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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: 1,848
Avg: 4.23
pDev: 9.46%
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: 1,848
Photo of SpdKilz
4.45/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Pours into my Russian River Tulip with an absolute ruddy brown/mahogany color. There was an initial "POP" which put to rest my fears of "Flat Abbey". There is about a finger of off white head that honestly has stayed there for well over 10 minutes as I let the beer warm up a bit. It is leaving great looking lacing.

Smell - The beer is a couple feet away and the aroma, as it warms up, is very clear. I love when I can smell a beer when it is sitting a ways away. Lots of earthy funk, barnyard, wet hay, massive oak tannis and dark cherries. This smells great, and finishes with even more must.

Taste - Okay, I admit, I rip on LA beers from time to time. I still think the price is high for the beer. However, this beer has a great taste. An immediate tart, puckering dark sour cherry flavor is experienced. Damn, there really is just such amazing cherry flavor. I freaking am really enjoying this. The flavor is relatively dominate, but there is some nice barnyard funk, a hint of must (not as much as the nose), the brett, etc.

Mouthfeel - Medium to lighter bodied, decent carbonation, dry finish.

Drinkability - For how expensive this beer was, my glass emptied faster than I wanted. Color me impressed. I will have to get another of these and split it with my brother-in-law. I think he would enjoy the amazing cherry flavor as much as I did. Now to try a Cuvee de Tomme...hopefully that will impress me too!

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Photo of Arenbeer
4.45/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12.7oz bottle into a tulip glass at fridge temp.

2011 Vintage

A- Pours a nice dark reddish brown with a 1 finger frothy off white head with tons of small bubbles. Plenty of carbonation streaming from the bottom of the glass. Not much lacing but some pretty decent legs on the side of the glass for only %5.

S- Strong cherry notes up front with hints of apple, funk, and musty wet wood.

T- Just like the aroma. Sour tart cherries dominate, granny smith like flavor, slight vinegar and Brett. In the finish you get oak and vanilla flavors that compliment the beer very nicely and provide a tasty finish.

M- Medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation and a nice sour finish.

Worth every penny.


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Photo of MCain04
4.45/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

375ml bottle for $16, poured into a 10 oz snifter.

A: Dark and opaque with a light tan 1 finger head with modest retention and great lacing.

S: Sour grapes and sour cherries, heavy on the cherries, not too funky, acidity with citrus notes, really nice.

T: Sour grapes and cherries true to the nose, not too heavy on the cherries, can't really pick out any oak notes, fruity sweetness and acidity lingers, very nice but could have emphasized the oak and cherries more.

M: A tad over-carbonated, but smooth and coats the tongue, not too dry not too wet, pretty good.

O: I really enjoyed this, probably wouldn't buy again for the price though. It isn't on the level of Supplication, but it's a good AWA.

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Photo of BilbosNuts
4.45/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 350mL bottle into a tulip glass.

A: Pours a murky, muddy brown color. A frothy, tan colored had sits on top with great retention. An ample amount of carbonation creates a lively appearance.

S: Sour and tart cherries and lots of funk.

T: Identical to the aroma with a blend of sour and tart cherries. A solid souring effect finishes it off.

M: Light to medium bodied with a high amount of carbonation. Definitely has a big puckering effect and leaves a dry finish.

O: This is a solid sour, one of the better ones I've tried. Just solid all around. Highly recommended.

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Photo of pennywhistle
4.45/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Absolutely delicious. It's incredibly sour when first sipped, but has a warmer and sweeter aftertaste. Very pleasant to drink. It's foggy and dark red, almost resembling pomegranate juice in the glass. It doesn't look very carbonated, but was surprisingly bubbly.

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Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4.45/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I got this bottle of Red Poppy Ale courtesy of IntriqKen, Thanks Ken!

12.7oz caged/corked bottle served in a tulip glass.

L - clear, reddish-brown color with a light beige head that stayed as a layer all the way through.

S - sour cherry and oak.

T - sour cherry flavor upfront is smoothed out with a woody oak flavor, very dry bitterness on the finish.

F - silky smooth.

D - a very special treat.

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Photo of ixodus
4.45/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Gorgeous deep red color with a thin vanilla head that sticks around for the entirety of the glass leaving a beautiful cascade of lacing that slowly falls back to the drink.

S: Smells strong of cherries almost like a cherry pie with some vinegar, oak, and wet hay.

T: Tart sour cherries, vanilla, oaky tannins, and vinegar. The flavor of sour cherries lingers on the pallet for quite awhile.

M: Almost champagnesque, definitely one of the more carbed sours I've had but I really enjoy it.

O: <3333

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Photo of kbnooshay
4.45/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a brown-red hazy body with a short lived beige head. Aroma is sour and is obviously of bitty red cherries. Kinda earthy and super funky tasty. Woah. Cherry flavor isn't maybe as wild and fresh as I expected but that's fine. This beer is beery. Thought I tasted a tootsie roll for a second. Back to cherry. Feel is slightly drying. Delicious.

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Photo of beerloverofbham
4.46/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured into a tulip.
This beer has a foamy, cloudy head that sinks quickly in the liquid. The color is that of slightly-muddled iced tea; some cloudiness, but not much. Funk is the primary aroma here, like well-ripened Roquefort, but a second after it smells slightly like caramel. Excellent carbonation, resonating on the tongue, but dryly. It's not as tart as I expected, considering the style, but it's very sophisticated; some flavors almost go undetected. I get tastes of lemon verbena, Merlot, blood orange, and balsamic reduction. I'm drinking this a little too quickly, but can barely contain myself.

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Photo of RaulMondesi
4.46/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Blue Palms' 5th anniversary in Hollywood, CA.

Raul is trying, Raul is trying to say something, but he can't. Like watching Renoir's "The Rules of the Game", Raul is ineffable - pure beauty! Before, with Flanders Red Ales, Raulsky got that vinegar feel - but not with this bad sucker. Pure goodness. Like Christy Brinkley during the 90's - yes please!

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Photo of Adrianized
4.46/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter.

Pours a dirty red-brown in color and only a very thin ring of a head clings to the glass.  No lacing.

Huge sour funk escapes my snifter.  Lots of tart cherries, maybe even chocolate dipped cherries.  Absolutely no denying the oak barrel treatment here.  The sourness is actually so strong that it seems to singe my nose.

Right up front are cherries, this is actually the cleanest, crispest cherry taste I've experienced in a beer.  Slightly tart and sour, but not mouth puckeringly so.  Big oak undertones.  It finishes tart and funky.  Beautiful.

Mouthfeel is amazing on this one.  Medium-full body and a champagne-like effervescent carbonation.  The carbonation really shines... It let's the flavors flirt with your senses.

This is my first Lost Abbey beer, and overall I thought it was amazing.  I really need to seek out more Flanders Reds and Flanders Ouid Bruins; this and CL Rosso E Marrone are among the best sours I've had the pleasure of having.

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Photo of billshmeinke
4.46/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Just bought this after finishing my GMAT. 375 ml caged and cork bottle. Poured into a Duvel tulip.

Finger and a half light tan head. Very hazy brown color. Takes awhile to reside to a patchy layer of foam with a bunch of small to medium sized bubbles. The head clings to the sides of the glass after it resides, already showing evidence of lacing. The lacing is actually ridiculous. A serious wall of foam.

Very sour smelling. Smells of sour cherries. Evidence of oak and peaty wood. Very vague roasted malt and caramel.

Sour red cherry, a light caramel/vaguely roasted malt, peat, oak, smoke, vanilla. A tiny bit of bitter resiny hops. An interesting nutty aftertaste with hints of vanilla. Seriously complex.

Light bodied. Kinda of low carbonation. Small bubbles that touch the tongue and move on, not very prickly.

A fantastic sour. Solidly drinkable. Reminds me of a lighter bodied Supplication or Cuvee de Tomme, but still tons of flavor for the abv.

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Photo of glid02
4.47/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Gabe at Beachwood BBQ for breaking this one out.

Pours a clear red/brown color with ruby highlights and a thin off-white head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving light lacing.

Smells of tart cherries with good amounts of oak and funk. As it warms the tartness becomes even more pronounced.

Tastes great. Tart cherries flavors up front turn into very tart cherry flavors midway through the sip. Also present is a good amount of oak and a lot of dryness. This beer is on the threshold of being too much but as it stands it's perfect.

Mouthfeel is very good. It has a nice thickness with active carbonation.

Drinkability is good. I could sip on these for a long time.

Overall this was a very good representation of the style and one I'm happy to have tried.

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Photo of spicelab
4.47/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle thanks to mulder1010.

Dark ruby red, tending towards a muddy brown with the sediment at the bottom of the bottle. A few bubbles of carbonation.

Super refined nose of cherries and roses, with distinctive musty, lactic notes providing endless curiosity.

Similar flavours with some acetone, nail-polish character which is present at levels that work well with the perfumy and cherry flavours.

Straightforward and totally inoffensive medium mouthfeel. Seems pretty well perfect for the style.

Great beer. Has an elegant simplicity but oozes class and intrigue at the same time.

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Photo of hopdog
4.47/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle. One of those smaller ones that make it look like you are getting more than you are...

Poured a medium and slightly hazy amberish color with a small sized off white head. Aromas of cherries, wood, some funkiness, leather, and caramel. Tastes of wood, cherries, fruity, and lightly funky. Lighter sour and tart finish.

Notes from 3/5/08

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Photo of CarolinaKev
4.47/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Received from a good beer friend. Poured from a smaller 12.7 oz bottle to a tulip glass. Poured a deep brown-red hue with a 1/4 inch small head. Nose of sour cherries with some hints of fig and oak with sour funkiness. Taste was verytart and sour up front with a surprising nice hop bite. Good lingering sweetness and hoppiness. Good mouthfeel, easy drinking and refreshing despite its complex flavors. Overall, this was an awesome beer that I would love to have more of. Definitely a beer to seek our if you enjoy flanders reds.

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Photo of sfoley333
4.47/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had a taster at the release in a small port wine glass. It was suppose to be on tap but for some reason this one was from a bottle. Poured a cloudy reddish brown with white head nice lacing.( the guy next to me had a clear reddish brown, guessing I got a sample from towards the bottom of the bottle) Nose is sour cherry with Lost Abbey funk and hint of malt and oak. Taste is smooth in fact very smooth for a sour. Nice balance with cherries that are both sour and tart, malt sweetness, and mild dry oak finish. Mouthfeel is medium body with a good carbonation level and dryness. This is a great drinking Oud Bruin very easy to drink for the style and very balanced and layered. Bravo

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Photo of GuinnessAtRogerWilco
4.47/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

375ml corked bottle poured into a small Chimay chalice.

AP: Rusty brown colour with a 1/2" cream/tan head that dissipates to 1/4" with bubbles still escalating to the top. Nice lacing on the glass when tilted.
AR: Has that classic Flanders Red Ale aroma that I associate with German sourdough pretzels (the hard kind). Apple cider and other fruits like white grape and tart cherries are discerned as well with Belgian yeast funk.
T: Very very nice. A lot of what I got in the nose with grape and cherry skins prominent on the finish and tart apple flavour weaving in and out from start to finish. The sour note is just about right, not too strong but vivid enough for instant recognition and enjoyment. It starts strong at the beginning then softly fades but lingers throughout. Well done.
M: Assertive carbonation, acidic, dry and tart on the finish but does coat your tongue and teeth nicely with what bit of sweetness there is.
OV: A very well done Flanders style Red Ale that would match any from the region itself and I've had my share of them being a fan of sours. The flavours on this are very tasty and the sour note is just right with acidic tartness and not too much of a vinegar aspect. A definite sessionable sipper that offers good flavours and cleanses your palate at the same time.

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Photo of antilogic
4.47/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Taster @ LA Barrel Tasting Night II. Tomme said the version we had was not as sour as the 2009 release will be. Too bad, I thought it was fantastic as is.

Hazy red/brown color with a minimal white head. Smell was of cherry, oak, fruits and a slight sour funk. Slightly sour, but well balanced and very drinkable. I quite enjoyed it and will do my best to get my share next release..

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Photo of HopHead84
4.47/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2009 vintage. Poured into my Russian River tulip, the beer is a dark copper with a red tint. As I expected, a tiny head is the result of a vigorous pour and there is no lacing on the glass.

The aroma is slightly sweet and dominated by sour cherries, with some lactic acid and barnyard characteristics. The aroma denotes a mild tartness. Some plum and chocolate notes are evident, as well as currants. The flavor is much like the aroma. The black cherry flavor is pervasive. The beer is minimally sour and fairly tart. The lactic acid is noticeable. The chocolate is subdued and the plum is present. The finish is dry, crisp, slightly sweet, and tart with cherry flavor.

Red Poppy is medium bodied with medium carbonation. It is light on the palate and dry. Astringency is low.

A great representation of the style. I can't believe this stuff comes out of San Marcos. I prefer this vintage to the first, though the Double Cherry Red Poppy is my favorite.

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Photo of DrJay
4.47/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks go out to mikesgroove for hooking me up with this bottle in a recent trade.
This one poured a hazy, sort of murky, reddish orange with a smattering of soapy bubbles. A thin, fine cap appeared as CO2 slowly came out of solution and this finally settled into a thin collar. Some spotty, short-lived lacing clung to the glass and there was a slow, steady stream of bubbles rising to the surface throughout. Tart, fruity aroma of freshly picked berries still unwashed, cherry skins and mild vinegar. Quite earthy, with notes of tobacco and musty hay. Some bread and oak were present too. The taste was fruity and tart up front, a mixture of lactic sourness and just a bit of vinegar, with a raspberry quality yet more of a cherry flavour. This gave way to brown sugar and bread, plus a hint of toffee and chocolate towards the end. The occasional flash of vanilla appeared as well. Earthy notes of tobacco and berry skins, with just a bit of oak flavour, added some depth. Lingering, tart finish. Medium bodied with a bit of a sugary texture and lingering dryness from the oak tannins. Carbonation was average, perhaps a little on the high side. Highly drinkable, but definitely worth savouring. Great balance, very enjoyable.

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Photo of PeterIngemi
4.47/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a cork caged 375 from the 2012 vintage into a duvel glass

A: pours a dark, slightly murky brown. When held to the light it reveals a deep redish fading into amber around the edges. Pours a nice two finger khaki head that dissapates nicley and leavs a little bit of lacing.

S: a very complex, very inviting aroma, oak and sour funk, light hints of red wine vinegar, tart fruit aromas of dark cherry, along with hints of sour green apple, kiwi? And pear. Again a very very. Implied and Inviting nose with all the aromas playing together very nicley.

T: taste does not dissapoint, as complex and intriguing as the nose. The taste actually follows it quite closely. Funk and oak upfront, blending into a very light vinegar touch burried beneath a very nice sour cherry flavor, cherry skins, I also get tart apple and pear, particularly in the finish. The sour/sweetness works perfectly here with the oak. A beatiful display of intermingling flavors.

M: medium mouthfeel with a nice medium tight bubble carbonation, has a very nice lush and almost fluffy mouthfeel, carbonation is spot on for the brew. A bit tart and dry on the finish, with a bit of tannins, I'm guessing from the cherry skins and oak.

O: one of my favorite sours. Displaying a beautiful display of well balanced complexities that become more and more inviting
With each sip and whiff of the glass.... Love it!

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Photo of BeerImmediately
4.47/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

5.5oz pour went down way too fast. Not overly puckering - just enough. Good dank, dark fruit (plum) quality to temper, with a fairly rich mouthfeel for a wild.

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Photo of PittBeerGirl
4.47/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

375 ml bottle poured into my snifter.

A- Body is a very murky light muddy brown color. Pours with an approximately 1 finger white head that pretty much subsides immediately. No lacing is left behind in the glass. Cloudiness is thick and dynamic and whirls about the beer with some white yeast particles visible at the bottom.

S-An acidic tartness is the highlight of the nose and the first to hit it. Below this is a complex balance of sweet molasses, earthy mustiness, oak, and cherries.

T- Much like the nose-a pleasant sour tartness hits the front of the tongue immediately. There is a lot going on here as the cherry and oak become present underneath this and funky yeast comes through as well. The oak and cherries come through a bit more for the finish but a fantastic balance and complexity is still there. What lingers is a faint presence of the whole flavor.

M-Well carbonated and a smooth yeasty, velvety body.

D-This beer is awesome. I love it. Its a bit pricey; but well worth it (if I lived somewhere where it were available). My first of the special Lost Abbey Releases and it makes me want to find and try more of them. Very well done and perfectly drinkable.

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Photo of Knapp85
4.47/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer was a real gem, I had been hunting this one down for a while now, thanks to the spinnerstown hotel for helping me out with this one. I ordered a bottle that I debated over for a while and finally gave in.

The beer was uncorked by the bartender Jack, who did a nice job with it. The beer poured out as a murky brownish red color that looked quite interesting. The head was white and fizzy, it vanished shortly after the pour. It was a very bubbly beer with loads of carbonation with every sip.

The aromas were of fresh tart fresh cherries, fresh cut wood, and several intense spices in the blend of smells coming out of this beer. The flavors were similar in the same respect. The cherries came first and they bite the tongue and hold on for a while. The wood comes through in the aftertaste leaving a really smooth natural fresh flavor on the pallet. Mouthfeel is very good too!

This beer was worth the wait, I am not even a fan of sour ales but this one far beyond any I've had in the passed. Really nice!

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