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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
95
world-class

1,615 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,615
Reviews: 530
rAvg: 4.28
pDev: 9.58%
Wants: 520
Gots: 486 | FT: 34
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
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Ratings: 1,615 | Reviews: 530 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of rowew
4.3/5  rDev +0.5%

Presentation: Part of the 09 Sinners club, this is a 12.7 oz bottle corked and caged. Beautiful label with raised printing and metallic letters - but at this price point it better look good.

Appearance: Cork popped with a soft hiss. Pours thick and syrupy, but there is a bit of carbonation evident once its in the glass, but almost no head.

Smell: Bright sour aroma, but it isn't overpowering - there is a bit of an oak aroma there too (but not vanilla).

Taste: Very tart, what seem to be classic Flanders tastes - sour with a bit of fruitiness in there too. Mouthfeel is thick, but there is just enough carbonation in it to keep it bright.

Overall impression: This is a very drinkable beer - frighteningly so consider the price! A good example of an American sour, but I am a bit concerned reading the other reviews that they may have a quality control problem. I didn't see any of the sediment mentioned elsewhere, or have the carbonation problems. Either way - hope they get it straightened out, I've got a lot of money sunk into the Sinners club.

rowew, Mar 25, 2009
Photo of AdamP
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

AdamP, Sep 10, 2012
Photo of mjtiernan
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

mjtiernan, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of craytonic
4.23/5  rDev -1.2%

2009 vintage

Appearance: Very little head; deep, dark ruby-cherry-mahogany

Smell: Sour, hint of vinegar, dominating oak, and a bit of tart cherry. brown sugar, and good balsalmic vinegar. Not a bit of sweetness.

Taste: The oak is a little overbearing, it keeps most of the cherry and any funk from peeping out. This beer is also incredibly dry, I don't think there is a grain of sugar left. A few other flavors - brown sugar, balsalmic vinegar, cranberry, sour plum, vanilla, and a bit of dates. I wouldn't mind a bit more cherry.

Mouthfeel: A tad flat, even for the style. Could have used just a little more carbonation, would have greatly helped the mouthfeel.

Drinkability: Would be much better with at least some carbonation; but I appreciate seeing so much flavor in a 5% ABV beer.

craytonic, Jun 03, 2009
Photo of pknyc
4/5  rDev -6.5%

pknyc, Jun 06, 2013
Photo of jjayjaye
3.93/5  rDev -8.2%

2009 vintage. Pours a hazy orange tinted cider color with negligible head nor Belgian lacing. I would have scored it lower if not for the foggy residue swirling about that caught my attention. The smell is full on aggressive malt vinegar (where's my Arthur Treachers?) over sour cherries and dark grapes. The flavor and feel merge into an immediate bright tart burst that's notches shy of 'puckering'. Taste is a good mix of grape and cherries. The texture is light body cleans up quickly...almost dry, but the fruitiness lingers nicely. It's not flat, but the carbonation is hidden beneath the zip from the sour character. A reasonable drinker. Really glad that i had the opportunity to consider it...many thanks to bmanning.

jjayjaye, Mar 21, 2010
Photo of pwoods
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

375ml corked and caged brown bottle poured into a snifter. Notes.

A: A murky reddish brown pour. Medium head with not a ton of retention. A bit of lacing.

S: Nice tart and sour cherries with some currant and added citrus, maybe a light lemon. Lightly funky with the barnyard aromas. Lightly sweet in the back with a good brown base.

T/M: tons of tart and sour cherries. Funk is stronger than the first time I had this. Some tangier flavors, maybe strawberries and light mango. Good sweet brown base. Tart and sour level grows a bunch as it warms further, growing toward a cider vinegar. Body is medium or more and is very nicely smooth.

D: Drinking nice and easy though not quite as much as a lighter sour.

pwoods, Oct 20, 2009
Photo of RichH55
4/5  rDev -6.5%

RichH55, Aug 18, 2014
Photo of Duhast500
4.43/5  rDev +3.5%

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a Allagash flute.

The color is a brownish maroon with two fingers of brownish head that is quick to disappear leaving some nice lacing left on the glass.

The smell is has some malty flavor with some slight funk flavor holding in the background. There is a nice brett aroma coming off the nose that is giving me ideas of what to expect.

The taste is funk from the gate. Some sour fruity flavors comes out to welcome my tongue. There is a slight sour apple flavor that is the main flavor that is out in front but the sweetness that fills you from behind this apple flavor is more malty and filled with some slight grainy flavor. There some bitterness at the end to make its presence felt but the aftertaste kicks in quickly and is back to a nice sourness.

The feel of this beer is medium bodied but there still seems an almost light feel to the flavor that it is deceivingly lighter then the expected. A great beer filled with such nice sourness that it makes me want more.

Duhast500, Jan 02, 2012
Photo of spoony
3.76/5  rDev -12.1%

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 Beertracker
3.85/5  rDev -10%

From the website: 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.

Red Poppy Ale pours up effervescent with streaming bubbles that create a thin whitish head that dissipates rather quickly revealing a slightly hazy reddish copper-cordovan body. The moderately acidic, grainy aroma isn't overly complex but has a nice intermingling of floral-herbal (cherry blossoms, hibiscus, lemongrass), fruitiness (cherry pits, citrus peel, grapeskin-green plum), and funky wildness (earthy barnyard, haylike, horse blanket, etc...) with some mild toasted oak & warm vanilla wafer notes. The flavor starts off rather grainy (biscuity) with a mild fruitiness (cherry turnover, lemon rind, peach pit) and spicy hop bitterness that carries into an acidic, dry-tannic, and slightly yeasty finish. This medium-light bodied fruited American Wild Ale is very enjoyably, but lacks depth & complexity when compared to its Flanders cousins. For those that are Patron Sinners, I'd recommend enjoying a bottle now & cellaring the other one. Here's to The Lost Abbey and the Crusade.

CHEERS! Beertracker

*Taster's Note: Special thanks to beerhandy for sharing this bottle.

Beertracker, Feb 24, 2008
Photo of LambicPentameter
3.93/5  rDev -8.2%

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 vande
4.43/5  rDev +3.5%

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 VonZipper
4/5  rDev -6.5%

VonZipper, Jul 28, 2013
Photo of pokesbeerdude
3.38/5  rDev -21%

375ml bottle from Supermarket Liquors in Ft. Collins, CO. $15.79. Much thanks to all of those in my LIF post that suggested this as review 600, however I will consume this as 599. Into a NB Globe. Very attractive label, that is surprisingly devoid of text on the back. This bottle is noted as 5% abv.

A: Nice brown color with tons of red highlights, enormous off light tan head that keeps growing out of the upper ring of the glass. Pretty impressed by this head, as it has protruded a good 2 inches above the glass. Needless to say, head retention is a non issue. The overall presentation is that of a two toned Easter egg with a ruddy base and tan colored top. Most impressive looking beer from Lost Abbey that I've seen.

S: Definitely funky, much more on the cherry pie filling type of funk as opposed to the more classic barnyard sort of funk, definitely funky though. Smells quite fruity, cherry is dominant. There appears to be an underlying sweetness as well. Smells nice.

T: Nicely tart with distinct notes of cherries and vanilla, decent amount of classic sour notes, decent amount of acetone in the flavor as well. Cherry flavor begins to border on antiseptic/robitussin but never quite reaches that point. Nice amount of caramel malt and a nice sweetness to balance the tart flavors. This is not a bad beer at all, however, there is a distinct metallic note that I've gotten in both of the bottles of this beer I've tried. This is especially on the finish, the flavor is fairly brief on the tongue, but is enough to annoy me and detract from the overall flavor. This would be a solid 4.5 except for the iron aftertaste, which is gonna knock this down.

M: Lighter in body with nice carbonation, finish is just about right, slightly tart and fairly dry. Not bad.

O: For a beer that is priced in this range I would hope for something nearly flawless. The metallic flavor in this beer, at this price point is unacceptable, and I know this is not an isolated incident, as I've had this beer twice and have noticed this in each bottle. I really like the flavors, and think it would be in the top tier of American Oud Bruins if not for the off flavor on the finish. An enjoyable, but frustrating offering from Lost Abbey.

pokesbeerdude, May 01, 2011
Photo of IndyDad
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

IndyDad, Jul 22, 2013
Photo of ObeMaltKinobee
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

ObeMaltKinobee, Feb 15, 2012
Photo of CityofBals
3.25/5  rDev -24.1%

CityofBals, Sep 12, 2013
Photo of Ajlvt
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

Ajlvt, Sep 07, 2014
Photo of NickThePyro
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

NickThePyro, Mar 21, 2013
Photo of AKBelgianBeast
4.05/5  rDev -5.4%

Big thanks to SuzyGreenberg for this bottle.

Pours a very murky reddish brown color. Slightly undercarbonated despite a vigorous pour, but the small head that is there for a couple moments is stark white, but soon reduces to a ring around the glass.

Nose is chock full of flemish goodness. Lots of vinegary sourness and some slight cherry flavor.

Taste follows. A well made flemish for sure. Taste starts off with a nice little sweetness, but quickly profresses into that classic vinegary tartness of flemish brews. A decent amount of funk, and some cherry sweetness does peek its head out. Finish is the ideal amount of tartness for the style. Aftertaste is lingering tartness and slight cherry kick.

Mouthfeel is just about right where it should be. Aside from slight but definitely noticeable undercarbonation, not much to dock here.

Drinkability is quite solid for the style. abv is right where it should be and feels just fine. The carbonation does make it a tiny bit akward though.

Overall this is definitely one of the best examples of the style that is brewed inside US borders. Not alot of solid oud bruins being made on our soil, but this is one of them. If the carbonation could be modified slightly this beer would be that much better. This is no cuvee de tomme, but it is a great example of the style and a well crafted beer.

AKBelgianBeast, Jun 09, 2009
Photo of sideshowe
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

sideshowe, Nov 16, 2011
Photo of antoines15
4/5  rDev -6.5%

antoines15, Apr 16, 2012
Photo of SFLpunk
3.95/5  rDev -7.7%

#555!

A big thanks to forgetfu for this bad boy! 375mL brown glass high-shouldered cork & cage bottle. 2011 hand-written on the back.

Cork is hard to remove, really stuck in there. Big pop! Pours a super dark brown, fairly murky looking but not dull. 3/4 inch of khaki-colored head.

Nose is all about "cherry leather." Think real cherry fruit chews, or cherry skins. Some tanned hide, stewed berries, dried blueberries and tree bark.

Palate is super sour and crisp. All about black cherry skins, lime essence, stone fruit pits, sour peach. Reminds me a lot of Sour Warheads. Earthy barnyard funk starts to come out more as it warms up. Rawhide notes and bitter orange rind too.

Notes: A tasty brew, but not quite as exciting as I was hoping. I think it leans a little too dark cherry for me. Would prefer a brighter, "red-er" cherry flavor. And I know you shouldn't judge a beer by the name, but "Red Poppy" makes me think it will be lighter and more floral than it is...just sayin'.

SFLpunk, May 12, 2011
Photo of BeerThursdays
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

BeerThursdays, Nov 15, 2011
Red Poppy Ale from The Lost Abbey
95 out of 100 based on 1,615 ratings.