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Red Poppy Ale | The Lost Abbey

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571 Reviews
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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:
571
Ratings:
1,932
Avg:
4.24
pDev:
9.43%
 
 
Wants:
569
Gots:
593
For Trade:
43
User Reviews
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Reviews: 571 | Ratings: 1,932
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

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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.

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Photo of jonvan04
4.2/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a dark brown with a thin tan head. The aroma had the expected Brett notes along with some fig and green apple. The flavor was intense in a good way, some dark fruit flavors mixed with a decent amount of funk along with some fig and plum flavors. The mouthfeel left you with a thick coating of sourness on the tongue that lingered after it goes down. Overall this was a very enjoyable beer, however at over $20 for a 12.7 ounce bottle I don't know if I'd pick one of these up again.

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Photo of raynmoon
4.21/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

It pours a very deep ruby red/ brown with a really off white head that disappeared pretty quickly. Reminds me of champagne.

It smells like a nice Flanders Sour. It's nice a tart smelling. A lot of cherry and balsamic notes. Very dark sweetness.

Right away, the carbonation coats your mouth very nicely. A lot of fizzy bubbles. So far this is right out of the fridge, and the complexity isn't quite there, but is probably being held back because of the cold. There is a decent sourness, but nothing really that tart. Kind of tastes like a light, carbonated red wine.

When it is slightly warmer the sourness starts to creep in.
This beer isn't exactly complex, or make you jump out of your seat, but I find myself wanting to keep going back and sipping.

Good beer though. Better than there Duchesse.

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

Picked up a bottle and was rather amazed it was still on the shelf. Score. Poured from corked 375mL bottle to Cuvel tulip the beer pours a dark amber brown, opaque and cloudy. The red tones of the amber are highlighted in the edges in the light. 2 finger off-white/tan head with nice retention and lacing. The nose is a blend of sour, oak, vinegar, funk, dark fruits, and tart apple. Blended well together the aroma is appealing. Similarly the flavor begins with an oaky funk at first that develops to a tart, slightly sour, vinegar cherry sweetness. Mildly bitter and well balanced. Medium bodied and well carbonated. Finishes tart and sweet with a lingering full palette sour. Very good. Overall, the price tag has kept me at bay for years but I am glad to have pulled the trigger finally. Very enjoyable.

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Photo of danedelman
4.22/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

okay, so I got ripped off on this bottle. $25 ooofff.

A-murky reddish brown with almost zero head.

S-lots of oak and cherry followed by a pit fruit and raisin/prune smell. Sweet with a nice tartness to it.

T-tart cherries hit first with then a nice dose of oak and pruniness. almost like a bitterness in there too, almost chocolate like. Well done but again, a Rodenbach would do just fine at $7 a 750ml.

M-medium bodied with nice carbonation. very easy drinking.

Overall I really enjoy this one but the pricetag just really sucked. Not the breweries fault.

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Photo of inlimbo77
4/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Red Poppy '12
375ml
Lost Abbey tulip

A: Murky reddish brown color on the pour. Better carbonation that I expected and had read about. Nice little pop on the cork. And I did get a nice little head out of it.

S: Balsamic vinegar. Crap apples. Funk. Cherries. Typical

T: A good amount of tartness on the front of the palate. Then you get that apple cider vinegar flavor, but after having the Rodenbach Vintage '09 it wasn't as much. It's a nice dry finish.

M: Light to medium bodied beer. Very drinkable.

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

Poured a cork caged 375 from the 2012 vintage into a duvel glass

A: pours a dark, slightly murky brown. When held to the light it reveals a deep redish fading into amber around the edges. Pours a nice two finger khaki head that dissapates nicley and leavs a little bit of lacing.

S: a very complex, very inviting aroma, oak and sour funk, light hints of red wine vinegar, tart fruit aromas of dark cherry, along with hints of sour green apple, kiwi? And pear. Again a very very. Implied and Inviting nose with all the aromas playing together very nicley.

T: taste does not dissapoint, as complex and intriguing as the nose. The taste actually follows it quite closely. Funk and oak upfront, blending into a very light vinegar touch burried beneath a very nice sour cherry flavor, cherry skins, I also get tart apple and pear, particularly in the finish. The sour/sweetness works perfectly here with the oak. A beatiful display of intermingling flavors.

M: medium mouthfeel with a nice medium tight bubble carbonation, has a very nice lush and almost fluffy mouthfeel, carbonation is spot on for the brew. A bit tart and dry on the finish, with a bit of tannins, I'm guessing from the cherry skins and oak.

O: one of my favorite sours. Displaying a beautiful display of well balanced complexities that become more and more inviting
With each sip and whiff of the glass.... Love it!

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

Served from 375 bottle into snifter glasses at City Beer in San Francisco. Writing based on 3-week-old notes.

A: Chocolate brown. Medium off-white head with decent retention.

S: Oak, Brett funk, cherries, chocolate / mocha. Pretty aromatic.

T: Fresh cherries, dipped in chocolate and gingerbread crumbs. The sourness and oak appear after the initial flavors. Clean finish.

M: Fizzy and decently carbonated. Fairly light-bodied.

O: Very solid, and I'm not usually a huge Lost Abbey fan.

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Photo of Scotchboy
4.15/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Review No. 450

12.7oz corked & caged 2012 vintage bottle, poured into a Jackie O's tulip.

A: Hazy, turbid pond-water brown, hints of blood red...initially a good off-white/yellowish head but it fizzles quickly away...not much lacing...carbonation appears good.

S: Tart cherry, red apples, hints of funk and vinegar, dark fruit, and some vinous notes.

T: Plenty of tart cherry notes but it isn't overwhelming...carbonation does a fine job of cleansing the palate...pretty tasty, and almost balanced...cherry, tartness, touch of lactic sour, funk, lemon, hint of oak.

MF: Tart, moderate-to-light mouthfeel, this thing is well carbed and feels light and refreshing.

O: A really nice beer, and pretty drinkable for the style; not too tart or overwhelmingly sour.

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Photo of Rutager
4.15/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

And why wouldn't I be drinking a $17 beer???

Appearance. Pours a really deep, but pretty clear amber-red with two+ fingers of thick, plae orange-tan head that lasts a while. Looks nice and expensive.

Smell. Funky and woody wine, some nice cherry and light fruits. The smell has an expensive quality.

Taste. Nice tart cherries, some sour grapes and green apples, woody, especially in the finish. Acidic with just a little sweetness. Tastes super expensive.

Mouthfeel. Below medium body and below medium, but fine and lively carbonation. Felt a bit thin, but quite expensive.

Overall. I liked it. For some reason I had really high expectations for this one. I'd say the best thing about this beer is the value for my hard earned money.

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Photo of tanarm
4.68/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Vintage 2012.

Dark Brown, slight haze. Good head retention. Carbonation looks nice and bubbly.

Aroma is pineapple, kiwi... over-ripe fruit. Touch of strawberry. Cherry is very faint, instead there is more complex stuff going on here. Touch of oak.

Cherry comes out a lot more in the taste. Tart cherry, oak comes through in the finish now, and lingers on. Melon... pineapple. Lactic bite cuts through the sweetness. More subtle oak. SO complex. Lots of fruity flavors all melding together.

Medium body, good viscosity, especially for a 5% beer! Carbonation is perfect. nice and bubbly.

An extremely refreshing, complex, delicious, beautiful sour ale. I wish I had a bigger bottle.

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Photo of jmarsh123
3.18/5  rDev -25%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

'11 vintage poured into my RR tulip

Pours muddy brown with red hues and a generous 3 finger off-white head with good retention even though it fades slightly.

Smells of slightly tart cherries and a little vinegar. Not nearly as acidic as I expected it to be.

Acidity comes through a lot more on the flavor. Some good cherry notes, but they soon get overpowered by vinegar with a little bit of wet band aid. Not entirely pleasant.

High carbonation levels despite the Flat Abbey joke with medium to light mouthfeel.

I usually like Flanders, but this one was a bit overboard. There may have been some good things there, but all I could really taste was vinegar.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.85/5  rDev -9.2%
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+

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

A- dark reddish brown with a half finger khaki head.

S- vinegar, cherries, funk, oak, and vanilla.

T- sour cherries, vinegar, oak, a little funk, mild vanilla.

M- velvety mouthfeel, strong carbonation and a nice puckering effect.

O- I thoroughly enjoyed this beer. With so much flavor it's hard to believe its only 5% ABV. This brew really reminded me of RR's Concecration which is a good thing. At 15 bucks for a 375 ml bottle it will be hard not to get a couple RR sours instead.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.4/5  rDev +3.8%
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.

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Photo of SalMineo
3.92/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Warning: Please make sure to open this delicious treat over the sink to avoid making a mess all over the place. This beverage is extremely carbonated and will foam over all the place like Veuve Clique bottle after it's been shaken in a paint shaker for 15 minutes.

Pour- Has a murky beet red color tint to it. It had great aggressive head upon first that quickly disappears.

Smell-The aroma of this beer is absolutely incredible. Definitely get the smell of oak and a big funky smell with a cranberry/cherry style to it.

Taste-Tart cherries is the first thing that comes to my mind as I drink it. I then receive that love sour flavor I've dying to have. Sour Cherry just overwhelms the rest of my taste buds with a strong presence of acid in there.

Great beer but it's a huge price. $20.00 for a 375! I made the decision to purchase it because it was the last one on the shelf and I knew it was kinda of rare. It was one of those things I would only do once because I certainly not spend another $20 for a bottle like this. The price is just way too steep.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.97/5  rDev -6.4%
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.

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Photo of jibbyvonjibb
4.52/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

bottle, 375mL
bought @ City Beer, San Francisco

A: cherry red color. small bubbles

S: Cherry. Vinegar. Toasted malts. Very caramelly. Biting acidity. Smells similar to consecration.

T: Lots of vanilla. Chocolate cherry tiramisu. Caramel. Biscuits. Clean finish. Tastes less acidic than smell implies.

M: Creamy, silky and smooth. Moose-like. An extremely comforting texture. Medium-high carbonation.

O: I enjoyed this one quite a bit. Great balance between caramel and fruit. And the texture is magical. If it wasn't so expensive, it would be one of my regulars.

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Photo of Jammies
3.3/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A-pours a deep brown with about an inch of foam. great retention

S-sweet with cherries

T-bitter and sweet. (yes, slightly bittersweet) a bit overbearing with the cherries, but overall not too shabby

M-thin and a little tingly on the palate

O-a bit too sour for my liking

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Photo of nova009
4.2/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a corked and caged bottle into a snifter

A- pours a dark murky brown, red tints appear when held to light, very little head but what is there is popping with carbonation bubbles, spotty to little lacing

S- woah, you get hit with a lot of oud bruin type funk right off the bat, vinegar, slightly fruity, my mouth is watering, would have liked to have gotten more cherry in the nose

T- wow, tart tart tart, funk is strongly apparent, mouth puckering, vinegar, tart cherry, one of the most sour beers ive ever tasted and i love jolly pumpkin beers

M- medium body, pretty high carbonation, dry wine-like finish

O- I like this beer a lot, it is not the best of the style, that being said it is still delicious and its one of the most sour beers ive ever had, the big thing that would keep me from buying this again is the price, way too high for a 12.7oz bottle, other than that it was a pleasure to drink

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

Review from notes.

A: Pours slightly hazy ruby/brown color with large bubbles forming when poured. Very little retention and very small bits of lace forms.

S: Nice sour cherry straight away with a little bit of oak, vanilla, and vinegar.

T: Again, lots of sour cherry, it dominates the flavor profile. Underneath there is a good bit of oak and a little vanilla. Rather sweet with a great level of sourness. A touch of vinegar.

M: Medium bodied with low to medium carbonation, very easy drinking.

O: Big fan of this beer, and of the style in general. Very easy drinking, would have no problem drinking this one again.

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Photo of brystmar
3.38/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

2011 vintage. Thanks to Nate for the bottle!

Needed a corkscrew to pry this baby open. Loud POP as the cork jumped from the neck, no gushing but tons of carbonation.

Nose has oak barrels, sour cherries, funk, a little peaty too. Oak dominates the flavor with sour cherries right behind. Massive carbonation significantly detracts from the experience. Glad I tried this, but won't be seeking it out again.

*** Update 7/14/2012 ***

Just opened my first 2012 vintage and couldn't believe it was the same beer. This year's is significantly better to the point where I'm surprised it's even the same beer. I'd give the '12 somewhere in the 4.15 range.

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Photo of Thehuntmaster
4.59/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

375ml corked and caged bottle 5,0% Abv.
Served lightly chilled in an over sized wine glass.
No bottle date, but I would assume it is from the latest vintage.

Thanks to futura123 for hooking me up with this one, it has been on my 'must try' list for years!

Appearance: The cork shot out as soon as the cage is undone, but thankfully the gush was very slow and not a drop was spilled.
The body is a deep, murky brown and displays red edges when held to the light. A gentle pour yields a massive, off white head that sadly fizzes away pretty quickly, leaving only a few small patches of lace.

Smell: Wow, this smells absolutely delicious! The nose almost seems to be a cross between that of a Flanders red and an Oud Bruin. Tart cherries, balsamic vinegar and old oak dominate the nose, with light earthy funk, red wine and a touch of spices also present. As the beer warms the brown ale base becomes apparent with notes of spiced dark fruit and a touch of toasted malt.

Taste: Wow, this is far tarter than I was expecting - it even causes a light puckering sensation! As with the nose, the flavour is made up of notes that I associate with both Red Ales and Oud bruins. Notes include: Tart cherries (although a touch of sweetness is noted on occasion), balsamic vinegar, old oak, a mineral/metallic character (typical of Flanders Red Ales), light funk, underlying spiced dark fruit and brown malt.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, with a medium-high level of fairly smooth carbonation. Red Poppy is quite a lot tarter than I expected and yields light mouth puckering.

Overall: Flanders Reds are one of my favorite beer styles and Red Poppy is right up there with the best Belgian renditions. I will certainly have to make a point of getting a few more bottles of this!

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Photo of philbe311
3.98/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I've been eager to try this one for a while...

A - Three fingers worth of active audibly fizzy airy light tan colored head with a bit of a rocky top... Decent retention ultimately gives way to a full lacing and moderately thick collar... The color is almost aubergine with lots of ruby red highlights when back lit... Some very rapid streaks of small bubbled carbonation can be seen towards the top of the glass... Lots of lacing clings to the glass...

S - Rich and complex from get go... Cherries... Lots of oak notes... A light but biting tartness... Perhaps some red grapes as well... Light vinegar notes... A hint of vanilla... Black berries... A moderate funkiness throughout... Epic label and presentation...

T - Lots of oak and wood and the forefront... Some lite vanilla notes... The cherries take a distant back seat... Perhaps some raspberries and currants... A bit unbalanced...

M - Medium bodied... Lively... Loaded with unrelenting carbonation... The finish is exceedingly dry yet saliva inducing... Wakes up the senses with each sip...

D - A solid Flanders Red Ale that is an assault on senses... Potent would be an understatement... There is nothing subtle about it... Not my favorite for a style, but a rather extreme American interruption on the style...

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Red Poppy Ale from The Lost Abbey
4.24 out of 5 based on 1,932 ratings.
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