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Red Poppy Ale - The Lost Abbey

Not Rated.
Red Poppy AleRed Poppy Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

559 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 559
Hads: 1,826
rAvg: 4.22
pDev: 9.24%
Wants: 566
Gots: 570 | FT: 40
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: 559 | Hads: 1,826
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 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 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 SQNfan
3.74/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The poured murky burnt red to brown in color with a very thin head that dissipated pretty quickly. The nose showed some funk along with red fruit and spice (cinnamon, pepper). In the mouth it was tart and dirty showing more funk than the nose would suggest along with less fruit. There was a distinct bitterness that began in the midpalate and lingers on. The acidity in the midpalate was very well integrated and overall the midpalate was well balanced but gave way to the bitterness in the finish. (499 characters)

Photo of J-Rye
4.81/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Look: Bigger bubbles than expected, not too much lacing, a very hazy but very nice mahongany.

Smell: Beauftiful malty, salty sour scent, funky oak. Can't wait to taste.

Taste: Pow! Rush of tart. Overlayed by nice malt. Fruit peaks through. Then there's something interesting I've never quite tasted before. Another review wrote balsamic vinegar, but it's less sweet, more subtle umami in the background. Shadowy, mysterious. Holy smokes this is a fantastic beer.

Feel: Sharply carbonated. Dry finish, nice linger.

Overall: Whoa, better than anticipated, even for Lost Abbey! (590 characters)

Photo of kleffman
4.35/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Finally got a whole glass of this during the O'Briens Lost Abbey night during their anniversary month. This was described as a special double cherry blend of red poppy, special for the night. Poured into a Chimay glass with zero head and a cloudy reddish color.

Smells of sour cherry, lactic acid and oak/woody aromas.

Tastes like a sweet and sour cherry with hints of vinegar, no real alcohol presence and some sugary flavors to balance it. Tart, sour cherry and some vanilla to round it out.

Decent mouthfeel for a flanders style sour beer, but nothing incredible and the drinkability is extremely high. I think this would be a good gateway sour beer, and the only reason I didn't get a refill was to spread it around a little more. There wasn't a ton available. Overall very excellent beer, and will always seek out. (822 characters)

Photo of mj001jk
4.38/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A pleasant nose with tart, black cherries and dried figs, with mineral and vanilla oak overtones.

Flavors are rich and coat the palate with tart, yet ripe cherries and green apples providing lots of acidity. After the initial mouth-puckering, it gives way to a long and seductive sweetness, fruits and finishes with dry tannins.

It is hearty yet refreshing, delicious from beginning to end.

I already yearn for next time... (426 characters)

Photo of antilogic
4.47/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Taster @ LA Barrel Tasting Night II. Tomme said the version we had was not as sour as the 2009 release will be. Too bad, I thought it was fantastic as is.

Hazy red/brown color with a minimal white head. Smell was of cherry, oak, fruits and a slight sour funk. Slightly sour, but well balanced and very drinkable. I quite enjoyed it and will do my best to get my share next release.. (383 characters)

Photo of RyBrew54
4.04/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy red amber with puffy beige head. Nose is slightly sweet and funky, yet very light overal. Notes of light cider vinegar, cherry, and candy. Taste is tart cherry up front, not overly sour, with sweeter malt backing. Body is is lighter and brew is loaded with sediment. Overall a very solid and a well rounded wild ale. (331 characters)

Photo of EGledhill
2.86/5  rDev -32.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Bottle obtained in a trade with numbeercruncher. Damn fine trader.

Poured into chalice glass

A. Cloudy brownish body, no head. Looks semi appealing.

S. Smells like sour cherries and feet. I'm not really feeling this is my type of shit.

T. Yep... Definitely not my shit. Taste like old sour cherries, I dunno, plastic maybe, vinegar, oak. It's on point for the style but damned if I like it

M. thin

D. Fuck that. It pretty much taste like eating a cherry dipped in vinegar.

So this will probably be my last attempt at any "sour" beer. I'm sure some people get down with this style but not this guy. I think I'll stick to stouts and IPA's from now on. (657 characters)

Photo of ALSAIL
4.24/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Fresh from tap, served in a tulip glass. Poured a light coppery brown with a fine head that lingered. Smelled tart fruit, cherries and plums? Moderate to high carbonation, on the thin side. Tart sour cherries with oak in the back, dry tart finish. I'm not overly familiar with these, but I really enjoyed this one. (314 characters)

Photo of thickerfreakness
4.57/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This pours a nice, ruby red with a cherry tinted beige head that lasts for a while and fades to a film.

Smells first of sour cherries, then vanilla and oak, followed by some musty character. More musty smelling as it warms.

Well it smelled a lot more sour than it tastes and there was more mustiness in the taste as well. Not disappointing just different. A very enjoyable sweet and sour cherry taste up front that melds in with the vanillin and woodiness. Then a long lingering mustiness/bitterness stays on my tongue that is actually quite pleasant. A little more sweet vanilla and mustiness as it warms.

Nice and dry. Easy as hell to drink. I just want to keep taking sips but as its my only bottle I have to conserve it.

This is a really great Oud Bruin. I have only had one better and that was Aardmonnik but I will never get to try that one again haha. This one was just a really enjoyable beer. (905 characters)

Photo of EveningCordial
4.33/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into snifter from bottle.

A- Iced tea color, off-white head. Little lacing and tons of effervescence. Lots of yeast swimming in the bubbles.

S- Sour and tart nose. Cherries and fruit up front with undertones of noir grapes, wine, and raisons. Very dank and old smelling. Hint of oak.

T- Lots of depth here. Sourness up front gives way to a complex taste of earthy florals, slight cherries, tart fruits, wine, vinegar, and alcohol present. Little to no aftertaste.

M- Light to medium bodied, lots of carbonation helps move the tartness around in the mouth.

O- Pleasure to drink and quite enjoyable. If you like a sour ale, this is it. Im not a huge fan of cherries so I was happy when the smell of them was there, but not so much in the taste. Taste brought me back in time for some reason, very old tasting and earthy with a smooth finish once you get past the initial tart. Also tastes a little wine-like. My biggest complaint was the price of this bottle. I dont think I'll shell out the money again so unfortunately this might be my one and only red poppy. Glad I tried it though. (1,097 characters)

Photo of steadydose
4.38/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

375 ml cork finished bottle opened with a pop. A little carbonation mist came out of the opening. Poured into a tulip glass.

A vigorous poor created a quarter inch thick head. A few bubbles clinging to the sides of the glass. Color is a cola brown-red, and light sediment is in the body of the beer. Looks nice in a tulip glass.

The smell was apparent from the get go, first sniff and tart sour cherry is the dominant smell. Fruity Esters are there in the background and as the beer opens up the sweet malt becomes detectable.

First taste and Red Poppy initially made my mouth pucker, and salivate. Tart cherries are dominant upfront w/ hints of vanilla bean at the finish. Overall tart and fruity, but in a good way.

The beer has a light body, and is undercarbonated, body seems to thin out even more with time.

I enjoyed this beer's complexity and suppleness. For me the combination of sour/tart/cherry and barrel aged flavor makes this a memorable beer. (962 characters)

Photo of nectar14
4.12/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Cloudy brown color. Off white head that stirs up with swirling, fades with sittin' still.

S: Nice nutty oak backing up sour bretty funk; very enticing.

T: Decent depth to the cherry, brett, and oaky flavors. Finishes a bit short in flavor, but the acidity lingers.

M: Medium to full in body. Pleasantly carbonated. Like the texture.

D: Sip after sip, this is one that goes down pretty easy and makes you want another.

Glad I got a chance to try this. Not many made in USA like it. (489 characters)

Photo of CurtisLoew
3.95/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Purchased at 99 bottles in Seattle. Drank in my hotel room out of the hotel bathroom glass (Oh the horror!)

My first lost abbey beer so i was pretty excited. I spent way too much for the bottle.

Pours dark red, light brown. Nice head/carbonation

Nice smell of cherries/vinegar/sour

taste sourness cherries vinegar oak. Pretty much like the smell. Good stuff.

Mouthfeel: good? Not really sure how to grade mouthfeel with this style.

Overall: Good beer. Not worth the price I paid for it, but I'm glad I tried it. I prefer the RR sours by a mile, they are world class. (573 characters)

Photo of Norsebrew
4.32/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this gem at the 4th Anniversary party.

Dark reddish brown color wth a small creamy head. Aroma is a pungent lactic character and cherries. The flavor is equally grand with sour tart cherries and a subtle complex mixture of vanilla, carmel, oak aged character. A very enjoyable sour ale that leaves you craving more! (322 characters)

Photo of Tiklmelmo
3.28/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Murky reddish brown. For the champagne cork, I was definitely expecting more fizz. Minimal off-white to light brown head.

S - Tart cherries dominate the nose, with some leather and earthy notes.

T - Puckeringly sour, almost unpleasantly so. Fairly one dimentional with some cherries and lots of vinous acidity. Not very balanced. No sweetness to speak of.

M - Slight slickness to the mouthfeel with low carbonation.

D - the 12.7oz is enough for me. The acidity isn't balanced enough to make this really drinkable.

Not bad, but definitely not my favorite. While I enjoy a good sour, this one is a little heavy on the lactic acidity without much else to back it up. (672 characters)

Photo of jonvan04
4.2/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a dark brown with a thin tan head. The aroma had the expected Brett notes along with some fig and green apple. The flavor was intense in a good way, some dark fruit flavors mixed with a decent amount of funk along with some fig and plum flavors. The mouthfeel left you with a thick coating of sourness on the tongue that lingered after it goes down. Overall this was a very enjoyable beer, however at over $20 for a 12.7 ounce bottle I don't know if I'd pick one of these up again. (488 characters)

Photo of Lledd
4.2/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12.7oz bottle served into Hill Farmstead snifter (two 6oz pours)

A: Deep clear red. It looks like dark red wine or red wine vinegar. Very small, quickly fading head. No visible carbonation. <4>

S: I can actually smell this beer while its on the table in front me. It smells like wine. Plum notes, sour notes, bright black cherry aromas. It's exciting to sample a beer with abundant aroma, which is why I gave this a four for smell. <4>

T: Tastes more like wine than beer. It has a very unique taste, especially the aftertaste. Very tart and sour. Dark sour fruit notes, black cherry, plum, apricot. Maybe some burnt wood? But the fruit notes are not obvious or out front. The aftertaste has a very delicate, nuanced flavor. It's best when I exhale through my nose. I can taste a floury (not flowery) sweetness, reminiscent of a sugar cookie, and believe it or not, almost a flavor of rose petals. Delicate is the best word for the aftertaste, which is where I think this offering shines. <4.25>

M: It has a champagne texture, but with finer bubbles. Its fizzy and quick to expand in your mouth. Very dry finish. I think the body of this beer is perfect for the flavor profile. It allows you to notice the features of the drink, without making them obvious. It's very fun. <4>

O: This is a great beverage. I would have liked a higher abv but I trust Port knew what they were going for. This isn't what you'd expect from a "beer" but it's a lot of fun to investigate thi with your senses. The features are there, and you have to go find them. I don't know if I'd buy it again at $16.99 but yum yum. <4.5>

Note: it often doesn't make sense for the "overall" to have a higher rating than any other category, but really the whole is greater than the sum. All of the features really play into each. It's like alchemy. (1,847 characters)

Photo of GrandCruDrew
4.07/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12.7oz bottle from 2011 poured in my New Belgium Globe. I'm in serious need of a Lost Abbey stem. Pretty naustalgic beer always. I had the very first bottling of this beer that was giving to Ron Jefferies from Tommy. Ron and I shared this as well as a few others.

A- Dark brown in color, a good 1inch head with little retention and lacing.

S- Yum! Farmhouse, brett, Sour cherries, caramel, toffee, bubble gum, a very good fruitiness and some spice. Equivalent in the wine world of a rustic Rhone!

T- Taste resembles the nose, with maybe falling a little short of the nose. Maybe when it warms. The cherries dominate the palate with a good acidity and oak flavor.

M- The palate runs a little short for me. I think it needs to develope in the bottle a bit longer. It has a very short finish with only the cherries lingering.

Overall- Great beer. It just falls a little short in the Sour Brown Cherry notes category. I could smell it all day however! (952 characters)

Photo of HopHobo
4.18/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Received this beer in a trade with m1ked

A - Poured a reddish brown. Poured into two seperate glasses for my wife and I. The glass with the yeast was a totally different color.

S - smells of cherries and esters

T&M - pretty outstanding, I've had quit a few wild ales from Jolly Pumpkin Brewery. This beer is not as sour as those beers, but I think that compared to 90% of those beers this one is easier to drink. Tastes of sour cherries, very smooth on the mouth. Could sip it all night or slug it down in one gulp, Delicious!! (531 characters)

Photo of mutterfudder
4.07/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2009 vintage, opens with a dull pop, poured into an Allagash tulip.

A - pours murky brown with a reddish tint. No real head despite a vigorous pour. What little head there was disappeared within a second. Flat as a wall.

S - strong woody smell with some cherry flavors. mild alcohol-y sweetness, like a hint of vanilla.

T - pretty much the same the smell. Woody, oaky flavor with a tart cherry finish. There is the typical funky, earthy flavors of a sour/wild ale. All the flavors sit in a good balance, and isn't too sharp a lactic flavor.

M / D - Mouthfeel is slick with no carbonation. Would have liked to have some carbonation present here. Despite that, the beer is drinkable for the style thanks to the balanced tartness.

Red Poppy is an interesting enough beer, that could stand to be a little more effervescent. (824 characters)

Photo of SteveTheDog
2.75/5  rDev -34.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.5

I tried this out of a champagne flute, as per the recs on this site.

It was an effervescent amber color with an aroma that of course reminded me of cherries but also of something like a cherry lime rickey with some sweet tones but also a little bit of a smokey oaky scent. It's rare that I say this about a beer but the mouthfeel really came on strong before the taste with the carbonation. It almost felt like my tongue was being cleaned off between sips. After the cleansing of my palate, the tart cherries took over and left my mouth with a feeling of cherry liqueur feel.

Overall, I didn't totally enjoy the sensation, though I can see how some would. (659 characters)

Red Poppy Ale from The Lost Abbey
94 out of 100 based on 559 ratings.