Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

Red Barn Ale | The Lost Abbey

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
very good
387 Reviews
no score
Send samples
Red Barn AleRed Barn Ale

Brewed by:
The Lost Abbey
California, United States

Style: Saison / Farmhouse Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.70%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by scottoale on 08-23-2006

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 387 | Ratings: 985
Photo of wulfie85
4.06/5  rDev +2.3%
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 +13.4%
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 -17.9%
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 -0.5%
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 +7.1%
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 -13.4%
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

Photo of smcolw
3.98/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Excellent blanketing effect from the lace. Moderate head that settles to a thin layer of bubbles. Dirty gold color with a chill haze.

I smell some subtle spices like lavender, licorice and nutmeg. Reminds me of a Cream Ale.

The taste is crisp with a strong black pepper tongue. It starts with some creaminess but end bitterly in the swallow. Predictable body with an elevated level of carbonation. Overall, an impressively drinkable Saison.

 445 characters

Photo of gonzo000
3.79/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

a. See through yellow on the pour with a huge head that settles but is at about 1 finger throughout the beer.

s. Pepper, wine (fermented grape), orange

t. blended well - orange, pepper then a bit of bitter at the finish

m. Smooth and very easy drinking. The killer carbonation does not get in the way.

o. Overall this beer is very, very good. Do not usually like this style, but everything is well balanced. No coriander taste to the yeast.

 444 characters

Photo of leantom
4.26/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Ah, the Lost Abbey. New Jersey started getting its beers two years ago, and I had heard great things about them. I decided to give this Saison a shot and see how it compared to my other favorite Belgian-beer breweries (Ommegang + Allagash). Here goes:

A: Fantastic right out of the glass. It produces a large head with tons of residual lacing. The beer pours a cloudy yellow indicating the presence of bready Belgian yeast. Furthermore, owing to the bottle-conditioning, the beer has tons of carbonation that linger throughout its consumption. Simply perfect.

S: Great. Lots of white spices, coriander and pepper. Has a bready smell owing to the Belgian yeast. The malt gives off a smell of orange and banana. Very good for a saison.

T: Good. The taste follows the nose. I detect white pepper, coriander, orange peel, candi sugar and banana. The only problem I have with this beer is that it's not as dry as other saisons, i.e., it's a little too sweet for a saison. It almost tastes like a tripel without the boozy alcoholic background. Lastly, the beer has a bready taste owing to the presence of Belgian yeast.

M: Again, very good. Has a very thick, bready character. Tons of carbonation.

O: This beer is excellent. The only problem I had with it was the sweetness. I believe saisons should be drier, that's all. Will definitely try other beers from this brewery and perhaps get this one again.

 1,402 characters

Photo of Bonsall_Phil
3.93/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Picked up at a local market; big boy bottle cap n corked. Opened that night.

Poured gently into a pilsner (all i had) and the head roared up to 2 inches, it held stubbornly opaque cream/lightly toasted marshmallow throughout the drinking. Carbonation stayed active to the sight glimmering through the sea of foggy gold.

Sweet maltiness, autumn spices on the nose. Clean and pleasant scent.

Tongue not far from the nose, malt first and then an apple fruit like spice. Those autumn spices on the nose are warm nutmeg on the aftertaste. The alcohol is there, as it should be. Aftertaste remains fruity, still apple. Mouthfeel is a little thick for the flavor, but it's not poor, the carbonation keeps it lively.

Might buy this again, I believe this would be good with food. Wishing I had a nice think pork chop right now :)

 826 characters

Photo of FitnessForBeer
4.5/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: pours a cloudy gold yellow orange, lots of head. Served in tulip glass
S: lots of funk, pepper, fruit, grassy, spicyness. Very aromatic
T: funky, spicy, with a fruity sweetness. It's very similar to the carnevale ale by LA, but has a little more spice. Very dry
M: very carbonated, on point for saison
O: awesome saison available year round from LA, tbh I skip this over for other lost abbey beers, I think that will have to change as this is awesome saison and cheap compared to other la stuff

 497 characters

Photo of Zach136
4.22/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

750 ml bottled 6/10/2013. Poured into Lost Abbey Teku, reviewed live.

A - Burnt orange with a slight haze. Small white head that dissipates a bit too fast, but does leave solid lacing while it sticks around.

S - Intense orange peel and fruity Belgian esters. Don't get any ginger that Lost Abbey describes, little to no funk/acidiy.

T - Bitter orange, peppery phenols ov a sweet malt backbone. Earth hops in the background, very slight alcohol presence. The ever so slightest lemon acidity shows up as it warms.

M - Medium bodied, high carbonation, drying finish with a lasting pepper linger.

 596 characters

Photo of biboergosum
3.83/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

25.4oz caged and corked bottle. Thanks to hoppypocket for the trade! Very Celtic looking cross on the label - or maybe it's just the accompanying Flogging Molly.

This beer pours a rather cloudy, yet bright medium golden yellow colour, with two fingers of fluffy, loosely foamy marshmallow white head, which renders a bit of melting layered ice cream cake lace around the glass as it gently subsides.

It smells of soft, semi-sweet grainy pale malt, buttered toasted biscuits, spicy clove and neutered black pepper, banana chips, a subtle tint of musty funk, and hay-like, lemongrass hop esters. The taste is more gritty, bready and biscuity pale malt, a touch of caramel, lemon rind, sassy earthy yeast, fruity white wine, clove, dried banana, white pepper, floral honey, and pleasantly understated earthy, leafy hops.

The bubbles are decently active, and on the edgy side of frothy, the body a sturdy medium weight, and generally smooth, the yeast and burgeoning alcohol notes starting to eat away at it after a wee while. It finishes off-dry, the underlying malt heady enough to still entertain all that yeast, fruit, spice, and now, booze.

A fairly blusterous and straight-up solid saison. While heaviness isn't normally an attribute of the style, the weight here more or less works, soaking up some of the more wayward spice and yeast, and somewhat justifying the heat from the not-that-high ABV. Another worthy enough offering from this 'brewing project'.

 1,463 characters

Photo of elNopalero
4.33/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This pours a straw gold with light foaming. The aroma is slightly bready, yeasty, and estery, with some peppery notes. I found some straw, and maybe a wet hay funk, as it opened.

Tastes peppery, with yeasty bready characteristics and a bit of a funky wet hay character. It’s estery and floral with a pleasing bite. Enjoyable.

 328 characters

Photo of chinchill
2.69/5  rDev -32.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

On tap at the brewery in San Marcos.

Pours amber with a white head that soon reduces to a ring but leaves some lacing.

Aroma: medicinal, herbal and fruity (orange peel) aroma with spices.

Flavor: more spicy and less fruity than the aroma, and not as medicinal. A random clash of yeast and spice flavors.

Feel: medium body; light-medium carbonation.

O: not a good mix of flavors.

 385 characters

Photo of zhokar
4.01/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A - Hazy golden yellow with a very small head

S - Spices, citrus, bit of banana

T - Cloves, pepper, coriander, orange peel. Some tart/bitterness as it rolls back. Can just taste the alcohol after the finish.

M - Moderately carbonated. Crisp and prickly.

O - Not my favorite farmhouse, but still a great example of the style. Definitely a summer beer.

 354 characters

Photo of Smurf2055
3.33/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

On tap at Naked City.

Pours golden with little white head, good lacing.

Smell is funky, wet hay, can finally understand what a "barnyard" smell is now.

Taste is slightly bitter, mellow, funky, like a bitter wheat beer.

Light bodied and dry, crisp, refreshing.

Decent beer. Not sure if it’s my favorite style though.

 327 characters

Photo of pknyc
3.53/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

This is believed to be 2014 vintage.

A: There was a very tough cork pull, which ended with a very loud pop. Poured a four finger white head with an aggressive pour. It took a while for the head to rescind; but when it did, it left nice lacing and resulted in a film. The body was gold, maybe a very light amber, cloudy/opaque, but I'm not sure if that was because of the carbonation.

S: Lemon, lemongrass, grass, a dash of funkiness, cereal. Smells like a little more time would have helped this one out to bring out a little more funkiness. I'm not sure about the spices, but it is a little herbal, and perhaps white pepper.

T: Not as much as the nose and a bit disappointing. Peppery and grassy. Losses much of the lemon/citrus that was in the nose. Perhaps it was too cold at fridge temperature? It got more herbal notes as it warmed up.

MF: Prickly and dry, but more coating that a saison. It was more akin to beire de garde in the feel.

O: I had previously given this one a 4, but I don't think that's the case now. It could be because this one is fresh and the other had some more time on it to bring out some funkiness? I'm not sure, but this wasn't particularly interesting.

 1,188 characters

Photo of BeerEngineer
4.39/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

General - Got this a couple of days ago in the corked 22 OZ bottle. The cork was extremely difficult to get out on this, toucher than any other corked beer I've had. Poured this into my New Belgium Tulip Glass.

Appearance - Great fluffy white head that seems to stand for days. Beautiful light gold color. No hazy to this at all, I feel like I could read a book through beer.

Aroma - The scent is of citrus with a hint of banana. There is also a touch of malty sweetness that is in the background of the aroma. I think that I'm also getting a touch of apricot. Really lovely smell that fits the style very well.

Taste - Summer in a bottle I'm convinced of it. This is an awesome Saison. It dries out your mouth completely and is really refreshing. There is a cloying sweetness with this one that doesn't overpower. The aroma of bananas doesn't hit the palate thankfully but there is still a fruitiness to this. I think that it's the apricot I was tasting. This yeast did amazing things. There is a alcoholic burn on the back of the throat but it's not offense, actually I think it is very nice. It let's you know that you're drinking something stronger than a typically light summer lager (mass market non-sense). There is a spice that is with this also, I can't figure out exactly what it is but it's very light.

Mouthfeel - It's got a moderate body, maybe a touch on the lighter side of moderate. If you get any of the head it's great, creamy and fluffy! The carbonation is high and very refreshing.

Overall - Awesome Saison. This would be a good one to get someone who has never had a saison. it's not overly spiced or overly fruity and very refreshing. Great beer that will stay in my rotation all summer long.

 1,722 characters

Photo of Ri0
4.01/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

poured 25.4oz bottle into teku glass.

A - Nice hazy goldenrod color with a cloud white 2 finger foamy head. Dies down into a nice collar around the glass. Some lacing.

S - Light notes of funk, grass, lemon, yeast. Maybe some esters of banana and clove with spice. Wasn't strong scented even in the teku.

T - Yup this is a great drinking Saison for hot weather. Nice light lemongrass, lemon, yeast, with just a touch of tart white grape. Hints of banana and sweet clover with mild spice. Enjoy the taste of this.

M - Plenty of carbonation, yet light and crisp. Goes down smooth and easy.

O - My first ever Lost Abbey and it was a nice Saison. WI does not have many Saisions, so it is always nice when BA's can bring me some. Special thanks to Chris.

 754 characters

Photo of superspak
4.22/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle into tulip glass, bottled on 5/21/2012. Pours hazy golden amber color with a nice 2-3 finger dense and fluffy white head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Spotty foamy lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of big lemon, pear, apple, grape, ginger, grains of paradise, orange zest, clove, pepper, herbal, honey, light funk, and earthy yeast esters. Fantastic aromas with great balance and complexity of spices and yeast esters with moderate malt presence. Taste of lemon, pear, apple, grape, grains of paradise, ginger, clove, pepper, orange peel, honey, bread, light funk, and earthy yeast esters. Lingering notes of light fruits, ginger, grains of paradise, clove, pepper, honey, orange peel, and earthy yeast esters on the finish for a good bit. Damn nice balance and complexity of spices and yeast esters; with moderate malt balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium-high carbonation and medium bodied; with a crisp, lightly slick, and lightly prickly mouthfeel that is very nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a highly excellent saison! All around great balance and complexity of spices and yeast ester flavors; and very smooth to drink. A highly enjoyable offering.

 1,293 characters

Photo of metter98
4.04/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A: The beer is clear light golden yellow in color and has a moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger and a half high bright white head that gradually died down, consistently leaving a thin head covering the surface and a coating of bubbles down the sides of the glass.
S: Light aromas of orange peel and yeast are present in the nose along with some hints of yeast.
T: The taste very much follows the smell and also has some hints of ginger with some peppery spices towards the finish.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied and rather dry on the palate with a moderate to high amount of carbonation.
O: This saison is a very good representation of the style and I enjoyed the complexity of its flavors and the dryness and carbonation in the mouthfeel.

 772 characters

Photo of Knapp85
3.84/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured out as a hazy yellow color with a thin white head on top. Decent thin retention and light lacing. The smell is slightly funky, a little acidic and floral. The taste of the beer is slightly spicy, some lemon citrus and earthy bitterness. The mouthfeel has a bready creaminess, it's light and slightly refreshing. Overall it's a decent Saison.

 348 characters

Photo of alaimoa
4.06/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice golden yellow with white rolling lacing. Great smell of apples/citrus and has a smooth taste that you want to keep taking another sip. Doesnt really leave a lingering aftertaste except for some sour fruit but definitely not a bad thing. Great for sitting in the sun and drinking.

 292 characters

Photo of raynmoon
4.02/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a: A nice hazy orange color with a small head that faded pretty quickly. Looks nice.

s: Big yeasty notes, some bread and a nice apple/ light citrus. Not overwhelmingly strong though.

t: A slight tart/ bitter note that goes into a the yeast breadiness. Nothing too bready.

m: medium carbonation, perhaps could use more. Not too thin.

Overall this is a solid beer.

 370 characters

Red Barn Ale from The Lost Abbey
3.97 out of 5 based on 985 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Extreme Beer Fest® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • 10 Years of BeerAdvocate Magazine

    We're celebrating 10 years of BA mag with $10 print subscriptions for US residents!