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.
BA SCORE
95
world-class

1,614 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,614
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: 1,614 | Reviews: 530 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Arbitrator
3.35/5  rDev -21.7%

Chilled bottle into a glass. Thanks for sharing, Roger.

A: Pours a turbid, sedimentary maroon body in the glass. Its off white head rises to about 1.5 fingers in height, retaining for a minute or so before vanishing into a thin collar on the brew. Yes, it's carbonated. Hallelujah.

S: Cherries, lactic sourness, spice, some oak. We screwed up and had this after Cantillon Lou Pepe Framboise '02. This didn't even remotely compare.

T: Lactic sourness, some balsamic vinegar with an underlying nuttiness, lemon zest, and of course tart cherries and the accompanying bitterness of their skins. It's not nearly as fruity as I was expecting, though. Tannic finish.

M: Light-bodied; a little sharply acetic in the finish.

D: It's not bad, but if I had to pick a sour beer based on cherries, I'd go with Supplication or LP Kriek first, especially at $17 for 375mL. I know they're not technically the same style, though.

Arbitrator, Mar 30, 2010
Photo of DmanGTR
4.83/5  rDev +12.9%

Review from notes on 3/6/10. Shared with Eddy from Monk's. Thanks dude!

A- Brilliant deep amber with a lasting off white head, excellent lacing. Mildly hazy, ruby hues. 4.5

S- Rich sourness, lots of vinegar and sweetness of cherries, hint of caramel, and red wine. Simply fantastic. 4.5

T- Very similar to the aroma. Lots of sour cherry tartness mingling with a touch of earthiness. A lovely blend of flavors that leaves a lingering sweet and sour aftertaste. 5.0

M- Light bodied but carbonation gives a fuller perception, dry finish. 4.5

D- This is one of the best sours I have ever had. Period. 5.0

Note- reviewing this does not do it justice. If you ever get a chance to try this beer, it will be in your favor.

DmanGTR, Mar 30, 2010
Photo of flannelman808
3.7/5  rDev -13.6%

A: A really interesting color light-medium brown near the top and a deep garnet dark red brown to the bottom. Fairly clear in the light. Low head retention, off white head.

S: This one is nice, aromas of tart cherry, grannysmith apple, and lemon zest seem to ring through for me.

T: More spice then I would have guessed... spiced tart bitter(like lemon) apple. Interesting stuff.

M: sharp acid in the back of the throat.

D: Pretty low points for me too much for me in the back of the throat.

flannelman808, Mar 30, 2010
Photo of billab914
4.35/5  rDev +1.6%

2010 vintage poured from a 375ml bottle into my Lost Abbey stemware. Poured a dark brown color with a thin fizzy off-white head covering the top. The head faded to cling to the sides of the glass where it left moderate lacing.

The aroma is sharp with some cherry tartness and some acidic sourness to it. I can also get a little of the oak and vanilla from the barrel aging. The taste shows a lot of the tartness and acidicness the nose suggested. The cherries really come through in the finish leaving a very nice cherry aftertaste on the palate. There is also some hints of the oak and vanilla flavors as well helping the complexity of the taste.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and carbonation is high. Drinkability is good, it's a very nice sour flavor to it. I've said before though that I'm very impartial to cherries, I just love them. Adding real cherry flavor to anything is a positive thing to me.

billab914, Mar 27, 2010
Photo of femALEist
4.03/5  rDev -5.8%

Had this on tap at Toronado during SF Beer week.
Red Poppy Ale by Lost Abbey is a Flanders Oud Bruin style beer and 5.5%. It is a brown ale brewed with sour cherries and aged in oak barrels for over 6 months. It poured a beautiful copper red with a pinky full of a white head. It smelled of citrus, sour cherries and a hint of barnyard funkiness- kind of a one note nose. It tasted like dried sour cherries, Brett, and vinegar. The sour cherriness was pretty well balanced.

femALEist, Mar 25, 2010
Photo of billshmeinke
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

Just bought this after finishing my GMAT. 375 ml caged and cork bottle. Poured into a Duvel tulip.

Finger and a half light tan head. Very hazy brown color. Takes awhile to reside to a patchy layer of foam with a bunch of small to medium sized bubbles. The head clings to the sides of the glass after it resides, already showing evidence of lacing. The lacing is actually ridiculous. A serious wall of foam.

Very sour smelling. Smells of sour cherries. Evidence of oak and peaty wood. Very vague roasted malt and caramel.

Sour red cherry, a light caramel/vaguely roasted malt, peat, oak, smoke, vanilla. A tiny bit of bitter resiny hops. An interesting nutty aftertaste with hints of vanilla. Seriously complex.

Light bodied. Kinda of low carbonation. Small bubbles that touch the tongue and move on, not very prickly.

A fantastic sour. Solidly drinkable. Reminds me of a lighter bodied Supplication or Cuvee de Tomme, but still tons of flavor for the abv.

billshmeinke, Mar 25, 2010
Photo of cannabanaceae
4.13/5  rDev -3.5%

Vintage 2010 6% abv Snifter

This beer started with a nice pop of the cork.

A fizzy head dissipated to tiny brown ring around the rim. Brown to ruby red in color. Some moderate lacing.

Smell was wonderful, cherries with a sweet brandy barrel essence, followed by some sour funk.

Taste started out lighter than I expected. Cherry bitterness with a dominate malt flavor in middle of sip with just a touch of sourness at the end. Not much barrel flavors. Aftertaste has a touch of sweetness that lingers pleasantly in the mouth. fuzzy dry mouthfeel. Carbonation was great!!

This is a very drinkable beer, its a record breaking 71 degrees here in Seattle, and this is a perfect beer to drink in the afternoon sun. Seems to me, the flavors will develop more complexity in the future. Nice beer.

Cheers.

cannabanaceae, Mar 24, 2010
Photo of emmasdad
3.7/5  rDev -13.6%

Thanks to Ratman for a taste of this one. To state up front, I'm not really a fan of sours, so I approached this one with a bit of trepidation. Poured into a tulip of some sort, reddish brown, with a bit of carbonation. On the nose, I picked up red wine vinegar, oak and some tartness, but oddly (?) not a whole lot of cherry. This one was a bit funky on the palate; not a whole lot of sour going on, and somewhat lacking in cherry flavor. Again, not a huge sour fan, but this one seemed a bit restrained, almost a "training wheels" type of beverage. Pretty good, and one I'd love to try again.

emmasdad, Mar 23, 2010
Photo of jjayjaye
3.93/5  rDev -8.2%

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

jjayjaye, Mar 21, 2010
Photo of WOTO97
4.33/5  rDev +1.2%

A: murky bronze with cherry syrup red tones, nominal head and lacing

S: red wine vinegar, cherries, fungal/earthy character, wood/straw

T: potent yet mild tartness, big mouthful of cherries, very light red wine vinegar on finish, very faint earthy/floral in background

M: very light stickiness in the back of the throat but surprisingly clean finish, light palate feel

D: amazingly drinkable, very mellow, approachable sour, cannot wait to have another

WOTO97, Mar 19, 2010
Photo of Sixofsigmas
4.83/5  rDev +12.9%

Appearance is brownish-red and murky with a dirty white thin head that recedes relatively quickly. Small amount of lacing around the glass.

Smell is sexy. Vinegar, cherries, earthy, very fragrant.

Taste kind of surprised me. It's a mild sour that is very pleasing to taste. Strong cherry notes dominate, but there's some earth, some oak. Begins sweet and finishes with a crisp tartness... Vinuous is a good adjective... sorry I stole that one from the other reviews, but it's better than "wine-like"

Mouthfeel is crisp and carbonated, oily, tongue humbling.

Dangerously drinkable! At least IMHO... Very pleasant to me, and I think I could down this like a non-alcoholic soda/juice even though I prefer to enjoy it slowly over time.

Sixofsigmas, Mar 19, 2010
Photo of callmemickey
4.43/5  rDev +3.5%

A: Dark burgundy-brown body. Thin, weak off-white head. Very little lacing, but a nice skim remains throughout.

S: Red wine, dark red cherries, oak, sweet sugar and a hearty earthy-funk.

T: Like the nose, lots of dark fruits are present. Most notably dark cherries fill out the flavor profile from start to finish. Similar to consecration, but lacking the profound tartness and sourness. A bit raw... but presents itself as a lively sweet, vinous brew.

M: Smooth, moderate tartness and sourness. Nice lingering finish. Funkayyy.

D: I enjoyed this quite a bit... reminiscent of consecration and la folie... not quite as good as consecration, but probably better than la folie. Would like to see this one with some age on it.

callmemickey, Mar 18, 2010
Photo of jjanega08
4.18/5  rDev -2.3%

A= pours a dark red color pushing brown with a nice thick off white one finger head rising up out of it. Really nice lacing coming out of the head. Super sticky.

S= Tart vinegar smell with little cherry in it. Super sour smelling. Sort of a headache inducing funk to it as well. Smells dirty sort of. Funky barnyard smell to it.

T= Nice tartness to it. Good sour without the super vinegar that I smell. Nice cherry taste that is still sort of fresh cherry. Nice clean taste which is different from the super dirty smell. Not as funky because the super sourness comes from it.

M= Super dry feeling. Awesome crisp clean feeling as well.

D= Nice sour. Not over the top or crazy at all but still really nice sour. Delicious.

jjanega08, Mar 09, 2010
Photo of snpub540
4.18/5  rDev -2.3%

Pours a dark brown infused with alot of red. Light off white head creates delicate lacing. Its a beautiful looking brew.

Aromas are soy sauce, vinegary funk, and cherries.

Taste is nicely complex. I get an almost cola like sweetness in the front which is soon washed away by a puckering sourness. Intense is all I can say.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and it has a nice playful carbonation. Drinkability is good as there is no alcohol flavor or harshness. Nicely done.

snpub540, Mar 04, 2010
Photo of sholland119
4.43/5  rDev +3.5%

On tap at Memphis Taproom, 2/22/10.

A-Pours a rather dark reddish brown, opaque, with a little bit of fizzy head and a spot or two of lacing.

S-Sour cherries and some background funkiness.

T-Delicious big fruit notes in the front, balanced nicely by an oakiness and sour funk. Very rich and flavorful.

M-Medium bodied and a bit slick.

D-A great example of this style. More flavorful than most, but still nicely drinkable.

HV

sholland119, Feb 23, 2010
Photo of nectar14
4.1/5  rDev -4.2%

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.

nectar14, Feb 22, 2010
Photo of Popkas
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

Sharing a side by side of 2009 and 2010 with my wife - review based on 2010.

A: Pour is an auburn color with a very thin head. Note 2010 did open with a nice pop where 2009 was more of "pff".

S: Tart cherries, sour funk.

T: Strong taste of cherry and nice mouth puckering sour kick.

M: The mouth feel is thin, but there is some carbonation to it and I have no complaints. The 2009 is a different story, very thin and no fiz at all.

D: 2010 is drinking nicely. 2009 is still a tasty beer, just not as good as the new release.

Popkas, Feb 22, 2010
Photo of SPLITGRIN
4.2/5  rDev -1.9%

Pours to a cherry cola toned reddish brown body. Head is just a skim of rich tan foam. Nose has a nice creamy tartness with ripe cherry tones, cola and minerals with some zest. Enters the mouth with a sharp tart tone that is cherry skins. This tartness quickly mellows with mice dark maltiness that really balances the brew. Dark fruit follows all this with some accompanying tannins. Mouthfeel is thick and tart especially on the very back of the tongue. This beer is especially under carbonated. Overall it is nicely drinkable.

SPLITGRIN, Feb 19, 2010
Photo of Bajasith
3.7/5  rDev -13.6%

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.

Bajasith, Feb 18, 2010
Photo of mutterfudder
4.08/5  rDev -4.7%

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.

mutterfudder, Feb 16, 2010
Photo of womencantsail
4.3/5  rDev +0.5%

Thanks to Anwar for this bottle. Split it tonight with the girlfriend.

A: Despite a vigorous pour into my Bruery tulip, there isn't much in the way of head formation. The beer itself is a slightly muddy mahogany color.

S: The nose is nice and tart with some nice sour cherry notes along with a slight acetic acid note. There's quite a bit of oak, which I was not quite expecting.

T: The flavor follows the nose almost exactly. Great oak and sour cherry flavors with only a touch of vinegar (which I often find a bit off-putting in Flanders ales).

M: The carbonation is quite low, lending the beer a slick feel on the tongue. The finish is nice and dry.

D: This is one of the more tart Oud Bruins I've had, but I enjoy that. The lower level of acetic acid is also a bit plus for me.

womencantsail, Feb 12, 2010
Photo of drabmuh
4.15/5  rDev -3%

Beer is reddish brown and does not form a head. Carbonation is low and there is a little lacing left on the glass. Beer is relatively clear.

Aroma is a strong sourness, mostly citric based. Kind of a one note aroma but it smells fine.

Strong sour flavor, again citric. There are several late flavors, sweet, strong tart, hits me in the corners of my mouth. Drinkability is high, mouthfeel is good. Carbonation plays a role in the connectivity of the beer overall.

drabmuh, Feb 02, 2010
Photo of TurdFurgison
4.65/5  rDev +8.6%

2009 bottle, 12.7oz, corked & caged. The beer is clear, dark rusty colored, with no head at all. As I drank it I noticed the carbonation was really light too, not sure if the carbonation fell off with 1 year of age.

The beer smells just about perfect, so strong and funky. Both tart cherries and barnyard wild notes, but mainly the sour seems to come from the cherries. Only a hint of vinegar, so much better than other oud bruins I've had in terms of that. And it only gets better when I taste it. Very fruity and sour, basically fermented cherry juice with some brett. If I'd tried this 2-3 years ago I might have objected to the pucker-inducing sourness but now I've come to crave this attribute. This is bracing and pungent, massive in aroma and flavor.

The real downside for me is the low carbonation. Lost Abbey's struggles with carbonation have been well documented in their strong beers, but their sour beers have usually been fine. In this case I'm guessing it's the age, and it really doesn't hurt the drinking experience all that much. The light body seems to suit the style, very drinkable. This will be on my eternal wants list, and I'll actively trade for it each year it's released.

TurdFurgison, Feb 01, 2010
Photo of htomsirveaux
3.88/5  rDev -9.3%

375 mL bottle tried 29 Jun 2009. Courtesy of calinalu, thanks!

Poured in a 0.4 L Steiner Pils snifter. Small tan soapy looking head. Cloudy dark brown color. Moderate carbonation. Aroma is of sour cherry pits, somewhat musty. Quite sour with a lot of brown sugar, almost like a vinaigrette. Also dried sour cherries, some cinnamon. Aftertaste and finish is sweet-tart. Medium body. Ethanol very mild.

Nice to try but would probably not get this again.

htomsirveaux, Jan 29, 2010
Photo of JohnGalt1
4.4/5  rDev +2.8%

Czoch75 beat the hell out of me in the Fight Club Rnd 2 BIF.. this was an incredible score. Clint is beyond generous.

Shared this one with Inflatablechair a while back... Sam is good people. Reviewed from paper notes.

Lite tan head.. no real lace.. only descent retention... the brew is a slightly hazed deep orange/red.

Nose is cherries with lite funk and pretty abundant acetic elements..

Cherries are less pronounced than the aroma, but are still prevalent... plenty of vinegar and some mild lactic presence.. with warmth some balsamic characteristics show.. maybe some oak, but I could easily be imagining things.

very very refreshing.

Thanks again Clint.. unheard of generosity.

3.5/4.5/4.5/4/4.5

JohnGalt1, Jan 13, 2010
Red Poppy Ale from The Lost Abbey
95 out of 100 based on 1,614 ratings.