Alpha King | 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

1,828 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: 1,828 | Ratings: 6,407
Photo of VncentLIFE
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Oh holy hell the balance of this thing. Everything is in so much balance, yet its still bold for an APA. The body is deep amber with a tight frothy bubbly white head. Very citric hops up front. Smooth sticky and powdery sweet malt backbone. Lemons come come to mind.

I can see why this is so highly rated. The balance and boldness are second to none when it comes to APAs!

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

Beautiful burnt orange color poured into my Sam Adams Lager glass. Big off white to tan color head. Sticky in appearance. Lace stays around like the neighborhood bum. "I ain't going anywhere!!"

If this was brewed by any other brewery it would probably be called an IPA. But because we are talking about the three floyd's it is only classified a Pale. The smell is candied citrus, orange? Sweet malts. Booze.

The taste is great. Alot like the nose it is sweet malty, Mild citrus hopped. I think a blood orange.

The mouth is exactly what it should be for this style (if it were an IPA). because it's not, it gets a better score

What a great surprise this was. Thanks to claaark13 for sending this extra my way. He was the second mid westerner to send this to me as an extra. Must be rough having this one cluttering the shelves at the local bottle shop.

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Photo of madelfonatree
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Look - Darker than a typical Pale Ale. Head has more of a ten color to it than ivory. Head is medium and lacing is there. Medium carbonation size.

Smell - Subtle dankness. Lemon/lime. Is there very faint bubble gum?

Taste - Bready. Caramel. Not too bitter. Citrus finish.

Feel - Smooth. Doesn't sting. Doesn't explode but not flat.

Overall - Why do you need to be blown away with bitterness? This is drinkable beer with a hint of what you want in an IPA. I liked it more out of a bottle.

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

Alpha King Pale Ale, courtesy of Biggness - thanks!! Beer #1 of 6 in my "Three Floyds Countdown to #500" series. Poured into an Allagash cervoise.

Appearance: What an American pale ale should look like. This one's a deep, vibrant copper color with sparse and slow carbonation that trickles upwards to a one-finger tan head. The head was the result of a rather conservative pour and had above average retention, leaving a splotchy, bubbly sheen of foam after it faded, a ring of bubbly lace, and some big swaths of sticky, creamy lacing. Great start.

Aroma: What an American pale ale should smell like. Thick, juicy citrus notes - some of the heaviest I've ever gotten in a traditional pale ale - minty herbal notes, a few spicy, grassy, pine-like notes ... it's a veritable panoply of hoppy goodness. All very delicate and well-balanced.

Taste: What an American pale ale should taste like. Huge, crunchy citrus rind, like biting into a grapefruit without the sour, enough pine to leave your tongue tingling, some solid leafy overtones, and a healthy amount of bitterness that's probably about precisely where it should be for the style. All of this over a bed of biscuity, caramelly malt, roasted to perfection.

Mouthfeel: Noticing a trend yet? Mild carbonation and a medium body make this a slow, subtle, fairly thick beer, though that's what the flavors here call for. It's still light enough that it fills up your mouth, and there's plenty of refreshing crispness from the hop notes and bitterness - who needs tons of carbonation?

Drinkability: Well, there you have it. Probably the best APA I've ever had, and it's a style I'm quite fond of. No alcohol to be found here, though I do recognize it may be on the higher side of the scale, stylistically. That aside, this one's gorgeous, aromatic, flavorful, smooth, and is incredibly quaffable. I am envious of those who have this as a "go to" beer. Highly recommended.

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Photo of chocosushi
4.51/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to MilwaukeeCrusher
for sending me one the highest rated Pale Ales,
in our local for local trade.

12oz->Mustang Pint

A ~ Mahogany with one of the best heads (1 1/4") I have ever seen on a pale ale.
Great lacing after the cream colored cap settles down. What a glorious looking brew.

S ~ Fresh and clean hoppyness that's almost like mountain air. Handful of fresh pine needles, bit of cayenne spice in there. I'm smelling a bit of malt but it's not grainy whatsoever; the hops are taking charge. That's right!

T ~ HOPS! I'm getting lots of bold coniferous flava in here, lots of kumquat & some allspice. As it warms a bit I get of sugared-grapefruit & Uber-Green Grass w/ hint of lime zest. A perfect end of malt that reminds me of fresh hawaiian sweet rolls (or any fantastic yeastbread for that matter).

M ~ Crisp, Fruity, bitter, then relief of leafy/herby goodness with that bready sugah. Clean finish that is bittersweet, but not dry. Just...perfect.

D ~ Best pale ale I have ever had, next to Arrowhead. Seek out/Trade/Steal/Whatever, just find a way to acquire. Session session session. It is a shame that I only have one.

You all our lucky, those who get this distribute on the reg.

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Photo of theveganbrewer
4.51/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Much darker than I expected, dark even for a DIPA.

Aroma: Citrus hops, caramel malts, some combo of cascade, centennial, maybe columbus.

Taste: Citrus hops and toffee. Bitterness from start to finish, not too strong, not too weak, uniform.

Mouthfeel: Median bodied. The high carbonation keeps the sweetness down but it does seem really carbonated.

Overall: This is just as hoppy as a lot of IPAs so I really enjoyed it. It's a bit sweeter than something I normally drink, but the intense hop aroma and great balance make this a winner.

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Photo of mjohn27603
4.51/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle. Looks copper in the glass with a dense foamy and biscuit like head. Smell is simply wonderful. Lots of green hops smell. I want to take in deep breaths of this beer. Taste is great. So much hops it leaves the end of my tongue numb. Lots of hops taste without being very bitter. Piney notes seem most present. I've had more citrus notes in IPA's. Maybe even a slight peppery taste on the initial sip. Ends very pleasantly with a nice lingering hops aftertaste. How many times can you write the word hops in a review? As much hops as is here it doesn't make you gag with bitterness. Very assertive but not too unbalanced. A very unique and well done pale ale.

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Photo of Avagadro
4.51/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Special thanks to aasher for hooking me up with this one.

A: Alpha King boasts a deep copper hue, a touch of haze, and minimal lacing. These are all nice, but this brew really needs some froth. A decent head was procured upon pouring, but didn't last more than a few minutes.

S: The bouquet is quite vibrant, with grapefruit and pineapple jumping out of the glass.

T: Off dry, and reminiscent of orange marmalade on toast with a side of grapefruit. Delicious to say the least.

M: Medium body, light carbonation, a touch of astringency, and ever so slightly sticky on the finish.

O: As scores of other reviewers have mentioned, this would be more aptly deemed an IPA, but that's not all too bad. I can definitely see why this brew has earned such acclaim; it is quite enjoyable. My biggest complaint is that it is lacking what every IPA should have; a big, frothy, meringue-like head. Despite this error, Alpha King remains one of the best APAs I've come across.

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Photo of JohnnyMc
4.51/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Flagship beer!!

Pours out a nice, clear deep amber with orange hints and 2.5 fingers of an off-white head.

The aroma is full of orange peel, grapefruit and some pine hop notes. There is a decent amount of caramel sweetness and some bready malt notes.

Again, just like in the aroma it's more hop forward; big citrus notes, some grapefruit and pine too. There is a rather strong malt backbone of caramel that lends some sweetness to balance the bitterness and some bready notes.

The body is light-medium and the mouthfeel is decently creamy. It finishes very crisp and clean.

This is a great APA, but like most Three Floyds Pale Ales this drinks more like an IPA. It has a great amount of hops, but the amount of malt makes this easy to drink and really balances it out. A tad overhyped, but great. Worth trying!

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Photo of zrbeer1579
4.51/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Murky deep burnt red-orange with a one finger khaki head. Quite attractive.

Aroma: Citrus hops, little bit of grapefruit, and faint caramel bready malts. The overall aroma is kinda light. I was expecting a stronger aroma, but good nonetheless.

Taste: Citrus hops, citrus zest, little grapefruit. Little earthiness, and just a touch of spicy hops. A nice caramel and toasted bready malts.

Mouthfeel: Median bodied and carbonation. Smooth. Bitterness in the finish is light and pleasant.

Overall: Good balance in flavors. As the beer warms, floral notes started to appeared in both aroma and taste. Very nice malt characters. It was little odd at first. Overall, Alpha King is a tasty brew.

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Photo of SD-Alefan
4.52/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy dark copper with a creamy white head that leaves lasting lacing.
Great aroma full of fruity goodness. Citrus, peach and apple jelly.
The taste is as big and bold as the aroma. Lots of citrus pith bitter right up front, a very juicy middle that's almost puckering, a resinous and drying finish.
Mouthfeel seems about medium.
Just an outstanding pale ale with more flavor than most IPA's.

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Photo of OompaMentor
4.52/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Botttle poured into pint glass; hoppy- goodness and fruits greets the nose. Nice carbonation leading to creamy head that remains to the last drop; blood orange color. Citrus, Malts, hops and fruits to nose. Medium feel, well balanced with hops on front and malt sweetness on back.

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Photo of mdaschaf
4.52/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Thanks to korguy123 for this one!

A: Pours a dark amber/copper with a chunky white head that dissipates down to a a small layer of bubbles on the top of the beer. Amazing lacing for the duration of this beer.

S: A lot of citrus and nice floral aroma. Also get some grapefruit and a hint of strawberries with some malt right at the end.

T: A really nice hop characteristic that plays well with a malt backbone. Very balanced between those two. Also get some lemon, a little caramel, and surprisingly a hint of mint.

M/D: Medium bodied and extremely drinkable. It may be one of the easiest beers to drink that I have ever had. This is a great beer and I need to get my hands on some more of it.

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Photo of Hopdaemon39
4.52/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On tap from Clevelands own Bier Markt- served in a pint glass. Had a one finger head and great retention and lacing. Poured a dark copper color with its foam being a sort of bone-white. Smell makes it immediately apparent that this is a fiendishly hoppy beer- I smell the citrusy notes that I've come to associate with cascade hops. That taste measures up to the smell- hops from beginning to end and rounded out with a nice medium light body. The mouthfeel is wonderful as well- a little oily from the hops and medium carbonation make it very drinkable. I would get this all the time if it was available to me.

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Photo of marcobrau
4.52/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wow. It's been too long since I've had this fantastic American Pale Ale. As I poured this beer into a straight-sided pint glass, the huge, piney hop aroma and wonderfully sustaining, lacy foam was the first thing I noticed about this beer. The first sip was full of juicy, sugary and caramel malt flavors laced with heaps of spicy, citrusy hops. The body is fairly thick, but doesn't keep me from taking larger sips. The alcohol does slow me down. I don't recall this beer being so strong. The lasting bitterness stay with you for a long time. The finish is not only quite bitter, but much drier than I remember. (I really like a dry finish.) All the complexities of this beer, the sugary, almost tropical fruit flavors that seem to meld with the citrusy hops and caramel malt are truly wonderful. When this beer is fresh the hops really shine through and almost steal the show. The remarkable complex hoppiness and maltiness of this beer make it really stand out on its own.

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Photo of MaltyGoodness
4.52/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle

Pours a medium orange-amber with an off-white head that fades quickly. Decent lacing on the glass.

Smells very hoppy, a sweet piney aroma that makes me thirsty.

Tastes fantastically balanced, lots of hops and some nice caramel malty undertones. Quite delicious.

Nice rich body, carbonated about perfectly.

I could easily knock back a few in a row. In fact, I have....

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Photo of BlackJeremiah
4.52/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle, poured into a pint glass.

A: Reddish-copper in hue, a bit hazy. Full white head gives plenty of lacing, spotty around the glass.

S: Sweet malts, cocoa, raisin/fig. Oily hop scents--orange and pine--mix beautifully with the manifold malts. One of the best-smelling brews I've ever encountered.

T: Endlessly unfolding malt flavors--baker's chocolate, raisins/figs, sweet bread and biscuit. Intertwining hop, oily pine, slick citrus tastes. Incredibly complex and flavorful. Seems like an IPA base with many interesting and complementary additions.

M: Light feel, slight drying, clean through the aftertaste. Smooth.

D: An excellent beer, well-crafted. Three Floyds deserves their reputation, and it's even better that they are located in my parents' hometown.

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Photo of Deuane
4.52/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A-Brilliant copper with a medium off-white head that reduces to a thin cap and levaes nice lacing.

S-Smack of pine dipped citrus hops. The hops are without question the at the forefront of this brew. A nice backing caramel sweetness comes in on the backside.

T-Sharp, brilliant citrus hop bite with a backing of tart apple. Smooth, luscious caramel malt acts more as hop delivery system rather than balancing the hops. The malt smoothness and hop bitterness are almost in perfect sync.

M-Medium bordering on medium-light bodied with a sharp lingering hop bitterness and a nice smoothness.

D-This brew that blurs the lines between an APA and IPA is about as good in flavour as a mild ABV hop bomb can get. This stuff is absolutely lovely. I could put dwon pint after pint of this liquid nectar without any problems.

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Photo of Tiklmelmo
4.52/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Thanks to livewire78 for this one.

A - Cloudy coppery gold color with a quarter inch of thin off white head.

S - Grassy citrus hops. Grapefruit, tangerines, and fresh cut grass. Definitely smells more like an IPA than an APA.

T - Again, more like an IPA than an APA. Big luscious juicy citrus and piney hops with a bit of bitterness in the back of the mouth.

M - Moderate carbonation. Slightly creamy. Very nice, medium to full bodied mouthfeel. Finish is the only reason that I could possibly see for calling this an APA. It finishes a little thinner than I'd expect of an IPA.

D - Very drinkable. If I had easy access to this, I would drink it regularly in the summer.

Overall, this is a very good APA, though I definitely wouldn't call it that in a blind tasting. Either way, it's a top notch APA or IPA, whichever you want to call it.

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Photo of oelergud
4.52/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Beautiful translucent brown/golden/red body. Plenty of carbonation.
Off white creamy head with a hint of orange. Decent lace and retention.
Flowery tempting hop scent. Orange pekoe and abit of grain.
Deliciously hoppy but well balance. Soft malts and spiked hops mingled perfectly. Aftertaste of honey coated hop flavors that never seems to quit.
Medium body, good hop coating and not too dry finish.
Highly drinkable and so delicious restraint is required not to quaff this brew in a moment.


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Photo of Gaddabble
4.52/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Beautiful amber/copper hue. Malty, sweet smell with citrus and dark fruits. Taste follows the smell with rich caramel malt coupled with fruity hop character finishing with very pleasant tobacco on the back end. A wonderful and unique pale ale. For my money, there no one pumps out world-class pale ales like Three Floyds, and this is no exception!

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Photo of russwbeck
4.52/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A: On the clear side of hazy brown in color, the pour was quite active out of the bottle. Lots of bubbly head rises up and billows over my tulip as perhaps I poured a bit too vigorously. The head is sticky, creamy, and leaves wonderful lacing down the side of the glass.

S: The amount of hops and malts on this is phenomenal. The caramel and breadiness of the malts honestly take over the hops a little bit. Not to be deterred, the hops bring out grapefruit and some slight pine that is very nice.

T: The taste follows the smell famously. Caramel malts create a delicious backbone for citrusy hops and a dry hop finish. Balanced very well and deliciously dry throughout.

MF: Light, crisp, dry finish, and no hint of alcohol.

O: This beer is one I like to call dangerously drinkable. The balance of the malts and hops, the dryness of the beer throughout, really just everything make this a beer you absolutely have to try.

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Photo of tw0st3p
4.52/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured into a pint glass at about 45 deg.

A: Beer poured a copper-amber color with about half a finger of head that seemed to subside about halfway through the glass. Lacing went all the way down the glass.

S: Lots of citrusy, floral aroma in this one. Catch some fruit aroma in the end. Dont catch a lot of the malt.

T: The taste on this one is awesome. Starts off a bit hoppy/flowery, but not too overpowering and ends with a nice biscuity malt.

M: This one has a bit of chewiness to it although certainly not thick by any means. Great mouthfeel.

D: If your not careful this one could get you into trouble quickly.

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Photo of Fux
4.52/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Golden copper with a small foamy white head
S: Smell is hoppy, fruity, with oranges, mangos. There is also a solid malty base, mainly biscuit, toasted bread aromas.
T: Taste is also very hoppy, with floral flavors. Also sweet and loads of exotic fruits.
M: Sharp attack on the palate. Very good carbonation very well balanced by the sweetness. Finishes dry, very refreshing.
O: A very nice pale ale. Refreshing, also tasty and well balanced.

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Photo of nullforge
4.52/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Hazy orange-tinted deep amber color. Pours with a one finger orange-tinted head that shortly collapses to a collar. Leaves a fairly sticky lace on the glass. The nose contains piney and citrusy hops, delicately sweetened by malt. A hint of mango can also be found. The taste offers caramel and pale malt sweetness that balances the bitterness while it lasts. The piney and citrusy hops detected in the nose dominate the taste with a strong hop bite. A hint of peach in the background. Bitterness builds into the finish with the hops becoming crisp and herbal. Body is medium. Beer feels slick on the tongue. Malt could be a bit more chewy though. Overall, it's a delicious beer that left me wanting more.

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Alpha King from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
4.26 out of 5 based on 6,407 ratings.
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