Red Barn Ale
The Lost Abbey

Red Barn AleRed Barn Ale
Write a Review
Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
Belgian Saison
Ranked #550
Ranked #9,166
3.95 | pDev: 10.63%
The Lost Abbey
California, United States
Very Good
Red Barn AleRed Barn Ale
Notes: 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.
Reviews: 398 | Ratings: 1,010 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of sjdevel
4.34/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Look = hazy straw color - orange hue- crazy amounts of foam and great! head retention - almost like meringue
Smell = citrus and spice - ginger very faint
Taste = slight tartness upfront and then goes to fruit and spice - gets to a really sharp flavor almost like a strong ABV beer - but this is only 6.7% and not crazy high - tones down and more spices come through and a bit of funk
Feel = medium body but a bit lighter than expected
Overall = Very good and flavorful saison - i didn't get much ginger - I was hoping for more - but I would definitely buy this one again

 571 characters

Photo of SABERG
4.1/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750 ml bottle dated 8/2/17 into the test glass
A - Goldenrod colored backdrop with a slight haze, can not hide the very active carbonation. A towering cap of white loose knit froth resides as a statement through the experience.
S - White pepper, pineapple roasted, lemongrass, candied fruit buried in a musty handful of fresh earth.
T - Spicy tropical thread, with the focus on ginger, papaya, pineapple, lemon reduction. Nice variety with everyone getting along well.
M - Medium in body and a dominant prickly carbonation acting as the muscle in this experience. The start is semi sweet, then an ashen dry wave rolls through. Finish is delightfully dry with those spicy elements joining forces to linger a bit.
O - A very well executed, dusty, saison with a hint of mineral and fruit. As this bottle has some time on it, I am excited to find a fresh version to balance this experience against. Well worth effort to find and enjoy

 944 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
4.38/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Rarely do we find a true saison that executes the rusticity, the unrefinement, the organic nature of beer and also all the charm. Even more rarely do we find one of these fine examples rolling out of an American brewery. But that's exactly what the Lost Abbey has done.

Separating distinctly from the styles of tripel ale or strong golden ale, Red Barn pours with a hazy goldenrod appearance, topped with a rocky, billowing froth. Spicy on the nose, the beer's earthy and peppery scent is of dried citrus, white wine, exotic curry and a light soilish funk. Softly wheaten on the early palate, its sweetness is moderately light with a hint of honey, granola and light toast.

But the ale takes a decided farmhouse turn when the middle palate dissolves the sweetness with ease and the dried fruit flavors of orange peel, light lemon, grapefruit and papaya begin to play second fiddle to the blossoming spice. Peppercorn, perfume, ginger and hop spice adds a rye-like zing to the late palate which is also accompanied by a stern hop bitterness of lemongrass, hay and peppercorn of its own.

Medium light on the palate, the beer's nearly militant carbonation bounces off of the tongue to facilitate dryness and aromatics in the retro-olfactory senses, a light carbonic bite is lightly mineral-like and gives the beer a great sense of drinkability, digestibility and sangria-like refreshment. A medium length aftertaste is bitter with grapefruit peels and again a spicy grassiness.

 1,477 characters

Photo of Fayston
3.75/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Nice saison. Pours amber with decent white head. Classic funky barnyard yeast smell. His hints of citrus and maybe a bit of ginger. Overall not as funky as my favorite saisons but has a classic saison taste, very good.

 218 characters

Photo of Nicolaiw
4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours golden / amber with large white head.
Aroma has yeast, barnyard, hay, wheat.
Taste is same as the aroma, classic farmhouse ale, spices, malt sweetness

 158 characters

Photo of rodbeermunch
3.41/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Pours a bright yellow color and has a good 1/2" white head on it. Aroma of yeast.

Taste, yeah, its a yeasty saison for sure. A little bit of pepper, citrus, ginger. Reminiscient of Sofie from Goose Island. But much more expensive and less convenient format. Spice rack is in full effect, but thankfully nothing dominates too much. Could have been drier on the backend. Good breadiness, but a better version would have been toasty breadiness, this almost went into biere de garde territory.

 498 characters

Photo of bmeehan
4.02/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a good saison that incorporates ginger well. The spices you expect to get are there, but they're not overpowering and they don't fight with each other to take center stage, so to speak. Red Barn Ale works; it's light but still requires you to drink slowly and it's got a nice finish.

 291 characters

Photo of safaricook
3.51/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

not much of foam, orange with some haze
fruity and peppery aroma, surely sweet orange oil from the peel
quite sweet for the claimed saison style. candied orange
interesting oil-like mouthfeel somehow reminscent of candied oranges
hmmm, not my cup of tea. surely not bad but I prefer my Saisons drier and imho the yeast should create the dominant fruity and spicy flavours and not the the adjuncts as in this one.

 413 characters

Photo of Beginner2
4.03/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

This thoughtful and sensitive label, the exquisite cage and cork, and the definitive "pop" introduces a luscious Looking saison ! Mounds of foam, excitement and food for thought !
Smells are tamer; although still inviting, somewhat sweet malts are, generally, friendly. Tastes make this ale's statement clearer; this is about the subtleties of their yeast and how Red Barn's hops blend to balance and, then, say who is boss. For me, this finished so dry that, I assume, they dumped lots of hops in.

But my test of a saison is how it goes with food. I had it with a soup that was garlicky and herbal, but no pepper. I added some black pepper and it got closer to a match for the hops. Interesting about that interplay: a brewer makes the saison and it is what it is, but if it is not a great fit for the food... we can alter the food, in this case, with pepper. I'm loving it !
And I'm looking forward to a 2018 visit to San Diego to visit Lost Abbey's Confessional.

 969 characters

Photo of dsa7783
4.03/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

On tap at Grand Summit Hotel. Was rather surprised to see this one in my area. Tastes like your typical American made saison, but done very well, authentic to the tee and quite refreshing. Recommended.

 201 characters

Photo of ReviewingUnderInfluence
3.67/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Really well brewed saison with the flavours every Belgian beer drinker knows and loves. Maybe a little to banana bready for my own tastes. Would like a bit more fruit esters and tartness.

 187 characters

Photo of RickS95
4.3/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Wasn't expecting such an explosion of carbonation, despite the huge pop from the uncorking. As thick a head as you want it to be. Golden yellowy copper color with bright white above. The head retains well and literally falls down on itself as it eventually dissipates.

The nose reminds you of walking through a citrus orchard. Fruity, flowery funk. Not sure if peach is considered citrus, but that's the predominant scent. Maybe tropical is the better word.

Very pleasant taste with the funky yeast giving off flavors of pepper, peach, orange, and a splash of grapefruit. I don't know if dank is a taste, but it is in describing this beer.

Extremely crisp and sharp, each sip cuts through and tickles the taste buds with sweet, funky, and bitter. Fairly carbonated, it leaves a dry, biting finish with only a faint prick of heat.

It just turned spring but this would be amazing in the summer. Even in the spring it's a great beer.

 943 characters

Photo of Marius
3.75/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Sampled at a tasting. Hazy bright orange pour with a tall white head. Smells sour, salty, with notes of vinegar. Tastes like brett, grapefruit and caramel. Dry mouthfeel.

 170 characters

Photo of Ciocanelu
3.9/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hazy yellow color with white head. Aroma has citrus and yeast esters. Taste is yeasty with citrus and bubblegum. Medium, effervescent body. Quite nice example of belgian ale.

 174 characters

Photo of erk0607
3.92/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

L: Light, clear, effervescent amber
S: Very peppery, classic "farmhouse funk"
T: Very peppery, lots of spices to yield a strong Belgian profile. A bold saison if there ever was one.
F: Light, fizzy, super easy to foam head
O: Good, classic what you think of when someone says strong beer flavor

 296 characters

Photo of TerribleTaste
3.9/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Frigging rights boys, I opened this 750ml ale, poured it, sniffed it, gave it a decent look-see on the glass acroment. Even gave her a lil sip and everything in my senses pointed to a soft fruity ale.
That was until I took a gulp, the front sour tart flourished into a nutty bready mix of unnameable flavors.

This beer has a perfect name to suite its flavor, all I can imagine is the daily farm hand making a home brew and saw ANYTHING on the homestead to toss in. Pears, apples, apricots, oranges, any nuts or berries he could find Ect ect. Whatever sounded good at the time and was on hand. There is an excessive amount of flavors donated by this beer, and I like all of them. But then again ;D I have TerribleTaste

Edit: at the last of the bottle all I can say is just how incredibly sour this beer is, I love it.

 821 characters

Photo of anonymoose
3.5/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer is 11 months old at the time of review and has an orange color. The aroma is just barnyard funk. The taste is bitter for a saison with a lot of spice, massive rye breadiness, a little bit of funk, and some lemon and orange notes that come through. As the beer warmed up it became tart which I didn't notice as much immediately after opening it.

 353 characters

Photo of Hahnin
4.66/5  rDev +18%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Floral smell, with rich almost savory apricot taste. Color is gorgeous. Carbonation is med/strong but perfectly suits this beer. Probably one of the most balanced beer so have ever had, strong taste, clean finish, beautiful color, an absolutely gorgeous beer

 258 characters

Photo of TheSixthRing
4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours cloudy and a dull, yellow-orange color with an off-white, rocky 3 finger head. Good retention. Thins out to a sheet of suds across the surface. and leaves with it sudsy clumps of lace upon the glass.

Smell - Grains of paradise stand out in the aroma, with a zesty, peppery and citrusy character. Light funk. Hints of banana and wheat.

Taste - Follows the nose, with peppery spice, orange and lemon citrus notes being the foremost characters. Hints of herbal mint. A touch of apple is in there somewhere. Finish is mostly lemon and wheat fading into the distance.

Mouthfeel - On the fuller side of medium-bodied with a lightly biting carbonation.

Overall - This is a pretty good saison. Not too herbal and not too tart. Nicely balanced. Doesn't quite hit my 'Yes!' button, but I certainly don't regret the purchase. That said, I'd probably opt for the FW Opal before giving this one another go if I'm feeling the saison itch.

 950 characters

Photo of wulfie85
4.06/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Great look with a spicy and fruity aroma. Nice and smooth going down and all those fruit and spice flavors come out as you drink. Very refreshing and enjoyable on a hot day.

 173 characters

Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L: Pours hazy straw gold under a 3” white foam cap that dissipates quickly but leaves extensive lace.
S: Fruit and spice aromas dominate with cardamon, faint clove, banana, citrus, hints of orange, and traces of compost.
T: Belgian yeast flavors, apricot to peach, light banana, herb, pepper, and spice season a fairly dry beer. There is a moderate bitter accent on the end.
F: Very creamy fine soft carbonation, medium light body.
O: A big full flavored beer that is pretty light on its feet.

 499 characters

Photo of Bowdoinbeerboy
3.26/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Pours with a huge head that lingers for ages. The beer itself is a pale yellow and crystal clear. The nose is a bit "off." Its not spoiled, but it just doesn't smell like they got the spice balance correct, it smells fairly strongly of coriander, too strongly. The taste is sweetness upfront with some nice fruity hop bitterness in the middle. The aftertaste gets much more bitter but stays more floral then piney. Overrall this beer seems like an average saison with waaaay too many spices in it. The nose and flavor is a bit muddled and frankly, a bit unpleasant.

 572 characters

Photo of Tucquan
3.95/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on 2015-04-21 from a cork and caged 22 oz bottle

A - Clear gold with a massive, pillowy 4-finger head into a 20 oz snifter. Yikes. It took awhile to settle.

S - Hay, herbs, must, sourdough wheat bread, lemon, lots of yeast presence but not perfumy. There's also a lurking, somewhat off-putting scent of aged cheese.

T - Grape skin, grass, herbal/medicinal, lemon tartness, pepper, ginger lightly toasted wheat bread. Finish is herbal, pepper and bitter. Very nice flavor. No cheese taste at all.

M - Light-medium body and medium carbonation. Crisp and refreshing.

O - I liked this brew except for one element of the aroma. Since there wasn't a cheesy taste at all, perhaps the Grains of Paradise in conjunction with the other aromas created something like it to my olfactory receptors.

 809 characters

Photo of breadwinner
4.25/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Man, this is one I'd wish they'd move to smaller format packaging, as I think it's a great every-day sort of saison. Nice fruity esters both on the nose and palate, a touch of sweetness as well, perhaps a bit thick/juicy for the style, but it's also really tasty, so no worries there. Just enough of a spicy/yeasty note in the finish to clean things up. Really good stuff.

 372 characters

Photo of Stevedore
3.44/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

On tap at Lost Abbey in San Marcos, CA.

A- Clear golden yellow body, one finger white head with fair retention time, nice rings of lacing.

S- Crisp crackery aromas, peaches, a bit of citrus, a slight bit of ground pepper. Perhaps a slight amount of caramel. Clean aroma in general, not particularly strong or forward.

F- Sweet caramel, crackers, pears, stone fruit, peppercorn, earthiness. Spices. For the most part, this is a subtle beer with a decent bit of complexity in its spices although it doesn't jump out in any meaningful way. It's certainly lacking any kind of funk or significant tartness, but that's OK.

M- Thin-medium body, perfect carbonation, crisp but smooth and refreshing. A bit heavyhanded on the finish with spices and bitterness.

O- Decent farmhouse ale. It's a catch-all category; despite the lack of funk or tartness, it's still a decent beer. Still, not worth what it costs per the usual Lost Abbey pricing range.

 943 characters

Red Barn Ale from The Lost Abbey
Beer rating: 88 out of 100 with 1010 ratings