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Red Poppy Ale - The Lost Abbey

Not Rated.
Red Poppy AleRed Poppy Ale

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

559 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 559
Hads: 1,826
rAvg: 4.22
pDev: 9.24%
Wants: 566
Gots: 570 | FT: 40
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: 559 | Hads: 1,826
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 JimmyTango
4.32/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Ruby brown with an off-white head (I'm drinking it in a low-light room, so its hard to get a feel for clarity). The head is bigger and creamier than I'm used to in sours.

S: Dew on brown grass, leather, and oak come together for a nice, almost sweet nose. Complex, tart, and oaky-sweet. Cherries make their way into the sour part of the aroma. The funk is sweet and wet, nice and mellow but very present. I love this nose.

T: Tart at first, followed quickly by some sour cherries. Creamy mid palette with a quick flash of that elusive sweetness form the nose. There is also a touch of cinnamon in the creamy part... It's the oak. The finish is dry with a lingering, clean, lemony tartness. There is a tiny hint of bitterness at the very end, but otherwise there are no hop aromas or flavors.

M: Light bodied, nice fine carbonation.

O: I like this quite a bit. The funk is really integrated, and the sourness is up front but not un-checked by great depth and oaky spice. I like the combo of clean, lemon-like sour flavors and a vinegary sweetness. (1,055 characters)

Photo of badboyrsl84
4.1/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I got this on tap at the Alpine pub.

It pours a murky brown into a tulip glass with a 2 inch head that dissapates quickly

Smell- vinegar, tart, acidic, cherries and other acidic fruit. Smells like sweet-tart candy.

Very well put together in the sour department. The body of this is well balanced making it a beer you could enjoy more than one pint of at a time

Taste - lots of tart and some cherries. Aftertaste of cherries and some residual tartness but fades away very quickly unlike a lot of sours I've had. (514 characters)

Photo of UMNbeerhunter
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Cigar City snifter on 5/2/11.

Pours a dark brownish color with red hues on the edges when held to the light. 2 fingers of bubbly light brown carbonated head that takes a couple of minutes to dissipate leaving moderate no lacing.

Smells very tarty. Sour raspberries and cherries. Very nice smell.

Taste is sour, wow! Cherry and raspberry tart all the way back. I am overwhelmed by the delicious and there are some other tastes present, some wood but ninety-nine percent is all fruity tartness. Very nice.

Mouthfeel is light to medium in weight. Tons of bitter/sour bite and a wonderful effervescent tingling dances through the mouth. Very refreshing.

Overall this is one hell of a beer. I have never been into sours and never got the hype but this beer has me believing. Thank you lost abbey for a very enjoyable brew. (836 characters)

Photo of CuttDeez
4.62/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle into a snifter

A - A clear red body with a slightly off white head. The red body is very deep and ruby like. The head bubbles and dies quickliy.

S - Bright cherries up front that fade to deep dark cherries in the back and a medium strength oakiness develops in the middle of the nose. There is a nice level of funk detected in the front, middle and back which hint at a sourness and some yeast funk in the taste of the brew.

T & M & D - The taste is very much like the nose. There are bursts of cherries in the front of the beer with some puckering tartness and some sour funk. Then the sugars come through mellowing out the tartness adn introducing a sweet cherry note. Then the oak kicks in on the back and mellows both tart and sweet to finish smooth on the palate. A depth of flavor and a complex taste profile make this a great beer to explore. The body is a light on the palate and carbination is detected throughout despite the lack of head.

O - A fantastice beer. The flavor profile is amazing as it explores tart, funk, sour, sweet, oak, and dark cherry all in one mouthful. Enjoy this beer!

-Cheers (1,120 characters)

Photo of hellbilly
3.68/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

idk where this bottle came from but it's been in my fridge for a year now (2008). muchas gracias to the soul who left it behind...

it's been sitting so long that the cork bomb was no issue... dark orange brown color with no head and lots of clumpy yeast.

smells a bit like pickling spice/pickles or that strange funkiness that a lot of red burgundies get before they get a chance to open up... cinnamon, wet cement, fruity/cherry tart though not quite sour and malty sugars yet it's very dry.

it tastes very 'green' from young barrels and quite tannic. though i'm not sure whether the tannins dominate from the wood or cherry skins (it really doesn't matter)... also, faintly malty and oaky with a cinnamon-y brett-like stink on the finish which lingers on. medium body lacks a bit of richness. the mouth feel it is prickly and dry as it cleans the palate entirely.

not a whole bunch going on... seems as if something is missing. though, it is in no way a bad beer! 7/4/7/4/15/3.7 (988 characters)

Photo of 0110x011
4.14/5  rDev -1.9%
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. (630 characters)

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

Hank, once again, you are the man for throwing down for two bottles of this at the vintage bottle fest. 2008 vintage.

Appearance: Reddish-brown hue, almost brick-like with more orange hues in the highlights. Light, wispy head that evaporates quickly but laces nicely. Head is a little off-white and stays pretty tame.

Smell: Lactic sourness comes through in a funky, cherry, oaky, and slightly sweet manner. The beer has had nearly two years of cellaring, and the funk is very alive and well, that's for sure. Cherries come through more as it warms up a tad, and sourness is pucker-inducing from the smell. Similar in nose to La Roja from Jolly Pumpkin, but more cherry.

Taste: The funky, sour cherry smell is no illusion, and the taste comes immediately with some vinegar acidity, sour cherry, oak, and lactic sourness on the finish. Roundly interesting, and I kept muttering to myself about how interesting it was. Complexity is high, and the subtle profile only becomes more nuanced as it warms up. Not as much brett funk as lacto, and the sourness reflects the yeast more than the cherries. Oak is more in the finish than immediate.

Mouthfeel: Not quite spritzy, and carbonation was pretty light. Sourness is not bracing but more puckering, and oaky finish is pleasant, but after the first glass and warming up, it becomes slightly less original and a bit more dominant than the vinegar sweetness and cherry sourness.

Drinkability: Drinks above the ABV in flavor, and really very similar to something like Cuvee de Tomme, except with less hints of booze. Sourness is light enough to drink a good amount, as is the ABV, but the flavors do run together a bit by the end. Still, an excellent little sour that if more readily available probably would have a few purchased of it, but with La Folie being half the cost and infinitely more available, I'd probably stick with it first. (1,887 characters)

Photo of GuzzLah
4.36/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A - pours a hazy dark red- brown with a big flufly tan head and nice lace.

S - very pleasant aroma of Roeselare yeast (barnyard, lacto, pedio) with soft floral hops, bubblegum, cherry and a hint of coconut from the barrel. Not intense, but a pleasure to whiff.

T - like the aroma. It has a nice balance of the typical Flanders flavors and none of them completely trump the others. The sour cherry and lacto stand out a bit. The vinegar character is subdued compared to many Flanders ales, but it's definitely there.

M - medium body and creamy with robust carbonation. It has a nice sour cherry finish that isn't over the top. If Oude Tart is an 8/10 on the sourness scale, then Red Poppy is 6/10.

O - as a Flanders fan, it's hard to find a fault in this beer beyond the $16/12oz. price tag. I'd rate it higher, if it had a little more vinegar in the flavor, but really enjoyed it "as is". There are more assertive Flanders at much lower prices, but this beer made me appreciate balance for the style. If money and variety weren't a consideration, then I'd be glad to drink this quite often. (1,095 characters)

Photo of capeannbass36
3.58/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Cork popped like a champagne bottle. Immediate smell of sour cherries.
A- A murky dark ruby red, brown. 2 finger off white head that fades quickly. Light lacing.

S- Sour cherries....and I guess what some call "funk".

T- Sour, tart cherries. Some wood. Sour hangs around on lips and tongue.

M- Dry and crisp. Light to medium carbonation.

O- One of the more pricey beers that I have sat on for awhile. Having tried it, would not purchase again. Cannot justify the cost. (471 characters)

Photo of RidiculedDisplay
3.72/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Gabe opened up a bottle for us at Beachwood and passed it around. From notes:

Appearance: A dark rose red, fairly appropriate in that sense, but there's just no head or lacing. At all. The body's color is pretty, but this wasn't just a matter of having no head or lacing, it was a matter of the beer looking flat, to be honest.

Smell: Perfume, candy sugar, vanilla, licorice on the back end. A smell very reminiscent of some Flanders Reds I've had in the past, specifically Rodenbach, although this is an Oud Bruin.

Taste: Metallic on the front end, which really, really detracted. However, I was beginning to think this was an issue with the bottle more than anything. Grass, vinousity, sourness. On the back end/aftertaste is a very lingering and surprising butterscotch-like sweetness, however, which was really surprising and nice.

Mouthfeel: Slick, but way, way undercarbonated.

Drinkability: Perfectly drinkable - not too sour at all, in my opinion. However, the flatness of the whole bottle was definitely a let-down. (1,029 characters)

Photo of teamizm
4.15/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2009 bottle poured into a Bruery tulip glass.

Pours a nice, dark brown with almost no head at all. Some residual lacing lingers in the glass. Smell of cherries, citrus, and some brown sugar. Nice, mellow sourness with a nice amount of sweetness/maltiness. Cherry flavors are pretty apparent, nice lingering tartness.

Not as sour as I would've liked, but a very drinkable sour. I feel like it just holds back a little too much on the flavor and sourness, but still a very good beer. (485 characters)

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

A - Pours as a dark amber and mahogany with athick head of tan foam. Decent retention but eventually subsides to a fairly thick ring around the rim. Leaves some spotty lacing.

S - A complex mix of smells including malt and a strong cherry aroma from the bottle. Less fruity in the glass.

T - More malty character on the backend which slides into a slightly sour finish.

M - Lighter side of medium bodied. Slick watery mouthfeel with wonderful carbonation.

O - A well balanced and executed ale. (497 characters)

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

A- dark reddish brown with a half finger khaki head.

S- vinegar, cherries, funk, oak, and vanilla.

T- sour cherries, vinegar, oak, a little funk, mild vanilla.

M- velvety mouthfeel, strong carbonation and a nice puckering effect.

O- I thoroughly enjoyed this beer. With so much flavor it's hard to believe its only 5% ABV. This brew really reminded me of RR's Concecration which is a good thing. At 15 bucks for a 375 ml bottle it will be hard not to get a couple RR sours instead. (486 characters)

Photo of beerloverofbham
4.46/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured into a tulip.
This beer has a foamy, cloudy head that sinks quickly in the liquid. The color is that of slightly-muddled iced tea; some cloudiness, but not much. Funk is the primary aroma here, like well-ripened Roquefort, but a second after it smells slightly like caramel. Excellent carbonation, resonating on the tongue, but dryly. It's not as tart as I expected, considering the style, but it's very sophisticated; some flavors almost go undetected. I get tastes of lemon verbena, Merlot, blood orange, and balsamic reduction. I'm drinking this a little too quickly, but can barely contain myself. (609 characters)

Photo of nova009
4.2/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a corked and caged bottle into a snifter

A- pours a dark murky brown, red tints appear when held to light, very little head but what is there is popping with carbonation bubbles, spotty to little lacing

S- woah, you get hit with a lot of oud bruin type funk right off the bat, vinegar, slightly fruity, my mouth is watering, would have liked to have gotten more cherry in the nose

T- wow, tart tart tart, funk is strongly apparent, mouth puckering, vinegar, tart cherry, one of the most sour beers ive ever tasted and i love jolly pumpkin beers

M- medium body, pretty high carbonation, dry wine-like finish

O- I like this beer a lot, it is not the best of the style, that being said it is still delicious and its one of the most sour beers ive ever had, the big thing that would keep me from buying this again is the price, way too high for a 12.7oz bottle, other than that it was a pleasure to drink (917 characters)

Photo of Cheesemoose
4.23/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Murky brown pour with a dark ruby essence. Bubbly white head rises, though dissipates settling into a fine film. Lacing is splotchy.

Smell has a great funk, with a nice sweet backing. Balance in a sour? I dare say so. Cherry tartness is well balanced against the oak mellowing.

Funk is well mellowed, providing a nice gateway for the cherries. Sweetness is muted, giving a nice balance. Earthy undertones in the finish.

Oily mouthfeel, leaving a nice resonance. Very nice, mellow and a great symbol within the style. (522 characters)

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

Thanks again scray24.

The lackluster pop and virtually no head was not a good sign for the carbonation.

The aroma was of cherry with a slight vinegar hint.

The taste was very nice of cherry, oak (a little too much) and sour funk. I found it a little too dry, I think if it was a tad sweeter and morre carbonated this beer would have been a grand slam.

Very drinkable except for the flatness. (395 characters)

Photo of Sixofsigmas
4.8/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance is brownish-red and murky with a dirty white thin head that recedes relatively quickly. Small amount of lacing around the glass.

Smell is sexy. Vinegar, cherries, earthy, very fragrant.

Taste kind of surprised me. It's a mild sour that is very pleasing to taste. Strong cherry notes dominate, but there's some earth, some oak. Begins sweet and finishes with a crisp tartness... Vinuous is a good adjective... sorry I stole that one from the other reviews, but it's better than "wine-like"

Mouthfeel is crisp and carbonated, oily, tongue humbling.

Dangerously drinkable! At least IMHO... Very pleasant to me, and I think I could down this like a non-alcoholic soda/juice even though I prefer to enjoy it slowly over time. (736 characters)

Photo of JonathanC
4.93/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Red poppy ale is a very hard beer to come by and finding it was indeed tough. Hearing all the hype from a friend that was aging his batch in a brief case, told me his story of how he won a drawing at The Lost Abbey and had the opportunity to purchase them. This just shows how rare these bottles are.

Opening the bottle you can smell an array aroma of a great handful of cherry and sour.
This beer is indeed top notch and the sour in this beer is not to overbearing at all. There is a hint of cherry that jumps in to grab you as it hits your pallet. I would NEVER pass this beer up, snag it in a heartbeat. (607 characters)

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

A- Poured from a 375ml bottle. I had this beer with some friends at a restaurant and there is a big difference in appearance depending on where your pour comes from in the bottle. Bright ruby from the top and much more brown and murky from the bottom.

S- I got a lot of sour notes in this beer. I also get cherries and dark breads from the yeasts.

T- I really love this beer. I should say I didn't always like cherries but this beer and a few other lambics changed that. This is an incredible Belgian-style sour. You get many sour notes from the bacteria but not an astringent taste. There are also some sweet malt and cherry flavors that come through also. This beer is a great balance of sweet and sour.

M- A nice level of carbonation in this beer. A bit syrupy but not overly sticky.

D- Keep bringing them on. This is a great beer and it is only 5.5% alcohol so you can drink this all night. If you can find that much of it! (931 characters)

Photo of Adrianized
4.46/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter.

Pours a dirty red-brown in color and only a very thin ring of a head clings to the glass.  No lacing.

Huge sour funk escapes my snifter.  Lots of tart cherries, maybe even chocolate dipped cherries.  Absolutely no denying the oak barrel treatment here.  The sourness is actually so strong that it seems to singe my nose.

Right up front are cherries, this is actually the cleanest, crispest cherry taste I've experienced in a beer.  Slightly tart and sour, but not mouth puckeringly so.  Big oak undertones.  It finishes tart and funky.  Beautiful.

Mouthfeel is amazing on this one.  Medium-full body and a champagne-like effervescent carbonation.  The carbonation really shines... It let's the flavors flirt with your senses.

This is my first Lost Abbey beer, and overall I thought it was amazing.  I really need to seek out more Flanders Reds and Flanders Ouid Bruins; this and CL Rosso E Marrone are among the best sours I've had the pleasure of having. (994 characters)

Photo of alexhahn82
3.13/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Brownish red almost grape juice like color. very light lacing. This is the first Lost Abbey beer I have ever had that popped when uncorked and also had a head (Poured at an elevation of 2500FT or so in Emmet Idaho.)

S - Powerful sourness in the aroma. A sweet smell with a mild cherry smell on the end. Definitely a lot of hints of fruit like scent, kind of similar to smelling a %100 fruit rollup.

T/M -- Light in viscosity at first with a definite upfront flavor of the brown ale. Middle shifts to tartness and definite carbonation with a semi acidic finish. After the palette adjusts from the sourness the presence of cherries is prominent as well as the oak showing up about halfway through the bottle (possibly due to it acclimating itself to a room temperature.)

O - This beer is a very well played sour (though I am NOT a fan of sours. Nice cherry and oak flavors, thats about it with a huge smack of of sour, don't seek and don't destroy.

PP (Price Point) - $18.99 for a 375ml caged and corked bottle is super, super overkill in price. I am not a big sour fan, but this continues on with the trend of Lost Abbey having underwhelming beers at overwhelming prices. Would be more appropriatley priced around $6-$8. (1,227 characters)

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

Tasted blind as part of Blind BIF 5, courtesy of sholland119. Poured into a snifter.

A - Looks dark brown, but glows a deep ruby when held up to light. A lot of carbonation and a few fingers of fizzy-looking head which actually sticks around a while and leaves some lacing (better than the fizziness led me to expect).

S - Cherry tartness, some sour funk. Smells like a kriek lambic, actually, but that doesn't line up with the color. Pretty tasty.

T - Lots of sour, funk, and cherry tartness. All in all, pretty dry, but there's some sweet, tasty malt underneath, as well. This is really good! Not incredibly complex, but it's very nice.

M - Smooth and rich, but not at all heavy. Just about what I'd want a sour to be.

Overall, I like this one a whole lot. I'm guessing an American wild, probably made with cherries.

Non-blind comments: This was both my first Flanders red ale and my first from Lost Abbey. I'll be seeking out more of both! (948 characters)

Photo of davod23
4.49/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from the bottle into an oversized wine glass. 2009 edition. I've heard that this beer goes downhill in the months after release - luckily, this has been fridged since last winter.

It pours a clear, dark auburn. Minimal (and I do mean minimal) cream colored head forms, which dissipates to nothing but the thinnest of collars and some cloud-like wisps on the top of the brew. This is okay, but could be improved with evidence of more ample carbonation.

Smell is great. Sour cherries dominate, but there's a complex background of oak, vanilla, and a light funkiness that wraps around everything.

Taste is similarly great. Sweet red cherries hit the palate first, followed by a slight vanilla and oak tinged sourness. It's less of a sourness, actually - I think that "tartness" describes this beer better. It finishes quickly, but leaves a lingering trace of light sour behind.

Mouthfeel is fine. Basically, it's just barely carbonated enough to be good. One less bubble in this brew, and the beer would suffer. That said, a bit more carbonation would be better for this brew, IMHO. Of course, this is Lost Abbey, so I'll take what I can get in this department.

Drinkability is excellent. I wish this was in bigger bottles, because I would polish it off with no problem.

Very good beer from Lost Abbey. This might be the sole purchase I make at their brewery this upcoming year, as it's one of the better Flanders ales that I've ever had. (1,450 characters)

Red Poppy Ale from The Lost Abbey
94 out of 100 based on 559 ratings.