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Red Poppy Ale - The Lost Abbey

Not Rated.
Red Poppy AleRed Poppy Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

560 Reviews
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(Send Samples)
Reviews: 560
Hads: 1,837
Avg: 4.23
pDev: 9.46%
Wants: 569
Gots: 571 | FT: 42
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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 560 | Hads: 1,837
Photo of drewmprs
4.77/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Sampled in a small tulip at the release on 1-19. Tons of sediment in my glass compared with little to no sediment in the glasses around me. I though about sending it back, but decided to let it warm up and settle for 20 minutes while I waited in line. After about 2 minutes I started sipping it because i just couldn't wait. First aroma is that of overripe cherries with some brettamyces in the background. Mouthfeel was tart and slightly puckering aftertaste. Hint of green apples and caramel malt in the finish. I am new to this style but I loved the balanced effervescense which made it quite drinkable. Not as sour of a finish as its cantillon counterparts.

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Photo of dookiepower
4.77/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Photo of younger35
4.75/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Received this brew from metallitone1 in a recent trade. This is my first brew from The Lost Abbey side of things and I look forward to this one. By far the best looking bottle I've ever had the pleasure of sampling a beer from. Drank from my Stone India Pale Ale tulip.

Appearance- On first pour it's a crystal clear pink with nice foamy bright white head. Once you empty the bottom of the bottle it turns to a dark brownish red with the same perfectly white head. Leaves a nice cap and collar with plenty of chunky lacing.
Smell- Very tart with a light sour cherry start. Full of lactic goodness with small amounts of oak that lend a subtle vanilla. This thing sort of reminds me of a Brett filled red wine (if there is such a thing). Sharp, fruity and funky this is one inviting scent.
Taste- The sour cherries are the first thing that hits me on my first sip. Very tart and lactic it starts big and brash. Not as vinegary as other beers of this type but the sourness of the cherries makes up for the lack of yeastly pucker. The original punch quickly fades leaving a soft resounding vanilla woodiness. The oak coats the back of my throat leaving a sweet woody residual finish.
Mouthfeel- Considering the beer the mouthfeel is fairly solid and sturdy with sharp/crisp carbonation and a dry finish.
Drinkability- This is a really great beer that I wish I could drink anytime I'm in the mood for the style. It's ridiculously drinkable and freakishly tasty. I'm not sure how this stands up to some other Lost Abbey brews but if they've done any style as tasty as they've made this one, I'll be really pleasantly surprised. Big thanks to Tim for the opportunity!

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Photo of Immortale25
4.74/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured into a Haw River Farmhouse Ales teku glass. 2014 Vintage.

A- Pours a somewhat murky medium brown color with a 3/4 inch light tan head that retains decently before becoming a thick ring around the edge of the glass and a mostly full sheet of surface foam. Not-so-resilient lacing leaves small clots behind.

S- Nice tart cherry funk with some toasty malt in the back. Classic Flanders aroma.

T- Moderate tartness upfront and then the cherries hit with lots of funky undertones interlaced so nicely in the flavor profile. Man, the cherries really drive this one home. The sweet-to-sour ratio is damn near perfect.

M- Prickly and slightly dry with medium carbonation and a body leaning toward the lighter side. The dryness builds as the drink progresses, especially once the sediment is introduced.

O- I've had beers this optimally funky and sour before but I've never had one where the fruit provides such a delightful pivot point for the funk and tartness to play off of. Not the best sour I've ever had but definitely in my top 5.

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Photo of DoubleJ
4.74/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I'm very surprised to find this in a couple stores. I'm also very surprised to see it marked at $16.49 and $18.99 per 375 ml corked and caged bottle. Wish me a good journey. On to the beer:

Poured into my Falke chalice, this ale features a dark amber color (leaing towards brown) for the most part, with hues of red and light orange. The second pour creates a more murky color. Head forms a finger's thick on top, gently going down to a thin lace on top. Upfront in the smell are a lot of sour/tart cherries. There's also some liquid caramel playing along beautifully.

First sip is really tart and sour. Oh, but it is bliss. A dab of sweet butterscotch is the first note to hit. Shortly after, you get a bombardment of cherries and puckering tart/sour flavor. Very puckering. Somehow, it manages to be addictive without being too much of a good thing. Moderate acidity. Long and lingering in the aftertaste is the tartness. Very pleasant in the mouth....the liquid is on the lighter side, but the tartness makes me forget how light it is. Some sprinkles of carbonation add zest. The beer goes down really easy, and it is very difficult to slow down my rate of consumption.

Tart Tongues™, rejoice! Red Poppy Ale is, without a doubt, outstanding beer. If you see it, pick it up.

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Photo of sweemzander
4.72/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

375mL corked and caged bottle poured into a stemmed glass. Thanks to domtronzero for this one!

(A)- Pours a deep and dark burnt sienna color that produced a good frothy tan head with good retention. Some foamy lace left behind.

(S)- A lovely sour funk with a light vinegar acidity. A brief cherry fruitiness with a dry oaky wood component. A lovely balance of sour funk and fruits.

(T)- Very similar to the smell. A big acidic sourness that stays with you to the finish. A good dry woody funk bite with a lightly creamy fruit finish.

(M)- A lively carbonation level that pricks up on the tongue. A good balance of acidic sourness, funk, and subtle fruits.

(D)- A great take on the style. Everything you would expect from the style too, if, with just some hints at a wild ale too. Great taste and aroma. I would like to have more of this please.

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Photo of BetterWatching
4.72/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A- Poured a dark brownish red. Finger head into a wide tulip glass.

S- The second i opened the cap on the bottle I got a huge whiff of vinegar. Made me think that it had gone bad. But by the time it was poured into a snifter glass the aroma of this beer exploded. The vinegar was there but faintly present while the cherries and oak mixed in tart funkiness. The smell of this beer is phenomenal.

T- Starts with a flat general funkiness that is followed up by big tart cherries with a touch of oak on the finish. Slightly underwhelmed simply because the nose was so pleasant.

M- Light in the tongue with a pleasantly smooth low carbonation. The tartness sticks to the tongue between sips.

O- One of the best from Lost Abbey, this was a 2011 bottle so I'm anxious to see what it does with a little time. I think it could really mature into something exceptional because it's already damn good.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
4.72/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Beautiful bottle, definitely really classy. I love the image of the poppy on black with the heavy glass, and I love the name. I guess Poppies will always be associated with Flanders after the "Flanders Field" association. Pours a murky reddish/orange brown with a slight head, but what head there is surprisingly sticks around as a swirl of light foam for a very long time. Smells quite acetic, with some red fruit, a bit of leather, and a touch of funk right at the end. Taste is marvelous, and quite complex. Starts sour with a bit of spiciness and more red fruit and plum. It becomes more minerally, funkier, and woodier. The finish is both spicy and funky with flavors of aged, runny cheese. The fruity sourness persists throughout. Delicious and very balanced. The oak contributes some funkiness, and some light tannins, but there is no flavor of new oak or vanilla. The mouthfeel is pure and acetic, but benefits from the light tannins lending some structure. A complex beer, as complex as much stronger beers. Tremendously drinkable and ebjoyable.

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Photo of orvalrugger45
4.72/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed this brew thoroughly. Figured i'd enjoy it in a snifter which in turn made the "sour" cherry smell unbelievable! Poured dark red with a light pink head about half inch thick on top. Sweet/Tart taste was everything i look for in a Flanders Red.

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Photo of MiScusi
4.7/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

3-14-09 (second release, Jan 2009)
Poured into a Lost Abbey tumbler. Appearance is reddish brown, mildly clear. Smell is dominated by sour cherry. Taste is also dominated by sour cherry, and a puckering sourness. The style allows for low to medium carbonation, and this is definitely on the low side. I'm not going to say it's lower than it should be, but it's a little low for my tastes. Just an excellent beer. Ratings updated.


2-3-08 (first release, Jan 2008)
Poured from the bottle into a snifter glass. It's a clear brown liquid with an ever so slight tint of red. The off-white head is hard to form and is made up of large bubbles that fall very fast. The smell is lactic sour but there seems to be a smooth subdued funk behind it. The taste has a sourness and the cherry is sometimes easy to pick out and sometimes appears to be absent. There is a very fine carbonation to this, tiny bubbles that tingle a bit.
4 / 4 / 4.5 / 4.5 / 4

On tap and poured into a small flute glass at The Lost Abbey. Pours a pretty clear but noticeably unfiltered light brown. The smell is tart, the cherries are apparent but definitely not as strong as when we sampled at the barrel tasting in August '07. The taste is tart, slightly acidic, the cherries come in mostly at the beginning of the sip, and it finishes with a medium dryness. It's definitely not as sweet I will have to re-update this review when I try a bottle.

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Photo of jayhawk73
4.7/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by Huhzubendah.. Thanks Matt-

Review from notes:

Red Poppy ale pours an amber color w/ a sliver of cocoa head. Lots of sediment in this one. Excellent smelling brew- Sourness, cherries, berry, yeast are the main things I get. Really smooth, and not too bitter. Taste steps it up a notch. This is one of the best beers I've had in this style. Sourness, cherry, and oak are the main things I get, and the brew improves and opens up w/ warming. Feel is smooth, tart w/ a decent amount of acidity. Overall, this is a winner- glad I got to try it. Cheers-

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Photo of meatyard
4.7/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The cork came surprising me with what sounded like a gunshot.

Pours a gorgeous clear, red/mahogany with a 1-finger, light tan head that fell quickly to a ring & partial cover. No lacing but there is a nice, continuous carbonation stream rising from the nucleation point in my snifter.

The smell is some cherry, some wood, some vinegar and a bit of the funk.

The taste centers on the funk but all of the things in the smell surround it giving it a more than the sum of the parts quality.

Mouthfeel is effervescent carbonation, thinnish body and is pretty dry.

Overall: This is a solid beer, both for style and just in general. This is something that II wish came around more often and a little less expensive though I would still buy one once in a while at the going rate in Philly. Highly recommended for sour fans.

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Photo of rwmiscik
4.7/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

As a lover of sour beers this is one of my absolute favorite beers of all time. It smells amazing and the beer is very effervescent and is extremely drinkable. Not a beer to start off sour beers on as it is quite sour but no acetobacter at all and is extremely clean. I recommend this to anyone that likes sour beer as it is one of the best around.

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Photo of tanarm
4.68/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Vintage 2012.

Dark Brown, slight haze. Good head retention. Carbonation looks nice and bubbly.

Aroma is pineapple, kiwi... over-ripe fruit. Touch of strawberry. Cherry is very faint, instead there is more complex stuff going on here. Touch of oak.

Cherry comes out a lot more in the taste. Tart cherry, oak comes through in the finish now, and lingers on. Melon... pineapple. Lactic bite cuts through the sweetness. More subtle oak. SO complex. Lots of fruity flavors all melding together.

Medium body, good viscosity, especially for a 5% beer! Carbonation is perfect. nice and bubbly.

An extremely refreshing, complex, delicious, beautiful sour ale. I wish I had a bigger bottle.

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Photo of rye726
4.68/5  rDev +10.6%
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.

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Photo of deltatauhobbit
4.67/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to mlaroche for this CARBONATED bottle!

Pours a dark brown color with deep reddish hues when held up to the light, fizzy carbonated bubbles about an inch high fade away at a rapid pace, no lacing on the glass.

Smell has a rich sour tart cherry aroma, vinegar twinges the nose, picking up a bit of oak woodiness that adds some complexity.

Taste really has quite the sour vinegar kick upfront, tickles the side of the tongue, a deeper complexity creeps into play as the wood character mellows out the sourness, cherry tartness is quite prevalent, not overly sweet or cloying, carbonation is quite present and kind of fizzy (a shock!).

One of Lost Abbey's finer beers, almost makes you forgive them for past sins.

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Photo of mcallister
4.67/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Well I can see where the name comes into play a red ruby garnet type coor with little spritzy head that quickly fades into a ring around the glass.

Christ that is some nose. Wonderful woodsy aromas sour cherry, red currant, brett sour esters, dried berries, lavender and more. Amazing nose.

Just an amazing beer. Great oak notes follow the thick sour mouth puckering entry and middle. Full of tart fruits and berries cherry leading the way a nice acidic character on the finish and middle. Mouth is round and puckering and a beer I could sip on daily if available.

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Photo of brentk56
4.67/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a fairly clear garnet with a film of big bubbles that fades quickly, though manages to deliver a few dots of lace

Smell: Tart cherries mixed with an almost cedary oak character and balsamic vinegar

Taste: Dry, oaky flavors up front with a bursting tart cherry flavor that develops by mid-palate; though there is considerable fruity sweetness, the lactic sourness keeps it thoroughly in check; after the swallow, the flavors start to mellow out, with plenty of lemon/lime sour fruit and oak in the finish

Mouthfeel: Despite the lack of carbonation, the beer is not flat, though its body is relatively light

Drinkability: Just a stunning achievement; the fruit is so powerful, yet so restrained

Re-sampled in 2012, courtesy of bobertkuekn, and found the carbonation problems to be corrected - upping the Appearance and Mouthfeel scores, as a result

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Photo of Hojaminbag
4.65/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got this bottle in a great trade with Mikesgroove recently. Thanks a lot for this great beer!

Tones of brown and ruby come together in the body to create a dark, burnt ornage color that lets just a little bit of light through. Short strands of carbonation bubbles attached to the side of the glass are noticeable throughout the beer. A large amount of clumpy sediment is throughout the beer. Very small off-white head that disappears very quickly. Doesn't leave any lacing behind.

Tartness comes through right away in the odor, a little bit like vinegar. A good dose of cherries along with some oak/woody aroma comes through.

This is extremely tasty. Up front is a nice, powerful tartness and sour cherry. A little malty sweetness comes through also. The oaky, woody notes are pretty powerful in this one also. Notes of wood and the slighest hint of vanilla. The mix of the oak and the sour cherry is a winner in this one. If you like both flavors, you will definitely like this beer.

Medium to light bodied and highly carbonated despite the lack of head.

This has great tartness with a lot of depth added by the oak flavor. These two flavors balance each other out and make this rather drinkable. Consider that with the light, unfilling body of Red Poppy and it becomes a beer I could drink all night.

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Photo of OlieIPA
4.65/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I would like to thank the person who so graciously provided this beer. ..you know who are. Consumed and enjoyed with my good buddy PutsDeBnABV on 2/21/09.

A: Poured a deep mahogany-copper hue with tiny amounts of lacing and head. Carbonation was easily visible as well.

S: Very subtle tart fruitiness with some earthy undertones.

T: Minute amounts of roasty characteristics up front followed by a powerful cherry-sourness that seemed to grab my attention for the first half of the sip, and then gently faded away from my palate. The earthy/soil like flavors almost reminded of a merlot, which seemed to balance out the tart/sourness of this beverage. A lot of lambic like qualities were also evident. To sum up the flavor profile, I would have to say that it was powerful and perfectly balanced.

M: A light to medium body beer that had a good amount of carbonation that wasn't overpowering.

D: At 5.5% ABV, the alcohol wasn't present at all...as anyone would expect....along with a great flavor profile made this beer extremely easy to drink. Very impressed.

Overall: I wasn't sure what to expect from this beer, but boy did it surprise me! In a good way of course. A great sour that I would I think everyone should enjoy. A must try. Cheers!

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Photo of francisweizen
4.65/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Dark burnished orange amber with a nice small head of off-white foam that lasts for a short while lending some decent Belgian lace and nice leggings. Aromas of sour cherries with nice light biscuity bread, brett funk, and more. The aroma is also very wild with a great funky barnyard notes that are well integrated with the bready yeast and lend a definitive edge to this one. This is certainly easier drinking and more well integrated and balanced than beers such as the duchess and her brothers. Taste is sour cherry, funk, hay, and barnyard with a nice small biscuity malt presence and no real hops to speak of. Mouthfeel is sharp and acidic up front but super smooth and well done as well. Drinkability is like liquid crack for a red sour such as this. This stuff is pretty fucking fantastic. One of the best lost abbey beers that I have said and that is saying a whole hell of a lot!

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Photo of phishsihq
4.64/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

The brew appears almost garnet in color, and is capped by a big off-white head with great retention and lots of lace. A rich bouquet of cherries, funk, oak, cherries and more cherries, The cherry flavors blends beautifully into a slight oakiness and tartness that finishes somewhat sweet. Medium in body, Red Poppy Ale features a higher level of carbonation. Rare and delicious!


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Photo of afausser
4.64/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2009 batch. Just a little bit of noise as it's popped, so maybe not completely flat...

Appearance: Agitated a lot on the pour into a snifter. There's a few little bubbles around the edge of the glass as well as some swirls of foam on the top of the glass. A dark reddish brown color, hazy and translucent. Doesn't look bad, but the lack of carbonation is alarming (though predictable). The lacing, though, is beautiful--the tiniest bubbles form a sheet down the side of the glass. It doesn't last, though.

Smell: Pretty great. Smells sour and delicious with acidic sour cherry and plum notes. Ideal sour smell in the nose.

Taste: SO SOUR. In the best way. Tastes like white vinegar and sour cherries and plums, with a little bit of a sour/bitter earthy aftertaste. Delicious! But definitely one to sip.

Mouthfeel: ACTUALLY NOT FLAT!! It's a miracle!! Not a ton of carbonation, but there's enough that this one doesn't fall short of its potential the way a lot of Lost Abbey beers have.

Drinkability: The vinegary taste makes it one to sip--but a delicious one. I was excited to find this one in my cellar--what a treat!

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Photo of ATLbeerDog
4.64/5  rDev +9.7%
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!

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Photo of EmilNoldSinclair
4.63/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Dark reddish brown color, a hint of funky sourness in the nose, very mellow cherry sweetness and sour flavor. This one just gets better and better the more you have it in the same day. Truly amazing. I had this one with Tomme and Vince at Port Brewing after getting out of work at Stone Brewing. They told me that this is essentially Le Woody Brune with a new name. Can't wait until it is released!

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Red Poppy Ale from The Lost Abbey
94 out of 100 based on 560 ratings.