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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
95
world-class

1,688 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,688
Reviews: 534
rAvg: 4.28
pDev: 9.35%
Wants: 533
Gots: 507 | 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:
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,688 | Reviews: 534 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jsh420
3.57/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

pours murky reddish brown with a 1 finger off white head that left no lacing

smell is funky - sour and funky - tart cherries and funky barnyard

taste is very tart cherries with fishy funk and oak on the finish - very dry - sure i dont make this sound good but if you enjoy sours this beer is for you

mouthfeel light dry very carbonated - everything i want in a red wine

overall - good flavor and nose but the price tag $17 for 375ml is way too much - one of those beers where after yo try it you can not justify buying another ever!!

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

Poured a brown-red hazy body with a short lived beige head. Aroma is sour and is obviously of bitty red cherries. Kinda earthy and super funky tasty. Woah. Cherry flavor isn't maybe as wild and fresh as I expected but that's fine. This beer is beery. Thought I tasted a tootsie roll for a second. Back to cherry. Feel is slightly drying. Delicious.

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

Poured into a stemmed Lost Abbey tulip.

Appearance is a deep ruby almost brown color. It opens with a big tan head that fades to a lot of lacing.

Smells like cherries, vinegar, and fresh cut wood. Hints of tart lemon.

Tastes are of strong cherries and a little acidic. Strong vinegar taste with a very light caramel flavor hiding in the background.

Mouthfeel is medium with lots of carbonation. Pretty smooth for a sour. I like this so much.

Overall is a great beer. I would drink this all the time if it were in Oregon. After a day of IPAs I thought this would be the perfect finish and it certainly was,

Photo of mrandypandy
4.1/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

375ml caged and corked bottle purchased from Hop City. Cork was a bit tricky to get out.

A- Pours a murky brown with an off tan head. Decent carbonation.
S- Vinegar like acidity and sour cherries in the nose. Musky.
T- Sour, tart. Cherries are subdued.
M- Medium to light body, well carbonated and prickly on the tongue. Nice.
O- Had this sitting my cellar for a few months and decided to pop it open. Glad I did. A well done Flanders Red with a crisp acidic bite to it. I would like to try this fresher o see if I get more cherries, but still very enjoyable.

Photo of rudzud
4.17/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a few months back at Julio's. I saved this specifically for my 300th review.

A - Poured into my Duvel tulip a deep ruby red/nut brown pour with a fizzy one figner head that quickly faded to leave a nice halo and some good thin clouds.

S - Light vinegar, sweet malts, and some earthy oak. Light sour cherry notes too.

T - Good sour vinegar notes up front that are washed away by tart sour cherries and some oak. There are some light sweet malts but for the most part the sourness overpowers everything else, which is to be expected.

M - Medium carbonation here, lots of bubbles in the mouth. A nice sour and crisp slightly dry finish. Very tart and refreshing.

O - Enjoyed this flanders alot. Not quite sure if its worth the hype though as there are other flander's that deliver the tasty that aren't as expensive.

Photo of Brewbro000
3.75/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Pours a 2 finger off white head of fairly large bubbles that recedes quickly. This bugger is very carbonated as per the loud pop when it was opened and the wave of bubbles constantly rising from the walls of my tulip glass. The head recedes by half in a matter of seconds. Nut brown color but with hints of ruby when held to the light.

S- Funky barnyard notes mixed with sour, acidic hints that allow the cherries to show through. The aroma hints at the oak but doesn't make it a priority. Some lemony tartness also shows through.

T- Some lactic tartness leads a sweet but not as complex as i expected first sip. Lemony tartness takes hold and then mild cherry sweetness shows through. The cherry flavor is well integrated and the finishing thought is of dry, lightly oaken barrels.

M- Very spritzy due to the carbonation with moderate spikey carbonation on the tongue.

O- A pretty good Flanders Red but sort of one dimensional, not as complex as was expected. For the price i would probably just buy something from Russian River instead, but please not, price was not a factor in this review, tasty brew none the less.

Photo of riored4v
4.05/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed on 3/30/11

Poured in to a tulip. 1.5 finger, fluffy, off-white head. Dark red body that showed some murkiness. Head held really well.

Smell was of tart cherry and acidity with a touch of vinegar. Slightly funky with some Brett. Notes of oak and light maltiness.

Taste was good. Nice tart cherry flavor. Mildly acidic. Notes of oak and dark fruit. Again, slightly funky with some farmhouse characteristics.

Mouthfeel was very good. Light body, medium/high carbonation. Nice and dry.

Good drinkability on this one. Nicely tart while maintaining drinkability.

Photo of oglmcdgl
4/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at monks during the lost abbey event.

A- almost three fingers of tanish head a top a ruddy deep red brown brew. Head leaves no lace or stick.

A- good amount of earth red wine vinegar and some sweet and sour cherries but to a lesser extent. The cherries don't give a big bright sour they come off more subdued. Rich malt backbone giving a darker bread touch.

T- opens up with a light sweet and sour cherry and funky oak hit with a touch of red wine vin. Malts come off sweet with some dark brown sugar and bread. Light acidity not the punch I was hoping for, more of a earthy thing going on.

M- a bit above medium in body and lightly carbed. Solid pucker but nothing outstanding.

O- its a good red but the cherries seem to be a bit over the hill and lacking the fresh sour hit. I would like to try the base beer without the cherries and see what that's like. Up against rodenbach gc its got some work to do.

Photo of xnicknj
3.7/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

on tap at monks in philly

Pours a somewhat murky deep browned color with some reddish hues attempting to poke through. A thick, slightly rusty head retains for a bit with some webs of lacing.

Plenty of cherries with sourness throughout the nose, heavier earthy notes with oak and some acid. Some dark fruit sweetness and funk as well.

Very cherry forward with a decent amount of sourness delivered by the fruit. Some dark fruits with raisin tones and caramel sweetness throughout the malt bill. Not quite as full flavored and sour as I originally thought it would be, but still pretty tasty. Finishes dry with another gasp of cherry and oak.

Medium thinner body, somewhat watery but really high carbonation. This keg was definitely overgassed, as it took the bartenders about 7 minutes to pour a glass. I'd like to give this a try out of a bottle so I can re-review it.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.2/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Murky brown pour, not as sexy as Supplication. . . more brown, didn't have enough of the cherry edge to it, some head and/or lacing with good carbonation. Aroma is wood and fruit, cherry underplayed still.

Cherry comes out moreso on the palate, good sour qualities, almost nothing is sweet about the beer. Oak. Definite brown ale base beer flavor exists and is not overshadowed by the sour and cherry flavors. Harmony. Would actually prefer more cherry and tart flavors v. the brown ale and wood flavor, but its not a liability by any means. Damn this is dry.

What's the deal with the pricing on these? More than $1 an oz? Supplication is better and cheaper, so I can't really recommend this too strongly, worth checking out and special occasions, but damn its pricey.

Photo of orvalrugger45
4.72/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed this brew thoroughly. Figured i'd enjoy it in a snifter which in turn made the "sour" cherry smell unbelievable! Poured dark red with a light pink head about half inch thick on top. Sweet/Tart taste was everything i look for in a Flanders Red.

Photo of Phelps
4.42/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 375ml bottle into my new Lost Abbey stemware. Fitting!

Red Poppy’s brewed from a brown ale base (which would make it an oud bruin) with sour cherries added before it’s aged in oak barrels for six months (which would make it a Flanders red). Confusing.

Dark, syrupy cherry red, completely opaque and highlighted with effervescence. Crowning this beast is a one-inch head of cocoa-colored froth that dissipates a bit but never leaves completely, continually replenished by the bubbles.

Crazy-time good aroma. Dark chocolate covered cherries, raspberry, touches of balsamic and oak and funk. Perfectly balanced and glorious.

Great balance in the flavor. Dark tart cherries, chocolate syrup, vinous oak and balsamic. A moderate acetic character lingers on the sides of the tongue, but the finish is drying and snappy.

So many Flanders sours let the tartness run roughshod over the mouth, the tartness so intense it feels like it’s rubbing off my teeth enamel. Here, however, it’s perfect — just acidic enough to keep me guessing, but not a smack in the face. Carbonation is powerful, with the light-bodied beer just erupting in bubbles as it moves.

Red Poppy is undoubtedly one of the best Flanders browns in America. Complex flavors make it a joy to sip and ponder.

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

Imbibed at SmallBar on Port/LA Night during Chicago Craft Beer Week.

Appearance -- Pours rusty brown with witha finger fo creamy parchment head. Incredible amount of lacing for the style. Very photogenic.

Smell -- Tart cherry, cider vinegar, wet oak, lightly roasted malt, and a pinch of cocoa malt sweetness. Nice.

Taste -- Lots of bright acetic tartness up front: lemon, granny smith, cider vinegar. Inhaling through the nose made for a singeing sensation. Tart cherry and unripened berry fruitiness lent an additional layer of sour flavor. Rich dark malt evoking wet earth and cocoa.

Mouthfeel -- Medium-light in body with gentle prickly carbonation, bordering creamy. However, this could be the fault of the establishment.

Overall -- Very nice, but it wasn't the revelation that I had been hoping for. While being quite sour, the tartness was a detriment to the beer as a whole, somewhat diminishing the cherry addition and the malty/sour interplay that is the hallmark of the style. Still, the cherries were nice, and the definite highlight of this beer.

While I didn't consider cost as a factor for my review, the question must be asked: is a 350mL bottle of this worth as much as a 650mL bottle of La Folie? Methinks not.

Photo of dmsohyea
3.35/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

2011 vintage 375ml cage and cork bottle. Served in a tulip. The cork was very hard to remove.

A: Pours a very dark reddish brown with light penetration all the way through. Huge 5 finger head like champagne. Not too many floaties, mostly clear.

S: Smells like balsamic or red wine vinegar and soy sauce. A very, very light hint of cherries, but it's very subdued.

T: Strong vinegar taste up front, a strong drying sourness mid palate and finishes slightly tart and bone dry with some grapefruit. This beer needs to be almost room temperature to be properly enjoyed. I always prefer any beverage to be a little colder, but this one is just bad when it's cold. The aftertaste is a touch of chocolate and more vinegar. Picking up some oak, but very little.

M: Mouthfeel is medium carbonation with good body. Nice and smooth, but not watery. Very nice for the style.

O: A solid flanders, but not my favorite. After being blown away by Marron Acidifie, I'm having to downgrade this one slightly. Would like to try this one on draft too.

Photo of Neffbeer
4.35/5  rDev +1.6%
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
4.02/5  rDev -6.1%
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
4.15/5  rDev -3%
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
4.35/5  rDev +1.6%
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
4.07/5  rDev -4.9%
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
3.94/5  rDev -7.9%
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
4.42/5  rDev +3.3%
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
4.3/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

Red Poppy Ale from The Lost Abbey
95 out of 100 based on 1,688 ratings.