Red Poppy Ale - The Lost Abbey

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Red Poppy AleRed Poppy Ale

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BA SCORE
95
world-class

1,800 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,800
Reviews: 556
rAvg: 4.28
pDev: 9.35%
Wants: 561
Gots: 570 | 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: 1,800 | Reviews: 556
Photo of steve8robin
3.97/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Not a huge sour fan, but excited to try this one. Found at a local beer store. 12.7oz bottle...

A: A deep dark autumn brown with a slight ruby color blended in. A 1 inch tan head that fades very quickly to tiny bubbles atop the brew. Decent.

S: Smells of huge tart cherry upfront with some mild bready scents in the middle and more funk on the backend. Good.

T: I get an acidic cherry upfront that quickly faints into a hint of wheat and barley and some more tartness lingers on the backend. A lot more drinkable for a sour. Still puckering, but the pucker fades quickly. Good.

M: Medium body with a nice carbonation. A tart puckering finish. Good.

O: All in all, this is a good sour. For not being a sour guy, I enjoy this. Definitely try if you like the style. If you're not a sour fan, but open to it, try this if you have access.

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

Poured from a 12.7 oz bottle into a Belgian glass. 2010 vintage.
Has a nice ruby-brown color, leaves a thin pinkish-white head that dissipates quickly. Leaves some spotty lacing and coats the glass thinly with a swirl.
Showed some smells of cherries, had sort of a tart cherry pie quality, along with a mixture of red wine and balsamic vinegar, some oakiness, and a little bit of strawberry preserves.
The taste comes on with a tart, somewhat earthy punch, red wine/balsamic vinegar, tart cherries, and a little rhubarb. Ends tart and crisp.
Pretty carbonated but not too much. Has a fairly thin texture but leaves a nice coating on the tongue that lasts a little while after swallowing.
The tartness makes you pause a bit but it's pretty smooth.
This one definitely has classic oud bruin characters but lacks some richness. I liked Kuhnenn Old Brune as a cherry oud bruin better. I would like to try an older vintage some time.

Unnecessary side note: a milk stout tastes weird after two oud bruins.

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.

Photo of dbc5
3.97/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12.7 ounce corked and cage bottle poured into Southern Tier Pumking Tulip.

A: Pours a brown with ruby highlights. Moderate pour yields about a 1 finger cream colored head. Even after receding, a nice froth sticks around on the top of this beer and laces its way down the glass.

S: Definite cherries, but also picking up a surprising amount of the barrel, a burnt character, and even some caramel. The burnt character is a bit strange and throws me off just a bit. Doesn't smell as sour as I was expecting, might even smell more funky than sour. The nose suggests this might not be as dry as some other sours.

T: Cherries are very present and the sourness is far more apparent on the palate than it is on the nose. Do taste some of the vanilla and even a bit of the caramel that was apparent on the nose at the end of this one. As suspected, not as dry as some other sours. Cherries are the standout in this one.

M: Medium to high carbonation, medium body.

O: A really enjoyable beer, and one of the more cherry forward sours I have had. It really showcases the featured ingredient. I could stand for this one being a slight bit drier on the finish, but that is just my personal preference with sours.

Photo of philbe311
3.98/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I've been eager to try this one for a while...

A - Three fingers worth of active audibly fizzy airy light tan colored head with a bit of a rocky top... Decent retention ultimately gives way to a full lacing and moderately thick collar... The color is almost aubergine with lots of ruby red highlights when back lit... Some very rapid streaks of small bubbled carbonation can be seen towards the top of the glass... Lots of lacing clings to the glass...

S - Rich and complex from get go... Cherries... Lots of oak notes... A light but biting tartness... Perhaps some red grapes as well... Light vinegar notes... A hint of vanilla... Black berries... A moderate funkiness throughout... Epic label and presentation...

T - Lots of oak and wood and the forefront... Some lite vanilla notes... The cherries take a distant back seat... Perhaps some raspberries and currants... A bit unbalanced...

M - Medium bodied... Lively... Loaded with unrelenting carbonation... The finish is exceedingly dry yet saliva inducing... Wakes up the senses with each sip...

D - A solid Flanders Red Ale that is an assault on senses... Potent would be an understatement... There is nothing subtle about it... Not my favorite for a style, but a rather extreme American interruption on the style...

Photo of yeahnatenelson
3.98/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Imbibed at SmallBar on Port/LA Night during Chicago Craft Beer Week.

Appearance -- Pours rusty brown with witha finger fo creamy parchment head. Incredible amount of lacing for the style. Very photogenic.

Smell -- Tart cherry, cider vinegar, wet oak, lightly roasted malt, and a pinch of cocoa malt sweetness. Nice.

Taste -- Lots of bright acetic tartness up front: lemon, granny smith, cider vinegar. Inhaling through the nose made for a singeing sensation. Tart cherry and unripened berry fruitiness lent an additional layer of sour flavor. Rich dark malt evoking wet earth and cocoa.

Mouthfeel -- Medium-light in body with gentle prickly carbonation, bordering creamy. However, this could be the fault of the establishment.

Overall -- Very nice, but it wasn't the revelation that I had been hoping for. While being quite sour, the tartness was a detriment to the beer as a whole, somewhat diminishing the cherry addition and the malty/sour interplay that is the hallmark of the style. Still, the cherries were nice, and the definite highlight of this beer.

While I didn't consider cost as a factor for my review, the question must be asked: is a 350mL bottle of this worth as much as a 650mL bottle of La Folie? Methinks not.

Photo of n2185
3.99/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: pours a brownish-red with a finger of off-white head that fades into a thin ring with no lacing.

S: lots of tart and sour fruit up front followed by funky farmhouse aromas. There are sweet candy sugar notes as well.

T: lots of sour and tart flavors here with fruity and funky notes dominating. The finish is tart and slightly sweet.

M: light body with mid-high carbonation, this beer is light and dry.

O: a good beer overall. Not extremely complex, but enjoyable and thankfully carbonated.

Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.99/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12.7 oz cork and caged bottle split and poured into a Duvel tulip.
5% ABV, 2011

Thanks to Sweemzander for sharing this one for another one of our Tickerazzi events!

A - Hazy dark brown with a quickly fading light tan head. Patchy lace clings to the glass.

S - Awesome bruin aroma of mild vinegar and brown malt. Wood, oak barrel is hinted at with a pinch of sweetness. A swirl brings out some faint wild yeast funk.

T - Spiciness and cherry overshadows the rest of the beer a but too much but nice vinegar sourness comes through the finish with a wild yeast complexity on the back end.

M - Highly carbonated and medium-bodied, Red Poppy is mildly tart with a faint vinegar sour finish.

O - For $16? Are they nuts? While it's a good beer, it's certainly not worth that in the least. Decent and drinkable but hardly worth getting again, for me anyway.

Photo of EgadBananas
3.99/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a mahogany red, light haze, yellow colored head, dissipates quickly. Funky aroma with a mild sour nose, slight fruit notes, caramel and bread with some acidity. Carries a much similar taste, lightly sweet with fruit notes, a tart, lightly sour taste, with some bready funk notes. Lighter body, carbonation was good(especially for Lost Abbey).

Enjoyable, but Love Child 3 toaster in the night was better.

Photo of kevanb
3.99/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

375ml bottle, Vintage 2012 printed on the bottle, poured into a Lost Abbey Teku.

The beer pours a dark burgundy color, very opaque, touches of ruby when struck by the light, a few bubbles can be seen rising to the top of the glass. Atop the beer is a finger high, bone colored head, light and fizzy that recedes quickly leaving behind a touch of film and no lacing. The aroma is of pungent sour cherry, barnyard funk, woody oak, light vanilla with touches of brown grain lingering behind. Sour cherry hits the tongue straight away, acidic and vinegary, funk, vanilla, dark, sweet grain with some mild funk coming out. There is a nice amount of barrel character on the tongue leaving behind some pleasant oak flavors that also bring out a touch of char. There is potential for a nice pie filling-esque flavor here, but the acidity and vinegar flavors really hurt this beer. The body is very lively, medium to high carbonation that really dances on the tongue, the finish is rather smooth and moderately dry.

Verdict: A good rendition of a Flanders Red from The Lost Abbey. Certainly not their finest work, but this is sure to satisfy anyone who enjoys a sour beer or who loves cherries.

Photo of 05Harley
4/5  rDev -6.5%
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.

Photo of zaphodchak
4/5  rDev -6.5%
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.

Photo of DearthVader
4/5  rDev -6.5%
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.

Photo of unitmonster
4/5  rDev -6.5%
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.

Photo of crossovert
4/5  rDev -6.5%
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.

Photo of maximum12
4/5  rDev -6.5%
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.

Photo of joe1510
4/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

375ml

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!

Photo of jcartamdg
4/5  rDev -6.5%
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

Photo of abeeronthebeach
4/5  rDev -6.5%
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.

Photo of inlimbo77
4/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Red Poppy '12
375ml
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.

Photo of LilBeerDoctor
4/5  rDev -6.5%
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
4.0/5

Photo of oglmcdgl
4/5  rDev -6.5%
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.

Photo of starshockey9
4/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Not going to do the average rating, all I'm going to say is this is a fresh 2014 bottle. I had a '13 semi fresh bottle maybe 2-3 months after it was released last year and it was great. This years needs a little age on it but it can easily be a high 4 with some age.

Photo of Smurf2055
4.01/5  rDev -6.3%
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.

Photo of flayedandskinned
4.02/5  rDev -6.1%
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.

Red Poppy Ale from The Lost Abbey
95 out of 100 based on 1,800 ratings.