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Red Poppy Ale | The Lost Abbey

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BA SCORE
94
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567 Reviews
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BEER STATS
Reviews:
567
Ratings:
1,892
Avg:
4.23
pDev:
9.46%
 
 
Wants:
572
Gots:
587
For Trade:
43
Red Poppy AleRed Poppy Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
The Lost Abbey
California, United States | website

Style: Flanders Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by BeerBeing on 09-07-2007

User Reviews
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Reviews: 567 | Ratings: 1,892
Photo of kingcrowing
3.85/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

375ml corked & caged bottle poured into a Duvel tulip.

Pours a dark amber brown with a hazy red color with a light brown lacing. Nose is tart and sour with a earthy note.

Taste is very well balanced, vinegar and a sweet earthy sour cherry with a nice full body with quite a bit of carbonation. Very good beer.

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Photo of Plenum
3.85/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

No head to speak of. The minimal amount of carbonation was gone before I got from the counter to the couch.

Great red color on this brew. Light seemed to sparkle through it. Absolutely no lacing on the glass, very thin ale.

Very sour, very tart, very sharp. Cherries come through, which was a nice quality.

Was glad to be able to try this brew. I'd try it again, but not sure it's on my list of things to seek out.

Good example of the style though.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.85/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12.7 fl oz brown glass bottle with hood and wire cap over a cork served into me Guinness goblet in me gaff in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Acquired at Red Carpet Wine in Glendale, California. It cost something like $15.00. Expectations are extremely high given the brewery - which I admire - and the style. 2012 vintage. ABV: 5.00%.

Served refrigerator cold and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated (in spite of the brewery).

A: Pours a three finger head of really nice cream, great smooth foamy thickness, and great retention (though the ABV is merely average). Colour is a rather dark red-ruby. Nontransparent because of the darkness. Non-opaque; it allows some light in. No yeast particles are visible - likely because of the nontransparency. No bubble show, but the style doesn't usually feature one.

Sm: Luxurious sour cherries accompanied by a subtle oak wood tone. Tart. Yeasty - wild. Bacteria. Sourness. A bit earthy. A moderate strength, nicely subtle aroma. I quite fancy the smell, and I hope the taste fulfills the promise of the aroma.

T: Sourness, bacteria, wild yeast, and dominant sour cherry, with some earthy and even slightly nutty notes (I assert from the brown ale base). A bit too malty for the style methinks. The sourness is wonderful, but I could go for more yeastiness. It's quite delightful, but a bit understated and timid given the style. The tartness is fantastic. Certainly subtle, but it could use more depth and complexity. There's some great layering here. The balance is good but not perfect - largely due to the malt and the brown ale reminiscent notes. Pleasant and enjoyable to drink. No alcohol comes through. I quite like it, but it's not perfect. Not unique, but I'd say it's special. The oak is too backgrounded for me to notice.

Mf: Smooth and wet, with some light subtle creaminess. Perfect thickness and carbonation. Just coarse enough to coax out the flavours.

Dr: Very drinkable for a sour. I could down this all night. I've had better sours, but this one is lovely. I could definitely see it getting better with age. A bit pricey, but worth it all things considered. I'd definitely have this again, preferably aged. Quite delightful. Well executed for the style.

Drank well out of a goblet. This is likely the ideal serving vessel.

A great candidate for aging.

Would pair well with grapes or salad.

B+

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Photo of PHBoiler
3.85/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Reddish brown body with some light white lacing. Smells of tartness on the nose. Not really getting the cherry in the nose or in the body. The acidity drowns out most of the flavors I was hoping for. Given the pricepoint, I'd expect more balance, more cherry flavor. Very acidic for the style in my opinion.

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Photo of Yetiman420
3.85/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A major thanks to scottoale for throwing this in as an extra on a trade.

Poured into a Unibroue tulip glass.

Pours brown with a red hue and virtually no head.

Sour aroma with some malt.

Flavor is tart sour with notes of vanilla. Finishes very dry.

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Photo of mjl21
3.85/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Acquired via trade...thanks Dan! 375 ml bottle dated 2009 on the bottle. Poured into a Chimay chalice. Comes in at 5%.

A-The cork on this was extremely tough to get out of the bottle. When it was pulled out, I was greeted by a minimal pop. When poured, there is just a tiny little ring and a think bit of film. It is almost flat by all appearances. The color is a nice dark brown with reddish hue. There is a noticeable amount of suspended yeast on the side of the glass. Every once in a while a bubble will break the surface. For all its flaws, it still looks pretty good when held to the light.

S-The first thing to hit my nose during every sip is a really odd funk smell that I could not place. It is not offensive, just odd. I get some of the sour cherries, but not nearly as much as I expected, especially after recently having a Cuvee de Tomme. To me it smelled like cherries that had been soaked in vinegar.

T-A huge level of sour and tart slams the tongue quickly. The unusual funk scent that I kept getting in my nose also is present mid-sip. The aftertaste is quite vinegary. Not as much cherry as I expected. The oak becomes more pronounced as it warms. Every few sips I get a tad bit of vanilla. The sour taste lessens as it warms, but that could also be because my mouth gets more used to it.

M-As mentioned in the appearance, this one is pretty flat. The sourness does a good job of keeping my mouth stimulated. Some more carbonation would have helped.

D-The flatness is its one flaw. It is one that is good to sip on and enjoy its nuances. I have never spent so much time to drink a beer that is only 5%.

My first time with Red Poppy. Overall, I hought it was pretty good. The QC issues definitely continue with this one. Would try again once LA has their act together.

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Photo of Reagan1984
3.85/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Jimmy J (Draught2012) for bringing this over for a nice beer dinner we had. It was a treat to try a special LA beer.

Poured into my tulip glass and there was not that much of a head. What was there was fizzy and dissipated very quickly. Amber/Red color with lots of light red highlights. Deep color. No lacing.

Wow, the aroma is sharp, tart and sour. Slightly vinegar like. As it wamrs you get more cherry and wood. I think as you get used to the tart nature, you can detect more going on. This is definitely true for the taste as well.

Sour nature is not as sharp as the aroma. Slightly acidic, tart cherry appears more as it warms. The oak really comes out as you adjust yourself and it warms. Gosh, I wish that was just the slightest touch of sweetness. But that's me, not the style...

The mouth feel was acidic but very light. A refreshing beer.

I can't say that I find this completely drinkable, I continue to try and develop a taste for this style. You can tell this was a very good beer and I was happy to have the chance to try it.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
3.83/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle Vintage 2012.

Poured into a snifter, the beer is a deep, hazed, auburn-brown coloring that pours with a ton of carbonation. Low profile, thin, off-white head that quickly settles out into a filmy ring around the surface. Aromas of juniper and jasmine floral highlights on a dark, rich, black cherry and currant sweet backbone. The increased carbonation keeps the body thin, and gives the sour notes an extra punch. Syrupy sweet flavors transition into an earthy, wine barrel characteristic. The aftertaste is sour and sweet at the same time, with an effervescent feel. The finish is sharp, but light, with a bubbly feel left across your tongue. Tangy and puckering at the end. Good brew.

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Photo of Drinkerofales
3.83/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Won from the giving tree during Christmas in July.

The brew is dark brown, almost soda colored in appearance. A huge tan head forms over the beer, which also has tom garnet/plum highlights.

Smells funky and of extremely tart fruit.

Taste starts out with a light malt which gives way to the tart cherry. The finish, is a bit off putting with a strange bitter flavor.

Texture is light and bubbly. Not a great drinkability, but goes down well.

I don't get the strange finish, if not for that, I would have liked the beer.

DOA

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Photo of csmiley
3.83/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Color is mostly brown with a reddish tint that really comes through in the light. Head is minimal. Using the word minimal is being generous in this case. It tops out at forming a thin ring around the edges of the glass. This would equate in to zero retention. The ring of foam is able to leave one or to bubbles of lace on the glass.

S - Aroma starts out with a heavy combination of funk and cherry. This beer actually smells straight up like a horse stable. That works for me. Horses, hay, wood, and the list keeps going. Cherry is very tart and pungent. There is a sweeter aroma that barely comes through on the tail end. Reminds me of cane sugar. The aroma for the Red Poppy is home run in my book.

T - Flavor pretty much follows the aroma. Very funky right out of the gate. The wood / oak flavor comes through a little more which works well for this beer. Of course, there is the horse and hay but they stay milder than expected given the aroma. Cherry has a very strong presence as well. It's very tart and sour overall. Could be some caramel that finishes it off.

M - Medium bodied with little to no carbonation. Finish is tart and never actually lets go of the palate.

D - Drinkability is pretty good. The flavors work well together and the alcohol is almost completely hidden. It's very tart but also very smooth. This beer could be something very very special if not for one glaring problem. Even with a little carbonation, this one would be excellent. As is, it's still pretty good but that's about all that can be said.

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Photo of jeffthecheff
3.82/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Shared from Joe during our double brew day. Pours a dark-red/brown color, with a tiny bit of a tan head.

The aroma is vinegary and oaky, with a touch of grape, berries, and cherries with non coming out on top. In the taste, the cherries do win the fruit battle, bringing a rich accent to the malty, funky, vinegar flavors. The mouthfeel is thick and slick, with a low carbonation and a little bit of astringency. I would have liked a cripser cherry flavor, with more lactic acid and a higher carbonation, but this is what the style is so I can't really complain too much.

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Photo of Brew33
3.82/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Red Poppy received via trade.

This beer pours a medium brown with a TON of dark sediment. A cool color but muddled with yeast. The aroma was very good. Oak and a huge blast of tart cherries. Just a ton of cherries.

The flavor is good, not great. Acetic notes more so than lactic. Puckering cherry tartness, much more sour than I anticipated. Something is just a little off. The balance is just not quite there. Little evidence of malt or hops. With a Brown Ale base I would have anticipated a bigger malt presence. The moutfeel is solid, medium bodied with a creamy finish. The drinkability was pretty good but with the sharp finish and puckering tartness it's not great.

I think this beer needs a little more tweaking to get the flavors integrated a little better. All in all, an enjoyable beer.

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Photo of badbeer
3.8/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reddish brown color with a nice off-white head that retained pretty good. I got some cherries and cherry pits in the aroma, also a fair amount of sourness and maybe a touch of cinnamon. Taste was sour, some cherries, but didn't really do much to impress me. The complexity of the aroma didn't translate as well into the flavor for me. It was enjoyable, but again, it didn't really stand out to me. Fairly light body with medium carbonation. It was good, but I don't think I'll be worrying about getting this again, especially not at the price. Thanks to doubleo for the chance to try it.

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Photo of GJ40
3.79/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Purchased during a business trip to SF and take home to NC to sample with my wife.

A light brown with a reddish hue. Seems to be hazy but hard to tell with the dark color. Large bubbles that dissipate quickly. Aroma is cherries, lemon and green apple. Flavor follows with cherries leading along with a mild tartness and hints of dark fruit. The mouthfeel was a little disappointing as it was thin with too big a burst of bubbles escaping as it hits your mouth.

The flavors are pretty good but the carbonation detracted for me.

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Photo of harrymel
3.77/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2011 vintage.

A: Pours a red and brown ale with excellent clarity. Single finger, peanut colored, soap sud head dissipates within a couple minutes leaving a thin, broken sheet of the same. Little to no lacing.

S: Smells like cherry cola. Hints of apple cider, clove and cinnamon. Smells like it's a little sweet on the tart side.

T: pucker. Good sour on this one. Surprisingly sour and emami. Hints of oak, pepper and more clove. Good for the style.

M: Medium to full for the style. Light carbonation (or over carbed for Lost Abbey) is nice.

O: Well done. Not quite my cup of tea, but a very well done flanders ale.

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Photo of spoony
3.76/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

From a 375 ml bottle into a tulip.

A-The brew is murky and brownish in color with a ruby hue. There is no head to speak of and no visible bubbles. It is sort of ugly, but not a huge departure from the style.

S-The smell gives up a decent hit of cherries, some prune-flavored malts, some dry oak, a mild tartness and a touch of funk. It is a bit underwhelming compared to other, better examples of the style.

T-The taste tracks the smell with bing cherries, light oak, and pruney malts being the major flavors. The acidity is very mild and, to be honest, could be amped up to better balance the lightly sweet fruit flavors.

M-The beer opens with a quick wave of surprisingly assertive carbonation, but the bubbles fade quickly with a slick, watery finish.

O-As a Flanders ale fan (and on the date of the Tour of Flanders bicycle race, no less), I had hopes for this beer, but I am a bit disappointed. The flavors are not very complex and the missing tartness/acidity really hurt the smell and taste score. On the bright side, the mouthfeel is nice.

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Photo of Brewbro000
3.75/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Pours a 2 finger off white head of fairly large bubbles that recedes quickly. This bugger is very carbonated as per the loud pop when it was opened and the wave of bubbles constantly rising from the walls of my tulip glass. The head recedes by half in a matter of seconds. Nut brown color but with hints of ruby when held to the light.

S- Funky barnyard notes mixed with sour, acidic hints that allow the cherries to show through. The aroma hints at the oak but doesn't make it a priority. Some lemony tartness also shows through.

T- Some lactic tartness leads a sweet but not as complex as i expected first sip. Lemony tartness takes hold and then mild cherry sweetness shows through. The cherry flavor is well integrated and the finishing thought is of dry, lightly oaken barrels.

M- Very spritzy due to the carbonation with moderate spikey carbonation on the tongue.

O- A pretty good Flanders Red but sort of one dimensional, not as complex as was expected. For the price i would probably just buy something from Russian River instead, but please not, price was not a factor in this review, tasty brew none the less.

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Photo of 100floods
3.75/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nice dark mahogany brown hue with a ruby tint. Pale, cream white head with pretty good retention. A nice thin layer foam lingers as the head resides.

Sweet and tart aromas. Hints of funk and wood. Everything is blended pretty well. A slight malt backbone.

Dry, semi-sweet start that is rushed into a tart and sour middle with a dry finish. This is a bit drier, and more carbonated than Russian River's Consecration. The lighter body and high carbonation does take away from the flavor, and makes each sip more like a short burst.

Overall a pretty solid effort for an American take on a sour dark ale. I was kinda looking for more wood flavors, but the cherries seem to dominated this one.

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Photo of CrellMoset
3.75/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 2 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle as an extra courtesy of guezedude - many thanks! Poured in to a cervoise. 2009 vintage (uh oh).

Appearance: Pours a dull, turgid, muddy sepia, opaque a short distance in from the edge of the glass though partially transparent near the rim, and even the most vigorous of pours from the (adorable, as always) bottle yields only about half a finger of lightly beiged head that disappears completely inside five seconds. The only remnants it ever even existed are a few streaks (and ultimately, a few glittery dots) of side lacing and a thin, wispy dusting of surface lace sitting near the center of the glass. Yep - this one's dead, and, to be fair, it didn't have a lot of margin for error, given the general unattractiveness of the hue to begin with.

Aroma: A dark, sweaty, sweet, and mildly tart brew. Sour cherries and tart apple notes intermingle with fruit cake and other moderately roasted bready notes intermingle nicely, a little heavier than I would have expected, sort of settling low in the nose. The sourness is mostly acidic, coming across like a nice thick vinegar, but there is also a kiss of moderate funk.

Taste: Tart vinegar and mild milky lactic tartness coat the tongue pretty thoroughly, intermingling well with sour cherries, tropical fruits, sour apples, and pears, and a little less well with light toffee and caramel malts.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, slick, oily, and cleansing, but absolutely devoid of carbonation. Given the general brightness of the flavor profile and high level of cleansing, shiny acidity, the lack of carbonation is probably less of a problem (relatively) here than it is with the appearance, but it's still quite offputting, especially after a while.

Drinkability: Well, aside from: 1) the complete lack of carbonation; and 2) the odd blob of yeast that remained intact and was floating around on the surface of this one, somewhat scarily, this seems like it was a pretty good beer - well-made (substance-wise, not process-wise), low in alcohol, and refreshing. I think I have a friend with a 2010 bottle, so I hope to have the opportunity to review it in the spirit it was intended.

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Photo of jrallen34
3.74/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I drank this from a 375ml bottle into my Rodenbach Grand Cru class. 2010 version.

The beer pours a medium brown with a light tan head. It rises about a finger, decent retention and lacing.

The aroma is strong but only really shows off one smell. You get mostly all sourness with a very light hint of vinegar at the end.

The taste is ok nothing special. It starts off pretty sours then gives off a oak and vinegar finish. I don't taste any cherries.

The feel is ok, warm to the touch, with a slight dry finish.

Overall, this is ok, nothin spcial for an oud bruin, decent American effort.

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Photo of SQNfan
3.74/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The poured murky burnt red to brown in color with a very thin head that dissipated pretty quickly. The nose showed some funk along with red fruit and spice (cinnamon, pepper). In the mouth it was tart and dirty showing more funk than the nose would suggest along with less fruit. There was a distinct bitterness that began in the midpalate and lingers on. The acidity in the midpalate was very well integrated and overall the midpalate was well balanced but gave way to the bitterness in the finish.

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Photo of Bajasith
3.73/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Picked up some of this brew at the Port Brewery Feb 13,2010 so we know it's as fresh as can be.

Popped it open Feb 17, 2010 and by the sound of the cork, not much cabonation in this brew. Poured into a snifter.

A: Poured murky brown with very small head, almost like root beer.
S: Wow, I can definitly get the whiff of the sourness that comes from those cherries and slight oak/earthy smell. Very interesting.
T: Actually quite acidic with sour cherry notes from start to finish. Get a slight viniger tinge at the end.
M: All I need to say is tart to almost lemmony with a small ammount of cabonation for full flavor to explode in your mouth.
D: Good beer but did not knock my socks off. The sour tart flavor is definitly not to my palate. If you are into trying somwthing very new, Red Poppy ale is the one.

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Photo of BitterPachyderm
3.72/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I got this via tayner (not to step on toes, but probably my favorite BA). It was the 2009 vintage in the 12.7 oz. bottle.

Going into this tasting, I didn't know that it was a Flanders Oud Bruin, and after drinking it, I still might argue that fact.

Poured into an oversized wine glass at a temperature slightly above 45 degrees. It poured with not much head, mainly just large bubbles slowly disipating. The lack of head puzzled me, because there were a large amount of bubbles racing towards the top of the glass. the body was a reddish orange, almost brown. Lots of floaters in this glass.

The smell was super tart. Lots of cherries presented themselves at first, but let in some leather, green apples, and vanilla in as it warmed. There wasn't a prominent vinegar smell that one would associate with the style here. Some floral and spicy notes came into the picture as well.

A mouthpuckering sourness once it hits your lips. Cherries and apples up front, with a slight dose of balsamic vinegar near the finish. The oak only began to shoe itself as it warmed. Missing the complexities that I like in these kind of brews.

Despite what seemed like a lack of carbonation, the mouthfeel was actually pretty good. I think the sourness was able hold up what little carbonation was in the glass.

Once this brew warmed up a bit, it became super drinkable. Probably one of the smoothest of the sour styles I have had to date.

I think this brew could probably age extremely well. It needs some time to let the funkiness set in and give it more of a complex taste. It's only downfall in my mind was the taste, but like I said, time might cure that.

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Photo of RidiculedDisplay
3.72/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Gabe opened up a bottle for us at Beachwood and passed it around. From notes:

Appearance: A dark rose red, fairly appropriate in that sense, but there's just no head or lacing. At all. The body's color is pretty, but this wasn't just a matter of having no head or lacing, it was a matter of the beer looking flat, to be honest.

Smell: Perfume, candy sugar, vanilla, licorice on the back end. A smell very reminiscent of some Flanders Reds I've had in the past, specifically Rodenbach, although this is an Oud Bruin.

Taste: Metallic on the front end, which really, really detracted. However, I was beginning to think this was an issue with the bottle more than anything. Grass, vinousity, sourness. On the back end/aftertaste is a very lingering and surprising butterscotch-like sweetness, however, which was really surprising and nice.

Mouthfeel: Slick, but way, way undercarbonated.

Drinkability: Perfectly drinkable - not too sour at all, in my opinion. However, the flatness of the whole bottle was definitely a let-down.

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Photo of flannelman808
3.72/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A: A really interesting color light-medium brown near the top and a deep garnet dark red brown to the bottom. Fairly clear in the light. Low head retention, off white head.

S: This one is nice, aromas of tart cherry, grannysmith apple, and lemon zest seem to ring through for me.

T: More spice then I would have guessed... spiced tart bitter(like lemon) apple. Interesting stuff.

M: sharp acid in the back of the throat.

D: Pretty low points for me too much for me in the back of the throat.

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Red Poppy Ale from The Lost Abbey
94 out of 100 based on 567 ratings.