm. this is a good beer. Butterscotch colored beer with a little head but good lacing. Smells like oily hops and sweet malts. Tastes fan-frickin-tastic. Very, almost overthetop hoppy on the first sip but for the duration just a nice powerful hop flavor that is a great treat to drink. Some sweet malt and pine flavors, but its pretty much all about the hops. A fantastic bottle of 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 ClearDog
5/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance -- Pours a deep amber-orange color with a creamy, clean white head. Leaves a sticky lacing on the glass.

Smell -- Very intoxicating! Rich, citrus smelling hops. Just a touch of malty sweetness. I love the smell of this beer on a hot day like today.

Taste -- Complex citrus. This is not a beer that is lacking in hoppy bitterness. I seek out this hop goodness in a lot of my beers and find that few deliver like this beer does.

Mouthfeel -- Nice . . . very nice. Creamy and wet. A slight bitterness just kisses the tip of your tongue.

Drinkability -- This is the first beer I've rated all 5s and I now declare it the official beer of my summer. I plan to drink a lot of it. I've been drinking this beer off and on for several years now, but this is the first time I rated it. This beer delivers what few others do. It's just excellent.

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Photo of maundythirsty
4.04/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Amber-going-on-red beer is very clear. It started with maybe half a finger of just-off-white head that went directly down the rabbit hole. Skimpy ring remains.

Aroma is a great big kick of grapefruit zest. Consider yourself forewarned.

Taste is so much a liquid version of the aroma that worried me briefly, but rolled slowly into a warm and expansive malt and then again into a tart asprin bitterness. The hops are loud enough for IPA territory.

Smooth enough, though all those flaming hops deliver a potent sting.

This one has gone over the wall a la Bitter Woman From Hell, but it's packing more balance. Crazy, but tolerably so. This goes in the pile with the hoppiest beers of which I would not mind having two.

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

Pours a deep amber bronze with surprisly good clarity given the sediment. One finger of soapy but dense head shows good retention and leaves spotty lacing. The scent of citrus here is collosal; more like fresh squeezed oranges rather than the rind. Some faint pale malt aroma lingers somewhere in obscurity. Toasted crystal malt and vienna upfront. Semi-dry aftertaste, herbal/citrusy cascade does an excellent job of balancing the sweetness. Low carbonation and medium body allow a hint of slickness, but it's really just enough to keep the mouthfeel less than crisp. Cascade and caramel flavors meld perfectly in the finish, which is a nice medium of dry to slick. Highly quaffable.

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

Poured from a 12 Oz bottle to a heavy pint glass. Very nice semi cloudy, golden toasted amber liquid with good carbonation. The creamy head is a two finger off white puff of thick foam. It fades slow to a slight lace.

The smell is sweet carmely malt flooded with a generous amount of hops, not over dome for the style. Some fruity grain notes.

The taste is delightful. Lightly caramelized malts, making a small impassion over the smooth rush of a very nice bitter hops display. Just edgy enough to please the crowds, but not over done. The grape fruit taste is noticeable but smooth and enjoyable.

The mouthfeel in quite good, rich creamy think and coating, good body with a nice bite.

Drinkability is very high as this beer is better balanced that most of it's peers. Prost MK

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Photo of dreadnatty08
4.8/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a crystal clear light caramel color. Off white plumes of bubbly head is formed, tracing impecable. After transfering my IIPA to secondary and getting a good whiff of cascade and centennial hops, this beer comes off as a hop tea, the aroma as fresh as those hops. A little sweetness is also detected in the aroma, but American hops dominate. Flavor starts out sweet with the hop flavor dominating. Lots of complexity in hop and malt flavor swirls around the mouth ending in a stab of bitterness. This beer is almost too perfect in the realm of APAs or IPAs whatever you want to call it. I've yet to experience one like it, but I hope I can make one damn close.

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

Pours amber and orange in color with a cream colored head. Aroma is outstanding, smells of a hint of grassiness, sweet vitamin C citrus, red grapefruit, and sweet peaches. Complex taste of sweet oranges up front, quickly followed with bitter grapefruit,a little biscuity and then a dry slightly peppery finish. Mouthfeel is also very good, crisp and clean with a nice mild dryness in the finish. Definitely pushes the envelope of the Pale Ale style category in a very good way. I could very easily continue to drink more and more of this beer, and I probably will.

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

Poured an awesome tawny, sunset orange with a slow moving head - took a second to start up then (like bread in an over) slowly raised to the perfect spot, and just leveled off and would keep for the tasting. A very nice semi-clouded shade. Thorough lacing too. Explosive aromatics. One of the most full bouquets I've encountered with any style. And lively too, quite vibrant. Mouthfeel is surprisingly smooth, drinkability is at a super high level. A polished mouthfeel leaves the flavour almost undetectable for a second, then you can feel the hops come back and coat your mouth. A great deal of citrus character. Different hops come out but the malt is blended in well enough it keeps this beer level without interfering with the hops. In other words, this taste and smells (and well overall, just plain IS) ultra hoppy - but it doesn't feel like it! Immense job with their flagship beer. A big, huge thanks to HogTownHarry!

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

Pours a glorious bronzed amber color, seeming to glow in my glass. The half-inch thick froth of head sticks to the glass...beckoning.
Smells of caramel, and citrus hops- melons and orange...sweet malt overtones are also bombarding my senses.
Damn! Hops cascade through my tastebuds, malt brings it into balance...the bitter tang of hops is quickly flattened into a smooth, delicious beer. I can taste orange, imbibing the floral goodness of the hops.

This is one damn good beer. Smooth, well-balanced and highly drinkable. This wasn't my first and surely won't be my last. I've got a case I just picked up at the brewery and I'll be stretching that out until the next visit. Nice work, 3F!

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

murky amber-brown color with a nice slightly beige head and touches of lacing.
spicy, floral and piney nose with some malt also noticable beneath the hop aromas-->faint brown sugar/caramel.
taste held sweet malt at first with medium-bodied smoothness then the hops attack with some crispness and briefly floral/bitter raw hop oils -- citric fruit too; grapefruit, orange, lemon, and pine. sweetens somewhat in a semi-dry finish.

this is a great, hoppy american pale ale for sure. very solid, tasty, and luscious brew. could session it but it's complex and packs enough hop-power to sip and savor 1 at a time.

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

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle, with a nice white head. Belgian lace clings to the glass throught the drink. This beer has a wonderful strong hop smell (obviously dry hopped). I smell citrus and floral scents.

The taste was excellent, only a hint of malt flavor and good strong hop bitterness.
I can taste an orangey/lemon flavor and even a little pine. The mouthfeel was medium and very smooth.

Even with the strong hop flavor, this beer is very drinkable. The hop bitterness is not overpowering. This is a fantastic pale ale / IPA.

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

A: A dark caramel brown with a decent off-white head that dissipates but a little bit sticks around.

S: Very sticky, piney hop aroma but it is a little hard to detect

T: The hop profile follows the nose: resiny, sticky, piney hop attack with an ample nutty malt background. The alcohol presence makes it seem more like a Double IPA. Well-balanced without wimping out on the hops!

M&D: Relatively light-bodied and pretty well carbonated. Goes down pretty easy, but not one I would session.

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Photo of jokelahoma
4.39/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

An ever-so-slightly cloudy "old penny" copper liquid sits in my glass, with a good-sized, rocky, eggshell colored head that falls quickly to a small, thin, dishwater foam layer.

The aroma is hops. Not surprising from Three Floyds in general, or from a beer called Alpha King specifically. I'm sure there's malt in there somewhere, but if you're going to find it, you'll have to look behind the curtains, beneath the couch cushions, under the bed... it's there, but it hides very, very well. What an amazingly enticing aroma.

The taste is hoppy as hell, as expected. There's good bitterness up front, good hop flavor mid-drink, and a good floral hop atertaste that lingers on, and on, and on... About the time it starts to fade, you're ready for another hit. I really couldn't find the malt in this one at all. Granted, I wasn't searching too hard, enjoying the hop utopia I had found myself imprisoned within. I know it's there, same as with the aroma. This would be undrinkable otherwise, and it's anything but that. This is a very, very good hop-oriented beer. I can't find the malt, but I honestly don't miss it.

The mouthfeel is oddly a tad thinnish, yet, like the malt, I don't miss the body. Thin is in, where this beer is concerned.

I'd heard rave reviews over Alpha King for a long time, but since they don't distribute here, I couldn't locate a sample to try. Closest I came was another Three Floyd's brew, Pride and Joy, which I panned due to style, not due to quality. When I finally located bottles of this in Vienna, Virginia, I snagged a couple to bring home and try. I'm very glad I did. This is an outstanding beer.

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

Appearance: Deep red with a good head.

Smell: Bitter citrus smell.

Taste: Some sweetness up front and then really sharp grapefruit hops. Bracing!

Mouthfeel: The bitterness sticks around for a while, but overall not too heavy.

Drinkability: IPA hoppiness in a pale ale, good stuff.

Not available in Minnesota but is in Wisconsin and Iowa, this is a really hoppy pale ale. It's a hop-head's dream and easy to session. Recommended!

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Alpha King from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
4.26 out of 5 based on 6,387 ratings.
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