1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Red Poppy Ale - The Lost Abbey

Not Rated.
Red Poppy AleRed Poppy Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,562 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,562
Reviews: 526
rAvg: 4.28
pDev: 9.58%
Wants: 504
Gots: 482 | FT: 38
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:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Red Poppy Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,562 | Reviews: 526 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of VonZipper

New York

4/5  rDev -6.5%

07-28-2013 18:51:50 | More by VonZipper
Photo of Zimm

New Jersey

4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

09-29-2013 21:24:22 | More by Zimm
Photo of ObeMaltKinobee


4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

02-15-2012 07:41:30 | More by ObeMaltKinobee
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-16-2014 15:42:58 | More by LambicPentameter
Photo of sbricker


4/5  rDev -6.5%

11-14-2011 16:21:07 | More by sbricker
Photo of DeanMoriarty


4.55/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 120z bottle into a Chimay branded chalice.

A: Brown/copper - mellow head with small amounts of lacing.

S: Vinegar, cherry and vanilla with a nice strong yeast finish.

T: Sour cherry, somewhat tanic with a crisp woody finish.

M: Dry, light-bodied with nice carbonation.

D: Smooth and light. If I could afford it, i'd drink these all night.

One of the best beers in town at the moment. Worth every penny!

Serving type: bottle

06-05-2010 05:52:05 | More by DeanMoriarty
Photo of antoines15


4/5  rDev -6.5%

04-16-2012 00:09:03 | More by antoines15
Photo of JohnParadee


4/5  rDev -6.5%

06-02-2014 23:46:05 | More by JohnParadee
Photo of ritzkiss

Ontario (Canada)

4.3/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

375ml bottle thanks the great viggo - Cheers mate!

Pours a amber, dried blood color which at the top is crystal clear but with the sediment from the bottle, muddies things. A thin layer of head declines to a light collar.

Nose reveals some of the funkiest bugs I've smelt to date - just fantastic. Light vinegar and acidity, hints of wood and cherries.

This beer leans between the lines of a lambic, Flanders red and Oud Bruin - perhaps lacking enough malt presence to remind me of the classics in the Oud Bruin category. Nonetheless, nothing detracted on the score because whatever it is, it's tasty! Real fruity cherries, nice grassy funk with hints of barnyard, chewy wood, light sweetness, full bodied with jumping carb, light lemon-like acidic bite. Both refreshing and flavorful; well made, balanced, and appreciatively drank.

Serving type: bottle

02-19-2011 21:30:19 | More by ritzkiss
Photo of BradLikesBrew


4.38/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed this gem at the 2009 GABF. I enjoyed a couple samples on Thursday, but on Friday, when the line was inexplicably short, I easily had 3 or 4 pours. In retrospect, GABF is probably the best setting to consume beer from Lost Abbey. You know you are going to get a carbonated beer, something you can't take for granted with Lost Abbey. Of course, you don't have to pay for it either, which is nice.

Red Poppy was superb. Ample flavor here, but the biggest components are Oak, cherry and vinegar notes. The flavor is a fun balance of sweet and sour. I had multiple samples of this, Cuvee de Tomme, and Duck Duck Gooze. This was my least favorite of the three, but that is a reflection of how incredible the other two were. I would love to get my hands on a bottle of this, it was one tasty brew.

Serving type: on-tap

10-19-2009 15:29:17 | More by BradLikesBrew
Photo of alpinebryant


4.6/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Vintage 2010

Pours a cloudy raisin brown with a pretty active head that settles to a light tan lacing and white powdery looking bubbles.

Smell of strong sour cherry , raisins, oak and vinegar
Taste of a great strong tartness / sour cherry , brown sugar, oak barrels and vinegar. There is a high level of carbonation from champagne yeast I presume, and a thicker than I was expecting mouthfeel. This is great stuff, unfortunately only 12.7 oz which is all too easy to drink. I like being able to get a smaller sized bottle, just can hope it will one day be more readily available.

Serving type: bottle

04-20-2010 23:33:31 | More by alpinebryant
Photo of leinie13


4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

06-02-2012 00:20:57 | More by leinie13
Photo of dwagner003


4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

02-23-2014 01:18:08 | More by dwagner003
Photo of barleywinebrewer

New Hampshire

4.25/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

So I have the rare chance to try this neat beer. Knowing it's a sour / wild beer I'm curious how it will come across.

A - Pours with a fury but below gusher level. Color is a very cloudy reddish brown, nice light tan head, definitely had sediment get in the glass.

S - spicy sour notes, sour cherries dominate everything

T - Modest acidic sour yeasts (yum!), tart sour cherries, light sweet caramel notes, oak melded into a wonderful medly of liquid satisfaction.

M - light bodied, crisp tart sourness with a light aftertaste. nice steady tingly carbonation.

D - aside from the floaties reducing the visual appeal on this one, this drinks wonderfully! tarte, cleansing on the palate, light bodied and refreshing.

Ok, I think you get the gist. More breweries should make this style of beer!

Serving type: bottle

02-11-2008 19:37:22 | More by barleywinebrewer
Photo of meathookjones


3.75/5  rDev -12.4%

12-06-2013 18:12:40 | More by meathookjones
Photo of carteravebrew


2.25/5  rDev -47.4%

06-15-2012 23:26:05 | More by carteravebrew
Photo of TXhomebrewer


4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

03-16-2014 16:54:50 | More by TXhomebrewer
Photo of cestlavie

New York

4/5  rDev -6.5%

07-09-2012 03:48:09 | More by cestlavie
Photo of AdamP


4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

09-10-2012 15:00:58 | More by AdamP
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-02-2013 02:58:49 | More by spoony
Photo of PHBoiler


3.84/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Reddish brown body with some light white lacing. Smells of tartness on the nose. Not really getting the cherry in the nose or in the body. The acidity drowns out most of the flavors I was hoping for. Given the pricepoint, I'd expect more balance, more cherry flavor. Very acidic for the style in my opinion.

Serving type: bottle

11-04-2013 16:11:47 | More by PHBoiler
Photo of meatyard


4.72/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The cork came surprising me with what sounded like a gunshot.

Pours a gorgeous clear, red/mahogany with a 1-finger, light tan head that fell quickly to a ring & partial cover. No lacing but there is a nice, continuous carbonation stream rising from the nucleation point in my snifter.

The smell is some cherry, some wood, some vinegar and a bit of the funk.

The taste centers on the funk but all of the things in the smell surround it giving it a more than the sum of the parts quality.

Mouthfeel is effervescent carbonation, thinnish body and is pretty dry.

Overall: This is a solid beer, both for style and just in general. This is something that II wish came around more often and a little less expensive though I would still buy one once in a while at the going rate in Philly. Highly recommended for sour fans.

Serving type: bottle

06-26-2011 01:03:51 | More by meatyard
Photo of NickThePyro


4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

03-21-2013 03:04:19 | More by NickThePyro
Photo of Gatch


4.4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Beautiful brownish-amber. Like burnt sienna. Foamy, off-white head. Fades very quickly & becomes clear, bubbly liquid.

S: Funk, earth, vinegar.

T: Perfectly tart, funky, earthy. Thin but delicious. Very sour.

M: Smooth, delicious, and awesome.

O: Sours rarely seem to be complex beyond words like "funk" and such but this is damn good. I know that much. Pricey but it's a great beer to try once. Or twice.

Serving type: bottle

06-23-2012 02:55:35 | More by Gatch
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!

Serving type: bottle

07-13-2012 01:50:23 | More by vande
Red Poppy Ale from The Lost Abbey
95 out of 100 based on 1,562 ratings.