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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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

941 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 941
Reviews: 459
rAvg: 4.04
pDev: 11.14%
Wants: 151
Gots: 64 | 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: 941 | Reviews: 459 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of chuckm


4.47/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I don't usually pay 7.99 per bottle of beer for something to take home after work but this beer had been intriguing me for some time and I bit the bullet.It poured very dark for a red and had a robust scent with a hearty head that lasted well into the drinking. The drinking was the highlight, I am not a fan of reds as a rule but this has body and flavor with a hoppy feel. I don't see this being a consistent purchase but it was quite good , money spent aside.

Serving type: bottle

03-08-2007 05:37:13 | More by chuckm
Photo of GbVDave


4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a 16oz pint glass at Hopleaf 3/5/07.

A: Reddish tinted brown in color. Creamy 1/4 finger head that leaves large sheets of lace on the glass.

S: Clean aromas of toasted malt and a fragrant scent of fresh cut grass.

T: Toasted malt, green hops, and a mild lemony citrus quality.

M: Creamy, oily, with a dry finish.

D: Surprisingly vivid hop flavors for such low ibu's. Low abv coupled with interesting flavors and aromas make for a beer that can be enjoyed all day.

Serving type: on-tap

03-08-2007 01:31:59 | More by GbVDave
Photo of brentk56

North Carolina

4.03/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a cloudy copper color with a full head that beautifully laces the pint glass

Smell: Rich caramel aroma blended with orange rind and pineapple; each whiff places one smell or another in the foreground

Taste: Starts out with a rich caramel flavor that is joined by the hops, mid-palate; after the swallow, the bitterness comes to the front but remains balanced, very much like a hoppy Amber Ale

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: I'm not a big fan of the style but this is a very nice beer; as with Gumballhead, the Floyds have taken an often insipid style and turned it on its head

Serving type: bottle

03-06-2007 02:12:35 | More by brentk56
Photo of oelergud


4.35/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Hazy orange, reddish and dark brown body going from edge to center. Off-white, almost rocky but not quite, head with an orange tint. Fairly good retention and very good lace.
Bready scent with a good amount of hops, yeast and pine. Some light caramel and pine nuts.
Fresh and rough taste. Again quite bready and well balanced with hops of a pine nut character. Abit of hay and a pleasantly lingering fresh aftertaste very much like the initial taste.
Moderate body, good dry and puckering feel but not a purely bitter sensation.
My first Irish red and a pleasant experience that I hope to explore again.


Serving type: bottle

02-26-2007 23:58:06 | More by oelergud
Photo of beachbum1975


4.53/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

In a word, exceptional. What a fantastic example of an Irish Red, it totally hit the spot for me after a looong day at work.

Gorgeous dark red color with a sticky 1/4 inch off-white head that had great retention.

Poured thick and creamy (gotta love it). The taste was suprizing fresh and flavorful with heavy smoked malts, orangy citrus and hops - a real delight. It was hard to pin-point more distinct flavors.

Like every Three Floyds beer I've had so far, amazing...

Serving type: bottle

02-24-2007 02:09:22 | More by beachbum1975
Photo of beergynt


4.5/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Had two pints at FFF on 2/18/07

A: Wonderful color... Somewhere between copper and crimson. Barely transluscent when held up to light. Brownish/red head to about an inch.

S: I didn't expect to get the typical FFF's hop aroma and was pleasantly surprised to whiff the wonderful grapefruit of the Amarillo. Also got a lot of toffee/caramel.

T: Excellent. I went in purely for Dreadnaught enjoyment but started with this red. (wanted to save my tastebuds for lunch!!) Wound up having the opener and one with my food. Grapefruit, caramel, toffee, and a little hint of nuttiness...

M: Very smooth throughout... Once again FFF's has perfectly matched aroma and flavor with body.

D: Amazingly drinkable, great session beer. I could have easily had a few more. (But I had to save room for the Dreadnaught and the Black Sun...) Man, I love Three Floyds!!

Serving type: on-tap

02-19-2007 01:44:49 | More by beergynt
Photo of westweasel


4.7/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Served on tap at the brewpub on 2/17/07.

Appearance - a beautiful, clear, dark copper/amber color with a nice 1/2 inch head. The Belgian lace covered the entire glass as it went down.

Smell - Excellent - Pineapple and grapefruit dominate the senses.

Taste - I'm getting a combination of pineapple, grapefruit, caramel, and toffee.

Mouthfeel - Medium with a bright carbonation level that fizzes in the mouth. Medium finish (not dry, not sweet).

Drinkability - Great - I could really drink a lot of this beer. It is very well balanced, has a great interesting aroma, and a nice appearance.

Serving type: on-tap

02-17-2007 23:18:29 | More by westweasel
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-14-2007 02:05:54 | More by Budlum
Photo of bluejacket74


3.95/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a pint glass, the beer pours a copper/red color with a small white head. It smells like citrus hops (grapefruit), some sweet malt and floral hops. It tastes more like floral hops than citrus hops, but I can taste both along with some sweet malt as well. There's a pretty good balance with this beer. The mouthfeel is medium, but a bit watery. Drinkability is good, it goes down smooth. Not my favorite of the FFF beers, but it's still better than most.

Serving type: bottle

12-21-2006 02:39:21 | More by bluejacket74
Photo of shivtim


3.95/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Interesting name, I'm always up for an alliterative beer!
Pours a deep red brown with a thin white head. Nose is sweet hops and some malts. Taste starts out malty, then the hops come in, and there's a nice piney finish. It's like hops grown in a coniferous forest. Pretty good. Mouthfeel is average-ish; it's a pretty drinkable brew.

Serving type: bottle

12-19-2006 03:09:46 | More by shivtim
Photo of yinzer


3.38/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle at my desk, no age into it. Bought in Maryland.

Nice deep copper with expected head.

Aroma is sweet malt with a bit of fruity yeast.

Taste is average nothing special. Some sweetness but no deep flavors. A some what dirty pine after taste that is a bit bother some. Maybe the hops don’t match the malt bill.

Mouthfeel is good for the style.

I enjoyed the bottle, but won’t be sneaking it out again.

Serving type: bottle

12-06-2006 02:36:39 | More by yinzer
Photo of AaronHomoya


4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Good-sized head and a beautiful deep-red color. Great hoppy, pineapple, malt aroma. Tasty, with malt and citrus hop flavors accompanied by a bit of alcohol flavor. Medium-bodied with good carbonation. A very drinkable beer that you can certainly enjoy a lot of at only 5.9% ABV. This remains one of my favorite 3F's beers.

Serving type: bottle

12-02-2006 22:24:19 | More by AaronHomoya
Photo of mcallister


4.4/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark amber almost brown with red highlights if light shows through. An off white head leaves erratic lace about.

Very nice hoppy aromas abound, very floral as well as grapefruity. Hints of candied malts as well. Somewhat sweet aromas. Very nice.

Very nicely balanced and very tasty. Sweet hops with a good malt backbone. Again a very floral hoppiness with and hints of citrusy fruits. About the perfect amount of carbonation as well. An overall fantastic easy drinking beer.

Mouthfeel is pleasant and makes it easily drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

11-21-2006 23:10:32 | More by mcallister
Photo of bruachan

District of Columbia

3.7/5  rDev -8.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-16-2006 04:52:02 | More by bruachan
Photo of Jdiddy

Rhode Island

3.6/5  rDev -10.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-14-2006 23:39:14 | More by Jdiddy
Photo of Doomcifer

Rhode Island

3.68/5  rDev -8.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-26-2006 18:18:59 | More by Doomcifer
Photo of ColoradoBobs


3.88/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle courtesy of shbobdb

Moderate pour into a chalice yields a darkest amber-red body under an ample off-white head that fades and leaves a solid ring and extensive lacing. Nice-looking beer, but nothing extraordinary.

Smell is decent caramel malt with fruity hops. Not a very intense aroma, but that seems to be to style. Tea aroma is most pronounced.

Tea flavor is the first thing: very strong unsweetened tea. Mild hops bitterness is present with a nice caramel malt balance.

Nice mouthfeel: round, but not sticky.

Right on the strong end of an Irish Red, so while it's pretty drinkable, it's pretty strong. On the outer edge of a session beer.

Thanks much to shbobdb for this fine beer!

Serving type: bottle

10-24-2006 02:36:54 | More by ColoradoBobs
Photo of stouty1


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

A: Poured a cloudy ruby red with a saddle colored head which fills the brim. The head turns to a sticky lace around the rim.

S: Smells of hops and the sweet smell of fruit.

T: Hoppy bitterness mixed with fruitiness that turns to a sour aftertaste.

M & D: Watery for a red but easy to drink. Prefer it thicker but i could drink a couple of these, but would need to wash it down with something as it leaves my throat tight.

Serving type: bottle

10-11-2006 00:35:14 | More by stouty1
Photo of chilidog


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

Shocked from beginning to end. First the beginning puchase. No shelf label, my fault, should of asked but checked out anyway. Rang up near $9.00 a bottle,wow!
The end, shared this with a in-law that could not get past the citric kick, almost drain-bound, NOOOO!!

The middle, the review; It poured a nice ruby red with that classic slight tan irish two finger head. Lace was impressive, nice show of quality in a beer of this style.

The aroma was citric with strong malt overtones.
The taste was dark roasted sweet malts counterbalanced with a citric hop, alittle odd if not complex for this style. Hints of sweet cherry was noticed along with alittle liquid smoke. Pretty nice for a treat beer.

Mouthfeel was smooth, drinkability ok by itself as a desert brew or I think this would be good with a harty steak or thick burger.
Id buy this again, but Not at that price point.

Serving type: bottle

10-08-2006 16:10:02 | More by chilidog
Photo of dhchatfield


4.22/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into my Duvel Tulip while taking a break from the endless painting. Midday...

A- Murky coppery brown. Almost no head or lacing without a really aggressive pour.

S- Hops (no surprise) and caramel. Very subtle fruit overtones. .apricot and ruby grapefruit? The malt becomes more pronounced as things warm up a bit.

T- Very nice. Not as in your face as some of the other 3F's offerings. Definately more subdued, asking for more introspective analysis. -afterthought- Let this one warm up a bit. In five minutes, I've raised it from a 3.5 to a 4.5. Fantastic hoppy/malty burps!

M- Slighty watery, which may or may not be the norm for this style, which I am admittedly not very familiar with. Again, as things heat up, the feel expands a bit across the tongue. A little chalky after effect.

D- Oh yeah. The high point of this one IMO. Low ABV, (for me anyway) and a really pleasant finish. 2 or 3 at a sitiing? You bet.

All in all, another solid 3F's brew. It doesn't hurt that the price was reduced to $4.99 (see beer spy). I would gladly make this a regular daytime, multiple drinker.


Serving type: bottle

09-28-2006 18:38:31 | More by dhchatfield
Photo of Osiris9588


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

Out of a brown glass bomber, pours ruddy amber color, with a frothy 2 finger head, with fair retention and ample lacing.

The aroma consists of spicy hops, sweet malt, yeast, and some citrus. The flavor is comprised of caramel malt, a subtle nip of hops, and some candy and cherry, and generally fruity overtones.

The mouth is light on the front, smooth and bittersweet on the finish, as the hops and sugar both assert themselves, leaving a sticky residue upon the lips. A little sugary on the back to be highly drinkable. Has a solid overall balanced, but seems slighly off balance. Not one of the best from FFF.

Serving type: bottle

09-25-2006 23:43:25 | More by Osiris9588
Photo of HopHeadKen


4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours deep brown amber with creamy tan head that dissapates quickly, the color became a bit cloudy after we disturbed the sediment from what must be bottle conditioning.

The smell is sweet, full, carmel and hoppy,

Taste is sweet, rich, malty caramel with citrus hoppy backbone; The malt is most predominate.

The bottle says Amarillo hops, a suprise to me as I wouldn't have figured the Irish 'style' to have a bright bold hop like this.

Mouthfeel is full and viscous, smooth and rich; I did not notice any sharp edges or carbonation bite.

Drinkable when available. A bomber might be a perfect single serving size; but I shared mine with a fellow homebrewer.

Serving type: bottle

09-18-2006 21:00:28 | More by HopHeadKen
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-15-2006 21:44:23 | More by badbeer
Photo of DarkerTheBetter


3.68/5  rDev -8.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-26-2006 20:55:41 | More by DarkerTheBetter
Photo of RedwoodGeorge


3.68/5  rDev -8.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-21-2006 02:52:20 | More by RedwoodGeorge
Brian Boru Old Irish Red from Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub
90 out of 100 based on 941 ratings.