Red Poppy Ale - The Lost Abbey

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Red Poppy AleRed Poppy Ale

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BA SCORE
94
outstanding

555 Reviews
THE BROS
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Reviews: 555
Hads: 1,816
rAvg: 4.22
pDev: 9.24%
Wants: 564
Gots: 570 | FT: 41
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
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Reviews: 555 | Hads: 1,816
Photo of kellyej
5/5  rDev +18.5%

This is my all-time favorite beer. I had it at the Publick House in Boston earlier this year. I would highly recommend Red Poppy to anyone who likes a good Flanders Red.
A: The color was dark brown with red highlights. The head was nice and foamy.
S: Strong smell of cherries with notes of plum and apricot. There was also something spicy or peppery in the nose as well as a bit of bubblegum.
M: Well carbonated, with a medium-light body. Nice dry finish.
T: Sour note well balanced with sweet, smoky flavor. I got lots of cherry and a little bit of bourbon and pepper.

Would love to trade for this beer! (615 characters)

Photo of stewart124
5/5  rDev +18.5%

Pours a deep reddish brown.

Nose has cherries and oak with a tart character and bit of cola.


Initial puckering notes that really develop. Hits on the back of the tongue and top. Plenty of carbonation and very dry. I love the subtle cherry notes and the sourness throughout is terrific. No overall residual sweetness. My bottle shows 5% and I could drink this all day and night. Terrific.

My second bottle from Lost Abbey and it was everything I could have wanted. A sipper for sure. Outstanding! (500 characters)

Photo of beatenbyjacks
4.32/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Appearance - Very carbonated with a huge head. Dark purplish color that is quite impressive.

Smell - At first I didn't get much, but then the raspberries came out from behind the intense tartness.

Taste - sweet fruit right away followed by a puckering tartness

Mouthfeel - even with all the carbonation and tartness this beer is very impressive

Overall - this beer is phenomenal! for almost a session beer this one was great. glad I finally found one on the shelves (469 characters)

Photo of BMMillsy
4.09/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

375 ml bottle from tread with Homer321. Thanks buddy! Bottle No. 2 of my Last Night of My 20s tasting. Pours dark reddish brown slightly murky, with a big airy khaki head on top. Aroma of lots of cherries, sour vinegar, oak, some toffee. Flavor is sour cherries, acidic tones, vinegar, and an unexpected wave of chocolatey flavors and vanilla oak tannins. Earthy spicy undertones. Interesting. Medium bodied, feeling a bit heft for only 5%, with lots of carbonation. Very interesting brew, and pretty unique. (508 characters)

Photo of MDDMD
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A-hazy brown to slight red color with a a nice light tan head and minimal lace

S-sour cherries, red wine vinegar, slight red wine and funk, hint of sweetness

T-sour cherries, red wine vinegar, oak, light caramel sweetness, slight funk, light red wine and vanilla

F-medium body with moderate carbonation, tart and dry finish

O-tasty Flanders Red ale with nice flavors, but a little high priced for what you get relative to alternatives (438 characters)

Photo of aleigator
4.34/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Thank you very much for this, Jason!

Cherryish, murky brown color with a decent head. Intense vinous aromas, along with ripe sour-cherries, which get covered up by a tart sourness and oakiness, giving a lot of character to the nose, resulting in a more-wine-than-beer impression, very intriguing melange.

Begins with a fantastic tart sourness, which strikes the palate from the very first moment. Comes along with a lively carbonation, leading to a refreshing fruit impression, as cherries become detectable. This taste gets mixed up with earthy, wooden oak in a very convincing way, while a sparkling wine impression still adds up with the gentle cherry sweetness, which tastes almost like marmelade. All ingredients are in fantastic balance to each other, the cherries to not dominate the palate, due to a very leathery oak presence, coated up by buttery malts. At the same time acidic sourness gives the cherries a zingy fruitiness, with results in a complex vinous body, containing hints of vinegar. Enjoyable, matured, mild cherries define the finish, supported by earth, soft malts.

This beer has a great taste, which is defined by a complex, fantastic composition. (1,177 characters)

Photo of GJ40
3.79/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Purchased during a business trip to SF and take home to NC to sample with my wife.

A light brown with a reddish hue. Seems to be hazy but hard to tell with the dark color. Large bubbles that dissipate quickly. Aroma is cherries, lemon and green apple. Flavor follows with cherries leading along with a mild tartness and hints of dark fruit. The mouthfeel was a little disappointing as it was thin with too big a burst of bubbles escaping as it hits your mouth.

The flavors are pretty good but the carbonation detracted for me. (528 characters)

Photo of dvmin98
5/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottle from Lost Abbey...375ml into New Glarus flute

Beautful deep amber/brown color...large head.

Wow, love the cherry taste that consumes my taste buds. Awesome oak flavor, perfect aftertaste that lingers, with the perfect amount of carbonation.

Smell is definitely cherry and oak...

Wish I had more of these!

Best Flanders red I've ever had. (349 characters)

Photo of JohnnyHopps
3.9/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - The was a reddish copper color with bubbles crowning the sides of the glass Lacing was not present on the sides of the glass.

Smell - To be blunt, this smells like a Flanders. The cherries are masked by the oakiness in the aroma.

Taste - The initial taste shows the dry sourness of a Flanders. I find myself wanting more cherries, whether sour or sweet. Overall, the effect is dry. The cherries and oak are not upfront, but hide amid the profile of a Flanders. The aftertaste runs quite dry.

Mouthfeel - The carbonation is fairly intense, sweeping away all but the most tart aspects of the taste. In some respects, it seems as though I licked the inside of an oak barrel.

Overall - I find myself wanting more cherry from this one. There is not doubt that it is a quality Flanders, but it is really not much different despite the unique characteristics. (870 characters)

Photo of flayedandskinned
4.02/5  rDev -4.7%
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. (1,754 characters)

Photo of EveningCordial
4.33/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into snifter from bottle.

A- Iced tea color, off-white head. Little lacing and tons of effervescence. Lots of yeast swimming in the bubbles.

S- Sour and tart nose. Cherries and fruit up front with undertones of noir grapes, wine, and raisons. Very dank and old smelling. Hint of oak.

T- Lots of depth here. Sourness up front gives way to a complex taste of earthy florals, slight cherries, tart fruits, wine, vinegar, and alcohol present. Little to no aftertaste.

M- Light to medium bodied, lots of carbonation helps move the tartness around in the mouth.

O- Pleasure to drink and quite enjoyable. If you like a sour ale, this is it. Im not a huge fan of cherries so I was happy when the smell of them was there, but not so much in the taste. Taste brought me back in time for some reason, very old tasting and earthy with a smooth finish once you get past the initial tart. Also tastes a little wine-like. My biggest complaint was the price of this bottle. I dont think I'll shell out the money again so unfortunately this might be my one and only red poppy. Glad I tried it though. (1,097 characters)

Photo of abeeronthebeach
4/5  rDev -5.2%
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. (453 characters)

Photo of Celtics17
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Very tart! Cherries the big player in this sour. A very slight caramel taste. A real fruit flavored sour, and beer. One of the best sours. Full in body. I would say this is right there with New Belgium's La Folie. Both a brown ale sour. Very comparable. (253 characters)

Photo of LambicPentameter
3.95/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed out of a 12.7 oz brown bottle with cork and cage that has the contours of a miniature 750 mL wine bottle. No bottle dating anywhere to be found, but the label looks crisp and new, so I'm guessing my bottle of this winter seasonal is from the most recent winter (2013-14).

Appearance - Pours a murky burgundy-maroon body that lets very little light through. It seems like there is a fair amount of particulate suspended in the liquid as well--perhaps due to a careless pour on my part. Atop the body sits a tan colored head about a finger and a half thick with a mix of large and smaller bubbles making for a pocked surface. Eventually it settles to about a half finger of perma-foam that leaves almost no lacing on the side of the glass as I drink it down.

Smell - Definite vinous qualities abound, with notes of sour cherry and more generic fruit acidity, red wine vinegar and musty wood aromas. Some underlying funkiness adds depth to the smell, preventing it from becoming a sour bomb.

Taste - Unfortunately, the flavor is not quite as rich and complex as the nose suggested it would be. The dominant characteristics are the sour cherry fruitiness with some sweet n' sour notes alongside a brisk vinegar astringency on the palate. The oaky elements and musty funk are not quite as forward as I would have hoped. All the same, this is an incredibly tasty beer and I love the drying finish that leaves me seeking the next swig sooner than later.

Mouthfeel - Medium-bodied and high carbonation, with a prickly, actively carbonated feel to the tongue. As previously noted, the finish is quite dry, defiant to the sweet fruit that is used to make this beer tick.

Overall, a more than competent offering on the Flanders Red Ale style, and one that I would gladly buy again were there not a similar option that I prefer slightly that is more readily available and comes in a 750 mL bottle instead of a 375 mL and for only a couple dollars more. Still, one that any fan of the vast tradition of sour-tasting beers from Belgium should try at least once. (2,060 characters)

Photo of pfhanlon
4.6/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours as a dark amber and mahogany with athick head of tan foam. Decent retention but eventually subsides to a fairly thick ring around the rim. Leaves some spotty lacing.

S - A complex mix of smells including malt and a strong cherry aroma from the bottle. Less fruity in the glass.

T - More malty character on the backend which slides into a slightly sour finish.

M - Lighter side of medium bodied. Slick watery mouthfeel with wonderful carbonation.

O - A well balanced and executed ale. (497 characters)

Photo of dar482
4.43/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer comes in a dark reddish brown.

The aroma has tart cherries, a Flanders red fruitiness and tart vinegar.

The flavor follows with tons of tartness in the front along with red tart cherries. There is a tinge of sweetness along with some vinegar tart qualities.

A very tart and fruit forward version of the Flanders red style. Delicious stuff. (352 characters)

Photo of ALSAIL
4.24/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Fresh from tap, served in a tulip glass. Poured a light coppery brown with a fine head that lingered. Smelled tart fruit, cherries and plums? Moderate to high carbonation, on the thin side. Tart sour cherries with oak in the back, dry tart finish. I'm not overly familiar with these, but I really enjoyed this one. (314 characters)

Photo of FitnessForBeer
4.87/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Served in a snifter, I need to get some lost Abby teku...

A: pours a very dark reddish brown, cloudy, finger worth of head
S: smells like a Flanders red, light cherry like baking cherries. Vanilla oak is also coming through
T: amazing, you can taste the very tart cherry mixed with the sweetness of the beer. It's like baking cherries though that are very tart not really sweet. You can also taste some oak flavors popping though. As it warms I get more of the oak flavor mixed with cherries, tartness calms down along with the sweetness. I would serve this cold at first and sip and enjoy more as it warms.
M: the high carbonation suits this style very and gives that tartness an extra kick and prickly feeling
O: absolutely phenomenal take on this style by lost abbey. I wish it was a little less expensive but well worth it to taste this beer. I have to say I like this better than the classic of this beer style, Duchesse. (928 characters)

Photo of starshockey9
4/5  rDev -5.2%
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. (266 characters)

Photo of MEsoJD
4.17/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

[Tulip Glass]

I: I'm familiar with Lost Abbey Beers, but I believe I haven't logged a review on any of their brews. My most enjoyed ales from them has to be their sours like, "cuvee de tomm". Anyway I picked up some of this Red Poppy Ale hearing of it's reputation. So lets dig in!

B: [5 % ABV 12.7 OZ Bottle date. none to be found] I really like this bottles subtle presentation. It's straight to the point(ingredients, abv, nice art, size, location, etc ), but does leave some info to be desired... No back story or bottle date.

A: A deep murky brown body with a foamy head, slow dissipation, and good lacing.

S: Smells of sour/tart cherries and plums. Pretty pungent.

T: Upfront your hit with sour/tart/acidic cherries throughout with subtle presence of oak in the background/finish. Bread malt and caramel can also be detected.

M: Medium body, high carbonation, crisp/slight slick finish, and low apparent alcohol.

O: Good beer that will satisfy your sour craving. The balance of cherry and oak is very nice. The attention to detail in this beer is very apparent. It would be amazing if it had a bigger since of caramel, but other than that, I'm satisfied. I would recommend and buy again. (1,206 characters)

Photo of JohnG190
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a deep mahogany with a quickly dissipating cherry-tinged head. Aromas of sour cherry, melon and funk with hints of oak and vanilla. Gobs of sour on the tongue, followed by dark stone fruit. Very dry on the finish. Light bodied with lots of carbonation. Overall, a very complex and refreshing Flanders Red Ale! (315 characters)

Photo of neurobot01
3.72/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

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. (1,082 characters)

Photo of smcolw
4.12/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Literally looks like watered down mud in a glass. Brown, yet no light could possibly pass. Small, quickly dying head. Leaves only a couple of spots for lace.

Strong, sweet red cherry (maraschino?) aroma. If I were blindfolded, I would think this was a Kriek because of the sour nose and slight presence of Belgian yeast.

Tastes like a Kriek, too...almost. But it isn't sweet and there are more "brown" elements like crystal and chocolate malts. Very interesting as it is unusual. Good body with a mildly elevated carbonation.

Certainly not an everyday beer, but a real treat for something delicious and unusual. (617 characters)

Photo of Lothore
4.23/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A- pours a deep ruddy brown hue with little to no head.

s - cherry, plum, candied fruit

t- starts of with a deep sour cherry flavor that ebbs into a strong wheatiness. Dry.

m- thick and effervescent

d- really great beer. Deep sourness rounded out by wheat. (260 characters)

Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.19/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle opened on 12.4.13
2012 Vintage

A - Pours a dark ruby red-brown with a fizzy tan head that lingers a bit.

S - Tart and acidic, cherry in the end.

T - Tart and oaky, very little cherry in the finish.

D - Good carbonation with a medium body.

O - Tart and oaky with not much of the cherry showing. (305 characters)

Red Poppy Ale from The Lost Abbey
94 out of 100 based on 555 ratings.