Red Poppy Ale - The Lost Abbey

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Red Poppy AleRed Poppy Ale

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560 Reviews
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Reviews: 560
Hads: 1,837
Avg: 4.23
pDev: 9.46%
Wants: 568
Gots: 571 | 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: 560 | Hads: 1,837
Photo of airohead2001
3.15/5  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.

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Photo of donkeyrunner
3.17/5  rDev -25.1%
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.

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Photo of jmarsh123
3.18/5  rDev -24.8%
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.

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Photo of beerwolf77
3.23/5  rDev -23.6%
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.

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Photo of Tiklmelmo
3.28/5  rDev -22.5%
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.

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Photo of Jammies
3.3/5  rDev -22%
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

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Photo of Marty30
3.3/5  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.

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Photo of Arbitrator
3.31/5  rDev -21.7%
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.

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Photo of cpetrone84
3.33/5  rDev -21.3%
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.

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Photo of dmsohyea
3.35/5  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.

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Photo of brystmar
3.38/5  rDev -20.1%
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.

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Photo of guityler83
3.39/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

A: Deep maroon with crimson red hue when held to a light source. Long lasting head made of medium sized bubbles that fizzed the entire time - color very similar to cola - dark cream to tan or light brown. Small layer of sediment was left in the bottle but the beer still haze a slight haze.

S: Moderate tart cherry - like jam or pie filling - medium lemon tartness that gives a nice fruit juice - lemonaid w/ cherries vibe. Mild toasty, pie crust, biscuity malt aromoa. No alcohol or off aromas - very pleasant.

T: Moderate tartness with the similar cherry-aid flavor as the aroma indicated. No hop flavor or bitterness detected. Sweetness is moderate with toasted breadcrust, biscuity and strawberry like flavors. Balance is on the sourness - mild amount of funky brett character and oaky tannins are noticable in the finish.

M: Very high carbonation and the prickly carbonic bite adds some body to the thinner beer underneath. Tartness hits on the center of the tongue and fades away after a few seconds - not harsh. No alcohol warmth. But the higher carbonation leaves a drying sensation after a few sips.

O: A very nice beer, but the carbonation on this bottle was way to high. I think if that was dialed back more the tartness and cherry flavors would have come through even more without the prickly sensation hindering the overall impression. Id get the beer again just to see if I got bad bottle. - Cheers

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Photo of CrazyLarry
3.45/5  rDev -18.4%
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.

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Photo of pokesbeerdude
3.45/5  rDev -18.4%
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.

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Photo of MrVonzipper
3.5/5  rDev -17.3%
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.

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Photo of ArrogantB
3.52/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

375ml bottle of what looks to be the 2010 edition since it is the new style of bottle that LA and RR have been using. Thanks to mattolesh for hooking this up. It gushed a bit upon opening and had a super huge head. I have to ding the appearance because I got a ton of sediment all throughout this beer that was kind of chunky. The smell was sour cherry-like, not bad at all. The taste had some muted cherry qualities, dirty, funkiness a bit, and a good sour twang. This was not bad at all but compared to some of the other LA sours I was a little disappointed.

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Photo of ibbjamin
3.53/5  rDev -16.5%
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.

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Photo of muttyd
3.56/5  rDev -15.8%
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.

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Photo of jsh420
3.57/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

pours murky reddish brown with a 1 finger off white head that left no lacing

smell is funky - sour and funky - tart cherries and funky barnyard

taste is very tart cherries with fishy funk and oak on the finish - very dry - sure i dont make this sound good but if you enjoy sours this beer is for you

mouthfeel light dry very carbonated - everything i want in a red wine

overall - good flavor and nose but the price tag $17 for 375ml is way too much - one of those beers where after yo try it you can not justify buying another ever!!

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Photo of fastpass17
3.57/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12.7 oz Brown bottle, corked and caged, 2011 vintage.

A: murky, mahogany brown with flashes of red; fading head

S: sour cherry, chocolate, caramel; oakiness

T: very sour, oak, tart, bitter cherries

M: coats entire mouth, tart, funkiness stays in your mouth

D/O: split a bottle; more sour than anticipated

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Photo of capeannbass36
3.58/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Cork popped like a champagne bottle. Immediate smell of sour cherries.
A- A murky dark ruby red, brown. 2 finger off white head that fades quickly. Light lacing.

S- Sour cherries....and I guess what some call "funk".

T- Sour, tart cherries. Some wood. Sour hangs around on lips and tongue.

M- Dry and crisp. Light to medium carbonation.

O- One of the more pricey beers that I have sat on for awhile. Having tried it, would not purchase again. Cannot justify the cost.

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Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.62/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2009 Vintage. Poured from a corked and caged 375ml. bottle into a Cantillon tulip. Shared with schen9303.

A: Cork comes out with little more than a pop and I can already tell... the saga of Flat Abbey continues. Pours no head, just a ring of coarse, white bubbles at the edge of the glass. Beer is a pretty, clear, deep amber. Lacing is stringy, with moderate stick.

S: Cherry, oak, vinegar, ethanol, raspberry puree. Overall feel is of musty fruit and red berry soy sauce syrup.

T: Cherry tartness is surprisingly present upfront. Slight yeasty bitterness. Vinegar, ethanol, wood, moss, and dirt. Dry and puckering finish leads to a tart-all-over aftertaste.

M: Light to medium bodied, very low to no carbonation, oily, and sticky in the mouth. Finish is dry and aftertaste is messy and sticky.

D: Another what-could've been beer from Lost Abbey. Properly carbonated, I'd think that this beer would be much better than its already-above-average-but-flat incarnation. Good subtle but dense flavor has nice complexity that carbonation might serve to separate well. Also, may spice up a mouthfeel that is a bit lifeless at times.

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Photo of DaveHS
3.62/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A-Pours translucent mahogany with a few errant specks of chunky brown yeast and 1/4 inch of cola brown head. Leaves thick rings of sticky lacing.

S-Macerated tart cherries, balsamic reduction, toasted almonds. Musty wet hay/barnyard funk.

T/M-Very dry, with sharp tart acidity. The mouthfeel is round and smooth, with a nutty, mildly sweet base malt character and a touch of toasted oak. The cherry flavor is underwhelming. Not at all what was promised by the nose. Very one dimensional and unrefined for the style.

O-WAY overhyped. Doesn't even begin to live up to the price. I would take a Rodenbach Grand Cru over this any day.

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Photo of charlzm
3.62/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Consumed April 30, 2010. Consumed at 48 degrees F, poured into a Triple Petrus snifter.

This beer is a hazy reddish-brown with lots of suspended particulate matter suspended in it. Even though the cork made a cute little pop as it came out of the bottle, the beer is not carbonated to speak of. A tiny ring of tan foam rims the sides of the glass.

Aroma is sour and tart with a hint of earthiness.

Flavor is a bit wince-inducing at first, but not in a bad way. The beer, true to the promise of the nose, is tart and sour. Slightly bitter wood flavor and some red wine vinegar. A soft, possibly floral or cherry component is almost drowned beneath the more assertive notes. Potent stuff.

Mouthfeel is slightly thick and would benefit from a touch of carbonation.

If you have crow's feet, they'll get a workout with this one. While this seems to be more or less true to the style, it's not something I really could say I enjoyed. Certainly a departure from what most people think of when they hear the word "beer".

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Photo of smakawhat
3.63/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle at Smoke & Barrel as part of the DC bottle share. Bottle brought by mgbhoo much thanks. From notes.

Decent sample pouring brings a light tan caramel body, not much head given, other bigger pours show about the same. Fairly clear and pleasant, not much red hue to it, perhaps a bit bronze.

Nose has a light to moderate funk bent, with an interesting huge clove sweetness. Good hints of chopped wood and splinters. Interesting mix of spice funk and mild sweetness. Good acid bent without being overly tart.

Taste sort of lets down on the palate. Very thin bodied for they style, with out the hinting malt sweetness or depth. Quite wet also, with moderate carbonation , but most surprising is how noticeably grainy tasting this is. Tartness is about expected hinting from the nose without too much acid or extreme vinegar sensations.

It has a very distinct nose and decent sense of what might be coming, but the palate just doesn't deliver, the wet grainy taste is a real disappointment.

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Red Poppy Ale from The Lost Abbey
94 out of 100 based on 560 ratings.