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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
94
outstanding

1,641 Ratings
THE BROS
93
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,641
Reviews: 532
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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Red Poppy Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,641 | Reviews: 532 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of match1112
2.98/5  rDev -30.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

pours brown with amber highlights around the edges. alot of thick off white head that sticks around awhile. smells like red wine vinegar and wood. taste is sour tart cherries up front, then comes the wood, then theres the vinegar i smelled. has good carbonation but just feels watered down, very thin. i've had better beers of this style for half the price. cant get that vinegar taste out of my mouth.

match1112, Jul 21, 2011
Photo of Janeinma
4/5  rDev -6.5%

Janeinma, Sep 15, 2013
Photo of spoony
3.76/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

From a 375 ml bottle into a tulip.

A-The brew is murky and brownish in color with a ruby hue. There is no head to speak of and no visible bubbles. It is sort of ugly, but not a huge departure from the style.

S-The smell gives up a decent hit of cherries, some prune-flavored malts, some dry oak, a mild tartness and a touch of funk. It is a bit underwhelming compared to other, better examples of the style.

T-The taste tracks the smell with bing cherries, light oak, and pruney malts being the major flavors. The acidity is very mild and, to be honest, could be amped up to better balance the lightly sweet fruit flavors.

M-The beer opens with a quick wave of surprisingly assertive carbonation, but the bubbles fade quickly with a slick, watery finish.

O-As a Flanders ale fan (and on the date of the Tour of Flanders bicycle race, no less), I had hopes for this beer, but I am a bit disappointed. The flavors are not very complex and the missing tartness/acidity really hurt the smell and taste score. On the bright side, the mouthfeel is nice.

spoony, Apr 02, 2013
Photo of DustinSWB
5/5  rDev +16.8%

DustinSWB, Nov 28, 2013
Photo of vande
4.43/5  rDev +3.5%
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!

vande, Jul 13, 2012
Photo of AdamP
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

AdamP, Sep 10, 2012
Photo of jkball01
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

jkball01, Apr 29, 2014
Photo of JohnQVegas
4.43/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle into red wine glass. Thanks to Will (STLWill) for the chance!

Opens with very little pop, and pours a murky brown, a bit of a reddish glow to it. No head at all, but some stickage around the glass. Bottle, however, is absolutely gorgeous. Score reflects a combination of both.

Nose, however, is world class - beautiful initial hit of acidic vinegar, sour cherries, nice old oak, and very faintly, a nice, round, bready malt note that pokes its head out when the acidity has its fill. As it warms, the acidic vinegar moves towards a smoother lactic sourness.

Started drinking a bit on the cool side. Carbonation is light but not missing entirely - whether intentionally or by accident, it works. Light carbonation bite up front is supplemented by a nice acidic bite that really helps the feel along. Smooth lactic sourness up front, some vinegar, and nice sour cherry presence. Nice oaky presence smoothing out the edges, and an underlying bit of malty richness that lends a beautiful fullness to the beer. Top notch.

As noted before, mouthfeel is very lightly carbonated, with a nice acidic bite in the top/back of the throat, and a smooth, round body.

JohnQVegas, Apr 21, 2009
Photo of VonZipper
4/5  rDev -6.5%

VonZipper, Jul 28, 2013
Photo of Dreadnaught33
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A great beer, one of my favorites from lost abbey. For an Oud Bruin this has to be my favorite I've had so far in style.

A: Huge tan head with glass coating lacing. Maroon to brown hue with lighter brown highlights with a cloudy look overall.

S: Lactic smell mixed with farmhouse funky malt and some cherry and berry notes to sweeten it up a little bit. Oak barrel vanilla adds in nicely to the mix.

t: Tart berry and cherry taste with oak smoothing out the sourness nicely. Champagne grape notes mix with the dark cherry and semi sweet oak vanilla tastes. Bitter dry back to the flavor. caramel and strawberry flavors are also detectable in this very fine oud bruin.

M: High carbonation, sparkling feel. Still smooth and elegant though, the carbo seems to work with the tart flavors.

O: Really nice Oud Bruin, very excellent beer.

Dreadnaught33, Apr 11, 2011
Photo of chugalug06
4.43/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Dated 2011

A - Wow! What a head! Bottle easily influences itself... Brew has slightly dirty head due to yeast override... Very nice mahogany color with lots of browns and some reds.

S - Lots of big cherry! Also, smells like a dry-er sour... Vanilla and peach dominate the scent. Great citrus too. Not the expect funk scent.

T - Awesome sour cherry flavor! much more sour then the scent represents. Great smoothness and elegant brew. Perfect amount of tart. Better then La Folie...not sure how I feel about this.

M - PERFECT carbonation, couldn't be better. No bitterness and well done sourness...Perfect. Very dry and elegant, I hope to have this brew at my wedding.

O - One of my top five brews of all time. I will be looking for this one for many years to come. Fantastic brew.

2012 update: Big metallic scent, and more sugar then tartness. still good, but it gets knocked down a notch. Also, brew is SUPER dark ruby BROWN! Clarity seems to be in question. Much darker and lower carbonated then in years past. Still An awesome brew.

chugalug06, Jul 13, 2011
Photo of _morandi_
4.3/5  rDev +0.5%

_morandi_, Oct 02, 2014
Photo of russwbeck
4.43/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks go out to beerman4 for this.

A: Very brown pour with a small white head. Decent lacing, although the head dissipates rather quickly.

S: Really big sour smell. Tart cherries and vinegar.

T: Very tart sour flavor. Cherries predominantly. Pretty sweet also, very well balanced. Hint of warming alcohol on the backend.

MF: Really carbonated very well. Light to medium bodied.

O: I was really impressed by this. It has great balance between sourness and other tastes. I've had a bunch of sours I hated, not this one.

russwbeck, Apr 05, 2011
Photo of KickInTheChalice
4.08/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 375 mL bottle into a tulip. 2010 Vintage. Thanks to readbaron for opening this with me.

Appearance: This pours a hazy medium dark brown with a murky beet red tint that is more obvious at the edges. Although I started the pour gently, it took an aggressive pour right into the center of the glass to populate a foamy tan head with small but visible bubbles. The head fades at it's leisure, eventually leaving a ring around the edge of the glass and a few spots of lace down the side.

Smell: The aroma is the strength of this beer. Although for a Flanders Red Ale I would normally expect the aroma and flavor to be quite similar, the nose on this is actually more complex than the flavor. Obvious tart cherries are the first entrant into my olfactory system, but as I adjust I sense some oak, balsamic vinegar, and a bit of cinnamon. With a few swirls of the glass, a vibrant funk rises into my nostrils, adding further complexity.

Taste: A blast of tart cherries assaults my tongue up front with just a touch of balsamic sweetness, more of a pure sour flavor than I am used to in a Flanders Red. Once my palate acquaints itself with the flavor, I get nuances of oak and red wine in the middle, but the flavor pretty much has one gear -- sour and cherry. This bottle has a year on it already, which I imagine has led to it being more sour than when it was fresh, and I can't help but wonder if it would get better with even more time to develop.

Mouthfeel: The tartness up front causes my mouth to salivate profusely right away. There is no doubt that this has a strong vinegar character and a fairly acidic feel. Lots of tannins present at the end. The body is actually a bit lighter than I would expect from a beer of this style, with the carbonation falling into the abyss somewhere between creamy and crisp. A bit of creamy, relaxed carbonation would suit this a bit better.

Overall: When the bottle was opened I was pleasantly surprised by the depth of the aroma, only to be let down a little bit by the flavor. It was good, but nothing about this truly differentiated itself from other beers in the style. Why spend the effort to track this down and pay premium money for this when there are better options that are both cheaper and more readily available?

KickInTheChalice, Jul 25, 2011
Photo of BeerThursdays
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

BeerThursdays, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of avaldivia
5/5  rDev +16.8%

avaldivia, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of jtladner
3.5/5  rDev -18.2%

jtladner, May 18, 2013
Photo of dfillius
4.15/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter, and enjoyed it with a poached pear and apple cider and clove reduction food pairing. I waited in line for two hours to get it at the brewery in January.
A: Beuatiful ruby red. I'm sharing it with two others and I poured all the yeast into mine! No! Mine's cloudy and the others without the yeast are prettier. It has a thin lace, I would like more head.
S: Sourness, cinnamon, molasses
T: Paired well with the pears. Sourness with definite woody background. Definite cherry aftertaste. I'd like more fruit and less sourness please.
M: Very dry and bubbly
D: I'd like one more glass. I'm not feeling it at all. I wish I'd shared the bottle with only one other person! It's a small bottle for the price.

dfillius, Mar 11, 2008
Photo of Chingringo
4.75/5  rDev +11%

Chingringo, Apr 05, 2014
Photo of Scotchboy
4.15/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Review No. 450

12.7oz corked & caged 2012 vintage bottle, poured into a Jackie O's tulip.

A: Hazy, turbid pond-water brown, hints of blood red...initially a good off-white/yellowish head but it fizzles quickly away...not much lacing...carbonation appears good.

S: Tart cherry, red apples, hints of funk and vinegar, dark fruit, and some vinous notes.

T: Plenty of tart cherry notes but it isn't overwhelming...carbonation does a fine job of cleansing the palate...pretty tasty, and almost balanced...cherry, tartness, touch of lactic sour, funk, lemon, hint of oak.

MF: Tart, moderate-to-light mouthfeel, this thing is well carbed and feels light and refreshing.

O: A really nice beer, and pretty drinkable for the style; not too tart or overwhelmingly sour.

Scotchboy, Apr 26, 2012
Photo of LambicPentameter
3.93/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed out of a 12.7 oz brown bottle with cork and cage that has the contours of a miniature 750 mL wine bottle. No bottle dating anywhere to be found, but the label looks crisp and new, so I'm guessing my bottle of this winter seasonal is from the most recent winter (2013-14).

Appearance - Pours a murky burgundy-maroon body that lets very little light through. It seems like there is a fair amount of particulate suspended in the liquid as well--perhaps due to a careless pour on my part. Atop the body sits a tan colored head about a finger and a half thick with a mix of large and smaller bubbles making for a pocked surface. Eventually it settles to about a half finger of perma-foam that leaves almost no lacing on the side of the glass as I drink it down.

Smell - Definite vinous qualities abound, with notes of sour cherry and more generic fruit acidity, red wine vinegar and musty wood aromas. Some underlying funkiness adds depth to the smell, preventing it from becoming a sour bomb.

Taste - Unfortunately, the flavor is not quite as rich and complex as the nose suggested it would be. The dominant characteristics are the sour cherry fruitiness with some sweet n' sour notes alongside a brisk vinegar astringency on the palate. The oaky elements and musty funk are not quite as forward as I would have hoped. All the same, this is an incredibly tasty beer and I love the drying finish that leaves me seeking the next swig sooner than later.

Mouthfeel - Medium-bodied and high carbonation, with a prickly, actively carbonated feel to the tongue. As previously noted, the finish is quite dry, defiant to the sweet fruit that is used to make this beer tick.

Overall, a more than competent offering on the Flanders Red Ale style, and one that I would gladly buy again were there not a similar option that I prefer slightly that is more readily available and comes in a 750 mL bottle instead of a 375 mL and for only a couple dollars more. Still, one that any fan of the vast tradition of sour-tasting beers from Belgium should try at least once.

LambicPentameter, Apr 16, 2014
Photo of antoines15
4/5  rDev -6.5%

antoines15, Apr 16, 2012
Photo of Beerbuddy21
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

Beerbuddy21, Mar 10, 2013
Photo of Evan
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

Evan, Jun 14, 2013
Photo of IndyDad
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

IndyDad, Jul 22, 2013
Red Poppy Ale from The Lost Abbey
94 out of 100 based on 1,641 ratings.