Red Poppy Ale | The Lost Abbey

BA SCORE
94
outstanding
1,948 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score
Send samples
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
Ratings:
1,948
Reviews:
575
Avg:
4.24
pDev:
9.43%
 
 
Wants:
568
Gots:
595
For Trade:
39
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 1,948 |  Reviews: 575
Photo of bigfnjoe
4.18/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a corked & caged bottle into a Westmalle chalice. I assume this is the most recent bottling

A- pours a dark cherry red, nearly brown, with a one finger tan head that fades after a little bit of time. It's....carbonated! I want to cry, and am giving it an extra half point because of that.

S- cherries, a little funk, and a vinous character. Smells like a good sour should!

T- there is a very strong sour character to this, but it doesn't overpower the cherries, which really shine in the finish. It's not that vinegary sourness that I hate so much too...well done

M- very thin body, loaded with carbonation. It might actually be a little overcarbed

O- not the best I've had, but still very damn good. Lost Abbey puts out some good stuff when their QC issues are under control

 792 characters

Photo of iatethecloudsfor
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

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

Appearance - Pours into my Russian River Tulip with an absolute ruddy brown/mahogany color. There was an initial "POP" which put to rest my fears of "Flat Abbey". There is about a finger of off white head that honestly has stayed there for well over 10 minutes as I let the beer warm up a bit. It is leaving great looking lacing.

Smell - The beer is a couple feet away and the aroma, as it warms up, is very clear. I love when I can smell a beer when it is sitting a ways away. Lots of earthy funk, barnyard, wet hay, massive oak tannis and dark cherries. This smells great, and finishes with even more must.

Taste - Okay, I admit, I rip on LA beers from time to time. I still think the price is high for the beer. However, this beer has a great taste. An immediate tart, puckering dark sour cherry flavor is experienced. Damn, there really is just such amazing cherry flavor. I freaking am really enjoying this. The flavor is relatively dominate, but there is some nice barnyard funk, a hint of must (not as much as the nose), the brett, etc.

Mouthfeel - Medium to lighter bodied, decent carbonation, dry finish.

Drinkability - For how expensive this beer was, my glass emptied faster than I wanted. Color me impressed. I will have to get another of these and split it with my brother-in-law. I think he would enjoy the amazing cherry flavor as much as I did. Now to try a Cuvee de Tomme...hopefully that will impress me too!

 1,431 characters

Photo of hardy008
4.3/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a reddish brown color with a one finger light tan head with good retention and lacing. The aroma has sour cherries, oak, and slight vinegar. This should be very good.

The taste is just like the aroma. There are nice amounts of both sweetness and tartness, with the tartness being more dominant. As expected, this is also quite acidic.

Medium bodied, modest carbonation, tart, acidic, and finishes dry.
Feels soft, smooth, and is easy to drink. I like this beer quite a bit, and am glad I have more bottles.

 515 characters

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

sitting on a year now, more so as it got lost in the shuffle of my cellar...but time to pop it tonight....

a - almost a chocolate brown in appearance with a very thin layer of head that appears to be breathing as i type...

s - cherries right away, tartness on the nose...bit of a vanilla ...

t - explosion in the mouth... a beer that's truly alive... immediate cherries - front and back; tarty mouth puckerer! As my palate calms down a bit, there's a slight note left behind from hits time in the oak..

m - liquid form of soured pop rockets? crazy good!

o - Great beer!

 575 characters

Photo of OnryAndMean
3.9/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of sourdog
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of SebD
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

Photo of AlpacaAlpaca
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of stephens101
4.36/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Overripe dark fruits and booze spring forth from the popped top. Dark brown and covered with a thick quilting of very resilient tan froth. Strong notes of vinegar and more dark fruits such as plum and prune are noticed aromatically. Tastes of sweet vinegar, dark cherry, plum, oak and grain followed by a slight and fleeting funkiness. Dry as bone and medium in body. With exceptional beers like these floating around it's hard not to become addicted to sours.

 465 characters

Photo of sholland119
4.4/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

On tap at Memphis Taproom, 2/22/10.

A-Pours a rather dark reddish brown, opaque, with a little bit of fizzy head and a spot or two of lacing.

S-Sour cherries and some background funkiness.

T-Delicious big fruit notes in the front, balanced nicely by an oakiness and sour funk. Very rich and flavorful.

M-Medium bodied and a bit slick.

D-A great example of this style. More flavorful than most, but still nicely drinkable.

HV

 430 characters

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.

 976 characters

Photo of robgage
3.75/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

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.

 651 characters

Photo of uturn
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of Zbeetleman
3.5/5  rDev -17.5%

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

A - Poured a brown with a ruby hue color with a tan head that leaves lacing behind

S - Is of tart cherries and funk

T - Just like the smell lots of tart cherries withe some funk

M - This beer has a medium body with higher carbonation to it

D - This is some awesome stuff I could drink this all day long love the tart flavor if you like sours this is a must hunt down and try beer

 383 characters

Photo of joe1510
4/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

375ml

2009 Vintage

This bottle comes courtesy of the ever generous BitterBill, thanks again Bill! I was a little worried with the barely noticeable pop of the cork but a vigorous pour down the center of the glass produces a fingers worth of creamy beige head that slowly falls to a solid cap. Underneath lies a murky brown body that glows crimson when backlit. Some thin lacing gets left behind that eases back into the body over time.

The cherries have a much more candy-like aroma than I would have expected. They bring along a little tartness but the sweeter qualities are certainly there. A handful of earthy qualities make their presence known. Leather and reduced balsamic vinegar jump to mind immediately along with a rather rich, brown bread sort of maltiness.

The cherries are tarter on the tongue than in the nose but they still show off a candy-like sweetness to balance things out. The leathery quality is rich and goes well with the hefty balsamic vinegar notes. There's a solid backing of brown bread maltiness that evens this Flanders styled brew out well. The cherry tartness runs along the sides of my tongue but never reaches sour.

Although it took some doin' to get any noticeable carbonation it manages to come along nicely on the back of the tongue. The body has a light feel and the carbonation actually has a touch of prickliness on the back while pushing the beer through quickly.

The sweet and sour combo of this beer makes it an ideal thirst quencher in the summer months. The lighter body keeps Red Poppy flowing as well. This is a beer I could happily put away all day.

Lost Abbey is hit or miss with me and lately they've been a huge miss. Red Poppy managed to raise my opinion of them again. They can make a good beer when they show some effort and Red Poppy is one of the examples. Thanks for the bottle Bill, I really enjoyed this one!

 1,875 characters

Photo of scott2269
5/5  rDev +17.9%

Photo of mctizzz
4.48/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of AlCaponeJunior
4.13/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

My first lost abbey brew, and I wasn't disappointed.

Reddish brown and opaque, great head that lasted a long time, leaving huge clumps of thick lacing. Very good looking beer.

You can definitely smell vinegar/tart cherries, along with a woody, sour aroma.

Sourness is prime for this one, very sour indeed, with a great dry cherry backbone, plenty of woody flavors, just a touch of balsamic or red wine vinegar.

Body is light but full all at once. Plenty tangy from ample carbonation. Slightly lingering sour aftertaste.

All around a great beer, very nice for the style.

 577 characters

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

Poured in to my Portsmouth tulip

A: This beer pours a deep, hazy, ruddy brown with a two finger of khaki colored head. Head recedes at a moderate pace and leaves wispy lacing on the glass.

S: Nose is tart soured cherries, oaked vanilla and light mild hints of hay or earthiness.

T: Taste starts with a bit of funk, hay and earthy, grassy notes before the sour comes through. Sour cherried notes really peak in the middle but are quickly balanced out with an oak, vanilla, and perhaps even a mild hint of ... I can't place it, possibly amaretto, light mocha like quality.

M: Medium body, moderate to higher carbonation, crisp, slightly prickly on the back of the throat with a dry finish.

O: Goes down easily, tasty, mildly filling, mild kick, very drinkable representation of style. This is the first that I've had from The Lost Abbey and I am rather impressed. I'm not sure this is worth its price tag, but based on taste alone, I would most certainly drink this one for an evening.

 989 characters

Photo of schnarr84
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of my_knew_craft
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

Photo of Beer21
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

Red Poppy Ale from The Lost Abbey
4.24 out of 5 based on 1,948 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

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

    Subscribe