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Red Poppy Ale - The Lost Abbey

Not Rated.
Red Poppy AleRed Poppy Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
95
world-class

1,688 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,688
Reviews: 534
rAvg: 4.28
pDev: 9.35%
Wants: 533
Gots: 507 | FT: 36
Brewed by:
The Lost Abbey visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Flanders Red Ale |  5.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerBeing on 09-07-2007

Perhaps no country embraces the use of fruit in beers more so than Belgium. Numerous traditional as well as regional specialty ales are infused with every sort of fruit imaginable. In this way, the flavor of the fruit becomes especially prominent.

Red Poppy Ale is a veritable celebration of Sour Cherries in an explosion of aromas and tastes. Brewed from a brown ale base and aged in our oak barrels for over 6 months, this beer is not for the faint of heart.

The Golden Poppy is the state flower of California and the Red Poppy is found in Flanders Fields where our inspiration for this beer comes from.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,688 | Reviews: 534 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Plenum
3.85/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

No head to speak of. The minimal amount of carbonation was gone before I got from the counter to the couch.

Great red color on this brew. Light seemed to sparkle through it. Absolutely no lacing on the glass, very thin ale.

Very sour, very tart, very sharp. Cherries come through, which was a nice quality.

Was glad to be able to try this brew. I'd try it again, but not sure it's on my list of things to seek out.

Good example of the style though.

Photo of Reagan1984
3.85/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Jimmy J (Draught2012) for bringing this over for a nice beer dinner we had. It was a treat to try a special LA beer.

Poured into my tulip glass and there was not that much of a head. What was there was fizzy and dissipated very quickly. Amber/Red color with lots of light red highlights. Deep color. No lacing.

Wow, the aroma is sharp, tart and sour. Slightly vinegar like. As it wamrs you get more cherry and wood. I think as you get used to the tart nature, you can detect more going on. This is definitely true for the taste as well.

Sour nature is not as sharp as the aroma. Slightly acidic, tart cherry appears more as it warms. The oak really comes out as you adjust yourself and it warms. Gosh, I wish that was just the slightest touch of sweetness. But that's me, not the style...

The mouth feel was acidic but very light. A refreshing beer.

I can't say that I find this completely drinkable, I continue to try and develop a taste for this style. You can tell this was a very good beer and I was happy to have the chance to try it.

Photo of jminsc76
4.35/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Into a tulip, pours a slightly reddish/pinkish head atop a deep purple body. The head dissipates very quickly and reemerges only slightly after agitation. Plenty of sediment floating around that includes large cherry chunks. Wow.

Powerful aromas of sour cherry, oak, vinegar, and other fruitiness, and it lifts the nose with a highly complex bouquet.

Flavors upfront of oak, sour cherries, and vinegar, with an acidic aftertaste on the back end of tomatoes (if you read my review of Hanssens Artisanaal Oude Kriek, you will find this an excellent, if not ironic feature). The tartness is intensely strong, and the sweetness is present enough to bring balance to the Force.

Mouthfeel is sticky on the roof of the mouth and quenching on the overall palate. A bit thin but very drinkable; and with the presence of the cherry float-ies, a chewey snack for later.

What we have here, dear readers, is a Hansenns Artisanaal Oude Kriek meets a quality Flanders Oude Bruin. It's wonderful. But a word of CAUTION: this literally knocked all the sourness out of the Duchesse De Bourgogne alexd3891 and I followed it up with the first time we had Red Poppy (the Duchesse basically tasted like Coca Cola, and while cola taste isn't a bad thing, I don't reach for a Duchesse when I want a Coke).

So unless you have a Cantillon or some other sour worthy of standing up to the tartness of the Red Poppy, this is your beer for the evening.

Photo of CoolJosh
4.24/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Split by Treyrab, poured from a 375mL bottle into a Lost Abbey Tulip.

Pours a hazy dark red with no head yield, but a small white ring around the top of the glass. No lacing is left behind. There is a lot of carbonation apparent which lines the sides of the glass completely.

The yeast smells really nice in this beer as the brett characteristics are a little bit more subdued then some of the other LA wild ales I have had. There is a sweet cherry pie scent that flourishes well in combination with a floral accent. This beer smells a lot like cotton candy.

The taste is much different from what I anticipated based off of the smell. Very acetic and a little bit vinous. There is a very well executed taste of vinegar which plays well with the high level of acidity. Mouth puckering tart sour cherries mixed with sour apples. The mouthfeel is relatively thin and is very sharp with the high level of carbonation. All in all, a little bit sweet, incredibly sour, and a fairly subdued oaky flavor all combine to make this beer a top choice for a flanders red. I could easily have continued to drink this beer all night.

Photo of joe1510
4/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

375ml

2009 Vintage

This bottle comes courtesy of the ever generous BitterBill, thanks again Bill! I was a little worried with the barely noticeable pop of the cork but a vigorous pour down the center of the glass produces a fingers worth of creamy beige head that slowly falls to a solid cap. Underneath lies a murky brown body that glows crimson when backlit. Some thin lacing gets left behind that eases back into the body over time.

The cherries have a much more candy-like aroma than I would have expected. They bring along a little tartness but the sweeter qualities are certainly there. A handful of earthy qualities make their presence known. Leather and reduced balsamic vinegar jump to mind immediately along with a rather rich, brown bread sort of maltiness.

The cherries are tarter on the tongue than in the nose but they still show off a candy-like sweetness to balance things out. The leathery quality is rich and goes well with the hefty balsamic vinegar notes. There's a solid backing of brown bread maltiness that evens this Flanders styled brew out well. The cherry tartness runs along the sides of my tongue but never reaches sour.

Although it took some doin' to get any noticeable carbonation it manages to come along nicely on the back of the tongue. The body has a light feel and the carbonation actually has a touch of prickliness on the back while pushing the beer through quickly.

The sweet and sour combo of this beer makes it an ideal thirst quencher in the summer months. The lighter body keeps Red Poppy flowing as well. This is a beer I could happily put away all day.

Lost Abbey is hit or miss with me and lately they've been a huge miss. Red Poppy managed to raise my opinion of them again. They can make a good beer when they show some effort and Red Poppy is one of the examples. Thanks for the bottle Bill, I really enjoyed this one!

Photo of mjl21
3.85/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Acquired via trade...thanks Dan! 375 ml bottle dated 2009 on the bottle. Poured into a Chimay chalice. Comes in at 5%.

A-The cork on this was extremely tough to get out of the bottle. When it was pulled out, I was greeted by a minimal pop. When poured, there is just a tiny little ring and a think bit of film. It is almost flat by all appearances. The color is a nice dark brown with reddish hue. There is a noticeable amount of suspended yeast on the side of the glass. Every once in a while a bubble will break the surface. For all its flaws, it still looks pretty good when held to the light.

S-The first thing to hit my nose during every sip is a really odd funk smell that I could not place. It is not offensive, just odd. I get some of the sour cherries, but not nearly as much as I expected, especially after recently having a Cuvee de Tomme. To me it smelled like cherries that had been soaked in vinegar.

T-A huge level of sour and tart slams the tongue quickly. The unusual funk scent that I kept getting in my nose also is present mid-sip. The aftertaste is quite vinegary. Not as much cherry as I expected. The oak becomes more pronounced as it warms. Every few sips I get a tad bit of vanilla. The sour taste lessens as it warms, but that could also be because my mouth gets more used to it.

M-As mentioned in the appearance, this one is pretty flat. The sourness does a good job of keeping my mouth stimulated. Some more carbonation would have helped.

D-The flatness is its one flaw. It is one that is good to sip on and enjoy its nuances. I have never spent so much time to drink a beer that is only 5%.

My first time with Red Poppy. Overall, I hought it was pretty good. The QC issues definitely continue with this one. Would try again once LA has their act together.

Photo of Beerzebub
4.22/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2009 375ml bottle, poured in a flute at 53 F/ 12 C.

Hazy golden-brown color, attractively bright golden at the rim. Ring of froth and a gentle stream of bubbles.

Aroma of brown sugar and cherries, with a good streak of tartness, almost like cherry pie, and some vanilla-y oak. A hint of sherrylike oxidization develops. Very nice indeed.

Flavors of bright tart fruit, savory dried fruit, brown sugar, and well integrated oak, with a good dose of clean lactic acidity, and a just a bit of vinegar. Good balance. Simple tart oaky finish. Quite tasty overall.

Good medium-bodied texture, smooth carbonation, tingly acidity. Refreshing and quite drinkable.

I could use more of the oxidization that I love in Red Poppy's Belgian counterparts, but this is excellent stuff nonetheless.

Photo of Ineedabeerhere
3.97/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Included in the epic tasting on 6.13 but I have had this before a couple times. Review includes multiple vintages.

Hazy, Ruby color with a faded cherry colored head. It's incredible how much this beer fades with time. First time I had this beer it was the night before EBF 09 (it was about a year old, 08 batch) and it didn't seem to be the beer that it should. Although it was still solid, the aroma was a shadow of its former self. I didn't realize until I traded for an 09 bottle and had it fresh out the gate. Worlds apart- flavor between a fresh bottle and a year aged one were much more similar than the aromas were (if that makes sense).

When this beer is fresh, it has a wonderful cherry flavor, nice level of acidity and sourness that compliments the fruit notes. Carbonation is appropriate (spritzer-like at times), and with a low ABV, red poppy is pleasantly drinkable. I look forward to trying future batches.

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

Cherries, cherries, cherries... What more to say??? Quite a bit, actually!

Got this bottle in a mixed batch from my good friend Kenan out in San Marcos -- I was SOO happy to see it; this is a Flanders I haven't had the chance to try yet.

The appearance is cloudy, reddish brown in the bottle -- I can barely see through the bottle, not because it's thick, but because it's so darn hazy. Pours about the same; very hazy, with no noticeable head. Very little carbonation (and very little pop when I uncorked it), but many tiny, tightly clustered bubbles visible lacing sides & top of glass.

Smell is very vinegary, almost as if the cherries were a bit over-fermented. Pleasant smell, nonetheless, with a fair amount of sweetness behind the vinegar. No hop smell apparent -- they may not have used any at all. For that matter, next to no malty smell either -- the sweetness I do smell is more a fruity sweet, and not at all deep or heavy.

Taste is amazing -- like a sour candy, but with a beery aftertaste. It hits my mouth like a sledgehammer, and there is so much sourness up front that me and the two others I was tasting with visibly puckered up. After that inital shock, the taste mellows out some (or maybe my taste buds just gave up), and it becomes a sweet, light taste, almost like a lambic. I'm wondering now just how much cherry is in there -- a bushel, or just a jar. My friend Tim commented "You could put that on your fish & chips", and I agree -- the sweetness & vinegar come through strong.

Although the Red Poppy is definitely sour to the last drop, it is at the same time very drinkable. While drinking this all night might make me slightly stoopid, I would definitely enjoy it! It's certainly a sipper though -- 1 12.5oz bottle took the 3 of us a full 20 minutes to finish off, at which point we all started wondering where we could find more.

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

Thanks again scray24.

The lackluster pop and virtually no head was not a good sign for the carbonation.

The aroma was of cherry with a slight vinegar hint.

The taste was very nice of cherry, oak (a little too much) and sour funk. I found it a little too dry, I think if it was a tad sweeter and morre carbonated this beer would have been a grand slam.

Very drinkable except for the flatness.

Photo of BitterPachyderm
3.72/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I got this via tayner (not to step on toes, but probably my favorite BA). It was the 2009 vintage in the 12.7 oz. bottle.

Going into this tasting, I didn't know that it was a Flanders Oud Bruin, and after drinking it, I still might argue that fact.

Poured into an oversized wine glass at a temperature slightly above 45 degrees. It poured with not much head, mainly just large bubbles slowly disipating. The lack of head puzzled me, because there were a large amount of bubbles racing towards the top of the glass. the body was a reddish orange, almost brown. Lots of floaters in this glass.

The smell was super tart. Lots of cherries presented themselves at first, but let in some leather, green apples, and vanilla in as it warmed. There wasn't a prominent vinegar smell that one would associate with the style here. Some floral and spicy notes came into the picture as well.

A mouthpuckering sourness once it hits your lips. Cherries and apples up front, with a slight dose of balsamic vinegar near the finish. The oak only began to shoe itself as it warmed. Missing the complexities that I like in these kind of brews.

Despite what seemed like a lack of carbonation, the mouthfeel was actually pretty good. I think the sourness was able hold up what little carbonation was in the glass.

Once this brew warmed up a bit, it became super drinkable. Probably one of the smoothest of the sour styles I have had to date.

I think this brew could probably age extremely well. It needs some time to let the funkiness set in and give it more of a complex taste. It's only downfall in my mind was the taste, but like I said, time might cure that.

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

Big thanks to SuzyGreenberg for this bottle.

Pours a very murky reddish brown color. Slightly undercarbonated despite a vigorous pour, but the small head that is there for a couple moments is stark white, but soon reduces to a ring around the glass.

Nose is chock full of flemish goodness. Lots of vinegary sourness and some slight cherry flavor.

Taste follows. A well made flemish for sure. Taste starts off with a nice little sweetness, but quickly profresses into that classic vinegary tartness of flemish brews. A decent amount of funk, and some cherry sweetness does peek its head out. Finish is the ideal amount of tartness for the style. Aftertaste is lingering tartness and slight cherry kick.

Mouthfeel is just about right where it should be. Aside from slight but definitely noticeable undercarbonation, not much to dock here.

Drinkability is quite solid for the style. abv is right where it should be and feels just fine. The carbonation does make it a tiny bit akward though.

Overall this is definitely one of the best examples of the style that is brewed inside US borders. Not alot of solid oud bruins being made on our soil, but this is one of them. If the carbonation could be modified slightly this beer would be that much better. This is no cuvee de tomme, but it is a great example of the style and a well crafted beer.

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

2009 vintage

Appearance: Very little head; deep, dark ruby-cherry-mahogany

Smell: Sour, hint of vinegar, dominating oak, and a bit of tart cherry. brown sugar, and good balsalmic vinegar. Not a bit of sweetness.

Taste: The oak is a little overbearing, it keeps most of the cherry and any funk from peeping out. This beer is also incredibly dry, I don't think there is a grain of sugar left. A few other flavors - brown sugar, balsalmic vinegar, cranberry, sour plum, vanilla, and a bit of dates. I wouldn't mind a bit more cherry.

Mouthfeel: A tad flat, even for the style. Could have used just a little more carbonation, would have greatly helped the mouthfeel.

Drinkability: Would be much better with at least some carbonation; but I appreciate seeing so much flavor in a 5% ABV beer.

Photo of Grabbin2nd
3.94/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From Notes: 3/31/09
The Lost Abbey
Red Poppy 2009
Flanders Oud Bruin
5% Abv.
12.7oz. Bottle caged and corked into Allagash Snifter

Appearance= Zero carbonation (out of a Lost Abbey beer, what a shock). Zero Head. A thin white rim around the beer, if you call that head. I would say the head that this beer delivers is almost weaker than what my first girlfriend gave. Blackish beer with red hues. Opaque body 4 sho.

Smell= Smells like red wine. Cherries, a little funk to it. I like it, it's different.

Taste= Sour! Cherries, red fruits. I enjoy the sourness/tartness. It is a beer/red wine hybrid. The taste mellows out as I continue to drink it and my taster gets use to it.

Mouthfeel= Thin, just like the beer looks. Finish is good though. The taste lingers on the sides of the tongue.

Drinkability= I probably wouldn't have more than two at one sitting. I can't put it down long enough to warm up though! The smell, the appearance and taste tells me, red wine. The finish on the palate tells me, beer. Very interesting. Glad I got to try this beer.

Photo of Wasatch
3.97/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks goes out to Bitterbill for this brew.

12.7 oz.
2009 Edition
Caged/Corked

Poured into a tulip a brownish color, not much carbonation at all, tiny fizzy off-white head, if any, basically not much sticky lacing. The nose is malty, soury, cherries, slight spice. The taste is malty, pretty soury, cherries, and some spice. Medium body. Drinkable, even though not much carbonation, it still is tasty, thanks Bill.

Photo of Sean9689
4.07/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours light brown with a faint touch of red into a champagne flute. A very minute amount of head, almost none. Lots of dark cherry's, raspberry's, fig's, plum's on the nose with a bunch of tart mixed in...sweet yet tart, pretty interesting. Lots of tart and oak on the palate, really great. Mouthfeel is light in body, very little carbonation (I could use a bit more). I really like this one...a winner, in my opinion. Will drink again, 100%. Wish there was more carbonation, which hurt the mouthfeel & drink.

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

375 ml bottle poured into my snifter.

A- Body is a very murky light muddy brown color. Pours with an approximately 1 finger white head that pretty much subsides immediately. No lacing is left behind in the glass. Cloudiness is thick and dynamic and whirls about the beer with some white yeast particles visible at the bottom.

S-An acidic tartness is the highlight of the nose and the first to hit it. Below this is a complex balance of sweet molasses, earthy mustiness, oak, and cherries.

T- Much like the nose-a pleasant sour tartness hits the front of the tongue immediately. There is a lot going on here as the cherry and oak become present underneath this and funky yeast comes through as well. The oak and cherries come through a bit more for the finish but a fantastic balance and complexity is still there. What lingers is a faint presence of the whole flavor.

M-Well carbonated and a smooth yeasty, velvety body.

D-This beer is awesome. I love it. Its a bit pricey; but well worth it (if I lived somewhere where it were available). My first of the special Lost Abbey Releases and it makes me want to find and try more of them. Very well done and perfectly drinkable.

Photo of rye726
4.68/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

'08 vintage.

Pours a rich, hazy brown with a silky tan head. Nice lace and retention.

The nose has tart cherris up front followed by oak, manure, cabernet, horse blanket and more wild cherries.

Taste is a nice balance between a sour Brett presence, sweet cherries, wood, red wine and barnyard funk funk.

Nice dry and acidic finish. Medium body is complimented by the delicate yet crisp carbonation.

Another fantastic offering from Tomme, Really grew on me as it warmed.

Photo of ibbjamin
3.53/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Paid $29.99 for a 12.7 oz bottle from Perry's Liquor in Livermore, CA. Poured into a large wine glass to review.

Minimal carbonation. No head or lacing whatsoever. Brownish red/ruby in color. Opaque unless held to a light due to its extreme cloudiness. Some floaters evident. Perhaps I should have poured a bit slower.

Smells like it has been sitting in some ancient oak barrels for a decent amount of time. Mildly sour cherries and vanilla. Smell is very dry.

Taste is rather musty. Sour cherries, aged oak wood.

Mouth is on the dry side. Decent amount of astringency. Lighter bodied. Carbonation almost non-existent. Medium finish.

This is definitely a sipper. Its lack of carbonation and dryness affect its drinkability.

Photo of Yetiman420
3.85/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A major thanks to scottoale for throwing this in as an extra on a trade.

Poured into a Unibroue tulip glass.

Pours brown with a red hue and virtually no head.

Sour aroma with some malt.

Flavor is tart sour with notes of vanilla. Finishes very dry.

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

Bottle into red wine glass. Thanks to Will (STLWill) for the chance!

Opens with very little pop, and pours a murky brown, a bit of a reddish glow to it. No head at all, but some stickage around the glass. Bottle, however, is absolutely gorgeous. Score reflects a combination of both.

Nose, however, is world class - beautiful initial hit of acidic vinegar, sour cherries, nice old oak, and very faintly, a nice, round, bready malt note that pokes its head out when the acidity has its fill. As it warms, the acidic vinegar moves towards a smoother lactic sourness.

Started drinking a bit on the cool side. Carbonation is light but not missing entirely - whether intentionally or by accident, it works. Light carbonation bite up front is supplemented by a nice acidic bite that really helps the feel along. Smooth lactic sourness up front, some vinegar, and nice sour cherry presence. Nice oaky presence smoothing out the edges, and an underlying bit of malty richness that lends a beautiful fullness to the beer. Top notch.

As noted before, mouthfeel is very lightly carbonated, with a nice acidic bite in the top/back of the throat, and a smooth, round body.

Photo of TexIndy
4.41/5  rDev +3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2009 Edition. Poured from a 12.7oz corked and caged bottle into my NBB snifter. The bottle was cool and is one of those short wine bottles that RR used to have. Label art was very cool as well. I read about the carbonation issues on this and some other LA beers lately so was a little worried before I opened it. Uncorked it with a tiny pop - not looking good. Even with a hard pour towards the end there was no head at all - nothing. It was a dark ruby color with brown highlights. No carbonation or lacing.

The aroma was really good. Heavy sour cherry with oak and vanilla. May be lacking in carb but not hurting for aroma or flavor. The excellent aroma got me real hopeful for the taste and it didn't disappoint. Smack in the face sour tart that made the eyes water. Awesome. Starts out sweet with a cherry base and then builds to an amazing tart finish.

Overall, an excellent beer that I highly recommend. I find Lost Abbey beers to be major hit or major miss and this one is a major hit. Wish I could get some of it but was lucky to get this so will have to keep searching for it. If available here, I'd drink several of these a year.

Photo of HopDerek
4.36/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to jophish17 for this treat, and to Kegatron for the Lost Abbey glass to pour it into.

Pours a murky brown with some purple, amber, and garnet highlights with the thinnest possible ring of head to distinguish the off-white color. Almost no retention but some spotty lacing. Smells very fragrant of sour cherries, along with wafts of earth, dry oak, and sugar. Taste starts out with loads of tart sour cherries that lasts the whole time. Some dank earth notes along with some oak and vanilla come into play as well as a light brown sugar sweetness. Medium in body with very very low carbonation, but with an acidity that seems to help give this beer a little bit of a pop feel. Very tart and sour, but not over abundantly sour, quite drinkable. I just wish the carbonation issue was fixed.

Photo of ATLbeerDog
4.64/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A 2009 Sinners Edition bottle that was almost an inch under filled.

Pours a rusty color that is quite hazy and not too pretty to look at. Smells of beautiful funk as I enjoyed the heavenly aroma for minutes longer than usual. "Red Poppy...You have my attention!" First sip is puckering sour that wakes the glands deeply from hibernating inactivity - I'm impressed. The taste is best described as chomping into an engineered hybrid fruit created equally from apricots, cherries and lemons. This is a clean sourness that bites you hard but with complete control. Red Poppy is in charge here...yes sir! I am only its lunch and I'm grateful Red Poppy picked me to attack. Mouthfeel is over the top. It first appears to be under carbonated, probably from its oak barrel rest - and it is. Then the beverage organizes like a Chicago teachers union and stomps the tongue with sourness like there's no tomorrow. The lowly 5.5% ABV tastes like a high gravity 10%'er and I am lovin' it!

Photo of prototypic
4.22/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2008 Release

Thick haze and swimming chunks of sediment crowd this ruby infused rarity. Carbonation appears to be very restrained and produces a thin vanilla colored head that barely covers the surface. It was nearly as quick to disappear as it was to arrive. Very light spotty lacing lines the glass.

Sour cherries dominate the nose and smell delicious. They're readily apparent from the first whiff. Smells tart and sour. The most intriguing and inviting aspect of the nose is the strong oak or wood-like aroma. I haven't encountered such a strong oak-y scent in a beer. There's a distinct musky aroma, but it's subtle. It's overall very deep, full of character, and smells delicious.

Red Poppy is delicious. The first sip confirms it. A very refined sour cherry flavor takes up a great deal of the flavor profile. It's interesting in that it's not all that sour or tart. Not nearly as much as I expected. I really love that aspect of it. It is sweet, but not exactly sugary. Oak is the x-factor. It adds a ton of charcter and really evens out the flavors well. I'm unsure if the refined sour flavor is attributable to the oak or not, but whatever it is, it works extremely well. There's a very slight musky aspect to it. Finishes a little sour and very dry.

The body is light and feels just a fraction too thin. Carbonation is very light. Much lighter than I'm accustomed to in Flanders Oud Bruins and similar styles. It's nice and smooth, but just a tad too thin. Despite its excellent flavor and low abv, drinkability is a little limited. The sour flavor is definitely there and it is very dry. I'm not the biggest fan of sours or extremely dry beers. Just sayin'.

Red Poppy is excellent beer. Given the rash of recent Lost Abbey criticism, I approached this one with a little caution. But, it easily lives up to the hype on its own merit. There's a whole lot to love here. What really stands out is its finesse. It has a very refined, excellent flavor and has minimal flaws. Yeah, it's a little dry and could use more body. But, I'm really grasping for straws. The flavor flat out rocks. Find a bottle.

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