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

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Brian Boru Old Irish RedBrian Boru Old Irish Red

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964 Ratings
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Ratings: 964
Reviews: 459
rAvg: 4.04
pDev: 11.14%
Wants: 172
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 russpowell
4.03/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Cheers to Finnman for this one, I finally get to review a FFF beer!

Pours a somewhat hazed orange tinged brown (more orange when held to the light) with 1 finger of cream colored head. Above average & lacing

S: Breadyness & leafy hops

T: Leafy hops, toffee, dryness & caramel up front. Some oakyness & more toffee as this warms, along with leafy hops & fruittyness (apricots & figs). Finishes with a bit of orangey & leafy hops, more figs & just a smidge of vanilla, plus just little booze at very end

MF: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation & great balance, plus a little stickyness

Drinks very easy, a solid Irish Red, that is pretty true to it's roots. I could session on this, but would rather move on to the Dark Lord...

Photo of bgramer
3.93/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served out of a bottle into an oversized wine glass, this beer showed a deep red color with little head. There's some lacing, but it's subdued.

This is a typical irish ale with a hint of hops but the caramel and spices really come across here. There's a malt-sweetness that reminds me of caramel and some kind of fruit. This is very balanced. Nice session beer.

Photo of marcpal
3.38/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Bomber ordered at hopleaf and poured into pint glass. A bit of a disappointment overall from a brewery that has recently blown my mind with Rabbid Rabbit and Alpha King.

A: Mahogany red with a bit much carbonation. Seemed fizzy and am curious after reading other reviews if this wasnt a good bottle.

S: Caramel was the strongest flavor over the others and overall sweet. There was some hops but expected more.

T: Mild overall, both in terms of sweetness and bitterness. Some dried and fresh fruit come through but I still found it lacking. The style of red ale was kind of noticeable in some smoky aromatics.

M: Sticky to the palette some bland aspects. Not bad, not great.

D: Definitely drinkable and could have a solid position as a session beer but Im heading back to the Alpha King.

Worth a try but not great.

Photo of Mudpuppet
3.9/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured at the 1st Manhattan Cask Fest. This was a 6oz sampler in tumbler glass.

A- Pours an orange red with strong red hues. Nice looking Irish Red.

S- Light hop and malt notes on the nose of this beer. A bit more hoppy than your normal Irish Red.

T- This was a nice somewhat hoppy Irish Red. The hops do not stick around in your mouth a long time. I like that a lot. Some nice sweetness in this brew too.

M- Medium thickness in this brew. Classic cask carbonation too.

D- Nice easy drink brew. The cask makes it even easier to drink.

Photo of JamesS
4.43/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a great dark red/burnished copper color with a nice thin head, although there was very little lacing. Great scent, a nice tart aroma with hints of cinnamon and citrus, and a great malty kick. Excellent taste, as well, a nice tart and sour Irish red, a great malty flavor, with a slight bit of citrus, and a nice slightly hoppy finish. Goes down great, one of my favorite Irish red style beers.

Photo of pwoods
3.73/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz. brown bomber, purchased at The Root Cellar, poured into an imperial pint. No dating.

A: Pours a nice mahogany, ruby red grapefruit tint that's nearly opaque. 1ish fingers of lightly tinted head forms and falls to a fat skim withing a minute or two. Not much lacing.

S: Clean hops, fruity and lightly floral. A bit of dried peppery spices that way in the back. Malts are sugary sticky sweet and remind me of heavily sweetened Scottish malts.

T/M: Mild to light bitterness with an earthy, grassy hop profile. Touches of citrus here and there but nothing profound. A light spiciness similar to cinnamon. Malts come in with a bread and herb combo. Just after the malt intro, it switches up to pretty potent Earl Grey(Gray? lol) tea that has very little sweetness. Body is moderate and it finishes a touch on the dry side.

D: Decent tasting brew with plenty of session potential(unless you look at the FFF pricetag....). Freshness does make me wonder... hops seemed a touch muted and the strong tea flavor toward the end doesn't feel like it was normally there. Nevertheless tasty and I'll be getting some in about a month that I know is no more than 2 old.

2nd review:

I know this bottle is fresh(maybe not extremely) since it was bought at the brewery. Hops are much more present in the nose. Light citrus and some pepper. Also, much stronger in the taste as well. The tea is still strong but seems liikes it's mroe in place this time. Overall, a more enjoyable brew.

Photo of JDV
3.58/5  rDev -11.4%
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.

Photo of PEBKAC
3.83/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Still in a haze from St. Patty's weekend, & before I weigh the pros & cons of shaving off my red beard, I take one last moment to reflect with Brian Boru.

Poured into a standard pint glass, the ivory-colored head rises & falls, but settles as a soft film that sits over a layer of carbonation that is trapped between it & the actual beer. Movement underneath constantly reinforces the sublayer, but doesn't disturb the surface. Well until my beard goes for a dip anyways. I knew there was a reason I wanted to shave it off. :|

Doughy & sprinkle sweet, with a hop character somewhere between the forcefulness of zest & savoriness of the holy trinity. My beard is fully submersed.

Expecting a hop bomb, after only a slight jab of coffee/rind bitterness, I get submersed into a toasty & smoked background, filled with pretzels, caramel, & straight up grain. A little ash & steel stand out in the finish.

Carbonation feels surprisingly low. Barely a tingle on my tongue & as a result, the alcohol becomes more apparent.

Drinkability is strong, but isn't what it could be because of mouthfeel. Also, because this is the first thing in my stomach today, I'm already feeling it. I'm such a pussy. :P

Thanks go out to kmpitz2 for the opportunity.

Photo of Slynger
4.33/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brion Boru pours a mystically deep scarlet amber color with even darker highlights peeking through. The lid is creamy and beige and leaves some sexy lacing.

The nose is very nice. Sweet fruity berries, oranges, and grapefruits, with some nice earthy tea and piney bitterness.

Possesses a nice oily smoothness that accompanies the perfect amount of carbonation. The taste is great as well. The sweetness of aforementioned fruits is light along with sweet toasted caramel. Lightly dry and bitter of tea, rind, and piney hops in the finish.

Another great one from FFF. This one ranks up with Lagunitas Imperial Red, and Great Lakes Nosferatu, for top honors in the red category.

Photo of bbothen
3.83/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Nice caramel color with a foamy 2 finger head. Clinging sticky lace on the glass.

S- Wow. Big hop nose. Sweet malt as well.

T - Toffee & caramel sweetness balanced nicely by a generous hoppiness. Great balance. Caramel apple?

M - Dry. Tart. Spicy. Very smooth.

D - Easily sessionable.

I'd drink this frequently if only it was available in my area. Another solid offering from Three Floyd's.

Photo of jeonseh
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into my Sam Smith Nonic Pint Glass

A - a deep, red color with hues of gold,orange, and rust.There are small trails of carbonation that float up through this one. There was a small head that poured white before fading away into a small layer.

S - The smell is at first rather smoky and if I had to say so, it almost smells a bit like a peat that is rising out of this one. There is also a big hit of caramel malt sweetness that comes up in this one as well. There is also a sweet citrus fruit smell that wafts up there that I would almost say is a mango or pineapple that really seems to pop out. This is a hop dominated nose that comes through which really is not surprising at all given FFF.

T - At first, there is a slight bitter hops taste that comes through and gives the beer a bit of the light before a heavier caramel malt flavor comes through. This is the sweetness that helps to balance out the later smokiness that comes through in this one. There is also a sweet fruit aspect that comes through as the fruit really seems to be a pineapple aspect to me as there is even bit of the sharp aftertaste I sometimes get after eating said fruit. Also taste a bit like a candied orange peel that adds some sweet citrus flavors to this one. The smokiness is the aftertaste that seems to sit in the mouth after drinking this one.

MF - a nice body to this one as it has a bit of a stickiness in there as well that makes this one nice and thick. There is a light carbonation that comes through later that goes with the fruit flavors but it can not even come close to cutting through the thick body of this one. This is the kinda thing that you would expect from a heavily malt dominated beer. The after feeling is a light tingly feeling that sits on the mouth.

D - Overall, another great FFF beer that is super easy to drink. Found the fruit flavors to be a bit of a surprise that I would not have guessed to find in this one. The caramel malt and smokiness really do dominate this one and almost make it seem like a meal in itself. It would be good to session but it is a bit thick for that.

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.

Photo of Gehrig
4.5/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My first beverage from the well-regarded Three Floyds, Brian Boru lays out a very good presentation. Two fat fingers of slightly tan froth top an amber that's more brown than red. Curtains of lacing adorn the sturdy Yankees pint glass--niiice. I'm very impressed with the hop aroma in this. Arcadia's IPA could use the nose on this. Better yet, Brian Boru is loaded with caramel and brown sugar--impressive. The taste does not relent for a moment, adding a hint of coffee and butterscotch to the other flavors.

This is very well balanced, packed with flavors, and smooth. As much as anything, I'm thrilled that I had the rare foresight to grab a second. Outstanding, and highly recommended.

Photo of Goliath
3.83/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a ruby tinged brown with almost no head. What little head does show up immediately disappears and leaves no lacing.

Aroma has caramel, citrus, and a little alcohol.

Taste is very nice. Caramel notes as well as a good citrus burst.

Mouthfeel is on the thin side with an adequate level of carbonation.

Drinkability is high, a very tasty brew.

Photo of SaCkErZ9
3.73/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to limesmut for this one.

Pours a clear amber color with a small white head that leaves almost immediately. Some lacing but nothing much to speak of.

Aroma is big time caramel malts. Sweet and malty. Toffee and buttermilk with some nice biscuity bready aromas as well. Nice citrus hop aromas, quite fruity.

Hoppy and fruity in the flavor. Plenty of maltiness. Caramel, lots of bready flavors. More hop flavor than bitterness. A little too sweet.

Medium bodied, crisp and clean. A nice drinker. Hop bitterness is kind of sneaky in the end. All in all, a pleasant beer.

Photo of hellcatsjg
4.33/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Clear brown with a finger of creamy looking head that lasts for a few sips. Thin layer of foam persists for most of the glass.

Smell: Nice and sweet. Malt, caramel, a bit of hops, even a bit of citrus. But malt and caramel are definitely most prominent.

Taste: Very nice. Sweet caramel flavors to start. Becomes very, very malty. finish is slight hops and pineapple. The malt shoots back in the aftertaste. Slight warming in your throat as you go.

Mouthfeel: Very smooth. There is a decent amount of carbonation and this beer has a medium thickness. Nice flavor left behind after the sip.

Drinkability: This is a very tasty beer with good complexity. It is not too heavy and therefore the drinking is very easy. One of the best Irish Reds I've tried. Highly recommended.

Photo of jeffmonarch
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle in a pint glass.

A - Nice dark cloudy reddish brown with light tan head that stays for a while.

S - Tons of hops and a slight sweetness.

T - Really smooth and creamy. Good hops and a lot of malts. Sweet.

M - Medium bodied with good carbonation.

D - Good beer. I like it a lot. It's a lot creamier than I expected.

Photo of younger35
4.38/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Grabbed a bomber of this stuff on my last visit to Chicago. I love Three Floyds so we’ll see what they can do with an Irish Red. Drank from my Rogue Kells Irish Lager pint glass.

Appearance- Pours a super chill hazed yellowish copper with a small foamy head that leaves a thin cap and collar. Almost zero lacing left behind, about the only flaw in this brew.
Smell- Ah Three Floyds, plenty of hops in this guy. Loaded with citrus this thing reeks of pineapple, mango and orange. A bit of spicy pine is hiding behind as well. Thick toffee backbone is sweet and nice. Great ying to the hops yang.
Taste- Loaded with sweet caramel malts that are lightly roasted and tasty as hell. Like the nose, the bitter citrus of the hops are present but not as much as the nose would lead. The pineapple and grapefruit are present but in supreme balance. I mean this is an Irish Red; they can’t be to brash right? Finishes super fruity with a light sweetness that lingers (awesome!).
Mouthfeel- Medium body with a semi creamy feel and zesty carbonation.
Drinkability- Everyone knows Three Floyds makes big hoppy beers. This definitely takes the Irish Red category to the limit hop wise, but for the good. It’s really well balanced and ridiculously tasty. Great beer I highly recommend!

Photo of RblWthACoz
4.13/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I made one mistake with this beautiful beer. I started drinking it too cold, but luckily it started warming up enough where I got to see some interesting character come out of it.

Pours a deep clouded ruby with a light tan head. Nose is caramel and sweet. Flavor is slightly sweet with a leafy caramel character. At first I felt the flavor was dropping off too fast, but then I realized it was just too cold. As it warmed, the flavors became smoother and stayed longer. There's also a nice hearty aftertaste you get as well. Good carbonation and thick and nice on the liquid. Definitely drinkable and a good one to try.

Photo of WVbeergeek
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Update: 3/3/12

I love the label, the story of Brian Boru, and drinking a hoppy Irish red ale. Old Irish Red Ale at that.

Pours beautifully into my 3 Floyds pint, head forms thick and rises well above the rim of the glass. The body is a deep copper color with some chill haze casting over it.

Aroma has killer hops with a citrus/pine/tropical fruit medley pretty amazing nose to this beer. Underlying malt profile is well hidden by hops but it's there with a nice softness and hints of caramelized notes.

First time I had this is was a bit aged, which this beer shouldn't make it out of the Spring to be honest it should be gone by St Paddy's. Ohio supposedly didn't get much so I'm fortunate that my local got a case. This beer fucks George Killian's horse in the arse with hops, it has what every Irish Red is lacking...hop character.

I'm surprised that this beer has a honey addition, finishes extremely dry and well balanced no overt sweetness left behind, it had to have been fermented out. A nice upfront bitterness that gives of some pine/earthiness and citrus pith on the palate, with a soft oat addition giving the body a bit more girth.

Mouthfeel has bone dry finish which appeals to us hop heads who simply can't get enough, the body is pretty light for how much is going on in this beer no thickness no cloying aspects simply pleasurable experience thus far.

Drinkability amazing I could literally drain bottles of this stuff, I'm happy to say I have a pilgramage planned for late April. I may see some of you folks there. Salute, to 3F's for being amazing and for fuckin' George Killian's horse in the arse with hops of course.

Appears a deep caramel copper body, with a light tan beige head dwindles slowly I'm salivating just thinking about this one. Hop aroma flowing strong with no one else in mind. Herbal alcoholic flow again on I can't believe it let's do some more damage to our brain cells. What a great flow of aged hop aromas that come our way flowing oh so nicely. Flavors flow well so easily the malts blend nicely with the hops I'm burping up the combo of the two. Flavors contain caramelized biscuit malts with strong herbal slightly piney hop flavors really goes well together. Mouthfeel is medium bodied carbonation is sturdy but no overplayed flows really easily. Drinkability twenty two ounces is effortless enjoy this one and raise your glass to Brian Boru I'm about to Google his ass sounds pretty badass.

Photo of CharlieMopps
4.85/5  rDev +20%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: A hazy, thick red hue topped by two fingers of off-white head that displayed good retention. This thing looks pretty delicious.

S: Smells like it has a great balance; nice bready malt aroma with a hop character that seems it could be too bold for the style.

T: Damn. Judging from the scent, I was definitely wrong. This strikes a perfect balance between hops and malts, an unholy union of the two. Just enough malt character and hop bitterness to make for a fantastic brew. A very refreshing finish, goes down quite smoothly and leaves a faint hop residue in the aftertaste.

M: Carbonation is on point, perfect. Somewhat silky texture, which is also quite a balance between being over-carbonated or too weak.

D: Outstanding. This is a beer that exhibits incredible balance, great mouthfeel, and an overall immaculate beer. The versatility of this one is off the charts; I honestly don't think there's any time that I wouldn't want to crack one of these.

Photo of grub
3.9/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Viggo was nice enough to share this one. thanks eric!

22oz bottle.

pours slightly hazy red-brown with a small dense yellowish head. the head drops fairly quickly and leaves spotty lace behind.

aroma is great. big caramel nose. hints of dark chocolate. bit of yeast. light alcohol. bit of rye-like spiciness too. big bready malt. bit of raisin and grape. actually, toasted raisin bread comes to mind.

taste is nice, though i don't think quite as nice as the aroma. medium bitterness level. lots of caramel. hints of orange. bit of dark chocolate. bread and biscuit malt. i get that bit of rye spiciness here too. actually feels just a touch watery to me.

mouthfeel is ok. fairly light body, more than i'd think it should be at this abv. medium carbonation.

drinkability is good. light and drinkable, i'd just enjoy it with a touch more body.

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

Pours a dark red, with some light passing through appealing two finger head that sticks around for a while, but reduces to a nice thin foam than laces down the glass.
Spicy and Citruisy hops bite at your nose with some caramal notes.
Taste is balanced out very good. Sweet malt hits the front of the tounge while the hops hit the back. Invites more tastes because of the complexity and balance of the two.
Feel is good. Nice aftertaste, proper CO2, and a nice dry finish are all what you'ld expect from this.
Overall, A very good red ale. It is what I would expect from the Floyds. The only issue is that it is a bit on the high end of the price scale for an Irish red. You get what you pay for in the end.

Photo of hckyfn9999
3.53/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Deep amber color with some golden hues around the edges of the glass. Nice white head with good retention. Aroma is sweet caramel and spicy and citrusy hops wtih some black pepper notes, and a bit of alcohol as it warms. Taste starts off pretty promising with a nice citrus pressence to start but it seems to be lacking some malt character towards the back end. It just seems to fade off the palate leaving a spicy hop finish. There is a little malt present but there should be more in my opinion. Mouthfeel is medium. Not a bad beer, but a little overrated in my opinion, especially at over six bucks for the bomber.

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.

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