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

Bomber poured into pint glass. Smell is fresh piney and hoppy. Taste is mostly caramel.. slight hops and light tomato. I haven't had too many of this style other than the few mainstream macro ones, but this was a pretty decent drinkable beer. Not too out of the ordinary or exciting, but definitely seemed to fit the style well.

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Photo of ffejherb
4.6/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

22oz. bomber into Imperial pint glass on 6/5/09. Thanks to Pudge43 for the trade!

A - Poured a very clear, very effervescent light copper-colored body with amber and reddish highlights and a solid two finger head of beige foam that settled into a half inch of creamy retention and deposited exquisite lace all around the glass.

S - Amarillo hops impart a citrusy hop aroma and uncover notes of pineapple and mango while simultaneously providing a subtle spicy character. Malt is sweet and suggests caramel and toffee. Hop aroma is quite similar to one of my favorite FFF masterpieces...Gumballhead.

T - The sweet and succulent tang of citrus hops works well with the caramel and toffee malt profile of this Irish Red Ale. Slight spicy, peppery notes emerge nonchalantly in the middle. Very subtle alcohol notes creep into the mix, but are barely noticeable and only become apparent after the liquid warmed up a bit.

M - Medium bodied with a smooth, creamy texture and softly carbonated mouthfeel overall. Finish is bittersweet with an exceptional balance of hop bitterness and sweetness.

D - Exceptionally flavorful and easy to drink due to the well-concealed alcohol presence, Brian Boru may very well be the best Irish Red Ale I've ever had. It's another example of FFF pushing the envelope of what can be done with a relatively dull style.

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

Received this one as an extra from slater1313, thanks Paul!

A very red/gold liquid, the head and lacing are insane. A beautiful beer.

Scent reminds me of a lighter hopslam, with honey over some mild hops. Lemon tea comes to mind.

Taste is very surprisngly pleasant. I usually don't appreciate what feel like watered down other beers, but this isn't just watered down, it's calculatedly mild. Ah hell, I don't know how to put into words what I'm trying to say, but this is a damn good beer.

Mouth is great with a relatively thick feel over medium carbonation.

Excellent stuff, one you don't hear of too much from FFF.

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

A- Deep red color with tall bright white head. Retention is minimal and little lacing.

S - Piney hops and some caramel malt.

T - Hops take center stage and provide a more pine-like flavor rather than grapefruit. Caramel malt provides a good backbone and it finishes with little bitterness.

M - Fairly thin but carbonation was good.

D - Extremely drinkable. Low abv. and great taste.

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

A 22 ounce bomber bottle split with psycohops and brothercannon. Appears a murky dark amber color with about two fingers of fluffy creamy ecru foam. Head retention is excellent and it leaves a sticky lace on the inside of my glass with each sip. The nose consists of sweet grains, toffee, citrus hop notes (orange), fragrant and grassy. Tastes of caramelized malts and grains, orange peel, candied lemon, toffee, more caramel. This red ale falls somewhere between medium and full bodied with ample carbonation for the style. This beer has a lot going on across the board considering the relatively low ABV. Great stuff! Check it out if you have the opportunity.

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

A- A clear, deep redish orange with a nice off-white head that is thin, but has some decent retention.

S- Caramel, toffee, earth, citrus, and pineapple. There is just a bit of that Three Floyds aroma in there too. Not super aromatic, but very appealing.

T- Slightly floral along with the same aspects picked up in the nose. This has all the flavors that are typically associated with peat, but it doesn't have that, which I thoroughly enjoy.

M- Very clean with a decent carbonation level. Slightly dry aftertaste.

D- A fairly hearty beer for the ABV. This is probably my favorite take of the Irish red. Enjoyable and definitely worth a try.

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Photo of BMoney575
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Sampled on 4-27-09

Pours a slightly hazy amber color, with a filmy and thin white head.

Smell is great earthy hops, with a subtle, sweet malt backing. Not overly complex.

Taste is very sweet, with that distinct Three Floyd's quality. The hops aren't as bitter as I had hoped, with a buttery, English style finish.

Mouthfeel is good, thick and right for the style.

Drinkability is very good, very full-flavored for such reasonable abv.

Overall, a good beer, but nothing special.

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

Poured from the bottle a bright, clear red amber color with a thin but creamy beige head.

Aroma of grapefruit and pine hops, the sweetness of white table sugar, and a perfume of light tropical fruit and berries..

Tastes of berries and hops upfront, then revealing a rich caramel maltiness, some spices, and dark bread. Finish has a touch of coffee. A lot going on with this one.

Light-to-medium bodied, oily, and lightly carbonated.

I enjoyed this one quite a bit. Very drinkable and it really blossomed as it started to warm up.

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Photo of yeastsipper
3.25/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Beer pours a nice copper red. Decent lacing, strong head. Pretty looking, but at the same time nothing extraordinary.

Smell is nice though nothing complex. A lot of floral from the hops, some grapefruit as well. Smells a lot like a pretty good IPA, though the malt balances out the hop profile.

Taste is well, fine, but not much more. Again, the bitter hops and the sweet malt are battling it out. Good balance, but not great flavor IMO. Some really dry woodiness on the back end that lingers for awhile. The first few sips were more interesting; the latter a bit annoying.

To be fair, I am not sure I am a huge fan of the style, which is not the fault of the beer. That being said, overall I am underwhelmed in general, and especially given the price.

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Photo of Sean9689
3.85/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a pint glass. Red in color and a small amount of white head. Smell is hops/floral/citrus. Taste of hops, citrus, and malt. Mouthfeel is light bodied and fresh/crisp. Easy to drink brew but too many others I prefer over this one.

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Photo of bluegrassbrew
4.07/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From a 22oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a nice medium red color. Has a very small white head that drops to leave only the faintest of lacing. Very tea like.

Smell is a very citrusy hoppiness. If I hadn't seen the style already I would think this was an ipa just from the nose.

Taste is definetly hops, but more piney than I thought. Some caramel malt holds this one together.

Mouthfeel was a bit thin. I felt that it needed more of an assurtive malt backbone to keep the balance.

Overall, a solid brew. If you like IPAs but want something lower in alcohol and lighter then this is the beer for you.

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Photo of akokandy
4.07/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz brown bomber poured into a dimple mug.

A- Dark red with a relatively small head, which quickly fades and leaves very little lacing. Pretty transparent with a good amount of visible carbonation.

S- Carmel is there along with a fruit note and some floral hops. More muted than most FFF brews.

T- Sweet caramel/toffee up front in this beer. Some sips I get subtle notes of red fruit. Finishes with a toast flavor and a little hoppy twang. Less hop flavor than most FFF brews, but extremely well-balanced.

M- Medium body and ample carbonation. Smooth-drinking.

D- Very easy to drink. Average abv and smoothness make this one go down the hatch easily. Nice.

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Photo of youngblood
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- This beer looks rad! Very deep amber hue (woah, amber is the color of its energy) that glimmers in the light. Very light, highly fluffy white head.
S- Very strong floral hops are present. Bits of caramel and toffee and slight chocolate sweetness present as well?
T- I was a bit let down after smelling this. I thought the hop presence would be more evident. They are certainly there, but the malt is the strongest flavor here. Very sweet caramel washes over everything. Nicely balanced I suppose.
M- This beer is highly carbonated. Not my favorite mouthfeel, but not my least favorite either. Very average.
D- Low ABV means its easily quaffable and it certainly goes down easy.

Overall, this is a very mediocre beer. Nothing groundbreaking.

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

Appearance: Reddish amber body with cream colored head.

Smell: Fresh hops and very floral smells. Also roasted malts, caramel, and toffee.

Taste: Good bitterness from the hops and a bit of sweetness to balance it out. Caramel malts with a bit of toffee and citrus also in there.

Mouthfeel/drinkability: Mediul bodied crisp and creamy. Very good.

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Photo of hooliganlife
4.17/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

poured clear copper/amber with a thick fluffy head that took its time going away. very nice retention.

smell was very sweet and the amarillo hops were VERY present.

taste was sweet with a very noticable floral hop flavor with with sweet malts and toffee notes. did not has as thick of a malt backbone as I had expected.

i gave this a lower mark as it was kind of thin for an amber. carbonation was spot on though.

good beer, glad i bought a few of these and the price was lower than most FFF bombers. low ABV made this easy to drink, could have easily popped open another.

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Photo of barnzy78
3.83/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz, poured a rusty orange color with a foamy white head with good retention. Aromas were of sweet toffee and caramel with some unexpected hops. Mouthfeel was medium bodied, and flowed nicely around the palate. Flavors were great up-front malts, mainly caramel and toffee notes, but the balance from the presence of the hops gave it a nice finish. One of the better Irish Red Ales I've had.

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Photo of dukedevil0
4.15/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Map Room in Chicago

A: Pours a reddish amber with white head and some lacing.

S: Smells surprisingly like hops

T: More hoppy in the taste than I expected with a well balanced slight maltiness in there too.

M: very nice and full bodied

D: totally easy to drink with good flavor profile.

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

Stopped into the brewpub for a pint and a sandwich

A: Deep amber with a cream colored head.

S: Hit of hops, caramel malts are very present.

T: Very smooth, good carbination and a hearty flavor.

D: This is a better example of a Red Ale than most that I've tried. Can definitely drink a bunch of these.

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

Thanks goes out to BrewerB for this brew.

Pours a nice hazy amber color, nice carbonation, nice little fizzy off-white head, with some sticky lacing left behind. The nose is big on malts, getting some cherries, and caramel. The taste is slightly sweet, malty, cherries/caramel. Medium body, the finish is dry. Drinkable, this is a pretty tasty brew.

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Photo of Nutleybeer
4.09/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got a bottle from Capone's in where else sells Three Floyd's in our area. Pricey purchase, but I was curious.

Pours with a pleasant head. Dark, orange copper color. The tiny carbonation bubbles circulate around the interior of the glass.

A rich, heavy, sweet, malty scent. Almost a syrupy aroma. First taste, smooth. Not as potent in terms of alcohol taste as I would have expected based on the smell. BIG malty flavor, which comes in waves. Fills the tastebuds. The essence of a burgundy and a barleyine.

Good, quality stuff. As mentioned, lots of underlying flavors present.

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Photo of CrellMoset
4.05/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of hrking - thanks!! Poured into a cervoise.

Appearance: Pours a dark, crystalline burgundy, topped with one-finger of creamy, tan head of average retention that leaves a large sheen but a surprisingly thin, frail-looking collar. The lacing is similarly frail-looking, streaky, sticky in some places, glittery in others. Most of it doesn't stick around for too long, but it does have some presence.

Aroma: A very strong hop presence is the first thing I notice out of this one, citrusy, sweet, and accompanied by tons of heavily roasted malts, caramel, toffee, a few leafy notes. Very nice.

Taste: A nice array of flavors, definitely hoppier than your typical Irish Red. The malt profile is as solid as ever - lightly fruity, caramel, definite toffee, strong toast, fainter backing notes of cocoa and coffee, about equal parts sweet and dry, though with the sweet leaning more towards the high, fruity side of things, gummy bearish, soft. There's also a fair amount of bitterness, and a great deal of other pleasant hop notes - pineapple and citrus notes are strong, unusually so for the style, though it adds an interesting and unique dynamic to this one.

Mouthfeel: Very soft and gentle, with fantastically even and creamy effervescence. This one's reasonably well-attenuated, so the sugars are unusually soft, dry, pleasantly subtle.

Drinkability: Probably the best Irish Red I've ever had. Another winner from a top five brewery, as far as I'm concerned, and 5.9% is plenty to sneeze at. Though it's not my favorite style - the malt complexities just aren't my thing - it's nonetheless a really tasty beer, and one that I would be more than happy to have again. Recommended.

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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 ryrust5301
4.48/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance - Dark red amber color, with a tight yellowish tan head. Angelic halo crowns the top and holds steady throughout.

Smell - Like most Three Floyds brews, there is some hops at play. The real showstopper is the deep rich caramel malt that holds everything together. I'm sure it will play a huge role in the taste as well. I guess I can smell a little citrus and pineapple as the label suggests.

Taste & Mouthfeel - Well for such a robust malt taste that was expected, this one drinks very light. Smooth on the tounge with enough carbonation to keep things alive, before it finishes in a rich creamy sweetness that I can't stop drooling over. The hops are there, but they flow beautifully into the malt and make sure to get out of the way.

Drinkability - Three Floyds has turned a normally dull style into an enormously flavorful beer. I didn't think you could pack this much taste and flavor into a red ale, but Three Floyds really shows what they're made of here. Dynamite in a bottle!

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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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