Red Barn Ale - The Lost Abbey

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Red Barn AleRed Barn Ale

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very good

852 Ratings
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Ratings: 852
Reviews: 372
rAvg: 3.94
pDev: 11.17%
Wants: 63
Gots: 77 | 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 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.

Photo of drummermattie02
3.68/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Golden yellow with a bit of haze. Minimal head that faded quickly.

Yeast aroma is fairly strong, maybe a bit of banana and citrus too - did not remind me much of a saison, but it was pleasant.

Taste is very much in line with the flavor, but with the bananas taking a back seat to yeast/citrus. The yeast contribution (I think?) is not what I expect in a saison.

Very crisp and well-carbonated, gave it a nice finish. Just didn't seem like a saison, but not a bad beer.

Photo of celticfutblclub
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle poured into a pint glass

A - a nice yellow haze with a super creamy frothy head thats about 4 fingers thick and has decent retention and good lacing.

S - yeast orange lemon and spices. good nose on this.

T - beautiful spicy taste to this. lemon and yeast in there as well.

M - lots of carbonation maybe bordering on too much.

O - this is a tasty farmhouse ale thats well worth it for the price. will definitely give this one another try.

Photo of StaveHooks
4.23/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Massive 3 finger white head very slowly sinks and leaves impressive chunks of lacing behind. Hazy golden orange in color.

S - Spicy yeast jumps right out, acidic fruit, white grapes, pears, green apples, bright fruity alcohol. Earthy grass aromas come out as it warms

T - Bright tart fruits - white grapes, granny smith apples, lemons, and pears. Dry straw, peppery spices, rich wheat malt, fresh ginger and grapefruit peel comes out heavy on the end as well as some herbal bitterness. Finishes very dry and peppery.

M - Medium bodied, soft and smooth texture with moderate carbonation.

Fruit and spice, and yeast in holy matrimony! Excellent flavors, great spice profile, very tart and dry. Very complex Saison that I thoroughly enjoyed. Highly recommended.

Photo of scruffwhor
4.13/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Very nice soap bubble head with awesome retention. The bubbling itself is constant and consistent in my tulip glass. The color is a harvest amber and very clear bronze.

Full on meadow and farmland melding of earth, spices, and lightly toasted pilsner malts. Earthy hops help enhance the overall earthy aroma of this brew.

Taste starts with light toasted pilsner malt, imbuing soft biscuits and crackers. The middle has an herbal spice and hop flavor that refreshes the palate, along with the awesome bubbly mouthfeel. The finish and linger are a mild earthy bitterness from both spice and hop with just a faint nuance of bread crust on the finish.

Photo of habanosdarklord
4.08/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

poured from a 750ml

This beer pours a nice golden amber color. The head is white in color and sticks to the glass nicely.

The first thing that comes to mind when smelling this beer is zest. Orange zest, lemon, fresh cut grass, funk, malt. There is also a slight sourness to this aroma as well. This beers aroma is great.

The taste starts out with lemon and a little bit of sour funk. Bready finish that's dry. A very refreshing beer. Smooth beer, easy drinking.

I liked this Saison a lot. Great aroma, but wish there was just a little more going on in the taste. Still, great offering from Lost Abbey.

Photo of mactrail
4.1/5  rDev +4.1%
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.

Photo of haazer
4.05/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Served on tap at Ortino's Northside.

A- Nice creamy thick white head about one finger thick. Lasts long, settles down to a nice ring. Blotches of white lace on the glass. A nice golden color, although very clear and filtered. Reminds me a little of a BMC apparance but the head and lace.

S- Grass, barn, and a little hay greet you on the nose. Deffinitely a Belgian yeast profile in the nose, complex and sweet.

T- Pale malts start the flavor, then it gets difficult. A subdued amount of spice, which is always a good thing. A good reflection of grassy hops and citrus flavor. Those are the standouts.

M- Since drinkability is gone, I'm going to work this into the mouthfeel. This is one of, if not the most easy drinking beer. Silky silky smooth on the mouth, it makes it feel as light bodied but if you take the time to get a feel it's almost medium. Crisp finish from carbonation. Just fantastic.

O- This is deffinitely a good saison, the mouthfeel is the highlight. Would certainly have this again. Could see drinking this on a hot summer day.

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

a - opened bottle and filled my Lost Abbey tulip. Beer poured a transparent orange with soft steady bubbling and a generous 2 finger frothy milk shake like head with thick lacing.

s - classic saison. Earthy, citric, green grape, pare, apple, pepper and a touch of clove. Hint of sweetness.

t - much like the nose, classic saison. A bit more earthy than the nose says and a touch of bitterness. Pretty peppery and again pares, green grapes, hint of apples and a touch of sweetness.

m - medium bodied, good carbonation. finishes a bit dry and a tad bitter.

o - nicely done saison. Pretty classic...with great balance. I like a bit more sweetness and not as dry, but most in this style are like this. This is a very solid saison.

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

Appearance: pale hazy orange with a monsterous foamy head. Good retention with lacing.

Smell: Green grapes, orange peel, and slightly peppery.

Taste: White wine grapes.

Drinkability: light in mouth with slight fizziness.

Overall: I liked it and wife liked it too. Bottle opened with a nice pop.

Photo of bucklemyshoe
3.78/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

750 mL bottle at 42 degrees into a Duvel tulip.

A: It pours a cloudy amber-orange color with a huge three finger head that turns rocky late but lasts forever.

S: Orange peel, lots of floral notes, peppery spice, and coriander.

T: Orange and lemon zest, lots of spice, caramel, floral hoppiness, and light green apples.

M: It has a medium-light body with some prickliness and some finishing creaminess.

O: The maltiness is over done from what I like: lemony, peppery, and funky goodness.

Photo of ADZA
3.88/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Love the label of this brew and it pours a deep golden hue with beautiful carbonation that leaves behind a frothy two finger head and heaps of lacing,the smell is barnyard funk,yeasty bread and spicy herbal hops,it has a medium bodied mouthfeel which coats the mouth with tastes of tart barnyard funk,spices,orange rind and finished with a spicy hop bitterness that is somewhat tart aswell and overall its not.

Photo of kscaldef
3.28/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Bottle opened with a loud pop. Poured into a tulip with an enormous (3 inch) head that receeds slowly leaving nice lacing. Light orange and very clear.

S: mostly just farmhouse yeast while waiting for the head to settle. A little apricot, some apple juice and lemon.

T: Very dry, with an earthiness that I didn't expect from the aroma. A little bready, and reminiscent of a pilsner. Honestly, a bit disappointing here as there's not much flavor.

M: Very dry, moderately astringent, short-ish linger. Bit of a bitter aftertaste.

O: Seems well-made, but just not so much my style of farmhouse ale. I'd like a little less dry, a little more fruity esters.

Photo of Nikokristiansson
4.33/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

had on tap at the brave horse tavern in seattle

a: bright yellow orange, 1/4 inch of head

s: yeast, yeast, yeast. love that smell when it comes to my Belgians. oranges, cloves, and more yeast play with the nostrils.

t: and yet more yeast. lots of citrus in this brew.

m: the tastes of oranges are tasting more like tangerine now. very complex and the different flavors are working so well together.

d: very pleasant drinkability. took my time with this one but i'm a belgian fiend so i could drink this very easily even with that 6.7% in there.

o: great belgian saison style. big fan of port brewing and lost abbey already and this just adds to that list. highly recommended to fans of belgian ales and fine ale in general.

Photo of Cyberkedi
3.83/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a lovely, slightly hazy amber with a very thick off-white head that hangs around for a while. Aroma is strong, fruity, yeasty and malty with hoppy and sour hints. Fruity flavor has malty and yeasty tones, as well as some hoppy bitterness and a sour undertone. Texture is quite fizzy and leaves a tingle that has a tone of grapefruit somewhat like an IPA. This beer is for sipping and savoring, not for swilling. Also, it is best appreciated by itself.

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

I got this one as part of an in-person trade at Sexual Chocolate Day with GatorBeerNerd. Thank Donnie!

A: Mildly cloudy (a bit cloudier as I got to the bottom of the bottle), with a ridiculously large cloud white head, but surprisingly sparse carbonation.

S: Farmhouse funkiness for sure, but with quite a bit of candy and fruity sweetness.

T: One of the sweeter farmhouse ales I've tried, and a good bit of bitterness slaps the palate on the way down as well. The coriander was definitely potent!

M: The carbonation was on the low side, but wasn't offensive. The lacing was fairly substantial and left a sticky, icky trail of bubbles on the glass. Sweet.... but not too....

O: This is one of my favorite styles, so I'm definitely very picky. While this one is not my favorite, I'd definitely drink this one again given the chance!

Photo of aasher
3.83/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I had to pick this one up recently while in Chicago. Anything from the Lost Abbey at 8.99 is worth trying. It pours a murky beautiful golden yellow with a three finger foamy, poofy bright white head. I'd say it's a golden honey in color. The foam takes a little while to calm down. It has multifaceted aromas. Depending on the whiff you take you'll get some yeast, bread, light pale malt sweetness, spice, citrus, or even a touch of sour. The flavor is very dry, spicy, with a light citrus finish on the verge of being bitter. It's tasty and different. It's a little light on the palate and leaves a slightly bitter citrus like after taste behind. It's solid and worth a try.

Photo of SkeeterHawk
4.18/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I got this beer a couple days ago at Hop City (?) in Atlanta and this particular beer was a recommendation by the guy who worked there. He seemed to really know his beer, so let's give this a shot.

Appearance: Pours, I guess, slightly hazy light golden color with a huge 3+" head of cream colored bubbles that grew at least 1/2" after the pour. There was a huge vortex of bubbles rising that was obviously increasing the head.

Aroma: Through the huge head, I get a significant amount of dry wheat and some green floral and slightly grassy hops. There is also a noticeable spice addition in here, but I am not 100% sure what it is, Coriander and maybe Lavender? Overall it is very Saison smelling, so far so good. I am getting lemon rinds a whole lot as the head is starting to fall. There is a very mild funk coming out as the beer warms up quite a bit.

Taste: The flavor is quite hoppy for a Saison and it is coming across a bit like a Tripel with the evident spice that I am picking up. The alcohol may also be contributing to the spice, so it is quite rich. The mouthfeel is medium to light with high carbonation and if it weren't for the burps, this would be a very quick drinker. The finish is pretty balanced but may be overpowered by the hops slightly in the end. The alcohol is reserved as far as warming goes, but the spice is left on the back of the throat to linger for quite some time after the sip.

Opinion: This is a pretty good beer, no doubt. It is a little bit funky, but I like my Saison's a little wilder, personally. This is personal preference. On the other hand, the total hop profile is very dominant on this beer, so I would like to try it again in a couple years so they can soften up some. It is coming across like an Imperial IPA with Belgian ingredients, but I still think that it is close to the style and I am definitely glad that I have finally tried one of The Lost Abbey's beers.

Photo of TommyW
4.3/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml into an oversize wine glass.

A- Hazy golden/orange with a sturdy, white head.

S- Smell of grass, citrus, ginger and some mild belgian yeast funk.

T- More citrus and grass with some ginger and yeast character. Not a ton of funky flavor. Overall, a little more subdued than the nose would lead you to believe.

M- Medium body with a nice, crisp carbonation.

D- Really tasty saison; enjoyed this with some crab cakes and it was a nice match.

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

750ml into a tulip. Pours a hazy butterscotch orange, towering frothy head recedes leaving excellent lacing.

Aroma is sweet and spicy with quiet funk underneath. Curacao and ginger, clean dirt. Superb

Taste is somewhat discordant, aspects are fleeting. Initially sweet, quickly poprocks, spices and pepper come and go. Level of the funk matches the nose. Mildly dry aftertaste evolves significantly, the end note is of bitter rind. Medium bodied, prickly yet creamy mouthfeel. Delicious at room temp.

Photo of ehammond1
4.43/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5


The Lost Abbey
San Marcos, CA

A radiant and clear golden orange in color with a thin white head. Plenty of beautiful carbonation running straight up the drink. Leaves dotted lacing around the glass.

The nose is bursting first with notes of orange and lemon zest. Along with the fruit there's a floral note here as well, and of course the "farmhouse" blanket smell; oh so good!

After my first sip, I whispered to myself, instinctively and without thinking, "Oh my, this is good." When reviewing a beer I do my best to be analytical and objective, but sometimes that escapes me and instincts take over. A gut reaction of: "Oh my!" has to be a good thing though!
This seems just about perfect. The pleasant fruit flavors are the highlight, but they work best when coupled with the Belgian yeast, a touch of funk, the peppery spice, a bit of warm alcohol, all while ending extremely dry. Exceptional! Let this one warm, as the flavors really come to life as the beer comes to room temperature.
Truly terrific!

A perfect mouthfeel. Well carbonated, medium-bodied, finishes dry. Perfect.

This beer is too easy to drink; it seems like it almost doesn't want you to keep it around long enough to appreciate it for all that it is. I'm happy I had to write this review or I would have downed it a lot faster.

Photo of 05Harley
4.18/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled on 12/3/10

Purchased through High-Time Wine Cellars, Costa Mesa, Cali

Price - $7.97/bomber

Appearance: Nice big fluffy head that fades nice and slow, wow!! Pale yellow in color with no sediment. Sticky with wall to wall lacing. Did I mention the head - huge..

Smell: Grassy hops. Strong citrus presence with ginger and spices. A noticeable aroma of funk and belgian yeast as well.

Taste: Spices and yeast. Lemon, orange peel and a bite of hops. A true summer taste and brings me back to warmer times.

Mouthfeel: Creamy with a lite body and plenty of carbonation. Peppery and slightly dry & tart leaving my palate feeling zesty and clean. Reminds me of an irish spring commercial.

Drinkability: A pretty good saison and another fine offering from Lost Abbey. Not overpowering in any category and one I'll revisit during the summer months.

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

Thanks to ggwheeler for the hook up of this one in a recent trade. Review is from notes taken on 3/9/2011 and poured from the bottle to a goblet.

Appearance: The pour is a light coppery/lemony yellow in color and it starts with a thin 1/4 finger white frothy head that fades almost immediately to a scant skim and ring around the surface; body is pretty clear and it shows moderately soft carbonation bubbling up throughout; quite a bit of splotchy and spotty lacing is left on the sides of the glass.

Smell: Hmmm... a strange skunkiness pours out of the bottle immediately upon popping the cork and it continues to linger a bit as it sits in the glass but it begins to fade and give way to the fruit and spice; some light fruits, perhaps grapes (?) and a bit of citric fruit; a definite bit of Belgian spiciness -- cardamom, and perhaps an added dash of lemon zest; ends with a bit of a bitter hop presence lying around the citric aspects.

Taste: The skunkiness that is evident in the nose is nowhere near the taste in this beer, but it feels as if it swirled around to present itself as more of a earthy floral presence -- definitely a robust and sweeter beer than I expected - lots of big sweet malts combine with the candi sugar and spiciness that is ever so present in this style; I feel that it has a bit of California twist to it with the underlying hop presence snuck in there and it brings about the citric and juiciness from the hops themselves.

Mouthfeel: Body is of medium weight, and it's like a little dry and a little syrupy all at the same time; it dries to the roof of the mouth but the cheks and far back of the roof feels as if it's dripping; the finish is fairly thick and moderately dry.

Drinkability: An excellent beer to be sure -- great tastes, unique flavors (once the skunk fades); fairly lively body and an ABV that won't wreck anybody's palate. I think this beer would be great in the hot summer months as it comes across as very refereshing.

Photo of nickthegun12
4.45/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

the appearance is typical saison...OVERCARBONATED...hugh 5 finger head, i gotta remember to pour saisons slower, and golden hazy look...very true to style...nice nice lacing...

smell is very nice as well!...wheat....with the fresh belgium yeast come to the nose....there is also a pleasant hoppiness too...

the taste is truly where there one stands out!....very fresh....lots of hops and bittering hops really don't see that too much...

the feel is right on....not as dry as i would expect

the drink ability is awesome...especially since they didn't go over the top with the alcohol

Photo of airheadmtrcycle
3.6/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Bottled 12/3/10

You get plenty of time to observe the appearance, as the head is huge and it takes quite a while to recede enough to take a sip. The head is not only huge, but rocky and thick. The lacing is incredible. This is only my third saison, but they all have had a similar appearance.

The beer was served just barely chilled. The aroma is malty, and lightly spiced, but the biscuit-y, earthy smell of the yeast dominates. The flavor is balanced between the sweet malts and the yeast. The spices are pretty reserved as advertised, but they're there and give the ale another dimension that tries to keep things interesting. I'd be lying if I told you I could identify the spices. There's a tad of sharpness from the alcohol which is most welcome and the finish is semi-dry. I would prefer more sharpness than I'm getting. The flavor is not boring, but not exciting either.

The mouth feel is lightly carbonated and smooth, perhaps slightly too smooth. Again, something sharper and more biting would do this ale a world of good.

The drinkability is good. The 750ml bottle almost disappeared in no time. It went well with Vermont extra sharp cheddar cheese and extra fancy giardiniera. I think it would go well with almost any food.

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