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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
95
world-class

1,616 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,616
Reviews: 530
rAvg: 4.28
pDev: 9.58%
Wants: 522
Gots: 486 | FT: 34
Brewed by:
The Lost Abbey visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Flanders Red Ale |  6.50% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
Perhaps no country embraces the use of fruit in beers more so than Belgium. Numerous traditional as well as regional specialty ales are infused with every sort of fruit imaginable. In this way, the flavor of the fruit becomes especially prominent.

Red Poppy Ale is a veritable celebration of Sour Cherries in an explosion of aromas and tastes. Brewed from a brown ale base and aged in our oak barrels for over 6 months, this beer is not for the faint of heart.

(Beer added by: BeerBeing on 09-07-2007)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,616 | Reviews: 530 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

jwinship83, Mar 24, 2011
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.

nectar14, Feb 22, 2010
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.

BMMillsy, Jul 26, 2014
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.

ikats, Sep 09, 2011
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.

phichifiji00, Oct 31, 2011
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.

mrandypandy, Jun 12, 2011
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!!!

eagles22, Mar 22, 2011
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.

GDBEERMAN, Mar 22, 2011
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.

heliosphann, Nov 09, 2009
Photo of cannabanaceae
4.13/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Vintage 2010 6% abv Snifter

This beer started with a nice pop of the cork.

A fizzy head dissipated to tiny brown ring around the rim. Brown to ruby red in color. Some moderate lacing.

Smell was wonderful, cherries with a sweet brandy barrel essence, followed by some sour funk.

Taste started out lighter than I expected. Cherry bitterness with a dominate malt flavor in middle of sip with just a touch of sourness at the end. Not much barrel flavors. Aftertaste has a touch of sweetness that lingers pleasantly in the mouth. fuzzy dry mouthfeel. Carbonation was great!!

This is a very drinkable beer, its a record breaking 71 degrees here in Seattle, and this is a perfect beer to drink in the afternoon sun. Seems to me, the flavors will develop more complexity in the future. Nice beer.

Cheers.

cannabanaceae, Mar 24, 2010
Photo of Rutager
4.13/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

And why wouldn't I be drinking a $17 beer???

Appearance. Pours a really deep, but pretty clear amber-red with two+ fingers of thick, plae orange-tan head that lasts a while. Looks nice and expensive.

Smell. Funky and woody wine, some nice cherry and light fruits. The smell has an expensive quality.

Taste. Nice tart cherries, some sour grapes and green apples, woody, especially in the finish. Acidic with just a little sweetness. Tastes super expensive.

Mouthfeel. Below medium body and below medium, but fine and lively carbonation. Felt a bit thin, but quite expensive.

Overall. I liked it. For some reason I had really high expectations for this one. I'd say the best thing about this beer is the value for my hard earned money.

Rutager, Apr 22, 2012
Photo of AlCaponeJunior
4.13/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

My first lost abbey brew, and I wasn't disappointed.

Reddish brown and opaque, great head that lasted a long time, leaving huge clumps of thick lacing. Very good looking beer.

You can definitely smell vinegar/tart cherries, along with a woody, sour aroma.

Sourness is prime for this one, very sour indeed, with a great dry cherry backbone, plenty of woody flavors, just a touch of balsamic or red wine vinegar.

Body is light but full all at once. Plenty tangy from ample carbonation. Slightly lingering sour aftertaste.

All around a great beer, very nice for the style.

AlCaponeJunior, Apr 09, 2011
Photo of rmalinowski4
4.13/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy brown that shows a deep ruby color when held up to the light and has a two fingered tan head thar recedes slowly and leaves tons of lacing.

Smell is sour cherry and some funk. The cherry smell very strong and the funk is not that strong.

The taste is sour cherry with some funk, very similar to the smell. There is some taste of the Belgian brown underneath, but cherry overpowers everything. Very nice.

The body is light and there is tons of carbonation. The overpowering cherry taste with the high carbonation level make this a sipper.

Overall this is one of the best cheery beers that I have tried. Great cherry taste with some funk and good mouthfeel make this beer a winner. I will definitely seek this one out again.

rmalinowski4, May 22, 2011
Photo of TheBlackMallard
4.13/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to ALECOHOLIC for this.

Pours murky amber with a small tan head that fades pretty quickly.

Smell: Tart Cherries, Apple Skin, Oak, Vinegar, Lactic Acid Sourness.

Taste: Sour Cherries, Lemon, Oak, Leather, Very Dry and Tart there is a bit of Fruity sweetness in there too. Medium Carbonation and Body. Very Refreshing.

TheBlackMallard, May 26, 2008
Photo of ptykozoon
4.13/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pop! Appearance is medium dirty brown with a hint of orange, there is a small greyish-brown head which dissipates fast. Lots of sea monkeys floating about. Not the prettiest beer ever, but appropriate for the style.

Smells like success i.e. sourness! Orange peel, sour fruits and a dry woody scent.

Tastes refined, balanced nicely and is just what I was expecting. Tastes like a mellow supplication, less sour; more sweet. Cherries are distinct and at the forefront as well as the aftertaste. The oak barrels are there but restrained. This is one hell of a refreshing brew to be sure. The only downside is that it tastes just a bit dull, there is a very slight wateriness to it, could be the low abv.

Mouthfeel is exceptional as well, bites the tongue a bit with carbonation/sourness/alcohol but is balanced out with a fruity sweetness. Very bitter on the throat. Be prepared for a strong aftertaste as well; this beer sticks on the tongue for a while..

Drinkability is hard to beat (although you'll probably want a glass of water to wash down the dryness after you finish it). Can't taste the alcohol too much, and clocking in at only 5% I could drink a whole lot of this. A 750ml bottle would suit this beer much much much better. Overall a lovely tasting drink but it just needs a little kick, lacks something: perhaps a beefier abv, a touch of sourness, one more of this or a hint more of that and this brew would be stellar.

ptykozoon, Jul 26, 2010
Photo of kawilliams81
4.13/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 375 ml cork n cage bottle into a Lost Abbey chalice.

A- Pours a dark ruby/brown with a 2 finger light tan head. A few large blotches of lacing remain on the glass.

S- Light chocolate malts, sour cherries, slight vinegar and funk.

T- Chocolate malt, faint roast, sour/tart cherries, some vinous notes, and some bready notes.

M- Light body and medium carbonation. Semi-dry beer that gives a tingly feeling from the sourness.

O- 6/10 sourness. Very good Flanders Red. Not as sweet and a little more sour than others of the style I have had. Worth it to try once but not one I would buy again because of the price.

kawilliams81, Aug 16, 2012
Photo of teamizm
4.13/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2009 bottle poured into a Bruery tulip glass.

Pours a nice, dark brown with almost no head at all. Some residual lacing lingers in the glass. Smell of cherries, citrus, and some brown sugar. Nice, mellow sourness with a nice amount of sweetness/maltiness. Cherry flavors are pretty apparent, nice lingering tartness.

Not as sour as I would've liked, but a very drinkable sour. I feel like it just holds back a little too much on the flavor and sourness, but still a very good beer.

teamizm, Oct 04, 2010
Photo of jaasen64
4.13/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Lord Hobo for their Night with Tomme Arthur before the Belgian Beer Festival. $7 for a 12oz pour in a tulip (not bad considering most stores in Boston sell it for $18+/bottle). Reviewed from notes.

A- Opaque brownish cherry red with about a finger of reddish brown head that fades to leave a still top.

S- Cherries, some raspberries and other fruits, some brown sugar, fairly tart but not nearly as tart as I was expecting.

T- Cherries, raspberries and other fruits, a tiny bit of oak which is mostly hidden from the cherries, finishes off with a decent tartness, nothing too crazy though.

M- Medium bodied, maybe a little bit light, smooth, very easy to drink, nice carbonation.

O- I haven't had too many Flanders Red, but I would probably say this is my favorite so far. It had a nice cherry flavor that finished with a decent tartness that wasn't overly tart. If you like cherries and sours I would definitely recommend trying this beer out. A little bit pricey from the bottle, but definitely worth the $7 for a glass.

jaasen64, Sep 08, 2012
Photo of Zive
4.14/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Vintage 2012 bottle, cellared for fourteen months, poured into champagne flute.

Appearance: Looks like a classic brown ale with a half finger of khaki head that dissipates quickly. When held up to light it takes on a more amber/deep ruby red hue.

Smell: Oak and vanilla at first, the sour scent associated with most wild ales is present to a lesser extent. The cherry aroma has faded considerably, most likely due to cellaring, and is barely detectable.

Taste: First taste is a mild tartness, though not puckering like many other sours due to the mellowness of the barrels and the sweetness imparted by the cherries and malts. There's no doubt that the base beer here was loaded with dark malts which lend a caramel character to the taste. I was concerned that this would be overly fruity, but between the barrels and cellaring that's not the case.

Mouthfeel: Silky with lots of small CO2 streaming from the base of the glass. The acidity from the wild yeast strains adds to the stinging feeling of the carbonation. A bit more mellow on the palate than most wild and sour ales I've had (Lindeman's, Cantillon, etc).

Overall: I enjoyed this beer mostly for its uniqueness. The brewing process was well thought-out here, balancing the acids produced by the wild yeast with the mellowing and sweetening effects of barrel aging and cherries. I would be interested in trying this beer either from a fresh bottle or on tap for comparison. Although this is an excellent beer and worthy of much of the hype surrounding it, I don't believe it's great enough to justify the $20 price-tag.

Zive, May 22, 2013
Photo of smcolw
4.14/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Literally looks like watered down mud in a glass. Brown, yet no light could possibly pass. Small, quickly dying head. Leaves only a couple of spots for lace.

Strong, sweet red cherry (maraschino?) aroma. If I were blindfolded, I would think this was a Kriek because of the sour nose and slight presence of Belgian yeast.

Tastes like a Kriek, too...almost. But it isn't sweet and there are more "brown" elements like crystal and chocolate malts. Very interesting as it is unusual. Good body with a mildly elevated carbonation.

Certainly not an everyday beer, but a real treat for something delicious and unusual.

smcolw, Mar 22, 2014
Photo of ne0m00re
4.15/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Semi-live review of a 375 mL bottle.
A: Reddish murky brown with a decent dark tan film and good lacing.
S: Woody cranberries, raspberries, strawberries, apple cider vinegar, some lemon, nice well-rounded musty sour with a clean finish in the aroma. It has a light caramel and pecans with brown sugar. Good.
T: Nice acidity; cranberry, red wine, and apple cider, with brown sugar too and cherries that don't really dominate except in the sweet lingering finish, which is softer than you'd expect from the harsh sour beginning. Pretty good.
M: Thinner with a kind of spritzy carbonation.
D: Great.

ne0m00re, Feb 19, 2011
Photo of dfillius
4.15/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter, and enjoyed it with a poached pear and apple cider and clove reduction food pairing. I waited in line for two hours to get it at the brewery in January.
A: Beuatiful ruby red. I'm sharing it with two others and I poured all the yeast into mine! No! Mine's cloudy and the others without the yeast are prettier. It has a thin lace, I would like more head.
S: Sourness, cinnamon, molasses
T: Paired well with the pears. Sourness with definite woody background. Definite cherry aftertaste. I'd like more fruit and less sourness please.
M: Very dry and bubbly
D: I'd like one more glass. I'm not feeling it at all. I wish I'd shared the bottle with only one other person! It's a small bottle for the price.

dfillius, Mar 11, 2008
Photo of nhindian
4.15/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

375ml bottle poured into a Lost Abbey tumbler. Bottle provided and split with russwbeck, thanks Russ!

A - Pours a muddy brown color with a thin, 1-fingered head. The head has a nice cream complexion to it, with moderate retention. After it fades, it leaves a ring behind that sticks to the glass. Lacing is pretty good and it has some legs for it. I got the second half of the bottle, so there are a few chunks in here.

S - This has a big sour nose to it with a nice cherry kick to it. It has some slight vinegar to it, and compared to Deschute's The Dissident, much more cherry. Smells pretty spot on for the style and one of the best due to the cherries and minimal vinegar.

T - I will be doing a sort of middle ground of my glass and Russ' dye to the sediment in mine. Mine was much more sour than his, hut not in a bad way, and the vinegar is a bit more prominent and long-lasting. His was a little more sweet, but again, just two different sides of the spectrum. I feel the cherries were better defined in the other glass, but are still strong here. Alcohol is slight and masked by the sour.

M - Mouthfeel is medium-bodied with medium carbonation. Slightly low carbonation for the style but for Lost Abbey I can't complain. Long finish.

D - Drinkability is moderately high. This beer is nice in the fact that it uses a good amount of cherries and has a high sourness to it. Not sure if it's worth $15, but it is tasty.

nhindian, Apr 05, 2011
Photo of MEsoJD
4.15/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

[Tulip Glass]

I: I'm familiar with Lost Abbey Beers, but I believe I haven't logged a review on any of their brews. My most enjoyed ales from them has to be their sours like, "cuvee de tomm". Anyway I picked up some of this Red Poppy Ale hearing of it's reputation. So lets dig in!

B: [5 % ABV 12.7 OZ Bottle date. none to be found] I really like this bottles subtle presentation. It's straight to the point(ingredients, abv, nice art, size, location, etc ), but does leave some info to be desired... No back story or bottle date.

A: A deep murky brown body with a foamy head, slow dissipation, and good lacing.

S: Smells of sour/tart cherries and plums. Pretty pungent.

T: Upfront your hit with sour/tart/acidic cherries throughout with subtle presence of oak in the background/finish. Bread malt and caramel can also be detected.

M: Medium body, high carbonation, crisp/slight slick finish, and low apparent alcohol.

O: Good beer that will satisfy your sour craving. The balance of cherry and oak is very nice. The attention to detail in this beer is very apparent. It would be amazing if it had a bigger since of caramel, but other than that, I'm satisfied. I would recommend and buy again.

MEsoJD, Mar 28, 2014
Photo of gford217
4.15/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of WeeHeavySD poured into a tulip.

Pours a murky dark iced tea brown with hints of amber around the edges. There is a short-lived off-white head that lingers as a ring throughout with traces of lacing.

The aroma is wonderful on this with sweet and sour cherries and a slight funky tartness on top. There is an underlying earthy oak smell that gets bigger as it warms.

The taste leans more on the sour side with less of the sweetness and more of the funk. The vinegar is more prevalent in the taste than the aroma though there was a bit of brown sugar underneath.

The mouthfeel is dry in the finish from the oak and fairly astringent with decent carbonation.

This is one of the better Flanders ales I've had as it was complex and not overly sour. Very nice.

gford217, Oct 21, 2008
Red Poppy Ale from The Lost Abbey
95 out of 100 based on 1,616 ratings.