Red Barn Ale - The Lost Abbey

Not Rated.
Red Barn AleRed Barn Ale

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BA SCORE
88
very good

852 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 852
Reviews: 372
rAvg: 3.94
pDev: 11.17%
Wants: 63
Gots: 78 | 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:
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: 852 | Reviews: 372 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.95/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is my 1500th review on BeerAdvocate. Shame I couldn't share it with my regular beer-reviewin' buds @LaitueGonflable and @tobeerornottobe. Ah well.

Uncorks with a sucking thunk, followed by a smoky mist of CO₂. Pours a light hazed golden colour, with an initially crackling and very frothy white head, that leaves sudsy, sticky clumps of lace (or what is rightly just big gobs of foam) down the side of the glass. Carbonation is streaming and fine. It looks a vibrant, alive beer, which is what you want from the style. Not bad.

Nose is bright and slightly acidic, with some spicy, peppery overtones and an echoey note of metallic copper. Green organics as well, along with some estery compounds of banana. There's a hint of something herbal hiding towards the back, possibly mint or coriander. Nice.

Taste is rather sharp and a little astringent, giving a big phenolic bitter bite on the centre of the palate, before dipping away to a crisp, slightly metallic finish. Some earthy overtones come through a little, as does that organic, herbal bitterness. It's rather sharp, biting and cutting, but it does have some of those nice rustic Saison spices as well. Feel is light and crisp, but the carbonation ends up being a little bloating.

A good beer, but I really did want it to be better. A touch of acidity on the palate would have helped, as probably would have a lighter touch on the spices (assuming they added some—if not, it's a good job they did getting the yeast to produce such flavours). But it's still pretty drinkable and pretty enjoyable. Unfortunately, my standards for Saisons and for The Lost Abbey are unreasonably high, so I did find this something of a disappointment.

Photo of BucannonXC5
3.98/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a tap into a pint glass at Vine Cottage in San Diego, Calif. Color was citrine (my wife showed me it was an actual color). Lots of head, more than an inch. A bit of lacing on the top. Heavy amount of film on the sides of the glass throughout.

Smelled cloves, wheat, banana and light hops.

Cloves dominated the initial taste. Lots of spices in there. Also banana, lemon and honey - all fairly light. Slightly bitter finish.

Medium body. Lively carbonation. Long-lasting flavor, but it got a bit old pretty quick.

Not a bad beer overall. Reminded me of a Hoegaarden White. I’d try it again.

Photo of Philousa
3.93/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured on tap at Martin's West. Served cloudy pale straw color with a small amount of white head. The spicy aroma is nearly overwhelming. I got mostly coriander with some faint floral notes. The more I drank the more I got bready, toasty notes as well. Pale malt taste up front, big spicy flavor followed, then bitter, earthy hops. Tangy, spicy flavor lingered, coming back after the bitterness. The mouthfeel was harsh from the spices and it lingered, fading slowly.

So many Saisons blend together to me. Some tend towards a ripe barley flavor, some a more citrusy flavor. But this one really played up the spices the way a west coast IPA plays up the hops. I thought at first my taste buds wouldn't last a whole pint, but it grew on me as I noticed more complexities. This is one of two Saisons that went the super spicy route, the other being Orchard White by The Bruery and that had too much lavender for my liking. Although this has too much spice for me to order frequently, it's a refreshing, interesting beer I'd try again another night.

Photo of LiquidBread219
3.68/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A= It was a strong yellow in color, nice white foamy head that had excellent retention. It also provided some spotty lacing. Good looking beer.

S= The nose was decent, had the typical Saison feel to it some spicy yeast with undertones of citrus. I just thought it would have more of that "farmhouse funk" to it.

T= Basic in the front you get that spicy yeast taste, then you get a faint taste of the spices and fruit picked u some grafefruit at the the very end.

M= Medium bodied beer, nice carbonation.

O= Overall this is a decent Saison, I do think there are better ones out there glad I got a chance to try this one and to sample a couple beers from this brewery.

Photo of iadler
3.9/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a slightly hazy gold with a one finger head that leaves some thin lines of lacing.

S- Banana, clove, biscuit malt, floral hops, lemon zest and some belgian spice.

T- Fairy tart in the taste with green apple, pear and lemon zest as well as banana, biscuit malt, floral hops and some peppery spice.

M- Medium carbonation and light to medium body with a crisp mouthfeel that finishes very dry.

O- First brew from The Lost Abbey, though I always see it at shops around the Chicago area. Refreshing and a solid Saison for a humid summer day.

Photo of scoots511
4.22/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Caged 750mL bottle, cork came off with ease. Poured a nice large foamy head that started to look like a puffy cloud as it started to collaspe slowly. Lots of tiny bubbles coming out of solution. Golden amber color.

S: Fresh spicy belgian-y tripple nose with a slight hint of alcohol. Really smells highly drinkable

T: Spicy taste, some slight maltyness, and some residual bitterness on the tongue. Finishes clean

M: Bubbles in my mouth and finishes pretty clean

O: Love the pour and the smell of this one.

Photo of cbutova
3.9/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Golden yellow body into my glass. Big fizzy white head forms to a huge size and retains pretty well. A nice pillow stays on the beer. Spotty lace down the glass.

S- A faint overall aroma. Banana and clove come off the most to me with underlying grain, citrus and Belgian yeast notes. Dry straw.

T- Like the nose but better. A good Belgian yeast profile, lemon zest, citrus, floral hop notes. A dry straw feel with clove, banana and some light malt.

MF- Creamy, fizzy bodied beer with nice bitterness in the finish. High carbonation.

A solid saison. Only bought it because it was on sale, the first carbonated Lost Abbey bottle I have tried.

Photo of jdense
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Growlers procured at Lost Abbey for CBI Craft Beer Tasting, poured 8.13.11.

Medium gold body, some visible carbonation but not a lot, 3/4 finger white head quick dissipation with some lacing present. Nose is fairly spicy, coriander dominant with some meyer lemon esters, floral hops. Taste is once again fairly spicy for the style, balanced by floral notes and light lemony goodness. Mouthfeel is on the light side of medium, good effervescence. Real drinkable, fit well into the progression for the tasting and the SoCal theme.

Photo of jcartamdg
4.28/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a gold hazy color with a thick cloud like fluffy 3 finger head that dissipates to a constant one finger head. Aroma of funk, yeast citrus and pepper. Taste follows the nose with overwhelming fruity notes. Very fresh and refreshing. Aside from what Fantome offers, this may be my favorite saison!

Photo of sulldaddy
4.7/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pouring a cellar temp botle into a snifter and splitting thebottle with Stopper.
The beer is a clear copper hue with bleached white creamy head of 4 cm foaming up with a gentle pour. The head fades to a sturdy surface layer with tight lattice remaining on the sides of the glass as it fades.

Aroma is some malty caramel and a dose of cloves. Maybe a little doughy yeast mixed in but not overly funky or musty. First sip reveals an average body but full tingly carbonation that causes burps throughout the sampling.
Flavor is sweet malt and some fruity notes, primarily red grape and cloves. No real booze shows through, but there is a little grassy hop note towards the finish. The finish also dries out my palate on the end of each sip, making me thirst for more beer.
This is a nice complex beer that wasnt what I anticipated, but certainly was an enjoyable experience.

Photo of notchucknorris
3.9/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a hazy burnt golden/almost amber color with a very thin cream colored head.

S: I couldn't smell a ton here. Some pale malts and a little bit of funk.

T: Taste is pretty solid with a malty backbone and a lot of earthiness towards the finish. Some spicy almost medicinal hops towards the finish as well as some belgian yeast.

Photo of BARFLYB
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've been passing this up way to long and I got a pint on tap at The Memphis Taproom. 16oz for $4 beats 25oz's for $11.

Red Barn comes through a burnt red color but is more like a rusted copper shade with a tan/beige inch of foam up above, not to thick, nor thin, on par per style, nice staggering pieces of foam on the glass. Smell is grassy like with a hint of apple and some type of Belgian yeast imparting a light bisquit vibe. Small hits of citrus is very hard to sense, but it is there. Sweet malt, brown and the like. Pretty bold in scent off the tap at least. Taste is a saison with a hint of beire de garde flavor, kinda a mix of the two. Grassy, floral, apple over pear. Slight bisquit from the malt leaving for a well balanced saison, yet nothing out of the ordinary. As a saison, this hits the marks though, except the yeast is a bit lighter than Belgian types making this more in line with American styles. Feel is a step above, well lets say it's approaching medium, carbed up nice off the tap with a crisp finish and slightly dry. Glad I tried this, doubt I would buy a bottle of it, but if I can get it on the cheap off the tap in a pint, i'll always be game.

Photo of claytong
3.88/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

appearance - golden yellow, a bit of haze in the last half of the bottle, otherwise pretty clear. massive head that was sea foam and stuck around forever

smell - some dry hop, getting minor saison yeast smell,

taste - some apple, hop, yeast

mouthfeel - nice body and very crisp and refreshing, drank this bomber pretty damn quick

Photo of csiewert
3.48/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a clean golden color with two fingers of thick foamy white head that retains very well and laces as you drink. The aroma has the typical saison characteristics of some earthy hops, banana and citrus notes. The aroma was also pretty slinky, which is why it good not as good ratings from me. The taste starts with sweet banana and citrus and then a little maltiness and maybe a hint of salt? The mouthfeel is slightly overcarbonated and finishes with a very bitter feel. Overall an ok saison.

Photo of draheim
4.03/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750mL bottle poured into my Hennepin glass. No discernible bottled-on or best-by date.

Thick, fluffy head fills the glass, gradually giving way to a golden-orange liquid with ample carbonation rising from the bottom. Nice lacing. This is a gorgeous saison.

Nose is what I would expect: yeast, apples, pears, champagne.

Taste is good, fruity, light, and crisp. Maybe a little thin? But for a summertime beer that's not necessarily bad. A bitter bite in there too. A good - but maybe not great - example of a saison. For the price, better ones can be found.

Photo of rhoadsrage
3.3/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

(Served in a tulip glass)

A- This beer pours a golden yellow body with just a slight hazy, the second pour is much hazier. There is a strong carbonation that pops of the base of the glass and supports a creamy off-white head for a bit.

S- This beer has an apple juice aroma with a dry hop finish with hints of sulfur to it.

T- The clean start leads to a dry almost sulfury hop finish. As the beer warms there is some apple juice flavors and a stale spice quality in the finish. There is a hop bitterness that stings just a bit as it lingers.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with a soft fizz in the finish.

O- The dominate flavors, although still soft, were apple juice and stale spices makes this a bland beer. There was a good dry finish but the mouthfeel was a little to full to make this crisp and refreshing. I love this style and didn't get any yeast character that I like in a saision.

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.

Photo of thetomG
3.9/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bright yellow/golden color. Nice fizzy foamy head.

Aroma has all of the classic scents you'd expect with a saison - with some pepper and yeast being dominant but somewhat standard and slightly underwhelming.

Flavor has some nice herbal/spicy/yeasty aspects. Also picked up some tartness that when combined with the peppery spices presented a welcome twinge of sour.

Nicely carbonated with a light mouthfeel.

Not my favorite, but definitely interesting and worth trying out.

Photo of vfgccp
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A – Huge head towers into the glass with great retention, leaving rocky peaks of lace. Bright, opaque, golden yellow body.

S – Net floral, with dandelion, sage, and lemon grass over a fruit center of banana and pear.

T – Bright, crisp herbal character right out of the gate. Sage, cilantro, and a hint of pine. Lemon pith and tart, unripe peach. Light peppery finish.

M – Dry finish on a medium body. Smooth with a well balanced carbonation for the style.

O – A delicious saison on the herbal side of the style.

Photo of spicelab
3.53/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Adam@Platinum Liquor for bringing this in.

Apricot colour with a slight haze. Three fingers of white head, decent amount of lace as it drops over a few minutes. Suitably typical Belgian pour.

An ester fiesta; creamed honey, peach and apricot jam. Mild citrus peel. Not a lot else, but it's all very much in tune.

Apricot jam aroma morphs into a very tasty apricot danish, but the sweetness is soon overwhelmed by a full-on sour grapefruit, bitter rind and Fisherman's Friend assault. Would be perfectly complementary if it was at about half of this intensity, but it threatens to smash the ester profile out of the park.

The sour, bitter eucalyptus character is even more domineering in the mouth, doling out a sizzly bitterness on the rear palate that hangs around like a virus. Carbonation is high which doesn't help matters.

If the base yeast profile wasn't overcome by the sour throat lozenge character, I'd love this beer. I just found the spicing/additions to be overdone.

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

Thanks to stageseven for the beer. Poured 750ml into New Belgium snifter.

A- Pours cloudy, light orange straw color. A little lighter around the edges and bottom of glass. Nice thick fluffy head on top with good retention.

S- Great saison aromas and lots of them. Citrus mixed with spices. Some fruit notes hinted throughout. Smells juicy with a touch of clove.

T- Very much like the nose. Not as much fruit flavors come through, as spices, pepper and clove, come through a little stronger. Some mild bitterness to it.

M- Medium body, moderate carbonation. Finishes a touch dry.

O- Very solid saison and what you would imagine a saison to be. Very good drink, nothing over the top. Thanks Adam for sending this my way!

Photo of IronCitySteve
3.98/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a bright yellow color with a thick white pillow of foam head. Excellent retention. Leaves some spotty to moderate lacing.

S: Big amounts of spicy yeast and some mild undertones of citrus.

T: Starts off with a nice mild yeast flavor. The middle brings in some spice, lemons and grapefruit. The beer finishes with a nice balance of spice, yeast and citrus.

M: A nice medium bodied beer that leaves a dry yeast taste on the palate.

O: A really nice Saison overall. Nice to drink at the pool as it is refreshing. Definitely worthy of a try no doubt.

Photo of AleWatcher
3.95/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Split this with my bro-in-law and served in tulips.
This is review #500! Hoooray!

Something reminds me of Sam Adams Summer Ale... Not sure how or why. Black pepper, orange peel, and lemon zest all make an appearance over a dry bready malt and huge yeastiness.

The beer itself looks like golden afternoon sunshine. It glows an apricot hued orange with a fluffy white head rising to the three finger mark. Minimal spotty lace, but very strong retention.
The body is medium and highly carbonated, but I find this to be pretty filling.

The lemony and citrus flavors help this to be quite refreshing. The beer finishes pretty dry, though I'd prefer it a little more dry.

Overall, this is a decent little American Saison... But there are others I think are better. This one is worth a shot, as it is enjoyable.

Photo of OtherShoe2
3.73/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours with a huge billowy white head of foam -- lots of retention and stickiness. Cloudy dull yellow. Wonderful beer.

Some yeast and dusty wheat. Not alot of spice in the nose.

Big bitter flavor and some harsh alcohol for the %. Good east, husk, wheat flavors. Some lemon peel leading from grain to bitterness. Very smooth for something this bitter. Goood long finish. Still, simplicity here. Lacks alot of complexity.

Medium body, decent carbonation. Easy to drink. Temp needed to come up on this one. Quenching and rich in flavor. A good brew.

Photo of FosterJM
3.85/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

487th review on BA
Draft to taster
@Lost Abbey

App- Really had the color of a brighter hef, a little cloudy, soft yellows, nice head on it. No real cling.

Smell- A bit small. No real yeast or pepper or anise. Just a bit of a base wheat smell. Wasnt bad just light on the aromatics.

Taste- The taste makes up for the nose a little. Wasn't as small, but was quite tasty. The lemon and spice come out more in the taste.

Mouth- Light/Medium body with a fairly high carbonation as expected. A bit more lemon zest on the aftertaste.

Drink- A pretty good American saison, soft, flavorful and tasty. I'd have this again on a hot day.

Mouth

Red Barn Ale from The Lost Abbey
88 out of 100 based on 852 ratings.