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 Ruger
4.55/5  rDev +12.3%
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 TCMike
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a glass, it produced a 2 finger, long lasting cream colored head. The beer color is copper.
The smell is of hops, citrus, and bread.
The taste is awesome. It has that similar taste, as a lot of 3 Floyd's beers, but that is a taste I don't tire of. A little malt, biscuit, and hop flavor. No hop bitterness.
Easy drinking, and delicious.

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Photo of ngeunit1
4.2/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a super clear copper-red with a finger of frothy tannish head. The head fades down fairly slowly leaving behind some good lace.

S - Aroma is a mix of grapefruit and citrus hops with some strong pine notes, sweet caramel malts, and a bit of toasted bready notes.

T - Starts off with some citrus hops with some grapefruit and some light bitterness and some sweet toasted malts in the background. Through the middle, the malts come through a bit stronger with some biscuit and pine malts as well. The finish is a mix of pine and citrus hops with some bitterness, sweet biscuity malts, and a bit of floral flavor.

M - Medium-plus bodied with moderate carbonation. Smooth with a sweet, resiny, and light bitter finish.

D - Very drinkable. Excellent red ale with a bit more hops than normal for the style. The balance is really nice and the beer has a great malty profile.

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Photo of Auracom
3.15/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22 oz. bottle purchased from Marion Street and poured into a Bruery tulip on March 22nd, 2011.

A - Bright, clear amber-orange color. One-finger of a soapy, white head. Fair retention, good lacing.

S - Strong tropical hops and resin, some floral underneath. Fresh grass. Malt backbone of light caramel, roasted and buttered popcorn kernels. Slight green tea.

T - Lots of freshly-baked white bread. Not much sweetness and rounded hops in the background. Citrus. Backend roasted grain. As it warms, much more of that bizarre popcorn note.

M - Smoother than expected, medium body, average carbonation. Very light, dry finish with soft malt aftertaste.

D - Consensus seems to be that this is brewed very much out-of-style, but those FFF house hop notes work well here. I doubt I'll revisit again but worth the purchase.

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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 tut2528
4.56/5  rDev +12.6%
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 deadonhisfeet
4.2/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bomber into an imperial pint glass. The beer is amber and slightly hazy with a nice tight head. Hops come through quite readily on the warm, toasty nose, giving it accents of fresh lemon.

It wouldn't be a Three Floyd's beer if it didn't have a nice hop profile, and this one is no exception. Nice, slightly sweet toasted malt flavor balanced by lemon and orange zest from the hops. It reminds me of an ESB. There's also a faint cedary hint at mid-palate and a pleasantly dry finish. According to the label, the beer is brewed with honey. The honey does very little to sweeten the flavor, but merely balances out the hops. The beer has a medium body (ideal for this style) and a firm mouthfeel. It is a very nice-drinking beer!

This is an exceptionally easy-drinking, nice tasting beer. Very sessionable. Given its hop profile, I don't know if this is necessarily a good representation of the style, but it tastes damn good.

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Photo of bierbrauer
3.87/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle purchased locally ($8.99) at Whole Foods. Poured into a 5 oz. tasting glass.

A: Clear, light copper with off-white head that settles quickly and leaves a slick of fine bubbles across the entire surface. Some occasional effervescence. Lacing hard to assess in small glass.

S: Very strong hop-forward nose, full of fresh pine and citrus.

T: Sweet. Malt first, followed by more malt - biscuit, caramel and earthy rye. A whisp of citrus and very, very slight bitterness. No alcohol.

M: Light/medium carbonation and medium body; creamy; neutral finish; no heat.

O: Interesting contrast between the hops in the smell and the relative absence of them in the flavor. The aroma is its best characteristic. Quite extreme.

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Photo of Florida9
4.12/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Dark reddish amber in color. Forms a two finger head of very light tan colored head. Decent retention and some light lacing.

S: A fairly strong blend of caramel malts and citrus hops. Grapefruit and a little toast.

T: Toasty malts on the front end before turning to citrus and grapefruit happiness and a moderately strong bitterness. Some caramel malts and a lingering tastiness on the finish.

M: On the heavier side of medium with appropriate carbonation. Moderate bitterness.

O: A hoppy Irish Red with a restrained malt bill in the Three Floyd's style.

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

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a nonic pint glass

A: Pours a red-orangish amber with a off-white three finger head which reduces to heavy lacing

S: Caramel, malt and very slight citrus undertones

T: Opens with a slight citrusy hop bite,, transitions to tones of bread, malt, and citrus rind, and closes with a return to mild citrus bitterness

M: Well-carbonated, medium-light body provided by a perfect malt backbone, very slick

O: This brew is exactly what you might expect: an Irish Red with FFF's signature delivered by an added level of hoppiness. A very enjoyable brew. Slainte!

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Photo of Rutager
4.03/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hoppy St. Patrick's day and thanks to yeahnatenelson for the perfect timing in getting this one to me.

Appearance. Pours a glowing, clear amber-orange with a finger of pale amber head.

Smell. Nice toasty malts and caramel. Some piney hops too.

Taste. Big toasty malts, some piney, floral hops and just a little bit of soap.

Mouthfeel. Below medium in body with medium+ carbonation.

Overall. Nice amber here with some interesting flavours going on.

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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 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 kawilliams81
4.2/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Jester King pint.

A- dark golden with a 2" off-white head. Nice amount of spotty blotches.

S- toast, spices, and citrus

T- toasted malts, lots of spices, rye, and citrus hop bitterness (of course)

M- medium body and carbonation. Very clean and easy drinking.

O- good beer and very good Irish red. Will have again around St. Paddy's for years to come.

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Photo of mayor55
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bomber in tulip glass. This is the 3rd time I've had Brian Boru. Thick off white head. I'm a pretty experienced beer drinker, but I overflowed this. Heavy lacing. Regular 3 floyds west coast citrus nose. FFF is the best. Classic Irish red with FFF signature. Happy St. Patrick's day. Bomber #2 ready in fridge.

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Photo of Morey
4.42/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle with no freshness date. Come on FFF! I happen to know that this is a fresh bottle, but still. That being said, I couldn't think of a better beer to kick off my B-day (which also happens to be St. Patrick's Day). Cheers!

Pours an amber-red color with one finger of off-white head. The head has settled quite a bit after 7 minutes or so, but there's some pretty good lacing and retention. Pretty good clarity, although there is a slight haze to it.

Nice citrus notes in the aroma following the pour. I'm definitely getting orange and grapefruit along with a good amount of toasted malt and grains. Very impressive.

The malts actually hit the palate first, but it isn't long before that citrus from the aroma starts provide some bite and flavor. There's some bitterness, but it doesn't linger. The malts surface again near the back end making for a rather traditional Irish Red finish with the hops lingering just a bit.

Medium bodied mouthfeel with a carbonation that sits between medium and high.

Overall, this is the best Irish Red that I've ever had by far and away.

Morey's Bottom Line: Picked this up for $6.99 in Ohio because I wanted to drink an Irish beer on SPD. This is tasting better than the month old Nugget Nectar that I had last joke.

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Photo of jsulko
4.35/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bomber poured into a tulip glass

Pours a reddish color with a large white foamy head.

Smell is malty and sweet.

Hops come through on the taste, more than most Irish Reds. Sweetness also present throughout.

Very smooth finish.

A style I had started to move away from but Three Floyds really hits it well and makes it one of the best.

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Photo of alpinebryant
4.23/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a bright copper orange color with heavy white lacing and a solid white head that stuck around for a few minutes.

S: Strong citrus aroma, plenty of caramel and roasted sugars, some irish yeast somewhat like a doughy soda bread.

T: Taste surprised me a bit. This is definitely the hoppiest Irish Red ale that I have had with a strong red malt backbone and a strong bittering presence. Bitterness mostly made up of early bittering hops without flavor and a strong citrus presence.

M: Light to medium body, just about right for the style, lighter than say Killians Irish Red. Medium to high carbonation.

O: This is a very good Irish red ale. I am sure that traditionally speaking, this is overhopped, but it really is an enjoyable beer for me.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.88/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A big thanks to Billakowski for sending this one out my way! The beer poured out as a nice looking red/amber color with a light tan head on top. The smell of the beer was hoppier than I expected with some malt aromas coming off of it also. The taste of the beer gives off this really interesting musty/aged flavor. The flavors kept me guessing on what it was that I was tasting. The other flavors were of caramel and some bitter hops in the finish. The mouthfeel of this beer was smooth and lightly carbonated. Overall it's a good brew and I'm glad I got to try it.

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Photo of WillCarrera
4.23/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a clear reddish copper color, has a big inch-high thick, creamy head, has great retention and lacing.

S- Big hops, citric and also with some peat. Caramel, toffee malt.

T- Very hop forward again, juicy citrus and some bitter rind, also some herbal, peaty hops. Caramel and toffee malts are also prominent and have a chewy doughy feel.

M- Medium-bodied, good carbonation and a creamy feel.

O- I really liked this one, a really tasty hop-forward take on a red ale.

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Photo of KyleVester
1.61/5  rDev -60.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 4 | overall: 1.5

Got a 22 from 3Floyds Brew Pub last night and it was just awful. May have been a bad bottle based upon the descriptions of other reviews.

Smell was very harsh and kinda like BO. Taste was similar. Very harsh bitterness, some astringency, skunky (like Heineken), and a pleasant aftertaste was not left. No sweetness was detected.

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Photo of vester
1.38/5  rDev -65.9%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Tastes and smells like a cab driver after an 18 hour shift. Absolutely disgusting. Neither me or my companion could take more than a few sips.

I am not kidding about this. It smelled and tasted like body odor. I would rather drink Bud Light than this.

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Photo of Rugglesby
4.32/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a crystal clear copper/red/orange with about 2 fingers of lingering, off-white head. Slight carbonation trickling from the bottom of the glass. Lacing is apparent.
S: Very hoppy, citrus, grapefruit with a hint of pine.
T: Hops up front, astringent, sweet middle with slight doughy/biscuit notes. Hops on the back of the tongue with caramel/toffee lingering notes.
M: Coating, lingering, somewhat chewy.
O: Surprisingly hoppy for an Irish red but that is no shocker coming from 3Fs. Very drinkable.

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Photo of jmarsh123
4.23/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours more of an orange than red although there is some copper hue in there. 2 finger frothy off-white head with good lacing.

Smells like a DIPA. Big citrus notes alongside some sweet caramel malt.

Same citrus flavor on the front of the palate. The malt asserts itself more in the flavor as there is a big sweet caramel presence. It finishes slightly piney/grassy and fairly dry. A good lingering bitterness on the back of the tongue.

Medium mouthfeel and carbonation levels. A bit thick without being cloying.

As usual with FFF the style is hopped more aggressively than normal which is how I like my reds anyway. I'd had a few that are better, but this one is up there.

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Photo of thydarkprevails
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From a bomber in a duvel tulip. Clear amber red with a 2 finger white head that fades slowly. Aroma is Amarillo hops, tropical fruit, and some toffee. Taste is of caramel, toffee, orange, and mild grapefruit. This red has somewhat of a tropical feel to it. The mouthfeel is creamy and the flavor lingers. Awesome Irish red.

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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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