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Alpha King | 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

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1,807 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: 1,807 | Ratings: 6,329
Photo of Huhzubendah
4.35/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: This beer appears an orange sunburst color with a half inch of head. The head hangs out for a few minutes before leaving some decent lacing in its tracks.

S: The aroma consists primarily of hops with some citrus, followed by malt. This is more hop forward than is normal for a pale ale.

T: The beer tastes well balanced and full of flavor, with hops shining through.

M: Crisp and refreshing finish, with a solid carbonation level. An all around nice feel. Well done.

D: Really easy to drink. A great beer.

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

LesleyH recently included this as an extra (!) in a box of CANs he was trading to me and my mouth flew open when I saw it. I have NO idea why I never reviewed it until now, but I am grateful for the opportunity.

From the bottle: "Alpha King is an American Pale Ale with a bold citrus hop character. We brew all our beers for our own demanding tastes. If you're unwilling to compromise on your beer, we urge you to try it."

My pour was as aggressive as Nick would have wanted, I am sure. I ended up with a finger-and-a-half of rocky tawny head with retention like a bad guest: it would not go away. Color was a deep coppery-amber with NE-quality clarity. Now, before I say, "BUPGOO!", imagine putting this in kids' hands ... How about a box of matches to go with? Even after all of that thinking and typing, the head was still hanging in, leaving behind the kind of lacing that will require a jackhammer to remove later. Nose had the kind of upfront hops intensity that seared my nostrils! Really, it was big on piney hops and underlain with caramel malt sweetness. This should be an air freshener, especially for my classroom. Mouthfeel was creamy, exploding with hops initially and then letting the malt get a chance. I amend my initial take on the mouthfeel to "oily". Man, they squeezed those hops for all that they were worth! Once more, I began to hear my Hops Monkey screeching for his Jones. F**k! I rue the day Victory Hop Devil touched my lips and sent me down the road to Perdition. I am a Hops Junkie, nay, a Hops Fiend and every time I wean myself off the hops, a beer comes along to pull me back in. Finish had the hops that I crave and although the malt tried to assert itself, I was focused on dem hops, baby. S**t, what can I hock in this dump and get some scratch? I need to be on the road, like tomorrow if not sooner, so I can score some more of this! Hey, man, is it normal to itch like this? My skin is crawlin'. Dig, my neighbor across the way deals in hops, so maybe I can cop a taste to hold me over. He lets me buy a pellet at a time, just to dissolve under my tongue. Yo, lemme get a hit of some Columbus or some Amarillo, bro. He's down, but I gotta hit the source (again). This tongue-poppin' bottle-swiilin' nonsense ain't makin' it. I gotta get a hit offa the tap, baby!

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

Pours a hazed golden amber. Nose seems to have apricots on it. Flavor is heavy with hops with the apricot present on the palate as well. Just as with other hop happy brews, you get that taste of hops lodged in the back of your mouth and it lingers. Feel is great. I get a silky smooth texture that slides over my tongue. Oh so drinkable. A hop lover and a craft brew lovers dream. Awesome beer.

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

Had this brew serveral times over the last year but only getting around to reviewing it now care of a bottle from adamb0719. Thanks Adam! Reviewed on 12/13/10.

Pours a perfectly clear amber color that depending on how you look at it, appears more ruby or orange colored depending on the angle. A yellowish tan head appears and clings around the edges. Patchy lace clings to the glass.

Aroma is fruity with citrus notes and a toasty caramel malt suggestion that is sweet like almost brown sugar through to the back. A little spicy and herbal with grassy notes. Lightly piney with a tingle of alcohol in the nose.

Taste is toasty caramel malt, moderate herbal hoppy bitterness that is clingy and almost grassy. A good ratio of sweet maltiness to hoppy bitterness. A lingering resinous hoppy aftertaste is enjoyable with a light musty character.

Light to medium in the feel with a modest amount of carbonation. Quite a bold, herbal hop character with toasty caramel to offset the bitterness. This is a very solid brew that is easy drinking.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.95/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass.

Appearance - Deep golden amber body that looks darker than it really is. That sounds strange, but when it pours it looks amber, but held up to the light, it's closer to a golden body. Nice white head, nice lacing. I expected this to be paler.

Smell - Floral and pine hops. Some citrus. Biscuit malts and some sweetness back it up. Interesting hop profile, but not over the top.

Taste - Hop flavor of predominantly pine up front, but it fades quickly to a toasty and slightly sweet malt base. The finish goes back to the pine hops and a slight earthiness. Not too bitter in the finish.

Mouthfeel - Heavy for an APA. Medium carbonation and slick on the tongue. The flavors hang around, but it feels just a bit sluggish.

Overall - Nice flavors, none over the top. Complex hop profile, even if it isn't in-your-face. Not really what I expected from such a high rated APA. In some ways, it's good that a beer as balanced as this is so highly rated on BA. But I'm not looking for balanced. As an American craft beer drinker, I want extreme everything.

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Photo of jwc215
4.54/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to jcwattsrugger for this one!

Pours dark amber with a thin white head. Some lacing sticks.

The smell is of mega alpha hops - citric/piney/earthy/leafy. This is an APA?? Smells like an IPA - vey hoppy - and nicely done, to boot (to say the least).

The taste is citric/piney with balancing sweet malt (hoppy APA/more balanced IPA border). Some acidity. Rounded bitterness comes through in the finish.

The body is slightly thinner than expected - still, it's pretty chewy and medium bodied. Smooth.

A hop-head's version of a pale ale, for sure! And nicely done, Firm malt backbone keeps the hops tied in nicely. A goodie!

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Photo of johnnnniee
4.37/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Received in trade from phisigben, thanks for the opportunity.
Pours a deep clear copper color with a big fluffy white head that slowly dissipates to a wisp of foam on top. Smells of citrus, lots and lots of grapefruit fresh from the produce isle. a bit of toffee, bread and a hint of caramel malt are buried deep underneath. Taste is citrus and resinous with bits of bread and malt barely breaking onto the scene. Long lingering hop bite in the finish is there but never harsh. Medium to light body with a moderate level of carbonation with a smooth resinous mouthfeel. This is a very nice beer, but to call this a pale ale is a bit of a stretch. I would drink these a lot more often if they were more available in my area.

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Photo of tdm168
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Dunn for bringing this one back from his travels.

A - pours copper with a soft, thin layer of pure white head that has decent retention

S - big bready malt, citrusy hop aromas

T - bready, citrusy, birthday cake-like sweetness

M - medium bodied, smooth, well carbonated

This is an awesome pale ale. It's big and malty with a nice, citrusy hop character that leads to superb balance. This is easy to drink and very enjoyable. I'm glad I have a few more of these to enjoy.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.82/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

When I was first introduced to this beer, I was warned that it wasn't for everyone, and at the very least took some getting used to, after all "it's not normal." I'd already had an affection for the hops, and, well, it was love at first sniff and sip.
Years later, after the bloom of fresh infatuation has mellowed, how does the beer compare, especially after this tongue has met so many others, with abundant charms? That is what we seek to discover...
Perfect crimson-tinged nectarine hue, hazy, and blessed with a beautiful bed of froth up on top, leaving delicate lace, enticing the eye. Aroma makes matters worse for the thirst, big fruit, fresh hops, peachy, melon, orange, and, yes, mango, and more, a bountiful bouquet that keeps the nose happy and hoppy. Man, but I need a taste, though!
An explosion in the mouth, the hops are a bursting throughout, but so well buttressed by malt, that any bitterness is mellow and well smoothed out, after an initial bite, at least. Like chomping into a ripe tangerine, juice splashing on the corners of the mouth and dripping down the chin. Though hoppiness flows freely, and bitterness peeks through time and again, the mouthfeel is actually soft and luxuriant, body is medium, and the overall effect is a constant joyride for the palate. A lively and rewarding ale, and a real American classic, a jewel in the craft-brew crown. Count yourself lucky if you can grab these with ease.
Ah, I once had it on-tap around here...those were some fine days...
Thanks to jables for the reunion, after too, too long!

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Photo of smakawhat
4.41/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured on tap into a sampler 4 oz. taster at Pizza Paradiso Dupont. Way overdue for reviewing this one.

A good basic amber copper, with light light tan to off white color and leaving a solid collar. Good lacing on this drink while finishing, and fairly crystal clear very nice.

Aroma jumps out. Wonderful juicy orange with a nice sweetness. No hop bitterness noticeable, with a little white grass. It's very pleasant and inviting.

Palate is rich and full on first sip. Wonderful mix of mild wood hop and orange and tangerine citrus. Light hints of grapefruit with a spritzy hop feel and character. Palate is juicy matching the hinted bouquet.

Juicy. Full. Stupid easy to drink, and full of flavor. A great touch of juice and spicy finish quality. This is either way better on tap, or I had an old bottle cause this is nothing like I remember it.

Old review - bottle (4)(4)(3.5)(4)(3) ---

Poured into a pint glass resembling a really nice golden/brown color body that is clear. Cream off/white head with fairly tight bubbles and some minor visible carbonation. Real good head retention.

Standard bouquet but a good one. Simple citrus grapefruit with a sweetness and hop aroma. Very nice.

Upon drinking first comes a very hoppy front more in the standard of an American IPA, with a good finish. I keep forgetting this is suppose to be a pale ale but it sure doesn't feel like one. This is quite an okay drink but nothing here I would desperately want to have for an APA.

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

Bottle poured into a pint glass - nothing unusual or spectacular here. There are some numbers on the bottom of the bottle, but no decipherable date.

A - Pretty inconspicuous brew. One-fingered head that dissolves to a ncie lace. Brownish amber in color - not all that "pale" looking.

S - Mandarin orange, hops, grapefruit, pine. Delicious! Smell reminds me of IPAs and DIPAs.

T - Taste is a little more subdued than the smell. Starts sweet with citrus accents, buts leaves a bitter aftertaste.

M - Excellent - just the right viscosity and mild amount of carbonation. Smooth and creamy.

D - Very sessionable - if the aftertaste wasn't as bitter it'd be perfect.

It's my second favorite Pale Ale (behind Founder's Harvest), and a great brew to buy a sixer and share with friends.

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Photo of vfgccp
4.45/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A – Deep, beautiful, peach ice-tea with intense orange highlights. White head sits low but what’s there hangs around with nice retention.

S – Caramel layered with soft, citrusy, orange and grapefruit hops notes.

T – Rosewater, honey suckle, and orange play out prominently on a backdrop of dry bitterness. Resiny hops show themselves on the backend with juniper and black pepper.

M – Medium body with nice carbonation and a bitter-dry finish.

O – A stellar pale ale. One of my favorites.

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

12 ounce bottle, with no freshness dating. Pours dark auburn, cloudy and with a few chunks swirling around. Rich, creamy, tiny bubble head and leaving quality lacing. nose is richly, malty and resiny hop filled. Full bodied nectar. Citrus hops explode on the palate. Deeply flavorful. High quality brew,seek out and enjoy. Cheers!

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

Beer poured from bottle into a standard pint glass. Beer is hazy and brown / orange, forms a thin head of small bubbles that falls away to nearly nothing leaving some lacing on the glass. Carbonation is low.

Beer kind of smells like a brown ale (also looks like a brown ale). Caramel and some hops, citrusy.

Nice and smooth overall. Medium body, good hop bitterness in the back, some malt sweetness up front. Beer overall is a good pale ale. Drinkability is high, no real aftertaste, citrus hop flavors, bitterness builds as you drink, beer flavors become more pronounced as beer warms a little.

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

07/30/05- Received from a purchase at Archers Liquors.

Presentation- 12oz bottle with no dating. Poured into my Shipyard pint glass.

Appearance- Darker golden color. Nice 3/4 inch head and average lacing.

Smell- Huge and I mean huge grapefruit hops. That's about all I can detect because the hops overpower everything else.

Taste- Wow, this is one damn good Pale Ale. Starts off with a huge fruity blast of hops and finishes with a nice smooth semi dark malt flavor.

Mouthfeel- Moderate carbonation, heavier mouthfeel.

Drinkability- I actually felt some of the alcohol kick in at the end of the brew. Not sure if I could session more than a couple of these. But, an amazing hoppy pale ale that I would buy again in a second if I could get my hands on it out here. Hands down one of the top two or three Pale Ales I've had. Maybe the best.

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

Thanks to korguy123 for this beer!
Tasting notes from 8/10/10
Poured in to Duvel tulip

A - Cloudy amber colour with an orange glow and one finger of thick cream coloured head.

S - Bitter hops up front with grapefruit and tangerine notes and a nice sweet caramel backbone. The nose is more of an IPA than a pale ale.

T - Follows the nose but the malts are more present in the palate and dominate the flavour with a sweet caramel taste. The hops are there too with a nice citrus flavour but they are not dominant enough to get any specific flavours out of them. If I tasted this blind I would bet money that it was an IPA.

M - Medium body, lightly carbonated.

D - An excellent beer but there are definitely better out there

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Photo of tempest
4.05/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Deep orange and garnet color. White lacing but no real head retention. Smells of sweet fruity malts with a touch of alcohol as it warms. Plain bitter taste with rich esters and malts. Bit a of caramel. Just the right carbonation and body here. Pretty tasty and easy drinking. Nicely balanced

I am, however, a little confused with this beer. It tastes very similar to Pride and Joy Mild and I wonder if it wasn't mislabeled. I bought a 6'er of P&J and found 2 Alpha King bottles in it. I figured someone had just pulled a switcharoo with a couple bottles from an Alpha King 6'er. Whatever, this is good beer.

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

A: poured an amber brown with yellow highlights and a thin head that left very little lacing.

S: booze malts and mild hop aromas with hints of citrus fruit and caramel.

T: nice mild piney sweet hop flavor with bready notes with hints of booze and citrus. The final taste is that of ice tea.

M: medium body with light carbonation and a sweet mild bitter finish

D: pretty decent pale ale from FFF I'm glad I have more on the way. I'm itrested to see how it taste a little more fresh.

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

Pours a copper, hazy, amberish body. Head is huge, good retention.
Smell erupts with pine and hints of citrus. Smells like an IPA. Some toffee and malt can be detected as well.
Taste is a very crisp pine/citrus PA. The IPA smell is counteracted by the presence of malt and some rich yeast flavors just under the surface. Very delicate.
Feels a bit thin for an IPA, which is why this is a PA. Good drinking. Wish I had another (cool label)

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Photo of Tone
3.86/5  rDev -9.4%

Pours a hazy, copper color. One inch head of an off-white color. Great retention and great lacing. Smells of resin, pine, strong hops, sweet malt, alcohol, and strong tea/hop essence. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of resin, pine, hops, sweet malt, and alcohol. Overall, great appearance, strong pine/resin/hop aroma and body, and decent blend.

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

The beer pours a hazy dark gold color with a thick frothy white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is awesome. It has a solid malt aroma that boasts of pale, carapils, and crystal malts along with an intensely bitter citrus hop scent; very nice. The taste is great as well. It has a rich and smooth malty flavor that boasts of pale and crystal malts. It also has a very bitter hop taste that goes down easy and finishes hoppy. This is a good tasting beer. It is full of hops, but also well balanced. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a medium bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a damn fine beer. It is a tremendous drinker. This has got to be one of the all time greats.

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

Clear amber / orange in color with a 1" head that produced some mild lacing. The aroma is very hoppy, which gets your tastebuds ready for the initial taste. The hops are all over this one, as malt and fruity tones balance this out well. This really leans towards the IPA scale with bitterness and bite, but doesn't go overboard.

The mouthfeel was smooth and the finish was too. The bitterness and fruitiness lasted a short while on the tongue. This was a medium bodied brew that had nice carbonation levels. Very drinkable and could easily be a session brew for any hophead.

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

We're back to continue the Third Unorganized Invitational. Eight crazy nights in eight crazy beers, and Alpha King is #6 in the lineup. Is this the alpha of pale ales? On to the beer:

Pours rich copper into a pint glass, good clarity in the body, topped off by a creamy, one cm thick head which drops to a thin lacing on top. At first, the aroma is dominated by fresh hops. Eventually, it evens up to a mix of tropical fruit juice, caramel, bread, and some juicy hop leftovers.

The first thing I notice is the light mouthfeel when I was expecting something a little heavier. Maybe my judgement is clouded from drinking so many high ABV brews recently. At least there's no annoying carbonation. That's okay though, as long as it tastes good. Certainly more hop dominate, though not terribly unbalanced. The hops are herbal, juicy, citrusy, and resiny in this brew. Subtle biscuity notes pop up from time to time. This could pass as an IPA.

My first Three Floyds beer is a good one. But is this going to be enough to take the title of being the best in the T.U.I.? Only two more beers left, we'll resume tomorrow night.

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Photo of liamt07
4.6/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Wow. Got my hands on this from AJacob81, cheers dude, I've been waiting to give this a shot for quite some time.

Poured from a bottle into a tulip pint glass. My first ever 3F beer, and boy oh boy, was I impressed. Pours a deep orange/ruby red, with a very thin layer of head. Disappeared pretty quick to leave almost no head and minimal lacing; the bottle wasn't dated, no idea how fresh this is. Smells of citrus hops right off the bat, pretty grapefruity I'd say. Taste is right there too, quite hoppy and bitter up front but that sweet warming malt comes in there to finish it off nice and a bit dry. Medium-high carbonation, but doesn't affect the drinkability on this one. Wish I had a six pack of this stuff, it kicks ass and is ridiculously drinkable.

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Photo of Duff27
4.23/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Dark, cloudy, copper/ruby. Half-inch head that recedes. Ample, ample lacing. Wow, the King is a brute/beaut.

S- Floral hops.

T- The taste, oh man the taste. if there was ever such a style called DIPA Light (not IPA/APA) then Alpha King would be top tier there as well. Caramel, grapefruit and other assorted citruses. Got the alcohol bite of a strong IPA/weak DIPA.

M- Medium+ mouthfeel for the style. Leaves a hop bitterness in your mouth that makes you salivate.

D/O- It would be a blast to have 2 or 3 of these in a night but the way that these go down - so would you, in my opinion. Great great APA. Cheers Three Floyds.

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Alpha King from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
4.26 out of 5 based on 6,329 ratings.
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