Red Poppy Ale | The Lost Abbey

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570 Reviews
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Red Poppy AleRed Poppy Ale
BEER INFO

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

Style: Flanders Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Perhaps no country embraces the use of fruit in beers more so than Belgium. Numerous traditional as well as regional specialty ales are infused with every sort of fruit imaginable. In this way, the flavor of the fruit becomes especially prominent.

Red Poppy Ale is a veritable celebration of Sour Cherries in an explosion of aromas and tastes. Brewed from a brown ale base and aged in our oak barrels for over 6 months, this beer is not for the faint of heart.

The Golden Poppy is the state flower of California and the Red Poppy is found in Flanders Fields where our inspiration for this beer comes from.

Added by BeerBeing on 09-07-2007

BEER STATS
Reviews:
570
Ratings:
1,926
Avg:
4.24
pDev:
17.22%
 
 
Wants:
570
Gots:
595
For Trade:
43
User Reviews
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Reviews: 570 | Ratings: 1,926
Photo of Kjanisch7
4.27/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A: A murky red-brown with a tan head.

S: Sour cherry with some funk. Had a far different, somewhat unappealing smell which was unlike most sours I've had. Made me unsure about the beer.

T: Super acidic with tart fruits. Some barrel taste coming through. Awesome sour.

M: Strong carbonation, but a nice medium body.

O: This beer was solid. Loved drinking it. The only thing that threw me off was the smell. Not sure if it was good that it didn't smell like a sour or not, but it wasn't for me. I typically enjoy the strong standard sour smell.

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Photo of SteveTheDog
2.75/5  rDev -35.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.5

I tried this out of a champagne flute, as per the recs on this site.

It was an effervescent amber color with an aroma that of course reminded me of cherries but also of something like a cherry lime rickey with some sweet tones but also a little bit of a smokey oaky scent. It's rare that I say this about a beer but the mouthfeel really came on strong before the taste with the carbonation. It almost felt like my tongue was being cleaned off between sips. After the cleansing of my palate, the tart cherries took over and left my mouth with a feeling of cherry liqueur feel.

Overall, I didn't totally enjoy the sensation, though I can see how some would.

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

Received from a good beer friend. Poured from a smaller 12.7 oz bottle to a tulip glass. Poured a deep brown-red hue with a 1/4 inch small head. Nose of sour cherries with some hints of fig and oak with sour funkiness. Taste was verytart and sour up front with a surprising nice hop bite. Good lingering sweetness and hoppiness. Good mouthfeel, easy drinking and refreshing despite its complex flavors. Overall, this was an awesome beer that I would love to have more of. Definitely a beer to seek our if you enjoy flanders reds.

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Photo of JonathanC
4.93/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Red poppy ale is a very hard beer to come by and finding it was indeed tough. Hearing all the hype from a friend that was aging his batch in a brief case, told me his story of how he won a drawing at The Lost Abbey and had the opportunity to purchase them. This just shows how rare these bottles are.

Opening the bottle you can smell an array aroma of a great handful of cherry and sour.
This beer is indeed top notch and the sour in this beer is not to overbearing at all. There is a hint of cherry that jumps in to grab you as it hits your pallet. I would NEVER pass this beer up, snag it in a heartbeat.

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Photo of deadonhisfeet
4.17/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

2012 vintage. Poured from a 12.7oz corked and caged bottle into a Lost Abbey Teku. The pour has a lovely dark red color and is quite clear, but it has very low carbonation and produces no head at all. The nose is sharp and acidic with notes of cherries, sour apple, and red wine.

Medium-bodied beer. The flavor is sharp and sour, but has just enough sweetness to make it plenty palatable. Sour cherries, lemons, and white grapes smack the palate with lots of pleasing tanginess. Very restrained, almost nonexistent, hop bitterness and lots of mouth-drying tannins on the finish. Very appetizing and refreshing.

Overall, a really nice example of the style. I think it could use more carbonation and just a bit more sweetness, but I'm very grateful I was able to try this. Plus, it is easily one of the most beautiful bottles I have yet seen.

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Photo of MadScientist
4.55/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: A dark copper with a garnet hue. The head is tan, somewhat rocky and not long for this world which I blame on the high acidity.

S: Red currents, tart cherries and some leather. A light touch of barnyard funk.

T: Supper tart and fruit with a strong acidic tartness and fruit flavors of red current and tart cherries. The oak barrel comes through next mostly with vanilla but a touch of cinnamon. There is some malt rounding out the mild but the balance here is very tart with a dry finish. Lingering fruit flavors and tartness.

M: medium bodied with a strong carbonation.

O: A sour beer of arrival, one should love tart sours before approaching this one. Tart, fruity, vanilla, tart and oak with a touch of vinegar acidity.

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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.

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Photo of lsummers
4.09/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a dark amber copper with a one finger off white head. Nice and thick, can hardly see through it with just a touch of a reddish tint of light showing through.

Smells of a red wine note coming right out of the bottle as soon as I cork it. In the glass I get a much more dark sweet raspberry/cherry tartness. Touches of a leather note.

Taste hits straight away with a tart dark red fruity character and immediately includes some sour sweetness. There's a woody character mid way through along with some funky barnyard. The fruity characters fade off towards the end to leave a tart raison like musty aftertaste. Belgian yeast notes can be found mid to the end of the taste.

Mouthfeel is very crisp with what I would say feels like a high amount of carbonation in the likes of a champagne. Still has some fatness to it that makes me think this could be slightly viscus without all the carbonation.

Overall, this is tasting great and it's really standing out for me. One to try, one to buy, and one to put away to see how it changes over time.

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Photo of EgadBananas
3.99/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a mahogany red, light haze, yellow colored head, dissipates quickly. Funky aroma with a mild sour nose, slight fruit notes, caramel and bread with some acidity. Carries a much similar taste, lightly sweet with fruit notes, a tart, lightly sour taste, with some bready funk notes. Lighter body, carbonation was good(especially for Lost Abbey).

Enjoyable, but Love Child 3 toaster in the night was better.

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Photo of Zive
4.14/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Vintage 2012 bottle, cellared for fourteen months, poured into champagne flute.

Appearance: Looks like a classic brown ale with a half finger of khaki head that dissipates quickly. When held up to light it takes on a more amber/deep ruby red hue.

Smell: Oak and vanilla at first, the sour scent associated with most wild ales is present to a lesser extent. The cherry aroma has faded considerably, most likely due to cellaring, and is barely detectable.

Taste: First taste is a mild tartness, though not puckering like many other sours due to the mellowness of the barrels and the sweetness imparted by the cherries and malts. There's no doubt that the base beer here was loaded with dark malts which lend a caramel character to the taste. I was concerned that this would be overly fruity, but between the barrels and cellaring that's not the case.

Mouthfeel: Silky with lots of small CO2 streaming from the base of the glass. The acidity from the wild yeast strains adds to the stinging feeling of the carbonation. A bit more mellow on the palate than most wild and sour ales I've had (Lindeman's, Cantillon, etc).

Overall: I enjoyed this beer mostly for its uniqueness. The brewing process was well thought-out here, balancing the acids produced by the wild yeast with the mellowing and sweetening effects of barrel aging and cherries. I would be interested in trying this beer either from a fresh bottle or on tap for comparison. Although this is an excellent beer and worthy of much of the hype surrounding it, I don't believe it's great enough to justify the $20 price-tag.

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

375ml corked bottle poured into a small Chimay chalice.

AP: Rusty brown colour with a 1/2" cream/tan head that dissipates to 1/4" with bubbles still escalating to the top. Nice lacing on the glass when tilted.
AR: Has that classic Flanders Red Ale aroma that I associate with German sourdough pretzels (the hard kind). Apple cider and other fruits like white grape and tart cherries are discerned as well with Belgian yeast funk.
T: Very very nice. A lot of what I got in the nose with grape and cherry skins prominent on the finish and tart apple flavour weaving in and out from start to finish. The sour note is just about right, not too strong but vivid enough for instant recognition and enjoyment. It starts strong at the beginning then softly fades but lingers throughout. Well done.
M: Assertive carbonation, acidic, dry and tart on the finish but does coat your tongue and teeth nicely with what bit of sweetness there is.
OV: A very well done Flanders style Red Ale that would match any from the region itself and I've had my share of them being a fan of sours. The flavours on this are very tasty and the sour note is just right with acidic tartness and not too much of a vinegar aspect. A definite sessionable sipper that offers good flavours and cleanses your palate at the same time.

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Photo of GilGarp
4.21/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

375 ml corked bottle served slightly chilled into a tulip glass.

There's no date or batch number on the bottle but I would guess I've had it in my cellar for about 2-3 years. Strangely, there isn't any loose sediment but I do see it stuck to the bottom of the bottle.

Red Poppy Ale is a deep redish brown with tight off-white head. It settles fairly quickly but maintains a thin layer on top.

The aroma is enough to make my throat tighten. This is going to be sour! Sour cherries and the oak barrel aging comes through.

The flavor is exactly what I expected after that aroma - hugely sour and tart with the tannins that hit right in the back of he mouth. The cherries are there with a hint of vanilla from the oak. The malt base is along the lines of a brown ale but it is really the wild yeast that stands front and center.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied nicely carbonated like a bottle conditioned Belgian would be.

Overall a stunningly powerful beer. I would like to try this side by side with La Folie as they seem to have similar characteristics, from what I remember.

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Photo of KDawg
4.38/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 375 into a sniter. Pours a dark red color with a small head.

The aromas of red apples, tart red cherries, some funk, vinegary notes, and some cedar planks are extremely balanced and have a lot of depth. The notes are very savory to go with the depth.

Medium bodied with a real nice tart acidic streak. The feel is very smooth along with notes of red apples, roses, tart red cherries, and some vinegar tones.

This is as good as it always is. One of the best Flemish Reds out there. I only wish Lost Abbey would make more of this and do it more often.

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Photo of Lledd
4.2/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12.7oz bottle served into Hill Farmstead snifter (two 6oz pours)

A: Deep clear red. It looks like dark red wine or red wine vinegar. Very small, quickly fading head. No visible carbonation. <4>

S: I can actually smell this beer while its on the table in front me. It smells like wine. Plum notes, sour notes, bright black cherry aromas. It's exciting to sample a beer with abundant aroma, which is why I gave this a four for smell. <4>

T: Tastes more like wine than beer. It has a very unique taste, especially the aftertaste. Very tart and sour. Dark sour fruit notes, black cherry, plum, apricot. Maybe some burnt wood? But the fruit notes are not obvious or out front. The aftertaste has a very delicate, nuanced flavor. It's best when I exhale through my nose. I can taste a floury (not flowery) sweetness, reminiscent of a sugar cookie, and believe it or not, almost a flavor of rose petals. Delicate is the best word for the aftertaste, which is where I think this offering shines. <4.25>

M: It has a champagne texture, but with finer bubbles. Its fizzy and quick to expand in your mouth. Very dry finish. I think the body of this beer is perfect for the flavor profile. It allows you to notice the features of the drink, without making them obvious. It's very fun. <4>

O: This is a great beverage. I would have liked a higher abv but I trust Port knew what they were going for. This isn't what you'd expect from a "beer" but it's a lot of fun to investigate thi with your senses. The features are there, and you have to go find them. I don't know if I'd buy it again at $16.99 but yum yum. <4.5>

Note: it often doesn't make sense for the "overall" to have a higher rating than any other category, but really the whole is greater than the sum. All of the features really play into each. It's like alchemy.

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Photo of pmarlowe
4.23/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2013 vintage. Tulip glass.

A: Pours an opaque, very dark brown with a half finger of medium brown head. Surprisingly epic retention for the froth-like head, and generous lacing.

S: Tart cherries and beautiful barrel character (oak and vanilla). Barrel forward in a very good way. A little raspberry. Tartness and funkiness are in very good balance with the wood.

T: Cherry juice-soaked oak cubes, a very slight twang of tartness, a little grating oakiness with cinnamon and caramel, and a light, dry, muddled melange of red fruit. Flavors don't fully come together like they do in the nose. It's like this is just about there, but not quite.

M: Medium body and medium-high carbonation. Somewhat creamy mouthfeel.

O: Good, and quite drinkable given the low ABV and light level of sour, but the flavors don't quite come together as well as they could. This is leaps and bounds above the 2012 vintage (which I rated a 2.75), though, which had a very offensive, funky aroma.

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Photo of WankelEngine
4.37/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 375ml corked and caged bottle into a snifter

A: Pours a ruddy, orange-tinted brown with a small, foamy, tan head. It fades slowly to a spotted cap.

S: The aroma consists of a good deal of lactic funk and a little bit of tartness. Sour cherries added a fruity sweetness as well. Oak and vanilla complement the funky aromas. As it warms I pick up a big dose of balsamic vinaigrette.

T: The beer opens with flavors of oak and some some funky vinegar. Quickly sour red cherries rush to prominence and produce a fruity, tart mid-palate. Light caramel malt makes up much of the body. Brett introduces its characteristic tart flavor which lasts long into the finish. The finish has a very dry character, almost vinous like white wine.

M: At first is was incredibly carbonated, almost hard to drink. The carbonation quickly dies down a bit to a manageable level. It is medium-thin bodied and fairly dry.

O: A great beer. The sour cherries really work well with the vinegar and tartness.

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Photo of DaveAnderson
4.31/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Great thanks to st9647v3 for this 375ml bottle.

I have only had a few Lost Abbey beers, but each has given me reason to take this brewery seriously. The bar is set pretty high for this one: I love cherry sours, Lost Abbey, and Flanders reds, and let's face it, the poppy conjures up thoughts of Cantillon.

Poured into a Duvel glass, this is a foamy beast. I probably was a little too vigorous. It's murky and brown, and smells tangy, but not too sharp. I think I smell cherries, but then again, I am expecting them.

On the tongue, it still only hints of cherries, but it is certainly tasty. Even though this has seen 6 months in oak, the oak is restrained. It's quite tart, and really light and satisfying to drink. At 5%, this is one I could drink all day and all night. If I have any criticism, I'd say it's slightly under-carbonated. But that's a tiny quibble. It's a delicious beer.

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Photo of Seanniek91
4.82/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

My 100th BA review.

Served from a 375ml bottle into a Kriek Belle-Vue tulip. Vintage date is impossible to read.

Appearance- Dark purple/red/tawny color with very quick bubbly off-white head. Hold it up to a light and it's beautiful red.

Smell- Lemon vinegar, oaky vanilla, tart cherys, oaky funk. Beautiful smell. Oak is very prominent.

Taste- Very tart cherry up front soon gives way to vanilla and oak flavors. Mild musty funk comes through lightly. Cherry is prominent throughout. Finish is sweet and sour cherry. Phenomenal.

Mouthfeel- Very carbonated and crisp. Quite sour, but not overly puckering. Really great balance.

Overall- This is a beautiful beer. I wish I could drink this every day.

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Photo of Justin_Neff
4.52/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2012 Bottle poured into a CCB Snifter.

A: Pours a deep reddish body that almost appears brown. Light tan fizzy head with a faint red hue builds up and leaves little lacing, but settles and lasts throughout the duration of the drink. Bright red pieces of sediment float in the ring of head.

S: The smell is dominated by sour, tart cherries. Some funk and hints of oak and citrus. Very nice aroma.

T: Lots of tart cherries to follow the nose. Some citrus and even some white wine grapes. A good amount of oak to balance the sweetness and the funk.

M: Light-Medium body, High carbonation, dry, but a bit more creamy than I would've imagined from the appearance and the style.

O: Very nice balance of sweet, funk, and oak. I really enjoyed this one. I'm curious what a bit of age would do for it - I'll have to try and find a way to wrestle up another bottle.

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Photo of yankeepride
4.2/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 2 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

I'm pretty new in the world of sours, but this is exactly what I had in mind when I was jonesing for one tonight. I was hoping for a bit more crimson on the pour, because let's face it, I like to be shallow and judge my beer by its looks at first. It was more of a brownish color, with a hint of blood to it. I used a tulip, and it foamed up right away. I had to let it sit to finish the bottle, and as it fell, it left some nasty-looking splotches on my glass. Since the looks didn't quite work out, I had to go after the personality. First off, it just blew sour cherries in my nose, followed by a tart, sour cherry flavor, and then a crisp, satisfying finish of, you guessed it - sour cherries. It wasn't that eye-closing sour, but indeed it was tart. It didn't linger too long, leave too much of a puckering aftertaste, but instead was watery enough to do its thing and then pick up and go home. I genuinely loved this beer, but for the price, I'd only have it again as a gift.

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Photo of spoony
3.76/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

From a 375 ml bottle into a tulip.

A-The brew is murky and brownish in color with a ruby hue. There is no head to speak of and no visible bubbles. It is sort of ugly, but not a huge departure from the style.

S-The smell gives up a decent hit of cherries, some prune-flavored malts, some dry oak, a mild tartness and a touch of funk. It is a bit underwhelming compared to other, better examples of the style.

T-The taste tracks the smell with bing cherries, light oak, and pruney malts being the major flavors. The acidity is very mild and, to be honest, could be amped up to better balance the lightly sweet fruit flavors.

M-The beer opens with a quick wave of surprisingly assertive carbonation, but the bubbles fade quickly with a slick, watery finish.

O-As a Flanders ale fan (and on the date of the Tour of Flanders bicycle race, no less), I had hopes for this beer, but I am a bit disappointed. The flavors are not very complex and the missing tartness/acidity really hurt the smell and taste score. On the bright side, the mouthfeel is nice.

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Photo of Damian
3.69/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Drank from a corked and caged 12.7 ounces bottle purchased at Liquor World, Cambridge, MA
Vintage 2013
Served in a tulip

Poured a ruddy, crimson-mahogany with a one-plus finger tall crop of rocky, tan colored foam. The head dropped quickly. Spotty drops of lacing stuck along the glass.

The nose was interesting. Super tart with sour cherry notes. Mild funk. Touch of balsamic vinegar. Quite acidic. The acidity was balanced by some brown sugar-like sweetness. Good dose of brett. There was a slight medicinal quality as well.

The flavor profile was sharp and unrefined. Very sour up front. Strong red wine vinegar notes. Perhaps some red wine in the center. Lots of brett. Crisp and very lemony. Pithy lemon rind. Huge oak and tannin flavors on the back end. The beer finished somewhat astringent with an unpleasant mix of tannins, earthy and bitter hops, and light metallic notes.

The mouthfeel was medium bodied with a fine yet aggressive carbonation. The carbonation settled with time and the liquid felt more plush and creamy.

I decided to pop this 2013 vintage of Red Poppy to get as much sour cherry flavor out of it as possible. Unfortunately, the cherry was surprisingly muted, and the overall flavor profile seemed raw and poorly integrated. This was definitely not worth the $18 I paid for my bottle.

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Photo of MCain04
4.45/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

375ml bottle for $16, poured into a 10 oz snifter.

A: Dark and opaque with a light tan 1 finger head with modest retention and great lacing.

S: Sour grapes and sour cherries, heavy on the cherries, not too funky, acidity with citrus notes, really nice.

T: Sour grapes and cherries true to the nose, not too heavy on the cherries, can't really pick out any oak notes, fruity sweetness and acidity lingers, very nice but could have emphasized the oak and cherries more.

M: A tad over-carbonated, but smooth and coats the tongue, not too dry not too wet, pretty good.

O: I really enjoyed this, probably wouldn't buy again for the price though. It isn't on the level of Supplication, but it's a good AWA.

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Photo of MetalMountainMastiff
4.36/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle into a Tulip.

A. pours a murky brownish red. With a off white head. The head lasted through out drinking.

S. Tart/ cherries. Slight funkyness, yeast smell. Slightly cheese odor.

T. those Tart cherries again!slight vinegar. More tart than sour. slight funky/cheese/yeast, tart finish.

M. Medium, highly carbonated.

O. Has great smells! that carry into the flavor.. Very enjoyable.

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Photo of gueuzedreg
4.28/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

If you bought a La Folie and dumped it in a 375ml bottle; and then charged even more for it...well, this is what you would have.

The local liquor store charged $16.99 for this 375ml bottle, right next to it was La Folie 750ml for $16.99.

Wish I would have read my own post before purchase; where is my DeLorean?

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Red Poppy Ale from The Lost Abbey
4.24 out of 5 based on 1,926 ratings.
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