Alpha King | 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

1,826 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: 1,826 | Ratings: 6,404
Photo of tippebrewcrew2
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Three Floyds
Alpha King
American Pale Ale

L= 4.5 Beautiful pour. Dark ruby orange with medium sized bubbles. Off-white, well sustaining, frothy head with good lacing.

S= 4.5 big whiffs of citrus and piney sweetness.

T= 4.0 It's more malty then I thought it would be. Upfront sweetness followed by tart citric bitterness that smoothes out and plays a dance between sweetness and bitterness for a long finish.

F= 4.0 Lively and bitter on the tongue makes for a dry feel.

D= 4.5 (non-session) This is an amazingly well balanced beer. Different flavors in each sip. The peaks are mellowed out with the valleys and makes for a great drinking experience. Good beer, Great brewery. Good job FFF

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Photo of Steasy66
3.85/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Deep amber, nice head retention
S- floral, citrus, hint of malt
T- Citrus hops, hint of malt, bitter finish, would prefer a bit more malty
M- Very undercarbed, probably because this is a taproom growler pour
O- Good beer, worth a try, need to try this from a bottle to really give it a fair shake.

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

i've had this both in the bottle and on tap. currently i am drinking from the 12 oz.bottle... poured into my Bell's pint glass.

makes for a nice pour. copper color with a foamy, soapy one inch head with some active carbonation. after a few sips and a little swirling the head disappears but sticky lacing is left behind.

smell is sweet, citrusy with plenty of pine. the nose is big and full of hops.

alot of citrus fruit and hops too in the flavor. piney hop extract... this must be close to the taste of pine sap with orange peel added. 6% isn't too high, and the alcohol is well disguised.

this brew has body. thick and a bit resiny. good carbonation and viscocity, but still creamy.

ummmm... if you like IPA's then this beer is for you. no shortage of hops. an extreme APA that deliver's.

delicious, but moderation is advised.

this is the mother *** of all pale ales.

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Photo of wardough
4.74/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked up this gem at the brewery. This is a great session beer.

Great citrusy smell that is a pleasure. Awesome aroma.
Taste is sweet, followed by bitter, followed by a sweet finish. Nice taste.

Mouthfeel is good, but it needs a tad bit more carbonation.

Overall, this is an excellent APA and well worth the money and the effort of finding.

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Photo of pio
4.29/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

it's a ruddy orange beer with golden highlights. a meager white head dies unexpectantly (everytime too) to a halo or 3/4 moon head. less than medium activity in the volume and satisfactory lace, no more.
a blended hop scent abounding with subtlety. floral, cheesier stinky, musty notes, candied citrus like nectorene and naval oranges. evergreen and candy too. a nice hop balancing act with a not too sweet, scanty malt akin to orange marmalade.
a really nice sweet orange kicks off the flavor and then it pines up and the drying hops start to play on the tongue. it dries up and then a balanced long long finish begins. piney, floral of rose type and softly bitter sweet lingering. intriguing and inviting.
the mouthfeel is not very extraordinary but sturdy and supportive. crisp effervescance and easy going body, pretty smooth.
this beer is attractive, just plain attractive. easy to drink while not being "ordinary", it's got nothing bad but wishing i had bought a sixer if i hadn't. if i had i wish i got a sevener. HA!

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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.

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

This is the last of a 6-pack I purchased somewhere between 6 and 9 months ago, but the first bottle I've actually reviewed. I remember thinking this beer was good but highly overrated initially, but maybe I'll appreciate it more now.

Glassware: Stone Imperial Russian Stout tulip glass.

A: A bit of foam oozed out of my bottle when I first opened it, so I quickly poured the contents into my glass before I lost anything significant. The off-white head began at about a finger and a half width, then quickly settled to a swirly lace encircled by a thin off-white halo. Beneath this is a translucent copper liquid full of tiny bubbles.

S: Even with a slightly congested nose, the aroma from this beer is fantastic: bitter pine and grapefruit mixed with sweet tangerine and slightly burnt toffee. I'm immediately reminded of 3F Dreadnaught, which also smelled amazing.

T: One sip and all of the odors I encountered hit my palate at once: pine, grapefruit, tangerine, and burnt toffee. Unlike in other beers where the flavors seem to evolve from one to the next from the time the liquid hits my palate to the time it escapes down my throat, the balance of flavors here is incredibly even throughout. I'm not sure if the beer's changed or if I have in the several months since I had the rest of this batch, but whatever it is, the change is for the better.

Over time, the bitter grapefruit flavor begins to become slightly more prevalent, but it's never overbearing.

M: Upon entry, there's a burn of alcohol and grapefruit. This is followed absence of the burn of alcohol and grapefruit. Not much else going on here...and it makes what's left feel almost watery. Slight bitter aftertaste.

D: This is beer is very easy to drink. Sierra Nevada Pale Ale has been my go-to beer for yaers, but this one is less bitter and has a much more complex and soothing flavor. Too bad I'll probably never see this beer on tap in California, let alone matching the overwhelming availability of SNPA.

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

We have had the Alpha King all over, in bottle and on-tap, at the brewery and other places, but I don't think we had it from the cask before. What a fantastic beer! Nice dark amber with a good froth in the glass. The smell is full, hoppy and floral. On the palate, all the good things of Alpha King are emphasized in this super-smooth and drinkable brew, floral hops, fruit, length. I was reminded of Fuller's London Pride and Brakspears (RIP) in particular as examples of a complex fruity bitter.

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

Served on tap in Carmel IN.

A: Very deep amber with about a finger off white head with moderate retention.

S: moderate floral hop aroma with citrus notes, particularly grapefruit and strong orange. Very good.

T: virtually like the smell - floral hop bite with lingering citrus notes without being too piney like an IPA. Hits the right notes.

M: creamy mouthfeel but medium bodied and very fresh.

Not innovative but does everything right in one of my favorite styles.

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

I had this beer on tap at Which Brew back in January of this year and was very impressed by the wonderful hop aroma in the nose. I knew that I wanted to drink this beer again and in quantity so I made the drive to Shangy's yesterday.

I found the pyramid of neatly stacked white boxes with purplish text but was a bit sceptical. No bottled on date. Shit! Now what? Shangy's is the THE place for beer in the area but then again who knows how long they've had this stuff. One thing making the decision even harder was the pyramid of Two Hearted Ale sitting immediatley next to the Alpha King WITH a bottled on date of 3/28/05. I glanced at my watch, twirled my cell phone in my hands, then grabbed a case of the Alpha King.

Very cool bottles with a vibrantly colored label and the same green and purple swirled cap as their Jack the Bruce Scottish Ale. I plan to re-use these bottles for home brew and I can tell these labels are going to be a pain in the ass to remove. Anyway, who cares about that right now, let's drink.

Popped the top, poured the beer, closed my eyes, and inhaled. Ahhh, I'm back at Which Brew eating dinner with my wife. Memories.

The beer is a clear amber liquid with a nice rocky white head. Good, sticky lacing on my Victory Hop Devil pint glass. It's ok, Victory, you're still my #1 girl.

HUGE flowery hops in the nose, same as what I remembered as that on tap.

Wonderfully bitter with just enough maltiness to balance. A nice clean finish, BBUUUURRRRPP! YES! I taste hops in the belch. Oh, life is so good.

Go out and buy some of this now. This beer is delicious.

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

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass

A: nice hazy orange honeyed body with a bubble dusting on top. soapy white ring around the edge.

S: buried, but dank herbal hop profile, dry grass, plenty of orange/grapefruit and citrus. a dense nose of hops that smells wet and fresh.

T/M: dry and grassy up front, followed by a medium body and a touch of sugar. grapefruit, citrus, soft and stinky cheese. more husky grain and bread. finishes with a lingering dryness and grainy mouthfeel. coating but coarse. carbonation is crisp and lively.

D: very enjoyable. very very enjoyable. 6% is a bit high for such a drinkable and flavorful brew. wish i could get all the time, would be happy to purchase repeatedly. cheers.

thanks jamie.

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

A: Deep orange-copper hue. Slight haze. Medium, off-white head.

S: Spicy and citrusy american hops.

T: Delicious. Well rounded. Bitter, but not quite ipa bitter, but more bitter than a pale ale. Plenty of flavoring hops present. Lots of citrus. Good malt balance to back it all up, with a slight carmel.

D: Very high.

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Photo of HitokiriNate85
4.42/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours amber with some brighter red and orange highlights. Thick, frothy tan head that looks like it's going to have staying power. Fades to a solid cap that leaves some nice lacing.

S - Big, juicy fresh hops. Three Floyds is one of the few breweries whose beers have this kind of fresh hop profile. They have a dankness to them(which I love in hoppy beers), some light pine, citrus peel and herbal notes.

T - Follows the nose nicely. Really juicy, fresh hop taste. Alpha King doesn't have the 'oomph' of some IPAs, though it's closer to that style than it is to an APA. The only big difference is that the bitterness is kept more in check by a backing sweetness.

MF - Slightly dry and sticky in the finish with enough, though not a lot of carbonation, which provides a full body. It's fine, even good, but it seems like it's missing something to make it standout.

D - Three Floyds definitely hits a sweet spot here. It's not palate-wrecking, but has a great hop profile to keep me going back. I really wish I had regular access to it. Definitely the best APA I've had.

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Photo of bgreg3
4.04/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

ALPHA KING! great beer!

app- Hazy dark amber with a nice light cream color head that sticks muy bien.

smell- Amazing! a floral citrus smell hits you hard with a smell of some sweetness to it that seems to be hiding in this hoppy beer.

taste- citrus hop gives it to you first then it is followed by a caramel sweetness and then you get the strongly sought after hop after taste. I love it!

Mouthfeel- a good amount of carbonation to it between medium to heavy in its feel , about average in my opionion

Drinkability-Isn't the best but with conditioning you can become very use to it and then it becomes very appealing.

Just Brilliant.

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Photo of Koufax21
3.92/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at 3 Floyd's Brewpub. Pours a dark amber color with 1" of an off white colored head. Smells of big grapefruit and pine. Tastes of big citrus and fruit flavors. Big grapefruit here. This has got to be a borderline IPA. I've had many IPA's that couldn't hold up to this one. Great beer. I wish I could get it where I'm at.

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Photo of malthead
3.97/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark copper color, off-white head that fades quickly. Smells of pine and citrus hops, maybe a vegetal aroma... some bitterness, like dark leafy greens. Big hop taste, spruce, lemons, nice kick to it. Mouthfeel is thicker than I expected it to me, cloying and sticky. (which is nice in some respects, but I was looking for a medium pale ale, this strikes me as a lot bigger than I was looking for.

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Photo of jj21
4.83/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

From BA definition of a Pale Ale:
"...expect a good balance of malt and hops. Fruity esters and diacetyl can vary from none to moderate, and bitterness can range from lightly floral to pungent.

American versions tend to be cleaner and hoppier, while British tend to be more malty, buttery, aromatic and balanced."

This beer nails it. Crisp grapefruit tartness and smoothness are outstanding. Very floral aroma and balanced pallet make this beer the best Pale Ale I've had (yet...)

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Photo of NYCWheatFanSC
3.9/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Perhaps more of an IPA than a pale ale, but what can you expect from Three Floyds?

A - Pours an dark amber, with a creme colored head that persists and slowly fades leaving significant lacing.

S - Citrusy hop nose, even a bit tart.

T - Very hoppy for a pale ale, to the point that its a bit one dimensional but still a fine example of the style.

M - Light, perhaps a bit watery for my taste.

D - Very sessionable

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Photo of GBallHead
4.27/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A- Pours a nice copper/golden color that is a little hazy. Two inches of fluffy head that leaves a nice ring of lace as it recedes.

S- Very hoppy and citrus, but not overly so. Notes of pine and orange

T- Very interesting combination of favors. Hops, caramel, malt in an amazing blend. I'm very satisfied, one of my favorite beers from floyds.

M - It feels light to drink and smooth. Crisp finish

O- Impressed by this beer, especially for the price. It is nicely balanced, easy to drink and will make you happy. Very good.

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

How have I not reviewed this? This beer helped me discover craft beer and began my love of three floyds. 12 oz bottle into a duvel tulip. Pours a clear copper with a 2 inch off white head that shrinks slowly. Very nice lacing. Aroma is grapefruit, toffee, grass, and mild citrus. Flavor is bright citric hops. Grapefruit, caramel, mild toffee, and a mild creaminess. Mouthfeel is medium and sticky. Flavor lingers and alcohol is invisible. This is THE go to beer at any respectable pub I go to. Amazing.

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Photo of chefmikeanderson
4.1/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Looks like a real quality amber honey. Has a one finger head but very little retention showing. the head sticks to the glass real well though.

S: Its actually a bit more sweet than there is hops. It smells like a balanced beer. honey caramel with some sweet hop nothing amazing but nice for a pale ale

T: The hops break through the malt really well. In no way is it crazy bitter but just enough to keep it refreshing. Has something like a dehydrated orange with some really light pine and. There really any huge flavors that say here I am but its nicely balanced.

M: Leaves a sticky sappy resin after each sip. a little on the low side for carbonation but just enough to let the flavors open up.

D: A really easy drinker. Not off flavors to distract me from killing the bottle. Nothing soapy or crazy bitter or to malty. like i said before nicely balanced but nothing to really rave about. Id make it my backup plan at a bar if it were local for me

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

Look: Translucent gold/amber with a thick off-white head

Aroma: Floral, hoppy aroma with a pleasant hint of barley

Taste: Pleasant hop taste with a smooth finish and pleasant aftertaste. Bordering the flavor of an IPA

Feel: Refreshing, well rounded, frothy, smooth on the palate and crisp

Overall: Perhaps my favorite beer. An extraordinary bold flavor with a crisp and refreshing finish.

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Photo of mryuk
4.75/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

a-pours with a small head that does not stick around very long. Beautiful clear caramel amber color. A very nice looking beer in a glass.

s-bitter and with a lot of grapefruit. Strong smell overall.

t-strong, bitter, delicious, hoppy. This is powerful APA that keeps hitting.

m-fairly carbonated but it is light and sits well.

d-this is one of my favorite beers. It really works well as a session for someone like me who loves hops. This is an APA on steroids.

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

I poured this from a bottle into a pint glass, looking forward to this hoppy pale ale at the end of the day. There wasn't a lot on the nose initially, but it had a nice white head on top of the golden beer. I was surprised by how creamy it was in the mouth. I was also expecting something a bit more hoppy, but what I got was just a nice American pale ale that I'd happily enjoy again.

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Photo of BigB415
4.2/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Dark golden color with medium head. Heavy lacing.

S: Smells of oranges and hops

T: More oranges and hops which is now more fitting since the side of the bottle says this is a citrus hop character kind of beer or something to that effect.

MF: leaves a sour kick which is from the citrus like flavor. That's what oranges do to you when you eat them. Unfortunately citrus and hop profiles is all I get which is fine by me but I would like more than just 2 flavors present but it's still good.

O: My first beer from FFF and I really like it. I hope to try more in the near future and eventually make it out to the brewery. I'll get there when I go to Chicago.

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Alpha King from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
4.26 out of 5 based on 6,404 ratings.
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