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

12 Oz bottle Sampled through the efforts of SS 05 BIF and Meathookjones.

Pours a chill hazed copper to red colored ale with a good off white head.

Smell is very hoppy with a tart edge to it like a SNPA. Mild citrus and pine aromas with a slight soapy edge to it.

Taste is mild with almost nothing but caramel and slight astringent bitterness in the first taste. Very subtle flavors here, caramel and butter glide like a ghost across your tongue while the herbal bitterness dries out the palette just leaving a slight woody after taste.

Mouthfeel is good.

Quite a hoppy brew but it is so smooth that you almost wonder if you really are drinking something milder. Very subtle and easy to drink beer that will satisfy the hophead and the Macro drinker equally well.

 777 characters

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

12 oz bottle from a fresh six pack acquired in a trade, poured into a nonic.

Haven't had this in over two years, or whenever I was last able to buy this in PA. I remembered loving this so I'm excited to see how my memory holds up. Pours a clear copper color with a massive rocky off white head that has great retention and impressive strings of clumpy lacing. Aroma is very rich, full of bready malt and grapefruit hops like an IPA, impressive balance. Hop bitterness grabs you from the beginning, unusual for an APA but is supported by a strong biscuit malt backbone and finishes slightly sweeter with smooth citrus hops. Medium thick body with moderate carbonation and a smooth dry finish result in a very hoppy, drinkable APA. Not quite as impressive as I remember, but still the class of APAs.

 799 characters

Photo of Halcyondays
4.68/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12 oz. bottle,

A: Deep cloudy amber, with a thick white head which lasts the glass long.

S: Piney hops mostly, some citrus, but also toffee malts make an appearance, very balanced.

T: The taste is exceptional. This is by far my favorite American Pale Ale, as Tony Kornheiser would say - "That's it, that's the list!" I love Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, but this is its superior. Delicious pink grapefruit coats the tongue, with a perfect malt backbone to hold it together. Fabulous.

M: Chewy bitterness, citrus hops abound, that extra kick of hops at the end adds to its smoothness and helps keep its body together through the finish.

D: The greatest APA that i've tried so far, it's just a shame I can't get it very often, an American craft brewing classic.

 768 characters

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

At 6% abv and 66 IBU's, isn't it really more of an American IPA?

A: Clear copper in colour, pours with a nice white head, which leaves a little lace.

S: Tons of citrousy American hop aroma (mostly grapefruit) .

T: Lots of American hop flavour (grapefruit with a little pine), it's powerful, but not overwhelming. Certainly balanced to the bitter side, but it's a very pleasant bitterness. There's a little bit of pale malt flavour in the background, with a hint of caramel as well.

M: Light to moderate body is slightly oily. Carbonation is moderate.

D: At 6% alcohol, it could certainly be trouble!

Thanks for picking this one up Dave!

 655 characters

Photo of clayrock81
4.05/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a clear auburn amber body with minimal head but some good lace. A very citric hop smell hit me in the nose first, along with a minor mix of sweet malt. A great pale ale taste - medium-boded with a mix of hops for a dry, citric taste and blended with sweet malts for a balanced beer that lights up the palate as it goes down smooth (almost buttery) and finishes with a nice dry backbite. A solid beer to have anytime.

 423 characters

Photo of HopHead84
4.07/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A great extra from a generous BA knocks off an unlisted want. A vigorous pour yields a 1 finger head. Dark reddish brown with minimal lacing. There is a nice floral hop aroma with a trace of citrus. The taste is well balanced, with a small and sweet malt backbone balancing out the astringent hops. The beer is medium bodied with good carbonation, and I want another.

 367 characters

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

Received as an extra in a trade. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

A - Pours a crystal clear copper with a nice one finger off white earthy creamy head that fades to leave slight lacing but a nice light quarter inch blanket.

S - Probably not the freshest here but very nice caramely sweet malts with a thick, sticky orange marmalade aroma. Really sweet citrus candy.

T - Flavours are predominantly on the malt side. Sweet, carmelly malts. The kind of malt forward over hops that one typically gets with a DIPA. The orange/citrus hops have faded somewhat but the finish is nice tasty orange peel. That is a tasty after taste.

M - Mouthfeel is pretty good. Nice carbonation here, keeps things good and crisp. Really, really solid almost making the APA light. Super drinkable and very little ABV noticeable.

O - Overall this is a very tasty APA. A bit too malty for my liking, but I dont know if that is age or inherent to this brew. Worth seeking out though!

 955 characters

Photo of jzeilinger
4.18/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a clear, deep copper color into my tulip. The head was about 1/4 high and died down quite quickly to a micro-thin ring of lacing around the top. Carbonation is light.

S - Semi-roasted caramel biscuit malt, and light tropical fruit: mango, papaya, pineapple, tangerines.

T - Mirrors the nose. Semi-roasted caramel biscuit malt, and spicy, peppery tropical fruit consisting of mango, papaya, pineapple, and tangerines with the addition of bittersweet, ruby red grapefruit finish, some pine is thrown in the mix as well. Taste is consistent throughout the duration of the sip with all thre flavors blending evenly all the way 'till the end, then the grapefruit emrges to bitterly finish the experience.

M - Very mild pricklies on the tongue, fairly smooth, medium bodied.

O - Aroma is light, I've had this on tap in the past and it had a stronger nose. However, I'm basing this review on what's presently in front of me. I'm torn on the aroma, knowing it should be rated higher based from my previous experience. Taste isn't as bold as an IPA, but for a Pale Ale, it's bold. I would love to give a solid overall "A" score but the nose on this particular bottle really screwed the possibility up. A vs. A-, who's really keeping tabs, it won't affect the overall rating, it's definitely worth seeking out.

Worthless information to this review: Years ago when this was easier to get here in PA, I used to buy this and it was one of the beers that turned me severely steered me in the direction of hoppy beers. I will always have a place in my heart (and wallet) for this beer, it's one I will never grow tired of. It's a first class beer.

 1,649 characters

Photo of weeare138
4.22/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appears a copper/amber with a two finger off white head that retains a foamlike state for more than a few minutes. Lacing is webbed through the glass with a chunky clinginess.
Smells of ripe grapefruit, sweet caramel malts, and a touch of pine.
Taste is of a beautiful mix of hops, malt, sugar, bitterness, and overall citrus that is so well blended that I'm not sure how this isn't really an IPA.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a swirl of citrusy hops that dominates the tastebuds but does not dare sting in the smooth, malty mix.
Drinkability is great. What 7.35%? Down at least 3 or 4 of these in one sitting with no problem. This doesn't even creep, it's just outright amazing for an APA....uh, make that the "King" of APA's.

Finger licking good.

 758 characters

Photo of Bitterbill
4.65/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from 12 oz bottle(room temp) a ruby red with a medium sized head of foam that dissipated slowly. Lots of lacing.

The smell is a bit on the light side but I note some citrus tones from the hops.

The first sip is so darn tasty! Hop bitterness is there and it's offset by an ample dose of malty sweetness making for a nicely balanced flavour that is a real delight. Subsequent sips caress my palate even more with the finish being as good as I've ever had in any beer. Man, the drinkability of this APA is oustanding!

Bottom line: Alpha King Pale Ale, in my book, is *the* APA that all others should be judged by. Simply fantastic!

My thanks to Bditty 187!!!

 674 characters

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

A: Poured a bright coppery-orange with a foamy 1 finger white head that was sticky and left a modest rim lacing.

S: big and citrusy from the cascade, centennial, and warrior hops.

T: The hoppiness was sharp and spicy with grapefruit and a nice floral finish. There was some lemony hints as well on the finish that left your mouth watering for the next sip.

M: medium and dry, with a great sticky grapefruit hop lacing left on the tongue.

D: A great big drinking pale by all means, will leave your mouth watering anxiously awaiting the next sip. Great drinkability, and case worthy by all means.

 601 characters

Photo of sweemzander
4.38/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz. bottle poured into an imperial pint. No bottled date.

(A)- Pours a clear reddish to orange amber color that produced a nice off-white foamy head that stuck around awhile. Left some legs behind.

(S)- Fruity citrus of lemon, lime, pineapple, & grapefruit with a respectable wet pine behind it. The tiniest caramel-like sweetness in the background.

(T)- Exactly like the smell. Great citrus & pine. A respectable bitterness. I am loving how creamy the fruits are. A tiny caramel/honey sweetness in the far background.

(M)- A great carbonation level & balance. Dry, bitter, & great citrus. Great creamy citrus. Just what a pale ale should be like. . . and them some.

(D)- Exactly what a pale ale should be like! The balance & complexity is simple, but smooth. The bitterness, dryness, & citrus is borderline near what I would expect from an IPA, but I have no complaints about that! Just a simple yet delightful beer to enjoy one after another. The essence of the style.

 981 characters

Photo of corby112
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From notes:

Pours a hazy, dark golden orange/amber color with a two finger frothy, pillowy off-white head that has excellent retention, only slowly fading into a lasting cap. Large chunks of soapy lacing are left coating the glass.

Sweet citrus hop aroma with hints of earthy pine and tropical fruit. Subtle malt backbone but the nose of this beer is all about the hops with lots of grapefruit, citrus peel, mango and pineapple.

Medium bodied and very hop forward for the style with a blast of bitter, earthy hops that are countered by sweet citrus presence and a subtle malt backbone. Hints of pine needle, grapefruit, citrus peel, mango and pineapple as well as a subtle biscuit/graham cracker flavor that provides nice balance. This beer is much closer to an IPA than a pale ale with lots of oily, resinous hop flavor and a nice dry finish. Complex, well balanced and extremely quaffable. Recommended.

 908 characters

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

From 12oz bottle to Bruges hybrid glass on 6/18/11
*From notes

A BIG thanks does NOT go out to siege06nd for this one (wink, wink).

A: What am I drinking here, a Boston Lager? If I didn't know any better, I'd think so from the look of things. A good pour yields a two finger head and some reasonable lacing.

S: Wheat, earth and citric juicy hop oil. Impressive.

T: A good balance between the mild toasted barley and fresh, juicy hops.

M: Proper carbonation. The bubbles aren't to loud and the overall weight makes this easy enough to put back.

O: FFF's Alpha King is one hell of a nice APA. I had no idea it was packing 6.5% ABV, as the alcohol isn't detectable. I could easily put a sixer of this back in a sitting. Highly recommended, the balance of flavors is spot-on.

 777 characters

Photo of barleywinefiend
3.32/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a deep orange color with a small white head that disappeared rather quickly. Nose is sweet, malty, citrus and floral and pretty malty too. Taste is malty, some citrus and hop bite. Mouthfeel is ok. Malty, citrus and kind of blah. Nothing spectacular. Overall an average Pale for me.

 289 characters

Photo of rodbeermunch
4.05/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

The first beer I had from FFF. Copper in color, good 1/2" white head. Drops plenty of hops in the nose, not citra, but you know the other c hops that are almost underappreciated these days.

Good citrus impact, caramel and honey malts lightly toasted. Floral, pairs well with spicy food. Could drink this all day. One of those beers you don't mind drinking 50oz of in a sitting.

 386 characters

Photo of pat61
4.75/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I am drinking this a week after it was bottled from a hotel water glass. It pours brilliant amber with a moderately thick off-white foam cap. It has a spicy hop nose while the palate starts with fruit and a little sweetness to finish dry and grainy with a bitter hop accent. The carbonation is medium low and the body is medium. A very very good pale ale.

 355 characters

Photo of rhoadsrage
4.59/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

(Served in an American pint glass)

A-This beer pours a crystal clear golden copper with a gentle carbonation and a nice cream tan thin head.

S- The aroma is pure green floral hops. A bit of pine resin with more citrus but very fresh hops. A hint of sweet malt is hidden in the background

T- This beer has a very fresh hops taste with some grapefruit and citrus flavors that is bold but not overpowering with bitterness. It is gentle enough that you can taste the creamy sweet malt that is mostly pale malt. It the softness of a slight bit of wheat.

M-This has a medium full mouthfeel with some creaminess. There is no alcohol warmth or astringency. Very gentle.

D- This is a very subdued beer with a big hops flavor. It can compete with the hop monsters but still make a nice session beer. Very impressive.

 823 characters

Photo of kscaldef
3.16/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Copper amber with very little head and no lacing. A bit of sweet maltiness in the aroma as well as some tropical fruit and pine. Taste is a nice balance of mildly sweet malts and floral hops. Low carbonation and body. Quite drinkable, but nothing exceptional.

 259 characters

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

A pint glass served at the Brewhouse Grille in Camp Hill, PA. The drinkability comments are the same as the original bottle review.

A: The pale ale is a deep amber, almost red color with a small ring of head and no indication of lacing.

S: The aroma is strong on hops, primarily a medicinal spicy element. The hops are bitter but not overwhelming.

T: The ale has a hop flavor that provides a strong citrus kick and are balanced nicely against the grainy malt body. The hops are grapefruity with just a hint of medicinal tartness.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is dominated by hops but not to the extreme of a dreadnaught.

Drinkability: The ale is quite drinkable and, in my mind, a restrained version of Dreadnaught.

 716 characters

Photo of RBorsato
3.7/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark gold, bronze-ish color with a low tan head and good lace. Hoppy, piney, tar(?) aroma with light malt aroma detected. Piney, sprucey hop flavor with a good malt balance. Medium bodied with a bitter finish.

One of the coolest bottle labels I've seen around.

 263 characters

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

12oz bottle. Dated 8/27/2014. Poured into a Three Floyds red pint glass 9/22/2014.

A- Dark caramel-brown body, hazy with a thick three finger offwhite head with quite a lot of hang time. A bit too much hang time actually. Lots and lots of lacing which I haven't seen in a while. [4]

S- Pine, caramel, citrus, bread, floral resins, grass. Even a little bit of orange marmalade, like an English Special Bitter. [4.25]

F- Smooth caramel, a little bit of grapefruit, floral notes, orange marmalade, bread, slight mineral flavours on the backend accentuated by a nice pine resin bitterness. This is nice and complex, but easy drinking, even more so as it warms- the pine seems to fade a little bit and there's more of the floral, grassy hops that come out. In some ways, this is quite complex. [4.25]

M- Medium bodied, a bit peppy with a nice crisp pine and floral bitterness that is refreshing. Leaves a resinous, sticky bitterness on the finish that nevertheless does not last for long, keeping you ready for the next sip. [4.25]

O- Now that I've had 2 years to get over the Three Floyds hype, try many different other pale ales from across the country, revisiting their flagship beer on a whim was a great decision. This is a very complex but balanced pale ale with quite a bit of great fruity flavours. Slightly expensive at $12/6-pack, but then again the quality of this beer is just as good as the ones you'd have to buy in bombers and is still a better deal. [4.25]

 1,472 characters

Photo of VelvetExtract
4.16/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Pours darker than I would have expected. It's coppery. Head is an off-white growth. It retains quite well, keeping most of its height throughout. Consistent lacing rings.

S-Pine and citrus without a doubt. Grassy as well. Also some caramel malt and bread. Assertively hoppy upon each sniff. More IPA than anything else.

T-Chewy pine and grass with a bunch of candied oranges and grapefruits. Some caramel and bread crust. Straightforward but well built.

M-Bitter and dry. Medium bodied. Drinks quite easily. Aftertaste is moderately long lasting.

O-I have always wanted an Alpha King. Finally got the go-ahead on this one. I found it to be an above average IPA/Pale Ale hybrid but not much more than that.

 711 characters

Photo of Immortale25
4.2/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to IrishHockey for this awesomeness! Poured into a 3floyds tumbler (also thanks to IrishHockey). No freshness date.

A- Pours a copperish amber color with a 3/4 inch beige head that retains very well before resolving to a thick, solid sheet of surface foam. Jagged spikes of lacing.

S- Light, biscuity malt with some mildly citrusy hop character. A quick dash of caramel plus some trace astringency from the hops/alcohol.

T- Lightly toasted malt flavor with a nice dose of hops to back it up. Clean and slightly fruity with a small amount of lingering bitterness. There's a bitter/sweet balance that tips slightly toward the bitter end of the spectrum. Very drinkable.

M- Solid body with a touch of creaminess and subtle prickle from the hops. Medium carbonation.

O- Obviously not as impressive of a hop profile as Zombie Dust but it's still very satisfying. Definitely wins points for balance and overall smoothness.

 928 characters

Photo of TX-Badger
4.21/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a dark brown color with tan colored head. Roasted malt, coffee, raw cocoa, and some dark fruit on the nose; follows onto the palate. Interestingly complex. Finishes with roast.

 182 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