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Red Barn Ale | The Lost Abbey

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385 Reviews
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Red Barn AleRed Barn Ale

Brewed by:
The Lost Abbey
California, United States | website

Style: Saison / Farmhouse Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.70%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by scottoale on 08-23-2006

User Reviews
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Reviews: 385 | Ratings: 966
Photo of RickS95
4.3/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Wasn't expecting such an explosion of carbonation, despite the huge pop from the uncorking. As thick a head as you want it to be. Golden yellowy copper color with bright white above. The head retains well and literally falls down on itself as it eventually dissipates.

The nose reminds you of walking through a citrus orchard. Fruity, flowery funk. Not sure if peach is considered citrus, but that's the predominant scent. Maybe tropical is the better word.

Very pleasant taste with the funky yeast giving off flavors of pepper, peach, orange, and a splash of grapefruit. I don't know if dank is a taste, but it is in describing this beer.

Extremely crisp and sharp, each sip cuts through and tickles the taste buds with sweet, funky, and bitter. Fairly carbonated, it leaves a dry, biting finish with only a faint prick of heat.

It just turned spring but this would be amazing in the summer. Even in the spring it's a great beer.

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Photo of Marius
3.75/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Sampled at a tasting. Hazy bright orange pour with a tall white head. Smells sour, salty, with notes of vinegar. Tastes like brett, grapefruit and caramel. Dry mouthfeel.

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Photo of Ciocanelu
3.9/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hazy yellow color with white head. Aroma has citrus and yeast esters. Taste is yeasty with citrus and bubblegum. Medium, effervescent body. Quite nice example of belgian ale.

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Photo of erk0607
3.92/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

L: Light, clear, effervescent amber
S: Very peppery, classic "farmhouse funk"
T: Very peppery, lots of spices to yield a strong Belgian profile. A bold saison if there ever was one.
F: Light, fizzy, super easy to foam head
O: Good, classic what you think of when someone says strong beer flavor

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Photo of TerribleTaste
3.9/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Frigging rights boys, I opened this 750ml ale, poured it, sniffed it, gave it a decent look-see on the glass acroment. Even gave her a lil sip and everything in my senses pointed to a soft fruity ale.
That was until I took a gulp, the front sour tart flourished into a nutty bready mix of unnameable flavors.

This beer has a perfect name to suite its flavor, all I can imagine is the daily farm hand making a home brew and saw ANYTHING on the homestead to toss in. Pears, apples, apricots, oranges, any nuts or berries he could find Ect ect. Whatever sounded good at the time and was on hand. There is an excessive amount of flavors donated by this beer, and I like all of them. But then again ;D I have TerribleTaste

Edit: at the last of the bottle all I can say is just how incredibly sour this beer is, I love it.

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Photo of anonymoose
3.5/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer is 11 months old at the time of review and has an orange color. The aroma is just barnyard funk. The taste is bitter for a saison with a lot of spice, massive rye breadiness, a little bit of funk, and some lemon and orange notes that come through. As the beer warmed up it became tart which I didn't notice as much immediately after opening it.

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Photo of Hahnin
4.66/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Floral smell, with rich almost savory apricot taste. Color is gorgeous. Carbonation is med/strong but perfectly suits this beer. Probably one of the most balanced beer so have ever had, strong taste, clean finish, beautiful color, an absolutely gorgeous beer

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Photo of TheSixthRing
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours cloudy and a dull, yellow-orange color with an off-white, rocky 3 finger head. Good retention. Thins out to a sheet of suds across the surface. and leaves with it sudsy clumps of lace upon the glass.

Smell - Grains of paradise stand out in the aroma, with a zesty, peppery and citrusy character. Light funk. Hints of banana and wheat.

Taste - Follows the nose, with peppery spice, orange and lemon citrus notes being the foremost characters. Hints of herbal mint. A touch of apple is in there somewhere. Finish is mostly lemon and wheat fading into the distance.

Mouthfeel - On the fuller side of medium-bodied with a lightly biting carbonation.

Overall - This is a pretty good saison. Not too herbal and not too tart. Nicely balanced. Doesn't quite hit my 'Yes!' button, but I certainly don't regret the purchase. That said, I'd probably opt for the FW Opal before giving this one another go if I'm feeling the saison itch.

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Photo of wulfie85
4.06/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Great look with a spicy and fruity aroma. Nice and smooth going down and all those fruit and spice flavors come out as you drink. Very refreshing and enjoyable on a hot day.

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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.

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Photo of Bowdoinbeerboy
3.26/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Pours with a huge head that lingers for ages. The beer itself is a pale yellow and crystal clear. The nose is a bit "off." Its not spoiled, but it just doesn't smell like they got the spice balance correct, it smells fairly strongly of coriander, too strongly. The taste is sweetness upfront with some nice fruity hop bitterness in the middle. The aftertaste gets much more bitter but stays more floral then piney. Overrall this beer seems like an average saison with waaaay too many spices in it. The nose and flavor is a bit muddled and frankly, a bit unpleasant.

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Photo of Tucquan
3.95/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on 2015-04-21 from a cork and caged 22 oz bottle

A - Clear gold with a massive, pillowy 4-finger head into a 20 oz snifter. Yikes. It took awhile to settle.

S - Hay, herbs, must, sourdough wheat bread, lemon, lots of yeast presence but not perfumy. There's also a lurking, somewhat off-putting scent of aged cheese.

T - Grape skin, grass, herbal/medicinal, lemon tartness, pepper, ginger lightly toasted wheat bread. Finish is herbal, pepper and bitter. Very nice flavor. No cheese taste at all.

M - Light-medium body and medium carbonation. Crisp and refreshing.

O - I liked this brew except for one element of the aroma. Since there wasn't a cheesy taste at all, perhaps the Grains of Paradise in conjunction with the other aromas created something like it to my olfactory receptors.

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Photo of breadwinner
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Man, this is one I'd wish they'd move to smaller format packaging, as I think it's a great every-day sort of saison. Nice fruity esters both on the nose and palate, a touch of sweetness as well, perhaps a bit thick/juicy for the style, but it's also really tasty, so no worries there. Just enough of a spicy/yeasty note in the finish to clean things up. Really good stuff.

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Photo of Stevedore
3.44/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

On tap at Lost Abbey in San Marcos, CA.

A- Clear golden yellow body, one finger white head with fair retention time, nice rings of lacing.

S- Crisp crackery aromas, peaches, a bit of citrus, a slight bit of ground pepper. Perhaps a slight amount of caramel. Clean aroma in general, not particularly strong or forward.

F- Sweet caramel, crackers, pears, stone fruit, peppercorn, earthiness. Spices. For the most part, this is a subtle beer with a decent bit of complexity in its spices although it doesn't jump out in any meaningful way. It's certainly lacking any kind of funk or significant tartness, but that's OK.

M- Thin-medium body, perfect carbonation, crisp but smooth and refreshing. A bit heavyhanded on the finish with spices and bitterness.

O- Decent farmhouse ale. It's a catch-all category; despite the lack of funk or tartness, it's still a decent beer. Still, not worth what it costs per the usual Lost Abbey pricing range.

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Photo of smcolw
3.98/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Excellent blanketing effect from the lace. Moderate head that settles to a thin layer of bubbles. Dirty gold color with a chill haze.

I smell some subtle spices like lavender, licorice and nutmeg. Reminds me of a Cream Ale.

The taste is crisp with a strong black pepper tongue. It starts with some creaminess but end bitterly in the swallow. Predictable body with an elevated level of carbonation. Overall, an impressively drinkable Saison.

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Photo of gonzo000
3.79/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

a. See through yellow on the pour with a huge head that settles but is at about 1 finger throughout the beer.

s. Pepper, wine (fermented grape), orange

t. blended well - orange, pepper then a bit of bitter at the finish

m. Smooth and very easy drinking. The killer carbonation does not get in the way.

o. Overall this beer is very, very good. Do not usually like this style, but everything is well balanced. No coriander taste to the yeast.

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Photo of leantom
4.26/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Ah, the Lost Abbey. New Jersey started getting its beers two years ago, and I had heard great things about them. I decided to give this Saison a shot and see how it compared to my other favorite Belgian-beer breweries (Ommegang + Allagash). Here goes:

A: Fantastic right out of the glass. It produces a large head with tons of residual lacing. The beer pours a cloudy yellow indicating the presence of bready Belgian yeast. Furthermore, owing to the bottle-conditioning, the beer has tons of carbonation that linger throughout its consumption. Simply perfect.

S: Great. Lots of white spices, coriander and pepper. Has a bready smell owing to the Belgian yeast. The malt gives off a smell of orange and banana. Very good for a saison.

T: Good. The taste follows the nose. I detect white pepper, coriander, orange peel, candi sugar and banana. The only problem I have with this beer is that it's not as dry as other saisons, i.e., it's a little too sweet for a saison. It almost tastes like a tripel without the boozy alcoholic background. Lastly, the beer has a bready taste owing to the presence of Belgian yeast.

M: Again, very good. Has a very thick, bready character. Tons of carbonation.

O: This beer is excellent. The only problem I had with it was the sweetness. I believe saisons should be drier, that's all. Will definitely try other beers from this brewery and perhaps get this one again.

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Photo of Bonsall_Phil
3.93/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Picked up at a local market; big boy bottle cap n corked. Opened that night.

Poured gently into a pilsner (all i had) and the head roared up to 2 inches, it held stubbornly opaque cream/lightly toasted marshmallow throughout the drinking. Carbonation stayed active to the sight glimmering through the sea of foggy gold.

Sweet maltiness, autumn spices on the nose. Clean and pleasant scent.

Tongue not far from the nose, malt first and then an apple fruit like spice. Those autumn spices on the nose are warm nutmeg on the aftertaste. The alcohol is there, as it should be. Aftertaste remains fruity, still apple. Mouthfeel is a little thick for the flavor, but it's not poor, the carbonation keeps it lively.

Might buy this again, I believe this would be good with food. Wishing I had a nice think pork chop right now :)

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

A: pours a cloudy gold yellow orange, lots of head. Served in tulip glass
S: lots of funk, pepper, fruit, grassy, spicyness. Very aromatic
T: funky, spicy, with a fruity sweetness. It's very similar to the carnevale ale by LA, but has a little more spice. Very dry
M: very carbonated, on point for saison
O: awesome saison available year round from LA, tbh I skip this over for other lost abbey beers, I think that will have to change as this is awesome saison and cheap compared to other la stuff

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Photo of Zach136
4.22/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

750 ml bottled 6/10/2013. Poured into Lost Abbey Teku, reviewed live.

A - Burnt orange with a slight haze. Small white head that dissipates a bit too fast, but does leave solid lacing while it sticks around.

S - Intense orange peel and fruity Belgian esters. Don't get any ginger that Lost Abbey describes, little to no funk/acidiy.

T - Bitter orange, peppery phenols ov a sweet malt backbone. Earth hops in the background, very slight alcohol presence. The ever so slightest lemon acidity shows up as it warms.

M - Medium bodied, high carbonation, drying finish with a lasting pepper linger.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.83/5  rDev -3.5%
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'.

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Photo of elNopalero
4.33/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This pours a straw gold with light foaming. The aroma is slightly bready, yeasty, and estery, with some peppery notes. I found some straw, and maybe a wet hay funk, as it opened.

Tastes peppery, with yeasty bready characteristics and a bit of a funky wet hay character. It’s estery and floral with a pleasing bite. Enjoyable.

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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.

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Photo of zhokar
4.01/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A - Hazy golden yellow with a very small head

S - Spices, citrus, bit of banana

T - Cloves, pepper, coriander, orange peel. Some tart/bitterness as it rolls back. Can just taste the alcohol after the finish.

M - Moderately carbonated. Crisp and prickly.

O - Not my favorite farmhouse, but still a great example of the style. Definitely a summer beer.

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Photo of Smurf2055
3.33/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

On tap at Naked City.

Pours golden with little white head, good lacing.

Smell is funky, wet hay, can finally understand what a "barnyard" smell is now.

Taste is slightly bitter, mellow, funky, like a bitter wheat beer.

Light bodied and dry, crisp, refreshing.

Decent beer. Not sure if it’s my favorite style though.

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Red Barn Ale from The Lost Abbey
89 out of 100 based on 385 ratings.