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Brian Boru Old Irish Red | 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

460 Reviews
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Brian Boru Old Irish RedBrian Boru Old Irish Red

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

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.

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Reviews: 460 | Ratings: 977
Photo of Slatetank
4.57/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I picked this up at Dark Lord day and wanted a Monday evening pick me up so here it is. Poured at 40 degrees from the 22oz brown bomber into a goblet.

A - A tawny shade of rust w/ 2 fingers of microbeaded med tan. A swiss cheese appearance from above the glass w/ a gentle haze. The lacing is good as the head gradually dissipates.

S - Fresh red fruit, cocoa and some grapefruit notes w/ cooking herbs and a sweet candied nut aroma w/ a gentle pine hop scent

M - Dry grainy combines w/ crisp carbonation and a resinous hop oilyness w/ mild sweetness which increases as it progresses toward cellar temp. There is light roasted aspects to the feel w/ a subtle warmth of alcohol

T - A rich roasty flavor leads into slightly sweet/fruity tastes which bring to mind raspberry and currant w/ melon undertones. The grainy taste is smooth and has a slight pine hop taste echoing the acidity of the fruity malt. The ruby red comes out in the middle pretty hard w/ a grapefruit tartness and a brief nutty toasted taste. This all occurs before the acidity lingers. A sweet/spicy flavor makes the taste balanced w/ a nice tangerine like citrus and gentle warming alcohol flavor as it hits the gullet. The hop twang seems to meet the fruity yeast and malt midway into the bottle and the hops open up more. I like the balance between sweet and spiced tastes most since they are both very strong and represented well here.

D - A really drinkable beer to me. I would recommend this to those who enjoy Hop head red, Nugget nectar, but expect more malt subtlety. This is not mindblowing or hopped to the point your tongue feels coated, but is just well made and ease to quaff. I would say this is not dull in the least, rather it is a very easy drinking red without the Irish character. This has the 3F's stamp all over it and is just what you would expect them to produce for the style. A lot of American hops and this seems juicy w/ easy Summer quaffability. This went very well w/ my aged Irish cheese which gave a contrasting sharpness to the gentle sweetnes of this balance red

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

Just got this beer in today. This thing is like every other 3F beer---One Hoppy SOB! The nose is so hoppy it's insane. the ruby red beer gives way to a snow white head.
The first taste is very clean, sturdy, strong hops, with a good malt back. Not at all metallic like other Red's I've had, this one has a rye taste to it almost. The mouthfeel is a bit bitey in the beginning, but it finishes smoother. Of course, after that whole bomber, everything goes smooth.

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Photo of tut2528
4.56/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

pours a light amber color with high transparency, looking like a very light brew. Pours about and 2 fingers worth of head formation which calms down rather quickly and leaves a very nice heavy lacing.

S: wow, this was not what I would have expected for this style. I get a huge amount of pineapple and some grapefruit along with a big hoppy note. There is a huge awesome toffee present that complements this, and I definitely get an aroma of honey. Pretty awesome for an Irish Red.

T: There is a lot going on here. Toffee comes through here again along with sweet honey and citrus. The fruits are more mellow than in the nose. Middle of the brew, I find an interesting earthy wood character. It makes for an noteworthy transition to a dominating hoppy aftertaste allowing for a nice finish.

Overall, Three Floyds did an amazing job with this brew IMO. The balance is fabulous and the complexity is awesome (for this style of beer). I found the transitions in the taste to be "spot-on" and it makes for a highly drinkable beer.

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Photo of Ruger
4.55/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured from a bomber into DFH signature glass. Almost a four finger off white head with good retention and medium lacing, the color is a hazy copper.

S - Smells like citrus and very strong grapefruit which overpowers the whole smell. Doesn't mean that's a bad thing.

T - Starts off with sweet grapefruit and other citrus a little pine. And a very little malt sweetness along with the bitterness in the end.

M - Medium bodied with light carbonation. One of the smoothest beers I have ever had, I love the low to medium carbonation, makes it a pleasure to drink

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Photo of jjanega08
4.54/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A= Pours a nice regular red color. The color is really nothing spectacular looks like any other red ale. The head is about a finger and is a pretty nice white color. I dunno why The head is so pretty to me but I like it. It's really quite sticky on my glass. The head has pretty good retention also lasting a while as a thin layer on top without letting you see the beer underneath it.
S= Like a red ale should be. It's not one of the super hoppy reds you are seeing more and more of. Old Irish Red is the correct term for this one. Loads of caramel malt pushing into a little toffee almost with perfect hop balance in it. Great smell on this one. It reminds me of the reds I drank when I first started drinking craft beers.
T= Just as I predicted. A perfectly well done red. Taste is just like the smell. The malts in this thing are awesome. So perfect with the balance. Sweet caramel malt and toffee hit the tongue up front and graze across to the middle of my palate where a small amount of hops come to complement the sweet malts. The finish is an awesome balance where the hop bitterness comes through and then deeper caramel malt. When I burp I get pure delicious sweet malts.
M= Smooth and creamy. Really nothing spectacular here. Above average but not as amazing as the taste.
D= Awesome. Again this is a true pure red ale. Great example of the style an one of the most balanced beers I have ever tasted. Awesome job again by Three Floyds.

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Photo of beachbum1975
4.53/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

In a word, exceptional. What a fantastic example of an Irish Red, it totally hit the spot for me after a looong day at work.

Gorgeous dark red color with a sticky 1/4 inch off-white head that had great retention.

Poured thick and creamy (gotta love it). The taste was suprizing fresh and flavorful with heavy smoked malts, orangy citrus and hops - a real delight. It was hard to pin-point more distinct flavors.

Like every Three Floyds beer I've had so far, amazing...

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Photo of RockyTopHeel
4.52/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

One of two 22 oz. bombers shared with friends (amongst various cheeses and meats).

Bold, red-orange-amber in color with a fizzy, off-white head. Aroma is clean and delectable, mostly pine and floral hops but also faintly sweet. Taste is similar: a strong but light piney hop element is well-balanced by a smooth, rich but not overpowering malt profile. The bright, pronounced hops are interesting for the style--it's almost like IPA meets Irish Red.

This is a very good beer.

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4.52/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Three Floyds Brian Boru

Appearance: Three Floyds take on the red ale pours a cloudy, medium-dark ruby color reminiscent of concord grapes. It is capped with a cream-colored, off-white head that disappears relatively quickly to a thin crust of tight, tiny bubbles and minimal lacing. It appears to have very active carbonation that does well to keep the crust intact. The color is pretty, if a bit plain, but it is also unique, even amongst red ales.

Aroma: The aroma is simply astounding. This smells like homemade strawberry jam, notes of coffee, toffee, and chocolate malt, and heaps of malty sweetness. There is not much indication of hoppiness outside of a few hints of citrus, which is surprising given the brothers Floyd’s penchant for outrageously hoppy beers. Still, the smell is incredibly delicious, though it gives the impression of being a malt bomb; perhaps the hops will balance it out enough in the mouth.

Taste: The hops did exactly what they should and balanced out what otherwise would have been an overly malty red ale. They impart a slightly bitter note, but are immediately swept away by toffee notes mingling with coffee notes, which are, in turn, mingling with chocolate maltiness. There is a hint of the homemade strawberry jam that was in the nose. Perhaps that is just an association with those flavors and the color, but it is definitely there. This is an incredible beer that must be tasted to be believed.

Mouthfeel: Like the taste of this beer, the mouthfeel is all about balance and complements. The carbonation washes the flavors around wonderfully, and gives a lively feeling. Creaminess abounds as well and makes this beer a real treat to drink. There are no real faults, but it does not really stand out too much either.

Overall: Perhaps it is a personal affinity for red ales, but this beer is simply wonderful. It goes down so smoothly, begs you to continue drinking it, and makes you lament the empty bottle sitting in front of you as the last drops slide down your throat. The toffee notes really make this beer a special red ale. It does not quite top the brilliance of Tocobaga, but if that beer is not available in your neck of the woods, this will certainly fill the void as the differences are almost negligible. 17.5/20

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Photo of dmfrench
4.52/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Citrus, spice, and caramel DIPA-lite... Floyds ignores the style!

A: Very slightly hazy orange/copped body with a creamy, somewhat persistent, two finger bone white head that leaves minimal lacing.

S: Big semisweet lightly toasted caramel with the typical FFF hop nose of grapefruit and spices.

T: Hops dominate... more earthy and spicy that the nose, but pineapple and grapefruit are still very mush alive and well. A beautiful soft toasty sweet caramel pillow sits beneath.

M: Big and creamy... very impressive for 5.9% ABV.

D: My only complaint is that it can get a bit cloying, but really it's basically perfect.

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Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%
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.

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Photo of TCMike
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a glass, it produced a 2 finger, long lasting cream colored head. The beer color is copper.
The smell is of hops, citrus, and bread.
The taste is awesome. It has that similar taste, as a lot of 3 Floyd's beers, but that is a taste I don't tire of. A little malt, biscuit, and hop flavor. No hop bitterness.
Easy drinking, and delicious.

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Photo of granger10
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had this beer at the brewery along with the Gumballhead. I like this a bit more but they seemed quite similar in many aspects. I decided to get a growler of this. No go, damn! Ok, get me a bottle, nope their out, shit! I decided to drive to the nearby liquor store and get a bottle of this beer along with a few others. Growler had to be Alpha Kinged, not a bad replacement!

The bottle pours a clear, dark copper color. Thick tight, white head. Tons of lacing.

Aroma is strong on hops upon cap opening. Slightly bitter but much more floral than anything else. I'm also getting a toasty malt note under the floweryness.

The body is so smooth with loads of malt complexity. Hops are well shown here but not near as dominant as in the nose. Plus they're really not that bitter, just flavorful which is good for an Irish Red imo. Caramel, biscuit, pine, and light fruit notes are in the malts. Nothing too sweet, in fact, sweetness is held to a minumim. Great balance. Tons of flavor without any excess sweetness or bitterness. Very well made, I bet the Irish would drink this by the gallons!

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Photo of thydarkprevails
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From a bomber in a duvel tulip. Clear amber red with a 2 finger white head that fades slowly. Aroma is Amarillo hops, tropical fruit, and some toffee. Taste is of caramel, toffee, orange, and mild grapefruit. This red has somewhat of a tropical feel to it. The mouthfeel is creamy and the flavor lingers. Awesome Irish red.

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Photo of mayor55
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bomber in tulip glass. This is the 3rd time I've had Brian Boru. Thick off white head. I'm a pretty experienced beer drinker, but I overflowed this. Heavy lacing. Regular 3 floyds west coast citrus nose. FFF is the best. Classic Irish red with FFF signature. Happy St. Patrick's day. Bomber #2 ready in fridge.

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Photo of beveragecaptain
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce bomber. This beer pours out dark red with a large, dense head. For a beer, this smells a lot like grapefruit. There is also caramel in the aroma. The flavor is grapefruit again, but not at all sour or bitter. Malt flavors come out as the beer warms. While this beer has a lot of flavor, it is somehow light and fluffy. Addictive drinkability. Hop burps are among the best I've had. Between this beer and the Gumballhead, Three Floyds has proved how far they can take what are usually known as non-experimental styles of beer.

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Photo of MrMcGibblets
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

pours a deep, hazy amber with a creamy tan head and lacing. bouquet is of toffee, caramel, nuts, light fruity notes, and toasted bread. a light to moderate sweetness upfront is well-balanced by a moderate hop bitterness and roasty notes. lively and creamy mouthfeel. finishes dry, but with some syrupy sweetness lingering in the mouthfeel. medium-bodied. long, pleasant finish. the best irish red i've had without a doubt.
Update: had it every year since. Nice clarity. Big amarillo nose when fresh. Big and luscious mouthfeel for this abv. As good or better than alpha king? This is more like a killer rich caramelly apa or ipa than an irish red...

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Photo of SheepNutz
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz. bomber poured into a tulip-style glass. It pours a medium ruby color with three fingers of head. There is a good deal of lacing on the glass. The smell is a little bit sweet, but overall just very very hoppy. You can really tell those Amarillo hops in there! The taste is nice and malty at first, slightly sweet and a touch of honey flavor. The finish is nice and hoppy, but not super hoppy like the aroma. It's actually a very well balanced beer. The mouthfeel is super thick and heavy. The drinkability is great as well. Three Floyds knows their shit.

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Photo of cvfish
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - This beer poured a deep rusty reddish brown color that produced a tan head that had a great amount of retention and laced the side of the glass very nicely

S - The aroma of the beer had a huge toasty, caramel malty aroma that was only outdone by the massive amount of pineapple hoppiness

T - The taste of this beer had a toasty malt beginning, that was accompanied by black tea and brown sugar, and was followed by the blast of pineapple hoppiness

M - The mouthfeel of this beer had a medium body with a moderate amount of carbonation

D - My latest tasting of a Three Floyds beer makes me crave their other beers that much more, this is truly a great beer

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Photo of Gehrig
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My first beverage from the well-regarded Three Floyds, Brian Boru lays out a very good presentation. Two fat fingers of slightly tan froth top an amber that's more brown than red. Curtains of lacing adorn the sturdy Yankees pint glass--niiice. I'm very impressed with the hop aroma in this. Arcadia's IPA could use the nose on this. Better yet, Brian Boru is loaded with caramel and brown sugar--impressive. The taste does not relent for a moment, adding a hint of coffee and butterscotch to the other flavors.

This is very well balanced, packed with flavors, and smooth. As much as anything, I'm thrilled that I had the rare foresight to grab a second. Outstanding, and highly recommended.

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Photo of hopfacebrew
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer was hooked up by my man GDBEERMAN - thanks Rob! Figured it was a good one to start St. Patty's Day with!

A - The beer was poured to an oversized mug. A nice burnt orange copper color. A nice 2.5 finger slightly off-white head. Very good retention and lacing.

S - The first thing I noticed was a pleasant citrus hop aroma that I didn't expect. Not over powering of robust like an over-the-top IPA but good. Next comes a nice blend of toasted malt character. Very good balance. Very good aroma.

T - Just where the nose left off! The beer starts with a mild bitterness accompanied by a mellow citrus flavor from the hops: orange, tangerine, lemon zest even. The sweetness of the malt comes in with a nice caramel flavor. The middle of the beer brings out a bit of pine character in the hops. Well balanced. Very nice. Finishes with a nice bitter, sweet, balanced flavor.

M - Medium bodied with just about perfect carbonation. A slightly dry finish.

O - A very pleasant surprise from Rob! A very good beer. I wish it was available in Colorado! Great start to my Three Floyd adventure ;)

Note: This review was a re-post from my former account, jmkratt, which was hacked and I lost all my reviews...sorry for the redundancy.

Serving type: bottle

Reviewed on: 03-18-2011 01:24:06

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Photo of hardy008
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Clear copper with a 3 finger foamy white head with very nice retention and lots of lacing. The aroma has grapefruit, pineapple, and toffee. Has a hoppier aroma than I would expect from an Irish Red Ale, but I won't complain. Smells very nice.

The taste is very hoppy, with plenty of grapefruit flavor. There is also pineapple, toffee, caramel, and toasted bread. This is a nicely balanced beer with sweet caramel and toffee malt, being balanced by the grapefruit and pineapple flavors from the hops.

Medium bodied, nicely carbonated, smooth and easy to drink. This is a well made beer, and it is hard to believe that a beer with 5.50 % abv is packed with so much flavor. The best Irish Red Ale I have had by far.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
4.49/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

It was like a lopsided battle, like none ever seen before. On one side was a host of purported Irish paragons; Killians, Caffreys, & Finnegans. Standing alone, wind whipping through his hair, was Brian Boru. He was brashly-hoppily American, yet grounded as only a grounded malty Irishman could be. A legendary warrior with a holy hop scepter rumored to be blessed by the American Hop-Goddess herself.

Unexpectedly Boru sprung forth at his red Irish opponents. He was bitter, where they were mellow. He had a backbone strengthened by pure malt, where they were barely supported by misappropriated adjuncts. Bruno’s scepter swept forth like a clean lemon acidity separating & curdling milk. They fled before Bruno, the beast that was suckled at the teat of the hop nectar goddess.

Before friends Boru was sweet, but, quiver all ye foes for he shall unleash his bitter wrath upon all who displease him.

The women loved him, for when he passed lusty remembrances of rolling in the hay, with scents of pine needles, citrus, roses, and fruit waft through their minds.

In the end it is the unique dichotomy between the Irish & American that makes Boru so likeable, hoppily brash, yet smoothly malty, what is not to like.

So far only availible at the brewery, go out and get some if you have the chance.

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Photo of cokes
4.48/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A sparkling crimson pool radiates below a vanilla crème foam escarpment. Tiny eddies of miniature bubbles gather and spurt up in jets through the crystalline liquid.
Amarillo hangs damp and lusty in the air. Pink grapefruits droop against pungent herbs, as spiderweb wafts of blue Jamaican smoke drift and sprawl lazily.
The bedrock of caramel and rye toast is unremarkable malt ground, unassumingly scattered with stray nuts and bark, but it provides a fertile enough soil to sprout a canopy of dense, thick trees; this towering flora is the ubiquitous mascot of ThreeFloydsia.
This particular specimen is an unprecedented fruit-bearing Evergreen, sagging low with bulbs of grapefruit. Rarely does the Amarillo genus grown so large or glint with such dazzling foliage. The buds of this plant are collected by the indigenous tribes and burned for their sedating and mildly hallucinogenic properties.
In the shadowy underhangs of these forested pinions, bitter sap oozes down, similar in consistency and character to pine pitch. It is an echoing, dusky brightness overflowing with life. The air underneath is humid, but breezy, and seems carry a pharmacological essence of its own, as each easily drawn breath revitalizes and stimulates. It should be noted with caution that hyperventilation has resulted as individuals clamor for more and more of this enchanted ether.

This is otherwise noteworthy for its minor geographical oddity: it is the absolute most distant location from Ireland in every direction.

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Photo of beergynt
4.48/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Had two pints at FFF on 2/18/07

A: Wonderful color... Somewhere between copper and crimson. Barely transluscent when held up to light. Brownish/red head to about an inch.

S: I didn't expect to get the typical FFF's hop aroma and was pleasantly surprised to whiff the wonderful grapefruit of the Amarillo. Also got a lot of toffee/caramel.

T: Excellent. I went in purely for Dreadnaught enjoyment but started with this red. (wanted to save my tastebuds for lunch!!) Wound up having the opener and one with my food. Grapefruit, caramel, toffee, and a little hint of nuttiness...

M: Very smooth throughout... Once again FFF's has perfectly matched aroma and flavor with body.

D: Amazingly drinkable, great session beer. I could have easily had a few more. (But I had to save room for the Dreadnaught and the Black Sun...) Man, I love Three Floyds!!

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Photo of karengarys
4.48/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This pours a transparent rich red . It leaves a head, which dissipates into an island of foam, and a ring around the edge which laces quite a bit.

Smells hoppy. Sweet and floral, too.

Taste is hoppy and dry, with a nice malt that sits on the tougue during the drink

Mouthfeel is a bit coarse, but a bit creamy too. The mouthfeel and hop crispness play together, giving the mouthfeel a bit of a tingle, and that tingle in the mouthfeel give the flavor a hoppy sparkle.

Finish is clean. a slight pine hop bite hits the tounge, and then dissipates after being cleaned by the crisp hop.

Body is ever so slightly thin, but then again, I like beer you can chew.

This is another great brew from my favorite brewery. IF you can find this, you have GOT to try it! ...I wish their limited beers weren't so limited, and were available in 6-packs....

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Brian Boru Old Irish Red from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
90 out of 100 based on 460 ratings.
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