Red Barn Ale | The Lost Abbey

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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

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Reviews: 390 | Ratings: 992
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'.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Photo of blankust
4.11/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served from bottle into chalice style glass

Appearance: cloudy yellow with nice 1/2 finger white head, lots of lace
Aroma: Hoppy aroma with slight funk
Taste: very smooth, nice metallic hoppiness, spicy, can taste a little horse blankent, hops last all the way to the end.

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Photo of SiRCRX
4.39/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

poured into my Lost Abbey teku, a beautiful opaque marmalade color with a large foamy head, lots of little bubbles, and large clouds of lacing. The smell is spicy, pepper & coriander, and faint solvent, as well as banana. Mouth-feel is medium, slick, and tingly. Taste is spicy pepper, coriander, citrus, very fruity, with spice being the focal point. Finish is quite dry, and begs for another sip, I like it!

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

Poured from 750ml corked and caged bottle into stemless wine glass. Pours a golden straw color with a finger of foamy head. Great belgian crisp fruity and straw aromas. Flavor of slightly fruity, like cantalope or grape, mixed with the typical belgian yeasty earthy spicy saison flavor, with a slight pepper finish. Perfectly dry and tart for a saison. really nice brew, but my only complaint is the price. Its deff well crafted, but I think it was around $15+. I bought in Philly, where I hear you have to pony up a big city beer tax...but im not sure id get again at that price.

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Photo of kagent777
4.52/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle from Marnia while she was in California in October of 2011. Poured into my perfect pint. The cork popped with a satisfying pop.

Appearance: A slightly hazy straw with a huge rocky head. Obviously left lacing and dollop on my nose as well.

Smell: Citrus and coriander with wheat and light malts. Pleasant and no surprises.

Taste: A very satisfying mix of complex flavors, one of the best saisons that I have had. Starts with a refreshing mild cracker malt with a bit of sweetness that travels through the swallow. Citrus and coriander (not overpowering) jump in right at the middle. The yeast contribute a ton of phenolic, almost bubble gum character to the flavor. An almost unexpected bitterness comes on in the end to really give this one a great balance.

Mouthfeel: For a huge a head as it has, this one does not hold onto carbonation very well. The carbonation is lower and the body is middling and slick.

Overall: I really liked this saison, such a big nice presentation makes for an ideal bottle to share our have with an elegant dinner instead of wine. I will try to pick this up again.

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Photo of Chadhowie
4.35/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

The Red Barn Ale was a pleasant surprise for me. I really enjoyed this Red and loved the combination of fruitiness to bold ale flavors. I had this on tap at Yardhouse and would recommend it. Contains a very rich finish too that was nice and refreshing.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.07/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

a real fine saison, much different than expected, with very little spice or fruit to it, just a whole lot of barnyard funk, which is a nice change of pace in the ever more crowded world of american made saisons. murky pale copper in color, maybe a little lighter than that, with four inches or so of bone white head with outstanding retention. the nose is all yeast, grassy and dry, mouth watering. there is maybe just a touch of lemony citrus to the flavor, but again its all yeast for me. straw and pollen and wet grass. its very summery, august beer, delicate and robust at the same time, no gimmicks. excellent carbonation and a lighter than medium body. its down easy and crackling dry in the finish. had it side by side with the dupont saison, and in a lot of ways i liked this better. it has a great yeast strain, unlike any other i can recall, and the beer just comes together really well. yet another fine lost abbey product, who after a couple of so-so beers is starting to win me back over with stuff like this.

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Photo of MarioM
4.04/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml poured into tulip

A: Dark yellow, cloudy with a nice foamy white head with some nice medium bubbled head.

S: Belgian yeast is very upfront and apparent. Very grain like notes and earthy. Almost lager like in a way with no hot aroma, as expected.

T: Light and earthy. Belgian yeast comes through very well with some good bitterness. Very clean tasting, fits the style well. Balance is good, slightly sweet yet bitterness works well.

M: very crisp and refreshing with good carbonation and bitterness. Earthy character that lingers well. Abv is moderate at 6.7 % but does leave a warm feel after drinking.

O: Good all round Saison, happier than expected but balance was still good.

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Photo of DrDemento456
4.08/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Yet another farmhouse ale I picked up at the house of 1,000 beers. These don't seem to move well so this beer could be over 2 years old. Picked up for 5 bucks.

A - Definitely closer to the style foamy white head around a inch that seems to fizz out slowly (tons of carbonation) color is that of hazy orange yellow tint.

S - Smell is rather timid than most i have purchased which is kind of welcome. Faint lemon tart, some funk, and bready malts seem to lead.

T - Mild but rather good it's pretty much your basic American version of the style yet a with a little more funky yeast. Mostly am tasting the typical mild sourdough flavor with grassy undertones and a mild bit of Brett.

M - As always bubbly light and cirsp. Quite good and rightly on par with ABV.

Overall I quite enjoyed my first Lost Abbey beer. It's light, crisp, with no offensive flavors or bittering yeasts. Worth seeking the other beers out for 10+ dollars? Most likely never.

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Photo of zeledonia
3.28/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Another bottle picked up on my holiday trip to NJ. First beer I've reviewed from Lost Abbey? Surprising, but true. Bottled 4 January 2012.

Pours a mildly hazy medium golden yellow, with touches of orange. Quite a nice color, and just clear enough that I can see the curtain of bubbles rising up. An eruption of nearly-white head gradually relaxes to a thick cap with rolling hills, and leaves big gobs of foam all over the place. Wowser.

Smell is... nonexistent. Even if I bury my nose in the glass, I get nothing. I can imagine some light floral notes, and can almost convince myself of some yeasty aromas. But really, if I were blindfolded, and you held this up to my nose, I doubt I would know it was there. As it warms up, it gains a bit more presence, but it's still really faint.

Taste is earthy, moderately yeasty, with a bitter twist. There's not a lot here that initially screams saison to me, but the yeast and that earthy flavor comes through strong in a second wave. There's also a chomp of flower petal slick/warm/bitter. It's decent, but only a piece of what I'm looking for. Flowers start to get more pronounced as I make my way through the glass.

Medium-bodied, a little sticky. Carbonation is medium-low but persistent, lasting until the flavor goes, too.

Not a bad saison, but not my favorite. It's earthy and mildly bitter, and at times I feel like I'm licking a flower. Looks gorgeous, though.

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Photo of xnicknj
3.7/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

on tap at devils den - served in chalice

Pours a hazed golden color with a thick, frothy white head. Retains for a bit with bubbly effervescence, leaving a coating of film resting on top and patchy lacing on the glass.

Earthy and citrusy in the nose with hints of cracked pepper and orange peel. Light yeasty funk and phenols with some lingering fruit sweetness.

Orange peel and peppery spice up front followed by touches of clove and ginger. Mild backbone with a soft yeast component, adding a touch of funkiness to the beer. Straw and biscuit with some fruit sweetness. Finishes dry and crisp.

Lighter medium body, well carbonated, extremely drinkable and clean on the tongue. I've had this before and somehow never reviewed it - there's certainly more expressive and innovative saisons out there but this is a refreshing example of a clean, quaffable brew.

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Photo of Murrhey
3.72/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured on-tap in a taster at The Lost Abbey in San Marcos, Calif. Reviewed from notes.

A- Half a finger white head. Little retention. White foamy lacing. Golden and clear.

S- Orange, brewing spices, some spicy hops.

T- Spicy, ginger and hops. Citrus rocks it too. Nice hoppiness.

M- Smooth and thicker than I thought it would be.

O- It's ok. Spicy and tasty. Weird smell though.

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.9/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a lightly hazy medium golden yellow in color with moderate amounts of visible carbonation and some orange highlights when held up to the light. The beer has a finger tall foamy white head that very slowly reduces to thick film covering the majority of the surface of the beer and a slightly thicker ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: There are moderate aromas of light fruity yeast, earthiness, and spices/herbs - notes of coriander, ginger, orange zest, and black pepper specifically stand out.

T: There is a light amount of almost cracker-like malts upfront but the taste of this beer are really dominated by the stronger flavors of light fruity yeast and spices - ginger, coriander, orange zest, and the strongest is black pepper. Light amounts of bitterness that fades quickly.

M: Just shy of medium bodied with moderate to heavy amounts of carbonation. Moderate to strong amounts of dryness in the finish.

O: While there are a lot of different spice flavors in this beer, they really come together well and match well with none of them dominating the others. Enjoyable but not super easy to drink because of how dry it is.

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Red Barn Ale from The Lost Abbey
3.97 out of 5 based on 992 ratings.
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