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Red Poppy Ale | The Lost Abbey

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94
outstanding
569 Reviews
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Red Poppy AleRed Poppy Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
The Lost Abbey
California, United States | website

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:
569
Ratings:
1,913
Avg:
4.24
pDev:
9.43%
 
 
Wants:
568
Gots:
593
For Trade:
41
User Reviews
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Reviews: 569 | Ratings: 1,913
Photo of inandon
1.18/5  rDev -72.2%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

looking over the reviews I do not know if I just got a bad bottle or what.

the smell itself is over powering. It had a tart, sweet and strong smell to it.

First sip there was too much going on. I love tart and sour in candy but this beer was unlike anything I have ever tasted.This went right down the drain after I had it. It does have lemon and other citrus flavor to it, but it is a malt with way too many strong flavors that all seem to over power one another.

 466 characters

Photo of RuckusDu
4.04/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2012 Vintage, 12.7oz bottle into Bruery tulip.

A - A vigorous pour revealed a finger of large bubble cola colored head which quickly fell. Body is clear but a deep amber in color with tons of red, almost to a purple color. No lacing.

S - Super tart on lemon, grapefruit, and raspberry. There is a nice sweetness that comes through. Cherries and raspberries. Very nice.

T - Tons more funk on the tongue. Grapefruit rind. Cherries of course along with some lemon. Super sour with almost no sweetness to it.

M - A thick body and moderate carbonation. Ok.

O - Pretty good beer. Would like to see a bit more sweetness to it to compliment the tart and funk.

 658 characters

Photo of WillCarrera
4.35/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

375 ml bottle, vintage 2012, poured into a tulip glass.

A- Pours a dark ruby color with a finger of bubbly tan head that recedes to a thin layer, leaves minimal lacing.

S- Nice tart aroma of cherries, lactic acid, and brown sugar / maple syrup.

T- Big burst of tart lactic acidity and cherry flavor up front, which fades into a sweet flavor of maple syrup, dry oak and a bit of vanilla.

M- Medium-bodied, smooth with a dry, tannic finish.

O- I really enjoyed this beer, the tart cherry flavors are vivid and delicious but also kept in great balance with the malt sweetness and barrel character, awesome stuff.

 614 characters

Photo of adam42381
4.42/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 375ml corked and caged bottle into a Spiegelau tulip.

Appearance: Pours a deep mahogany brown with cherry red highlights, a little bit of gold around the edges and a little bit of sediment floating around.Features a thick, bubbly light tan head which sticks around for a while. Decent lacing.

Smell: Tart cherries, wine grape hulls, sweet oak and vinegar and a touch of funk.

Taste: Wine grape hulls and tart cherries up front followed by a smooth oaky sweetness in the middle before ending with more tartness and just a hint of funky notes at the finish. Aftertaste is a mix of bitter grape hulls, oak and funk. Very well-balanced.

Mouthfeel: Light-to-medium-bodied with a high amount of prickly carbonation. The tartness, while not really puckering, coats the mouth in a film - in a good way.

Drinkability: Excellent drinkability. This is very enjoyable. I just wish I had more.

Overall: Excellent beer overall. This is about as good as it gets as far as Flanders Reds go. If you see it, buy it. Yes, it's pricey, but it doesn't disappoint.

 1,065 characters

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

Deep ruby brown body, clearish with some sediment. Foamy when the bottle opened, some offwhite head with a bit of retention.

Dank nose with serious funk and some basalmic vinegar.

Tart, big sour and a bit of cherry. Balanced by some sweetness and spice. Quite nice, quite bold.

A bit of coarse brightness.

Nice bold Flanders red, with a lot of sour.

 353 characters

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

sitting on a year now, more so as it got lost in the shuffle of my cellar...but time to pop it tonight....

a - almost a chocolate brown in appearance with a very thin layer of head that appears to be breathing as i type...

s - cherries right away, tartness on the nose...bit of a vanilla ...

t - explosion in the mouth... a beer that's truly alive... immediate cherries - front and back; tarty mouth puckerer! As my palate calms down a bit, there's a slight note left behind from hits time in the oak..

m - liquid form of soured pop rockets? crazy good!

o - Great beer!

 575 characters

Photo of BlastBeats
4.09/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12.7 oz. caged and corked bottle of 2012 Red Poppy - poured into my Lost Abbey San Marcos Tumbler.

Appearance: Red Poppy pours a smokey topaz color (reddish brown) with a moderately thin cap of foam.

Smell: somewhat funky tart aroma of "bug" riddled oak and cherries.

Taste: wow. I don't drink sours that often so the first few sips were pretty mouth puckering - thankfully my palate was able to settle in. A flash of sour cherries up front really seem to integrate well with the base brown. Lingering oakiness adds a nice finishing touch.

Mouthfeel: the carbonation really enables the fruit flavors to "pop" but it's not to the point of feeling spritzy.

Overall: as much as I enjoyed this one, I can't see myself buying a lot of it at 18 dollars a pop. It's kind of a "buy a bottle once a year" type beer. That said, it's a really well-made Flanders Red and I'd imagine it being a good candidate for cellaring.

 916 characters

Photo of rhoadsrage
4.12/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(Served in a teku)
vintage 2012
A- This beer pours a glowing dark garnet red body with a wall of microbubbles racing up to a boiling thick light tan head. The head last for a bit.

S- The slightly funky tart cherry note is followed by a wet oak aroma even during the pour. There is a hint of aged vinegar in the finish with a white cheese rind hint. Some flinty and earthy notes come through as the beer opens aswell.

T- The brett funk note blends with tart cherries notes and a malt fullness underneath. There is a wet oak barrel taste that leads to a bright tartness that lingers a bit after each sip. The cheese rind brett note comes back in the finish.

M- The medium-full mouthfeel is largely due to the big fizz and there is a soft low astringency note with no real alcohol heat noticed.

O- This beer has some nice tartness with hints of barrel and brett notes with a good support from the malt, but it has a thick heavy body that really makes it slow to drink. The tartness is more from fruit than yeast character so it doesn't have that classic Flanders Red yeast profile but it is still nice to drink.

 1,116 characters

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

Received a 12.7 OUNCE bottle of this in a trade w/ LarryG. Poured from the Black labeled bottle w/ a Red Poppy on the front into a 12oz Schlafly Tulip Glass. Has BOTTLED ... on the back but it was all smudged out... Seems like this happens quite often with Lost Abbey beers.

Aroma- A nicely done aroma here! Sour/Tart attributes including cherries, oak, and a medium amount of funk comes and goes. Very sharp but appropriate for the style.

Appearance- Pours a .5 finger head that dies quickly. Has a deep red colored body with good clarity. Leaves a good amount of suds behind.

Flavor- A very oaked cherry taste starts this one off in the most subtle way. The acidity isn't too overpowering but more easy going and sweet. Complexed and has a long, dry finish.

Mouthfeel- Light Bodied, Lightest Carbonation to the point of almost a flat beer, and has a crisp finish on the palate.

Overall Impression- Wow, what a treat. Not too sour or tart on the taste or mouthfeel but rather on the nose. Enjoyed the subtle character, giving it more of sweet and profound cherry notes. Will be looking for another bottle of this and hopefully going to age!

 1,150 characters

Photo of Gatch
4.38/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Beautiful brownish-amber. Like burnt sienna. Foamy, off-white head. Fades very quickly & becomes clear, bubbly liquid.

S: Funk, earth, vinegar.

T: Perfectly tart, funky, earthy. Thin but delicious. Very sour.

M: Smooth, delicious, and awesome.

O: Sours rarely seem to be complex beyond words like "funk" and such but this is damn good. I know that much. Pricey but it's a great beer to try once. Or twice.

 412 characters

Photo of yamar68
4.17/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12.7oz bottle to tulip glass, 2012 vintage:

Pours a murky, dirty ruby red/brown... a thin fizzy few seconds of off-white head gave way to a slender collar and lively, constant beading.

The nose is stuffed with cranberry funk and spicy wild yeasts. Tart grassy bits, some champagne notes, a bit of blueberry.

Exceedingly tart on the tongue. Various light berry bits, dry fruity finish, tart from start to finish. It's a style that I am far from acquainted with. From the few samples I can recall, though, this one sits right at the top.

 551 characters

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

12.7 oz 2012 vintage bottle poured into a tulip glass

Pours amber with a deep ruby red hue and a three finger light brown head which dissipates fairly quickly. The smell of cherry and oak is clearly present. Opens with a sour blast of cherries, vinegar, and funk which transitions to the base brown ale. The finish is tart, oaky, and dry. An extremely balanced Flanders Red, never too sweet, just the right amount of tartness, and the oak barrel flavor blends well and adds some complexity. Definitely among the top tier of American-brewed Flanders Red Ales.

 559 characters

Photo of bfields4
4.42/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark ruby brown body. Nice frothy light brown head.

Very sour notes. Vinegary funk, oak, tart cherries. Also some sweet Belgian citrus I was surprised to find.

This is one very complex brew. A dry winey tartness accompanied by cherries. Also picking up the oak. Somewhat of a fig/berry flavor in it as well.

Awesome brew. Good variety of flavors. A little light on the body, but not really in a bad way. This might give the duchess a run for its money in my book.

 468 characters

Photo of phishsihq
4.64/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

The brew appears almost garnet in color, and is capped by a big off-white head with great retention and lots of lace. A rich bouquet of cherries, funk, oak, cherries and more cherries, The cherry flavors blends beautifully into a slight oakiness and tartness that finishes somewhat sweet. Medium in body, Red Poppy Ale features a higher level of carbonation. Rare and delicious!

Cheers!

 387 characters

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

2011 vintage

a - poured a one finger thick tan head into a tulip that settled into a thin ring that lasted for almost the whole beer. the body was a dark mahogany with some red tints to it.
s - strong sour cherry aroma with oak behind it. as it warms the oak comes through a little more.
t - puckering tart cherries with some woodiness.
m - medium thickness with lively carbonation bubbles. very dry finish.
o - really excellent beer and probably my favorite lost abbey so far.

 478 characters

Photo of thecheapies
4.34/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Red Poppy Ale. Stamped vintage date of 2012. Poured into a Duchesse de Bourgogne goblet and enjoyed side-by-side with Cuvée des Jacobins.

Brown with some earthy reddish tones. Mostly dark and cloudy and almost impenetrable by light. A coarse head rose to a finger and more from the pour, but fell without retention of any sort. A ring is left and evacuating slowly. No lacing, leaves the glass clean.

Sour cherry and woody barrel up front here. Lots of oakiness pulling through. Lighter on the cherry than I first whiffed. Very wine-like with a nose like a left-out-too-long Chianti. Touches of vanilla and candied citrus peel bleed through and vanish.

Unabashedly sour for a Flanders Red. A little dry, too. Tannic qualities from the oak barrels, however, are not shy. The fruits are tart and green. Sour cherries, sour grapes, pear skin, and a wild flora herbal profile. Still young, with even a piquant alcohol proving that, but so delectable. Very different from any other Flanders Reds tasted before. Exquisitely unique.

The body is a little thinner than standard. Carbonation is pretty sneaky in this thing. Has a weird feel overall with its lacking fullness and prickly bubbles.

The Lost Abbey has a noticeable barrel flavor in their brews. It represents Red Poppy very nicely, but I look for more sweetness to balance the sour and woody qualities. Still an excellent brew and an upper-class Flanders Red.

 1,418 characters

Photo of ColForbinBC
4.29/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap, served in a small snifter

A brown body with ruby highlights, purple in spots, with a fluffy off-white cap. Recedes quickly and settles to a thin collar.

The nose is full of tart cherries, oak, and balsamic notes. The nose is overly sour with just a touch of fruit sweetness. I get some white wine notes as well.

A sour explosion coats the palate. Tart cherries, dry oak, balsamic vinegar, and white grapes. Sour hits you up front, before the base brown ale come through mid-palate. The finish is a brief rush of sweetness followed by tart cherries and balsamic vinegar. The oak does a nice job drying this one out.

Medium body, tart, refreshing. The carbonation is solid, giving this a creamy feel more so than the prickly feel of most in the style.

A damn fine flanders. Delivers the sour you crave without overpowering. This isn't terribly complex, but it has quite a bit going on.

 896 characters

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

2012 bottling

A - Nice pop as the cork comes out. Pours very deep red/brown with almost four fingers of tan head with a slight pink hue. Head has very good retention and leaves some nice lacing. I am surprised how dark this is.

S - Tart cherries, a nice amount of oak, and a good funky base. Small amount of balsamic vinegar.

T - Definitely tart, but not bracingly sour. Also quite a bit of bitterness in the taste, especially on the finish. Earthy and funky with tart cherries. Lots of oak on the finish. Very tasty. Thought it would have more fruit since it is this year's vintage, but I enjoyed it as is.

M - Medium mouthfeel, maybe a bit on the heavy side for the style, but I that isn't a negative.

O - Nice one from Lost Abbey, but not quite up to Rodenbach Grand Cru or Cuvee de Jacobins for the style. Looking forward to seeing what some age does this to this.

 873 characters

Photo of haazer
4.08/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Resurrection Ale House for PBW.

A - Muddled maroon brew, very dark, some hints of violet. There is lacing with a cherry tint left all over the glass. Looks great.

S - Very floral, rosey smell. A lot of vinegar, and a definite sour profile. A little bit of grape, and wood notes on the backend. Definite wine character also.

T - The raspberries are on display very nicely. Very sweet upfront, then the brew transitions into a light vinegar, lactic sour profile. There's vinous characteristics all throughout, finishing with a nice but of oak presence.

M - Mouth is light to medium bodies with medium levels of carbonation. A sweet and sour coating rolls over the mouth coating the taste buds with a vinegar aftertaste.

O - Very well put together, not overly sour, and not overly "winey". This was very refreshing, tasty, but not sure if it's worth the cost per bottle. Glad to have tried though for sure.

 920 characters

Photo of mj001jk
4.38/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A pleasant nose with tart, black cherries and dried figs, with mineral and vanilla oak overtones.

Flavors are rich and coat the palate with tart, yet ripe cherries and green apples providing lots of acidity. After the initial mouth-puckering, it gives way to a long and seductive sweetness, fruits and finishes with dry tannins.

It is hearty yet refreshing, delicious from beginning to end.

I already yearn for next time...

 426 characters

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

Muled back from my LA trip! This is #BOTG 43! Poured from bottle into 512 Farmhouse glass. Pours a very hazy brown/reddish color. nice fluffy head fills the glass, an offwhite color. Smell- tart cherries, sour cherry pie, a little bit of a salty aroma as well. Layers of cherries and sugar in the aroma. Taste- hot dr pepper! a nice tart and funky blast of cherries, puckering sour at the end. The tight carbonation makes for a dry finish. Some horse blanket funk coils with the tart sweetness from the cherries. There are layers of flavor with this, its wonderful. One of the better Flanders styles I've ever had.

 614 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 GarthDanielson
3.83/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle Vintage 2012.

Poured into a snifter, the beer is a deep, hazed, auburn-brown coloring that pours with a ton of carbonation. Low profile, thin, off-white head that quickly settles out into a filmy ring around the surface. Aromas of juniper and jasmine floral highlights on a dark, rich, black cherry and currant sweet backbone. The increased carbonation keeps the body thin, and gives the sour notes an extra punch. Syrupy sweet flavors transition into an earthy, wine barrel characteristic. The aftertaste is sour and sweet at the same time, with an effervescent feel. The finish is sharp, but light, with a bubbly feel left across your tongue. Tangy and puckering at the end. Good brew.

 695 characters

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

on-tap, brouwers

One of those beers whose price tag is so restrictive - excited to try on tap, which was actually MUCH cheaper on a $ per ounce basis

appearance: served in an unbranded 12oz snifter, rich garnet body, relatively lifeless beige bubbles

smell: big rich nose - oak, cedar, cherry, balsamic, vanilla

taste: really decadent stuff - huge woody notes, cherry, balsamic, vanilla, dark chocolate...not so funky, but a great amount of depth and twangy flavours to explore

mouthfeel: a little big for the style, but still smooth and decadent. carbonation not flat, but low

overall: solid stuff - really enjoyed

 621 characters

Photo of yourefragile
4.07/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2010 375 mL bottle.

Pours a murky dark ruby brown with a thin dense cream head that fades to a thick collar and minimal lace. Aroma of oak, light vinegar, apple sauce, tart cherry; pleasant blend of acid and sweet. Flavor is oaky and mildy cherry and vanilla sweet through the body before a strong acidic sourness builds long into the finish. Medium thick body with light carbonation. A little too harsh and acidic in the finish, but a nice oak and fruit presence otherwise.

 475 characters

Red Poppy Ale from The Lost Abbey
94 out of 100 based on 569 ratings.
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