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 WastingFreetime
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes.

Pours out a lightly hazed orange-tinted amber with two and a half fingers of off-white craggy foam that lasts for a few minutes, leaving some decent lacing behind. Medium body and carbonation levels.

Initial scent of cereal grains, toasted breads, and a dab of marmalade spread on top. Flavor is more toffee-centered, but still has toasted bread with bitter orange peel marmalade used as balancing material against the malts. There is a very light roasted coffee and chocolate malt nuance that doesn't really appear until the glass warms up for a while. Overall, very well done!

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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 rangerred
4.1/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a hazy orange-red with a huge billowy head. Absolutely amazing head retention and lacing. Really some of the best I have ever seen.

Aroma has lots of piney hops perfectly balance by caramel malt. A little toffee as well along with a slight bit of citrus.

The flavor has a shot of piny/citrus hops up front quickly followed by a breeze of coffee before toffee and caramel take hold. Wonderful toast and caramel perfectly balanced by both hop flavor and bitterness. Bitterness is on the high side but doesn't overpower a wonderful toasty finish.

Overall, this really is a wonderful beer. The balance is really as close to perfect as I think you can get. This is my first beer from Three Floyds after finally tracking some down in KY. Not sure when I'll be able to pick up some more but I am very anxious to try some of their other offerings.

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Photo of Lemke10
4.21/5  rDev +4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I picked up a bomber of this at 3 Floyds in early 2012 for $8. Pours a dark copper orange with a fluffy head. Scent is hoppy mixed with pineapple delivering a thick, flavorful taste. Very nicely blended ingredients that makes for a great sipping beer.

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Photo of shand
4.47/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into an imperial pint. Thanks to Corbet!

This beer pours out a hazy amber with two fingers of head. The aroma has a fantastic citrus and floral hop nose. There's some caramel malts in there as well. The taste follows the nose, with a big burst of juicy hops at first. This is followed up by toasty grains and caramel malts. The best of both worlds. The mouthfeel is lighter and well-carbonated, and the drinkability is fantastic. This is just a great beer. I could see this being a favourite at the bar, that is if I could get it there. It's cut from the same cloth as beers like Lagunitas Imperial Red and Cigar City Tocobaga, but "lighter" feeling.

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Photo of JustinMatthew
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Meg for sending this one along, enjoyed in the yard on a warm summer afternoon.

Poured into a standard pint and enjoyed over good conversation, this beer pours a pretty standard amber in color with two fingers width of clingy white head. Smell is nice and hoppy.. Citrus notes, and sweet toffee. Taste is strongly balanced with those citrusy hop notes presenting them selves once again, nice mild malt.. Toffee and caramel with just a hint of toasted grain. Really well done, This beer was way to easy to enjoy

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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 ehammond1
4.13/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle (2012)

Acquired via trade
Thanks, dannyfrost!

Cloudy copper in color with a large khaki colored head that sticks around nicely, eventually leaving messy webs and walls of stick down the glass. Gorgeous.

Some bright hop character initially, eventually overpowered by sweet, caramel malts and simple grains and breads. Appropriate for the style, while being hoppier than anticipated--always a good thing!

Some sweet malts and bread flavors are complemented nicely by bright, citrus and light pine flavors. Very low bitterness, and incredibly drinkable. A very nice, tasty version of a style I usually pass up.

Medium bodied with moderate-high carbonation.

A hopped-up, super tasty version of an otherwise pretty lame style. Well done, FFF!

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Photo of RoamingGnome
4.38/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 750 ml bottle into a pilsner style glass. Why a pilsner style glass, you ask??? Well, I just got it for Father's Day, so this is a test spin.

A) Nice amber with slight haze. Nearly two fingers of creamy looking head. Excellent retention, and ample lacing.

S) The malt provides a caramel aroma, and the hops is quite floral. There is a little citrus on the nose too. Very nice...

T) Close to the nose, but even more enjoyable going down. Nice caramel, honey, oranges and pineapple. Good balance, and very delicious.

M) A medium body, with about the same for carbonation. Smooth and refreshing. The finish is a little grassy and just a little dry.

O) Man, I really do enjoy red ales with a bit more hops. This one is really tasty. I rank it right up there with Cigar City Tocobaga and Lagunitas Lucky 13. Highly recommended.

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Photo of JackieTH
4.27/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a medium amber with a finger of light foam that recedes to about a quarter inch but never fades. Little fits of lace. Smell: There is a IPA-like explosion of citrus and pineapple,
totally unexpected for this style but the toasted caramelly malt grain are right on cue. Taste: There is a wondeful light hoppy citric/pineapple character that jumps right out in the flavor before the expected toasty bread elements and a slightly sweet caramel emerge. A deeper note of dark roasted coffee appears. Finally a delicious washing of juicy citrus into the finish which is dry with a lingering interplay of coffee roast bitterness and citric juiciness. If there is any disappointment its the body, which seems a bit on the light side to me. Very interesting and enjoyable twist on the dry, malt forward Irish red style.

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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 KDawg
3.78/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

poured from bottle into a pint glass. Pours a medium orange color with a small head.

Good complex aromas of apricots, hops, toffee and some malts as well. Decent depth too.

Medium/full bodied with good flavors of apricots, malts, toffee and a touch of hops. Almost all attack though as it falls off on the mid and finish a slight bit.

A very good beer, but somewhat middle of the road for 3f.

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Photo of BrewerB
4.15/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

mcc1654 sent me this beer along with a lot of other excellent offerings. Looking forward to future trades with you, Mike, and thanks again!

Pouring into a 3 Floyds pint glass, the airy off-white head was massive, is holding up well with an inviting lace pattern clinging to the glass. Somewhat hazy, medium amber color.

The initial burst of citrus and pineapple hops seem unexpected for the style but the toasted grain and light caramel flavor are certainly appropriate. Slight toffee detected as the beer continues to breathe.

Toasted bread grains in the front, slight caramel sweet middle, and a backend with notes of dark roast/coffee and juicy citrus. Dry finish with lingering emphasis on the roast. Bitterness is moderate/moderately low as expected but the citrus fruit flavor might be out of style.

Medium-light in body with a moderate level of carbonation. Smooth.

Despite some interesting and unexpected fruity hop character this is still an easy-drinking pint with malt-focused flavors and a dry, roasty finish. Were it easy to obtain in the SF Bay Area, I'd put this near the top of my list for go to examples of the style. Thanks again, Mike for including this in the box!

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Photo of VncentLIFE
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks Larry Roush!

Pour is deep very bright orangish red. frothy white head. carbonation is average.

Smell is slightly soapy, with some thick biscuit malt. Base is a nice Irish Red, but then theres a nice hop presence. Slightly earthy and very much citric.

Gotta admit, the smell is better than the taste. The earthy hops really mesh well with the nice malt. Nice biscuity irish red base, kind of creamy. The citrus hops are just kind of floating around in the nose, and never translate into the taste. Im actually happy about it, those flavors would have just made this thing a mess.

Feels creamy from the malt, then gets a nice shot of bitterness to cut it off. Starts off sweet, then ends dry.

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Photo of cpetrone84
3.34/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark murky orangish red with a yellow tinted white head, tons of it with tight bubbles leaving a thick lace. The nose is sweet and grainy with a slightly off twang to it. The grain smells stale and the hops oily with a fleshy orange peel. The taste has a huge toasted malt and chocolate malt flavor that was unexpected. The hop presence is much lighter than in the nose and actually more balanced. Lightly citric and bitter with a moderate sweetness, crisp finish with an assertive carbonation.

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Photo of PhillyStyle
4.3/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer poured a very nice, clear, but deep red with an oatmeal-ish color head that was very well retained and left some nice lacing.

The beer had a very strong hop aroma to it, which I was not really expecting given the style, but nonetheless, it was pleasant and not to extreme, with just a little hint of malty sweetness.

The taste of the beer is really good, but again, I thought it to be a bit too hoppy for the style, but it was not so overpowering that it distracted me from the overall quality of the taste of the beer. Initially, I got a very citrus hop flavor that did make way for some of the malty goodness to show through.

The beer had a medium body to it that had a nice amount of carbonation to it. The beer was creamy, a bit sticky and finishes with a nice dry balanced taste. Overall, high quality from this brewer and the next time that my wife is in Indiana, I will have her pick more up.

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Photo of JohnnyMc
3.83/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

3rd beer from Three Floyds.

I know that Three Floyds is not a traditional brewery, but damn they still caught me off guard.

This is not a standard tasting Red Ale at all. The aroma has a strong hop presence with a little bit of sweet malt.

The taste is very hoppy and then that flows into some nice caramel and malt taste at the end with a slightly sweet and bitter aftertaste. There is a surprising amount of citrus notes in there as well.

Overall, I'm impressed once again. If you're not a fan of Red Ales I would still try this one if you can find it.

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Photo of EgadBananas
3.63/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice clear red, with a tan finger of head and nice lace.

The aroma started out minty at first, but moved to some pleasant citrus and caramel malts.

No mint in the taste. Toffee, caramel maltiness with touches of citrus.

Lighter bodied with a pleasant creaminess.

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Photo of dorianmarley
4.62/5  rDev +14.1%
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 smakawhat
4.35/5  rDev +7.4%
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.

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Photo of Durge
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A clear golden copper color with a solid off-white fluff and very good lacing. The aroma offers a mild citrus hop with pineapple and caramel with a bit of spicey yeast. The flavor brings a unique grassy hop bitterness and tropical fruit sweetness. Once again I get plenty of caramel with definite honey. This is medium bodied with full but delicate carbonation. Feel is a little tingly/fizzy with a slightly glassy component. The hops are nicely prominent without taking away from the style. Grassy and a bit herbal, they finish with a bit of dryness which balance off the sweet clover and makes for a pretty unique but satisfying (and drinkable) Irish Red! A solid brew for sure.

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Photo of Shibbykaiyai
4.14/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Good brew, purchased in a bombed at Capitol Liquors in Indianapolis during a recent trip.

Brew is nice and red, with no sediment or little lacing in the glass.

As a person who liked hoppy beers, I like the smell of this one as it seems a bit hoppy for a red....which works for me. A very drinkable brew, quite tasty without the aftertaste of most of the hoppy brews that I like. This is the first place that I have found this brew, but if you can find it, I highly recommend it.

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Photo of ThePorterSorter
4.2/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

always a solid line up of FFF off the shelf products, thanks merc for sharing.

Appearance is a glistening crimson with almost no head or lacing. It's got a clear body with a touch of sediment. The aroma is stronger hops compared to most Irish reds, but an improvement to the style IMO. The malt is also forefront and balances the beer's hoppiness. In it's taste the beer presents with a big bouquet of hops followed by a savory caramel sweetness. I like the bitterness that helps push this 5.5%abv red ale to new limits.
It's quite balanced and drinkable... but a little hard to get in these parts.

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Photo of gustogasmic
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Clear amber with a great fluffy white head that dissipates to a well-laced thin top, fluffy edges. Huge carbonation all around the glass.

S- Sweet red malty bitter rounded happiness.

T- A malt-forward beer with a little sweetness and a proper bitter kick to bring it back around. What a well-balanced, delicious brew. Caramely notes, tiny fruitiness.

M- Nice and creamy, with the hops giving the beer a nice bitter leave that sticks incredibly well. The hoppy bitters dry the tongue, mmmm.

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