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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

862 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 862
Reviews: 372
rAvg: 3.94
pDev: 10.91%
Wants: 64
Gots: 82 | 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: 862 | Reviews: 372 | Display Reviews Only:
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
3.05/5  rDev -22.6%
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
2.66/5  rDev -32.5%
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
3.97/5  rDev +0.8%
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
3.83/5  rDev -2.8%
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
4.22/5  rDev +7.1%
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
3.67/5  rDev -6.9%
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)

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

A: Poured a clean orange color, with a thick white head with great retention. Retention was better then average while a light broken lacing was left behind. A nice tight carbonation is present.

S: a spicy aroma with some citrus and a good yeast character. Light hints of ginger, and barnyard fruitiness are also well noted. A light peppery touch finishes things out.

T: The initial flavor had a nice spiciness with some bananas, pears, and a funky fruitiness. The paradise seeds were evident which complimented the dry oranges/tangerines nicely. A light wheatiness as well the yeastiness makes for a spicy and very good example finishing with some light peppery notes.

M: creamy, warm, and luscious. A nice carbonation presence brings out the spicy nature in the mouthful before finishing dry.

D: Great balance of spicing, carbonation brings out the great aroma and flavor of this beer. A nice saision, not as funky as its Belgium counterpart but a very drinkable example with a rich variety of flavor makes this a solid example none the less.

Photo of Jmamay22
3.97/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Red Barn pours a somewhat hazy honey colored yellow with plenty of tiny carbonation bubbles racing to the top to support the thin ecru head. The smell is simply phenomenal. The barn house funk, spices and ripened fruit come together wonderfully. Musty grass, horse blanket, a melange of spices that are difficult to separate, pear and apple can be found.

The taste never reaches the heights of the scent, but that was difficult to accomplish at the outset. An initial pear sweetness gives way to a slightly musty hay flavor. Finishes with a dry semi acidic and almost citrus like flavor. Voluminous carbonation supports the mouthfeel and increases the sharpness of the finish. Drinkable and enjoyable even if it isn't summer anymore.

Photo of PittBeerGirl
4.17/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

750 ml bottle. Thanks to Route66pubs for this in a trade! Poured into my Mad Elf chalice.

A- Body is a very hazy, opaque straw yellow. Pours with a one finger foamy white head that slowly subsides completely. No collar and no lacing left behind in the glass. What impresses me most about the appearance is the opaque quality of the body.

S-A sharp citrus smell cuts through first, a bland of orange juice, lemon, and grapefruit juice hit the nose with equal force. A floral hop presence accents this and a sweet bready yeast backbone can also be detected.

T-Much like the smell. Tastes like pure fruit juice upfront. Oranges, lemon, and grapefruit blend well here. It almost tastes like a bright hoppy DIPA with a huge grapefruit presence, but its too floral to be...and the sweet bready yeast backbone is very solid. The finish adds a bit more tartness along with a citrus rind bitterness. This bitterness is of medium strength and lingers for awhile, but so do the fruity flavors. Well done.

M- Low to medium carbonation and a smooth yeasty body high in hop oils and yeasty smoothness.

D- This is a very nice beer. It reminds me a little bit of Brooklyner-Schneider Hopfen-Weisse, in all honesty. Its very juicy and hoppy, and delicious. I would definitely have this one again.

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

I never know what to expect with Saisons. I either like them or hate them. I like this one. Pours hazy yellow-gold with a huge white head. Spun sugar, musty malt, bananas, clove, and lemon in the nose. Sweet, light clean taste similar to a trippel. Great yeast ester bubblegum and clove flavors, and the ginger definitely enhances the taste here. More orange peel and pepper with lemon towards the back. Great warm-weather beer.

Photo of jwc215
4.22/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to mfielden for including this in a trade!

750 ml cork-caged bottle, poured into a tulip glass:

Pours golden with a thin creamy head that leaves lacing.

The smell is of barnyard funk, herbal/floral notes, clove, and bready notes.

The taste is funky, bready, sweet and spicy (clove and pepper). There's a fruitiness to it that leans towards banana-ish. Sweetness turns to a bitterish, refreshingly dry, finish.

Light-to-medium bodied. Nice, easy carbonation. Crisp and refreshing.

A very drinkable, refreshing, well-balanced Saison. Alcohol very well-covered - very drinkable for abv. I could easily see myself enjoying a couple bottles of this, especially in the summer (though very enjoyable year-round!)

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

750ml, corked and caged bottle.

Poured a medium and hazy golden color with a large sized white head. Aromas of lemons (lemon peels), pears, spices, and a little earthy. Tastes of citrus, fruity, spices and bready. Crisp and clean finish.

Notes from 5/12/07

Photo of GilGarp
4.5/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

After some difficulty getting the cork out, it finally pops and pours a nice golden yellow color. It has nice clarity which seems unusual for the style. Great head though and it sticks around well with good lacing down the glass.

Aroma is spicy and floral with a good belgian yeast.

Flavor is very good. Sweet and fruity up front but finishes spicy and dry. Very clean and well balanced too. I would say this is one of the best saisons I've had. Even better than some genuine Belgians!

Mouthfeel is good, medium body, nice level of carbonation, and clean.

Drinkability is also very good, especially for a Belgian style. Many times they can be too powerful both in flavor and in alcohol. This one is balanced, clean, and not overpowering. Very well done.

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

Pours an effervescent bronze with 2+ fingers of fluffy eggshell white head. Starts to haze a bit on the second glass(a Bush tulip ) & increases at the bottom of the bottle. Great lacing & head retention

S: Pears, apples & a touch of leather & some honey

T: Appleskins, pears, & a touch of dirt, honey & lemon zest up front. Slight booze presence, dryness, musty apple peels & white pepper & a touch of strawberry?? as this warms. Finishes crisp, fruitty, especially with pears, peaches & apples & estery yeast spiceyness

MF: Medium bodied with low carbonation, pretty good balance

Not a bad drinking saison, a bit too fruitty for me to want to session on. Good offering from Lost Abbey

Photo of IBUnit63
4.29/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750 corked and caged with muted pop - into the Ommegang chalice.

Uniform, natural honey haze slightly obscuring sparse-to-moderate carbonation rising to thin, 1/2 finger head that's almost bluish-wite with tight bubbles dissipating quickly, leaving a nice, austere lacing with sediment levels.

Bountiful, moderately soapy floral hops with almost creamy white grapes, pears, maybe cantaloupe and perhaps heartier sweet dried fruits...dates maybe? Profound yeast electricity and husky, light, dry malt provide a bright, sharp backbone. With warmth there's even a faint hint of horse blanket on deep background. Not sure if a Saison nose gets better than this. I don't think it does.

The clean and dry maltiness works in Beautiful Chemistry with the carbonation and huge yeast electricity to provide a solid backbone for the very subtle melon tones and extremely faint spicing (coriander, maybe a little clove with warmth). Mild acidic aftertaste, but even a pinch of saltiness brings out an even deeper malt profile resembling heavier Belgian offerings (faint gingerbread reminiscent of a Quad in extremely tiny doses) while maintaining its ups.

Even after some time, carbonation strength provides brightness against austere malt depth. Fruits and spices round out an excellent palate presence. Quite complex and profound.

This is EXTREMELY enjoyable as something to savor even though it is of quite light body. Sit back, relax and contemplate the complexity of this wonderful offering.

Photo of Sixpoint
3.84/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I feel lost Abbey's beers range from the sublime to the mundane. This beer had elements of both.

The mouthfeel was incredible - had the velvet smoothness of an oatmeal stout, but also the effervescent acidity of a Saison.

Bright golden sunlight in your eyeball - it was tantalizing.

The aroma was lacking, almost nonexistent. Wonder why?

Either way this beer was very drinkable, and definitely would go quite well with some fried eggs or pommes frites.

Photo of dirtylou
4.4/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle, split over a sweet meal/ambient evening at Quinn's in Seattle

appearance: poured a hazy golden orange tone into a chalice, foamy beige cap with strong retention as a saison should...sticky and oily

smell: bready yeast, funky wheat, rustic and wild grains, orange peel, ginger, pepper, corn...nice stuff

taste: peppercorns and funky yeast, orange peel, ginger, tea-like tones...just as funky and all over the place as a saison should be

mouthfeel: pillowy smooth, medium body

drinkability: good

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

One and a half years cellared, picked up at a Pizza Plant fresh. Very zesty, enjoyable fresh tasting saison. Sweetish malt made it dangerously drinkable. Whitish colour. Way above average mouthfeel.Mildly spicey,with pepper, ginger, anise, malty and yeast aroma.Good balance.

Photo of FtownThrowDown
3.58/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very light golden color with a huge, rocky white head that lasts the duration. Plenty of webby lacing remains on the side fo the glass. Smell is yeasty. Lots of yeast and just a bit of funk.
Taste is spicy, and peppery. Full and creamy on the mouthfeel. This is a decent brew. I was expecting more funkiness to it.

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

I actually had never had this one before, so last night I decided to go ahead and crack one open as there are not many Lost Abbey beers left that I have not tried. Needless to say I was impressed. Served at cellar temperature and poured into an oversized wine glass. This one was consumed on 09/23/2008.

The pour was really magnificent on this one. A rich and very hazy medium yellow color came gurgling out of the bottle, quickly coming to a head that reached a height of maybe two inches. There was then a rich coating of side glass lace that thoroughly coated the glass with some nice carbonation being visible throughout the session.

The aroma was highly charged on this one. Lots of light fruit swirling around with a healthy dose of spice in it as well. Nice touches of coriander, lemon, hints of pepper coming through, with a touch of pears warming up to it as it came up to room temperature. The initial taste was peppery, with a rush of lemon following suit almost immediately. A wonderful sense of light fruit really just ran all over this one. I was quite impressed I have to admit. Smooth mouth feel was more the adequately carbonated and really just kept the profile popping throughout. An easy sipper, the moderate ABV lended itself well to a warm late summer evening.

Overall while not my favorite beer from Lost Abbey buy any means, it was still more then adequate and a pretty damn solid offering. I would have no issue at all with trying this one again; it really came across quite well and as a side note, made an excellent marinade.

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

Sunset golden with a hint of orange in the center. Pedestrian movement of tiny bubbles that seem to will the alabaster head to just..hang..on.. This head is beautiful in appearance, nice and creamy, with a lovely rippling effect and some Belgianesque pockmarking. Lacing is spotty but quite sticky.

Spicy, earthy nose. Some pepper, not much. Lots of fruit, definitely some orange peel. As I do my research, there is some ginger and grains of paradise evident as well. Another awesome nose with grains of paradise...

Complex and interesting without losing the least bit of inviting nature: tons of fruits including pear, apple, and a hint of banana. Some pepper.

Perfectly balanced, in that there are a lot of flavors and spices and characteristics, yet nothing dominates or subverts the others. The hops are noticeable, but blend nicely with the sweetness. As it warms, the ginger and pepper emerge, but when it was chilled the light fruits ruled the roost. Awesome interplay.

Medium mouthfeel, a tiny bit tinny and over-carbonated, but not by much and not a big nit to pick. Belgium's best are indeed creamier and flexible, but the average French or Belgian table beer is not as textured and pleasant as this.

Another impressive outing here from the Lost Abbey. If the cost was even a little bit cheaper, I would drink these with some regularity. As it is, I treat these the same way I treat Dogfish Head's rotating beers, Avery's Imperials, and lots of imports: attempt to try each of them once privately and then return to favorites for get-togethers and dinners. I can't think of a better American saison to have with just about any meal you'd like to cobble together.

Red Barn Ale from The Lost Abbey
88 out of 100 based on 862 ratings.