Red Poppy Ale | The Lost Abbey

Red Poppy AleRed Poppy Ale
BA SCORE
4.28/5
1,969 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:
#624
Reviews:
582
Ratings:
1,969
pDev:
9.11%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
568
Gots:
595
Trade:
39
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 1,969 |  Reviews: 582
Photo of djrn2
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of Knapp85
4.47/5  rDev +4.4%
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 +5.1%

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 +1.9%
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 +4.9%
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 -10%
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 +6.1%
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 -7.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of brentk56
4.67/5  rDev +9.1%
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 -1.2%
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 WillieThreebiers
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of SocalKicks
4/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of zeff80
4.39/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured out a dark burgundy color with a one-finger, cream colored head of foam. It was short lived and left minimal lacing.

S - Like a great sour beer lots of dark cherries and sourness. Just a touch of funkiness, too.

T - Sour but not overpowering with a strong black cherry flavor. There are mild yeasty notes and some light caramel flavors, too.

M - It'll make you pucker but not too much. It is medium bodied and very dry.

D - This is another fabulous beer from The Lost Abbey. I'll liking sour beers more and more each time I try great examples of the style like this one.

 585 characters

Photo of Phyl21ca
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle courtesy of Kegbear: Poured a deep clear reddish color ale with a small foamy head with minimal retention and no lacing. Aroma of oak and sour cherries are heavily dominating. Taste is also a very nice mix between some deep oak notes with some cherry flavor also discernable. Very complex taste and some what similar to Rodenbach Grand Cru. I thought cherries would have been more prominent but they were somewhat loss in the mix.

 437 characters

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

2008 bottle.

Appearance - Ruddy brown, quite hazy and distinctly unfiltered. The head retained remarkably well in an oversized wine glass. This beer should be decanted carefully; the bottle has a ton of sediment at the bottom.

Smell - Wonderfully musty and oaky. Pronounced vanilla with mild barnyard funk and sourness. Cherries are present but not as dominating as they are on the tongue.

Taste - Sour, tangy cherries make up the backbone, while oak provides depth and balance. Acidity is fairly low despite the tart flavor. Vanilla appears more and more as the beer warms, blending harmoniously with the sour cherries. The finish is dry and long, revealing more of the young oaky flavor.

Mouthfeel - Fairly light-bodied and crisp on the tongue; slighty drying to the palate. Certainly not quaffable despite the light body; small sips provide a ton of flavor.

Overall - The 08 and 09 batches are outstanding. A Flemish style sour without all the acetic acid, and a great balance between oak and fruit. Later batches are solid but not as exceptional.

 1,055 characters

Photo of zestar
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of superspak
4.52/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

3300th review! 375 ml bottle into tulip glass, 2015 vintage bottling. Pours slightly hazy deep ruby red color with a 2 finger fairly dense light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Nice spotty foamy lacing clings around the glass, with a moderate amount of streaming carbonation retaining the cap. Aromas of big sour black cherry, cranberry, green apple, lemon, red grape, cider vinegar, caramel, toasted oak, hay, straw, peppercorn, musty funk, herbal, and yeast earthiness. Incredible aromas with awesome complexity and balance of sour cherry, fruity/funky/spicy yeast, dark malt, and oak barrel notes; with great strength. Taste of big sour black cherry, cranberry, green apple, lemon, red grape, cider vinegar, caramel, toasted oak, hay, straw, peppercorn, musty funk, herbal, and yeast earthiness. Good amount of fruity/acidic tartness and yeast spiciness on the finish; with lingering notes of black cherry, cranberry, green apple, lemon, red grape, cider vinegar, caramel, toasted oak, hay, straw, peppercorn, musty funk, herbal, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Incredible complexity and balance of sour cherry, fruity/funky/spicy yeast, dark malt, and oak barrel flavors; with an pretty much perfect malt/acidity balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. High carbonation and medium bodied; with a very smooth, crisp, and moderately acidic mouthfeel that is incredible. Alcohol is very well hidden with zero warming present after the finish as expected of 5%. Overall this is a world class Flanders red ale style. All around fantastic complexity and balance of sour cherry, fruity/funky/spicy yeast, dark malt, and oak barrel flavors; and very smooth and crisp to drink with the balanced acidity. An insanely amazing offering.

 1,799 characters

Photo of Kurmaraja
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

Photo of mothman
4.39/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Mikesgrove for this one.

Opened the cork with the slightest pop.

Poured into Ommegang chalice.

Pours hardly any head, but the little that is there is a murky brown. Color is a hazy ruby copper brown with sediment in the glass.

Aroma: Sour cherries, some funk, wood/oak, vinegar/acidic aromas. The aroma is really making my mouth water.

Taste: Wow, this beer is sour. Big sour cherry taste, oak, vinegar with acidic flavors. Definitely has a funky taste to it.

Mouthfeel: One of the sourest beers I have ever had. Makes my mouth pucker. Very tart. Medium body with a low amount of carbonation. Ends with a bittersweet clean aftertaste.

Overall, a fantastic beer. I am really enjoying this and I know I will want more when this bottle is gone. I really enjoy how tart the cherries are. A must have if you enjoy tart, sour beers.

___
Drinking a 2010 bottled version fresh and just wanted to comment a bit on it. The abv is lowered to 5% and it is not near as sour. I have heard many people enjoy this fresh, but I say to put some age on it. It develops more of a vinegar flavor but gets a lot more sour. The nose on this starts out odd, but then gets better as it warms. Not as sour as it turns out to be.

 1,221 characters

Photo of DrBier
4/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of olradetbalder
3.5/5  rDev -18.2%

Photo of dbrauneis
4.37/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours a lightly murky reddish brown in color with some light amounts of visible carbonation and some ruby red highlights. The beer has slightly less than a quarter finger tall dense light tan head that slowly reduces to a thick film covering the entire surface of the beer with a slightly thicker ring at the edges of the glass. Light to moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Light to moderate amounts of sour cherries and tartness with a light amount of oak. Some subtle notes of vinegar.

T: Upfront there is a light amount of caramel sweetness but that is quickly overshadowed by moderate to strong flavors of sour cherries. The beer has a light to moderate amount of tartness with some more subtle notes of oak and vinegar.

M: Light bodied with moderate to heavy amounts of carbonation. Light to moderate amounts of acidic prickliness.

O: Overall this is a really enjoyable beer and is quite easy to drink, especially for the style. Nice amounts of tartness without the over the top tartness/vinousness. Good flavors contributed by the sour cherries and a good amount of complexity.

 1,098 characters

Red Poppy Ale from The Lost Abbey
Beer rating: 4.28 out of 5 with 1,969 ratings
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