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Red Poppy Ale - The Lost Abbey

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Red Poppy AleRed Poppy Ale

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1,707 Ratings

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Ratings: 1,707
Reviews: 536
rAvg: 4.28
pDev: 9.35%
Wants: 545
Gots: 512 | FT: 35
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: 1,707 | Reviews: 536
Photo of AlCaponeJunior
4.13/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

My first lost abbey brew, and I wasn't disappointed.

Reddish brown and opaque, great head that lasted a long time, leaving huge clumps of thick lacing. Very good looking beer.

You can definitely smell vinegar/tart cherries, along with a woody, sour aroma.

Sourness is prime for this one, very sour indeed, with a great dry cherry backbone, plenty of woody flavors, just a touch of balsamic or red wine vinegar.

Body is light but full all at once. Plenty tangy from ample carbonation. Slightly lingering sour aftertaste.

All around a great beer, very nice for the style.

Photo of kk73
4.07/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 375ml bottle into my glass. Thanks heyta for this bottle. 2011 vintage.

A - Pours a dark and hazy reddish brown with a big three finger oatmeal color head. The head quickly dissipates into a layer of foam. Little to no lacing.

S - Smells of tart fruit, mainly cherries. Apple cider vinegar, clove, and wood.

T - Tart sour cherries upfront, followed by some wood. Probably the oak its aged in. Also tart apples and vinegar in the finish. Tart and lip puckering throughout.

M - Medium bodied, with plenty of bubbly carbonation.

D - Pretty good. Not much experience in this style but very similar imo to The Dissident. Easy drinking if you can get pass the sour, vinegar like taste. No problem finishing this bottle by myself. Would seek or buy again. Would like to see how this is with some age on it.

Photo of jsanford
3.96/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

375ml bottle poured into a Tulip Glass. 2011 vintage. Big Flanders Oud Bruin fan, been looking forward to this for some time.

A - Pours a muddy mahogany with a 2-inch head of off-white foam that recedes quickly (and loudly, lotsa fizzing) to a slight haze and thin ring.
S - Man, I can smell this from across the room! The sour cherries dominate, with a healthy dose of red wine vinegar for the acidity. Definitely the most cherry-forward Oud Bruin I've had, but leather, tobacco, and a good amount of oak make themselves known as well. Smells wonderful!
T - Flavor is a bit subdued, really disappointing after such an amazing nose. More tart cherry, with flavors of brown sugar, vinegar, tobacco, and high quantities of oak. Taste is a bit muddy, not as clean and sharp as I'd like, and I feel the oak presence is a bit much. Damn, I wanted to love this!
M - Light-bodied with very sharp, high carbonation. Finding this to be a bit over-carbonated, too sharp for my liking, it kinda kills the flavor a bit.
O - I enjoyed this, but was hoping for much more. Initially I thought it would be a challenge to Oude Tart, but doesn't come anywhere close. Still, it scratched my Oud Bruin itch nicely!

Photo of Knapp85
4.47/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer was a real gem, I had been hunting this one down for a while now, thanks to the spinnerstown hotel for helping me out with this one. I ordered a bottle that I debated over for a while and finally gave in.

The beer was uncorked by the bartender Jack, who did a nice job with it. The beer poured out as a murky brownish red color that looked quite interesting. The head was white and fizzy, it vanished shortly after the pour. It was a very bubbly beer with loads of carbonation with every sip.

The aromas were of fresh tart fresh cherries, fresh cut wood, and several intense spices in the blend of smells coming out of this beer. The flavors were similar in the same respect. The cherries came first and they bite the tongue and hold on for a while. The wood comes through in the aftertaste leaving a really smooth natural fresh flavor on the pallet. Mouthfeel is very good too!

This beer was worth the wait, I am not even a fan of sour ales but this one far beyond any I've had in the passed. Really nice!

Photo of nhindian
4.12/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

375ml bottle poured into a Lost Abbey tumbler. Bottle provided and split with russwbeck, thanks Russ!

A - Pours a muddy brown color with a thin, 1-fingered head. The head has a nice cream complexion to it, with moderate retention. After it fades, it leaves a ring behind that sticks to the glass. Lacing is pretty good and it has some legs for it. I got the second half of the bottle, so there are a few chunks in here.

S - This has a big sour nose to it with a nice cherry kick to it. It has some slight vinegar to it, and compared to Deschute's The Dissident, much more cherry. Smells pretty spot on for the style and one of the best due to the cherries and minimal vinegar.

T - I will be doing a sort of middle ground of my glass and Russ' dye to the sediment in mine. Mine was much more sour than his, hut not in a bad way, and the vinegar is a bit more prominent and long-lasting. His was a little more sweet, but again, just two different sides of the spectrum. I feel the cherries were better defined in the other glass, but are still strong here. Alcohol is slight and masked by the sour.

M - Mouthfeel is medium-bodied with medium carbonation. Slightly low carbonation for the style but for Lost Abbey I can't complain. Long finish.

D - Drinkability is moderately high. This beer is nice in the fact that it uses a good amount of cherries and has a high sourness to it. Not sure if it's worth $15, but it is tasty.

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

Thanks go out to beerman4 for this.

A: Very brown pour with a small white head. Decent lacing, although the head dissipates rather quickly.

S: Really big sour smell. Tart cherries and vinegar.

T: Very tart sour flavor. Cherries predominantly. Pretty sweet also, very well balanced. Hint of warming alcohol on the backend.

MF: Really carbonated very well. Light to medium bodied.

O: I was really impressed by this. It has great balance between sourness and other tastes. I've had a bunch of sours I hated, not this one.

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

12.7oz bottle into a tulip glass at fridge temp.

2011 Vintage

A- Pours a nice dark reddish brown with a 1 finger frothy off white head with tons of small bubbles. Plenty of carbonation streaming from the bottom of the glass. Not much lacing but some pretty decent legs on the side of the glass for only %5.

S- Strong cherry notes up front with hints of apple, funk, and musty wet wood.

T- Just like the aroma. Sour tart cherries dominate, granny smith like flavor, slight vinegar and Brett. In the finish you get oak and vanilla flavors that compliment the beer very nicely and provide a tasty finish.

M- Medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation and a nice sour finish.

Worth every penny.


Photo of bs870621345
4.42/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a few of these at Lost Abbey a few weeks back.

Pours a deep brown with ruby highlights and an inch of tan head. Leaves no lacing, but the head lasts all glass.

Smell is tart cherries right off the bat. Has a musty, oak, lemon, granny smith apples, hay, and some bread like sweetness.

Taste is tart, musty, funky, oak, cherries, and sweetness. Its very nice.

Mouthfeel is light to moderate with nice carbonation.

Overall its almost a perfect beer. Opened this one too cold, but was too afraid that it was going to gush out.

Photo of 05Harley
4/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2011 vintage

Purchased through West Lakeview Liquors, Chicago Illinois

Price - $16.99/bottle

Corked and caged for a reason. Man This suckers got some carbonation - wow. Following a big pop was the appearance of smoke rising from the bottle followed by bubbles. Murky reddish/brown in color with a beige head and spotty lacing.

Bringing on the funk like a dance floor from the 70's. Sour cherries and vinegar take center stage followed by woodiness from the oak.

The flavor is sour cherries, lemons and dare I say Granny Smith apples.

Lite body and highly carbonated which is noticeable after each sip. Tart and lightly sweet through out. Not as sour as I was expecting, sort of in the middle for the style.

A pretty good beer overall. I'm expanding my palate into the style and hope to develop a better impression for the sour branch of beers. This one's a little pricey for a 12.7 ounce bottle IMO.

Photo of Cheesemoose
4.23/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Murky brown pour with a dark ruby essence. Bubbly white head rises, though dissipates settling into a fine film. Lacing is splotchy.

Smell has a great funk, with a nice sweet backing. Balance in a sour? I dare say so. Cherry tartness is well balanced against the oak mellowing.

Funk is well mellowed, providing a nice gateway for the cherries. Sweetness is muted, giving a nice balance. Earthy undertones in the finish.

Oily mouthfeel, leaving a nice resonance. Very nice, mellow and a great symbol within the style.

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

Pours a hazy, nearly opaque chocolate brown with a VERY thick tan head. The sample I got fizzed like crazy, so beware when you first pour it! Aroma is strongly oaky with malty and fruity hints and more than a bit of sweetness. Flavor has a strong oaky alcohol bite and some fruity and malty cherry tones - definitely a hint of cherry in there. Texture is fierce, attacking the tongue like a pit bull - this beer is not for the faint of heart or taste buds. This beer is intended to be sipped slowly and savored, like brandy.

Photo of dookiepower
4.77/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Popped my caged and corked Red poppy ale. I was extremely happy to hear a huge pop when I corked it, no flat abbey here. It even gushed out a little bit, but luckily I had my glass right there to catch this beauty.

Appearance-Pours with a 1 1/2 finger head leaving lots of lace, and showed great carbonation. Off white head. Red poppy has a deep brown color with amber hues in the depth of it reflecting the cherries used in it.

Aroma- Brett, funk, cherry, sour, candy apple, almost sweet, and a lot of oak. This beer had a great nose on it the brett and funk melded exceptionally well with the cherry aromas, with the oak finishing it up nicely.

Taste- Red poppy flowed over my palate with a beautiful funky bright cherry flavor. The brett and oak came in on the back end with a huge patch of sourness, and a little bit of a nice vinegar note. It ends with a beautiful sour cherry finish.

Mouthfeel- Amazing smooth silky mouthfeel, with great carbonation that seamlessly blends with the sourness.

Overall- A beautiful representation of this style, and it was a great beer overall. Good job Lost Abbey.

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

12oz 2011 C&C bottle into a Rodenbach Grand Cru tulip. Thanks to Jeff at The Hulmeville Inn for setting this aside for me.

A nice pop with the cork off, Red Poppy Ale glides into the glass looking a darkish red surrounded by marroon. A chunk of brown bark, darker than I expected. A lot of bubbles, I got 3 fingas off a slow pour, creamish/tan looking foan that settled, small specks on the glass.

The nose is lively and ripe at this young stage, I believe this bottle is two months old at this point. Sour cherry with a nice scent of chocolate as well, was not expecting that. Small oak presence with wood without the vanilla. Nice funk as well but not the main cake, is there any bugs in this?

A very great taste on first sips only to be further solidified with further sips. Chocolate covered cherry with some funky appeal and light wood and some small amounts of malt to back that, very small in that Dept. though. Reminds me of a Rodenbach/Rosso mix.

Feel is quite tart but not 2007 Cantillon Kriek sour, there is a balance somewhat, leaning towards sour. Some lactic quality that is finished by the faintest of malt. A step above light bodied with bubbles, congrats port/LA, keep it up.

This was a treat and this is kick ass beer. Glad to have tried it. But if I can pick up 3 750's of Rodenbach Grand Cru which is imported mind you, what decision do you think im going to make between the two, even though I prefer this because of the absence of vinegar.

Photo of Kadonny
4.56/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2011 version. Poured from a fresh 375ml bottle into a snifter glass.

A: A dark brownish very clouded color with a slight hint of ruby red. A large almost 2 finger light brown head coats the glass when swirled. Amazing head. Yeast settles at the bottom of the glass.

S: Sour fruit jumps out with vinegar, cherry and wood notes soon overtaken by the very strong aroma of the brett. The barnyard smells on this were amazing. Wet hay, straw, horse blanket and even some (I know this sounds weird) slight manure smell.

T: Tart and sour up front with the dark fruit and cherry flavor. Some slight woody notes coupled with the vinegar and the straw flavor. Yeast and funkiness from the brett lingers and seems to keep pounding the mouth. This beer is amazingly sour. Finish has a touch of sweetness before the tartness takes over. Flavors linger in the mouth. Incredible.

M: Sour, tart, yeasty and well carbonated. Sourness lingers.

O: This is a tremendous beer that you just want to sit and enjoy. The aroma and flavor produce a beer that you will never forget. Legendary.

This is one expensive beer, so savor it. Is it worth the price tag? Each person will have to decide that on their own. I personally think it is worth it in small quantities. This is one to save for that perfect moment in which you want to immerse yourself in a beer. I have another bottle that I'm going to age to see how it changes. Awesome.

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

2011 vintage

Pours murky ruddy brown with off white head that fades to leave chunky lacing. Smells of cherries, brettomyces, vinegar, malt, cider. Taste is sour cherry, citric, malt, white wine. Mouth feel is medium dry, carbonation is medium, drinkability is high. Overall a good bruin, but doubtful worth the pricetag.

Photo of zhanson88
4.14/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Red Poppy pours a murky dark ruby color with lighter ruby highlights. About 1.5 fingers of tan head forms. Lacing and retention are decent. This is definitely not a beautiful beer, but not bad either.

Smell: Sweet and tart cherries show up front, followed by oak, light funk, and tartness. I get a low to medium amount of acidity in this one.

Taste: I get mostly tart and lesser sweet cherries up front along with some oak. Some funk follows as well as sourness. I don't find this beer too acidic overall. It finishes with a lingering oaky sourness. Very nice.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: Light bodied with quite a bit of carbonation. The carbonation is very fine though, and makes for a nice mouthfeel. This is a beer that I have been wanting to try for a while, and it didn't disappoint. I have a few more of these, and am interested to see how they will age. I've heard that this beer is better fresh, so we'll see.

Photo of Bellabananas
4.23/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A-Rich brown with a slight red hue. Good head retention with creamy foam.
S- Definite funk scent, which delivers what it promises. Oak-y, no hint of cherry
T- Delicious smooth sour flavor. Not incredibly pungent, more flavor after you swallow. No cherry flavor to be found, which I was happy with. Very true to style. No sour bite at the end.
M- Perfect level of carbonation with the flavor. Allows the flavors to dance on your tongue after swallowing and coats your tongue perfectly.
O- Wonderful flavors and something I would enjoy drinking except for the price

Photo of homebrew311
4.33/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into New Glarus flute glass.

A: Pours a slightly hazy deep reddish brown with lively carbonation. 2 finger head with heavy lacing and stellar head retention.

S: nice oaky & lactic acid character up front with tart cherries coming through in the middle. A little bit of funk on the finish. Smells well balanced and sour!

T: some notes of cherries and vanilla and a hint of sweetness start this off with bold notes vinegar and acidic sourness taking over by the middle of the palate. The sourness lasts all the way through to after the finish as the cherry character added depth to the tartness. The finish leaves lingering sourness on the palate. Very well balanced.

MF: high carbonation, the bottle almost gushed upon uncorking. Refreshing mouthfeel, fits the style

O: this is a great Oud Bruin. Nice balance of sour and sweet, the oak fits in nice, lots of depth and overall delicious. The price seems a bit high on this one but worth a try.

Photo of jwinship83
4.12/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

375ml corked and caged bottle from the 2011 release. drank from my duvel tulip.

A- this one pours out a hazy looking reddish brown colored body with a full two fingers of fluffy light tan head. the head is quick to fade and leaves behind very little in terms of lacing.

S- the first thing i can pick out of the nose are tart cherries and a balsamic vinegar type acidity. after that i get some mild funkiness and some hints of oak barrel.

T- the taste starts out with some of the sour cherries i could smell, but they seem to stay more subtle than the nose would indicate. some balsamic vinegar in the middle. earthy/musty funk and mild oak barrel round this one out.

M- light bodied and acceptably carbonated. dry finish.

O- there is a lot of flavor packed into this little (5% ABV) beer. ill check this one out again if a special occasion arises before its gone form the shelf. at almost $17 a bottle, its a little cheap for every day consumption.

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

12.7oz bottle, shared: from notes.
A: Subtle pop of the cork and no gushing, thankfully at this price. Pours a ruby red body, with thin streamlines of carbonation. The head is off-white, with a hint of red within. Bit too red for style, but the influence of cherries is shown.

S: The aroma, brings together the balance of sour notes and fruity tones of cherries. The aroma is medium in intensity. A very nice story is being told within this aroma of a young Bruins relationship between cherries and oak.

T/MF: Cherries are the majority of the flavor profile for myself, although there is a bold layer of sourness, it does not overwhelm the the nice balance of cherry and oak. A lively mouthfeel from appropriate levels of carbonation. The middle of the body shows some nice malted characteristics, of dark fruits that are not used, but evident in the profile. Lingering taste of cherry pits and sourness.

O: Great Flanders Bruin, but I would prefer it with a hint of age on it. The cherries are delightful, but stomping on a lot of those other subtle complexities. Great Barrel aged brew, one that I would love to revisit in years to come.

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

Pours a dark reddish-brown color with a large cream (off-white) head that doesn't look like it's goin anywhere soon. Amazing head on this beer. Scent is funky to say the least. Huge funk aroma coming from this along with red wine vinegar and cherries. This beer smells absolutely fantastic! Taste is just as fantastic! This is one freakin amazing beer! Sorry for all the exclamation marks, I just wasn't expecting to like this beer so much. This beer has so much oak flavor to it, it's ridiculous. Tons of oak and a hint of tart cherries with a bit of vanilla. Some great funky flavors throughout with red wine vinegar. Mouthfeel is nice and refreshingly dry, but not overly dry. Very acidic. Drinkability is very high... I'm wishing I picked up more than just two bottles of this, but Amorosa but a fat dent in my wallet. Overall, this beer is phenomenal. I wish I had more.

Photo of eagles22
4.1/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: poured into a snifter, beautiful reddish brown body with a nice white foamy head.

Smell:apple cider vinegar, very oaky and sour cherries and some sweet berries at the end

Taste: starts off sour than ends with a nice mellow mouthfeel

Mouthfeel: very champagne like just to much carbonation for my palate, I like more of a oily mouthfeel

overall: this beer is fantastic!!!

Photo of John_M
4.12/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a bottle at TJ's last night. This is the just released 2011 version.

The beer pours a rich, somewhat cloudy, reddish amber color with pretty good head retention and lacing. Interestingly, I'm not sure if the beer was too cold initially, but the head retention and lacing both improved over time with this beer. The nose in this beer is pretty outrageous, with a huge intial blast of sour funk (considerable vinegar and wet horse blanket - I know; yum!!!). However, I also picked up considerable black cherry, vanilla and a hint of chocolate, which seemed to become more evident as the beer warmed a bit. Fortunately, the sour component wasn't quite as prominent on the palate, and the black cherry and vanilla seemed to shine through more and more as the beer warmed. There was still very much of a sweet tart flavor to this beer, but it wasn't overwhelming and in fact was pretty enjoyable. Also, I thought the sweet cherry fruit came through more and more with increased air contact and warming. Mouthfeel was medium bodied, with a fairly long, sweet and sour finish. Drinkability was pretty good I thought, and would probably be flat out terrific for a sour lover.

Definitely a well crafted beer from Port/Lost Abbey. Just wish I was a bigger fan of sour ales.

Photo of brotherloco
4.29/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2011 Vintage - 375ml bottle

Oh man, what a gusher. Had to scramble to get it in the glass. At over a dollar an ounce, I couldn't move fast enough.

Not a really great looking beer in the glass. Mostly opaque brown, small ring and a thin island of foam once it settles. Didn't come here to stare at it though.

Smells of red wine vinegar, sour cherries and a bit of barrel wood. A touch of (yikes) ammonia at the end of the draw, but it's barely there.

I really like the taste and feel of this one. Sourness doesn't overpower the malts, fruit is well blended. Tartness comes on strong on the finish and doesn't let you forget this is a Flanders-style beer. Carbonation and relatively light ABV pay off to make this very refreshing and drinkable. Sure wish I had a 750.

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

A-Uncorking the bottle unleashes a loud pop. A foamy, murky-red head explodes with lively bubbles then quickly begins to pop away. A thinnish head floats atop the liquid leaving long drags of lace. The brew is exceptionally murky and red/brown in color.

S-Beautifully sour and funky aroma flows from both the bottle and my glass. The instant this was opened, the smell encompassed the area around me. Cherries, and oakiness. Great funky smell. A bit similar to wine too.

T-Quite sour! The funkiness in the nose is perfectly matched on the palate. Delicious fresh cherry taste is powerful and tasty. The cherry flavor is juicy and rich. Oaky and malty as well. Quite unique, quite complex, quite delicious.

M-Light relatively modest carbonation. The brew is smooth as is washes around the mouth. I enjoy how light the beer is.

O/D- Why oh why is this bottle so small and super expensive!? I wish I had much more of this. One tiny bottle kills the wallet but boy am I happy to have tried this one. The flavors in this beer are great. The lightness of the body keeps your tongue screaming for more. Try it if you have some extra cash hanging around.

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Red Poppy Ale from The Lost Abbey
95 out of 100 based on 1,707 ratings.