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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

864 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 864
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: 864 | Reviews: 372 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

Photo of Oxymoron
4.69/5  rDev +19%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

One of the best saison's and could be one of the best beers by Lost Abbey (that is saying something). Pours a more straw colored yellow with a cloudy appearance. A soft white head with good staying power but not much lacing.

The nose is complex but subtle. A nice balance between spice and malt. There is a grainy and wheaty flavor with a almost rye backing that give off a nice aroma. There are some nice orange, corrinader, ginger and pepper notes. Some nice yeasty notes as well with a Belgian aroma. Some minor rose peddles, but overall a very nice blend.

The taste is similar. The malt is less accentuated but still has a grain and wheat flavor. Some minor biscuit and an almost flour taste. The spice and esters come out more and add real complexity. Some fruity orange and lemon citrus undertones. The pepper and ginger back off but there is some nice rose and herbal quality with a somewhat earthy/floral taste. Very nice yeast note that brings out soft Belgian characteristics.

The body starts off with moderate taste but finishes with a dry almost crisp finish. Light carbonation helps accentuate this. Overall a great beer for a difficult style to brew. Good job.

Photo of biegaman
4.31/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

An austere appearance: pristine white head with specs of silver that twinkle to the light. Accompanied by a few solitary bubbles, it sits with discipline, still and to the level, imprinting its glinty lacing. The body is a pale but gleaming apricot colour that warms a full shade or two against the light. Entirely unspoiled, this appearance is a sight of beauty to behold.

It smells just like Belgium's best saisons, but I think more is responsible than just the yeast. The write up lists ginger, orange peel, black pepper and grains of paradise as the spices used. I think the old adage that 'if you can identify the spice, you've used too much' is a good one to go by; although they are impressionable, I'm not sure my nose could pick out any of them.

The taste again is finesse, textbook style Saison right out of the BJCP guidelines. A soft malt character with some straw and wheat graininess. Light squirt of lemon zest citrus. A little peppery. Absolutely delicious, it is a blend both lightly fruity and moderately spicy.

Bitterness is low but dries out the palate on the finish. The spices linger lightly, although again, no one spice is all that easily identified. They blend well together and are especially well integrated into the lightly toasted, honeyed malt profile. A 750ml bottle is no challenge for one person to power through alone. Actually, it's ideal size.

I've read that Lost Abbey's Red Barn is a slightly modified recipe of Tomme Arthur's old Pizza Port SPF 45 saison. I remember trying and loving that saison, as I do this one, as I have everything I've tried from Port Brewing/Lost Abbey.

In fact, I think Tomme Arthur is possibly the most versatile and talented commercial brewer in the world, proven capable of remarkably brewing virtually all styles. What impresses me most, perhaps above the funky barrel aged wild ales and hopped-up American brews, is his uncanny ability to capture Belgian ales - this wonderful saison is yet another wonderful example of that.

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

Appeared a nice hue of red, very tasty indeed. Spices bounce without overtly declaring themselves. Mouth feel is of a fine moderate fizz that transports the nuances to all areas of the pallate allowing simultaneous epxperience of the elements that create this very drinkable beer. I would def. buy this one again and again.

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

Bottle purchased at Ledgers in Berkeley for $7.99. Pours a very nice darker golden with just the tiniest wisp of haze, a very nice head that sticks around, and some excellent lacing. Slightly sweet and somewhat tangy in the aroma, as well as a hint of spice. This smells more like a tripel than a saison, with that hint of sweetness, touch of clove, and bit of yeasty tanginess. The taste has some of those same tripel elements, but the tanginess is a bit restrained and it tastes a bit cleaner, more like a saison, and there is a fairly large hit of white pepper and lighter touch of bitter orange peel right up front. The orange builds a good bit through the taste, as does the pepper, until the finish, which has a bit more rounded yeastiness. Fairly complex, and ultimately to me it comes off as an intriguing blend of tripel and saison with a bit more aggressive spicing than most. Very nice and relatively complex summertime fare. Smooth, spicy, and relatively addictive

Photo of atsprings
4.48/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Corked and caged 750mL bottle poured into a Duvel tulip, like my review of Elysian The Immortal IPA yesterday, it looks like I'm the 100th person to review this beer as well! The beer pours almost exactly like Duvel does into this glass on its bottle, sporting a huge frothy three finger head, I had to wait a bit to try this one, the head lasted throughout as a one finger layer and left decent lacing. Aroma is loads of sweetness and spice, great malt presence, sweet fruits and slight funkiness. The taste is dominated by spice and sweet malts, crisp hops provide a nice spiciness, slight banana and lemon are present as well. The beer is light and crisp with a nice bite of carbonation that provides an easy drinking smoothness. This is certainly one of the best American brewed Farmhouse Ales I've had the pleasure of drinking. I have to say, so far, all the hype I've heard about Port Brewing seems truly justified.

Photo of Jwale73
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in my Maudite tulip. Poured a hazy orange-gold with a one inch white cap. Head eventually settles into a light slick of foam and bubbles with a solid band evident around the shoulders of the glass. Some loose sheets of lacing evident during the tasting. Spicy nose, as well as the presence of citrus, tart fruit (green apples) and candi sugar. Taste consistent with nose with a slight pucker at the finish. Yeast and clove also expressed in the flavor profile. Mouthfeel is light- to medium-bodied with lots of effervescence tingling throughout the mouth. Good drinkability, but a little on the sweet side for the style in my opinion. A nice offering nonetheless.

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

Bottle at Monk's Cafe in Philly

A: Clear a slightly cloudy golden color with a finger of white head.

S: Nice mix of fruitiness and yeast. Fairly subdued even for a Saison.

T: The fruit and spice from the yeast shone through. A slightly more pronounced hop presence than in other saisons. Only the faintest hint really. Not as sweet as other Saisons. Yeast is a little bit different as well. Wonder what they used.

M: Very light body. Carbonation was spot on.

D: Love Saisons in the summer. This was a good beer but a pain to get my hands on. Hennepin is just as good if not better and much easier to get. Still have not had a bad beer from these guys.

Photo of ccrida
3.58/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

750ml bottle that I picked up ~6 months ago and have cellared for a hot summer weekend like this. Poured into my large Gulden Draak tulip, Red Barn Ale is clear copper gold with a very large white head, very tight and long lasting, as well as very rocky settling, leaving heavy lace.

Smell is yeast and sweet grain, with a nice tropical fruitiness. It also has a bit of clean alcohol that strengthens as it warms.

Taste is pretty yeasty, semi-sweet with some hop spice, reminiscent of a saison, although it's fairly malty, a bit under-attenuated for a saison IMHO. Also comes off a bit boozy for the strength, with a drier, bitter finish. I can taste the spices, and do with out them...

Mouthfeel is on the crisper, drier side, although it's a bit thicker then I'd like for the style.

Drinkability is fine, but it doesn't impress me enough to seek out for a revisit. It was a bit to spicy and boozy to drink with speed or refresh like I look for in the style.

Red Barn Ale from The Lost Abbey
88 out of 100 based on 864 ratings.