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Red Barn Ale - The Lost Abbey

Not Rated.
Red Barn AleRed Barn Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

379 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 379
Hads: 935
Avg: 3.97
pDev: 16.88%
Wants: 72
Gots: 112 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 379 | Hads: 935
Reviews by xymyl:
Photo of xymyl
4.77/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Color is murky light orange/golden color with a fluffy white head that settles to about 1/8 inch over time. Carbonation is medium.

Smell is at first strong banana and clove but eventually gives way to citrus and more spice. Apples and pears eventually show up as well. Green hop aromas show up as minor players. Yeast and light vinyl phenols (smokey bandaid and wool) show up deep in the background and only enhance the foreground spice, flowers and fruit. Eventually a malty sweetness struggles out of the din, followed by a distant soft toasty note.

Fruits including oranges, lemon, apples, pears, pineapples, and even green grapes and mango are vibrant beneath a blanket of spices including cloves, nutmeg and cinnamon upfront. The spice is complex and wonderful as you drink deeper, ranging from one pepper to another, it tastes of black pepper, but I know there is alligator pepper here as well and can taste it jumping on the very back of my tongue. Although green hops mingle with every sip, there is a hoppy bitter end to this journey that combines with a under-ripe mango note that is disturbingly fascinating.

Overall: I have been waiting to try this beer for a long time and the result of my quest does not disappoint. The brew is medium bodied, robust, complex and infinitely drinkable. I say this after drinking this 750ml bottle on my own over the course of a few hours. I'm almost finished with the beer as I write this, and I definitely want more. But there is no more, and I'll have to settle for a glass of water and dreams of visiting the little old STONE brewery (now lost abbey) again one day but seeing everything as new. Drinking it from the Affligem Chalice my younger brother gave me. He gave me the beer as well.

 1,741 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of aszatk01
3.5/5  rDev -11.8%

Photo of tectactoe
3/5  rDev -24.4%

Photo of SuqMadique
4.5/5  rDev +13.4%

Photo of TimBeaulieu
3.75/5  rDev -5.5%

Photo of orbitalr0x
4.33/5  rDev +9.1%
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.

 1,047 characters

Photo of dill
3.51/5  rDev -11.6%
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.

 409 characters

Photo of Billolick
4.42/5  rDev +11.3%
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!

 785 characters

Photo of tigg924
3.85/5  rDev -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.

 314 characters

Photo of olradetbalder
3.75/5  rDev -5.5%

Photo of JupiterJesus
5/5  rDev +25.9%

Photo of GarrettB714
5/5  rDev +25.9%

Photo of Altenor
4/5  rDev +0.8%

Photo of magictrokini
4.2/5  rDev +5.8%
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.

 428 characters

Photo of Janeinma
3.5/5  rDev -11.8%

Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L: Pours hazy straw gold under a 3” white foam cap that dissipates quickly but leaves extensive lace.
S: Fruit and spice aromas dominate with cardamon, faint clove, banana, citrus, hints of orange, and traces of compost.
T: Belgian yeast flavors, apricot to peach, light banana, herb, pepper, and spice season a fairly dry beer. There is a moderate bitter accent on the end.
F: Very creamy fine soft carbonation, medium light body.
O: A big full flavored beer that is pretty light on its feet.

 499 characters

Photo of ehammond1
4.4/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5


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.

 1,314 characters

Photo of Mantooth
4/5  rDev +0.8%

Photo of mj001jk
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%
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.

 797 characters

Photo of KyleMA
4/5  rDev +0.8%

Photo of doremite
3.75/5  rDev -5.5%

Photo of ryser2k
3.5/5  rDev -11.8%

Photo of Seattle_Suds
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.11/5  rDev +3.5%
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.

 1,344 characters

Photo of chinchill
2.69/5  rDev -32.2%
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.

 385 characters

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Red Barn Ale from The Lost Abbey
89 out of 100 based on 379 ratings.