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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

1,603 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,603
Reviews: 528
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: 1,603 | Reviews: 528 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of zeff80
zeff80

Missouri

4.4/5  rDev +2.8%

A - Poured out a dark burgundy color with a one-finger, cream colored head of foam. It was short lived and left minimal lacing.

S - Like a great sour beer lots of dark cherries and sourness. Just a touch of funkiness, too.

T - Sour but not overpowering with a strong black cherry flavor. There are mild yeasty notes and some light caramel flavors, too.

M - It'll make you pucker but not too much. It is medium bodied and very dry.

D - This is another fabulous beer from The Lost Abbey. I'll liking sour beers more and more each time I try great examples of the style like this one.

12-18-2010 16:58:05 | More by zeff80
Photo of largadeer
largadeer

California

4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

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.

02-09-2008 09:22:12 | More by largadeer
Photo of JAHMUR
JAHMUR

Connecticut

4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

11-15-2011 02:17:08 | More by JAHMUR
Photo of SocalKicks
SocalKicks

California

4/5  rDev -6.5%

09-30-2012 04:57:01 | More by SocalKicks
Photo of RblWthACoz
RblWthACoz

Pennsylvania

4.35/5  rDev +1.6%

Many thanks and much respect to IntriqKen for this one. Have to say I also love the labeling/packaging. Definitely the sexiest and sleekest I have seen in quite some time, if not ever.

Pours a fogged brown with basically no creme head. Nose is very antiseptic and funky and exactly what I would expect. Really, I could not expect more for the fragrance aspect. Flavor is definitely interesting. Total funky coming on the flavor. Again, this just seems like exactly what you would expect for the style. However. The fruit aspect of it is very shallow. I kind of would have liked to have just a touch more. Regardless, we are still bringing the funk here. Feel has a good liquid and carbonation to it. This is very easy to drink for a sour beer. Perhaps I am more used to it with my vastly experienced palate. Either way, this is an exemplary version of the style. Definitely worth seeking out.

03-03-2008 02:11:20 | More by RblWthACoz
Photo of nickfl
nickfl

Florida

4.75/5  rDev +11%

05-04-2012 18:44:46 | More by nickfl
Photo of Kegatron
Kegatron

Pennsylvania

4.45/5  rDev +4%

12.7 oz corked & caged bottle into a Russian River Tulip.

Pours a hazy dark ruby (I said the hell with it and dumped the yeast in to) that possesses some lighter shades towards the bottom. The heads stands about 1 ½ fingers tall and seems pretty effervescent with an off-white color. As the glass settles I can actually see bits of cherry skin mixed in with the yeast at the bottom. A thin, creamy layer of retention skims the surface and sticks around pretty solidly at about a ½ finger or so. This just doesn't budge and flairs up nicely, leaving behind a fantastic looking cascade of lace when swirled. The aroma is a blast of cherries and tart Brett notes that are followed by a fairly pungent flush of astringent oak character.

The taste is tart cherry character that is accentuated by an additional crisp bite of Brett, with more oak notes coming out towards the end. It finishes with nice lingering notes of sourness that impart a dry feel. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and while not possessing a ton of carbonation, still has more of a slick feel to it that really helps move all of that tart character around across the palette.

This is a very nice and well crafted offering here. While I understand that this may have lost some of its' cherry freshness from when it was first brewed, the character still seemed quite pungent to me and worked well the Brett to create a mix that was more refreshing tartness than sour. Another tasty work of art from Tomme and company at the Abbey.

09-11-2008 18:21:52 | More by Kegatron
Photo of MasterSki
MasterSki

Ontario (Canada)

4.28/5  rDev 0%

Review #1700. 2010 Vintage. Served in a champagne tulip. My bottle says 5%.

A - A finger and a half of creamy off-white foam settles to a thick cap, and thicker collar, leaving a few specks of lace. Body is a lovely transparent ruby-brown color, with some visible carbonation.

S - A mixture of sweet malts, sour cherries, lactic acidity, a bit of cheesey funk, oak, and some balsamic and leathery notes as well. I'm glad there is still some brown sugar sweetness and that this hasn't become all acetobacter. Cherries have faded a fair bit since this was fresh, but are still moderately present.

T - Much more sourness than the aroma implies. Plenty of oak, lactic acidity, sour cherries, perhaps a bit of vanilla and sweet malt in the finish. Perhaps a bit too much barrel here, and not enough sweetness.

M - Medium-light body, extremely dry, with a hefty dose of tannic oak. Plenty of stomach-melting acidity as well. Get those Tums ready! Pleasant active carbonation and no obvious alcohol.

D - An absolute pleasure to drink, especially considering the lower ABV means one could have a few of these. Would love to try the "double cherry" version at some point, as I think that would offset a bit of the oak. Wish this one was year-round and on-tap more often.

08-10-2011 23:22:02 | More by MasterSki
Photo of drabmuh
drabmuh

Maryland

4.15/5  rDev -3%

Beer is reddish brown and does not form a head. Carbonation is low and there is a little lacing left on the glass. Beer is relatively clear.

Aroma is a strong sourness, mostly citric based. Kind of a one note aroma but it smells fine.

Strong sour flavor, again citric. There are several late flavors, sweet, strong tart, hits me in the corners of my mouth. Drinkability is high, mouthfeel is good. Carbonation plays a role in the connectivity of the beer overall.

02-02-2010 17:43:13 | More by drabmuh
Photo of StonedTrippin
StonedTrippin

Colorado

4.43/5  rDev +3.5%

nearly 17 bucks for a 12.7oz cork and cage setup. sexy packaging. major prestige for these guys in my mind, as their stuff is rare and always exquisite. the angels share stands as one of the all-timers, so i was pumped up to try this. pours a murky brown ale color into a wine glass with a really bubbly tan head that slowly relaxes to just a lacing. smells like a flemish sour. hard. some sour cherry essence in the nose and a nice sweeter brown ale malt complement. flavor is outstanding. huge sour brett-like sting at the front end, but maybe not even brett, tough to tell, could just be the cherries here. big malty woody middle where the vanilla and spice of the oak come to the fore, balanced out by some fairly hefty chocolate malts. tart finish. this is one of the best feeling beers out, totally effervescent carbonation gives life to all the subtle complexities going on, and the medium body feels lighter than it is. i say they make a double red poppy, which is now on my must try list. this beer is fantastic, but the price keeps it a drink for the elite only. sad but true.

04-11-2012 02:26:29 | More by StonedTrippin
Photo of Rifugium
Rifugium

Pennsylvania

4.08/5  rDev -4.7%

First had: on tap at Capone's, Norristown, PA

Thank God for Black Friday leftovers. All the beer and none of the annoying crowd! (Still the 5.5oz. pours though.)

Attractive: ruddy red-brown color, murky, with a thick ringlet of off white foam. Aroma was slightly tart and woody, notes of cherry and vinegar. Similar taste, biscuity malt base, light cherry, apricot, decently balanced acetic acid, tart but not quite puckering, slightly woody. Pretty strange that this uses a brown ale base, because it barely resembled a brown ale at this point of its life. Medium body, medium carbonation, drying effect in the aftertaste. Nice overall.

11-29-2012 04:09:58 | More by Rifugium
Photo of oline73
oline73

Maryland

4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

Poured from a bottle into a Chimay goblet.

Appearance: Pours a cloudy reddish dark amber/brown with a finger of thick, off white head. There is some great retention.

Smell: There is a strong sour fruity vinegar smell up front. Some tartness and mild malt sweetness along with some funk.

Taste: This one is very sour. Lots of vinegar and lemony tartness with Some other funky flavors. Fruity notes blend well with the sourness. The finish is bitter with the sourness holding on as well.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with tingly carbonation and a dry finish.

Overall: This is a really good sour. Very sour and still very easy to drink. I would definitely have another.

11-09-2011 00:40:38 | More by oline73
Photo of Mora2000
Mora2000

Texas

4.33/5  rDev +1.2%

Thanks to bmwgirl9606 for sending me this bottle.

2010 vintage. The beer pours a slightly hazy brown color with an off-white head. The aroma is tart with some oak, vanilla, brown sugar and cherry. The flavor is heavy on the tart cherries with some oak and lemons mixed in as well. There is also a nice sweetness that resembles brown sugar. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. An excellent beer. So happy I got to try this one.

06-01-2010 03:57:09 | More by Mora2000
Photo of mdfb79
mdfb79

New York

4.18/5  rDev -2.3%

Poured from a 12.7 oz. bottle into my Duvel tulip. Finally got some bottles of this one as it has eluded me, mainly from lack of trying to acquire it. After trying Double Red Poppy at NOTB and loving it, I decided to get some bottles of this one.

a - Pours a dark mahogany brown with a reddish tint, one and a half fingers of off white head, and moderate carbonation evident. The bottle was a very slow gusher, but didn't lose any of it.

s - Smells of sour cherries, oak, tart dark fruits, vinegar, some funk, and some acedic notes. Very sour and tart, with lots of cherries; I'm a big fan of the nose.

t - Tastes of vinegar, sour dark fruits, wood, funk, acedic notes, light cherries. Very sour and lots of vinegar. A lot more vinegar than the nose, and less cherries. Good, but a definite step down.

m - Medium body and high carbonation, dry mouthfeel.

o - Overall a nice sour flanders I enjoyed. I loved the nose, as there was a lot of sour dark fruit, especially tart cherries. The taste was a lot of vinegar so if you like that in a sour, you'll probably love this one. I liked the Double Red Poppy better, but considering that is a beer only available on tap and this is easy to acquire, it's still very good. Would certainly have it again.

04-16-2011 00:32:39 | More by mdfb79
Photo of mendvicdog
mendvicdog

Maryland

4/5  rDev -6.5%

07-26-2013 13:29:55 | More by mendvicdog
Photo of Rochefort10nh
Rochefort10nh

New Hampshire

4.53/5  rDev +5.8%

A great thank you goes out to jtrockchalk who included this want as an extra in a recent trade!

This one is russet-brown with very little head after a vigorous pour. It smells of a high quality balsalmic vinegar; wood; sour, tart monticello cherries with a background note of warm caramel. This is very nice!

The taste mirrors the smell with a very slight lactic tang and citrus zest presence. I am digging this! Not quite as sour as say Rodenbach Grand Cru or cirrca 2005 Panil Barriquée, but not nearly as sweet as Rodenbach Alexander or the Duchesse.

Mouthfeel is right for the style - vinous and lightly carbonated.

Drinkability is excellent as I was through the bottle way to quickly for my liking.

If it weren't so difficult to obtain, I could see myself making this a staple.

09-24-2009 21:03:19 | More by Rochefort10nh
Photo of Gueuzedude
Gueuzedude

Arizona

3.9/5  rDev -8.9%

Pours with a frothy, initially one-finger thick, tan colored head. The beer is a very dark, concentrated cherry color, but shows an almost brilliantly clear, ruby-red color when held up to the light. The aroma is sour and funky; aromas of over-ripe cheese, lactic acid notes, a touch of an acetic edge and funky / woody mushroom notes. Underneath this initial funk is a noticeable fruit character that provides characteristic cherry aromas, but also a touch of cranberry and some sour plum. The aroma is on the sharp side as it seems just a touch too funky, if that makes sense; at first it seems that the beer is a little too wild even compared to a Lambic, though actually now that I think of it, a lot of this sharp character is a mix of the funkiness and a substantial oak character. The oak contributes bourbon-like spiciness, buttery-oak aromatics and a touch of vanillin, each of which seem to clash a bit with the up front funk.

Tart tasting, predominantly lactic, though there does seem to be a tart cherry contribution too. The carbonation, while not wildly effervescent, provides enough zip to tickle the tongue as the beer runs down my throat. The oak flavors are soft at first, but pick up steam as I take a few more sips; spicy wood and ample buttery oak pick up steam in the middle and into the finish were a touch of vanillin is also noticed. Tannins & fruit contribute to a cherry skin flavor and texture up front as well as some bright, cherry flesh notes. The cherries definitely add to the complexity of this brew, yet I wouldn't say this as a fruit beer necessarily; this beer doesn't scream cherry, instead the fruit is really well integrated with the other flavor components. This is quite light and quaffable, the wood / tannis provides some texture to keep this from being anything near thin; the texture may in fact be tone of the best things about this beer.

While the oak is never overwhelming here, it does seem to get in the way of the funky-fermentation notes and the base, beer-ingredient driven flavors & complexities; I think about a quarter of the oak character would be perfect for this beer, keeping it nice and subtle and in more of a supporting role. The buttery oak notes really seem to dominate the aroma of this brew after a bit, though I wouldn't say that it get over-whelming, it just does overwhelm all the other aromatic components. Not bad, even quite good, but the dominant oak keeps it from being incredible for me, though I must admit that I love seeing all this flavor packed into a beer of only 5%abv.

03-22-2008 04:35:15 | More by Gueuzedude
Photo of smcolw
smcolw

Massachusetts

4.14/5  rDev -3.3%

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.

03-22-2014 18:42:19 | More by smcolw
Photo of DrunkinYogi
DrunkinYogi

Connecticut

4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

04-01-2014 06:02:50 | More by DrunkinYogi
Photo of XmnwildX12
XmnwildX12

Minnesota

4/5  rDev -6.5%

12-11-2013 02:10:20 | More by XmnwildX12
Photo of Halcyondays
Halcyondays

California

4.18/5  rDev -2.3%

12.7 oz. bottle,

A: Pours a deep red mahognay with a soft fizzy off-white head, good lace.

S: Acetic acid/barrel character, cherries, maple syrup.

T: Red wine vinegar, cherries are there but understated from the ale as a whole. Interesting Left Bank Bordeaux type character with a lot of cassis mid-palate after the sweet cherries pass. Sweet malty finish. Pleasantly acidic through and through.

M: Moderate/high acidity, but less than La Folie for sure though beer is reminiscent of that ale in a lot of ways. Not bashful. Quite smooth even though my palate is puckering by the end.

D: This is an excellent Oud Bruin, clearly well made and full of flavour. It's so ridiculously expensive, Rodenbach Grand Cru is 1/3 of the price, so not something I'll buy again unless it's on-tap.

05-31-2010 21:18:14 | More by Halcyondays
Photo of MarkyMOD
MarkyMOD

Colorado

4/5  rDev -6.5%

01-21-2013 04:32:10 | More by MarkyMOD
Photo of beernads
beernads

Florida

4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

06-18-2013 07:00:47 | More by beernads
Photo of kojevergas
kojevergas

Texas

3.83/5  rDev -10.5%

12.7 fl oz brown glass bottle with hood and wire cap over a cork served into me Guinness goblet in me gaff in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Acquired at Red Carpet Wine in Glendale, California. It cost something like $15.00. Expectations are extremely high given the brewery - which I admire - and the style. 2012 vintage. ABV: 5.00%.

Served refrigerator cold and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated (in spite of the brewery).

A: Pours a three finger head of really nice cream, great smooth foamy thickness, and great retention (though the ABV is merely average). Colour is a rather dark red-ruby. Nontransparent because of the darkness. Non-opaque; it allows some light in. No yeast particles are visible - likely because of the nontransparency. No bubble show, but the style doesn't usually feature one.

Sm: Luxurious sour cherries accompanied by a subtle oak wood tone. Tart. Yeasty - wild. Bacteria. Sourness. A bit earthy. A moderate strength, nicely subtle aroma. I quite fancy the smell, and I hope the taste fulfills the promise of the aroma.

T: Sourness, bacteria, wild yeast, and dominant sour cherry, with some earthy and even slightly nutty notes (I assert from the brown ale base). A bit too malty for the style methinks. The sourness is wonderful, but I could go for more yeastiness. It's quite delightful, but a bit understated and timid given the style. The tartness is fantastic. Certainly subtle, but it could use more depth and complexity. There's some great layering here. The balance is good but not perfect - largely due to the malt and the brown ale reminiscent notes. Pleasant and enjoyable to drink. No alcohol comes through. I quite like it, but it's not perfect. Not unique, but I'd say it's special. The oak is too backgrounded for me to notice.

Mf: Smooth and wet, with some light subtle creaminess. Perfect thickness and carbonation. Just coarse enough to coax out the flavours.

Dr: Very drinkable for a sour. I could down this all night. I've had better sours, but this one is lovely. I could definitely see it getting better with age. A bit pricey, but worth it all things considered. I'd definitely have this again, preferably aged. Quite delightful. Well executed for the style.

Drank well out of a goblet. This is likely the ideal serving vessel.

A great candidate for aging.

Would pair well with grapes or salad.

B+

04-14-2012 05:56:14 | More by kojevergas
Photo of GClarkage
GClarkage

California

4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

11/20/08- Generously shared by BA member Talisker.

Presentation- 375ml bottle with no freshness info located on the bottle. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

Appearance- Deep mahagoney in color. Soft 1/4 inch bubbly white head. Leaves light spotted lace.

Smell- Pretty straight forward here. Fairly sour notes with lots of tart cherries and a good amount of oak.

Taste- Seems a bit thicker than a 5% beer would be. Tons of semi-tart cherry goodness with a light vinegar note (good vinegar). Very oaky with a nice woody barrel flavor.

Mouthfeel- Quite dry, quenching with a medium carbonation level. Crisp and sharp.

Drinkability- Right up there with the best Oud Bruins I have had. Not too tart and loads of cherry flavor. Wish I had some cheese to go with it.

11-21-2008 17:12:34 | More by GClarkage
Red Poppy Ale from The Lost Abbey
95 out of 100 based on 1,603 ratings.