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Red Poppy Ale - The Lost Abbey

Not Rated.
Red Poppy AleRed Poppy Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

562 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 562
Hads: 1,850
Avg: 4.23
pDev: 17.26%
Wants: 570
Gots: 571 | FT: 43
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: 562 | Hads: 1,850
Photo of Adrianized
4.46/5  rDev +5.4%
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.

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Photo of alexhahn82
3.13/5  rDev -26%
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.

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Photo of abraxel
4.35/5  rDev +2.8%
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!

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Photo of davod23
4.49/5  rDev +6.1%
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.

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Photo of rmalinowski4
4.15/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy brown that shows a deep ruby color when held up to the light and has a two fingered tan head thar recedes slowly and leaves tons of lacing.

Smell is sour cherry and some funk. The cherry smell very strong and the funk is not that strong.

The taste is sour cherry with some funk, very similar to the smell. There is some taste of the Belgian brown underneath, but cherry overpowers everything. Very nice.

The body is light and there is tons of carbonation. The overpowering cherry taste with the high carbonation level make this a sipper.

Overall this is one of the best cheery beers that I have tried. Great cherry taste with some funk and good mouthfeel make this beer a winner. I will definitely seek this one out again.

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Photo of TheBlackMallard
4.15/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to ALECOHOLIC for this.

Pours murky amber with a small tan head that fades pretty quickly.

Smell: Tart Cherries, Apple Skin, Oak, Vinegar, Lactic Acid Sourness.

Taste: Sour Cherries, Lemon, Oak, Leather, Very Dry and Tart there is a bit of Fruity sweetness in there too. Medium Carbonation and Body. Very Refreshing.

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Photo of yankeepride
4.2/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 2 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

I'm pretty new in the world of sours, but this is exactly what I had in mind when I was jonesing for one tonight. I was hoping for a bit more crimson on the pour, because let's face it, I like to be shallow and judge my beer by its looks at first. It was more of a brownish color, with a hint of blood to it. I used a tulip, and it foamed up right away. I had to let it sit to finish the bottle, and as it fell, it left some nasty-looking splotches on my glass. Since the looks didn't quite work out, I had to go after the personality. First off, it just blew sour cherries in my nose, followed by a tart, sour cherry flavor, and then a crisp, satisfying finish of, you guessed it - sour cherries. It wasn't that eye-closing sour, but indeed it was tart. It didn't linger too long, leave too much of a puckering aftertaste, but instead was watery enough to do its thing and then pick up and go home. I genuinely loved this beer, but for the price, I'd only have it again as a gift.

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Photo of Kjanisch7
4.27/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A: A murky red-brown with a tan head.

S: Sour cherry with some funk. Had a far different, somewhat unappealing smell which was unlike most sours I've had. Made me unsure about the beer.

T: Super acidic with tart fruits. Some barrel taste coming through. Awesome sour.

M: Strong carbonation, but a nice medium body.

O: This beer was solid. Loved drinking it. The only thing that threw me off was the smell. Not sure if it was good that it didn't smell like a sour or not, but it wasn't for me. I typically enjoy the strong standard sour smell.

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Photo of cannabanaceae
4.15/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Vintage 2010 6% abv Snifter

This beer started with a nice pop of the cork.

A fizzy head dissipated to tiny brown ring around the rim. Brown to ruby red in color. Some moderate lacing.

Smell was wonderful, cherries with a sweet brandy barrel essence, followed by some sour funk.

Taste started out lighter than I expected. Cherry bitterness with a dominate malt flavor in middle of sip with just a touch of sourness at the end. Not much barrel flavors. Aftertaste has a touch of sweetness that lingers pleasantly in the mouth. fuzzy dry mouthfeel. Carbonation was great!!

This is a very drinkable beer, its a record breaking 71 degrees here in Seattle, and this is a perfect beer to drink in the afternoon sun. Seems to me, the flavors will develop more complexity in the future. Nice beer.


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Photo of BlastBeats
4.09/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12.7 oz. caged and corked bottle of 2012 Red Poppy - poured into my Lost Abbey San Marcos Tumbler.

Appearance: Red Poppy pours a smokey topaz color (reddish brown) with a moderately thin cap of foam.

Smell: somewhat funky tart aroma of "bug" riddled oak and cherries.

Taste: wow. I don't drink sours that often so the first few sips were pretty mouth puckering - thankfully my palate was able to settle in. A flash of sour cherries up front really seem to integrate well with the base brown. Lingering oakiness adds a nice finishing touch.

Mouthfeel: the carbonation really enables the fruit flavors to "pop" but it's not to the point of feeling spritzy.

Overall: as much as I enjoyed this one, I can't see myself buying a lot of it at 18 dollars a pop. It's kind of a "buy a bottle once a year" type beer. That said, it's a really well-made Flanders Red and I'd imagine it being a good candidate for cellaring.

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Photo of airohead2001
3.15/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Bottle shared with glazeman.

A - Run of the mill reddish/brown of so many sours that I've seen before. No head and no lacing.

S - Sour cherries, barn, and booze. OK, but not great.

T - Sour, citrus tart with some sour cherries through out and some biscuit in the finish.

M - Lots of carbonation.

D - Pretty drinkable, but limited by the sourness. This is a good beer, but not a great beer by any means. It doesn't taste unique or outstanding to me in any way. Compared to other beers, sure, it's better than most, but it's just another sour to me. Certainly not better than the sours from the RR series.

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Photo of MEsoJD
4.17/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

[Tulip Glass]

I: I'm familiar with Lost Abbey Beers, but I believe I haven't logged a review on any of their brews. My most enjoyed ales from them has to be their sours like, "cuvee de tomm". Anyway I picked up some of this Red Poppy Ale hearing of it's reputation. So lets dig in!

B: [5 % ABV 12.7 OZ Bottle date. none to be found] I really like this bottles subtle presentation. It's straight to the point(ingredients, abv, nice art, size, location, etc ), but does leave some info to be desired... No back story or bottle date.

A: A deep murky brown body with a foamy head, slow dissipation, and good lacing.

S: Smells of sour/tart cherries and plums. Pretty pungent.

T: Upfront your hit with sour/tart/acidic cherries throughout with subtle presence of oak in the background/finish. Bread malt and caramel can also be detected.

M: Medium body, high carbonation, crisp/slight slick finish, and low apparent alcohol.

O: Good beer that will satisfy your sour craving. The balance of cherry and oak is very nice. The attention to detail in this beer is very apparent. It would be amazing if it had a bigger since of caramel, but other than that, I'm satisfied. I would recommend and buy again.

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Photo of Grabbin2nd
3.94/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From Notes: 3/31/09
The Lost Abbey
Red Poppy 2009
Flanders Oud Bruin
5% Abv.
12.7oz. Bottle caged and corked into Allagash Snifter

Appearance= Zero carbonation (out of a Lost Abbey beer, what a shock). Zero Head. A thin white rim around the beer, if you call that head. I would say the head that this beer delivers is almost weaker than what my first girlfriend gave. Blackish beer with red hues. Opaque body 4 sho.

Smell= Smells like red wine. Cherries, a little funk to it. I like it, it's different.

Taste= Sour! Cherries, red fruits. I enjoy the sourness/tartness. It is a beer/red wine hybrid. The taste mellows out as I continue to drink it and my taster gets use to it.

Mouthfeel= Thin, just like the beer looks. Finish is good though. The taste lingers on the sides of the tongue.

Drinkability= I probably wouldn't have more than two at one sitting. I can't put it down long enough to warm up though! The smell, the appearance and taste tells me, red wine. The finish on the palate tells me, beer. Very interesting. Glad I got to try this beer.

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Photo of Popkas
4.24/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sharing a side by side of 2009 and 2010 with my wife - review based on 2010.

A: Pour is an auburn color with a very thin head. Note 2010 did open with a nice pop where 2009 was more of "pff".

S: Tart cherries, sour funk.

T: Strong taste of cherry and nice mouth puckering sour kick.

M: The mouth feel is thin, but there is some carbonation to it and I have no complaints. The 2009 is a different story, very thin and no fiz at all.

D: 2010 is drinking nicely. 2009 is still a tasty beer, just not as good as the new release.

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Photo of srroos
4.37/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Enjoyed on tap at the brewery release. Being towards the front of the line, I was seemingly one of the rare few who got a whole pint to enjoy.

Poured a hazy brown with a small head. Smelled primarily of sour cherries with a little funk. Nothing like Funky Barrel, but still appealing. Taste was initially tart with more subtle cherry, getting more funky and barnyard like as I neared the end of the pint and what was left warmed. As noted by others, the finish is on the dry side, which would have worked well if I wasn't so hungry at the time. Probably would have been even better with some food to compliment it. When I finished the pint I was both happy to be finished and sad it was gone.

Very good brew, and I'm very glad I got to try it, but not my favorite offering from The Lost Abbey. I got my four bottles, and have already traded one away to a nearby BA. I'll likely enjoy my bottles sooner rather than later given that Tomme says there was no brett added to the bottles, so I'm not sure that this will change much in the bottle.

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Photo of WOTO97
4.3/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: murky bronze with cherry syrup red tones, nominal head and lacing

S: red wine vinegar, cherries, fungal/earthy character, wood/straw

T: potent yet mild tartness, big mouthful of cherries, very light red wine vinegar on finish, very faint earthy/floral in background

M: very light stickiness in the back of the throat but surprisingly clean finish, light palate feel

D: amazingly drinkable, very mellow, approachable sour, cannot wait to have another

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Photo of heliosphann
4.15/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2008 Vintage. 375ml caged and corked bottle. Served in a tulip. Split with fellow BA infestaxion during our mini-barrel aged tasting.

A: Small amount of soapy head. Pours a sexy looking reddish brown. Leaves a nice ring around the top of the glass. Nice lacing that fades quickly.

S: Strong tart cherries, currants and plums up front. Underlying is a nice candied sweetness. Some vinegar, but not overpowering. A little oak and funky notes from the barrels.

T: Very similar to how it smells, but not as complex. The tart cherries and other various dark fruits are prevalent. Definitely some bugs from the barrels present, providing a little funkiness. Sourness kicks in towards the end, but there is also a some of the sweetness on the finish.

M: Medium bodied. A little syrupy, but the carbonation is ample enough to counterbalance it. Overall very pleasant.

D: This is a very drinkable Flanders with the low ABV and the sourness not being a pallet killer. I could easily drink a full bottle of this by myself.

A very nice take on a Flanders Oud Bruin by Lost Abbey. I would have liked a little more complexity in the taste, but overall I found it to be pretty solid. The availability and price tag is certainly a down side however.

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Photo of sentomaster
2.33/5  rDev -44.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

A- Minimal carbonation from the get go. A thin, cream colored head appears and disappears. Murky brown with rose highlights.

S- Vinegar

T&M- Vinegar. Nothing else can penetrate an overpowering vinegar. I can't taste the base beer at all. I can't even get any oak. A touch of tart cherries. Carbonation is almost non existent.

O- unbelievable, a $18 drain pour. Maybe this is a bad bottle, but I'm not going to spend money again to find out.

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Photo of fastpass17
3.57/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12.7 oz Brown bottle, corked and caged, 2011 vintage.

A: murky, mahogany brown with flashes of red; fading head

S: sour cherry, chocolate, caramel; oakiness

T: very sour, oak, tart, bitter cherries

M: coats entire mouth, tart, funkiness stays in your mouth

D/O: split a bottle; more sour than anticipated

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Photo of GuinnessAtRogerWilco
4.47/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

375ml corked bottle poured into a small Chimay chalice.

AP: Rusty brown colour with a 1/2" cream/tan head that dissipates to 1/4" with bubbles still escalating to the top. Nice lacing on the glass when tilted.
AR: Has that classic Flanders Red Ale aroma that I associate with German sourdough pretzels (the hard kind). Apple cider and other fruits like white grape and tart cherries are discerned as well with Belgian yeast funk.
T: Very very nice. A lot of what I got in the nose with grape and cherry skins prominent on the finish and tart apple flavour weaving in and out from start to finish. The sour note is just about right, not too strong but vivid enough for instant recognition and enjoyment. It starts strong at the beginning then softly fades but lingers throughout. Well done.
M: Assertive carbonation, acidic, dry and tart on the finish but does coat your tongue and teeth nicely with what bit of sweetness there is.
OV: A very well done Flanders style Red Ale that would match any from the region itself and I've had my share of them being a fan of sours. The flavours on this are very tasty and the sour note is just right with acidic tartness and not too much of a vinegar aspect. A definite sessionable sipper that offers good flavours and cleanses your palate at the same time.

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Photo of MtnSoup
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%
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).

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Photo of sherm1016
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2011 Vintage, received in trade with mikedashg. Thanks! Pours a ruby brown color with a big white head that recedes. Carbonation continues to bubble up from the bottom of the glass. Aroma is sour, fruity, cherry, funk, and wine. The body is a little thin on the palate with medium to heavy carbonation. No Flat Abbey here. Flavor is sour, cherry, a little alcohol. The finish is very tart. Not as easy drinking as some others I've had, but an excellent sour ale nonetheless.

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Photo of Jammies
3.3/5  rDev -22%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A-pours a deep brown with about an inch of foam. great retention

S-sweet with cherries

T-bitter and sweet. (yes, slightly bittersweet) a bit overbearing with the cherries, but overall not too shabby

M-thin and a little tingly on the palate

O-a bit too sour for my liking

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Photo of jwolfie70
4.2/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had last night during Valentine's dinner with the wife. Poured from the bottle into an oversized wine glass. It pours a deep ruby red, with a thin white head that didn't last long. The smell is of citrus tartness, yeasty funk, and spicy malt. The taste is pretty tart up front, with the funky yeast flavor and malt sweetness coming through toward the end. The beer had a certain spice to it that was nice. Overall a little to tart to drink too much of, and it is a little more refined (i.e. less funky) then some similar beers I have had of the style, still a fantastic beer.

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Photo of Cakanator
4.8/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Amazing at turkey day dinner. Pours a murky brown red with minimal head. Lacing is ecxellent smells like fresh cherries. So ripe and delicious the sour level is huge and bLanced. One of my all time favorites from la. The levels of sourness is amazing I think lost abbey hAs a winner with this one.

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Red Poppy Ale from The Lost Abbey
94 out of 100 based on 562 ratings.