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Red Poppy Ale | The Lost Abbey

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BA SCORE
94
outstanding
568 Reviews
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BEER STATS
Reviews:
568
Ratings:
1,893
Avg:
4.24
pDev:
17.22%
 
 
Wants:
572
Gots:
588
For Trade:
43
Red Poppy AleRed Poppy Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
The Lost Abbey
California, United States | website

Style: Flanders Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

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.

Added by BeerBeing on 09-07-2007

User Reviews
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Reviews: 568 | Ratings: 1,893
Photo of DeanMoriarty
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 120z bottle into a Chimay branded chalice.

A: Brown/copper - mellow head with small amounts of lacing.

S: Vinegar, cherry and vanilla with a nice strong yeast finish.

T: Sour cherry, somewhat tanic with a crisp woody finish.

M: Dry, light-bodied with nice carbonation.

D: Smooth and light. If I could afford it, i'd drink these all night.

One of the best beers in town at the moment. Worth every penny!

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%
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.

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Photo of shleepy
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served from 375 bottle into snifter glasses at City Beer in San Francisco. Writing based on 3-week-old notes.

A: Chocolate brown. Medium off-white head with decent retention.

S: Oak, Brett funk, cherries, chocolate / mocha. Pretty aromatic.

T: Fresh cherries, dipped in chocolate and gingerbread crumbs. The sourness and oak appear after the initial flavors. Clean finish.

M: Fizzy and decently carbonated. Fairly light-bodied.

O: Very solid, and I'm not usually a huge Lost Abbey fan.

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Photo of MtnSoup
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2012 version, and oh so wonderful. Tart, and still very effervescent. Tasting more sour than fruity at this point (but isn't that the point of keeping it until now).

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Photo of Dreadnaught33
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A great beer, one of my favorites from lost abbey. For an Oud Bruin this has to be my favorite I've had so far in style.

A: Huge tan head with glass coating lacing. Maroon to brown hue with lighter brown highlights with a cloudy look overall.

S: Lactic smell mixed with farmhouse funky malt and some cherry and berry notes to sweeten it up a little bit. Oak barrel vanilla adds in nicely to the mix.

t: Tart berry and cherry taste with oak smoothing out the sourness nicely. Champagne grape notes mix with the dark cherry and semi sweet oak vanilla tastes. Bitter dry back to the flavor. caramel and strawberry flavors are also detectable in this very fine oud bruin.

M: High carbonation, sparkling feel. Still smooth and elegant though, the carbo seems to work with the tart flavors.

O: Really nice Oud Bruin, very excellent beer.

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Photo of hopfacebrew
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a bottle and was rather amazed it was still on the shelf. Score. Poured from corked 375mL bottle to Cuvel tulip the beer pours a dark amber brown, opaque and cloudy. The red tones of the amber are highlighted in the edges in the light. 2 finger off-white/tan head with nice retention and lacing. The nose is a blend of sour, oak, vinegar, funk, dark fruits, and tart apple. Blended well together the aroma is appealing. Similarly the flavor begins with an oaky funk at first that develops to a tart, slightly sour, vinegar cherry sweetness. Mildly bitter and well balanced. Medium bodied and well carbonated. Finishes tart and sweet with a lingering full palette sour. Very good. Overall, the price tag has kept me at bay for years but I am glad to have pulled the trigger finally. Very enjoyable.

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Photo of Stigs
4.49/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12.7oz bottle, served in a Stone Levitation glass

A - poured with about half an inch of loose & bubbly dark khaki foam which quickly fell to just about nothing within a couple minutes. the ber is a hazy ruby color with some floating sediment.

S - filled the room after the cork popped. the smell is of very strong tart cherries, vinegar, and oak. simple, but wonderful. had to go back and give this a 5, as i've been sniffing it for a good 20+ minutes before every sip.

T - fantastic balance. an initial cherry sweetness turns to tart, sour, vinegar, caramel, then a very drying oak. finishes with a lingering sourness and cherries.

M - just a bit over carbonated and distracting. body is medium, and very prickly, nice and dry but almost to a fault.

D - a wonderfully crafted brew...simple, yet elegant. has all the characteristics of the style and pulls them off. just wish it didnt leave my mouth feeling like sandpaper, though i cant stop sipping it.

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Photo of davod23
4.49/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from the bottle into an oversized wine glass. 2009 edition. I've heard that this beer goes downhill in the months after release - luckily, this has been fridged since last winter.

It pours a clear, dark auburn. Minimal (and I do mean minimal) cream colored head forms, which dissipates to nothing but the thinnest of collars and some cloud-like wisps on the top of the brew. This is okay, but could be improved with evidence of more ample carbonation.

Smell is great. Sour cherries dominate, but there's a complex background of oak, vanilla, and a light funkiness that wraps around everything.

Taste is similarly great. Sweet red cherries hit the palate first, followed by a slight vanilla and oak tinged sourness. It's less of a sourness, actually - I think that "tartness" describes this beer better. It finishes quickly, but leaves a lingering trace of light sour behind.

Mouthfeel is fine. Basically, it's just barely carbonated enough to be good. One less bubble in this brew, and the beer would suffer. That said, a bit more carbonation would be better for this brew, IMHO. Of course, this is Lost Abbey, so I'll take what I can get in this department.

Drinkability is excellent. I wish this was in bigger bottles, because I would polish it off with no problem.

Very good beer from Lost Abbey. This might be the sole purchase I make at their brewery this upcoming year, as it's one of the better Flanders ales that I've ever had.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.49/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

There's no flavor in the beer world that efficiently captures the essence of fruit acidity, dryness, and robust savory flavor like the Flander's red ale. And its with acute attention to detail and legendary brewing prowess that the Lost Abbey pours their heart and soul into the style for a taste that doesn't just match those of the flemish regions, but even eclipses them.

Hazy reds and browns swirl inside the glass, trickling with tawny golden edges, a frothy but loosely knit head pulls from the rusty body below and immediately entices the nose with mouthwatering sour cherry, black cherry, plum and all-things dark berry. With a pep of balsamic, the taste ushers in a mild fruit sweetness that seem from the distinctive black cherries, rung out straight off the branch.

With that juicy succulence and robust blackberry, plum, black cherry and currant character washing over the palate, the piquant tang of the sour ale within begins breaking apart the sweetness and commanding the taste with its own robust acidity that's a medley of hearty cabernet wine and mature balsamic. Dry cider, chardonnay, weathered oak and a full sea brine finish gives the ale a decisive sour and savory finish.

Medium-light on the palate, the ale trails toasty, nutty and almost chocolaty as its underlying savory flavors inch closely to umami status. But the high refreshment of the ale cleanses the palate with thirst-stripping lemon, lime and crabapple acidity and with an afterglow of cellar woods, cork and burlap.

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Photo of ClavisAurea
4.49/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

375ml bottle served in a tulip glass at cellar temps. Bottle is the 2015A vintage bought from the brewery.

Appearance: dark brown and explosively carbonated. I took the cage off and the cork shot out 2 seconds later. Glints of red through and a bit of sunlight on the edges. Massive foamy head.

Nose: oaky, sour cherries, vanilla, complex lactic nose with the yeast and microbial poking through.

Taste: sour but not bracingly, sour cherries, wood from the barrel aging, very complex and wonderful. Medium to heavy body, more so than I would have expected.

Overall: I bought this after reading about it online and in books. The brewery was beautiful and the beer is nothing less than spectacular. I don't have much experience with this style and need to try more. The complex yeast, Brett and bacteria notes combined with the sourness can be off putting for some but I find it wonderfully complex. I have a second bottle to cellar.

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Photo of Catracho5
4.48/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

375 ml bottle poured into a Teku glass

A: Lots of lacing, big head that dissipated after 4-5 minutes, brownish head, beer is a brownish-reddish color, tons of carbonation and bubbles, the head remains foamy due to the massive carbonation.

A: Big tart, sour aromas up front, some cherry in the middle, no alcohol, just smells really sour

T: Big tart, sour flavors, cherries in the middle, getting a slight Belgian yeast flavor, finishes very dry. Picked up some oak at the end, taste really good.

M: Very dry, tons of carbonation but dissipated as the beer warmed, coats the mouth with a sour tart dryness.

O: Not bad, good but not worth $16.99 for a 375 ml, I could see this being worth $9-10, maybe $12 for a 375 ml. Not a big beer, complex yes, but the price knocks me off, it was worth a try, not disappointed but not impressed. I am also not familiar with Flanders Red ales so it could just be me, cheers!

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Photo of Mages64
4.48/5  rDev +5.7%
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.

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Photo of glid02
4.47/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Gabe at Beachwood BBQ for breaking this one out.

Pours a clear red/brown color with ruby highlights and a thin off-white head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving light lacing.

Smells of tart cherries with good amounts of oak and funk. As it warms the tartness becomes even more pronounced.

Tastes great. Tart cherries flavors up front turn into very tart cherry flavors midway through the sip. Also present is a good amount of oak and a lot of dryness. This beer is on the threshold of being too much but as it stands it's perfect.

Mouthfeel is very good. It has a nice thickness with active carbonation.

Drinkability is good. I could sip on these for a long time.

Overall this was a very good representation of the style and one I'm happy to have tried.

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Photo of spicelab
4.47/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle thanks to mulder1010.

Dark ruby red, tending towards a muddy brown with the sediment at the bottom of the bottle. A few bubbles of carbonation.

Super refined nose of cherries and roses, with distinctive musty, lactic notes providing endless curiosity.

Similar flavours with some acetone, nail-polish character which is present at levels that work well with the perfumy and cherry flavours.

Straightforward and totally inoffensive medium mouthfeel. Seems pretty well perfect for the style.

Great beer. Has an elegant simplicity but oozes class and intrigue at the same time.

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Photo of hopdog
4.47/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle. One of those smaller ones that make it look like you are getting more than you are...

Poured a medium and slightly hazy amberish color with a small sized off white head. Aromas of cherries, wood, some funkiness, leather, and caramel. Tastes of wood, cherries, fruity, and lightly funky. Lighter sour and tart finish.

Notes from 3/5/08

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Photo of CarolinaKev
4.47/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Received from a good beer friend. Poured from a smaller 12.7 oz bottle to a tulip glass. Poured a deep brown-red hue with a 1/4 inch small head. Nose of sour cherries with some hints of fig and oak with sour funkiness. Taste was verytart and sour up front with a surprising nice hop bite. Good lingering sweetness and hoppiness. Good mouthfeel, easy drinking and refreshing despite its complex flavors. Overall, this was an awesome beer that I would love to have more of. Definitely a beer to seek our if you enjoy flanders reds.

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Photo of sfoley333
4.47/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had a taster at the release in a small port wine glass. It was suppose to be on tap but for some reason this one was from a bottle. Poured a cloudy reddish brown with white head nice lacing.( the guy next to me had a clear reddish brown, guessing I got a sample from towards the bottom of the bottle) Nose is sour cherry with Lost Abbey funk and hint of malt and oak. Taste is smooth in fact very smooth for a sour. Nice balance with cherries that are both sour and tart, malt sweetness, and mild dry oak finish. Mouthfeel is medium body with a good carbonation level and dryness. This is a great drinking Oud Bruin very easy to drink for the style and very balanced and layered. Bravo

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Photo of GuinnessAtRogerWilco
4.47/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

375ml corked bottle poured into a small Chimay chalice.

AP: Rusty brown colour with a 1/2" cream/tan head that dissipates to 1/4" with bubbles still escalating to the top. Nice lacing on the glass when tilted.
AR: Has that classic Flanders Red Ale aroma that I associate with German sourdough pretzels (the hard kind). Apple cider and other fruits like white grape and tart cherries are discerned as well with Belgian yeast funk.
T: Very very nice. A lot of what I got in the nose with grape and cherry skins prominent on the finish and tart apple flavour weaving in and out from start to finish. The sour note is just about right, not too strong but vivid enough for instant recognition and enjoyment. It starts strong at the beginning then softly fades but lingers throughout. Well done.
M: Assertive carbonation, acidic, dry and tart on the finish but does coat your tongue and teeth nicely with what bit of sweetness there is.
OV: A very well done Flanders style Red Ale that would match any from the region itself and I've had my share of them being a fan of sours. The flavours on this are very tasty and the sour note is just right with acidic tartness and not too much of a vinegar aspect. A definite sessionable sipper that offers good flavours and cleanses your palate at the same time.

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Photo of antilogic
4.47/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Taster @ LA Barrel Tasting Night II. Tomme said the version we had was not as sour as the 2009 release will be. Too bad, I thought it was fantastic as is.

Hazy red/brown color with a minimal white head. Smell was of cherry, oak, fruits and a slight sour funk. Slightly sour, but well balanced and very drinkable. I quite enjoyed it and will do my best to get my share next release..

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Photo of HopHead84
4.47/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2009 vintage. Poured into my Russian River tulip, the beer is a dark copper with a red tint. As I expected, a tiny head is the result of a vigorous pour and there is no lacing on the glass.

The aroma is slightly sweet and dominated by sour cherries, with some lactic acid and barnyard characteristics. The aroma denotes a mild tartness. Some plum and chocolate notes are evident, as well as currants. The flavor is much like the aroma. The black cherry flavor is pervasive. The beer is minimally sour and fairly tart. The lactic acid is noticeable. The chocolate is subdued and the plum is present. The finish is dry, crisp, slightly sweet, and tart with cherry flavor.

Red Poppy is medium bodied with medium carbonation. It is light on the palate and dry. Astringency is low.

A great representation of the style. I can't believe this stuff comes out of San Marcos. I prefer this vintage to the first, though the Double Cherry Red Poppy is my favorite.

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Photo of DrJay
4.47/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks go out to mikesgroove for hooking me up with this bottle in a recent trade.
This one poured a hazy, sort of murky, reddish orange with a smattering of soapy bubbles. A thin, fine cap appeared as CO2 slowly came out of solution and this finally settled into a thin collar. Some spotty, short-lived lacing clung to the glass and there was a slow, steady stream of bubbles rising to the surface throughout. Tart, fruity aroma of freshly picked berries still unwashed, cherry skins and mild vinegar. Quite earthy, with notes of tobacco and musty hay. Some bread and oak were present too. The taste was fruity and tart up front, a mixture of lactic sourness and just a bit of vinegar, with a raspberry quality yet more of a cherry flavour. This gave way to brown sugar and bread, plus a hint of toffee and chocolate towards the end. The occasional flash of vanilla appeared as well. Earthy notes of tobacco and berry skins, with just a bit of oak flavour, added some depth. Lingering, tart finish. Medium bodied with a bit of a sugary texture and lingering dryness from the oak tannins. Carbonation was average, perhaps a little on the high side. Highly drinkable, but definitely worth savouring. Great balance, very enjoyable.

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Photo of PeterIngemi
4.47/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a cork caged 375 from the 2012 vintage into a duvel glass

A: pours a dark, slightly murky brown. When held to the light it reveals a deep redish fading into amber around the edges. Pours a nice two finger khaki head that dissapates nicley and leavs a little bit of lacing.

S: a very complex, very inviting aroma, oak and sour funk, light hints of red wine vinegar, tart fruit aromas of dark cherry, along with hints of sour green apple, kiwi? And pear. Again a very very. Implied and Inviting nose with all the aromas playing together very nicley.

T: taste does not dissapoint, as complex and intriguing as the nose. The taste actually follows it quite closely. Funk and oak upfront, blending into a very light vinegar touch burried beneath a very nice sour cherry flavor, cherry skins, I also get tart apple and pear, particularly in the finish. The sour/sweetness works perfectly here with the oak. A beatiful display of intermingling flavors.

M: medium mouthfeel with a nice medium tight bubble carbonation, has a very nice lush and almost fluffy mouthfeel, carbonation is spot on for the brew. A bit tart and dry on the finish, with a bit of tannins, I'm guessing from the cherry skins and oak.

O: one of my favorite sours. Displaying a beautiful display of well balanced complexities that become more and more inviting
With each sip and whiff of the glass.... Love it!

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Photo of BeerImmediately
4.47/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

5.5oz pour went down way too fast. Not overly puckering - just enough. Good dank, dark fruit (plum) quality to temper, with a fairly rich mouthfeel for a wild.

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Photo of PittBeerGirl
4.47/5  rDev +5.4%
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.

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Photo of Knapp85
4.47/5  rDev +5.4%
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!

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Red Poppy Ale from The Lost Abbey
94 out of 100 based on 568 ratings.