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Alpha King | 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

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1,811 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

For Trade:
User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,811 | Ratings: 6,349
Photo of BlackJeremiah
4.52/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle, poured into a pint glass.

A: Reddish-copper in hue, a bit hazy. Full white head gives plenty of lacing, spotty around the glass.

S: Sweet malts, cocoa, raisin/fig. Oily hop scents--orange and pine--mix beautifully with the manifold malts. One of the best-smelling brews I've ever encountered.

T: Endlessly unfolding malt flavors--baker's chocolate, raisins/figs, sweet bread and biscuit. Intertwining hop, oily pine, slick citrus tastes. Incredibly complex and flavorful. Seems like an IPA base with many interesting and complementary additions.

M: Light feel, slight drying, clean through the aftertaste. Smooth.

D: An excellent beer, well-crafted. Three Floyds deserves their reputation, and it's even better that they are located in my parents' hometown.

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Photo of steadydose
4.21/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle recieved in a trade, poured into a pint glass. A vigorous pour produced a 3 finger fluffy khaki cap, that has some staying power. Lacing collects on the side, nice.

The aroma is nice and sweet, candy like fruitiness, bready, as the beer warms up light hints of caramel and butterscotch. I would have liked more hop aroma too come through.

The taste starts with good sweetness and finishes with firm bitterness that lingers. Piney, cirtusy hops. I could taste a little tangerine with a grapefruit bitterness on the finish. This is one of the hoppiest pale ales I have ever had. It's really good, nice mix between the hops and malt, with a slight edge going to the hops.

Mouthfeel is good, silky smooth, full mouthfeel. No complaints here.

The drinkability of theses pale is outstanding. I wish I had more of these and I could easily see myself drinking a 6er of these in a night, if I had regular access to this beer. I had trouble not drinking this too fast while trying to take tasting notes. Get some!

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Photo of Farewell_Transmission
4.96/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

a. Nice amber color, hints of red. Nic lacing, and a nice small head which dissipates quite quickly.

s. amazing smell of hops.

t. the taste of hops is amazing. When the glass warms a little it even brings out a little more.

m. this is really good.

o. this is a perfect beer. There is really nothing to improve other then to use different styles of hops to give a different pallet. I wish I could get this all the time in ohio, because it would be my go to bee.

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Photo of normZurawski
4.43/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I rate the taste here on the basis of the category of American Pale Ale. It clearly is exceptional in its category, and stands head and shoulders above Sierra's like brew. To say the taste is anything less than explosive is not giving it a fair shake, IMO. The taste is strong, yet balanced, loaded with flavor on the sides and back of the tongue. The obvious downside is that most people just aren't always in the mood for a pale ale, and if that's the case you shouldn't reach for this beer (thus the 4 I give it for drinkability). That's not a statement of the beer, so much as the beer drinker and knowing their mood.

Either way, I was shocked to see this in the liquor store down the road, having no idea this was distributed in NJ. When I went to the liquor store to get a few bags of ice for a NYE party and came back with ice plus a 6 pack of this and a Dogfish Head Raison that I had run out of, I was forced to go with the explanation that this is the top ranked APA and I couldn't pass it up. While dubious, the wife understood. In any event, the high ranking is well warranted and I'm damn glad I got this beer.

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

A - Pours a deep copper with small white head which quickly disappeared into a thin ring.

S - Smells of pine, and caramel malt. Also a hint of fruity sourness creeps in at the end.

T - Subdued hop flavor, with a malty backbone.

M - Medium body, very smooth, not a lot of carbonation.

D - I get the impression that the bottle I had didn't hold up as well as most, since it is missing the same hoppy profile most others are talking about. Still a great brew, but I would be curious to try it again fresh for comparison.

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Photo of drummstikk
3.76/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a medium amber with red highlights -- lasting taupe head. Smells of Centennial and Cascade. Taste is a lot of mid-boil dark bark and resin without any cattiness. Yum. Later-boil tastes are pine needles, oranges, lemons, grapefruit (of course), with a bit of melon and peach. Caramel peaks its head at the end, and overall the malt is sweet without being cloying. Carbonation and body are medium. Thought it's clearly more bitter than a Pale Ale by most sane drinkers' standards, Alpha King (despite its name) achieves balance by reigning in crystal malt sweetness and not allowing overall bitterness to outpace its size. Beer appears to be bottled on yeast, and after swirling up the lees and pouring them into my remaining beer, I get a nice bit of apricot fruitiness that was clearly adhering to those friendly single-cells.

There is no date printed on the bottle, but it's been in my fridge for a good six months. Perhaps the hop aromas would be more overpowering in a fresher example, but I enjoy this beer very much.

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

Fantastic! Of all the three floyds pales this really stands out. Balanced, restrained, yet full and satisfying. Its a little dark for a pale, but that's where any criticism ends. bright tropical and citrus notes on the nose, sweet and sharp on the tongue. light-medium and effervescent mouth feel. its really one of the best pale ales out there.

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Photo of HeadyHopHead
4.48/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Really great beer that's readily available. I could drink it all day. Among FFF beers, would still take Zombie Dust over it, and maybe even Gumballhead just because it's lighter and unique for a wheat beer.

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Photo of Jonoesh5
4.63/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Re-review of the flagship of 3 Floyds! Pours an opaque copper body with a small eggshell white head. Smells like clean, crisp hops. Nothing too different for an APA. First sip, however, is still my favorite first sip of any other beer I've had––such bitter, refreshing hops balanced perfectly with a sweet malt backbone. Arugula tartness, fresh baked bread, sweet caramel– it's all there. Mouthfeel is so creamy and smooth, neither wet or dry. Overall, Alpha King was my introduction to 3 Floyd's and remains a nostalgic beer for me. But nostalgia aside, this APA makes all the right moves to allow malts to shine among bright hops, balancing the two perfectly. Seek out this brew now!

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

Pours out a copper orange color with a thick, rocky off white head. The smell is moslty sweet malt with a floral hop aroma. The taste is very hoppy. A little too hoppy to say it is balanced but it does taste good. Citrous hop bite is really noticeable in the finish. A nice malt flavor is detectible through the strong hop flavor but barely. The mouthfeel is very thick and chewy. Quite nice. Very good tasting pale ale although probably just a touch too heavy on the hops for this style. Highly reccomended for IPA lovers.

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

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into my mug stein, ah what a beautiful thing.

Appearance: This ale pours a wonderful deep orange cloudy expierence.

Smell: Glory, wonderful, superb, it smells of citrusy hops predominatly Cenntennial, Cascade & Warrior Hops.

Taste: Excellent, nothing like it around I've tasted, and I've tasted plenty of APA's before but anyway it tastes of again citrus hops a dinty hint of malts in there to balance the equasion of this fine brew, but this is definently a hop lovers brew I tell you what.

Mouthfeel: It's like everything you've ever asked for in a ale, great taste, great smoothness and all of the above it's like premium heaven washing around your mouth.

Drinkability: Near perfect and that's all there is to it.

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Photo of McDiddyPop
4.15/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got this one as an extra, decided to crack it after a long night at work. 12oz poured from one of the coolest bottles I've ever seen into Stone IPA stemware.

It pours a deep copper color with a dense one-finger head that recedes to a thin cap and leaves some decent lace.

Smells like an IPA for sure. Nice piney resiny hops with a subtle sweet malty backbone.

Nice hop forward taste. Earthy, piney hops with a slightly malty finish that is quite dry.

Nice prickly carbonation and the dryness in the finish make this one pretty damn drinkable. Too bad I can't get this locally, or I would have the King over on a regular basis.

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Photo of brushtachio
4.77/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Coworker drove home a few cases for me from a recent extended Chicago business trip. I'm down to my last one (only one today) so I think I should review.

A - nice glowing amber color with a creamy, very light beige head

S - Juicy! Grapefruit, orange with a slight floral note. This is my kind of hop scent - it lets you know exactly what's coming... not exactly a "hop bomb" but a citrusy hop explosion of some sort.

T - Did I say Juicy? Take that juice and add a strong balancing malt backbone with elements of vanilla and caramel.

M- Much prefered this from the bottle over from cask - probably personal preference but the increased carbonation was a plus for me.

D - A guy can dream. During said recent trip to Chicago, this was my go-to beer. As a 300lb guy, this easily qualifies as sessionable at 6%. Not only could I drink it at every chance possible, I craved it. Case of a beer living up to the hype.

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Photo of HappyBivouac
4.15/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

No date on the bottle. Poured into a chalice because that's what I feel like drinking from.

a- a clear dark red/amber color with a minimal off-white head. The color of this beer is very nice. Lacing amounts to a few speckles here and there.

s- tart and bitter citrus fruits hit the nose pretty strong. Blood orange and grapefruit, with a little bit of biscuit malt and sweetness thrown in to balance out.

t/m- resiny yet extremely crisp and bright grapefruit-like hops and some spice character upfront with biscuits and slight sugar sweetness in the middle. the finish becomes more and more like that of eating fresh grapefuit. A very nice full, balanced hoppy APA taste

m- Nothing extraordinary for the style. Medium-light hop-resinous mouth-coating body with very little carbonation. My least favorite part about hoppy beers overall, but this one does decently well.

d- an addictive APA! Very crisp and refreshing. This could be a great go-to APA and wouldn't be bad as an introduction to hoppier beers, especially if you like cirtus fruits! I can see myself drinking a lot of this in my future.

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Photo of seh410
3.82/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Copper colored with a finger's worth of white head that quickly dissipates into a thin layer over the top of the beer. Nice lacing.

Aroma: Pine, grass and citrus mostly with some malts in the back and a hint of strawberries

Taste/Mouthfeel: Well balanced. Citrus and piney hops, and again, that hint of strawberry that I wasn't expecting. There's a bit of bitterness that hits as the aftertaste, and it's nice. The mouthfeel is smooth, creamy and felt medium bodied in the mouth. Overall, nice.

Notes: Drinkability is good. Overall, it's a good beer. Emphasis on good. It isn't phenomenal, but definitely holds it's own. This beer is out of my distribution range, and for that reason, I probably won't try it again. There's just so much more out in the MidWest that I'd rather drink again/try than this. If I could pick it up at the packey whenever though, that might be a different story.

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Photo of Pdiddey3d
4.1/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to GDBEERMAN for hooking me up with this one.

A - Pours a nice hazy amber, almost orange. About one finger of head that reduces to slim halo after a couple minutes. Very minimal lacing.

S - Very pleasant aroma. Picking up mostly grapefruit but there are some hints of malt and some hops but the citrus prevails.

T - Great balance of citrusy hops and a smooth maltiness. Leaves some bitterness on the tongue int the finish but nothing too overwhelming. It surprises me that this is not an IPA with the nice amount of hops in here.

M/D - Very smooth. great carbonation, perfect balance. This is a bit on the hoppy side for an APA but it goes down easy and I would say this is a sessionable beer. Wish I had more than one to enjoy.

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Photo of Macky20
4.12/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Have several bottles of this thanks to generous extras in trades, this is a great beer, so keep 'em coming!

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass. One finger head that is a bit splotchy, and somewhat thin. Amber color with a reddish tint.

Smells primarily of a pine, citrus (grapefruit is what I'm picking up on) and an extremely attractive hop bite.

The taste is the best thing about this beer (good thing right?) Even though this doesn't seem like a high IBU beer (probably so for a Pale Ale though)... there is a hop explosion that immediately calms itself right after hitting your taste buds. The aroma acccurately represents this beer... and it has everything, regarding tastes, that I love in my IPA's.... and again, this is a Pale Ale. Pleasant bitterness left on the tongue.

Mouthfeel is appropriate, if anything a bit thin. You can almost always tell by the pour and the head what it will feel like in the mouth (I'm no professional, but just from my own experience) When the head was a bit thin, I expected the feel in the mouth to be a bit thin also. It is nothing that dramatically changes the beer IMO though.

Drinkability is fantastic... low ABV... hop kick of an IPA, goes down pleasantly and smooth. It's probably a good thing I can't get these in NC... It would certainly be one of my "go to's" during football season!

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

A - Pours with a nice two finger head. Darker amber texture with some heavy lacing on the glass.

S - Malty with some citrusy undertone

T - Some great maltiness that finishes off with a citrusy mouthfeel

M - A little higher carbonation, but definitely tolerable. Somewhat of a bitterness

D - I am so lucky to have FFF at my disposal anytime I want. This is a great beer. For the price at my liquor store of $9.99 for a sixer I've reached for it many times. The hardest part is deciding Gumballhead or Alpha King!!!

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Photo of bpgpitt10
4.29/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: Deep caramel color... especially for the style. Full, thick white head that lingers and leaves a good bit of lacing.
S: Piney hops up front that are at the forefront. Notes of mango, malt, and light caramel.
T: Very crisp hops taste that is mellowed by the strong malts in the beer. Light bits of alcohol heat as it warms (not in a bad way).
M: Right on for a Pale ale / IPA... maybe a bit on the creamier side. Nice light carbonation. I personally really, really like the creamier aspect.
O: This is my style. It's hoppy for a pale ale, but if you view it as an IPA then it's incredibly balanced. The malt backbone really makes this very drinkable. One of my favorites in the style for sure.

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

Appearance -- Pours a deep amber-orange color with a creamy, clean white head. Leaves a sticky lacing on the glass.

Smell -- Very intoxicating! Rich, citrus smelling hops. Just a touch of malty sweetness. I love the smell of this beer on a hot day like today.

Taste -- Complex citrus. This is not a beer that is lacking in hoppy bitterness. I seek out this hop goodness in a lot of my beers and find that few deliver like this beer does.

Mouthfeel -- Nice . . . very nice. Creamy and wet. A slight bitterness just kisses the tip of your tongue.

Drinkability -- This is the first beer I've rated all 5s and I now declare it the official beer of my summer. I plan to drink a lot of it. I've been drinking this beer off and on for several years now, but this is the first time I rated it. This beer delivers what few others do. It's just excellent.

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Photo of balconybrew
3.78/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into a flute. Amber with orange and red hues. Large head rose and fell slowly. Small bubbled head fell and left lacing on the sides. I smell oranges and grapefruits. Definate "c" hops. Same taste as aroma hits you, then leaves a grapefruit hop bitterness as an aftertaste. Mouthfeel is good and bubbly with a dry finish. A clean drink that you could have more than one of...

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Photo of bevenson
4.28/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint glass.

A - Copper and crystal clear. Off white head that hangs around for a minute before falling to the sides. One of the best looking beers I've seen in a while.

S - Strong grapefruit and pine aroma. Hop aroma is very fresh and crisp. Bready, toasty malt in the background with thankfully little caramel.

T - Bold hop bitterness. Grapefruit and pine hop flavors. Bread crust flavor is just strong enough to back up the hops. Clean yeast character.

M - Medium to thin body. Moderate carbonation, dry finish and smooth.

D - A very easy drinking pale ale. Hits the malt/hop balance just right, which isn't easy to do. Would've liked a little more body to the beer. Well worth seeking out.

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

On tap at Coles. Great looking orange/amber colored beer. Smells a bit sweet with some tropical fruit and floral notes. Moderately bitter and fruity. I get berries in there somewhere. Alcohol comes through late but its subtle and adds to the flavor. An all around unique and tasty pale.

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Photo of SmithwicksNut
4.17/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Has an amber-orange, semi-cloudy body with a light tan head that leaves too quickly but still manages to lace the side of the glass.

Smell: Great aroma with grapefruit, pine resin, pineapple, and a touch of sweet malt. There's Cascade in here, but that's probably not the only hop used.

Taste: This is a really well balanced American Pale Ale! It starts with hop flavor, and ends with a shot of piney bitterness, all the while letting the malt shine through. Lots of grapefruit and citrus in here as well. Good spiciness. Outstanding flavor and balance.

Mouthfeel: Medium mouthfeel, with a semi-crisp, dry body. Good at rousing the appetite!

Drinkability: Very high. The incredible balance and dryness combine to make a very drinkable beer. Start a big meal with this brew. A great example of the style.

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Photo of eyncognito
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

APA, IPA-who cares? Not me.
Pours a rich copper/amber with orange tint. Head disappears rather quickly leaving a lingering halo. Smell is a wonderful mix of lemon zest, grapefruit, oily pine, and healthy dose of caramel malt.

Taste is the same, no surprises. Slighly oily, resiny pine hops, big citric punch or grapefruit, zest, caramel malt-even slightly doughy in the middle. Finishes with a nice bitter kick, but no bite (don't know how fresh this bottle is though). A moderate dryness balances out the ample sweet malt. Slightly astringent.

Mouthfeel is on the lighter end of medium with light carbonation. For a beer this pleasantly bitter it is so round, so smooth. Three Floyds always kills me in the mouthfeel/carbonation department-something that I think gets overlooked in favor of their hop-centric approach to many styles. I could drink this a lot. Unfortunately I can find good APAs for less money-I'm looking at you SNPA and Lake Louie Arena Premium. Regardless, this is a well put together brew that pushes the limits of hop hearty American Pale Ales.

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Alpha King from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
4.26 out of 5 based on 6,349 ratings.
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