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Red Barn Ale - The Lost Abbey

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Red Barn AleRed Barn Ale

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very good

881 Ratings
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(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 881
Reviews: 374
rAvg: 3.94
pDev: 10.91%
Wants: 65
Gots: 88 | 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:
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 881 | Reviews: 374
Photo of SACraig
3.3/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - golden and clear, nice head with good lace
S - Peppery and complex
T - starts complex than fades to boring, lightly hopped
M - Smooth with hardly any aftertaste
D - Not unpleasant but would not buy again

Look and smell started very promising, but the taste was disappointing. The spices are understated and there just is not enough flavor for my personnel taste.

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

A - incredible foam. hazy melted butter color. lacing foam.

S - crisp clean aroma. light spiciness. sweet malty aroma. touch of fruit

T - sweet, but balanced by hops. Actually a little too hoppy for a saison. But not bothering me too much since the sweetness is there. Clean though. Refreshing.

M - Body feels a bit too heavy for lawnmower beer. Too heavy for a poundable beer.

D - I really like this beer. It is maybe a bit too hoppy and heavy with its maltiness for a saison.

Photo of PartyBear
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

It has a clear golden reddish body with a slightly foam white head and very minimal carbonation. Lots of spice in the aroma, I can detect the ginger and some nice pepperiness, there are also sweet grains in the aroma. The flavours are also spicy, with lots of pepper and a clear taste of yeasts. Behind there is a somewhat subtle maltiness that has a slight creamy toffee taste. The mouthfeel has little carbonation although this provides quite a smooth feel. Very nice saison, with an easy drinkability.

Photo of MeisterBurger
3.16/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This was uncorked with a decidedly weak and nondramatic faint ghost of a pop. It pours a clear golden orange with a thick creamy head that dies down to a film with small islands of foam.

The aroma is more Belgian pale ale than saison to me. Musty but no real funk. Not overly peppery, more cloves than anything. Mostly a slight lemon or orange peel. There may even be something of a hefeweizen about the aroma.

The taste is very earthy, with mild citrus fruit--slightly tart. It's very well attenuated. Finishes dry. Nice mellow malt presence. Again, though, maybe it's because I had a 750 ml bottle of Duvel earlier today, but this is really registering more as a Beligan strong pale ale than a saison for me. It lacks the peppery spiciness...even though every other review here seems to suggest otherwise, and it's kind of yeasty in a muddied, not-completely-pleasant way.

Medium bodied with barely perceptible alcohol.

I picked this up because I love saisons and it garnered an overall A- rating here, but frankly I'm underwhelmed and a little disappointed.

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

Port Brewing Company/The Lost Abbey: Red Barn Ale, Saison (05/28/08)
750 ml. bottle: Poured into a tulip.

Appearance: Clear, vibrant gold with a humongous meringue head that fades slowly, leaving some attractive looking Belgian lace and a mushroom of foam in the middle.
Odor: Sweet malt with some soft wheat aromas, clove, fresh red fruit and candy in the foreground. Earthy, floral hop notes in the background, but not too far behind the malt & yeast aromas.
Consistency: Medium body. A bit of dryness from the phenolics and malt, some acidity and a slight syrupy feel.
Taste: Sweet malt and fruity acidity throughout. Clove & pepper pheonlics, some minor cheesy funk notes and earthy hop flavors mid-palate. Finish is on the dry side, but it's not all that crisp.

This beer walks the line between Belgian pale and saison, extremely tasty.

Photo of bulletrain76
3.86/5  rDev -2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

75cl bottle. Clear deep gold-orange color with a big wispy and lacy head. Head sustains almost to the bottom. Potent and sweet aroma with nectar, orange marmalade, leather, and black pepper. Flavor is spicy, with ground pepper and zesty, earthy hops. Starts with a little citric sweetness, and finishes quite dry, with alcohol stripping the tongue along with a light citric astringency. Spicy pepper lingers in the back of your mouth. Medium-light body with smooth but tenacious carbonation. The dryness and spice makes it quite refreshing, but there is a tad too much pepper in the finish. Still quite good, but it would be one of my top beers if they toned this down a little.

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

A-Light golden yellow with a medium white head that slowly reduces to a thin cap and leaves nice lace.

S-Spicy green peppercorn and a strong musty aroma. Some sweet biscuit in the background.

T-More spicy peppercorn and other spicy yeast notes up front with a soothing and smoothing honey covered biscuit maltiness supporting. Touch of mustiness sneaks in at the end.

M-Medium bodied, sharp with LONG lingering peppercorn spiciness.

D-A full flavoured, sharp saison that delivers a full frontal assault of spiciness and mustiness with a nice underlying honey-esque sweetness. This one is hard not to like for a saison lover like myself.

Photo of sinstaineddemon
4.17/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - this saison is a dark, golden yellow with a finger of tan head and small amounts of carbonation

S - typical saison style aromas, starting with crisp estiness, a sharp fresh citrus, and distinct spciness, clove, coriander, and nutmeg

T - yeasty and funky, with some earthy/peat elements as well, contrasted against some ginger and the aforementions spices as well as some tart white grapes

M&D - a wonderful saison, one of the better saisons i have had, medium bodied with well blended and balanced flavors and aromas, a taste that begs you to try another to see if you got all the flavors

Photo of ThreeWiseMen
3.61/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Duvel tulip.

Appearance: Pours out pale and clear with a rapidly expanding head. Once settled, I can see bustling carbonation through the crystal clear, golden body. A big, soapy, white head sits on top and slowly decays to a clumpy cap, leaving tons of bubble bath-like lacing on the walls of the glass. Looks awesome!

Smell: Lemon zest, hay, and big-time coriander. Pretty tart on the whole, with good spiciness and light funk.

Taste: Very sweet and citrusy with a tart and funky zing in the finish. Lots of coriander! Some buttery aspects. Not nearly as much barnyard funk as I was hoping for. I was digging this beer at first, but now all I'm getting is coriander and orange zest. It tastes a lot like the first beer a I ever brewed, which was an over-spiced witbier.

Mouthfeel: Very soft and fluffy on the palate. Carbonation is very active, but far from harsh. Medium bodied with hints of alcohol in the finish.

Drinkability: Not as good as I had hoped. Some more depth and funkiness would have been really nice. A good beer, but I ended up giving away the last half of it in favor of something else.

Photo of corby112
3.55/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a cloudy dark golden orange color with ripe golden banana hues when held to a light source and a 1.5 finger foamy white head that quickly fades into a thin lasting ring. No lacing

Spicy earthy aroma with some peppery zest and lots of crisp light fruit notes. Hints of cherry, strawberry and cream and other estery light fruit notes. Some corriander, citrus grapefruit, bready yeast and slight alcohol.

Crisp medium body with a spicy peppery zest up front as well as some full bready yeast character. Crisp light fruit notes and a very prominent citrus presence, mostly orange and grapefruit. Also, there is some subtle lemon peel as well as some strawberry, peaches and cream. Slightly earthy with a bit of tart bretty funk. Their is a large emphasis on the grapefruit tartness and earthy funk. The more I drink the more it tastes like a beer version of grapefruit juice, which is very unpleasant. Slight alcohol warmth in the finish but overall the alcohol is decently masked. Dry tart grapefruit finish.

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

On-tap at the South Philly Tap Room (man I LOVE this place)

Pours a golden color with a white billowy head.

Lots of spice in the nose, clove, coriander - then yeastyready, then citrus and light fruit. Impressive.

Citrus and spice, clean and beautiful. Bready and yeasty. Man - a great beer

Crisp, easy drinking with a dry finish. Carbonation is what I expected - apparent but not overbearing.

I drank a couple of these, loved them, drink this all day.

Photo of ColForbinBC
4.05/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at the South Philly Tap Room, served in a pint glass

A hazy golden body with streams of bubbles pushing north to a foamy white cap that had receded to a thin layer by the time it reached my table.

Clove hit me at first hard. It took me a while to push through. Bready yeast, tangerine, hay, and pepper. Almost has a medicinal aroma.

Refreshing and light. Tangerines shine through a little more, with the clove quickly in tow. Grass, hay and a strong bready yeast round out the flavors.

Light bodied with carbonation right on for the style. Refreshing and crisp, with a dry, lightly bitter finish.

I found this to be one of the easier drinking saisons I have had. The alcohol was barely noticeable. I could easily polish off multiple 750's of this guy.

Photo of jrallen34
3.45/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I drank this from the bottle into a chalice.

It pours a medium pale cloudy gold with a decent white head thats last about 30 seconds and pretty good lacing.

The aroma is very sweet, malts hit you right on the nose. The dominating smell is apricots with notes of orange, spice, and very very light hops.

The tatse is kind of a let down, but I'm not a big farmhouse fan in general. The sweet malts are too sweet, in a bad way. It is kind of bitter at the end, nothing special across the board.

It has a decent mouthfeel, very drinkable if I could get over the taste.

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

A- Hazy golden. Beautiful fluffy white head that doesn't like to go away.

A- Belgian yeasty aroma.

T- Coriander, not a taste of alcohol. Sweet wheaty malt, yet it finishes semi-dry.

M- Moderate carbonation medium-light body. Very smooth.

D- Delicious. Not very horsey, but quite enjoyable.

Photo of Kadonny
4.23/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a tap into a small tulip tasting glass at TJs in Paoli.

A: A hazy deep golden color with a two finger white head. Nice ring lacing.

S: Farmhouse funk? Yes. I got smells of a barn! Wet hay, grassy, spice and some sweet fruit.

T: Funk and spice start off with hints of pepper, grass and spice. The sweeter fruit of pear, apple and melon are quickly taken over by the grassy floral hops. Very funky and very dry. Finish is hops bitter and dry. A nice hoppy farmhouse. Very enjoyable.

M: Medium but enjoyable. Fuller than your average saison/farmhouse. Dry and clean on the finish. A slight hint of alcohol.

D: High, this was one great beer. Very drinkable and balanced with the hops that keep it in check and make it very balanced. Give me another!

Overall a very, very enjoyable but different farmhouse/saison with the nice hop bite. I really loved this beer and could drink it anytime. Easily one of my favorite in the style. Nice work Tomme, this one is a win!

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

Bottle purchased and consumed at the Toronado Bar in San Francisco.

Appearance: Pale gold hazy body with tan 2 finger head that shows some retention and lacing.

Smell: Floral qualities (lavendar especially) combine with lemon zest, ginger, clove, and musty notes.

Taste: A bit disjointed but fairly enjoyable combination of peach, ginger, and white peppercorn.

Mouthfeel: Lots of carbonation despite the medium/thick body.

Drinkability: Not bad despite the mouthfeel.

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

Pours a hazy peach color with a thick white foamy head which leaves nice lacing.

Smell is fruity, spicy & yeasty.

Taste is sweet malty, some spices & a nice hop kick at the end.

Mouthfeel is light to medium with some dryness on the way down.

This is one of the dryer and hoppier saisons I've had. A very drinkable saison from the lost abby, worth trying if you get a chance.

Photo of TheFightfan1
4.03/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My wife bought this one for me at the Newportville Inn. Poured into a tulip that left a thick tightly bubbled white white heading.Poured a clear honey the first time around but the second glass all of the sediment poured out into a cloudy mess.

Smell is spicey. The spice really compliments the fruits in this beer. Slight earthiness and a bit of a yeasty after nose.

Taste is corrianderwith a nice lemon taste and grapefruit hoppiness that really matches well to this beer.Yeast hits you in the mouth towards the end but a fruitiness is left lingering.

Mouth is smooth lightly bodied full of carbonation.Nice spice on the tongue but not overwhelming.

Drink is very good.Easy to have a few of these a light bodied and very tasty.

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

A - Cork /Caged bottle poured into a Rapscallion chalice produced a beautiful slightly haze deep golden liquid with a thick white 3 cm head with a mix of tiny and medium bubbles. Head dissipates after about about 4 minutes.

S - Great Belgian-esqe malty yeasty smell. Similar to a strong Belgian golden ale. Good floral notes that are both hoppy and fruity. Mouthwatering in anticipation.

T - Interesting central flavor of rounded malt with a very mild spice note and heavy backing of hops / bitterness. Definite floral / fruity notes. The bitterness seems a bit out of balance but not bad. Subsequent tastes reveal a slight medicinal flavor.

M - Light to medium mouthfeel - finishes dry. I prefer a bit more body in a Saison - but as a summer beer it is correct for the style.

D - Since the body is fairly light and finishes dry, this is an easy to drink beer. No noticeable Alcohol bite. The bitterness seems a bit unbalanced but not enough to hinder consumption.

Photo of tai4ji2x
3.93/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750ml brown bottle w cork and cage. no date. tasted in mid/late may 2009. poured into tulip.

golden straw honey color. clear on first pour. hazy on subsequent pours. big 3-finger, fluffy, off-white head, becomes rocky, then a cranular meringue, eventually receding to a thin wispy layer. puffy, consistent lacing.

aroma: spicy and fruity, with notes of ripe apple, pear and white grape, plus dried orange peel, anise, and possibly coriander. moves along to yeasty, malty bread and toasty light caramel. quite sweet though. farmhouse notes of hay and grass, euro hopping with herbal and floral tones, matching somewhat with the overall sweetness. gentle phenols in back.

taste: malty and fruity, with sweet spicing. caramel and ripe apple, touch of anise. balanced by euro hop grassiness with a cleansing and crisp, moderate bitterness. acidity underneath and peaking towards finish. slight watery tones here and there however. gentle phenols w spice again. bitterness lingers subtly.

medium body and smooth, with moments of wateriness. astringency and acidic flashes in the finish. moderate carbonation is tingly, occasionally fluffy.

complex, but sweeter and fruitier than i expected. also those moments of wateriness didn't help. still ok, but at this price, there are cheaper options of comparable or better quality.

taste should be 3.8 and drinkability a 4.0

Photo of CoolJosh
3.32/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Big thanks to the awesome trader who sent this one out to me.

Poured from a 750 mL, pours a very thick and hazy yellow with an orange center. White creamy head that disolves rather quickly. Over does it on the haziness that really kills the look for similar, looks like a momossa.

Now the smell I like, some skunkiness but its surprisingly pleasant, with nice sweet peach scents and soft lemon. White grapes and french oak add for a very pleasant aroma. Somewhat subdued, which is the only drawback.

Very thick feel to it, starts with very soft lemon, progresses to a tart orange and sour peach flavors. Not too impressed here. Some sort of weird malt taste that just doesn't do it for me.

Photo of DoubleJ
4.36/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Time to revisit the Lost Abbey tonight. 750 ml corked and caged bottle, on to the beer:

Loud POP as I take out the cork....that's a good sign. The soapy head on top is billowy with low density, the body being brilliant and gold in color. Beautiful! There is good stuff in the aroma. Barnyard funk is easy to point out, also picking up some pepermint and leather aromas.

At the very least, this is a delicious spiced ale. At first, you get that "saison" farmhouse funk, plus a squirt of pears. The spices then begin to do their magic. Very minty spices, like peppermint and spearmint. It's a well blended, all-around flavor in this beer. A bit of prickly carbonation in the mouth keeps things going. Echoes of spice and blanket in the aftertaste.

Well, that was a pleasant brew, but where's the love for the Red Barn? One of the more "affordable" Lost Abbey brew on the market, and a very good one too.

Photo of vrazionale
4.37/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Corked-and-caged 750 mL bottle at refrigerator temperature poured into a snifter.

A - Hazy orange-straw colored body with a cloudlike head that gets to a finger and a half before slowly receding to the edges of the brew.

S - Mushroomy, farmy, musty funk against a backdrop of spices (ginger, coriander, white pepper), citrus, and bright floral hops. I pick up on a touch of wildflower honey character. Lots of "yeast electricity" here.

T - The hop character is bright, but with very little bitterness. The wild yeast character adds a musty funkiness that is a striking counterpoint to the floral, citrus, and spice notes. The finish is long, with the funk lingering on the palate, tempting you to quaff and sip again. Very well-done.

M - Light and effervescent, perhaps a little too light-bodied for the complex flavor profile. Not as crisp as I like my saisons to be.

D - I really, really like this brew. More funk than a lot of saisons, and it works exceptionally well with the fruity, spicy flavor profile. I'd love to drink this with fried fish tacos, a Chicago-style hotdog, or a bright cow's milk cheese like Piermont from Robie Farm in Piermont, NH. Fans of saisons, seek out this brew!

Photo of augustgarage
4.38/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750mL bottle into my Troubadour tulip glass.

Murky gamboge body crowned by a rocky old-lace foam butte. Firm merengue like retention, and excellent lacing.

Soft, luscious, evocative, and inviting aromas of challah, banana, clove, cinnamon, freshly mown hay, and other subtle herbs/spices. Unique, complex, though sweeter than most Saisons I've tried.

Sweet malty entrance on the palate, proceeded by a brief hop bitterness accompanied by a yeasty funk with a hint of citrus, quickly fading to brown bread crust, and a long somewhat spicy, very dry finish.

Nearly medium-bodied, fluffy, with heavy carbonation.

Difficult to put down - glad I picked this up after being disappointed in Serpent's Stout.

Photo of Docer
4.05/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Finally founda bottle up at By The Bottle in Vanc., WA... they had a few.. picked up this, Magi, and a few others... no recent shipments though...

- Clear golden copper color... huge white fluffy head, very bubbly.. thin lines of lacing after all the carb boiled down... cake of lace maker...

- Nice zest of banana, lemon peel, herb, and biscuit... and lively yeast... much like any wheat saison... white ale, or Belgian Wheat etc....

- Creamy strong Belgian Yeast... thick banana, bread, biscuit.. some spice and lemon zest... overall a very nicely done malty caramel... yet zesty and bright... thick... American something... can't put my finger on it.. but it's smooth and delish!

- Slight chewy feeling.. some sweetness at fault I guess... bubbly on the lips....

- Overall very smooth and creamy... just a touch over carbonated. The head won't go away, and it keeps me from wanting todrink this balanced farmhouse as quickly as I want to..

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Red Barn Ale from The Lost Abbey
88 out of 100 based on 881 ratings.