Three Floyds Brian Boru
Fellow beer lover Dave took a trip to Three Floyds Brewery recently and was gracious enough to send me a care package containing a Brian Boru and a six pack of Gumballhead. These were my first two 3F beers and they’ve only left me clamoring for more. Thanks Dave! Also worth noting was this was the first beer I tried from my dedicated beer fridge.
First off, I’ll admit I’m not the biggest fan of Irish red ales. Secondly, I’ll admit my only experience with Irish reds is Killian’s, which I’ve tried several times. And yes I know this probably isn’t the best sample size and that there’s even some debate as to whether that’s really an “Irish Red” so my point is I’ve formed an opinion without much empirical data to support it. Plus Killian’s is made by Coors so that really clouds up the issue, as claiming craft beer experience based on a mass market beer isn’t really grounds for anything, other than getting thrown out of the finer things beer club.
Back to the beer – Brian Boru Old Irish Red Ale. I did, somewhat appropriately, drink this on St. Patrick’s Day for an added kick of properness. The bottle was 1 pint 6 oz and I poured it into an American pint glass and registered a temperature of 53.6 F. ABV came in at 5.9%. The pour yielded an average 1 inch frothy off-white head that left virtually no lacing as it dissipated quickly. There was a soft carbonation to the beer and the body was ruby brown in color and fairly clear in the body clarity department.
I got some fairly unique aromas – caramel, citrus, grapefruit and pineapple were the ones that jumped out at me along with some roasted malts. Quite a sharp smell to it – something “red” does stand out, maybe it’s just me thinking back to the Killian’s experience.
The tastes echoed all of the aromas except for the citrus and grapefruit. It also added several new notes – a slightly burnt edge, honey, toffee and vegetables. Initial flavor was a moderate sweet and a light bitter that turned to a light sweet and moderate bitter on the finish. The finish duration was average, the mouthfeel was oily and there was a fair amount of body lacing.
The pineapple aromas and taste are an interesting edge to the malt flavors. Though it’s a bit hoppy, the taste is actually very good and balanced. The finish is where the hoppiness comes through, especially as it warms. I wouldn’t call it repeatable because I wouldn’t want to drink another one right away, but it is drinkable and the extra six ounces round off the pint nicely. It was slightly memorable with what they did with pineapple, but didn’t sport the undefinable wow factor of some of our other beers. Ultimately I’d probably not seek it out to buy again, but this would suit lots of people just fine. It would be better with food – probably beef and a stew or a roast. Overall it’s nothing special but it’s not bad. Obviously not the best of what 3F has to offer, but a solid beer nonetheless and the best Irish Red I’ve ever had.
Three Floyds Brian Boru Rating: 5 out of 10 (?)
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