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Lord Rear Admiral - 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Lord Rear AdmiralLord Rear Admiral

Educational use only; do not reuse.

164 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 164
Hads: 584
Avg: 4.16
pDev: 16.11%
Wants: 170
Gots: 108 | FT: 4
Brewed by:
3 Floyds Brewing Co. visit their website
Indiana, United States

Style | ABV
Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB) |  6.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: scruffwhor on 04-02-2007

Three Floyds version of an ESB, this deep amber ale has a complex malt sweetness and pronounced apricot hoppiness. Named after Admiral Lord Horatio Nelson.

55 IBU
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 164 | Hads: 584
Photo of WoodBrew
3.88/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Neighbor brougth home a growler of Sir Lord Admiral Nelson from Three Floyds...it was about a day and ahlf old. The appearance was nice, great head and a caramel clear color. The nose offered hop, alcohol, and some malt. The taste was very sweet to me...definitely bitter....and some hops. The bitterness really affected the mouthfeel score....for me at least. Wasn't a big fan of this beer. Not nearly as good as some of 3Fs other offerings.

Re-tried this beer from a bottle and all the points I didn't like from my original review had been smoothed out. I really enjoyed this beer and the new score reflects that.

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Photo of Gobzilla
4.2/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: poured and yellow orange with light brown highlights and a finger of head tha had good lacing.

S: sweet citrus fruits with caramel malts dominate with hints of grapefruit, piney hops, and bready notes. after a couple whiffs I also got pineapple mango armoas as well.

T: nice fruit forward flavors that consist of citrus, pineapple, mango, and grapfruit bitterness. Caramel, bready notes, and piney hops collaborate on the overall taste. I also got peanut butter notes.

M: medium body with a good amount of carbonation and had a sweet citrus and mild piny hop bitterness at the end.

D: very good and drinkable esb from FFF and will definitely seek out another bottle.

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Photo of aasher
4.01/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I poured this one into a Guinness pint glass. It poured a watery light amber, very translucent with a frothy white head. The smell is a wonderful mix of floral hops, bitterness, and light dry sweetness. The taste is good but it's not mind blowing by any means. I remember this being better last year. It drinks very thin and isn't as crisp as I'd like it to be. It's very drinkable because it's a very solid beer but this bottle at least disappointed me a little bit. It's good but nothing too crazy.

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Photo of Derek
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Dark caramel/toffee, off-white head, good retention & lace.

S: Very catty, pine, brown sugar, floral & caramel. Definitely American hops.

T: Piny citrus, toffee, brown sugar, good bitterness.

M: Light to moderate body.

D: An all-around good drinker.

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Photo of Bitterbill
4.38/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle sent to me by that brilliant trader in IL...TATTORSO. Thanks Jeff!

It pours a deep amber gold colour with a solid 2 finger head of foam. I'm sitting here watching and the foam just sits there..no shrinkage so far. Impressive.

The smell is big on citrus grapefruit hops with some sweet notes lingering in between the bitterness. May be some notes of bread as well.

The taste brings the balance. Grapefruit citrus complimenting some sweetish malt and light bready notes, make for a damn fine tasting ESB. I was hoping for some balance after taking plenty of whiffs and finding the hops dominating but the hops/malt profile is near perfection with the hop bitterness just winning out.

It's a little stronger than what I'd prefer but putting the taste and the abv on a scale....it tips heavily in favour of the taste and that's what it is all about. An incredible brew!

Medium bodied with lowish carbonation, the finish is in the same state as the first sip..wonderfully tasty and so damn closely balanced that it scares me. 3 Floyds hit it out of the park with this one.

Drinkability? 22oz of this nectar and I'm yearning for more. I'd like to see 3F try doing a regular Bitter(if they haven't already done so). I'd bet London to a brick on that it would be another thing of beauty.

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Photo of Viggo
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the brewpub.

Pours a hazy dark amber, some orange highlights, very thick and tight white head forms and slowly settles to a thin ring, some decent lacing on the glass, looks good.

Smell is neat, ESB done 3F style, big juicy hops, some grapefruit and floral, nice malty base, caramel, nice biscuit, some cracker, touch of alcohol, some herbal hopping, well balanced.

Taste is similar, nice hoppiness, juicy, floral and grapefruit, orange, biscuit, honey and caramel sweetness through the middle, good malts, alcohol, nice bitterness.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium carbonation. Not an ESB per se, but taken in context with the 3F pantheon it fits right in. All the malt character of an ESB with some American hopping.

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Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.17/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I had this one sitting around for awhile. 22oz bottle popped on 1-21-12.

A - Pours a light, almost clear brown with a fizzy cream-colored head. Good retention and lots of lacing.

S - Malts, barley, almost cola-like, fruity smelling.

T - Malts, bready, slight roasted tones.

D - Lots of carbonation and a good body.

O - Delicious and a bit hard to place. Fruity and malty goodness.

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Photo of scruffwhor
4.42/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Great amber, copper hue with very small and slow bubbles heading to the surface. LIght foamy head at time of serving that lasts for a few minutes after the first few sips. The aroma was a piney, floral hop bouquet with some bready mlats lingering here and there. Almost makes me think of candy for some reason. The taste has a great malty sweetness mixed with the complex hop bitterness. The mouthfeel was a little tooo astringent for an English beer. But still syrupy and smooth. Great beer.

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Photo of bluejacket74
4.04/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle, bottled on 03/20/2015. Served in a pint glass, the beer pours an amber/copper color with about an inch off-white head that stuck around for a long time. There's also a good amount of lacing. Aroma is nice, the brew smells like caramel and bready malt, stone fruit, and some grassy hops. It tastes like caramel and bready malt, toffee, candied oranges, grassy hops, and some apricot and light citrusy hops. Good balance between the malt and hops. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's a bit coating with a moderate amount of carbonation. It's also smooth and easy enough to drink. I wouldn't exactly call this a traditional ESB, but I sure liked it! $9.99 a bomber.

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Photo of jrallen34
4.32/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle thanks to Alex, served in a Bells tulip...Is this the beer that gets me to like esbs? Its easily the best esb I've had, maybe that's because its more of an ipa...A medium copper, good retention and lacing...Super smooth aroma of caramel malt, light grass, hops have a nice light bite. Taste is essentially the same, super easy to drink with a caramel base, and just enough hops to make it enjoyable and not boring to drink.

Another great 3f that should be sought out.

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Photo of dirtylou
4.32/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle, scooped at armanetti's in chicago last weekend

served with a farmers market dinner - honey/soy/dijon grilled porkchop and baked golden beets

appearance: typical "busy" and colorful three floyds label art - poured into a great divide shaker pint...bright copper-orange body, light beige ring

smell: nice bright hops, floral grapefruit zest, orange, lemon peel, light spice, toasted malt

taste: another confusing beer from three floyds - unlike any ESB on the market...trademark hop bomb - tons of pink grapefruit, orange zest, lemon zest, a little toasted malt, rye spice, pineapple and mango. You definitely forget you have an "ESB" in your hands - damn tasty beer though

mouthfeel: medium-light body, oily hop resin

drinkability: great

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Photo of barczar
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Resiny, very dank aroma, with pine and citrus accented by floral hops on a toasted, lightly caramel malt backbone.

Flavor is herbal and floral hop dominant, almost tea-like, with muddled citrus and tropical fruit accents throughout. Reminds me of a faint Flintstone vitamin character. Very different, and complex. The finish is moderately bitter and resiny, but fades to toasted malt.

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Photo of rfgetz
4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice copper/burnt orange color, fluffy slightly off white head, good retention. Great whiffs of bready, nutty, toasty, biscuity, caramely malts blend whith whiffs of orange and light berry. Taste brings above notes together in a fantasticly balanced blend, wonderful malt base with fruity notes throughout. Medium bodied, a touch more heft would be welcome. Fantastic, unique, flavorful ESB.

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Photo of sweemzander
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz. bottle poured into an imperial pint. No bottled date. Thanks to kstrickler for this beer!

(A)- Pours a clear brown amber color that produced a great white foaming head that left an intricate web of lacing as it dissipated.

(S)- A burst of citrus: lemon & pineapple. Lightly sweet. Plenty of pine that is oozing resin-like hops.

(T)- A big citrus splash with tons of pine behind it. Bitter, but actually has a generous malt backbone of a caramel-like honey.

(M)- A good carbonation level & balance with a more pronounced malt profile than expected. A good bitterness & hop level.

(D)- A good ESB with a good maltiness that smoothes out some of the harshness the massive hops might impart. Definitely an easy drinker; the 22oz. bottle didnt last lont.

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Photo of cpetrone84
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had on Draught at the brewery.

A-deep copper colored beer with brown hues allowing light to shine through. two fingers of a medium thickness, off white head that retains for some time leaving a decent lacing on the glass

S-citrus and grapefruit hops hit the nose first with a faint hint of a sweet caramel malt

T-a light caramel malt hits the tongue first followed by a nice light citrus hop taste and a very light bitter finish

M-very smooth and very limited amount of carbonation with a pretty nice medium body

D-very well balanced favoring the hops make this a super tasty beer that is backed by a great mouthfeel

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Photo of AgentZero
4.2/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Amber colored beer with a white head that left sheets and lace while consuming. Pretty nice looking beer.

S - Lightly toasted caramel malts with some nice bittering English-type hops. A little bit bready, with some decent bittering on the end from the hops. Quite well done.

T - Bitter, little grapefruity, with some citrus and pine. Some nice earthtones and caramel, with the toasted grains coming through just a little bit stronger. This is actually pretty good.

M - Medium bodied with nice carbonation.

O - Pretty good beer, ESB's are a style I enjoy when there's a good one, and I'd consider this a good one. Will definitely drink when available.

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Photo of Bung
4.3/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. Just a slight haze to the amber/brown pour. Good layer of white head. Just barely sticks.

Aroma, the usual 3F piney hops. Some faint malt and a spiciness of some sort.

Taste, Herbal, citrus and light pine up front. Almost like a rye spiciness. A little yeastiness as well, there was a bit of sediment in my bottle. Leather, earthy wood, some roast even, light tea, an impressive level of flavor variation.

Heavy side of light bodied. Lively carbonation. One of the better American versions I've had of this style. Falls right into 3F's wheelhouse.

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Photo of mynie
4.8/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Say what you may about the FFF, they know how to brew a gorgeous beer. This is basically a perfect APA pour. Odd that it's an ESB--quite clearly, it says so on the menu so it's not just a website thing. Little pale and orange for the style, but still quite pretty.

Smells like a simliarly herbal/floral hop profile to Gumballhead but only much more intense and varied. Jesus. Lilacs, marigolds, generic potpourri, apricots, oranges, grapefruits, spearmin and cannabis.

ESB my ass. This is like the world's fruitiest APA that doesn't actually contain fruit. It's like what Magic Hat's #9 tries to be. Giant ass bread and fruit nodes start things off, moving into a wickedly variegated hop profile--herbal, floral, and fruity--and then ending on the slightest bitter node that cuts into the sweetness just a wee little bit so that you want to take another sip.

World Class.

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Photo of cosmicevan
3.83/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very excited to try this, big thanks to stxSS07 for the excellent hookup. Haven't had too many esbs but this is a style that I have been getting into lately and I have heard good things about this one.

a - opened the bottle and filled my portsmouth tulip. Really attractive from the gate. Deep mahogany, almost a cherry chestnut. Nice foamy head and solid lacing. coolest label of all time as well.

s - great caramel malt with decent hop. Really nice. Kind of like a boch lite.

t - much more going on in the taste than the nose. Big kick of peppery spiciness with a bitter finish. The kick is a bit heavy.

m - nice prescence. Pretty full bodied. Nice carbonation, very beery.

o - overall a very solid offering for an ESB, can certainly hang with the best of them when it comes to ESBs.

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Photo of Pencible
4.47/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This poured a clear copper with a little tan head. It smelled like apricot and papaya and candied grapefruit, with some light caramel and orange. It tasted like orange and apricot, with some grapefruit and papaya and honey. It was slightly thick with a bit of carbonation, with a bitter aftertaste. Overall this was unlike any other ESB I've had, but it was certainly both extra special and bitter. It was also very sweet and hoppy and clean. This is what English IPAs should be (rather than the boring, earthy, under-hopped drinks they tend to be). Great beer.

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Photo of Rutager
4.75/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks Yeahnatenelson for this!

Appearance. Pours a nice rich amber with a little haze and a finger+ of lightly coloured head.

Smell. Nice juicy, citrusy hops, toasty malts and caramel.

Taste. Again, juicy citrus hops, nice light malts. Really bright and fresh tasting with no shortage of ripe citrus juice and just a little bitterness. Loving this beer.

Mouthfeel. Below medium body with medium+ smooth carbonation. Really, really nice to drink.

Overall. Not being the biggest esb fan ("No no, Not ESB, I said IPA! I only drink hoppy beer."), I wasn't expecting to like this as much as I did. Awesome beer.

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Photo of Satchboogie
4.12/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into a pint glass

A: Pours caramel reddish-brown, mostly clear, with a 2-finger cola-looking head. Great retention and leaves plenty of lacing.

S: Rich malts, caramel/toffee, lots of hops (light citrus, mainly peach, with lots of floral notes and Earthy qualities).

T: Good bite of hops right up front (mostly Earthy with floral accents and a bite of bitterness). Citrus profile doesn't show up as much as the nose suggested. Some of the peach is there, but it's definitely in the back ground. There's also some light apple flavors. Fairly sizable body of toasted malts, some biscuit, with a moderate level of caramel/toffee sweetness. Has a good bite of bitterness in the finish (with more floral notes coming through and a little pine).

M: Medium body, moderate carbonation. Fairly smooth, semi-dry finish, easy drinking.

O: A solid, hoppy bitter. Clean and easy drinking with a solid malty base. I'd definitely buy more of this for Spring/Fall if it was locally available.

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Photo of woosterbill
4.3/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bomber into a Duvel tulip.

A: Rather hazy orange-amber body with an inch of fine white foam. Average retention and a good amount of lace.

S: Powerful but rather dull attack at first, with citrus and floral notes both present, followed by a nice balanced mix of caramel and toasty/biscuity malt. Solid.

T: Follows the nose, but with a better integrated malt/hop balance than the more starkly two-sided aroma. Excellent dry, mildly bitter finish. Tastes more like an English IPA than an ESB, but considering it's brewed by FFF, it's got a great malt presence. Quite enjoyable.

M: Fairly light, smooth body with equally light, smooth carbonation. I wouldn't mind a bit more heft to it, but it's quite good for the style.

D: I'm tempted to downgrade this since it's clearly so much more intense than the style calls for, but the rate at which the bomber has disappeared doesn't lie. This is one highly drinkable beer.

Notes: Yet another great beer from FFF. I'd rather have one of their actual IPAs, but that might just be because I'm a hophead. This might also be the reason that this was my favorite ESB of all time. Good stuff.


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Photo of Stevedore
3.93/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

650ml bottle. Served in a FFF pint glass.

Darker brown/amber body, two finger offwhite head, nice retention, rings and rings of lacing. Quite the standard ESB. Smells sweet with plenty of toffee, caramel, biscuits, honey. Fairly malty with a mild grassy, floral hop bite. No apricots. Flavour is similar, on the sweeter side, heavy on the graininess, biscuits and caramel, mild orange marmalade and floral notes. Mouthfeel is excellent, medium bodied, soft with nice carbonation, very drinkable especially as it warms up. Overall, I say drink this like the English would- warm. Solid ESB, nicely malty with a mild hop bite in the ESB tradition; however it is overpriced like most other Three Floyds bombers but I'm glad to have at least tried this.

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Photo of FosterJM
4.05/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

769th Review on BA
Growler to Goblet

@Woodshop Classix
Thanks to Shail for sharing!

App- A muddled murky brown with some highlights of gold throughout. A decent one finger head that faded rapidly and just a minute amount of lace/cling.

Smell- When I 1st took a whiff it was more malty forward and a little bitter on the nose. As it warmed slightly it was a bit more citrusy, earthy, and damp.

Taste- This was a very nice ESB. It had some decent bitter notes but didn't overload. More malty/bread driven taste. It struck me as very balanced throughout.

Mouth- Medium bodied and medium carbonated. Nice residual bready notes with a touch of bitter citrus.

Drink- It was a tasty ESB. It has been a while since I had an ESB and this was pretty money on flavor and balance. I've liked a lot of the three floyds stuff I have had. This was a nice simple clean beer for me.

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Lord Rear Admiral from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 164 ratings.