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Brian Boru Old Irish Red - Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub

Not Rated.
Brian Boru Old Irish RedBrian Boru Old Irish Red

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964 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 964
Reviews: 459
rAvg: 4.04
pDev: 11.14%
Wants: 170
Gots: 65 | FT: 3
Brewed by:
Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub visit their website
Indiana, United States

Style | ABV
Irish Red Ale |  5.50% ABV

Availability: Spring

Notes/Commercial Description:
Ireland’s first and last Ard Ri (high king) of the whole Gaelic race, Brian Boru was born in Munster, Ireland around 940. Brian Boru’s mother was killed by Vikings when he was a child. He spent his life uniting the Irish tribes to become the first king of Ireland only to be killed at Clontarf on Good Friday 1014 putting down a rebellion by the king of the province of Leinster. This one’s for him.

40 IBU

(Beer added by: Gueuzedude on 03-14-2004)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 964 | Reviews: 459 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Saviorself
3/5  rDev -25.7%

Photo of chcfan
3/5  rDev -25.7%

Photo of NooseJustice
3/5  rDev -25.7%

Photo of charlesw
3.03/5  rDev -25%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Thanks to Travis for the bottle and the chance to taste it!

Pours a thick and deep amber with 1" of very tight, off-white head. Head lastes a little time and then there is a hearty covering lace that lasts through the beer.

Smells faintly of pine hops, strongly of caramel malts, faintly of citrus. Very earthy in a pine forest kind of way but downwind of a caramel malt factory :)

I I I I... I can't describe the taste! Hmm. The aftertaste is a little easier - a sort of mouth-watering hop that lingers at the sides of the tongue. So, not bitter. You get a little of the pine hopiness and a teeny bit o' citrus. Plenty of malt flavor thrown in, there, in the middle. Must be chocolate malts in there, too... You can taste 'em, but thankfully not so much as in some other reds.

Medium body and light enough on the carbonation - plenty fine, there.

But not really drinkable -for-me-. The blend of flavors is just a bit overpowering. It seems like an interesting experiment and a well-made beer but the particular hops used (and quantities thereof) don't allow me to fully appreciate it - not even enough for me to order a second one...

Photo of cameraman
3.03/5  rDev -25%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A nice copper/brown color, with an off white head, that laces nicely. The aroma is very surprising, I was expecting the malt to be the dominant aroma, it is there, but the distinct aroma of hop spiciness and earthy scents are very apparent. The taste the malt is very strong, then I am left with a question. What happen to the hops? The hops seem to diminish in the taste, they do bring some flavor at the end, but not what I was expecting. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, the only characteristic that the hops leave behind is a dry finish. This is a pretty drinkable beer, though the aroma could scare some off, the taste would be enjoyable to some.

Photo of Auracom
3.13/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22 oz. bottle purchased from Marion Street and poured into a Bruery tulip on March 22nd, 2011.

A - Bright, clear amber-orange color. One-finger of a soapy, white head. Fair retention, good lacing.

S - Strong tropical hops and resin, some floral underneath. Fresh grass. Malt backbone of light caramel, roasted and buttered popcorn kernels. Slight green tea.

T - Lots of freshly-baked white bread. Not much sweetness and rounded hops in the background. Citrus. Backend roasted grain. As it warms, much more of that bizarre popcorn note.

M - Smoother than expected, medium body, average carbonation. Very light, dry finish with soft malt aftertaste.

D - Consensus seems to be that this is brewed very much out-of-style, but those FFF house hop notes work well here. I doubt I'll revisit again but worth the purchase.

Photo of balconybrew
3.15/5  rDev -22%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Bomber from the brew pub.

Poured into a nonic. Poured a nice head that sat for a while, then fell leaving a thick lace white lace. Aroma is of malt, some yeast and some (less than expected) hop. The hop aroma is of typical FFF hops. "C" The taste was thick and of malt, lacking the carbonation I was looking for. Typical red with more hops. The mouthfeel was a bit thick, but drinkable. Very sessionable. Too bad it wasn't on tap.

Photo of Westsidethreat
3.15/5  rDev -22%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Dark copper color. Clear, no haze or sediment to speak of. Light cream colored head has some good volume to it. Medium sized bubbles means it won't be lasting though

S: Sweet grains with a slight hop backdrop. Bit of orang juice, caramel and honey.

T: Blander than I expected. Immediate watermelon like sweetness gives way to a decent hop bitterness without a lot of flavor. Reminds me a bit of waterered down orange juice with some bittering hops.

M: Medium bodied with a full texture. Probably the best thing about this beer

D: Three Floyds is interesting. They make some of the best beers in the world, but wow are some of their beers mediocre. Not that ambers are usually a stand out style, but I suppose I was hoping for a bit more.

Photo of Reaper16
3.18/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

22oz. bomber served into a mason jar

Pours a tawny reddish orange color. Like rust, basically. One finger of large-bubbled creme head leaves notchy lacing. Looks pretty much textbook for the style. Not much to say about it other than it does its job correctly.

I didn't expect to smell tropical fruits in this Irish Red Ale, but hey, this is a Three Floyds beer. Pineapple, most noticeably. Sure, there are malty scents as well. Lots of toasted breadchips (like in bags of Chex Mix), a bit of spent grain. The fruits from the hops are out of place for the style. They're jarring to me and I don't find that they make a cohesive aroma. It's interesting, though.

The hops seem more coherent on the palate. You get them first, grassy and bitter with a more subdued orange/pineapple juice flavor. They taste in a way that better matched with the lightly toasted malts. I'm reminded of a toasted English muffin by the malt profile here. Why am I not giving this a 4.0? Because the hops still distract from the malt flavors more than they accentuate them.

I pretty much hate the mouthfeel of this beer. It is entirely too thin. The malt flavors make me want to chew on it a bit, but Brian Boru proves to be distractingly shallow in terms of motuhfeel. Watery yet dry. The drinkability is just fine. I appreciate the low ABV% and it is unique enough to warrant drinking a bomber.

You might love this hoppy Irish Red. For me, it misses the point. I'm all about experimenting with established styles but this beer seems more counterintuitive than anything. There's a decent, interesting beer here with unrealized potential to be something more.

Photo of shbobdb
3.2/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

There is a fine art to the body of Irish reds. Too thick and you end up with a viscous cough syrup, but too thin and it just goes down the gullet and is completely forgotten. Sadly, this beer falls into the latter catagory.
The malts are a painting of rich caramel and very light fig notes layed over a pleasant english pale malt background. I dig.

But, come on, this is Three Floyds we are talking about! Let's talk about the hops. They are . . . strangely muted. Sure, they is the unmistakable aspirin twang of amarillo at the end of the beer (man, this guy can make that hop do so much. I'm always so amazed by his expert use of it). But, while they are masterfully added, they are quite subtle. Where is my *it's not normal*. This is from the guys whose mild tastes like a very hoppy pale and and whose APA is hoppier than many IPAs I've had. I guess I was excpecting more.

That actually sums up my experience with this beer overall -- I guess I was expecting more.

Photo of yeastsipper
3.23/5  rDev -20%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Beer pours a nice copper red. Decent lacing, strong head. Pretty looking, but at the same time nothing extraordinary.

Smell is nice though nothing complex. A lot of floral from the hops, some grapefruit as well. Smells a lot like a pretty good IPA, though the malt balances out the hop profile.

Taste is well, fine, but not much more. Again, the bitter hops and the sweet malt are battling it out. Good balance, but not great flavor IMO. Some really dry woodiness on the back end that lingers for awhile. The first few sips were more interesting; the latter a bit annoying.

To be fair, I am not sure I am a huge fan of the style, which is not the fault of the beer. That being said, overall I am underwhelmed in general, and especially given the price.

Photo of SuperWhite92
3.23/5  rDev -20%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a wonderfully dark red color with a bright white foam- great carbonation, not over the top. Smells of caramel malts, that grassy three floyds hop aroma, and a bit of fuit maybe? Tastes a lot of caramel malts and once again, the characteristic three floyd's hop flavor. However, it's not very complex (although I don't expect it to be). That earthy, wet grass hops flavor doesn't much suit the malt backbone of the beer either. Mouthfeel is good, what I want from an Irish Red. In the end, while I could drink this beer for a while, I'm not impressed enough to want to. However, I'm still glad I got to try it, being that I can't get it where I live.

Photo of tshawnob
3.24/5  rDev -19.8%

Photo of cgrz
3.25/5  rDev -19.6%

Photo of Hirshi
3.25/5  rDev -19.6%

Photo of richeddi
3.25/5  rDev -19.6%

Photo of cadaugherty
3.25/5  rDev -19.6%

Photo of cfrances33
3.25/5  rDev -19.6%

Photo of christophmathis
3.25/5  rDev -19.6%

Photo of EDubLovesBeer
3.25/5  rDev -19.6%

Photo of Emtcraftbeerfan
3.25/5  rDev -19.6%

Photo of Budlum
3.28/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer pouds with a modest, light tan head that leaves a thin layer laying on top of the beer. The body is a glowing red color with a very light haze.

An assertive blend of sharp hops mix with a balanced, sweet, malty smell to produce a very nice smelling beer.

A rich, malty sweetness starts this beer and holds that flavor throughout. Strong hops with a slightly peppery and dry flavor add some balancing sharpess. The malty sweetness regains control before a long, earthy finish.

The mouth presence is slightly dry with no carbonation at first but finishes with a strange, chalky and oily feeling. The body feels a little too watery throughout.

Drinkability is pretty good but this beer could've been much better. This is a disappointing effort considering Three Floyds lofty standards.

Photo of Atron67
3.28/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750 from DLD

A- poured a dark red amber with a light off white almost tan head that stayed pretty small but stayed a decent while and stayed as a ring for the glasses.

S- hoppy as you would expect from FFF, pretty delicious hop smell, but it seems pretty wierd for a Irish red, but im gonna go and say this hoppiness is prolly why its at the top of the charts for the style, there is a light sweetness underneath, amber character and delicious

T- smooth light crystal malt character maltiness, then the dry hopped juicy characteristics kick in

M- light clean and pretty tastey, medium carbonation

D- pretty solid, but a little dissapointed, just another slightly different malt with a hop aromatics which dominate.

low malt complexity, not bad but let down for a beer thats spossed to be a little more complex, really let down because the major flavor is a dry hopped wetness

Photo of badbeer
3.33/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured a nice ruby red color with a tan head that disappeared almost as fast as it developed, quite disappointing. Smell was awesome, pineapple and resiny hops greet you, probably not very true to style, but it's smells so good. Taste reminds me of red Kool-Aid for some reason, piney hops kick in to help out and a slightly roasted finish. I just didn't care for the Kool-Aid taste, maybe I'm missing something. Lower carbonation and light to medium bodied. It was a decent beer and loved the smell, but I can't say I'd search this out. This is the first FFF's that I didn't find to be awesome, but then again, maybe I'm missing something. I'll probably try it again to double check.

Photo of steveh
3.35/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewing this one with an eye to style, but also turning my reviews toward a more liberal view of drinkability -- to style or otherwise. After all, that's the bottom line for enjoyment.

A - Nice, deep reddish brown with a tan cap that thins quickly

S - Piny and citrus hops with some mild caramel and biscuit malt back. Pretty heavy handed in the hops to style.

T - Big hop character -- can taste the hops with only an inhale and no actual drink, though not bitter. Biscuit malts trying hard to balance, but fighting a losing battle.

M - Smooth mouth-feel with a dry finish. Light-medium bodied.

D - Very good. Hops could become overpowering with too many in a sitting, but they aren't so harsh as to cause you to make a face. Very tasty drinking.

Brian Boru Old Irish Red from Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub
91 out of 100 based on 964 ratings.