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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

1,632 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,632
Reviews: 531
rAvg: 4.28
pDev: 9.58%
Wants: 524
Gots: 491 | FT: 33
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: 1,632 | Reviews: 531 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
4.16/5  rDev -2.8%
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.

Sammy, Jan 10, 2010
Photo of t0rin0
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

t0rin0, Dec 12, 2012
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.98/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle pour sampled at mrbubbler's tasting.

2011 vintage.

Pours a clear brown-orange with a khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of sour cherry, vinegar, and funk. Taste is the same with a mineral flavor on the finish. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer with some nice aromas and flavors.

UCLABrewN84, Apr 09, 2012
Photo of djrn2
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

djrn2, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of zestar
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

zestar, Nov 02, 2013
Photo of spycow
5/5  rDev +16.8%

spycow, Nov 27, 2011
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.

Thorpe429, Jan 10, 2010
Photo of acurtis
4/5  rDev -6.5%

acurtis, May 27, 2012
Photo of nmann08
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

nmann08, Jul 14, 2012
Photo of metter98
4.38/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer is very hazy reddish brown in color. It poured with an eighth of a finger high beige head that hardly died down.
S: There are aromas of cherries and oak in the nose.
T: Like the smell, the taste has flavors of cherries with some sourness and tartness but there is also bits of sweetness.
M: It feels light-bodied and slightly tart on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is incredibly easy to drink, especially since it isn't that tart or sour. I really enjoyed this and would definitely try it again.

metter98, Mar 17, 2013
Photo of Texasfan549
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

Texasfan549, May 06, 2012
Photo of brentk56
4.7/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a fairly clear garnet with a film of big bubbles that fades quickly, though manages to deliver a few dots of lace

Smell: Tart cherries mixed with an almost cedary oak character and balsamic vinegar

Taste: Dry, oaky flavors up front with a bursting tart cherry flavor that develops by mid-palate; though there is considerable fruity sweetness, the lactic sourness keeps it thoroughly in check; after the swallow, the flavors start to mellow out, with plenty of lemon/lime sour fruit and oak in the finish

Mouthfeel: Despite the lack of carbonation, the beer is not flat, though its body is relatively light

Drinkability: Just a stunning achievement; the fruit is so powerful, yet so restrained

Re-sampled in 2012, courtesy of bobertkuekn, and found the carbonation problems to be corrected - upping the Appearance and Mouthfeel scores, as a result

brentk56, Oct 03, 2009
Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.38/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

"The great events of life often leave one unmoved. They pass out of consciousness, and, when one thinks of them, become unreal. Even the scarlet flowers of passion seem to grow in the same meadow as the poppies of oblivion."

--Oscar Wilde

Cherry tomato red with Sunkist highlights when backlit with morning sunshine. The golden ecru crown is a quality slice of foam that reaches two fingers on the initial pour and lasts impressively long. Thick swaths of Belgian lace contribute to a wonderful look for a beer of this style.

The nose is exceptional. The first word that comes to mind is 'rich'. The second, third and fourth are 'sour', 'cherries' and 'oak'. It smells like this Flanders oud bruin will have an ideal combination of all the elements that make beer of this style so complex and so delicious. For specifics, keep reading.

Red Poppy is definitely the real deal. It's more bitter than most, and not quite as sour, but that's rarely a problem for the hopheaded among us. I might have started it out a little too cool, so let's see how it changes over the next 10-15 minutes. So far it's impressive.

Thankfully, the brown ale base is not lost among the sexier facets of the flavor profile. Each mouthful delivers a brisk uppercut of balsamic vinegar-like sweet and tart acidity... then a right cross of tangy sour cherry puree... followed by an oakiness that tightens things down like a vise and ushers in the finish.

The initial bitterness has calmed down to some extent, though I'd like to see it even more in the background. As the ounces fly by, I'm becoming aware of just how dry this beer is. Those little yeasties must have had their fill of all the fruit sugars. Have some cool water handy if you plan to drink more than one bottle at a time.

The mouthfeel has an intriguing combination of lightness, silkiness, suppleness and soft-edged carbonation. I'll resist the impulse to call for something bigger because it probably wouldn't improve things one iota.

Port Brewing Red Poppy Ale is the second best Flanders oud bruin that I've ever had the pleasure to consume. Compared to the perfect symphony that is Liefmans Goudenband, it's slightly (very slightly) out of tune. It's still a tremendous effort from one of America's best breweries. Thanks to tayner for the bottle.

BuckeyeNation, Jun 15, 2008
Photo of Phyl21ca
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle courtesy of Kegbear: Poured a deep clear reddish color ale with a small foamy head with minimal retention and no lacing. Aroma of oak and sour cherries are heavily dominating. Taste is also a very nice mix between some deep oak notes with some cherry flavor also discernable. Very complex taste and some what similar to Rodenbach Grand Cru. I thought cherries would have been more prominent but they were somewhat loss in the mix.

Phyl21ca, Mar 14, 2009
Photo of kjkinsey
4/5  rDev -6.5%

kjkinsey, May 06, 2012
Photo of GRG1313
5/5  rDev +16.8%

GRG1313, Nov 26, 2011
Photo of mikesgroove
4.88/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

375ml corked and caged bottle served at cellar temperature and poured into a tulip glass

A - Poured a very nice and extremely cloudy and hazy light brown with just a hint of a reddish tint to it. This was very murky, but you could still see some of the light coming through on the sides and bottom of the glass, and in fact there was enough of it that I could notice some very fine sediment on the bottom, as well as some carbonation coming up from the bottom of the glass. A very nice head of approximately one and a half inches in height graced the top of it, and this settled down gradually, leaving behind a noticeable amount of side glass lace but nothing that was terribly too thick. The color on it was exquisite on this one, with just this burnt sienna color ( my son has a big box of crayons) that was just very nice. Did not come off terribly thick through the pour and seemed to have a light consistency to it but we shall see.

S - The aroma itself was very strong and very pungent. Almost immediately the yeast was in your face, giving it and extremely sour presence that I was not expecting, but should have known it was coming. Underneath that the clearly evident layer of cherries was starting to come through, tying to sweeten it up and giving it that very nice overall fruity vibe. Lots of spices now coming through as well, hints of what I picked up as cinnamon and fig were mixed in very well. Overall a very strong and very full aroma that was inviting and decidedly alive.

T - I really fell in love with this one upon the first sip that I took. The flavors were so vibrant and so well defined that it was very interesting to watch this one evolve over the course of the session. The first thing you would notice upon taking a sip was the nice sour taste coming though from the yeast. Big sour notes here, once they calmed down you started to pick up the fruity notes that were lying underneath of it. Lots of tart cherries that were really pushing their way up front and blending in nicely with a very spicy nutmeg like flavor. Very well balanced with no one thing really dominating over another, making for a very nice profile. Lots of different things going on here, with hints of even grapes and/or raisins starting to show as it warms up. The finish at least to me seemed to be the best part of the entire session. At first it was subtle, giving you a sour or bitter dry finish that drew out the flavor, but once you managed to run through that initial finish, their was this long lasting barrel aged cherry sweetness that was so good, it is almost impossible for me to accurately describe. I literally tasted that for a good 30 minutes after I finished that last drop. It was very sweet and bitter at the same time, not overpowering, just this subtle long lasting taste. This was really quite breathtaking to be honest. A wonderful taste here overall.

M - Very light bodied ale, despite the huge flavors, this one really never did get too big on you. The carbonation profile was excellent as well, never going flat, even though I took my sweet old time in finishing it, there was never a dull moment. I would have to say it was more crisp and refreshing then it was smooth, and really just superb all around in every way.

D - Now this was just perfect here. Nothing at all should be subtracted, as I rarely find something that I could sit down and enjoy sipping on for more then an hour in a sitting without becoming bored. This was it though. The flavors were exquisite and constantly evolving with changing temperatures, the carbonation was damn near perfect, never getting dull or flat, consistency was perfect, leaving it light, but not thin, and the ABV a modest 5%. I mean c'mon what more could you possibly even begin to ask for. I would have had ten of these if I could have.

Overall this one literally floored me. I have loved everything that has come out of Lost Abbey, and not being biased, but seriously, who else is this consistent with quality, I mean it seems everything new they put out is better then the one before that, its almost unheard of. This was just tremendous. A light fruity sour ale that had me literally giddy with excitement. This was something not only I would gladly have again, but that I would be actively searching for more of. One of the best I have ever had.

mikesgroove, Jan 31, 2008
Photo of ygtbsm94
4/5  rDev -6.5%

ygtbsm94, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of jaydoc
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

jaydoc, Dec 03, 2013
Photo of womencantsail
4.3/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

womencantsail, Feb 12, 2010
Photo of Knapp85
4.47/5  rDev +4.4%
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!

Knapp85, Apr 05, 2011
Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.28/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a hazy, reddish-brown body with a small, short-lived white head.

Smell: Bright, funky aroma of wine-macerated cherries and planks of toasted oak.

Taste: Whoa! Tart, juicy, lightly acidic cherry flavor at the forefront with hints of the sweet brown maltiness used as this fine beer's foundation. Distinct, well-placed tastes of oaky wood. True, it's funky, but contented to reside on the lighter end of the funk spectrum. Drying, lightly minerally finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium, soft carbonation.

Drinkability: A very well executed sour ale, and what a top-notch, classy bottle.

ChainGangGuy, Feb 25, 2008
Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

westcoastbeerlvr, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of largadeer
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2008 bottle.

Appearance - Ruddy brown, quite hazy and distinctly unfiltered. The head retained remarkably well in an oversized wine glass. This beer should be decanted carefully; the bottle has a ton of sediment at the bottom.

Smell - Wonderfully musty and oaky. Pronounced vanilla with mild barnyard funk and sourness. Cherries are present but not as dominating as they are on the tongue.

Taste - Sour, tangy cherries make up the backbone, while oak provides depth and balance. Acidity is fairly low despite the tart flavor. Vanilla appears more and more as the beer warms, blending harmoniously with the sour cherries. The finish is dry and long, revealing more of the young oaky flavor.

Mouthfeel - Fairly light-bodied and crisp on the tongue; slighty drying to the palate. Certainly not quaffable despite the light body; small sips provide a ton of flavor.

Overall - The 08 and 09 batches are outstanding. A Flemish style sour without all the acetic acid, and a great balance between oak and fruit. Later batches are solid but not as exceptional.

largadeer, Feb 09, 2008
Photo of TMoney2591
4.33/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a small tasting glass and a Dogfish Head shaped pint glass.

Thanks to the Central PA group of the Gang Bang BIF and to AleWatcher for these bottles!

Tasted a 2008 vintage (courtesy of Jeff) alongside the newer vintage from the BIF. Both pour a cloudy russet-sunset sienna topped by a half-finger of dirty cream foam. The nose of the '08 comprises light vinegar, cherries, cinnamon, raspberries, and a rich red wine. The newer vintage, on the other hand, comprises red apple, cinnamon, maple syrup, oak, graham crackers, and light chocolate. Definitely more tart fruit in the aged version. The taste of the '08 holds notes of tart-ish black cherry, raspberries, black currant, light cocoa, graham crackers, cinnamon, and clove. The newer version is somewhat similar, with notes of tart cherry, black currant, mandarin orange, clove, and sharp raspberry. Both bodies weigh in at light medium, with a very light moderate carbonation and a sticky finish. Overall, a great beer with or without a few years on it. I think I prefer the older vintage, but it's not too big of a disparity.

TMoney2591, Jul 25, 2011
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Red Poppy Ale from The Lost Abbey
95 out of 100 based on 1,632 ratings.