I have a compulsion to finish things. But before you roll your eyes, I don’t mean in some high achieving useful way. It’s more that I find something like finishing the last milk in the jug way too satisfying.
I actually look forward to cleaning out the fridge night for dinner, combining bits and pieces of meals and snacks that absolutely do not belong together. If a household good is nearing its end, I’ll come up with a way to use it just to finish it off. I love getting rid of the last of an item simply so that it is gone.
It’s cathartic in some way, creating a sense of balance and a clean slate. It’s odd to be sure, but mostly harmless.
The issue is I also like to save things. I’m one of those annoying people that makes sure the last bite of the meal is proportioned exactly right. I won’t wear my favorite shirt for weeks because once I do I know I can’t again until it’s washed (at least that’s how it is supposed to work).
Just right now there is a liter of a hard to find soda in the fridge that is several years old. While I do enjoy the taste, it’s more about the reminder of a family member that loved it and the family trips where I first tasted it. I insisted it came with us on our cross country move, but there it still sits in the fridge because I can’t commit to the perfect time to open it.
If I’m being generous, I could say both of these traits stem from a desire for efficiency or to maximize my resources. Realistically, these quirks are frequently at odds leading to strange fits of indecision.
I ran into one of these conflicts with my last bottle of Three Floyds’ flagship pale ale Alpha King. I picked up the beer on my return journey after the holidays, a trip I won’t likely make again until next year at the same time. Moving through the first five bottles of the six pack was easy – I mean it’s a delicious beer – but opening the beer fridge to find one left incited an internal struggle.
Drinking the beer and mentally turning the page to something new inspires a sense of strange relief. But getting my hands on some Three Floyds has been special, and the last beer of the batch needs to be savored.
I’ve struggled through this situation many times before, leading to either a rushed/anticlimactic experience or worse, a degraded product due to age. So to avoid those fates, I created a reason to crack my last bottle by writing this review.
There is more than enough punch from the bitterness in the finish to compliment the sweet notes.”
Alpha King pours hazy but much darker than most citrus forward hazy IPAs. A fluffy white head sits on top of the amber bodied beer, with a steady but slow stream of bubbles rising up the glass.
The aroma more than just hints at the taste to come. Strong waves of citrus and grape waft from the glass, playing over a sweet aroma from the malt. Alpha King smells sweeter and less dry than most Three Floyds offerings I’ve encountered, and that is backed up in the taste as well.
Those same notes of citrus and grape come through immediately, leaning much more towards the sweet flesh of an orange instead the resiny pith. A caramelized sugar quality from the malt adds to the sweetness, but some biscuity flavors and plenty of IBU bitterness keep Alpha King extremely well balanced.
It’s a medium bodied beer with a rounded carbonation that leads to a smooth and quaffable brew. While Alpha King is never particularly dry or crisp, there is more than enough punch from the bitterness in the finish to compliment the sweet notes and bring me right back for more.
I can honestly say I’m glad I didn’t save this one a minute longer.