Red Poppy Ale - The Lost Abbey

Not Rated.
Red Poppy AleRed Poppy Ale

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

554 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

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Reviews: 554
Hads: 1,815
rAvg: 4.22
pDev: 5.21%
Wants: 564
Gots: 567 | FT: 41
Brewed by:
The Lost Abbey visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Flanders Red Ale |  5.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerBeing on 09-07-2007

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

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

The Golden Poppy is the state flower of California and the Red Poppy is found in Flanders Fields where our inspiration for this beer comes from.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 554 | Hads: 1,815
Photo of Rifugium
4.08/5  rDev -3.3%
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. (639 characters)

Photo of Maxwell
4.05/5  rDev -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. (1,664 characters)

Photo of suspect
4.57/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 375ml bottle into a Central Waters snifter glass. Big thanks to rocporterfanatic for hooking me UP on this one in the This is Me in a Box BIF.

A: Pours a thick mahogany brown color. Less-than-aggressive pour leads to a fizzy 2 finger head that disappears pretty quickly but leaves a nice thin ring around the outside of the top of the brew. Some lacing but not enough to write home about.

S: The full fledged cherry aroma is obviously numero uno when it comes to the nose. However, the subtle breakdown of the oak barrels really shine through. I'm picking up a bunch of other smells too but I can't really identify them. It's undoubtedly the aroma of a sour but the nose isn't overpowering.

T: Bam. Sour cherries wage a full on assault of the palate. Little fizzies lift the sourness off of my tongue and slam it back down again not stopping, no way no how. This is one sour m-effing beer and I love it! Made me pucker immediately and I went back for more as soon as I could. Again the cherries are the most prevalent flavor but the oak really does add many layers of complexity that I can't entirely pinpoint.

M: Sharp, biting finish makes me stretch out my mouth and chomp my teeth down. Plenty of carbonation (which was somewhat of a concern after reading all of the Lost Abbey complaints).

O: Easily the sourest and tastiest of the Flanders Red Ales I've had (although my experience is limited). It has all the makings of a top tier sour. This one is one that not only am I glad I tried but one that will forever be on my wants list. Thanks again RocPorterFanatic...I am eternally grateful for the chance to drink this beer. (1,648 characters)

Photo of coreyfmcdonald
4.3/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle into a snifter, 2012 vintage

A: Pours a slightly hazy dark brown/amber color with almost three fingers of head.

S: Lots of sour cherries upfront with subtle vanilla and some caramel sweetness.

T: Much more complex than the aroma. Sour cherries are still upfront with moderate lactic sourness mixed with plums and clove. A bit of vanilla sweetness in the background.

M: Medium mouthfeel with medium to high carbonation.

O: A great Flanders Red - a very nice lactic sourness balanced by dark fruit and vanilla sweetness with a great sour cherry taste. I could use a bit less sourness, but this has been sitting for some months now. (646 characters)

Photo of jegross2
4.32/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewing the Red Poppy Ale from The Lost Abbey out of California.
Score: 93

Bottle is from the March 2012 release. Served in a Surly Darkness snifter and enjoyed on 01/19/12.

Appearance: Pours a dark rosewood color that fades to a ruby color at the bottle of the glass. Three fingers of soapy, light beige head at pour settles to a thin foggy layer atop the glass with a thick clump of head in the middle. I am shocked a Lost Abbey beer has this much carbonation! Average lacing, below average retention. 4/5

Smell: Slightly tart cherries, oak, plum and a little vinegar. Hint of cinnamon. There is a touch of plastic at the end of the whiff. From the bottle, I can distinctly smell candied raspberries too, but out of the snifter the raspberry aroma is extremely faint. Hint of bakers chocolate too. I was expecting a much more "sour" nose. 4.25/5

Taste: OK, there is the sourness! The taste is much more tart than the nose led on. Sharply tart and acidic cherry flavor with a light plastickiness in the finish. Plum, oak, cocoa, candied sugar and tart vinegar follow through the finish. The cherry flavor really lingers past the swallow on the middle of the tongue. There is a nice, layering pucker. 4.25/5

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, medium-plus bodied. Tart, juicy mouthfeel that is slightly sweet and faintly dry after the swallow. 4.25/5

Overall: I had very low expectations for this beer, but walked away surprisingly satisfied. Drinks like a pucker-inducing cherry gueuze. Still, there are plenty of other beers, most of which are 22+ oz, that I would rather have for the price.

Recommendation: If you like cherries and tart gueuzes, then this beer is up your alley. I doubt casual beer drinkers will enjoy this much.

Pairings: Chocolate cake.

Cost: $17.99 for a 375 ml bottl (1,791 characters)

Photo of jaasen64
4.13/5  rDev -2.1%
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. (1,039 characters)

Photo of AgentMunky
4.4/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 375mL bottle into a Koningshoeven chalice. Vintage 2012B. Approximately four months old.

A: Fizzy-brief tan head. The beer is mahogany and translucent.

S: Gentle scents. Wood ageing is not lost on the nose. Lightly tart, vinegar-sour, and pleasantly fruity-sweet.

T: Oh damn. This is good. This is great. This is delicious. Complex and multi-layered. There are three waves of flavour...the first is tart and puckery, heavy on fruit; the second is mature vinegar sharpness, reminiscent of a nice balsamic, carrying the oak barrel influence; the third is a lingering and enduring acidity that is my least favourite, if only because it reminds me distinctly of olives. Lightly dry and always engaging.

M: Lively, tart, puckery, smooth, sharp, and dry. All told, a wild ride.

O: I'm not huge on sour ales, but this one is excellent. The sour cherry gives the first half of the flavour an addicting taste that leaves me wanting more. The latter half of the flavour tempers this, with a more moderate, developed flavour profile. Recommended. Would have again. (1,072 characters)

Photo of kawilliams81
4.08/5  rDev -3.3%
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. (629 characters)

Photo of Drinkerofales
3.83/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Won from the giving tree during Christmas in July.

The brew is dark brown, almost soda colored in appearance. A huge tan head forms over the beer, which also has tom garnet/plum highlights.

Smells funky and of extremely tart fruit.

Taste starts out with a light malt which gives way to the tart cherry. The finish, is a bit off putting with a strange bitter flavor.

Texture is light and bubbly. Not a great drinkability, but goes down well.

I don't get the strange finish, if not for that, I would have liked the beer.

DOA (528 characters)

Photo of n2185
3.99/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: pours a brownish-red with a finger of off-white head that fades into a thin ring with no lacing.

S: lots of tart and sour fruit up front followed by funky farmhouse aromas. There are sweet candy sugar notes as well.

T: lots of sour and tart flavors here with fruity and funky notes dominating. The finish is tart and slightly sweet.

M: light body with mid-high carbonation, this beer is light and dry.

O: a good beer overall. Not extremely complex, but enjoyable and thankfully carbonated. (497 characters)

Photo of inandon
1.18/5  rDev -72%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

looking over the reviews I do not know if I just got a bad bottle or what.

the smell itself is over powering. It had a tart, sweet and strong smell to it.

First sip there was too much going on. I love tart and sour in candy but this beer was unlike anything I have ever tasted.This went right down the drain after I had it. It does have lemon and other citrus flavor to it, but it is a malt with way too many strong flavors that all seem to over power one another. (466 characters)

Photo of RuckusDu
4.04/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2012 Vintage, 12.7oz bottle into Bruery tulip.

A - A vigorous pour revealed a finger of large bubble cola colored head which quickly fell. Body is clear but a deep amber in color with tons of red, almost to a purple color. No lacing.

S - Super tart on lemon, grapefruit, and raspberry. There is a nice sweetness that comes through. Cherries and raspberries. Very nice.

T - Tons more funk on the tongue. Grapefruit rind. Cherries of course along with some lemon. Super sour with almost no sweetness to it.

M - A thick body and moderate carbonation. Ok.

O - Pretty good beer. Would like to see a bit more sweetness to it to compliment the tart and funk. (658 characters)

Photo of WillCarrera
4.35/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

375 ml bottle, vintage 2012, poured into a tulip glass.

A- Pours a dark ruby color with a finger of bubbly tan head that recedes to a thin layer, leaves minimal lacing.

S- Nice tart aroma of cherries, lactic acid, and brown sugar / maple syrup.

T- Big burst of tart lactic acidity and cherry flavor up front, which fades into a sweet flavor of maple syrup, dry oak and a bit of vanilla.

M- Medium-bodied, smooth with a dry, tannic finish.

O- I really enjoyed this beer, the tart cherry flavors are vivid and delicious but also kept in great balance with the malt sweetness and barrel character, awesome stuff. (614 characters)

Photo of adam42381
4.42/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 375ml corked and caged bottle into a Spiegelau tulip.

Appearance: Pours a deep mahogany brown with cherry red highlights, a little bit of gold around the edges and a little bit of sediment floating around.Features a thick, bubbly light tan head which sticks around for a while. Decent lacing.

Smell: Tart cherries, wine grape hulls, sweet oak and vinegar and a touch of funk.

Taste: Wine grape hulls and tart cherries up front followed by a smooth oaky sweetness in the middle before ending with more tartness and just a hint of funky notes at the finish. Aftertaste is a mix of bitter grape hulls, oak and funk. Very well-balanced.

Mouthfeel: Light-to-medium-bodied with a high amount of prickly carbonation. The tartness, while not really puckering, coats the mouth in a film - in a good way.

Drinkability: Excellent drinkability. This is very enjoyable. I just wish I had more.

Overall: Excellent beer overall. This is about as good as it gets as far as Flanders Reds go. If you see it, buy it. Yes, it's pricey, but it doesn't disappoint. (1,065 characters)

Photo of zaphodchak
4/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep ruby brown body, clearish with some sediment. Foamy when the bottle opened, some offwhite head with a bit of retention.

Dank nose with serious funk and some basalmic vinegar.

Tart, big sour and a bit of cherry. Balanced by some sweetness and spice. Quite nice, quite bold.

A bit of coarse brightness.

Nice bold Flanders red, with a lot of sour. (353 characters)

Photo of vande
4.42/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

sitting on a year now, more so as it got lost in the shuffle of my cellar...but time to pop it tonight....

a - almost a chocolate brown in appearance with a very thin layer of head that appears to be breathing as i type...

s - cherries right away, tartness on the nose...bit of a vanilla ...

t - explosion in the mouth... a beer that's truly alive... immediate cherries - front and back; tarty mouth puckerer! As my palate calms down a bit, there's a slight note left behind from hits time in the oak..

m - liquid form of soured pop rockets? crazy good!

o - Great beer! (575 characters)

Photo of BlastBeats
4.09/5  rDev -3.1%
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. (916 characters)

Photo of rhoadsrage
4.12/5  rDev -2.4%
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. (1,116 characters)

Photo of DCon
4.42/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Received a 12.7 OUNCE bottle of this in a trade w/ LarryG. Poured from the Black labeled bottle w/ a Red Poppy on the front into a 12oz Schlafly Tulip Glass. Has BOTTLED ... on the back but it was all smudged out... Seems like this happens quite often with Lost Abbey beers.

Aroma- A nicely done aroma here! Sour/Tart attributes including cherries, oak, and a medium amount of funk comes and goes. Very sharp but appropriate for the style.

Appearance- Pours a .5 finger head that dies quickly. Has a deep red colored body with good clarity. Leaves a good amount of suds behind.

Flavor- A very oaked cherry taste starts this one off in the most subtle way. The acidity isn't too overpowering but more easy going and sweet. Complexed and has a long, dry finish.

Mouthfeel- Light Bodied, Lightest Carbonation to the point of almost a flat beer, and has a crisp finish on the palate.

Overall Impression- Wow, what a treat. Not too sour or tart on the taste or mouthfeel but rather on the nose. Enjoyed the subtle character, giving it more of sweet and profound cherry notes. Will be looking for another bottle of this and hopefully going to age! (1,150 characters)

Photo of Gatch
4.38/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Beautiful brownish-amber. Like burnt sienna. Foamy, off-white head. Fades very quickly & becomes clear, bubbly liquid.

S: Funk, earth, vinegar.

T: Perfectly tart, funky, earthy. Thin but delicious. Very sour.

M: Smooth, delicious, and awesome.

O: Sours rarely seem to be complex beyond words like "funk" and such but this is damn good. I know that much. Pricey but it's a great beer to try once. Or twice. (412 characters)

Photo of yamar68
4.17/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12.7oz bottle to tulip glass, 2012 vintage:

Pours a murky, dirty ruby red/brown... a thin fizzy few seconds of off-white head gave way to a slender collar and lively, constant beading.

The nose is stuffed with cranberry funk and spicy wild yeasts. Tart grassy bits, some champagne notes, a bit of blueberry.

Exceedingly tart on the tongue. Various light berry bits, dry fruity finish, tart from start to finish. It's a style that I am far from acquainted with. From the few samples I can recall, though, this one sits right at the top. (551 characters)

Photo of chanokokoro
4.32/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12.7 oz 2012 vintage bottle poured into a tulip glass

Pours amber with a deep ruby red hue and a three finger light brown head which dissipates fairly quickly. The smell of cherry and oak is clearly present. Opens with a sour blast of cherries, vinegar, and funk which transitions to the base brown ale. The finish is tart, oaky, and dry. An extremely balanced Flanders Red, never too sweet, just the right amount of tartness, and the oak barrel flavor blends well and adds some complexity. Definitely among the top tier of American-brewed Flanders Red Ales. (559 characters)

Photo of bfields4
4.42/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark ruby brown body. Nice frothy light brown head.

Very sour notes. Vinegary funk, oak, tart cherries. Also some sweet Belgian citrus I was surprised to find.

This is one very complex brew. A dry winey tartness accompanied by cherries. Also picking up the oak. Somewhat of a fig/berry flavor in it as well.

Awesome brew. Good variety of flavors. A little light on the body, but not really in a bad way. This might give the duchess a run for its money in my book. (468 characters)

Photo of phishsihq
4.64/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

The brew appears almost garnet in color, and is capped by a big off-white head with great retention and lots of lace. A rich bouquet of cherries, funk, oak, cherries and more cherries, The cherry flavors blends beautifully into a slight oakiness and tartness that finishes somewhat sweet. Medium in body, Red Poppy Ale features a higher level of carbonation. Rare and delicious!

Cheers! (387 characters)

Photo of GPHarris
4.47/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2011 vintage

a - poured a one finger thick tan head into a tulip that settled into a thin ring that lasted for almost the whole beer. the body was a dark mahogany with some red tints to it.
s - strong sour cherry aroma with oak behind it. as it warms the oak comes through a little more.
t - puckering tart cherries with some woodiness.
m - medium thickness with lively carbonation bubbles. very dry finish.
o - really excellent beer and probably my favorite lost abbey so far. (478 characters)

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