Brian Boru Old Irish Red | 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

460 Reviews
no score
Send samples
Brian Boru Old Irish RedBrian Boru Old Irish Red

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

Style: Irish Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

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

Added by Gueuzedude on 03-14-2004

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 460 | Ratings: 976
Photo of brewdlyhooked13
5/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance - a 2-finger cream-colored head sits atop an iced-tea colored brew. Sticky lacework down the side. Very inviting.

Aroma - huge orangey, piny nose, bursting with citrusy freshness.

Taste - a malty sweet start with orange, pineapple and pine bits in there. The hoppiness is exceedingly intense and low-key at the same time. Flavorful yet restrained.

Mouthfeel - a blanket of smoothness in the mouth, lower level of carbonation has this practically sliding down my throat.

Drinkability - perfect balance of big beer flavor and approachability. A top-notch beer for 'crossover crowd' tasting parties. One of the most sessionable beers in bomber format I've ever had.

 685 characters

Photo of ultralarry2006
5/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This was poured from a 22 oz. bomber- it produced a 1/2 inch head that subsided into just surface skim, and left decent lacing on the way down. The ale was deep reddish brown, like tea. Powerfull and pleasant citrus aroma - citrus, grapefuit, some pine, pretty much all hops, no hint of malt-. Taste was similar- grapefuit, and orange hop dominating this ale. Doughy, pleasant, bready malt hanging way in the back, quietly providing backbone, not at all sweet, and without any roasted acridness, there was even a slight aftertaste of tea. And all the time grapefruit, oranges, lemon, hops, and hops, and very dry - hey!! : This is really an IPA in disguise! Mouthfeel was smooth and full, very satisfying, with moderate carbonation. Drinkability- This goes down easy ! This is an excellent ale and I will certainly enjoy it from time to time.

 842 characters

Photo of nortmand
4.92/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Wow. Just to start, this is easily the best red ale I've ever had.
Pours deep mahogany, red, with a dollop of amber red foam.
Smell is just fantastic. A bright, amarillo grapefruit nose, supported by roasty goodness.
Nice roasty maltiness on the tongue, with a presence of strong amarillo hops. Borderline pale ale, but still exceptional.
Medium bodied, but flows over the tongue nicely. Would have liked a bit more support of the massive flavor, though.
Exceptionally drinkable. That is all there is to say about this one.

 528 characters

Photo of revolt914
4.85/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow, wow, wow, I just drank this one tonight and I am so impressed by this beer... I nearly gave it 5 stars across the board! The only thing I can say about this beer that isn't positive is the beer is just hard to drink by yourself... you just want to keep having everyone take a taste of how magnificent this beer is! I loved this Irish Red, I usually get me a Smithwicks when I go out and eat but damn it do I wish they would have this on tap when I went out to eat... everywhere I go out to eat!

 499 characters

Photo of indyGold
4.84/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from a bomber purchased at 3 Floyds.

Pours clear with a full white head. Aroma has complex hops and malt. Hops are piney and citrus. Malt is dark caramel and munich/ vienna (?). The flavor combines the complexity of the hop/malt aroma and finishes smooth and dry. The drinkability is off the charts.

It's called Irish Red style by 3 Floyds, but this is really an exceptional Amber American Ale.

 408 characters

Photo of ppoitras
4.82/5  rDev +19%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

22oz bottle obtained via trade with CRJMellor. Thanks for the opportunity...

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1" tan head over the slightly hazy (yet still clear) coppery amber brew. Head dims but stands tall at half height, with delicate, if somewhat sparse, lacing. Aroma is malty to style, yet the piney hops are an integral part here as well. Taste is almost perfectly balanced, with ample grains and hops complementing each other. Mouthfeel and drinkability are superb for the style, going down creamily and with ease. Best red I've had at least in a long time, if not best period.

 602 characters

Photo of CharlieMopps
4.82/5  rDev +19%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: A hazy, thick red hue topped by two fingers of off-white head that displayed good retention. This thing looks pretty delicious.

S: Smells like it has a great balance; nice bready malt aroma with a hop character that seems it could be too bold for the style.

T: Damn. Judging from the scent, I was definitely wrong. This strikes a perfect balance between hops and malts, an unholy union of the two. Just enough malt character and hop bitterness to make for a fantastic brew. A very refreshing finish, goes down quite smoothly and leaves a faint hop residue in the aftertaste.

M: Carbonation is on point, perfect. Somewhat silky texture, which is also quite a balance between being over-carbonated or too weak.

D: Outstanding. This is a beer that exhibits incredible balance, great mouthfeel, and an overall immaculate beer. The versatility of this one is off the charts; I honestly don't think there's any time that I wouldn't want to crack one of these.

 963 characters

Photo of JoePat
4.82/5  rDev +19%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The Beer pours a dark copper coler with a very light tan head that leaves a lot of lacing behind as it disipates.
It smells like Amarillo hops very floral on the nose.
The flavor is sweet malt very smooth with amazing hop flavor.
This beer is very drinkable and the mouthfeel is smooth and clean.
This has to be the best red ale made if not the only good red ale.

 363 characters

Photo of MattBrooks
4.82/5  rDev +19%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Track 84 in Warwick, RI. This beer pours reddish brown with an unholy darkness to an Irish Red Ale that was truly awesome! The smell is classic Floyds in that it had a fresh, flowered hoppiness to it not found in any other Irish Red Ales. The hoppiness transfers over in the taste as well, mixing with orange and herbs on the tremendously long finish. The mouthfell was just right. Not too heavy or too thin, but perfectly balanced. I ended up having 4 or 5 throughout the evening, and at 5.9% alc (which suprised me when I found out) it was easy to drive the hour and a half home. It's a shame this beer isn't around longer, but I'm glad I had the chance to try it.

 676 characters

Photo of jtheheist
4.75/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Pours an amber/copper color that is barely see through. Medium head that quickly disappears leaving a thin layer throughout the tasting.

S: Wonderful smell. Smells of fresh american hops and pineapple. Completely different then any irish red I have smelled before.

T: Hits you initially with a powerful amount of hops. Not your typical cascade taste but still distinctly american. It is a large amount of hop taste for an irish red but it doesn't taste unbalanced or out of place. Hints of caramel and pineapple are present. Finishes with some caramel notes.

M: Medium mouthfeel and good carbonation

D: Really enjoyed this hoppy irish red. I personally haven't had anything like it in the style so I would venture to call it my favorite irish red. Extremely drinkable. I could drink a 6-pack of this (if they made one) relatively easily. Another solid Three-Floyds beer. I enjoyed the original take on an old style. I would highly recommend it to anyone.

 962 characters

Photo of karst
4.75/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Who is this Brian Boru on my undated 22 oz. bomber from Munster's Liquor Stop near Three Floyds brewery.

Brian Boru, youngest son born to head of one of the royal free tribes of Munster in 940. He would ultimately be come "ARD-RI" of the entire island of Ireland. There has never been another High King of Ireland - before or since.

This Old Irish Red pours into a Stone Barleywine glass filling it with crimson mahogany topped with a tall beige sticky head that endures and coats the rastal's walls with patchy lace.

Floyds, skilled tatticians with hops, have packed this red ale with fresh juicy citrus (Amarillo) aromas that fill the nose and ultimately the room. The pineapple fading to become more grapefruit and orange with warming. I am having flashbacks of all the well hopped Munster brothers (Alpha King, Dreadnaught, Gumballhead and Pride and Joy).

Also like its kinsmen ( Robert the Bruce, Thulza Doom, and Dark Lord) Brian Boru is backed by a quality tasting malt profile. Caramel flavors support the hop flavors of this medium bodied Irish Red. So quafable it is sure to conquor you.

Thanks, Joe, for luring us to this well stocked Indiana packy. Its been 2 days since I have had a brew from the masters at 3F and I am feeling the hop NEED!

 1,272 characters

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.73/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz. bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: Pours a nice reddish brown with a light tan head and leaves a thick lace.

S: Strong hops aroma with a little bit of caramel & citrus malt sweetness.

T: The hops that hit you in the smell are certainly there in the taste along with the expected bitterness which gives way to a tea-like flavor and some malt sweetness. Then the hops come back in the finish and stick around in the after-taste.

M: Very crisp and smooth with medium body and medium carbonation. Excellently balanced with a clean finish.

D: The beer isn’t to filling and is extremely flavorful. I could certainly go with this one for a long time.

I had been waiting to try this beer for some time and it was certainly worth the wait (I know I said the same thing about the Dreadnaught, but it’s so true.) especially since I know I won’t be disappointed by Three Floyds.

 884 characters

Photo of westweasel
4.72/5  rDev +16.5%
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.

 604 characters

Photo of hero27
4.72/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

22 oz bomber.

Deep auburn color with a foamy, pitted tan head.

Three Floyds has that distinctive hop flair that separates their beers from every other brewery, and this one is no exception. Beautiful, fragrant hop aroma blended with bold caramel & toffee malts. The tastes are equally incredible, and the Amarillo hops shine through with tremendous flavor without being overbearing. The citrus fruits and piney, mouthwatering hops are nothing short of delicious. It's remarkably drinkable for as flavorful as it is, and "smooth" would be an understatement.

I think I can say this is undoubtably the best Irish Red I've had to date.. my Lord, I'll be burping up hops for the rest of the night. Three Floyds, you continue to amaze..

 739 characters

Photo of evoljetta
4.7/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber
Appearance- Nice thick amber red with good 1inch head.
Smell-3F for sure..nice hoppy smell(in an Irish red?) and malt
Taste- far the best irish red I have had. After giving up on reds for many years(thanks Killians), I started back with Smithwicks. But this is so much better..Piney Hops with some good malt flavor
Mouthfeel-Good and thick
Drinkability-I had given up on Irish reds, but now find myself enjoying this beer alot.

Great overall beer!!!

 477 characters

Photo of orbitalr0x
4.69/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I was excited to see that Three Floyd's bottled this one this year. Pours from the bomber a nice bright red with caramel tones along with a creamy, bubbly khaki head. Aromas start with big, fresh grapefruity citric Amarillo hops. There's a sweet caramel underneath with hints of candy toffee. Mangos, pineapples, wonderful and vibrant I could sniff it all day long.

First sip brings a nice, smooth creamy caramel maltiness that soon gets overtaken by the huge hop presence. A cornucopia of fruity hop notes that leave a nice bitterness on the way down. There's a bit of nutiness in there as well. So damn good...Three Floyds has taken an Irish Red, kicked it in the ass and made it their own.

Mouthfeel is nice with a smooth, creamy body that is rather full. This goes down so easily I could drink it all night. I must say..this is the Irish Red I want to be drinking on St. Patty's Day. Three Floyd's has done it yet again. Highly recommended.

 965 characters

Photo of asabreed
4.67/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bomber into a pint glass. This bottle was around $8, and I was hesitant, so I really hope this is worth it.

Appearance: A beautiful and slightly hazy dark amber color. One of the best body colors I think I've ever seen. Almost looks more like a Belgian Strong Dark to me, only maybe a tad lighter. Unfortunately there's not much head, even with some recharging, and there's not much lacing either. Maybe it was my pour? Either way, the body's saving this because the color's friggin gorgeous.

Smell: This is quality stuff here. Some toasted husk, toasted malt, fragrant but not overpowering hops. Also a but of chocolate and a bit of ripe cherry when I take deep sips and inhale. You can tell this is great stuff as soon as you put your nose in it. More perfume and flower-like aromas--from the hops?--come through as it gets warm. Great stuff.

Taste: From the aroma, much comes through with flying colors. A fantastic combination of both ripe fruit malt and toasted malt, and I have no idea how they're doing it. The hops are strong to the point of making their presence known, but they're working harmoniously, balancing the hell out of this brew. There's also some woodiness, smokiness, and earthiness that only adds to the brew. Also the hops and citrus backbone come out more and more as it warms too. There's also some of the ripe cherry and chocolate lingering at the tongue at the end. Another homerun from Three Floyds.

Mouthfeel: Full and creamy without the hint of a cloying or sugary body or anything even near that. The carbonation's perfect too, silky as hell when you're close to the swallow.

Drinkability: Yeah, this is extremely delicious, insanely complex, and, well, very expensive, at least as far as I'm concerned. Do you get what you pay for in this instance, though? Yes. Would I buy another one? Yes. A fantastic brew all around.

 1,873 characters

Photo of unholy2
4.64/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Wow does three floyds make a bad beer.Deep carmel color With a nice off white head that leaves quickly.It taste of carmel and toffee with a very light hop touch.It leaves the mouth dry but i guess that is to be expected with this type of beer.I would say that this is a session beer

 282 characters

Photo of dorianmarley
4.62/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance is very rich amber with a pancake head and very sticky lacing.

Nose is extremely aromatic, spicy hops, with dark malt and pineapple.

Taste is plenty of caramel, toasted oats, and honey.

Mouthfeel is velvety; very smooth, with medium carbonation.

Overall, 3 Floyds did it again.

 292 characters

Photo of ndekke39
4.62/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Split a 22 oz bomber of this with a good friend. Pours a very slightly hazy reddish-brown. Small white head, pretty good retention on it. Love the smells right away... hoppier than expected, a touch piny; dark, sweet fruit; toasty grains; touch of caramel. Tastes are nice and complex - they travel well. Small, hoppy beginning that blossoms into a rich, grainy middle, then ends with a piny, spikey hopped finish. Good aftertaste. Medium mouthfeel - highly drinkable beer. Overall, a fine example of the style. One of my favorite Irish Reds. Would gladly reach for one of these again.

 585 characters

Photo of chuckm
4.61/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

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.

 462 characters

Photo of Spica66
4.6/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Very deep amber-red. One-finger head. Medium low carbonation. Looks great in the pint glass. Huge lacing as I drank it.

S: Very nice light malt and citrus hop nose.

T: Great balance of caramel malt and hops. Wow, actually! Really, really nice beer.

M: Creamy and smooth. Irish oats sure help a beer go down smooth.

D: Hell, yes!!! How many do you have?

This is, by far, the best Irish Red I have ever had.

 413 characters

Photo of ffejherb
4.6/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

22oz. bomber into Imperial pint glass on 6/5/09. Thanks to Pudge43 for the trade!

A - Poured a very clear, very effervescent light copper-colored body with amber and reddish highlights and a solid two finger head of beige foam that settled into a half inch of creamy retention and deposited exquisite lace all around the glass.

S - Amarillo hops impart a citrusy hop aroma and uncover notes of pineapple and mango while simultaneously providing a subtle spicy character. Malt is sweet and suggests caramel and toffee. Hop aroma is quite similar to one of my favorite FFF masterpieces...Gumballhead.

T - The sweet and succulent tang of citrus hops works well with the caramel and toffee malt profile of this Irish Red Ale. Slight spicy, peppery notes emerge nonchalantly in the middle. Very subtle alcohol notes creep into the mix, but are barely noticeable and only become apparent after the liquid warmed up a bit.

M - Medium bodied with a smooth, creamy texture and softly carbonated mouthfeel overall. Finish is bittersweet with an exceptional balance of hop bitterness and sweetness.

D - Exceptionally flavorful and easy to drink due to the well-concealed alcohol presence, Brian Boru may very well be the best Irish Red Ale I've ever had. It's another example of FFF pushing the envelope of what can be done with a relatively dull style.

 1,351 characters

Photo of soper2000
4.57/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I absolutely loved this brew on-tap at the Hopleaf in Chicago so I had a friend pick me up a bottle from Kahn's on his way to Lafayette. It appears to pour just a shade darker than from tap, a nice ruby tinged with a light brown supporting a 1 finger pale tan head. Citrusy notes of Amarillo are strong in the nose as well as a nice carmel malt-ish sweetness. A little bit of chocalate rounds out the aroma. Very impressive for an Irish red. Taste is very crisp. Although one could easily say that Three Floyd's over uses Amarillos, I love the edge that they give to their brews. The intial citrus punch soon fades into a sea of sweet malt finishing with notes of caramel. Superbly drinkable. I'm not usually a fan of ambers/irish reds but I absolutely love this beer. I'll surely miss Three Floyd's after moving away in a few months.

 834 characters

Photo of baos
4.57/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Served in a pint glass

A: Looks just like sun tea, film atop the reddish brown body and everything.

S: Nice clover smell along with beeswax. Carmally malts.

T: Just as refreshing as iced tea as well. i just got home from a really warm car ride. This hit the spot. Orange-zest-beeswax-with-a-touch-of-caramel. Ends nice and bitter and a bit dry.

M: Very nice.

D: Perfect. I'm proud to live in a state where this is made.

 424 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Brian Boru Old Irish Red from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
4.05 out of 5 based on 976 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

    No fake news here. Get real beer content delivered to your doorstep every month.