Red Poppy Ale | The Lost Abbey

BA SCORE
94
outstanding
575 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score
Send samples
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
Reviews:
575
Ratings:
1,943
Avg:
4.24
pDev:
9.43%
 
 
Wants:
569
Gots:
594
For Trade:
40
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 575 | Ratings: 1,943
Photo of 05Harley
4/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2011 vintage

Purchased through West Lakeview Liquors, Chicago Illinois

Price - $16.99/bottle

Corked and caged for a reason. Man This suckers got some carbonation - wow. Following a big pop was the appearance of smoke rising from the bottle followed by bubbles. Murky reddish/brown in color with a beige head and spotty lacing.

Bringing on the funk like a dance floor from the 70's. Sour cherries and vinegar take center stage followed by woodiness from the oak.

The flavor is sour cherries, lemons and dare I say Granny Smith apples.

Lite body and highly carbonated which is noticeable after each sip. Tart and lightly sweet through out. Not as sour as I was expecting, sort of in the middle for the style.

A pretty good beer overall. I'm expanding my palate into the style and hope to develop a better impression for the sour branch of beers. This one's a little pricey for a 12.7 ounce bottle IMO.

 910 characters

Photo of SwillBilly
4.91/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Part 1 of the Lost Abbey Sinner's Club

Appearance: Pours a dark, hazy maroon, bordering on brown into my Duvel tulip. The beer is topped by a small fizzy head the fades quickly. Minimal lacing on the glass.

Smell: Love the Brett funkiness right of the bat. Sweaty horse blanket and sour cherry fruitiness. As it warms a touch of caramel comes through.

Taste: Starts with tart sour cherries dominating then giving way to the ever present Brett funkiness. Slightly oaky as it warms with a touch of cider vinegar and caramel sweetness. A very mild hop bitterness makes an appearance near the finish.

Mouthfeel: Crisp, dry and refreshing. Thin and light in the mouth makes for easy drinking.

Drinkability/Notes: Another great beer from Lost Abbey. Lots going on here with tart, sour cherries, an underlying fruity sweetness and brett funkiness all aged in oak barrels. Extremely refreshing as its light, crisp and dry with a modest 5% abv. I could drink these all night and not get bored or sick of it. Highly drinkable. Absolutely seek this beer out. Highly recommended.

 1,073 characters

Photo of Wadsey
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The Lost Abbey Red Poppy, vintage 2011

Served in New Belgium globe glass

A: Pours deep amber/brown with modest tan head. Each sip leaves behind an arc of foam. The beer itself is clear and sparkling. 

S: Tart cherries, vinegar and damp wood vie for dominant aroma. Mouthwateringly acetic. Additional smells include pickle aromas, a low-grade funk, and a tease of vanilla. 

T: Sourness strikes tongue first, then tart cherries. The acetobacteria is not as sharp as I thought it would, earning an enjoyable and approachable medium on the sourness scale. The other aromas are also expressed on the palate. I will that the beer has vinous character. Red Poppy is like a harmonic that slowly becomes quiet. That is how it finishes. Brettanomyces becomes more evident as I work my way through glass. 

M: Deceptively light body and medium, bright carbonation. Lively mouthfeel. 

O: I love Red Poppy. It edges out La Folie as best American interpretation of the style, and I think it might beat the very best Belgians. I wish it were cheaper and available in Indiana, preferably on tap in my basement. Huzzah!

 1,111 characters

Photo of SummitVA
4.2/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2010 vintage

A - Solid pop as I pull the cork. Dark brown pour that casts ruby red highlights along the sides of my Lost Abbey chalice.

S - Big earthy funk followed by tart cherries and a bit of acetone. Some malt sweetness gives the impression of cherry pie for a moment before more funk wafts up.

T - Puckering sour immediately followed by big oaky vanillin. Earthy funk, green apple, sour cherries and sweet malt, with a light acedic character in the finish. Very refreshing. More barrel character here than I was expecting, but it's quite enjoyable.

M - Classic Flanders sweet and sour leaves this medium bodied brew feeling both full and light on the palate.

O - One of my favorite brews from Lost Abbey, and this bottle did not disappoint. If you have not had the pleasure, seek this out.

 799 characters

Photo of 100floods
3.75/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nice dark mahogany brown hue with a ruby tint. Pale, cream white head with pretty good retention. A nice thin layer foam lingers as the head resides.

Sweet and tart aromas. Hints of funk and wood. Everything is blended pretty well. A slight malt backbone.

Dry, semi-sweet start that is rushed into a tart and sour middle with a dry finish. This is a bit drier, and more carbonated than Russian River's Consecration. The lighter body and high carbonation does take away from the flavor, and makes each sip more like a short burst.

Overall a pretty solid effort for an American take on a sour dark ale. I was kinda looking for more wood flavors, but the cherries seem to dominated this one.

 692 characters

Photo of jcartamdg
4/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a reddish brown with a finger length head disapates quickly. Aroma of vinegar and funk, cherries not present in the nose. Taste follows nose but brings in sour cherries in finish. I like this beer a lot, it's smooth and delicious and right up there with the best Belgian representations of the style

 305 characters

Photo of afausser
4.64/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2009 batch. Just a little bit of noise as it's popped, so maybe not completely flat...

Appearance: Agitated a lot on the pour into a snifter. There's a few little bubbles around the edge of the glass as well as some swirls of foam on the top of the glass. A dark reddish brown color, hazy and translucent. Doesn't look bad, but the lack of carbonation is alarming (though predictable). The lacing, though, is beautiful--the tiniest bubbles form a sheet down the side of the glass. It doesn't last, though.

Smell: Pretty great. Smells sour and delicious with acidic sour cherry and plum notes. Ideal sour smell in the nose.

Taste: SO SOUR. In the best way. Tastes like white vinegar and sour cherries and plums, with a little bit of a sour/bitter earthy aftertaste. Delicious! But definitely one to sip.

Mouthfeel: ACTUALLY NOT FLAT!! It's a miracle!! Not a ton of carbonation, but there's enough that this one doesn't fall short of its potential the way a lot of Lost Abbey beers have.

Drinkability: The vinegary taste makes it one to sip--but a delicious one. I was excited to find this one in my cellar--what a treat!

 1,125 characters

Photo of JoeMayo
4.92/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This beer absolutely blew me away. This is one of the most impressive sours I've had.

A- Pours a nice dark gold with a thick cap of foam.

S- Very tart on the nose with hints of cider vinegar.

T- Absolutely out of this world! This is one of the most well-balanced beers I've ever had. Initially very tart, but a floral flavor and notes of sour cherry and crisp apple round everything out very well.

M- Effervescent and just tart enough to dry the palate slightly after each sip.

D- Incredibly easy to drink. I was thoroughly depressed when I finished my half of my only 375mL bottle.

 587 characters

Photo of beatenbyjacks
4.32/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Appearance - Very carbonated with a huge head. Dark purplish color that is quite impressive.

Smell - At first I didn't get much, but then the raspberries came out from behind the intense tartness.

Taste - sweet fruit right away followed by a puckering tartness

Mouthfeel - even with all the carbonation and tartness this beer is very impressive

Overall - this beer is phenomenal! for almost a session beer this one was great. glad I finally found one on the shelves

 469 characters

Photo of Justin_Neff
4.52/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2012 Bottle poured into a CCB Snifter.

A: Pours a deep reddish body that almost appears brown. Light tan fizzy head with a faint red hue builds up and leaves little lacing, but settles and lasts throughout the duration of the drink. Bright red pieces of sediment float in the ring of head.

S: The smell is dominated by sour, tart cherries. Some funk and hints of oak and citrus. Very nice aroma.

T: Lots of tart cherries to follow the nose. Some citrus and even some white wine grapes. A good amount of oak to balance the sweetness and the funk.

M: Light-Medium body, High carbonation, dry, but a bit more creamy than I would've imagined from the appearance and the style.

O: Very nice balance of sweet, funk, and oak. I really enjoyed this one. I'm curious what a bit of age would do for it - I'll have to try and find a way to wrestle up another bottle.

 860 characters

Photo of BastardKing24
4.37/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2010 vintage poured into a bruery tulip

Looks cloudy brown with little head, some lacing, oud bruin for sure!

Smells tart and sweet , oak and cherries as the label says, vinegar.

Hell yes! balanced sour and sweetness with nothing overpowering. A decent oak character, caramel and cherries, maybe some clove. Nicely complex this one.

Mouthfeel is spot on.

Highly drinkable and refreshing , but does have a high $

 416 characters

Photo of femALEist
4.03/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at Toronado during SF Beer week.
Red Poppy Ale by Lost Abbey is a Flanders Oud Bruin style beer and 5.5%. It is a brown ale brewed with sour cherries and aged in oak barrels for over 6 months. It poured a beautiful copper red with a pinky full of a white head. It smelled of citrus, sour cherries and a hint of barnyard funkiness- kind of a one note nose. It tasted like dried sour cherries, Brett, and vinegar. The sour cherriness was pretty well balanced.

 473 characters

Photo of DearthVader
4/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this up at Lone Hill Liquor one day. I must've been in a good mood considering the hefty price tag.

Poured into my Bruery tulip.

Pours a solid brown with an off-white head that rises about 1 1/2 fingers high. Falls quickly to a crown.

Smells of sweet cherry, vinegar funk, earthy dirt tones, and lemon funk.

Taste is very tart. Strong lemon taste that lets a bit of cherry pop through.

Surprising mouthfeel for Lost Abbey. Bravo on the carbonation. Goes down very smoothly.

I enjoyed this beer. I'm very new to sours and really still never know what to expect. Don't think it lived up to the hype it brings, but still an enjoyable beer.

 649 characters

Photo of KevinBrewer
4.42/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Hazy reddish brown with a gushing tan head that hangs around for awhile, but leaves minimal lacing.

N- Tart and acidic sour cherry tickles the nostrils, giving way to deep cherry and chocolate. A touch of woody funk in there as well. Nice balance of bright and dark aromas here.

T- Like the nose, very tart and acidic. Dark cherries along with some funk. There is also a subtle hint of chocolate and dry oak. Tart acidic finish tingles the throat as it goes down.

M- Medium-light body, gushing carbonation, and an acidic finish.

D- Overall, very tasty. 12.7oz disappear way too quickly. The acidity combined with dark cherry makes this a very thirst-quenching brew. I'm definitely going to seek this out again to have a few bottles for the cellar.

 754 characters

Photo of sfoley333
4.47/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had a taster at the release in a small port wine glass. It was suppose to be on tap but for some reason this one was from a bottle. Poured a cloudy reddish brown with white head nice lacing.( the guy next to me had a clear reddish brown, guessing I got a sample from towards the bottom of the bottle) Nose is sour cherry with Lost Abbey funk and hint of malt and oak. Taste is smooth in fact very smooth for a sour. Nice balance with cherries that are both sour and tart, malt sweetness, and mild dry oak finish. Mouthfeel is medium body with a good carbonation level and dryness. This is a great drinking Oud Bruin very easy to drink for the style and very balanced and layered. Bravo

 685 characters

Photo of JimmyTango
4.32/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Ruby brown with an off-white head (I'm drinking it in a low-light room, so its hard to get a feel for clarity). The head is bigger and creamier than I'm used to in sours.

S: Dew on brown grass, leather, and oak come together for a nice, almost sweet nose. Complex, tart, and oaky-sweet. Cherries make their way into the sour part of the aroma. The funk is sweet and wet, nice and mellow but very present. I love this nose.

T: Tart at first, followed quickly by some sour cherries. Creamy mid palette with a quick flash of that elusive sweetness form the nose. There is also a touch of cinnamon in the creamy part... It's the oak. The finish is dry with a lingering, clean, lemony tartness. There is a tiny hint of bitterness at the very end, but otherwise there are no hop aromas or flavors.

M: Light bodied, nice fine carbonation.

O: I like this quite a bit. The funk is really integrated, and the sourness is up front but not un-checked by great depth and oaky spice. I like the combo of clean, lemon-like sour flavors and a vinegary sweetness.

 1,055 characters

Photo of badboyrsl84
4.1/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I got this on tap at the Alpine pub.

It pours a murky brown into a tulip glass with a 2 inch head that dissapates quickly

Smell- vinegar, tart, acidic, cherries and other acidic fruit. Smells like sweet-tart candy.

Very well put together in the sour department. The body of this is well balanced making it a beer you could enjoy more than one pint of at a time

Taste - lots of tart and some cherries. Aftertaste of cherries and some residual tartness but fades away very quickly unlike a lot of sours I've had.

 514 characters

Photo of UMNbeerhunter
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Cigar City snifter on 5/2/11.

Pours a dark brownish color with red hues on the edges when held to the light. 2 fingers of bubbly light brown carbonated head that takes a couple of minutes to dissipate leaving moderate no lacing.

Smells very tarty. Sour raspberries and cherries. Very nice smell.

Taste is sour, wow! Cherry and raspberry tart all the way back. I am overwhelmed by the delicious and there are some other tastes present, some wood but ninety-nine percent is all fruity tartness. Very nice.

Mouthfeel is light to medium in weight. Tons of bitter/sour bite and a wonderful effervescent tingling dances through the mouth. Very refreshing.

Overall this is one hell of a beer. I have never been into sours and never got the hype but this beer has me believing. Thank you lost abbey for a very enjoyable brew.

 836 characters

Photo of skeeterloveshops
4.6/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Fresh 2016 batch taster at the brewery and then bottle at home later same day.
Strong, sweet red cherry (maraschino?) aroma. If I were blindfolded, I would think this was a Kriek because of the sour nose and slight presence of yeast.

Tastes like a Kriek, too...almost. But it isn't sweet and there are more "brown" elements like crystal and chocolate malts. Very interesting as it is unusual. Good body with a mildly elevated carbonation.

Something delicious and unusual!

 475 characters

Photo of CuttDeez
4.62/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle into a snifter

A - A clear red body with a slightly off white head. The red body is very deep and ruby like. The head bubbles and dies quickliy.

S - Bright cherries up front that fade to deep dark cherries in the back and a medium strength oakiness develops in the middle of the nose. There is a nice level of funk detected in the front, middle and back which hint at a sourness and some yeast funk in the taste of the brew.

T & M & D - The taste is very much like the nose. There are bursts of cherries in the front of the beer with some puckering tartness and some sour funk. Then the sugars come through mellowing out the tartness adn introducing a sweet cherry note. Then the oak kicks in on the back and mellows both tart and sweet to finish smooth on the palate. A depth of flavor and a complex taste profile make this a great beer to explore. The body is a light on the palate and carbination is detected throughout despite the lack of head.

O - A fantastice beer. The flavor profile is amazing as it explores tart, funk, sour, sweet, oak, and dark cherry all in one mouthful. Enjoy this beer!

-Cheers

 1,120 characters

Photo of hellbilly
3.68/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

idk where this bottle came from but it's been in my fridge for a year now (2008). muchas gracias to the soul who left it behind...

it's been sitting so long that the cork bomb was no issue... dark orange brown color with no head and lots of clumpy yeast.

smells a bit like pickling spice/pickles or that strange funkiness that a lot of red burgundies get before they get a chance to open up... cinnamon, wet cement, fruity/cherry tart though not quite sour and malty sugars yet it's very dry.

it tastes very 'green' from young barrels and quite tannic. though i'm not sure whether the tannins dominate from the wood or cherry skins (it really doesn't matter)... also, faintly malty and oaky with a cinnamon-y brett-like stink on the finish which lingers on. medium body lacks a bit of richness. the mouth feel it is prickly and dry as it cleans the palate entirely.

not a whole bunch going on... seems as if something is missing. though, it is in no way a bad beer! 7/4/7/4/15/3.7

 988 characters

Photo of 0110x011
4.14/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a ruddy, opaque amber-brown. Nearly zero head, the little carbonation that does make its way to the surface forms a thin, delicate collar around the edge. Nose is sour cherry, dark fruit, vinegar, port wine, and earth. Mostly dark fruits on the palate, with the cherry and earth pretty far in the back. The sourness is quite mild as well. Light bodied, with light, fine carbonation; finish is on the sweet side. Highly drinkable.

I'm used to the Lost Abbey special releases being these huge, over the top beers, so this one came as quite a surprise. A flanders red all the way, but lighter, more delicate, and more refined.

 630 characters

Photo of nomomentwasted
4.32/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hank, once again, you are the man for throwing down for two bottles of this at the vintage bottle fest. 2008 vintage.

Appearance: Reddish-brown hue, almost brick-like with more orange hues in the highlights. Light, wispy head that evaporates quickly but laces nicely. Head is a little off-white and stays pretty tame.

Smell: Lactic sourness comes through in a funky, cherry, oaky, and slightly sweet manner. The beer has had nearly two years of cellaring, and the funk is very alive and well, that's for sure. Cherries come through more as it warms up a tad, and sourness is pucker-inducing from the smell. Similar in nose to La Roja from Jolly Pumpkin, but more cherry.

Taste: The funky, sour cherry smell is no illusion, and the taste comes immediately with some vinegar acidity, sour cherry, oak, and lactic sourness on the finish. Roundly interesting, and I kept muttering to myself about how interesting it was. Complexity is high, and the subtle profile only becomes more nuanced as it warms up. Not as much brett funk as lacto, and the sourness reflects the yeast more than the cherries. Oak is more in the finish than immediate.

Mouthfeel: Not quite spritzy, and carbonation was pretty light. Sourness is not bracing but more puckering, and oaky finish is pleasant, but after the first glass and warming up, it becomes slightly less original and a bit more dominant than the vinegar sweetness and cherry sourness.

Drinkability: Drinks above the ABV in flavor, and really very similar to something like Cuvee de Tomme, except with less hints of booze. Sourness is light enough to drink a good amount, as is the ABV, but the flavors do run together a bit by the end. Still, an excellent little sour that if more readily available probably would have a few purchased of it, but with La Folie being half the cost and infinitely more available, I'd probably stick with it first.

 1,887 characters

Photo of GuzzLah
4.36/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A - pours a hazy dark red- brown with a big flufly tan head and nice lace.

S - very pleasant aroma of Roeselare yeast (barnyard, lacto, pedio) with soft floral hops, bubblegum, cherry and a hint of coconut from the barrel. Not intense, but a pleasure to whiff.

T - like the aroma. It has a nice balance of the typical Flanders flavors and none of them completely trump the others. The sour cherry and lacto stand out a bit. The vinegar character is subdued compared to many Flanders ales, but it's definitely there.

M - medium body and creamy with robust carbonation. It has a nice sour cherry finish that isn't over the top. If Oude Tart is an 8/10 on the sourness scale, then Red Poppy is 6/10.

O - as a Flanders fan, it's hard to find a fault in this beer beyond the $16/12oz. price tag. I'd rate it higher, if it had a little more vinegar in the flavor, but really enjoyed it "as is". There are more assertive Flanders at much lower prices, but this beer made me appreciate balance for the style. If money and variety weren't a consideration, then I'd be glad to drink this quite often.

 1,095 characters

Photo of pfhanlon
4.6/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours as a dark amber and mahogany with athick head of tan foam. Decent retention but eventually subsides to a fairly thick ring around the rim. Leaves some spotty lacing.

S - A complex mix of smells including malt and a strong cherry aroma from the bottle. Less fruity in the glass.

T - More malty character on the backend which slides into a slightly sour finish.

M - Lighter side of medium bodied. Slick watery mouthfeel with wonderful carbonation.

O - A well balanced and executed ale.

 497 characters

Red Poppy Ale from The Lost Abbey
4.24 out of 5 based on 1,943 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

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

    Subscribe