Every month, Three Floyds Brewery releases a new seasonal beer in a 22oz bottle. Their latest, and possibly greatest, is Brian Boru Old Irish Red. I have had this beer on tap and out of the bottle since its release earlier this month, and I have come to the conclusion that Brian Boru is hands down the finest Irish Red Ale I have yet to encounter. I talked to Jim Hall, beer buyer at Binnys in Willowbrook, and he is in agreement with me. He told me that Brian Boru is his favorite beer from Three Floyds; he buys a case of it every year.
Brian Boru smells of sweet malts and caramel. There is a hint of hops in the nose, but it doesnt give the impression that it is a hop monster like most of Three Floyds beers. For the most part, Brian Boru sticks to the Irish Red style, with its big malty characteristics, and sweet caramel taste. What sets Brian Boru apart from other Irish Red Ales is its moderate hoppiness, to go along with a judicious bitterness. Brian Boru also possesses some citrus notes, probably coming from the hops it contains. Brian Boru is medium bodied, with a high drinkability. Consuming more than one of these 22oz bottles is not out of the question.
Brian Boru is a good value; it is a few dollars cheaper than most of the Three Floyds bombers. This is probably because it isnt overloaded with hops like many of Three Floyds beers, and is lower in alcohol than many of their beers, at 5.9% ABV. Brian Boru is a limited release, and wont be in stores forever. If you want to try it, I would recommend picking up a few bottles in the near future. If you dont think that Brian Boru is the best Irish Red Ale available, dont sit and sulk. Let me know what your favorite Irish Red is.