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Red Poppy

Judges Rating: 
24 / 24
6 / 6
37 / 40
9 / 10
Overall Impression: 
19 / 20

Since opening Port Brewing/Lost Abbey in 2006, co-founder Tomme Arthur has earned the reputation as “The Guy” when it comes to producing Belgian-style sour ales. Red Poppy is a Flanders-style red ale, displaying all of the expected trademark sweet/sour aromas and flavors. Boasting a complex blend of bright green apples, tingling sourness, luscious cherries, and subtle farmhouse notes, Red Poppy’s aroma is at once appetizing and inviting. Brandon was taken by the delicate give and take between the sparkling Granny Smith apple note and zingy Champagne vinegar-like acidity, while Peter likened the tart attack to “cherry-flavored hard candies” offset by some fruity sweetness. Both agreed, however, the aromas were classically “Belgian” and truly befitting of the style. Red Poppy is a deep red, bordering on amber that throws just a hint of haze. By turns evincng light caramel sweetness, bright acidic tartness, and hints of oak, the flavor matches the nose. Marty was pleased by the caramelly sweet lead-in and quick shift to bracing sourness with hints of Montmorency cherries and a lactic tang. Tom, too, honed in on the sour cherry and acidic notes, but dug out some oaky wood and tannins in the middle, before sweet, faintly sugary malt notes outshined in the finish. Brewed for very limited release and aged for a full year in French oak, Red Poppy is scarce, but well worth seeking out.