Brian Boru Old Irish Red | 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

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Brian Boru Old Irish RedBrian Boru Old Irish Red
976 Ratings
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.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 976 |  Reviews: 460
4.75/5  rDev +17.6%

Photo of Cheezus
4.75/5  rDev +17.6%

Photo of Lookjoesays
4.75/5  rDev +17.6%

Photo of pirmannt1
4.75/5  rDev +17.6%

Photo of vinny21bal
4.75/5  rDev +17.6%

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.73/5  rDev +17.1%
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.

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Photo of westweasel
4.72/5  rDev +16.8%
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.

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Photo of hero27
4.72/5  rDev +16.8%
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..

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Photo of evoljetta
4.7/5  rDev +16.3%
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!!!

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Photo of orbitalr0x
4.69/5  rDev +16.1%
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.

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Photo of asabreed
4.67/5  rDev +15.6%
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.

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Photo of unholy2
4.64/5  rDev +14.9%
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

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Photo of misternebbie
4.63/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Photo of dorianmarley
4.62/5  rDev +14.4%
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.

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Photo of ndekke39
4.62/5  rDev +14.4%
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.

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Photo of chuckm
4.61/5  rDev +14.1%
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.

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Photo of Spica66
4.6/5  rDev +13.9%
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.

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Photo of ffejherb
4.6/5  rDev +13.9%
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.

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Photo of soper2000
4.57/5  rDev +13.1%
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.

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Photo of baos
4.57/5  rDev +13.1%
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.

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Photo of Slatetank
4.57/5  rDev +13.1%
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 +13.1%
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 +12.9%
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 +12.6%
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 +12.4%
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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Brian Boru Old Irish Red from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.04 out of 5 with 976 ratings