Alpha King | 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

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1,797 Reviews
Alpha KingAlpha King

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

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Reviews: 1,797 | Ratings: 6,282
Photo of Augustiner719
3.63/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 1.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

poured from a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass:

Appearance: Pours a very strange, reddish brown color with a big fluffy head that leaves some lacing. Not your typical color or an IPA or APA.

Smell: Aroma is on point with the style with a bit of scottish malt aroma comming through. Some sweetness on the back end.

Taste: Tastes very nice and crisp. Medium bodied and carbonated well. a touch to sweet for my liking but overall its above average.

Mouthfeel: Solid carbonation and texture for this. leaves an oil like aftertaste of hops.

Drinkability: Aftertaste leaves this beer a bit too strong for its abv for me. would be able to have a couple of these but there are way better options SNPA for one that i would grab instead. Not sure what the hype on this beer is for it to have an A rating, but its good, not great.

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Photo of BranfordBound
3.64/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12 oz bottle dated 1/28/16 into a pint glass. Pours dark amber / copper colored with a white head that refuses to die down, great lacing.

Smell is sweet, malty, some fruits. No hops. Taste starts with some caramel, sweet fruity notes, immediately changes to very bitter, some resin notes, finishes with a lingering bitterness and a hint of grapefruit. Final finish is wet, body is heavier than expected. Overall a mediocre/decent pale ale, very malty and bitter. Kind of surprised that a beer rated this highly would be this disappointing.

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Photo of mrmanning
3.65/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark orange body, almost a reddish colour. Head is a foamy white, and thick. Aromas are hops like crazy, pine, citrus, malt. taste is lots of hops, but not overpowering, subtle citrus and some mild malt that balances it out nicely. FInish is smooth, crisp, and the 6.5% is not noticable. I wish I could get more.

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Photo of LikaThaHops
3.65/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured into pint glass.

A- Poured a deep copper color with a rich creamy head about 2 fingers tall-leaves nice lace along the glass, then the bubblies settle to a few millimeters thick through the duration.

S- Strong floral aromas accompanied by a slight hop smell. Not too big on aromas here, but thats not a problem.

T- Very balanced is the best words. Everything works correctly with this brew in my mouth. Very crisp, a little mouth pucker, a little bitter. I like it.

M- Light, sticky, pucker.

D- A little too much bite. Kinda got heart burn after 2 or 3. so, that would kill this being a 'drink a sixer'. All in all, a good beer though; Very tasty.

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Photo of Anthony1
3.65/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a crystal clear golden copper with a gentle carbonation and a nice cream tan thin head. The aroma is pure green floral hops. A bit of pine resin with more citrus but very fresh hops. A hint of sweet malt is hidden in the background. This beer has a very fresh hops taste with some grapefruit and citrus flavors that is bold but not overpowering with bitterness. It is gentle enough that you can taste the creamy sweet malt that is mostly pale malt. It the softness of a slight bit of wheat. This has a medium full mouth feel with some creaminess. There is no alcohol warmth or astringency.

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Photo of bjoyce12
3.65/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A good solid APA. Maybe not the best I've tried(Stoudt's and Flying Dog come to mind), but not a bad choice. In fact, I'd say a definite solid choice. Pours cloudy golden. Nice hoppy aroma, not too strong. Hoppy without being bitter in taste, nice and clean and crisp. Its best quality may be that it is very drinkable. Smoothness is its second best.

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Photo of Avantyawn
3.65/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Amber , brown, modest head

S: Wet Hay. Brown Sugar , toffee, Orange Rind , cane sugar,burnt popcorn, complex , heavy , and very sweet smelling, sugar dominates

T: Sugary malt , graininess, almost a bit of rye , faint hops , but the flavor is heavy and sweet. Slight bitter ending, but it never quite breaks through the sweet malt.

M: Very heavy mouthfeel for this style, a bit sugary and heavy. not entirely refreshing.

O: Overall, maybe this 6er was old, as its my first time trying this and it was a bit disappointing, albeit a good beer. It has a complicated taste, but it just doesn't move me or refresh me very much. I'd like to try this fresh on tap as I suspect this beer can / should be better than this.

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Photo of stoutfiend27
3.65/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle thanks to beerad666 poured into nonic

a-rusty copper color...little to no head at all..sort of disappointing...oh well

s-citrusy hop nose...malt backbone...a little lackluster imo and i was really looking forward to this

t-more like the smell..cirtusy and a little piney hops and bitterness with a little to big of a malt backbone for me

m-good mouthfeel...was oily and had nice carbonation and prickly

d-a couple a night and then i would probably move on to dales pale ale or something

overall a nice pale ale but i think its lacking in a few departments

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Photo of ThickNStout
3.66/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle from zrab11 (thanks!). No bottling date. Served in a Dogfish Head snifter.

Pours deep orange with about one finger near white head that leaves a decent amiunt of lacing.

Smells like a hop sandwich- citrusy hops on sweet bread.

Assertive floral and citrus hops, drying grass, biscuit and pepper. Crisp and easy to drink.

Medium light feel with a strong dose of tight carbonation.

A right fine pale ale. It goes down smooth and easy with a good bit of bitter hoppyness balanced by sweet malts. While I won't yearn for more, I won't turn any away either.

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Photo of macrosmatic
3.66/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Thanks to Irishace9 for this bottle! Reviewed from notes. Poured from 12 oz. bottle into a Russian River pint glass.

A: Pours a deep copper, mildly hazy, with a 1.5 finger white head. Visible carbonation on the low side.

S: Light grassy and pine hops, sweet bready malts with a touch of caramel.

T: Follows the nose, with the addition of some citrus rind hops. But the caramel and toffee malts seem more dominant than the nose would suggest. Moderate bitterness for an APA in the hang.

M: Heavy body for an APA, moderate alcohol presence, and decent carbonation.

O: Honestly, too much caramel malt and too big of a beer for the claimed style. It's a somewhat above average IPA, I think. But FFF misses the target here.

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Photo of Carb-Overlord
3.67/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This is a rather enjoyable pale ale. Please note that pale ales, IPA's etc are on the low end of my spectrum for beer likes, which will certainly bias this review.

Appearance: Outstanding pour. Very rich amber color, opaque in nature, with an initial one inch head. The appearance his very appetizing. Head quickly foams down to a thin line.

Smell: There is a slight citrus undertone to the more powerful straight hops aroma. Not overwhelming, but certainly enticing.

Taste: There is a subtle sweetness hiding under the hoppy bitterness. I think the bitterness is a little overpowering for my tastes, it hits quite hard initially, I can detect a citrusy sweetness underneath, and then it finishes quite bitter. The bitterness lingers in the mouth 30 seconds after the last swallow. I understand this is in the IPA spectrum, but that is not the flavor I appreciate to linger in a beer. Some would score this quite high for their fondness of this quality.

Mouthfeel: A rather effervescent beer; sparkly and pops in the mouth with every drink.

Overall: This is a very good craft beer, I would certainly share this among those who love their hoppy bitter beer.

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Photo of tobelerone
3.67/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle courtesy of Hessian. Pours deep amber, close to clear, with a finger of quickly settling off-white head. A little patchy lacing clings to the glass in spots. An initial burst of fragrant citrusy hops is followed by a sweet caramel and bready malt aroma.

The flavor flips it around a bit, with a big and sweet maltiness full of sugary caramel hitting first, followed by citrusy orange, grapefruit and pine hops and a lingering bitter aftertaste. There's a suggestion of aspirin on the tongue mingling with a bit of sweetness; the finish is only semi-dry.

Medium bodied with moderate, smooth carbonation. Fuller mouthfeel than is customary for this style.

Maybe my bottle wasn't as fresh as it could be and like many Three Flours beers I'd love to revisit them down the line. But this one hit me with a tantalizing blast of hoppy aromas as soon as I popped the cap of the bottle and unfortunately went down hill from there. I found it overly sweet, more assertively bitter than flavorfully hopped, and drinking bigger than it should. Lacks subtlety of any kind and has more alcohol presence than I'd like, both characteristics I've encountered before with this brewery 's beers. Not bad, but I clearly am in the minority here in not being a huge fan of this.

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Photo of SaCkErZ9
3.67/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Thanks go out to SPLITGRIN for this one.

Served from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. Clear, bronze color beer is dispensed and topped with a one finger sized, white head that dissipates rather abruptly into a light film, with large bubbles on top. Looks like a glass of sweet tea.

Aroma is fruity and piney. Orange juice and caramel. A nice malty background on this one. Pretty aromatic. Perhaps more citrusy than anything else. Not bad.

Not quite as hoppy as the aromas would lend. Possibly due in part to some dry hopping. Slightly bitter. Flavors consist of a caramel maltiness as well as some fresh grain and malt flavors. Decent amount of hop flavor as well.

Finishes dry and is light bodied. Certianly nothing wrong with this one but nothing mind blowing either. I would recommend this as a nice, solid, everyday beer.

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Photo of wedgie9
3.68/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tasted from a twelve ounce bottle. Pours clear amber with a one finger beige head. The aromas are lightly roasted malts, hops, and prune juice. On the palate, the flavors are lemongrass, and then hoppy bitterness. There is a hint of the malt on the mid-palate, but the bitterness is the main flavor. On the palate, everything is fairly medium. The body, carbonation, and finish are all in the middle. Overall, this is a very high quality beer, perfect for sessions. I could drink this one all night long.

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Photo of haywire77
3.68/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brew poured a nice dark copper with about 3/4" of slightly off white head that faded rather quickly. The color reminds me of good summer sun tea.

The smell is all malt to me. A little citrus and pine, but barely any scent of hops on the nose. Nothing that stands out particularly.

From the taste, I get malt forward and then the lingering hop bitters on the tail end with a little wheat bread. The hops aren't quite strong enough to last too long like some IPAs/APAs, but it lingers for a few minutes.

Mouthfeel Is very solid and standard for all the better brews of this style. Creamy and well carbonated so that it just dances on the tongue enough to make you want another sip. Fairly Dry finish.

Overall I didn't like this beer until after my first few drinks. Maybe because I had to trade for it and I might have had it on a pedestal, but it grew on me as it went down rather quickly. I think I could drink several of these and at a nice low abv, it would make for a long evening.

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Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.68/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Taken from notes on 3.15.11.

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A - Pours a brown-burnt orange amber color with a small tan head.

S - malty and very sugary.

T - Tastes like wheat and bread.

D - Low carbonation and light.

O - Drinks very easily. I may have gotten an old bottle in a trade.

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Photo of pumarocks
3.68/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this on draft at the Beer Cellar in Indy. This is a serious beer. It has a significant hoppiness that made me think it was an IPA rather than an APA. It has a citrus flavor with spiciness and a dash of sweetness. It smacks you in the mouth before it is done with you. I will be visiting Three Floyds the next time I am in Chi-town. A very very good brew.

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Photo of Irish212
3.68/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a dark carmel color with an inch of head which partially disolves leaving a thin layer of lacing.

S: Hops with a good amount of citrus as well.

T: Very sweet with a strong amount of Hoppiness.

M: Above average carbonation and a fair amount of stickiness.

D: Doesn't seem like a Pale Ale, but is a nice one none the less.

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Photo of dfranks
3.69/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured Three Floyd's Alpha King Pale Ale into glass and first noticed its nice citrus smell. Hints of grapefruit which is different and nice. Amber color with a small head. I do believe I noticed the grapefruit in the taste as well. Overall a pretty good beer, nothing that I would go out of my way to get but would like to try again...

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Photo of GOBLIN
3.7/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Three Floyds Alpha King

F=6 ?

Poured into pint glass

A: Dark amber to brown in color as carbination slowly rises to the top of glass

S: Meh . . . nothin' really

T: Ok, again . . . Nothin' exciting. Not bad but rather boring

M: Medium-sized feel. Good bitter finish

O: Was kinda excited to try my first 3F offering but Alpha King is a boring beer. Just not fun to me. Not sure what the hype is about. I won't be back.

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Photo of tjsdomer2
3.7/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Solid copper. Kinda flat looking. Nice foam though. Pretty good.

Smell: Pretty sweet caramel and a hint of hops. Pretty good.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Kind of a flat mouthfeel. Tastes a lot like good hops tho. Well-balanced flavor.

Drinkability: Definitely a harmless beer.

Overall: I'm probably underrating this. To be fair it's pretty good.

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Photo of RBorsato
3.7/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark gold, bronze-ish color with a low tan head and good lace. Hoppy, piney, tar(?) aroma with light malt aroma detected. Piney, sprucey hop flavor with a good malt balance. Medium bodied with a bitter finish.

One of the coolest bottle labels I've seen around.

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Photo of callmescraps
3.7/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This is my first FFF beer, so I'm pretty excited. I will note, however, that I think the bottle looks like shit.

Appearance - A deep amber color with a little bit of foamy head. It doesn't look like most APA's, but it's nice. Pretty good lacing.

Smell - First thing that comes is the nice citrus hops. Plenty of grapefruit up front, with some orange peel almost. Then some pininess seems to show up as well. There is definitely some caramel and burnt sugar hiding behind it all. We're sure this isn't an IPA?

Taste - Some nice hop citrus. A real strong caramel maltiness. Also some bread that you often get in an APA, which was sort of unexpected but not unappreciated. There is some pine bitterness on the end which is nice. It's pretty well balanced between that malt, the breadiness (biscuit? sure) and the citrus followed by bitterness. There's a burnt roastness that is just lingering around and sort of dampening the experience a bit.

Mouthfeel - Frankly, a little thin. Not a ton of carbonation, it's very light and just sort of disappears.

Drinkability - Goes down easy. It's nice and balanced, I could have several of these no problem.

This is a pretty good beer. Goes down smooth and easy, but not knocking my socks off. Not sure how fresh the bottle was, so I'd be interested in trying a super-fresh one. That said, I think it's good as is and am not sure there's much it could do to really blow me away. Still, I'd gladly have it again, and could see working it into a nice rotation if it was more widely available.

EDIT 2011- Still not terribly impressed. There is an unexpected nuttiness to this beer. Also, the appearance is not the best. Head dissipates so quickly. Decidedly thin. I know this one is fresh, so this beer is definitively not my cup of tea.

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Photo of Bendurgin
3.71/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got a growler of this as an extra from Sean. Thanks homey, I owe you for this. Poured into a pint glass. Pours amber with a finger of creamy beige head that seems to be lasting nicely with some sticky lace along the collar.

Hints of caramel come through in the aroma with some candied orange in the the finish. Real nice citrus hop aroma in the finish. The flavor mirrors the aroma on this one, a little bit of caramel on the pallet with candied orange and canteloupe rounding it out.

The body is light and the carbonation holds up nicely in the growler. Overall this one is pretty rock solid. Glad to have a growler of this bad boy.

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Photo of jmalex
3.72/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Perhaps I did things in reverse order when I tried Dreadnaught a few months back, but it and Alpha King were meant to be 2 different beers entirely. Now the latter has its turn.

APPEARANCE: Poured a somewhat hazy reddish amber with a very underwhelming 1/4 inch head. It dropped almost immediately and is now just a thin collar with a few bubbly patches on top.

SMELL: Now there's a hop profile that I'm familiar with. A huge citrusy aroma is very upfront, not unlike many Three Floyds offerings. Sweet hop estery smells fill your nostrils no matter which way you try to smell it. An almost resiny sweetness plays alongside with a caramely malt presence barely detectable.

TASTE: Starts out quite tame and nicely balanced. The citrusy and floral hop flavors are delicious. A strange sugary sweetness is also present but not in the same high intensity as I've tasted in some other pales. The finish is where the hops start to bust through, showing their true colors (and flavors) and really give this beer its bite.

MOUTHFEEL: Disappointing. Perhaps I have a bad bottle, but the carbonation was extremely low (which could explain the lack of head). The body is nice, being slightly fuller than I anticipated.

DRINKABILITY: On one hand, this doesn't seem like such an extreme beer, and one would think that it could certainly be drank as a session beer because of a decent degree of balance it achieves. On the other hand, this is Three Floyds and nothing isn't extreme. The hops are still there in full force. So the drinkability comes out somewhere in the middle which isn't a bad score at all.

I really hope this bottle is an outlier and that a typical bottle of this isn't as flat as mine, because it brings down an otherwise tasty beer. I would seek this one out again. All beers deserve a second chance.

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