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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

1,568 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,568
Reviews: 526
rAvg: 4.28
pDev: 9.58%
Wants: 510
Gots: 482 | FT: 37
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: 1,568 | Reviews: 526 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

4.16/5  rDev -2.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-10-2010 22:03:49 | More by Sammy
Photo of t0rin0
t0rin0

California

4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

12-12-2012 03:47:44 | More by t0rin0
Photo of UCLABrewN84
UCLABrewN84

California

3.98/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle pour sampled at mrbubbler's tasting.

2011 vintage.

Pours a clear brown-orange with a khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of sour cherry, vinegar, and funk. Taste is the same with a mineral flavor on the finish. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer with some nice aromas and flavors.

Serving type: bottle

04-09-2012 04:10:47 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of djrn2
djrn2

New Jersey

4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

11-14-2011 20:25:34 | More by djrn2
Photo of Thorpe429
Thorpe429

Illinois

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

Thanks to bmanning for opening this at a recent tasting.

2009 Vintage. 375mL bottle.

A: Poured a slightly-browned red with a bit of a cream-colored head.

S: Aromas of cherry are definitely present atop some funk and vinegary acid.

T: The cherries are not as strong in the taste department as with the smell, and the slightly-puckering acidity takes over. Good balance between the sweet and tart nature of the cherries with the predominate sour qualities of this one.

M: Pretty low carbonation, fairly tart, and somewhat mouth-drying.

D: Quite drinkable. Fairly complex.

Serving type: bottle

01-10-2010 19:33:17 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of BuckeyeNation
BuckeyeNation

Iowa

4.38/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

"The great events of life often leave one unmoved. They pass out of consciousness, and, when one thinks of them, become unreal. Even the scarlet flowers of passion seem to grow in the same meadow as the poppies of oblivion."

--Oscar Wilde

Cherry tomato red with Sunkist highlights when backlit with morning sunshine. The golden ecru crown is a quality slice of foam that reaches two fingers on the initial pour and lasts impressively long. Thick swaths of Belgian lace contribute to a wonderful look for a beer of this style.

The nose is exceptional. The first word that comes to mind is 'rich'. The second, third and fourth are 'sour', 'cherries' and 'oak'. It smells like this Flanders oud bruin will have an ideal combination of all the elements that make beer of this style so complex and so delicious. For specifics, keep reading.

Red Poppy is definitely the real deal. It's more bitter than most, and not quite as sour, but that's rarely a problem for the hopheaded among us. I might have started it out a little too cool, so let's see how it changes over the next 10-15 minutes. So far it's impressive.

Thankfully, the brown ale base is not lost among the sexier facets of the flavor profile. Each mouthful delivers a brisk uppercut of balsamic vinegar-like sweet and tart acidity... then a right cross of tangy sour cherry puree... followed by an oakiness that tightens things down like a vise and ushers in the finish.

The initial bitterness has calmed down to some extent, though I'd like to see it even more in the background. As the ounces fly by, I'm becoming aware of just how dry this beer is. Those little yeasties must have had their fill of all the fruit sugars. Have some cool water handy if you plan to drink more than one bottle at a time.

The mouthfeel has an intriguing combination of lightness, silkiness, suppleness and soft-edged carbonation. I'll resist the impulse to call for something bigger because it probably wouldn't improve things one iota.

Port Brewing Red Poppy Ale is the second best Flanders oud bruin that I've ever had the pleasure to consume. Compared to the perfect symphony that is Liefmans Goudenband, it's slightly (very slightly) out of tune. It's still a tremendous effort from one of America's best breweries. Thanks to tayner for the bottle.

Serving type: bottle

06-15-2008 12:51:49 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of metter98
metter98

New York

4.38/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer is very hazy reddish brown in color. It poured with an eighth of a finger high beige head that hardly died down.
S: There are aromas of cherries and oak in the nose.
T: Like the smell, the taste has flavors of cherries with some sourness and tartness but there is also bits of sweetness.
M: It feels light-bodied and slightly tart on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is incredibly easy to drink, especially since it isn't that tart or sour. I really enjoyed this and would definitely try it again.

Serving type: bottle

03-17-2013 00:44:54 | More by metter98
Photo of brentk56
brentk56

North Carolina

4.7/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a fairly clear garnet with a film of big bubbles that fades quickly, though manages to deliver a few dots of lace

Smell: Tart cherries mixed with an almost cedary oak character and balsamic vinegar

Taste: Dry, oaky flavors up front with a bursting tart cherry flavor that develops by mid-palate; though there is considerable fruity sweetness, the lactic sourness keeps it thoroughly in check; after the swallow, the flavors start to mellow out, with plenty of lemon/lime sour fruit and oak in the finish

Mouthfeel: Despite the lack of carbonation, the beer is not flat, though its body is relatively light

Drinkability: Just a stunning achievement; the fruit is so powerful, yet so restrained

Re-sampled in 2012, courtesy of bobertkuekn, and found the carbonation problems to be corrected - upping the Appearance and Mouthfeel scores, as a result

Serving type: bottle

10-03-2009 01:16:01 | More by brentk56
Photo of mikesgroove
mikesgroove

South Carolina

4.88/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

375ml corked and caged bottle served at cellar temperature and poured into a tulip glass

A - Poured a very nice and extremely cloudy and hazy light brown with just a hint of a reddish tint to it. This was very murky, but you could still see some of the light coming through on the sides and bottom of the glass, and in fact there was enough of it that I could notice some very fine sediment on the bottom, as well as some carbonation coming up from the bottom of the glass. A very nice head of approximately one and a half inches in height graced the top of it, and this settled down gradually, leaving behind a noticeable amount of side glass lace but nothing that was terribly too thick. The color on it was exquisite on this one, with just this burnt sienna color ( my son has a big box of crayons) that was just very nice. Did not come off terribly thick through the pour and seemed to have a light consistency to it but we shall see.

S - The aroma itself was very strong and very pungent. Almost immediately the yeast was in your face, giving it and extremely sour presence that I was not expecting, but should have known it was coming. Underneath that the clearly evident layer of cherries was starting to come through, tying to sweeten it up and giving it that very nice overall fruity vibe. Lots of spices now coming through as well, hints of what I picked up as cinnamon and fig were mixed in very well. Overall a very strong and very full aroma that was inviting and decidedly alive.

T - I really fell in love with this one upon the first sip that I took. The flavors were so vibrant and so well defined that it was very interesting to watch this one evolve over the course of the session. The first thing you would notice upon taking a sip was the nice sour taste coming though from the yeast. Big sour notes here, once they calmed down you started to pick up the fruity notes that were lying underneath of it. Lots of tart cherries that were really pushing their way up front and blending in nicely with a very spicy nutmeg like flavor. Very well balanced with no one thing really dominating over another, making for a very nice profile. Lots of different things going on here, with hints of even grapes and/or raisins starting to show as it warms up. The finish at least to me seemed to be the best part of the entire session. At first it was subtle, giving you a sour or bitter dry finish that drew out the flavor, but once you managed to run through that initial finish, their was this long lasting barrel aged cherry sweetness that was so good, it is almost impossible for me to accurately describe. I literally tasted that for a good 30 minutes after I finished that last drop. It was very sweet and bitter at the same time, not overpowering, just this subtle long lasting taste. This was really quite breathtaking to be honest. A wonderful taste here overall.

M - Very light bodied ale, despite the huge flavors, this one really never did get too big on you. The carbonation profile was excellent as well, never going flat, even though I took my sweet old time in finishing it, there was never a dull moment. I would have to say it was more crisp and refreshing then it was smooth, and really just superb all around in every way.

D - Now this was just perfect here. Nothing at all should be subtracted, as I rarely find something that I could sit down and enjoy sipping on for more then an hour in a sitting without becoming bored. This was it though. The flavors were exquisite and constantly evolving with changing temperatures, the carbonation was damn near perfect, never getting dull or flat, consistency was perfect, leaving it light, but not thin, and the ABV a modest 5%. I mean c'mon what more could you possibly even begin to ask for. I would have had ten of these if I could have.

Overall this one literally floored me. I have loved everything that has come out of Lost Abbey, and not being biased, but seriously, who else is this consistent with quality, I mean it seems everything new they put out is better then the one before that, its almost unheard of. This was just tremendous. A light fruity sour ale that had me literally giddy with excitement. This was something not only I would gladly have again, but that I would be actively searching for more of. One of the best I have ever had.

Serving type: bottle

01-31-2008 11:26:10 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of nmann08
nmann08

District of Columbia

4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

07-14-2012 21:42:20 | More by nmann08
Photo of Phyl21ca
Phyl21ca

Quebec (Canada)

4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle courtesy of Kegbear: Poured a deep clear reddish color ale with a small foamy head with minimal retention and no lacing. Aroma of oak and sour cherries are heavily dominating. Taste is also a very nice mix between some deep oak notes with some cherry flavor also discernable. Very complex taste and some what similar to Rodenbach Grand Cru. I thought cherries would have been more prominent but they were somewhat loss in the mix.

Serving type: bottle

03-14-2009 02:46:32 | More by Phyl21ca
Photo of womencantsail
womencantsail

California

4.3/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Anwar for this bottle. Split it tonight with the girlfriend.

A: Despite a vigorous pour into my Bruery tulip, there isn't much in the way of head formation. The beer itself is a slightly muddy mahogany color.

S: The nose is nice and tart with some nice sour cherry notes along with a slight acetic acid note. There's quite a bit of oak, which I was not quite expecting.

T: The flavor follows the nose almost exactly. Great oak and sour cherry flavors with only a touch of vinegar (which I often find a bit off-putting in Flanders ales).

M: The carbonation is quite low, lending the beer a slick feel on the tongue. The finish is nice and dry.

D: This is one of the more tart Oud Bruins I've had, but I enjoy that. The lower level of acetic acid is also a bit plus for me.

Serving type: bottle

02-12-2010 06:26:18 | More by womencantsail
Photo of acurtis
acurtis

New Jersey

4/5  rDev -6.5%

05-27-2012 01:15:50 | More by acurtis
Photo of kjkinsey
kjkinsey

Texas

4/5  rDev -6.5%

05-06-2012 22:24:23 | More by kjkinsey
Photo of ChainGangGuy
ChainGangGuy

Georgia

4.28/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a hazy, reddish-brown body with a small, short-lived white head.

Smell: Bright, funky aroma of wine-macerated cherries and planks of toasted oak.

Taste: Whoa! Tart, juicy, lightly acidic cherry flavor at the forefront with hints of the sweet brown maltiness used as this fine beer's foundation. Distinct, well-placed tastes of oaky wood. True, it's funky, but contented to reside on the lighter end of the funk spectrum. Drying, lightly minerally finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium, soft carbonation.

Drinkability: A very well executed sour ale, and what a top-notch, classy bottle.

Serving type: bottle

02-25-2008 00:56:42 | More by ChainGangGuy
Photo of ygtbsm94
ygtbsm94

Virginia

4/5  rDev -6.5%

11-15-2011 04:15:39 | More by ygtbsm94
Photo of jaydoc
jaydoc

Kansas

4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

12-03-2013 04:01:49 | More by jaydoc
Photo of Texasfan549
Texasfan549

Texas

4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

05-06-2012 20:39:19 | More by Texasfan549
Photo of spycow
spycow

Illinois

5/5  rDev +16.8%

11-27-2011 17:52:21 | More by spycow
Photo of Knapp85
Knapp85

Pennsylvania

4.47/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer was a real gem, I had been hunting this one down for a while now, thanks to the spinnerstown hotel for helping me out with this one. I ordered a bottle that I debated over for a while and finally gave in.

The beer was uncorked by the bartender Jack, who did a nice job with it. The beer poured out as a murky brownish red color that looked quite interesting. The head was white and fizzy, it vanished shortly after the pour. It was a very bubbly beer with loads of carbonation with every sip.

The aromas were of fresh tart fresh cherries, fresh cut wood, and several intense spices in the blend of smells coming out of this beer. The flavors were similar in the same respect. The cherries came first and they bite the tongue and hold on for a while. The wood comes through in the aftertaste leaving a really smooth natural fresh flavor on the pallet. Mouthfeel is very good too!

This beer was worth the wait, I am not even a fan of sour ales but this one far beyond any I've had in the passed. Really nice!

Serving type: bottle

04-05-2011 05:09:18 | More by Knapp85
Photo of GRG1313
GRG1313

California

5/5  rDev +16.8%

11-26-2011 14:00:53 | More by GRG1313
Photo of TMoney2591
TMoney2591

Illinois

4.33/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a small tasting glass and a Dogfish Head shaped pint glass.

Thanks to the Central PA group of the Gang Bang BIF and to AleWatcher for these bottles!

Tasted a 2008 vintage (courtesy of Jeff) alongside the newer vintage from the BIF. Both pour a cloudy russet-sunset sienna topped by a half-finger of dirty cream foam. The nose of the '08 comprises light vinegar, cherries, cinnamon, raspberries, and a rich red wine. The newer vintage, on the other hand, comprises red apple, cinnamon, maple syrup, oak, graham crackers, and light chocolate. Definitely more tart fruit in the aged version. The taste of the '08 holds notes of tart-ish black cherry, raspberries, black currant, light cocoa, graham crackers, cinnamon, and clove. The newer version is somewhat similar, with notes of tart cherry, black currant, mandarin orange, clove, and sharp raspberry. Both bodies weigh in at light medium, with a very light moderate carbonation and a sticky finish. Overall, a great beer with or without a few years on it. I think I prefer the older vintage, but it's not too big of a disparity.

Serving type: bottle

07-25-2011 05:22:52 | More by TMoney2591
Photo of emerge077
emerge077

Illinois

4.53/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2009 bottle: Thanks to Jason for this one...
Explosive cherry tartness, fruity, leathery, earthy. Plenty of oak on the back end that lends it balance and traditional flavors. Black cherry through and through. A mild balsamic vinegar note blends into the funky barrel aroma, a mixture of wet stone an sea foam fade in curious directions...spicy oak reminds me of Enigma. Mild tartness, nothing off the charts. Awesome stuff!

2008 bottle, 01-04-2009

Served at 50º into a Duchesse de Bourgogne glass.

Deep scarlet body in the light, thin layer of dirty foam that leaves a substantial ring at the edge. A skim returns with a swirl of the glass. Tiny trails of bubbles feed into the foam ring. Aroma is nice and funky, farmhouse cheese, lactic with some vanilla traces. Damp forest floor with wood, earth, wet leaves and wild mushrooms. Flavors of bitter and tangy cherry pits, leather, soil, with a dominant horseblanket brett taste as it warms. Dry and oaky finish. Medium body that is right on, and the brett character makes you slow down and sip.

Huge thanks to TheBlackMallard for this one!

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2009 02:08:11 | More by emerge077
Photo of zeff80
zeff80

Missouri

4.4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured out a dark burgundy color with a one-finger, cream colored head of foam. It was short lived and left minimal lacing.

S - Like a great sour beer lots of dark cherries and sourness. Just a touch of funkiness, too.

T - Sour but not overpowering with a strong black cherry flavor. There are mild yeasty notes and some light caramel flavors, too.

M - It'll make you pucker but not too much. It is medium bodied and very dry.

D - This is another fabulous beer from The Lost Abbey. I'll liking sour beers more and more each time I try great examples of the style like this one.

Serving type: bottle

12-18-2010 16:58:05 | More by zeff80
Photo of JAHMUR
JAHMUR

Connecticut

4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

11-15-2011 02:17:08 | More by JAHMUR
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Red Poppy Ale from The Lost Abbey
95 out of 100 based on 1,568 ratings.