1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Lord Rear Admiral - Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub

Not Rated.
Lord Rear AdmiralLord Rear Admiral

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

354 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 354
Reviews: 138
rAvg: 4.17
pDev: 9.59%
Wants: 146
Gots: 30 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub visit their website
Indiana, United States

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

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
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 added by: scruffwhor on 04-02-2007)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 354 | Reviews: 138 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of alleykatking


4.45/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from 22oz bottle.

A- Pours a clear amber brown color. Two finger light tan head on this one stays around for a little while. Lacing is sticky and streaky. Looks good for a ESB.

S- This has a ton of citrus hops in the front end of this beer. I enjoy the light biscuty malts in this that come out a little when this beer warms. For the most part all you smell is citrus and light pine tones in this.

T- The hops in this are not as in your face as in the aroma. Citrus hops clash with a light bready malt that brings a nice semi-sweet balance. Light pine and almost tea like taste in the back end of this beer. I enjoy this almost too much in the flavor. Everything is very balanced but hops come out a little on top.

M- Medium mouthfeel. Carbonation is a little lacking which is my only complaint with this beer. Still this beer has a wonderful appearance in the mouth. Light malty bready flavors with citrus hops are left on the palate. Some light bready malts are left into the aftertaste. Clean tastes throughout in this beer.

D- The lower ABV on this makes it a easy drinker. In fact I cracked open another one after I was done with this one. Good work like usual Three Floyds! If you have the chance to snag this one....do it. You won't regret it at all.

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2010 01:55:59 | More by alleykatking
Photo of sidetracked


4.25/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear deep-amber with a cream colored head.

Smells of floral hops with a bit of citrus and pine.

Taste upfront is bitter with some floral hop characteristics. The bitterness subsides into a malty finish with floral and earthy flavors present. Moderately dry finish with a slight bitter aftertaste.

Medium body with moderate carbonation.

Drinkability is good--the bitterness is well balanced with the malty finish and the floral hints complement the bitterness nicely.

Serving type: bottle

02-16-2010 00:46:02 | More by sidetracked
Photo of karengarys


4.5/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I slow poured this cold from the fridge, spent some time with it so it warmed up by the time I was done.

It pours a nice almost reddish light orange-brown. There wasn't a lot of head, I slow-pour though so it surprised me how much was there (bubbles just covered the surface). A ring remained around the edges throughout the drink

Smell is sweet, leomny flowers.

Taste is - wow - hoppy. Grapefruit peel bitter. ...YUM!! Very citriusy, and as it warmed up almost buttery. Strange, but goood!!! It also contains that signature 3 floyds richness, like anything watery was removed leaving nothing but the wonderful brew... How DO they do that?

Mouthfeel was very good, coarse bubblies throughout the glass. Slow pouring helps with that, though.

Finish is quite clean, leaving a bit of a sting in the back of the throat.

I could drink this all night!!!

Serving type: bottle

02-14-2010 02:54:46 | More by karengarys
Photo of mcallister


3.48/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pale clean copper colored with very little white head.

Citrusy fruity hops almost hop oil like. Some light malt notes but mainly nectarine, pink grapefruit, and sweet tarts.

Nicely balanced for a floyds beer. No real malt character just a breadiness. Same nectarine notes with some floral aspects as well. Nothing I'd seek out but definitely glad I tried.

Serving type: bottle

02-14-2010 01:01:29 | More by mcallister
Photo of billab914


4.22/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bottle into my Southern Tier tulip glass. Poured a dark amber, almost brown in color with a big thick white fluffy head. It was very clear with a steady slow stream of carbonation rising from the bottom. It also left excellent lacing on the glass. An excellent looking beer.

Aroma is sweet and hoppy with some citrus, pine and caramel. The taste is slightly sweet and hoppy up front but it has a bitter finish with more pine along with the citrus.

Mouthfeel is slightly heavy with moderate carbonation. Drinkability was very good, I really enjoyed this beer and would definitely buy it again if I could. The sweet citrus flavor of hops was very nice and worked well with the bitter finish.

Serving type: bottle

02-13-2010 22:59:58 | More by billab914
Photo of mikesgroove

South Carolina

4.58/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thrilled to be able to try this one last night. Cracked it open and threw it back after dinner. Served cold and poured into a pint glass, this one was consumed on 02/12/2010.

The pour was rediculous. Rich, dark amber in color with a huge, towering head of white foam that had incredible reach and retention. Literally just tons of sticky white lacing down the sides of the glass and all over the inside of it throughout. I could not have asked it to look better. Dark, rich, citrus hops now dominate everything around it. Huge notes of orange and rich pine are just elegant. Warming brings a subtle balance of biscuit, light tea leaves, hints of grain. Smooth, creamy rich body just lets the flavor explore. Smooth, biscuit flavors and rich citrus hops are near perfect in unison and the sessionability is simply out of this world.

Overall one of the best ESB I have ever had. Seriously this is nuts and everyone needs to try this.

Serving type: bottle

02-13-2010 17:45:38 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of Bitterbill


4.4/5  rDev +5.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-07-2010 19:08:10 | More by Bitterbill
Photo of brewcrew76


4.5/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Another great label from 3 Floyds.

A - Clear amber, chestnut with a sandy colored head that leaves huge patches of sticky lacing.

S - Sweet caramel, slightly sugary, blended nicely with pine and floral hops.

T - Piney, resiny, citrusy hops with caramel sweetness and some earthy undertones.

M - Medium body but DIPA sticky sweet with a lingering dry finish.

D - Not really true to style but exactly what I would expect from a 3F ESB.

Serving type: bottle

02-07-2010 00:51:35 | More by brewcrew76
Photo of lightindarkness


4.47/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bomber. Honestly one of the most attractive beers I've ever seen right off the pour. A little richer in appearance than I expected, with a deep burnt caramelly look to the body (almost not a color I can describe very well), nearly murky, but clear at the same time, with a full 3 finger climbing head that rests just perfectly on top filling the glass. Head thins out to a large rocky mass with bubbly sides, and some sticky patches of lace all over.

Enticing rich aromas of balanced hop and herbal character, with a fine malt background. Hoppy citrus, with mild pine, sage, a hint of lemon peel, and perhaps some rosemary. Remarkably delicate and yet full and hardy. I want to marinate chicken in it.

Taste has much more malt and graininess than the flavor alludes to, with an excellent bitter quality for the style, and yet uncommonly nuanced. Full crackery grains up front run with herbal notes of sage and bay leaf through to a dry raw grain flavor balanced with toffee toward the finish. Hops present more fully in mild citrus, and herbal florals toward the end. Finishes with stronger hop bitterness clinging a little.

Feel is nice, fuller medium body with mild soft tingly carbonation, allowing the taste to really stand up front. A little filmy toward the end, full for the style, but not too out of whack.

I know FFF is all about doing things a little different, and for me, this beer expands my concept of this style. Definitely strong on hops, but with considerable sensitivity to some of the other character of the beer, it varies between full-on strength and finely subtle nuance. Quite worth the try, in my opinion.

Serving type: bottle

02-05-2010 17:40:55 | More by lightindarkness
Photo of bgreg3


4.38/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This is what I have been waiting for a while. A new Three Floyds. A new character, new art work, a new experience. I love when this happens.
App.-4.0- Comes off a amber/copper, slightly hazy. Quite a beauty to gaze upon. Just a little disappointed in how the foam does not stick around on a nice pour. Lighter on the bottom.

Smell-4.5- I smell sweet bitter, grapefruit and notes of caramel and toffee. The smell seems very complex to me and I enjoy the citrus smell its nice. You rarely see strong grapefruit notes in a beer but I love how Three Floyds goes there with this flavor, not just in Alpha king but now in this.
Taste-4.5- Nothing short of amazing. The Grapefruit citrus taste hits the taste. Crystal malts and toffee flavors give this beer quite a bit of body complimented by a tingly carbonation that leaves the mouth longing for more. The finish is unique in itself; roasty and bitter at the same time. It finishes the amalgamation of all the decribed flavors and it's wet!
MF-3.5- My least favorite part of this beer. It is a bit thick, but not bad. It's sticky too. Not a good combo to me

Drink-4.5- I could easily drink 2-3 bombers of this. It's so good and goes down so nicely. It leaves the finish very wet but I don't mind it when it comes to this brew. It fits the characteristic of the beer. Nothing is needed to chase the finishing taste of the beer, it's beautiful.

This is nothing far from a amazingly crafted work of art. Easily up there with the dreadnaughts and behemoths. An immediate favorite.

Serving type: bottle

02-04-2010 03:19:16 | More by bgreg3
Photo of manahansf


4.08/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours clear and a dark copper color. The head is thick and creamy with an off white color and emits a big and bold citrus and floral hop aroma. A preview of another deliciously hoppy brew from FFF, the taste is sweet and hoppy. A touch tart and harsh bitterness alongside the mild body and high carbonation make this brew dance on the palate and explode with sweet hoppy flavor. The finish is also tart and bitter but it fades slowly and gently. Great session strength and flavor.

Serving type: bottle

02-02-2010 17:20:37 | More by manahansf
Photo of scottsayler


4.78/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a very flavorful beer. It's definitely a bitter, but not overly bitter to where you can't enjoy the beer. The beer had a nice aroma surrounding it after the pour and it produced very little head. The finish was clean and not overpowering. A great beer by Three Floyds.

Serving type: bottle

01-24-2010 03:33:27 | More by scottsayler
Photo of iuhophead87


4.63/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from a bomber that was less than one week old!!!!

A- A very dark amber with a very white head that holds longer than normal.
S- I don't know what I was expecting from 3-floyds but I was not prepared for this hop-bomb. Very weedy and citrus hops. I could hardly smell the malts in this E.S.B. If I did not know, I would say this was an IPA by the smell.
T- The hoppy smell is somewhat balanced by the malty taste. However, the citrus hops do come through. This is an outstanding beer and totally out of the box for its style. What else would you expect from 3-Floyds?
M- Light and somewhat fizzy. Although I'm drinking from a bomber, this beer tastes very fresh. I have a few more and want to sit on one for a while to see how the texture of this beer changes.

This might be the easiest beer from three floyds to drink. Yes I enjoy the giant hop bombs and the 9+ ABV beers, but this is a hit. At only 6 Percent this is a session beer for me. I hope this is a year long product and not just a seasonal . I will say that my point of view is a little skewed because I only paid 3.99 for the bomber. I don't know if the price was wrong or that3floyds is trying to market this new beer, but at 3.99 I will make this a regular in my rotation if not the only beer I drink.

Serving type: bottle

01-24-2010 00:18:36 | More by iuhophead87
Photo of thedrewski86


4.33/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I'm re-reviewing this beer. Just had this yesterday at Three Floyds on tap. It's quite different from what I remember. Pours a nice hazy orange-gold with good lacing. Taste is much more mild than I remember, very pleasant and balanced with great malt character. Bitter, but not what I would call hoppy (in a big way). The yeast is awesome in this beer, very biscuity. It really stays with you. This is a great representation of an ESB. Enough to convince me to brew one of these after my Belgian Trappist completes primary!

Serving type: on-tap

01-23-2010 18:57:06 | More by thedrewski86
Photo of Thorpe429


4.68/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On tap at the FFF Brewpub in November 2009.

Poured a dark copper with a nice creamy head, although not as much as is normal for the style. The nose is definitely dominated by some great citrus hops atop semi-sweet caramel malt. The taste was very similar to an IPA, but with a decidedly English influence, though still different from an English IPA. Medium body with good carbonation, the drinkability on this was excellent, and I'm really looking forward to being able to try the bottled edition.

Serving type: on-tap

01-23-2010 17:56:02 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of LordAdmNelson


4.45/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Is this the first bottling of this beer? Cheap compared to other FFF, great stuff here, highly recommended. As usual, great label from FFF as well.

Pours a nice maple syrup brown with two inches of sandy head. Great lacing and retention. Smell is largely grapefruit, big hops, though there is something that's a bit off and I can't put my finger on it. Taste here is great, big piney hops, a bit of weedy hops, finished with some biscuity/bready malt--a hopped-up ESB. Great stuff here, I guess this review is to style, because as a beer overall I would call this an A-, but as an ESB, this is definitely an A. MF is medium, coating, creamy, maybe a tad over-carbonated. Very drinkable, a great session brew, if I had it in me I could easily have three bombers of this. I do not, but that's the kind of drinkability this thing has.

Serving type: bottle

01-23-2010 03:02:23 | More by LordAdmNelson
Photo of hooliganlife


4.55/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

thanks to Sean9689 for bringing this

light copper cola color, light fluffy head

big floral aroma, almost concentrated with a touch of sweet malts

bitter all over like it should be with bitterness from the malts and a combo of pine and citrus hops. very floral through out with a great ESB finish. quite complex, love it.

medium body, easy drinking

this was great, one of the highlights of my night. i hope they end up bottling this.

Serving type: growler

12-21-2009 00:02:26 | More by hooliganlife
Photo of Sean9689


4.35/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at FFF's.

A - Pours a dark golden/copper color with a cream-colored head. Two fingers or so worth of head disipitates leaving some lacing along the sides of the glass and a thin cap on top of the beer.

S - Bitter/hoppy notes right from the start with a very light malt backbone. This is def a different take on the ESB style, which fits in nicely with their "It's Not Normal" motto. Me likes.

T - Tastes like a top-notch IPA, if you ask me. Hoppy/bitterness, citrus, pine, grapefruit.

M - Light to medium, fizzy carbonation, smooth and refreshing.

D - Easy to drink and an awesome brew. I drink this one every time I'm in the BrewPub and never get tired of it!

Serving type: on-tap

12-16-2009 05:20:53 | More by Sean9689
Photo of cpetrone84


4.5/5  rDev +7.9%
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

Serving type: on-tap

12-13-2009 02:18:31 | More by cpetrone84
Photo of PrinceDarren


5/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On tap at Horseshoe Casino's Vintage 51 bar served in a pint glass. Wow, what an incredible ESB!

The aroma hops are huge in this beer. Smells very floral and fruity. Intense. Surprisingly, the hop character doesn't come through on the palate nearly as much (which it should not for this style - this isn't an IPA after all). I've never experienced a beer that is so very hoppy on the nose that does not also come through overly powerful on the tongue. Well done!

Tastes creamy, fruity, moderately bitter and completely refreshing. Quite enjoyable and very drinkable. It is powerful, yet could be sessionable in any season.

Taking into consideration the style, I can give this beer nothing less than a perfect rating. I truly believe that it cannot be improved upon any further as a draft ale. Except to say that I think it would be even more incredible as a cask ale. It is the perfect ESB.

Admiral Lord Nelson just raised the bar for this category.

Attention Three Floyds! Are you listening? You MUST make as a hand pulled cask ale version of this.

Serving type: on-tap

12-06-2009 04:41:53 | More by PrinceDarren
Photo of dfillius


4.2/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in an imperial/nonic pint glass at FFF Brew Pub. I'm psyched that this place now falls on the route between home and the in-law's. I've stopped here for lunch twice now on the way and had great beer and food both times.

A: 1 finger cream colored head with great retention. Hazy brownish amber liquid.
S: Pacific NW hops are dominant. Dank and weedy. Very nice. Couldn't get a read on any malt
T: Piney, a tad tannic and harsh. Tasty though. Not very malty. Biting alcohol
M: A bit astringent, very bitter.
D: Very good. I'd order another and buy a sixer. I tried to buy a growler, but the batch was too small to allow that they said :-( Bottles are coming out in January apparently.

Serving type: on-tap

11-29-2009 03:03:21 | More by dfillius
Photo of paco1029384756


4.38/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep amber color with one finger of white head.

Scent of strong, sweet hops, sugars and a hint of caramel. Much more hoppy that a typical ESB, but that is to be expected with Three Floyds.

Taste of bitter, fruity hops, caramel, and sugar. Finishes with more bitter and resiny hops. Strangely savory, all around a damn good beer.

Mouthfeel is medium light bodied and slight with a good strong carbonation.

Serving type: on-tap

11-22-2009 21:55:40 | More by paco1029384756
Photo of jjayjaye

New York

4.1/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy rust amber color with a shallow loose foamy light tan head that fades to spotty patterns of Belgian lacing.

Smell suggests that this one is going to land outside the box...a substantial piny, floral hop bouquet with a somewhat sweeter undertone, but not what most would consider "true to style".

A tame offering by FFF standards, the citrus character edges out the sweet earthy malt flavor.

An easy drinker, I understand that this one will be 'bottle bound' soon. Unique product that I look forward to trying it again once this controversial, potentially notorious, British maritime hero is preserved forever as another 3-Floydian caricature.

Serving type: on-tap

11-10-2009 00:59:00 | More by jjayjaye
Photo of spointon


4.22/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this one on tap at the Chicago Street Pub in Joliet, IL today.

A= This ale poured a slightly cloudy deep amber color with a 1/4" bubbly tan head. The head retained throughout and left huge sheets of lacing down my glass.

S= Lots of pine and citrus hops in this one. The malts were definitely overwhelmed against those hops and I could only just find a mild sweetness in the aroma.

T= Though this was technically way too hoppy for the style, it still tasted damn good. The front end was all piney hop resins and bitter citrus notes. Abut halfway through the malt base kicked in just enough to take the edge off the hops and set up the dry finish.

MF= Medium body - almost felt like the brewer might have snuck a bit of rye in there as the body was deliciously slick. Carbonation was moderately high, making this one finish nice and crisp.

D= A very enjoyable beer that breaks all of the "rules", but then there aren't a lot of rules for this style. I would have liked to see a bit more caramel sweetness in there but its a good beer for sure.

Serving type: on-tap

11-07-2008 23:13:43 | More by spointon
Photo of leftmindedrighty

New Jersey

3.9/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Three Floyds Brewpub, served in a Nonic pint glass

Smell, really big and pine-y hops. Almost offensive to a point. Little biscuit and twang from the alcohol.

Taste, Damn. Big pine-y hops up front. A smidge of dough creeps though, along with some residual sweetness. But gosh darn, do those hops come out. The malt here just didn't stand a chance.

Overall, a big dose of hops, and way too much for the style. But gosh o' gosh was this beer tasty. An ESB for the American Hop Head if there ever was one.

Serving type: on-tap

11-02-2008 00:35:00 | More by leftmindedrighty
Lord Rear Admiral from Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub
93 out of 100 based on 354 ratings.