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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.

1,674 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,674
Reviews: 534
rAvg: 4.28
pDev: 9.58%
Wants: 529
Gots: 500 | FT: 36
Brewed by:
The Lost Abbey visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Flanders Red Ale |  5.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

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.

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 added by: BeerBeing on 09-07-2007)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,674 | Reviews: 534 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Neffbeer
4.38/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Cantillon tumbler.

A: It pours a deep mahogany color that oddly resembles Coca-cola. There are some red hues that reveal themselves more clearly when held up to the light. I got a pop when I uncorked it (you never know....) and thankfully was greeted with a two finger off white head. The retention is respectable, but it leaves little to no lacing.

S: The nose is full of tart ripe cherries with a tinge of herbal spiciness, and fresh cut grass. There are also aromas of raisins, caramel, and toasted bread. As the beer continues to warm the sourness becomes more pronounced, and the oak barrels assert their presence.

T: It is much more sour than I was anticipating with the cherries and oak front and center. The lactic acid is really predominate in this beer with the funky barnyard taking a back seat to the sour. There are hints of the amber beer that once was with some caramel, vanilla and raisins surfacing mid-palate. The finish slams the cherries home again ending dry and woody.

M: Medium to full bodied with an absolutely lavish mouthfeel. The carbonation is really velvety enhancing the overall feel.

O: This beer was right in my wheel house, sour and dry with some nice oaky flavors. I have one more bottle that I think I will save for a special occasion. Cheers!

Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.03/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

For my 100th beer advocate review I thought I would drink something that was different from the normal styles I love. This is my first Red Flanders Style Ale.

Cage & cork 12oz bottle poured into tulip glass.

Appearance: It a body is a dark brown and deep red color tone. The head is a real gusher that has seems t remain at a bit smaller that I fingers head that is khaki in color. Lacing is sticking all over the side of the glass.

Smell: Intense cherries. Some funkiness and vinegar like smell.

Taste: Intense sour cherries and funk. I dont really taste the oak barrel at all in this beer. As the cherries fade, the funk takes over in the aftertaste. Its not off putting at all it actually quite interesting.

Mouthfeel: Light and refreshing body that is smooth. Carbonation is very lively and would consider it a touch more than moderately carbonated.

Overall: This was a very interesting and enjoyable beer. It makes me want to try more sour beers! The biggest down fall is the price! At over 15 dollars for 12oz bottle this beer will be reserved for special occassions only!

Photo of brandon0350
4.18/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

375ml bottle poured into Lost Abbey Tulip

A: good cork pop, hopefullly no carbonation problems, pours brown with a redish tint to it, small head that fades away quickly

S: strong smell of cherries, slight sourness, smell vinegar?

T: very sour, definatly taste the cherries and vinegar, not bad

M: very light easy to drink, strong carbonation

O: as my second sour I am really impressed, it was enjoyable and will definatly look for it again

Photo of beerpirates
3.95/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

375mL bottle poured into my lost abbey stemware glass

pours dark reddish brown with a medium beige head.
Aroma screams cherries, sourness and a prominent oak quality that lingers.
Flavour initially brings out the cherries with a touch of sweetness, but this is very quickly overcome by an intensely sour / tart follow-up, augmented with the oak barrel quality that seems to only intensify this puckering sourness. Definite red wine quality as well. This is one of my favourite style's , but this ale is more between rosso & marrone and a cantillon kriek , just to sour for the style! though I recognize the high quality in this ale.

Photo of rmalinowski4
4.13/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy brown that shows a deep ruby color when held up to the light and has a two fingered tan head thar recedes slowly and leaves tons of lacing.

Smell is sour cherry and some funk. The cherry smell very strong and the funk is not that strong.

The taste is sour cherry with some funk, very similar to the smell. There is some taste of the Belgian brown underneath, but cherry overpowers everything. Very nice.

The body is light and there is tons of carbonation. The overpowering cherry taste with the high carbonation level make this a sipper.

Overall this is one of the best cheery beers that I have tried. Great cherry taste with some funk and good mouthfeel make this beer a winner. I will definitely seek this one out again.

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

Tasted blind as part of Blind BIF 5, courtesy of sholland119. Poured into a snifter.

A - Looks dark brown, but glows a deep ruby when held up to light. A lot of carbonation and a few fingers of fizzy-looking head which actually sticks around a while and leaves some lacing (better than the fizziness led me to expect).

S - Cherry tartness, some sour funk. Smells like a kriek lambic, actually, but that doesn't line up with the color. Pretty tasty.

T - Lots of sour, funk, and cherry tartness. All in all, pretty dry, but there's some sweet, tasty malt underneath, as well. This is really good! Not incredibly complex, but it's very nice.

M - Smooth and rich, but not at all heavy. Just about what I'd want a sour to be.

Overall, I like this one a whole lot. I'm guessing an American wild, probably made with cherries.

Non-blind comments: This was both my first Flanders red ale and my first from Lost Abbey. I'll be seeking out more of both!

Photo of FosterJM
4.08/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

491st review on BA
Bottle to Sinners glass
@Lost Abbey

Split with GuruDel & ChurginDS
Thanks for the bottle vince!

App- A lot darker than I thought especially after having FdA. This was dark red and a little flat. No real head and no sticky lace.

Smell- HUGE cherries with a lot of oaky, tangy, vinegar and slightly acidic as well.

Taste- A nice mix of a lot of fruity esters, skins, rinds, oak and tart. Not mouth puckering but a nice drinking beer. A lot different than most sours.

Mouth- Light bodied, medium bodied with nice tart cherry after taste.

Drink- Very nicely done. A small beer to sip with dessert or on a hot day. Would like to have this one again.

Photo of jlb502
3.95/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had a goblet of this on tap for $5 and at that price point I thought it was very good. If I were judging it as a $15+ 350ml, I can guarantee that the review would read differently. By differently I mean it wouldn't exist because I wouldn't buy it.

As Flemish Reds go, this is more sour and less sweet. The aroma is cherry juice, wood and a little vanilla. I suppose there's some Balsamic as well.

The taste definitely follows the nose: Sour cherry juice, some more wood and vanilla. Normally I'd probably combine wood and vanilla into oak but here I think the flavors stand apart. There's a little chalk, or maybe just a flattening of the flavor, which eventually gives way to a light but lingering sweetness.

Overall I appreciate that Red Poppy is not as sweet, syrupy and acetic as a Rodenbach but there's a part of me that doesn't fully grasp Lost Abbey's approach here. It seems like some sort of weird middle ground between Flanders Red and American Wild. They've eschewed convention by making it more sour, so why not eschew convention some more and make it the best beer it can be? I guess that's what they did with Double Cherry Red Poppy.

Photo of Hoppynanobeer
4.95/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Had this recently in bottle format and WOW! What an amazing beer! I will say as a disclamer that I am not a "sour beer" guy but I found this to be a very approachable beer to the average craft beer consumer. The poppys left a distinct yet balenced aroma and flavor that lingered on the tongue pleasently as the sour notes fade from the pallet. The price for a bottle is in the "premium" category to be sure, but it is well worth it and I look forward to re-visiting this fantastic beer soon.

Photo of deapokid
4.43/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed on 3/23. Reviewed from notes.

Liquid is a deep black cherry. The foam is huge, which makes me think that Lost Abbey is trying to make up for carbonation issues. Lacing and head are a gorgeous, attractive purple and there's definitely staying power. Visually, it's reminiscent of a sorbet; looks sweet and tasty. I'm excited!

Packs a big cherry aroma, followed by stinky brett, a deep and complex must and a vinegary acid. There's also a hint of sugar, which lightens all of the acidity. The smell is absolutely amazing and it meets the needs of the style perfectly.

Taste smacks of fresh cherries and a wonderful tingle of acidity. Conclusion is a little deeper than usual with a dry ending that has what seems like a touch of cinnamon. The ending doesn't resonate, allowing the cherry flavor to stick around, which is a nice, sour reminder.

All in all, this is very well balanced. The spice in the conclusion plays very well with that Flanders tart cherry/amontillado vibe. A top notch American take!

Photo of hardy008
4.33/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a reddish brown color with a one finger light tan head with good retention and lacing. The aroma has sour cherries, oak, and slight vinegar. This should be very good.

The taste is just like the aroma. There are nice amounts of both sweetness and tartness, with the tartness being more dominant. As expected, this is also quite acidic.

Medium bodied, modest carbonation, tart, acidic, and finishes dry.
Feels soft, smooth, and is easy to drink. I like this beer quite a bit, and am glad I have more bottles.

Photo of Urbancaver
4.15/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice reddish brown with a nice frothy white head that dissipates quickly. Thick but not too syrupy or anything. Smells tart and sour. TONS of cherry on the nose and some subtle oak and vanilla. Tastes sweet and tart. Lots of cherry with a solid funk that really rounds out the beer. I'm really pleased with this one. Well carbonated. Tasty, just sour enough. Overall a great brew

Photo of zoolzoo
4.05/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Thanks awalk1227

A: Big pop from the cork, pours an almost opaque shade of redish brown. This thing has a really frothy and bubbly looking cream head that just wont get lost. Sort of Guinness looking in texture.

S: Lactic presence, vinegar and under ripened cherry tartness. Perhaps some vanilla or brown sugar.

T: Follows the nose quite nicely. Similar to many Oud Bruins except with more assertive tartness. Funk and tart up front, rolling into unripe cherries and brown malt base. Slightly puckering, definitely mouthwatering in the finish.

M: Surprisingly creamy, medium carb.

O: Overall, a great example of the style. Though I must say Im sort of getting lost in Flanders type sours. I cant exactly say what would make this one stand out in the crowd. Given the price and availability of this beer, I cant see seeking it out again in the midst of other "off the shelf" Flanders options available to me. Still, a great beer in its own right.

Photo of timtim
4.43/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

reddish-brown (with orange highlights?), tan head. not tons of lace or retention, but wasn't really expecting much. nose has a huge cherry presence that seems to be amped up by the vanilla flavors coming from the wood. lots of fruit, leather, wood, some vinegar and vanilla seem to dominate to me. taste is all of the above with some bretty notes mixing with the cherry seamlessly, and coming off in very good balance. sweet and sour and earthy, just like i like them. medium body. almost silky. good clean finish. well carbonated with a tingling sensation as it hits the palate. overall, very, very good. the price hurts, but good things take time, and that is where the high price tag comes from I suppose. wonderful beer. highly recommended.

Photo of SFLpunk
3.95/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5


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'.

Photo of BretSikkink
4.33/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Shockingly red color, orange highlighting, turns a murky brown with the final pour and settling. Great lacing on this initial pour, and there's more than a little head the whole time. Very good.

The cherries are well represented in the aroma, with a full complement of tartness and woodiness. Great start, and if the flavor is as complex and interesting, we should be good.

I drank this fine ale in a hotel room in Northern California, and was unfortunately granted what amounts to a whiskey tumbler to enjoy it out of. Red Poppy still met and exceeded expectations.

The flavor of the tart fruits are well-mixed with the brown ale base. Vinegar is kept largely under control, but definitely is a strong presence. Less sour than others of the style. Oakiness leaves a dry finish. Fairly bitter, surprisingly.

Very dry, again. Finishes light but full of carbonation and action. A live beer. I am extraordinarily impressed by this Flanders Oud Bruin, and would seek this out whenever I could.

Photo of GrandCruDrew
4.05/5  rDev -5.4%
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!

Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.98/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12.7 oz cork and caged bottle split and poured into a Duvel tulip.
5% ABV, 2011

Thanks to Sweemzander for sharing this one for another one of our Tickerazzi events!

A - Hazy dark brown with a quickly fading light tan head. Patchy lace clings to the glass.

S - Awesome bruin aroma of mild vinegar and brown malt. Wood, oak barrel is hinted at with a pinch of sweetness. A swirl brings out some faint wild yeast funk.

T - Spiciness and cherry overshadows the rest of the beer a but too much but nice vinegar sourness comes through the finish with a wild yeast complexity on the back end.

M - Highly carbonated and medium-bodied, Red Poppy is mildly tart with a faint vinegar sour finish.

O - For $16? Are they nuts? While it's a good beer, it's certainly not worth that in the least. Decent and drinkable but hardly worth getting again, for me anyway.

Photo of aasher
4.43/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I was lucky enough to get this bottle as an extra courtesy of BrewerB, thanks Brian! Thank god. I've been wanting to try this one for awhile.

This beer pours a dark and dirty creek water brown. It has a billowing three finger beige colored, frothy head that resembles that of a rootbeer float. It smells of both sweet and sour cherries. It has a superb tartness. The flavors are sweet and tart simultaneously. The cherry flavors are pretty complex and superbly crafted for the style. This is instantly one of the best Flanders Oud Bruins that I've tried to date. The finish is both dry and sticky. Overall this beer is phenomenal. It has great flavor and isn't vinegar ridden like some FOB can be. I greatly recommend this one.

Photo of bonkers
4.43/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I shared this with friends a week ago, review from notes. The bottle was split into 3 snifters, bright red color, very effervescent head. The aroma is full of tart cherries, hints of oak. The cherries are up front, pleasant amount of tartness, notes of sweet vinegar, oak. It has a crisp tart finish. The body is light, high carbonation, acidic mouthfeel. A great beer, worth the high pricetag.

Photo of jimixr
3.98/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

375ml corked and caged bottle from the 2011 release. Drank from a Bells tulip.

A- Pours out a hazy looking reddish brown colored body with a full two fingers of fluffy light tan head.The head falls very quickly and leaves virtually nothing in the way of lacing.

S- Cherries are the dominant feature here. There is a fair amount of funk in the nose and a hint of barrel. A very nice aroma.

T- The cherries are again a dominant factor, but they seem to stay more subtle than the nose would indicate. Some acidic sourness. Funk and oak barrel are also there,

M- light bodied and medium carbonated. dry finish.

O- This is a very flavorful beer. Its a little to pricey for me, but I really enjoyed this one. I still have one more, but I will be holding it back for a while.

Photo of pmlondrigan
4.53/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2009 bottle popped and poured into my Allagash chalice. White half finger head on top an auburn beer. Splotches of lacing hang around and slide down my chalice. Intense sour cherry aroma. Acidic balsamic vinegar nose floating above brown sugar notes. Barrel and oak make there presence known by way of musty basement funk but play second fiddle to the higher sour notes. Sour black cherries are big on the palate and marry well with oak barrel. Red Poppy boarders on lip puckering (nice) and oh so dry. This beer is quenching in it's initial splash of flavor and than drying of the palate. It sits pretty, not thin just right.
The more I drink Flanders Oud Bruns the more I love them and this is a hell of an example, my second favorite lost abbey beer to date.

Photo of SubpoenaDeuces
4.45/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

this is an exceptional beer and underrated particularly for such a competitive category.

A: Huge carbonation, three finger head that climbs and subsides gradually, dark red, dried blood with orange amber hues at the edges, head sits with hold like a rootbeer float

S: sour cherries, sweet nose, a bit of a funkiness, a bit of the cork with a woodiness

T: the sour cherry is very pronounced, it is very light on the palate with a bittering grape skin flavor, flavor passes quickly with intensy layers, tart pomegranate sweetness to it, the sweetness is like a cherry jolly rancher for a moment and the bitterness overtake quickly

M: very thin and refreshing, easy to drink for any occassion, if not price prohibitive, an excellent session beer that doesnt overddry the palate despite all the tart notes, taste hits hard on the frontend and leaves with little resides or coating in the mouth.

D: very drinkable, perhaps session is a bit strong but certainly 2 or 3 would be reasonable, if you enjoy the tartness and wild ale character, you could drink this all day given the abv and the lack of weight to the beer. The average consumer might not be on board with this style but I find it to be refreshing with bright notes.

Narrative: They huddled in the cold dark holding cell, awaiting release "You number 34724?" A tense overseer inquires. He nodded with trepidation, awaiting the release, and at just that moment the cork gateway was opened, releasing him and his cherry bretheren, sour and full of misgivings upon the awaiting masses. "DONT GET CAUGHT ON THE FRONT LINE, WE ARENT HERE FOR SWEET" He had been told this many times, the initial sweet sentry tastebuds fell effortlessly under his tart scimitar. With an aerialists grace he imparted sweet blood on the front gates of the toungegrounds, charging directly to the back. This smash and grab had been rehearsed time and time again within the confines of his 6 month conditions, directly to the bitter, hit the sour and escape. With rote skill and a pike jump the bitter taste faction was seamlessly integrated, their sensory necks broken, neurons lithely hitting the ground as the tary cherry warrior continued his flay into the dark abyss. His job was done. The tart was communicated and his purpose was served.

Photo of UMNbeerhunter
4.28/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Cigar City snifter on 5/2/11.

Pours a dark brownish color with red hues on the edges when held to the light. 2 fingers of bubbly light brown carbonated head that takes a couple of minutes to dissipate leaving moderate no lacing.

Smells very tarty. Sour raspberries and cherries. Very nice smell.

Taste is sour, wow! Cherry and raspberry tart all the way back. I am overwhelmed by the delicious and there are some other tastes present, some wood but ninety-nine percent is all fruity tartness. Very nice.

Mouthfeel is light to medium in weight. Tons of bitter/sour bite and a wonderful effervescent tingling dances through the mouth. Very refreshing.

Overall this is one hell of a beer. I have never been into sours and never got the hype but this beer has me believing. Thank you lost abbey for a very enjoyable brew.

Photo of 51mmz0rz
4.03/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12.7oz bottle into a St. Bernardus chalice.

A: Dark opaque brown, head is off white, fades quickly.

S: Sourness, some sweet fruit smells as well. A very slight muskiness.

T: Powerfully sour up front and on the finish. Lacks some complexity, but has solid flavor.

M: Highly carbonated, maybe just a tad too much, otherwise, pleasant.

D: Highly drinkable and refreshing.

Overall a very nice, solid beer, but not for the price.

Red Poppy Ale from The Lost Abbey
96 out of 100 based on 1,674 ratings.