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Red Poppy Ale - The Lost Abbey

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Red Poppy AleRed Poppy Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

560 Reviews
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Reviews: 560
Hads: 1,837
Avg: 4.23
pDev: 9.46%
Wants: 569
Gots: 570 | FT: 43
Brewed by:
The Lost Abbey visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Flanders Red Ale |  5.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerBeing on 09-07-2007

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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 560 | Hads: 1,837
Photo of Cyberkedi
4.08/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy, nearly opaque chocolate brown with a VERY thick tan head. The sample I got fizzed like crazy, so beware when you first pour it! Aroma is strongly oaky with malty and fruity hints and more than a bit of sweetness. Flavor has a strong oaky alcohol bite and some fruity and malty cherry tones - definitely a hint of cherry in there. Texture is fierce, attacking the tongue like a pit bull - this beer is not for the faint of heart or taste buds. This beer is intended to be sipped slowly and savored, like brandy.

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Photo of Jwale73
4.12/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to Soonami for hitting this want. 375ml corked and caged bottle served in my Allagash tulip at 48 degrees. I believe this is last year's vintage (2010?). Pours a brownish hue with reddish highlights; clarity is semi-translucent. Head is loose, one inch and tan-colored and eventually settles into a consistent 1/8th inch skim. I love the nose on this beer - tart cherries, vinegar, cork and a faint briny character. Taste is somewhat consistent with nose; however, the sour cherries have definitely faded, but there is still quite a bit of residual tartness and acidity as well as the merest suggestion of the barrel. Mouthfeel is light-medium (but closer to light). The carbonation is very assertive and a bit prickly; however, not gassy. The carbonation, coupled with the acidity, leaves quite a bit of residual tingle along the sides of the cheeks and across the tongue. Finish is actually quite dry. Overall, I have to say that I prefer this beer fresh as you definitely loose the tart cherry in the flavor profile. That said, this is a very good beer and for someone who really digs the sour component; it will definitely improve with some age.

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Photo of sweemzander
4.72/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

375mL corked and caged bottle poured into a stemmed glass. Thanks to domtronzero for this one!

(A)- Pours a deep and dark burnt sienna color that produced a good frothy tan head with good retention. Some foamy lace left behind.

(S)- A lovely sour funk with a light vinegar acidity. A brief cherry fruitiness with a dry oaky wood component. A lovely balance of sour funk and fruits.

(T)- Very similar to the smell. A big acidic sourness that stays with you to the finish. A good dry woody funk bite with a lightly creamy fruit finish.

(M)- A lively carbonation level that pricks up on the tongue. A good balance of acidic sourness, funk, and subtle fruits.

(D)- A great take on the style. Everything you would expect from the style too, if, with just some hints at a wild ale too. Great taste and aroma. I would like to have more of this please.

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Photo of twiggamortis420
4.94/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Big thanks out to cmurren25 for this wonderful brew. Pours a hazed and sedimentated amber color. Foam is nice for a sour and lacing is even better. Pretty looking bruin.

Nose is light vinegar and sour cherries. A little bit of wood and vanilla. Even some smoke comes in at the end. Nice and complex, puckers up quick and then dies off.

Plenty tart but not super sour, seems like barrel aging at its finest! Balances the sour, wood and fruity tartness perfectly. Little bit of brettomyces comes through...WOW, this is incredible. I knew I shouldnt have shared this! I could drink one of these every day till the day I died, easily one of the top 5 beers I have ever had. In fact, I feel my review suffers because I didnt even want to put my glass down to write anything while enjoying the experience.

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Photo of ColForbinBC
4.29/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap, served in a small snifter

A brown body with ruby highlights, purple in spots, with a fluffy off-white cap. Recedes quickly and settles to a thin collar.

The nose is full of tart cherries, oak, and balsamic notes. The nose is overly sour with just a touch of fruit sweetness. I get some white wine notes as well.

A sour explosion coats the palate. Tart cherries, dry oak, balsamic vinegar, and white grapes. Sour hits you up front, before the base brown ale come through mid-palate. The finish is a brief rush of sweetness followed by tart cherries and balsamic vinegar. The oak does a nice job drying this one out.

Medium body, tart, refreshing. The carbonation is solid, giving this a creamy feel more so than the prickly feel of most in the style.

A damn fine flanders. Delivers the sour you crave without overpowering. This isn't terribly complex, but it has quite a bit going on.

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Photo of cpetrone84
3.33/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Big thanks to Kevin for sharing this one! 2009 Bottle.

A-pours an extremely cloudy lighter brown color with strong red hues shined next to light. The head is rather thick and off white to light tan.

S-the nose has notes of balsamic up front, hints of green olives behind, there is a fair bit of dry oak giving way to a light touch of brett, light acidity and bits of sour cherries.

T-the taste has a stronger acidity and more balsamic, the oak is stronger and more present as the brett works in with the sour cherries. There is some acetic acid towards the back that detracts from the brightness of the cherries.

M-lighter to medium body, slightly grainy on the palate and rather juicy throughout. the finish is slightly undercarbonated and a little flabby also lacking the driness you would like to see with all the acidity.

D-this has some issues, the cherries are overshadowed by oak and acidity, notes of acetic acid in the finish and some random brett notes make this an overly sour slightly muddled beer.

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Photo of thagr81us
4.1/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this one during the 'We Want The Funk!' tasting that was graciously hosted by beermeX2! Big thanks goes out to beermeX2 for sharing this one with the group! 2011 Vintage! Served from bottle into a Mikkeller flute. Poured red-brown with a half finger cream colored head that subsided to a minimal amount slowly. Maintained decent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, sour, tart, wood, and cherry. The flavor was of sweet malt, sour, tart, wood, cherry, and raspberry. It had a light feel on the palate with medium-high carbonation. Overall this was a pretty good brew. The wood characteristic of this one really added to the overall enjoyability (is that even a word???) of the beer. The sour/tart notes were spot on and not too harsh allowing the cherry and raspberry to shine through as well. Just a well put together brew that I enjoyed quite much.

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Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.02/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

For my 100th beer advocate review I thought I would drink something that was different from the normal styles I love. This is my first Red Flanders Style Ale.

Cage & cork 12oz bottle poured into tulip glass.

Appearance: It a body is a dark brown and deep red color tone. The head is a real gusher that has seems t remain at a bit smaller that I fingers head that is khaki in color. Lacing is sticking all over the side of the glass.

Smell: Intense cherries. Some funkiness and vinegar like smell.

Taste: Intense sour cherries and funk. I dont really taste the oak barrel at all in this beer. As the cherries fade, the funk takes over in the aftertaste. Its not off putting at all it actually quite interesting.

Mouthfeel: Light and refreshing body that is smooth. Carbonation is very lively and would consider it a touch more than moderately carbonated.

Overall: This was a very interesting and enjoyable beer. It makes me want to try more sour beers! The biggest down fall is the price! At over 15 dollars for 12oz bottle this beer will be reserved for special occassions only!

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Photo of Immortale25
4.74/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured into a Haw River Farmhouse Ales teku glass. 2014 Vintage.

A- Pours a somewhat murky medium brown color with a 3/4 inch light tan head that retains decently before becoming a thick ring around the edge of the glass and a mostly full sheet of surface foam. Not-so-resilient lacing leaves small clots behind.

S- Nice tart cherry funk with some toasty malt in the back. Classic Flanders aroma.

T- Moderate tartness upfront and then the cherries hit with lots of funky undertones interlaced so nicely in the flavor profile. Man, the cherries really drive this one home. The sweet-to-sour ratio is damn near perfect.

M- Prickly and slightly dry with medium carbonation and a body leaning toward the lighter side. The dryness builds as the drink progresses, especially once the sediment is introduced.

O- I've had beers this optimally funky and sour before but I've never had one where the fruit provides such a delightful pivot point for the funk and tartness to play off of. Not the best sour I've ever had but definitely in my top 5.

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Photo of AgentZero
3.65/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Medium brown color with a hint of rusty red and some reddish on the edges. Small, off white head that left behind some alright lacing.

S - Not overly complex, but pretty potent. Huge vinegar influence on this, and nicely sour.

T - Sour, a bit of a cherry taste, big oak and vinegar influence. It's not bad, but I was expecting something with more complexity, and possibly with some more fruit in it.

M - Just a touch too heavy for this style for me, might be due to the carbonation, would like something that seems more effervesant.

D - Not super hard to drink, but between the weight and the not-sweet-sour it's one that is easy to put down.

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

Poured from a 375mL bottle into a Koningshoeven chalice. Vintage 2012B. Approximately four months old.

A: Fizzy-brief tan head. The beer is mahogany and translucent.

S: Gentle scents. Wood ageing is not lost on the nose. Lightly tart, vinegar-sour, and pleasantly fruity-sweet.

T: Oh damn. This is good. This is great. This is delicious. Complex and multi-layered. There are three waves of flavour...the first is tart and puckery, heavy on fruit; the second is mature vinegar sharpness, reminiscent of a nice balsamic, carrying the oak barrel influence; the third is a lingering and enduring acidity that is my least favourite, if only because it reminds me distinctly of olives. Lightly dry and always engaging.

M: Lively, tart, puckery, smooth, sharp, and dry. All told, a wild ride.

O: I'm not huge on sour ales, but this one is excellent. The sour cherry gives the first half of the flavour an addicting taste that leaves me wanting more. The latter half of the flavour tempers this, with a more moderate, developed flavour profile. Recommended. Would have again.

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Photo of maximum12
4/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to ATLCarl for this mini-bottle that was double parked on my wants list for a looong time. Sippy-cup size 375ML bottle, split with my wife.

First there's the matter of the cork, which yielded only after it was tortured with a pliers. The pop is convincing. Pour is ruby red held up to the light, much more than it is any kind of brown. Nose is a slash of sour red fruits, red vinegar, sour but not biting. Almost like a toned-down wine. Like.

Red Poppy marches down the vinous path. The cherries are closer to tart than sour, which is good by me. Oak dries this down to the bone, red wine vinegar. But really the DNA on this is simple: sour cherries. Nice to drink down, this ought to come in bigger bottles. Fo sho.

Lovely sour that's just my speed. Very good beer that's damn close to excellent. My wife has proclaimed it her favorite sour ever...which is saying something.

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Photo of dar482
4.43/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer comes in a dark reddish brown.

The aroma has tart cherries, a Flanders red fruitiness and tart vinegar.

The flavor follows with tons of tartness in the front along with red tart cherries. There is a tinge of sweetness along with some vinegar tart qualities.

A very tart and fruit forward version of the Flanders red style. Delicious stuff.

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Photo of mltobin
4.42/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I got this bottle as a trade with Amdy , thank you !

Appearance is reddish brown, dense and with some bubbles. The nose on this flanders is sour, but more sour than any flanders from my recent memory. Some cherries come out too and and spice. Upon sipping it from a tulip glass, I pucker up. Red poppy really delivers on the sour quality. More of the cherries, gummy sweetness. This has a crisp body with funk in the finish. A very good beer, albeit a pricey one.

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Photo of Bung
4.38/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

375ml. 2011. Surprisingly dark brown pour, quite a bit of carbonation throughout. 2 fingers easy of light tan foam which retained very well.

Aroma, Cider vinegar, some cherry, some funk, very light brown sugar.

A puckering sour cherry/lemon upon entry. More yeast and earthy notes after. Cider vinegar, a slight woodiness. Doesn't finish as moisture suckingly dry as some.

Good carbonation, not so much that it's like needles poking the tongue. Lighter bodied, a sipper from the sour, certainly not the abv. Fairly refreshing.

I think this is what one of these is supposed to taste like. Now if they could just impart this magical carbonation into other brews.

Enjoyed this more than the Jacobins Rouge. It's a fine line for me I guess with the implementation of the sour.

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Photo of ArrogantB
3.52/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

375ml bottle of what looks to be the 2010 edition since it is the new style of bottle that LA and RR have been using. Thanks to mattolesh for hooking this up. It gushed a bit upon opening and had a super huge head. I have to ding the appearance because I got a ton of sediment all throughout this beer that was kind of chunky. The smell was sour cherry-like, not bad at all. The taste had some muted cherry qualities, dirty, funkiness a bit, and a good sour twang. This was not bad at all but compared to some of the other LA sours I was a little disappointed.

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Photo of gford217
4.17/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of WeeHeavySD poured into a tulip.

Pours a murky dark iced tea brown with hints of amber around the edges. There is a short-lived off-white head that lingers as a ring throughout with traces of lacing.

The aroma is wonderful on this with sweet and sour cherries and a slight funky tartness on top. There is an underlying earthy oak smell that gets bigger as it warms.

The taste leans more on the sour side with less of the sweetness and more of the funk. The vinegar is more prevalent in the taste than the aroma though there was a bit of brown sugar underneath.

The mouthfeel is dry in the finish from the oak and fairly astringent with decent carbonation.

This is one of the better Flanders ales I've had as it was complex and not overly sour. Very nice.

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Photo of warnerry
4.2/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2012 bottling

A - Nice pop as the cork comes out. Pours very deep red/brown with almost four fingers of tan head with a slight pink hue. Head has very good retention and leaves some nice lacing. I am surprised how dark this is.

S - Tart cherries, a nice amount of oak, and a good funky base. Small amount of balsamic vinegar.

T - Definitely tart, but not bracingly sour. Also quite a bit of bitterness in the taste, especially on the finish. Earthy and funky with tart cherries. Lots of oak on the finish. Very tasty. Thought it would have more fruit since it is this year's vintage, but I enjoyed it as is.

M - Medium mouthfeel, maybe a bit on the heavy side for the style, but I that isn't a negative.

O - Nice one from Lost Abbey, but not quite up to Rodenbach Grand Cru or Cuvee de Jacobins for the style. Looking forward to seeing what some age does this to this.

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Photo of illidurit
4.34/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Lost Abbey for RBSG. Pours a rusty red-brown with no head. Tons of sediment. Aroma is dead-on apple pie, with an acetic sourness. Flavor is a balance between sweet and sour. Tastes like a caramel covered crab apple. Also some cherry notes in the tartness. Sharp with a mostly dry finish. Undercarbonated, but who cares? Delicious.

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Photo of francisweizen
4.65/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Dark burnished orange amber with a nice small head of off-white foam that lasts for a short while lending some decent Belgian lace and nice leggings. Aromas of sour cherries with nice light biscuity bread, brett funk, and more. The aroma is also very wild with a great funky barnyard notes that are well integrated with the bready yeast and lend a definitive edge to this one. This is certainly easier drinking and more well integrated and balanced than beers such as the duchess and her brothers. Taste is sour cherry, funk, hay, and barnyard with a nice small biscuity malt presence and no real hops to speak of. Mouthfeel is sharp and acidic up front but super smooth and well done as well. Drinkability is like liquid crack for a red sour such as this. This stuff is pretty fucking fantastic. One of the best lost abbey beers that I have said and that is saying a whole hell of a lot!

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Photo of Rutager
4.15/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

And why wouldn't I be drinking a $17 beer???

Appearance. Pours a really deep, but pretty clear amber-red with two+ fingers of thick, plae orange-tan head that lasts a while. Looks nice and expensive.

Smell. Funky and woody wine, some nice cherry and light fruits. The smell has an expensive quality.

Taste. Nice tart cherries, some sour grapes and green apples, woody, especially in the finish. Acidic with just a little sweetness. Tastes super expensive.

Mouthfeel. Below medium body and below medium, but fine and lively carbonation. Felt a bit thin, but quite expensive.

Overall. I liked it. For some reason I had really high expectations for this one. I'd say the best thing about this beer is the value for my hard earned money.

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Photo of dvmin98
5/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottle from Lost Abbey...375ml into New Glarus flute

Beautful deep amber/brown color...large head.

Wow, love the cherry taste that consumes my taste buds. Awesome oak flavor, perfect aftertaste that lingers, with the perfect amount of carbonation.

Smell is definitely cherry and oak...

Wish I had more of these!

Best Flanders red I've ever had.

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Photo of DmanGTR
4.8/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Review from notes on 3/6/10. Shared with Eddy from Monk's. Thanks dude!

A- Brilliant deep amber with a lasting off white head, excellent lacing. Mildly hazy, ruby hues. 4.5

S- Rich sourness, lots of vinegar and sweetness of cherries, hint of caramel, and red wine. Simply fantastic. 4.5

T- Very similar to the aroma. Lots of sour cherry tartness mingling with a touch of earthiness. A lovely blend of flavors that leaves a lingering sweet and sour aftertaste. 5.0

M- Light bodied but carbonation gives a fuller perception, dry finish. 4.5

D- This is one of the best sours I have ever had. Period. 5.0

Note- reviewing this does not do it justice. If you ever get a chance to try this beer, it will be in your favor.

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Photo of BMMillsy
4.09/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

375 ml bottle from tread with Homer321. Thanks buddy! Bottle No. 2 of my Last Night of My 20s tasting. Pours dark reddish brown slightly murky, with a big airy khaki head on top. Aroma of lots of cherries, sour vinegar, oak, some toffee. Flavor is sour cherries, acidic tones, vinegar, and an unexpected wave of chocolatey flavors and vanilla oak tannins. Earthy spicy undertones. Interesting. Medium bodied, feeling a bit heft for only 5%, with lots of carbonation. Very interesting brew, and pretty unique.

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Photo of scottfrie
4.39/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

350ml bottle into Delirium Tremens glass. 2010 vintage. Big thanks to sleepyhead for sending me up this one.

A: Pour a very dark clear dirty-brown cherry color with a finger of light brown head that quickly receded into a faint scum and collar. Some wispy lacing.
S: Musty notes of oak and dark tart cherries. Faint hints of other sweet berries and aged malt.
T: Rich flavors of cherry pits, prunes and old bark. I'm actually getting a lot of prunes on the palate with notes of lemon rind in the finish. Aftertaste is musty with notes malt from the brown ale. Tart fruits are very well integrated, and the base brown ale for this beer is not overshadowed.
M: Medium-full body with delicate carbonation that foams up on the palate a little bit. Bitterness is medium and well integrated. Finish is dry, but not a desert. There are hardly any chalky tannins.
D: Definitely the best LA beer I've had to date, although I haven't had lot of their rarer ones. Very easy to drink and fairly refreshing. I hope I can get some more of this stuff! Thanks again Jeff for this one!

EDIT: 2011 bottle consumed Feb 2013:
Great long-lasted head this time. Dryer and more tart with the age, reminiscent of cranberry juice. Puckering and more tannic than when fresh. Definitely an improvement with some age.

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Red Poppy Ale from The Lost Abbey
94 out of 100 based on 560 ratings.