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Alpha King | 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

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BA SCORE
95
world-class
1,811 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:
1,811
Ratings:
6,348
Avg:
4.26
pDev:
16.67%
 
 
Wants:
969
Gots:
1,293
For Trade:
29
User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,811 | Ratings: 6,348
Photo of avalon07
4.47/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a copper color and a slightly hazy consistency. There was an inch of foamy, fairly long-lasting head. Good lacing.

S: A sweet, hoppy smell, with traces of caramel and malt as well.

T: Tasted primarily of hops, with a nice citrusy backbone and tinges of caramel, malt and biscuity flavors. Much hoppier than most APAs, but it doesn't matter because this beer tastes so good.

M: A well-carbonated beer with a silky smooth finish. Light- to medium-bodied.

O: A thorough enjoyable, well made beer.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
4.05/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

The first beer I had from FFF. Copper in color, good 1/2" white head. Drops plenty of hops in the nose, not citra, but you know the other c hops that are almost underappreciated these days.

Good citrus impact, caramel and honey malts lightly toasted. Floral, pairs well with spicy food. Could drink this all day. One of those beers you don't mind drinking 50oz of in a sitting.

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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 scruffwhor
4.37/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this beer numerous times, both bottle and tap. I decided now is the time to let you all know how I feel about this beer.

Appearance- Good two finger head that drys to a thick foam in my impy pint glass. No bubbling, but some standard, English, lacing. Great, slightly hazy, deep amber, tan hue. A little sediment is noticeable too.

Smell- Smells like a hop Christmas tree. Citrusy, resiny hops burst into my nostrils with hints of pine and holly. Awesome.

Taste- Greeted with the normal citrusd peel, but more emphasis on grapfruit zest and some malts. Bread and hop water, yeah. Could only taste some very faint pine at the back of the throat.

Mouthfeel- A little dry but still very cleansing with its normal astringency.

A beer that will always have a place in my fridge. Abd you should make room in yours.

Bow down to the King of Kings.

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Photo of Stevedore
4.24/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle. Dated 8/27/2014. Poured into a Three Floyds red pint glass 9/22/2014.

A- Dark caramel-brown body, hazy with a thick three finger offwhite head with quite a lot of hang time. A bit too much hang time actually. Lots and lots of lacing which I haven't seen in a while. [4]

S- Pine, caramel, citrus, bread, floral resins, grass. Even a little bit of orange marmalade, like an English Special Bitter. [4.25]

F- Smooth caramel, a little bit of grapefruit, floral notes, orange marmalade, bread, slight mineral flavours on the backend accentuated by a nice pine resin bitterness. This is nice and complex, but easy drinking, even more so as it warms- the pine seems to fade a little bit and there's more of the floral, grassy hops that come out. In some ways, this is quite complex. [4.25]

M- Medium bodied, a bit peppy with a nice crisp pine and floral bitterness that is refreshing. Leaves a resinous, sticky bitterness on the finish that nevertheless does not last for long, keeping you ready for the next sip. [4.25]

O- Now that I've had 2 years to get over the Three Floyds hype, try many different other pale ales from across the country, revisiting their flagship beer on a whim was a great decision. This is a very complex but balanced pale ale with quite a bit of great fruity flavours. Slightly expensive at $12/6-pack, but then again the quality of this beer is just as good as the ones you'd have to buy in bombers and is still a better deal. [4.25]

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Photo of TX-Badger
4.21/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a dark brown color with tan colored head. Roasted malt, coffee, raw cocoa, and some dark fruit on the nose; follows onto the palate. Interestingly complex. Finishes with roast.

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

poured into duvel tulip.

Appearance: light to medium amber bodied beer. 3 fingers of white head that drops down to a chunky cap. Nice lacing is left from the head.

Smell: Huge pine, citris, and tropical fruit with a faint buicuit malt body.

Taste: Hop forward beer thats moderately bitter. Hop profile is prominently pine, grass, and herbal almost like a green tea. Getting a little bit of citrus and tropical fruits. The biscuity malt are found middle palate and do not offer too much balance. Finish is mild grapefruit bitterness that tenders to linger around for a while.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer with moderate carbonation. The carbonation is right on with this beer.

Overall: Its another solid 3F's hoppy beer. You tend to get a very similiar hop profile from most hoppy beers in the 3F lineup. But here's the bottom line...once you have drank Zombie Dust all other American Pale Ales just don't come close.

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Photo of bylerteck
3.99/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Coppery colour with a haze. Mild carbonation and a nice one finger soapy white head. Spotty lace and no retention.

S - Citrus, grapefruit, pineapple, sugar.

T - Huge flavours. All intense notes of dankness, citrus, grass, and a lemony finish.

M - Nice bitterness, good carbonation, medium body.

O/D - Really drinkable and enjoyable. Missing a certain special thing to take it above and beyond like the hype says it should be, but I think this is a nice APA.

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

The bottle says pale ale, but there is nothing pale about what is inside.

Pours a lovely copper tinted orange with only a faint cap of white bubbles, diminishes quickly into a small ring and splotch in the middle. Leaves some sticky lacing. First whiff is an attack of hops. Pungent notes of grapefruit and orange backed by notes of pine and a little apple cider to boot. Malt backbone is quite strong, husky kiln dried malts with the faintest touch of roast. Taste begins bitter, much stronger then any pale I have knows. Hops flavor is big on citrus (bitter grapefruit and orange rind) and the malt does more then just provide the backbone. The malt presence is high, but the sweetness is quite low. Medium bodied, smooth, creamy and very dry on the palate. This beer was quite a revalation... unexpected boldness throughout with the pale moniker as notes of IPAs and Barleywines danced on the tongue - and at 6.5% too.

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

A visiting friend from the midwest brought a couple bottles of this.
The appearance is an amber tone with a larger one finger head. Alpha King has a smell that contains bread malts, some citrus hops, and flora. Upon tasting from my pint glass and I taste more citrus, some spice, also an appropriate amount of hops for the style. MF is medium with similar carbonation levels. All in all, a very nice APA, which I am glad that I finally got to try.

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

Very clear coppery red topped by cream coloured foam. The head was a bit on the thin side, but it stayed around throughout and left some decent lace on the glass. Intense citrus hop aroma, but still soft like low alpha hops were used for finishing. Also a bit grassy with moderate maltiness that doesn't hang around for long. High bitterness, again soft from the use of lower alpha acid hops, with lots of citrus and floral character. Low malt sweetness. Very dry, hoppy finish with plenty of citrus. Medium body and moderate carbonation with a soft, smooth texture. Very tasty beer with a lot of hop character that isn't overpowering. Highly drinkable and something I'd love to find on tap. Thanks Viggo.

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

A: Amber color with little head and almost no lacing.

S: Mostly grapefruit, but I also pick up tropical fruits and pineapple. Terrific aroma!

T:Tastes almost exactly replicates the smell which is really nice.

M: Smedium body, good carbonation, with a refreshing mouthfeel.

D: Its got a great taste, the ABV isn't too high, and its quite a refreshing beer. Its a great summer type beer that I would consider highly drinkable.

I was unimpressed when I had this from a bottle but in a growler it was GREAT!!

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Photo of ColForbinBC
4.4/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Had this on-tap at The Map Room in Chicago
(from notes)

Appeared a reddish amber, rather clear with a white head. Had nice staying power and left some good lacing.

Nose is of citrus and floral hops. Hints of tangerines and flowers. A nice burst right off the bat makes this one a winner already.

The hops really come through in the flavor. A giant punch of floral hops hits the tongue and then a perfectly sized toasted malt backbone takes over. A really bitter hop presence.

Smooth and velvety with a medium body.

The drinkability on this guy is right about where it should be for the style.

This is a great go-to...pale ale? Really? Could have fooled me. Anywho, consider yourself lucky if you can grab these on a regular basis.

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

12oz bottle received from czoch75 via trade

A: Crystal clear amber with an off-white head that recedes leaving sticky lace

S: Hoppy and sweet. Pine, citrus with tons of caramel in there. Hints of mango

T: A blast of pine hops with just enough malt to back it all up. The finish is dry and hoppy. Very good.

M: Maybe a little undercarbonated for the style but it allows the hops to coat the palate pretty well.

D: I'd drink another. Definitely the hopppiest APA i've tried

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Photo of sweemzander
4.38/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz. bottle poured into an imperial pint. No bottled date.

(A)- Pours a clear reddish to orange amber color that produced a nice off-white foamy head that stuck around awhile. Left some legs behind.

(S)- Fruity citrus of lemon, lime, pineapple, & grapefruit with a respectable wet pine behind it. The tiniest caramel-like sweetness in the background.

(T)- Exactly like the smell. Great citrus & pine. A respectable bitterness. I am loving how creamy the fruits are. A tiny caramel/honey sweetness in the far background.

(M)- A great carbonation level & balance. Dry, bitter, & great citrus. Great creamy citrus. Just what a pale ale should be like. . . and them some.

(D)- Exactly what a pale ale should be like! The balance & complexity is simple, but smooth. The bitterness, dryness, & citrus is borderline near what I would expect from an IPA, but I have no complaints about that! Just a simple yet delightful beer to enjoy one after another. The essence of the style.

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

12 oz btl poured into a 3 Floyd’s pint glass – no date on the btl

A: Pours a clear amber with a thick 2 finger white head with good retention and leaves a fair amount of lacing down the side of the glass

S: Citrus hops, pine resin, a hint of malt

T: citrus hops, grapefruit and bitter orange, a hint of sweet malt that contrasts nicely with the hoppy bitterness

MF: medium-light bodied, a good amount of carbonation, crisp/dry finish

O: very drinkable and enjoyable pale ale, flavors are not very complex but are well balanced, will definitely seek this beer out again

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Photo of Viggo
4.6/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Damned I love this beer. Many pints on tap at the Yardhouse in Glenview last week. Colour is dark red brown with a nice white tan head that leaves good lacing. The smell is amazing, bitter and lots of floral piney hoppy aroma. Taste is citrusy hops with a pronounced bitterness throughout but with a solid malt backbone to complement. Mouthfeel is smooth, perfect carbonation and perfect bitterness. I think this is a perfect pale ale, I could drink only this for the rest of my life and be happy.

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Photo of markgugs
4.6/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass
- sent to me graciously by BA member "cardsmith"

Honestly, this beer disappeared so quickly I'm not sure I can even review it, but let's see what I remember.

A: poured beautifully, a delicious-looking copperish orange color, a nice 2-finger head and instant lacing. I can tell right away it's going to be stellar, especially when I stick my nose down to get the...

S: ...wonderful aroma emanating from this brew. It's all very subtle, yet enticing at once. Some floral aroma, a nice pink grapefruit and certainly some piney smells.

T: Wow. Just, wow. Seriously, this beer disappeared so quickly, the flavors are just complex enough, and just subtle enough that it's damned near chuggable. There is without a doubt a gorgeous piney overtone to the beer (from the Centennial hops?) as well as some wonderful malted undertones. Utterly delicious. I could drink this all night.

M: Again, just nothing at all wrong with this beer. It feels "right" in your mouth and bigger than usual gulps are real easy, too easy in fact.

D: As I just mentioned, this is an all day, all night beer. One of the most drinkable I've yet encountered. Even my burps taste good.

Highly recommended.

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Photo of Bighuge
3.15/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Hazy orange tinted amber color. Frothy white head. A bit of a pungent hop scent. An oily hop taste present. Quite bitter. More like an IPA though. An average pale ale. Tastes more like a British-style pale ale to me. American styles have more of a floral and herbal aroma reminiscent of the NW hop varieties. To me, this one doesn't possess that characteristic. I see I'm not in agreement with most on this beer, but SN, Summit and Big Sky are a lot better in my opinion.

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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 Beerandraiderfan
4.27/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

An all around classic. Had this beer on a trip back through the midwest. Was very surpised to see how well it poured, the hoppy aroma, and the hoppy taste. I guess comparitively, the last almost decade or so since I first had it, beers have become hoppy to the extreme, but this is a classic balanced version that hopheads should still be able to appreciate. Delicious. . .

Plenty of hop character, enough malt. Its nowhere near as pungent as it seemed over a decade ago, but it still holds a special place, and is a legitimate high end pale ale still to this day.

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Photo of Bung
4.33/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Cask at Clark Street Ale House in Chicago. Surprisingly dark amber pour with a cream colored head. Piney hops dominate the aroma of coarse, but some malt also. Taste has some nice caramel covered apple, citrus and the hops. Smooth mouthfeel, just enough carbonation, hand pull helps this of coarse. Finish is not overly bitter. Not a frequenter of pales, but this is the best American pale I've had. Three Floyds hop heavy style obviously works well with this.

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Photo of Jwale73
4.1/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another extra from bgramer; an unbelievably generous trader (thanks Brendan). Served in a standard pint glass. Poured a translucent copper red; excellent clarity. Tight, off-white head approached the rim of the pint before reducing its volume in half within about 30 seconds. Cap eventually settled into a thin semi-consistent skim with strands of watery lacing spattered around the walls of the glass. Aromas of floral, piney hops immediately hits the nose. Taste consistent with nose with a strong grapefruit character that leaves a lingering bitterness between quaffs. Mouthfeel is between light- and medium-bodied with a distinct tingle across the tongue. This is an excellent representation of the APA style and I can see why it is a Three Floyds flagship brew, as such, I tried to be true to the style in my rating; however, a little too hoppy for my preference. If you are a fan of the style, this is definitely a brew to measure all other APAs against.

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Photo of cbutova
3.88/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Shared by Chico1985 at our last tasting, another good beer he traded for.

A- Clear red with an off-white head that has decent retention. Good cloud atop the ale that leaves a coat of fine lace.

S- Slight citrus and pine above a caramel malt, sweet backbone. Almost like a lighter version of a Barleywine. Grapefruit. Could use some strength.

T- Once again, the malt and hops remind me of a less aggressive version of a Barleywine. Citrus/zest/grapfruit hops for the most part over a malt profile that is a bit nutty, toasty and slightly sweet. Close to an IPA but more malty.

MF- Light creamy body with moderate carbonation. Slightly bitter on the palate.

DB- Unique flavor for a pale ale. Good hop presence lends nice citrus flavors. Really felt like a small Barleywine IPA hybrid.

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Photo of jrallen34
4.35/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I drank this from the bottle into a chalice.

The beer poured amber in color with a weak small white head and poor lacing.

It smells hoppy with citrus and spice, but the hops are a sweer smelling hops.

This is an IPA at its core but incedibly drinkable. Its sweet but hoppy and bitter.

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Alpha King from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
4.26 out of 5 based on 6,348 ratings.
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