Alpha King | 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

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95
world-class
1,801 Reviews
Alpha KingAlpha King
BEER INFO

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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
1,801
Ratings:
6,303
Avg:
4.26
pDev:
16.9%
 
 
Wants:
969
Gots:
1,272
For Trade:
31
User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,801 | Ratings: 6,303
Photo of bignick
4.4/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle purchased at Countryside Liquors in Pawtucket, RI. Poured into a pint glass.

The highly-regarded Alpha King pours beautifully, with a hazy, reddish amber and a two finger head. This is a very tasty beer. There is a rough, brash bitterness from the hops, but it is balanced by a nice malt sweetness. Interestingly, the fruitiness is more of oranges than grapefruits. While it is balanced, the abrasiveness of the hops hurts drinkabilty just a bit.

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Photo of AaronHomoya
4.09/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz brown bottle.

My first Three Floyds experience was the Alpha King pale ale, and it was clear at once that this beer was truly not normal. Nice appearance, but the smell totally grabbed my attention. One of the hoppiest, citrus, floral, spicy powerful aromas ever. The taste is also very hoppy with a finish that was almost too bitter for me. This is why I think it's not as drinkable as it could be, it's a bit strong for a pale ale and the bitterness is so extreme that I don't think I could handle a session of these. A great beer, though, that I highly recommed.

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

12oz into pint glass. Mostly copper but with a nice amber tint, topped with a 1-finger wheat-colored head that subsides to a thin layer. Patchy lacing along the glass. Wonderfully citrus-sweet nose, a mix of tangerine and kumquat, with a touch of floral scent, and caramel malt bubbling under. Moderate carbonation, and a medium body with a bit of hop oil slickness, nicely balanced malt and hops in a mix of tropical fruits. Going down is where it's at -- grapefruit bitterness emerging, with a slight pineyness, and a lingering bitter linger that lingers.

A pale ale that nearly borders on being an IPA, but balances its hoppiness with a fruit punch complexity. Good mouthfeel for the style, and definitely sessionable. I think I found my favorite pale ale.

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Photo of DaggerEyes
4.62/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured out of a twelve ounce bottle into a pint glass

poured a rich copper with some amber and ruby hints, with a finger thick off white foamy head. Sticky to the sides of the glass with a moderate amount of lacing an even thin head remaining throughout.

A wonderfully aromatic brew with a wonderful floral boquet. The hops are the first to hit the nose and they are as one might expect piney and citrusy, but there is a strong malt back bone, laced with subtle sweet carmel scents which makes the smell wonderfully unique and balanced beautifully

An even mixture of sweet fruity and sligtly carmelesque malts and citric hops up front with a bitter (but not too bitter) grapefruitesque finish. a really solid, well crafted and wonderful taste

Tingles the tip of the tounge and maintins a nice amount of carbonation throughout. Great medium bodied brew with a really clean finish.

What a beer. A buddy shipped these to me and man the hype is to be believed it's some great stuff.

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Photo of SethB2
4.19/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a chalice. Appearance is an orangish/ dirty brown color that is a little hazy. Almost no head to speak of and very little lacing. Smells nice. I'm getting a malty sweetness up front followed a small hop bite. Taste is nearly identical to the nose, but much more pronounced. Alpha King is almost an IPA, but the piney and citrisy hops are held in check. Mouthfeel is medium and fairly creamy, but could use a little more carbonation.. Drinkability is very, very nice.

Very good APA.

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

Ap: Dark brown in color. There is a nice head when poured. Lacing through out.

Smell: Mango, orange and hop notes. The aroma in this beer is superb.

Taste: There is a tropical Orange/Mango thing going on here. It is slightly fruit punchy. I cannot believe that there are Pale Ale's like this. The hops are strong but complex. I could drink a lot of these and have a different experience each time.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and wonderful.

Dr: Yes

Notes: If you pass this up on the shelves at your local beer store... you are crazy. Simply one of the best pale ale's ever made.

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Photo of bjohnson
4.62/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Picked up a 6 pack at Countryside Liquors in Pawtucket, RI.

A: Pours a very reddish amber color with an initial one finger cream colored head that has awesome retention. Great lace.
S: Aromas of piney hops infused with grapefruit and citrus flavors hit the nose first. Wonderful smelling pale ale, almost like an ipa. Biscuity malts also.
T: Tastes of pine hops hit the palate first, followed by a nice malty and bitter aftertaste thats just wonderful. Great tasting pale ale--to repeat, more like an ipa. Bready malt flavor hangs at the roof and back of the mouth.
M & D: Mouthfeel and drinkability are both very high on this offering from 3 Floyds. Slick but smooth mouthfeel allows you to have a bunch of these. The hop complexion makes this a very enticing ale to drink. Sessionable? Yes! Love this one--my new favorite pale ale.

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Photo of phisig137
4.03/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a copper amber color, with a thin head that quickly disappears.

Aroma is nice, but a bit odd. I get large amounts of hops on the nose, but also a bit of coffee, which seems wierd.

Flavor is very well balanced. Good malt flavor up front, with a nice hoppy finish, and a very solid hoppy bitterness. Dry at the end, and begs for another sip. Mouthfeel is average, and drinkability is good for the style.

I personally think that this is right on the border between pale ale and IPA. It's bitter enough to be an IPA, but has the alcohol of a pale ale. Quite enjoyable either way, and would make a relatively nice session beer... if you drink it a bit slow.

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

Sometimes, living in Indiana rocks. For example, I can find this beautiful offering at the freakin' grocery store right next to the venerable Two-Hearted Ale.

Ahhh. Now this beer is a masterwork from FFF. It pours a slightly hazy amber with a rock-solid dishwater head. Mmmm, that head really released a lot of wonderful aromas. Pine and citrus predominate and, man, it smells good. Very 'Merry Christmas', but not in the tinsel-and-cookies kinda way, but the 'I'm some crank wandering around in a pine forest and I'm giving presents to strangers' kinda way.

It definately ain't normal, but it sure is delicious. The only reason why this beer isn't an IPA is because it isn't bitter. The malt covers up and bitterness from the hops, and they mostly hang out at the fore of the beer anyway. You get a wonderful blast of hops followed by a nice light caramel which preps you for the next blast.

I can (and do) drink this beer all day.

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

Whoa! Let me jump right to the smell first. This thing drew my nose in immediately. It's got a juicy citrus quality with depth, not like the singular sour mother-pucker grapefruit aroma that many hoppy beers give off (I like that too). This one is pleasant, more like oranges and lemons, and it doesn't forget the malt which shows up right underneath. Can't wait to taste it!

But first: body is a deep-amber/dark-gold. Has a frothy head like on-tap A&W root beer. Didn't retain well, though it kept a skim across the top. Good dabs of lace as the drinking began.

The smells certainly follow through in the flavor, but all are barely overpowered by that typical pine/grapefruit wang you get in a hoppy beer. Would've liked the sweet fruit and malt aspects to emerge bigger and rounder, as in the aroma. Still, there's a fair balance here and I appreciate that it's not all hops all the time.

Slightly thin in the mouth without being watery. Good lighter feel that makes it go down too quickly. Excellent for knocking back a few with friends on a slow summer afternoon.

Superb. A pale ale that doesn't impress with intense sourness or a huge ABV. Nice to experience such a good balance and depth of flavors and especially smells, along with high drinkability. Only bought a single, now wish I would've gotten a sixer (or hell, a whole case).

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Photo of cameraman
4.7/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer was incredible. Poured into a pint glass, an amber color with a small head that forms and laces very nicely. Several aromas come through from citrusy, floral, and earthy scents, with a slight scent of malt. The taste is amazing, very well balanced. It starts with some malt and barley flavors, then the hops begin to announce themselves midway to the end of each taste. The mouthfeel has the consistancy of skim milk, watery, but it does have some body to the texture. Overall, this beer is incredibly drinkable, great taste, wonderful aroma. This beer surpasses one of my favorite beers in this style in SNPA.

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Photo of bigdeuce
4.23/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Awesome, awesome brew here. Only problem is, it is a little unbalanced. But hoppier than hell. If you are a hophead, this is the brew for you. Decently priced, a little malty on the front end, with a kickass hoppiness at the end. Best APA I've ever had.

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Photo of trep
4.64/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a dark amber, perfect clarity, huge frothy head after an aggressive pour. Smells of grapefruity hops, flowers, a nice balance of bitter and malt, although the hops definitely are what you continue to sniff this beer for. Mmm - I love it.

Tastes just the way it smells. Hop bitterness is very present but not overwhelming. Smooth as hell. The head fades to a quarter of an inch layer of thin bubbles with nice lacing around the glass as I continue to sip on the King. I can't get over how smooth this beer is. Reminds me alot of Two-Hearted in its smoothness and balance. Finishes smooth, expectedly.

A quality beer, no doubt about it. Three Floyds should be very proud of this beer.

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

Pours a dark copper color with a nice off-white head leaving lacing all the way down the glass. Starts off citrusy in the nose, but then hits you with a floral bouquet that seems never ending and always changing. I also noticed grapefruit as others have mentioned, there is also a slight maltiness in the nose, but hardly noticeable. On to the taste, the grapefruit taste came in strong, slight caramel for a second, but finishes with a lemon zest, a hint of pine is present throughout entire taste. Medium bodied and average carbonation level, pretty slick. Just a flat out good beer here, one of my favorites to keep around. Use caution with this one, once having one of these, you will not be able to taste much else in a beer until the following day.

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Photo of CAMRAhardliner
4.97/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks goes to BeerPanther for the sample. I love the guy on the label.

It pours a copper color with a frothy shortlived cap. Great lace webs cling to the glass. The aroma is full of perfumy, citrusy, coniferous hops flowers. Theres also substantial malt dough in the nose. The first sip took me aback, I have never tried such perfect hop character. Its immensely hoppy, with multiple layers of floral, piney, grapefruity and herbal flavors. Theres even some sea air like Saaz hops. As the beer warms the complexity just increases. Biscuity malt shows in the background, but its meek compared to the hops. The finish is very dry and bitter. Tonnes of pine and grapefruit concentrate clog my tastes and clear my sinuses. There is no sweetness. The mouthfeel is thick with perfect (medium-low) carbonation.

This is the best Pale Ale I have ever tried, by far. Its not as bitter or pungent as some IPAs, but the sheer depth and delicousness of the hop profie make this beer feel huge. One of my favorite beers ever. If only this was readily available in Ontario.

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Photo of ultralarry2006
5/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance - Poured from 12 oz.' er with no freshness data. Left a nice two finger head that receded to 1/4 inch that did stick around to the end, and left thick lacing all the way down. Head is lightly biege and the body is a nice orange copper.

Smell - Grapefruit, grapefruit, grapefruit, oh, and did I mention grapefruit? Slight hint of mild bready, breakfast tea malt which is of course totally subsumed by grapefruit.

Taste - Of course it's grapefruit, grapefruit, grapefuit, right upfront. The malt is just barely there with mild bready, biscuity and a hint of breakfast tea flavor. The focus is emphatically on the hops, with the malt laying way back, but definintely present enough to more than adequately do it's job of providing backbone, because if it was not, then the hops would have thrown this insanely out of balance. Of course the finish is grapefruit, grapefruit, and biscuity tea, more grapefruit, and it all lingers in a pleasant aftertaste ( of the same, grapefruit and bread). Belch, and you get yet more of this great ale's grapefruit hops and bready malts ( gross, I know, but it's true !, and great ! ).

Mouthfeel - full, thick even - kind of chewy, very satisfying with just right amout of moderate carbonation. Pleasingly slick mouth coating from the hop oils.

Drinkability - I could easily sit here and finish a whole six pack myself and savor, and I mean savor each and every sip, in just one sitting, absolutely no problem. Also, I could just sip and chill with this, or serve this with any kind of meal, event, etc. I just plain love this ale !!

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Photo of pbr85
4.35/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a clear, amber red with an inch high off white head.
S: Oily, piney hops, sweet flower scent with some grapefruit.
T: Pretty hoppy. There is a substantial malt backbone mainly of sourdough and rye. Earthy and piney hops. Very well balanced.
M: Decent carbonation, slick mouthfeel from the hop oils. Goes down smooth.
D: Great beer. Very nicely balanced. A great alternative for someone who is craving hops but also craving balance.

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

From a 12 oz. bottle, no freshness dating that I can find.

A - light copper, orangey/golden. Head is creamy, off-white, coverage is excellent. Leaves nice lacing.

S - great aroma on this one. Strong hop presence - pine, resin, citrus, grapefruit. Little bit of alcohol. Malt in the nose as well - can smell some malty, bready sugar. Very, very well balanced nose.

T - forceful bitterness, but not overwhelming. Bitterness hits the tip of your tongue and goes all the way to the back of your mouth. Hop flavors of citrus, grapefruit, NW American hop variety. Some malt here - toffee, bread. But hops win out. A little bit of warming alcohol, but very slight.

M - very smooth mouthfeel. Carbonation appears average. If you let this beer sit out and warm up a little bit, carbonation calms down.

D - very, very tasty brew. Very nice on a warm spring day. Refreshing hop content livens up your tastebuds.

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Photo of Bitterbill
4.65/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from 12 oz bottle(room temp) a ruby red with a medium sized head of foam that dissipated slowly. Lots of lacing.

The smell is a bit on the light side but I note some citrus tones from the hops.

The first sip is so darn tasty! Hop bitterness is there and it's offset by an ample dose of malty sweetness making for a nicely balanced flavour that is a real delight. Subsequent sips caress my palate even more with the finish being as good as I've ever had in any beer. Man, the drinkability of this APA is oustanding!

Bottom line: Alpha King Pale Ale, in my book, is *the* APA that all others should be judged by. Simply fantastic!

My thanks to Bditty 187!!!

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

Picked up a sixer in Toledo. Thank God, I can pick up Three Floyds in Ohio!!!!
No freshness date.
Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a pint glass.

Another fantastic offering from Three Floyds!!!! They're beers rock!!!
Pours a super clear orange color, maybe light amber. About a one finger thick white head forms, and disappears quickly. Tons of sticky lacing around the glass. Beautiful hop aroma, with lots floral, citusy and piney smells too boot. Reminds me of softer version of Dreadnaught. Maybe Dreadnaught "light". Big hop taste up front with some malty backbone, not overly bitter, just right. An medium bodied brew, thats easy too drink. WIth a low abv a definite session brew that can be enjoyed all night long. Another winner from Three Floyds, and once again my only disappointment, is that its not sold here in Michigan. Bring me some Three Floyds dammit!!!

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

Poured from 12 oz bottle into Sammy Smith oversized pint. I've had this brew at parties before, but finally I got one to ponder and review...

A - Cloudy, dark orange color with off-white, 1 finger head. Lacing good.

S - Strong hop for sure with a biscuity dough scent. A nice floral overlay.

T - Hops indeed, with above biscuity flavor. A helping of malt, which provides a nice counterpoint to the intense hops (but don't expect them to balance out).

M - Sticky dry bitterness with a crisp finish.

D - A nice, somewhat well rounded APA with extra hop intensity for all you hopheads. Alcohol not in taste at all, making this beer a great session choice or a fine meal pairing.

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Photo of DuqTroops
4.2/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - dark orange in color - as if a little amberish

Smell - very hoppy with a scent of pine and citrus. smells a lot like an IPA than a regular pale ale.

Taste - malts and barley very light - as any PA there is much hop to the taste. one of the better PAs in a long time.

Mouthfeel - little bitterness with a moderate amount of body

Drinkability - very light and airy. I drank 3 during dinner and didn't realize it until the end (when the 6 ABV kicked in).

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

Deep orange and garnet color. White lacing but no real head retention. Smells of sweet fruity malts with a touch of alcohol as it warms. Plain bitter taste with rich esters and malts. Bit a of caramel. Just the right carbonation and body here. Pretty tasty and easy drinking. Nicely balanced

I am, however, a little confused with this beer. It tastes very similar to Pride and Joy Mild and I wonder if it wasn't mislabeled. I bought a 6'er of P&J and found 2 Alpha King bottles in it. I figured someone had just pulled a switcharoo with a couple bottles from an Alpha King 6'er. Whatever, this is good beer.

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

pours a nice golden colour, with a small head of very tiny bubbles that disappears fairly quickly, but leaves lacing down the glass.

great, fresh, floral hop aroma.

the taste is an immediate bitter, hoppy bite, that fades into a nice balance with the slightly malty backbone. no noticeable alcohol presence, which makes it very drinkable.
body on this one is great. it's definitely not a "lite" beer, but it's also not going to fill you up with one bottle.

overall, a great beer. i'm only half way through the bottle and i find myself wishing i had another. definitely recommended.

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Photo of tattooedtolley
4/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, great label artwork, visually obvious a Three Floyds brew.

Appearance: Orangish amber in color, nice retaining head.

Smell: Hop aroma most obvious with great citrus and floral smell.

Taste: The malts in this beer do a great job balancing out those crazy hops. I had this with friends who typically do not care for over the top hops and they found it very drinkable. I on the other hand was suprised by the hops as I was under the assumption this was an APA. So either way I got my hops and they got their malts, I'd say that speaks to the balance of the beer.

Mouthfeel: Medium body.

Drinkability: Easy to drink many of these, good thing I was in a sharing mood.

Overall I was not dissappointed. I never know what to expect when trying a new APA. I normally go in with expectations and typically come out dissappointed. This was definitely not the case with this beer.

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Alpha King from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
4.26 out of 5 based on 6,303 ratings.
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