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Red Poppy Ale - The Lost Abbey

Red Poppy AleRed Poppy Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
95
world-class

1,428 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1428
Reviews: 517
rAvg: 4.27
pDev: 9.84%


Brewed by:
The Lost Abbey visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Flanders Red Ale |  6.50% ABV

Availability: Winter

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.

(Beer added by: BeerBeing on 09-07-2007)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,428 | Reviews: 517 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of inandon
inandon

Massachusetts

1.15/5  rDev -73.1%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

looking over the reviews I do not know if I just got a bad bottle or what.

the smell itself is over powering. It had a tart, sweet and strong smell to it.

First sip there was too much going on. I love tart and sour in candy but this beer was unlike anything I have ever tasted.This went right down the drain after I had it. It does have lemon and other citrus flavor to it, but it is a malt with way too many strong flavors that all seem to over power one another.

Serving type: bottle

07-28-2012 19:18:18 | More by inandon
Photo of sentomaster
sentomaster

Connecticut

2.28/5  rDev -46.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

A- Minimal carbonation from the get go. A thin, cream colored head appears and disappears. Murky brown with rose highlights.

S- Vinegar

T&M- Vinegar. Nothing else can penetrate an overpowering vinegar. I can't taste the base beer at all. I can't even get any oak. A touch of tart cherries. Carbonation is almost non existent.

O- unbelievable, a $18 drain pour. Maybe this is a bad bottle, but I'm not going to spend money again to find out.

Serving type: bottle

02-02-2012 14:18:48 | More by sentomaster
Photo of JAXSON
JAXSON

Pennsylvania

2.58/5  rDev -39.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

2009 bottle. Pours a muddy burgundy with a soapy head. Nose is typical lost Abbey Brett, very tight in that regard, with light balsamic vinegar and a fair dose of acidity. Mouth is highly acidic, some dark sour cherries, vinegar. Acetic. Decent base "brown ale" underneath but too many things going wrong here, starting with the acidity. Body is kind of watery and empty, with a flabby finish. Nah.

I've had a couple bottles of this and it's really overrated even being in the A range. Very mediocre Oud Bruin type of a beer with an unacceptably high acidic level.

From another bottle. Despite standing upright in a cool cellar for a month, this is muddy, flabby, overly acidic, boring, one dimensional. Why people rate this beer highly is beyond me.

Serving type: bottle

12-05-2010 21:11:24 | More by JAXSON
Photo of SteveTheDog
SteveTheDog

California

2.7/5  rDev -36.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.5

I tried this out of a champagne flute, as per the recs on this site.

It was an effervescent amber color with an aroma that of course reminded me of cherries but also of something like a cherry lime rickey with some sweet tones but also a little bit of a smokey oaky scent. It's rare that I say this about a beer but the mouthfeel really came on strong before the taste with the carbonation. It almost felt like my tongue was being cleaned off between sips. After the cleansing of my palate, the tart cherries took over and left my mouth with a feeling of cherry liqueur feel.

Overall, I didn't totally enjoy the sensation, though I can see how some would.

Serving type: bottle

07-05-2013 03:20:06 | More by SteveTheDog
Photo of nkersten
nkersten

Illinois

2.83/5  rDev -33.7%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Served from 2009 bottle into a Surly Darkness snifter. Pours a murky brown with a very small amount of head-like bubbles that fade quickly. Cork made no noise when removed. Uh oh. This stuff looks like flat cola. With lots sediment. Smell is an improvement over appearance, but that isnt saying much. Has the familiar lost abbey wild characteristics, sour lactic acid, a bit spicy, sour cherries in the background. Maybe a hint of yeast as well. Taste is what I remember red poppy tasting like. Very sour with a hint of ripe red cherries, no residual sweetness, mostly just lacto sourness. Mouthfeel is pretty bad. This beer is still, the mouthfeel is medium heavy, and the sourness of the beer gives you the feeling in the back of your throat like you just ate a bag of sour patch kids. Some bubbles would have done wonders for this beer. Drinkability is low too due to the lack of carbonation. This one may end up a drain pour - the mouthfeel kills any potential this beer may have had.

Serving type: bottle

11-21-2010 03:26:35 | More by nkersten
Photo of EGledhill
EGledhill

Pennsylvania

2.85/5  rDev -33.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Bottle obtained in a trade with numbeercruncher. Damn fine trader.

Poured into chalice glass

A. Cloudy brownish body, no head. Looks semi appealing.

S. Smells like sour cherries and feet. I'm not really feeling this is my type of shit.

T. Yep... Definitely not my shit. Taste like old sour cherries, I dunno, plastic maybe, vinegar, oak. It's on point for the style but damned if I like it

M. thin

D. Fuck that. It pretty much taste like eating a cherry dipped in vinegar.

So this will probably be my last attempt at any "sour" beer. I'm sure some people get down with this style but not this guy. I think I'll stick to stouts and IPA's from now on.

Serving type: bottle

12-21-2008 04:31:28 | More by EGledhill
Photo of abfraser
abfraser

California

2.9/5  rDev -32.1%
look: 1 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This is a bit of an unusual review for me because I had the opportunity to have both the 2008 and 2009 within a week of each other. If I had written a review after the 2008, it would have echoed many of those here praising it's virtues. I thought it was an excellent Flanders-style beer, up there with the great Belgian names. I would have given it an A.

Alas, I opened the 2009 recently received from my Sinners shipment. A major disappointment. The pour was flat and syrupy--yet another beer from Lost Abbey that was not properly carbonated upon release. In addition, I literally had to strain the beer because of an unprecedented amount of solid matter. I've had plenty of beers with sediment and floaties, but this was out of control. It was literally chunky, with what appeared to be the skins of cherries floating around everywhere. The flavors were fine, but with no carbonation and solid matter, the overall taste suffered markedly.

I'm tiring of the inconsistency of Lost Abbey products. Quality control just doesn't seem to be a concern. I'm sure Tomme would attest otherwise, but the reality is that even though this was by far the worst, there have been many, many other occasions of QC issues for me (and it's not just me; see forum postings). No other world-class brewery has anywhere near the same issues.

Given that it is among the most expensive beer out there, this is unacceptable to me. As such, I cannot give this beer anywhere near the ranking I would have given the 2008. It is a shame, because when the stars properly align, Lost Abbey truly does belong in the discussion of the best.

Serving type: bottle

03-16-2009 19:56:47 | More by abfraser
Photo of match1112
match1112

Illinois

2.98/5  rDev -30.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

pours brown with amber highlights around the edges. alot of thick off white head that sticks around awhile. smells like red wine vinegar and wood. taste is sour tart cherries up front, then comes the wood, then theres the vinegar i smelled. has good carbonation but just feels watered down, very thin. i've had better beers of this style for half the price. cant get that vinegar taste out of my mouth.

Serving type: bottle

07-21-2011 00:32:14 | More by match1112
Photo of jmarsh123
jmarsh123

Indiana

3.1/5  rDev -27.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

'11 vintage poured into my RR tulip

Pours muddy brown with red hues and a generous 3 finger off-white head with good retention even though it fades slightly.

Smells of slightly tart cherries and a little vinegar. Not nearly as acidic as I expected it to be.

Acidity comes through a lot more on the flavor. Some good cherry notes, but they soon get overpowered by vinegar with a little bit of wet band aid. Not entirely pleasant.

High carbonation levels despite the Flat Abbey joke with medium to light mouthfeel.

I usually like Flanders, but this one was a bit overboard. There may have been some good things there, but all I could really taste was vinegar.

Serving type: bottle

04-20-2012 23:46:19 | More by jmarsh123
Photo of donkeyrunner
donkeyrunner

Massachusetts

3.15/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Cute little bottle with a hefty price tag. Pours a muddy, light copper color but sits opaque brownish black. Beige head quickly fizzles away.

Aroma is sweet cherry, pennies, dark cacao and very, very vinaigrette. Taste is tart and steely. No cherries come through at all here. Thin, bubbly carbonation.

What a bland beer. Nothing about it stands out for me at all. For such a highly rated ale I'm not sure what the fuss is about.

Serving type: bottle

04-21-2011 01:09:04 | More by donkeyrunner
Photo of airohead2001
airohead2001

Illinois

3.18/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Bottle shared with glazeman.

A - Run of the mill reddish/brown of so many sours that I've seen before. No head and no lacing.

S - Sour cherries, barn, and booze. OK, but not great.

T - Sour, citrus tart with some sour cherries through out and some biscuit in the finish.

M - Lots of carbonation.

D - Pretty drinkable, but limited by the sourness. This is a good beer, but not a great beer by any means. It doesn't taste unique or outstanding to me in any way. Compared to other beers, sure, it's better than most, but it's just another sour to me. Certainly not better than the sours from the RR series.

Serving type: bottle

11-17-2010 04:01:50 | More by airohead2001
Photo of alexhahn82
alexhahn82

California

3.18/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Brownish red almost grape juice like color. very light lacing. This is the first Lost Abbey beer I have ever had that popped when uncorked and also had a head (Poured at an elevation of 2500FT or so in Emmet Idaho.)

S - Powerful sourness in the aroma. A sweet smell with a mild cherry smell on the end. Definitely a lot of hints of fruit like scent, kind of similar to smelling a %100 fruit rollup.

T/M -- Light in viscosity at first with a definite upfront flavor of the brown ale. Middle shifts to tartness and definite carbonation with a semi acidic finish. After the palette adjusts from the sourness the presence of cherries is prominent as well as the oak showing up about halfway through the bottle (possibly due to it acclimating itself to a room temperature.)

O - This beer is a very well played sour (though I am NOT a fan of sours. Nice cherry and oak flavors, thats about it with a huge smack of of sour, don't seek and don't destroy.

PP (Price Point) - $18.99 for a 375ml caged and corked bottle is super, super overkill in price. I am not a big sour fan, but this continues on with the trend of Lost Abbey having underwhelming beers at overwhelming prices. Would be more appropriatley priced around $6-$8.

Serving type: bottle

07-17-2011 01:14:56 | More by alexhahn82
Photo of beerwolf77
beerwolf77

Wisconsin

3.2/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Ah the dichotomy that is the Lost Abbey. They make some mind blowing beers and they make some absolute epic fails. The price point seems to be my biggest gripe. Thankfully I have buddies who have pockets that run so deep they can afford to take the risk. Sweemzander is one of those guys. He buys expensive beer like a fat kid buys candy. I really appreciate him shelling out $16 on this 375ml bottle. No fucking way would I ever pay that kinda money for a bottle this size.

Bottle split onto tulips.

A: Cinnamon brown red. Small amount of dirty white head. Tiny amount of soapy lace.

S: Super oaky with tart cherries. Modest hint of spices. Light vinegar sour. The oak is awfully powerful.

T: Mild vinegar sour. Strong oak soaked cherry. A hint of spices. The depth of the flavor is very lacking.

M: Medium body with wait for it... mild carbonation. Score!

O: Well this one turned out to kind of a dud. Nothing horrible but nowhere near a great flanders.

Serving type: bottle

04-16-2011 23:18:07 | More by beerwolf77
Photo of Tiklmelmo
Tiklmelmo

Pennsylvania

3.3/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Murky reddish brown. For the champagne cork, I was definitely expecting more fizz. Minimal off-white to light brown head.

S - Tart cherries dominate the nose, with some leather and earthy notes.

T - Puckeringly sour, almost unpleasantly so. Fairly one dimentional with some cherries and lots of vinous acidity. Not very balanced. No sweetness to speak of.

M - Slight slickness to the mouthfeel with low carbonation.

D - the 12.7oz is enough for me. The acidity isn't balanced enough to make this really drinkable.

Not bad, but definitely not my favorite. While I enjoy a good sour, this one is a little heavy on the lactic acidity without much else to back it up.

Serving type: bottle

01-10-2010 01:45:24 | More by Tiklmelmo
Photo of cpetrone84
cpetrone84

Pennsylvania

3.3/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Big thanks to Kevin for sharing this one! 2009 Bottle.

A-pours an extremely cloudy lighter brown color with strong red hues shined next to light. The head is rather thick and off white to light tan.

S-the nose has notes of balsamic up front, hints of green olives behind, there is a fair bit of dry oak giving way to a light touch of brett, light acidity and bits of sour cherries.

T-the taste has a stronger acidity and more balsamic, the oak is stronger and more present as the brett works in with the sour cherries. There is some acetic acid towards the back that detracts from the brightness of the cherries.

M-lighter to medium body, slightly grainy on the palate and rather juicy throughout. the finish is slightly undercarbonated and a little flabby also lacking the driness you would like to see with all the acidity.

D-this has some issues, the cherries are overshadowed by oak and acidity, notes of acetic acid in the finish and some random brett notes make this an overly sour slightly muddled beer.

Serving type: bottle

12-27-2010 14:54:49 | More by cpetrone84
Photo of Jammies
Jammies

Illinois

3.3/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A-pours a deep brown with about an inch of foam. great retention

S-sweet with cherries

T-bitter and sweet. (yes, slightly bittersweet) a bit overbearing with the cherries, but overall not too shabby

M-thin and a little tingly on the palate

O-a bit too sour for my liking

Serving type: bottle

04-06-2012 19:30:44 | More by Jammies
Photo of Marty30
Marty30

Pennsylvania

3.33/5  rDev -22%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

2011 vintage poured into a tulip at 60 degrees.

A. A murky Iced tea color,yeast floating all around. One finger off-white colored head. Spotty lacing.

S. I get some tart cherries with some oak.There is a musty fruit smell,But I can't just pinpoint what it is.

T. Pretty much just folows the smell. Some sour cherries and apples With a little wood in the back.

F. Feel is light and well carbonated,moderately sour.

Overall I kind of new to sours but I have had a few and they were a good bit easier to drink than this. Decent flavor profile,I will have to try again onced I'm better versed in the style.

Serving type: bottle

10-18-2011 00:38:54 | More by Marty30
Photo of Arbitrator
Arbitrator

California

3.35/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Chilled bottle into a glass. Thanks for sharing, Roger.

A: Pours a turbid, sedimentary maroon body in the glass. Its off white head rises to about 1.5 fingers in height, retaining for a minute or so before vanishing into a thin collar on the brew. Yes, it's carbonated. Hallelujah.

S: Cherries, lactic sourness, spice, some oak. We screwed up and had this after Cantillon Lou Pepe Framboise '02. This didn't even remotely compare.

T: Lactic sourness, some balsamic vinegar with an underlying nuttiness, lemon zest, and of course tart cherries and the accompanying bitterness of their skins. It's not nearly as fruity as I was expecting, though. Tannic finish.

M: Light-bodied; a little sharply acetic in the finish.

D: It's not bad, but if I had to pick a sour beer based on cherries, I'd go with Supplication or LP Kriek first, especially at $17 for 375mL. I know they're not technically the same style, though.

Serving type: bottle

03-30-2010 21:40:20 | More by Arbitrator
Photo of pokesbeerdude
pokesbeerdude

Colorado

3.38/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

375ml bottle from Supermarket Liquors in Ft. Collins, CO. $15.79. Much thanks to all of those in my LIF post that suggested this as review 600, however I will consume this as 599. Into a NB Globe. Very attractive label, that is surprisingly devoid of text on the back. This bottle is noted as 5% abv.

A: Nice brown color with tons of red highlights, enormous off light tan head that keeps growing out of the upper ring of the glass. Pretty impressed by this head, as it has protruded a good 2 inches above the glass. Needless to say, head retention is a non issue. The overall presentation is that of a two toned Easter egg with a ruddy base and tan colored top. Most impressive looking beer from Lost Abbey that I've seen.

S: Definitely funky, much more on the cherry pie filling type of funk as opposed to the more classic barnyard sort of funk, definitely funky though. Smells quite fruity, cherry is dominant. There appears to be an underlying sweetness as well. Smells nice.

T: Nicely tart with distinct notes of cherries and vanilla, decent amount of classic sour notes, decent amount of acetone in the flavor as well. Cherry flavor begins to border on antiseptic/robitussin but never quite reaches that point. Nice amount of caramel malt and a nice sweetness to balance the tart flavors. This is not a bad beer at all, however, there is a distinct metallic note that I've gotten in both of the bottles of this beer I've tried. This is especially on the finish, the flavor is fairly brief on the tongue, but is enough to annoy me and detract from the overall flavor. This would be a solid 4.5 except for the iron aftertaste, which is gonna knock this down.

M: Lighter in body with nice carbonation, finish is just about right, slightly tart and fairly dry. Not bad.

O: For a beer that is priced in this range I would hope for something nearly flawless. The metallic flavor in this beer, at this price point is unacceptable, and I know this is not an isolated incident, as I've had this beer twice and have noticed this in each bottle. I really like the flavors, and think it would be in the top tier of American Oud Bruins if not for the off flavor on the finish. An enjoyable, but frustrating offering from Lost Abbey.

Serving type: bottle

05-01-2011 01:20:31 | More by pokesbeerdude
Photo of dmsohyea
dmsohyea

California

3.38/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

2011 vintage 375ml cage and cork bottle. Served in a tulip. The cork was very hard to remove.

A: Pours a very dark reddish brown with light penetration all the way through. Huge 5 finger head like champagne. Not too many floaties, mostly clear.

S: Smells like balsamic or red wine vinegar and soy sauce. A very, very light hint of cherries, but it's very subdued.

T: Strong vinegar taste up front, a strong drying sourness mid palate and finishes slightly tart and bone dry with some grapefruit. This beer needs to be almost room temperature to be properly enjoyed. I always prefer any beverage to be a little colder, but this one is just bad when it's cold. The aftertaste is a touch of chocolate and more vinegar. Picking up some oak, but very little.

M: Mouthfeel is medium carbonation with good body. Nice and smooth, but not watery. Very nice for the style.

O: A solid flanders, but not my favorite. After being blown away by Marron Acidifie, I'm having to downgrade this one slightly. Would like to try this one on draft too.

Serving type: bottle

05-28-2011 06:24:19 | More by dmsohyea
Photo of brystmar
brystmar

Texas

3.38/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

2011 vintage. Thanks to Nate for the bottle!

Needed a corkscrew to pry this baby open. Loud POP as the cork jumped from the neck, no gushing but tons of carbonation.

Nose has oak barrels, sour cherries, funk, a little peaty too. Oak dominates the flavor with sour cherries right behind. Massive carbonation significantly detracts from the experience. Glad I tried this, but won't be seeking it out again.

*** Update 7/14/2012 ***

Just opened my first 2012 vintage and couldn't believe it was the same beer. This year's is significantly better to the point where I'm surprised it's even the same beer. I'd give the '12 somewhere in the 4.15 range.

Serving type: bottle

03-15-2012 00:35:08 | More by brystmar
Photo of CrazyLarry
CrazyLarry

Oklahoma

3.4/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Not my style of beer. I think it is a solid Flanders Red. Appearance: dark murky brown ale; Light head; Heavy on the carbonation. Smell: sour cherries and good bacteria. Taste: sharp light and fast, acidic, carbonation, sour cherries was fulfilled, bacteria, no real finish very clean. Mouth feel: light and acidic.

Serving type: bottle

11-26-2013 18:58:22 | More by CrazyLarry
Photo of muttyd
muttyd

Massachusetts

3.5/5  rDev -18%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bought two of these for $18.99 a piece. Let's see if it lives up to the hype/price.

Pours a deep brown with slight reddish hues. Slightly pink offwhite head that persists throughout. The head has decent lacing, but this beer quickly settles as I swirl it around the glass. The very fizzy head reveals a tart cherry, slight vinegar, oak, and acidic aroma. Some apples and leather in the nose as well. This is actually one fantastic smelling beer, which is why I was slightly disappointed with the flavor. Tart cherries, oak, vinegar, barnyard funk, and slight sugary sweetness. Very sour beer. Almost feels as though the flavor is a bit held back. Finishes with a rather unpleasant stale/rotten apple funkiness. Very well carbonated and dry on the palate. Not a bad sour overall, but I can think of several similar beers I would rather purchase.

Serving type: bottle

04-18-2011 02:00:21 | More by muttyd
Photo of MrVonzipper
MrVonzipper

California

3.5/5  rDev -18%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a ruby-mahogany with an ok cream colored bubbly head with low retention and no lacing.

Bitter smell with notes of sour cherries and balsamic vinegar with just a touch of fruity sweetness.

Flavor is pretty similar. Maybe a touch better. Sour/tart cherries, a touch of balsamic, sour apple and a sour oaky red wine. Doesn't carry a strong sour lingering finish and aftertaste.

Mouth is light and fairly dry with med-low carbonation.

Overall it's a decent beer for the style and possibly a good intro for someone looking to get into the style.

Serving type: bottle

11-26-2011 06:00:52 | More by MrVonzipper
Photo of ibbjamin
ibbjamin

California

3.53/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Paid $29.99 for a 12.7 oz bottle from Perry's Liquor in Livermore, CA. Poured into a large wine glass to review.

Minimal carbonation. No head or lacing whatsoever. Brownish red/ruby in color. Opaque unless held to a light due to its extreme cloudiness. Some floaters evident. Perhaps I should have poured a bit slower.

Smells like it has been sitting in some ancient oak barrels for a decent amount of time. Mildly sour cherries and vanilla. Smell is very dry.

Taste is rather musty. Sour cherries, aged oak wood.

Mouth is on the dry side. Decent amount of astringency. Lighter bodied. Carbonation almost non-existent. Medium finish.

This is definitely a sipper. Its lack of carbonation and dryness affect its drinkability.

Serving type: bottle

05-03-2009 03:41:13 | More by ibbjamin
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Red Poppy Ale from The Lost Abbey
95 out of 100 based on 1,428 ratings.