Red Poppy Ale | The Lost Abbey

Red Poppy AleRed Poppy Ale
BA SCORE
94.6%
Liked This Beer
4.28 w/ 1,965 ratings
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
Ranking:
#626
Reviews:
582
Ratings:
1,965
Liked:
1,858
Avg:
4.28/5
pDev:
9.11%
Alströms:
0
 
 
Wants:
568
Gots:
599
Trade:
40
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 1,965 |  Reviews: 582
Photo of dbrauneis
4.37/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours a lightly murky reddish brown in color with some light amounts of visible carbonation and some ruby red highlights. The beer has slightly less than a quarter finger tall dense light tan head that slowly reduces to a thick film covering the entire surface of the beer with a slightly thicker ring at the edges of the glass. Light to moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Light to moderate amounts of sour cherries and tartness with a light amount of oak. Some subtle notes of vinegar.

T: Upfront there is a light amount of caramel sweetness but that is quickly overshadowed by moderate to strong flavors of sour cherries. The beer has a light to moderate amount of tartness with some more subtle notes of oak and vinegar.

M: Light bodied with moderate to heavy amounts of carbonation. Light to moderate amounts of acidic prickliness.

O: Overall this is a really enjoyable beer and is quite easy to drink, especially for the style. Nice amounts of tartness without the over the top tartness/vinousness. Good flavors contributed by the sour cherries and a good amount of complexity.

 1,098 characters

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap 5/15/2016 at Natty Greene’s Tavern in North Attleboro, MA, served in a snifter glass.

A: The beer is a deep dark reddish brown color, with a short off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains sour cherries and grapes, wild Belgian yeast and light caramelized malts.

T: The taste starts out with tart flavors of cherries and grapes followed by some wild Belgian yeast. The malt character is hearty but not too heavy and brings a very good balance for the style. The after-taste is slightly tart.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is clean for the style.

O: Tasty, goes down very easily, not too filling, mild kick, very good representation of style, this is one of the better beers I’ve had in the style.

 794 characters

Photo of nickfl
4.75/5  rDev +11%

Photo of ygtbsm94
4/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of mactrail
3.94/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

They call this a "Barrel aged Flanders Red." The appearance is murky brown stuff with a brief foam. It seems to be injected with clouds of carbonation, so it's quite a pleasing mouthful. Interesting aroma of cedar and raspberries.

Slightly tart, but the fruity and malty undertones balance the acidity better than most beers that are on the sour side. Woody with a long pie cherry flavor. On tap at the Lost Abbey tasting room in Encinitas.

 441 characters

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

12.7 oz corked & caged bottle into a Russian River Tulip.

Pours a hazy dark ruby (I said the hell with it and dumped the yeast in to) that possesses some lighter shades towards the bottom. The heads stands about 1 ½ fingers tall and seems pretty effervescent with an off-white color. As the glass settles I can actually see bits of cherry skin mixed in with the yeast at the bottom. A thin, creamy layer of retention skims the surface and sticks around pretty solidly at about a ½ finger or so. This just doesn't budge and flairs up nicely, leaving behind a fantastic looking cascade of lace when swirled. The aroma is a blast of cherries and tart Brett notes that are followed by a fairly pungent flush of astringent oak character.

The taste is tart cherry character that is accentuated by an additional crisp bite of Brett, with more oak notes coming out towards the end. It finishes with nice lingering notes of sourness that impart a dry feel. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and while not possessing a ton of carbonation, still has more of a slick feel to it that really helps move all of that tart character around across the palette.

This is a very nice and well crafted offering here. While I understand that this may have lost some of its' cherry freshness from when it was first brewed, the character still seemed quite pungent to me and worked well the Brett to create a mix that was more refreshing tartness than sour. Another tasty work of art from Tomme and company at the Abbey.

 1,500 characters

Photo of Rifugium
4.08/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

First had: on tap at Capone's, Norristown, PA

Thank God for Black Friday leftovers. All the beer and none of the annoying crowd! (Still the 5.5oz. pours though.)

Attractive: ruddy red-brown color, murky, with a thick ringlet of off white foam. Aroma was slightly tart and woody, notes of cherry and vinegar. Similar taste, biscuity malt base, light cherry, apricot, decently balanced acetic acid, tart but not quite puckering, slightly woody. Pretty strange that this uses a brown ale base, because it barely resembled a brown ale at this point of its life. Medium body, medium carbonation, drying effect in the aftertaste. Nice overall.

 639 characters

Photo of Ciocanelu
4/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Beavertown Extravaganza. Aroma has acetic tartness, toasted malt, barnyard notes and light caramel. Taste has a light tartness, acetic notes, basamico, red apple skin, toasted malt and burnt sugar.

 207 characters

Photo of wethorseblanket
4.3/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of billab914
4.34/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2010 vintage poured from a 375ml bottle into my Lost Abbey stemware. Poured a dark brown color with a thin fizzy off-white head covering the top. The head faded to cling to the sides of the glass where it left moderate lacing.

The aroma is sharp with some cherry tartness and some acidic sourness to it. I can also get a little of the oak and vanilla from the barrel aging. The taste shows a lot of the tartness and acidicness the nose suggested. The cherries really come through in the finish leaving a very nice cherry aftertaste on the palate. There is also some hints of the oak and vanilla flavors as well helping the complexity of the taste.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and carbonation is high. Drinkability is good, it's a very nice sour flavor to it. I've said before though that I'm very impartial to cherries, I just love them. Adding real cherry flavor to anything is a positive thing to me.

 904 characters

Photo of smithj4
4.44/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Photo of nathanmiller
4/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of vfgccp
4.63/5  rDev +8.2%

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%

 832 characters

Photo of XmnwildX12
4/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of mendvicdog
4/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of smcolw
4.12/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Literally looks like watered down mud in a glass. Brown, yet no light could possibly pass. Small, quickly dying head. Leaves only a couple of spots for lace.

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 Belgian 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.

Certainly not an everyday beer, but a real treat for something delicious and unusual.

 617 characters

Photo of atrocity
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of PhineasMcClintock
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a hazy, reddish-brown body with a small, short-lived white head.

Smell: Bright, funky aroma of wine-macerated cherries and planks of toasted oak.

Taste: Whoa! Tart, juicy, lightly acidic cherry flavor at the forefront with hints of the sweet brown maltiness used as this fine beer's foundation. Distinct, well-placed tastes of oaky wood. True, it's funky, but contented to reside on the lighter end of the funk spectrum. Drying, lightly minerally finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium, soft carbonation.

Drinkability: A very well executed sour ale, and what a top-notch, classy bottle.

 610 characters

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

Photo of duceswild
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of mdaschaf
4.32/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from notes.

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

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

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

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

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

 625 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.37/5  rDev +2.1%
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.

 2,299 characters

Photo of drewone
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of ZEB89
4.68/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Red Poppy Ale from The Lost Abbey
Beer rating: 94.6% out of 100 with 1,965 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.