Red Poppy Ale - The Lost Abbey

Not Rated.
Red Poppy AleRed Poppy Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

554 Reviews
THE BROS
-
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 554 | Hads: 1,815
Photo of brystmar
3.38/5  rDev -19.9%
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. (650 characters)

Photo of guityler83
3.39/5  rDev -19.7%
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 (1,428 characters)

Photo of CrazyLarry
3.45/5  rDev -18.2%
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. (316 characters)

Photo of pokesbeerdude
3.45/5  rDev -18.2%
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. (2,235 characters)

Photo of MrVonzipper
3.5/5  rDev -17.1%
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. (554 characters)

Photo of ArrogantB
3.52/5  rDev -16.6%
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. (560 characters)

Photo of ibbjamin
3.53/5  rDev -16.4%
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. (728 characters)

Photo of muttyd
3.56/5  rDev -15.6%
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. (845 characters)

Photo of jsh420
3.57/5  rDev -15.4%
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!! (537 characters)

Photo of fastpass17
3.57/5  rDev -15.4%
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 (309 characters)

Photo of capeannbass36
3.58/5  rDev -15.2%
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. (471 characters)

Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.62/5  rDev -14.2%
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. (1,137 characters)

Photo of DaveHS
3.62/5  rDev -14.2%
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. (634 characters)

Photo of charlzm
3.62/5  rDev -14.2%
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". (1,017 characters)

Photo of smakawhat
3.63/5  rDev -14%
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. (1,011 characters)

Photo of glazeman
3.63/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12.7 ounce bottle poured into a snifter and split with airohead2001.

A: The beer pours a ruby red in color with a bit of brown. The head measures 1/3 of a finger and is off-white in color. The head has moderate retention and no lacing.

S: Sour cherries up front and then musty at the finish. Not a very complex nose in my opinion. I don't get any oak out of the nose.

T: The first thing I thought of was "how did this win best of show at FoBAB." This isn't to say that the beer isn't good, it's just that there were so many better beers there and this is somewhat run of the mill to me as far as sours go. I don't get much oakiness at all from the barrel aging. The cherries, on the other hand, do come through and taste pretty good. There's not all that much yeasty funk, but some sour berries throughout. Mostly cherries, but a little bit of strawberry also.

M: Pretty good. I appreciate that this has fairly low carbonation, as anything more, in combination with the sourness, would have been too much. Nice aftertaste and feel on the palate.

D: Half of a 375ml bottle was enough for me. This isn't really the type of beer I'd like to have several of in a night. It tasted pretty good, but was not as complex as I would have liked. (1,239 characters)

Photo of AgentZero
3.65/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Medium brown color with a hint of rusty red and some reddish on the edges. Small, off white head that left behind some alright lacing.

S - Not overly complex, but pretty potent. Huge vinegar influence on this, and nicely sour.

T - Sour, a bit of a cherry taste, big oak and vinegar influence. It's not bad, but I was expecting something with more complexity, and possibly with some more fruit in it.

M - Just a touch too heavy for this style for me, might be due to the carbonation, would like something that seems more effervesant.

D - Not super hard to drink, but between the weight and the not-sweet-sour it's one that is easy to put down. (650 characters)

Photo of rtaps
3.67/5  rDev -13%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pours mahogany with a small white head low retention and no lacing on the glass

cherry aroma with fruit and balsamic vinegar

taste was similar but a little better than the nose. sour apple/cherries. with some balsamic vinegar.

light bodied low carbonation.

overall for my first sour it wasnt as bad as i expected but i couldnt drink very much of it. (356 characters)

Photo of emmasdad
3.68/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Thanks to Ratman for a taste of this one. To state up front, I'm not really a fan of sours, so I approached this one with a bit of trepidation. Poured into a tulip of some sort, reddish brown, with a bit of carbonation. On the nose, I picked up red wine vinegar, oak and some tartness, but oddly (?) not a whole lot of cherry. This one was a bit funky on the palate; not a whole lot of sour going on, and somewhat lacking in cherry flavor. Again, not a huge sour fan, but this one seemed a bit restrained, almost a "training wheels" type of beverage. Pretty good, and one I'd love to try again. (594 characters)

Photo of hellbilly
3.68/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

idk where this bottle came from but it's been in my fridge for a year now (2008). muchas gracias to the soul who left it behind...

it's been sitting so long that the cork bomb was no issue... dark orange brown color with no head and lots of clumpy yeast.

smells a bit like pickling spice/pickles or that strange funkiness that a lot of red burgundies get before they get a chance to open up... cinnamon, wet cement, fruity/cherry tart though not quite sour and malty sugars yet it's very dry.

it tastes very 'green' from young barrels and quite tannic. though i'm not sure whether the tannins dominate from the wood or cherry skins (it really doesn't matter)... also, faintly malty and oaky with a cinnamon-y brett-like stink on the finish which lingers on. medium body lacks a bit of richness. the mouth feel it is prickly and dry as it cleans the palate entirely.

not a whole bunch going on... seems as if something is missing. though, it is in no way a bad beer! 7/4/7/4/15/3.7 (988 characters)

Photo of Damian
3.69/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Drank from a corked and caged 12.7 ounces bottle purchased at Liquor World, Cambridge, MA
Vintage 2013
Served in a tulip

Poured a ruddy, crimson-mahogany with a one-plus finger tall crop of rocky, tan colored foam. The head dropped quickly. Spotty drops of lacing stuck along the glass.

The nose was interesting. Super tart with sour cherry notes. Mild funk. Touch of balsamic vinegar. Quite acidic. The acidity was balanced by some brown sugar-like sweetness. Good dose of brett. There was a slight medicinal quality as well.

The flavor profile was sharp and unrefined. Very sour up front. Strong red wine vinegar notes. Perhaps some red wine in the center. Lots of brett. Crisp and very lemony. Pithy lemon rind. Huge oak and tannin flavors on the back end. The beer finished somewhat astringent with an unpleasant mix of tannins, earthy and bitter hops, and light metallic notes.

The mouthfeel was medium bodied with a fine yet aggressive carbonation. The carbonation settled with time and the liquid felt more plush and creamy.

I decided to pop this 2013 vintage of Red Poppy to get as much sour cherry flavor out of it as possible. Unfortunately, the cherry was surprisingly muted, and the overall flavor profile seemed raw and poorly integrated. This was definitely not worth the $18 I paid for my bottle. (1,316 characters)

Photo of xnicknj
3.7/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

on tap at monks in philly

Pours a somewhat murky deep browned color with some reddish hues attempting to poke through. A thick, slightly rusty head retains for a bit with some webs of lacing.

Plenty of cherries with sourness throughout the nose, heavier earthy notes with oak and some acid. Some dark fruit sweetness and funk as well.

Very cherry forward with a decent amount of sourness delivered by the fruit. Some dark fruits with raisin tones and caramel sweetness throughout the malt bill. Not quite as full flavored and sour as I originally thought it would be, but still pretty tasty. Finishes dry with another gasp of cherry and oak.

Medium thinner body, somewhat watery but really high carbonation. This keg was definitely overgassed, as it took the bartenders about 7 minutes to pour a glass. I'd like to give this a try out of a bottle so I can re-review it. (875 characters)

Photo of BitterPachyderm
3.72/5  rDev -11.8%
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. (1,646 characters)

Photo of RidiculedDisplay
3.72/5  rDev -11.8%
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. (1,029 characters)

Photo of flannelman808
3.72/5  rDev -11.8%
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. (495 characters)

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