Brian Boru Old Irish Red | 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

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

Picked up a bottle of this brew on a visit to RI. I am pouring a room temp bottle into a tulip snifter. The beer pours a clear mahogany with minimal beige head that foams up and then remains as only a thin edge layer.
Aroma is caramel and grassy and herbal hops. Overall the nose is fairly mild. First sip reveals an average body with gentle rolling carbonation. Flavor starts with some chocolate and caramel thenn rolls to some lite grassy hops that linger and come back with each burp. The beer is smooth an very drinkable, not overly complex or robust, but a solid example of the style IMO. Worth a shot.

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Photo of Erdinger2003
3.62/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

The appearance is reddish cinammon and the head dissapears right away. The lacing is pretty weak and doesn't stick very well.

The smell is lightly burnt sugar brown sugar with a hoppy and nutty flavor.

Strawberry is the first thing that hits my taste buds, slightly nutty and is followed by sweet hops that are lighter than I had expected.

Mouthfeel is smooth and nice, very good.

I would like a fresh bottle, this showed signs of aging or mistreatment.

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Photo of Westsidethreat
3.16/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Dark copper color. Clear, no haze or sediment to speak of. Light cream colored head has some good volume to it. Medium sized bubbles means it won't be lasting though

S: Sweet grains with a slight hop backdrop. Bit of orang juice, caramel and honey.

T: Blander than I expected. Immediate watermelon like sweetness gives way to a decent hop bitterness without a lot of flavor. Reminds me a bit of waterered down orange juice with some bittering hops.

M: Medium bodied with a full texture. Probably the best thing about this beer

D: Three Floyds is interesting. They make some of the best beers in the world, but wow are some of their beers mediocre. Not that ambers are usually a stand out style, but I suppose I was hoping for a bit more.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
2.7/5  rDev -33.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Bottle: Poured a deep clear amber color ale with a small foamy head with minimal retention. Aroma of citrus hops is clearly dominant. Taste is a mix between some sweet malt caramel and some overpowering hops. Seems to me this another one of those 3F recipe where they take a traditional style (Pride & Joy, Robert the Bruce) and drop some major hops on top of it. A bit too one-dimensional for my own taste.

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Photo of PartyHatjo
3.95/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Deep red color with some brown overtones. Little head to speak and what's there doesn't stick around.

Aroma: Nice caramel malt with some citrus and earthy hop overtones. I detect a slight roast character as well.

Taste: Very malty, sweet caramel and toffee notes. Some biscuit and roast give highlights to the beer and there are definitely some earthy English hop flavor in there as well.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, low carbonation, very little bitterness, which is good for the style.

Drinkability: Average abv and low bitterness/mid body beer make it almost slammable.

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Photo of Phatz
4.17/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

As a fan of the classic Irish red ale style I must admit this beer is unlike any other Red Ale I have ever had. It was the right color, sort of a bright amber brown, but that is where the normal ended. The taste and smell of a typical Irish red is more sweet and dry this was a real hop-bomb for the style. I did enjoy it, but by no means does Brian Boru Old Irish Red fit into the style of Irish Red Ale, IMO. There a plethora of tastes and smells including the fruity citric attributes and sweet caramel malts but they all hide under layer of very bold hops. I would have thought this a red malty IPA as opposed to a hoppy Red but who am I to say. The malty backbone gives it (almost) a medium body. If you are looking for Smithwick’s Ale, this is not it. If you are looking for something new then give Brian Boru Old Irish Red a shot.

Second time around I did not find it as hoppy as I did before... I will need to try a third bottle on a fresh palate and come to something conclusive =)

Hope this is helpful.

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Photo of Zorro
4.38/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear red colored ale with a tall light brown colored head.

Smell is a little sweet with a tea and hops aroma. There is an herbal note to the hops used that also ads a hint of metal to the scent.

Taste is slightly sweet and very full flavored with a certain herb tea quality. Good full flavors here, good malt level and multiple layers of hop flavors. Herb tea in the best sense of the word tasty and not at all harsh.

Mouthfeel is good, full but not uncharacteristically thick.

This is one very easy to drink beer. The beer that proves that Irish ale isn't just a marketing gimmick to sell Killian's red. Tasty ale that will appeal to a regular beer drinker with lots of extra flavor that a real beer fan can love.

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Photo of ghostwalker
4.17/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Deep, dark, rich, maroon body with a thick yellowish-white head.

Nose is intense fresh-cut grapefruit. Lovely hops!

Flavor is light caramel malt with the smoothness that I expect from an Irish Red Ale. Finish contains quite a substantial portion of tasty hops. Overall a bit more hops than the style calls for, but much more restrained than other FFF brews. A really well-balanced and tasty treat!

Mouthfeel is silky smooth even bordering on creamy.

Drinkability is really good. This would be a great brew to enjoy on tap.

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Photo of mynie
4.4/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Aye what I purty red this lass be. Or--wait, is that Scottish?

It's red nonetheless. Like, Juicy Juice cherry red. It looks dyed. A big, foamy brownish white head sticks to the glass like tendrils and champagne bubbles glisten in the lamplight.

Smells very rich and very hoppy! God I love Three Floyds Hops. Citrus and grapefruit and pine in the hops are offset slightly by a light caramel malt. Very nice.

The hops are sour and bitter upfront, very big on the grapefruit, but are quickly mellowed by a very firm caramel malt. Good, but not as intense or complex as the nose suggested.

Yet another great beer from the folks at Three Floyds.

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Photo of phisig137
3.65/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a dark copper color, with a two finger head that quickly falls. No lacing.

Aroma is hoppy, with hints of roasted malt.

Flavor is well balanced between malt and hops. Hops are slightly metallic on the finish, but are balanced by a caramel malt sweetness. Nicely done. Slight diacetyl.

Mouthfeel is chewy, and drinkability good.

A little to hoppy to be a red in my book, but still a very nice beer.

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Photo of hero27
4.72/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

22 oz bomber.

Deep auburn color with a foamy, pitted tan head.

Three Floyds has that distinctive hop flair that separates their beers from every other brewery, and this one is no exception. Beautiful, fragrant hop aroma blended with bold caramel & toffee malts. The tastes are equally incredible, and the Amarillo hops shine through with tremendous flavor without being overbearing. The citrus fruits and piney, mouthwatering hops are nothing short of delicious. It's remarkably drinkable for as flavorful as it is, and "smooth" would be an understatement.

I think I can say this is undoubtably the best Irish Red I've had to date.. my Lord, I'll be burping up hops for the rest of the night. Three Floyds, you continue to amaze..

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Photo of brewcrew76
3.8/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a crystal clear burgandy/brown with a thin beige head.

S - Citrus, piney hops with some sweet caramel malt. Strong hop aroma that you come to expect in all 3F beers.

T - Sweet caramel malt with citrus and piney hops. The malt presence stands up to the aggresively hopped red ale and dominates a little as the beer warms.

M - Light to medium body, somewhat creamy.

D - A hoppy take on the irish red style. I was hoping for a little more from 3F but still a tasty beer.

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Photo of cameraman
3.1/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A nice copper/brown color, with an off white head, that laces nicely. The aroma is very surprising, I was expecting the malt to be the dominant aroma, it is there, but the distinct aroma of hop spiciness and earthy scents are very apparent. The taste the malt is very strong, then I am left with a question. What happen to the hops? The hops seem to diminish in the taste, they do bring some flavor at the end, but not what I was expecting. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, the only characteristic that the hops leave behind is a dry finish. This is a pretty drinkable beer, though the aroma could scare some off, the taste would be enjoyable to some.

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Photo of RoyalT
3.5/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance – This came out a beautiful bright brown in color and very clear with a nice, pitting head.

Smell – The huge, complex hops show good promise for this effort at the difficult IRA style. I especially enjoyed the piney notes that reminded me of home.

Taste – Where did the hops go? This turned into a rather dull malty Red with some annoying tanginess. The hops were all bark and no bite.

Mouthfeel – This is short of medium-bodied and lacks any sort of bitter or dry notes.

Drinkability – This one started off looking and smelling good but in the end disappointed.

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Photo of Billolick
3.62/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

on tap @ Track 84 in warwick, R.I., poured clear almond Amber, with a standard tan head, and leaving minimal to minor lacing, bland malty nose. This a pretty tame, malty Red Ale, notes of vanilla and honey picked up amoungst the decent malty crest of this brew.Very minor hop character. Looks like this beer in bottles is quite hoppy....interesting cuz the tap version pint that had, was malt and more malt. Nothing special, but a decent sessioner, if your thing is middle of the road malty brew.

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Photo of Winter
3.76/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep brownish garnet in color with a thick creamy tan head. Piney aroma with a caramel malt underlying to it. Soft, medium-bodied mouthfeel. Three Floyds hops the shit out of everything, and this is no exception. With an open mind, this is no doubt their take on an Irish Red, albeit untraditional. Piney hoppiness dominates the flavor of this beer. Underneath all the hop bitterness lies a caramel and toasted malt flavor. Gets a touch seltzery. Definitely unique for the style, but off the mark, if you ask me. Hop heads will probably enjoy this quite a bit, but I don't feel this is inline for an Irish Red. I love the label illustration, though.

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Photo of bignick
4.37/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber courtesy of Bigdan and Bigdave. Poured into an Ommegang glass.

This is really a terrific offering from Three Floyds. While it is not spectacularly complex, what Irish Red is? It is very flavorful, and stays true to the style by being very drinkable despite the copious amount hops that is typical of FFF. The smell is off the hook...piney hops that just are incredibly inviting. The taste is more subdued, with a mellow citrusy hoppiness that just begs for another sip. I would buy this beer constantly if it were available in Mass and were less than $7 a bomber.

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Photo of SixpointJMH
4.22/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This was, yet again, another nice brew from the folks at Three Floyds.

It pours a nice crisp amber colour with a medium to small head that leaves a fair amount of stickiness on the glass. I was expecting a bolder look from this one but it still poured quite nicely overall.

The aroma was hop heaven. It was sweet and floral and most importantly and apparently juicy. There was a nice malt backbone to everything as well, along with some added sweetness from the caramel notes that are interlaced throughout.

The flavour hits on all areas of the aromas and does it quite nicely, however is a tad more tame and actually showcases the maltiness of the brew a bit more as it warms. Don't get me wrong, hops still dominate throughout and the juiciness from them is still the key flavour, but the malt does indeed jump out more and it hits the palate toward the middle and finish.

Mouthfeel is right on the money in that this one is crisp and medium bodied and just easy drinking.

Overall this is just an enjoyable brew that I could find myself using as a session brew if it wasn't as pricey as it is. This is definitely worth a try if you see it anywhere.

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

Poured from a 22oz bottle.

Appearance: Pours a deep, rich amber, almost mahogony. Very minimal to almost no head and lacing.

Smell: Piny hops dominate the nose, mixed with a underlying, dark fruit and caramel sweetness.

Taste: Begins with a healthy dose of those piny hops, Brian Boru transitions to a mildly sweet and somewhat fruity middle that finishes with another hit of piny hops. Nicely balanced.

Mouthfeel: Mildly carbonated, with a medium mouthfeel. Somewhat oily and slick.

Drinkability: An extremely drinkable beer. A big, hoppy Irish red, who would have thought? 3 Floyds again shows why they are one of the better craft brewers. Plenty of hops to satisfy most hop heads, but also very well balanced. A great session beer, especially at 5.9% abv. Not true to style but who cares, a damn good beer all around. Seek this one out and enjoy.

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Photo of shbobdb
3.19/5  rDev -21%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

There is a fine art to the body of Irish reds. Too thick and you end up with a viscous cough syrup, but too thin and it just goes down the gullet and is completely forgotten. Sadly, this beer falls into the latter catagory.
The malts are a painting of rich caramel and very light fig notes layed over a pleasant english pale malt background. I dig.

But, come on, this is Three Floyds we are talking about! Let's talk about the hops. They are . . . strangely muted. Sure, they is the unmistakable aspirin twang of amarillo at the end of the beer (man, this guy can make that hop do so much. I'm always so amazed by his expert use of it). But, while they are masterfully added, they are quite subtle. Where is my *it's not normal*. This is from the guys whose mild tastes like a very hoppy pale and and whose APA is hoppier than many IPAs I've had. I guess I was excpecting more.

That actually sums up my experience with this beer overall -- I guess I was expecting more.

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Photo of StAnthony
2.36/5  rDev -41.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I'm pretty amazed at how high this Floydian has been rated by other BAs. I really didn't care for it.

Looked real perty-- a nice, deep mahogany red with great clarity.

Nothing to complain about on the nose, though it wasn't impressive.

But the taste and one word: harsh. Dominant soap characteristic (and this bar's glasses are usually spotless) with the rough bite of super-high carbonation that fades into a grapefruit-like citrus twang with a 3-second finish that wasn't quite clean...Mr. Clean, maybe. It's a red that hopheads might enjoy, but for fans of say...Leinie Red, you're going to miss the smooth malt profile.

The best thing I can say about this beer is that it got smoother with every sip...but I definitely wouldn't get it again. Sorry Floyds.

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Photo of jaluria
4.21/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured an intense dark copper/rust color with a frothy head that just sat there for a few minutes leaving behind plenty of lacing. Full of carbonation with tiny bubbles speeding to the surface to join the party. Aromas of grapefruit, pine, grass, roasted malt, and rubber; exciting and a bit unusual. The taste followed the scent with a malty core that was surrounded by juicy, citrus hops. Fruity and earthy sweetness gives way to bold and potent hops that linger in the finish generating a bitter taste. Good mouthfeel, just a tad slick. With the taste and aromas this is a flavorful beer that can be enjoyed again and again without a problem.

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Photo of OldSock
3.68/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance – 22 oz bottle from Spiritus Fermenti. Pours a rich mahogany, darker than a standard Irish Red. Tan head rises two fingers above the beer, good retention and sticky lacing.

Smell – Lots of those characteristic Three Floyds hops (at least some Amarillos), pine and citrus aromas dominate. Some sticky sweet crystal malt brings up there rear. Definitely a big departure from Smithwicks or Murphy's.

Taste – Too well balanced, this style really should be more malty and less hoppy. The malt is nice, sweet with some distant notes of chocolate and caramel. The American hops are just too powerful, putting this firmly in the American Red category.

Mouthfeel – Medium, with solid, but not overpowering carbonation.

Drinkability & Notes – Its a fine beer, I just wish that Three Floyds didn't have to pile hops into every beer they make. This is a lot like a sweeter maltier version of Alpha King. I'd take Conway's Irish Ale over this if I was looking for something a bit truer to style, but this is still a tasty beer if you look at it for what it is.

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

Pours deep amber almost ruby in color. Nice frothy biege head.
People were asking what I was drinking after seeing lacing from top to bottom on my glass.

Smell is light spicy florals with a hint of citrusy grapefruit.

Taste is with a dry mildly bitter hoppy finish.

Medium-light body. Very well done. I truly enjoyed the pints I had.
I will drink this again, for sure.

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Photo of ybnorml
3.8/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A clean copper/red beer with deep ruby highlights. Has a big bubbly beige haed with a tinge of red and a little bit of lace. The aroma starts with a strong duo of floral and citrusy hops. With a hint of carmel malt in the background. The caramel malt lands on the tip of your tongue as the floral and citrusy hops character rushes by the sides. There is a dry finish with a tea like note at the end

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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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