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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

872 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 872
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: 872 | Reviews: 374 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

Photo of cjgator3
4.79/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

750ml bottle

A- Pours a golden orange color with an off-white head.

S- The aroma is fabulous. It is very fruity and heavy on the spices with orange peel. This is a wonderful Saison aroma, and very complex for a domestic version.

T- The taste like the aroma features and array of spices with a really nice fruitiness and a dry herbal hop finish. Extremely enjoyable, and quite refreshing.

M- The mouthfeel is a little thin and under carbonated for my tastes, but it does not detract from the brew too much.

D- This is one of the more drinkable Saisons that I have tried, despite it's relatively high ABV. If this were available where I live, it would be a staple in my fridge.

Overall, Lost Abbey Red Barn Ale is an outstanding Saison that is highly recommended. Saisons are my favorite beer style, and this one ranks up near the top of my favorites.

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

Poured from a 750ml bottle (no dating info) into my NBB snifter. Back label had a nice story about the titular Red Barn and how it ties into the season and the beer. It was a slightly hazy golden color. It had much less carbonation bubbles than expected especially considering the head which was a massive two+ fingers. It was off-white and fizzy. It quickly settled into a thin film and good collar.

The aroma was very spicy - a little more than average. There was a hint of fruit but mainly spice. Very dry. The taste pretty much followed the aroma. Very spicy with a dry finish. It starts off pretty smooth and then the spice hits and then the dry finish. I liked it but found it drier than I like. I also like a little more of a fruit balance to offset it. Good but not great. Mouthfeel was hurt a bit by the dry.

Overall a good but not great saison. As I said, too dry and overspiced for my taste. It's my first Lost Abbey (got 3 more in the fridge) so curious how those taste. I do recommend but don't sell the farm getting it.

Photo of USCTrojanBrian
4.34/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle purchased (and refrigerated!) at Carmel Mtn. Rancho BevMo. Cork & cage, always nice.

Poured into a nice Allagash glass I purchased (traveling, making do with the available materials), murky amber color, bright white head that lasts at about 1/2 finger.

A bit watery but it's working, as I struggle with some of the more potent saisons. Tremendous spice in the nose, definitely the best part of this beer.

Almost creamy in texture with that head. Has that weird, wild saison aftertaste, but its more floral than pungent (good!).


Photo of m1ked
3.82/5  rDev -3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The back of the bottle says that this beer is a tribute to summer. I love summer. I wonder if this the subconscious reason I got this one tonight.

A- Popped the cork with no sound at all, nothing. Pours a bright golden straw color that is opaque. Had a brief showing of a bright white head, quickly receding to splotchy white spot. No lacing to speak of.

S-Dusty, cereal, light corn, hint of banana some yeast notes, white pepper.

T- Similar to the nose with the dry grass dustiness. Flavors like sweetened corn Chex cereal. More fruit on the palate than the nose. Light stone fruit... apricoty. Orange zesty. No banana. White pepper notesm all spice and some yeast. I like.

M- Light to medium bodied. Low carbonation. Finishes dry.

D- I have really been into Saison/Farmhouses lately. They seem to vary widely. LA has put their unique influence on this one. If you enjoy this style, this is a good one to have. If you enjoy lighter drinking beers, this is a good one. If you love summer, this is a good one.

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

There can be only one Highlander.

This beer was born in the year 1518, in the village of Glenfinnan on the shores of Loch Shiel. It pours with a nice white head that shrinks back and leaves lacing throughout. A Hazy warm yellow color.

Beautiful smells blend together. Banana, spice, sweetness. This is called the quickening.

"The Gathering" of flavors is tastier than the Kurgan. Sweet citrus notes, spice, some acidity which makes way for great green apple like tartness. The gathering takes place in the big apple.

This beer is "the prize" I hate to spoil the ending for everybody, but Christopher Lambert wins, and becomes mortal to sire children.

I hope this beer is sired more often, i'll drink it.

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

Pours a somewhat hazy light amber color with a large two inch white head. Nice retention but no lacing.

The aroma is really quite delicious. Some nice fruits including orange and banana accompanied by a light pale malt sweetness and a bit of yeasty spice. As it warms a bit of a "tart" aroma makes an appearance. Overall, just really pretty.

The taste is quite nice. A nice bit of citrus showing off some orange and lemon. Some pale malt sweetness with a bit of spice. The citrusy acid really dominates and is really refreshing.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and highly carbonated. Really refreshing and cleansing.

Drinkability is pretty high. It's a delicious farmhouse giving great flavors. Relatively low alcohol makes for easy drinking. Just easy drinking, smooth, and refreshing. A great treat indeed.

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

Bought at Malt and Vine just after their Lost Abbey tasting with Tomme Arthur today. I am very happy and honored to have had the privilege of trying my first LA beer from the brewer himself. Also bought a bottle of Carnevale and had the privilege of trying some Angel's Share (Bourbon).

Anyway, on to the review!

A: Color is a magnificent golden color with visible carbonation. Head appears as a small 1/2 finger layer of bubbly, frothy snow white goodness and doesn't stick around for the party very long, although the bubbles do. Looks very much like a pils, only not as clear.

S: lots of spicing on the nose, slightly banana-esque like a traditional hefe, grassy yet malty. Smell's awesome.

T&M: creamy smooth. carbonation is perfect and lends well to the style. Intricate mixture of spicing and grains. Mild hoppyness, generous yet subtle malt backbone. Slightly fruity as well. Man this is a great beer, and great example of the style.

D: excellent. on a hot summer's day I could drink this all day...or any day really, heh

Photo of kmeves
3.52/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cloudy golden with a huge frothy off white head. Aroma is medium sweet ginger, lemon, orange and dough. Flavor is ginger, yeasty, some clove and citrus. Long dry finish. Light to medium body, creamy texture. A mighty fine example of the style.

Photo of orbitalr0x
4.33/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle. Batch 1. Pours into my glass an intensely clear golden yellow with a thick, creamy two inch head of white foam sitting atop the brew. Tons of sticky lacing as it falls. Aromas start out with crisp, sun dried grains and sweet malts. A bit of caramel moves into a bevy of fruit flavors: apple, peach and citrus all rolled into a blanket of spicy, somewhat peppery yeast. Very nice.

First sip brings a crisp somewhat sweet malt upfront with notes of sun dried wheat. It rolls into a solid fruity flavor with apple notes upfront along with citrus, pear and peach notes. Peppery, earthy yeast tones work their way in as the brew rolls down. Finishes with a nice spicy crispness. Tasty.

Mouthfeel is on the lighter side with plenty of fast moving carbonation as it flows down. This is an easy drinking, totally enjoyable saison that goes well with the summer season. Overall, this doesn't quite blow me away like previous bottles of SPF45 have in the past, but this is a damn fine saison and I'm glad to have had the chance to sample it.

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

Nice, hazy, golden orange sunset colored brew with a booming lid of fluffy ivory fuzz.

Red Barn brings is an impressive saison to be certain. It's fruity tart peaches and pears with a light sweet wheat and estery-funky belgian yeast. It's lightly musty and earthy, with some spice and bitterness from pepper, ginger, and orange peel. Medium bodied and buttery smooth with plenty of fuzzingly fluffy-tingly carbonation.

Great, awesomely refreshing brew. I have not had much from The Lost Abbey due to accessability, but am extremely glad to be able to enjoy this offering.

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

Just not a big saison fan, I suppose.

Pours a hazy golden yellow. Small white foam head.

Smells a bit like bananas, spices, orange peel/citrus, and yeast.

Taste is spicy, citrus-y, and there's a yeastiness to it that I don't find particularly pleasant ... don't know if it's the strain used, or what. I find the smell more appealing.

Crisp clean finish.

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

705 ml bottle. A cloudy golden fluid poured into the old Chimay chalice. A good one finger head head of finely grained foam. Gentle carbonation is visible and lacing is generous and retention thick.

Smell is sweet with banana esters and spicy, peppery notes. Orange and honey. Fresh bready scents and Belgian yeasts.
Malt binds it together with more sweet grainy scents and a touch of more spices like ginger and corriander.

Taste is like tart orange blossom honey upfront, then a slight alcoholic edge that sandwiches a fruity combination of green apples, pears, white and red grapes. Hops are crisp, as is the entire brew, and clean and lead into a dry slightly yeasty finish. Crackers and wine on the palate and a slightly soapy aspect when you get to the bottom of the bottle and introduce the sediment.

Mouuthfeel is effervescent and tingly. Smooth and creamy. Weight is on the lighter side of medium and perfect for summer and heat.

Easy to knock back several bottles of this stuff. The abv is not too high and the drinking experience is top notch.

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

Dropped into a goblet, produced a sparkling fizzy pour that left a cloudy, hazy golden honey like elixir, with a frothy white head. Sweet fruit smell with spices, orange and clove. I get a little yeasty hay in there as well. Very crisp almost tart start, with a little sweet along the sides, but a crisp dry finish. Very nice mouth feel, a little fizzy. The second pour had some sediment that made this beer look like unrefined honey. Big thanks to Jeff for sharing this with me.

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

My first experience with anything from Lost Abbey. Shared with an appreciative friend. Corked/Caged 750 ml. bottle in to a Moretti stem goblet. No loose cork here....popped like a fine French Champagne.

A ~ The initial, careful, controlled pour produced a cloudy, golden honey colored nectar with a butter colored sticky 1 finger head. The second pour produced a thicker,honey butter colored, milky, yeasty concentrate with some bottom funk & a head like wall paper paste. Impressive.

S ~ Warm ginger snaps, honey, cloves, allspice, orange blossom & lemon peel. Floral scents & a hint of pear syrup & bubble gum?

T ~ The front follows the nose closely with Christmassy spices, a touch of clover honey, & lemon peel. As the beer warmed to room temperature the flavors enhanced & separated. Bubblegum still lurks in the wings with subtle, ripe pears. Delicate, mild floral undertones. The back side has a pleasing, peppery sharpness that warms the back of the throat but is never hot on the tongue. Intoxicating & complex.

M ~ Crisp & clean with a super nice, dry finish.
Carbonation is appropriate & helps to showcase the complexity of this beer.

D ~ The brew develops as it warms & is absolutely a beautiful American example of a refined Belgian style. Highly recommended & best shared with close friends. I'm looking forward to more from Lost Abbey.

Photo of froghop
4.02/5  rDev +2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a cloudy orangish with a large mountainous off-white head, very nice lacing.

smell is of pear, peach, sweet malt, touch of caramel, spice in the back.

taste is smooth yet surprisingly hoppy, does not taste as sweet as it smells, malt, citrus, fruit, some spice, pleasant dry finish.

Red Barn Ale from The Lost Abbey
88 out of 100 based on 872 ratings.