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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

1,634 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,634
Reviews: 531
rAvg: 4.28
pDev: 9.58%
Wants: 525
Gots: 490 | FT: 33
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: 1,634 | Reviews: 531 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Knapp85
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!

Knapp85, Apr 05, 2011
Photo of ChainGangGuy
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.

ChainGangGuy, Feb 25, 2008
Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

westcoastbeerlvr, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of JAHMUR
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

JAHMUR, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of largadeer
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2008 bottle.

Appearance - Ruddy brown, quite hazy and distinctly unfiltered. The head retained remarkably well in an oversized wine glass. This beer should be decanted carefully; the bottle has a ton of sediment at the bottom.

Smell - Wonderfully musty and oaky. Pronounced vanilla with mild barnyard funk and sourness. Cherries are present but not as dominating as they are on the tongue.

Taste - Sour, tangy cherries make up the backbone, while oak provides depth and balance. Acidity is fairly low despite the tart flavor. Vanilla appears more and more as the beer warms, blending harmoniously with the sour cherries. The finish is dry and long, revealing more of the young oaky flavor.

Mouthfeel - Fairly light-bodied and crisp on the tongue; slighty drying to the palate. Certainly not quaffable despite the light body; small sips provide a ton of flavor.

Overall - The 08 and 09 batches are outstanding. A Flemish style sour without all the acetic acid, and a great balance between oak and fruit. Later batches are solid but not as exceptional.

largadeer, Feb 09, 2008
Photo of TMoney2591
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.

TMoney2591, Jul 25, 2011
Photo of SocalKicks
4/5  rDev -6.5%

SocalKicks, Sep 30, 2012
Photo of emerge077
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!

emerge077, Feb 17, 2009
Photo of zeff80
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.

zeff80, Dec 18, 2010
Photo of StonedTrippin
4.43/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

nearly 17 bucks for a 12.7oz cork and cage setup. sexy packaging. major prestige for these guys in my mind, as their stuff is rare and always exquisite. the angels share stands as one of the all-timers, so i was pumped up to try this. pours a murky brown ale color into a wine glass with a really bubbly tan head that slowly relaxes to just a lacing. smells like a flemish sour. hard. some sour cherry essence in the nose and a nice sweeter brown ale malt complement. flavor is outstanding. huge sour brett-like sting at the front end, but maybe not even brett, tough to tell, could just be the cherries here. big malty woody middle where the vanilla and spice of the oak come to the fore, balanced out by some fairly hefty chocolate malts. tart finish. this is one of the best feeling beers out, totally effervescent carbonation gives life to all the subtle complexities going on, and the medium body feels lighter than it is. i say they make a double red poppy, which is now on my must try list. this beer is fantastic, but the price keeps it a drink for the elite only. sad but true.

StonedTrippin, Apr 11, 2012
Photo of nickfl
4.75/5  rDev +11%

nickfl, May 04, 2012
Photo of Kegatron
4.45/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12.7 oz corked & caged bottle into a Russian River Tulip.

Pours a hazy dark ruby (I said the hell with it and dumped the yeast in to) that possesses some lighter shades towards the bottom. The heads stands about 1 ½ fingers tall and seems pretty effervescent with an off-white color. As the glass settles I can actually see bits of cherry skin mixed in with the yeast at the bottom. A thin, creamy layer of retention skims the surface and sticks around pretty solidly at about a ½ finger or so. This just doesn't budge and flairs up nicely, leaving behind a fantastic looking cascade of lace when swirled. The aroma is a blast of cherries and tart Brett notes that are followed by a fairly pungent flush of astringent oak character.

The taste is tart cherry character that is accentuated by an additional crisp bite of Brett, with more oak notes coming out towards the end. It finishes with nice lingering notes of sourness that impart a dry feel. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and while not possessing a ton of carbonation, still has more of a slick feel to it that really helps move all of that tart character around across the palette.

This is a very nice and well crafted offering here. While I understand that this may have lost some of its' cherry freshness from when it was first brewed, the character still seemed quite pungent to me and worked well the Brett to create a mix that was more refreshing tartness than sour. Another tasty work of art from Tomme and company at the Abbey.

Kegatron, Sep 11, 2008
Photo of RblWthACoz
4.35/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Many thanks and much respect to IntriqKen for this one. Have to say I also love the labeling/packaging. Definitely the sexiest and sleekest I have seen in quite some time, if not ever.

Pours a fogged brown with basically no creme head. Nose is very antiseptic and funky and exactly what I would expect. Really, I could not expect more for the fragrance aspect. Flavor is definitely interesting. Total funky coming on the flavor. Again, this just seems like exactly what you would expect for the style. However. The fruit aspect of it is very shallow. I kind of would have liked to have just a touch more. Regardless, we are still bringing the funk here. Feel has a good liquid and carbonation to it. This is very easy to drink for a sour beer. Perhaps I am more used to it with my vastly experienced palate. Either way, this is an exemplary version of the style. Definitely worth seeking out.

RblWthACoz, Mar 03, 2008
Photo of MasterSki
4.28/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Review #1700. 2010 Vintage. Served in a champagne tulip. My bottle says 5%.

A - A finger and a half of creamy off-white foam settles to a thick cap, and thicker collar, leaving a few specks of lace. Body is a lovely transparent ruby-brown color, with some visible carbonation.

S - A mixture of sweet malts, sour cherries, lactic acidity, a bit of cheesey funk, oak, and some balsamic and leathery notes as well. I'm glad there is still some brown sugar sweetness and that this hasn't become all acetobacter. Cherries have faded a fair bit since this was fresh, but are still moderately present.

T - Much more sourness than the aroma implies. Plenty of oak, lactic acidity, sour cherries, perhaps a bit of vanilla and sweet malt in the finish. Perhaps a bit too much barrel here, and not enough sweetness.

M - Medium-light body, extremely dry, with a hefty dose of tannic oak. Plenty of stomach-melting acidity as well. Get those Tums ready! Pleasant active carbonation and no obvious alcohol.

D - An absolute pleasure to drink, especially considering the lower ABV means one could have a few of these. Would love to try the "double cherry" version at some point, as I think that would offset a bit of the oak. Wish this one was year-round and on-tap more often.

MasterSki, Aug 11, 2011
Photo of drabmuh
4.15/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Beer is reddish brown and does not form a head. Carbonation is low and there is a little lacing left on the glass. Beer is relatively clear.

Aroma is a strong sourness, mostly citric based. Kind of a one note aroma but it smells fine.

Strong sour flavor, again citric. There are several late flavors, sweet, strong tart, hits me in the corners of my mouth. Drinkability is high, mouthfeel is good. Carbonation plays a role in the connectivity of the beer overall.

drabmuh, Feb 02, 2010
Photo of oline73
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a Chimay goblet.

Appearance: Pours a cloudy reddish dark amber/brown with a finger of thick, off white head. There is some great retention.

Smell: There is a strong sour fruity vinegar smell up front. Some tartness and mild malt sweetness along with some funk.

Taste: This one is very sour. Lots of vinegar and lemony tartness with Some other funky flavors. Fruity notes blend well with the sourness. The finish is bitter with the sourness holding on as well.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with tingly carbonation and a dry finish.

Overall: This is a really good sour. Very sour and still very easy to drink. I would definitely have another.

oline73, Nov 09, 2011
Photo of Rifugium
4.08/5  rDev -4.7%
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.

Rifugium, Nov 29, 2012
Photo of mendvicdog
4/5  rDev -6.5%

mendvicdog, Jul 26, 2013
Photo of mdfb79
4.18/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12.7 oz. bottle into my Duvel tulip. Finally got some bottles of this one as it has eluded me, mainly from lack of trying to acquire it. After trying Double Red Poppy at NOTB and loving it, I decided to get some bottles of this one.

a - Pours a dark mahogany brown with a reddish tint, one and a half fingers of off white head, and moderate carbonation evident. The bottle was a very slow gusher, but didn't lose any of it.

s - Smells of sour cherries, oak, tart dark fruits, vinegar, some funk, and some acedic notes. Very sour and tart, with lots of cherries; I'm a big fan of the nose.

t - Tastes of vinegar, sour dark fruits, wood, funk, acedic notes, light cherries. Very sour and lots of vinegar. A lot more vinegar than the nose, and less cherries. Good, but a definite step down.

m - Medium body and high carbonation, dry mouthfeel.

o - Overall a nice sour flanders I enjoyed. I loved the nose, as there was a lot of sour dark fruit, especially tart cherries. The taste was a lot of vinegar so if you like that in a sour, you'll probably love this one. I liked the Double Red Poppy better, but considering that is a beer only available on tap and this is easy to acquire, it's still very good. Would certainly have it again.

mdfb79, Apr 16, 2011
Photo of beernads
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

beernads, Jun 18, 2013
Photo of MarkyMOD
4/5  rDev -6.5%

MarkyMOD, Jan 21, 2013
Photo of Mora2000
4.33/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to bmwgirl9606 for sending me this bottle.

2010 vintage. The beer pours a slightly hazy brown color with an off-white head. The aroma is tart with some oak, vanilla, brown sugar and cherry. The flavor is heavy on the tart cherries with some oak and lemons mixed in as well. There is also a nice sweetness that resembles brown sugar. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. An excellent beer. So happy I got to try this one.

Mora2000, Jun 01, 2010
Photo of DrunkinYogi
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

DrunkinYogi, Apr 01, 2014
Photo of Rochefort10nh
4.53/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A great thank you goes out to jtrockchalk who included this want as an extra in a recent trade!

This one is russet-brown with very little head after a vigorous pour. It smells of a high quality balsalmic vinegar; wood; sour, tart monticello cherries with a background note of warm caramel. This is very nice!

The taste mirrors the smell with a very slight lactic tang and citrus zest presence. I am digging this! Not quite as sour as say Rodenbach Grand Cru or cirrca 2005 Panil Barriquée, but not nearly as sweet as Rodenbach Alexander or the Duchesse.

Mouthfeel is right for the style - vinous and lightly carbonated.

Drinkability is excellent as I was through the bottle way to quickly for my liking.

If it weren't so difficult to obtain, I could see myself making this a staple.

Rochefort10nh, Sep 24, 2009
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
Red Poppy Ale from The Lost Abbey
95 out of 100 based on 1,634 ratings.