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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 TurdFurgison
3.95/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a large 3F bottle into a tumbler. My overall impression is that Three Floyds can't approach a style without adding their house brand of hops to the flavor. In this case it works pretty well...

The color was burnt pumpkin with a creamy head. The aroma was mostly hops over a slightly caramel background. The flavor was a little roasty, a littel caramel, and definite hops. I put the mouthfeel at a 3.5 because the body seemed a little thin. But I'd still get it again.

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Photo of jrallen34
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I drank this from a 22oz bottle into my Rochefort chalice.

The beer pours a dark red that is pretty clear. The head is light tan rising about 2 fingers but is quickly gone with watery lacing.

The aroma is sweet with some citrus notes of pineapple and surprising amount of hops.

The taste starts off a little hoppy has some nice caramel and citrus sweetness in the middle and a hoppy finish.

The feel is a little watery for me and has a nice dry finish.

Overall, I don't really think of this as a typical Irish red, which maybe made me like it a lot. It just seemed like a red ipa. Whatever, I liked it no matter what you call it. Good little beer here.

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Photo of barczar
3.99/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Been in the cellar since 2010. Oops.

Pours a clear reddish amber with a foamy inch and a half cream head that slowly dissipates, leaving thick lacing.

Citrus, tropical fruits, pine, and toasted breadcrust form the initial aroma. Toffee and caramel sweetness emerge.

Flavor is still pretty hoppy at this age, with a cardboard-like oat taste at the finish. There's an initial punch of sour grapefruit and tangerine, followed by deeply toasted malt, leading to a slightly piney, citrus pith bitter finish. Sweet toffee is evident in the aftertaste, along with floral hops.

Body is fairly full, with relatively high carbonation and slight alcohol warmth.

As with all things 3f, a hoppy example of the style. Good malt character, though, to carry it through.

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Photo of DefenCorps
4.13/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle into my weizen glass

A: Clear ruby red with a solid beige head that leaves a pleasing lace. Tons of carbonation. Pretty stuff!

S: Wonderful dry hop aroma (Amarillo?) - very fruity with peach and citrus. Behind it is a moderately sweet body with a robust caramel sweetness with a good deal of figs and plums.

T: Starts off with a pleasingly strong caramel sweetness with a great fruity character with plums, figs and a hint of raisins. Citrus hops are present on the finish that's refreshingly medium-dry.

M: Moderately carbonated which works very well with the malty flavors that dominate this beer. Medium bodied, pleasing finish

D: Hooray! A bomber for me!

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Photo of dirtylou
3.88/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber, $6.99, I have a hunch it might have some age on it

appearance: poured into a chalice....murky rich amber, very light beige head with not much in the way of retention or lacing

smell: The hops have really died down on this one. I realize this might be last years batch so this goes as a lesson that this one deteriorates on a fairly short timetable...smell is mostly caramel, light hop feel, a little musty, slightly nutty

taste: hops are a little more present on the tongue than the nose and citrus in nature, smooth caramel malt has emerged along with a nutty characteristic that suits it well. rather earthy, delicate toasted malt characteristics...A good but, underwhelming 3F attempt at the irish red style

mouthfeel: very light bitterness, fairly creamy, medium-light body

drinkability: pretty good, seems to improve a bit as approaches room temperature

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Photo of barnzy78
3.83/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz, poured a rusty orange color with a foamy white head with good retention. Aromas were of sweet toffee and caramel with some unexpected hops. Mouthfeel was medium bodied, and flowed nicely around the palate. Flavors were great up-front malts, mainly caramel and toffee notes, but the balance from the presence of the hops gave it a nice finish. One of the better Irish Red Ales I've had.

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Photo of Durge
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A clear golden copper color with a solid off-white fluff and very good lacing. The aroma offers a mild citrus hop with pineapple and caramel with a bit of spicey yeast. The flavor brings a unique grassy hop bitterness and tropical fruit sweetness. Once again I get plenty of caramel with definite honey. This is medium bodied with full but delicate carbonation. Feel is a little tingly/fizzy with a slightly glassy component. The hops are nicely prominent without taking away from the style. Grassy and a bit herbal, they finish with a bit of dryness which balance off the sweet clover and makes for a pretty unique but satisfying (and drinkable) Irish Red! A solid brew for sure.

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Photo of cpetrone84
3.34/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark murky orangish red with a yellow tinted white head, tons of it with tight bubbles leaving a thick lace. The nose is sweet and grainy with a slightly off twang to it. The grain smells stale and the hops oily with a fleshy orange peel. The taste has a huge toasted malt and chocolate malt flavor that was unexpected. The hop presence is much lighter than in the nose and actually more balanced. Lightly citric and bitter with a moderate sweetness, crisp finish with an assertive carbonation.

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Photo of Brenden
4.45/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Let me preface this by saying it's pretty much exactly what I'd expect from FFF. It's a tough call between style guidelines and what these guys do it, but I suppose I'd just call it an amplification of sorts. If Nugget Nectar can be an "imperial" red, why not?

From the tap, this High King is a ruddy, sturdy, beastly-looking beer. It's got a red-orange color with some deep hues to it. The head, just off-white, reaches a finger and doesn't drop far, holding steady at about half a finger for the duration. It leaves sturdy lacing in thick patches as well.
This is a big, malty beer as expected and of course is countered by a strong hops presence, as expected. The bitterness offers lots of citrus fruits and bitter rind with a slightly leafy edge and some floral notes as well. It counters a big, bready backbone that gives off lots of caramel and toffee sweetness for quite a balance in such a big red. Underneath it's got a hint of spicy hops and some crust/dry biscuit. All of this ends up pulling through into a nicely lingering finish. Deep and complex? As much as I'd expect from FFF by now. This one's got power but isn't afraid to show its sweeter side; an iron fist in a velvet glove, if you will.
There's enough bulk to this beer to support the strength and depth of flavors, but it doesn't drop off under the weight. It actually has a nice creaminess to it right up front along with the crispness that remains strong to the end.

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Photo of maximum12
3.84/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Three Floyd's returns to Hudson, WI, just across the river from Minnesota. Woohoo! Except now I'm finding most of their brews are just OK (I'm not lookin' at you, Alpha King, love you man!). Hoping to find another that turns my love handle. Brian? You the one?

Split with my wife, half goes into my nice Sweetwater pint glass. Amber color, check. Smell is very good, & rather unique - I'm not sure I've ever smelt both hops AND malts that strongly before. Usually one's running the other one down. Nice.

Mr. Boru is wallowing in the malts. Seriously. Bathing. There are malts just oozing out of this one. The hops that are so perky in the nose are just peeking above the malts; I think they're afraid. Caramel & toffee, perhaps a coffee ground or two, are playing hide & seek as well.

Brew is only lightly carbonated, but doesn't suffer from it, but feels pretty solid & heavy in the mouth, though not the stomach. Easy to drink; with a relatively low ABV, I can see this as a sessioneer.

Very nice beer, although I'm always a touch let down when the beer peaks with the smell. This one smells great, & tastes good...but if FFF can get the taste in line with the smell, they'd have a top-shelf Irish Red here. But I'll take it as brewed, too.

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Photo of Dogbrick
4.07/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Leave it to Three Floyds to break the mold on a straightforward and common beer style. This beer is a dark clear reddish-amber color with a tall and foamy beige head. Thin patches of lacing throughout the glass. The aroma is amazingly floral, with hops and malt in the wings. Medium-bodied and very hoppy, with some citrus, malt and caramel flavors. The finish is bitter and hoppy yet somewhat smooth. Stacked up against the rest of the Amber Ales out there, this one definitely raises eyebrows.

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Photo of AgentZero
4.22/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Rusty red with a minimal head that hardly stuck around long enough to notice.

S - Some floral hops, slightly grapefruity. Nice malts on the back end.

T - THis is not at all what I am expecint from a red, tastes a lot more like an IPA. Floral hops on the front blend in wih some nice sweet malts. Doesn't get too piney or citrusy, just a touch bitter to a dry finish.

M - Too light bodied and not carbonated enough, but not unpleasant.

D - Easy to pound these back all day with the low abv and great taste.

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Photo of tavernjef
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bright brownish red with a clean, clear body. Small dense cap of dark ivory foam. Splatchy cob webby lacing is spread about the glass.

Rounded, clean, and quite hoppy on the nose. No real surprise from 3F. Softly orange with a wafty pine scent intermingling well with just a touch of floral resins and pollen.

Taste is quick, clean, and rounded with a centered toasted bread dough tone and a slightly sticky toffee surrounded by a nice firm display of dully citric oily hoppyness. Kinda orangey, semi oily to nearly full, slippery in bitterness with a rounded off leafy pineyness. Soft, supple, and a good amount of flavor profile. A nice balance f both malt and hops makes this a nice treat.

Feel is clean, quite clean in fact, with a smooth oily slide to its nature thats very inviting and a very soft finish of lightly toasted malt sweetness and an orangey oilyness. Long lofty pine oil notes the finish late.

A solid drinkin' brew. Its cleanness is respectful to its balance as it has a wonderfully crafted oily tone to it that makes for solid enjoyment.

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Photo of mynie
4.4/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Aye what I purty red this lass be. Or--wait, is that Scottish?

It's red nonetheless. Like, Juicy Juice cherry red. It looks dyed. A big, foamy brownish white head sticks to the glass like tendrils and champagne bubbles glisten in the lamplight.

Smells very rich and very hoppy! God I love Three Floyds Hops. Citrus and grapefruit and pine in the hops are offset slightly by a light caramel malt. Very nice.

The hops are sour and bitter upfront, very big on the grapefruit, but are quickly mellowed by a very firm caramel malt. Good, but not as intense or complex as the nose suggested.

Yet another great beer from the folks at Three Floyds.

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Photo of RoyalT
3.5/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance – This came out a beautiful bright brown in color and very clear with a nice, pitting head.

Smell – The huge, complex hops show good promise for this effort at the difficult IRA style. I especially enjoyed the piney notes that reminded me of home.

Taste – Where did the hops go? This turned into a rather dull malty Red with some annoying tanginess. The hops were all bark and no bite.

Mouthfeel – This is short of medium-bodied and lacks any sort of bitter or dry notes.

Drinkability – This one started off looking and smelling good but in the end disappointed.

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Photo of warnerry
4.12/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - pours clear amber with one finger of creamy off-white head. Head has good retention and leaves lacing behind.

S - smell is citrus, floral and sweet caramel malt. Smells like an amber-ipa hybrid. Nice.

T - nice floral hop bite up front, followed by considerable caramel malt sweetness. I think the hop presence is a nice compliment. This bottle is several months old. Would love to try a fresh bottle to see how assertive the hops are.

M - medium mouthfeel. Slightly sticky with a dry finish and some lingering bitterness.

O - For me, the hop presence is a big improvement on a traditional amber. I would like to see more Irish red ales around. Would definitely like to try a fresh bottle.

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Photo of Rutager
4.03/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hoppy St. Patrick's day and thanks to yeahnatenelson for the perfect timing in getting this one to me.

Appearance. Pours a glowing, clear amber-orange with a finger of pale amber head.

Smell. Nice toasty malts and caramel. Some piney hops too.

Taste. Big toasty malts, some piney, floral hops and just a little bit of soap.

Mouthfeel. Below medium in body with medium+ carbonation.

Overall. Nice amber here with some interesting flavours going on.

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Photo of gford217
4.3/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle courtesy of cpferris poured into a pint glass.

A: Pours a hazy orangish brown with a dense cream-colored head that lingers for a while and leaves decent lacing. The aroma has a big bready malt sweetness with a hint of pine hops in the background. The taste is a bigger version of the aroma with the sweet caramel malts dominating throughout. The pine hops kick a little up front and come back to leave the slightest bitterness in the finish. The spices and a little orange come across as well leaving a bit of a tea taste on the palate. The mouthfeel is creamy but with strong carbonation that leaves the tongue tingling through the finish. This is a very, very good Irish red, possibly the best I've had. Highly recommended.

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Photo of francisweizen
4.23/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A clear tea-steeped reddish liquid with a nice head of white foam that syats around for the long haul. Aromas are the unique three floyds hop blend (amarillo+?). This reminds me of a pumped up, red version of Yards' newest edition of their Phily Pale Ale. Anyways. The aromas is all citrusy hops, pineapple, and toasted, biscuity malts. Nice. The taste is juicy with the fresh hops, and nicely malty as well, with a sweet biscuity kiss. This stuff just smells and tastes so fresh and juciy that it slides down the throat with eaze. Mouthfeel is light/medium bodied and drinkability is excellent!

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Photo of cokes
4.48/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A sparkling crimson pool radiates below a vanilla crème foam escarpment. Tiny eddies of miniature bubbles gather and spurt up in jets through the crystalline liquid.
Amarillo hangs damp and lusty in the air. Pink grapefruits droop against pungent herbs, as spiderweb wafts of blue Jamaican smoke drift and sprawl lazily.
The bedrock of caramel and rye toast is unremarkable malt ground, unassumingly scattered with stray nuts and bark, but it provides a fertile enough soil to sprout a canopy of dense, thick trees; this towering flora is the ubiquitous mascot of ThreeFloydsia.
This particular specimen is an unprecedented fruit-bearing Evergreen, sagging low with bulbs of grapefruit. Rarely does the Amarillo genus grown so large or glint with such dazzling foliage. The buds of this plant are collected by the indigenous tribes and burned for their sedating and mildly hallucinogenic properties.
In the shadowy underhangs of these forested pinions, bitter sap oozes down, similar in consistency and character to pine pitch. It is an echoing, dusky brightness overflowing with life. The air underneath is humid, but breezy, and seems carry a pharmacological essence of its own, as each easily drawn breath revitalizes and stimulates. It should be noted with caution that hyperventilation has resulted as individuals clamor for more and more of this enchanted ether.

This is otherwise noteworthy for its minor geographical oddity: it is the absolute most distant location from Ireland in every direction.

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Photo of rlee1390
4.12/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-Clear deep ruby red. Not much carbonation, one finger off white head with lacing.

S-Caramel roasted malts, grass and earthy tones.

T-Caramel, molasses, sweet and malty, earthy and grass notes in nice balance. Mild bitterness, some toasted malt as well.

M-Medium bodied, nicely carbonated.

O-Never thought I'd have an Irish Red this well made. The best of the style I've had.

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Photo of DavoleBomb
3.8/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a perfect pint.

4.5 A: Clear medium orange color. Two and a half fingers of off-white, dense creamy head. Retention is better than average and plenty of lacing is left.

4.5 S: This is hopped to hell and back. Mango and pineapple dominate the nose. Underneath there is a slight amount of toffee, oat, and caramel. Super clean. Not the most complex, but that's because the hops cover up mostly everything. Smells wonderful nonetheless.

3.5 T: Tasty, but it's lacking the typical red ale flavors for the most part. The hops again dominate, leaving little room for caramel and toffee to shine. Mild bitterness. Pineapple and mango hop flavor, but not nearly as intense as the nose. Oats are detectable, at least more so than the caramel and toffee. Surprisingly not very toasty.

3.5 M: Lighter medium body. Good moderate carbonation. Reasonably creamy for how light the body is.

3.5 D: This is more like Alpha King than an actual Irish Red Ale. Oh well, it's tasty, but I was expecting an Irish ale so I'm a bit disappointed.

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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 RedDiamond
4.11/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Ah, the smell of pure hop candy. Smells like it was just plucked from the vine. What variety of hops inspires such a profound aroma? Someone please tell me.

Brian Boru (there must be a legend surrounding this name – tell me that too) is the color of an Irish setter with odd yeasty flakes floating about. It is otherwise mostly clear. The taste is not the fiery hop demon the odor might imply, but a highly hopped ale that still allows a sparkle of lush maltiness to play through. This is a very easy beer to drink. Friendly enough for everyday drinking with big splotchy lace though a modestly strained mouthfeel.

Special thanks to cmaruschak.

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Photo of Dope
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: A deep red pour with a foamy offwhite head atop it. Retention is quite good and the lacing is too.

S: Decently hoppy, mostly tea-like aroma. Some pineapple. Sweet caramel rounds it out. Very nice caramelized brown sugar smell as it warms.

T: A little bit of tea and pineapple up front which blends into a nice caramel malt afterwards. Some nice biscuity malt as well. Quite malty in general.

M: Smooth medium body. A bit drying in the aftertaste.

O: Overall not a bad irish red. Not my favorite style and this might be my favorite. I recommend letting it warm up, it is a totally different beer. I had to come back and edit my scores after letting it sit out for quite a while.

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