Thursday, December 29, 2011

504. Lost Abbey Red Poppy Ale

It’s been a while since we had a beer from Lost Abbey, so it was nice to come across a bottle of this during our sojourns through various NW beer retailers. Described on the label as a “malt beverage brewed with cherries and aged in oak barrels,” Red Poppy gets added to a list of Lost Abbey beers that include Angel’s Share 2010, Serpent Stout 2009, Carnevale Ale and Avant Garde Ale, making this one lucky number five.

Red Poppy Ale pours a crystal clear reddish brown, which Elli says is burnt sienna. The head is thin and eggshell, hanging around briefly but rousing easily, while the nose is a mix of fruitiness, tartness, mustiness, and cherry. Maybe a touch of funk thrown in for good measure. Flavors start sweet and sharp, with competing tart and vinegar sourness palate sensations—the body is thin and dry like we expected, but also lively on the tongue. There is a fair amount of cherry in the middle, along with a more even sourness and some mineral dryness. Red Poppy finishes dry and musty with the lingering flat cherry flavor common to beers with cherries—slightly acidic in its own right, accompanied by a touch of tongue curling astringency. As noted, the body is bone dry with bright lively carbonation on the tongue. The beer is delicious—hell, it’s from Lost Abbey—but the cherry flavor does limit and impede the traditional complexity we connect with Flanders red, specifically in the middle of the beer—the cherry sweetness covers and minimizes the dry puckering sourness that makes beads of perspiration emerge on my cheeks. Still, we’d happily drink more—we’re just saying that while the overall effect of the cherry on the beer is delightful, it is still slightly overwhelming.

From the Lost Abbey website: “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.”

ABV: 5.0%


No comments:

Post a Comment