Alpha King | 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

BA SCORE
95
world-class
1,832 Reviews
Alpha KingAlpha King
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
3 Floyds Brewing Co.
Indiana, United States
3floyds.com

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:
1,832
Ratings:
6,425
Avg:
4.26
pDev:
8.92%
 
 
Wants:
974
Gots:
1,334
For Trade:
29
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,832 | Ratings: 6,425
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.

 665 characters

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.

 564 characters

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!

 926 characters

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!

 696 characters

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.

 616 characters

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.

 538 characters

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.

 497 characters

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.

 1,643 characters

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.

 1,136 characters

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!

 443 characters

Photo of rabsten
4.92/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Schlafly pint glass. Dark amber, orange-tan head, slightly cloudy/hazy. Decent but not spectacular lacing. Pretty much everything I look for in a Pale.

S: Drool-inducing hop headiness. Evergreen and grapefruit-smelling hops and lots of them. The only brew I can think of that's better smelling - off the top of my head - is Troegs Nugget Nectar. And this is real, real close.

Taste. oh, dear me. Everything I want in a Pale. Everything. Hard hit of hops up fromt, mellowing into a spicy middle, finidhing with a bread-like maltiness. Very hoppy for a straight Pale. Hoppier than most IPA's, really. Delicious.

Mouthfeel takes a little ding b/c of the pure up-front strength of the hops. Once that's over and it hits the middle it opens up nicely. Smooth drinking after that.

Drinkability. I could drink this all day, every day.

This just entered by personal HoF. It is going to be a standby for as long as I can get it. I'm going back to Leo's Carry Out next weekend to get more, just to have around.

Bottom line: wow. Believe the hype. It's that good.

 1,104 characters

Photo of wcudwight
4.91/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Ok, Father's Day is over and the boys are in bed. Now it's time to treat my self. I want something special, flavorful, but not over the top as I want to go to bed soon.
As I look into my fridge I see an Alpha King...perfect!
Appearance looks much more like an IPA than an APA. Maybe it's a double APA. Just Kidding. Oh man, I could just sit here and sniff this for hours. A cornacopia(sp) of aromas. Orange, bannana, grapefruit, mango, and pineapple come to mind. Flavor is the perfect hoppy beer. Tons of hop flavor with out the hop bite. Sure I've had hoppier beers, beers that make your mouth pucker. And I've loved them, but I've never had anything quite like this. Maybe it's super balanced, maybe the amount or type of malt they used. I don't know enough about brewing to distinguish the differences, but I do know this is a damn fine beer, and my taste buds are going crazy and jumping for joy. Feels great in the mouth. Chewy for a light to medium bodied beer. Drinkability? Well I'm going to have to switch it from my gots list to my wants as that was the only one I had. But when I get another one it will go fast.
The perfect beer to cap off a fine father's day.

 1,176 characters

Photo of Gaisgeil
4.05/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Maybe by FFF hoppy standards this is a APA, but for most brewers and drinkers, this a definite IPA. Pours a light amber in color with a slighty creamy head with good retention. Nose is quite hoppy, piney and full; inviting. Taste is well balanced, some nice malt backbone but an over the top fruity and piney hop profile explodes on my palate. Mouthfeel is quite full, perfect carbonation. A very well made beer, I could easily see drinking a lot of this.

Slàinte!

 468 characters

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

Dark for a pale ale... looks almost like an IPA. Pours a deep copper hue that is almost brown with a 1/2" head. The head could be alot better, but the bartenders pour wasnt exactly aggressive.

Big citrusy hop aroma. Lots of lemon with some resin in the backbone... the aroma, too, is IPA-esque.... very nice.

Huge hoppy citurs flavour... reminds me alot of Dale's Pale Ale, if maybe a touch more bitter. Very nice, and significantly more hoppy than your typical PA.

Decently thick body with a crisp feel.... quite nice.

This is one hop bomb of a PA, but still maintains its drinkability. An absolutely fantastic pale, and one I expect will be a regular in my fridge.

 678 characters

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

bottle served around 50f....pours with a very large head into a pint glass. interesting variant on pale ale, as normally they are not hop-bombs.

Nose is overwhelmingly hops, surprise surprise. The taste starts out with a dominant hop note (don't know which variety), the background of the beer almost invisible at first. Eventually some of the pale malt fades into the aftertaste, but this is without a doubt a hop bomb, as intended.

At 6% sessioning this might be a bit short-lived, but it is a very enjoyable hoppy beer, typical of the quality I have found in 3 floyds' products.

 587 characters

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

Thanks to YBSober for this beer!

For a long time I have said that I do not prefer the APA style beers. That is when I thought that ShipYard and Harpoon were the way APA, were done. Just a few minutes ago I was impressed with Stoudt's APA, and now I am flabbergasted by the Three Floyds version of the style. The truth is, I am not sure how it can qualify as a Pale Ale. To me it tasted like a very hoppy IPA.

Appearance: Pours a bronzed amber color with a small off-white head and minimal lacing.

Smell: Intense grapefruit right from the start. There is some toasted caramel malt aromas beside a hint of bread and yeast. Very pleasant and enticing.

Taste: This is a very harsh beer IMO, and I don’t think it is for everyone. It is a hopheads dream come true and those who like the occasional hop-bomb (who I’ve become). It is not an approachable beer, *BUT* as intimidating as it may be it was marvelously tasty! Big grapefruit cites hops bite down hard on your tongue then a sharp alcohol character follows up the insult with injury and leaves your palate feeling wonderfully wrecked and destroyed as the aftertaste lingers on and on. The aftertaste is made up of bitter citrus rind and toasted malts.

Mouthfeel: This is a medium body beer with big prickly hops, sharp alcohol and plenty of carbonation to make your mouth feel full when on closer inspection the beer seems to be more light weight.

Drinkability: I really enjoyed drinking one of these. However this a far cry from even being remotely sessionable in my opinion. I highly recommend trying one because it is very unique, however do not be surprised when it is nothing like other APAs that you’ve had. In fact I recommend this mostly to the hop heads out there.

Hope this is helpful.
Cheers!

 1,783 characters

Photo of budsboy
4.08/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Clear, mahogony brown with a thick, fluffy and sticky tan head.

Woody, piney smell, nearly all hops. Sweet carmel and a sugary toffee smell as well.

Bitter and hoppy, pine and wood ash. Sweeter malts are in there, and a wallop of warming alcohol comes near the end. Woody flavors are more pronounced as it warms, but its still a hop bomb. Piney flavor lingers.

Slick and full in the mouth. Oily and smooth generally.

Man, this is good sh*t. One of the most hoppy, aggressive pale ales I've had. Another one of those beers I couldn't believe I hadn't reviewed already.

 580 characters

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

Appearance is a hazy copper amber with a nice thick two finger white foam head.

Aroma is grassy, hoppy; piney, spruce, fir.
Fruity; lemon, berries.

Taste is light sweet malt with a citrusy, lemony hop aftertaste.

Nice carbonation and nice hoppy aftertaste. Very high drinkability for this one. A solid session beer.

 326 characters

Photo of znarf
4.78/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Being raise Roman Catholic, I have few favorites of anything. Three Floyd's has seduced me with their highly hopped beers. The easiest to find in Wisconsin is Alpha King. Recently I made a day trip to the Brew Pub and was happily surprised with the food. Already knew that the beer would be a treat.

All of their hopped beers are exceptional for my taste. Alpha King is not for the faint of heart. This is a hop lovers dream with a citrus punch and a strong bitter finish that pleasantly stays with you. Highly recommended for those who like unique ales.

 557 characters

Photo of mrasskicktastic
3.86/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A - Head is about two fingers and lingers for a long while with only specks of lacing left above this slightly hazy copper amber brew.

S - Nothing subtle here. A very pronounced and pleasant aroma of roses, lilies, spruces and firs. Underneath there is some caramel malt aroma. Excellent aroma.

T - Malty! Caramel and light bodied malts mesh to form a pleasant flavor that is supported by a bit of piney flavors. The taste is good.

M - Medium viscosity, carbonation is high, not very refreshing though.

D - This is an excellent APA, but it is too drying for extremely good drinkability. It has an good flavor and a fantastic aroma though. Basically, it has too much flavor to be as drinkable as some other APAs.

 723 characters

Photo of Erdinger2003
4.65/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The head has dissipated leaving behind lacing and a good strong lacing with a slight amount of head, but the lacing is thick...maybe 2mm thick at it's weakest point. Color is dark brown to ruby red.

Smell is overwhelmingly hoppy and slightly fruity. The hops are slightly grassy. It has some lemon and raspberry to it.

The taste is primarily hops, but it also has some fruityness that ranges from lemon to strawberry/ raspberry.

Mouthfeel is excellent, it is carbonated quite well which leaves a foamy smooth feel on the tongue.

This will be a regular drink for me, it's great.

 582 characters

Photo of mcallister
4.3/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A beer really doesn't look much better than this. A dark copper color with a large 2 inch creamy off white tannish head. Carbonation bubbles stick to the side of the glass and thick sticky lacing is left behind.

Rich complex aromas emanate from this beauty. Sweet piney malt, with a big citrusy fruit, with grapefruit and flowery hops.. A little of both worlds in this one. Thick malt, and hop smells make your nose want to stay buried in this one.

Very piney hops, with a clean carbonated spicey mouthfeel. Lush flower, resiny as hell, somewhat of a sweet malt finish, not as much citrus in the mouth as the nose but it is there. Very complex, very balanced, unbelievably drinkable.

 689 characters

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

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a Stone IPA glass. No date. Minimal head faded quickly. Cloudy body was yam colored.

Smelled of candied sweet potatoes & figs.

Hoppy, juicy taste. Pleasant grapefruit flavor. Bittering finish.

Mild carbonation with a alcohol tingle when held in the mouth.

Quite drinkable. I will buy again.

 334 characters

Photo of BAbaracus
4.12/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

One finger buttermilk/off white head with moderate carbonation, earthy straw color. Nose primarily citrus (lemon) and yeastiness, with the hops surprisingly subdued. Fresh, carbonated presence on the tongue with citrus and malt up front, hops bringing up the rear with residual bitterness in the aftertaste. Surprisingly hoppy considering the lack of same in the aroma. Pretty strong hop taste, probably edging closer to an IPA. Good all around balance. Overall, an excellent American pale. A good medium choice between the weaker hops of a typical APA and the overwhelming (to some) hop bitterness of an IPA, making an ideal session beer.

 639 characters

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

Into a pint glass, pours a beautiful golden copper, with a nice head that shrinks to a thin foam after a few minutes, with amazing lacing stretching down the glass.

Aroma is fantastic, grapefruit and other sweet light fruits, big on floral hops, and maybe a faint sweet malt backing.

Taste is equally exceptional, a burst of flavor, but not excessive or obscene, but a very balanced and even mellowing in the middle, leaving one able to sit back, swirl a bit, and ponder whats going on. My first thought at first shock and then through the rest is hops, fantastic hops. But, there is a subtle malt backing, just enough, that keeps the hops in check and from tasting raw, keeping it from being too bitter, only causing a pucker up front and toward the end.

Body is something around medium, slightly springy carbonation, but really just playing second flute to the flavor rollercoaster going on, which is completely right and good.

Now that I'm finding places in WI to get 3 Floydss, I think i'm going on a 3 Floyds addiction. I mean, if this is their pale ale, what is Dreadnaught IPA going to be like? I grinning with anticipation. Very nice beer, very impressed with 3 Floyds.

 1,191 characters

Alpha King from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
4.26 out of 5 based on 6,425 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.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.

    Subscribe