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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
96
world-class

1,674 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,674
Reviews: 534
rAvg: 4.28
pDev: 9.58%
Wants: 528
Gots: 500 | 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: 1,674 | Reviews: 534 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of kbuzz
4.75/5  rDev +11%

Photo of IndyDad
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of IpeeA
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of JohnQVegas
4.43/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle into red wine glass. Thanks to Will (STLWill) for the chance!

Opens with very little pop, and pours a murky brown, a bit of a reddish glow to it. No head at all, but some stickage around the glass. Bottle, however, is absolutely gorgeous. Score reflects a combination of both.

Nose, however, is world class - beautiful initial hit of acidic vinegar, sour cherries, nice old oak, and very faintly, a nice, round, bready malt note that pokes its head out when the acidity has its fill. As it warms, the acidic vinegar moves towards a smoother lactic sourness.

Started drinking a bit on the cool side. Carbonation is light but not missing entirely - whether intentionally or by accident, it works. Light carbonation bite up front is supplemented by a nice acidic bite that really helps the feel along. Smooth lactic sourness up front, some vinegar, and nice sour cherry presence. Nice oaky presence smoothing out the edges, and an underlying bit of malty richness that lends a beautiful fullness to the beer. Top notch.

As noted before, mouthfeel is very lightly carbonated, with a nice acidic bite in the top/back of the throat, and a smooth, round body.

Photo of ObeMaltKinobee
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

Photo of chugalug06
4.43/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Dated 2011

A - Wow! What a head! Bottle easily influences itself... Brew has slightly dirty head due to yeast override... Very nice mahogany color with lots of browns and some reds.

S - Lots of big cherry! Also, smells like a dry-er sour... Vanilla and peach dominate the scent. Great citrus too. Not the expect funk scent.

T - Awesome sour cherry flavor! much more sour then the scent represents. Great smoothness and elegant brew. Perfect amount of tart. Better then La Folie...not sure how I feel about this.

M - PERFECT carbonation, couldn't be better. No bitterness and well done sourness...Perfect. Very dry and elegant, I hope to have this brew at my wedding.

O - One of my top five brews of all time. I will be looking for this one for many years to come. Fantastic brew.

2012 update: Big metallic scent, and more sugar then tartness. still good, but it gets knocked down a notch. Also, brew is SUPER dark ruby BROWN! Clarity seems to be in question. Much darker and lower carbonated then in years past. Still An awesome brew.

Photo of Evan
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of BeerThursdays
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of russwbeck
4.43/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks go out to beerman4 for this.

A: Very brown pour with a small white head. Decent lacing, although the head dissipates rather quickly.

S: Really big sour smell. Tart cherries and vinegar.

T: Very tart sour flavor. Cherries predominantly. Pretty sweet also, very well balanced. Hint of warming alcohol on the backend.

MF: Really carbonated very well. Light to medium bodied.

O: I was really impressed by this. It has great balance between sourness and other tastes. I've had a bunch of sours I hated, not this one.

Photo of KickInTheChalice
4.08/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 375 mL bottle into a tulip. 2010 Vintage. Thanks to readbaron for opening this with me.

Appearance: This pours a hazy medium dark brown with a murky beet red tint that is more obvious at the edges. Although I started the pour gently, it took an aggressive pour right into the center of the glass to populate a foamy tan head with small but visible bubbles. The head fades at it's leisure, eventually leaving a ring around the edge of the glass and a few spots of lace down the side.

Smell: The aroma is the strength of this beer. Although for a Flanders Red Ale I would normally expect the aroma and flavor to be quite similar, the nose on this is actually more complex than the flavor. Obvious tart cherries are the first entrant into my olfactory system, but as I adjust I sense some oak, balsamic vinegar, and a bit of cinnamon. With a few swirls of the glass, a vibrant funk rises into my nostrils, adding further complexity.

Taste: A blast of tart cherries assaults my tongue up front with just a touch of balsamic sweetness, more of a pure sour flavor than I am used to in a Flanders Red. Once my palate acquaints itself with the flavor, I get nuances of oak and red wine in the middle, but the flavor pretty much has one gear -- sour and cherry. This bottle has a year on it already, which I imagine has led to it being more sour than when it was fresh, and I can't help but wonder if it would get better with even more time to develop.

Mouthfeel: The tartness up front causes my mouth to salivate profusely right away. There is no doubt that this has a strong vinegar character and a fairly acidic feel. Lots of tannins present at the end. The body is actually a bit lighter than I would expect from a beer of this style, with the carbonation falling into the abyss somewhere between creamy and crisp. A bit of creamy, relaxed carbonation would suit this a bit better.

Overall: When the bottle was opened I was pleasantly surprised by the depth of the aroma, only to be let down a little bit by the flavor. It was good, but nothing about this truly differentiated itself from other beers in the style. Why spend the effort to track this down and pay premium money for this when there are better options that are both cheaper and more readily available?

Photo of avaldivia
5/5  rDev +16.8%

Photo of LambicPentameter
3.93/5  rDev -8.2%
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.

Photo of Beerbuddy21
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of HumanParaquat
3.5/5  rDev -18.2%

Photo of Duhast500
4.43/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a Allagash flute.

The color is a brownish maroon with two fingers of brownish head that is quick to disappear leaving some nice lacing left on the glass.

The smell is has some malty flavor with some slight funk flavor holding in the background. There is a nice brett aroma coming off the nose that is giving me ideas of what to expect.

The taste is funk from the gate. Some sour fruity flavors comes out to welcome my tongue. There is a slight sour apple flavor that is the main flavor that is out in front but the sweetness that fills you from behind this apple flavor is more malty and filled with some slight grainy flavor. There some bitterness at the end to make its presence felt but the aftertaste kicks in quickly and is back to a nice sourness.

The feel of this beer is medium bodied but there still seems an almost light feel to the flavor that it is deceivingly lighter then the expected. A great beer filled with such nice sourness that it makes me want more.

Photo of antoines15
4/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of Scotchboy
4.15/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Review No. 450

12.7oz corked & caged 2012 vintage bottle, poured into a Jackie O's tulip.

A: Hazy, turbid pond-water brown, hints of blood red...initially a good off-white/yellowish head but it fizzles quickly away...not much lacing...carbonation appears good.

S: Tart cherry, red apples, hints of funk and vinegar, dark fruit, and some vinous notes.

T: Plenty of tart cherry notes but it isn't overwhelming...carbonation does a fine job of cleansing the palate...pretty tasty, and almost balanced...cherry, tartness, touch of lactic sour, funk, lemon, hint of oak.

MF: Tart, moderate-to-light mouthfeel, this thing is well carbed and feels light and refreshing.

O: A really nice beer, and pretty drinkable for the style; not too tart or overwhelmingly sour.

Photo of PHBoiler
3.84/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Reddish brown body with some light white lacing. Smells of tartness on the nose. Not really getting the cherry in the nose or in the body. The acidity drowns out most of the flavors I was hoping for. Given the pricepoint, I'd expect more balance, more cherry flavor. Very acidic for the style in my opinion.

Photo of Ajlvt
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

Photo of rowew
4.3/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: Part of the 09 Sinners club, this is a 12.7 oz bottle corked and caged. Beautiful label with raised printing and metallic letters - but at this price point it better look good.

Appearance: Cork popped with a soft hiss. Pours thick and syrupy, but there is a bit of carbonation evident once its in the glass, but almost no head.

Smell: Bright sour aroma, but it isn't overpowering - there is a bit of an oak aroma there too (but not vanilla).

Taste: Very tart, what seem to be classic Flanders tastes - sour with a bit of fruitiness in there too. Mouthfeel is thick, but there is just enough carbonation in it to keep it bright.

Overall impression: This is a very drinkable beer - frighteningly so consider the price! A good example of an American sour, but I am a bit concerned reading the other reviews that they may have a quality control problem. I didn't see any of the sediment mentioned elsewhere, or have the carbonation problems. Either way - hope they get it straightened out, I've got a lot of money sunk into the Sinners club.

Photo of Mikeypnh
4/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of mjtiernan
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

Photo of HollyHops
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

Photo of sloelco
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of GeorgeCarroll
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

Red Poppy Ale from The Lost Abbey
96 out of 100 based on 1,674 ratings.