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Red Barn Ale - The Lost Abbey

Not Rated.
Red Barn AleRed Barn Ale

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BA SCORE
88
very good

887 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 887
Reviews: 375
rAvg: 3.94
pDev: 10.91%
Wants: 67
Gots: 91 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
The Lost Abbey visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Saison / Farmhouse Ale |  6.70% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: scottoale on 08-23-2006

This Farmhouse Ale traces its roots to the small rustic breweries of Southern Belgium. The word Saison comes to us from the French language and it means Season. Lightly spiced with Organic Ginger, Orange Peels, Black Pepper and Grains of Paradise, this brew promises to quench your thirst on the hottest Southern California days or wherever your travels may take you.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 887 | Reviews: 375
Reviews by dogfooddog:
Photo of dogfooddog
4.05/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

very foamy beer, fills half the glass. cork came out with a loud pop.

nose is quite hoppy, does resemble some saison notes. not so much barnyard taste as the label insinuates.

taste follows nose - more barnyard grassy tastes, mildly bitter hops with some citric or acidic notes, and a pleasant mildly bitter finish. this beer becomes more bitter into the glass as the palate adjusts.

Very decent beer, I do think it is better than some (not all) belgian saisons currently being made. Another very well-crafted offering from Port Brewing.

More User Reviews:
Photo of orbitalr0x
4.33/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle. Batch 1. Pours into my glass an intensely clear golden yellow with a thick, creamy two inch head of white foam sitting atop the brew. Tons of sticky lacing as it falls. Aromas start out with crisp, sun dried grains and sweet malts. A bit of caramel moves into a bevy of fruit flavors: apple, peach and citrus all rolled into a blanket of spicy, somewhat peppery yeast. Very nice.

First sip brings a crisp somewhat sweet malt upfront with notes of sun dried wheat. It rolls into a solid fruity flavor with apple notes upfront along with citrus, pear and peach notes. Peppery, earthy yeast tones work their way in as the brew rolls down. Finishes with a nice spicy crispness. Tasty.

Mouthfeel is on the lighter side with plenty of fast moving carbonation as it flows down. This is an easy drinking, totally enjoyable saison that goes well with the summer season. Overall, this doesn't quite blow me away like previous bottles of SPF45 have in the past, but this is a damn fine saison and I'm glad to have had the chance to sample it.

Photo of dill
3.51/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured from a 750ml bottle into a pint glass.

A - poured a golden color with a thick, foamy white head. i had to slow down and pour this extra slowly.

S - smells of spice and grapefruit.

T - a nice taste of spices and earthiness with some fruit.

M - light on the tongue with a little carbonation.

D - highly drinkable beer, but most saisons are. this beer was enjoyable but wouldn't stand out in a crowd.

Photo of Billolick
4.42/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Typical Lost Abbey presentation, Belgian bomber, caged and corked, no freshness info to be had and an artistic label. This one pours clear medium golden amber, with alot of bubbles rising to the top. The head is a rocky long lasting kind of thing, eggshell in color and thick, with spotty, ringed and well developed lacing left behind. Nose is all about a bunch of fresh fruits, some light pepper and Belgian yeasty goodness. Full flavor brew, more fruityness, melon, pears, apples, spice pepper, coriander, honey, bananas, complex and interesting stuff. Lovely final pour, loaded with sediment and nutty yeast. This went great with some peppery goat cheese on toast and some nuts. Agreed, Lost Abbey is into the pantheon of top notch, U.S. brewers..great stuff, go get some and enjoy!

Photo of tigg924
3.85/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: clear, gold in color, 1 inch head, high carbonation

Smell: funk, hay, and lemon

Taste: pepper, funk, hay, alcohol, and lemon

Mouthfeel: high carbonation, light bodied, dry, funky sour tasting..slightly bitter

Drinkability: A very light and smooth saison. This is a sipper and I could have a couple.

Photo of magictrokini
4.2/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I never know what to expect with Saisons. I either like them or hate them. I like this one. Pours hazy yellow-gold with a huge white head. Spun sugar, musty malt, bananas, clove, and lemon in the nose. Sweet, light clean taste similar to a trippel. Great yeast ester bubblegum and clove flavors, and the ginger definitely enhances the taste here. More orange peel and pepper with lemon towards the back. Great warm-weather beer.

Photo of ehammond1
4.4/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Growler

The Lost Abbey
San Marcos, CA

A radiant and clear golden orange in color with a thin white head. Plenty of beautiful carbonation running straight up the drink. Leaves dotted lacing around the glass.

The nose is bursting first with notes of orange and lemon zest. Along with the fruit there's a floral note here as well, and of course the "farmhouse" blanket smell; oh so good!

After my first sip, I whispered to myself, instinctively and without thinking, "Oh my, this is good." When reviewing a beer I do my best to be analytical and objective, but sometimes that escapes me and instincts take over. A gut reaction of: "Oh my!" has to be a good thing though!
This seems just about perfect. The pleasant fruit flavors are the highlight, but they work best when coupled with the Belgian yeast, a touch of funk, the peppery spice, a bit of warm alcohol, all while ending extremely dry. Exceptional! Let this one warm, as the flavors really come to life as the beer comes to room temperature.
Truly terrific!

A perfect mouthfeel. Well carbonated, medium-bodied, finishes dry. Perfect.

This beer is too easy to drink; it seems like it almost doesn't want you to keep it around long enough to appreciate it for all that it is. I'm happy I had to write this review or I would have downed it a lot faster.

Photo of mj001jk
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle opens with a loud pop and as expected is fairly highly carbonated. Pours a nice golden color with a slight haze and a thick snow-white foam cap.

Fresh and clean aromas, citrus, quince and green apple with hints of bready yeast. Very attractive from a distance, let's get a little closer.

Highly carbonated mouthfeel and clean flavors. It is fermented dry which accentuates the minimal character and leaves almost no sensations of malt behind. It is almost like a subtly spiced pilsner with fresh citrus and orange peels added. The lightness, yet long and delicious finish makes is very drinkable and to be honest, sometimes you don't need lots of different or strong flavors to get excited.

The zen-like focus and quality of this beer leaves me with nothing more to desire...well done.

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.11/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

These bottles just feel like your opening up something special, this had a beautiful pop as I uncorked this one lively carbonation on par with the style. Pours into my La Fin du Monde chalice with 4 fingers worth of head forming thick chunky pattern. The white head billows above the rim of my glass and the body is a clouded orange golden glowing color.

Aroma one I first popped the cork gave me a touch of band aid/plastic phenols but as that clears I'm getting tropical fruit spicy peppery background hints of alcohol and orange citric preserves going on.

Flavor has alot going on let's break it down, an air of spicy hops going down with a bit of band aid offness, tropical tangy mix of fruit back and forth between pineapple, citrus fruit, and a touch of mango. Spicy black pepper note, herbal spiciness very green background with a touch of alcohol. Nice and dry in the back end with the booze and fruit cleaning the palate between sips.

Mouthfeel is effervescently carbonated, light to medium bodied. Juicy and dry depending on your sip, brings up spices in the back of your nares but makes you want to let out a nice hop burp at the same time.

Drinkability is excellent stuff, one of the best all around American brewed Saisons that uses many of the Belgian characteristics with American zeal to make it all work together so well.

Photo of chinchill
2.69/5  rDev -31.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

On tap at the brewery in San Marcos.

Pours amber with a white head that soon reduces to a ring but leaves some lacing.

Aroma: medicinal, herbal and fruity (orange peel) aroma with spices.

Flavor: more spicy and less fruity than the aroma, and not as medicinal. A random clash of yeast and spice flavors.

Feel: medium body; light-medium carbonation.

O: not a good mix of flavors.

Photo of OStrungT
4.63/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This beer pours a cloudy orange color, with a yellow tint. It boasts a thick, fluffy white head, with a slight yellow tint to it. The head fades very slowly, leaving many laces.

This beer has a citrusy aroma. I can smell some orange, and some lemon. It has a slightly grainy aroma also. I can smell some spices, like coriander, and some cloves. It has a very slight peppery hop aroma also.

This beer tastes citrusy. Mostly lemon. It has a strong spicy flavor. Cloves, coriander and ginger. It also tastes grainy. It has a sweet flavor as well. It has a slight earthy yeast flavor.

This beer is quite refreshing. It is smooth and crisp. It leaves a spicy aftertaste.

This beer would make an excelent session beer. It is smooth, and it is not too high in alcohol.

Overall: I have never been disapointed with anything that Tomme Arthur has made. This is no exception. This beer is great. Tomme should be brewing in Belgium.

Photo of glid02
4.22/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at the Brick Store during the LA/Port kick-off.

Pours a hazy golden color with a one-finger white head. The head recedes into a thin layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of light pilsner malts with large amounts of mustiness and hints of grass. Also present are moderate amounts of ripe pears.

Tastes similar to how it smells, though note quite as complex. Moderately dry light malt flavors kick things off and are joined quickly by ripe pears and hints of green apples. Midway through the sip slight amounts of musty flavors work their way into things - similar to wet hay. Light herbal hops come into play near the end of the sip, carrying through to a crisp ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with solid carbonation.

Drinkability is very good. I finished my glass without any problems and could easily have a few more.

Overall I'd been passing over this beer for quite some time when in markets to which LA distributes in favor of more limited releases and now I see that wasn't a good idea. A very good example for the style and one that's well worth a shot.

Photo of rhoadsrage
3.33/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

(Served in a tulip glass)

A- This beer pours a golden yellow body with just a slight hazy, the second pour is much hazier. There is a strong carbonation that pops of the base of the glass and supports a creamy off-white head for a bit.

S- This beer has an apple juice aroma with a dry hop finish with hints of sulfur to it.

T- The clean start leads to a dry almost sulfury hop finish. As the beer warms there is some apple juice flavors and a stale spice quality in the finish. There is a hop bitterness that stings just a bit as it lingers.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with a soft fizz in the finish.

O- The dominate flavors, although still soft, were apple juice and stale spices makes this a bland beer. There was a good dry finish but the mouthfeel was a little to full to make this crisp and refreshing. I love this style and didn't get any yeast character that I like in a saision.

Photo of pwoods
4.03/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml brown bottle, corked and caged, purchased from South Bay, poured into a flute.

A: Pours an apricot-amber with a bit of hazing. A large slightly fluffy, yet tight, white head forms and holds nicely. Good lacing from start to finish.

S: A pleasant sweet malt line with plenty of yeasty esters and light spicy hops. Maybe some coriander?

T/M: The hops are much more assertive than the nose suggested. Plenty of zesty, peppery spices with a slow rising bitterness that culminates in a dry and lasting finish. The yeast produces heavy phenolics that meld well with the spices. More of a gingery taste instead of the coriander(Because, you know, they're so similar and all, right?). Malts let off a balancing sweetness as well a some biscuity notes.

D: Decent drinkability with 6.7%. The 750 won't be too much.

Photo of 05Harley
4.18/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled on 12/3/10

Purchased through High-Time Wine Cellars, Costa Mesa, Cali

Price - $7.97/bomber

Appearance: Nice big fluffy head that fades nice and slow, wow!! Pale yellow in color with no sediment. Sticky with wall to wall lacing. Did I mention the head - huge..

Smell: Grassy hops. Strong citrus presence with ginger and spices. A noticeable aroma of funk and belgian yeast as well.

Taste: Spices and yeast. Lemon, orange peel and a bite of hops. A true summer taste and brings me back to warmer times.

Mouthfeel: Creamy with a lite body and plenty of carbonation. Peppery and slightly dry & tart leaving my palate feeling zesty and clean. Reminds me of an irish spring commercial.

Drinkability: A pretty good saison and another fine offering from Lost Abbey. Not overpowering in any category and one I'll revisit during the summer months.

Photo of nickthegun12
4.45/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

the appearance is typical saison...OVERCARBONATED...hugh 5 finger head, i gotta remember to pour saisons slower, and golden hazy look...very true to style...nice nice lacing...

smell is very nice as well!...wheat....with the fresh belgium yeast come to the nose....there is also a pleasant hoppiness too...

the taste is truly where there one stands out!....very fresh....lots of hops and bittering hops too....you really don't see that too much...

the feel is right on....not as dry as i would expect

the drink ability is awesome...especially since they didn't go over the top with the alcohol

Photo of ggaughan
4.07/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sampled at the Monk's Cafe Lost Abbey beer dinner a few nights ago. The beer poured a cloudy orange color with a thick, fluffy white head. The nose of the beer is citrusy (lemon, orange) and has some spice nuances also. The taste is a bit earthy and also has nice touches of the citrus and spice, maybe some corriander. This beer is very smooth and refreshing and makes for a very drinkable beer.

Photo of IntriqKen
3.68/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A very light clear golden elixer toped with a half finger white head that takes it time melting to very sticky lacing.
Aromas are belgium yeast, barnyard cut green hay, and soft fruits.
Mouthfeel is tingly and sharp, mostly from the tiny carbonation.
Taste is sweet at first then quickly turns crisp and sharp with a bitter citrus sort of finish.
This would be very, very refreshing on a summers day.

Photo of biboergosum
3.83/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

25.4oz caged and corked bottle. Thanks to hoppypocket for the trade! Very Celtic looking cross on the label - or maybe it's just the accompanying Flogging Molly.

This beer pours a rather cloudy, yet bright medium golden yellow colour, with two fingers of fluffy, loosely foamy marshmallow white head, which renders a bit of melting layered ice cream cake lace around the glass as it gently subsides.

It smells of soft, semi-sweet grainy pale malt, buttered toasted biscuits, spicy clove and neutered black pepper, banana chips, a subtle tint of musty funk, and hay-like, lemongrass hop esters. The taste is more gritty, bready and biscuity pale malt, a touch of caramel, lemon rind, sassy earthy yeast, fruity white wine, clove, dried banana, white pepper, floral honey, and pleasantly understated earthy, leafy hops.

The bubbles are decently active, and on the edgy side of frothy, the body a sturdy medium weight, and generally smooth, the yeast and burgeoning alcohol notes starting to eat away at it after a wee while. It finishes off-dry, the underlying malt heady enough to still entertain all that yeast, fruit, spice, and now, booze.

A fairly blusterous and straight-up solid saison. While heaviness isn't normally an attribute of the style, the weight here more or less works, soaking up some of the more wayward spice and yeast, and somewhat justifying the heat from the not-that-high ABV. Another worthy enough offering from this 'brewing project'.

Photo of GilGarp
4.5/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

After some difficulty getting the cork out, it finally pops and pours a nice golden yellow color. It has nice clarity which seems unusual for the style. Great head though and it sticks around well with good lacing down the glass.

Aroma is spicy and floral with a good belgian yeast.

Flavor is very good. Sweet and fruity up front but finishes spicy and dry. Very clean and well balanced too. I would say this is one of the best saisons I've had. Even better than some genuine Belgians!

Mouthfeel is good, medium body, nice level of carbonation, and clean.

Drinkability is also very good, especially for a Belgian style. Many times they can be too powerful both in flavor and in alcohol. This one is balanced, clean, and not overpowering. Very well done.

Photo of AKBelgianBeast
4.12/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to SuzyGreenberg for the trade.

This pours a light peachy yellow with a little bit of a chill haze. Decent head with moderate lace. Nose is of wheat and light malts with some light apple and barnyard funk. First taste, wheat dominates with alot of subtle spice flavors and some maltiness. Slight hop bitterness on the finish. The mouthfeel is quite good and not overly carbonated like some american saisons. Drinkability is very high. A great shot at a saison from a great brewing co. Recommended.

Photo of Sammy
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One and a half years cellared, picked up at a Pizza Plant fresh. Very zesty, enjoyable fresh tasting saison. Sweetish malt made it dangerously drinkable. Whitish colour. Way above average mouthfeel.Mildly spicey,with pepper, ginger, anise, malty and yeast aroma.Good balance.

Photo of augustgarage
4.38/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750mL bottle into my Troubadour tulip glass.

Murky gamboge body crowned by a rocky old-lace foam butte. Firm merengue like retention, and excellent lacing.

Soft, luscious, evocative, and inviting aromas of challah, banana, clove, cinnamon, freshly mown hay, and other subtle herbs/spices. Unique, complex, though sweeter than most Saisons I've tried.

Sweet malty entrance on the palate, proceeded by a brief hop bitterness accompanied by a yeasty funk with a hint of citrus, quickly fading to brown bread crust, and a long somewhat spicy, very dry finish.

Nearly medium-bodied, fluffy, with heavy carbonation.

Difficult to put down - glad I picked this up after being disappointed in Serpent's Stout.

Photo of dirtylou
4.4/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle, split over a sweet meal/ambient evening at Quinn's in Seattle

appearance: poured a hazy golden orange tone into a chalice, foamy beige cap with strong retention as a saison should...sticky and oily

smell: bready yeast, funky wheat, rustic and wild grains, orange peel, ginger, pepper, corn...nice stuff

taste: peppercorns and funky yeast, orange peel, ginger, tea-like tones...just as funky and all over the place as a saison should be

mouthfeel: pillowy smooth, medium body

drinkability: good

Photo of g00dness
4.18/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From notes, I generally dont review beers when I'm out, but this one at flour + water was so good...

Poured a cloudy tan with a small resilient head. Looks like it will taste good, if you know what I mean.

Nose was dried stonefruit, nutmeg and banana yeast undertones

Taste was fantastic! Cardamom, cinnamon spice and more dried fruits, with mango and banana prominent. Yeast was very minor for a saison.

Mouthfeel was the "weakest link", kind of thin, although the spice lighted up my palate

Drinkability was high, this beer goes down easy.

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Red Barn Ale from The Lost Abbey
88 out of 100 based on 887 ratings.