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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:
1,933
Avg:
4.24
pDev:
17.22%
 
 
Wants:
569
Gots:
593
For Trade:
43
User Reviews
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Reviews: 571 | Ratings: 1,933
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

Photo of andrewinski1
4.07/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Shared by Bendurgin! Huge light pink head and a lot of sticky lacing. The body is a murky reddish brown.

The aroma is full of slightly sweet cherry.

The taste is also slightly sweet cherry (nowhere near cloying) with a generously tart finish. This strikes a pretty good balance.

The body is light to medium and the carbonation is enjoyably plentiful.

I really like this one. I always enjoy trying LA beers.

 410 characters

Photo of Absolut
4.06/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured into a snifter. murky dark brown with a fizzy head the dissipates rather quickly.

Smells is sour, brett, cherry and bread.

taste is sour, less cherry than from the nose.

thin mouthfeel, fizzy and very dry.

quite good.

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Photo of Coldstorage
4.06/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2015 bottle poured into Hair Of The Dog tulip.

L:Pours with a thick white head that falls quickly. Deep brown with a slight red glow.

S: The best part of the beer perhaps. Nice broad cherry aroma with no syrup or medicinal quality. A big fruity promise with a bit of salty sweat behind it.

T: Medium tart/sourness with much less fruit than I had expected from the nose. Cherry is in the background behind the sour twang and the brightness of the high carbonation.

F: Thin, dry, crisp.

O: At $17 for a split i'm not entirely sure I got my moneys worth, but that's not to say it isn't lovely stuff. Heard people age this which had me suspicious given its only 5% (and has lager blended in?) but now that I tasted it i'm even more confused. If the fruit faded anymore it would be gone altogether. If I hit the bottle shop and cant find anything else to waste money on I may just put one away for a year or two. Glad I had it but... NEXT.

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Photo of srandycarter
4.06/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Ok, I am not a sour beer drinker by nature, but I am trying. The rating here is based more on what I think it's supposed to be, not by how much I really enjoy it.

A - Reddish brown, a little like malt vinegar. No head, very little lacing.

S - Vinegar and sour cherries.

T - Major sour cherries, some raspberry with a vinegar back. Only a hint of malt in the whole thing.

M - Low carbed, medium to light body. Fairly smooth and creamy.

D - For the style, I am sure it's killer. For me, really, one is enough.

EDIT: 2.12.11 Getting more into sours, will have to try this one again sometime.

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Photo of nickd717
4.05/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Sampled at GABF 2009...don't kill me, I'm not done yet...and then had it straight from the barrel at Lost Abbey Barrel Tasting 2009.

Here is the my review from GABF that I wrote down earlier but did not post because of the "don't review from beer fests" guideline:
Another great sour from the Flat - I mean Lost - Abbey. Just kidding Tomme, for all the heat you take, you shut us up with some great beers. This is one of them. Bottle pours hazy dark reddish-amber with a small, lasting off-white head. Aroma is tart berries with cherries standing out, oak, red wine vinegar, sweet malt, and funk. Flavor is tart, but not too much so, with some sweetness to balance lending caramel and toffee notes. Loads of cherries, raspberries, and red wine. Also some oaky barrel notes and vinegar/lemon tartness on the finish. Palate is medium-bodied and sharp with higher than average carbonation. This is a great beer overall.

So I was all set to give this a high review once I got a fair pour of it. Then I got a fair pour of it at this at the Barrel Tasting, and to be honest, dogg, I wasn't too impressed. Had sort of an odd funkiness to it that I didn't pick up the first time that threw it off a little bit. I love a good sour, but the balance has to be just right, and for some reason this time was a little off.

So I'm going to more or less average the ratings from the two times I've had this, maybe a little heavier on the good experience since that wasn't straight from the barrel and was more how this is meant to be served. Figure that's a fair assessment. Would like to try it out of the bottle sometime.

First time was an A, second was a B. Overall I'll give it a low A-.

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Photo of riored4v
4.05/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed on 3/30/11

Poured in to a tulip. 1.5 finger, fluffy, off-white head. Dark red body that showed some murkiness. Head held really well.

Smell was of tart cherry and acidity with a touch of vinegar. Slightly funky with some Brett. Notes of oak and light maltiness.

Taste was good. Nice tart cherry flavor. Mildly acidic. Notes of oak and dark fruit. Again, slightly funky with some farmhouse characteristics.

Mouthfeel was very good. Light body, medium/high carbonation. Nice and dry.

Good drinkability on this one. Nicely tart while maintaining drinkability.

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Photo of Maxwell
4.05/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours a deep candied brown like root beer. The head is large, tan and rocky, but it mellows down to a half fingers width with time, while lacing is droopy and thin. The beers body is clear of sediment with light carbonation bubbles traveling up the sides of the glass. The beer smells much mustier than I expected for the style. Sour hints of cherry and fruit leather are present along with a caramel malt background. Musty funk is definitely present though, and suggests a hint of church basements, and perhaps that of a lost abbey…

The beer tastes largely sour with definite notes of sour cherries, though they are weaker than I would hope for. Caramel malts are present in the background as a faint hint, but the sour cherry funk is the dominant thing. Yeast notes give a slight sour apple and slight barnyard and hay notes, as well as slight buttery notes in the middle of the taste, and the beer is nice to sip slowly. The mouthfeel has strong under-pricklings, but overall the beer is smooth and creamy. The tongue is left slick with saliva and a slight after taste of cherries and sour apples, the middle of the tongue is also dry but sticky. The real star of the mouthfeel, however, is how the beer mellows its own effervescence out into a smooth velvety embrace on your tongue. Overall this is another tasty Flanders red. I didn’t like this as much as Oude Tart, but I think I liked it more than Rodenbach’s Grand Cru. It’s worth a try for sour lovers, and I am very happy to sample a full bottle from The Lost Abbey, though their pricing on the East Coast is a far too much for my budget. Worth a try, but not worth continued sampling.

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Photo of ShadesOfGray
4.05/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 375ml bottle into my Troegs Mad Elf snifter/tulip glass. Pours a crisp reddish color, filling the glass a dark maroon...with a small creamy tan head. The head dissaptes pretty quickly and remains a very thin rim with little to no lacing. Appearance is thick and hazy looking.

Aroma is strong of vinegar and tartness. Even though this doesn't sound appealing to everyone...if this style of beer is right up your alley...it's completely inviting. A very sharp and fruity aroma is hidden in the back as well.

Flavor is tart, crisp, carbonated, fruity, tons of vinegar sharpness...and booze is a non-factor. Light and crisp mouthfeel...not complex. Not the best Flanders out there, sweetness is lacking...but completely delish at the same time! Oveall, a great beer from Lost Abbey!

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Photo of pmccallum86
4.05/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a small head that dissipates rather quickly. The body is dark maroon and slightly transparent.

Smell is weird, lots of vinegar and funky aromas. Not like any other beer I have smelled.

Taste is slightly tart with quite a bit of vinegar and dry finish. Another carbonated beer from Lost Abbey, whaddaknow. Leathery dry finish for a flanders oud bruin. Very good beer to try though, more funky and sour than other beer I have had from the style.

Mouthfeel is highly carbonated with a very dry finish.

Drinkability is pretty good, not something you want to drink quickly, it's a nice sipper. Another quality beer from the Lost Abbey.

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Photo of RyBrew54
4.04/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy red amber with puffy beige head. Nose is slightly sweet and funky, yet very light overal. Notes of light cider vinegar, cherry, and candy. Taste is tart cherry up front, not overly sour, with sweeter malt backing. Body is is lighter and brew is loaded with sediment. Overall a very solid and a well rounded wild ale.

 331 characters

Photo of 51mmz0rz
4.04/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12.7oz bottle into a St. Bernardus chalice.

A: Dark opaque brown, head is off white, fades quickly.

S: Sourness, some sweet fruit smells as well. A very slight muskiness.

T: Powerfully sour up front and on the finish. Lacks some complexity, but has solid flavor.

M: Highly carbonated, maybe just a tad too much, otherwise, pleasant.

D: Highly drinkable and refreshing.

Overall a very nice, solid beer, but not for the price.

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

2010 vintage - poured into portsmouth tulip.

Pours out a somewhat murky reddish brown with a small ring of white bubbles - no foam or lacing.

Smell is good - sour, acetic, cherries, some oak, occasional hints of solvent, and quite a bit of funk when you swirl the glass.

Taste is more straitforward than the nose - no funk to speak of - just sour with cherries. A couple sips here and there had something odd going on - ashes/solvent finish - but that was the exception, not the rule.

Mouthfeel is decent. A little flat and heavy. Not as crisp and refreshing as some sours can be.

Overall, a tasty beer. I'm glad I have another, but I don't know that it's worth the $16 price tag. Probably won't seek this one out in the future.

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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 boatshoes
4.03/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Received this in a monster box from 6daysbottomocean in the Whale BIF 3. 375ml bottle. Thanks again!

Appearance- Pours a dark, very slightly crimson tinged, hazy brown into my snifter. A moderately aggressive pour yields about a finger of slightly tan head on top which to my surprise sticks around for quite awhile. Eventually dies back to a sheet across the top. Lots of beading carbonation in the body of the beer and a very small amount of lacing.

Smell- Very vinous with lots of oak present. Smells of dark tart cherries, some red wine grapes, and barrel. A little bit of vanilla even perhaps, not sure exactly where I'm getting that from, but maybe off of the barrel. Finishes with a strong whiff of lactic tartness.

Taste- Once again, very tart and very vinous. Lots of tart fruit flavors. Barrels really show through as well, adding a rich woodiness to the palate as well. Finishes on a very strong acidic note.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Mouthfeel was good for the style with enough, but not too much, carbonation. Drinkability was pretty good for me as well given the good flavor profile and nice tartness. However, I'm a sour head, and if you aren't this may be a touch tart for you.

Overall, a very solid shot at an oud bruin from Lost Abbey. I'm generally very impressed by the sours I've had of theirs and this one didn't disappoint.

 1,350 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 zoolzoo
4.03/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Thanks awalk1227

A: Big pop from the cork, pours an almost opaque shade of redish brown. This thing has a really frothy and bubbly looking cream head that just wont get lost. Sort of Guinness looking in texture.

S: Lactic presence, vinegar and under ripened cherry tartness. Perhaps some vanilla or brown sugar.

T: Follows the nose quite nicely. Similar to many Oud Bruins except with more assertive tartness. Funk and tart up front, rolling into unripe cherries and brown malt base. Slightly puckering, definitely mouthwatering in the finish.

M: Surprisingly creamy, medium carb.

O: Overall, a great example of the style. Though I must say Im sort of getting lost in Flanders type sours. I cant exactly say what would make this one stand out in the crowd. Given the price and availability of this beer, I cant see seeking it out again in the midst of other "off the shelf" Flanders options available to me. Still, a great beer in its own right.

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

Poured on tap @ Hop Juice Fest 2011

Pours a dark reddish brown color with less than a finger of cream colored head. The nose is sweet and sour. Vinager and cherries come to mind. The taste is much the same but nicely amped. Lip smacking tartness upfront with some sweet cherry offerings. Delightful. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and prickly from the tartness. Super drinkable and damn tasty as well

 401 characters

Photo of flayedandskinned
4.02/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

2014 Vintage
Poured into a standard tulip

Appearance: (4)
Pours a dark, murky mahogany with deep red undertones. A loosely bubbled, 1 finger tall tan head quickly rises and recedes almost immediately, leaving no lacing behind it's wake.

Aroma: (3.75)
Aromas of slightly tart cherries immediately shoot out of the glass upon pouring; Buried beneath the fruity acidity is a lightly acetic red wine vinegar character, but it is kept in balance by a rich, almost toffee like malt bread-y-ness. There is a very light barnyard funkiness imparted by some Brettanomyces. As the beer warms, some vanilla tones from the barrels become more apparent.

Taste: (4.25)
As soon as the beer touches your tongue, you're blasted by clean, juicy lactic acidity; tart cherry pie filling as well as both lemon and cherry juice. As the tartness fades on your palate, you are greeted by the flavors of the actual dark cherry flesh intermingling with notes of vanilla and almonds from the barrel. The beer finishes very dry with a flourish of slightly sweet, caramel-y malt. Long lingering notes of juicy cherry flesh, tart cherry flesh, bready malt and a deep vanilla character from the wood. light brettanomyces funk and tannins.

Mouthfeel: (3.75)
light bodied with high, peppery carbonation. Refreshing, but I feel that the very high carbonation overwhelms the some of the more subtle aspects of this beer.

Overall: (4)
With Red Poppy, Lost Abbey ages their sour brown with cherries in used wine barrels. What comes out is a great sour that really showcases the essence of the whole cherry; the skin, flesh, juice and even the pit. I really appreciated the strong vanilla character imparted by the oak barrels that is often missing in a lot of sour beer. Recommended.

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Photo of berkey
4.02/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

375 ml bottle poured into a tulip glass. From notes 07/18/10.

The cork was released with a reassuring 'pop'. Beer pours a ruby tinted dark brown color with a fairly large moderately well retained khaki colored head.

Smell is surprisingly spot on for the style. Wood and a mildly pungent funkiness are primary while the sour cherry aroma plays a secondary role just like most in the style that don't actually have any fruit added. I was wondering why this is called an Oud Bruin and not an American Wild Ale but so far it makes sense.

Flavor mostly mirrors the aroma which is a good thing. Funk stays under control while cherries stay subtle. Oak continues to play a big part though the vinegar-like notes are milder than expected. Overall still fairly similar to the more familiar European varieties out there. I half expected this to be more along the lines of RR Supplication but the restrained sourness and more subtle fruit take this in a slightly different direction. I prefer that beer for it's uniqueness but this is solid as well. My only (small) gripe is a wish for a little more intensity on the flavor. Not as excited about it at half way through the glass as I was on my first sip.

One of the better American versions of the style I've tried. I'd prefer a little more tartness but if you like the European versions like Rodenbach then this one is worth a shot. Just be aware it's a little more subdued.

 1,420 characters

Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.02/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

For my 100th beer advocate review I thought I would drink something that was different from the normal styles I love. This is my first Red Flanders Style Ale.

Cage & cork 12oz bottle poured into tulip glass.

Appearance: It a body is a dark brown and deep red color tone. The head is a real gusher that has seems t remain at a bit smaller that I fingers head that is khaki in color. Lacing is sticking all over the side of the glass.

Smell: Intense cherries. Some funkiness and vinegar like smell.

Taste: Intense sour cherries and funk. I dont really taste the oak barrel at all in this beer. As the cherries fade, the funk takes over in the aftertaste. Its not off putting at all it actually quite interesting.

Mouthfeel: Light and refreshing body that is smooth. Carbonation is very lively and would consider it a touch more than moderately carbonated.

Overall: This was a very interesting and enjoyable beer. It makes me want to try more sour beers! The biggest down fall is the price! At over 15 dollars for 12oz bottle this beer will be reserved for special occassions only!

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Photo of Smurf2055
4.01/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured into tulip, finger of off white head. Sediment is at the bottom.

Smell is tart and balanced.

Taste is strong cherry. Sour, almost bitter. Candied, almost.

Very smooth and balanced. Sits on the tongue quite well.

Very well done, but I don’t think it’s worth the price tag.

 290 characters

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 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 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

Red Poppy Ale from The Lost Abbey
4.24 out of 5 based on 1,933 ratings.
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