Brian Boru Old Irish Red | 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

Brian Boru Old Irish RedBrian Boru Old Irish Red
BA SCORE
84.7%
Liked This Beer
4.04 w/ 976 ratings
Brian Boru Old Irish RedBrian Boru Old Irish Red
BEER INFO

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

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.

BEER STATS
Ranking:
-
Reviews:
460
Ratings:
976
Liked:
827
Avg:
4.04/5
pDev:
10.89%
Alströms:
0
 
 
Wants:
187
Gots:
66
Trade:
3
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 976 |  Reviews: 460
Photo of Kegatron
4.35/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a clear dark amber with 1 1/2 fingers of creamy off-white (almost tan) head. Thin creamy layer of retention skims the surface and leaves some very nice looking lace behind. Wow! The aroma is lush with the telltale spice and piney goodness of Amarillo hops (or at least something similar) as well as some balancing notes of citrus and thick caramel malts. I'm also picking up maybe just the teeniest, tiniest, bit-o-heat. It's hardly overly noticable or anything but it's definitely there.

The taste is much the same as the aroma with tingling, dry, hoppiness up front that is well balanced by tangy citric character and a beefy backbone of bread, caramel, and toffee. Finishes sweet, tangy, and just slightly bitter. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a moderate amount of a beefy feel and an overall pretty lively carbonation. I was impressed by how easily this went down considering the thick flavors.

Well call me surprised by this one! The hop profile of this was quite the welcome surprise and held up extrememly well considering that this bottle was at least 6 months old. Probably the best Irish Red I've had to date!

 1,169 characters

Photo of billab914
4.18/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into my Stone Imperial pint glass. Poured a nice deep and dark red color with a one finger frothy white head taking up the rest of the glass. It had some excellent head retention and left big thick sheets of lacing on the sides of the glass.

The first thing that hits you in the aroma is the floral and citrusy hoppy flavors. It has a some of the tropical, mango and pineapple flavors as well as the grapefruit coming through. A bit of the toasty and caramel malt comes through in the nose but the hops are definitely at the forefront of the aroma.

The taste shows a lot more of the toasty and caramel malts then the nose did. The hoppiness the nose showed is there but it is more subdued then in the aroma. The caramel and toasted malts really come through in the finish. It's pretty nicely balanced, the sweetness of the malt and bitterness of the hops work pretty nicely in this one.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and a bit of a smooth creamy feel to it. After reading the label I'm guessing that is from the Irish oats. Drinkability is very good, it was a very good and interesting beer. I liked their take on the style with a higher amount of hops and the addition of Irish oats. probably one of my favorites of this style overall.

 1,263 characters

Photo of nathanmiller
4/5  rDev -1%

Photo of XmnwildX12
3.75/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of mendvicdog
3.75/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of russpowell
4.02/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Cheers to Finnman for this one, I finally get to review a FFF beer!

Pours a somewhat hazed orange tinged brown (more orange when held to the light) with 1 finger of cream colored head. Above average & lacing

S: Breadyness & leafy hops

T: Leafy hops, toffee, dryness & caramel up front. Some oakyness & more toffee as this warms, along with leafy hops & fruittyness (apricots & figs). Finishes with a bit of orangey & leafy hops, more figs & just a smidge of vanilla, plus just little booze at very end

MF: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation & great balance, plus a little stickyness

Drinks very easy, a solid Irish Red, that is pretty true to it's roots. I could session on this, but would rather move on to the Dark Lord...

 737 characters

Photo of PhineasMcClintock
3.75/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of duceswild
3.5/5  rDev -13.4%

Photo of mdaschaf
4.09/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to Funhog for this one.

A: Pours a nice peach/ruby color with a one finger foamy head, very tight on top. It held pretty firm for most of the time drinking, leaving behind little bits of lacing.

S: Quite hoppy, more so than others in the style that I have had before. Some nice orange zest and a bit of grapefruit with a solid malt backbone comprising of caramel and a little bit of toffee.

T: Unfortunately, the hop characteristics from the nose do not translate to the flavor profile. There is a little bit of hop presence coming through as some orange zest. There is a little bit of spice and a good dose of malt with some caramel and toffee as well some toasted bread. I can certainly taste the "tea-like" quality in this beer.

M: Medium bodied, rather crisp and smooth drinking with moderate carbonation. Slightly bitter and dry finish.

O: Very easy drinking, had no problem with drinking it and would gladly do so again. Liked that this was a hopped up Irish Red, as it falls more in line with my natural taste. Another solid beer from FFF.

 1,066 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.45/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Glowing titian with a roseate blush when backlit. The huge, creamyfirm head is the color of golden brown sugar and looks like it belongs on an IPA. I have a sneaking suspicion this beer is chock full of hops. Although there isn't as much lace as anticipated, several thick chunks cling resolutely to the glass. There's a great deal more lace with subsequent pours and the head never falls below a fat one finger.

The nose is Amarillo hops gone wild. Not wild in the way that some IPAs are wild, but I doubt that there's a hoppier Irish red ale on the planet. In fact, I can think of only a few red ales that even come close. Juicy pineapple is present, just as the label said it would be. Throw in a bushel basket full of white grapefruits and oranges, as well as a slab of sticky caramel and you have a fair approximation of Brian Boru's nose. Superb.

BBOIR isn't quite as big on the palate as expected, but then Three Floyds Brewing can't turn every style into a hopfest, can they? The correct answer is 'sure, why not?' This offering reminds me of Gumballhead due to the significant hoppiness (for the style) coupled with a relatively light mouthfeel. It's a little more full than Gumballhead, but not by much. The malt backbone is composed of caramel and toffee. I'd be tempted to call it gooey if the beer was more viscous.

The BA style description for Irish red ale uses words and phrases such as lightly hopped, a bit sweet, tea-like, well-rounded and balanced. Other than the first, all are right on the money. It's amazing that so much flavor can be packed into a beer that drinks as easily as this one does.

Tea-like is perhaps the most accurate of the above list. It's hard to tell if that's due to some characteristic of the malt or to the leafiness of the hops. The Amarillo aren't able to shine with as much brilliance as they might have because of the countering effect of the caramel malt. They still manage to impress mightily. A slightly more chewy mouthfeel would have been perfect.

I wanted Brian Boru Old Irish Red to be bigger, more resiny and more unrelentingly hoppy, but I've made my peace with what it is rather than what I wish it was. The bottom line is that it's another fantastic effort from those hop-obsessed Hoosiers. This is Borutiful beer.

 2,290 characters

Photo of mikesgroove
4.41/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I grabbed this one in a trade a few months back and had been holding out on it for a while. Decided to open it up last night to see what I had and I was more then pleasantly surprised. Twenty two ounce bomber enjoyed via a pilsner glass at fridge temp. Consumed on 09/04/2008.

The pour was breathtaking, this was easily the best looking red ale that I had ever seen. Rich ruby notes swirled in here with a nice caramel brown base color. Lots of light haze and loaded of carbonation streaming up to the top of the glass. A beautiful three inch high head of off white the came up over the top and settled down gradually, really pushing the envelope here for sure. This was about as good of a red ale as I could ever envision.

The aroma as well was just very nice. Rich caramel malt notes were coalescing and accented nicely by a nice sharp pine hop edge. Good solid presentation of aroma here as the bready nature was dominant but not terribly so and some nice balance was developing. The flavor was more of the same, and really for the style just dead on. Rich caramel and bready malts balanced perfectly against sharp resin like hops. Long drying finish really brought the flavor to the forefront and left a long lasting impression with me. Nearly perfect feel was medium bodied, chewy, and very well carbonated. Filling enough to coat the mouth, but light enough to be session able, truly very nicely done. Easily a drinker I put this away with no issues at all during dinner.

Overall I thought this was excellent. Perhaps my favorite that I have ever had in the style. Rich, surprisingly complex and easy to drink I could do no wrong with getting this one all the time. I would definitely seek it out as it really is a great example of the style.

 1,752 characters

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

 2,069 characters

Photo of mdfb79
4.27/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Beer #3 from TMoney2591. Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into my Sierra Nevada tulip. This was one of the beers whose cap got exposed, so I saw a little of that familiar FFF multicolor cap, but the label was completely covered so I still don't know which FFF beer it is.

a - Pours a deep reddish amber color with one finger of fluffy off white head and moderate carbonation evident. Head lasts for two minutes or so, with one inch staying throughout drinking. Leaves some nice lacing on the glass.

s - Lots of hops up front in the nose. Smells of wonderful citrus hops, tropical fruits, honey, fruity malts, and light pine hops. Lots of grapefruit, I'm loving the smell. Smells like it could be a pretty hoppy IPA.

t - Tastes of caramel malts, bready malts, citrus hops, grapefruit, fruity malts, and toasted malts. Very nice taste, though a lot more malts coming out than hops in the taste.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation. Very smooth and creamy, and very easy to drink.

o - Overall I thought this was an awesome beer. Lots of hops in the nose, followed by lots of malts in the taste. Very easy to drink as well. Judging by the taste and the appearance, I am going to guess this one is Brian Boru Old Irish Red.

The reveal is...Brian Boru Irish Red! Big Want of mine; thanks Kyle! I was hoping they would have this at the brewery when I went to DLD last month, but they didn't, so very glad to try this now. This is one of the FFF beers I hadn't had before tonight but I really enjoyed; the nose is amazing and makes this one of the better Irish Red ales I've had. Thanks again Kyle!

 1,596 characters

Photo of Zaphog
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%

Photo of WVbeergeek
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Update: 3/3/12

I love the label, the story of Brian Boru, and drinking a hoppy Irish red ale. Old Irish Red Ale at that.

Pours beautifully into my 3 Floyds pint, head forms thick and rises well above the rim of the glass. The body is a deep copper color with some chill haze casting over it.

Aroma has killer hops with a citrus/pine/tropical fruit medley pretty amazing nose to this beer. Underlying malt profile is well hidden by hops but it's there with a nice softness and hints of caramelized notes.

First time I had this is was a bit aged, which this beer shouldn't make it out of the Spring to be honest it should be gone by St Paddy's. Ohio supposedly didn't get much so I'm fortunate that my local got a case. This beer fucks George Killian's horse in the arse with hops, it has what every Irish Red is lacking...hop character.

I'm surprised that this beer has a honey addition, finishes extremely dry and well balanced no overt sweetness left behind, it had to have been fermented out. A nice upfront bitterness that gives of some pine/earthiness and citrus pith on the palate, with a soft oat addition giving the body a bit more girth.

Mouthfeel has bone dry finish which appeals to us hop heads who simply can't get enough, the body is pretty light for how much is going on in this beer no thickness no cloying aspects simply pleasurable experience thus far.

Drinkability amazing I could literally drain bottles of this stuff, I'm happy to say I have a pilgramage planned for late April. I may see some of you folks there. Salute, to 3F's for being amazing and for fuckin' George Killian's horse in the arse with hops of course.

Appears a deep caramel copper body, with a light tan beige head dwindles slowly I'm salivating just thinking about this one. Hop aroma flowing strong with no one else in mind. Herbal alcoholic flow again on I can't believe it let's do some more damage to our brain cells. What a great flow of aged hop aromas that come our way flowing oh so nicely. Flavors flow well so easily the malts blend nicely with the hops I'm burping up the combo of the two. Flavors contain caramelized biscuit malts with strong herbal slightly piney hop flavors really goes well together. Mouthfeel is medium bodied carbonation is sturdy but no overplayed flows really easily. Drinkability twenty two ounces is effortless enjoy this one and raise your glass to Brian Boru I'm about to Google his ass sounds pretty badass.

 2,451 characters

Photo of InspectorBob
4/5  rDev -1%

Photo of ejimhof
4.5/5  rDev +11.4%

Photo of rolltide8425
4/5  rDev -1%

Photo of imperialking
4/5  rDev -1%

Photo of AlexFields
3.75/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of dvmin98
4/5  rDev -1%

Photo of imbibehour
4.35/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass.

A real nice orange amber, getting into red just a hair there for the body color, slightly opaque with some real nice slow rising carbonation coming up the glass. Head is a nice caramel faint yellow with sticky retention, clumpy action, and a good three fingers. Settles real slowly going nowhere, very sexy looking beer.

Nose is a good hit of citrus hop, but that grassy malt action and dryness comes through when pulling away. Wow very impressed so far, with a great dry cracker sense, and ripping barley it seems, just dry and cracking.

Taste on first sip is a light noticeable faint brown sugar. Swallow brings a nice hop juicy citrus orange and some tropical notes. Palate is a hint of playful carbonation, but not fizzy, fairly solid but nothing real velvety or thick.

A real fun beer, not sure if I would highly desire this in the style, I'd look towards a meaty more malt backbone but it is quite unique and tastes real good. Another win for the Floyd here glad to have tried it. Would have again anytime.

 1,064 characters

Photo of rab53
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%

Photo of 22Blue
3.75/5  rDev -7.2%

Brian Boru Old Irish Red from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 84.7% out of 100 with 976 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.