Red Poppy Ale | The Lost Abbey

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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:
575
Ratings:
1,943
Avg:
4.24
pDev:
9.43%
 
 
Wants:
569
Gots:
594
For Trade:
40
User Reviews
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Reviews: 575 | Ratings: 1,943
Photo of waltonc
4.31/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Purchased a bottle at Toronado's Lost Abbey night.

Appearance: ruby and copper with haze and not a great deal of head. As a result of the substantial quantity of yeast in the bottle, a few random little globs are floating in my glass. Perhaps my dinner will be bottle conditioned by it later this evening.

Smell: Definitely some sour cherry smells in there. Kind of reminds me of the smell of a McDonalds cherry pie in the 80s, in a good way. Okay, maybe a higher quality pie.

Taste: This is a really interesting flavor. I've never had anything remotely like it. The flavor starts out quite tart, but not mouth puckering. Cherries. Very little sweetness. Then fades into a dry, astringent finish. Very nice. I'm not keeled over by any presence of sour punch sugar straws.

Mouthfeel: As mentioned above, an interesting astringent quality.

Drinkability: It's not like you're going to pound this. Although I don't give this high drinkability marks, I don't even think it's fair to weigh that in the ranking. This is a sipping beer and given the price tag, who's going to drink more than one at once in any event? (unless you're one of those lucky people who got it on tap)

Overall, a great beer.

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Photo of brdc
3.93/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to nflmvp for this one. Small corked bottle, poured into a Rodenbach Grand Cru tulip.

Very dark cherry to almost burgundy in color, with a light brown head that shows very good retention and lacing.
Very rich artoma comes in waves out of the glass, sour, almost vinegary, tart and fruity, and as it warms up, oak and more oak.
Very dry, medium bodied, it is mostly acidic and sour, with little to no sweet notes. Very good, but at times the wood notes become a little too much. Drinkability is quite low for the style, but still pleasant and flavorful for such a low ABV beer.

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Photo of mrkrispy
4.3/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got this at the Release, had a few in line (thanks Port for the great service!) and got a few bottles. I traded away too many and wished I kept a few for myself haha.

Poured a pale hazy and cloudy brown with hint of red. No head at all. Looks like a nice amount of goop in the bottom.

Very pungent but pleasant aroma of cherries, a vinegar and sour bite.

Complex taste, an odd complex of sweet and sour. The sweetness is not sugary or syrupy, more refined. Definitely sour, almost astringent but not puckering. Nice cherry flavor that is in the back, not overwhelming or artificial tasting.

This is one heckuva beer, I think it can be great after another 6 months to a year. I hope Tomme and the Port make this an annual release.

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

Big thanks go out to mikesgroove for hooking me up with this bottle in a recent trade.
This one poured a hazy, sort of murky, reddish orange with a smattering of soapy bubbles. A thin, fine cap appeared as CO2 slowly came out of solution and this finally settled into a thin collar. Some spotty, short-lived lacing clung to the glass and there was a slow, steady stream of bubbles rising to the surface throughout. Tart, fruity aroma of freshly picked berries still unwashed, cherry skins and mild vinegar. Quite earthy, with notes of tobacco and musty hay. Some bread and oak were present too. The taste was fruity and tart up front, a mixture of lactic sourness and just a bit of vinegar, with a raspberry quality yet more of a cherry flavour. This gave way to brown sugar and bread, plus a hint of toffee and chocolate towards the end. The occasional flash of vanilla appeared as well. Earthy notes of tobacco and berry skins, with just a bit of oak flavour, added some depth. Lingering, tart finish. Medium bodied with a bit of a sugary texture and lingering dryness from the oak tannins. Carbonation was average, perhaps a little on the high side. Highly drinkable, but definitely worth savouring. Great balance, very enjoyable.

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

On tap at Lost Abbey for RBSG. Pours a rusty red-brown with no head. Tons of sediment. Aroma is dead-on apple pie, with an acetic sourness. Flavor is a balance between sweet and sour. Tastes like a caramel covered crab apple. Also some cherry notes in the tartness. Sharp with a mostly dry finish. Undercarbonated, but who cares? Delicious.

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Photo of bennetj17
4.17/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Deep amber with brownish tint, good clarity, low carbonation as a few large bubbles hang around the bottom of the glass. The head is thin leaving a soapy ring. It kind of looks like juice, maybe a bit like wine? Smell is nice, classic sweet and sour cherry mix, a bit vinegary, with a little peppery spice.

Tangy cherry flavor throughout. It peaks after a few seconds, becoming assertively tart but short of a lambic sourness. The woody vinegar presence is also nice, and in the finish you get just a tiny hint of caramel maltiness. Feels like a thin fruit juice on the palate with a high level of sparkly carbonation.

This beer is very nice for the style. It doesn't get as sweet as a few of the well-known examples do, which is key. I am not a fan of the Flanders beers as much as I like more funky lambics, but this beer was very quaffable. Recommended...

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

Thanks to dukedebourgogne for the hook up with this rare gem.

A-Would have thought it an IPA if you kept it more than 5 feet away from me! Slightly hazy (I left most of the yeast in the bottle)copper with a medium light tan head that reduced to a thin ring with some lace.

S-The unmistakable blast of Brett with sour cherries and a bit of oak astringency in the background.

T-Intensely sour with a nice mellowing effect from the oak. Some vanilla and a nice tangy bite from the cherries. All of this comes together very nicely.

M-Medium-light body with sharp crispness. Some dryness in the end from the oak.

D-Great flavour melding with that wonderful sour bite. I have noticed lately that I have become almost as big a fan of "sours" as I have always been with hops. I guess it is all about the extreme flavours. Red Poppy certainly lives up to the extreme flavour moniker. Nicely done, but who would expect anything less from Tomme? He has set the bar very high for himself....but he seems to keep clearing it over and over again!

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Photo of oakbluff
4.27/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a murky redish orange with tons of sediment. offwhite head, some lacing. Nose- really barnyard funky, fresh cherries. Taste- bitter cherries, moderate tartness but not overwhelming. Not too sweet or too sour. Some wood in the finish. Exceptional drinkability.

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Photo of thickerfreakness
4.57/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This pours a nice, ruby red with a cherry tinted beige head that lasts for a while and fades to a film.

Smells first of sour cherries, then vanilla and oak, followed by some musty character. More musty smelling as it warms.

Well it smelled a lot more sour than it tastes and there was more mustiness in the taste as well. Not disappointing just different. A very enjoyable sweet and sour cherry taste up front that melds in with the vanillin and woodiness. Then a long lingering mustiness/bitterness stays on my tongue that is actually quite pleasant. A little more sweet vanilla and mustiness as it warms.

Nice and dry. Easy as hell to drink. I just want to keep taking sips but as its my only bottle I have to conserve it.

This is a really great Oud Bruin. I have only had one better and that was Aardmonnik but I will never get to try that one again haha. This one was just a really enjoyable beer.

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Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4.45/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I got this bottle of Red Poppy Ale courtesy of IntriqKen, Thanks Ken!

12.7oz caged/corked bottle served in a tulip glass.

L - clear, reddish-brown color with a light beige head that stayed as a layer all the way through.

S - sour cherry and oak.

T - sour cherry flavor upfront is smoothed out with a woody oak flavor, very dry bitterness on the finish.

F - silky smooth.

D - a very special treat.

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

"The great events of life often leave one unmoved. They pass out of consciousness, and, when one thinks of them, become unreal. Even the scarlet flowers of passion seem to grow in the same meadow as the poppies of oblivion."

--Oscar Wilde

Cherry tomato red with Sunkist highlights when backlit with morning sunshine. The golden ecru crown is a quality slice of foam that reaches two fingers on the initial pour and lasts impressively long. Thick swaths of Belgian lace contribute to a wonderful look for a beer of this style.

The nose is exceptional. The first word that comes to mind is 'rich'. The second, third and fourth are 'sour', 'cherries' and 'oak'. It smells like this Flanders oud bruin will have an ideal combination of all the elements that make beer of this style so complex and so delicious. For specifics, keep reading.

Red Poppy is definitely the real deal. It's more bitter than most, and not quite as sour, but that's rarely a problem for the hopheaded among us. I might have started it out a little too cool, so let's see how it changes over the next 10-15 minutes. So far it's impressive.

Thankfully, the brown ale base is not lost among the sexier facets of the flavor profile. Each mouthful delivers a brisk uppercut of balsamic vinegar-like sweet and tart acidity... then a right cross of tangy sour cherry puree... followed by an oakiness that tightens things down like a vise and ushers in the finish.

The initial bitterness has calmed down to some extent, though I'd like to see it even more in the background. As the ounces fly by, I'm becoming aware of just how dry this beer is. Those little yeasties must have had their fill of all the fruit sugars. Have some cool water handy if you plan to drink more than one bottle at a time.

The mouthfeel has an intriguing combination of lightness, silkiness, suppleness and soft-edged carbonation. I'll resist the impulse to call for something bigger because it probably wouldn't improve things one iota.

Port Brewing Red Poppy Ale is the second best Flanders oud bruin that I've ever had the pleasure to consume. Compared to the perfect symphony that is Liefmans Goudenband, it's slightly (very slightly) out of tune. It's still a tremendous effort from one of America's best breweries. Thanks to tayner for the bottle.

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

Light bronze in color with a full, silky head of foam. Nose is nearly perfect, with hints of sour cherries, Pinot Noir, oak & funk. Flavor is outstanding, perfectly balanced and complex. Hints of lightly toasted oak, vanilla, sour cherries and Pinot Noir. Really stunningly good.

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Photo of orbitalr0x
4.2/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2010 vintage - new style 375ml bottle: 4.5/4/4/4.5/4

Pours a deep brown color with red highlights and two fingers of bubbly khaki head on top. Aromas of dense oak and wood meet a bright sour cherry. Tart, earthy accents run throughout along with a touch of spice. Nice!

First sip brings crispness and dry oak flavors upfront. Tannic with a solid kick of tart cherry. Spice and earthy funk but the wood has really seeped in this year. Flows down dry and puckering with lingering cherry accents.

Crisp with solid carbonation. A good sipper and a tasty treat to savor. Oak seems more forward this year but overall it's still a tasty treat.

2008 vintage:

Pours into my glass a deep burgundy red with a creamy half inch of light tan head sitting atop the brew. Plenty of active carbonation too. Aromas jump out with bold tart cherries upfront. Nice tannic woody, oak aromas meld in alongside some funky, cheesy brett characteristics. A subtle malty, caramel sweetness lurks underneath. Really enticing.

First sip brings a nice crisp malt with a hint of caramel upfront that is immediately met by a rush of vibrant tart cherry flavors. It almost has a syrupy quality to it as it moves into woody, oak barrel flavors. I get a sweetness upfront that melds into a sourness on the way down. Funky, sort of cheesy brett flavors mix in as the brew finishes with lingering cherry afterthoughts. Yum.

Mouthfeel is on the lighter side with a smooth effervescence of tight bubbly carbonation as it flows down. It's quite refreshing with a nice interplay between the sweet and sour. A bottle of this to myself is truly a treat and I only wish I had more. A tasty treat of a beer from Lost Abbey.

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

Thanks to ALECOHOLIC for this.

Pours murky amber with a small tan head that fades pretty quickly.

Smell: Tart Cherries, Apple Skin, Oak, Vinegar, Lactic Acid Sourness.

Taste: Sour Cherries, Lemon, Oak, Leather, Very Dry and Tart there is a bit of Fruity sweetness in there too. Medium Carbonation and Body. Very Refreshing.

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

a: This was a slightly cloudy yellowish amber color. It pours with a long lasting, creamy white head that leaves some lace in it's wake.

s: This smell is unique to me and difficult to decipher, let alone describe. There are fruit aromas of cherries and grapes. Musty damp grains blunt the fruit somewhat. In addition, I smell the sweet powder that they put on sour candies. There is something else sour here that I don't have a word for.

t: This is my first sample of this style, so you should ignore this review. Mildly prickly sour flavors permeate throughout. The cherry flavors are, of course, sour, yet somewhat sugary at the same time. There are some grape flavors and a powerful sour grain finish. Overall, this is nice and funky, just not as confrontational as some.

m: This has a very thick body, bordering on syrupy. The carboantion is lush, long lasting, and gentle.

d: Huge thanks to barleywinebrewer for the chance to try this rarity. These are well worth seeking out. I look forward to trying more of this style.

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

375ml. cork-finished brown bottle with a single wrap around label.

This was the first brew released for the Patron Sinners club, and a tasty one at that.

Poured into a tulip, a medium-dark hazelnut brown with a small beige head with some lavender tint to it. The head remains small...the visible carbonation is near perfect.

Sweet malt and cherries upfront with a tart, yeasty brett following right behind. Smells really yummy.

Initially goes in sweet with notes of cherries and syrupy malt, then quickly becomes tart and pleasantly sour to the finish. A nice earthy malt pulls through in the linqering aftertaste.

Mild ABV, medium body and just the right carbonation for this ale are really making me wish I had another, on this hot, sunny San Diego day.

This ale paired nicely with some spicy, cheesy pan fried potatoes that my girlfriend made.

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

Big thanks to oakbluff for hooking me up with this rare brew!

Pours a cloudy chunky orange/red, kind of like grapefruit juice, thick white head, some solid lace spots, settles to a nice layer and thick ring. Smell is sour and tart, very acidic, cherries, bread, lots of fruit, quite intense, oak, nice. Taste is similar, very oaky, some caramel, vanilla, cherries, tart fruit, acidic, lemons, vanilla, acidic fruit in the finish, very nice. Mouthfeel is light bodied with low carbonation, very smooth and easy to drink. Fantastic sour beer, no rough edges, very nice. Thanks Scott!

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

Viggo was nice enough to share this one. thanks eric!

375ml bottle, corked and caged. sampled may 9/08.

pours hazy brownish-red with a big dense off-white head. the head drops slowly and leaves spotty lace.

aroma is great. malt vinegar. lemon. brown sugar. grapefruit. orange peel. bread and crackers. bit of alcohol. lots of funk and sourness. some horse blanket and barnyard. hint of spice.

taste is great. lemon and malt vinegar up front, then a nice bread and cracker malt and a nice light spice in the finish. a little less depth in the citrus than i got in the aroma, but nice. mostly lemon with a bit of orange peel. touch of yeast. leather. horse blanket. sour cherry coming out as it warms. vanilla. i like the nice spiced-cake character too. medium-low bitterness level.

mouthfeel is good. medium well integrated carbonation. fairly light body.

drinkability is great. great depth to the funk and sourness. nice malt profile hiding in behind. balanced and highly enjoyable.

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

Poured into a GI Reserve goblet. Thanks to MiScusi for giving me the chance to try this one.

A - Could see a ton of carbonation trailing up in this one. Reminded me a lot of champagne as you could just see the carbonation floating up the whole time. Because of this, there was a constant stream of bubbles trailing up in it. Color of cherry wood with hues of gold and orange. It is a bit cloudy in the appearance as well. Didn't get much of a head on this in the goblet glass but there was a ton of carbonation on the side as well. Actually a very nice looking beer. As a note, I poured the rest of this into a flute and really still has no head or lacing at all.

S - Smell is of tart cherry that just wafts up. Also get a hint of sugary sweetness as well that cuts through the tart flavors. Also get a bit of an earthy and musty note that reminds me a bit of that distinctive Orval bretty smell.

T - Upfront the flavor is pure, tart cherry that just comes up. If this was the only flavor in the beer, it would not be that great but of course those masterminds at LA, had to just keep this packed with complexity. Later, I can just taste the funk that brings out the earthy, barny and, I always think, blue cheese like flavor. It is one of those things that is almost so nasty that it is good. At the end, get a slight hint of oak as well that just sneaks up. Really, I would not be surprised if someone told me this was just Orval's new beer brewed with cherries. The aftertaste just keep lingering around and leaves the Brett flavors hanging around. Also finishes a bit dry.

MF -like a fine champagne, it manages to have a ton of carbonation, yet it feels so velvety on the tongue. It has a great body for this type of beer which I feel should be a bit on the thinner side.

D - Overall, this is a great beer that I could see drinking with some cheese and crackers as an apetif. It is a really easy drinking beer and one that just calls you back. It has such a unique flavor that I want a chance to experience more and more of it. Each sip is different and I can't wait to open up that other bottle I received from my trade. Wished I lived somewhere close that kept this stocked as I would easily drink this a lot more esp in situations where I have champagne but the celebration does not necessarily call for champagne.

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Photo of younger35
4.75/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Received this brew from metallitone1 in a recent trade. This is my first brew from The Lost Abbey side of things and I look forward to this one. By far the best looking bottle I've ever had the pleasure of sampling a beer from. Drank from my Stone India Pale Ale tulip.

Appearance- On first pour it's a crystal clear pink with nice foamy bright white head. Once you empty the bottom of the bottle it turns to a dark brownish red with the same perfectly white head. Leaves a nice cap and collar with plenty of chunky lacing.
Smell- Very tart with a light sour cherry start. Full of lactic goodness with small amounts of oak that lend a subtle vanilla. This thing sort of reminds me of a Brett filled red wine (if there is such a thing). Sharp, fruity and funky this is one inviting scent.
Taste- The sour cherries are the first thing that hits me on my first sip. Very tart and lactic it starts big and brash. Not as vinegary as other beers of this type but the sourness of the cherries makes up for the lack of yeastly pucker. The original punch quickly fades leaving a soft resounding vanilla woodiness. The oak coats the back of my throat leaving a sweet woody residual finish.
Mouthfeel- Considering the beer the mouthfeel is fairly solid and sturdy with sharp/crisp carbonation and a dry finish.
Drinkability- This is a really great beer that I wish I could drink anytime I'm in the mood for the style. It's ridiculously drinkable and freakishly tasty. I'm not sure how this stands up to some other Lost Abbey brews but if they've done any style as tasty as they've made this one, I'll be really pleasantly surprised. Big thanks to Tim for the opportunity!

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Photo of weeare138
4.12/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to hopdog for breaking this open. We didn't have a bottle of Le Woody Brune to open for a side by side but it was a dead ringer for one of my favorites from Port Brewing.
Appears a hazy dark brown with a small, off-white head that quickly fades into a mild cap and collar. Spotty lacing is left around the glass.
Smell is of oak tannins, cherries, light brett, brown sugar, with a malty, biscuity aroma jumping out.
Taste echoes the aromas with the woody, slightly acetic flavors coming together.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied, sugary sweet, candy on the front of the tongue with vinegar acidic notes in the middle, and a semi-dry finish.

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Photo of francisweizen
4.65/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Dark burnished orange amber with a nice small head of off-white foam that lasts for a short while lending some decent Belgian lace and nice leggings. Aromas of sour cherries with nice light biscuity bread, brett funk, and more. The aroma is also very wild with a great funky barnyard notes that are well integrated with the bready yeast and lend a definitive edge to this one. This is certainly easier drinking and more well integrated and balanced than beers such as the duchess and her brothers. Taste is sour cherry, funk, hay, and barnyard with a nice small biscuity malt presence and no real hops to speak of. Mouthfeel is sharp and acidic up front but super smooth and well done as well. Drinkability is like liquid crack for a red sour such as this. This stuff is pretty fucking fantastic. One of the best lost abbey beers that I have said and that is saying a whole hell of a lot!

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Photo of HopHobo
4.18/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Received this beer in a trade with m1ked

A - Poured a reddish brown. Poured into two seperate glasses for my wife and I. The glass with the yeast was a totally different color.

S - smells of cherries and esters

T&M - pretty outstanding, I've had quit a few wild ales from Jolly Pumpkin Brewery. This beer is not as sour as those beers, but I think that compared to 90% of those beers this one is easier to drink. Tastes of sour cherries, very smooth on the mouth. Could sip it all night or slug it down in one gulp, Delicious!!

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

Thanks to IntriqKen for the bottle! Oh yea and the g/f says thanks too!

A: Pours a deep reddish brown color with a quickly receding head. When held to the light the color is a beautiful amber/red. Very good looking beer.

S: Smells of funky tart cherries with a slight vinegar smell. I didn't get the oak smell at first but as it warks the oak becomes subtle but apparent.

T/M: Very tart and sour up front with intense cherries and a little sweet malt coming next. Quite funky with some spiciness and a little brown sugar from the malts. Low abv reveals no alcohol taste and the high carbonation makes you think that you are drinking a champagne mixed with a very fruity Melboc or Pinot Noir, finishes fairly dry.

D: Definitely a very refreshing beer. At first I thought it wasn't so easily drinkable due to the tartness but as it warms and the more complex flavors come through the tartness becomes less and less noticable. Great beer overall and defintitely something worth trying. My first L.A. beer and defintely a good impression is made.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.9/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours with a frothy, initially one-finger thick, tan colored head. The beer is a very dark, concentrated cherry color, but shows an almost brilliantly clear, ruby-red color when held up to the light. The aroma is sour and funky; aromas of over-ripe cheese, lactic acid notes, a touch of an acetic edge and funky / woody mushroom notes. Underneath this initial funk is a noticeable fruit character that provides characteristic cherry aromas, but also a touch of cranberry and some sour plum. The aroma is on the sharp side as it seems just a touch too funky, if that makes sense; at first it seems that the beer is a little too wild even compared to a Lambic, though actually now that I think of it, a lot of this sharp character is a mix of the funkiness and a substantial oak character. The oak contributes bourbon-like spiciness, buttery-oak aromatics and a touch of vanillin, each of which seem to clash a bit with the up front funk.

Tart tasting, predominantly lactic, though there does seem to be a tart cherry contribution too. The carbonation, while not wildly effervescent, provides enough zip to tickle the tongue as the beer runs down my throat. The oak flavors are soft at first, but pick up steam as I take a few more sips; spicy wood and ample buttery oak pick up steam in the middle and into the finish were a touch of vanillin is also noticed. Tannins & fruit contribute to a cherry skin flavor and texture up front as well as some bright, cherry flesh notes. The cherries definitely add to the complexity of this brew, yet I wouldn't say this as a fruit beer necessarily; this beer doesn't scream cherry, instead the fruit is really well integrated with the other flavor components. This is quite light and quaffable, the wood / tannis provides some texture to keep this from being anything near thin; the texture may in fact be tone of the best things about this beer.

While the oak is never overwhelming here, it does seem to get in the way of the funky-fermentation notes and the base, beer-ingredient driven flavors & complexities; I think about a quarter of the oak character would be perfect for this beer, keeping it nice and subtle and in more of a supporting role. The buttery oak notes really seem to dominate the aroma of this brew after a bit, though I wouldn't say that it get over-whelming, it just does overwhelm all the other aromatic components. Not bad, even quite good, but the dominant oak keeps it from being incredible for me, though I must admit that I love seeing all this flavor packed into a beer of only 5%abv.

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