Lord Rear Admiral | 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

176 Reviews
no score
Send samples
Lord Rear AdmiralLord Rear Admiral

Brewed by:
3 Floyds Brewing Co.
Indiana, United States

Style: Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Three Floyds version of an ESB, this deep amber ale has a complex malt sweetness and pronounced apricot hoppiness. Named after Admiral Lord Horatio Nelson.

55 IBU

Added by scruffwhor on 04-02-2007

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 176 | Ratings: 639
Photo of axeman9182
4.39/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber thanks to Kayn169. This one was poured into my Brooklyn Brewery tulip.

Lord Admiral Nelson pours a roasted chestnut color, a bit dark for the style, and lightens to amber when heldo to light. The off white foam that caps the beer approaches three fingers in height, has displays decent retention, and is nice and sticky. The nose has some crisp biscuity and caramel malty notes, as well as some herbal hop notes. A light citric aroma enters the picture as well, and serves as a nice accent rather than taking over the whole beer. The nose serves as a pretty good preview of what's to come. The bready and caramel sweetness lead things off, before a modest bitterness lets itself be known mid palate. The balance is superb, I couldn't describe this beer as either overtly hoppy or malty. The same predominantly noble, herbal hop, with a light touch of American citrus blend is on display at the back end of each sip. Props the 3 Floyds for showing restraint and keeping this one essentially British, with just enough American influence to liven things up. The mouthfeel is pretty solid overall. The body is sturdy, relatively full for the ABV, and the carbonation is slightly understated. A great spin on a classic style.

 1,234 characters

Photo of Scrumtralecent
4.2/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

A - Pours a nice copper color with a thick white head that lingers throughout the session.

S - A nice hop aroma with bitter malt backing. Perhaps some barley, but the malt is actually quite nice. Seems well balanced and has some substance to it.

T - A well balanced taste of hop and malt. The piney hops play a high end role to the taste, while the malt gives it backing, complimenting, and playing its own slightly dark role. Quite amazing how everything is playing so well.

M - Medium bodied with that malt giving it some heaviness. Decent amount of carbonation.

O - If one of the criteria for this style is balance, this is right on. Hops aren't overbearing, malt isn't overbearing, they just come together to make a tasty medium bodied beer. Little heavy for me on a summer release, but the taste helped me get past that.

 870 characters

Photo of cosmicevan
3.83/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very excited to try this, big thanks to stxSS07 for the excellent hookup. Haven't had too many esbs but this is a style that I have been getting into lately and I have heard good things about this one.

a - opened the bottle and filled my portsmouth tulip. Really attractive from the gate. Deep mahogany, almost a cherry chestnut. Nice foamy head and solid lacing. coolest label of all time as well.

s - great caramel malt with decent hop. Really nice. Kind of like a boch lite.

t - much more going on in the taste than the nose. Big kick of peppery spiciness with a bitter finish. The kick is a bit heavy.

m - nice prescence. Pretty full bodied. Nice carbonation, very beery.

o - overall a very solid offering for an ESB, can certainly hang with the best of them when it comes to ESBs.

 790 characters

Photo of jpmclaug
3.83/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of dsc. Been wanting to try this one for awhile

Dark amber, orange body with a nice sized white head resting on top. Good amount of lacing. Caramel, toffee mingle with english hop aroma. Some sweetness in the nose as well.

A pretty balanced beer, certainly not a phrase I thought I would say about Three Floyds. Some floral hop notes, a good pale malt backbone. Some piney-ness as well. medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation. Not caring much for some of the floral notes.

Overall a decent beer. Didn't blow me away but didn't dissapoint. Only thing I don't care much for is the floral hop notes in the flavor. A pretty solid beer though. Easy to drink.

 681 characters

Photo of cosmo4u
4.17/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

recieved from funkyaudio in the noob bif

Pours a nice cloudy orange color with a small and frothy white head. Aroma is of hops, grapefruit, citrus, sweet, bready and caramel malts and some toffee. Flavor is nice picking up juicy hops with flavors of citrus, white grapes, grapefruit, herbs with a tea-like taste, sweet candy type maltiness, caramel and toffee, bready and biscuity malts. The body is medium with a nice silky smooth mouthfeel.
my onyl drawback was I wanted it to be even more bitter than it was.

 513 characters

Photo of cpz28
4.24/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Dark amber/orange, clear with a big, foamy, white head

S-Typical Floyds big citrus aroma. fruity

T- Balanced bitterness that gets more aggressive towards the finish, toast/biscuity crystal malt flavor and fruity hops throughout

M- Slightly less carbonated than I'd expect

O- This is a good beer...However, it used to be better. I swear this thing is darker and not as dry this year than in years past. In fact, this beer is incredibly similar to Alpha King this year. I'm going to drink and AK after this for comparison. Go back to the old way, FFF.

 555 characters

Photo of WoodBrew
3.88/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Neighbor brougth home a growler of Sir Lord Admiral Nelson from Three Floyds...it was about a day and ahlf old. The appearance was nice, great head and a caramel clear color. The nose offered hop, alcohol, and some malt. The taste was very sweet to me...definitely bitter....and some hops. The bitterness really affected the mouthfeel score....for me at least. Wasn't a big fan of this beer. Not nearly as good as some of 3Fs other offerings.

Re-tried this beer from a bottle and all the points I didn't like from my original review had been smoothed out. I really enjoyed this beer and the new score reflects that.

 617 characters

Photo of Kayn169
3.92/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at FFF, poured into an Imperial Pint Glass.
Date: 07/16/11

A- Body is a clear Amber, topped with a 1.5 finger off white head. Nice lacing.

S- Some nice earthy sweetness, some bready yeast, and some hops, but not nearly as citrusy as most of their beers, more bitter, and floral. Good sign, seeing as how it is supposed to be an ESB.

T- Very nice, grainy sweetness upfront. Some bitter hops, not really piney, but not really citrus either. I mostly get the sweet toffee malt, some breadiness, and a bittering dry finish

M- Medium with decent carbonation. A little sticky, but as to be expected with a malt forward beer. Over all though, lighter than expected. The last few other ESBs I had were a little on the heavier side.

O- I have been waiting to try this one, somehow missed last year, despite looking for it. Overall, another nice offering from FFF. Would I consider it 100% ESB...maybe not, but it definitely more English, than the Blackheart English IPA. Both are great beers, that I have no reservations about drinking again. I bought a few bombers of LAN to being home.

 1,091 characters

Photo of AgentZero
4.2/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Amber colored beer with a white head that left sheets and lace while consuming. Pretty nice looking beer.

S - Lightly toasted caramel malts with some nice bittering English-type hops. A little bit bready, with some decent bittering on the end from the hops. Quite well done.

T - Bitter, little grapefruity, with some citrus and pine. Some nice earthtones and caramel, with the toasted grains coming through just a little bit stronger. This is actually pretty good.

M - Medium bodied with nice carbonation.

O - Pretty good beer, ESB's are a style I enjoy when there's a good one, and I'd consider this a good one. Will definitely drink when available.

 658 characters

Photo of beerpirates
3.98/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bottel poured into my cantillion tulip glass

. Pours a nice clear amber-brown color with a sticky off-white head and excellent lacing.
Aroma is bright fresh hops, citrusy mostly, slightly herbal, with sweet malt in the background. Really smells awesome.
Flavor is caramel malt and toffee along with the typical excellent FFF hop character, citrusy, mostly grapefruit, with slight herbal notes as well. Not terribly much bitterness given the hop aroma and flavor, although it’s definitely there.
Medium body with some hop resins present on the palate. Extremely drinkable. Another great one in FFF’s awesome line of hoppy beers.

 641 characters

Photo of beergod1
3.88/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I haven't had a lot of experience rating ESBs as a style, but this seemed like an American Pale Ale. Piney and citrus notes and flavor. I did pick up notes of sweet caramel malt. Great hop flavor. Nice caramel color and good frothy head with lacing.
I would not have guessed the 6.5% ABV. none detected at all.

 310 characters

Photo of CuriousMonk
4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bomber (no date stamp on bottle) into dimpled mug glass. Pours a nice cloudy orange color with a small and frothy white head. Aroma is of hops, grapefruit, citrus, sweet, bready and caramel malts and some toffee. Flavor is nice picking up juicy hops with flavors of citrus, white grapes, grapefruit, herbs with a tea-like taste, sweet candy type maltiness, caramel and toffee, bready and biscuity malts. The body is medium with a nice silky smooth mouthfeel. Overall a really good ESB, with an American twist to it. Glad to have tried this brew.

 557 characters

Photo of Jeffo
2.97/5  rDev -28.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 3

Got this as an extra from thomashardy in the great FFF hookup a while back. I know this trade didn't go down as quickly as you'd hoped mate. Thanks for your patience and thanks for the killer box.

My first try at an American attempt at a traditional English style. Interesting.

From a bomber into a snifter.

APPEARANCE: Foam starts creeping up the neck upon opening. Pour yields a one finger, thinner looking, white head that's quite noisy. Poorer retention, the head quickly fizzes down to a thin wisp. Color is a hazy, rust brown with zero carbonation evident. Splotches of wisp remain but leave no real lacing down the glass. Average at best for the style. The second pour was a little more vigorous and left some chunky lacing down the glass.

SMELL: Pleasant nose for sure, and just bold enough. Caramel malt with some toffee in there. Floral hop notes and a touch of honeydew melon. Lots of melon and berries in there.

TASTE: Some caramel and nutty flavors, but lots of floral hops, pine and plenty of hop bitterness at the finish. Less fruity and sweet than expected, and far more bitter. Mild yet lingering aftertaste is pure bitterness with pine and some floral notes. Not as balanced as most in the style, but still an enjoyable, hoppy brew.

PALATE: This is where the beer goes south. Thinner body and higher end carbonation. Airy on the palate, goes down somewhat abrasive and finishes very dry and astringent on the palate. Not the most pleasant feel, though I could imagine it being worse. Needs to be fuller and creamier, and carbonation needs to be controlled better. The second pour came out a little nicer, but still well below par for the course.

OVERALL: Decent beer with an enjoyable flavor profile, but the look was just too average and the palate was worth forgetting. The taste didn't really match the nose either. It was actually a half-decent dark IPA, but not really good representation of an English ESB. Glad to have tried it, but don't need it again. Thanks again thomashardy!

 2,018 characters

Photo of bmwats
3.91/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 650 ml bottle into an imperial nonic.

A: Dark, cloudy, golden hue. Pours a giant, frothy, white head which crates slowly first, then just seems to collapse on itself. Pretty heavy carbonation. Eventually, looks like a root beer float. Some nice heavy, but sparse lacing. Head renews with each re-pour.

S: Plenty of pine, a little malt, and kind of a salty seawater thing goin'.

T: Piny and a little sweet. Tastes like it smells. You kind of feel like you're drinking out of a river or something. I don't mean that in a bad way by any stretch of the imagination. It's just got this river water or seawater thing going on.

M: Bitter and hoppy throughout. Has a little sweet tinge that hits you right in the middle. Something of a thick syrupy texture. Very dry finish.

D: Mmmm... If you like bitters, this will work for you.

Atmosphere very nice. Great color, and a giant head with some great lacing. Nose is not complex, but has an interesting river water or seawater character that's tough to place, but makes it quite unique. Bitter character but a nice slightly sweet balancing act. Overall, this is a great quaff.

 1,136 characters

Photo of ffejherb
4.47/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz. bomber shared with friends on 2/8/11.

A - Poured a very hazy orange liquid with a thin off-white head that reduced to some patchy residue and lots of spotty lacing.

S - Aroma is very citrus-forward with plenty of pineapple and grapefruit notes. Malt character is sweet with hints of caramel and toffee. The aroma is unabashedly FFF!

T - Tropical fruit is at the forefront of Lord Admiral Nelson, giving the initial flavor quite a bit of hoppiness right from the get-go. I definitely get a lot of pineapple. Malt is expectedly sweet with caramel and toffee tones. Finishes like a juicy, hoppy West Coast IPA with a backing of toasted grains to balance.

M - Medium bodied with an oily texture and moderate carbonation. Finish is moderately bitter with residual sweetness.

D - This is a typical FFF hopfest, whereby they take a style and hop the shit out of it to create an awesome beer. Yeah! That's not to say that the beer itself is "typical". Quite the contrary. It's also not just a hop bomb, as there is plenty of malt sweetness that is typical of the ESB style. You could call it an EESB, I guess.

 1,114 characters

Photo of drabmuh
4.07/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Part of my #1 beer project, the top ESB on BA Lord Admiral Nelson. Beer served in a Three Floyds beer glass because I can.

Beer is amber and hazy (but it looks like chill haze) with an off white head of medium bubbles, minimal lacing and low carbonation.

Aroma is pretty hop forward with some interesting pine hop profile with a nice malt backbone.

Beer is medium bodied and heavy in the front and thin at the back. There is a lot of piny hop flavor in this beer with only a minimal sweetness up front. The hop flavors fill out the midpalate so thoroughly the beer falls flat on the finish. Pretty good drinking beer. Very enjoyable. Bitterness is minimal but that's OK for the style. I'd have it again. The more I drink the more resiny the beer gets but that's from the high hop presence. It is good!

 805 characters

Photo of stakem
4.2/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from random notes I found laying around. These are circa September of this year. Bottle shared with a group of local BA's care of StormKing47.

Poured into a taster, this brew appears a hazed golden color with a creamy white head. Spotty lacing effect is left on the glassware.

The smell of this brew includes a pleasant display of hops that you would expect in an ESB. Herbs, light grainy sweetness and an essence of lemon across the back of the nose.

The taste of this brew is fresh grainy sweetness with herbal hops that impart quite a bit of flavor without getting bitter. A toasty grain flavor is left inside the mouth. The hops come across with an herbal aspect as it warms that almost turns minty, fresh and cool tasting.

A medium bodied brew with a smooth feel and light level of carbonation. It is very drinkable and a fine example of the style.

 864 characters

Photo of CooperEllis
3.68/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz into 7oz tasting glass. Thanks to spicca66 for sending this my way.

Muddy carmel color, lighter at the bottom (narrow end of the glass) darker at the top end. A sticky, ivory white head.

There is a full malt aroma. A strong note of fig; perhaps a combination of spices that my nose reads as fig. Some bitterness, but mild.

The taste is malt, light sweetness, crisper than the spice notes would suggest. I greatly enjoyed the overall mildness of this brew. There was a lot of room for each of the flavors to be noted, and they blended together well without overpowering each other or my palate.

The mouthfeel is more in keeping with a hoppier style (indeed, this could have been chock-full-O hops, but it certainly wasn't evident in the tast of the bottle I had). I will say that there was a min of carbonation with this, and in keeping with the 'englishness' of it it certainly reminded me more of the english styles I enjoy.

It is solid. And if I had easy access to it I imagine I would keep bombers of it around because it is an easy drink. But it is not so over the top good that I will continually be trading for it to keep it on hand.


 1,157 characters

Photo of 2BDChicago
4.57/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Hazy, orange amber, with full off-white foam.

S: Appealing aroma of multiple notes. Fruit, light spice, and some caramely-biscuity malt.

T: Don't you love it when the taste and aroma are equally fine. Equal parts of fruit and malt sweetness, but not overly so. The hop bitterness is unique in that I get a hop bite at back of the tongue, but it's like a side show definately not the main attraction. Don't mis-understand, FFFs is almost always big hops, just mostly well blanaced. The mouthfeel is dry and very clean, with good carbonation.

D: A very under the radar offering from FFFs, and I don't know why. To me it's a very enjoyable, and highly drinkable brew. It's probably the most IPA-ish ESB on the planet, and it totally works because of balance. There's a very pleasant flavor that runs through the brew that gives it a great personality. The malts and hop flavors work perfectly together. Hard to find but woth the hunt.

 937 characters

Photo of gory4d
4.13/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to mandark for the birthday beer.

Pours deep orange w/ a fluffy white head. Smell is sweet clover honey, sharp minerals, autumn leaves. The taste is clean mineral water, herbal honey, tangelo tang, orange skin bitter finish. It's highly carbonated, mid-weight body. Really too easy to drink for a beer this big. Well done.

 330 characters

Photo of ahurd11085
3.96/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Got this bad boy from klshanks. Thanks again bud.

A: Poured into tulip from 22oz bottle adorned with some of the most bad ass artwork I've ever seen on a bottle. Rock! Pours a fierce golden orange topped with a 3 finger orangish fluffball of a head. Good start.

S: Subtle yet complex. Notes of spicy noble hops, pine and earth mixed with toasty, slightly nutty malts. Not as upfront as I would like, but lots of depth.

T: Pretty damn good, with lots of complexity from the blend of the spicy hops and malts. Nothing that's going to scorch your palate or blow your socks off, but a really well done, balanced beer. It's not everyday you try something that is rich and complex, but still well balanced.

M: A bit on the thin side, with some hop oil slickness and medium carbonation. A touch more weight would be nice

D: High. I could drink this all day and be perfectly happy.

 879 characters

Photo of z3niMAGiNE
4.17/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer is delicious.

Pours a hazy translucent orange sediment visible on the bottom of the glass with generous head which exhibits fair retention and mild-moderate lacing.

The smell draws me in. I smell malts and hops with kind of a caramelly odor and a little bit of berries way in the back.

The taste is well balanced between malt and hops. The malt is dominant up front and the hops give it a somewhat piquant finish.

Quite a bit of carbonation but not too much. It makes the beer feel substantial and sizzles along my tongue.

I'd return to this beer gladly at any time.

 581 characters

Photo of domtronzero
3.93/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Oh yeah, thanks Dankbeers619. A seriously generous BA.

A - Slightly hazy orange copper with a big long lasting whitish head. Tons of lacing throughout.

S - Big caramel bread crusty malts. Lots of piny/earthy hops. Otherwise quite clean.

F/M - Sweet bready/toasty caramel-like malts. Nice medium piny hops with medium bitterness. Medium body with moderate carbonation. Clean dry finish.

D - Very good, clean and refreshing. Quite poundable. This is a great beer for sure.

 474 characters

Photo of andrewinski1
3.16/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Bendurgin for sharing!

Poured into a pint glass with a three finger almost perfectly white head. Large bubbles on this one. Nice amber color on the body with a slight bit of haze.

Smells of bready malt, with a slightly noticeable citrus aroma. Decent balance for the style.

Taste is all malt flavor; a kick of bitterness is in the finish to balance out but I feel it is a bit much for a good balance. Nothing too spectacular here.

Average mouthfeel and decent drinkability. This is an okay beer, I would probably only try it again if I could do so on tap though.

 576 characters

Photo of Bendurgin
2.99/5  rDev -28%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Got this as an awesome extra in a trade recently with a very generous Midwest BA. Poured this into a pint glass. The beer is a cloudy amber color with a big frothy looking white head that shrinks down to soapy lacing. I'm not really loving the smell on this. Sweet malts are really front runners on this. I get a kind of apple sauce smell, but it seems really out of place. Behind all that is a slight smell of piney hops. I'd really love a bit more of a hoppy smell. Big malts on this with a decent bittering finish of floral piney hops. It's pretty nice drinking, but I overall am a little underwhelmed by this one right now. The mouthfeel is a bit heavier than I would imagine but the carbonation is nice. Overall this beer drinks fair enough, but I'm not in love with it.

 775 characters

Lord Rear Admiral from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
4.15 out of 5 based on 639 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.