Red Poppy Ale - The Lost Abbey

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Red Poppy AleRed Poppy Ale

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BA SCORE
95
world-class

1,677 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,677
Reviews: 534
rAvg: 4.28
pDev: 9.58%
Wants: 528
Gots: 502 | 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: 1,677 | Reviews: 534 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of SpdKilz
4.45/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Pours into my Russian River Tulip with an absolute ruddy brown/mahogany color. There was an initial "POP" which put to rest my fears of "Flat Abbey". There is about a finger of off white head that honestly has stayed there for well over 10 minutes as I let the beer warm up a bit. It is leaving great looking lacing.

Smell - The beer is a couple feet away and the aroma, as it warms up, is very clear. I love when I can smell a beer when it is sitting a ways away. Lots of earthy funk, barnyard, wet hay, massive oak tannis and dark cherries. This smells great, and finishes with even more must.

Taste - Okay, I admit, I rip on LA beers from time to time. I still think the price is high for the beer. However, this beer has a great taste. An immediate tart, puckering dark sour cherry flavor is experienced. Damn, there really is just such amazing cherry flavor. I freaking am really enjoying this. The flavor is relatively dominate, but there is some nice barnyard funk, a hint of must (not as much as the nose), the brett, etc.

Mouthfeel - Medium to lighter bodied, decent carbonation, dry finish.

Drinkability - For how expensive this beer was, my glass emptied faster than I wanted. Color me impressed. I will have to get another of these and split it with my brother-in-law. I think he would enjoy the amazing cherry flavor as much as I did. Now to try a Cuvee de Tomme...hopefully that will impress me too!

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

375ml corked and caged brown bottle.

It pours a murky reddish brown with a foamy off-white head that leaves an abundance of lacing.

The smell is full and pungent. It has some sulfuric, hard water scents. It has some brie cheese, vinegar, and some musty funk to it too. Amongst that is some sour cherry.

The flavor follows, but with a lot more sour. It is the taste of slightly bitter sour cherries, pits, stems, and all. the vinegar mixes with lemon for an acidic, tart edge. The oak is in the back with some wood and vanilla notes. The aftertaste is of Red Bull.

It is pretty carbonated, but easy-drinking.

A solid sour. And it is carbonated.

Photo of IKR
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Medium reddish-brown. Healthy light brown head.

Smell: Musky, tart cherry aroma, I pick up some other fruity overtones.

Taste: Sour tart cherry with some citrus overtones. I get a hint of barnyards funk. I love the full on sour of this beer. I prefer my sours sour. Tangy aftertaste.

Mouth-feel: Medium body with a high level of carbonation. No snide lack of carbonation digs apply to this Lost Abbey offering.

Drink-ability: Again, I liike my sours sour, and with the good taste and healthy carbonation I like it.

It's a fairly sour tart beer. I can see a lot of people wanting the sour dialed down but it works for me. I will pick this up again but at $15.99/375 ml it won't be a daily thing.

Photo of sherm1016
4.28/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2011 Vintage, received in trade with mikedashg. Thanks! Pours a ruby brown color with a big white head that recedes. Carbonation continues to bubble up from the bottom of the glass. Aroma is sour, fruity, cherry, funk, and wine. The body is a little thin on the palate with medium to heavy carbonation. No Flat Abbey here. Flavor is sour, cherry, a little alcohol. The finish is very tart. Not as easy drinking as some others I've had, but an excellent sour ale nonetheless.

Photo of MbpBugeye
4.6/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Sent by from AleWatcher. Reviewed completely blind.

This one was a C&C 375ml bottle marked "w/GF Drink last. Tulips." Ohh boy!
A- This poured out really nice. Such a pretty color. Deep ruby red that glows and shimmers like a precious stone. There is a small, crackly head with no retention and spotty lace. The second glass, my girlfriend's, had a little sediment that got stirred up from stopping the pour, then starting again. 4.5

S- Stinky cheese and vinegar, this is going to be sour. Its very briny at times with a strong lactic presence. It opens up nicely with black cherry skin or plum skin. Swirling brings out lots of barnyard funk. This is highly lactic and vinegary. I commented about Flanders reds as we were smelling. 4.5

T- The first sip is SHOCKINGLY sour! We both were knocked back from the intense pucker. Its painfully awesome. Strong, under-ripe citrus with vinegar and acidity. Sweet berries with underpinnings of under ripe cherry and crab apple. 4.5

M- Strongly puckering and highly acidic. The finish is very dry. 4.5

D- Woah, this is really nice. Very strong and in your face with its acidity and sourness. 5

I was thinking Russian River or Lost Abbey. Sanctification just came out, could it be that? I think Red Poppy was recently released as well.

The reveal:
Lost Abbey Red Poppy! I was right when I was comparing it to a Flanders red! Really great stuff. I love the classy label. This was a long time want!

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

Poured from a 350mL bottle into an oversized wine glass. Pours a deep brown with a 1/4 inch head, no lace. Looks exactly as described.
The smell is pretty intense. Sour cherry, slight vinigar with a slight hint of sweet malts coming through.
The taste has a good sour cherry start that moves into a dry but slightly sweet finish. Very impressive. Goes down well.
I am a big American Wild fan so Flanders Oud Bruin seemed like a good style to branch into. Though my first one was a bit of a miss (Zuur), this one hit the spot. I just wish it wasn't so pricy. I'll grab at least two for the cellar though.

Photo of ritzkiss
4.3/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

375ml bottle thanks the great viggo - Cheers mate!

Pours a amber, dried blood color which at the top is crystal clear but with the sediment from the bottle, muddies things. A thin layer of head declines to a light collar.

Nose reveals some of the funkiest bugs I've smelt to date - just fantastic. Light vinegar and acidity, hints of wood and cherries.

This beer leans between the lines of a lambic, Flanders red and Oud Bruin - perhaps lacking enough malt presence to remind me of the classics in the Oud Bruin category. Nonetheless, nothing detracted on the score because whatever it is, it's tasty! Real fruity cherries, nice grassy funk with hints of barnyard, chewy wood, light sweetness, full bodied with jumping carb, light lemon-like acidic bite. Both refreshing and flavorful; well made, balanced, and appreciatively drank.

Photo of bobsy
4.47/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to the ever-generous viggo for the share. Been after this one for a while.

My pour came from the second half of the bottle and benefitted from a good shot of yeast. The disparity between the initial pours and the latter was stark, with the former having a crystal clear mahogany appearance and the latter adding a new level to murky. A thing film of a head keeps up shop for the duration. Sweet fruit vinegar nose mixes with a lactic sourness. Before the addition of the yeast this struck me as a highly drinkable flanders, but lacking in the sourness I love in the style - the dregs of the bottle more than remedied this. Very prominent fruit vinegar sourness, cherries, raspberry, demerera sugar and lemon. Really complex, and nicely-balanced. Medium-light body makes this one very drinkable.

A great example of the style, and deservedly up with the best. I can't really fault this beer on any count - thanks Eric!

Photo of ne0m00re
4.15/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Semi-live review of a 375 mL bottle.
A: Reddish murky brown with a decent dark tan film and good lacing.
S: Woody cranberries, raspberries, strawberries, apple cider vinegar, some lemon, nice well-rounded musty sour with a clean finish in the aroma. It has a light caramel and pecans with brown sugar. Good.
T: Nice acidity; cranberry, red wine, and apple cider, with brown sugar too and cherries that don't really dominate except in the sweet lingering finish, which is softer than you'd expect from the harsh sour beginning. Pretty good.
M: Thinner with a kind of spritzy carbonation.
D: Great.

Photo of Brew33
3.78/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Red Poppy received via trade.

This beer pours a medium brown with a TON of dark sediment. A cool color but muddled with yeast. The aroma was very good. Oak and a huge blast of tart cherries. Just a ton of cherries.

The flavor is good, not great. Acetic notes more so than lactic. Puckering cherry tartness, much more sour than I anticipated. Something is just a little off. The balance is just not quite there. Little evidence of malt or hops. With a Brown Ale base I would have anticipated a bigger malt presence. The moutfeel is solid, medium bodied with a creamy finish. The drinkability was pretty good but with the sharp finish and puckering tartness it's not great.

I think this beer needs a little more tweaking to get the flavors integrated a little better. All in all, an enjoyable beer.

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

Huge thanks to petesuphi for this corked and caged 12.7oz. bottle. Shared with friends on 2/1/11.

A - Poured a slightly hazy reddish orange liquid with an amber cherry glow, mild carbonation and an off-white ring around the glass.

S - Cherries and wood greet the nose and combine artfully to unveil an intensely tart aroma with some funky Brett notes and sweet cherry juice.

T - This reminds me of a liquified Sour Patch Kid. Red Poppy exhibits lots of cherry tartness with a mild oaky astringency and notes of woody tannins. Delicious!

M - Medium bodied with bristly carbonation. Finishes quite dry and sour on the palate with a pleasant puckering tartness.

D - This is definitely one of the best sours I've had to date. Red Poppy beautifully blends cherries and oak to create an extremely drinkable and approachable sour beer.

Photo of corby112
4.33/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From notes:

Pours a dark ruby/golden mahogany edges with a half finger foamy, off-white head. Decent retention, slowly fading into a thin ring. Minimal spots of lacing.

Funky, earthy aroma with lots of vinous dark fruit, oak tannis and musty barnyard notes. The prominent characteristic in the nose is dark, tart cherries but there s also hints of earthy, musty oak and wild bugs.

Nice tart, puckering mouthfeel that isn't very acidic making it very easy to drink. Vinous with sour dark cherry being the dominant flavor. Plenty of earthy funk and dry brett add to the tartness but the fruit is so prominent that it is excellently balanced.

Edit: the fruit fades in this beer rather quickly so it should be drunk closer to it's release to enjoy it at it's full potential.

Photo of jpmclaug
4.9/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottle is poured into my Lost Abbey tulip. Thanks to mikesgroove and irishgurl4 for both sending me a bottle of this as an extra.

A - Hazy ruby red body with a small white head.

S - Tart cherries and vinegar mingle. A hint of sweetness at the end brings it all together. Wow

T - Wow. I love this. Fantastic tart cherry flavor, slightly vinegar like, and a nice big sour flavor. No real funky notes but plenty of sour and cherry flavor. I am blown away.

M - medium body, good amount of carbonation.

D - This bottle has disappeared a lot quicker than I would have liked. Fantastic cherry flavor and plenty of sourness for me. I really really like this beer. I need to get more of this.

Photo of Huhzubendah
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sharing a bottle with my wife tonight. Bliss.

2009 vintage.

The beer appears a crimson sunburst hue, with an eighth inch of head that quickly settles to a thin layer and holds. The aroma is fabulous, with funk, cherries, wild yeast, and oak. The taste follows suit, and makes my cheeks pucker in delight upon the first sip. Insanely good, I want to trade for more of this immediately. The finish contains a healthy dose of vinegar and acetic notes, but is no way harsh. Quite the opposite, I wish I had a growler of this. My new favorite Flanders Oud Bruin.

Photo of cpetrone84
3.3/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Big thanks to Kevin for sharing this one! 2009 Bottle.

A-pours an extremely cloudy lighter brown color with strong red hues shined next to light. The head is rather thick and off white to light tan.

S-the nose has notes of balsamic up front, hints of green olives behind, there is a fair bit of dry oak giving way to a light touch of brett, light acidity and bits of sour cherries.

T-the taste has a stronger acidity and more balsamic, the oak is stronger and more present as the brett works in with the sour cherries. There is some acetic acid towards the back that detracts from the brightness of the cherries.

M-lighter to medium body, slightly grainy on the palate and rather juicy throughout. the finish is slightly undercarbonated and a little flabby also lacking the driness you would like to see with all the acidity.

D-this has some issues, the cherries are overshadowed by oak and acidity, notes of acetic acid in the finish and some random brett notes make this an overly sour slightly muddled beer.

Photo of zeff80
4.4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured out a dark burgundy color with a one-finger, cream colored head of foam. It was short lived and left minimal lacing.

S - Like a great sour beer lots of dark cherries and sourness. Just a touch of funkiness, too.

T - Sour but not overpowering with a strong black cherry flavor. There are mild yeasty notes and some light caramel flavors, too.

M - It'll make you pucker but not too much. It is medium bodied and very dry.

D - This is another fabulous beer from The Lost Abbey. I'll liking sour beers more and more each time I try great examples of the style like this one.

Photo of JAXSON
2.58/5  rDev -39.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

2009 bottle. Pours a muddy burgundy with a soapy head. Nose is typical lost Abbey Brett, very tight in that regard, with light balsamic vinegar and a fair dose of acidity. Mouth is highly acidic, some dark sour cherries, vinegar. Acetic. Decent base "brown ale" underneath but too many things going wrong here, starting with the acidity. Body is kind of watery and empty, with a flabby finish. Nah.

I've had a couple bottles of this and it's really overrated even being in the A range. Very mediocre Oud Bruin type of a beer with an unacceptably high acidic level.

From another bottle. Despite standing upright in a cool cellar for a month, this is muddy, flabby, overly acidic, boring, one dimensional. Why people rate this beer highly is beyond me.

Photo of nkersten
2.83/5  rDev -33.9%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Served from 2009 bottle into a Surly Darkness snifter. Pours a murky brown with a very small amount of head-like bubbles that fade quickly. Cork made no noise when removed. Uh oh. This stuff looks like flat cola. With lots sediment. Smell is an improvement over appearance, but that isnt saying much. Has the familiar lost abbey wild characteristics, sour lactic acid, a bit spicy, sour cherries in the background. Maybe a hint of yeast as well. Taste is what I remember red poppy tasting like. Very sour with a hint of ripe red cherries, no residual sweetness, mostly just lacto sourness. Mouthfeel is pretty bad. This beer is still, the mouthfeel is medium heavy, and the sourness of the beer gives you the feeling in the back of your throat like you just ate a bag of sour patch kids. Some bubbles would have done wonders for this beer. Drinkability is low too due to the lack of carbonation. This one may end up a drain pour - the mouthfeel kills any potential this beer may have had.

Photo of airohead2001
3.18/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Bottle shared with glazeman.

A - Run of the mill reddish/brown of so many sours that I've seen before. No head and no lacing.

S - Sour cherries, barn, and booze. OK, but not great.

T - Sour, citrus tart with some sour cherries through out and some biscuit in the finish.

M - Lots of carbonation.

D - Pretty drinkable, but limited by the sourness. This is a good beer, but not a great beer by any means. It doesn't taste unique or outstanding to me in any way. Compared to other beers, sure, it's better than most, but it's just another sour to me. Certainly not better than the sours from the RR series.

Photo of glazeman
3.68/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12.7 ounce bottle poured into a snifter and split with airohead2001.

A: The beer pours a ruby red in color with a bit of brown. The head measures 1/3 of a finger and is off-white in color. The head has moderate retention and no lacing.

S: Sour cherries up front and then musty at the finish. Not a very complex nose in my opinion. I don't get any oak out of the nose.

T: The first thing I thought of was "how did this win best of show at FoBAB." This isn't to say that the beer isn't good, it's just that there were so many better beers there and this is somewhat run of the mill to me as far as sours go. I don't get much oakiness at all from the barrel aging. The cherries, on the other hand, do come through and taste pretty good. There's not all that much yeasty funk, but some sour berries throughout. Mostly cherries, but a little bit of strawberry also.

M: Pretty good. I appreciate that this has fairly low carbonation, as anything more, in combination with the sourness, would have been too much. Nice aftertaste and feel on the palate.

D: Half of a 375ml bottle was enough for me. This isn't really the type of beer I'd like to have several of in a night. It tasted pretty good, but was not as complex as I would have liked.

Photo of Mages64
4.53/5  rDev +5.8%
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.

Photo of scottfrie
4.39/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

350ml bottle into Delirium Tremens glass. 2010 vintage. Big thanks to sleepyhead for sending me up this one.

A: Pour a very dark clear dirty-brown cherry color with a finger of light brown head that quickly receded into a faint scum and collar. Some wispy lacing.
S: Musty notes of oak and dark tart cherries. Faint hints of other sweet berries and aged malt.
T: Rich flavors of cherry pits, prunes and old bark. I'm actually getting a lot of prunes on the palate with notes of lemon rind in the finish. Aftertaste is musty with notes malt from the brown ale. Tart fruits are very well integrated, and the base brown ale for this beer is not overshadowed.
M: Medium-full body with delicate carbonation that foams up on the palate a little bit. Bitterness is medium and well integrated. Finish is dry, but not a desert. There are hardly any chalky tannins.
D: Definitely the best LA beer I've had to date, although I haven't had lot of their rarer ones. Very easy to drink and fairly refreshing. I hope I can get some more of this stuff! Thanks again Jeff for this one!

EDIT: 2011 bottle consumed Feb 2013:
Great long-lasted head this time. Dryer and more tart with the age, reminiscent of cranberry juice. Puckering and more tannic than when fresh. Definitely an improvement with some age.

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

A - Poured a brown with a ruby hue color with a tan head that leaves lacing behind

S - Is of tart cherries and funk

T - Just like the smell lots of tart cherries withe some funk

M - This beer has a medium body with higher carbonation to it

D - This is some awesome stuff I could drink this all day long love the tart flavor if you like sours this is a must hunt down and try beer

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

375mL corked and caged bottle poured into a stemmed glass. Thanks to domtronzero for this one!

(A)- Pours a deep and dark burnt sienna color that produced a good frothy tan head with good retention. Some foamy lace left behind.

(S)- A lovely sour funk with a light vinegar acidity. A brief cherry fruitiness with a dry oaky wood component. A lovely balance of sour funk and fruits.

(T)- Very similar to the smell. A big acidic sourness that stays with you to the finish. A good dry woody funk bite with a lightly creamy fruit finish.

(M)- A lively carbonation level that pricks up on the tongue. A good balance of acidic sourness, funk, and subtle fruits.

(D)- A great take on the style. Everything you would expect from the style too, if, with just some hints at a wild ale too. Great taste and aroma. I would like to have more of this please.

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

A: poured brown with ruby highlights that had a thin head and left a little bubbly lacing sticking to the glass.

S: definitely smell of tartness consisting of corky musty brett notes with lovely cherry aromas but I did detect adic vinegar character, oak, slight floral, and faint booze.

T: the ingredients mesh quite well sour cherries and acidic vinegar being the most dominate but had corky oaky, a touch of vanilla, apple, and floral accents; love beers like this.

M: the brew was medium in body with a perfect amount of prickly carbonation which had an acidic, slight sweet, sour, and dry finish.

D: very drinkable flanders that is very tasty and very glad to have a stash for future tastings. This one is definitely worth trying or trading for if you don't have access to it.

Red Poppy Ale from The Lost Abbey
95 out of 100 based on 1,677 ratings.