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Red Barn Ale - The Lost Abbey

Not Rated.
Red Barn AleRed Barn Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
89
very good

839 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 839
Reviews: 371
rAvg: 3.94
pDev: 11.17%
Wants: 62
Gots: 74 | FT: 1
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:
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 added by: scottoale on 08-23-2006)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 839 | Reviews: 371 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
4.03/5  rDev +2.3%
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.

Sammy, Oct 05, 2008
Photo of t0rin0
4/5  rDev +1.5%

t0rin0, Dec 12, 2012
Photo of spycow
4/5  rDev +1.5%

spycow, Nov 27, 2011
Photo of UCLABrewN84
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at The Los Abbey/Port tasting room in San Marcos, CA.

Pours a slightly hazy gold with a white head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Foamy rings of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smell is of grain, citrus, spices, and yeast. Taste is of grain, spices, and yeast. There is a mild citrus zest bitterness on the palate after each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good saison with some nice aromas and flavors.

UCLABrewN84, Mar 06, 2012
Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev +1.5%

djrn2, Dec 14, 2011
Photo of zestar
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%

zestar, Nov 02, 2013
Photo of acurtis
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%

acurtis, Mar 25, 2013
Photo of Thorpe429
3.9/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to G311 for this bottle. Served in a Lost Abbey Rastal tulip.

Pours a semi-hazed dark apricot color with a large, foamy white head and a good bit of lacing on the way down. The nose brings forward a bit of stone fruit plus some light spice. Hints of grain. Flavor has a good dosing of fruit and light spice. Light-medium body with good carbonation and a crisp finish. Nice beer.

Thorpe429, Nov 20, 2011
Photo of nmann08
4/5  rDev +1.5%

nmann08, Nov 25, 2011
Photo of Texasfan549
4/5  rDev +1.5%

Texasfan549, Nov 28, 2012
Photo of metter98
4.04/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A: The beer is clear light golden yellow in color and has a moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger and a half high bright white head that gradually died down, consistently leaving a thin head covering the surface and a coating of bubbles down the sides of the glass.
S: Light aromas of orange peel and yeast are present in the nose along with some hints of yeast.
T: The taste very much follows the smell and also has some hints of ginger with some peppery spices towards the finish.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied and rather dry on the palate with a moderate to high amount of carbonation.
O: This saison is a very good representation of the style and I enjoyed the complexity of its flavors and the dryness and carbonation in the mouthfeel.

metter98, May 23, 2013
Photo of GRG1313
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%

GRG1313, Jan 29, 2013
Photo of kjkinsey
4/5  rDev +1.5%

kjkinsey, Nov 25, 2012
Photo of brentk56
4.43/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a hazy honey color with a fluffy egg white head that drops to a creamy film and leaves shards of lace around the glass

Smell: Yeasty horse blanket funk, orange peel, ginger and a licorice floral aroma that I assume is grains of paradise

Taste: Starts out with a peachy flavor that immediately bursts forth with peppery spice and leads to some earthy bitterness; after the swallow, the flavor transitions are incredible, with an initial sweet fruitiness of peach, followed by a ginger flavor that builds in peppery spiciness until the citrus bitterness takes over at the end; just a touch of sweetness lingers throughout and re-appears at the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium-full bodied and creamy with prickly carbonation

Drinkability: An exceptional saison that just blows me away with its rich complexity

brentk56, Aug 02, 2007
Photo of Phyl21ca
3.53/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a light beige color ale with a huge foamy head with great retention and lacing. Aroma of funky yeast with some nice spices and light ester. Taste is also dominated by some sweet fruit notes as well as some spices and the funky yeast. Average body with great carbonation. I thought it was a bit too sweet for my own palate but still enjoyable overall.

Phyl21ca, Jul 13, 2007
Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.55/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

'Sunshine glinting off a krugerrand' gold. An abundance of bubbles gives the beer a sparkly look and has created a majestic crown of lemony ivory that might have been created in the Belgian countryside rather than in San Marcos. Chunky hunks of foamy lace stick like glue. The appearance should become even more spectacular when the yeast from the bottom of the bottle is added.

The nose is wonderously spicy and pretty much defines the saison style (it could pass for a BSPA as well). It's incredibly juicy fruity and has a perfect amount of zippy zestiness from the addition of ginger, orange peel, black pepper and grains of paradise. It's difficult to appreciate the pepper, but the others definitely aren't shy.

Beer like this makes me wonder why I never think of saisons/farmhouse ales when asked to name my favorite styles. A well-brewed saison is incredibly versatile and is nicely quenching at any time of year. Having had a few Lost Abbeys offerings prior to Red Barn, I'm not a bit surprised at the complexity that swirls across my tongue with each eagerly anticipated mouthful.

The lush fruitiness underlying the top note fireworks is all kinds of delicious. I'm reminded of peaches, apricots and buttery pears. A semi-firm hop presence keeps things balanced from the sweet-bitter perspective. Stopping right there would have made for a sublime ale. Adding the rest makes for an ale to savor... an ale to linger over... an ale to make me wish I lived in Southern California.

The best part about the spices is how none of them hog the spotlight. The taste buds register a warm blip of ginger here, a tart tang of orange peel there, and a playful nip of black pepper here, there and everywhere. I'm torn between trying to appreciate each of them in turn and simply enjoying the glorious whole as it washes over my palate.

The mouthfeel falls a bit short of great, but only because I'm comparing it to Belgium's finest. It could stand to be slightly more full and creamy, slightly more supple. It's odd that I liked it more when the beer was cool than I do as it warms.

I can no longer deny the obvious. Even though I didn't think there was any room, The Lost Abbey (Port Brewing) has exploded into the upper reaches of my 'top-10 breweries in the U.S.' list. They'll almost certainly be a permanent fixture as long as they continue to brew outstanding beer like Red Barn Ale. As far as I'm concerned, Tomme Arthur, Vinnie Cilurzo and Rob Todd comprise the holy trinity of Belgian brewing, American-style.

BuckeyeNation, Oct 24, 2007
Photo of ygtbsm94
3.5/5  rDev -11.2%

ygtbsm94, Jan 29, 2012
Photo of mikesgroove
4.08/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I actually had never had this one before, so last night I decided to go ahead and crack one open as there are not many Lost Abbey beers left that I have not tried. Needless to say I was impressed. Served at cellar temperature and poured into an oversized wine glass. This one was consumed on 09/23/2008.

The pour was really magnificent on this one. A rich and very hazy medium yellow color came gurgling out of the bottle, quickly coming to a head that reached a height of maybe two inches. There was then a rich coating of side glass lace that thoroughly coated the glass with some nice carbonation being visible throughout the session.

The aroma was highly charged on this one. Lots of light fruit swirling around with a healthy dose of spice in it as well. Nice touches of coriander, lemon, hints of pepper coming through, with a touch of pears warming up to it as it came up to room temperature. The initial taste was peppery, with a rush of lemon following suit almost immediately. A wonderful sense of light fruit really just ran all over this one. I was quite impressed I have to admit. Smooth mouth feel was more the adequately carbonated and really just kept the profile popping throughout. An easy sipper, the moderate ABV lended itself well to a warm late summer evening.

Overall while not my favorite beer from Lost Abbey buy any means, it was still more then adequate and a pretty damn solid offering. I would have no issue at all with trying this one again; it really came across quite well and as a side note, made an excellent marinade.

mikesgroove, Sep 25, 2008
Photo of womencantsail
3.58/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Yard House - Irvine

A: The beer pours a slightly cloudy golden color with a nice big white head.

S: Intensely yeasty and peppery, not quite how I remember Red Barn. A sort of dry malt character I would describe as soda crackers. Some other phenols exist (besides the pepper), but they're sort of overshadowed. Minimal fruit, perhaps a touch of lemon peel.

T: The flavor is a little better, but not substantially so. The pepper is still just so pronounced it's hard to get past it. Crisp pale, cracker malts with a nice yeasty bite to it. Minimal citrus peel and spice contributions to the flavor.

M: Medium in body with a medium to high carbonation and a slightly dry finish.

O: Sort of a let down compared to how I recall this beer being. Might have to revisit it again.

womencantsail, Jun 16, 2011
Photo of Knapp85
3.85/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured out as a hazy yellow color with a thin white head on top. Decent thin retention and light lacing. The smell is slightly funky, a little acidic and floral. The taste of the beer is slightly spicy, some lemon citrus and earthy bitterness. The mouthfeel has a bready creaminess, it's light and slightly refreshing. Overall it's a decent Saison.

Knapp85, May 12, 2013
Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%

westcoastbeerlvr, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.38/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

.3L pour - $5.00 at the Brick Store Pub in Decatur, Georgia.

Appearance: Hazed, bronze-toned body with an inch of pillowy, white head depositing copious amounts of lacing on the way down.

Smell: Sugar, spice, and everything nice.

Taste: Breaded maltiness, minimally sweet and with a hint of almond slivers before the redolent spice character kicks in with an earthy, sourish peppery bent to it. Tangy edge to the orange peel. Faintly bitter. Muted fruitiness. The sweetness attempts to rebound, but soon fizzles out as you near the dry, spicy finish with a lingering aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium-plus carbonation. Slight stickiness to the mouthfeel.

Overall: While the savory spicing would make it an easy choice to pair with a variety of grub, just one its own, I find the spice addition to be slowly, incessantly rankling.

ChainGangGuy, May 16, 2011
Photo of SocalKicks
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%

SocalKicks, Aug 13, 2012
Photo of largadeer
3.7/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Semi-clear blond, for the first glass at least. Pretty opaque after that. Quite foamy; the head retention is incredibly good.

Smell - Spicy, estery and sweet. Notes of banana and peach with subtler aromas of grass and flowers. No real funk, barnyard or sourness to be detected; it's more of an estery saison.

Taste & mouthfeel - Bold spiciness and strong esters. High carbonation. Flavors of banana, coriander and clove with a mild, floral hoppiness. A bit sweeter than I'd like for being a rather light-bodied saison. Fruity sweetness lingers on in the finish; it never quite achieves the refreshing dryness that I like in saisons.

Notes - Good but not great. Most American breweries seem to have a hard time with saisons, and this one is no exception.

largadeer, Feb 08, 2008
Photo of JAHMUR
4/5  rDev +1.5%

JAHMUR, Nov 15, 2011
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Red Barn Ale from The Lost Abbey
89 out of 100 based on 839 ratings.