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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

1,617 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,617
Reviews: 530
rAvg: 4.28
pDev: 9.58%
Wants: 522
Gots: 487 | 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: 1,617 | Reviews: 530 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of brandoman63
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

brandoman63, Nov 21, 2011
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.

smakawhat, Mar 10, 2013
Photo of John_M
4.1/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a bottle at TJ's last night. This is the just released 2011 version.

The beer pours a rich, somewhat cloudy, reddish amber color with pretty good head retention and lacing. Interestingly, I'm not sure if the beer was too cold initially, but the head retention and lacing both improved over time with this beer. The nose in this beer is pretty outrageous, with a huge intial blast of sour funk (considerable vinegar and wet horse blanket - I know; yum!!!). However, I also picked up considerable black cherry, vanilla and a hint of chocolate, which seemed to become more evident as the beer warmed a bit. Fortunately, the sour component wasn't quite as prominent on the palate, and the black cherry and vanilla seemed to shine through more and more as the beer warmed. There was still very much of a sweet tart flavor to this beer, but it wasn't overwhelming and in fact was pretty enjoyable. Also, I thought the sweet cherry fruit came through more and more with increased air contact and warming. Mouthfeel was medium bodied, with a fairly long, sweet and sour finish. Drinkability was pretty good I thought, and would probably be flat out terrific for a sour lover.

Definitely a well crafted beer from Port/Lost Abbey. Just wish I was a bigger fan of sour ales.

John_M, Mar 21, 2011
Photo of rab53
5/5  rDev +16.8%

rab53, Dec 02, 2011
Photo of DrBier
4/5  rDev -6.5%

DrBier, Jul 28, 2014
Photo of billab914
4.35/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2010 vintage poured from a 375ml bottle into my Lost Abbey stemware. Poured a dark brown color with a thin fizzy off-white head covering the top. The head faded to cling to the sides of the glass where it left moderate lacing.

The aroma is sharp with some cherry tartness and some acidic sourness to it. I can also get a little of the oak and vanilla from the barrel aging. The taste shows a lot of the tartness and acidicness the nose suggested. The cherries really come through in the finish leaving a very nice cherry aftertaste on the palate. There is also some hints of the oak and vanilla flavors as well helping the complexity of the taste.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and carbonation is high. Drinkability is good, it's a very nice sour flavor to it. I've said before though that I'm very impartial to cherries, I just love them. Adding real cherry flavor to anything is a positive thing to me.

billab914, Mar 27, 2010
Photo of Kelp
4/5  rDev -6.5%

Kelp, Sep 02, 2013
Photo of Viggo
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to oakbluff for hooking me up with this rare brew!

Pours a cloudy chunky orange/red, kind of like grapefruit juice, thick white head, some solid lace spots, settles to a nice layer and thick ring. Smell is sour and tart, very acidic, cherries, bread, lots of fruit, quite intense, oak, nice. Taste is similar, very oaky, some caramel, vanilla, cherries, tart fruit, acidic, lemons, vanilla, acidic fruit in the finish, very nice. Mouthfeel is light bodied with low carbonation, very smooth and easy to drink. Fantastic sour beer, no rough edges, very nice. Thanks Scott!

Viggo, May 10, 2008
Photo of sendbeer
4.75/5  rDev +11%

sendbeer, Dec 27, 2012
Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.22/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Murky brown pour, not as sexy as Supplication. . . more brown, didn't have enough of the cherry edge to it, some head and/or lacing with good carbonation. Aroma is wood and fruit, cherry underplayed still.

Cherry comes out moreso on the palate, good sour qualities, almost nothing is sweet about the beer. Oak. Definite brown ale base beer flavor exists and is not overshadowed by the sour and cherry flavors. Harmony. Would actually prefer more cherry and tart flavors v. the brown ale and wood flavor, but its not a liability by any means. Damn this is dry.

What's the deal with the pricing on these? More than $1 an oz? Supplication is better and cheaper, so I can't really recommend this too strongly, worth checking out and special occasions, but damn its pricey.

Beerandraiderfan, Jun 07, 2011
Photo of DrJay
4.47/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks go out to mikesgroove for hooking me up with this bottle in a recent trade.
This one poured a hazy, sort of murky, reddish orange with a smattering of soapy bubbles. A thin, fine cap appeared as CO2 slowly came out of solution and this finally settled into a thin collar. Some spotty, short-lived lacing clung to the glass and there was a slow, steady stream of bubbles rising to the surface throughout. Tart, fruity aroma of freshly picked berries still unwashed, cherry skins and mild vinegar. Quite earthy, with notes of tobacco and musty hay. Some bread and oak were present too. The taste was fruity and tart up front, a mixture of lactic sourness and just a bit of vinegar, with a raspberry quality yet more of a cherry flavour. This gave way to brown sugar and bread, plus a hint of toffee and chocolate towards the end. The occasional flash of vanilla appeared as well. Earthy notes of tobacco and berry skins, with just a bit of oak flavour, added some depth. Lingering, tart finish. Medium bodied with a bit of a sugary texture and lingering dryness from the oak tannins. Carbonation was average, perhaps a little on the high side. Highly drinkable, but definitely worth savouring. Great balance, very enjoyable.

DrJay, Aug 08, 2008
Photo of Zaphog
4/5  rDev -6.5%

Zaphog, Feb 24, 2013
Photo of liamt07
4/5  rDev -6.5%

liamt07, Sep 08, 2013
Photo of JohnGalt1
4.4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Czoch75 beat the hell out of me in the Fight Club Rnd 2 BIF.. this was an incredible score. Clint is beyond generous.

Shared this one with Inflatablechair a while back... Sam is good people. Reviewed from paper notes.

Lite tan head.. no real lace.. only descent retention... the brew is a slightly hazed deep orange/red.

Nose is cherries with lite funk and pretty abundant acetic elements..

Cherries are less pronounced than the aroma, but are still prevalent... plenty of vinegar and some mild lactic presence.. with warmth some balsamic characteristics show.. maybe some oak, but I could easily be imagining things.

very very refreshing.

Thanks again Clint.. unheard of generosity.

3.5/4.5/4.5/4/4.5

JohnGalt1, Jan 13, 2010
Photo of PEIhop
5/5  rDev +16.8%

PEIhop, Apr 07, 2012
Photo of HopHead84
4.47/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2009 vintage. Poured into my Russian River tulip, the beer is a dark copper with a red tint. As I expected, a tiny head is the result of a vigorous pour and there is no lacing on the glass.

The aroma is slightly sweet and dominated by sour cherries, with some lactic acid and barnyard characteristics. The aroma denotes a mild tartness. Some plum and chocolate notes are evident, as well as currants. The flavor is much like the aroma. The black cherry flavor is pervasive. The beer is minimally sour and fairly tart. The lactic acid is noticeable. The chocolate is subdued and the plum is present. The finish is dry, crisp, slightly sweet, and tart with cherry flavor.

Red Poppy is medium bodied with medium carbonation. It is light on the palate and dry. Astringency is low.

A great representation of the style. I can't believe this stuff comes out of San Marcos. I prefer this vintage to the first, though the Double Cherry Red Poppy is my favorite.

HopHead84, Feb 11, 2009
Photo of rolltide8425
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

rolltide8425, Oct 30, 2012
Photo of glid02
4.47/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Gabe at Beachwood BBQ for breaking this one out.

Pours a clear red/brown color with ruby highlights and a thin off-white head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving light lacing.

Smells of tart cherries with good amounts of oak and funk. As it warms the tartness becomes even more pronounced.

Tastes great. Tart cherries flavors up front turn into very tart cherry flavors midway through the sip. Also present is a good amount of oak and a lot of dryness. This beer is on the threshold of being too much but as it stands it's perfect.

Mouthfeel is very good. It has a nice thickness with active carbonation.

Drinkability is good. I could sip on these for a long time.

Overall this was a very good representation of the style and one I'm happy to have tried.

glid02, Jul 30, 2009
Photo of ShanePB
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes 4/6/2011, served from a 2011 bottle into a tulip glass at Craft Ale House. Split with Nick.

A: Cloudy and murky mahogany brown body with some amber hues around the top edge. A slightly off-white head formed but settled into a thin foamy cap.

S: Complex and unique fruit and wood aromas come through. Sweet and tart cherries, dry Sherry, oak wood and blackcurrants make up the nose. It's somewhat dry, earthy yet sweet and tart overall, a very interesting blend of flavors.

T: Balanced and complex, just like the nose. Immediately your palate is hit with vinegar-like sour notes infused with woody-cherry flavors. The end palate and finish is rather dry, though no lingering acidic or tart notes are present. While there are certainly some roasted malts they recede and allow the other dark fruit and tart flavors to come full circle.

M: Very prickly, bubbly and medium-bodied; just like you'd expect in the style. Again, the finish is somewhat dry providing a very sharp cut away from any lactic sour notes.

The price per ounce of this beer, in my opinion, is a bit overpriced. It was, however, one of the absolute better Flanders Oud Bruin’s I’ve tried but not something I would stock up on when there are just as good ones available at a more reasonable price. I was glad I was able to try it and thank Nick for splitting the cost to make this easier to swallow.

ShanePB, Sep 30, 2011
Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.2/5  rDev -1.9%
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.

HuskyinPDX, Dec 30, 2013
Photo of GarthDanielson
3.85/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle Vintage 2012.

Poured into a snifter, the beer is a deep, hazed, auburn-brown coloring that pours with a ton of carbonation. Low profile, thin, off-white head that quickly settles out into a filmy ring around the surface. Aromas of juniper and jasmine floral highlights on a dark, rich, black cherry and currant sweet backbone. The increased carbonation keeps the body thin, and gives the sour notes an extra punch. Syrupy sweet flavors transition into an earthy, wine barrel characteristic. The aftertaste is sour and sweet at the same time, with an effervescent feel. The finish is sharp, but light, with a bubbly feel left across your tongue. Tangy and puckering at the end. Good brew.

GarthDanielson, May 23, 2012
Photo of iL0VEbeer
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

iL0VEbeer, Oct 13, 2012
Photo of tobelerone
4.35/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A slightly red-hued brown with more than an inch of sudsy head that falls to less than a finger quickly. Lots and lots of lace.

Aroma is funky, quite musty and horsey, with a strong undercurrent of sour cherries. Quite puckering flavor with fresh sour cherries, mineral and metallic notes, must, funk, and light sweetness. Delightfully tart. Trace of woody, oaky notes. Tart, wine-like finish, dry, kriek-like. Delicious.

Medium thin-bodied with fizzy carbonation and a drying finish, leaving you puckering up and looking for more. As this beer sits the fresh cherry flavor really explodes. Very tasty, very real, and unfortunately, very expensive.

Thanks Ryan for such a top notch extra!

tobelerone, Jan 25, 2012
Photo of TurdFurgison
4.65/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

2009 bottle, 12.7oz, corked & caged. The beer is clear, dark rusty colored, with no head at all. As I drank it I noticed the carbonation was really light too, not sure if the carbonation fell off with 1 year of age.

The beer smells just about perfect, so strong and funky. Both tart cherries and barnyard wild notes, but mainly the sour seems to come from the cherries. Only a hint of vinegar, so much better than other oud bruins I've had in terms of that. And it only gets better when I taste it. Very fruity and sour, basically fermented cherry juice with some brett. If I'd tried this 2-3 years ago I might have objected to the pucker-inducing sourness but now I've come to crave this attribute. This is bracing and pungent, massive in aroma and flavor.

The real downside for me is the low carbonation. Lost Abbey's struggles with carbonation have been well documented in their strong beers, but their sour beers have usually been fine. In this case I'm guessing it's the age, and it really doesn't hurt the drinking experience all that much. The light body seems to suit the style, very drinkable. This will be on my eternal wants list, and I'll actively trade for it each year it's released.

TurdFurgison, Feb 01, 2010
Photo of Alieniloquium
4.05/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

375 mL bottle poured into a goblet. Huge pain in the ass to get this cork out. I ended up decapitating it on accident and resorted to a corkscrew.

Appearance - Murky reddish brown body with a nice, cream colored head. Retention is spectacular as it sustains a nice pillow atop the body. Surprisingly, I have yet to have an uncarbonated Lost Abbey beer.

Smell - Cherries. Lots of cherries. I get a substantial funk behind all of it, though, which is quite welcome in my book. Not so sour smelling, really, which is also a good sign. I find that if I can smell the sour, it's usually a bad sour.

Taste - VERY tart. Overpoweringly, really. It's intense enough to overshadow any other flavors that are there. I get lots of sour cherries with some oaky barrel flavors in the middle. The finish gets a little acetic with the tartness, but it's blended with a bit of funk. The sourness lingers for quite a while.

Mouthfeel - It's not THAT tart, but the tartness just lasts and lasts. So much so that I find it hard to taste other things. It's light, dry, well-carbonated, but astringent in its acidity.

Overall - Not a balanced Flanders Red, but definitely a tasty one. I'd like to get a bit more complexity out of it, but it's just cherries all the way.

Alieniloquium, Oct 20, 2011
Red Poppy Ale from The Lost Abbey
95 out of 100 based on 1,617 ratings.