Red Poppy Ale - The Lost Abbey

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Red Poppy AleRed Poppy Ale

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

556 Reviews
THE BROS
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Reviews: 556
Hads: 1,818
rAvg: 4.22
pDev: 9.24%
Wants: 564
Gots: 570 | 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: 556 | Hads: 1,818
Photo of CNoj012
4.34/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Look is an opaque dark brown with a huge light brown head. Smell is a very nice tart cherry with a hint of funk on the back end. Taste is sour cherries galore. Not a melt your face off sour, but a nice strong tart. Feel is light but with good carbonation. Overall this is a great beer and I would definitely seek it out if it was available anywhere near me. (358 characters)

Photo of Sintech
4.52/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle.

Appearance - Dark brown hue.

Smell - Light tart, light funk.

Taste - Very tart with slight sweetness from the cherries. Tasty!

Mouthfeel - Light. High level of carbonation. High attenuation.

Overall - Nice sour

Grade (A-) (242 characters)

Photo of kemoarps
3.92/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Even with a reasonably careful pour there is a gigantic massive souffle of ruddy/cream head. I've never really seen a head with that subtle red tint to it. Interesting. Anyway, massive head. Muddy ruddy brown body.

Nose is sharply sour and somewhat... earthy? Some sweet flowers dance at the periphery.

Flavour is likewise an interesting blend of sour expectations (primarily cherry etc) and there's that same earthy note but now joined by almost a hint of some baking spices. Interesting.
FInish is tart and also somewhat bitter. I'm still kind of a n00b when it comes to flanders and other more... tart. Styles. This is a damn fine one though.
Side note: I was wondering if this was what was in my mislabeled bottle, and I don't think it is. Both are quite tasty, but I don't think this is it. (800 characters)

Photo of MakeMineADoubleJack
4.52/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a Teku glass.

A - Dark red body, like crimson black cherry flesh. Fizzy off-white head bubbles then dissipates. No lacing.

N - The finest attribute of this beer: cherry sweetness and cherry tartness, coupled with an oak body calling to mind a good red wine.

T - Cherry sweetness at the front, falling to a nice tart kick on the back end.

M - The carbonation fills the mouth like countless pillows of air.

O - Solid beer. Complex, tart. I think I've smelled it more than I've sipped it. The price point is high. I won't say I'm WOWed, but I am pretty darn impressed. (598 characters)

Photo of winningwes91
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Another wonderful beer by tla. Pours a dark ruby red color with a pinkish white head that won't go away. Smells like cherries, vinegar and some barrel character. Taste follows suit with a nice sourness - but not overly so. Nice mouthfeel with a dry aftertaste . Not their best, but really great stuff! (301 characters)

Photo of -Rick
4.3/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

dirty red look. You know you have a sour here with one smell. The taste is bitter sour with cherries and strawberries on the finish. I liked this beer a lot, but at $17 for a 375ml, I might pass next time. Glad I tried it though (231 characters)

Photo of J-Rye
4.81/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Look: Bigger bubbles than expected, not too much lacing, a very hazy but very nice mahongany.

Smell: Beauftiful malty, salty sour scent, funky oak. Can't wait to taste.

Taste: Pow! Rush of tart. Overlayed by nice malt. Fruit peaks through. Then there's something interesting I've never quite tasted before. Another review wrote balsamic vinegar, but it's less sweet, more subtle umami in the background. Shadowy, mysterious. Holy smokes this is a fantastic beer.

Feel: Sharply carbonated. Dry finish, nice linger.

Overall: Whoa, better than anticipated, even for Lost Abbey! (590 characters)

Photo of guityler83
3.39/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

A: Deep maroon with crimson red hue when held to a light source. Long lasting head made of medium sized bubbles that fizzed the entire time - color very similar to cola - dark cream to tan or light brown. Small layer of sediment was left in the bottle but the beer still haze a slight haze.

S: Moderate tart cherry - like jam or pie filling - medium lemon tartness that gives a nice fruit juice - lemonaid w/ cherries vibe. Mild toasty, pie crust, biscuity malt aromoa. No alcohol or off aromas - very pleasant.

T: Moderate tartness with the similar cherry-aid flavor as the aroma indicated. No hop flavor or bitterness detected. Sweetness is moderate with toasted breadcrust, biscuity and strawberry like flavors. Balance is on the sourness - mild amount of funky brett character and oaky tannins are noticable in the finish.

M: Very high carbonation and the prickly carbonic bite adds some body to the thinner beer underneath. Tartness hits on the center of the tongue and fades away after a few seconds - not harsh. No alcohol warmth. But the higher carbonation leaves a drying sensation after a few sips.

O: A very nice beer, but the carbonation on this bottle was way to high. I think if that was dialed back more the tartness and cherry flavors would have come through even more without the prickly sensation hindering the overall impression. Id get the beer again just to see if I got bad bottle. - Cheers (1,428 characters)

Photo of Goblinmunkey7
4.1/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Clear brick-reddish brown. Almost looks like dried blood. Head is a very light tan, bubbly, and dense. Solid retention keeps a cap for the duration. No lacing.

Smell: Loaded with cherry. Sour cherry skin and juice. A touch of soft yeast. Solidly caramelized malt sweetness. A touch of leather. A touch of citric tartness with a soft lactic element in the back. Oak adds some seriously woody elements. A bit of old wood and damp rock. A touch of vinegar. Warming puts out a ton of oak and some solidly tart cherry skin.

Taste: Tart cherry skin. Cherry juice. Fruit leather. Tons of oak. Musty basement. Some grass and a touch of soft spice. Hint of alcohol in the back. Sharply citric with a strong undercurrent of vinegar. Lemon juice. Cherry flesh. Bing cherry. Did I mention cherry? Undercurrent of mild funk. Malts offer just a touch of toasted flavor. A hint of bread crust. Lightly cooked malt sweetness. Hints of almost cranberry. Some earth. Touch of lime.

Mouthfeel: Slightly effervescent. Medium pushing to light body with a moderate-high carbonation. Mild astringency.

Overall: Such a pretty flower.

So much cherry. It might need a bit more time to really develop, but it's a risk with the cherry. It's solid if not exactly worth the above average bottle price. (1,291 characters)

Photo of superspak
4.52/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

3300th review! 375 ml bottle into tulip glass, 2015 vintage bottling. Pours slightly hazy deep ruby red color with a 2 finger fairly dense light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Nice spotty foamy lacing clings around the glass, with a moderate amount of streaming carbonation retaining the cap. Aromas of big sour black cherry, cranberry, green apple, lemon, red grape, cider vinegar, caramel, toasted oak, hay, straw, peppercorn, musty funk, herbal, and yeast earthiness. Incredible aromas with awesome complexity and balance of sour cherry, fruity/funky/spicy yeast, dark malt, and oak barrel notes; with great strength. Taste of big sour black cherry, cranberry, green apple, lemon, red grape, cider vinegar, caramel, toasted oak, hay, straw, peppercorn, musty funk, herbal, and yeast earthiness. Good amount of fruity/acidic tartness and yeast spiciness on the finish; with lingering notes of black cherry, cranberry, green apple, lemon, red grape, cider vinegar, caramel, toasted oak, hay, straw, peppercorn, musty funk, herbal, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Incredible complexity and balance of sour cherry, fruity/funky/spicy yeast, dark malt, and oak barrel flavors; with an pretty much perfect malt/acidity balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. High carbonation and medium bodied; with a very smooth, crisp, and moderately acidic mouthfeel that is incredible. Alcohol is very well hidden with zero warming present after the finish as expected of 5%. Overall this is a world class Flanders red ale style. All around fantastic complexity and balance of sour cherry, fruity/funky/spicy yeast, dark malt, and oak barrel flavors; and very smooth and crisp to drink with the balanced acidity. An insanely amazing offering. (1,799 characters)

Photo of ClavisAurea
4.49/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

375ml bottle served in a tulip glass at cellar temps. Bottle is the 2015A vintage bought from the brewery.

Appearance: dark brown and explosively carbonated. I took the cage off and the cork shot out 2 seconds later. Glints of red through and a bit of sunlight on the edges. Massive foamy head.

Nose: oaky, sour cherries, vanilla, complex lactic nose with the yeast and microbial poking through.

Taste: sour but not bracingly, sour cherries, wood from the barrel aging, very complex and wonderful. Medium to heavy body, more so than I would have expected.

Overall: I bought this after reading about it online and in books. The brewery was beautiful and the beer is nothing less than spectacular. I don't have much experience with this style and need to try more. The complex yeast, Brett and bacteria notes combined with the sourness can be off putting for some but I find it wonderfully complex. I have a second bottle to cellar. (939 characters)

Photo of Immortale25
4.74/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured into a Haw River Farmhouse Ales teku glass. 2014 Vintage.

A- Pours a somewhat murky medium brown color with a 3/4 inch light tan head that retains decently before becoming a thick ring around the edge of the glass and a mostly full sheet of surface foam. Not-so-resilient lacing leaves small clots behind.

S- Nice tart cherry funk with some toasty malt in the back. Classic Flanders aroma.

T- Moderate tartness upfront and then the cherries hit with lots of funky undertones interlaced so nicely in the flavor profile. Man, the cherries really drive this one home. The sweet-to-sour ratio is damn near perfect.

M- Prickly and slightly dry with medium carbonation and a body leaning toward the lighter side. The dryness builds as the drink progresses, especially once the sediment is introduced.

O- I've had beers this optimally funky and sour before but I've never had one where the fruit provides such a delightful pivot point for the funk and tartness to play off of. Not the best sour I've ever had but definitely in my top 5. (1,048 characters)

Photo of BeerImmediately
4.47/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

5.5oz pour went down way too fast. Not overly puckering - just enough. Good dank, dark fruit (plum) quality to temper, with a fairly rich mouthfeel for a wild. (161 characters)

Photo of Bsquirrelbrewer
4.52/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On draft at monks cafe.

Dark reddish brown color with a thin cream head that quickly dissipates to a ring.

Smell is bright and earthy with notes of cherries.

Taste is a balanced tart sweetness. Not at all cloying. Cherries are present and fresh, not overpowering. Taste fades to mild acidity, not a lengthy aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is clean and refreshing.

Overall one of my favorites from Lost Abbey! (403 characters)

Photo of Beaver13
4.44/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12.7 oz bottle, about 4 years old. Pours dark ruby amber with a fizzy light tan head that retains well and leaves some lacing.

The aroma is sweet cherries with some vinegary tartness and some woodiness.

The flavor is sweet and very tart sour cherry with some acidic wood notes in the background. The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with low carbonation that is a little prickly.

Overall, a very nice sour. (413 characters)

Photo of StinkyFishBoys
2.39/5  rDev -43.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.25

Mabye i'm nuts. I don't get this one... actually poured most of it down the drain .. gasp.. there are better beers for way less with more volume i.e. raspberry tart. gimme a break ya'll. (186 characters)

Photo of cindyjeffsmith
4.42/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

look: Dark reddish brown. Hazy. Huge off white head fluffy head on the pour that mostly settles down. Some messy lacing.
smell: tart cherry with vanilla notes. A little aromatic spice and little funk. Quite a nose on this.
taste: Quite dry. Cherry and Vanilla are prominent though not as much as in the nose. Just a hint of tart and funk. Delicious.
overall: Really nice combo of interesting flavors that's surprisingly drinkable. (430 characters)

Photo of jow_42
4.6/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured into a Lost Abbey teku glass

A - pours a ruby reddish, murky, brownish color. One finger of off white head, lots of carb, lots of bubbles in the glass.

S - Tons of cherries. Very cherry forward. Little bit of tartness, funk, little bit of the wet horse blanket. Woody, oak from the barrel. Tart cherries.

T - Tart cherries up front, but not overly sour. Vineous, there are vinegar notes, you get the oak from the barrels. Little bit of funkiness, again, the horse blanket. Very light, dry finish.

O - an awesome sour. I wish it were a little more sour than it was, but the cherries are great. The price point is a little high for a 375ml bottle. I'd recommend trading for this one for sure. (715 characters)

Photo of Edward_Round
4.19/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Cherries are predominant in scent and flavor. Not too sure if I can pull out the flavor of the poppy. Good sour, but not exceptional in any given aspect. (154 characters)

Photo of Coldstorage
4.06/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2015 bottle poured into Hair Of The Dog tulip.

L:Pours with a thick white head that falls quickly. Deep brown with a slight red glow.

S: The best part of the beer perhaps. Nice broad cherry aroma with no syrup or medicinal quality. A big fruity promise with a bit of salty sweat behind it.

T: Medium tart/sourness with much less fruit than I had expected from the nose. Cherry is in the background behind the sour twang and the brightness of the high carbonation.

F: Thin, dry, crisp.

O: At $17 for a split i'm not entirely sure I got my moneys worth, but that's not to say it isn't lovely stuff. Heard people age this which had me suspicious given its only 5% (and has lager blended in?) but now that I tasted it i'm even more confused. If the fruit faded anymore it would be gone altogether. If I hit the bottle shop and cant find anything else to waste money on I may just put one away for a year or two. Glad I had it but... NEXT. (940 characters)

Photo of SLubeski
4.81/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Cracked a 2014 to celebrate the release of the 2015! Poured from a 375 mL bottle into a .4L Bruery tulip.

L: Pours a murky deep brown, with cranberry hues in the light. a thick cream/beige head forms on the pour and recedes quickly into a fine, but steady, head that laces the glass and falls away within minutes.

S: Tart tart tart, with a subtle hint of funk deep within the glass. Enticing. Subtle cherry in the middle, but you can absolutely smell the sour. Minute alcohol.

T: Oh yes. Just like it smells, really tart, and delicious. But with so much more cherry in the taste. Oak in subtle ways that mellow into farmhouse funky cherry goodness.

F: Dry. Carbonated nicely and finely, but dissipates as it warms. Coats the tongue and cheeks nicely with resiny tartness.

O: Great beer. I drink a large number of sours and this one stands up in its particular category. It is aggressive and may not be for all beer drinkers, or even sour drinkers. If you dig the style go with a classic American interpretation of it. (1,033 characters)

Photo of MtnSoup
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2012 version, and oh so wonderful. Tart, and still very effervescent. Tasting more sour than fruity at this point (but isn't that the point of keeping it until now). (165 characters)

Photo of Catracho5
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

375 ml bottle poured into a Teku glass

A: Lots of lacing, big head that dissipated after 4-5 minutes, brownish head, beer is a brownish-reddish color, tons of carbonation and bubbles, the head remains foamy due to the massive carbonation.

A: Big tart, sour aromas up front, some cherry in the middle, no alcohol, just smells really sour

T: Big tart, sour flavors, cherries in the middle, getting a slight Belgian yeast flavor, finishes very dry. Picked up some oak at the end, taste really good.

M: Very dry, tons of carbonation but dissipated as the beer warmed, coats the mouth with a sour tart dryness.

O: Not bad, good but not worth $16.99 for a 375 ml, I could see this being worth $9-10, maybe $12 for a 375 ml. Not a big beer, complex yes, but the price knocks me off, it was worth a try, not disappointed but not impressed. I am also not familiar with Flanders Red ales so it could just be me, cheers! (914 characters)

Photo of rickrem
4.21/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

First of all, I claim no expertise in sour/ lambic/oud bruin beer

Color is a hazy dark reddish brown

Pours with a big head which subsides to a thin tan layer which sticks around most of the way down with minimal lacing

Aroma picks up some dark fruit, a bit of wood maybe soft cedar, a bit of barnyard

A tart mildly puckery taste. A bit of vinegary acidity with the dark fruit and cherry coming through.Maybe a bit of green apple and some wood. A bit of caramely sweetness on the finish

Nice carbonation and brightness to the feel.

Nice sipper for something different. At least for me. (591 characters)

Photo of DoubleSimcoe
4.35/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Red Poppy, on tap at Local 44 in Philadelphia PA.

Appearance: Red-brown, murky-turbid, one-finger bubbly head that lasts for a while. Some lacing.

Smell: Cola, bubblegum, strawberry, Amaro. Tart sweetness, ripe fruit.

Taste: Starts out brutal, puckering, tart, an assault. Then it mellows out. Oakiness all around, and a cherry profile that coats your palate. Vinegar, sour grapes, Granny Smith apple and even a bit of cheddar and chocolate. Spicy finish.

Mouthfeel: Well balanced, carbonation is just right. Medium body and dry finish.

Overall: Unique, and then some. So much complexity and flavor in a 5.3% beer. Great drinkability too. (646 characters)

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Red Poppy Ale from The Lost Abbey
94 out of 100 based on 556 ratings.