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Brian Boru Old Irish Red | 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

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Brian Boru Old Irish RedBrian Boru Old Irish Red
976 Ratings
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.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 976 |  Reviews: 460
Photo of Goliath
3.82/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a ruby tinged brown with almost no head. What little head does show up immediately disappears and leaves no lacing.

Aroma has caramel, citrus, and a little alcohol.

Taste is very nice. Caramel notes as well as a good citrus burst.

Mouthfeel is on the thin side with an adequate level of carbonation.

Drinkability is high, a very tasty brew.

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Photo of SaCkErZ9
3.75/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to limesmut for this one.

Pours a clear amber color with a small white head that leaves almost immediately. Some lacing but nothing much to speak of.

Aroma is big time caramel malts. Sweet and malty. Toffee and buttermilk with some nice biscuity bready aromas as well. Nice citrus hop aromas, quite fruity.

Hoppy and fruity in the flavor. Plenty of maltiness. Caramel, lots of bready flavors. More hop flavor than bitterness. A little too sweet.

Medium bodied, crisp and clean. A nice drinker. Hop bitterness is kind of sneaky in the end. All in all, a pleasant beer.

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Photo of hellcatsjg
4.3/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Clear brown with a finger of creamy looking head that lasts for a few sips. Thin layer of foam persists for most of the glass.

Smell: Nice and sweet. Malt, caramel, a bit of hops, even a bit of citrus. But malt and caramel are definitely most prominent.

Taste: Very nice. Sweet caramel flavors to start. Becomes very, very malty. finish is slight hops and pineapple. The malt shoots back in the aftertaste. Slight warming in your throat as you go.

Mouthfeel: Very smooth. There is a decent amount of carbonation and this beer has a medium thickness. Nice flavor left behind after the sip.

Drinkability: This is a very tasty beer with good complexity. It is not too heavy and therefore the drinking is very easy. One of the best Irish Reds I've tried. Highly recommended.

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

22 oz. bottle in a pint glass.

A - Nice dark cloudy reddish brown with light tan head that stays for a while.

S - Tons of hops and a slight sweetness.

T - Really smooth and creamy. Good hops and a lot of malts. Sweet.

M - Medium bodied with good carbonation.

D - Good beer. I like it a lot. It's a lot creamier than I expected.

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Photo of younger35
4.36/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Grabbed a bomber of this stuff on my last visit to Chicago. I love Three Floyds so we’ll see what they can do with an Irish Red. Drank from my Rogue Kells Irish Lager pint glass.

Appearance- Pours a super chill hazed yellowish copper with a small foamy head that leaves a thin cap and collar. Almost zero lacing left behind, about the only flaw in this brew.
Smell- Ah Three Floyds, plenty of hops in this guy. Loaded with citrus this thing reeks of pineapple, mango and orange. A bit of spicy pine is hiding behind as well. Thick toffee backbone is sweet and nice. Great ying to the hops yang.
Taste- Loaded with sweet caramel malts that are lightly roasted and tasty as hell. Like the nose, the bitter citrus of the hops are present but not as much as the nose would lead. The pineapple and grapefruit are present but in supreme balance. I mean this is an Irish Red; they can’t be to brash right? Finishes super fruity with a light sweetness that lingers (awesome!).
Mouthfeel- Medium body with a semi creamy feel and zesty carbonation.
Drinkability- Everyone knows Three Floyds makes big hoppy beers. This definitely takes the Irish Red category to the limit hop wise, but for the good. It’s really well balanced and ridiculously tasty. Great beer I highly recommend!

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Photo of RblWthACoz
4.15/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I made one mistake with this beautiful beer. I started drinking it too cold, but luckily it started warming up enough where I got to see some interesting character come out of it.

Pours a deep clouded ruby with a light tan head. Nose is caramel and sweet. Flavor is slightly sweet with a leafy caramel character. At first I felt the flavor was dropping off too fast, but then I realized it was just too cold. As it warmed, the flavors became smoother and stayed longer. There's also a nice hearty aftertaste you get as well. Good carbonation and thick and nice on the liquid. Definitely drinkable and a good one to try.

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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.

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Photo of CharlieMopps
4.82/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: A hazy, thick red hue topped by two fingers of off-white head that displayed good retention. This thing looks pretty delicious.

S: Smells like it has a great balance; nice bready malt aroma with a hop character that seems it could be too bold for the style.

T: Damn. Judging from the scent, I was definitely wrong. This strikes a perfect balance between hops and malts, an unholy union of the two. Just enough malt character and hop bitterness to make for a fantastic brew. A very refreshing finish, goes down quite smoothly and leaves a faint hop residue in the aftertaste.

M: Carbonation is on point, perfect. Somewhat silky texture, which is also quite a balance between being over-carbonated or too weak.

D: Outstanding. This is a beer that exhibits incredible balance, great mouthfeel, and an overall immaculate beer. The versatility of this one is off the charts; I honestly don't think there's any time that I wouldn't want to crack one of these.

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Photo of grub
3.9/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Viggo was nice enough to share this one. thanks eric!

22oz bottle.

pours slightly hazy red-brown with a small dense yellowish head. the head drops fairly quickly and leaves spotty lace behind.

aroma is great. big caramel nose. hints of dark chocolate. bit of yeast. light alcohol. bit of rye-like spiciness too. big bready malt. bit of raisin and grape. actually, toasted raisin bread comes to mind.

taste is nice, though i don't think quite as nice as the aroma. medium bitterness level. lots of caramel. hints of orange. bit of dark chocolate. bread and biscuit malt. i get that bit of rye spiciness here too. actually feels just a touch watery to me.

mouthfeel is ok. fairly light body, more than i'd think it should be at this abv. medium carbonation.

drinkability is good. light and drinkable, i'd just enjoy it with a touch more body.

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

Pours a dark red, with some light passing through appealing two finger head that sticks around for a while, but reduces to a nice thin foam than laces down the glass.
Spicy and Citruisy hops bite at your nose with some caramal notes.
Taste is balanced out very good. Sweet malt hits the front of the tounge while the hops hit the back. Invites more tastes because of the complexity and balance of the two.
Feel is good. Nice aftertaste, proper CO2, and a nice dry finish are all what you'ld expect from this.
Overall, A very good red ale. It is what I would expect from the Floyds. The only issue is that it is a bit on the high end of the price scale for an Irish red. You get what you pay for in the end.

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Photo of hckyfn9999
3.53/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Deep amber color with some golden hues around the edges of the glass. Nice white head with good retention. Aroma is sweet caramel and spicy and citrusy hops wtih some black pepper notes, and a bit of alcohol as it warms. Taste starts off pretty promising with a nice citrus pressence to start but it seems to be lacking some malt character towards the back end. It just seems to fade off the palate leaving a spicy hop finish. There is a little malt present but there should be more in my opinion. Mouthfeel is medium. Not a bad beer, but a little overrated in my opinion, especially at over six bucks for the bomber.

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Photo of balconybrew
3.14/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Bomber from the brew pub.

Poured into a nonic. Poured a nice head that sat for a while, then fell leaving a thick lace white lace. Aroma is of malt, some yeast and some (less than expected) hop. The hop aroma is of typical FFF hops. "C" The taste was thick and of malt, lacking the carbonation I was looking for. Typical red with more hops. The mouthfeel was a bit thick, but drinkable. Very sessionable. Too bad it wasn't on tap.

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Photo of oakbluff
4.27/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bomber courtesy of Viggo. Big thanks for this tasty treat! Pours out a cloudy redish orange with very good head retention. The nose is sweet malt and hops. Taste- really citrus hop forward initally and then the rich matls kick in. Tons of caramel in this one. Drinkability is very high- great blend of juicy hops and thick malt. One of the better FFF brews I’ve had the chance to try.

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Photo of Risser09
4.04/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle poured into a wine glass

Appearance: Hazy brownish red with a 1" head. The head is off white and lasts a short bit, with some lacing on the sides of the glass.

Smell: Yeasty and lots of hop aroma! Smells like a DIPA rather than an Irish red ale. Prunes, raisins, hops oils. Perhaps basil and lavendar.

Taste: Thick and malty. Sugary and sweet with a nice lingering carbonation. Anyway, the flavors are malt and rye of all things, kind of reminds me of Weyerbacher's Twelve, with more hop bite. Savory and manly.

Mouthfeel: Quite thick for a beer of such low abv. Meaty and saucy. Carbonation is plentiful and enjoyable. As it warms, it lets go of more flowerlike aromas and tastes. Distinguished.

Drinkability: Certainly capable of going through one of these 22oz bottles. This is a worthy beer that should be shared and consumed a lot. I wish they distributed to PA more. Quenching.

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Photo of Vancer
4.21/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

WTF? This <Irish Red> is not normal! Must be a theme with 3F, or something.

Just great beer on all accounts – from the first pour to the final sip – a real classic!

Sexy hazy amber / copper with a sticky ass tan head – laces look like cotton candy on the glass. Atypical 3F aroma, hoppy pine and citrus popping up amongst the malt.

Very nice tasting brew, red candy apple caramel mixed in with the piney citrus – this thing is almost to the DIPA with the juicy and oily body. Even a kick of bubblegum.

Impressive little know brew, can’t believe it got down here in S.W. Illinois under the radar. A red ale you should not miss.

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Photo of msubulldog25
4.07/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle received in trade from kdoc8, via her connections back in Indiana. Called an "Irish Brand Red Ale" on the label...

A: Warm, semi-clear amber with strong reddish tones. Topped by a short-lived fizzy ivory head, fading to a scattered film and jagged ring. Moderate rising carbonation.Very good clinging lace.

S: Big, bold hop aroma rising from a sweeter caramel malt. Toasted grains, gently spiced and with a sugared lemony zest.

T: Toasted malts are rich and sweet, full of caramel cinnamon and a surprising citrus fruitiness, like ripe tangerine, or even some melon(?). Strays from maltiness with a dose of bittering herbal hops and dries in the finish, becoming medicinal with still some roastedness and a puff of smoke.

M: Smooth and creamy, rather soft mouthfeel, but with a tingling crispness in the end. Dry in the finish, this does have a somewhat grainy texture and became a little gummy. With a lowered carbonation level, this may tell me this is towards the tail end of its freshness lifespan.

D: A very likable beer, rich and flavorful. Lovely aroma...easy to drink at under 6% and one I had no trouble finishing. One I'd like to have again - thanks Kathryn.

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Photo of RedChrome
4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Color is a crystal clear with bright red color and copper highlights. Half an inch off white head faded fast. Rapid, above average carbonation.
Lacing was an extreme minimal spot.

Citrus aromas were dominating in the first inhalation. A light roasted aroma was faint in the background and had a nut like scent. Nice blend with malt aromas developing as it warms.

Super bittersweet taste was very tea like. A nice hops bitter on the outside of tongue balanced with a earth toffee, and brewed tea taste on the center of the tongue. Complex but balances well.

Average viscosity as this one ran quickly off all surfaces. Not much of a carbonation tingling at all on the tongue.

A nice beer from top to bottom. This one would go great with a roasted whole chicken. One of the few where the sum of the parts makes a greater overall whole. Definitely worth the try.

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Photo of maundythirsty
3.77/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Muddy red beer with a thin khaki head that fizzles to a ring around the glass. No bubbling. Smokey caramel malt; sweet, heavy and inviting.

Taste is mighty big on the resinous hops. Where was that in the smell? Still a smooth malt presence. Medium-to-loose mouthfeel. Slight alcohol sting. Wee carbonation.

Nice, round beer. A hefty feeling red, even though the ABV isn't particularly big. I bought a couple bottles just a week ago. First ime I'd seen the stuff. Hope I see it again.

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Photo of taez555
3.74/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured an amber/red body with a small off-white head that died somewhat quickly.

Nose is an interesting mix of at first dominating citrus resin hops but with a nice round malt backbone. Earth, roots, some hints of leaves and even some smoke. It's really a very big and beautiful red nose, but just a little overbearing with resin hops.

Taste is medium bodied and very smooth with an almost creamy carbonation. Taste is very interesting. The hop taste is a mix of citrus, pine, dried autumn leaves, and even some touches of this sour marijuana type taste. Strong sour grapefruit juice, but without the sting or peel taste sits strongly halfway through and into the finish. Caramel and a mild coffee flavor dominate the malt base, but are overshadowed by the hops. Although, the malt keeps a nice backbone. Hop bitterness is kept nicely in balance while the hop taste really dominates over it. Ends with a long lingering hop taste.

An interesting beer. I love reds and this is a great example, although the balance does seem to lean very heavily towards the hops. Very three floyds.

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Photo of plaid75
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a medium amber hue with a one finger creamy white head. There was good retention and sticky lacing.

The smell featured a soft caramel malt with hints of cocoa and a trace smokiness.

The taste consisted of an upfront sweet honey and caramel with a nice fruity hop.

The mouthfeel was of average fullness with a clean finish.

Overall a very tasty and easy drinking red ale. Nice malt subtleties and an attractive ABV.

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Photo of MrMcGibblets
4.5/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

pours a deep, hazy amber with a creamy tan head and lacing. bouquet is of toffee, caramel, nuts, light fruity notes, and toasted bread. a light to moderate sweetness upfront is well-balanced by a moderate hop bitterness and roasty notes. lively and creamy mouthfeel. finishes dry, but with some syrupy sweetness lingering in the mouthfeel. medium-bodied. long, pleasant finish. the best irish red i've had without a doubt.
Update: had it every year since. Nice clarity. Big amarillo nose when fresh. Big and luscious mouthfeel for this abv. As good or better than alpha king? This is more like a killer rich caramelly apa or ipa than an irish red...

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Photo of hammer09
3.73/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a hazy, reddish-brown with a thick, rocky head that lasts. Smell is moderately hoppy and somewhat balanced by a mild, underlying malt aroma. Taste is very malty and much less hoppy than I would have expected from a beer by Three Floyds. Mouthfeel is good with a dry, crisp finish. This brew is definitely well carbonated. Drinkability is above average. Personally, this isn't one of my favorite styles, but it's good nonetheless. I just expected a little more hop flavor than the beer provided.

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Photo of mdm46410
4.02/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a pint glass. Pour is a deep red amber with a tiny tan head. Light lacing. Aroma is that familiar FFF hop profile with notes of caramel and grapefruit. Flavor is a big citrusy, caramel followed by a mellow hint of hop and pine. Very mellow and well balanced. Medium bodied with light carbonation. Smooth with a quick bitter kick at the finish. A real winner.

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Photo of indyGold
4.84/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from a bomber purchased at 3 Floyds.

Pours clear with a full white head. Aroma has complex hops and malt. Hops are piney and citrus. Malt is dark caramel and munich/ vienna (?). The flavor combines the complexity of the hop/malt aroma and finishes smooth and dry. The drinkability is off the charts.

It's called Irish Red style by 3 Floyds, but this is really an exceptional Amber American Ale.

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Photo of Viggo
4.3/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Lexx bought this at Sam's in Chicago, been waiting for a while for this one (good thing I have a couple more.)

Pours a cloudy red/brown, rusty looking, thick tan head, settles down to a thin layer, nice lacing. Smell is caramel and grapefruit, super malty with 3F hop twist, lots of pine, pineapple, more malt, nice balance. Taste is very malty as well, thick toffee and a bit of roast, chocolate, some floral, pine, very rich, long finish. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with low carbonation, smooth drink, tons of flavour. I really liked!

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Brian Boru Old Irish Red from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.04 out of 5 with 976 ratings
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