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Red Poppy Ale | The Lost Abbey

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Red Poppy AleRed Poppy Ale

Brewed by:
The Lost Abbey
California, United States

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

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Reviews: 570 | Ratings: 1,929
Photo of Treb0R
4.58/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Cocoa brown body with hints of red. High carbonation. Cafe ole colored head.

Full of sour black cherries, oak, toasted coconut, very well balanced and complex. Not as sour as one would think before tasting it. Has a bit of funk to it. The aroma is reminiscent of your typical Cali sour ales.

The mouthfeel is on point. Smooth as silk and that high carbonation fizzles away rather quickly after pouring.

I like Supplication a bit more overall, but Red Poppy is a bit more complex.

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Photo of rpstevens
4.58/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into my White Birch glass. The beer is a murky amber/brown with ruby edges. There is a thick frothy bone white head that slowly fades, leaving sticky foamy lacing on the walls of the glass.

The smell is vinegar, tart cherries, brown sugar and barrel. The brown sugar and tart cherries combine in the nose to create a very inviting candied sugar scent. The sweetness is pleasant, but it's definitely overpowered by the vinegar and sour cherries.

The taste matches the smell perfectly. The tart cherries hit the tongue first, followed by intense citrus sourness; mostly lemon juice and orange peels. Beyond the initial burst of sour there is a nice brown sugar sweet note that introduces the musty barrel flavors well, creating a slight balance before the vinegary sour finish.

The beer is light bodied, well carbonated and just balanced enough to not be too-sour. The low abv compliments the flavors well, and the dry finish and tartness of the beer invite further drinking. This is a good beer that I will definitely seek out in the future.

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Photo of Gregaroo
4.59/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

5-22-16 - Enjoyed in my backyard. Poured from a caged and corked bottle that I picked up from the brewery in early April. Poured into my Teku tall stemmed logo glass (that I also picked up at the brewery in early April). I had this ale once before at the Tomme dinner at Monk's earlier this year. So when I made my pilgrimage to the brewery in San Marcos, I picked up a bottle to enjoy today. A true sour ale, but very approachable. I took my time with this one due to the complexity of flavors. Slight white head that returns with a quick swirl. The latter sips were the best as the ale had sat for 20 minutes or so. Good to know for the next time. Oh so good.

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Photo of ktrillionaire
4.59/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Vintage 2009

Thanks Beerzebub, for the hook-up.

A - Pours a deep murky brown, with reddish tinges at the edges. Despite being obviously undercarbonated, it still manages a persistent wispy cap.

S - The aroma is sharply tart and pungently musty; the former being a fusion of acetic, lactic and isoamyl - and the latter being imparted strongly with oak character. After a few sips the cherry and tart fruity aspects develop in the nose, and perhaps suggestions of red apples and mulled spices.

T - Quite sour and tart. The oak character seems to be foremost, with a lactic tartness finishing a close second. The fruit is subtle, and mostly available in the finish. Up front the acetic competes with the lactic, and on the finish the sour segues into an isoamyl, both of which suggest solvent qualities. My first reaction is that this is a strongly sour brew, and despite the fruit inclusion, there is very little sweetness to be found. As it airs out it gets sweeter, especially the finish, and fruit sweetness starts to work its way into the character.

M - This is undercarbonated, but it still has some sharpness, and overall the feel works fairly well.

D - The beer is quite good, but without a doubt overpriced. So drinkability is less than perfect.

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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 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.

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Photo of jow_42
4.6/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured into a Lost Abbey teku glass

A - pours a ruby reddish, murky, brownish color. One finger of off white head, lots of carb, lots of bubbles in the glass.

S - Tons of cherries. Very cherry forward. Little bit of tartness, funk, little bit of the wet horse blanket. Woody, oak from the barrel. Tart cherries.

T - Tart cherries up front, but not overly sour. Vineous, there are vinegar notes, you get the oak from the barrels. Little bit of funkiness, again, the horse blanket. Very light, dry finish.

O - an awesome sour. I wish it were a little more sour than it was, but the cherries are great. The price point is a little high for a 375ml bottle. I'd recommend trading for this one for sure.

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

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

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

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

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

O - A well balanced and executed ale.

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Photo of MNishCT77
4.6/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12.7 oz. bottle picked up in the greater San Diego area, unknown bottling date (2013 vintage), poured into my FFF Teku glass, drank 9/20/13 over an hour.

A: 3/3 - dark brown coloration, minimal clarity (cannot see through), carbonation was a fizzy brown head on first pour but very quickly dissipates into subtle glass lacing , minor alcohol legs

S: 10/12 - lots of pungent sour (especially vinegar) notes admixed with those brown ale roastiness

T: 18/20 - on the anterior tongue, the sour is not overwhelming - tastes a bit like stale bread; in the middle of the mouth, some of the cherry and vinous qualities start to rear their head from the oak aging; the 5.5% ABV is present but certainly not overwhelming in the taste; really a nice balance of malt and sourness!

M: 4/5 - moderate-to-high bodied and appropriately carbonated for an American wild ale

O: 9/10 - another solid offering from The Lost Abbey; I think that they picked it up spot on with the combination of brown ale and sour cherry flavors; I picked up a bottle on a recent trip to San Diego and wish that I had about three more...definitely recommended!

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

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

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

Something delicious and unusual!

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

Sent by from AleWatcher. Reviewed completely blind.

This one was a C&C 375ml bottle marked "w/GF Drink last. Tulips." Ohh boy!
A- This poured out really nice. Such a pretty color. Deep ruby red that glows and shimmers like a precious stone. There is a small, crackly head with no retention and spotty lace. The second glass, my girlfriend's, had a little sediment that got stirred up from stopping the pour, then starting again. 4.5

S- Stinky cheese and vinegar, this is going to be sour. Its very briny at times with a strong lactic presence. It opens up nicely with black cherry skin or plum skin. Swirling brings out lots of barnyard funk. This is highly lactic and vinegary. I commented about Flanders reds as we were smelling. 4.5

T- The first sip is SHOCKINGLY sour! We both were knocked back from the intense pucker. Its painfully awesome. Strong, under-ripe citrus with vinegar and acidity. Sweet berries with underpinnings of under ripe cherry and crab apple. 4.5

M- Strongly puckering and highly acidic. The finish is very dry. 4.5

D- Woah, this is really nice. Very strong and in your face with its acidity and sourness. 5

I was thinking Russian River or Lost Abbey. Sanctification just came out, could it be that? I think Red Poppy was recently released as well.

The reveal:
Lost Abbey Red Poppy! I was right when I was comparing it to a Flanders red! Really great stuff. I love the classy label. This was a long time want!

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

Review #300

2010 bottle served in a De Ranke tulip

pours dark murky brown with hints of copper. light creme head, very light retention.

light cherry upfront with strong hints of sourness and vinegar. light oak. dry smell. very clean.

light sourness up front. light hints of vinegar and oak kick in. a nice cherry flavor begins to finish this off with the brown ale completing the finish. great cherry flavor!

nice moderate carbonation. slight dryness. cherry flavor lingers on the teeth and mouth.

very well done. not too much of anything, anywhere. tons of flavor and complexity, but balanced. cost could be a bit less, and this would be a 5.0.

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Photo of m1ked
4.62/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had the pleasure to wait in line, and have a taster at the release. I waffled whether I should get the $3 taster, or $8 pint. I went with the taster and I am glad I did. It is an excellant sipping beer, so I think a whole pint would have been overload, for me. Great time at the release though. Cracked one open last night to share with my oenophile wife.

A- Light orangey/brown. Like weak coffee or ice tea appearance. Nearly no head that quickly dissipates.

S- Bright & tart sour cheeries, with a hint of orange. Light wood, slight phenol at the end.

T- Tart, sour cherries, tangy wood, sour cherries, and sour cherries.

M- Thin. Quickly slides off my tongue, light carbonation. Makes my salivary glands work overtime.

D- If you enjoy this style, or sour in general this is a great brew. 1 bottle is definetly enough for me. I think this would pair excellent with food.

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

Bottle into a snifter

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

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

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

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


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

Vintage 2010

Pours a cloudy raisin brown with a pretty active head that settles to a light tan lacing and white powdery looking bubbles.

Smell of strong sour cherry , raisins, oak and vinegar
Taste of a great strong tartness / sour cherry , brown sugar, oak barrels and vinegar. There is a high level of carbonation from champagne yeast I presume, and a thicker than I was expecting mouthfeel. This is great stuff, unfortunately only 12.7 oz which is all too easy to drink. I like being able to get a smaller sized bottle, just can hope it will one day be more readily available.

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

A - 375ml bottle. The beer pours a very dark red with some brown present. It produces a big light reddish-tan head that has excellent retention.

S - The aroma smells great. Vanilla, oak, cherries, light vinegar and some sourness. There is a lot going on in the nose.

M - Light in body with sharp carbonation. It has a very dry finish.

T - Sour cherries up front followed by some oak and vinegar. Sourness takes over the end and seems to cling to the insides of your mouth. After your palate adjusts to the sourness trace amounts of vanilla also appear in the finish.

This is a very good American sour. There is a lot of complexity that makes this a great beer. The only sticking point is the price. I'd rather go for some Russian River Supplication which is several dollars cheaper and slightly better.

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

Sour delight! Wow this ale pours a murky reddish/amber/brown with enormous head, pillowy soft, very bubbly. Nose is simply enormous, rich, tantalizing, and full of sour cherries & bready/yeasty stuff. Wild sour cherries on the palate, some Belgian estery qualities, and a nice sour finish. Good body too, and drinkable. Wow, love this one except for the price, and fortunately for the Lost Abbey that isn't a review criterion.

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Photo of EmilNoldSinclair
4.63/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Dark reddish brown color, a hint of funky sourness in the nose, very mellow cherry sweetness and sour flavor. This one just gets better and better the more you have it in the same day. Truly amazing. I had this one with Tomme and Vince at Port Brewing after getting out of work at Stone Brewing. They told me that this is essentially Le Woody Brune with a new name. Can't wait until it is released!

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Photo of vfgccp
4.63/5  rDev +9.2%

2014 bottle, opened October 2014

A - Wow, what a beautiful looking beer. Deep, bright cranberry ice tea body. Creamy yellowed-paper head pours 2 fingers high, with great retention and lace for the style.

S - Fantastic. Bold green apple, caramel, bread crust, peaches, wild flowers, and lemon.

T - Tingly sour with bright lemon, brown sugar, tart apple cider, pumpernickel bread, green grapes, sharp black cherries, and soft white oak.

M - Outstanding carbonation with a crisp, medium frame.

O - A stellar example of one of my favorite styles.

4.63 Red Poppy
-- -Jay- -Jon- -Vin- -Avg- Weight
A - 4.50 4.30 4.75 4.52 10%
S - 4.66 4.66 4.75 4.69 20%
T - 4.70 4.50 4.50 4.57 40%
M - 5.00 4.90 4.50 4.80 10%
O - 4.70 4.70 4.60 4.67 20%

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Photo of TurdFurgison
4.63/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

2009 bottle, 12.7oz, corked & caged. The beer is clear, dark rusty colored, with no head at all. As I drank it I noticed the carbonation was really light too, not sure if the carbonation fell off with 1 year of age.

The beer smells just about perfect, so strong and funky. Both tart cherries and barnyard wild notes, but mainly the sour seems to come from the cherries. Only a hint of vinegar, so much better than other oud bruins I've had in terms of that. And it only gets better when I taste it. Very fruity and sour, basically fermented cherry juice with some brett. If I'd tried this 2-3 years ago I might have objected to the pucker-inducing sourness but now I've come to crave this attribute. This is bracing and pungent, massive in aroma and flavor.

The real downside for me is the low carbonation. Lost Abbey's struggles with carbonation have been well documented in their strong beers, but their sour beers have usually been fine. In this case I'm guessing it's the age, and it really doesn't hurt the drinking experience all that much. The light body seems to suit the style, very drinkable. This will be on my eternal wants list, and I'll actively trade for it each year it's released.

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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!


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A 2009 Sinners Edition bottle that was almost an inch under filled.

Pours a rusty color that is quite hazy and not too pretty to look at. Smells of beautiful funk as I enjoyed the heavenly aroma for minutes longer than usual. "Red Poppy...You have my attention!" First sip is puckering sour that wakes the glands deeply from hibernating inactivity - I'm impressed. The taste is best described as chomping into an engineered hybrid fruit created equally from apricots, cherries and lemons. This is a clean sourness that bites you hard but with complete control. Red Poppy is in charge here...yes sir! I am only its lunch and I'm grateful Red Poppy picked me to attack. Mouthfeel is over the top. It first appears to be under carbonated, probably from its oak barrel rest - and it is. Then the beverage organizes like a Chicago teachers union and stomps the tongue with sourness like there's no tomorrow. The lowly 5.5% ABV tastes like a high gravity 10%'er and I am lovin' it!

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Photo of Hojaminbag
4.65/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got this bottle in a great trade with Mikesgroove recently. Thanks a lot for this great beer!

Tones of brown and ruby come together in the body to create a dark, burnt ornage color that lets just a little bit of light through. Short strands of carbonation bubbles attached to the side of the glass are noticeable throughout the beer. A large amount of clumpy sediment is throughout the beer. Very small off-white head that disappears very quickly. Doesn't leave any lacing behind.

Tartness comes through right away in the odor, a little bit like vinegar. A good dose of cherries along with some oak/woody aroma comes through.

This is extremely tasty. Up front is a nice, powerful tartness and sour cherry. A little malty sweetness comes through also. The oaky, woody notes are pretty powerful in this one also. Notes of wood and the slighest hint of vanilla. The mix of the oak and the sour cherry is a winner in this one. If you like both flavors, you will definitely like this beer.

Medium to light bodied and highly carbonated despite the lack of head.

This has great tartness with a lot of depth added by the oak flavor. These two flavors balance each other out and make this rather drinkable. Consider that with the light, unfilling body of Red Poppy and it becomes a beer I could drink all night.

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Photo of OlieIPA
4.65/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I would like to thank the person who so graciously provided this beer. ..you know who are. Consumed and enjoyed with my good buddy PutsDeBnABV on 2/21/09.

A: Poured a deep mahogany-copper hue with tiny amounts of lacing and head. Carbonation was easily visible as well.

S: Very subtle tart fruitiness with some earthy undertones.

T: Minute amounts of roasty characteristics up front followed by a powerful cherry-sourness that seemed to grab my attention for the first half of the sip, and then gently faded away from my palate. The earthy/soil like flavors almost reminded of a merlot, which seemed to balance out the tart/sourness of this beverage. A lot of lambic like qualities were also evident. To sum up the flavor profile, I would have to say that it was powerful and perfectly balanced.

M: A light to medium body beer that had a good amount of carbonation that wasn't overpowering.

D: At 5.5% ABV, the alcohol wasn't present at all...as anyone would expect....along with a great flavor profile made this beer extremely easy to drink. Very impressed.

Overall: I wasn't sure what to expect from this beer, but boy did it surprise me! In a good way of course. A great sour that I would I think everyone should enjoy. A must try. Cheers!

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Red Poppy Ale from The Lost Abbey
4.24 out of 5 based on 1,929 ratings.
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