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Red Poppy Ale - The Lost Abbey

Not Rated.
Red Poppy AleRed Poppy Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

562 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 562
Hads: 1,850
Avg: 4.23
pDev: 17.26%
Wants: 570
Gots: 571 | FT: 43
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 562 | Hads: 1,850
Photo of pmccallum86
4.05/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a small head that dissipates rather quickly. The body is dark maroon and slightly transparent.

Smell is weird, lots of vinegar and funky aromas. Not like any other beer I have smelled.

Taste is slightly tart with quite a bit of vinegar and dry finish. Another carbonated beer from Lost Abbey, whaddaknow. Leathery dry finish for a flanders oud bruin. Very good beer to try though, more funky and sour than other beer I have had from the style.

Mouthfeel is highly carbonated with a very dry finish.

Drinkability is pretty good, not something you want to drink quickly, it's a nice sipper. Another quality beer from the Lost Abbey.

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Photo of RyBrew54
4.04/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy red amber with puffy beige head. Nose is slightly sweet and funky, yet very light overal. Notes of light cider vinegar, cherry, and candy. Taste is tart cherry up front, not overly sour, with sweeter malt backing. Body is is lighter and brew is loaded with sediment. Overall a very solid and a well rounded wild ale.

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Photo of 51mmz0rz
4.04/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12.7oz bottle into a St. Bernardus chalice.

A: Dark opaque brown, head is off white, fades quickly.

S: Sourness, some sweet fruit smells as well. A very slight muskiness.

T: Powerfully sour up front and on the finish. Lacks some complexity, but has solid flavor.

M: Highly carbonated, maybe just a tad too much, otherwise, pleasant.

D: Highly drinkable and refreshing.

Overall a very nice, solid beer, but not for the price.

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Photo of readbaron
4.04/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2010 vintage - poured into portsmouth tulip.

Pours out a somewhat murky reddish brown with a small ring of white bubbles - no foam or lacing.

Smell is good - sour, acetic, cherries, some oak, occasional hints of solvent, and quite a bit of funk when you swirl the glass.

Taste is more straitforward than the nose - no funk to speak of - just sour with cherries. A couple sips here and there had something odd going on - ashes/solvent finish - but that was the exception, not the rule.

Mouthfeel is decent. A little flat and heavy. Not as crisp and refreshing as some sours can be.

Overall, a tasty beer. I'm glad I have another, but I don't know that it's worth the $16 price tag. Probably won't seek this one out in the future.

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Photo of RuckusDu
4.04/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2012 Vintage, 12.7oz bottle into Bruery tulip.

A - A vigorous pour revealed a finger of large bubble cola colored head which quickly fell. Body is clear but a deep amber in color with tons of red, almost to a purple color. No lacing.

S - Super tart on lemon, grapefruit, and raspberry. There is a nice sweetness that comes through. Cherries and raspberries. Very nice.

T - Tons more funk on the tongue. Grapefruit rind. Cherries of course along with some lemon. Super sour with almost no sweetness to it.

M - A thick body and moderate carbonation. Ok.

O - Pretty good beer. Would like to see a bit more sweetness to it to compliment the tart and funk.

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Photo of boatshoes
4.03/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Received this in a monster box from 6daysbottomocean in the Whale BIF 3. 375ml bottle. Thanks again!

Appearance- Pours a dark, very slightly crimson tinged, hazy brown into my snifter. A moderately aggressive pour yields about a finger of slightly tan head on top which to my surprise sticks around for quite awhile. Eventually dies back to a sheet across the top. Lots of beading carbonation in the body of the beer and a very small amount of lacing.

Smell- Very vinous with lots of oak present. Smells of dark tart cherries, some red wine grapes, and barrel. A little bit of vanilla even perhaps, not sure exactly where I'm getting that from, but maybe off of the barrel. Finishes with a strong whiff of lactic tartness.

Taste- Once again, very tart and very vinous. Lots of tart fruit flavors. Barrels really show through as well, adding a rich woodiness to the palate as well. Finishes on a very strong acidic note.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Mouthfeel was good for the style with enough, but not too much, carbonation. Drinkability was pretty good for me as well given the good flavor profile and nice tartness. However, I'm a sour head, and if you aren't this may be a touch tart for you.

Overall, a very solid shot at an oud bruin from Lost Abbey. I'm generally very impressed by the sours I've had of theirs and this one didn't disappoint.

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Photo of femALEist
4.03/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at Toronado during SF Beer week.
Red Poppy Ale by Lost Abbey is a Flanders Oud Bruin style beer and 5.5%. It is a brown ale brewed with sour cherries and aged in oak barrels for over 6 months. It poured a beautiful copper red with a pinky full of a white head. It smelled of citrus, sour cherries and a hint of barnyard funkiness- kind of a one note nose. It tasted like dried sour cherries, Brett, and vinegar. The sour cherriness was pretty well balanced.

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Photo of zoolzoo
4.03/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Thanks awalk1227

A: Big pop from the cork, pours an almost opaque shade of redish brown. This thing has a really frothy and bubbly looking cream head that just wont get lost. Sort of Guinness looking in texture.

S: Lactic presence, vinegar and under ripened cherry tartness. Perhaps some vanilla or brown sugar.

T: Follows the nose quite nicely. Similar to many Oud Bruins except with more assertive tartness. Funk and tart up front, rolling into unripe cherries and brown malt base. Slightly puckering, definitely mouthwatering in the finish.

M: Surprisingly creamy, medium carb.

O: Overall, a great example of the style. Though I must say Im sort of getting lost in Flanders type sours. I cant exactly say what would make this one stand out in the crowd. Given the price and availability of this beer, I cant see seeking it out again in the midst of other "off the shelf" Flanders options available to me. Still, a great beer in its own right.

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Photo of ChugginOil
4.03/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured on tap @ Hop Juice Fest 2011

Pours a dark reddish brown color with less than a finger of cream colored head. The nose is sweet and sour. Vinager and cherries come to mind. The taste is much the same but nicely amped. Lip smacking tartness upfront with some sweet cherry offerings. Delightful. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and prickly from the tartness. Super drinkable and damn tasty as well

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Photo of flayedandskinned
4.02/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

2014 Vintage
Poured into a standard tulip

Appearance: (4)
Pours a dark, murky mahogany with deep red undertones. A loosely bubbled, 1 finger tall tan head quickly rises and recedes almost immediately, leaving no lacing behind it's wake.

Aroma: (3.75)
Aromas of slightly tart cherries immediately shoot out of the glass upon pouring; Buried beneath the fruity acidity is a lightly acetic red wine vinegar character, but it is kept in balance by a rich, almost toffee like malt bread-y-ness. There is a very light barnyard funkiness imparted by some Brettanomyces. As the beer warms, some vanilla tones from the barrels become more apparent.

Taste: (4.25)
As soon as the beer touches your tongue, you're blasted by clean, juicy lactic acidity; tart cherry pie filling as well as both lemon and cherry juice. As the tartness fades on your palate, you are greeted by the flavors of the actual dark cherry flesh intermingling with notes of vanilla and almonds from the barrel. The beer finishes very dry with a flourish of slightly sweet, caramel-y malt. Long lingering notes of juicy cherry flesh, tart cherry flesh, bready malt and a deep vanilla character from the wood. light brettanomyces funk and tannins.

Mouthfeel: (3.75)
light bodied with high, peppery carbonation. Refreshing, but I feel that the very high carbonation overwhelms the some of the more subtle aspects of this beer.

Overall: (4)
With Red Poppy, Lost Abbey ages their sour brown with cherries in used wine barrels. What comes out is a great sour that really showcases the essence of the whole cherry; the skin, flesh, juice and even the pit. I really appreciated the strong vanilla character imparted by the oak barrels that is often missing in a lot of sour beer. Recommended.

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Photo of berkey
4.02/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

375 ml bottle poured into a tulip glass. From notes 07/18/10.

The cork was released with a reassuring 'pop'. Beer pours a ruby tinted dark brown color with a fairly large moderately well retained khaki colored head.

Smell is surprisingly spot on for the style. Wood and a mildly pungent funkiness are primary while the sour cherry aroma plays a secondary role just like most in the style that don't actually have any fruit added. I was wondering why this is called an Oud Bruin and not an American Wild Ale but so far it makes sense.

Flavor mostly mirrors the aroma which is a good thing. Funk stays under control while cherries stay subtle. Oak continues to play a big part though the vinegar-like notes are milder than expected. Overall still fairly similar to the more familiar European varieties out there. I half expected this to be more along the lines of RR Supplication but the restrained sourness and more subtle fruit take this in a slightly different direction. I prefer that beer for it's uniqueness but this is solid as well. My only (small) gripe is a wish for a little more intensity on the flavor. Not as excited about it at half way through the glass as I was on my first sip.

One of the better American versions of the style I've tried. I'd prefer a little more tartness but if you like the European versions like Rodenbach then this one is worth a shot. Just be aware it's a little more subdued.

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Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.02/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

For my 100th beer advocate review I thought I would drink something that was different from the normal styles I love. This is my first Red Flanders Style Ale.

Cage & cork 12oz bottle poured into tulip glass.

Appearance: It a body is a dark brown and deep red color tone. The head is a real gusher that has seems t remain at a bit smaller that I fingers head that is khaki in color. Lacing is sticking all over the side of the glass.

Smell: Intense cherries. Some funkiness and vinegar like smell.

Taste: Intense sour cherries and funk. I dont really taste the oak barrel at all in this beer. As the cherries fade, the funk takes over in the aftertaste. Its not off putting at all it actually quite interesting.

Mouthfeel: Light and refreshing body that is smooth. Carbonation is very lively and would consider it a touch more than moderately carbonated.

Overall: This was a very interesting and enjoyable beer. It makes me want to try more sour beers! The biggest down fall is the price! At over 15 dollars for 12oz bottle this beer will be reserved for special occassions only!

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Photo of Smurf2055
4.01/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured into tulip, finger of off white head. Sediment is at the bottom.

Smell is tart and balanced.

Taste is strong cherry. Sour, almost bitter. Candied, almost.

Very smooth and balanced. Sits on the tongue quite well.

Very well done, but I don’t think it’s worth the price tag.

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Photo of 05Harley
4/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2011 vintage

Purchased through West Lakeview Liquors, Chicago Illinois

Price - $16.99/bottle

Corked and caged for a reason. Man This suckers got some carbonation - wow. Following a big pop was the appearance of smoke rising from the bottle followed by bubbles. Murky reddish/brown in color with a beige head and spotty lacing.

Bringing on the funk like a dance floor from the 70's. Sour cherries and vinegar take center stage followed by woodiness from the oak.

The flavor is sour cherries, lemons and dare I say Granny Smith apples.

Lite body and highly carbonated which is noticeable after each sip. Tart and lightly sweet through out. Not as sour as I was expecting, sort of in the middle for the style.

A pretty good beer overall. I'm expanding my palate into the style and hope to develop a better impression for the sour branch of beers. This one's a little pricey for a 12.7 ounce bottle IMO.

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Photo of zaphodchak
4/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep ruby brown body, clearish with some sediment. Foamy when the bottle opened, some offwhite head with a bit of retention.

Dank nose with serious funk and some basalmic vinegar.

Tart, big sour and a bit of cherry. Balanced by some sweetness and spice. Quite nice, quite bold.

A bit of coarse brightness.

Nice bold Flanders red, with a lot of sour.

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Photo of DearthVader
4/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this up at Lone Hill Liquor one day. I must've been in a good mood considering the hefty price tag.

Poured into my Bruery tulip.

Pours a solid brown with an off-white head that rises about 1 1/2 fingers high. Falls quickly to a crown.

Smells of sweet cherry, vinegar funk, earthy dirt tones, and lemon funk.

Taste is very tart. Strong lemon taste that lets a bit of cherry pop through.

Surprising mouthfeel for Lost Abbey. Bravo on the carbonation. Goes down very smoothly.

I enjoyed this beer. I'm very new to sours and really still never know what to expect. Don't think it lived up to the hype it brings, but still an enjoyable beer.

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Photo of unitmonster
4/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap at Lost Abbey 5th Anniversary and 2011 Xmas in July party. Also in bottles through the past few years.

A - Nice cherry orange/red which really shines a great color in the light.

S - Sour cherries, lemon, other citrus, and barnyard funk.

T - Really getting the cherry taste and other citrus fruits. Noticeable brett taste on the finish.

M - Pretty viscous for a Flanders, but I could honestly drink this all day.

O - Great beer, and great style. The cost is a little high, so I'll probably drink Supplication over this most of the time.

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Photo of crossovert
4/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

375ml corked and caged brown bottle.

It pours a murky reddish brown with a foamy off-white head that leaves an abundance of lacing.

The smell is full and pungent. It has some sulfuric, hard water scents. It has some brie cheese, vinegar, and some musty funk to it too. Amongst that is some sour cherry.

The flavor follows, but with a lot more sour. It is the taste of slightly bitter sour cherries, pits, stems, and all. the vinegar mixes with lemon for an acidic, tart edge. The oak is in the back with some wood and vanilla notes. The aftertaste is of Red Bull.

It is pretty carbonated, but easy-drinking.

A solid sour. And it is carbonated.

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Photo of maximum12
4/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to ATLCarl for this mini-bottle that was double parked on my wants list for a looong time. Sippy-cup size 375ML bottle, split with my wife.

First there's the matter of the cork, which yielded only after it was tortured with a pliers. The pop is convincing. Pour is ruby red held up to the light, much more than it is any kind of brown. Nose is a slash of sour red fruits, red vinegar, sour but not biting. Almost like a toned-down wine. Like.

Red Poppy marches down the vinous path. The cherries are closer to tart than sour, which is good by me. Oak dries this down to the bone, red wine vinegar. But really the DNA on this is simple: sour cherries. Nice to drink down, this ought to come in bigger bottles. Fo sho.

Lovely sour that's just my speed. Very good beer that's damn close to excellent. My wife has proclaimed it her favorite sour ever...which is saying something.

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Photo of joe1510
4/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


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!

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Photo of jcartamdg
4/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a reddish brown with a finger length head disapates quickly. Aroma of vinegar and funk, cherries not present in the nose. Taste follows nose but brings in sour cherries in finish. I like this beer a lot, it's smooth and delicious and right up there with the best Belgian representations of the style

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Photo of abeeronthebeach
4/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Muddy brown.

S - Tart nose.

T - Less fruity and less sweet than Rodenbach Grand Cru. More aggresively sour. Very refreshing.

M - Fizzier than RGC.

O - Hugely overpriced, to the point where it makes me slightly angry. It's about twice the price of La Folie per oz, which is in turn almost twice the price of Rodenbach Grand Cru. You get nothing for that mark up. It is a good beer though. It's fizzy and sour which leaves it feeling pretty harsh.

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Photo of inlimbo77
4/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Red Poppy '12
Lost Abbey tulip

A: Murky reddish brown color on the pour. Better carbonation that I expected and had read about. Nice little pop on the cork. And I did get a nice little head out of it.

S: Balsamic vinegar. Crap apples. Funk. Cherries. Typical

T: A good amount of tartness on the front of the palate. Then you get that apple cider vinegar flavor, but after having the Rodenbach Vintage '09 it wasn't as much. It's a nice dry finish.

M: Light to medium bodied beer. Very drinkable.

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Photo of LilBeerDoctor
4/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of mreusch. Pours a dirty light brown with a small tan head. Aroma of yeasty funk, some cherry undertones. Flavor is sour and tart, with some acidity at first with light cherry fruits and cinnamon in the finish. This reminds me a bit of 3 Fonteinen Schaerbeekse. Very nice.
Aroma: 8/10
Appearance: 4/5
Flavor: 8/10
Palate: 4/5
Overall: 16/20

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Photo of oglmcdgl
4/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at monks during the lost abbey event.

A- almost three fingers of tanish head a top a ruddy deep red brown brew. Head leaves no lace or stick.

A- good amount of earth red wine vinegar and some sweet and sour cherries but to a lesser extent. The cherries don't give a big bright sour they come off more subdued. Rich malt backbone giving a darker bread touch.

T- opens up with a light sweet and sour cherry and funky oak hit with a touch of red wine vin. Malts come off sweet with some dark brown sugar and bread. Light acidity not the punch I was hoping for, more of a earthy thing going on.

M- a bit above medium in body and lightly carbed. Solid pucker but nothing outstanding.

O- its a good red but the cherries seem to be a bit over the hill and lacking the fresh sour hit. I would like to try the base beer without the cherries and see what that's like. Up against rodenbach gc its got some work to do.

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Red Poppy Ale from The Lost Abbey
94 out of 100 based on 562 ratings.