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Red Poppy Ale - The Lost Abbey

Not Rated.
Red Poppy AleRed Poppy Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
96
world-class

1,674 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,674
Reviews: 534
rAvg: 4.28
pDev: 9.58%
Wants: 528
Gots: 500 | FT: 36
Brewed by:
The Lost Abbey visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Flanders Red Ale |  5.50% ABV

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.

(Beer added by: BeerBeing on 09-07-2007)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,674 | Reviews: 534 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of flayedandskinned
4.04/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

2014 Vintage
Poured into a standard tulip

Appearance: (4)
Pours a dark, murky mahogany with deep red undertones. A loosely bubbled, 1 finger tall tan head quickly rises and recedes almost immediately, leaving no lacing behind it's wake.

Aroma: (3.75)
Aromas of slightly tart cherries immediately shoot out of the glass upon pouring; Buried beneath the fruity acidity is a lightly acetic red wine vinegar character, but it is kept in balance by a rich, almost toffee like malt bread-y-ness. There is a very light barnyard funkiness imparted by some Brettanomyces. As the beer warms, some vanilla tones from the barrels become more apparent.

Taste: (4.25)
As soon as the beer touches your tongue, you're blasted by clean, juicy lactic acidity; tart cherry pie filling as well as both lemon and cherry juice. As the tartness fades on your palate, you are greeted by the flavors of the actual dark cherry flesh intermingling with notes of vanilla and almonds from the barrel. The beer finishes very dry with a flourish of slightly sweet, caramel-y malt. Long lingering notes of juicy cherry flesh, tart cherry flesh, bready malt and a deep vanilla character from the wood. light brettanomyces funk and tannins.

Mouthfeel: (3.75)
light bodied with high, peppery carbonation. Refreshing, but I feel that the very high carbonation overwhelms the some of the more subtle aspects of this beer.

Overall: (4)
With Red Poppy, Lost Abbey ages their sour brown with cherries in used wine barrels. What comes out is a great sour that really showcases the essence of the whole cherry; the skin, flesh, juice and even the pit. I really appreciated the strong vanilla character imparted by the oak barrels that is often missing in a lot of sour beer. Recommended.

Photo of Smurf2055
4.04/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured into tulip, finger of off white head. Sediment is at the bottom.

Smell is tart and balanced.

Taste is strong cherry. Sour, almost bitter. Candied, almost.

Very smooth and balanced. Sits on the tongue quite well.

Very well done, but I don’t think it’s worth the price tag.

Photo of AKBelgianBeast
4.05/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks to SuzyGreenberg for this bottle.

Pours a very murky reddish brown color. Slightly undercarbonated despite a vigorous pour, but the small head that is there for a couple moments is stark white, but soon reduces to a ring around the glass.

Nose is chock full of flemish goodness. Lots of vinegary sourness and some slight cherry flavor.

Taste follows. A well made flemish for sure. Taste starts off with a nice little sweetness, but quickly profresses into that classic vinegary tartness of flemish brews. A decent amount of funk, and some cherry sweetness does peek its head out. Finish is the ideal amount of tartness for the style. Aftertaste is lingering tartness and slight cherry kick.

Mouthfeel is just about right where it should be. Aside from slight but definitely noticeable undercarbonation, not much to dock here.

Drinkability is quite solid for the style. abv is right where it should be and feels just fine. The carbonation does make it a tiny bit akward though.

Overall this is definitely one of the best examples of the style that is brewed inside US borders. Not alot of solid oud bruins being made on our soil, but this is one of them. If the carbonation could be modified slightly this beer would be that much better. This is no cuvee de tomme, but it is a great example of the style and a well crafted beer.

Photo of nickd717
4.05/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Sampled at GABF 2009...don't kill me, I'm not done yet...and then had it straight from the barrel at Lost Abbey Barrel Tasting 2009.

Here is the my review from GABF that I wrote down earlier but did not post because of the "don't review from beer fests" guideline:
Another great sour from the Flat - I mean Lost - Abbey. Just kidding Tomme, for all the heat you take, you shut us up with some great beers. This is one of them. Bottle pours hazy dark reddish-amber with a small, lasting off-white head. Aroma is tart berries with cherries standing out, oak, red wine vinegar, sweet malt, and funk. Flavor is tart, but not too much so, with some sweetness to balance lending caramel and toffee notes. Loads of cherries, raspberries, and red wine. Also some oaky barrel notes and vinegar/lemon tartness on the finish. Palate is medium-bodied and sharp with higher than average carbonation. This is a great beer overall.

So I was all set to give this a high review once I got a fair pour of it. Then I got a fair pour of it at this at the Barrel Tasting, and to be honest, dogg, I wasn't too impressed. Had sort of an odd funkiness to it that I didn't pick up the first time that threw it off a little bit. I love a good sour, but the balance has to be just right, and for some reason this time was a little off.

So I'm going to more or less average the ratings from the two times I've had this, maybe a little heavier on the good experience since that wasn't straight from the barrel and was more how this is meant to be served. Figure that's a fair assessment. Would like to try it out of the bottle sometime.

First time was an A, second was a B. Overall I'll give it a low A-.

Photo of Alieniloquium
4.05/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

375 mL bottle poured into a goblet. Huge pain in the ass to get this cork out. I ended up decapitating it on accident and resorted to a corkscrew.

Appearance - Murky reddish brown body with a nice, cream colored head. Retention is spectacular as it sustains a nice pillow atop the body. Surprisingly, I have yet to have an uncarbonated Lost Abbey beer.

Smell - Cherries. Lots of cherries. I get a substantial funk behind all of it, though, which is quite welcome in my book. Not so sour smelling, really, which is also a good sign. I find that if I can smell the sour, it's usually a bad sour.

Taste - VERY tart. Overpoweringly, really. It's intense enough to overshadow any other flavors that are there. I get lots of sour cherries with some oaky barrel flavors in the middle. The finish gets a little acetic with the tartness, but it's blended with a bit of funk. The sourness lingers for quite a while.

Mouthfeel - It's not THAT tart, but the tartness just lasts and lasts. So much so that I find it hard to taste other things. It's light, dry, well-carbonated, but astringent in its acidity.

Overall - Not a balanced Flanders Red, but definitely a tasty one. I'd like to get a bit more complexity out of it, but it's just cherries all the way.

Photo of kk73
4.05/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 375ml bottle into my glass. Thanks heyta for this bottle. 2011 vintage.

A - Pours a dark and hazy reddish brown with a big three finger oatmeal color head. The head quickly dissipates into a layer of foam. Little to no lacing.

S - Smells of tart fruit, mainly cherries. Apple cider vinegar, clove, and wood.

T - Tart sour cherries upfront, followed by some wood. Probably the oak its aged in. Also tart apples and vinegar in the finish. Tart and lip puckering throughout.

M - Medium bodied, with plenty of bubbly carbonation.

D - Pretty good. Not much experience in this style but very similar imo to The Dissident. Easy drinking if you can get pass the sour, vinegar like taste. No problem finishing this bottle by myself. Would seek or buy again. Would like to see how this is with some age on it.

Photo of riored4v
4.05/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed on 3/30/11

Poured in to a tulip. 1.5 finger, fluffy, off-white head. Dark red body that showed some murkiness. Head held really well.

Smell was of tart cherry and acidity with a touch of vinegar. Slightly funky with some Brett. Notes of oak and light maltiness.

Taste was good. Nice tart cherry flavor. Mildly acidic. Notes of oak and dark fruit. Again, slightly funky with some farmhouse characteristics.

Mouthfeel was very good. Light body, medium/high carbonation. Nice and dry.

Good drinkability on this one. Nicely tart while maintaining drinkability.

Photo of Maxwell
4.05/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours a deep candied brown like root beer. The head is large, tan and rocky, but it mellows down to a half fingers width with time, while lacing is droopy and thin. The beers body is clear of sediment with light carbonation bubbles traveling up the sides of the glass. The beer smells much mustier than I expected for the style. Sour hints of cherry and fruit leather are present along with a caramel malt background. Musty funk is definitely present though, and suggests a hint of church basements, and perhaps that of a lost abbey…

The beer tastes largely sour with definite notes of sour cherries, though they are weaker than I would hope for. Caramel malts are present in the background as a faint hint, but the sour cherry funk is the dominant thing. Yeast notes give a slight sour apple and slight barnyard and hay notes, as well as slight buttery notes in the middle of the taste, and the beer is nice to sip slowly. The mouthfeel has strong under-pricklings, but overall the beer is smooth and creamy. The tongue is left slick with saliva and a slight after taste of cherries and sour apples, the middle of the tongue is also dry but sticky. The real star of the mouthfeel, however, is how the beer mellows its own effervescence out into a smooth velvety embrace on your tongue. Overall this is another tasty Flanders red. I didn’t like this as much as Oude Tart, but I think I liked it more than Rodenbach’s Grand Cru. It’s worth a try for sour lovers, and I am very happy to sample a full bottle from The Lost Abbey, though their pricing on the East Coast is a far too much for my budget. Worth a try, but not worth continued sampling.

Photo of GrandCruDrew
4.05/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12.7oz bottle from 2011 poured in my New Belgium Globe. I'm in serious need of a Lost Abbey stem. Pretty naustalgic beer always. I had the very first bottling of this beer that was giving to Ron Jefferies from Tommy. Ron and I shared this as well as a few others.

A- Dark brown in color, a good 1inch head with little retention and lacing.

S- Yum! Farmhouse, brett, Sour cherries, caramel, toffee, bubble gum, a very good fruitiness and some spice. Equivalent in the wine world of a rustic Rhone!

T- Taste resembles the nose, with maybe falling a little short of the nose. Maybe when it warms. The cherries dominate the palate with a good acidity and oak flavor.

M- The palate runs a little short for me. I think it needs to develope in the bottle a bit longer. It has a very short finish with only the cherries lingering.

Overall- Great beer. It just falls a little short in the Sour Brown Cherry notes category. I could smell it all day however!

Photo of Sean9689
4.05/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours light brown with a faint touch of red into a champagne flute. A very minute amount of head, almost none. Lots of dark cherry's, raspberry's, fig's, plum's on the nose with a bunch of tart mixed in...sweet yet tart, pretty interesting. Lots of tart and oak on the palate, really great. Mouthfeel is light in body, very little carbonation (I could use a bit more). I really like this one...a winner, in my opinion. Will drink again, 100%. Wish there was more carbonation, which hurt the mouthfeel & drink.

Photo of zoolzoo
4.05/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Thanks awalk1227

A: Big pop from the cork, pours an almost opaque shade of redish brown. This thing has a really frothy and bubbly looking cream head that just wont get lost. Sort of Guinness looking in texture.

S: Lactic presence, vinegar and under ripened cherry tartness. Perhaps some vanilla or brown sugar.

T: Follows the nose quite nicely. Similar to many Oud Bruins except with more assertive tartness. Funk and tart up front, rolling into unripe cherries and brown malt base. Slightly puckering, definitely mouthwatering in the finish.

M: Surprisingly creamy, medium carb.

O: Overall, a great example of the style. Though I must say Im sort of getting lost in Flanders type sours. I cant exactly say what would make this one stand out in the crowd. Given the price and availability of this beer, I cant see seeking it out again in the midst of other "off the shelf" Flanders options available to me. Still, a great beer in its own right.

Photo of yourefragile
4.05/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2010 375 mL bottle.

Pours a murky dark ruby brown with a thin dense cream head that fades to a thick collar and minimal lace. Aroma of oak, light vinegar, apple sauce, tart cherry; pleasant blend of acid and sweet. Flavor is oaky and mildy cherry and vanilla sweet through the body before a strong acidic sourness builds long into the finish. Medium thick body with light carbonation. A little too harsh and acidic in the finish, but a nice oak and fruit presence otherwise.

Photo of pmccallum86
4.05/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a small head that dissipates rather quickly. The body is dark maroon and slightly transparent.

Smell is weird, lots of vinegar and funky aromas. Not like any other beer I have smelled.

Taste is slightly tart with quite a bit of vinegar and dry finish. Another carbonated beer from Lost Abbey, whaddaknow. Leathery dry finish for a flanders oud bruin. Very good beer to try though, more funky and sour than other beer I have had from the style.

Mouthfeel is highly carbonated with a very dry finish.

Drinkability is pretty good, not something you want to drink quickly, it's a nice sipper. Another quality beer from the Lost Abbey.

Photo of mutterfudder
4.08/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2009 vintage, opens with a dull pop, poured into an Allagash tulip.

A - pours murky brown with a reddish tint. No real head despite a vigorous pour. What little head there was disappeared within a second. Flat as a wall.

S - strong woody smell with some cherry flavors. mild alcohol-y sweetness, like a hint of vanilla.

T - pretty much the same the smell. Woody, oaky flavor with a tart cherry finish. There is the typical funky, earthy flavors of a sour/wild ale. All the flavors sit in a good balance, and isn't too sharp a lactic flavor.

M / D - Mouthfeel is slick with no carbonation. Would have liked to have some carbonation present here. Despite that, the beer is drinkable for the style thanks to the balanced tartness.

Red Poppy is an interesting enough beer, that could stand to be a little more effervescent.

Photo of Thorpe429
4.08/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to bmanning for opening this at a recent tasting.

2009 Vintage. 375mL bottle.

A: Poured a slightly-browned red with a bit of a cream-colored head.

S: Aromas of cherry are definitely present atop some funk and vinegary acid.

T: The cherries are not as strong in the taste department as with the smell, and the slightly-puckering acidity takes over. Good balance between the sweet and tart nature of the cherries with the predominate sour qualities of this one.

M: Pretty low carbonation, fairly tart, and somewhat mouth-drying.

D: Quite drinkable. Fairly complex.

Photo of Rifugium
4.08/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

First had: on tap at Capone's, Norristown, PA

Thank God for Black Friday leftovers. All the beer and none of the annoying crowd! (Still the 5.5oz. pours though.)

Attractive: ruddy red-brown color, murky, with a thick ringlet of off white foam. Aroma was slightly tart and woody, notes of cherry and vinegar. Similar taste, biscuity malt base, light cherry, apricot, decently balanced acetic acid, tart but not quite puckering, slightly woody. Pretty strange that this uses a brown ale base, because it barely resembled a brown ale at this point of its life. Medium body, medium carbonation, drying effect in the aftertaste. Nice overall.

Photo of Spider889
4.08/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle courtesy of Trilogy31 in my first true trade. Review from early spring, taken from notes. Bottle is the 2011 vintage.

Poured into my (at the time) new Lost Abbey tulip. A beautiful beer into a wonderful glass. The perfect pairing. The beer pours with a tall tobacco head, with plenty of visible vigorous carbonation. Excellent head retention. Beneath the long-lasting cap of foam is a burgundy colored brew. Twenty minutes after my initial pour there was still easily 1 finger of head left.

Smells of sweet vanilla and lots of fragrant fresh oak notes. Brett is there, but it is much more mild than it certainly can be (which I appreciate). Caramel syrup continues the vein of sweet aromas. As I continued to dig into this complex beer I began to detect semi-ripened cherries, old leather, and a funky salty cheesiness on the nose.

The flavor begins with a smack of dry carbonation which is almost bitingly harsh. This mellows eventually, and gives way to a large brett character. Cherry lends some acidity, though ultimately the beer shows mostly bretty funk and not outright sourness.

The malt profile here is dark and chewy with flavors of sweet browned barley and bittersweet chocolate. The cherry itself is quite subdued - with mostly greener notions. The oak really begins to take hold mid-glass, as does a rising peat flavor with continued warmth. Finally, there's some vanilla and red wine on the back end of each sip.

The mouthfeel on Red Poppy displays a high level of carbonation. I suppose it is appropriate for the style, however it also feels overdone a tad for me. So much for all of the "flat abbey" comments that were circling around this year... At least carbonation is no issue with this particular beer.

Very dry and oaky. The acidity and carbonation add an element of stinging/prickliness that betrays the 5.5% abv as something higher.

Overall Red Poppy is very well done. One of the best Flanders reds I have ever tried. This is well worth seeking out. Beers like this one are the reason Lost Abbey is so polarizing. Sure, they are known for their mistakes and poor customer service. But when they do something right, it is a truly exceptional beer.

Photo of FosterJM
4.08/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

491st review on BA
Bottle to Sinners glass
@Lost Abbey

Split with GuruDel & ChurginDS
Thanks for the bottle vince!

App- A lot darker than I thought especially after having FdA. This was dark red and a little flat. No real head and no sticky lace.

Smell- HUGE cherries with a lot of oaky, tangy, vinegar and slightly acidic as well.

Taste- A nice mix of a lot of fruity esters, skins, rinds, oak and tart. Not mouth puckering but a nice drinking beer. A lot different than most sours.

Mouth- Light bodied, medium bodied with nice tart cherry after taste.

Drink- Very nicely done. A small beer to sip with dessert or on a hot day. Would like to have this one again.

Photo of tayner
4.08/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12.7 oz bottle corked and caged, 07 vintage released in January 2008

I figured today being leap day was a day for me to take a big leap and break out a beer i have been scared to try since the only sour beer to date i have ever had was a drain pour.

A: Poured a fairly clear amber color with a rose hue. the head was just slightly off white and not too big, but it did settle into a thick ring and skimmed the top of the beer, laced very nice all the way down. Very nice looking beer.

S: Tart candy smell, oak, cherry, and some maltiness in the faint background.

T: Sour, or maybe tart is a better term. On my lips initially i tasted sour candy. Mid palate i could taste the maltiness of the brown ale with some slight nuttines to it, and the oak and slight vanilla flavors came out, and then at the back of the palate i was hit with sour cherries that gave me that sort of lock-jaw type feeling until after i swallowed. after the swallow the malty brown ale flavors stuck around and the oak flavor lingered as well. The oak was not as overpowering as i had expected, and for that i am glad, this beer has enough going on and yet still seems to be nicely balanced.

M/D: For what it is, a sour ale, it was very easy to drink. There was enough carbonation that it didnt seem syurp-y and the cherries did not taste at all medicinal like some cherry beers are. This is the first sour beer that i can say has not been a drain pour for me, so i am rating it as such with high marks. I have a couple more bottles, and i am not sure how fast they will fly out of the cellar, but someday i am sure i will get brave again :)

Photo of haazer
4.08/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Resurrection Ale House for PBW.

A - Muddled maroon brew, very dark, some hints of violet. There is lacing with a cherry tint left all over the glass. Looks great.

S - Very floral, rosey smell. A lot of vinegar, and a definite sour profile. A little bit of grape, and wood notes on the backend. Definite wine character also.

T - The raspberries are on display very nicely. Very sweet upfront, then the brew transitions into a light vinegar, lactic sour profile. There's vinous characteristics all throughout, finishing with a nice but of oak presence.

M - Mouth is light to medium bodies with medium levels of carbonation. A sweet and sour coating rolls over the mouth coating the taste buds with a vinegar aftertaste.

O - Very well put together, not overly sour, and not overly "winey". This was very refreshing, tasty, but not sure if it's worth the cost per bottle. Glad to have tried though for sure.

Photo of JoeySchlitz
4.08/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

'09 from abfraser

A: Looks like murky brown juice when first poured with zero signs of life (i.e.. carbonation). As it sits, a light ring of carbonation forms on the edge along with a faint bit of lacing.

S: Rich sour cherries, with some vinegar lactic notes. Reminds me a little of Duchesse de Bourgogne, with a bit more toned down fruit up front. Also some red wine.

T: More sour cherries, fairly crisp and malt vinegar. The sourness bites at the back of your throat and leaves a puckering aftertaste.

M: Very light carbonation but there is just a bit to give the beer some levity. Could use a tad bit more and would be very good.

O: This is a tasty beer - kind of a mix between Supplication and Duchesse de Bourgogne. Not sure how much more pronounced the cherries would have been fresh but they are still evident. Another solid sour from the crew at L.A.

Photo of birchstick
4.08/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - pours a murky brown with a creamy taupe head

S - smells of cherries with caramelized brown sugar and a tinge if oak

T - starts of with mouth puckering cherry tartness. This dances around the tongue a bit until some caramelized brown sugar and a touch of vanilla enter but are overtaken by sour citrus notes. A lingering oak and a tinge of vinegar is on the finish. It is like a cherry pie filling in liquid form, pretty solid.

M - a little thin on the carbonation but it works well with this as it complements the medium body.

D - this is a solid Flanders red. The cherries really popped out ofthis one and made this one of the better beers I have had from Lost Abbey. Recommended!

Photo of lsummers
4.08/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a dark amber copper with a one finger off white head. Nice and thick, can hardly see through it with just a touch of a reddish tint of light showing through.

Smells of a red wine note coming right out of the bottle as soon as I cork it. In the glass I get a much more dark sweet raspberry/cherry tartness. Touches of a leather note.

Taste hits straight away with a tart dark red fruity character and immediately includes some sour sweetness. There's a woody character mid way through along with some funky barnyard. The fruity characters fade off towards the end to leave a tart raison like musty aftertaste. Belgian yeast notes can be found mid to the end of the taste.

Mouthfeel is very crisp with what I would say feels like a high amount of carbonation in the likes of a champagne. Still has some fatness to it that makes me think this could be slightly viscus without all the carbonation.

Overall, this is tasting great and it's really standing out for me. One to try, one to buy, and one to put away to see how it changes over time.

Photo of andrewinski1
4.08/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Shared by Bendurgin! Huge light pink head and a lot of sticky lacing. The body is a murky reddish brown.

The aroma is full of slightly sweet cherry.

The taste is also slightly sweet cherry (nowhere near cloying) with a generously tart finish. This strikes a pretty good balance.

The body is light to medium and the carbonation is enjoyably plentiful.

I really like this one. I always enjoy trying LA beers.

Photo of KickInTheChalice
4.08/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 375 mL bottle into a tulip. 2010 Vintage. Thanks to readbaron for opening this with me.

Appearance: This pours a hazy medium dark brown with a murky beet red tint that is more obvious at the edges. Although I started the pour gently, it took an aggressive pour right into the center of the glass to populate a foamy tan head with small but visible bubbles. The head fades at it's leisure, eventually leaving a ring around the edge of the glass and a few spots of lace down the side.

Smell: The aroma is the strength of this beer. Although for a Flanders Red Ale I would normally expect the aroma and flavor to be quite similar, the nose on this is actually more complex than the flavor. Obvious tart cherries are the first entrant into my olfactory system, but as I adjust I sense some oak, balsamic vinegar, and a bit of cinnamon. With a few swirls of the glass, a vibrant funk rises into my nostrils, adding further complexity.

Taste: A blast of tart cherries assaults my tongue up front with just a touch of balsamic sweetness, more of a pure sour flavor than I am used to in a Flanders Red. Once my palate acquaints itself with the flavor, I get nuances of oak and red wine in the middle, but the flavor pretty much has one gear -- sour and cherry. This bottle has a year on it already, which I imagine has led to it being more sour than when it was fresh, and I can't help but wonder if it would get better with even more time to develop.

Mouthfeel: The tartness up front causes my mouth to salivate profusely right away. There is no doubt that this has a strong vinegar character and a fairly acidic feel. Lots of tannins present at the end. The body is actually a bit lighter than I would expect from a beer of this style, with the carbonation falling into the abyss somewhere between creamy and crisp. A bit of creamy, relaxed carbonation would suit this a bit better.

Overall: When the bottle was opened I was pleasantly surprised by the depth of the aroma, only to be let down a little bit by the flavor. It was good, but nothing about this truly differentiated itself from other beers in the style. Why spend the effort to track this down and pay premium money for this when there are better options that are both cheaper and more readily available?

Red Poppy Ale from The Lost Abbey
96 out of 100 based on 1,674 ratings.