Red Poppy | The Lost Abbey

Your Rating: None
Want it   Got it 
Red PoppyRed Poppy
Red PoppyRed Poppy

Brewed by:
The Lost Abbey
California, United States

Style: Flanders Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.50%

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.

User Reviews & Ratings
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 596 | Ratings: 2,022
Photo of Lone_Freighter
4.2/5  rDev -1.9%
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.

 839 characters

Photo of Slatetank
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%
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

 552 characters

Photo of mwilbur
4.37/5  rDev +2.1%
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.

 583 characters

Photo of Buck89
4.26/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

 309 characters

Photo of vette2006c5r
4.59/5  rDev +7.2%
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.

 289 characters

Photo of SHODriver
4.33/5  rDev +1.2%
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.

 1,055 characters

Photo of WunderLlama
3.98/5  rDev -7%
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

 270 characters

Photo of Stevedore
4.06/5  rDev -5.1%
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.

 696 characters

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.

 302 characters

Photo of Frudel
4.23/5  rDev -1.2%
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.

 415 characters

Photo of safaricook
4.08/5  rDev -4.7%
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.

 863 characters

Photo of damndirtyape
3.9/5  rDev -8.9%
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.

 1,254 characters

Photo of VashonGuy
4.02/5  rDev -6.1%
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.

 611 characters

Photo of joaopmgoncalves
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
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.

 630 characters

Photo of Sabtos
3.85/5  rDev -10%
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.

 412 characters

Photo of Beginner2
3.84/5  rDev -10.3%
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.

 846 characters

Photo of MagicJeff
4.07/5  rDev -4.9%
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.

 1,023 characters

Photo of bshefftz
4.38/5  rDev +2.3%
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!

 181 characters

Photo of larryarms847
4.06/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep dark reddish mahogany brown with an active two finger head of foam that dissipates to a light tan crown.

Sour cherries, oak, leather, and other dried fruit aromas.

Strong oak gives way to juicy and tart cherries.

Medium-bodied, high carbonation, tart, crisp, refreshing.

Overall, quite an enjoyable and easy drinking Flanders Red.

 347 characters

Photo of dogleg_left
4.08/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Mysterious and murky garnet color with quickly disintegrating head. Lots of lacing. Huge bowl of fresh picked cherries in an oak bowl. Oak explodes on the palette followed by tart cherries and citrus pith for a short lived pucker. Good carbonation and a dry finish. Nice take on a Flanders.

 290 characters

Photo of patre_tim
4.55/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Deep brown with a ruby hue, no visible carbonation, and one finger of beige head.

Smells of vinegar, cherries, floral notes (perhaps the poppy seeds?) liquorice, dark and oaky, woody notes, funk and cellar.

Sour, lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, deep, dark, oaken woody notes, hints of floral and cherry, but predominately a sour, lemon juice, acidic quality.

So dry with no sweetness, wonderfully smooth, foamy and rich carbonation.

Got this on in in Santa Rosa in Sept, 2016. Drinking today, March 29th, 2017 in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Heard about this years ago on new brew thursday, and added it to my beer bucket list. Was glad to have found it. Really good, more acidic and comparatively complex to its Belgian inspirations, its solid, with a great label and historical connection.

 790 characters

Photo of Radcpa
3.62/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Red appearance with a lighter head. The aroma smells like apple with a hint of cherry. Taste is very very dry and somewhat fruity. Too much carbonation and too dry for my taste.

 179 characters

Photo of Marius
4.55/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Bottle at home. Hazy dark ruby with a thin beige head. Complex notes of cherries, wild funk, mould, caramel, vanilla, oak barrel, minerals and subtle sulphur. Medium tartness, slight saltiness and a low amount of sweetness. With high carbonation and a smooth, oily texture, it makes for a refreshing drink.

 306 characters

Photo of Reema
4.79/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Serving type: cork and cage bottle into brandy glasses. Split between the girlfriend and I.

Pours a mahogany brown color with a tiny amount of haze. Smell is of intense cherry, fruit leather, a subtle wood scent, and a generic vineagrette scent. Taste is superior to the smell. Initial tart cherry flavors lead into a subtle caramel sweetness that immediately goes into a pleasant mix of wood and slight vineagrette. Feel is lighter which fits with the fruity sour flavors. Overall this is an excellent beer with great cherry aspects!

 536 characters

Photo of bnes09
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Deep ruby color. Subtle haze allows some light through. White head. Minimal retention and no lacing.

Standard aroma of a Flanders red. Balsamic and berry vinegarette. Deep cherry and subtle poppy seeds.

Heavy dose of acetic acid imparting wine like, balsamic qualities. Middle to end, tart cherries compliment the sour, malty quality. Finishes with a flirty Brett funk.

Moderate body. Soft, playful bubbles bring the flavors to life. Residual malt sugars and yeasty dance to the tongue. Finishes dry on the tongue and sticky on the lips.

Exceptional fruited sour red ale. Elegant, complex and tasty.

 614 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Red Poppy from The Lost Abbey
Beer rating: 4.28 out of 5 with 2,022 ratings