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:
6,422
Avg:
4.26
pDev:
8.92%
 
 
Wants:
974
Gots:
1,332
For Trade:
29
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,832 | Ratings: 6,422
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.

 1,028 characters

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.

 345 characters

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.

 206 characters

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.

 523 characters

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.

 759 characters

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.

 630 characters

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.

 915 characters

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.

 1,102 characters

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.

 906 characters

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.

 743 characters

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!

 1,365 characters

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!!!

 518 characters

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

Alpha King is a winner, smith for an IPA. Drinkability is excellent and bitterness is a a good level. Enjoyed the aroma of citrus and hops. When my wife took her first sip she said WOW. We both like IPA's and this is near the top of the list. Haven't had a Zombie Dust yet. Looking forward.

 294 characters

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.

 728 characters

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.

 858 characters

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...

 381 characters

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.

 730 characters

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.

 286 characters

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.

 823 characters

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.

 1,069 characters

Photo of BradfordStuckey
4.56/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Very good Pale. Definitely heavier on the malt side than what I had expected but in a good way. I got notes of biscuit, toffee and carmel that i would usually get from an Amber.

 177 characters

Photo of gdogalishus
3.87/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Serving from a bottle into a tumbler.
Serving temperature 46 degrees F.
pH measured 4.51
Alcohol content measured was 7.8% by residual extract method

Significantly higher alcohol content measured than that quoted for this beer... double checked the measurements.
Alpha King poured nicely into the glass and resulted in a rather typical pale ale in appearance. Very clear with a 3/4 to 1 inch head of fluffy bubles with a ever so slight green hue in the head. The bottle claims that this beer is bottle conditioned and that is the reason for the slight haze in the beer. I didn't notice the haze at all and can read this review through the tumbler. The head dissipated quickly in the glass. Low carbonation almost vanished by mid glass. The color was a hint dark for a pale ale, but not out of the ordinary.
The aroma was distinctively hoppy. Flavor was an initial maltly sweetness for a brief moment, then a rush of hop bitterness that spread across the entire mouth and throat. The mouthfeel was a little more thick than I expected, but I didn't notice until after the third or fourth swallow.
I feel this beer is a perfectly acceptable example of an American Pale Ale and Three Floyds deserves the praise and recognition they recieve for this beer. I will drink this again.

 1,284 characters

Photo of ITK4ever
4.85/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pale Ale? Try hoppy IPA. The hops put other PA's to shame. This is one of my fav's, but I don't want to stock it all the time because the artwork on the bottle is a little frightening. If you can get past that, it's one fine PA....probably the best. Typical PA color and head on the pour, but right away you can detect the hops in the nose. Taste is complex and incredible. Good balance of malt and hops at first, then the hops kick in in the finish and you get that citrusy sensation that comes with the stronger IPA's....in fact, close to a Double IPA. Buy this one if you see it!!!

 584 characters

Photo of chuckd123
4.3/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Have now had 4 bottles of this beer, and it has to rank near the top of my sessionable beer list. I'm a big IPA/DIPA fan, and this could easily be one instead of a pale. Very fresh hop aroma and taste, and drinkable given the moderate abv%. Mouthfeel is good, nothing special, but a great overall example of the pale ale style. For what it's worth, I generally avoid PA's in favor of an IPA, but this one blows away most other pure PA's (think SNPA) I've had due to the more present hop aromas and flavor. Great beer by FFF.

 524 characters

Photo of bigdonniebrasco
2.66/5  rDev -37.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Appearance: Light amber-copper color. Clear body, filtered, average carbonation. Inch head of white retains better than average.

Smell: Some piney hops, some floral qualities, but not in the skillfully dry-hopped sense of delicacy. This doesn't have a real strong nose. Some sweet carmelized sugar scents from the malts. Oranges.

Taste: Some light citrus notes, orange and piney hop flavors. Not a real substantial malt base, some dry biscuit and carmel flavors. Not very different than the masses of pale ales out there. This tries to breach the PA - IPA boundary, but doesn't really commit to either. Only the slightest bitterness in the finish. I can't reccommend this beer because it doesn't have any direction.

Mouthfeel: Medium to low carbonation. The body is light and easy to quaff, but doesn't really offer any substance.

Drinkability: Not difficult to drink, but not interesting enough to make me want another. Just because this brewery makes some real gems, doesn't mean that everything it makes is good, or even competent.

 1,038 characters

Alpha King from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
4.26 out of 5 based on 6,422 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