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Red Poppy Ale - The Lost Abbey

Not Rated.
Red Poppy AleRed Poppy Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
95
world-class

1,614 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,614
Reviews: 530
rAvg: 4.28
pDev: 9.58%
Wants: 521
Gots: 486 | FT: 34
Brewed by:
The Lost Abbey visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Flanders Red Ale |  6.50% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
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.

(Beer added by: BeerBeing on 09-07-2007)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,614 | Reviews: 530 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of capeannbass36
3.58/5  rDev -16.4%

Cork popped like a champagne bottle. Immediate smell of sour cherries.
A- A murky dark ruby red, brown. 2 finger off white head that fades quickly. Light lacing.

S- Sour cherries....and I guess what some call "funk".

T- Sour, tart cherries. Some wood. Sour hangs around on lips and tongue.

M- Dry and crisp. Light to medium carbonation.

O- One of the more pricey beers that I have sat on for awhile. Having tried it, would not purchase again. Cannot justify the cost.

capeannbass36, Jun 28, 2011
Photo of smakawhat
3.6/5  rDev -15.9%

Poured from the bottle at Smoke & Barrel as part of the DC bottle share. Bottle brought by mgbhoo much thanks. From notes.

Decent sample pouring brings a light tan caramel body, not much head given, other bigger pours show about the same. Fairly clear and pleasant, not much red hue to it, perhaps a bit bronze.

Nose has a light to moderate funk bent, with an interesting huge clove sweetness. Good hints of chopped wood and splinters. Interesting mix of spice funk and mild sweetness. Good acid bent without being overly tart.

Taste sort of lets down on the palate. Very thin bodied for they style, with out the hinting malt sweetness or depth. Quite wet also, with moderate carbonation , but most surprising is how noticeably grainy tasting this is. Tartness is about expected hinting from the nose without too much acid or extreme vinegar sensations.

It has a very distinct nose and decent sense of what might be coming, but the palate just doesn't deliver, the wet grainy taste is a real disappointment.

smakawhat, Mar 10, 2013
Photo of DaveHS
3.6/5  rDev -15.9%

A-Pours translucent mahogany with a few errant specks of chunky brown yeast and 1/4 inch of cola brown head. Leaves thick rings of sticky lacing.

S-Macerated tart cherries, balsamic reduction, toasted almonds. Musty wet hay/barnyard funk.

T/M-Very dry, with sharp tart acidity. The mouthfeel is round and smooth, with a nutty, mildly sweet base malt character and a touch of toasted oak. The cherry flavor is underwhelming. Not at all what was promised by the nose. Very one dimensional and unrefined for the style.

O-WAY overhyped. Doesn't even begin to live up to the price. I would take a Rodenbach Grand Cru over this any day.

DaveHS, Sep 12, 2011
Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.63/5  rDev -15.2%

2009 Vintage. Poured from a corked and caged 375ml. bottle into a Cantillon tulip. Shared with schen9303.

A: Cork comes out with little more than a pop and I can already tell... the saga of Flat Abbey continues. Pours no head, just a ring of coarse, white bubbles at the edge of the glass. Beer is a pretty, clear, deep amber. Lacing is stringy, with moderate stick.

S: Cherry, oak, vinegar, ethanol, raspberry puree. Overall feel is of musty fruit and red berry soy sauce syrup.

T: Cherry tartness is surprisingly present upfront. Slight yeasty bitterness. Vinegar, ethanol, wood, moss, and dirt. Dry and puckering finish leads to a tart-all-over aftertaste.

M: Light to medium bodied, very low to no carbonation, oily, and sticky in the mouth. Finish is dry and aftertaste is messy and sticky.

D: Another what-could've been beer from Lost Abbey. Properly carbonated, I'd think that this beer would be much better than its already-above-average-but-flat incarnation. Good subtle but dense flavor has nice complexity that carbonation might serve to separate well. Also, may spice up a mouthfeel that is a bit lifeless at times.

SpeedwayJim, Aug 02, 2010
Photo of AgentZero
3.63/5  rDev -15.2%

A - Medium brown color with a hint of rusty red and some reddish on the edges. Small, off white head that left behind some alright lacing.

S - Not overly complex, but pretty potent. Huge vinegar influence on this, and nicely sour.

T - Sour, a bit of a cherry taste, big oak and vinegar influence. It's not bad, but I was expecting something with more complexity, and possibly with some more fruit in it.

M - Just a touch too heavy for this style for me, might be due to the carbonation, would like something that seems more effervesant.

D - Not super hard to drink, but between the weight and the not-sweet-sour it's one that is easy to put down.

AgentZero, Apr 15, 2010
Photo of charlzm
3.64/5  rDev -15%

Consumed April 30, 2010. Consumed at 48 degrees F, poured into a Triple Petrus snifter.

This beer is a hazy reddish-brown with lots of suspended particulate matter suspended in it. Even though the cork made a cute little pop as it came out of the bottle, the beer is not carbonated to speak of. A tiny ring of tan foam rims the sides of the glass.

Aroma is sour and tart with a hint of earthiness.

Flavor is a bit wince-inducing at first, but not in a bad way. The beer, true to the promise of the nose, is tart and sour. Slightly bitter wood flavor and some red wine vinegar. A soft, possibly floral or cherry component is almost drowned beneath the more assertive notes. Potent stuff.

Mouthfeel is slightly thick and would benefit from a touch of carbonation.

If you have crow's feet, they'll get a workout with this one. While this seems to be more or less true to the style, it's not something I really could say I enjoyed. Certainly a departure from what most people think of when they hear the word "beer".

charlzm, May 01, 2010
Photo of Damian
3.64/5  rDev -15%

Drank from a corked and caged 12.7 ounces bottle purchased at Liquor World, Cambridge, MA
Vintage 2013
Served in a tulip

Poured a ruddy, crimson-mahogany with a one-plus finger tall crop of rocky, tan colored foam. The head dropped quickly. Spotty drops of lacing stuck along the glass.

The nose was interesting. Super tart with sour cherry notes. Mild funk. Touch of balsamic vinegar. Quite acidic. The acidity was balanced by some brown sugar-like sweetness. Good dose of brett. There was a slight medicinal quality as well.

The flavor profile was sharp and unrefined. Very sour up front. Strong red wine vinegar notes. Perhaps some red wine in the center. Lots of brett. Crisp and very lemony. Pithy lemon rind. Huge oak and tannin flavors on the back end. The beer finished somewhat astringent with an unpleasant mix of tannins, earthy and bitter hops, and light metallic notes.

The mouthfeel was medium bodied with a fine yet aggressive carbonation. The carbonation settled with time and the liquid felt more plush and creamy.

I decided to pop this 2013 vintage of Red Poppy to get as much sour cherry flavor out of it as possible. Unfortunately, the cherry was surprisingly muted, and the overall flavor profile seemed raw and poorly integrated. This was definitely not worth the $18 I paid for my bottle.

Damian, Mar 25, 2013
Photo of glazeman
3.68/5  rDev -14%

12.7 ounce bottle poured into a snifter and split with airohead2001.

A: The beer pours a ruby red in color with a bit of brown. The head measures 1/3 of a finger and is off-white in color. The head has moderate retention and no lacing.

S: Sour cherries up front and then musty at the finish. Not a very complex nose in my opinion. I don't get any oak out of the nose.

T: The first thing I thought of was "how did this win best of show at FoBAB." This isn't to say that the beer isn't good, it's just that there were so many better beers there and this is somewhat run of the mill to me as far as sours go. I don't get much oakiness at all from the barrel aging. The cherries, on the other hand, do come through and taste pretty good. There's not all that much yeasty funk, but some sour berries throughout. Mostly cherries, but a little bit of strawberry also.

M: Pretty good. I appreciate that this has fairly low carbonation, as anything more, in combination with the sourness, would have been too much. Nice aftertaste and feel on the palate.

D: Half of a 375ml bottle was enough for me. This isn't really the type of beer I'd like to have several of in a night. It tasted pretty good, but was not as complex as I would have liked.

glazeman, Nov 17, 2010
Photo of hellbilly
3.68/5  rDev -14%

idk where this bottle came from but it's been in my fridge for a year now (2008). muchas gracias to the soul who left it behind...

it's been sitting so long that the cork bomb was no issue... dark orange brown color with no head and lots of clumpy yeast.

smells a bit like pickling spice/pickles or that strange funkiness that a lot of red burgundies get before they get a chance to open up... cinnamon, wet cement, fruity/cherry tart though not quite sour and malty sugars yet it's very dry.

it tastes very 'green' from young barrels and quite tannic. though i'm not sure whether the tannins dominate from the wood or cherry skins (it really doesn't matter)... also, faintly malty and oaky with a cinnamon-y brett-like stink on the finish which lingers on. medium body lacks a bit of richness. the mouth feel it is prickly and dry as it cleans the palate entirely.

not a whole bunch going on... seems as if something is missing. though, it is in no way a bad beer! 7/4/7/4/15/3.7

hellbilly, Feb 03, 2009
Photo of neurobot01
3.69/5  rDev -13.8%

Poured out of an undated bottle (purchased ~1 month prior) into a 16oz snifter.

Appearance: Murky brown, with a yellowish head that holds steady throughout at about 1cm.

Smell: Some cherry, generic tart, a little vanilla. Smells like a tangy Dr. Pepper. Fresh-sawn lumber starts to emerge as it warms.

Taste: Sour. Not getting any specific fruit, just tons of sour. Develops into a bit of metallic bite. Aftertaste is pretty strongly of metallic cherries, a bit like a Luden's Lozenge. Like the aroma, as it warms, the barrel moves a bit more to the fore, along with more vanilla. I really can't get past the metallic taste though. Kind of a bummer, because this is less one-dimensional than a lot of sours.

Mouthfeel: Nothing really spectacular, the typical moderate-to-heavy carbonation common to the style. A bit on the thin side, but not offensively so.

Overall: So close to being really good, but just too much metal taste. I might try getting another bottle and letting it age to see if that flavor mellows out, but as it stands, there are lots of better sours out there.

neurobot01, Mar 25, 2014
Photo of BitterPachyderm
3.7/5  rDev -13.6%

I got this via tayner (not to step on toes, but probably my favorite BA). It was the 2009 vintage in the 12.7 oz. bottle.

Going into this tasting, I didn't know that it was a Flanders Oud Bruin, and after drinking it, I still might argue that fact.

Poured into an oversized wine glass at a temperature slightly above 45 degrees. It poured with not much head, mainly just large bubbles slowly disipating. The lack of head puzzled me, because there were a large amount of bubbles racing towards the top of the glass. the body was a reddish orange, almost brown. Lots of floaters in this glass.

The smell was super tart. Lots of cherries presented themselves at first, but let in some leather, green apples, and vanilla in as it warmed. There wasn't a prominent vinegar smell that one would associate with the style here. Some floral and spicy notes came into the picture as well.

A mouthpuckering sourness once it hits your lips. Cherries and apples up front, with a slight dose of balsamic vinegar near the finish. The oak only began to shoe itself as it warmed. Missing the complexities that I like in these kind of brews.

Despite what seemed like a lack of carbonation, the mouthfeel was actually pretty good. I think the sourness was able hold up what little carbonation was in the glass.

Once this brew warmed up a bit, it became super drinkable. Probably one of the smoothest of the sour styles I have had to date.

I think this brew could probably age extremely well. It needs some time to let the funkiness set in and give it more of a complex taste. It's only downfall in my mind was the taste, but like I said, time might cure that.

BitterPachyderm, Jun 09, 2009
Photo of RidiculedDisplay
3.7/5  rDev -13.6%

Gabe opened up a bottle for us at Beachwood and passed it around. From notes:

Appearance: A dark rose red, fairly appropriate in that sense, but there's just no head or lacing. At all. The body's color is pretty, but this wasn't just a matter of having no head or lacing, it was a matter of the beer looking flat, to be honest.

Smell: Perfume, candy sugar, vanilla, licorice on the back end. A smell very reminiscent of some Flanders Reds I've had in the past, specifically Rodenbach, although this is an Oud Bruin.

Taste: Metallic on the front end, which really, really detracted. However, I was beginning to think this was an issue with the bottle more than anything. Grass, vinousity, sourness. On the back end/aftertaste is a very lingering and surprising butterscotch-like sweetness, however, which was really surprising and nice.

Mouthfeel: Slick, but way, way undercarbonated.

Drinkability: Perfectly drinkable - not too sour at all, in my opinion. However, the flatness of the whole bottle was definitely a let-down.

RidiculedDisplay, Feb 28, 2009
Photo of emmasdad
3.7/5  rDev -13.6%

Thanks to Ratman for a taste of this one. To state up front, I'm not really a fan of sours, so I approached this one with a bit of trepidation. Poured into a tulip of some sort, reddish brown, with a bit of carbonation. On the nose, I picked up red wine vinegar, oak and some tartness, but oddly (?) not a whole lot of cherry. This one was a bit funky on the palate; not a whole lot of sour going on, and somewhat lacking in cherry flavor. Again, not a huge sour fan, but this one seemed a bit restrained, almost a "training wheels" type of beverage. Pretty good, and one I'd love to try again.

emmasdad, Mar 23, 2010
Photo of rtaps
3.7/5  rDev -13.6%

pours mahogany with a small white head low retention and no lacing on the glass

cherry aroma with fruit and balsamic vinegar

taste was similar but a little better than the nose. sour apple/cherries. with some balsamic vinegar.

light bodied low carbonation.

overall for my first sour it wasnt as bad as i expected but i couldnt drink very much of it.

rtaps, Nov 27, 2011
Photo of Bajasith
3.7/5  rDev -13.6%

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.

Bajasith, Feb 18, 2010
Photo of flannelman808
3.7/5  rDev -13.6%

A: A really interesting color light-medium brown near the top and a deep garnet dark red brown to the bottom. Fairly clear in the light. Low head retention, off white head.

S: This one is nice, aromas of tart cherry, grannysmith apple, and lemon zest seem to ring through for me.

T: More spice then I would have guessed... spiced tart bitter(like lemon) apple. Interesting stuff.

M: sharp acid in the back of the throat.

D: Pretty low points for me too much for me in the back of the throat.

flannelman808, Mar 30, 2010
Photo of jrallen34
3.7/5  rDev -13.6%

I drank this from a 375ml bottle into my Rodenbach Grand Cru class. 2010 version.

The beer pours a medium brown with a light tan head. It rises about a finger, decent retention and lacing.

The aroma is strong but only really shows off one smell. You get mostly all sourness with a very light hint of vinegar at the end.

The taste is ok nothing special. It starts off pretty sours then gives off a oak and vinegar finish. I don't taste any cherries.

The feel is ok, warm to the touch, with a slight dry finish.

Overall, this is ok, nothin spcial for an oud bruin, decent American effort.

jrallen34, Apr 04, 2010
Photo of SQNfan
3.7/5  rDev -13.6%

The poured murky burnt red to brown in color with a very thin head that dissipated pretty quickly. The nose showed some funk along with red fruit and spice (cinnamon, pepper). In the mouth it was tart and dirty showing more funk than the nose would suggest along with less fruit. There was a distinct bitterness that began in the midpalate and lingers on. The acidity in the midpalate was very well integrated and overall the midpalate was well balanced but gave way to the bitterness in the finish.

SQNfan, Sep 11, 2008
Photo of Brewbro000
3.73/5  rDev -12.9%

A- Pours a 2 finger off white head of fairly large bubbles that recedes quickly. This bugger is very carbonated as per the loud pop when it was opened and the wave of bubbles constantly rising from the walls of my tulip glass. The head recedes by half in a matter of seconds. Nut brown color but with hints of ruby when held to the light.

S- Funky barnyard notes mixed with sour, acidic hints that allow the cherries to show through. The aroma hints at the oak but doesn't make it a priority. Some lemony tartness also shows through.

T- Some lactic tartness leads a sweet but not as complex as i expected first sip. Lemony tartness takes hold and then mild cherry sweetness shows through. The cherry flavor is well integrated and the finishing thought is of dry, lightly oaken barrels.

M- Very spritzy due to the carbonation with moderate spikey carbonation on the tongue.

O- A pretty good Flanders Red but sort of one dimensional, not as complex as was expected. For the price i would probably just buy something from Russian River instead, but please not, price was not a factor in this review, tasty brew none the less.

Brewbro000, Jun 09, 2011
Photo of xnicknj
3.73/5  rDev -12.9%

on tap at monks in philly

Pours a somewhat murky deep browned color with some reddish hues attempting to poke through. A thick, slightly rusty head retains for a bit with some webs of lacing.

Plenty of cherries with sourness throughout the nose, heavier earthy notes with oak and some acid. Some dark fruit sweetness and funk as well.

Very cherry forward with a decent amount of sourness delivered by the fruit. Some dark fruits with raisin tones and caramel sweetness throughout the malt bill. Not quite as full flavored and sour as I originally thought it would be, but still pretty tasty. Finishes dry with another gasp of cherry and oak.

Medium thinner body, somewhat watery but really high carbonation. This keg was definitely overgassed, as it took the bartenders about 7 minutes to pour a glass. I'd like to give this a try out of a bottle so I can re-review it.

xnicknj, Jun 08, 2011
Photo of 100floods
3.73/5  rDev -12.9%

Nice dark mahogany brown hue with a ruby tint. Pale, cream white head with pretty good retention. A nice thin layer foam lingers as the head resides.

Sweet and tart aromas. Hints of funk and wood. Everything is blended pretty well. A slight malt backbone.

Dry, semi-sweet start that is rushed into a tart and sour middle with a dry finish. This is a bit drier, and more carbonated than Russian River's Consecration. The lighter body and high carbonation does take away from the flavor, and makes each sip more like a short burst.

Overall a pretty solid effort for an American take on a sour dark ale. I was kinda looking for more wood flavors, but the cherries seem to dominated this one.

100floods, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of Altenor
3.75/5  rDev -12.4%

Altenor, Jun 28, 2013
Photo of ImFlyerThanYou
3.75/5  rDev -12.4%

ImFlyerThanYou, May 13, 2014
Photo of Beerontwowheels
3.75/5  rDev -12.4%

Beerontwowheels, Sep 24, 2013
Photo of buzzword
3.75/5  rDev -12.4%

buzzword, Aug 03, 2013
Red Poppy Ale from The Lost Abbey
95 out of 100 based on 1,614 ratings.