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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

863 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 863
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: 863 | Reviews: 372 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of oggg
3.58/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Champagne corked, with cage.

On a hot summer day, I popped this open in hopes of something along the lines of SPF 15 or 45. Ah well, I'll always have those memories.

This one pours more yellow than orange. Quite bright, with a beautiful white foamy head. There is a minute amount of sediment at the bottom -- it doesn't really go into solution; rather it seems to fall to the bottom of my glass. The aroma gives me the impression of a hefeweizen. Near banana aromas with clove. Perhaps some coriander or something. Not exactly appealing. On the tongue, it's sweet and thick, with strong esters and phenols. The moderate hopping fits pretty well. Alcohol is subtle. Finish threatens to be sticky but actually cleans up pretty well and is pretty refreshing.

Overall: Not my cup of tea, but I'll still give it points for good hopping and good finish.

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

A - Into a La Fin Du Monde glass. Poured with a huge, off-white head. Body is highly carbonated, golden color. I must comment on the rocky, persistant head again. A good looking beer.

S - Overly ripe apples, fruity esters, yeast, slightly peppery on the back end.

T - A very fruity note through the whole drink, with green apples and apple juice really showing up. Finishes slightly sweet but manages to find some dry sips as well. It's good, not amazing, but it's good.

M - A little less carbonated then I prefer, and a little slicker than I prefer. Again, not amazing, but not bad.

D - I'll finish this 750ml and be done with Red Barn Ale for the night... However, it won't be unpleasant having to do so.

Notes: My first bottle of Lost Abbey that I've tried proved to be okay. I drank an Angel's Share, but quite frankly don't remember how it tasted. I'm interested in trying some of the others from this highly touted brewery... this one just didn't do it for me... frankly it just makes me wish I had a Hennepin.

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

750ml bottle courtesy of KingG, thanks! This pours a beautiful golden orange with a head that quickly subsided into a ring of white bubbles. The aroma is thick with spice but I can't tell you what kind. There is also some orange peel type smell. The flavor has a faint candy quality and some other flavors I can't put my finger on. There seems to a be a hop bitterness and this definitely has a rustic, farmhouse feel to it.

Photo of number1bum
4.47/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a slightly hazed golden color with about two fingers of ivory head. Retains a thin but pretty full lace, with a lumpy dollop in the middle that looks like a melting mound of butter on top of a baked potato or a pancake. Leaves a little stick here and there, too.

Nose is quite floral and spicy, also very grassy. Some orange and herbal notes, too. Some funky yeast too. Lots going on here.

Taste is just as complex as the nose. I get a burst of ginger flavor on the tongue first, followed by some peppery spice, citrus and grass. There is a touch of sweetness in there. More spices through the finish along with some herbal bitterness. There is some yeast there, too.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and has a nice crispness to it, but is also very smooth. A touch dry through the finish.

This is damn good and it hit the spot perfectly on a 95 degree day. Very complex and another amazing offering from Lost Abbey.

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

750ml brown bottle, corked and caged, purchased from South Bay, poured into a flute.

A: Pours an apricot-amber with a bit of hazing. A large slightly fluffy, yet tight, white head forms and holds nicely. Good lacing from start to finish.

S: A pleasant sweet malt line with plenty of yeasty esters and light spicy hops. Maybe some coriander?

T/M: The hops are much more assertive than the nose suggested. Plenty of zesty, peppery spices with a slow rising bitterness that culminates in a dry and lasting finish. The yeast produces heavy phenolics that meld well with the spices. More of a gingery taste instead of the coriander(Because, you know, they're so similar and all, right?). Malts let off a balancing sweetness as well a some biscuity notes.

D: Decent drinkability with 6.7%. The 750 won't be too much.

Photo of nickfl
3.92/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Small, white head that settles very quickly, leaving a thin film of lace. The body is golden and perfectly clear.

S - Spicy wheat aroma with lots of pepper and a hint of fruit. Slight sulphur, but in an unusually pleasant way.

T - Begins tart with lots of herbal hops, somewhat vinous. The earthy hops continue in the middle with some yeasty phenolics. The finish is cirtusy with moderate noble hop bitterness.

M - Medium body, low carbonation, and a dry finish.

D - A nice, earthy saison. The low carbonation is a bit off putting to me, but I guess you could think of it as sort of like a cask saison.

Photo of robbyc1
4.37/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From a bomber bottle, I like the ale, I really do, but I don't think it really qualifies as a Saison. I love Saisons, and this is a bit off.

The head is like styrofoam, white, and goes off nicely. The color is like honey, a bit hazy, very nice.

The nose is a bit sweet, just missing any funk, dark candy and a bit or orange, very inviting.

The taste is easy to drink, beautiful malt, a bit of hops, and then just a nice slightly sweet follow up at the end.

Full mouthfeel, easy to drink, could have more, but looking for more complex tastes, thats all. At first, I thought it was Duvel in the bottle, but it's a bit better than that, but still I think it's more like a Belgian Strong Pale Ale than a Saison, either way I'll be seeking more.

Update June 2009 bottle from my brother Dave, thanks. It's highly cabonated, but a slight funks is there making it finished dry. It is a saison. And the spicy taste is great. Up the flavor score by 1/2.

Photo of IdleAaron
4.65/5  rDev +18%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: It looks like honey in a glass; deep orange with a solid head leaving a legacy of lace in its tracks.

Smell: Nice sweet grain upfront with sweet orange rounding out the experience. An impressive mix of grain and sweet citrus.

Taste: Citrus, honey, well balanced with a perfectly subtle and mild bitter finish. This just keeps getting better.

Mouthfeel: Hearty and confident yet smooth and balanced.

Drinkability: this is definitely a sipper. The thing is, I don't think I can stop sipping. A vacation in a bottle...

Photo of joe1510
4.1/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5


I was lucky to get a bottle of Red Barn from Taynor awhile back, thanks Dana! Red Barn is surprisingly clear with only the mildest of haziness through the goldenrod body. Carbonation rises quickly from every surface of the glass to the two finger cotton white head that formed on the pour. The head fell rather quickly to a half finger but left a meringue like middle. This is good looking saison.

This is brewed with ginger, orange peel, black pepper, and grains of paradise. The orange peel, ginger and grains of paradise greet the nose right off the bat in that order of intensity form most to least. There's a slight grassy hoppiness that mingles well with the added spices. As it warms the black pepper spiciness comes forward where I didn't notice at a colder temperature. This just smells like a thirst quencher.

Flavor follows the lines of the aroma with everything more toned down but also seamless. Red Barn starts off with a mild ground laying biscuity dry maltiness and is quickly overtaken by the spicing. The ginger, grains of paradise, and orange peel all come together mid palate but the only one left standing on the finish is the orange. This is where mild pepper and a mild grassy hoppiness join in and make for a delicious drying finish.

The mouthfeel is good for the style. A bit below medium bodied with decent carbonation. If I had any complaint it would be that the carbonation could be a little more aggressive. The body tends to stick around too long occasionally.

Like the nose suggested, this is a thirst quencher deluxe. A hot summer day and I would be all over this. I could polish off a couple bottles no problem while out on the deck hanging out under the umbrella.

Another good beer from Lost Abbey and one of my favorite American made saisons. Doesn't quite have the funk I enjoy so much from some Belgians but I'm digging it none-the-less. I'd pick up a few of these tonight if Lost Abbey distributed out this way. Thanks again Dana!

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

A: cloudy golden orange with a two finger foamy white head

S: musty, earthy, herbal and i think lavender. a fine aroma.

T: faint citrus zest, lemon and earthy

M: moderate body with decent carbonation although bordering on the light side of what I'm looking for. also has a slight syrupy sweetness but not enough to be off-putting

D: a good saison. I'd have again

Photo of dill
3.51/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured from a 750ml bottle into a pint glass.

A - poured a golden color with a thick, foamy white head. i had to slow down and pour this extra slowly.

S - smells of spice and grapefruit.

T - a nice taste of spices and earthiness with some fruit.

M - light on the tongue with a little carbonation.

D - highly drinkable beer, but most saisons are. this beer was enjoyable but wouldn't stand out in a crowd.

Photo of tpd975
4.23/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This one came from CoreyRhoads, I believe.

A: Pours a nice somewhat cloudy yellow color with a huge bubbly soapy head. There are bits of lacing that cling to the side for dear life.

S: Your typical wonderful Saison aromas. Tons of banana and clove. Hints of corriander and wonderful Florida citrus.

T: I really like this, one of the better Saisons I have enjoyed in sometime. Tons of citrus flavor up front. Sweet banana lingers beneath. The spice factor is wonderful with tons of clove, corriander and white pepper. Very nice.

M: Nice and light, very bubbly.

D: Pretty drinkable, this is one I did not share and had no problem putting it down even with the high carbonation.

Overall: I love what Lost Abbey does! They brew wonderfu beers that are highly sought after for good reason. Add this one to their world class lineup. I would love to have another bottle for a warm summers night, while relaxing in the hot tub.

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

Lucid golden, billowy white head. Nice legs and lacing. Aromas of barnyard belgin yeast funk notes mix with fresh breaked bread, lemon zest and coriander. Taste is smooth with a nice funky bread, spice, and yeast mix going on. Hops are muted. Mouthfeel is zesty, medium bodied, very very drinkable. A nice Saison but not overly complex or amazing. For my money the carnevale kills this one.

Photo of yourefragile
4.08/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

750 mL bottle poured into a Duvel tulip

A: First pour was a remarkably clear light orange color with a massive fluffy white head. Great retention and thick, clumpy webs of lacing left on the glass. Second pour was much cloudier, orange/amber color.
S: Very earthy , slightly sour and yeasty, citrus and banana aroma. Not spectacular for the style, but overall very good.
T: Lighter side of medium bodied with light carbonation that is very persistent. Very flavorful, and similar to the smell. Earthy, slightly tart citrus flavors with a little spice, coriander, lemon, clove, etc. Strong, but mild hop presence as well.

Overall, very nice, flavorful example of the style, but not best of it or from Lost Abbey.

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

750ml poured into a big tulip glass. Poured at cellar temperature.

A: Uncorked to a hazy orange and substantial head. The spiderlike lacing was strgon. Like a bubbled foam that hung on for a while.

S: Spices, yeast, and lots of bubble gum. Not puckering but matched well by the earthy grassy aromas. Having it warm did the smell justice Im sure.

T: Lots of banana with a mix of hops. The sweetness is on the tart side but well balanced with the earthy spices, cloves. If anything, spiciness could become overbearing at the end of 750ml.

M: Dry, earthy, and not too much puckering sweetness. Crisp carbonation is pleasant.

D: I look forward to having more, the abv is appropriate and not the typical saison in terms of taste, but cant pinpoint why? Still worth getting out and trying this one. First Lost Abbey, wondering what others have to offer.

Photo of benito
4.92/5  rDev +24.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Wow. This is a really remarkable beer.

Huge, soapy/bubbly head atop a peach colored brew. Aromas of orange peel, grains of paradise, and unidentifiable bittering hops. There's a slight, sour-yeast scent as well.

Each sip reveals an amazing variety of flavors: ginger, orange, paradise seeds, lemon, honey, and green tea, amongst others. The spice-driven flavors are backed with a smooth, long-and-dry finish and a just-so hint of bitterness that adds a tremendous level of refreshment to the beer.

Medium in body with ever-evolving flavors. At times, the ginger stands out; with the next sip, it's the earthy hops. I don't know that I've ever had another beer that shows such a wide range of flavors with such consistency. It's a true surprise every time.

Easily the best of the year-round offerings from Lost Abbey (and the others aren't bad...Lost & Found is my favorite dubbel in the US!). This is as near-perfect a saison/beer that I've had in a long, long time.

Photo of bbothen
3.63/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Cork & cage bottle poured into a snifter.

A - Orange/peach color. Bubbly head that comes up to thick whip cream like cone on top. Lots of sticky lacing. Picture perfect.

S - Citrus & yeast. Sorry, it's all I'm getting.

T - Grapefruit, spicy pepper flavors. Yeasty. Nice.

MF - Champagne like effervesence. Light, but rewarding.

D - Very nice. Would be best on a hot summer night.

As expected, another top shelf offering from Lost Abbey. Don't know if you would find a better US representation of this Saison style. I'd share this with friends over a nice dinner.

Photo of mfhlucky13
4.8/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Wow, I want to be a Monk at The Lost Abbey.

A: Beautiful cloudy, yeasty gold with a nice thick standing head.

S: A little bit of funk, plenty of yeasty goodness with a touch of spice and fruit.

T: This is a wonderful Saison!!! A little yeasty with some spice and malt. Lots of tiny bubbles dancing on my tongue. Lightly dry finish.

M: Crisp and bubbly.

D: Very drinkable. I need to find a case to hide away for a hot summer day.

When I first read about The Lost Abbey beers I didn't believe all the hype. Then I spotted them in a little store with a large price tag. When I finally got over my stupidity I learned that The Lost Abbey is one of the best Belgian style brewers we have here in the U.S. Don't waist time like I did. Go get one now!

Photo of xymyl
4.77/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Color is murky light orange/golden color with a fluffy white head that settles to about 1/8 inch over time. Carbonation is medium.

Smell is at first strong banana and clove but eventually gives way to citrus and more spice. Apples and pears eventually show up as well. Green hop aromas show up as minor players. Yeast and light vinyl phenols (smokey bandaid and wool) show up deep in the background and only enhance the foreground spice, flowers and fruit. Eventually a malty sweetness struggles out of the din, followed by a distant soft toasty note.

Fruits including oranges, lemon, apples, pears, pineapples, and even green grapes and mango are vibrant beneath a blanket of spices including cloves, nutmeg and cinnamon upfront. The spice is complex and wonderful as you drink deeper, ranging from one pepper to another, it tastes of black pepper, but I know there is alligator pepper here as well and can taste it jumping on the very back of my tongue. Although green hops mingle with every sip, there is a hoppy bitter end to this journey that combines with a under-ripe mango note that is disturbingly fascinating.

Overall: I have been waiting to try this beer for a long time and the result of my quest does not disappoint. The brew is medium bodied, robust, complex and infinitely drinkable. I say this after drinking this 750ml bottle on my own over the course of a few hours. I'm almost finished with the beer as I write this, and I definitely want more. But there is no more, and I'll have to settle for a glass of water and dreams of visiting the little old STONE brewery (now lost abbey) again one day but seeing everything as new. Drinking it from the Affligem Chalice my younger brother gave me. He gave me the beer as well.

Photo of largadeer
3.71/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Semi-clear blond, for the first glass at least. Pretty opaque after that. Quite foamy; the head retention is incredibly good.

Smell - Spicy, estery and sweet. Notes of banana and peach with subtler aromas of grass and flowers. No real funk, barnyard or sourness to be detected; it's more of an estery saison.

Taste & mouthfeel - Bold spiciness and strong esters. High carbonation. Flavors of banana, coriander and clove with a mild, floral hoppiness. A bit sweeter than I'd like for being a rather light-bodied saison. Fruity sweetness lingers on in the finish; it never quite achieves the refreshing dryness that I like in saisons.

Notes - Good but not great. Most American breweries seem to have a hard time with saisons, and this one is no exception.

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

750 ml. 58 degrees F/ 14 degrees C. Big wine glass.

Bright gold, with massive hills and valleys of white head. Chunky lace. Beautiful extremely fine murky suspension of yeast in the last glass, like ghostly musical notes until it disperses into translucency.

Fresh fruity and spicy smell. Juicy apricot, white grape, bright exotic spice, green chili, grain. Hints of cheddar, and smoky and medicinal phenols. Very nice, and plenty of character.

Tastes of pungent spice, apricot, grain, underscored by a fairly strong hop and mineral bitterness that rolls in. Grassy hop flavor, with some citrus too. Some sweetness at first, but dries out for a long finish of pungent dry spice and grassy/mineral bitterness.

Very fine carbonation, excellent texture. The mineral bitterness makes the texture mouth-drying, even when some sweetness is still detectable in the flavor, an interesting and enjoyable contrast. Not notably drinkable for a saison, but certainly refreshing and quite drinkable.

A bit too much overt spice for my taste, but an enjoyable and very interesting beer.

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

tHANK yOU sTAN AT lONE hILL lIQUOR. And thank you caps lock. I hate you.

Poured mellow orange with a reaching head into a snifter. cloudy and beautiful.

Aroma comes with gentle funk and subdued yeast, like rising bread. Slight citrus. I had to take off my glasses so I could get into the glass. I didn't want to miss a thing.

Taste is more mellowness. A very smooth farmhouse, but not weak on flavor. Everything is working just right. I am often disappointed with spiced beers, but this one has some real self control. Just a hint of cinnamon blowis out my nose after a swallow.

Mouthfeel is dandy.

Drinkability is sky high. If I could, I would gladly drink drafts of this all day on a sunny day in Coastal California. As it so happens, I'm drinking a lone bottle on a cold, rainy day in New york. Either way, the senses are happy.

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

Poured from a bottle into tulip glass. Nice golden/orange color, with huge white bubbly head. Good lacing. Smells of spice (coriander?) Good first full flavor sip. Spices, hops (good bitter feel on sides of tongue). Beer smooths as you drink, settles down nicely. Warms as you go also. Good mouthfeel, and it keeps its flavor long after swallowing. A nice beer to have with a nice dinner.

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

I received this as a gift, nice bottle, nice label, no information as to where it is from. I thought it was Belgian.

Poured into an extra large wide-mouthed tulip-shaped glass a golden orange with a white head. Lots of stick to the glass. Smell of lemons, bread, yeast, and hay. Nice refreshing taste with some spice, orange, lemon, malts, lightly carbonated with a dry ginger snap cookie finish.
Nice complex and refreshing beer. Definitely worth a try. I wish I had another.

Photo of AKBelgianBeast
4.12/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to SuzyGreenberg for the trade.

This pours a light peachy yellow with a little bit of a chill haze. Decent head with moderate lace. Nose is of wheat and light malts with some light apple and barnyard funk. First taste, wheat dominates with alot of subtle spice flavors and some maltiness. Slight hop bitterness on the finish. The mouthfeel is quite good and not overly carbonated like some american saisons. Drinkability is very high. A great shot at a saison from a great brewing co. Recommended.

Red Barn Ale from The Lost Abbey
88 out of 100 based on 863 ratings.