Red Poppy
The Lost Abbey

Red PoppyRed Poppy
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Flanders Red Ale
Ranked #8
Ranked #802
4.3 | pDev: 9.07%
The Lost Abbey
California, United States
Red PoppyRed Poppy
Notes: 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.
Reviews: 604 | Ratings: 2,042 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of StoutElk_92
4.67/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

12.7oz bottle

Pours ruby red with a dense creamy khaki colored foam head. Smells like fresh dark cherries, dusty leathery barnyard funk, horse blanket, poppy seeds, hay, sweet spice, toasty bready caramel malts, toffee, molasses, hints of vanilla, chocolate, oak barrel, slight acetic vinegary red wine, tart red fruit, berry, with floral earthy grassy hops. Tastes like fresh sour dark cherries, dark fruit, dusty leathery barnyard funk, horse blanket, sweet spice, hay, poppy seeds, toasty bready caramel malts, some toffee, molasses, hint of vanilla, mild chocolate, oak barrel, slightly acetic red wine, tart red fruits, berry, cranberry skin, with floral earthy grassy hops. Feels medium bodied, creamy with moderate smooth carbonation. Overall a really nice barrel-aged sour ale with cherries and poppy seeds.

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Photo of jzeilinger
4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

In review is a 2015 vintage.

A - Vibrant, clear amber cherry red color with frothy and creamy pink/tan head and lacing. Carbonation is nice and steady.

S - Tart, funky, tangy cherry dominates the nose with delicate oak.

T - Cherries from start to finish - tart, funk, cherry tang, a slight hit of twangy acidity, borderline puckering, and finishes with a lingering puckering tart cherry.

M - Thick and bone dry on the back of the tongue while the rest of the mouth salivates profusely.

O - The style is hit or miss with me but this is impressive, especially being (5) years old. The bottle is only 325 mls and no way I could finish this on my own (which is why I'm splitting it with my wife). Make sure you have some Pepcid on hand. ;o)

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Photo of jrc1093
2.99/5  rDev -30.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

No bottling date visible

Pours a yeast-clouded rusty mahogany brown with a vague amber tint and is topped with an almost creamy 2.5 fingers of fluffy, lightly tan foam; solid retention leaves a paper-thin cap, frothy collar, and dense rings of temporary lacing wall the glass.

Aromas open with soft raspberry and light oaky funk until ripe cherry skins peak in the middle; clean lactic acidity on the back end; oak and softer notes vanillin and a dusting of cinnamon develop as the beer warms.

Taste shows a heavily muddled raspberry and cherry tones upfront accompanied by a weak spritzy oak funk; a lactic touch lasts into a watery finish with only hints of earthy spice lingering through the swallow; mild poppy seed exhale.

Mouthfeel brings a moderate-light body with a filling, airy carbonation; evens a little flatly along the mid-palate to a dry acidity on the finish accompanied by a thin swallow.

Without an age statement, it's impossible to know the condition of this one, but regardless, what was presented in this bottle did not live up to this brew's lofty esteem; flavors were muddled, the mouthfeel was tentative, and an overall lack of steady character persisted. I'm not sure exactly what went wrong here, and would be willing to revisit it in the future (with s defined age statement), but this beer just presents as a shell of what it could have been.

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Photo of cbutova
4.46/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

A- 375ml cork pops off with a bang and the bottle pours a deep amber to brown brew into a snifter with a very foamy tan cap. The cap dies quickly and lacing is rare.

S- Massive sour cherry and Flanders flora funkiness with that mix of lactic and acetic with dark vinous fruits that Flanders are known for. Strong vinous dark sour grapes as it warms as well as notes of black cherry, currants and plums. Fruity sour interplay drives the aroma. Hints of toasted grains and malts in the backdrop rounding it out.

T- The cherries pith, tartness and flesh lead things off and it quickly transitions into the strong Flanders sour bug base. Vinous wet, aged oak and dark grapes, big blackberry, plums, bittersweet orange, red currants and dry, spicy seed hints. Again mostly lactic sours but still a bit of vinegar that gives it the Flanders vinaigrette feel when combined with the big fruity flavors. Slight phenolics and dry spicy bitterness. Touch of oaky vanilla.

MF- Slick medium bodied sour with a moderately low level of carbonation. The texture is a bit oily and frothy. Ends with a medium-high acetic and lactic sourness.

Have had this a few times over the last decade and it never disappointing. Bold sourness but plenty of big flavors between the barrel, fruits, seeds and malts all balancing into a unique, consistent brew.

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Photo of KRug
4.22/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

No bottled date, quite strange for a bottle that cost $15

Pours a wonderful deep brown with a finger and a half of white/tan head into a snifter. The cork/cage bottle also looks fantastic

Up front, this smells more malty than sour, with brown malts and woodiness leading with notes of spices to follow. There's almost a medicinal cherry aroma which is rather off putting

The taste here is not what the aroma suggests, rather it is wonderfully sweet and tart cherry with a strong malt backbone that keeps everything in check. I can also pick up on other fruity flavors, such as blackberry and maybe even white grape. I feel like I am picking up the slightly spicy poppy seed flavor, but that might just be power of suggestion. Nevertheless, it tastes incredible, a very balanced sour

The darker malts here make the mouthfeel a bit heavier than I expected, but it still goes down fairly easily, leaving a slick feeling on the tongue

This is my first Flanders Red, and after this brew I want to explore the style even more! It all comes down to balance on this beer, and each sip leads me craving more. Well done Lost Abbey, and a huge shoutout to Craft Beer Kings for this bottle. I made sure to save this for last of the 5 beers I recently ordered, I just wished I had saved it for a special occasion, but I guess Mondays can be special lol

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Photo of GuyFawkes
4/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Unknown vintage; drank 7/31/14 @ Yuss Haus.

Murky orange/red rust color.

Cream head; thick lace.

Raspberry tartness in the nose.

Medium thick mouthfeel.

Funk & raspberry tartness in the flavor; good but a few sips is enough for me!

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Photo of drtth
4.1/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

The clear dark reddish brown or mahogany colored beer pours out into a Duvel glass with a 2 inch medium sized light tan head with lots of medium sized bubbles that gradually recedes to a cap and then to a ring and a thin irregular island of foam while leaving a web and swath of foam on the sides of the glass that eventually becomes scattered patches of foam. Sipping creates scattered patches of lacing.

The aromas are mostly about the tart cherries and some oak but in the background there’s a bit of vanilla and what seems like a bit of cinnamon.

Much as expected from the nose, the flavors are filled with tart cherries but there’s an astringent character to the tartness. There’s also a bit of oak and vanilla. In the background there’s a just a bit of sweetness that is almost concealed by the astringent tartness.

The mouthfeel is on the light side of medium bodied and astringent with the tartness, tannins and the very light but persistent carbonation. The finish begins as the cherry tartness and astringency begins to slowly fade. The long dry ending is tinged with with some astringency, some fruity tartness and a touch of oak.

On the whole a drinkable, enjoyable beer that is challenging with its complexity in the aroma and flavor profiles. Without being overly intense with the cherry tartness and tannic astringency they still rule the day but a bit of oak and vanilla are also showing. I’d definitely be interested in trying this again, if I have the chance, and would even like to sample the beer at multiple bottle ages. But it is also a once in a while beer worth giving a try if you enjoy the Flanders Red.

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Photo of Lone_Freighter
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip.
The appearance was a nice looking dark red to almost brown color with a small cap of a little white foamy head. This swiftly slid off to leave a wisp of concave lace.
The aroma smelled like cherry sweet to tart character flowing into some fresh woody quality with a fair basement must and subtle red wine. Grassy funk - nice!
The flavor brought the cherry sweet to sour and a brisk tart fresh airy quality, so clean and awesome! Spectacular woody to cherry aftertaste with grassy funky lemon basementy dry character.
The mouthfeel was about medium bodied with a huge dryness to it. Good carbonation and ABV. Definitely a sipper. Finish was very jolly rancher-like through cherries.
Overall, in my opinion, I say this is quite a nice Flanders red ale despite me not finding the poppy seed in this. I'd still have again.

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Photo of Slatetank
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I enjoyed this bottle shared with BA carlos poued in a glass

the color is ruby with dark bronze hues and thin tan head with tiny bubbles.
Smell is fruity and tart cherry with very aromatic wild yeast aroma
the feel is very tart with a dry back and moderately carbonated with mild astringency
The taste is earthy dry and tangy cherry with slight woody aspect and mild alcohol with lots of acidity and lingering fruit with a drying quality
Overall a solid wild red with fruit, the poppy seed adds to the dry and cherry sourness is enjoyable throughout

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Photo of mwilbur
4.37/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from 375 mL bottle into snifter.
A: Pours a nice clear ruby hue with highly active carbonation jets fueling a 1-2 inch frothy light tan head with good retention.
S: Lovely cherries dominate the aroma. Hints of cinnamon, soft caramel, and an earthy spice note too.
T: Tart cherries, strawberries, cranberries, cinnamon, black pepper, and a good amount of oaky tannins.
M: Light-medium body. Tart and sour with some berry sweetness. Lingers and matures nicely on the palate.
D: Nice tart berries and cherries. Goes well on its own, but would be even better paired with food.

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Photo of Buck89
4.26/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Undated bottle poured into a snifter. A copper-red color with a faint tan head. Cherries and bread on the nose, with faint floral esters. A slick, not too tart, stone fruit flavor. Lots of Belgian esters but more accessible than the usual Flanders Reds. Clean and dry finishing. High carbonation. Outstanding.

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Photo of vette2006c5r
4.59/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Red Poppy Pours a dark reddish/brown color, with a big fizzy head. Tart aroma, with hints of oak. Flavor is big, full, tart oak, hints of chart cherries, and a sour finish. Not overpowering, but very body. Overall, a fantastic beer, very full bodied, slightly sour, nice fruit flavors.

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Photo of SHODriver
4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2013 batch

A: Poured into a tulip glass to a deep mahogany topped by a dense finger and a half of cream colored head which fades slowly to a collar around the edge of the glass with minimal lacing
S: Smells of delicious sourness with some bright cherries, leather, oak, vanilla, and light caramel. Slight hints of funk as well. Huge complexity on the nose.
T: Taste is pretty sour up front with a lot of funk, oak, sour cherry, leather, slight vanilla and even more funk. Good fruity undertones throughout. Swallow is funk and oak with some lingering cherry and leather.
M: This beer has a mouthfeel that is on the lighter side of medium. Carbonation is quite effervescent which is nice and keeps things moving across the palate. The beer has a drying finish from the acidity and attenuation.
O: Overall this is a very well executed Flanders Red. It's a little heavy on the funk but it's also pushing five years old. Overall it's still well balanced and drinks well with a really nice complexity. Definitely worth a try if you can find it.

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Photo of WunderLlama
3.98/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Caged and corked bottle poured into a snifter

Solid dark brown liquid crowned by a taupe two finger foam cap, some lacings

Aroma is tart, sour cherries

Tart taste , get some of the oak as well. But, I get an off taste in this beer . Musty,

Good sudsing,

Good beer

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Photo of Stevedore
4.06/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2014 vintage, cork and cage, served in a stemless glass. Medium brown body, one finger white head, short retention, not much lacing. Smell is huge lactic acid, cherries, slight toffee, lemon, oak, a bit vinous. This is an aggressive smelling Flanders red in terms of the lactic acidity, which actually dries out the palate a fair amount. I like the smell better than the flavour here. It's quite heavy on the lactic acidity, with a bit of cherry flesh; slight toffee sweetness adds a bit of balance, and the vinous oak character rounds it out. Carbonated (!), medium lighter body, nice drinking flanders despite the heavy lactic acidity, and actually not that far off from the likes of Rodenbach.

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Photo of silverblaze540
4.29/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - Dark mostly opaque brown with some light around the edges; bubbles like a soda, with a head that dissipates quickly.

S - Cherries; grapes; sweet tart fruits.

T - Medium sour cherries; like a cider.

M - Crisp and carbonated; Medium body.

O - Sourness is not overpowering and smell is pleasant.

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Photo of Frudel
4.23/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Clear burgundy body with a constant white head, foam slightly sticking to glass, can see through bubbles going up.

Smells cherries, hint of acetic acid, notes of darker malt.

Tastes tartness up front, fruitiness comes next and then with a milder finish more on the stone fruit, light barrel flavours.

An overall great beer, not overly sour, just perfectly dosed as we know Flanders Red can be sometimes too much.

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Photo of safaricook
4.08/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

nice clear brown body with beautiful ruby highlights, deep beige foam that dissipates quickly,
notes of balsamic vinegar, dark wood, red fruits, morello cherries, raspberries, earthy, almost red culture cheese.
tart but not overly sour, balsamic vinegar, surprising spicy finish like cinnamon, dry and minerally, balancing caramel malt body. vanilla and vinegar after everthing else is long gone
prickling, little astringent aftertaste, tannins
This is a splendid interpretation of the flanders red ale. I paid a lot of money for a little bottle in the Netherlands and I know it is also expensive in the US. Compare it to the widely available leader in this category, Rodenbach (Grand Cru), and it feels greatly overpriced. I also enjoy the vinegar note more in the Grand Cru than here. The spiciness is nice though and makes it special. Great beer, tough price.

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Photo of damndirtyape
3.9/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12.7oz bottle, corked and caged. Served in a tulip glass. No date, but had 6.5% ABV rather than the 5.5% listed here.

Appearance: Clear dark ruby red. Very slow pour to keep the sediment behind yielded very good clarity and a massively thick light tan rocky head. Plenty of carbonation coming up and plenty of persistent lacing. Great looking beer.

Smell: Sour cherries, mustiness, maybe just a hint of woodiness/floral under it all.

Taste: Wow that's tart! Sour cherry dominates, with some black currant and a bit of citrus acidity thrown in that shows up at the finish. Some leafiness and lingering sourness + wood notes at the finish. A bit overpowering.

Mouthfeel: Slick, a bit astringent due to the tartness of this beer. Very light carbonation - dry and airy finish.

Overall / Drinkability: Amazing looking beer, great aroma, and then I clearly am not a fan of sour beers. This is such a strong flavored beer it needs to be paired with food. Not sure what though. It's interesting a beer on maximum volume, and I think if it was turned down a few notches it would still be sour, but not smacking you about the head and shoulders the whole time. It's just too tart for me, but the fruit flavors are good.

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Photo of VashonGuy
4.02/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Red Poppy (on draft) is a fine example of Flanders Reds, one of my favorite styles. But somehow this beer doesn't quite jump up and hit me over the head with its excellence. Make no mistake, I really really like it. But it doesn't strike me as noticeably better than other fine examples of this style.

It pours a red amber color, with hardly any head, but a ton of lacing. The aroma is a bit understated. The taste is big, full of fruit (cherries), and full of oak. It's quite dry. It's a bit tart, but nowhere near the "mouth puckering" quality that I associate with the term sour.

Highly recommended.

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

Poured to a Post Scriptum taster glass.

A: The body is coppery to red and brown. A little bit dirty and hazy. The head is beige with a a good retention and some good lacing.
S: The aroma is totally overthrown by brett. There's some funky touches as well. There's some barleywine-y touch, like a spotless malt roasting.
T: The taste starts with a power funky touch, a bit boozy. There's a big brett flavour, peachy, pear-y like dryness. It's rich and flavourful.
M: Body is medium. Carbonation is perfect. Tartness is high. Alcohol is unnoticed.
O: It' a very interesting sour, although I guess Flanders is not my preferred style.

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Photo of Sabtos
3.85/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark burnt reddish-brown with a large beige foam that dies to a softer, creamy blanket with a thick, coral-esque collar.

Smell is oak, tart malic cherry, and deep, rich wood and toasted seeds.

Taste is nice and balanced, not as sharp as the nose suggests, with a cherry Oud Bruin essence, toasted brown bread and cracker, charred oak, and a lactic after taste.

Full bodied with a light froth and a dry finish.

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Photo of Beginner2
3.84/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Red Poppy is great if you are a Flanders Red fan. (Red Poppy is in the top-rated triumvirate of American renditions.)
But, I am not a Red Flanders fan (I've tried. Had 10; but the style has not grown on me.)
So, my rating is well-below the average. (Pay my buds no mind.)

With a billowing head it releases all its complexity and then settles down enough to drink. And I'm reminded of how difficult it is to blend sweet and sour into the same ale. Red Poppy does this well enough to enjoy with cherries and chocolate cookies for dessert. But that was separated from the meal by over an hour. So, the evening was a culinary success. But care is required to manage having a Flanders Red at meal-time.

Red Poppy is listed on "1001" and deserves to be there. It is an early stroke of excellence by American crafters interpreting this acquired taste.

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Photo of MagicJeff
4.07/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into my Allagash tulip.

Look: Deep, dull copper, brown. Nice whitish tan head with lacing retained throughout drinking.

Smell: some Cedar and cherries. Slightest whiff of balsamic vinegar and some flowery/citrusy notes too.

Taste: Fresh bowl of sour cherries. Some oak notes--I think this beer is barrel aged in oak so this makes sense. Tart but not too overwhelmingly tart or sour. Pleasant and easy to drink, despite the oak presence this is very quaffable. Some lemon pith on the finish.

Feel: Very creamy full bodied beer. Would love to try this on nitro. Despite the full body, as stated earlier, this is very refreshing on a hot day.

Overall: I'm not sure where the poppy comes in to play on this beer--is it in the citrus notes? Despite that, this is very well crafted. I'm not sure I could justify buying another bottle given the price point, but this is an interesting take on a Flanders red. Not as vinegary tasting as the Belgian ones I've tried, but complex and enjoyable.

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Photo of bshefftz
4.38/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

I'm generally not gung-ho for sours, but this is an excellent one - great balance of sweet malt and sour fruit, with a crispness that's tempered with heavier oak tones. Good stuff!

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Red Poppy from The Lost Abbey
Beer rating: 95 out of 100 with 2042 ratings