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Red Poppy Ale - The Lost Abbey

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Red Poppy AleRed Poppy Ale

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1,693 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,693
Reviews: 535
rAvg: 4.28
pDev: 9.35%
Wants: 544
Gots: 509 | 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: 1,693 | Reviews: 535 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

Photo of harrymel
3.77/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2011 vintage.

A: Pours a red and brown ale with excellent clarity. Single finger, peanut colored, soap sud head dissipates within a couple minutes leaving a thin, broken sheet of the same. Little to no lacing.

S: Smells like cherry cola. Hints of apple cider, clove and cinnamon. Smells like it's a little sweet on the tart side.

T: pucker. Good sour on this one. Surprisingly sour and emami. Hints of oak, pepper and more clove. Good for the style.

M: Medium to full for the style. Light carbonation (or over carbed for Lost Abbey) is nice.

O: Well done. Not quite my cup of tea, but a very well done flanders ale.

Photo of Gosox8787
4.27/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 375 mL corked and caged bottle. Poured into my tulip glass.

Appearance: I popped the cork and much to my surprise, there was a touch of gushing. A welcome sight considering my past experiences with Lost Abbey. Murky brown in color with some orange highlights. A one and a half finger, beige head that recedes into an uneven lacing.

Aroma: Juicy sweet cherries and funk definitely stand out. A touch of grassy notes in there as well. Nice balance of tart and sweet fruit.

Taste: An initial sour burst hits, but it quickly subsides. Lemon and tart cherries are a definite assault on the palate. Sweet cherries and oak notes take over. Some nice toasted malt notes mixed in as well. Thin aftertaste.

Mothufeel: Light bodied and carbonated, which I (again) consider a huge success. Definitely does not weigh down.

Overall, a really nice and flavorful sour ale. I really enjoy the crispness, balance, and really deep cherry notes in here. I could definitely see this being considered overpriced, but I will definitely get this again. Definitely among my favorite Lost Abbey beers.

Photo of badboyrsl84
4.1/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I got this on tap at the Alpine pub.

It pours a murky brown into a tulip glass with a 2 inch head that dissapates quickly

Smell- vinegar, tart, acidic, cherries and other acidic fruit. Smells like sweet-tart candy.

Very well put together in the sour department. The body of this is well balanced making it a beer you could enjoy more than one pint of at a time

Taste - lots of tart and some cherries. Aftertaste of cherries and some residual tartness but fades away very quickly unlike a lot of sours I've had.

Photo of nataku00
4.12/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 2011 release bottle split into two Lost Abbey tulips with a friend. Popping the cork, the beer foamed up a bit, but I had a glass nearby to catch it and start pouring. First half of the pour didn't get any yeast that it was bottle fermented with, so it was mostly solid reddish brown, with hints of scarlet at the edge of the glass when held up to the light. The second half of the pour gets a bit of the yeast, making it significantly hazier, a lighter brown with some red notes as well. About a finger and a half of light brown frothy head on the pour is a good sign. Looks like a very fine champagne like carbonation.

Nose is a very pungent sour cherries, some sweet cherries as well, vinegary, with a slight hint of oak. A bit of funky earthiness as well.

Taste is light sour cherries and red wine vinegar, cherry seeds and oak mid tongue, but fades into sweet and tangy fruit, earthiness. Swallowing the beer takes all flavor with it as there is barely any aftertaste other than some chewed up cherry seeds. Somewhat disappointing that the flavor is so short on the tongue, considering how strong the aroma was.

Light bodied and well carbonated. Tingly on the tongue and surprisingly clean, unexpected for this style.

Photo of julian
4.21/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a deep dark mahogany. very dark, but when held to light, faint crimson edges can be seen. HUGE bubbly tan colored head that isn't leaving anytime soon. As it fades, it leaves a huge frothy ring around the top of the glass and becomes less bubbly, and more solid/creamy completely coating the surface. Lots of curtainous lacing too. very nice!

S: Mild vinegar like tartness, most definitely from the cherries...and they must be on the sour side to begin with. There is a slightly sweet oakiness on the outside, but it's not very noticeable. As per most of these tart/sour styles, the tartness is the dominating force here.

T: Definitely get some nice woody/oak cherry flavors early on. The cherry/oak/vanilla flavor I'm getting reminds me of some New Glarus cherry beers, but these can't be Montmorency cherries as LA states they used sour cherries. Either way, whatever's happening here is providing for a very lovely cherry flavor wrapped in oak and vanilla. Definitely one of the best Flanders Oud Bruin I've had, perhaps the best to date.

M: Excellent carbonation, moderate acidity, no discernible bitterness, but clearly there's a balance going on here.

D: Very approachable ABV and great taste make this a very easy drinker. I could definitely sit back and knock back a few of these. Only downside is the price! $16.99/ 375ml. Crazy...

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
4.23/5  rDev -1.2%
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
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%
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
4.37/5  rDev +2.1%
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
4.34/5  rDev +1.4%
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
4.17/5  rDev -2.6%
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.

Red Poppy Ale from The Lost Abbey
95 out of 100 based on 1,693 ratings.