Red Poppy Ale - The Lost Abbey

Not Rated.
Red Poppy AleRed Poppy Ale

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BA SCORE
95
world-class

1,799 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,799
Reviews: 555
rAvg: 4.28
pDev: 9.35%
Wants: 560
Gots: 567 | FT: 44
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: 1,799 | Reviews: 555
Photo of WOTO97
4.3/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: murky bronze with cherry syrup red tones, nominal head and lacing

S: red wine vinegar, cherries, fungal/earthy character, wood/straw

T: potent yet mild tartness, big mouthful of cherries, very light red wine vinegar on finish, very faint earthy/floral in background

M: very light stickiness in the back of the throat but surprisingly clean finish, light palate feel

D: amazingly drinkable, very mellow, approachable sour, cannot wait to have another

Photo of Sixofsigmas
4.8/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance is brownish-red and murky with a dirty white thin head that recedes relatively quickly. Small amount of lacing around the glass.

Smell is sexy. Vinegar, cherries, earthy, very fragrant.

Taste kind of surprised me. It's a mild sour that is very pleasing to taste. Strong cherry notes dominate, but there's some earth, some oak. Begins sweet and finishes with a crisp tartness... Vinuous is a good adjective... sorry I stole that one from the other reviews, but it's better than "wine-like"

Mouthfeel is crisp and carbonated, oily, tongue humbling.

Dangerously drinkable! At least IMHO... Very pleasant to me, and I think I could down this like a non-alcoholic soda/juice even though I prefer to enjoy it slowly over time.

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

A: Dark burgundy-brown body. Thin, weak off-white head. Very little lacing, but a nice skim remains throughout.

S: Red wine, dark red cherries, oak, sweet sugar and a hearty earthy-funk.

T: Like the nose, lots of dark fruits are present. Most notably dark cherries fill out the flavor profile from start to finish. Similar to consecration, but lacking the profound tartness and sourness. A bit raw... but presents itself as a lively sweet, vinous brew.

M: Smooth, moderate tartness and sourness. Nice lingering finish. Funkayyy.

D: I enjoyed this quite a bit... reminiscent of consecration and la folie... not quite as good as consecration, but probably better than la folie. Would like to see this one with some age on it.

Photo of jjanega08
4.13/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A= pours a dark red color pushing brown with a nice thick off white one finger head rising up out of it. Really nice lacing coming out of the head. Super sticky.

S= Tart vinegar smell with little cherry in it. Super sour smelling. Sort of a headache inducing funk to it as well. Smells dirty sort of. Funky barnyard smell to it.

T= Nice tartness to it. Good sour without the super vinegar that I smell. Nice cherry taste that is still sort of fresh cherry. Nice clean taste which is different from the super dirty smell. Not as funky because the super sourness comes from it.

M= Super dry feeling. Awesome crisp clean feeling as well.

D= Nice sour. Not over the top or crazy at all but still really nice sour. Delicious.

Photo of snpub540
4.2/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown infused with alot of red. Light off white head creates delicate lacing. Its a beautiful looking brew.

Aromas are soy sauce, vinegary funk, and cherries.

Taste is nicely complex. I get an almost cola like sweetness in the front which is soon washed away by a puckering sourness. Intense is all I can say.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and it has a nice playful carbonation. Drinkability is good as there is no alcohol flavor or harshness. Nicely done.

Photo of sholland119
4.4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

On tap at Memphis Taproom, 2/22/10.

A-Pours a rather dark reddish brown, opaque, with a little bit of fizzy head and a spot or two of lacing.

S-Sour cherries and some background funkiness.

T-Delicious big fruit notes in the front, balanced nicely by an oakiness and sour funk. Very rich and flavorful.

M-Medium bodied and a bit slick.

D-A great example of this style. More flavorful than most, but still nicely drinkable.

HV

Photo of nectar14
4.12/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Cloudy brown color. Off white head that stirs up with swirling, fades with sittin' still.

S: Nice nutty oak backing up sour bretty funk; very enticing.

T: Decent depth to the cherry, brett, and oaky flavors. Finishes a bit short in flavor, but the acidity lingers.

M: Medium to full in body. Pleasantly carbonated. Like the texture.

D: Sip after sip, this is one that goes down pretty easy and makes you want another.

Glad I got a chance to try this. Not many made in USA like it.

Photo of Popkas
4.24/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sharing a side by side of 2009 and 2010 with my wife - review based on 2010.

A: Pour is an auburn color with a very thin head. Note 2010 did open with a nice pop where 2009 was more of "pff".

S: Tart cherries, sour funk.

T: Strong taste of cherry and nice mouth puckering sour kick.

M: The mouth feel is thin, but there is some carbonation to it and I have no complaints. The 2009 is a different story, very thin and no fiz at all.

D: 2010 is drinking nicely. 2009 is still a tasty beer, just not as good as the new release.

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

Pours to a cherry cola toned reddish brown body. Head is just a skim of rich tan foam. Nose has a nice creamy tartness with ripe cherry tones, cola and minerals with some zest. Enters the mouth with a sharp tart tone that is cherry skins. This tartness quickly mellows with mice dark maltiness that really balances the brew. Dark fruit follows all this with some accompanying tannins. Mouthfeel is thick and tart especially on the very back of the tongue. This beer is especially under carbonated. Overall it is nicely drinkable.

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

2009 vintage, opens with a dull pop, poured into an Allagash tulip.

A - pours murky brown with a reddish tint. No real head despite a vigorous pour. What little head there was disappeared within a second. Flat as a wall.

S - strong woody smell with some cherry flavors. mild alcohol-y sweetness, like a hint of vanilla.

T - pretty much the same the smell. Woody, oaky flavor with a tart cherry finish. There is the typical funky, earthy flavors of a sour/wild ale. All the flavors sit in a good balance, and isn't too sharp a lactic flavor.

M / D - Mouthfeel is slick with no carbonation. Would have liked to have some carbonation present here. Despite that, the beer is drinkable for the style thanks to the balanced tartness.

Red Poppy is an interesting enough beer, that could stand to be a little more effervescent.

Photo of womencantsail
4.29/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Anwar for this bottle. Split it tonight with the girlfriend.

A: Despite a vigorous pour into my Bruery tulip, there isn't much in the way of head formation. The beer itself is a slightly muddy mahogany color.

S: The nose is nice and tart with some nice sour cherry notes along with a slight acetic acid note. There's quite a bit of oak, which I was not quite expecting.

T: The flavor follows the nose almost exactly. Great oak and sour cherry flavors with only a touch of vinegar (which I often find a bit off-putting in Flanders ales).

M: The carbonation is quite low, lending the beer a slick feel on the tongue. The finish is nice and dry.

D: This is one of the more tart Oud Bruins I've had, but I enjoy that. The lower level of acetic acid is also a bit plus for me.

Photo of drabmuh
4.15/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Beer is reddish brown and does not form a head. Carbonation is low and there is a little lacing left on the glass. Beer is relatively clear.

Aroma is a strong sourness, mostly citric based. Kind of a one note aroma but it smells fine.

Strong sour flavor, again citric. There are several late flavors, sweet, strong tart, hits me in the corners of my mouth. Drinkability is high, mouthfeel is good. Carbonation plays a role in the connectivity of the beer overall.

Photo of TurdFurgison
4.63/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

2009 bottle, 12.7oz, corked & caged. The beer is clear, dark rusty colored, with no head at all. As I drank it I noticed the carbonation was really light too, not sure if the carbonation fell off with 1 year of age.

The beer smells just about perfect, so strong and funky. Both tart cherries and barnyard wild notes, but mainly the sour seems to come from the cherries. Only a hint of vinegar, so much better than other oud bruins I've had in terms of that. And it only gets better when I taste it. Very fruity and sour, basically fermented cherry juice with some brett. If I'd tried this 2-3 years ago I might have objected to the pucker-inducing sourness but now I've come to crave this attribute. This is bracing and pungent, massive in aroma and flavor.

The real downside for me is the low carbonation. Lost Abbey's struggles with carbonation have been well documented in their strong beers, but their sour beers have usually been fine. In this case I'm guessing it's the age, and it really doesn't hurt the drinking experience all that much. The light body seems to suit the style, very drinkable. This will be on my eternal wants list, and I'll actively trade for it each year it's released.

Photo of htomsirveaux
3.87/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

375 mL bottle tried 29 Jun 2009. Courtesy of calinalu, thanks!

Poured in a 0.4 L Steiner Pils snifter. Small tan soapy looking head. Cloudy dark brown color. Moderate carbonation. Aroma is of sour cherry pits, somewhat musty. Quite sour with a lot of brown sugar, almost like a vinaigrette. Also dried sour cherries, some cinnamon. Aftertaste and finish is sweet-tart. Medium body. Ethanol very mild.

Nice to try but would probably not get this again.

Photo of JohnGalt1
4.39/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Czoch75 beat the hell out of me in the Fight Club Rnd 2 BIF.. this was an incredible score. Clint is beyond generous.

Shared this one with Inflatablechair a while back... Sam is good people. Reviewed from paper notes.

Lite tan head.. no real lace.. only descent retention... the brew is a slightly hazed deep orange/red.

Nose is cherries with lite funk and pretty abundant acetic elements..

Cherries are less pronounced than the aroma, but are still prevalent... plenty of vinegar and some mild lactic presence.. with warmth some balsamic characteristics show.. maybe some oak, but I could easily be imagining things.

very very refreshing.

Thanks again Clint.. unheard of generosity.

3.5/4.5/4.5/4/4.5

Photo of tpd975
3.92/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark amberish shade of milky brown. Very little head. No retention or lace.

S: Wonderful aroma of tart red berry. Lots of fresh raspberry and dark cherry. Vinegar and oak play a big role as well.

T: Very solid beer. Tart under ripe raspberry with notes of dark tart black cherry. Lots of acidic vinegar, and oak as well. Very subtle chocolate notes. Earthy, funky, and tart. Well done.

M: Medium in body, not much carbonation, a sharp tartness.

D: Very good.

Photo of Sammy
4.15/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A cute 500 ml bottle. Pours reddish brown with a Caesar white head. Aroma of sour and cherries and wood. Sourness on the tongue, above averge mouthfeel. Some fruit sugarness offsets. This is a sipper. Alcohol warming. A delight. Carbonation is there.
Peter FM had a bottle, and after 3.3 years it stands the taste of time. Great sor finish.

Photo of Thorpe429
4.08/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to bmanning for opening this at a recent tasting.

2009 Vintage. 375mL bottle.

A: Poured a slightly-browned red with a bit of a cream-colored head.

S: Aromas of cherry are definitely present atop some funk and vinegary acid.

T: The cherries are not as strong in the taste department as with the smell, and the slightly-puckering acidity takes over. Good balance between the sweet and tart nature of the cherries with the predominate sour qualities of this one.

M: Pretty low carbonation, fairly tart, and somewhat mouth-drying.

D: Quite drinkable. Fairly complex.

Photo of Tiklmelmo
3.28/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Murky reddish brown. For the champagne cork, I was definitely expecting more fizz. Minimal off-white to light brown head.

S - Tart cherries dominate the nose, with some leather and earthy notes.

T - Puckeringly sour, almost unpleasantly so. Fairly one dimentional with some cherries and lots of vinous acidity. Not very balanced. No sweetness to speak of.

M - Slight slickness to the mouthfeel with low carbonation.

D - the 12.7oz is enough for me. The acidity isn't balanced enough to make this really drinkable.

Not bad, but definitely not my favorite. While I enjoy a good sour, this one is a little heavy on the lactic acidity without much else to back it up.

Photo of Fweezle
4.2/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

I'm a huge Flanders Red fan so when I finally opened this 2009 at a recent tasting I was quite excited. Corked pulled with no pop whatsoever. Flat as tap water. Bummer.
Luckily a Flanders Red can still be somewhat enjoyed with no carbonation. Poured a murky red into my snifter followed by a slight fizz head that vanished as soon as it formed. Smelled pretty wonderful. Cherries, cider vinegar, and oak. Taste was pretty on par for a Flanders, tart cherries, wood, a little sourness and funk. Mouthfeel was a little lacking for obvious reasons, but the drinkability was pretty on point. If it would of had some carbonation it would have carried it alot more.

Photo of nomomentwasted
4.32/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hank, once again, you are the man for throwing down for two bottles of this at the vintage bottle fest. 2008 vintage.

Appearance: Reddish-brown hue, almost brick-like with more orange hues in the highlights. Light, wispy head that evaporates quickly but laces nicely. Head is a little off-white and stays pretty tame.

Smell: Lactic sourness comes through in a funky, cherry, oaky, and slightly sweet manner. The beer has had nearly two years of cellaring, and the funk is very alive and well, that's for sure. Cherries come through more as it warms up a tad, and sourness is pucker-inducing from the smell. Similar in nose to La Roja from Jolly Pumpkin, but more cherry.

Taste: The funky, sour cherry smell is no illusion, and the taste comes immediately with some vinegar acidity, sour cherry, oak, and lactic sourness on the finish. Roundly interesting, and I kept muttering to myself about how interesting it was. Complexity is high, and the subtle profile only becomes more nuanced as it warms up. Not as much brett funk as lacto, and the sourness reflects the yeast more than the cherries. Oak is more in the finish than immediate.

Mouthfeel: Not quite spritzy, and carbonation was pretty light. Sourness is not bracing but more puckering, and oaky finish is pleasant, but after the first glass and warming up, it becomes slightly less original and a bit more dominant than the vinegar sweetness and cherry sourness.

Drinkability: Drinks above the ABV in flavor, and really very similar to something like Cuvee de Tomme, except with less hints of booze. Sourness is light enough to drink a good amount, as is the ABV, but the flavors do run together a bit by the end. Still, an excellent little sour that if more readily available probably would have a few purchased of it, but with La Folie being half the cost and infinitely more available, I'd probably stick with it first.

Photo of davod23
4.49/5  rDev +4.9%
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.

Photo of Cakanator
4.8/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Amazing at turkey day dinner. Pours a murky brown red with minimal head. Lacing is ecxellent smells like fresh cherries. So ripe and delicious the sour level is huge and bLanced. One of my all time favorites from la. The levels of sourness is amazing I think lost abbey hAs a winner with this one.

Photo of drumrboy22
3.97/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Received from Sinners Club '09. Poured from 375mL bottle into Lost Abbey chalice. Beer was a ruby red color, with a very, very small head. Light, slow carbonation and no lacing.

Aroma was tart cherries, vinegar and oak.

Taste was very tart cherries, vinegar, wood and light caramel. Very good beer.

Good drinkability and a very well crafted beer. Only complaint was lack of carbonation. While there was a very small amount of carbonation present, a little more would have really added to this beer.

Red Poppy Ale from The Lost Abbey
95 out of 100 based on 1,799 ratings.