Red Poppy Ale - The Lost Abbey

Not Rated.
Red Poppy AleRed Poppy Ale

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BA SCORE
94
outstanding

554 Reviews
THE BROS
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Reviews: 554
Hads: 1,815
rAvg: 4.22
pDev: 5.21%
Wants: 564
Gots: 567 | FT: 41
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: 554 | Hads: 1,815
Photo of cannabanaceae
4.15/5  rDev -1.7%
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.

Cheers. (802 characters)

Photo of yankeepride
4.2/5  rDev -0.5%
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. (981 characters)

Photo of BlastBeats
4.09/5  rDev -3.1%
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. (916 characters)

Photo of airohead2001
3.15/5  rDev -25.4%
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. (609 characters)

Photo of MEsoJD
4.17/5  rDev -1.2%
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. (1,206 characters)

Photo of Grabbin2nd
3.94/5  rDev -6.6%
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. (1,057 characters)

Photo of Popkas
4.24/5  rDev +0.5%
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. (529 characters)

Photo of srroos
4.37/5  rDev +3.6%
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. (1,043 characters)

Photo of WOTO97
4.3/5  rDev +1.9%
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 (456 characters)

Photo of heliosphann
4.15/5  rDev -1.7%
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. (1,240 characters)

Photo of sentomaster
2.33/5  rDev -44.8%
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. (443 characters)

Photo of fastpass17
3.57/5  rDev -15.4%
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 (309 characters)

Photo of GuinnessAtRogerWilco
4.47/5  rDev +5.9%
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. (1,298 characters)

Photo of sherm1016
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%
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. (474 characters)

Photo of Jammies
3.3/5  rDev -21.8%
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 (274 characters)

Photo of jwolfie70
4.2/5  rDev -0.5%
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. (575 characters)

Photo of Cakanator
4.8/5  rDev +13.7%
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. (297 characters)

Photo of CrazyLarry
3.45/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Not my style of beer. I think it is a solid Flanders Red. Appearance: dark murky brown ale; Light head; Heavy on the carbonation. Smell: sour cherries and good bacteria. Taste: sharp light and fast, acidic, carbonation, sour cherries was fulfilled, bacteria, no real finish very clean. Mouth feel: light and acidic. (316 characters)

Photo of kellyej
5/5  rDev +18.5%

This is my all-time favorite beer. I had it at the Publick House in Boston earlier this year. I would highly recommend Red Poppy to anyone who likes a good Flanders Red.
A: The color was dark brown with red highlights. The head was nice and foamy.
S: Strong smell of cherries with notes of plum and apricot. There was also something spicy or peppery in the nose as well as a bit of bubblegum.
M: Well carbonated, with a medium-light body. Nice dry finish.
T: Sour note well balanced with sweet, smoky flavor. I got lots of cherry and a little bit of bourbon and pepper.

Would love to trade for this beer! (615 characters)

Photo of JoeySchlitz
4.09/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

'09 from abfraser

A: Looks like murky brown juice when first poured with zero signs of life (i.e.. carbonation). As it sits, a light ring of carbonation forms on the edge along with a faint bit of lacing.

S: Rich sour cherries, with some vinegar lactic notes. Reminds me a little of Duchesse de Bourgogne, with a bit more toned down fruit up front. Also some red wine.

T: More sour cherries, fairly crisp and malt vinegar. The sourness bites at the back of your throat and leaves a puckering aftertaste.

M: Very light carbonation but there is just a bit to give the beer some levity. Could use a tad bit more and would be very good.

O: This is a tasty beer - kind of a mix between Supplication and Duchesse de Bourgogne. Not sure how much more pronounced the cherries would have been fresh but they are still evident. Another solid sour from the crew at L.A. (864 characters)

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

I got this via tayner (not to step on toes, but probably my favorite BA). It was the 2009 vintage in the 12.7 oz. bottle.

Going into this tasting, I didn't know that it was a Flanders Oud Bruin, and after drinking it, I still might argue that fact.

Poured into an oversized wine glass at a temperature slightly above 45 degrees. It poured with not much head, mainly just large bubbles slowly disipating. The lack of head puzzled me, because there were a large amount of bubbles racing towards the top of the glass. the body was a reddish orange, almost brown. Lots of floaters in this glass.

The smell was super tart. Lots of cherries presented themselves at first, but let in some leather, green apples, and vanilla in as it warmed. There wasn't a prominent vinegar smell that one would associate with the style here. Some floral and spicy notes came into the picture as well.

A mouthpuckering sourness once it hits your lips. Cherries and apples up front, with a slight dose of balsamic vinegar near the finish. The oak only began to shoe itself as it warmed. Missing the complexities that I like in these kind of brews.

Despite what seemed like a lack of carbonation, the mouthfeel was actually pretty good. I think the sourness was able hold up what little carbonation was in the glass.

Once this brew warmed up a bit, it became super drinkable. Probably one of the smoothest of the sour styles I have had to date.

I think this brew could probably age extremely well. It needs some time to let the funkiness set in and give it more of a complex taste. It's only downfall in my mind was the taste, but like I said, time might cure that. (1,646 characters)

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

Got this at the Release, had a few in line (thanks Port for the great service!) and got a few bottles. I traded away too many and wished I kept a few for myself haha.

Poured a pale hazy and cloudy brown with hint of red. No head at all. Looks like a nice amount of goop in the bottom.

Very pungent but pleasant aroma of cherries, a vinegar and sour bite.

Complex taste, an odd complex of sweet and sour. The sweetness is not sugary or syrupy, more refined. Definitely sour, almost astringent but not puckering. Nice cherry flavor that is in the back, not overwhelming or artificial tasting.

This is one heckuva beer, I think it can be great after another 6 months to a year. I hope Tomme and the Port make this an annual release. (735 characters)

Photo of Bajasith
3.73/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Picked up some of this brew at the Port Brewery Feb 13,2010 so we know it's as fresh as can be.

Popped it open Feb 17, 2010 and by the sound of the cork, not much cabonation in this brew. Poured into a snifter.

A: Poured murky brown with very small head, almost like root beer.
S: Wow, I can definitly get the whiff of the sourness that comes from those cherries and slight oak/earthy smell. Very interesting.
T: Actually quite acidic with sour cherry notes from start to finish. Get a slight viniger tinge at the end.
M: All I need to say is tart to almost lemmony with a small ammount of cabonation for full flavor to explode in your mouth.
D: Good beer but did not knock my socks off. The sour tart flavor is definitly not to my palate. If you are into trying somwthing very new, Red Poppy ale is the one. (811 characters)

Photo of Mages64
4.48/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to craytonic for this bottle poured into a tulip.

A: Dark red and brown with only a little head. No sure if pics are allowed but here it is seconds after pouring: http://twitpic.com/379up8

S: dates, prunes, grapes, cherries, cranberries, raspberries(one of those) and oak. Also sweet tarts. I feel like you can tell it is about to be a little sour.

T: Dr. Pepper with sourness and Oak and vanilla in the background. Sour but not too much. Finish is sweeter and woodier. cherries.

M: Delightfully carbonated(must have been fresh;) and sticky. Hits the back of your throat hard but leaves quickly and the only remains are on your tongue and lips.

D: It's an amazing beer but I'm not the right person to ask if I would drink it all night. Special occassion beer perhaps? MUST go well w/ chocolate!

Beer it Forward. (828 characters)

Photo of MtnSoup
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%
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). (165 characters)

Red Poppy Ale from The Lost Abbey
94 out of 100 based on 554 ratings.