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

1,677 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,677
Reviews: 534
rAvg: 4.28
pDev: 9.58%
Wants: 528
Gots: 502 | FT: 36
Brewed by:
The Lost Abbey visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Flanders Red Ale |  5.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

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.

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 added by: BeerBeing on 09-07-2007)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Red Poppy Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,677 | Reviews: 534 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of InspectorBob
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of Gueuzedude
3.9/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of GClarkage
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of Halcyondays
4.18/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of imperialking
5/5  rDev +16.8%

Photo of orangesol
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of dbrauneis
4.38/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours a lightly murky reddish brown in color with some light amounts of visible carbonation and some ruby red highlights. The beer has slightly less than a quarter finger tall dense light tan head that slowly reduces to a thick film covering the entire surface of the beer with a slightly thicker ring at the edges of the glass. Light to moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Light to moderate amounts of sour cherries and tartness with a light amount of oak. Some subtle notes of vinegar.

T: Upfront there is a light amount of caramel sweetness but that is quickly overshadowed by moderate to strong flavors of sour cherries. The beer has a light to moderate amount of tartness with some more subtle notes of oak and vinegar.

M: Light bodied with moderate to heavy amounts of carbonation. Light to moderate amounts of acidic prickliness.

O: Overall this is a really enjoyable beer and is quite easy to drink, especially for the style. Nice amounts of tartness without the over the top tartness/vinousness. Good flavors contributed by the sour cherries and a good amount of complexity.

Photo of yourefragile
4.05/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2010 375 mL bottle.

Pours a murky dark ruby brown with a thin dense cream head that fades to a thick collar and minimal lace. Aroma of oak, light vinegar, apple sauce, tart cherry; pleasant blend of acid and sweet. Flavor is oaky and mildy cherry and vanilla sweet through the body before a strong acidic sourness builds long into the finish. Medium thick body with light carbonation. A little too harsh and acidic in the finish, but a nice oak and fruit presence otherwise.

Photo of duceswild
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of stakem
3.88/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

375ml corked and caged bottle into a matching lost abbey stemmed glass (thanks Brett!) The brew appears a dark brown with nearly 3 fingers worth of khaki head. The cap slowly recedes holding with less than a finger of strength which is supported by nearly constantly rising bubbles. Patches of lace stick to the glass. When held to the light, a deep ruby clarity is seen through the body.

The aroma of this brew is pleasantly fruity with a deep pitted cherry scent that is lightly tart. More smells reveal a bit of bacterial funk and lactic character. Through the middle is a deep sweetness reminiscent of vanilla and barrel properties of oak. A little bit of burnt sugary sweetness almost like molassess is smelled all the way in the back. A light cheese and wild aspect come out as it warms. Collectively with the mixture of sweetness, vanilla and cherry this has a faint medicinal aspect about the way it smells but it is still very good.

For how crazy complex and enjoyable smelling this brew is, the first couple of sips are a bit one-noted. It is tart with a bit of unripe cherry flavoring that blends into a bit of brown sugar to toasted grain. Some barrel flavoring is present that is lightly spicy mixed with some mild wild notes of brett. The brew finishes quite crisp and dry with a toasty flavoring that pairs well with the fruity cherry quality.

This is a medium to light bodied brew with a high level of carbonation. I say high carb but it is not overdone. It lightens the overall feel and makes it fairly easy drinking. The alcohol is very well integrated and only provides a mild warmth down the back of the throat. While this was a really enjoyable brew, I found the aroma to be the best aspect of it. I wish the flavor packed as much character as the aroma. If you haven't tried this yet, it is worth a shot.

Photo of corby112
4.33/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From notes:

Pours a dark ruby/golden mahogany edges with a half finger foamy, off-white head. Decent retention, slowly fading into a thin ring. Minimal spots of lacing.

Funky, earthy aroma with lots of vinous dark fruit, oak tannis and musty barnyard notes. The prominent characteristic in the nose is dark, tart cherries but there s also hints of earthy, musty oak and wild bugs.

Nice tart, puckering mouthfeel that isn't very acidic making it very easy to drink. Vinous with sour dark cherry being the dominant flavor. Plenty of earthy funk and dry brett add to the tartness but the fruit is so prominent that it is excellently balanced.

Edit: the fruit fades in this beer rather quickly so it should be drunk closer to it's release to enjoy it at it's full potential.

Photo of weeare138
4.1/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to hopdog for breaking this open. We didn't have a bottle of Le Woody Brune to open for a side by side but it was a dead ringer for one of my favorites from Port Brewing.
Appears a hazy dark brown with a small, off-white head that quickly fades into a mild cap and collar. Spotty lacing is left around the glass.
Smell is of oak tannins, cherries, light brett, brown sugar, with a malty, biscuity aroma jumping out.
Taste echoes the aromas with the woody, slightly acetic flavors coming together.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied, sugary sweet, candy on the front of the tongue with vinegar acidic notes in the middle, and a semi-dry finish.

Photo of mothman
4.4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Mikesgrove for this one.

Opened the cork with the slightest pop.

Poured into Ommegang chalice.

Pours hardly any head, but the little that is there is a murky brown. Color is a hazy ruby copper brown with sediment in the glass.

Aroma: Sour cherries, some funk, wood/oak, vinegar/acidic aromas. The aroma is really making my mouth water.

Taste: Wow, this beer is sour. Big sour cherry taste, oak, vinegar with acidic flavors. Definitely has a funky taste to it.

Mouthfeel: One of the sourest beers I have ever had. Makes my mouth pucker. Very tart. Medium body with a low amount of carbonation. Ends with a bittersweet clean aftertaste.

Overall, a fantastic beer. I am really enjoying this and I know I will want more when this bottle is gone. I really enjoy how tart the cherries are. A must have if you enjoy tart, sour beers.

___
Drinking a 2010 bottled version fresh and just wanted to comment a bit on it. The abv is lowered to 5% and it is not near as sour. I have heard many people enjoy this fresh, but I say to put some age on it. It develops more of a vinegar flavor but gets a lot more sour. The nose on this starts out odd, but then gets better as it warms. Not as sour as it turns out to be.

Photo of Georgiabeer
4.75/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Beautiful bottle, definitely really classy. I love the image of the poppy on black with the heavy glass, and I love the name. I guess Poppies will always be associated with Flanders after the "Flanders Field" association. Pours a murky reddish/orange brown with a slight head, but what head there is surprisingly sticks around as a swirl of light foam for a very long time. Smells quite acetic, with some red fruit, a bit of leather, and a touch of funk right at the end. Taste is marvelous, and quite complex. Starts sour with a bit of spiciness and more red fruit and plum. It becomes more minerally, funkier, and woodier. The finish is both spicy and funky with flavors of aged, runny cheese. The fruity sourness persists throughout. Delicious and very balanced. The oak contributes some funkiness, and some light tannins, but there is no flavor of new oak or vanilla. The mouthfeel is pure and acetic, but benefits from the light tannins lending some structure. A complex beer, as complex as much stronger beers. Tremendously drinkable and ebjoyable.

Photo of tempest
4.38/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Split the bottle with a couple friends. Hell of a beer. I'm not always a fan of the Flanders sours, but this tones down the creamy sweetness of a Duchess into a mellow cherry and strawberry character over biting citrus and sour tang. I'm most impressed by the balance of the different flavors, rolling from one to the other instead of just covering each other up. Find this beer.

Photo of Gonzoillini
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of Huhzubendah
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sharing a bottle with my wife tonight. Bliss.

2009 vintage.

The beer appears a crimson sunburst hue, with an eighth inch of head that quickly settles to a thin layer and holds. The aroma is fabulous, with funk, cherries, wild yeast, and oak. The taste follows suit, and makes my cheeks pucker in delight upon the first sip. Insanely good, I want to trade for more of this immediately. The finish contains a healthy dose of vinegar and acetic notes, but is no way harsh. Quite the opposite, I wish I had a growler of this. My new favorite Flanders Oud Bruin.

Photo of mdaschaf
4.33/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from notes.

A: Pours slightly hazy ruby/brown color with large bubbles forming when poured. Very little retention and very small bits of lace forms.

S: Nice sour cherry straight away with a little bit of oak, vanilla, and vinegar.

T: Again, lots of sour cherry, it dominates the flavor profile. Underneath there is a good bit of oak and a little vanilla. Rather sweet with a great level of sourness. A touch of vinegar.

M: Medium bodied with low to medium carbonation, very easy drinking.

O: Big fan of this beer, and of the style in general. Very easy drinking, would have no problem drinking this one again.

Photo of BARFLYB
4.28/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz 2011 C&C bottle into a Rodenbach Grand Cru tulip. Thanks to Jeff at The Hulmeville Inn for setting this aside for me.

A nice pop with the cork off, Red Poppy Ale glides into the glass looking a darkish red surrounded by marroon. A chunk of brown bark, darker than I expected. A lot of bubbles, I got 3 fingas off a slow pour, creamish/tan looking foan that settled, small specks on the glass.

The nose is lively and ripe at this young stage, I believe this bottle is two months old at this point. Sour cherry with a nice scent of chocolate as well, was not expecting that. Small oak presence with wood without the vanilla. Nice funk as well but not the main cake, is there any bugs in this?

A very great taste on first sips only to be further solidified with further sips. Chocolate covered cherry with some funky appeal and light wood and some small amounts of malt to back that, very small in that Dept. though. Reminds me of a Rodenbach/Rosso mix.

Feel is quite tart but not 2007 Cantillon Kriek sour, there is a balance somewhat, leaning towards sour. Some lactic quality that is finished by the faintest of malt. A step above light bodied with bubbles, congrats port/LA, keep it up.

This was a treat and this is kick ass beer. Glad to have tried it. But if I can pick up 3 750's of Rodenbach Grand Cru which is imported mind you, what decision do you think im going to make between the two, even though I prefer this because of the absence of vinegar.

Photo of DoubleJ
4.78/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I'm very surprised to find this in a couple stores. I'm also very surprised to see it marked at $16.49 and $18.99 per 375 ml corked and caged bottle. Wish me a good journey. On to the beer:

Poured into my Falke chalice, this ale features a dark amber color (leaing towards brown) for the most part, with hues of red and light orange. The second pour creates a more murky color. Head forms a finger's thick on top, gently going down to a thin lace on top. Upfront in the smell are a lot of sour/tart cherries. There's also some liquid caramel playing along beautifully.

First sip is really tart and sour. Oh, but it is bliss. A dab of sweet butterscotch is the first note to hit. Shortly after, you get a bombardment of cherries and puckering tart/sour flavor. Very puckering. Somehow, it manages to be addictive without being too much of a good thing. Moderate acidity. Long and lingering in the aftertaste is the tartness. Very pleasant in the mouth....the liquid is on the lighter side, but the tartness makes me forget how light it is. Some sprinkles of carbonation add zest. The beer goes down really easy, and it is very difficult to slow down my rate of consumption.

Tart Tongues™, rejoice! Red Poppy Ale is, without a doubt, outstanding beer. If you see it, pick it up.

Photo of akorsak
4.28/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A corked and caged 375 mL bottle courtesy of weibull. The label is visually appealing.

A: The ale is a tawny port color, nicely tinted by oak aging. There is little head at any point in time, although the ale is not flat.

S: The nose is very acetic, vinegary with a funky tart oak aroma. The pedio- and lactobacillus are pleasantly sharp.

T: Tart cherries are present but their intensity seems weak, as though they have faded over time. Oak flavor emerges at the end, coating the tastebuds with a chardonnay-like sweetness that doesn't skimp on the booze. The tartness of the lacto and pedio mixes well with the oak, seemlessly transitions from the wood to funk.

M: The ale is very dry, all the little beasties has eaten up every last bit of sugary flavor. Tart cherries, while weak upfront, manage to come through nicely in the aftertaste.

D: Wicked good, the Lost Abbey has nailed this one. Beware the yeasty sediment though, it saps some of the tartness from the ale.

Photo of afsdan
4.75/5  rDev +11%

Photo of rhoadsrage
4.1/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(Served in a teku)
vintage 2012
A- This beer pours a glowing dark garnet red body with a wall of microbubbles racing up to a boiling thick light tan head. The head last for a bit.

S- The slightly funky tart cherry note is followed by a wet oak aroma even during the pour. There is a hint of aged vinegar in the finish with a white cheese rind hint. Some flinty and earthy notes come through as the beer opens aswell.

T- The brett funk note blends with tart cherries notes and a malt fullness underneath. There is a wet oak barrel taste that leads to a bright tartness that lingers a bit after each sip. The cheese rind brett note comes back in the finish.

M- The medium-full mouthfeel is largely due to the big fizz and there is a soft low astringency note with no real alcohol heat noticed.

O- This beer has some nice tartness with hints of barrel and brett notes with a good support from the malt, but it has a thick heavy body that really makes it slow to drink. The tartness is more from fruit than yeast character so it doesn't have that classic Flanders Red yeast profile but it is still nice to drink.

Photo of smakawhat
3.6/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of DrBier
4/5  rDev -6.5%

Red Poppy Ale from The Lost Abbey
95 out of 100 based on 1,677 ratings.