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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 wheelinshirt
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 mL corked and caged bottle from Abe's in Bethlehem, poured into a couple glasses to share with friends over dinner.

Deep gold mixed with pale orange color, big white head that has moderate retention and lacing.

Smell is a little funky, earthy, grassy, a little spice in there too. Taste is a bit sweet but has a nice combination of fruityness and grassy/earthiness. Mouthfeel was light and refreshing with moderate carbonation and this was very drinkable. Actually almost too drinkable as it was gone so fast that it was hard to enjoy.

Photo of RblWthACoz
3.73/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a foggy gold with a nice white head. Nose is very strong with yeast. Flavor is yeasty as well with a strong dough quality to it and a very tangy edge. Feel is good. Not too thin. Drinkable indeed. A very decent saison, just came off a bit too tangy for my tastes.

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

750ml bottle: This one pours a rich, golden color. There was just a hint of haze, and a bit of an off-white head to it. The aroma is very fragrant. Earthy, musty, yeasty and grassy. The taste is very good. Somewhat fruity, grassy, spicy, just a mixed bag working VERY well together. A very good Saison.

Photo of DrJay
4.13/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer was quite clear with a gorgeous deep gold, orangish hue and generous, fluffy white cap. The head was composed mostly of large bubbles that had great retention and left chunky lace stuck to the glass. Complex aroma with notes of earthy grass, lemon zest, tropical fruit, and delicate malt. There was a bit of mild pepper initially, but this became more of a general spiciness over the course of the bottle. Moderate bitterness, balanced nicely with significant fruitiness, malty base and bready, yeasty middle. It finished with a bit of pepper, then grassy, floral hop bitterness lingered. Medium bodied with carbonation on the high side, the texture was very nice. This beer was solid from start to finish, well balanced with just the right amount of spiciness. Great stuff!

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

Poured into a tasting glass, it had nice head orange color, about what you would expect from this style of beer. The nose is interesting, I read in a previous review that a "bubble gum" smell is what hits you initially. I would say that is a very good description, bubble gum, maltiness, cloves and other spices. The taste is a good combination of yeasty spicy malt. This is a good well balanced beer, the mouthfeel and drinkability are on par for the style...good beer

Photo of msubulldog25
3.91/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This bottle came up from SoCal quite a few months ago, received from Joey (KingG) at South Bay. Needing something 'summery' for today, a chilly early-December afternoon. Hope this has stood up ok while in the cellar. Poured into the La Chouffe tulip glass.

A: Opens with a soft 'pop!' when the cork is removed. Poured up to the '250cL' line a nearly transparent light golden with lots of effervescent bubbles. The fluffy white cap rises up the narrowed neck of the tulip, cresting near the rim (a bit over two fingers). Head drops to a tighter foam with a small rocky island at the center. Nice, goop-y blobs of lace, sticking like sea-foam.

S: A surprising bubble-gum sweetness comes from the first whiff. Not quite the rustic zest I was expecting...more sniffs reveal a more traditional tart/funk aroma with grassiness, cracked pepper and spicy coriander. Subtle fruit....this doesn't smell bad at all, it's just not very strong to me until it warms.

T: Upfront ripe fruit, tart apple especially, with a bold & grassy hopping. Lightly floral/honey sweetness falls in somewhere and dry peppercorns strengthen toward the finish. Tart 'funk' seems subdued, but this has a very nice grainy naturalness that evokes the tastiest of the Belgian/French saisons. Finishes dry and spicy.

M: Carbonation level is fairly high, so there's a good crisp tingle on the tongue and more than one gassy burps. Mouthfeel seems a little thick and there remains a dry, medicinal bittering in the middle of the tongue for several minutes. Alcohol warming is concealed, but for a little glow on the cheeks.

D: A likable version of a style I really had little experience with before a trip to Belgium. This compares favorably with some good ones I've had, though can't match the awesomeness of the likes of Dupont and others. Red Barn is one I'll have again I'm sure, especially now that Lost Abbey makes it to Washington (is Oregon next?). Recommended.

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

The beer pours a hazy pale gold color with a thick frothy white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is great! It has a very refreshing citrus aroma with a nice peppery element. The taste is good. It has a smooth pale and wheat malt flavor that goes down easy and finishes with a lemony zest as well as a mild earthiness. This is one of the most enjoyable saisons I've had in some time. The mouthfeel is good. It is a medium/full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a tremendous beer. It's extremely smooth and loaded with tons of flavor.

Photo of akorsak
4.27/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A 750 mL corked and caged bottle purchased at Capone's.

A: The saison is a very pale yellow, looking like a wheat ale. There is no haziness to be seen, which is somewhat surprising. The head is thick, approaching 3 fingers on multiple pours. The lacing from each pour is impressive.

S: The nose has some peppercorn aromas and a great deal of funkiness. The barnyard aroma is not as intense as in the Avant Garde, but it is more focused and clearly identifiable as barnyard-esque.

T: The body has a preponderance of peppercorn and cardamom, creating a a spicy taste that has a depth beyond your run-of-the-mill saison. Some honey notes add a sweeter depth of flavor, but the peppercorn flavor is the lingering flavor. The funkiness in the nose disappears in the taste, somewhat disappointing if not for the strong coriander elements.

M: The mouth is full of odd, out-of-place flavors that I'd expect from a Belgian-style ale. This saison delivers the goods, not f-ing around with things.

D: All hail Tomme. This beer is a great drink, full of spicy and funky flavors, bitter and tart and delicious. Nicely done!

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

A: Nice honey yellow with some darker streaking in the middle. Big frothy white head on this one.

S: Very sweet smell, citrus and apricot I wanna say. Plenty of peppery-ness comes out.

T: Not nearly as sweet as it smells. Plenty of the typical Belgian spicyness, with a dry and slightly bitter finish. Seems to have a bit of a lemon flavor throughout, which adds to the bitterness. The flavor is mellow but not boring.

MF: Quite bubbly, making the beer feel thicker than it really is. A sharp feel due to the spices.

O: Pretty good. I like the Avant Garde more, but this one is also a good brew. Wish the flavor was a little stronger. I think this would be better in the summer as opposed to during this cold snap we're in right now.

Photo of Billolick
4.42/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Typical Lost Abbey presentation, Belgian bomber, caged and corked, no freshness info to be had and an artistic label. This one pours clear medium golden amber, with alot of bubbles rising to the top. The head is a rocky long lasting kind of thing, eggshell in color and thick, with spotty, ringed and well developed lacing left behind. Nose is all about a bunch of fresh fruits, some light pepper and Belgian yeasty goodness. Full flavor brew, more fruityness, melon, pears, apples, spice pepper, coriander, honey, bananas, complex and interesting stuff. Lovely final pour, loaded with sediment and nutty yeast. This went great with some peppery goat cheese on toast and some nuts. Agreed, Lost Abbey is into the pantheon of top notch, U.S. brewers..great stuff, go get some and enjoy!

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.55/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

'Sunshine glinting off a krugerrand' gold. An abundance of bubbles gives the beer a sparkly look and has created a majestic crown of lemony ivory that might have been created in the Belgian countryside rather than in San Marcos. Chunky hunks of foamy lace stick like glue. The appearance should become even more spectacular when the yeast from the bottom of the bottle is added.

The nose is wonderously spicy and pretty much defines the saison style (it could pass for a BSPA as well). It's incredibly juicy fruity and has a perfect amount of zippy zestiness from the addition of ginger, orange peel, black pepper and grains of paradise. It's difficult to appreciate the pepper, but the others definitely aren't shy.

Beer like this makes me wonder why I never think of saisons/farmhouse ales when asked to name my favorite styles. A well-brewed saison is incredibly versatile and is nicely quenching at any time of year. Having had a few Lost Abbeys offerings prior to Red Barn, I'm not a bit surprised at the complexity that swirls across my tongue with each eagerly anticipated mouthful.

The lush fruitiness underlying the top note fireworks is all kinds of delicious. I'm reminded of peaches, apricots and buttery pears. A semi-firm hop presence keeps things balanced from the sweet-bitter perspective. Stopping right there would have made for a sublime ale. Adding the rest makes for an ale to savor... an ale to linger over... an ale to make me wish I lived in Southern California.

The best part about the spices is how none of them hog the spotlight. The taste buds register a warm blip of ginger here, a tart tang of orange peel there, and a playful nip of black pepper here, there and everywhere. I'm torn between trying to appreciate each of them in turn and simply enjoying the glorious whole as it washes over my palate.

The mouthfeel falls a bit short of great, but only because I'm comparing it to Belgium's finest. It could stand to be slightly more full and creamy, slightly more supple. It's odd that I liked it more when the beer was cool than I do as it warms.

I can no longer deny the obvious. Even though I didn't think there was any room, The Lost Abbey (Port Brewing) has exploded into the upper reaches of my 'top-10 breweries in the U.S.' list. They'll almost certainly be a permanent fixture as long as they continue to brew outstanding beer like Red Barn Ale. As far as I'm concerned, Tomme Arthur, Vinnie Cilurzo and Rob Todd comprise the holy trinity of Belgian brewing, American-style.

Photo of ojiikun
4.05/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pourd from the usual 750mL bottle with cork and cage. Big gothic crosses on all three. Neat. Cork was a pain in the rear to get out, but popped with enough force once persuaded halfway.

Colour is like very ripe golden pears and a pure white head. Head is soft and made of small bubbles that stay fairly well. Trails of lace that slowly fall over the minutes. Fairly clear, only the slightest touches of fog.

Smell is tons of yeast - a good mix between farmhouse and champagne. White grapes and something fruity that's best left described as bubble gum. Some funk, like moss after a fresh rain.

Taste is quite sweet and the malt taste is very light and fresh. Hints of juniper come after caramel creme. Has a final tartness almost like kiwi.

Mouthfeel is a little chalky at times and a little sticky at others, but it seems to work with the other attributes and never quite feels heavy.

As drinkable as they come alone or with a good meal.

I can see why this came so highly recommended. Nothing exciting and firey but very well integrated and balanced flavours do good justice to the saison style, giving it a bit of a new-world flair. Worth a try.

Photo of Gusler
4.22/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a hazy orange with hints of copper, the 750ml bottle is corked and caged with the head is portly and off white in color, the texture creamy, as it fades to nothingness, the lace provides a concealing sheet upon the glass. Nose is rich in spices, hints of peach, nice malt backing, crisp and fresh to the nose. Start is sweet and malty; the top is moderate in feel. Finish has a nice moderate acidity, hops are present and the fruity sweetness combines with the dry aftertaste, a great series of beers this "Lost Abbey”.

Photo of domtronzero
4.09/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a hazy golden copper with a huge frothy white head. Crusty lacing left all over the glass.

S - Aroma is of banana and spices, with a little yeasty character. A little ethanol noted in the background.

T/M - Not as deep and complex as I was hoping for. Nothing much up front but a little carbonated tingle. As it moves towards the back of the tongue, malty sweetness with a hint of caramel are noted. Slight colve-like phenols are detected (bottle states "ale brewed with spices," I wonder if cloves are part of the recipe). Earthy and herbal hop flavors with a nice bitter balance. Medium viscocity on the palate, but smooth and tongue-coating. A slight dryness of the tongue due to alcohol is noted.

D - Overall this is a respectible saison style from a local American brewery. Very smooth and easy drinking. I could put down 3 or 4 of these easily. I consider this type of brew my personal "Coor's Light." I love that Lost Abbey (aka Port Brewing Co.) is located in SoCal. There beers are excellent and I hope to try more than just their four current styles.

Photo of Floydster
4.43/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pint from the PB Tap Room on Garnet Ave. in San Diego

Pour was a light to medium brown with a thick vanilla head, pretty dark for the style of beer

Smell was very sweet with ginger, and I could not quite determine what fruity scent it had until the first sip

Taste is filled with apples and other darker sweet fruits, not your typical Saison, lots of spiciness and strong flavored herbs

Went down incredibly easy, stoked to find this on tap

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

Pours a clear golden amber color with a shallow loose white bubbly head that fades fairly quickly. Visible effervescence and some lacing observed. The smell is a fragrant banana-pear yeasty combination. Light bodied, the mouth feel is well carbonated. The inviting flavor is earthy and gently fruity with a peppery spice component. While the mouth finishes dry the pepper flavor lingers. A nice drinker with a lot to consider. The 6.7% ABV is surprisingly warming on the way down, but otherwise well hidden.

Photo of sleazo
4.53/5  rDev +15%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Much thanks to futang for the trade.

A-Pours golden, slightly red with a pillowy fluffy three fingered head. sheets of lace CLING to the side. A sight to behold.

S-First hits you with that horse blanket funk, then a slightly sweet sugary scent. Nice and potent.

T--Very funky. After that fades you get a bit of candi sugar sweetness and hints of black pepper, citrus and tropical fruit.. The funk provides layers of yeasty goodness without overpowering. Very well balanced without holding back. There is also an underlying bitterness that is there throughout and really makes its presence known in the aftertaste. As it warms more of the spice comes through. It lists ginger and grains of paradise, they are muted enough to disguise their origin but they add something here even though I cannot pick them out.

M-Effervescent without being too thin.

D-This is delicious. I love NYC but right now I miss San Diego. I hope they expand the distribution for this one. Another hit for port brewing.

Photo of sessycuban
4.57/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: The beer pours a honey-like color. I’m getting about two inches of egg-white colored head with fantastic lacing. The beer was poured into a Stone IRS snifter.

Smell: I’m getting lots and lots of fruit. The more easily identifiable aromas are that of orange peel and grapefruit. I also get a hint of ginger and cloves.

Taste: The beer first tastes very yeasty, but soon transitions into a sour masterpiece. Much like the aroma, I’m tasting a lot of citrus. It does taste a bit spicier than other saisons but I find this to be a pleasant surprise.

Mouthfeel: The beer is medium to full bodied and fairly creamy for a saison. Moderate carbonation.

Drinkability: This is an exceptional crafted saison that is very easy to pair. Good work Tomme!

Photo of lackenhauser
4.35/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very nice orange color with a huge fluffy white head that remains on down the glass. Little bits of "cream" are still floating as the glass is almost empty. Earthy, spicy and robust aroma. Great yeasty and spiced flavor. Quite crisp and satisfying. Coriander and black pepper flavors. Very nice mouthfeel-dry and quenching-lively on the tongue. Great beer all around. Really reminds me of the first saison I ever had. I was blown away then and still am by this US version. Great stuff.

Photo of Lothore
3.46/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A- Pours a deep cloudy orange color with a massive white head that slowly dissapates into tons of lacing.

S- Smells of sweet fruits and malty goodness. Tangerine, banana and cloves are present in the nose.

T- Taste is very wheaty and earthy, slight alcohol tones, dark fruits and a plethora of spices that while complex seem to be a little obtrusive to some of the other tastes trying to shine in this brew.

M- Mouthfeel is extremely thick and well carbonated.

D- This is a good sipper but i couldn't see myself drinking more than one glass at a time. Senses overload with spices that complement the flavor, but take away from the drinkability.

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

Poured into a chalice a cloudy golden orange/yellow color, nice carbonation, nice small creamy off-white head, there are some nice small islands and creamy sticky lacing that follows. The nose is malty, yeasty, slight cloves/bannanas, coriander, and slight caramel. The taste is very nice, a nice twist on the style, lot's of malts/yeast, the spice's are not that overwhelming. Medium body. Very drinkable, another awesome brew from the PB/LA guy's.

Photo of mcallister
4.2/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Cloudy cider shaded liquid, a faint silhouette of my hand barley shows through when testing opacity. Head is thick and fluffy looking as if it's curdling on top. Great retention and thick lacing.

Spicey white pepper aroma and tropical fruits with melon. Pineapple and papaya, with starfruit aromas as well. Yeasty earthy followings with a funky must of carbonation. Very nice and invigorating.

Very tasty and drinkable, but missing slightly on the thin somewhat watery mid palate. Nice puckering bitterness on the finish. An enticing belgian spicy factor with sweet melon, and tropical fruits. Pineapple, and passion fruit stand out, with the same papaya as the nose suggested. An easily quaffable beer.

Photo of brentk56
4.42/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a hazy honey color with a fluffy egg white head that drops to a creamy film and leaves shards of lace around the glass

Smell: Yeasty horse blanket funk, orange peel, ginger and a licorice floral aroma that I assume is grains of paradise

Taste: Starts out with a peachy flavor that immediately bursts forth with peppery spice and leads to some earthy bitterness; after the swallow, the flavor transitions are incredible, with an initial sweet fruitiness of peach, followed by a ginger flavor that builds in peppery spiciness until the citrus bitterness takes over at the end; just a touch of sweetness lingers throughout and re-appears at the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium-full bodied and creamy with prickly carbonation

Drinkability: An exceptional saison that just blows me away with its rich complexity

Photo of CharlesDarwin
3.83/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750 mL. Gurgles forth with a robust push of lightly hazed gold, atop a froth of soft soap, fresh with an off-white hue. The aroma precludes a soapy ambiance, with christmas spiced potpourri, warm hexanous aromatics and bubbly cauldrons. Into the mouth, an immediate blast of rising bright fruitiness, meeting headstrong with a mouthful of malt and mild middle eastern spicings. A seemingly classic Saison build, with gentle sweeping malt sugars, high bright and freshening yeast character melding into a pile of nose bristling spice dust. Hops round out the back with a palate closing grassy complexity. If any faults fall upon this beer it’s that the spices seem a little muddled and artificial, but I think the yeast help cover it. Palate is perfection with a nice light airy body to carry all of the heavenly scents and flavors, through good malt configuration. Delicious.

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

Picked up a bottle from AJ's in late January for $8.99.

Beer poured a golden orange color with a nice white head. Nose is very pleasant, it has hints of fruity malts and spices. Taste is a nice medley of fruits, spices, and finishes with an interesting peppery bite. It is a bit sweeter and perhaps less dry than others I have sampled. Mouthfeel is light bodied but it has that belgian yeast smothness that makes it very nice. Overall drinkabilty is very good. I enjoyed sampling this at AJ's and I am very happy that I tried a full bottle. I believe this is the best American made Saison I have had to date!

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