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

12.7 oz. caged and corked bottle of 2012 Red Poppy - poured into my Lost Abbey San Marcos Tumbler.

Appearance: Red Poppy pours a smokey topaz color (reddish brown) with a moderately thin cap of foam.

Smell: somewhat funky tart aroma of "bug" riddled oak and cherries.

Taste: wow. I don't drink sours that often so the first few sips were pretty mouth puckering - thankfully my palate was able to settle in. A flash of sour cherries up front really seem to integrate well with the base brown. Lingering oakiness adds a nice finishing touch.

Mouthfeel: the carbonation really enables the fruit flavors to "pop" but it's not to the point of feeling spritzy.

Overall: as much as I enjoyed this one, I can't see myself buying a lot of it at 18 dollars a pop. It's kind of a "buy a bottle once a year" type beer. That said, it's a really well-made Flanders Red and I'd imagine it being a good candidate for cellaring.

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

Pours a hazy, nearly opaque chocolate brown with a VERY thick tan head. The sample I got fizzed like crazy, so beware when you first pour it! Aroma is strongly oaky with malty and fruity hints and more than a bit of sweetness. Flavor has a strong oaky alcohol bite and some fruity and malty cherry tones - definitely a hint of cherry in there. Texture is fierce, attacking the tongue like a pit bull - this beer is not for the faint of heart or taste buds. This beer is intended to be sipped slowly and savored, like brandy.

Photo of rhoadsrage
4.1/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(Served in a teku)
vintage 2012
A- This beer pours a glowing dark garnet red body with a wall of microbubbles racing up to a boiling thick light tan head. The head last for a bit.

S- The slightly funky tart cherry note is followed by a wet oak aroma even during the pour. There is a hint of aged vinegar in the finish with a white cheese rind hint. Some flinty and earthy notes come through as the beer opens aswell.

T- The brett funk note blends with tart cherries notes and a malt fullness underneath. There is a wet oak barrel taste that leads to a bright tartness that lingers a bit after each sip. The cheese rind brett note comes back in the finish.

M- The medium-full mouthfeel is largely due to the big fizz and there is a soft low astringency note with no real alcohol heat noticed.

O- This beer has some nice tartness with hints of barrel and brett notes with a good support from the malt, but it has a thick heavy body that really makes it slow to drink. The tartness is more from fruit than yeast character so it doesn't have that classic Flanders Red yeast profile but it is still nice to drink.

Photo of Mavajo
4.1/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark mahoganny, slightly transluscent body. Big cream head. Mild lacing. Nice looking beer.

Aroma is great -- funky sour cherries, with the brown ale backbone behind it. Taste, while delicious, does not quite live up to the aroma. Tart and sour cherries, good sweetness with a strong malt backbone.

Mouthfeel is good. Brisk, bubbly carbonation.

All in all, a very good, well-made beer. But the steep price tag doesn't really make this a practical purchase IMO. It needs to be genuinely world class to warrant $13.99 for a 375ml -- and while good, this ain't world class.

Photo of thagr81us
4.1/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this one during the 'We Want The Funk!' tasting that was graciously hosted by beermeX2! Big thanks goes out to beermeX2 for sharing this one with the group! 2011 Vintage! Served from bottle into a Mikkeller flute. Poured red-brown with a half finger cream colored head that subsided to a minimal amount slowly. Maintained decent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, sour, tart, wood, and cherry. The flavor was of sweet malt, sour, tart, wood, cherry, and raspberry. It had a light feel on the palate with medium-high carbonation. Overall this was a pretty good brew. The wood characteristic of this one really added to the overall enjoyability (is that even a word???) of the beer. The sour/tart notes were spot on and not too harsh allowing the cherry and raspberry to shine through as well. Just a well put together brew that I enjoyed quite much.

Photo of badboyrsl84
4.1/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I got this on tap at the Alpine pub.

It pours a murky brown into a tulip glass with a 2 inch head that dissapates quickly

Smell- vinegar, tart, acidic, cherries and other acidic fruit. Smells like sweet-tart candy.

Very well put together in the sour department. The body of this is well balanced making it a beer you could enjoy more than one pint of at a time

Taste - lots of tart and some cherries. Aftertaste of cherries and some residual tartness but fades away very quickly unlike a lot of sours I've had.

Photo of nataku00
4.1/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 2011 release bottle split into two Lost Abbey tulips with a friend. Popping the cork, the beer foamed up a bit, but I had a glass nearby to catch it and start pouring. First half of the pour didn't get any yeast that it was bottle fermented with, so it was mostly solid reddish brown, with hints of scarlet at the edge of the glass when held up to the light. The second half of the pour gets a bit of the yeast, making it significantly hazier, a lighter brown with some red notes as well. About a finger and a half of light brown frothy head on the pour is a good sign. Looks like a very fine champagne like carbonation.

Nose is a very pungent sour cherries, some sweet cherries as well, vinegary, with a slight hint of oak. A bit of funky earthiness as well.

Taste is light sour cherries and red wine vinegar, cherry seeds and oak mid tongue, but fades into sweet and tangy fruit, earthiness. Swallowing the beer takes all flavor with it as there is barely any aftertaste other than some chewed up cherry seeds. Somewhat disappointing that the flavor is so short on the tongue, considering how strong the aroma was.

Light bodied and well carbonated. Tingly on the tongue and surprisingly clean, unexpected for this style.

Photo of NittanyBeerFan
4.1/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One of the first beers brought out for our weekend tasting during an impromptu session on Friday night after returning from the GLBC event at Fatheads. Thanks to treyrab for bringing Red Poppy out.

Poured into a 6-oz snifter, the body is a mahogany brown rich with highlights of ruby and garnet. Each sip creates a foamy ring that slips back into the beer over time, much like legs in a fine wine.

Raspberry undertones amid a primarily cherry aroma. There are hints of oakey tannic notes. Of course, with any oud bruin, there is a compelling funk and sourness. The taste is very similar with cherry dominating the fruit profile, while other berries, especially raspberry lurk beneath. The sourness is nicely balanced with a funky brett profile.

Medium consistency and a very low level of carbonation. The sourness is not too overwhelming and really lets the beer's own characteristics shine through. To me, I could drink this as an everyday sour if it were more accessible.

Photo of weeare138
4.1/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to hopdog for breaking this open. We didn't have a bottle of Le Woody Brune to open for a side by side but it was a dead ringer for one of my favorites from Port Brewing.
Appears a hazy dark brown with a small, off-white head that quickly fades into a mild cap and collar. Spotty lacing is left around the glass.
Smell is of oak tannins, cherries, light brett, brown sugar, with a malty, biscuity aroma jumping out.
Taste echoes the aromas with the woody, slightly acetic flavors coming together.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied, sugary sweet, candy on the front of the tongue with vinegar acidic notes in the middle, and a semi-dry finish.

Photo of HosP
4.1/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured 375ml into Fantome tulip. Got this a few times from different people, most recently Scottfrie.

A- Nice pop when cork comes out. Pours a dark murky, brown in color. A little more red when held up to the light. Nice light brown, bubbly head that leaves great lacing.

S- Cherries dominate the nose. Not as sour aroma as I would expect. Get a faint lemony, citrus smell at the end. Tough to pick out over the cherries though.

T- Follows the nose, with lots of tart cherry flavors! Not overly sour, which is nice. Makes it easier to drink I feel. Tough to get much other flavors past the cherries. Still a nice flavor to it.

M- Lighter body to it. Great carbonation, not over or under done. Not as dry as I expected either.

O- Very good, easy to drink beer. Sometimes I have a tough time drinking something sour or tart, but this is pretty smooth. Glad I have a few bottles of this to open up over some time. Nicely done!

Photo of John_M
4.1/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a bottle at TJ's last night. This is the just released 2011 version.

The beer pours a rich, somewhat cloudy, reddish amber color with pretty good head retention and lacing. Interestingly, I'm not sure if the beer was too cold initially, but the head retention and lacing both improved over time with this beer. The nose in this beer is pretty outrageous, with a huge intial blast of sour funk (considerable vinegar and wet horse blanket - I know; yum!!!). However, I also picked up considerable black cherry, vanilla and a hint of chocolate, which seemed to become more evident as the beer warmed a bit. Fortunately, the sour component wasn't quite as prominent on the palate, and the black cherry and vanilla seemed to shine through more and more as the beer warmed. There was still very much of a sweet tart flavor to this beer, but it wasn't overwhelming and in fact was pretty enjoyable. Also, I thought the sweet cherry fruit came through more and more with increased air contact and warming. Mouthfeel was medium bodied, with a fairly long, sweet and sour finish. Drinkability was pretty good I thought, and would probably be flat out terrific for a sour lover.

Definitely a well crafted beer from Port/Lost Abbey. Just wish I was a bigger fan of sour ales.

Photo of beachbum1975
4.1/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Shared by Ftownthrowdown at my place last night. 375ml bottle - 1st batch (2008).

Cloudy brown with a tinge of redness... No traces of yeast in the bottle. Opaque through the center, yet visible around the edges. Very litte to no head.

Sour tart cherry followed by little bit of funk, a quick walk through the barnyard, but not too intense. A small amount of citrus and lemon zest.

Body is light, flavor is medium to full. A lot more funk in the mouth, including straw.

Hidden carbonation on the tongue. Light to moderately sour overall. Very nice.

Thanks for sharing this one!!!

Photo of srandycarter
4.1/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Ok, I am not a sour beer drinker by nature, but I am trying. The rating here is based more on what I think it's supposed to be, not by how much I really enjoy it.

A - Reddish brown, a little like malt vinegar. No head, very little lacing.

S - Vinegar and sour cherries.

T - Major sour cherries, some raspberry with a vinegar back. Only a hint of malt in the whole thing.

M - Low carbed, medium to light body. Fairly smooth and creamy.

D - For the style, I am sure it's killer. For me, really, one is enough.

EDIT: 2.12.11 Getting more into sours, will have to try this one again sometime.

Photo of Jwale73
4.1/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to Soonami for hitting this want. 375ml corked and caged bottle served in my Allagash tulip at 48 degrees. I believe this is last year's vintage (2010?). Pours a brownish hue with reddish highlights; clarity is semi-translucent. Head is loose, one inch and tan-colored and eventually settles into a consistent 1/8th inch skim. I love the nose on this beer - tart cherries, vinegar, cork and a faint briny character. Taste is somewhat consistent with nose; however, the sour cherries have definitely faded, but there is still quite a bit of residual tartness and acidity as well as the merest suggestion of the barrel. Mouthfeel is light-medium (but closer to light). The carbonation is very assertive and a bit prickly; however, not gassy. The carbonation, coupled with the acidity, leaves quite a bit of residual tingle along the sides of the cheeks and across the tongue. Finish is actually quite dry. Overall, I have to say that I prefer this beer fresh as you definitely loose the tart cherry in the flavor profile. That said, this is a very good beer and for someone who really digs the sour component; it will definitely improve with some age.

Photo of jwinship83
4.1/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

375ml corked and caged bottle from the 2011 release. drank from my duvel tulip.

A- this one pours out a hazy looking reddish brown colored body with a full two fingers of fluffy light tan head. the head is quick to fade and leaves behind very little in terms of lacing.

S- the first thing i can pick out of the nose are tart cherries and a balsamic vinegar type acidity. after that i get some mild funkiness and some hints of oak barrel.

T- the taste starts out with some of the sour cherries i could smell, but they seem to stay more subtle than the nose would indicate. some balsamic vinegar in the middle. earthy/musty funk and mild oak barrel round this one out.

M- light bodied and acceptably carbonated. dry finish.

O- there is a lot of flavor packed into this little (5% ABV) beer. ill check this one out again if a special occasion arises before its gone form the shelf. at almost $17 a bottle, its a little cheap for every day consumption.

Photo of obiwan
4.1/5  rDev -4.2%

Photo of nectar14
4.1/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Cloudy brown color. Off white head that stirs up with swirling, fades with sittin' still.

S: Nice nutty oak backing up sour bretty funk; very enticing.

T: Decent depth to the cherry, brett, and oaky flavors. Finishes a bit short in flavor, but the acidity lingers.

M: Medium to full in body. Pleasantly carbonated. Like the texture.

D: Sip after sip, this is one that goes down pretty easy and makes you want another.

Glad I got a chance to try this. Not many made in USA like it.

Photo of BMMillsy
4.1/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

375 ml bottle from tread with Homer321. Thanks buddy! Bottle No. 2 of my Last Night of My 20s tasting. Pours dark reddish brown slightly murky, with a big airy khaki head on top. Aroma of lots of cherries, sour vinegar, oak, some toffee. Flavor is sour cherries, acidic tones, vinegar, and an unexpected wave of chocolatey flavors and vanilla oak tannins. Earthy spicy undertones. Interesting. Medium bodied, feeling a bit heft for only 5%, with lots of carbonation. Very interesting brew, and pretty unique.

Photo of ikats
4.1/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours deep ruby in color with light brown head. Aroma is terrific. Tart cherries, a bit of wood notes, and a solid malty base. Love it. Taste is not as tart as I expected, but tartness is definitely very playful on my tongue. There is a bit of fruit sweetness and wood tannins. Medium body. It's not just about sour cherries. A lovely ale that I picked up in my travels to CA. Glad I have another bottle.

Photo of phichifiji00
4.1/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2010 bottle, poured into Lost Abbey tulip.

Appearance: Burgundy with red hue, pours minimal white head that fades quickly. Moderate lacing.

Smell: Sour cherries, red wine vinegar, acidic, barnyard funk, brett, bellpeppers, pepper, spices.

Taste: Sour cherries, red wine vinegar, acidic, barnyard funk, spices, tart fruit.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, light carbonation, tart, acidic.

Overall: wonoderfully sour. Complex. Drinkability is high. Good balance between fruit and sour.

Photo of mrandypandy
4.1/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

375ml caged and corked bottle purchased from Hop City. Cork was a bit tricky to get out.

A- Pours a murky brown with an off tan head. Decent carbonation.
S- Vinegar like acidity and sour cherries in the nose. Musky.
T- Sour, tart. Cherries are subdued.
M- Medium to light body, well carbonated and prickly on the tongue. Nice.
O- Had this sitting my cellar for a few months and decided to pop it open. Glad I did. A well done Flanders Red with a crisp acidic bite to it. I would like to try this fresher o see if I get more cherries, but still very enjoyable.

Photo of eagles22
4.1/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: poured into a snifter, beautiful reddish brown body with a nice white foamy head.

Smell:apple cider vinegar, very oaky and sour cherries and some sweet berries at the end

Taste: starts off sour than ends with a nice mellow mouthfeel

Mouthfeel: very champagne like just to much carbonation for my palate, I like more of a oily mouthfeel

overall: this beer is fantastic!!!

Photo of mhollo90
4.12/5  rDev -3.7%

Photo of GDBEERMAN
4.13/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12.7oz bottle, shared: from notes.
A: Subtle pop of the cork and no gushing, thankfully at this price. Pours a ruby red body, with thin streamlines of carbonation. The head is off-white, with a hint of red within. Bit too red for style, but the influence of cherries is shown.

S: The aroma, brings together the balance of sour notes and fruity tones of cherries. The aroma is medium in intensity. A very nice story is being told within this aroma of a young Bruins relationship between cherries and oak.

T/MF: Cherries are the majority of the flavor profile for myself, although there is a bold layer of sourness, it does not overwhelm the the nice balance of cherry and oak. A lively mouthfeel from appropriate levels of carbonation. The middle of the body shows some nice malted characteristics, of dark fruits that are not used, but evident in the profile. Lingering taste of cherry pits and sourness.

O: Great Flanders Bruin, but I would prefer it with a hint of age on it. The cherries are delightful, but stomping on a lot of those other subtle complexities. Great Barrel aged brew, one that I would love to revisit in years to come.

Photo of heliosphann
4.13/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2008 Vintage. 375ml caged and corked bottle. Served in a tulip. Split with fellow BA infestaxion during our mini-barrel aged tasting.

A: Small amount of soapy head. Pours a sexy looking reddish brown. Leaves a nice ring around the top of the glass. Nice lacing that fades quickly.

S: Strong tart cherries, currants and plums up front. Underlying is a nice candied sweetness. Some vinegar, but not overpowering. A little oak and funky notes from the barrels.

T: Very similar to how it smells, but not as complex. The tart cherries and other various dark fruits are prevalent. Definitely some bugs from the barrels present, providing a little funkiness. Sourness kicks in towards the end, but there is also a some of the sweetness on the finish.

M: Medium bodied. A little syrupy, but the carbonation is ample enough to counterbalance it. Overall very pleasant.

D: This is a very drinkable Flanders with the low ABV and the sourness not being a pallet killer. I could easily drink a full bottle of this by myself.

A very nice take on a Flanders Oud Bruin by Lost Abbey. I would have liked a little more complexity in the taste, but overall I found it to be pretty solid. The availability and price tag is certainly a down side however.

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