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.

1,615 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,615
Reviews: 530
rAvg: 4.28
pDev: 9.58%
Wants: 521
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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Red Poppy Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,615 | Reviews: 530 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Mississipping
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

A: Pours a hazy reddish-light brown color with notable clarity, although some sediment at the bottle of the glass/bottle.  A large off-white head billows out of the body and lingers for quite a while before resting to a patchy foam.  Moderate lacing. 

S: Really pungent aroma comprised of vinegar, cherries, earthy and funky barnyard characteristics, and some oak.  Really a nicely complex aroma that flows out of the glass and can be picked up yards away. 

T: Vinegar and sour cherries up front provide ample sourness.  Oak and some funkiness linger further in the background, but mesh very well with the dominant flavors.  There is also a flimsy malt profile that provides a subtle sweetness, but it pales in comparison to the puckering sourness. 

M: Medium bodied with quite a bit of carbonation.  Spritzy and crisp.  Nice and tart and pretty drying at the finish. 

D: Absolutely delicious and very drinkable, however, it's great to sip on and enjoy the complexity and balance.  One of the best Flanders that I've had this side of the Atlantic.  

Mississipping, Jul 28, 2011
Photo of megahurts4
4.22/5  rDev -1.4%

The Lost Abbey Red Poppy Ale

Appearance: dark red, large head, and some good lacing.

Smell: flowery, cherries, and a malty yeast.

Taste: slight sourness, cherry sweetness, and a faint floweryness.

Mouthfeel: medium.

This is a very pleasant brew that is similar to sours. The cherry flavor isn't overbearing and is just enough for a good balance.

megahurts4, Jul 27, 2011
Photo of Florida9
4.22/5  rDev -1.4%

Tasted a 2008 and 2010 side by side

A: The 2008 is dark pastel chestnut brown in color. Forms a thin surface coating of head. The 2010 is slightly darker brown color, without the pastel coloration. Head is also livelier, but still on the small side.

S: The ’08 presents with an obvious sour tartness. Lots of fruit, particularly cherries and berries. The ’10 is less pleasant, almost dirty smelling. Still has the fruit, but it is less pronounced, and, surprisingly, less bright.

T: The ’08 offers up a pleasant blend of fruit. Sour cherries, raspberries, and a little bit of fruity wine like a grenache or beaujolais. There is a noticeable sourness, but it is not at all distracting. The ’10 is similar, but is more abrasive and less balanced. The sourness is more pronounced and comes off closer to red wine vinegar than red wine itself. The flavors do not seem to play as well together in the younger version.

M: Medium bodied and tart. Lighter carbonation. As with the taste, the ’10 is more abrasive and harsher on the tongue.

O: A very nice beer, but I obviously preferred the aged version to the newer, having found the flavors to mellowed, blended, and balanced more in the aged version. I guess the lesson learned is to let this beer sit for a few years to be fully enjoyed.

Florida9, Jul 27, 2011
Photo of KickInTheChalice
4.08/5  rDev -4.7%

Poured from a 375 mL bottle into a tulip. 2010 Vintage. Thanks to readbaron for opening this with me.

Appearance: This pours a hazy medium dark brown with a murky beet red tint that is more obvious at the edges. Although I started the pour gently, it took an aggressive pour right into the center of the glass to populate a foamy tan head with small but visible bubbles. The head fades at it's leisure, eventually leaving a ring around the edge of the glass and a few spots of lace down the side.

Smell: The aroma is the strength of this beer. Although for a Flanders Red Ale I would normally expect the aroma and flavor to be quite similar, the nose on this is actually more complex than the flavor. Obvious tart cherries are the first entrant into my olfactory system, but as I adjust I sense some oak, balsamic vinegar, and a bit of cinnamon. With a few swirls of the glass, a vibrant funk rises into my nostrils, adding further complexity.

Taste: A blast of tart cherries assaults my tongue up front with just a touch of balsamic sweetness, more of a pure sour flavor than I am used to in a Flanders Red. Once my palate acquaints itself with the flavor, I get nuances of oak and red wine in the middle, but the flavor pretty much has one gear -- sour and cherry. This bottle has a year on it already, which I imagine has led to it being more sour than when it was fresh, and I can't help but wonder if it would get better with even more time to develop.

Mouthfeel: The tartness up front causes my mouth to salivate profusely right away. There is no doubt that this has a strong vinegar character and a fairly acidic feel. Lots of tannins present at the end. The body is actually a bit lighter than I would expect from a beer of this style, with the carbonation falling into the abyss somewhere between creamy and crisp. A bit of creamy, relaxed carbonation would suit this a bit better.

Overall: When the bottle was opened I was pleasantly surprised by the depth of the aroma, only to be let down a little bit by the flavor. It was good, but nothing about this truly differentiated itself from other beers in the style. Why spend the effort to track this down and pay premium money for this when there are better options that are both cheaper and more readily available?

KickInTheChalice, Jul 25, 2011
Photo of readbaron
4.03/5  rDev -5.8%

2010 vintage - poured into portsmouth tulip.

Pours out a somewhat murky reddish brown with a small ring of white bubbles - no foam or lacing.

Smell is good - sour, acetic, cherries, some oak, occasional hints of solvent, and quite a bit of funk when you swirl the glass.

Taste is more straitforward than the nose - no funk to speak of - just sour with cherries. A couple sips here and there had something odd going on - ashes/solvent finish - but that was the exception, not the rule.

Mouthfeel is decent. A little flat and heavy. Not as crisp and refreshing as some sours can be.

Overall, a tasty beer. I'm glad I have another, but I don't know that it's worth the $16 price tag. Probably won't seek this one out in the future.

readbaron, Jul 25, 2011
Photo of TMoney2591
4.33/5  rDev +1.2%

Served in a small tasting glass and a Dogfish Head shaped pint glass.

Thanks to the Central PA group of the Gang Bang BIF and to AleWatcher for these bottles!

Tasted a 2008 vintage (courtesy of Jeff) alongside the newer vintage from the BIF. Both pour a cloudy russet-sunset sienna topped by a half-finger of dirty cream foam. The nose of the '08 comprises light vinegar, cherries, cinnamon, raspberries, and a rich red wine. The newer vintage, on the other hand, comprises red apple, cinnamon, maple syrup, oak, graham crackers, and light chocolate. Definitely more tart fruit in the aged version. The taste of the '08 holds notes of tart-ish black cherry, raspberries, black currant, light cocoa, graham crackers, cinnamon, and clove. The newer version is somewhat similar, with notes of tart cherry, black currant, mandarin orange, clove, and sharp raspberry. Both bodies weigh in at light medium, with a very light moderate carbonation and a sticky finish. Overall, a great beer with or without a few years on it. I think I prefer the older vintage, but it's not too big of a disparity.

TMoney2591, Jul 25, 2011
Photo of birchstick
4.08/5  rDev -4.7%

A - pours a murky brown with a creamy taupe head

S - smells of cherries with caramelized brown sugar and a tinge if oak

T - starts of with mouth puckering cherry tartness. This dances around the tongue a bit until some caramelized brown sugar and a touch of vanilla enter but are overtaken by sour citrus notes. A lingering oak and a tinge of vinegar is on the finish. It is like a cherry pie filling in liquid form, pretty solid.

M - a little thin on the carbonation but it works well with this as it complements the medium body.

D - this is a solid Flanders red. The cherries really popped out ofthis one and made this one of the better beers I have had from Lost Abbey. Recommended!

birchstick, Jul 23, 2011
Photo of Jayli
4.3/5  rDev +0.5%

Poured in to my Portsmouth tulip

A: This beer pours a deep, hazy, ruddy brown with a two finger of khaki colored head. Head recedes at a moderate pace and leaves wispy lacing on the glass.

S: Nose is tart soured cherries, oaked vanilla and light mild hints of hay or earthiness.

T: Taste starts with a bit of funk, hay and earthy, grassy notes before the sour comes through. Sour cherried notes really peak in the middle but are quickly balanced out with an oak, vanilla, and perhaps even a mild hint of ... I can't place it, possibly amaretto, light mocha like quality.

M: Medium body, moderate to higher carbonation, crisp, slightly prickly on the back of the throat with a dry finish.

O: Goes down easily, tasty, mildly filling, mild kick, very drinkable representation of style. This is the first that I've had from The Lost Abbey and I am rather impressed. I'm not sure this is worth its price tag, but based on taste alone, I would most certainly drink this one for an evening.

Jayli, Jul 22, 2011
Photo of Wadsey
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

The Lost Abbey Red Poppy, vintage 2011

Served in New Belgium globe glass

A: Pours deep amber/brown with modest tan head. Each sip leaves behind an arc of foam. The beer itself is clear and sparkling. 

S: Tart cherries, vinegar and damp wood vie for dominant aroma. Mouthwateringly acetic. Additional smells include pickle aromas, a low-grade funk, and a tease of vanilla. 

T: Sourness strikes tongue first, then tart cherries. The acetobacteria is not as sharp as I thought it would, earning an enjoyable and approachable medium on the sourness scale. The other aromas are also expressed on the palate. I will that the beer has vinous character. Red Poppy is like a harmonic that slowly becomes quiet. That is how it finishes. Brettanomyces becomes more evident as I work my way through glass. 

M: Deceptively light body and medium, bright carbonation. Lively mouthfeel. 

O: I love Red Poppy. It edges out La Folie as best American interpretation of the style, and I think it might beat the very best Belgians. I wish it were cheaper and available in Indiana, preferably on tap in my basement. Huzzah!

Wadsey, Jul 21, 2011
Photo of match1112
2.98/5  rDev -30.4%

pours brown with amber highlights around the edges. alot of thick off white head that sticks around awhile. smells like red wine vinegar and wood. taste is sour tart cherries up front, then comes the wood, then theres the vinegar i smelled. has good carbonation but just feels watered down, very thin. i've had better beers of this style for half the price. cant get that vinegar taste out of my mouth.

match1112, Jul 21, 2011
Photo of andrewinski1
4.08/5  rDev -4.7%

Shared by Bendurgin! Huge light pink head and a lot of sticky lacing. The body is a murky reddish brown.

The aroma is full of slightly sweet cherry.

The taste is also slightly sweet cherry (nowhere near cloying) with a generously tart finish. This strikes a pretty good balance.

The body is light to medium and the carbonation is enjoyably plentiful.

I really like this one. I always enjoy trying LA beers.

andrewinski1, Jul 20, 2011
Photo of Bendurgin
4.4/5  rDev +2.8%

Grant sent this one to me. Thanks. Poured into a tulip. This one pours a murky brown brown with a large pinkish beige head. Thin soapy lace.

Lots of sweet and tart cherries with vanilla and oak. It's a pretty run of the mill Flanders Red aroma but it's clean and spot on. The pallet mirrors the aroma nicely. A bit more sour than the pallet than the aroma would lead on. Nice rich fresh cherry aroma with hints of vanilla an earthy oak aroma to round it out.

Light body with a little bit much on the carbonation. Overall a pretty on point flanders. I think it's tough to beat red poppy.

Bendurgin, Jul 20, 2011
Photo of MarkVegas
4.93/5  rDev +15.2%

Poured into my Bruery tulip hazy, reddish, maroonish with a brown tint. A 1/2 inch head quickly dissipates leaving almost no lacing.

What a funky brett bomb this beer smells like. The sour cherries are the "cherry" on top making this a GREAT smelling beer to me.

I get the sour cherry up front with the brett coming through shortly there after. Somewhere in the back there goes that oak with the vanilla it often brings, almost surprising you with a certain roundness that only barrel aging can do. Love it.

Crisp, dry and light, very easy drinking. Refreshing after a hot vegas day.

Overall this beer absolutely did not disappoint. I enjoyed every aspect of the beer.

MarkVegas, Jul 19, 2011
Photo of bum732
3.95/5  rDev -7.7%

S: Some dark cherries, medium strength, some cola flavors. Prominent oak with additional cork, tartness with a bit of funk, some sweet cherry candy.

L: Very dark cloudy brown, tan carbonated head that dissipates to 1/8 inch of foam.

T: Tart cherry malt up front with a puckering lemon like bitterness. Some dark cola-like malt, faint up front. Finishes quite dry and acidic. More cherries with some oak in the finish.

M: Crisp high carbonation, medium bodied.

Pretty good, lacks the punch and flavor of other traditional Flanders Reds.

bum732, Jul 19, 2011
Photo of alexhahn82
3.18/5  rDev -25.7%

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.

alexhahn82, Jul 17, 2011
Photo of chugalug06
4.43/5  rDev +3.5%

Dated 2011

A - Wow! What a head! Bottle easily influences itself... Brew has slightly dirty head due to yeast override... Very nice mahogany color with lots of browns and some reds.

S - Lots of big cherry! Also, smells like a dry-er sour... Vanilla and peach dominate the scent. Great citrus too. Not the expect funk scent.

T - Awesome sour cherry flavor! much more sour then the scent represents. Great smoothness and elegant brew. Perfect amount of tart. Better then La Folie...not sure how I feel about this.

M - PERFECT carbonation, couldn't be better. No bitterness and well done sourness...Perfect. Very dry and elegant, I hope to have this brew at my wedding.

O - One of my top five brews of all time. I will be looking for this one for many years to come. Fantastic brew.

2012 update: Big metallic scent, and more sugar then tartness. still good, but it gets knocked down a notch. Also, brew is SUPER dark ruby BROWN! Clarity seems to be in question. Much darker and lower carbonated then in years past. Still An awesome brew.

chugalug06, Jul 13, 2011
Photo of thagr81us
4.1/5  rDev -4.2%

Had this one during the 'We Want The Funk!' tasting that was graciously hosted by beermeX2! Big thanks goes out to beermeX2 for sharing this one with the group! 2011 Vintage! Served from bottle into a Mikkeller flute. Poured red-brown with a half finger cream colored head that subsided to a minimal amount slowly. Maintained decent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, sour, tart, wood, and cherry. The flavor was of sweet malt, sour, tart, wood, cherry, and raspberry. It had a light feel on the palate with medium-high carbonation. Overall this was a pretty good brew. The wood characteristic of this one really added to the overall enjoyability (is that even a word???) of the beer. The sour/tart notes were spot on and not too harsh allowing the cherry and raspberry to shine through as well. Just a well put together brew that I enjoyed quite much.

thagr81us, Jul 11, 2011
Photo of BetterWatching
4.7/5  rDev +9.8%

A- Poured a dark brownish red. Finger head into a wide tulip glass.

S- The second i opened the cap on the bottle I got a huge whiff of vinegar. Made me think that it had gone bad. But by the time it was poured into a snifter glass the aroma of this beer exploded. The vinegar was there but faintly present while the cherries and oak mixed in tart funkiness. The smell of this beer is phenomenal.

T- Starts with a flat general funkiness that is followed up by big tart cherries with a touch of oak on the finish. Slightly underwhelmed simply because the nose was so pleasant.

M- Light in the tongue with a pleasantly smooth low carbonation. The tartness sticks to the tongue between sips.

O- One of the best from Lost Abbey, this was a 2011 bottle so I'm anxious to see what it does with a little time. I think it could really mature into something exceptional because it's already damn good.

BetterWatching, Jul 08, 2011
Photo of Chriscrundwell12
3.88/5  rDev -9.3%

Poured from a 375 ml bottle into a snifter

A- One finger beige head, slight carbonation, dark reddish brown color, lots of sediment on the bottom, very nice lacing.
S- The aroma is fantastic, cherries upfront, hints of oak, musty barnyard funk, vinegar.
T- The taste lacked something that the aroma brought out, the cherry flavor is there as well as vinegar and sour funkiness, slight taste of oak as well, but I was not as impressed with the overall taste, it lacked that punch I got in the aroma.
M- Medium mouth feel, slight carbonation, dry
O- This is a solid sour beer, from the first initial smell of this beer I was expecting something fantastic but was a little let down with the taste, still enjoyed drinking this beer and would definitely drink again.

Chriscrundwell12, Jul 05, 2011
Photo of DoctorB2B
4.83/5  rDev +12.9%

We did a triple tasting at some point in the last 2 months, we as in galengueuze, viciousknish, and theformula. There were 2 bottles from 2011, and one from 2010.

We started with the 2011, and once the cork was popped the carbonation began to flow. Luckily though, we were able to save most of the beer before catastrophe struck.

The entire group feens for sour, tart and/or funky and this beer hit the spot. I only speak for myself on this, but this is my favorite offering from Lost Abbey.

Tart cherries hit you in the nose upon opening and really shine through in the taste as well. It's a very crisp refreshing beer that makes me wish I lived in CA to have this beer on hand a bit more regularly.

DoctorB2B, Jul 05, 2011
Photo of rwmiscik
4.72/5  rDev +10.3%

As a lover of sour beers this is one of my absolute favorite beers of all time. It smells amazing and the beer is very effervescent and is extremely drinkable. Not a beer to start off sour beers on as it is quite sour but no acetobacter at all and is extremely clean. I recommend this to anyone that likes sour beer as it is one of the best around.

rwmiscik, Jul 02, 2011
Photo of capeannbass36
3.58/5  rDev -16.4%

Cork popped like a champagne bottle. Immediate smell of sour cherries.
A- A murky dark ruby red, brown. 2 finger off white head that fades quickly. Light lacing.

S- Sour cherries....and I guess what some call "funk".

T- Sour, tart cherries. Some wood. Sour hangs around on lips and tongue.

M- Dry and crisp. Light to medium carbonation.

O- One of the more pricey beers that I have sat on for awhile. Having tried it, would not purchase again. Cannot justify the cost.

capeannbass36, Jun 28, 2011
Photo of tempest
4.38/5  rDev +2.3%

Split the bottle with a couple friends. Hell of a beer. I'm not always a fan of the Flanders sours, but this tones down the creamy sweetness of a Duchess into a mellow cherry and strawberry character over biting citrus and sour tang. I'm most impressed by the balance of the different flavors, rolling from one to the other instead of just covering each other up. Find this beer.

tempest, Jun 28, 2011
Photo of DaveHack
4.38/5  rDev +2.3%

Pored from a 12.7 oz corked and caged bottle into an Ithaca tulip.

The coek was a bear to get off, once off Red Poppy came roaring to the top ready to spill out like a champange.

This beer is very datk with a large head, that settled fairly quick. There is evidence of the sediment from the bottom resting on the head.

There is not an overabundance of aroma. I can definately smell that it is going to be a sour beer, with a musty funk smell.

Upon first taste I get a mild earthy, barnyardy taste. It is not as sour as I had expected, but the finish comes up with a very decent sour kick. I'm not really getting any of the cherry that is in here, but it is a tart taste for sure.

It feels nice and rather light. There is great carbonation and drinks easy. Minimal lacing

It's a very good beer, but for the $16.25 I paid for it, I'd really rather have a Consecration.

DaveHack, Jun 26, 2011
Photo of meatyard
4.72/5  rDev +10.3%

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.

meatyard, Jun 26, 2011
Red Poppy Ale from The Lost Abbey
95 out of 100 based on 1,615 ratings.