Robert The Bruce | 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

very good
990 Reviews
Read the review
Robert The BruceRobert The Bruce

Brewed by:
3 Floyds Brewing Co.
Indiana, United States

Style: Scottish Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
A full-bodied Scottish-style Ale with a well-rounded malty profile and roasted biscuit-like notes.

24 IBU

Added by purplehops on 08-06-2001

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 990 | Ratings: 3,126
Photo of claytri
4.42/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a clear dark amber with an off-white head. The aroma is of malt with heavy tones of dark fruit, then a bit of floral hops in the background. The taste has the good malty flavor you'd expect from a scottish ale, but it's also backed up with a healthy dose of dark fruits, and has a nice floral hop finish. The feel is medium, smooth, and oily. This beer was a wonderful find. I was looking for a good scotish ale and this was the only offering. I was not disappointed and will be purchasing more when available.

 525 characters

Photo of stirgy
4.42/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a deep and dark amber brown color. Topped with an eggshell colored head of stiff foam that settled into a film before the first sip. I let this one settle down and warm up a bit to unlock some of the esters. Wonderfully rich aroma of sweet caramel, roasted dark grains, smoked malts and bittersweet chocolates. The taste is dead on with just the right blend of smoky malts, woody bitterness and the tang of malt sweetness. A nice chocolate malt and roasted coffee blend is detectable. This finishes fresh and clean.

I once had this at their brewery and enjoyed it then. As far as I can tell this is the same beer I remember. A quality Scotch Ale and, as the the style goes, one of my favorites. Thanks to qarre for the beer!

 734 characters

Photo of elfcounsul
4.42/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Found this at a CVS drugstore. Imagine that.

Small head, good lacing. Delightfully warm brown in appearance.

The malts hit your nose first. An earthy/cocoa aroma is in there too.

The taste was sweet and smooth with a light touch of bitterness at the end. Good balance, not challenging to the point where your friends would look upon it with confusion and fear.

Mouthfeel is nice, with little carbonation. That's fine with me because I like lower carbonation when the malts are more pronounced.

It's a good drinking beer, but high alcohol content keeps it from being a good session beer.

My first experience with Three Floyds has been a good one. I Look forward to trying more of their offerings. Recommended

 718 characters

Photo of mynie
4.42/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I ain't had this in forever. Ain't never reviewed it from the bottle, neither, so I might as well give it a go.

First off, the difference between Scottish ales and Scotch Ales/Wee Heavies needs to be paid more attention to. The latter are sweet and boozy, the former are more amenable to Americanization. When reviewing, please review accordingly.

Secondly, the reason I came to that conclusion is because this beer is so canonical. If you entered the beer geekdom game even a couple of years before me (in, say, 2001), your idea of the ideal ale from Scotland would be more like a wee, more like Skull Splitter. Coming in when I did, when stuff like Robert the Bruce was new, kind of ruined me, because I thought that all Scotch ales should taste like this kind of wonderfully weird American hybrid. I--I really need to re-evaluate both styles. So does most of BA.

This here beer is therefore a standard bearer, meaning it is to some degree beyond reproach. (That ain't the only degree, though, because otherwise Sierra Nevada Pale would get a perfect 5 on this here site). Mostly, though, it pulls off the rare feat of blending a brewer's completely unique, completely recognizable identity with enough of a style's signifiers to still count as belonging to that style without being a boring, boilerplate example of that style.

 1,332 characters

Photo of auxiliary
4.4/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

appearance - Dark brown with a nice tan head that formed but then dissipated.

smell - Sweet malts and some hops here, but just a little.

taste - Nice and sweet and lot of malt here.

mouthfeel - Medium body.

drinkability - Very tastey, glad I got my hands on one of these since they are no longer found in new england.

 323 characters

Photo of frazbri
4.4/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep ruby brown color. The short but creamy off-white head dissappeared a little too soon. Nice sweet malty aroma with just a touch of hops. Full round body, lightly carbonated, creamy texture.
There is a little bit of fruit in its toasted malt flavor. Finishes with a slight alcohol warmth.

Plenty of hops, plenty of malt, plenty of flavor. I love this beer. Perfect for an evening by the fire.

 399 characters

Photo of Naerhu
4.4/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Robbeer for bringing this beer all the way to Japan.

A - Dark amber with a thick fine cola foam colored head.
S - Rich tabacco maltyness with sappy undertones. Smells very American, despite its earthyness, and by that I mean extremely hoppy.
T - Tasty tabacco, leather, rich earth, with a small amount of peat. The sweetness balances very well with the hoppy bitterness.
M - Mild carbonation. But there is a bit more acidity than I would hope for.
D - This is a great session beer.

 499 characters

Photo of BrewCrew2010
4.4/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Color, clarity, & appearance are very similar to Cola crowned with a 1/2 finger creamy head.

S: A sweet caramel malt upfront with chocolate malt backbone and a brown sugary sweetness with hints of nuts.

T: A much lighter flavor then anticipated, but a very good example of this style. A caramel malty sweetness with notes of dark fruits, brown sugar, and nuts. Hops are mute.

M: Mouthfeel is exactly how it should be for this style. Smooth & creamy with a medium-light body, light carbonation, & a dry finish.

D: I really enjoyed this beer. At first I kept thinking how much it tasted like a brown ale and wasn't going to review it so high, but after some research it's right on the money. Easy to drink, taste great, wish I traded for more.

 748 characters

Photo of gbarron
4.39/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From a 12 oz. bottle.

A - dark, dark brown caramel, almost like maple syrup. Minimal head and little lacing, color is slightly off white.

S - wonderful, rich malty aroma. Hints of roasting nuts, caramel, candied apples. Slight notes of light smoke, peat, but much less than other scottish-style ales. Little or no hop aroma. Very slight hint of alcohol.

T - sweet, deep, rich, full malt flavor, reminiscient of melted brown sugar, toffee, caramel. Maybe some Munich malt in here? Slight notes of smoke, but not a great deal. Sweetness is balanced by firm hop bitterness, but very little hop flavor, malt is dominant here and beer tilts in favor of the sugary sweetness.

M - medium bodied, carbonation is on the low end. Smooth.

D - very, very tasty brew if you like malty beers, as I do. Not all that similar to other scotch/scottish ales, but very tasty. Despite the fullness in the body and sweetness, highly drinkable and not all that filling.

 961 characters

Photo of Keithstone44
4.38/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a Nonic. No date on the bottle

A: Pours a deep mahogany color with a finger of off-white head that leaves a bit of lacing.

S: Caramel and vanilla, some breadiness as well

T: Great balance of flavors. The sweetness from the malt blends seamlessly with the vanilla and toffee/caramel flavors, allowing just a hint of floral hops to escape.

M: The mouthfeel is my favorite part of this beer. It's heavy enough to warrant appreciation for the complexity of flavors, yet light enough to allow for session drinking.

O: I think this a fantastic brew, and one that pays homage to its respective style

 625 characters

4.38/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

The is another one of those beers that I am really surprised that I have never taken the time to review. It is arguably the beer that really made me fall in love with the style many years ago, and I still really enjoy this one today.

My string pour easily gets me three fingers of light biscuity tan head. Body is a deep mahogany brown tone. Nose is full of woodsy, metallic tones as well as sweet bread malts. The flavors are sweet and malty yet bold and complex. Rich spicy notes come through big time also on the back of the tongue. If you like bug malt bomb brews that aren't just about being sweet this beer is right up your alley.

 643 characters

Photo of c014572
4.38/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Ignore the other rating that pan it for not being a Scottish Ale. It does have a nice malt profile, not overly hoppy, but it does have (to me) a hop profile more like a brown ale but has a bigger body than it should. In keeping in the "it not normal" mantra of FFF, I really enjoy this as a malty, not overly hopped, brown ale.

 329 characters

Photo of Shultzerdugen
4.38/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. brown bottle with no dates.

Poured a clear dark brown tinged red with a large white head. Head went down quickly, leaving a nice lacework on the glass. The model look of a scotch ale.

Molasses vibes come out front in the smell. Malt o' Meal topped with honey and brown sugar comes to mind. Underlying fruity esters.

The classic caramel taste associated with the style, plus a surprising hop bite in the back. Creamy almost to a fault, very full and smooth on the palate. Black pepper in the finish flows into dry malts.

Truly a nice beer. The assertive hops don't seem to fit in with the classic examples I've had from across the pond, but I find the hops an added layer of excitement. Maybe not as complex as Traquair House, but a more enjoyable brew for me. Thanks to cja711(Joe), for the tasty beer!

 821 characters

Photo of KellyScottMad
4.38/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This is a good scottish ale. I thought it would be better coming from 3 Floyds, but it is still a good beer. This is in my top 10 of scottish ales, but it din't crack my top 5.

 178 characters

Photo of mgwagman
4.37/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

IF you like scottish style ales or ales this a good one. This is the first 3 floyds I got my hands on after having Zombie Dust a few years ago. It pours a chestnut brown, smells of roasted hops. Caramel lacing with nice lacing. It is not my flavor of beer but still excellent.

 280 characters

Photo of neonbrown82
4.37/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I was quite pleasantly surprised by this beer. I had never had a scotch ale, so I didn't quite know what to expect, but I thought it would be much different. Less roasty and more fruity than I would have thought.

The appearance is an inviting dark nutty brown with a thin tan head. Has a ruby red hue when held to the light. The smell is very earthy and wonderful. It smells like slightly roasted malts with a berry bouqet. Almost smells like a vintage barleywine. Absolutely phenomenal.

The taste reveals more of the earty roasted barley character on the initial contact with the tastebuds. The finish leaves one with that same earthy aftertaste but with some of the fruity tones to highlight. I was expecting something damn near undrinkable in a Scotch Ale, where if you can't finish the mug somebody calls you a "cunt" or something along those lines. On the contrary, this was very drinkable for such a heavy brew, and the high alcohol content is very well hidden. The only complaint that I could come up with is that the mouthfeel seems very light bodied. Also curious is that this is the only beer I've tasted with a roasted malt character that didn't have an incredibly dry finish. In fact, it wasn't dry in the least. Excellent brew.

I only picked up a single since I am hurting for cash and wanted to try something new, but didn't want to be disappointed with a whole 6 of brews. I most certainly could have drank more, but it certainly couldn't stand in place of the 60 minute IPA (which I have developed quite a strong affinity for since my store started to carry it) I picked up along with this single.

 1,622 characters

Photo of Haybeerman
4.37/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Deep, clear brown color with ruby highlights. Poured a 1 finger tan head with fair retention. Broken lacing whashed down the glass in fingers.

S: Lots of toasted malt aromas; chocolate, caramel and toffee. Bittering hop aroma blended nicley all the malt.

T: Big, rich and powerful toasted malts consistent with the aromas. Finishes smooth. A light musty smokiness lingers pleasnatly.

M: Light side of medium body. Low carbonation. Smooth and rich with a warm liqueur-like sensation.

D: A great drinking flavorful beer that I'd go back to. Maybe to big for a session beer, but definitely worth keeping around.

 616 characters

Photo of jtw5877
4.37/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours orange/amber hue with a small white head. Strong butterscotch flavor. Medium to light body, yet an interesting malt profile. I really enjoy this beer. Not the typical scotch ale, yet a neat interpretation. The purist might not go for this one. Yet I find it tasty and smooth.

 281 characters

Photo of secondtooth
4.36/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Darkened amber upon pour, with intricate and brilliant lacing on the glass. A+ on presentation!

Nose is expectedly malty, with a peaty, earthy quality.

Rich taste -- malty sweet up front with hints of maple, peat, and dried dark fruit. I didn't catch the hops presence in there, but even without, this is a superlative ale worthy of repeat purchase.

 351 characters

Photo of SammyDavisJrJrJr
4.36/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from the Brewery tour, a dollar well spent... Into the nonik Tyranena glass...

A - One finger tan head that disapeared quickly, and left no trace. Dark maroon body.

S - Big aroma. Fruity and malty, with lots of vanilla and alcohol. Smokeyness is present, but not quite as much as I like. Solid.

T - Strawberry sweetness on a big malt body with some sweet chocolate is the first thing I noticed. The alcohol is asertive, but never overwhelming. Smoke dominates by the midpalate, and lingers long into the finish. I noted a nice nutty (pecan?) flavor that seemed to show up towards the swallow and grew into the finish. Black current adds a tart bite to the finish.

M - Full and silky, like one would expect from the style and APV.

D - This beer seems to get ignored a lot when people talk about good beers from FFF. A great, asertive, balenced, and delicious beer here. Great fall beer, and among the best American examples I have ever tried.

 954 characters

Photo of Smurf2055
4.36/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours dark Mahogany with very little head.

Smell is sweet and malty, almost a bit spicy. Scottish ale smell for sure. Some black licorice.

Taste is super malty, sweet maple. Woody texture. Wet and viscous at the same time.

Super drinkable.


 260 characters

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.35/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle courtesy of korguy123 poured in to Founders tulip.

A - Dark amber colour with a very slight ruby glow scattered throughout. One finger of cream coloured head formed and quickly receded to a thin layer.

S - Sweet brown sugar and a touch of maple up front that gives way to lighter scotch and toffee notes. A fairly sweet overall nose. Not over-the-top sweet or scotch-y like many scotch ales tend to be.

T - A very balanced palate with equal parts toffee, brown sugar and whiskey. The background adds some complexity - scotch, bready malts, smoke, raisins and figs.

M - Medium body. Light to moderate carbonaiton.

O - One of the better scotch ales that I have had. No one flavour dominated the nose or palate. Very complex and very well balanced.

 761 characters

Photo of meechum
4.35/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Received this in a trade with Almalkin.

A - Poured a copper/amber into a pint mug with a considerable off white to light tan head that fell slowly and left an impressive lace down the glass

S - The smell was heavy with malts and very biscuity along with a nutty smell and a hint of the grassy hops in there

T - The taste was a malt lovers dream. Very malty with a heavy biscuity/nutty taste and just a bit of raisin or plum in there also along with a grassy hoppy finish. This was great

M - The mouthfeel was thick and coated the tounge with just a bit of bite at the end from the hops and just a little warmth from the alcohol

D - Extremely drinkable and it's a damn shame I can't get that stuff on a regular basis here

 727 characters

Photo of NODAK
4.35/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Fairly malty sweet and smoky aroma. Definitely pretty much what I'd expect for a Scottish ale.

Taste is pretty complex here. Starts with a bit of chocolate and sweet caramel malt pairing together quite nicely. Really just a heavy sweetness there. Mouthfeel is rather thick for the style too...feels heavy to me. Finish shows some roasted malts (hint of coffee perhaps?) with a small but lingering hop bitterness that finishes it out.

To sum it up, it's caramelly and chocolate in the front, small roasted and coffee notes in the back. All in all, one of the best examples of style I can think of. Complex, drinkable, and impressive.

 634 characters

Photo of Brunite
4.35/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark, hazy iced tea. Slight tan head that is gone quickly...shallow cap remains.

S: Sweet malts, dark fruits, & apple

T: Caramel malt...sweet...fruity....alcohol slightly noticeable...dry finish. This is a great malt forward beer. The colder when drank....the less the alcohol is even evident. This has the caramel malty goodness that I love in a Doppelbock and the dark sticky fruit (plum) I get from a great Dubbel or Quad. Buttery Black Walnut seems to be a predominant flavor that I was finally able to identify after several bottles.

M: Medium....sticky...good carbonation.

O: An excellent beer. One of my first of the style. A good representation of what I'm told it should be. My favorite FFF beer.

 725 characters

Robert The Bruce from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
3.87 out of 5 based on 3,126 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.