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

Shared with some friends.

A - Poured a hazy copper orange with a 2 fingered white head. Dissipated slow and left nice lacing.

S - Barnyardy with notes of light brett and mint. Interesting to say the least, but probably expected for a saison.

T - Barny with toffee, grass, mint, and little bit of brett.

M - Full-bodied, well-balanced, but malt dominated.

D - Overall great. This represents what a saison should be with even though some brettanomyeces may have been introduced to this batch. I don't know why I always skip this bottle when I shop, but will purchase as it is a favorite saison now.

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.53/5  rDev -10.4%
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.

Photo of Boilermaker88
4.47/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One of the Lost Abbey brews offered at my local BevMo; poured into a tulip glass. Has a straw yellow color, lots of carbonation, and a thick, chunky white head that left clumps of itself behind in successive rings.

Smell is tart, fruity and spicy with aromas of pepper, summer fruits (think apples and peaches), and a hint of funk (think barnyard).

The taste was a pleasant melding of smooth fruity maltiness as the apple/peach/pineapple flavors rolled around with the peppery coriander-laced hops pop. Lingering in the mix were the tastes of yeast and a leathery, hide-based funkiness. Pretty much just what I like about saisons.

The feel was light, crisp and very lively on the tongue thanks to all that carbonation constantly stoking the head.

All in all, a pretty solid example of the style and one that won't break the bank. It's a nice brew to have with grilled chicken and veggies. Worth seeking out.

Photo of ckeegan04
3.88/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Golden orange with a foamy off-white cap. Head is bout three fingers thick after a rather gentle pour. Big chunky lace left behind.

S - Tart and fruity initially with a light spice coming through as well. Lemon zest, a touch of funk, and cinnamon. A little too much spice for my liking in the nose, hopefully it does not dominate the taste.

T - Lightly spiced and very tart initially. The spice comes through stronger as the beer warms but does not quite overwhelm the taste. The beer has a somewhat odd tartness/sourness to it that I cant quite place. Lots of lemon zest and hints of cinnamon and allspice.

M/D - Light, crisp, and very well carbonated. The aftertaste is somewhat rough around the edges and not the most pleasant of tastes. Overll, fairly easy drinking though.

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

Spicy aroma which included coriander, Allspice, and ginger. Taste is sightly tart with strong notes of barnyard and horse blanket, with a mildly astringent gingery finish.

Mouthfeel is very thin and almost watery. Very very light bodied. Drinkability is meh, okay. Certainly not one of my favorite Saison's I really like this style of beer, but found this one, while aligned with the style, a rather bland beer.

There really wasn't anything that jumped out at me while drinking this. I won't be seeking his one out again.

Photo of zeff80
3.98/5  rDev +1%
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.

Photo of maximum12
3.85/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Picked up during a trip to Seattle along with several other Lost Abbey beers.

Pouring Red Barn kind of freaked me out. I was assuming a red/amber would be flowing out, & the color (golden!) & the odor (funky green apple!) was anything but amber. Naturally I ran to BA & realized this was a saison (confused expectations adjusted accordingly!)

Not a huge saison fan, but this is nice, a very good twist on the style. Tastes very much like a green apple, with a funky, yeasty (yunk!) to it, along with some warm spices, almost peppery, that provide a nice bit of heat. Don't think I'd want more than the half-bottle I'm about to consume - the spices will get to be a bit much, but in moderation (all things!) they jack the brew up some.

Overall a very good beer. Nicely funky, good points for originality, well executed, I likes, the wife likes.

Photo of natasharai
3.8/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Poured with a large off white creamy smooth head that dissipated slowly leaving lacing down my glass. The beer is a hazy yellowish gold.

Smell: Tangy/sour, some fruit like peaches and berries, some spicy character like white pepper.

Taste: Tangy sour flavor, some hop bitterness, spicy pepper, some honey, a floral character, as it warms the spices remind me of pumpkin pie a little.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, pretty smooth, low carbonation.

Overall: Good drinkability, nothing is overwhelming about this beer. The smooth, slightly flat mouthfeel is actually pretty nice in this beer.

Photo of br3wmeister
4.15/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Big sticky off white head that dissipates slowly and leave nice lacing. The beer is inner mango slash muskmelon colored.

S- This is a good smelling beer, lots of fruit, mostly peach, pare and banana, also some caramel and great spice. A hint of some tartness also comes though.

T- Complex yet some what subtle flavors. Peach and pare flavors meld nicely with some herbal spice and light dry tartness in the end.

M- Light juicy mouth feel, some what oily with some crispness and dry tart feeling in the end.

Overall a pretty good Saison.

Photo of drumrboy22
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 750mL bottle into a De Dolle chalice. Beer was a clear, golden straw color with a two finger, foamy white head. Moderate lacing around the glass.

Aroma was sweet corn and pepper. Very different.

Taste was apricot, lemon, light funk and earth.

Crisp and refreshing. Well crafted beer. Very sessionable.

Photo of photomike
4.2/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the 3rd Anniversary party at the brewery.

Pours a glowing yellow with a light, tall, fluffy saison head. Great lacing. Looks like the perfect saison.

Smell is of sweet tangerine and spice.

A nice, refreshing flavor. More tangerine and spice, with a little lemon and malt. Earthy, tasty and simple.

Mouthfeel is nice and creamy and smooth with a clean finish.

Very drinkable. Give me a lawn and a comfy chair and I'll drink it forever.

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

Pours a clear light golden amber color with a smallish white head that leaves some lace on the glass. Looks like a macro lager, but that is where the similarities end. Smells of green apples, citrus, spice, funk, slight floral or earthy hop in the back. Taste is sweet and sour with citrus, lemons and bitter oranges, spicy yeast, slight barnyard funk. Crisp, refreshing with an earthy sour finish. Carbonation is medium, body is light to medium, mouthfeel is crisp cirtusy. Great farmhouse ale.

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

clear gold body with a sweet, spicy and funky aroma. Mild barn yard notes too. On the palate it is sweet malt, honey, orange peel, a little funk and a bitter finish. Medium bodied and very fun to drink. Good to see a saison with some funk to it. Good stuff.

Photo of Arbitrator
3.45/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Chilled bomber into a glass.

A: Huge pop that leads to a foamy pour for this hazy orange brew. The head is off-white and pillowy; it's so fluffy and energetic that it takes several pours to get this one all in the glass. Eventually it recedes to a half-finger of dense foam on the top of the brew. Nice lacing down the glass.

S: Tons of citrus: orange, lemon rind, pineapple, mango. I detect cloves and pepper. Some funky yeast, and a little grassy hop in there.

T: Citrus from the get-go, with a combination of sweet, sour, and slightly acidic orange, lemon, and pineapple. I don't really taste the mango. The mid-taste has a lot of yeasty funk and grassy hops, with some underlying citrus. The funk blossoms into the finish, defining the taste along with cloves and pepper. The finish is quite dry. Kind of a typical saison taste.

M: Light bodied, with high carbonation that gives it a nearly crisp finish. Well-masked ABV.

D: I had this and the Devotion side-by-side. Both were very similar to each other, and they're somewhat unremarkable against other saisons I've had. Even if this were a style I frequented, I doubt I'd pick this one up at this price point ($10 per).

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

Bottle into red wine glass. Thanks to Damien (Solomon421) for the great extra!

Cork comes out with a big pop, so no carbonation issues with this one. Pours hazy orange with a huge, pillowy white head. Fantastic lacing as the head slowly recedes down to a half-finger, dense cap.

Good god, I can smell the tropical citrus notes from a foot away, mango, tangerine, pineapple, wow. Digging my nose in to the glass, I get all of that, with a bunch of spicy yeast in there too, alongside a some grassy hops underneath. There's an interesting musty, dank note underlying the whole thing too. definitely some alcohol in there as well, which is unexpected. One helluva nose, if not for the booziness.

Taste follows the nose - lots of tropical citrus notes, spicy yeast, musty, with an underlying, very mellow grassy hop note. Bit of vanilla in there too. Orange zest, maybe a bit of spice on the finish. Finish is yeasty, tangy. Quite refreshing.

Mouthfeel is smooth, creamy carbonation, medium-full body. Very nice.

As with Carnevale, a really well done Saison. This one is very different in character, almost like it had a bit of age on it. I wonder if it matured a bit on the shelf - regardless, fantastic beer.

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

A - Frothy thick head that fades, golden orange with a slight haze.

S - Sour apples, cloves and spices.

T - Orange zest, ginger sharpness, warming sweetness, very bitter orange peel finish and aftertaste.

M - Medium bodied, crisp and dry in the finish.

D - I drank this when I was sort of thirsty and it was refreshing and I found myself drinking it quickly.

Photo of bensiff
2.98/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

From the bottle it pours an opaque deep golden color with an orange hue. A thick white head subsides to a thin veil. Does my nose protest, no, that is a distinct pepper on the nose first followed up by a strange sort of dryness, finishing with some malty barnyard aromas. There is no mistaking from the nose that this one is going to have a distinct dryness to it when it hits the mouth. Yup, there it is, dry dry dry yet still sweet. And there is something unexpected, a mintiness that persists to aftertaste. Some wheat there too, and acidic citrus tang, and maybe some peach hiding out in the distant background. This one is not my favorite, well brewed by all means and for that I give it credit, but for my personal self I give it some low marks on taste and drinkability.

Photo of Nesued
4.15/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle. Chilled and served as such.

Appearance - Hazy/cloudy gold in color with a marginal head presenting upon inital pour. Good lacing retained as the head fades. A small ring remains but not much. I split this 750 with my wife, and I got the bottom pour. Much more cloudy due to the disturbed yeast that found it's way into my glass.

Smell - Bring on the Brett! Bright, yeasty aroma with a tart peppery nose as well.

Taste - Good and "earthy" for lack of a better word. Complex with "invocations" of pepper, spices, citrus. Reminds me of a nice Belgian Wit. Cleans the tongue and finishes with a nice citrus closer.

Mouthfeel - I was expecting a thin saison, but that was not the case. Very dense while at the same time refreshing (i.e. not leaving anything on your tongue).

Drinkability - Yep, a great saison, potentially one of the best I've had. I would have another, but the availability is quite limited here in SC. This one, along with several other Lost Abbey offerings, I obtained while on a work-related trip to San Diego. Only got one of these. Wish I got more.

Photo of JBogan
2.6/5  rDev -34%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Pours a bright clear gold with a small white head which soon turns into a thin film. Good looking beer.

The nose on this was very musty and peppery.

I was completely surprised and disappointed by the taste. I'm almost at a loss for words on this. Perhaps the best way I can sum it up is to say it tasted like a Flintstones children's vitamin which had been rolled in the dirt. There was maybe, and I mean just maybe a hint of orange and honey in there somewhere but it might just be my imagination.

Mouthfeel was good. Medium bodied with a nice smoothness and moderate carbonation.

What can I say. This one was a huge letdown in the taste department. And I like this style of beer. This one however, is one I will not be drinking again.

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

pours on tap @ papago a hazy to cloudy orange yellow-y gold. it's topped with a fluffy white head which dumps a bunch of spotty lacing on the glass...

odd unexpected aroma of smoke... almost like a piece of charred oak with a wedge of lemon on it... i will assume that this is the savory yeast note that i get in belgian styles sometimes since it seems to dissipate as the brew warms... smells of flowers, yeast, lemon, dusty straw and something earthy and spicy.

the flavor shares the same characteristics... lots of savory yeast (almost bacon-y) with lemon skins and a touch of sourness, straw, dusty pale malt, grass/hay, a bit of woody/earthy funk and a very dry herbaceous finish. it turns rather quickly to mild and malty to to dry and almost parchingly bitter.

medium-ish body has some heft to it. the carbonation is soft and sudsy which builds up to get really creamy on the tongue.

i'll have to give this another try from a bottle to figure out the savory smoky element...7/4/7/4/15/3.7

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

A: Deep gold brew with swirling carbonation. Rocky off-white head has OK retention and leaves patches of lace.

S: Quite fruity, with aromas of apple and grape. Fresh cut hay, pepper, anise and coriander scents round things out.

T: Dry and straw like out of the gate. The bitterness quickly kicks in with a tart lemon and coriander bite. Underneath it all are flavors of apple and pear, as well as a hint of sourdough.

M: Medium light body is dry and has the right amount of carbonation.

D: A nice beer overall, and my first experience with this style. Right out of the gate, I wasn't all that impressed. But its complexity grew as I drink it and drew me in.

Photo of JohnGalt1
3.85/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I honestly can't figure out who gave me/traded me for the Red Barn.. Maybe my bro brought it over thinking that I would appreciate it and maybe it got lost in the cellar fray.... but I can almost certainly say this brew did not end up on my porch from one of my trades ... yet, I pulled it out of the basement a couple of weeks ago... Tonight, it's enjoyed out of my Chimay goblet... anyway, this is fairly old.

2 finger head.. tons of lace after the head took 10 minutes to die back.. the brew is a hazy orange gold.

Nose is lightly phenolic and sorta musky.. apricot fruitiness... peppery spiciness with some background citrus.

Flavor is very inviting.. white peach with white peppercorns ( ? ) again a little musky pear juice with some lite lemon zest.. touches of herbal essence as it warms (not the shampoo :-) a touch of sage .. the maltiness is a mild sugar cookie sweetness that is pretty prominent yet still in the background.. earthy and
estery .. very very complex .. I am loving it after a second glass.. The body is slightly heavier than expected but the abundant yet small bubble carbonation makes for a fairly drinkable brew.. actually very drinkable..

Really fairly refreshing after the RIS I just enjoyed... I am very happy that I finally decided to cork this one. Even after all this time, it still seems a little bit sweet.. very drinkable yet still very sweet for the style.. it needs to dry out a bit.

Photo of gory4d
4.2/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Notes from a bottle earlier this week:

Pours a clear, pale orange with a high white head that lingers, leaving some fine lacing down the glass. The smell is enticing: grass, pine, dandelion, honey. The taste starts off with honey, moves through some nutty notes into a long bitter dandelion-stem finish. The carbonation is fine, the body creamy in texture but none too thick. It's extraordinarily easy to drink. One hell of a saison -- glad I was able to find it.

Photo of treyrab
3.65/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to jac5084 for bringing this one out last night. Lost Abbey is one of my favorite breweries, but this one was a minor let down. Poured int a tulip glass...

A: Incredibly hazy orange juice color with a one finger white head. Looks like spritzy orange juice, not what I was expecting from this.

S: The smell was extremely interesting, but there was something about it that made it inviting. Starts off with an interesting skunk smell that is found in helles lagers. Very strange. That smell blends into a nice array of tart lemon, orange and oak. Overall, a very interesting smell.

T: Taste is fairly light with similar qualities as the smell. Some skunkiness, tart lemons, peach and orange. Overall, not bad, but not up to LA's standards.

Overall, I wouldn't mind drinking this occasionally, but it was probably my least favorite lost abbey so far.

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

Reviewed on 7/31/08. Bottle Pours a cloudy orange with a small white head. Aroma strongly of orange juice and other spices (coriander, clove), very sweet. Flavor of light funk, sour fruits, spritzy spices, orange peel, cinnamon, sweetness. Good, but a little sweet. My first Lost Abbey, but it didn't blow me away (I couldn't get over that super sweet OJ!!). Ok saison; I've had better.
7/4/7/4/15 (3.7/5)

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