Brian Boru Old Irish Red | 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

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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.

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Reviews: 460 | Ratings: 976
Photo of DocJitsu
3.41/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear golden color with just the slightest copper hue. The white head attenuates very quickly to a thin cap and, then, to nothing but a few bubbles.  Very light notes of Amarillo hops in the nearly absent bouquet. The mouthfeel is very pleasant with a thin, oily, moistness that would make nearly anything taste better. Clean Amarillo comes through with a little more grain depth than Gumballhead or Pride and Joy. There is a discernible flavor of peat in this beer that seems to define it's overall character. Not a bad effort. Not stellar either. 

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Photo of AnotherBeerGeek
3.42/5  rDev -15.6%
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.

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Photo of yinzer
3.42/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle at my desk, no age into it. Bought in Maryland.

Nice deep copper with expected head.

Aroma is sweet malt with a bit of fruity yeast.

Taste is average nothing special. Some sweetness but no deep flavors. A some what dirty pine after taste that is a bit bother some. Maybe the hops don’t match the malt bill.

Mouthfeel is good for the style.

I enjoyed the bottle, but won’t be sneaking it out again.

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Photo of Jaycase
3.43/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

a: dark copper. thick head

s: citrusy hops

t: citrus hops with malt backbone. some caramel

m: smooth. bit of creaminess to it. medium body

o: Don't have much experience with this style. Good flavor. Nothing extraordinary but good nonetheless. One to have on St Patrick's Day.

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Photo of nvsblman
3.45/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Clear reddish brown with almost no head. Piney and grassy hops in the aroma. Some nice sweetness too, caramel and vanilla mostly. Caramel and brown sugar make this sweet with a lingering bitterness balancing the flavor. Some slightly citrusy notes that came out a little more as it warmed. Thin to medium bodied. This would make a pretty nice session beer.

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Photo of silenius
3.46/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a nice red brown with a substantial foamy head that lasts. There was a lot of lacing on the glass.

Smell is big amarillo hoppiness with some one dimensional sweet malt to balance. Smells like sweet iced tea with lemon. More balanced than other FFF hop bombs.

Taste is pretty simple with a large hop bite backed with some unidimensional sweeter malts. Not cloying, but like sweet iced tea.

Mouthfeel is a little thin, but OK.

I'm finishing this bomber, but won't be buying more.

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Photo of paco1029384756
3.46/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear amber color with a small white head.

Scent of caramel, citrus, hops, a bit of earth, and some grain. The scent is a little lacking, it seems pretty weak, there just isn't a whole lot to smell.

Taste of hops, citrus, grain, and caramel. Flavor leaves quickly leaving a faint hop flavor. This beer just isn't that good, but I'm not the biggest fan of the style either.

Mouthfeel is light bodied and crisp, but slightly oily.

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Photo of screamking
3.47/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

In honor of st Patrick's day an American Irish red.
22 oz bomber poured into snifter.

Appearance-pours clear red-amber with a 1" off white head, good lacing around glass. 4.25

Aroma-very earthy and hoppy, I'm getting lots of grass and pine. Lemon is there as well. Also pineapple and a hint of peat moss. As it warms I'm getting more apricot. 3.5

Taste-much like the aroma you can taste the earthiness in this. Some bitter hops here for an Irish red but I was honestly expecting more from a three floyds brew. Hints of citrus are teased throughout but nothing worth while comes through. 3.25

Feel-light to medium bodied, coats palate and leaves you dry, could have a better feel with a higher abv, but it is very drinkable. 3.75

Overall-I would have to say that this is a miss for three floyds. Or it could be that their other brews are so good you expect that from them every single time. Their is quality here, you can taste it in the hops put forward. It's not bad by any means but it just doesn't do it for me. 3.5

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Photo of jwc215
3.47/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Tattorso for this one!

Pours dark red with a thin bubbly off-white head that becomes a thin disappearing patch. Little to no lacing sticks.

The smell is of the FFF house character along with caramel, some brown sugar and pineapple.

The taste is of toffee, sweet citrus and pineapple. Sweet with a sour fruitt touch. A FFF spin on the style makes it different.

The carbonation is understated, though some swirling in the mouth gives it some life. It is medium-bodied.

It is malty, with a definate house character (that happens to be a nice one). A bit too much on the pineapple for me, though the maltiness has a nice taste - just overpowered by house taste and a bit too much hops for the style. A different, unique, spin on the style.

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Photo of Bakerwine
3.47/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

-orange copper with yellow/red-green streaks poured from 22 oz bottle, slightly dull/clouded core with moderate- CO2 stream

-nose gives red-fruited caramel with banana-y yeast - citrus and floral - hops are powerful and over the top - creme brulee, wet cement and sandalwood

-palate is more citrus (orange and dried) - hops take over - big attack - The bitter from the hop is balanced and pleasant - the flavor of the hop is dominant. finish is medium length and lacking complexity

-Festive with fun packaging and some overt flavors, but not necessarily interesting or exciting

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Photo of wedgie9
3.48/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tasted from a 22 ounce bottle. Pours amber with a thin white laced head. The aromas are of grapefruit hoppiness, pineapple, and caramel malts. The taste is actually mild for what I was expecting from the smell. The caramel malts come through with a toasted toffee character. The hops are there, but seem to fade quickly with just a hint of the grapefruit flavor. There is a doughy yeast characteristic as well. The palate is almost creamy, and very lasting with average carbonation. The caramel flavor lasts for a while on the aftertaste. Overall, this is a very easy beer to drink. Not terribly complex, but very well integrated and solid overall.

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Photo of kmeves
3.48/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep red and a greyish head. Aroma is moderately sweet, grapefruit, some pineapple, caramel, light tangerine., biscuity Malts with some Amarillo. Flavors of toffee, raisins and oranges. More piney as it warms. Definitely plenty of hops, but not especially bitter. Watery medium body, some resin.

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Photo of Retail1LO
3.48/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bomber into a Surly pint glass.

Beer pours a nice reddish/amber hue, just about what you'd expect from the style. Leave a marginal head that vanishes quickly with next to no lacing. The smell on this leans heavily towards the malted end of the spectrum. I like to smell a bit more hops, but perhaps my expectations for the style are off. There are some nice caramel and vanilla notes as well. The taste is strange. In addition to the malt forward character of this beer, it has a taste as though it's heavy in alcohol despite being only 5.5% ABV. Very odd. The mouthfeel is very malty in a way that sticks around and coats your mouth for an extended period of time. There's an astringent quality to this that I'm not too keen on, and again, it gives off a feel as though it's really boozy. Overall, this is average. Not one of my favorites from FFF.

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Photo of vince4953529
3.48/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This one is unlike other Irish red ale I've ever tried. It's actually a pretty hearty brew considered the relatively low abv. The beer feels thick in the mouth, and has a taste of malty caramel sweetness.

In the past the Irish ales I've tried has a tart taste to them. Brian Boru is different in regard of the taste profile. A bit too sweet to my liking.

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Photo of cbl2
3.49/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

$5.99 22 oz. 5.90% No best by date, though it is a spring seasonal, so it should be fresh.


A brilliant mahogany brown that is crystal clear, with a quarter inch of thin tan head.


Faint citrus hop aroma, with a mildly malty backbone, though nothing too exciting or unique.


Mild pine hop profile coupled with a slightly biscuity malt character. Mouthfeel is super smooth, but overall this is simply an adequate beer with nothing exceptional.

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Photo of RoyalT
3.5/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance – This came out a beautiful bright brown in color and very clear with a nice, pitting head.

Smell – The huge, complex hops show good promise for this effort at the difficult IRA style. I especially enjoyed the piney notes that reminded me of home.

Taste – Where did the hops go? This turned into a rather dull malty Red with some annoying tanginess. The hops were all bark and no bite.

Mouthfeel – This is short of medium-bodied and lacks any sort of bitter or dry notes.

Drinkability – This one started off looking and smelling good but in the end disappointed.

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Photo of prototypic
3.5/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Very deep red to brown color. Head was a modest one finger and disappeared pretty quick. Decent lacing left down the glass.

Smell: Initially, it smells very malty and even has a bit of a smoked smell to it. There is a hint of caramel in there. Hops are not to be understated. They are definitely have a presence.

Taste: Great balance of malt and hops. Neither overpowers the other. It has a bit of a grassy taste to it. It also tastes a little weak. I hate to it say it, but it tastes almost watery. Alcohol content also seems a little low for this brew. It just lacks the punch I was expecting. Perhaps it's my lack of familiarity with the style.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: This one tastes a little watery and leaves almost an oily aftertaste. It's okay. I honestly feel it's a little subpar for Three Floyds. But, maybe I'm just not a big fan of the style. Overall, it's okay. A far cry from some of the other classics we love from this brewery.

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Photo of KrautAficionado
3.5/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Swee toffee, hoppy malt scent, almost like a hoppy stout. Deep dark thick amber color. Very nice mouth feel, clean and refreshing. Watery caramel, hops, with a touch of citrus. Also grapefruit and not very bitter in the taste or finish which is nice. Easy to drink and not as complex or harsh as some of their other beers which is a nice change of pace for them. A very nice ale.

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Photo of MaxSpang
3.52/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a pint glass.


This beer is a lot less red than I was expecting. It actually looks more like a pale ale or amber ale than a red ale. When first poured, the head was HUGE - it took up more than half of the glass. There was pretty awesome lacing throughout, and the head stuck around until the bitter end. A nice looking beer - but definitely no Irish Red.


The first thing I get with this beer is the Amarillo hops. They bring a lot of grapefruit, pineapple, and other citrus fruits. It almost smells like an IPA as far as intense hop aroma goes. There is a little bit of maltiness in the nose as well, bringing some slight bread and caramel notes. Overall, the biggest thing is the hops - this is definitely a Three Floyds beer!


Again, right off the bat I notice the hops. They bring all the familiar favorites - citrus, grapefruit, orange pith, pineapple, and other tropical fruits. There is a nice malt layer to this beer. The malt has a bit of bread, caramel, and toffee. There was a pretty sharp bitterness that I was not expecting, almost like an IPA. The beer has a slight astringency that I don't really like - it kind of reminds me of sucking on a teabag. Overall, though, this beer has some really nice flavors going on.


This brew has got some nice body to it. The carbonation is medium, which sort of cuts down the otherwise creamy mouthfeel. Combine that with the crisp, fresh hop flavor and you've got a beer with a complex mouthfeel. It's very drinkable and satisfying.


Honestly, this beer bears no resemblance to an Irish Red in my book. But that's not a bad thing. This beer is pretty much an IPA with all the hop character, albeit a slightly maltier one. Three Floyds tends to throw a ton of hops into a beer that doesn't normally get that kind of treatment - usually with good results. This beer is no different. Don't expect a malt-bomb with this one, and you'll be rewarded with another delicious FFF beer.


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Photo of auxiliary
3.52/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

appearance - Poured dark copper, some head.

smell - Some hops , caramel and grains here.

taste - Some sweetness up front but ends with a bitterness from the hops.

mouthfeel - Medium body.

drinkability - I was tinking this beer was going to offer more, but not much going on here. Easy drinking beer, but I hoped it would of been on the sweet side.

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Photo of Osiris9588
3.53/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Out of a brown glass bomber, pours ruddy amber color, with a frothy 2 finger head, with fair retention and ample lacing.

The aroma consists of spicy hops, sweet malt, yeast, and some citrus. The flavor is comprised of caramel malt, a subtle nip of hops, and some candy and cherry, and generally fruity overtones.

The mouth is light on the front, smooth and bittersweet on the finish, as the hops and sugar both assert themselves, leaving a sticky residue upon the lips. A little sugary on the back to be highly drinkable. Has a solid overall balanced, but seems slighly off balance. Not one of the best from FFF.

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Photo of
3.53/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a 22oz. bomber. Appearance was a clear copper color with a medium size head. Aroma was malty/sweet with molasses coming to mind. A faint whiff of grass also came through. Taste was primarily sweet (molasses again, blackstrap in particular), with some bitterness from the hops at the end. The flavor was very well balanced. Body was medium and carbonation was quite low, leading to an almost flat mouthfeel. Very smooth, however. This was a drinkable beer, but, to me, quite filling.

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Photo of hwwty4
3.53/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to my buddy Brett for lugging this one back for me from Chi-Town.

Poured a 22oz bottle into my Tripel Karmeliet tulip. This beer pours a dark reddish amber with a big rocky white head that left little lacing as it crept down the glass. The aroma is big malt up front with a good amount of orangey citrus and just a bit of pineapple. The flavor is much of what you would assume a red ale is supposed to be. Malty up front but still very balanced. Sweet, but not overly so. There is a bit of orange hops, but they are much milder on the palate then they are in the nose. The mouthfeel is a bit full with a tickling amount of carbonation. It's really nice to see Three Floyds doing a toned down beer. I wish this would be a start for a whole line of small beers.

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Photo of hckyfn9999
3.53/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Deep amber color with some golden hues around the edges of the glass. Nice white head with good retention. Aroma is sweet caramel and spicy and citrusy hops wtih some black pepper notes, and a bit of alcohol as it warms. Taste starts off pretty promising with a nice citrus pressence to start but it seems to be lacking some malt character towards the back end. It just seems to fade off the palate leaving a spicy hop finish. There is a little malt present but there should be more in my opinion. Mouthfeel is medium. Not a bad beer, but a little overrated in my opinion, especially at over six bucks for the bomber.

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Photo of donteatpoop
3.56/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A couldy mid-amber colored beer witha shortly lived off-white head.

Smells of earth, lemon grass, and a bready yeast.

It tastes like a [i]strong[/i] irish red. Toast and mild caramel malts, a strong pine-hop bitterness. Uncommon of the style but it tastes good.

Thick beer going down, drinkable enough. Might buy again.

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Brian Boru Old Irish Red from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
4.05 out of 5 based on 976 ratings.
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