Brian Boru
3 Floyds Brewing Co.

Brian BoruBrian Boru
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Red Ale - Irish
Ranked #1
Ranked #5,121
4.06 | pDev: 10.84%
3 Floyds Brewing Co.
Indiana, United States
Brian BoruBrian Boru
Notes: 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
Reviews: 475 | Ratings: 1,011 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
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AdmiralOzone from Minnesota

3.76/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Pours a murky ice tea color with a short lived cream colored head. Minimal lacing. Aroma is roasted caramel malt and some hops. Flavor follows the nose, malty in front with the bitter hop bite in the finish. Feel is medium bodied and only barely adequately carbonated. Over all a decent beer. Hard to believe this is the #1 ranked Irish red ale.

May 16, 2021
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MikeWard from Pennsylvania

3.99/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a pint glass. Bottled 1/29/21, so under 3 months old.

Hazy reddish body with a nice cream colored head. This shrinks to a ring and covering, leaving scattered lacing.

A little surprised by the aroma. Strongly hoppy with non citrus fruit notes.

On tasting, there is certainly some ipa hiding in this one. Hoppy. Fruit notes lighter than nose would suggest. Somewhat sweet, and that slightly sour malt note in IR's comes in and out.

Mouth between medium and full, finish a bittersweet back and forth.

Overall, enjoyed it. A little away from a standard Irish Red, but to this palate, the beer is the better for it.

Apr 18, 2021
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puck1225 from Texas

4.17/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Quite a good red ale. Poured from a bottle into a tulip glass. Golden reddish amber color with excellent head and curtain lacing. Nice malty smell and taste. Earthy and herbal. Caramel and some toasted malt. Nice smooth feel. Definitely something to have again!

Apr 08, 2021
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57md from Pennsylvania

3.89/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a striking copper color with a finger of head. The nose has some breadiness but there's more hoppiness than maltiness. The flavor profile basically follows the nose.

This is a fine American Amber Ale but it's definitely NOT an Irish Red. Not everything needs to be a hop-fest.

Apr 03, 2021
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Rub_This_BBQ from Massachusetts

3.9/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle date 01/28/21 poured in surly glass , both beer and glass from ovaltine!

L: strong light tan head 2+ fingers slowly fades to 1/4 in, below a deep copper body with haze
S: candid malt earthy hops, touch of alcohol
T: dark toast and frim bitterness overtakes the malt.
O: I have not had a red ale in while but as studying to be bjcp Jude upon review the style a tasty beer yes, but seems the hops overtake the malt.

Apr 01, 2021
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MonDak_Joe1953 from Minnesota

4.23/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle. Bottle is etched, 'BOTTLED 01-29-21'.
Cloudy, medium amber colored body. Pours a thin creamy white head. Leaves some partial sheets of lacing on the non-drinking side.
Aroma of piney hops and caramel malts.
Taste bounces back and forth between piney hops and caramel malts. Toasty, crispy, creamy. Aftertaste is a caramel bar excited by the screaming red hops.
Fuller mouth feel, with a creamy texture. Very good carbonation.
Excellent brew of hops and malt, that elicit the memory of an Irish red-raked fighting king.

Mar 29, 2021
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NCSapiens from Indiana

4.16/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours an orangish brown, slightly hazy, with an abundant white head and lots of lacing. Fantastic citrus aroma reminds me of other 3 Floyds offerings such as alpha king. The taste has noted of biscuit and Brady malts, caramel, green apple, lime peel, bitter hops, grass, grapefruit. Finishes dry and has a good texture. Overall it is like a combination between a 3 Floyds IPA an Irish Red. Very solid and enjoyable beer.

Mar 22, 2021
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FBarber from Illinois

3.38/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Brian Boru pours a much redder, auburn color. Its pretty cloudy. A thick off-white frothy head forms on the beer before steadily but slowly dissipating until just a thin layer of foam remains on the beer. Sticky layers of lacing coat the glass as the head recedes and as the beer is consumed. The aroma on this is immediately a tell tale sign that its a 3 Floyds beer - forget malts, this is a hop driven beer that punches you in the face with a blast of old school west coast hops - pine, pine-wood, grapefruit, and caramel malt notes waft across the nose.

The flavor is more of the same. Hops dominate the flavor profile with notes of pine, grapefruit, wood, and sap with a caramel malt backbone providing a canvass for the hops. Someone asked the other day where all the red IPAs have gone? well here is one ... because this is not even remotely an Irish red ale. Feel is light to medium bodied. Oily and slick with moderate carbonation. A slight alcohol warming sensation is noted. Moderate bitterness on the finish.

This beer is an embarrassingly bad Irish red ale, mainly because it made no effort to actually conform to the style guidelines. Rather its just simply a red IPA that 3Floyds slapped Irish red ale on and released at St Patrick's Day. In fact, its an absolute travesty that this beer is the #1 rated Irish red ale on Beer Advocate. All of that being said, if we take this as a red IPA or whatever you want to call it - Hoppy American Amber? this is absolutely delicious. Its got that old school piney bitterness on a nice caramel backbone and just hits all the right notes. So do with that what you will.

Mar 22, 2021
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ANIMOUL from Vermont

4.25/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12oz bottle. Deep, dark red amber with initial decent white foamy head though it rapidly recedes. Great hops up front that settles into a mello malt backbone. Very nicely done!

Mar 21, 2021
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BB1313 from Ohio

3.79/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bottled on 1/28/21. 12oz bottle poured into a tulip. Pours a hazy amber/copper; fluffy khaki head that fades leaving nice retention and lacing. The aromas have a subtle blend of citrus and caramel. Some hops. Some toast. Malts are there. The flavors basically follow the nose for the most part. More citrus. Some lemon and grapefruit. More toast. More caramel. Some pine. Mild spiciness. Possibly some rye and black pepper in the mix. Subtle sweetness. Nice little bitterness going on. Malts do their thing. Alcohol basically goes unnoticed. Mouthfeel is medium-bodied with moderate to active carbonation. It's extremely fluffy, smooth and slightly creamy.

This is a nice brew. There's a little hop presence going on, which is something I thought was a possibility considering that this is from 3 Floyds. It might not be a classic or traditional example of the style, but there's still enough Irish Red Ale characteristics. It's still pretty enjoyable stuff. I like it.

Mar 15, 2021
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jkblr from Indiana

3.75/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottled 01/28/21 poured into a tulip pint glass at fridge temp 6.5% ABV per label. The beer pours hefe-hazy in a reddish caramel color with light khaki colored head. The head recedes to a thin ring and island leaving quite a bit of lacing. The aroma is hoppy with pine & citrus. The taste is semisweet, bready caramel with more pine, citrus and herbal hops. Moderate to strong bitterness. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with average carbonation and a mostly dry finish. Overall, very good to my tastes as an old school red IPA. Folks expecting a traditional malt-centric Irish Ale will be in for a shock. Ironic, and partially sad, that this is the highest rated Irish Red Ale on BA.

Mar 14, 2021
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Siriusfisherman from Vermont

4.52/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L: Clear amber with good lacing and a rocky head that lasts for days.

S: Delicate citrus and stonefruit hops balanced against toasty caramel malts.

T: Firm bitterness, rich toast and caramel malt flavors, fresh and earthy citrus and peach hops.

F: Medium bodied, crisp and dry.

Overall: Now I know this is probably more hoppy than the style is supposed to be, but it is so damn good I can't help but rate it very highly. I also feel it still captures the essence of the style, just with an american twist. I have not had a red ale this good in a very long time.

Mar 10, 2021
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BergBeer from Hawaii

3.77/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a shaker pint

Look: Crystal clear red with a thick egg shell head

Smell: Caramel, grassy hops, and whole wheat bread

Taste: A nice caramel malt body that quickly dissipates to a mouth full of fruit and piney hops and fades with honey malt

Feel: Clean and quenching. No alcohol. Medium bitterness. Nice carbonation.

Overall A very well brewed beer just wayyy to hoppy of the style. Closer to a red IPA then a traditional Irish red.

Mar 09, 2021
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chrismattlin from Ohio

4.16/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A copper colored brew with a slight opaqueness. Smells of bread and classic earthy hops. The minimally used red malts come through straight away upon first taste, followed by the bitterness of hops, and finally, a sweet, bready finish with a twist of bitter on the aftertaste. Plays really well together. It's a bit of a chewy beer without feeling thick- you could drink a few of these, but a 6er would like give you "food coma". Filling in a good way, this would be a good one to throw the monks during fasting to break up the monotony.

Mar 01, 2021
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ovaltine from Indiana

4.25/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a beautiful copper color with a nice amount of hop haze underneath a soapy oatmeal colored head that provides ample lacing. The nose is fruity, like fruit cocktail, which is a high compliment from me because I absolutely LOVE fruit cocktail. This is in that vein.

The taste (and look and nose) is very similar to SN Celebration, which is also a high compliment from me, because I love that beer, and this has the best of that beer - fruity citrus flavors from the hops balanced by a significant caramalt flavors.

The mouthfeel is medium and fits the beer perfectly. I don’t know if this is new from 3F’s, or if it’s been around, but I’ve not heard of it before and I am REALLY digging it.

Feb 27, 2021
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pat61 from Minnesota

4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From tasting notes. A lot of Irish reds are inoffensive beers brewed for those who for some odd reason do not like a proper pint of stout. They are OK but not great. This one is different. It pours hazy reddish amber under a 1” fairly persistent cream colored fluffy foam collar that provides intricate lace. Floral grassy hop aromas rise from the glass and the hops – more spicy and herbal on the tongue, rule. The biscuit malt provides light sweetness and traces of caramel. The hops, provide character and depth. The body is medium and the carbonation medium low. The beer is excellent and full of flavor.

Aug 13, 2015
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ClePaul from Ohio

4.37/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Three Floyds Brian Boru is an Irish Red Ale with a 5.5% ABV and 40 IBU's~ Pours rich and translucent Copper red, Caramel tints when light up~ Nose is full bodied with Tobacco, Bubble Gum, Grapefruit, Pineapple, Caramel, Chocolate and Toffee~ The feel is Medium, Creamy, Rich and well balanced, delightful~ Tons of tiny Bubbles, Big white head with tons of lacing~ Taste is Strawberry, Caramel, Toffee, Bread, Cream, Toast, Citrus, Honey, Brown Sugar and some Pine and Oat~ Honestly really nothing jumps out... Expect the fact that its extremely well balanced~ I would say a nice even balance of Hops and Malt~ Really just a perfect brew for session drinking~ Such a great take on what is traditionally a rather boring and dull style~ I can't believe I'm tasting 'Strawberry' in a NON sugary processed adjunct ale, Its naturally sweet and delicious~ Overall: 92

Jan 19, 2014
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schwemjw from Ohio

3.89/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: A dark reddish orange with a tan fluffy head.

S: Caramel and toffee dominate the first sniff. A little pine and earthy hop with some citrus at the edges. A little roast and smoke. Malt dominated for sure.

T: Caramel and burnt, roasted orange. Dry earthy hops with a big citrus kick. Grapefruit and dark fruit finish this out. Burnt bread is at the heart of this beer.

M: light, smooth, silky.

O Sessionable for sure! delicious with a good mix of earth and juicy fruit with a strong malt presence. smells completely different than how it tastes. /89

Jul 31, 2013
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jaasen64 from Massachusetts

3.71/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

22oz bottle poured into HF sherry glass, thanks Josh (thebigredone)!

A- Pours a reddish brown, slightly hazy with some translucency around the edges, about a half finger of foamy head that has about average retention receding to a thin layer, about average carbonation with a decent consistency.

S- Fairly overpowering caramel maltiness with some subtle underlying slightly earthy pineapple hops. A bit too malty for my liking, about average aroma strength. Not a bad overall aroma but not too much going on.

T- Sweet Caramel malts, light honey, and some very lightly bitter underlying pineapple and mango presence. Finishes with more malts and light lingering fruity presence. More balanced then the aroma, but still a tiny bit on the malty side.

M- Medium bodied, easy drinking, about average carbonation to a little bit on the low side.

O- This was a decent Irish Red Ale that was definitely better then your average Irish Red, however there wasn't anything that really made this beer stand out. There was a nice underlying fruity presence and a nice sweetness but the beer still remained a little bit one-dimensional.

Jul 10, 2013
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AnotherBeerGeek from Ohio

3.42/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured this 22 ounce bomber into a weizen glass (for size, not style). Color is a cloudy deep copper, with an inch-deep ivory head, well-structured but not persistent. Citrus hops scream on the nose, with more subtle caramel notes hiding beneath. More hops on the palate, but of the piney variety and more than a little tart, giving way gradually to undertones of toasted malt. The body is a bit flabby with little carbonation and a non-descript finish. Generally enjoyable and refreshing but I would have expected a bit better focus from this brewery.

Jul 05, 2013
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HansumFilly from Indiana

4.47/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is one of the most incredible beers that nobody ever talks about. Pours a deep red color with minimal white head. Minimal lacing.
A: Citrus hops, caramel malt, bready grains. Very aromatic and hoppy. Irish Red - FFF Style!

T: Taste matches the aroma. Lots of citrus hops and caramel malt. Very well balanced, yet plenty for a hophead like myself to really enjoy. Excellent!

M: Medium to full bodied with minimal carbonation.

O: As previously mentioned, this is how FFF does an Irish Red - and it's awesome. FFF makes a lot of great beers, and this one is near the top for me. Fantastic beer that hop heads and malt heads can all enjoy.

Jun 21, 2013
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KickInTheChalice from Illinois

4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From notes. Served on tap in a pint glass.

The trademark Three Floyds signature creamy cap sits on top of the fuzzy amber beer. Tightly wound sheets of lace leave a beer level history down the side of the glass.

The aroma is not outrageously hoppy per se, but it does have a much hoppier nose than the Irish Red style it supposedly is. Toasted bread and caramel bring in some spice, juicy grapefruit, and a bit of tropical fruit.

The flavors really pack a punch, especially considering the comparatively low ABV. Toaste grain and bread really control the flavor, with some caramel and toffee notes adding a touch of sweetness. Next the hops really begin to take off. There is a nice grapefruit citrus kick with a strong pineapple and general tropical fruit presence. The hops are bitter, but they never entirely take over, leaving a strongly flavored, hop-centric but balanced Irish Red in the end.

Compared to the style, the body feels on the fuller, creamier side. The carbonation is smooth and gently scrubs the remaining hop oils off the tongue after each sip.

This does not get the name recognition as some of the other Three Floyds beers do, but it is definitely a solid Irish Ale.

Jun 19, 2013
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superspak from Ohio

4.32/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle into pint glass, Spring 2013 bottling. Pours lightly hazy reddish orange color with a 2 finger fairly dense light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Spotty foamy lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of caramel, raisin, apple, toast, toffee, biscuit, brown sugar, grapefruit, orange zest, floral, grass, slight pine, and light yeast earthiness. Fantastic aromas with all around great balance and complexity of malt and yeast ester notes; with moderate hop presence and good strength. Taste of caramel, apple, golden raisin, grapefruit, orange zest, toast, toffee, floral, grass, light pine, biscuit, and floral earthiness. Fair amount of pine bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of caramel, light fruits, citrus, floral, grass, toast, toffee, light pine, and floral earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Fantastic balance and complexity of malt, hop, and yeast ester flavors; with zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a creamy, fairly crisp, and slightly sticky mouthfeel that is very nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with hardly any warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a fantastic Irish Red style! All around great complexity and balance of malt, hop, and ester flavors; and extremely smooth to drink. A highly enjoyable offering.

Jun 10, 2013
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ruckus232 from Illinois

3.84/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

22 Ounce brown bottle poured into a pint glass

Appearance: Very slightly cloudy with a nice amber color and a decent amount of off white head.

Smell: Smells like a mild IPA with an earthy hop scent.

Taste: Starts off with a hoppy bitterness that fades into a sweeter maltiness that I would expect more from a red.

May 27, 2013
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KFBR392 from Illinois

3.01/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a light to medium bodied texture. Deep burnt blood red color. About a finger of head on the pour and has above average lacing on the glass. Above average carbonation throughout drinking.

Smell: A front of leafy greens and chewy malts. Tones of alcohol,earthy tones, caramel, and molasses stand out. The hops create a sharply pungent aroma which takes away from many of the other aspects in this brew. Comes off slightly funky and does not seem to fit the rest of this brew.

Taste: This seems to get lost. A very chalky malt flavor hits right away. After that, you get some of the accents felt in the aroma but they seem to be oddly mixed together. There is a shallow feeling felt on the palette, some smokey malt lingers. The usually hoppy spice that seems to run across FFF beers is conflicting here. Just not use about this one.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium bodied, I could really use more malty stickiness here.

Overall: I love me some FFF, but this one is a miss. I do not really get what the goal for this brew was. Flavor seem to get lost and are overall forgettable.

May 23, 2013
Brian Boru from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 91 out of 100 with 1011 ratings