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Brian Boru Old Irish Red - 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.

460 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 460
Hads: 977
Avg: 4.05
pDev: 10.86%
Wants: 190
Gots: 66 | FT: 3
Brewed by:
3 Floyds Brewing Co. visit their website
Indiana, United States

Style | ABV
Irish Red Ale |  5.50% ABV

Availability: Spring

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Gueuzedude on 03-14-2004

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 460 | Hads: 977
Photo of MaltyGoodness
3.58/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz. bottle

Pours a clear reddish-brown with a small tan head that fades. mild lacing on the glass.

Aroma is mainly piney hops with a mild sweet maltiness.

Some caramel maltiness upfront with a slight nuttiness. This becomes masked by a piney hop flavor that lasts almost the duration with a slight encore of maltiness at the very end. Finishes clean.

Medium body, mild carbonation.

This is a tasty and drinkable beer, but just a little too heavy on the hops for the style. I realize that 3F doesn't really adhere to many style guidelines, which I generally love. But, I was really in the mood for a straight-up Irish Red, and this beer just didn't quite scratch my itch.

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Photo of JDV
3.58/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Big thanks to Beervirgin72 and Kryptic for bottles! Pours a rich, hazy maroon color with a nice head. Smell was very tea like. Hibiscus and floral in particular with no real hops noticeable. Flavor was pretty balanced, not sweet or hoppy but flavorful with tea flavors again. As far as FFF goes, not remarkable, but for the style, about as good as it gets, I'd say. Enjoyable, easy drinker.

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Photo of Billolick
3.62/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

on tap @ Track 84 in warwick, R.I., poured clear almond Amber, with a standard tan head, and leaving minimal to minor lacing, bland malty nose. This a pretty tame, malty Red Ale, notes of vanilla and honey picked up amoungst the decent malty crest of this brew.Very minor hop character. Looks like this beer in bottles is quite hoppy....interesting cuz the tap version pint that had, was malt and more malt. Nothing special, but a decent sessioner, if your thing is middle of the road malty brew.

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Photo of Erdinger2003
3.62/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

The appearance is reddish cinammon and the head dissapears right away. The lacing is pretty weak and doesn't stick very well.

The smell is lightly burnt sugar brown sugar with a hoppy and nutty flavor.

Strawberry is the first thing that hits my taste buds, slightly nutty and is followed by sweet hops that are lighter than I had expected.

Mouthfeel is smooth and nice, very good.

I would like a fresh bottle, this showed signs of aging or mistreatment.

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Photo of chicagoabbot
3.62/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Let me preface this fairly negative review by saying that 3Fs is one of my top two US based breweries, hands down. However, I think they sold themselves short on this one.

Decent looking red beer with a fine head.

Aroma is pleasant but not too deep. Familiar 3Fs hop combination from some of their session brews...it's a winner, but a questionable choice, both for the style and because they've done it before. Aroma is definitely overbalanced in favor of hops, there's really no depth to the malt here. A 4 is actually pretty generous.

Taste is lacking in similar ways to the aroma...the malt is not impressive and the hops, while good, are not the best choice for this style.

I suppose it's fairly drinkable, but after so many top notch brews from 3Fs, this is a disappointment. And as far as value, it's not. A chug of this will set you back the same as a 6 pack of a comparably good red from a brewery as far away as the West Coast. And 3Fs is local. Figure that one out. It's not as if their ingredients are triple the price. Hopefully we see more classics coming out from 3Fs in the future...sorry guys, but Brian Boru seems like a half-effort.

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Photo of EgadBananas
3.63/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice clear red, with a tan finger of head and nice lace.

The aroma started out minty at first, but moved to some pleasant citrus and caramel malts.

No mint in the taste. Toffee, caramel maltiness with touches of citrus.

Lighter bodied with a pleasant creaminess.

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Photo of sbxx
3.63/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Deep red amber. Two fingers of foamy head leave behind thin, spotty lacing.

Smell - Citrus, hops, slight bit of caramel malt.

Taste - A nice citrusy hop presence with a solid & smooth caramel malt body. Minimal aftertaste. Pretty smooth drinker. Sessionable.

Mouthfeel - Medium body. Clean, wet finish.

Overall - An easy-drinking Irish red. If you like Gumballhead, I think you'll like this too. Since it's a seasonal, it's probably just a once-a-year purchase for me.

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Photo of jtrockchalk
3.63/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Always excited to try a new red....

A- Beautiful reddish brown but I'm a little surprised by the lack of head and carbonation. Barely a whisp of foam after just a minute or two.

S - Caramel plain and simple. Like a light homemade caramel infused with a little orange zest and pineapple. Very interesting but maybe more subtle than I was expecting for a 3F rendition.

T - Not bad but not blown away either. Malt is prevelant giving you that same caramel citrus as the nose. For less than 6% abv, its a bit warmer than I expected too. I can't believe I'm saying this but I'd like a little more hop presence to balance (my name is Joel and I'm not a Hophead...:-)

M - Thinner than I'd hoped but smooth.

D - Very nice beer. The whole bomber went down very easily. But I'd buy Red Rocket five times for everytime I picked this one up.

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Photo of Jdiddy
3.65/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

While I had tried this beer at a beer tasting, it seemed a bit different when having the bottle. For starters, it is a good beer but just a bit too heavy for an Irish Red. It borders Scotch Ale in my opinion. Great color, fantastic smell but all in all a bit too heavy to be a nice session Irish Red. However, I read a review that compares it a heavier Red Seal and I totall agree. Has that Red Seal taste. It is a hoppy/malty mix. It's ok but I would not drop $7 a bomber again for it.

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Photo of cwcolby74
3.65/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. bomber consumed out of a New Glarus weizen glass. Bottle purchased March 18 at Payless Liquors on 96th Street in Fishers.

A - A beautiful, crisp light brown/gold/amber-hued treat. It pours a full inch or head with great lacing. Not a lot of carbonation.

S - It has that trademark FFF hoppy, delicious nose to it. I don't smell a malty flavor like I'd expect with an Irish red or amber.

T - Very smoot, a tad bit overly hopped for the style, in that it hides the taste of the malt underneath it. It's easy to detect the toffee and citrus aroma. I don't get the pineapple flavor other people do.

M - Smooth, overly bitter, with a lingering aftertaste I kind of like.

O - It's uncharacteristic of an Irish red and actually tastes a bit of an overhopped, spiced pale ale.

I like it but don't love it. I do like what I detect in the background but all the hops drown it out just a bit. That said, it's Three Floyds. That distinctive hoppy flavor is part of what makes them great.

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Photo of phisig137
3.65/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a dark copper color, with a two finger head that quickly falls. No lacing.

Aroma is hoppy, with hints of roasted malt.

Flavor is well balanced between malt and hops. Hops are slightly metallic on the finish, but are balanced by a caramel malt sweetness. Nicely done. Slight diacetyl.

Mouthfeel is chewy, and drinkability good.

A little to hoppy to be a red in my book, but still a very nice beer.

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Photo of RTrain12
3.68/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: Was dark red with a tint of yellow. Small off white head.

Smell: Slight smell of hops.

Taste: Taste of hops with some malt. Left a hoppy after tatse.

Mouthfeel: Light bodied with little carbonation.

Drinkability: Was a good beer. I pick it up again next year when it comes out again. It kinda reminded me of Alpha King.

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Photo of OldSock
3.68/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance – 22 oz bottle from Spiritus Fermenti. Pours a rich mahogany, darker than a standard Irish Red. Tan head rises two fingers above the beer, good retention and sticky lacing.

Smell – Lots of those characteristic Three Floyds hops (at least some Amarillos), pine and citrus aromas dominate. Some sticky sweet crystal malt brings up there rear. Definitely a big departure from Smithwicks or Murphy's.

Taste – Too well balanced, this style really should be more malty and less hoppy. The malt is nice, sweet with some distant notes of chocolate and caramel. The American hops are just too powerful, putting this firmly in the American Red category.

Mouthfeel – Medium, with solid, but not overpowering carbonation.

Drinkability & Notes – Its a fine beer, I just wish that Three Floyds didn't have to pile hops into every beer they make. This is a lot like a sweeter maltier version of Alpha King. I'd take Conway's Irish Ale over this if I was looking for something a bit truer to style, but this is still a tasty beer if you look at it for what it is.

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Photo of MasterSki
3.68/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this up a while ago, but finally got around to drinking it.

A - One finger of dirty white foam with surprisingly excellent retention and a bit of lacing. Brown-red hazed look to the brew, with a bit of a glow to it.

S - Very malt forward, lots of caramel, toffee, a touch of chocolate, but also a hint of tomato and earth. The hops have faded a fair bit since I had this on-tap in early April, but there's still a bit of tropical & floral hoppiness still kicking. It's a little too sweet in general.

T - The taste is a lot of toffee and honeyed bread, with a touch of floral hoppiness and ripe fruit (apple, strawberry). There's a mildly grainy aftertaste that is a little bit unpleasant. I actually like the taste a little bit more than the smell, but not enough to bump it up to a four.

M - Medium bodied, and the carbonation is mild, but it's still a little gritty (much like its namesake I suppose). Finish is pretty dry, with some residual stickiness on the top of the mouth (that sustains the unpleasant aftertaste unfortunately).

D - The low ABV and mild carbonation make it easily drinkable, but I'm just not into the taste all that much. I have no idea how this compares to other Irish Reds, but I'm assuming it isn't all that representative of the style (being a Three Floyds brew). Still, if this was among the better options on-tap somewhere I'd have no problems having a pint.

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Photo of RedwoodGeorge
3.68/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear deep red with a thick cream head. Head is short lived, some lacing.

Aroma is predominantly hops - some pine some herb. Caramel and fruity esters are pretty well in the back.

Nice and hoppy but again the caramel and fruit is a bit too reserved.

Mouthfeel is fine - light bodied with good carbonation. Hopping is enough to leave a dry clean finish.

Tasty brew... Drinkable... Similar to Red Seal Amber on a good day though Red Seal has more PNW type hops and this was a bit more earthy.

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Photo of Doomcifer
3.7/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

The only FFF brew you can find in RI still, because of it straggling on the shelves. I havent tried this one yet, so I decided to pick it up despite it probably being ever so slightly out of code.

Pours an extremely murky reddish amber with a half-inch head that dwindles down to a small froth afloat the beer. Decent lacing. Very attractive beer.

Smells of sweet malts, some hoppiness, biscuity, caramel/toffee, cherries, yeast.

Tastes very sweet as well. It is very malty sweet and I sense that this beer must have been a little hoppier when fresh. I can still taste the hops but they lack any punch. Very bready and caramel malty, not much of a finish though. Which is where the hops seem to have fizzled out a bit.

Mouthfeel is semi-watery, not very carbonated.

This beer is good, but obviously better when fresh.

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Photo of MMAJYK
3.7/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Quick review from the bar at FFF

A- Transparent nut brown color and a head of roughly 1.5".

S- Kinda smokey and whiskey like. Roasted malts and sweet aromas of brown sugar too.

T- Same smokey tastes carrying over from the nose and a somewhat tangy taste too. Malty and sweet and leaves the mouth semi-dry.

M- Medium in the mouth and high on carbonation.

D- Decent. It is a little too malty for me to session.

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Photo of DarkerTheBetter
3.7/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This beer pours a brown, cherry and amber color with a wisp of tan head.

Smells of dry toasted nuts, sour green apples and sweet honey malts.

Tastes of brown sugar, a slight dry cocoa, not-so-sweet cherries and green apple with a little bit of nuttiness. There’s a slight grapefruit rind dryness here too and it all finishes with a slight introduction of coffee. The flavors here are good, but the nuts and green apple flavors didn’t seem to get along with each other.

The mouth feel was medium boded with a substantial carbonation. Seemed like a bit much.

The fruitiness was different for the style, but quite enjoyable.

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Photo of ncvbc
3.7/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Deep copper with ruby highlights, a medium off-white head with tighly packed bubbles and some lacing. Smell is very nice. Caramel, toffee, bread, light citrus. It's not too bold but very lovely and inviting. Taste is pretty good but lacking balance. The malt and hops can't quite seem to agree on where they should enter scene. Mostly sweet and malty, though. Lots of caramel, toffee, and a great doughy, bready flavor comes in usually in the finish. Sometimes the hops come through before the malt, just depends on the sip. Great mouthfeel, slightly dry finish and again the bready flavor sticks with me. Solid body. I like this, just not a complete winner all around. Good for sure but not the greatest.

ahatcher78 is a hell of a BA and I thank him for this Powerball gift!

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Photo of gueuzer
3.71/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Was in Ohio for the weekend and found this 3F in stock at the local Beer Store. Looks like it could have been there for quite a while.

App- Nice copper color. Thick white head.

Smell- Overwhelming crystal malt. Smell more like wort than beer. Expect that for a Red, but a little hops to cut it would be nice.

Taste- Sweet, malty, syrupy, caramel with some toffee. Not many finishing hops to speak of, but has a enough hop bitterness to cut the maltiness to what is expected for the style.

MF- Thick, coudl maybe use a hair more carbonation to temper it out.

DR- Split the bomber with my wife. Wouldn't be able to finish it by myself as it too sweet for my liking. I'm not too big on Reds so I don't hold it against it.

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Photo of PhxHorn
3.71/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This one pours a dark blood red with a slight head, and this after I practically dumped it in the glass. Smell is a very mild aroma of malt. Tastes mildly of malt, caramel, and the taste improves substantially as it warms up, but it's still pretty mild for this style. Carbonation is just about right, and it's pretty drinkable, but unremarkable for a 3F beer.

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Photo of jaasen64
3.71/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

22oz bottle poured into HF sherry glass, thanks Josh (thebigredone)!

A- Pours a reddish brown, slightly hazy with some translucency around the edges, about a half finger of foamy head that has about average retention receding to a thin layer, about average carbonation with a decent consistency.

S- Fairly overpowering caramel maltiness with some subtle underlying slightly earthy pineapple hops. A bit too malty for my liking, about average aroma strength. Not a bad overall aroma but not too much going on.

T- Sweet Caramel malts, light honey, and some very lightly bitter underlying pineapple and mango presence. Finishes with more malts and light lingering fruity presence. More balanced then the aroma, but still a tiny bit on the malty side.

M- Medium bodied, easy drinking, about average carbonation to a little bit on the low side.

O- This was a decent Irish Red Ale that was definitely better then your average Irish Red, however there wasn't anything that really made this beer stand out. There was a nice underlying fruity presence and a nice sweetness but the beer still remained a little bit one-dimensional.

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Photo of bobhits
3.71/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A. Big white head, deep dark amber red, lots of lacing. So umm what you'd expect from an imperial red only this isn't imperial.

S. The caramel and toffee are just over powering. The hops try as hard as they might to get a word in edge wise but they fail to do more than add a citrus grape fruit note and tone down the sugary sweetness.

T. The hops get a bit more showcase here. They add a nice citrus grape fruity opening that is promptly subdued by the caramel and toffee malt flavors. A touch of bread in there for good measure.

M. Full bodied, creamy, well carbonated, yet not so full that it becomes a problem.

D. Drinks like an imperial and frankly I'm digging it in this beer.

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Photo of tedsox31
3.71/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured this beer from a 22 oz. bottle into a snifter. I've been waiting for this beer since I had it last year.

The color is a darker orange-red and a slightly off-white head of foam about a half-inch high or so. Definitely lacing left behind.

Aroma is extreme citrusy hops and some malt in the background. As it warms, I can smell more of the malt but the hops are still very present.

The taste is somewhat malty/bready with a lot of hops mixed in. As it warms this changes a bit, just like the aroma...more malty with hops. I'm not sure how I feel straight off as I was expecting something a bit more malt-oriented with toasted notes.

Mouthfeel is carbonated, creamy, and finishes dry.

Overall, this beer is tasty but not what I remembered/expected. I still like it but am slightly disappointed with the forwardness of the hops. While it is not a straight up Irish Red, I'd still recommend it as a good beer if you find it near you.

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Photo of bruachan
3.72/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

i don't believe i've had an irish red ale yet, but after reading the style definition i have a hard time believing 3F made one. that's like stone making a pale ale (er...)

it's a deep red color, but bordering on brown in my big brown mug. the head seems like it's going to stick around, though it's a little sudsy (i did just do a rare soap-washing...maybe there's some residue loitering about). caramelly, butterscotchy malt aroma with piney NW hops (columbus, i believe). not sure this fits what i was expecting from an irish red ale...more like an american amber (or ipa even)

the style guidleline predicted a tea-ish hoppiness. the only way i can see that is in the near lack of bitterness, at least relative to the other hop characteristics.

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Brian Boru Old Irish Red from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
90 out of 100 based on 460 ratings.