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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

380 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 380
Hads: 945
Avg: 3.97
pDev: 17.13%
Wants: 73
Gots: 113 | 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:
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: 380 | Hads: 945
Photo of Sammy
4/5  rDev +0.8%
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.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4/5  rDev +0.8%
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.

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Photo of metter98
4.04/5  rDev +1.8%
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.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.07/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

a real fine saison, much different than expected, with very little spice or fruit to it, just a whole lot of barnyard funk, which is a nice change of pace in the ever more crowded world of american made saisons. murky pale copper in color, maybe a little lighter than that, with four inches or so of bone white head with outstanding retention. the nose is all yeast, grassy and dry, mouth watering. there is maybe just a touch of lemony citrus to the flavor, but again its all yeast for me. straw and pollen and wet grass. its very summery, august beer, delicate and robust at the same time, no gimmicks. excellent carbonation and a lighter than medium body. its down easy and crackling dry in the finish. had it side by side with the dupont saison, and in a lot of ways i liked this better. it has a great yeast strain, unlike any other i can recall, and the beer just comes together really well. yet another fine lost abbey product, who after a couple of so-so beers is starting to win me back over with stuff like this.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.84/5  rDev -3.3%
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.

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Photo of brentk56
4.42/5  rDev +11.3%
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

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.88/5  rDev -2.3%
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.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.53/5  rDev -11.1%
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.

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Photo of largadeer
3.71/5  rDev -6.5%
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.

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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 zeff80
3.97/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a clear, golden color with a thin, bubbly, white head. It left soapy residue of lace.

S - It smelled funky, horse blanket and green apple. Some spicy aromas, too.

T - It had a funky flavor with a spicy/yeasty kick. It had a tart, green apple flavor with a sweet caramel malt backbone.

M - It was fizzy and crisp with a dry finish. It was a light bodied farmhouse ale.

D - This is a pretty good saison. It really has a good balance of unique flavors.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.55/5  rDev +14.6%
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.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.08/5  rDev +2.8%
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.

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Photo of nickfl
3.92/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Small, white head that settles very quickly, leaving a thin film of lace. The body is golden and perfectly clear.

S - Spicy wheat aroma with lots of pepper and a hint of fruit. Slight sulphur, but in an unusually pleasant way.

T - Begins tart with lots of herbal hops, somewhat vinous. The earthy hops continue in the middle with some yeasty phenolics. The finish is cirtusy with moderate noble hop bitterness.

M - Medium body, low carbonation, and a dry finish.

D - A nice, earthy saison. The low carbonation is a bit off putting to me, but I guess you could think of it as sort of like a cask saison.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.58/5  rDev -9.8%
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.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.41/5  rDev -14.1%
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.

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Photo of mactrail
4.12/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Fragrant, zesty ale.

Beautiful amber color. Nice head in the pint glass. Creamy carbonation makes a pleasant mouthful. wonderful nose of fresh barley and toasted brioche. flavors of orange, tangerine with the bitter peel. Quite bitter lingering taste after a few sips. Crisp and tart but well balanced with the fruit and malt.

One of the better Saisons I've had. Tasted at the Pearl in Point Loma, San Diego.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.28/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served on-draught into a stemgoblet at the Yard House in downtown Los Angeles. Reviewed from notes. Cost was $6.75 USD plus tax and tip. Expectations were high given the brewery.

A: Pours a three finger head of slight cream, white colour, fair thickness, and great retention. Colour of the beer is a hazy lemon yellow.

Sm: Lemon esters, biscuity yeast, wheat, and maybe bretts. A mild strength aroma. Clean and inviting.

T: Yeasty, with lemon citrus esters, and a wheat foundation. Crystal malts. Clean and refreshing, but simple. Very well balanaced. Nicely built, but the simplicity is bothersome. No layering is present here. The yeast is the best aspect. Structurally sound, with the lemon coming through most on the climax. I like it.

Mf: Smooth and wet, suiting the flavours. Quite light on the palate, complementing the refreshing feel. Not too thick nor too thin.

Dr: Very drinkable. Hides its ABV well. A bit pricey on draught. Drank just grand out of a goblet. I wouldn't have it again if other Lost Abbey beers were available.

It would pair well with food.


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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.53/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a tulip glass.

A: The beer is a bright gold color with a large white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of Belgian yeast, tart fruits, spices, light caramelized malts and a touch of hops.

T: The taste starts with tart and sweet flavors of apples, citrus, spices and some caramel. Then there's a good Belgian yeast breadiness that comes in along with a hearty malt character. The hops presence is mild but complementary and brings a decent balance. The after-taste is slightly bready and slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, decent kick, good representation of style, this is a nice sour-style Saison that is worth drinking a while.

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Photo of Rifugium
3.83/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

First had: on tap at Capone's, Norristown, PA

Poured a hazy golden-yellow with a nice, foamy, white head; decent retention and lacing. Aroma is loaded with yeast and barnyard funk, notes of citrus and peppery spice. Taste is sweet and malty up front, hints of stone fruit, quickly replaced by yeasty funk, peppery spice, pale biscuity malts, lighter notes of ginger, citrus, and herbal hops. Light-medium body, fairly dry finish. Pretty good overall.

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Photo of russpowell
3.88/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours an effervescent bronze with 2+ fingers of fluffy eggshell white head. Starts to haze a bit on the second glass(a Bush tulip ) & increases at the bottom of the bottle. Great lacing & head retention

S: Pears, apples & a touch of leather & some honey

T: Appleskins, pears, & a touch of dirt, honey & lemon zest up front. Slight booze presence, dryness, musty apple peels & white pepper & a touch of strawberry?? as this warms. Finishes crisp, fruitty, especially with pears, peaches & apples & estery yeast spiceyness

MF: Medium bodied with low carbonation, pretty good balance

Not a bad drinking saison, a bit too fruitty for me to want to session on. Good offering from Lost Abbey

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Photo of RblWthACoz
3.73/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a foggy gold with a nice white head. Nose is very strong with yeast. Flavor is yeasty as well with a strong dough quality to it and a very tangy edge. Feel is good. Not too thin. Drinkable indeed. A very decent saison, just came off a bit too tangy for my tastes.

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Photo of superspak
4.22/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle into tulip glass, bottled on 5/21/2012. Pours hazy golden amber color with a nice 2-3 finger dense and fluffy white head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Spotty foamy lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of big lemon, pear, apple, grape, ginger, grains of paradise, orange zest, clove, pepper, herbal, honey, light funk, and earthy yeast esters. Fantastic aromas with great balance and complexity of spices and yeast esters with moderate malt presence. Taste of lemon, pear, apple, grape, grains of paradise, ginger, clove, pepper, orange peel, honey, bread, light funk, and earthy yeast esters. Lingering notes of light fruits, ginger, grains of paradise, clove, pepper, honey, orange peel, and earthy yeast esters on the finish for a good bit. Damn nice balance and complexity of spices and yeast esters; with moderate malt balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium-high carbonation and medium bodied; with a crisp, lightly slick, and lightly prickly mouthfeel that is very nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a highly excellent saison! All around great balance and complexity of spices and yeast ester flavors; and very smooth to drink. A highly enjoyable offering.

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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.

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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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Red Barn Ale from The Lost Abbey
89 out of 100 based on 380 ratings.