Welcome to BeerAdvocate!

Looking to talk, rate or trade beer? Join today by creating your free account.

Dismiss Notice
Curious about recent updates to the site and app? Check the Announcements forum for updates.
Dismiss Notice
Love Belgian Beer?

Join us Sep 17 in Portland, Maine for Return of the Belgian Beer Fest, featuring hundreds of authentic Belgian beers and Belgian-inspired offerings.

Tickets + more: beeradvocate.com/belgian

Alpha King | 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
95
world-class
1,792 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:
1,792
Ratings:
6,254
Avg:
4.26
pDev:
16.67%
 
 
Wants:
961
Gots:
1,243
For Trade:
31
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,792 | Ratings: 6,254
Photo of muskabeatz
4.33/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a rich amber, bronze color with a nice marshmellow colored head. Leaves a nice clingy lace after each sip.

S- The first thing to hit my nose is citrusy hops, underscored by a biscuity malt.

T- Huge taste of citrus hops, a bit of pine flavor as well. Balanced very well by a smooth caramel malt flavor. Finish is of bittering hops.

M- Medium Body, maybe a bit full for a pale ale Slightly slick mouth feel, Carbonation is a bit subtle.

D- Very drinkable. It really begs me to have another.

A very stern and assertive pale ale, but very balanced and approachable. This was the first craft beer I ever drank, over a year ago, and I wasn't a very big fan of it then. Now that my taste has developed a bit, my reaction is quite the opposite, and I know I will make this one of my regulars.

 798 characters

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

Presentation - Six pack with typically ridiculous looking 3 floyds labels on the bottles. No label on the back or neck, just the front. Into my pint glass with the handle painted 'republic of liberia'

Appearance - Shit is brown nearly. A lovely orangey brown, when held to the light it glows amber, tinged with tangerine and gold around the edges. Head retreats rapidly into foam, likely just my sedate pour. I have seen this stuff foam before at my friends. Against the light there's some floaty bits and constant bubbles nucleating and rising to sustain the foam in the middle of my glass. Don't mind the floaty bits, they're good for you.

Smell - Floral, citrus, and light light hints of malt. Can't really comment here more than that, other than to say it smells straight up like an IPA, not no APA.

Taste - Massive hops. This ain't an APA folks, this is a improvised explosive device full of hops. Comin in under the radar like, fooling me into expecting something akin to an SNPA. This has very similar hop flavors to two hearted ale by bell, and has the bitterness in the aftertaste of GL commodore perry IPA. There's a light malt backbone, it's definitely there, enough to distinguish itself from the aforementioned brews. Bready perhaps, or toast, or biscuit-like. Then the orange and grapefruit and flowery notes.

Mouthfeel - Light, crisp, refreshing, effervescent. Medium body resting on those few malt notes.

Drinkability - Other than a bit of a bitter citrus aftertaste this stuff is plenty refreshing. If you like hops, this will be right up your alley. If not, approach with caution.

The only problem here is that the malt isn't there enough for this style. While objectively I like this beer tons, it is not an APA. So I gotta go with all 4.5s here. It's three floyds, sure, but its no dark lord or behemoth, something that dominates the playing field in its respective field.

 1,898 characters

Photo of Crass3000
3.73/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours out maroon in color with a small white head with little retention.

Smell is very nice tropical with a little pine and some sweet caremal. Taste is definately some more nice tropical with a small amount of pine. There is also some nice caremal to even things out. Great beer. Mouthfeel is sorta medium and great for the style.

 332 characters

Photo of jawlessbody
4.7/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Appearance: Pours a not quite hazy, not quite clear honeycomb color with a 1.5 finger slightly tan head.

Smell: Citrusy, mostly oranges and pineapple but just a hint mango. Bits of malty sweetness and piny hops can be detected as well.

Taste: Very balanced. Aggressive, but not harsh hoppiness washed down with a sharp, citrusy malt sweetness.

Mouthfeel: Dry, but not sharp. Very smooth going down, with moderate carbonation.

Overall: Holy shit, I'm impressed. This might be the best beer I've ever had.

 510 characters

Photo of kudsak
4.22/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Very solid IPA. Smooth mouthfeel and hoppy taste, with a subtle background maltiness.. Pleasant, hoppy aroma. Gives an even, strong taste of hops while not being overly bitter. Definitely very drinkable as a daily beer, think this would supplant Furious as my go-to if it was available in my area.

 297 characters

Photo of rugger
3.49/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This beer poured a nice coppery color with a small white head that stuck around for a little while, and then left a nice lace pattern down my glass. The smell was at first very hoppy and then that went away and there was a smell that was very malty. The taste was more malty than hoppy, however you could tell that there were a lot of hops in there. I think that there could have been more hops in this beer, especially seeing as how it is called alpha king. This was a nice beer, but I have had better. I will try this again if I ever get a chance. It is always hard to rate a beer on one experience. i think that this beer would be great with a RANDALL.

 655 characters

Photo of MillySox
4.94/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is the beer that is responsible for me not being able to be satisfied with any other.

Excellent color, although that doesn't do much for me. Strong hop aroma. Equal hop flavor with just enough body to balance it and a clean mouthfeel.

I can enjoy one or two, or enjoy it all day and night.

 298 characters

Photo of in780
4.21/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass. Here we go:

A - Pours a clear copper color with just off-white head and great lacing

S - Lots of citrus, a bit of floral hops, not much else

T - Great hop-forward taste, with just enough malt at the tail end to keep it in great balance.

M - Rich, not creamy but not over-carbonated either, really good.

D - A great beer with enough alcohol to keep it interesting without being overpowering, I could go for a few.

Really nice Pale Ale

 479 characters

Photo of Jnashed
4.6/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From a bottle purchased from the brewery mid Jan 2014. Poured in a Sam Smith pint glass.

Appearance: pretty orange color, good head and retention. Slightly cloudy. 4.5

Smell: sweat citrus. Not all grapefruit, slightly piney 4.5

Taste: Hop forward for sure, not overbearing? Very balanced, certain.y that same citrus smell is tasted also. 4.75

Mouthfeel: smooth, perfect carbonation. Enjoyable

Overall: excellent to be sure. Not ZD but really good APA. For the flagship beer and most attainable of a hard to get brewety, excellent
4.5

 540 characters

Photo of BarrelBrother
3.24/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I'll qualify this by saying Pale Ales aren't my favorite type of brew, but I tried this one after alot of encouraging from my IPA friends and was pleasantly surprised! The taste was very interesting and hoppiness didn't overwhelm the fruit overtones. The aroma caught my interest immeadiately. The bitter finish was quite strong which I know is typical, but not to my liking. If I had to choose a Pale Ale of those I've tasted, I found Alpha King to be quite unusual and worth a try.

 483 characters

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

received via trade from maltygoodness

awesome amber color. there is a great citrus hop to the taste and smell. great fruit esters. built like an american pale should be built. taste is very crisp, not too much carbonation. man i love the citrusy/leafy/piney taste to this. a very sessionable beer from well known american micro brew. wish this beer would make it down south. i could drink this bad boy daily

 410 characters

Photo of hike20
4.33/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a slightly hazy copper color with a decent, but not overlarge, head. Aroma of grapefruit and pine, not as strong as some but not weak either. Definitely stronger hops than most APA's, and stronger than a few IPA's I've tasted. Kind of like getting the flavor of an IPA with a bit lower alcohol, which makes for a pretty drinkable combination. Overall a very pleasing beer.

 378 characters

Photo of Brew_Betty
4.24/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Look - copper and almost red. Not much foam. Some lace.

Aroma - orange, grapefruit, resin, mild earth and a touch of floral.

Taste - orange, grapefruit and caramel malt. It tastes quite a bit better than the description. The sweetness of the malt is balanced nicely by the hops.

Feel - Medium-full body. The smooth and somewhat sticky malt coats the throat. Long and very pleasant hop finish that never gets rough. This is a quality many recent hoppy beers lack.

Overall - a very good beer. My only complaint is this beer is nearly red and should not be considered a pale ale. Who cares? My rating would be the same if it was in the Amber category.

 663 characters

Photo of brendanbeer
4.8/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

at the map room in chicago.

a. absolutely gorgeous golden orange, rich color. finger or two of thick sensuous white head that is always there and leaves an awesome web of lace on the glass.

s. the smell is superb, its hard for me to describe, even to myself (just wait to i get to the taste!) its really hoppy and fresh, woodsy. also sweet.

t. oh my goodness, characteristics dont do it justice. it deserves a "oh my" and a "hell yea". really bready and hoppy, the mix is incredible, the hops add this amazing sweetness and tartness that is familiar yet utterly mind-blowing. its just so good.

m. perfect amount of carbonation and silky beer texture.

d. i could drink an infinite amount of this beer and continue to be happy and curiously engaged.

 752 characters

Photo of haywire77
3.68/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brew poured a nice dark copper with about 3/4" of slightly off white head that faded rather quickly. The color reminds me of good summer sun tea.

The smell is all malt to me. A little citrus and pine, but barely any scent of hops on the nose. Nothing that stands out particularly.

From the taste, I get malt forward and then the lingering hop bitters on the tail end with a little wheat bread. The hops aren't quite strong enough to last too long like some IPAs/APAs, but it lingers for a few minutes.

Mouthfeel Is very solid and standard for all the better brews of this style. Creamy and well carbonated so that it just dances on the tongue enough to make you want another sip. Fairly Dry finish.

Overall I didn't like this beer until after my first few drinks. Maybe because I had to trade for it and I might have had it on a pedestal, but it grew on me as it went down rather quickly. I think I could drink several of these and at a nice low abv, it would make for a long evening.

 989 characters

Photo of sbb32
4.44/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

L - copper like a penny. White head
S - not picking up much of anything. Some malt but no hops. Odd.
T - extremely surprising given smell. Plenty hops. Plenty malt. Working very well together. Hops are overbearing.
F - medium carb and just a slight tingle of hops on the tongue.
O - very well done. My first FFF and I'm excited for others

 341 characters

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

This is a very good beer i loved it alot and was well worth the trip to chicago for it.
Apperance-light brown in color and light in the head when served slightly foamy not to much to distract you from this good beer.
Smell- Smells of well most brown and light IPA's citrusy and inviing.
Taste- This is where you really get into the good beer. It tasted amazing and really brought you to want more and more. citrus and malty hints at the same tame quite a unique beer and i can understand the cult following.

 509 characters

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

(a)Pours a ruby-esque dark carmel with a deep tan medium foam head. Leaves good lacing, perfect carbonation. (4/5)

(s) Hopheads World-wide, get a good sniff of this brew. Heavy on the hops but a perfect citrus balance. Not your traditional APA, this stuff puts some of the strongest IPA's to shame. (5/5)

(t) Taste delivers what the smell promises. Hints of orange, lemon...like a gumballhead on juice who just 5lbs of hops for dinner. (4/5)

(m) Good amount of bite, works the palette nicely. Not too sweet with the citrus and not too overpowering on the bitterness. (4/5)

(d) I would say the most I would have of these in one sitting would be 3...but for as much bite and punch this packs its suprizingly drinkable. (4/5)

 726 characters

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

Okay there is not much I can add to the reviews already given. This is a great APA. I give it 4s to 4.5s across the board. It's an A beer. If you can find it, drink it. Watch dating however. I really liked it and wish I had picked up more than one bottle from the store.

 270 characters

Photo of hopman333
5/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Cannot belive I have never reviewed my all time favorite beer. Being from Chi town I remember tasting the very first batches of this beer on tap at The Hop Leaf in Andersonville. My friend's and I were blown away. Keep in mind that 10 -11 year's ago, there were no really big beer's like this. The floral and citrus flavor that is derived from this beer was mind blowing. We would drink pitcher after pitcher... And the alpha king on the tap handle looked very alluring, you knew you were in for a treat.

Forget about the look's and the lacing with this one. The only thing you need to know is the superbly balanced malt and hop ratio... Yes this is a hop bomb, however in a very gentle sort of way... The aroma just wreak's of floral and citrusy hop's galore, in addition to the Belgian Caravienna malt's that hide in the backround. It's fine touches like the different malt and hop blend's that push this beer above and beyond greatness...

Drinkability is off the chart's. I could and have drank a case of these when I'm on a bender.
Sure you will have a hangover but you will have a good time knocking them down

I'm trying to keep this review simple. This beer just kick's ass. But don't take my word for it. Go out and get some and see for youre'self. All in all, one of the best brew's ever made. Do not miss this one...

 1,329 characters

Photo of SerieDNo3
4.32/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass

A: Pours a deep amber, with a thin off-white head that dissipates quickly. Mild to moderate lacing.

S: Deep piney aroma

T: Tastes very strongly of pineapple, with a slight malt sweetness.

M: Surprisingly carbonated, given the small head and unimpressive lacing. Very crisp.

D: Carbonation and great flavor make this one very drinkable. A very good beer.

 398 characters

Photo of latackbeer
4.55/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into Pint glass and formed a 2 finger head. Still some left as it climbs down the glass.

Great nose caramel upfront and grapefruit at the end.

Taste is great nice malty body more citrus at the end with a little Pine.

One of my favorite APA's hits the Palate just right!!!

 283 characters

Photo of seedee17
4.42/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Great beer. Pours into the glass and leaves a nice tan head, which remains for the entire beer. A beautiful copper colored ale with a little bit of cloudiness from the yeast from the bottom of the bottle. A few small bubbles make their way up, not overly carbonated. Smells like pine and citrus, and slightly sweet, maybe like caramel. The taste is outstanding, finding a nice balance between hops and malts. Hints of grapefruit at first with a nice, earthy aftertaste. A pleasant hop flavor lingers long after swallowing. Leaves a nice, slightly slick feeling in the back of the mouth. This is a fantastic APA which seems to find a hop/malt harmony that can satisfy hop-heads and non-hop-heads alike.

 701 characters

Photo of BigPapiBrewingCo
4.57/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep amber/orange with a beauitful white pillow one finger head. Lots of citrus and pine hops, with a malt sweetness supporting it the whole way. Taste is very balanced between a solid malt profile and some great hops. We could drink this bad boy all day.

 263 characters

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

A: Pours to a clear orange color with a persistent one finger beige head.

S: (I fear I may have gotten an older bottle) Nose is a fine balance of caramel malt and citrusy hops.

T: This is delicious citrus hop juice. Labeled an APA, drinks more like an IPA. I mean, this *is* an IPA. An absolutely fantastic IPA. Balanced enough to not be overbearing, but still hop forward. Medium bodied and everything I want out of a hoppy beer. So good.

M: Medium bodied, nice lively carbonation.

O: Buy this beer. Trade for this beer. /drool

 532 characters

Alpha King from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 1,792 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.
  • Return of the Belgian Beer Fest

    BeerAdvocate Brings its All-Belgian Fest to Portland, Maine on September 17, 2016. Tickets are on sale now.

    Learn More
  • Get the Mag

    Become a BeerAdvocate magazine print subscriber today.

    Subscribe