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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

382 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 382
Hads: 954
Avg: 3.97
pDev: 17.13%
Wants: 73
Gots: 118 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
The Lost Abbey
California, United States | website

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: 382 | Hads: 954
Photo of albern
3.55/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a deep golden orange with a reliable half inch head. There is a goodly amount of lacing, a moderate amount of carbonation, and a slightly sweet, yeasty smell with a bit of hop tinge. The taste is not quite as sweet as the smell would have you believe. There are some discernible spices, a subtle sweetness, with the best part of this beer happening in the middle. The end and aftertaste is a bit tart with a bit too much of a hoppy bite. This beer is a medium bodied ale, enjoyable, and quite drinkable. L'Chaim

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Photo of smurphy77
3.98/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Solid beer, but not as spectacular as some of the other Port beers I've tried.

750mL bottle sampled in Monk's with mussels on a Saturday afternoon. The color is an opaque gold hue with a tall head. Very pleasant spicy flavors in the mouth, with a hint of citrus. There wasn't much scent associated with the beer though, which may be why it didn't reach that top level of complexity for me. Still, quite drinkable and definitely worth trying. Perhaps I should add that, drinking this beer in Monk's, I'm probably putting it up against some fairly tough standards. As far as American beers in this style go, you can't do much better.

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Photo of ClockworkOrange
3.65/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a corked and caged 750ml bottle into my tulip glass. Appears a slightly hazy, pale amber-yellow color with about two fingers of fluffy off-white head. Minimal lacing left on the glass. Smells of mild citrus, spicy yeast, and a mild funk. Tastes of spicy, peppery yeast, lemon, and honey. A little thin in body with medium to moderate carbonation. Worth a shot if you can grab some.

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

Pours a hazy pale orange with a nice white head that leaves light lacing.
The smell is a bit of banana, lemon, pineapple and funk. It's kind of nice and certainly interesting.
The taste is not quite as interesting or nice but stll complex until is warms a bit and then the flavors become more pronounced. It consists of the funk, fruitiness, some pepper, a yeasty bread like taste and light alcohol ending with a spicy bit of bitterness. There is a lot happening in this beer and it's fun tryong to recognize the various qualities.
The mouthfeel is light with a fair amount of carbonation that seems just right for this style.
Drinkability is fine especially for those who enjoy the stye. One 750ml is enough for even those people though
Everything about this beer seems just right for the style and it does it very well. A good saison for those who have a taste for them.

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Photo of GClarkage
4.48/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

11/28/06- Received in a trade with BA member Jetsbeer.

Presentation- 750ml bottle, both caged and corked. No freshness info. Poured into my St. Bernardus chalice.

Appearance- Deep dark orange coloring with a full one inch plus pock marked white head. Huge chunks and gobs of lace caress the glass. Score!

Smell- Tons or tangerine and orange nectar with some lemon rind tossed in as well. Seems very fresh smelling. A bit of some funk going on also with some spicy pepper notes.

Taste- Incredibly yeasty in the taste. White pepper goodness infuses with a fresh orange orchard. Super spicy.

Mouthfeel- Pricky carbonation. Super sharp and crisp. Gets very smooth as it hits room temp and becomes very warming.

Drinkability- One of the top american saisons I have had if not the best. Quite quenching and very drinkable. Props to Port Brewing again.

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Photo of stephendr
3.58/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750 ml. bottle- color of pale gold , with a frothy white head - nose of sour apple (green) , yeast , citrus (bright lemon zest , and orange), grass , spices , and slight candied – taste of sour grass , chalky , cobwebs , candied orange , honey and cloves - body is dry , well carbonated , and slight acidic – aftertaste of orange , yeast , and dry

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Photo of Onibubba
3.35/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

My first from Lost Abbey. Pours an almost too clear gold with a surprisingly short lived head. Whas up with that? Nice smells of very light citrus and pepper. Not much funk. Or more precisely, none. Taste is dominated by that peppery spiciness, and only the slightness sense of sweetness. Mouthfeels seems thin, and even at this low alcohol, that does make an appearance. A buddy I shared this with remarked that this does not seem done. Definately not a favorite in the Saison category for me. This almost seems a higher spiced and alcoholic Witte.

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Photo of UnionMade
4.1/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another bottle from Kristi's San Diego trip. Thanks baby!
Orangey amber, topped with a thick puff of white head. Good clarity. The head settles down quickly, diminishing further into a weak collar. Not uncommon with belgian styles. The color is quite attractive, with a soft glow about it. Very spicy aroma, the yeast apparently putting in double shifts to make this thing happen. Peppery and zesty, with a creamy malt underlayer. Some woodsy notes, maybe from hops, but it's hard to tell. Soft peachy fruit, and a bit of clovey spice/phenols. The flavor opens up with a light and bouyant texture, the carbonation tingling with fine bubbles dancing wildly. Initially mild and sweet, kinda dingy in that belgian malt way, just toasty sweetness with a bit of peachy pear fruit, then the finish rides in slightly before its cue, parading about with amusingly garish spiciness. Very peppery and clovey, achieving something akin to a winter warmer in a ginger-root/cinnamon kinda way. I wonder if this is spiced, and with what? Coriander? Kinda witbier-ish too. Strange brew. Adequate sweetness, the balance mostly served through the yeast character, with little discernable hoppage aside from a vague, flowery tint. Ends off slightly dry, with enough residual sugar to keep this just to the side of sweet. Pleasing and enjoyable, if maybe a bit heavy handed with the spiciness. It's like a saison running on jet fuel.

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Photo of ggaughan
4.07/5  rDev +2.5%
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.

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Photo of EPICAC
3.93/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I had this a few days ago, but haven't had the time or energy to review it. I'd heard good things about Port Brewing Company/The Lost Abbey through various internet sources, so I picked up a bottle of their Red Barn Ale when they popped up at Downtown Wine & Spirits a few weeks ago. I let this warm to around 45º F and served it in one of my Duvel tulip glasses.

Appearance: Pours a hazy golden with a thick, rocky, off-white head that fades to a persistent film and leaves thick patches of lace.

Smell: The nose is sharp with lots of pepper and spiciness. There's also some alcohol evident. Below the spiciness is a sweet malty aroma with notes of honey and fruit. There's also some yeast and grain notes to round things out.

Taste: This beer is initially lightly sweet with some honey flavors. The center becomes tart and citric before moving into the the finish, which is a mix of peppery spice and grassy bitterness. The spiciness and bitterness provide a nice balance to the malty sweetness.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied and smooth with a tingly, prickly carbonation.

Drinkability: The spiciness is nice, but limits the drinkability on this one a bit.

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Photo of Goldorak
4.03/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Peach juice colored, fine microbubbles forming a tight weave of head that held on elegantly.

Smell: Some grass, hay/barnyard, bitter orange peel, coriander. Nothing overly original, but nothing out of place and simply well done.

Taste: Solid, solid body that hits you right from the start, only to give way to the spicy, bready yeast flavors in the middle, and cuts dry with a resinous hop finale. Carbonation is just the way I like it, vivid and tingly. I'm a sucker for Saisons, this one hit all the right buttons for me.

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Photo of rajendra82
3.65/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Received in a trade from BA Dogfoodog, this Lost Abbey brown bomber was caged, corked, and had a painting of a red barn basking in a sunny summer day. The beer came out peach colored, and very cloudy, and the head atop it was craggy and durable. The smell was light and floral, and not a lot of spices were detected in the nose. Typical of the American versions of the style, earthy yeastiness was mostly absent as well. Taste was sweeter than most authentic Belgian Saisons, with floral and herbal flavors from the added ingredients attempting to balance things out. Delicious overall, but had they used a strain of yeast that ate up more of the residual sugars and dried the flavor up more, this would have been a lot more refreshing. I am thinking this beer is more of appropriate for fall than summer. Thicker than anticipated mouthfeel and carbonation was medium at best. A very charming, but off the style Saison.

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Photo of Zorro
4.2/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer is a near clear apricot colored ale with a decent white head.

The smell is sweet and spicy with a good shot of coriander in it. Beyond the obvious there is an aroma of melon in this one. This possesses a fairly strong aroma of honey and powdery yeast. This has an earthy aroma to it I wasn't sure how to describe; it is somewhere between mushroom and peat.

The taste begins sweet and spicy with a taste of cinnamon at the very start. Very quickly this becomes herbal and solidly bitter with a strong hop taste. The whole bottle drinks like this: First sip is sweet and floral and then the next is herbal and bitter, savor the after taste and then repeat.

Mouthfeel is good.

Easy to drink Saison but I don't really think that this is as good as Saison Dupont or Hennepin.

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Photo of OStrungT
4.63/5  rDev +16.6%
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.

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Photo of IntriqKen
3.68/5  rDev -7.3%
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.

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Photo of ppoitras
3.65/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle purchased at Julio's, Westboro, MA. Corked and caged.

Poured in a heavy glass chalice, formed a 1/2" beige head over the almost clear golden amber brew. Head falls gradually, with average lacing. Aroma is spicy, with fruity tartness tickling the nose as well. Taste follows the nose pretty well, spicy malt sweetness upfront, with a bit of fruit, and then some tartness enters and carries on through the aftertaste. Kind of muddied a bit for me. Mouthfeel is ok, a bit prickly though, and drinkability goes along in the same vein. Not quite all I expected here, but still a solid and interesting offering.

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Photo of Callenak
3.88/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Sampled at the new Lost Abbey Brewery this past weekend…

Pours a hazy light orange with a small white head with very fine bubbles. Seems like low carbonation for a saison.

Smell is pleasant, a little spice mixed with a good malt presence. Not as much fruity esters as other saisons, could have been fermented on the lower temperature spectrum for a saison.

Very pleasing and refreshing taste. A fair amount of spiciness but not overpowering, a hint of sweetness, malt and yeast.

This would be a great beer on a nice warm spring/summer day, or any day in San Diego. Wouldn't appeal to much to me in the cold desert during the winter.

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Photo of bgraney
3.93/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Golden with champagne-like bubbles and a thin white head with a lot of bubbly activity. After sitting for a while it became somewhat hazy.
Restrained malt aroma lurking behind orange/citrusy spices.
Tastes like it has a higher alcohol content than it does. Exellent blend of orange, holiday spice and slight malty background.
Medium mouthfeel, flavors linger leaving a smooth coating on the tongue.
It's a very tasty ale and enjoying one is a great pleasure but one glass is enough for me.

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Photo of dogfooddog
4.05/5  rDev +2%
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.

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Photo of DogFood11
3.67/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750 poured into a tulip it formed a loose white head that fades to a solid cover. Khacki body, little visable carbonation, little lace and a slight haze.

Orange is the first thing that comes to mind and bananna on the backside almost like a hefe but not quite. This is an unripe orange or more so like a young tangerine. Certainly has the "farm"/"barnyard" characteristic in mind. I liked this the best from the fairly recent Lost Abbey lineup. Candied malts are a theme throughout. Corriander and pommegrant mix to make up the fruity end.

Notes: While I like a light saison to ring in the hotter seasons this seems more suited as a nightcapper. Not a knock in the slightest but just for my notes I would enjoy this more off season.

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Photo of bennetj17
3.58/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Orangish/copper appearance, hazy, with a quarter-inch white head that settles quickly to a frothy crust. Notes of earthy cinnamon and clove spice, citrus tang, and mild alcohol in the aroma. I wouldn't say the nose was weak, but it could have been more potent.

The taste has much of the same flavor with some fruity apple notes. It's fairly sweet and tangy overall. Light and foamy mouthfeel, with forceful carbonation. The drinkability is decent, I was expecting a more impressive Saison, however, considering the price ($9~) and Port Brewing's reputation. I would have liked it to be a little drier, with some more complexity. Not bad, and it certainly won't keep me from trying the other Lost Abbey brews...

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

The beer pours with a frothy, initially three-finger thick, pale tan colored head. As the head falls it forms a varied, crag marred surface and even leaves a touch of lacing on the sides of my tulip glass. The beer is a brilliantly clear, amber tinged, copper color. the aroma is nice and spicy, but thankfully in a non-descript way. More correctly, it has lots of spiciness to it, but nothing that immediately jumps out at me. There is also a nice, almost green, fruitiness here; it reminds of a vinous notes leaning towards white wine grapes (or more specifically chardonnay leaning towards sauvignon blanc). In trying to pick out the spice components, I get aromatic hints of black pepper, some spicy ginger, a touch of clove, some citrusy lemon notes and hints of floral character like lavender & wild flowers. The aroma smells quite dry, a touch of malt is here though in the form of a bready / biscuit note that is noticeable if you dig for it.

The taste is lightly malty up front (just a hint of sweet malt grain), it quickly becomes a touch tart, which accentuates some light citrus notes. The beer has a spicy finish that even takes on a touch of a tannic backbone. Ginger is definitely noticeable in the flavor, though it is still light enough to not in any way overwhelm the flavor profile. Looking at the description, I see that this beer does indeed contain ginger and citrus (in the form of orange peel), though I will admit that the ginger and grains of paradise are not as noticeable. This is nice and light on the tongue, yet is not light on the palate in the sense that many spicy flavors linger on in the mouth. A fruitiness is here in the flavor as well, nothing too specific, but I get hints of green grapes, and even more exotic things like kiwi and star fruit. The ginger in the finish gives this a twang that is almost tart, but it is also what leaves that astringent tannic quality. This beer actually has a fair amount of sweetness to it, it is just that the spices are at, such a level that I did not notice it at first. Both the ginger and the orange, in the end, are accentuated by the sweetness, and when combined with the other sharp notes tend to mask the sweetness.

I just poured the second glass, adding a touch of yeast from the bottom, and the beer picks up some softer notes, almost creamy actually and perhaps even a hint of something like vanilla. In the end this is a Saison that needs the more noticeably spicing. Without it this would be a bit too sweet and cloying for a Saison. As it is though, the more noticeable notes of spicing help the malt sweetness along. Definitely an enjoyable beer, though I wonder what the yeast spicy notes are like underneath the more obvious spice character.

Purchased: Plaza Liquors

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Photo of BlindPig
4.44/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- 1/2" white head on a cloudy orange yellow body. The head is lacking for a saison. Also There is very little lacing just a glob in the middle from my Duvel glass.
S-European hops, spices, and yeast all come out. Kind of grassy smell. Cloves comes out with other spices involved. Smells like a spicy kind of yeast.
T- The spices really come out in this one. They just kind of keep building up in mouth. The European hops really come through in this also. Has a pretty big yeast taste to it. Can't really pick out different flavors. I think this is the one style that is hardest for me to pick out certain things just because it has so much going on. I think this is one of the spiciest saisons I have tried. Follows the style well. I think the yeast flavor comes out a lot more on this one than the others (or maybe it's just the style of yeast just makes itself more known). It's almost like you have your yeast then the spices instead of a style of yeast that's spicier.
M- Thin body maybe just edging to the medium side. Low carbonation.
D- Very easy to drink like all other saisons. Kind of scary when I have a whole growler ahead of me. Very refreshing and smooth. Follows the style well (like I said above). Just a really good beer.

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Photo of Truh
4.2/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had to do more scraping than I’d thought with this one on 11/3/2006. Corked and caged bomber poured twice in a Rapscallion goblet.

Absolutely huge, Oreo cookie filling of head, at least an inch, to start. Dries down with an evincing lace that presents a tangled web of cotton. Slightly hazy, milky golden hue with some lazy carbonation cavalcading about. Just cooked oatmeal and its dreggy water on the nose, with some kind of flowery essence, like roses; there’s some kind of sugar cereal going on, like Captain Crunch, in there too. Huh, kind of a spicy thing going on in the mouth, like a light chili pepper essence of some sort; intriguing. As it warms, the chili peppers turn in to a more dry, green bell pepper taste. Other notes include cinnamon, nutmeg, and sarsaparilla.

This is one of the most intriguing beers I have had in quite some time. Not sure how drinkable it is, but I would gladly have another.

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Photo of clickpush
4.49/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pour: 750ml bottle to tulip. A foggy orange beer capped by one inch of foamy white head that stick around for a few minutes before leaving webbing along the glass walls and a halo around the edge.

Nose: Mmm, mouthwateringly tart, saturating my thoughts and making me drool. Apricot and lemon, noticeable butter aroma. Maybe some hints of oatmeal.

Mouth: Exactly like smells, with addition of white grape and some alcoholic ethers and warmth. Sweet malt notes, yeast, and a hint of grassy hops that creates a surprisingly dry finish. Only let down is the mouthfeel: weaker carbonation that thins more so as it passes through. However, flavor is so good it's still very drinkable.

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Red Barn Ale from The Lost Abbey
89 out of 100 based on 382 ratings.