Red Poppy Ale | The Lost Abbey

Red Poppy AleRed Poppy Ale
BA SCORE
94.6%
Liked This Beer
4.22 w/ 1,965 Ratings
Red Poppy AleRed Poppy Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
The Lost Abbey
California, United States
lostabbey.com

Style: Flanders Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

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.

Added by BeerBeing on 09-07-2007

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#618
Reviews:
582
Ratings:
1,965
Liked:
1,858
Avg:
4.22/5
pDev:
9.24%
Alströms:
-
 
 
Wants:
568
Gots:
598
Trade:
40
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Ratings: 1,965 |  Reviews: 582
Photo of Sammy
4.15/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A cute 500 ml bottle. Pours reddish brown with a Caesar white head. Aroma of sour and cherries and wood. Sourness on the tongue, above averge mouthfeel. Some fruit sugarness offsets. This is a sipper. Alcohol warming. A delight. Carbonation is there.
Peter FM had a bottle, and after 3.3 years it stands the taste of time. Great sor finish.

 340 characters

Photo of acurtis
4/5  rDev -5.2%

Photo of kylehay2004
4.33/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Texasfan549
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%

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

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.97/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle pour sampled at mrbubbler's tasting.

2011 vintage.

Pours a clear brown-orange with a khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of sour cherry, vinegar, and funk. Taste is the same with a mineral flavor on the finish. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer with some nice aromas and flavors.

 436 characters

Photo of GRG1313
5/5  rDev +18.5%

Photo of spycow
5/5  rDev +18.5%

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.4/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

nearly 17 bucks for a 12.7oz cork and cage setup. sexy packaging. major prestige for these guys in my mind, as their stuff is rare and always exquisite. the angels share stands as one of the all-timers, so i was pumped up to try this. pours a murky brown ale color into a wine glass with a really bubbly tan head that slowly relaxes to just a lacing. smells like a flemish sour. hard. some sour cherry essence in the nose and a nice sweeter brown ale malt complement. flavor is outstanding. huge sour brett-like sting at the front end, but maybe not even brett, tough to tell, could just be the cherries here. big malty woody middle where the vanilla and spice of the oak come to the fore, balanced out by some fairly hefty chocolate malts. tart finish. this is one of the best feeling beers out, totally effervescent carbonation gives life to all the subtle complexities going on, and the medium body feels lighter than it is. i say they make a double red poppy, which is now on my must try list. this beer is fantastic, but the price keeps it a drink for the elite only. sad but true.

 1,086 characters

Photo of kjkinsey
4/5  rDev -5.2%

Photo of djrn2
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%

Photo of Knapp85
4.47/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer was a real gem, I had been hunting this one down for a while now, thanks to the spinnerstown hotel for helping me out with this one. I ordered a bottle that I debated over for a while and finally gave in.

The beer was uncorked by the bartender Jack, who did a nice job with it. The beer poured out as a murky brownish red color that looked quite interesting. The head was white and fizzy, it vanished shortly after the pour. It was a very bubbly beer with loads of carbonation with every sip.

The aromas were of fresh tart fresh cherries, fresh cut wood, and several intense spices in the blend of smells coming out of this beer. The flavors were similar in the same respect. The cherries came first and they bite the tongue and hold on for a while. The wood comes through in the aftertaste leaving a really smooth natural fresh flavor on the pallet. Mouthfeel is very good too!

This beer was worth the wait, I am not even a fan of sour ales but this one far beyond any I've had in the passed. Really nice!

 1,021 characters

Photo of nmann08
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%

Photo of t0rin0
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%

Photo of oriolesfan4
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%

Photo of metter98
4.36/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer is very hazy reddish brown in color. It poured with an eighth of a finger high beige head that hardly died down.
S: There are aromas of cherries and oak in the nose.
T: Like the smell, the taste has flavors of cherries with some sourness and tartness but there is also bits of sweetness.
M: It feels light-bodied and slightly tart on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is incredibly easy to drink, especially since it isn't that tart or sour. I really enjoyed this and would definitely try it again.

 541 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
4.49/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

There's no flavor in the beer world that efficiently captures the essence of fruit acidity, dryness, and robust savory flavor like the Flander's red ale. And its with acute attention to detail and legendary brewing prowess that the Lost Abbey pours their heart and soul into the style for a taste that doesn't just match those of the flemish regions, but even eclipses them.

Hazy reds and browns swirl inside the glass, trickling with tawny golden edges, a frothy but loosely knit head pulls from the rusty body below and immediately entices the nose with mouthwatering sour cherry, black cherry, plum and all-things dark berry. With a pep of balsamic, the taste ushers in a mild fruit sweetness that seem from the distinctive black cherries, rung out straight off the branch.

With that juicy succulence and robust blackberry, plum, black cherry and currant character washing over the palate, the piquant tang of the sour ale within begins breaking apart the sweetness and commanding the taste with its own robust acidity that's a medley of hearty cabernet wine and mature balsamic. Dry cider, chardonnay, weathered oak and a full sea brine finish gives the ale a decisive sour and savory finish.

Medium-light on the palate, the ale trails toasty, nutty and almost chocolaty as its underlying savory flavors inch closely to umami status. But the high refreshment of the ale cleanses the palate with thirst-stripping lemon, lime and crabapple acidity and with an afterglow of cellar woods, cork and burlap.

 1,508 characters

Photo of kojevergas
3.85/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12.7 fl oz brown glass bottle with hood and wire cap over a cork served into me Guinness goblet in me gaff in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Acquired at Red Carpet Wine in Glendale, California. It cost something like $15.00. Expectations are extremely high given the brewery - which I admire - and the style. 2012 vintage. ABV: 5.00%.

Served refrigerator cold and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated (in spite of the brewery).

A: Pours a three finger head of really nice cream, great smooth foamy thickness, and great retention (though the ABV is merely average). Colour is a rather dark red-ruby. Nontransparent because of the darkness. Non-opaque; it allows some light in. No yeast particles are visible - likely because of the nontransparency. No bubble show, but the style doesn't usually feature one.

Sm: Luxurious sour cherries accompanied by a subtle oak wood tone. Tart. Yeasty - wild. Bacteria. Sourness. A bit earthy. A moderate strength, nicely subtle aroma. I quite fancy the smell, and I hope the taste fulfills the promise of the aroma.

T: Sourness, bacteria, wild yeast, and dominant sour cherry, with some earthy and even slightly nutty notes (I assert from the brown ale base). A bit too malty for the style methinks. The sourness is wonderful, but I could go for more yeastiness. It's quite delightful, but a bit understated and timid given the style. The tartness is fantastic. Certainly subtle, but it could use more depth and complexity. There's some great layering here. The balance is good but not perfect - largely due to the malt and the brown ale reminiscent notes. Pleasant and enjoyable to drink. No alcohol comes through. I quite like it, but it's not perfect. Not unique, but I'd say it's special. The oak is too backgrounded for me to notice.

Mf: Smooth and wet, with some light subtle creaminess. Perfect thickness and carbonation. Just coarse enough to coax out the flavours.

Dr: Very drinkable for a sour. I could down this all night. I've had better sours, but this one is lovely. I could definitely see it getting better with age. A bit pricey, but worth it all things considered. I'd definitely have this again, preferably aged. Quite delightful. Well executed for the style.

Drank well out of a goblet. This is likely the ideal serving vessel.

A great candidate for aging.

Would pair well with grapes or salad.

B+

 2,478 characters

Photo of emerge077
4.54/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2009 bottle: Thanks to Jason for this one...
Explosive cherry tartness, fruity, leathery, earthy. Plenty of oak on the back end that lends it balance and traditional flavors. Black cherry through and through. A mild balsamic vinegar note blends into the funky barrel aroma, a mixture of wet stone an sea foam fade in curious directions...spicy oak reminds me of Enigma. Mild tartness, nothing off the charts. Awesome stuff!

2008 bottle, 01-04-2009

Served at 50º into a Duchesse de Bourgogne glass.

Deep scarlet body in the light, thin layer of dirty foam that leaves a substantial ring at the edge. A skim returns with a swirl of the glass. Tiny trails of bubbles feed into the foam ring. Aroma is nice and funky, farmhouse cheese, lactic with some vanilla traces. Damp forest floor with wood, earth, wet leaves and wild mushrooms. Flavors of bitter and tangy cherry pits, leather, soil, with a dominant horseblanket brett taste as it warms. Dry and oaky finish. Medium body that is right on, and the brett character makes you slow down and sip.

Huge thanks to TheBlackMallard for this one!

 1,097 characters

Photo of dmorgan310
3.94/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of brentk56
4.67/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a fairly clear garnet with a film of big bubbles that fades quickly, though manages to deliver a few dots of lace

Smell: Tart cherries mixed with an almost cedary oak character and balsamic vinegar

Taste: Dry, oaky flavors up front with a bursting tart cherry flavor that develops by mid-palate; though there is considerable fruity sweetness, the lactic sourness keeps it thoroughly in check; after the swallow, the flavors start to mellow out, with plenty of lemon/lime sour fruit and oak in the finish

Mouthfeel: Despite the lack of carbonation, the beer is not flat, though its body is relatively light

Drinkability: Just a stunning achievement; the fruit is so powerful, yet so restrained

Re-sampled in 2012, courtesy of bobertkuekn, and found the carbonation problems to be corrected - upping the Appearance and Mouthfeel scores, as a result

 869 characters

Photo of oline73
4.23/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a Chimay goblet.

Appearance: Pours a cloudy reddish dark amber/brown with a finger of thick, off white head. There is some great retention.

Smell: There is a strong sour fruity vinegar smell up front. Some tartness and mild malt sweetness along with some funk.

Taste: This one is very sour. Lots of vinegar and lemony tartness with Some other funky flavors. Fruity notes blend well with the sourness. The finish is bitter with the sourness holding on as well.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with tingly carbonation and a dry finish.

Overall: This is a really good sour. Very sour and still very easy to drink. I would definitely have another.

 665 characters

Photo of SocalKicks
4/5  rDev -5.2%

Photo of WillieThreebiers
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Red Poppy Ale from The Lost Abbey
Beer rating: 94.6% out of 100 with 1,965 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.