Saturday, May 14, 2011

480. Three Floyds Alpha King

So after the IPA brewday, we headed on up to Indiana for a little vacation time. Which means scoring all the beer we wish we could score regularly. Like Three Floyds Alpha King. I remember the first couple of times I had this beer—at that time, it tasted so so hoppy. Now, I’d consider it a rather moderate and well-balanced version of an American Pale Ale—sure, it’s got some hops in it, but there is less bitterness and enough malt character in the body to balance and round the beer. How’s that for yet another example of the hop tolerance created by American craft brewing? Even though we’re regionally challenged, we’ve still managed to score our fair share of Three Floyds: Moloko Milk Stout, Blackheart IPA 2010, Dark Lord 2010, Rabbid Rabbit, BrooDoo Harvest Ale, Brian Boru, Gumballhead Wheat, Robert the Bruce, Dreadnaught, Black Sun Stout and Blackheart IPA.

Alpha King pours a hazy orange and copper—probably more copper than orange—with a creamy white head that puts in some work to keep hanging around. Serious work. It does, however, manage to lace up the glass pretty decently. The nose is a mix of biscuit and caramel malt and citrus, herbal, and floral hop aromas. Or in other words, it smells delicious. Tastes delicious too, what with the gentle biscuit and sweet caramel bready flavors in the front and the citrus, floral, and herbal hop flavors in the middle (there is more floral than herbal flavor, hence the lack of parallelism in my two lists—no, I’m not rummy with beer). There is a touch of bitterness to the middle, albeit very light, that lingers nicely through the finish, helping to lighten and clean the overall finish. The turn into the finish has a brief return of the caramel sweetness before the bitterness comes to the front, along with a slight mineral and herbal touch. The body is medium with a chewy, bright mouthfeel; the carbonation helps cleanse the palate in the finish, contributing to the crispness of the beer. All in all, Alpha King is a damn good beer—we both dig on it, and are always happy when we can find it. Like now. So hurry up and get your ass to Ohio, Three Floyds. We love you, but we do get tired of searching you out.

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

From the Three Floyds website: “3 Floyd’s flagship beer, Alpha King is a big American Pale Ale that pours a deep amber with a creamy head. This ale is brewed with Centennial, Cascade, and Warrior hops giving it an intense citrus aroma and a crisp hoppy finish.”

ABV: 6.5%
IBU: 66


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