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Red Poppy Ale - The Lost Abbey

Not Rated.
Red Poppy AleRed Poppy Ale

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BA SCORE
95
world-class

1,706 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,706
Reviews: 535
rAvg: 4.28
pDev: 9.35%
Wants: 547
Gots: 512 | FT: 34
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,706 | Reviews: 535
Photo of smcolw
4.12/5  rDev -3.7%
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.

Photo of John_M
4.12/5  rDev -3.7%
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 nhindian
4.12/5  rDev -3.7%
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.

Photo of beachbum1975
4.12/5  rDev -3.7%
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 Jwale73
4.12/5  rDev -3.7%
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
4.12/5  rDev -3.7%
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 ptykozoon
4.12/5  rDev -3.7%
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.

Photo of nectar14
4.12/5  rDev -3.7%
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 mhollo90
4.12/5  rDev -3.7%

Photo of ikats
4.12/5  rDev -3.7%
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
4.12/5  rDev -3.7%
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 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.

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.

Photo of jjanega08
4.13/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A= pours a dark red color pushing brown with a nice thick off white one finger head rising up out of it. Really nice lacing coming out of the head. Super sticky.

S= Tart vinegar smell with little cherry in it. Super sour smelling. Sort of a headache inducing funk to it as well. Smells dirty sort of. Funky barnyard smell to it.

T= Nice tartness to it. Good sour without the super vinegar that I smell. Nice cherry taste that is still sort of fresh cherry. Nice clean taste which is different from the super dirty smell. Not as funky because the super sourness comes from it.

M= Super dry feeling. Awesome crisp clean feeling as well.

D= Nice sour. Not over the top or crazy at all but still really nice sour. Delicious.

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.

Photo of zhanson88
4.14/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Red Poppy pours a murky dark ruby color with lighter ruby highlights. About 1.5 fingers of tan head forms. Lacing and retention are decent. This is definitely not a beautiful beer, but not bad either.

Smell: Sweet and tart cherries show up front, followed by oak, light funk, and tartness. I get a low to medium amount of acidity in this one.

Taste: I get mostly tart and lesser sweet cherries up front along with some oak. Some funk follows as well as sourness. I don't find this beer too acidic overall. It finishes with a lingering oaky sourness. Very nice.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: Light bodied with quite a bit of carbonation. The carbonation is very fine though, and makes for a nice mouthfeel. This is a beer that I have been wanting to try for a while, and it didn't disappoint. I have a few more of these, and am interested to see how they will age. I've heard that this beer is better fresh, so we'll see.

Photo of 0110x011
4.14/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a ruddy, opaque amber-brown. Nearly zero head, the little carbonation that does make its way to the surface forms a thin, delicate collar around the edge. Nose is sour cherry, dark fruit, vinegar, port wine, and earth. Mostly dark fruits on the palate, with the cherry and earth pretty far in the back. The sourness is quite mild as well. Light bodied, with light, fine carbonation; finish is on the sweet side. Highly drinkable.

I'm used to the Lost Abbey special releases being these huge, over the top beers, so this one came as quite a surprise. A flanders red all the way, but lighter, more delicate, and more refined.

Photo of Sammy
4.15/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A cute 500 ml bottle. Pours reddish brown with a Caesar white head. Aroma of sour and cherries and wood. Sourness on the tongue, above averge mouthfeel. Some fruit sugarness offsets. This is a sipper. Alcohol warming. A delight. Carbonation is there.
Peter FM had a bottle, and after 3.3 years it stands the taste of time. Great sor finish.

Photo of GDBEERMAN
4.15/5  rDev -3%
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
4.15/5  rDev -3%
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.

Photo of cannabanaceae
4.15/5  rDev -3%
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.

Photo of Rutager
4.15/5  rDev -3%
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.

Photo of rmalinowski4
4.15/5  rDev -3%
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.

Photo of TheBlackMallard
4.15/5  rDev -3%
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.

Photo of ChrisISO_SJ
4.15/5  rDev -3%

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Red Poppy Ale from The Lost Abbey
95 out of 100 based on 1,706 ratings.