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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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 976 |  Reviews: 460
Photo of steveh
3.34/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewing this one with an eye to style, but also turning my reviews toward a more liberal view of drinkability -- to style or otherwise. After all, that's the bottom line for enjoyment.

A - Nice, deep reddish brown with a tan cap that thins quickly

S - Piny and citrus hops with some mild caramel and biscuit malt back. Pretty heavy handed in the hops to style.

T - Big hop character -- can taste the hops with only an inhale and no actual drink, though not bitter. Biscuit malts trying hard to balance, but fighting a losing battle.

M - Smooth mouth-feel with a dry finish. Light-medium bodied.

D - Very good. Hops could become overpowering with too many in a sitting, but they aren't so harsh as to cause you to make a face. Very tasty drinking.

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Photo of facundoCNB
3.35/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

a clean amber/red pour with a finger of off white head and decent lacing. smells malty sweet, caramel, grapes.. nothing outstanding really. taste is bitter up front - a hoppy/dirt/roasted grain taste.. followed by a weird bubble gum flavor, finishes with a very bready/cereal like taste.

medium body with a slight creamy feel. lightly carbonated.. overall i'm kind of disappointed in this one. 3f makes some awesome beer, and i was hoping they'd step it up a bit when it comes to such a bland style, but they went the traditional route. it's not bad for a red, but not really what i was expecting from the brewery.

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Photo of badbeer
3.38/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured a nice ruby red color with a tan head that disappeared almost as fast as it developed, quite disappointing. Smell was awesome, pineapple and resiny hops greet you, probably not very true to style, but it's smells so good. Taste reminds me of red Kool-Aid for some reason, piney hops kick in to help out and a slightly roasted finish. I just didn't care for the Kool-Aid taste, maybe I'm missing something. Lower carbonation and light to medium bodied. It was a decent beer and loved the smell, but I can't say I'd search this out. This is the first FFF's that I didn't find to be awesome, but then again, maybe I'm missing something. I'll probably try it again to double check.

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Photo of marcpal
3.38/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Bomber ordered at hopleaf and poured into pint glass. A bit of a disappointment overall from a brewery that has recently blown my mind with Rabbid Rabbit and Alpha King.

A: Mahogany red with a bit much carbonation. Seemed fizzy and am curious after reading other reviews if this wasnt a good bottle.

S: Caramel was the strongest flavor over the others and overall sweet. There was some hops but expected more.

T: Mild overall, both in terms of sweetness and bitterness. Some dried and fresh fruit come through but I still found it lacking. The style of red ale was kind of noticeable in some smoky aromatics.

M: Sticky to the palette some bland aspects. Not bad, not great.

D: Definitely drinkable and could have a solid position as a session beer but Im heading back to the Alpha King.

Worth a try but not great.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.39/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Brian Boru Irish Style Red Ale. 1 pint 6 fl oz brown glass bottle with branded Three Floyds pressure cap served into a generic highball glass in a hotel in Chicago. Reviewed live. Expectations are high given the brewery. Reviewed live.

Served straight from a ice bath. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a one finger beige colour head of slight cream, fair thickness and average (~2 minute) retention. Body colour is a semitranslucent nontransparent rich amber. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. Looks standard for the style; no overt flaws here.

Sm: Irish style toasted amber malts, light biscuity hops (amarillo), caramel, and biscuit malt. A mild strength aroma. Appealing for the style. They're right on the money with this one. No yeast character or alcohol is detectable. Let's hope the taste is as good as the aroma...

T: Toasted amber malts, clean oats, clean malts, light biscuity floral hops (amarillo, my favourite hop), and light American biscuit malt. A balanced flavour profile, if a disappointingly simple one. No yeast character or alcohol comes through. I like it, but the flavours aren't horribly deep. Some caramel. Solid for an Irish Red, but there's room for improvement here. I quite like it.

Mf: The smoothness lent by the oats is balanced nicely by a coarseness that coaxes out the flavours. Good carbonation and thickness. Complements the flavour profile nicely. Good presence on the palate.

Dr: Quite drinkable for an Irish Red. A solid effort from Three Floyds that's up thereon my list of Irish Reds, but it fails to beat the Irish at their own game; Irish brewed beers in the style are definitely superior. I'd get this again, and it's very sessionable, but it's not mind-blowing. A good offering from Three Floyds and one worth trying once or twice. I'll happily murder this bomber by meself.


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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 77apm
3.5/5  rDev -13.6%

Photo of olradetbalder
3.5/5  rDev -13.6%

Photo of Skye1024
3.5/5  rDev -13.6%

Photo of Bestie_Ge
3.5/5  rDev -13.6%

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