Red Poppy Ale - The Lost Abbey

Not Rated.
Red Poppy AleRed Poppy Ale

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BA SCORE
94
outstanding

554 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 554
Hads: 1,815
rAvg: 4.22
pDev: 5.21%
Wants: 562
Gots: 569 | FT: 43
Brewed by:
The Lost Abbey visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Flanders Red Ale |  5.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerBeing on 09-07-2007

Perhaps no country embraces the use of fruit in beers more so than Belgium. Numerous traditional as well as regional specialty ales are infused with every sort of fruit imaginable. In this way, the flavor of the fruit becomes especially prominent.

Red Poppy Ale is a veritable celebration of Sour Cherries in an explosion of aromas and tastes. Brewed from a brown ale base and aged in our oak barrels for over 6 months, this beer is not for the faint of heart.

The Golden Poppy is the state flower of California and the Red Poppy is found in Flanders Fields where our inspiration for this beer comes from.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 554 | Hads: 1,815
Photo of MtnSoup
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2012 version, and oh so wonderful. Tart, and still very effervescent. Tasting more sour than fruity at this point (but isn't that the point of keeping it until now). (165 characters)

Photo of Dreadnaught33
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A great beer, one of my favorites from lost abbey. For an Oud Bruin this has to be my favorite I've had so far in style.

A: Huge tan head with glass coating lacing. Maroon to brown hue with lighter brown highlights with a cloudy look overall.

S: Lactic smell mixed with farmhouse funky malt and some cherry and berry notes to sweeten it up a little bit. Oak barrel vanilla adds in nicely to the mix.

t: Tart berry and cherry taste with oak smoothing out the sourness nicely. Champagne grape notes mix with the dark cherry and semi sweet oak vanilla tastes. Bitter dry back to the flavor. caramel and strawberry flavors are also detectable in this very fine oud bruin.

M: High carbonation, sparkling feel. Still smooth and elegant though, the carbo seems to work with the tart flavors.

O: Really nice Oud Bruin, very excellent beer. (838 characters)

Photo of hopfacebrew
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a bottle and was rather amazed it was still on the shelf. Score. Poured from corked 375mL bottle to Cuvel tulip the beer pours a dark amber brown, opaque and cloudy. The red tones of the amber are highlighted in the edges in the light. 2 finger off-white/tan head with nice retention and lacing. The nose is a blend of sour, oak, vinegar, funk, dark fruits, and tart apple. Blended well together the aroma is appealing. Similarly the flavor begins with an oaky funk at first that develops to a tart, slightly sour, vinegar cherry sweetness. Mildly bitter and well balanced. Medium bodied and well carbonated. Finishes tart and sweet with a lingering full palette sour. Very good. Overall, the price tag has kept me at bay for years but I am glad to have pulled the trigger finally. Very enjoyable. (807 characters)

Photo of Stigs
4.49/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12.7oz bottle, served in a Stone Levitation glass

A - poured with about half an inch of loose & bubbly dark khaki foam which quickly fell to just about nothing within a couple minutes. the ber is a hazy ruby color with some floating sediment.

S - filled the room after the cork popped. the smell is of very strong tart cherries, vinegar, and oak. simple, but wonderful. had to go back and give this a 5, as i've been sniffing it for a good 20+ minutes before every sip.

T - fantastic balance. an initial cherry sweetness turns to tart, sour, vinegar, caramel, then a very drying oak. finishes with a lingering sourness and cherries.

M - just a bit over carbonated and distracting. body is medium, and very prickly, nice and dry but almost to a fault.

D - a wonderfully crafted brew...simple, yet elegant. has all the characteristics of the style and pulls them off. just wish it didnt leave my mouth feeling like sandpaper, though i cant stop sipping it. (960 characters)

Photo of davod23
4.49/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from the bottle into an oversized wine glass. 2009 edition. I've heard that this beer goes downhill in the months after release - luckily, this has been fridged since last winter.

It pours a clear, dark auburn. Minimal (and I do mean minimal) cream colored head forms, which dissipates to nothing but the thinnest of collars and some cloud-like wisps on the top of the brew. This is okay, but could be improved with evidence of more ample carbonation.

Smell is great. Sour cherries dominate, but there's a complex background of oak, vanilla, and a light funkiness that wraps around everything.

Taste is similarly great. Sweet red cherries hit the palate first, followed by a slight vanilla and oak tinged sourness. It's less of a sourness, actually - I think that "tartness" describes this beer better. It finishes quickly, but leaves a lingering trace of light sour behind.

Mouthfeel is fine. Basically, it's just barely carbonated enough to be good. One less bubble in this brew, and the beer would suffer. That said, a bit more carbonation would be better for this brew, IMHO. Of course, this is Lost Abbey, so I'll take what I can get in this department.

Drinkability is excellent. I wish this was in bigger bottles, because I would polish it off with no problem.

Very good beer from Lost Abbey. This might be the sole purchase I make at their brewery this upcoming year, as it's one of the better Flanders ales that I've ever had. (1,450 characters)

Photo of ClavisAurea
4.49/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

375ml bottle served in a tulip glass at cellar temps. Bottle is the 2015A vintage bought from the brewery.

Appearance: dark brown and explosively carbonated. I took the cage off and the cork shot out 2 seconds later. Glints of red through and a bit of sunlight on the edges. Massive foamy head.

Nose: oaky, sour cherries, vanilla, complex lactic nose with the yeast and microbial poking through.

Taste: sour but not bracingly, sour cherries, wood from the barrel aging, very complex and wonderful. Medium to heavy body, more so than I would have expected.

Overall: I bought this after reading about it online and in books. The brewery was beautiful and the beer is nothing less than spectacular. I don't have much experience with this style and need to try more. The complex yeast, Brett and bacteria notes combined with the sourness can be off putting for some but I find it wonderfully complex. I have a second bottle to cellar. (939 characters)

Photo of Mages64
4.48/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to craytonic for this bottle poured into a tulip.

A: Dark red and brown with only a little head. No sure if pics are allowed but here it is seconds after pouring: http://twitpic.com/379up8

S: dates, prunes, grapes, cherries, cranberries, raspberries(one of those) and oak. Also sweet tarts. I feel like you can tell it is about to be a little sour.

T: Dr. Pepper with sourness and Oak and vanilla in the background. Sour but not too much. Finish is sweeter and woodier. cherries.

M: Delightfully carbonated(must have been fresh;) and sticky. Hits the back of your throat hard but leaves quickly and the only remains are on your tongue and lips.

D: It's an amazing beer but I'm not the right person to ask if I would drink it all night. Special occassion beer perhaps? MUST go well w/ chocolate!

Beer it Forward. (828 characters)

Photo of glid02
4.47/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Gabe at Beachwood BBQ for breaking this one out.

Pours a clear red/brown color with ruby highlights and a thin off-white head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving light lacing.

Smells of tart cherries with good amounts of oak and funk. As it warms the tartness becomes even more pronounced.

Tastes great. Tart cherries flavors up front turn into very tart cherry flavors midway through the sip. Also present is a good amount of oak and a lot of dryness. This beer is on the threshold of being too much but as it stands it's perfect.

Mouthfeel is very good. It has a nice thickness with active carbonation.

Drinkability is good. I could sip on these for a long time.

Overall this was a very good representation of the style and one I'm happy to have tried. (786 characters)

Photo of spicelab
4.47/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle thanks to mulder1010.

Dark ruby red, tending towards a muddy brown with the sediment at the bottom of the bottle. A few bubbles of carbonation.

Super refined nose of cherries and roses, with distinctive musty, lactic notes providing endless curiosity.

Similar flavours with some acetone, nail-polish character which is present at levels that work well with the perfumy and cherry flavours.

Straightforward and totally inoffensive medium mouthfeel. Seems pretty well perfect for the style.

Great beer. Has an elegant simplicity but oozes class and intrigue at the same time. (586 characters)

Photo of hopdog
4.47/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle. One of those smaller ones that make it look like you are getting more than you are...

Poured a medium and slightly hazy amberish color with a small sized off white head. Aromas of cherries, wood, some funkiness, leather, and caramel. Tastes of wood, cherries, fruity, and lightly funky. Lighter sour and tart finish.

Notes from 3/5/08 (344 characters)

Photo of CarolinaKev
4.47/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Received from a good beer friend. Poured from a smaller 12.7 oz bottle to a tulip glass. Poured a deep brown-red hue with a 1/4 inch small head. Nose of sour cherries with some hints of fig and oak with sour funkiness. Taste was verytart and sour up front with a surprising nice hop bite. Good lingering sweetness and hoppiness. Good mouthfeel, easy drinking and refreshing despite its complex flavors. Overall, this was an awesome beer that I would love to have more of. Definitely a beer to seek our if you enjoy flanders reds. (529 characters)

Photo of sfoley333
4.47/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had a taster at the release in a small port wine glass. It was suppose to be on tap but for some reason this one was from a bottle. Poured a cloudy reddish brown with white head nice lacing.( the guy next to me had a clear reddish brown, guessing I got a sample from towards the bottom of the bottle) Nose is sour cherry with Lost Abbey funk and hint of malt and oak. Taste is smooth in fact very smooth for a sour. Nice balance with cherries that are both sour and tart, malt sweetness, and mild dry oak finish. Mouthfeel is medium body with a good carbonation level and dryness. This is a great drinking Oud Bruin very easy to drink for the style and very balanced and layered. Bravo (685 characters)

Photo of GuinnessAtRogerWilco
4.47/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

375ml corked bottle poured into a small Chimay chalice.

AP: Rusty brown colour with a 1/2" cream/tan head that dissipates to 1/4" with bubbles still escalating to the top. Nice lacing on the glass when tilted.
AR: Has that classic Flanders Red Ale aroma that I associate with German sourdough pretzels (the hard kind). Apple cider and other fruits like white grape and tart cherries are discerned as well with Belgian yeast funk.
T: Very very nice. A lot of what I got in the nose with grape and cherry skins prominent on the finish and tart apple flavour weaving in and out from start to finish. The sour note is just about right, not too strong but vivid enough for instant recognition and enjoyment. It starts strong at the beginning then softly fades but lingers throughout. Well done.
M: Assertive carbonation, acidic, dry and tart on the finish but does coat your tongue and teeth nicely with what bit of sweetness there is.
OV: A very well done Flanders style Red Ale that would match any from the region itself and I've had my share of them being a fan of sours. The flavours on this are very tasty and the sour note is just right with acidic tartness and not too much of a vinegar aspect. A definite sessionable sipper that offers good flavours and cleanses your palate at the same time. (1,298 characters)

Photo of antilogic
4.47/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Taster @ LA Barrel Tasting Night II. Tomme said the version we had was not as sour as the 2009 release will be. Too bad, I thought it was fantastic as is.

Hazy red/brown color with a minimal white head. Smell was of cherry, oak, fruits and a slight sour funk. Slightly sour, but well balanced and very drinkable. I quite enjoyed it and will do my best to get my share next release.. (383 characters)

Photo of HopHead84
4.47/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2009 vintage. Poured into my Russian River tulip, the beer is a dark copper with a red tint. As I expected, a tiny head is the result of a vigorous pour and there is no lacing on the glass.

The aroma is slightly sweet and dominated by sour cherries, with some lactic acid and barnyard characteristics. The aroma denotes a mild tartness. Some plum and chocolate notes are evident, as well as currants. The flavor is much like the aroma. The black cherry flavor is pervasive. The beer is minimally sour and fairly tart. The lactic acid is noticeable. The chocolate is subdued and the plum is present. The finish is dry, crisp, slightly sweet, and tart with cherry flavor.

Red Poppy is medium bodied with medium carbonation. It is light on the palate and dry. Astringency is low.

A great representation of the style. I can't believe this stuff comes out of San Marcos. I prefer this vintage to the first, though the Double Cherry Red Poppy is my favorite. (956 characters)

Photo of DrJay
4.47/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks go out to mikesgroove for hooking me up with this bottle in a recent trade.
This one poured a hazy, sort of murky, reddish orange with a smattering of soapy bubbles. A thin, fine cap appeared as CO2 slowly came out of solution and this finally settled into a thin collar. Some spotty, short-lived lacing clung to the glass and there was a slow, steady stream of bubbles rising to the surface throughout. Tart, fruity aroma of freshly picked berries still unwashed, cherry skins and mild vinegar. Quite earthy, with notes of tobacco and musty hay. Some bread and oak were present too. The taste was fruity and tart up front, a mixture of lactic sourness and just a bit of vinegar, with a raspberry quality yet more of a cherry flavour. This gave way to brown sugar and bread, plus a hint of toffee and chocolate towards the end. The occasional flash of vanilla appeared as well. Earthy notes of tobacco and berry skins, with just a bit of oak flavour, added some depth. Lingering, tart finish. Medium bodied with a bit of a sugary texture and lingering dryness from the oak tannins. Carbonation was average, perhaps a little on the high side. Highly drinkable, but definitely worth savouring. Great balance, very enjoyable. (1,233 characters)

Photo of PeterIngemi
4.47/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a cork caged 375 from the 2012 vintage into a duvel glass

A: pours a dark, slightly murky brown. When held to the light it reveals a deep redish fading into amber around the edges. Pours a nice two finger khaki head that dissapates nicley and leavs a little bit of lacing.

S: a very complex, very inviting aroma, oak and sour funk, light hints of red wine vinegar, tart fruit aromas of dark cherry, along with hints of sour green apple, kiwi? And pear. Again a very very. Implied and Inviting nose with all the aromas playing together very nicley.

T: taste does not dissapoint, as complex and intriguing as the nose. The taste actually follows it quite closely. Funk and oak upfront, blending into a very light vinegar touch burried beneath a very nice sour cherry flavor, cherry skins, I also get tart apple and pear, particularly in the finish. The sour/sweetness works perfectly here with the oak. A beatiful display of intermingling flavors.

M: medium mouthfeel with a nice medium tight bubble carbonation, has a very nice lush and almost fluffy mouthfeel, carbonation is spot on for the brew. A bit tart and dry on the finish, with a bit of tannins, I'm guessing from the cherry skins and oak.

O: one of my favorite sours. Displaying a beautiful display of well balanced complexities that become more and more inviting
With each sip and whiff of the glass.... Love it! (1,386 characters)

Photo of BeerImmediately
4.47/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

5.5oz pour went down way too fast. Not overly puckering - just enough. Good dank, dark fruit (plum) quality to temper, with a fairly rich mouthfeel for a wild. (161 characters)

Photo of PittBeerGirl
4.47/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

375 ml bottle poured into my snifter.

A- Body is a very murky light muddy brown color. Pours with an approximately 1 finger white head that pretty much subsides immediately. No lacing is left behind in the glass. Cloudiness is thick and dynamic and whirls about the beer with some white yeast particles visible at the bottom.

S-An acidic tartness is the highlight of the nose and the first to hit it. Below this is a complex balance of sweet molasses, earthy mustiness, oak, and cherries.

T- Much like the nose-a pleasant sour tartness hits the front of the tongue immediately. There is a lot going on here as the cherry and oak become present underneath this and funky yeast comes through as well. The oak and cherries come through a bit more for the finish but a fantastic balance and complexity is still there. What lingers is a faint presence of the whole flavor.

M-Well carbonated and a smooth yeasty, velvety body.

D-This beer is awesome. I love it. Its a bit pricey; but well worth it (if I lived somewhere where it were available). My first of the special Lost Abbey Releases and it makes me want to find and try more of them. Very well done and perfectly drinkable. (1,179 characters)

Photo of Knapp85
4.47/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer was a real gem, I had been hunting this one down for a while now, thanks to the spinnerstown hotel for helping me out with this one. I ordered a bottle that I debated over for a while and finally gave in.

The beer was uncorked by the bartender Jack, who did a nice job with it. The beer poured out as a murky brownish red color that looked quite interesting. The head was white and fizzy, it vanished shortly after the pour. It was a very bubbly beer with loads of carbonation with every sip.

The aromas were of fresh tart fresh cherries, fresh cut wood, and several intense spices in the blend of smells coming out of this beer. The flavors were similar in the same respect. The cherries came first and they bite the tongue and hold on for a while. The wood comes through in the aftertaste leaving a really smooth natural fresh flavor on the pallet. Mouthfeel is very good too!

This beer was worth the wait, I am not even a fan of sour ales but this one far beyond any I've had in the passed. Really nice! (1,021 characters)

Photo of seaoflament
4.47/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had 2 samples of this one on-tap at the Lost Abbey-Red Poppy release.

Poured a golden color with hints of red, a tiny crown of foam around the glass.

Aroma was great. Lots of cherry, tart and sweet, lightly toasted malts and fruity aromas. Some funky aromas in the background which increased slightly as it warmed up.

Tasted very close to the aroma. Tart and sweet cherries with crisp and toasted malt flavors, a bit of caramel and a dry, sour, finish.

This one is really easy to drink, the only obstacle is the very dry finish after 10oz or so. Definitely worth seeking out.

***
Bottle:
Decided to pop open a bottle today 4/4, after trying this one at the January release.

Wow, it looks much darker than it did at the release, WTF? This beer seems completely alien to me now. This one pours a dark ruby with some shades of dark wood. A rapidly descending half inch of foam topped the head. 3.5

Aroma is similar to what I remember in the release but this one is a little maltier and with more vinegar aromas. Still, the sweet and tart cherries dominate the nose with hints of oak but it now has a huge caramel malt backbone. Various berries, jam, vinegar, and fruit-roll up candy. The aroma is still mouth-watering but not as crisp as it was a few months back. 3.5-4

Taste is a phantom of what it used to be. The wonderful tart cherries that once fancied the tongue are almost completely gone except for a fleeting memory in the back of the palate. A slight metallic taste in the finish as well...very sad. A bit sweeter than what it used to be. 3

Carbonation level is still very good and mouthfeel is also good, maybe a little thinner? 3.5

Wow, this one started to go downhill fast. I did hear from Tomme that this one should not be aged and I agree. (1,761 characters)

Photo of bobsy
4.47/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to the ever-generous viggo for the share. Been after this one for a while.

My pour came from the second half of the bottle and benefitted from a good shot of yeast. The disparity between the initial pours and the latter was stark, with the former having a crystal clear mahogany appearance and the latter adding a new level to murky. A thing film of a head keeps up shop for the duration. Sweet fruit vinegar nose mixes with a lactic sourness. Before the addition of the yeast this struck me as a highly drinkable flanders, but lacking in the sourness I love in the style - the dregs of the bottle more than remedied this. Very prominent fruit vinegar sourness, cherries, raspberry, demerera sugar and lemon. Really complex, and nicely-balanced. Medium-light body makes this one very drinkable.

A great example of the style, and deservedly up with the best. I can't really fault this beer on any count - thanks Eric! (925 characters)

Photo of GPHarris
4.47/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2011 vintage

a - poured a one finger thick tan head into a tulip that settled into a thin ring that lasted for almost the whole beer. the body was a dark mahogany with some red tints to it.
s - strong sour cherry aroma with oak behind it. as it warms the oak comes through a little more.
t - puckering tart cherries with some woodiness.
m - medium thickness with lively carbonation bubbles. very dry finish.
o - really excellent beer and probably my favorite lost abbey so far. (478 characters)

Photo of beerloverofbham
4.46/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured into a tulip.
This beer has a foamy, cloudy head that sinks quickly in the liquid. The color is that of slightly-muddled iced tea; some cloudiness, but not much. Funk is the primary aroma here, like well-ripened Roquefort, but a second after it smells slightly like caramel. Excellent carbonation, resonating on the tongue, but dryly. It's not as tart as I expected, considering the style, but it's very sophisticated; some flavors almost go undetected. I get tastes of lemon verbena, Merlot, blood orange, and balsamic reduction. I'm drinking this a little too quickly, but can barely contain myself. (609 characters)

Photo of RaulMondesi
4.46/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Blue Palms' 5th anniversary in Hollywood, CA.

Raul is trying, Raul is trying to say something, but he can't. Like watching Renoir's "The Rules of the Game", Raul is ineffable - pure beauty! Before, with Flanders Red Ales, Raulsky got that vinegar feel - but not with this bad sucker. Pure goodness. Like Christy Brinkley during the 90's - yes please! (361 characters)

Red Poppy Ale from The Lost Abbey
94 out of 100 based on 554 ratings.