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Red Poppy Ale - The Lost Abbey

Not Rated.
Red Poppy AleRed Poppy Ale

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BA SCORE
95
world-class

1,709 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,709
Reviews: 537
rAvg: 4.28
pDev: 9.35%
Wants: 547
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: 1,709 | Reviews: 537
Photo of Dactrius
3.75/5  rDev -12.4%

Photo of deekyn
3.75/5  rDev -12.4%

Photo of 100floods
3.75/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nice dark mahogany brown hue with a ruby tint. Pale, cream white head with pretty good retention. A nice thin layer foam lingers as the head resides.

Sweet and tart aromas. Hints of funk and wood. Everything is blended pretty well. A slight malt backbone.

Dry, semi-sweet start that is rushed into a tart and sour middle with a dry finish. This is a bit drier, and more carbonated than Russian River's Consecration. The lighter body and high carbonation does take away from the flavor, and makes each sip more like a short burst.

Overall a pretty solid effort for an American take on a sour dark ale. I was kinda looking for more wood flavors, but the cherries seem to dominated this one.

Photo of Kreko7
3.75/5  rDev -12.4%

Photo of GraduatedCashew
3.75/5  rDev -12.4%

Photo of thegerm87
3.75/5  rDev -12.4%

Photo of mpenning13
3.75/5  rDev -12.4%

Photo of pauljunk
3.75/5  rDev -12.4%

Photo of sliks96
3.75/5  rDev -12.4%

Photo of In_Control_Mike
3.75/5  rDev -12.4%

Photo of CrellMoset
3.75/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 2 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle as an extra courtesy of guezedude - many thanks! Poured in to a cervoise. 2009 vintage (uh oh).

Appearance: Pours a dull, turgid, muddy sepia, opaque a short distance in from the edge of the glass though partially transparent near the rim, and even the most vigorous of pours from the (adorable, as always) bottle yields only about half a finger of lightly beiged head that disappears completely inside five seconds. The only remnants it ever even existed are a few streaks (and ultimately, a few glittery dots) of side lacing and a thin, wispy dusting of surface lace sitting near the center of the glass. Yep - this one's dead, and, to be fair, it didn't have a lot of margin for error, given the general unattractiveness of the hue to begin with.

Aroma: A dark, sweaty, sweet, and mildly tart brew. Sour cherries and tart apple notes intermingle with fruit cake and other moderately roasted bready notes intermingle nicely, a little heavier than I would have expected, sort of settling low in the nose. The sourness is mostly acidic, coming across like a nice thick vinegar, but there is also a kiss of moderate funk.

Taste: Tart vinegar and mild milky lactic tartness coat the tongue pretty thoroughly, intermingling well with sour cherries, tropical fruits, sour apples, and pears, and a little less well with light toffee and caramel malts.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, slick, oily, and cleansing, but absolutely devoid of carbonation. Given the general brightness of the flavor profile and high level of cleansing, shiny acidity, the lack of carbonation is probably less of a problem (relatively) here than it is with the appearance, but it's still quite offputting, especially after a while.

Drinkability: Well, aside from: 1) the complete lack of carbonation; and 2) the odd blob of yeast that remained intact and was floating around on the surface of this one, somewhat scarily, this seems like it was a pretty good beer - well-made (substance-wise, not process-wise), low in alcohol, and refreshing. I think I have a friend with a 2010 bottle, so I hope to have the opportunity to review it in the spirit it was intended.

Photo of cfh64
3.75/5  rDev -12.4%

Photo of jrallen34
3.74/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I drank this from a 375ml bottle into my Rodenbach Grand Cru class. 2010 version.

The beer pours a medium brown with a light tan head. It rises about a finger, decent retention and lacing.

The aroma is strong but only really shows off one smell. You get mostly all sourness with a very light hint of vinegar at the end.

The taste is ok nothing special. It starts off pretty sours then gives off a oak and vinegar finish. I don't taste any cherries.

The feel is ok, warm to the touch, with a slight dry finish.

Overall, this is ok, nothin spcial for an oud bruin, decent American effort.

Photo of SQNfan
3.74/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The poured murky burnt red to brown in color with a very thin head that dissipated pretty quickly. The nose showed some funk along with red fruit and spice (cinnamon, pepper). In the mouth it was tart and dirty showing more funk than the nose would suggest along with less fruit. There was a distinct bitterness that began in the midpalate and lingers on. The acidity in the midpalate was very well integrated and overall the midpalate was well balanced but gave way to the bitterness in the finish.

Photo of Bajasith
3.73/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Picked up some of this brew at the Port Brewery Feb 13,2010 so we know it's as fresh as can be.

Popped it open Feb 17, 2010 and by the sound of the cork, not much cabonation in this brew. Poured into a snifter.

A: Poured murky brown with very small head, almost like root beer.
S: Wow, I can definitly get the whiff of the sourness that comes from those cherries and slight oak/earthy smell. Very interesting.
T: Actually quite acidic with sour cherry notes from start to finish. Get a slight viniger tinge at the end.
M: All I need to say is tart to almost lemmony with a small ammount of cabonation for full flavor to explode in your mouth.
D: Good beer but did not knock my socks off. The sour tart flavor is definitly not to my palate. If you are into trying somwthing very new, Red Poppy ale is the one.

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

Gabe opened up a bottle for us at Beachwood and passed it around. From notes:

Appearance: A dark rose red, fairly appropriate in that sense, but there's just no head or lacing. At all. The body's color is pretty, but this wasn't just a matter of having no head or lacing, it was a matter of the beer looking flat, to be honest.

Smell: Perfume, candy sugar, vanilla, licorice on the back end. A smell very reminiscent of some Flanders Reds I've had in the past, specifically Rodenbach, although this is an Oud Bruin.

Taste: Metallic on the front end, which really, really detracted. However, I was beginning to think this was an issue with the bottle more than anything. Grass, vinousity, sourness. On the back end/aftertaste is a very lingering and surprising butterscotch-like sweetness, however, which was really surprising and nice.

Mouthfeel: Slick, but way, way undercarbonated.

Drinkability: Perfectly drinkable - not too sour at all, in my opinion. However, the flatness of the whole bottle was definitely a let-down.

Photo of flannelman808
3.72/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A: A really interesting color light-medium brown near the top and a deep garnet dark red brown to the bottom. Fairly clear in the light. Low head retention, off white head.

S: This one is nice, aromas of tart cherry, grannysmith apple, and lemon zest seem to ring through for me.

T: More spice then I would have guessed... spiced tart bitter(like lemon) apple. Interesting stuff.

M: sharp acid in the back of the throat.

D: Pretty low points for me too much for me in the back of the throat.

Photo of neurobot01
3.72/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured out of an undated bottle (purchased ~1 month prior) into a 16oz snifter.

Appearance: Murky brown, with a yellowish head that holds steady throughout at about 1cm.

Smell: Some cherry, generic tart, a little vanilla. Smells like a tangy Dr. Pepper. Fresh-sawn lumber starts to emerge as it warms.

Taste: Sour. Not getting any specific fruit, just tons of sour. Develops into a bit of metallic bite. Aftertaste is pretty strongly of metallic cherries, a bit like a Luden's Lozenge. Like the aroma, as it warms, the barrel moves a bit more to the fore, along with more vanilla. I really can't get past the metallic taste though. Kind of a bummer, because this is less one-dimensional than a lot of sours.

Mouthfeel: Nothing really spectacular, the typical moderate-to-heavy carbonation common to the style. A bit on the thin side, but not offensively so.

Overall: So close to being really good, but just too much metal taste. I might try getting another bottle and letting it age to see if that flavor mellows out, but as it stands, there are lots of better sours out there.

Photo of xnicknj
3.7/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

on tap at monks in philly

Pours a somewhat murky deep browned color with some reddish hues attempting to poke through. A thick, slightly rusty head retains for a bit with some webs of lacing.

Plenty of cherries with sourness throughout the nose, heavier earthy notes with oak and some acid. Some dark fruit sweetness and funk as well.

Very cherry forward with a decent amount of sourness delivered by the fruit. Some dark fruits with raisin tones and caramel sweetness throughout the malt bill. Not quite as full flavored and sour as I originally thought it would be, but still pretty tasty. Finishes dry with another gasp of cherry and oak.

Medium thinner body, somewhat watery but really high carbonation. This keg was definitely overgassed, as it took the bartenders about 7 minutes to pour a glass. I'd like to give this a try out of a bottle so I can re-review it.

Photo of Damian
3.69/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Drank from a corked and caged 12.7 ounces bottle purchased at Liquor World, Cambridge, MA
Vintage 2013
Served in a tulip

Poured a ruddy, crimson-mahogany with a one-plus finger tall crop of rocky, tan colored foam. The head dropped quickly. Spotty drops of lacing stuck along the glass.

The nose was interesting. Super tart with sour cherry notes. Mild funk. Touch of balsamic vinegar. Quite acidic. The acidity was balanced by some brown sugar-like sweetness. Good dose of brett. There was a slight medicinal quality as well.

The flavor profile was sharp and unrefined. Very sour up front. Strong red wine vinegar notes. Perhaps some red wine in the center. Lots of brett. Crisp and very lemony. Pithy lemon rind. Huge oak and tannin flavors on the back end. The beer finished somewhat astringent with an unpleasant mix of tannins, earthy and bitter hops, and light metallic notes.

The mouthfeel was medium bodied with a fine yet aggressive carbonation. The carbonation settled with time and the liquid felt more plush and creamy.

I decided to pop this 2013 vintage of Red Poppy to get as much sour cherry flavor out of it as possible. Unfortunately, the cherry was surprisingly muted, and the overall flavor profile seemed raw and poorly integrated. This was definitely not worth the $18 I paid for my bottle.

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

Thanks to Ratman for a taste of this one. To state up front, I'm not really a fan of sours, so I approached this one with a bit of trepidation. Poured into a tulip of some sort, reddish brown, with a bit of carbonation. On the nose, I picked up red wine vinegar, oak and some tartness, but oddly (?) not a whole lot of cherry. This one was a bit funky on the palate; not a whole lot of sour going on, and somewhat lacking in cherry flavor. Again, not a huge sour fan, but this one seemed a bit restrained, almost a "training wheels" type of beverage. Pretty good, and one I'd love to try again.

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

idk where this bottle came from but it's been in my fridge for a year now (2008). muchas gracias to the soul who left it behind...

it's been sitting so long that the cork bomb was no issue... dark orange brown color with no head and lots of clumpy yeast.

smells a bit like pickling spice/pickles or that strange funkiness that a lot of red burgundies get before they get a chance to open up... cinnamon, wet cement, fruity/cherry tart though not quite sour and malty sugars yet it's very dry.

it tastes very 'green' from young barrels and quite tannic. though i'm not sure whether the tannins dominate from the wood or cherry skins (it really doesn't matter)... also, faintly malty and oaky with a cinnamon-y brett-like stink on the finish which lingers on. medium body lacks a bit of richness. the mouth feel it is prickly and dry as it cleans the palate entirely.

not a whole bunch going on... seems as if something is missing. though, it is in no way a bad beer! 7/4/7/4/15/3.7

Photo of rtaps
3.67/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pours mahogany with a small white head low retention and no lacing on the glass

cherry aroma with fruit and balsamic vinegar

taste was similar but a little better than the nose. sour apple/cherries. with some balsamic vinegar.

light bodied low carbonation.

overall for my first sour it wasnt as bad as i expected but i couldnt drink very much of it.

Photo of AgentZero
3.65/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Medium brown color with a hint of rusty red and some reddish on the edges. Small, off white head that left behind some alright lacing.

S - Not overly complex, but pretty potent. Huge vinegar influence on this, and nicely sour.

T - Sour, a bit of a cherry taste, big oak and vinegar influence. It's not bad, but I was expecting something with more complexity, and possibly with some more fruit in it.

M - Just a touch too heavy for this style for me, might be due to the carbonation, would like something that seems more effervesant.

D - Not super hard to drink, but between the weight and the not-sweet-sour it's one that is easy to put down.

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Red Poppy Ale from The Lost Abbey
95 out of 100 based on 1,709 ratings.