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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

For Trade:
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Reviews: 387 | Ratings: 986
Photo of jjayjaye
3.95/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

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Photo of sleazo
4.53/5  rDev +14.1%
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.

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Photo of sessycuban
4.57/5  rDev +15.1%
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!

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Photo of lackenhauser
4.35/5  rDev +9.6%
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.

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Photo of Lothore
3.46/5  rDev -12.8%
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.

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Photo of Wasatch
4.3/5  rDev +8.3%
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.

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Photo of mcallister
4.2/5  rDev +5.8%
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.

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Photo of brentk56
4.42/5  rDev +11.3%
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

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Photo of CharlesDarwin
3.83/5  rDev -3.5%
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.

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Photo of arizcards
4.3/5  rDev +8.3%
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!

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.53/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a light beige color ale with a huge foamy head with great retention and lacing. Aroma of funky yeast with some nice spices and light ester. Taste is also dominated by some sweet fruit notes as well as some spices and the funky yeast. Average body with great carbonation. I thought it was a bit too sweet for my own palate but still enjoyable overall.

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

Had this at the Brickskeller the other night.

The beer pours an interesting honey color with good head retention and nice lacing. On the palate the beer is just delicious. It has some sweet honey and melon flavors, but is not the least bit heavy or cloying. There's a bit of a hop bite in the finish which also keeps the beer from becoming tiring to drink. The beer has a light, smooth finish and is very, very drinkable. The alcohol is very well disguised.

An excellent beer from Port Brewing.

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Photo of MiScusi
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A semi rich gold in color with orange tones. Fluffy/rocky white head with semi aggressive pour, dwindles fairly fast and leaves good lacing. Aroma of fruity sweetness, spice, and earthy Belgian yeast and a bit of sourness.

Taste is sweet, light malt in the background but dominated by a light fruitiness. Finish is a bit dry and peppery. Mouthfeel is very nice, with fine (as in small but precise) carbonation and a light but somewhat slick body.

The taste makes me want to keep going back for more. There's enough going on here with the fruitiness, and light malts that don't get boring.

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Photo of Tim2000
3.39/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Sampled at the 2007 Mondiale de la Bière.

Hazy straw yellow beer with a dense head.

Aroma is musty and funky, a bit on the compost side.

Lots of fruit in this brew. I'm picking up apricots and pears. Some barnyard flavours but no sour notes. Spicy, with mint and black pepper. Fairly sweet for a saison but dries out near the end revealing a moderate bitterness.

Body is quite full with low carbonation.

This beer is surprising and very interesting. The aroma put me off a bit but, like a fine cheese, the flavour more than made up for it.

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Photo of Talisker
3.73/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle received from BlindPig in a trade.

A highly assertive Saison.

Pours into a Chimay chalice a very cloudy whitish yellow, dense white head with tiny bubbles. Lacing is very persistent.

Smells a very nice quality - edgy malt, definitely the Belgian-style yeast, some spice. Maybe a tinge of sourness that I don't like in a Saison. The taste is certainly integrated - follows the aroma exactly.

Not overly carbonated, but the spice or hops lends a just-too prickly feel that I don't love, especially when combined with a slightly viscous aftertaste. I love a crisp, edgy Saison, but this one's a little too pointed to start, then doesn't finish quite cleanly enough to be ideal.

But Red Barn is a very, very good beer. I would drink one again in a second, and ahead of most Belgian-brewed beers of the same style.

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Photo of albern
3.55/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a deep golden orange with a reliable half inch head. There is a goodly amount of lacing, a moderate amount of carbonation, and a slightly sweet, yeasty smell with a bit of hop tinge. The taste is not quite as sweet as the smell would have you believe. There are some discernible spices, a subtle sweetness, with the best part of this beer happening in the middle. The end and aftertaste is a bit tart with a bit too much of a hoppy bite. This beer is a medium bodied ale, enjoyable, and quite drinkable. L'Chaim

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Photo of smurphy77
3.98/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Solid beer, but not as spectacular as some of the other Port beers I've tried.

750mL bottle sampled in Monk's with mussels on a Saturday afternoon. The color is an opaque gold hue with a tall head. Very pleasant spicy flavors in the mouth, with a hint of citrus. There wasn't much scent associated with the beer though, which may be why it didn't reach that top level of complexity for me. Still, quite drinkable and definitely worth trying. Perhaps I should add that, drinking this beer in Monk's, I'm probably putting it up against some fairly tough standards. As far as American beers in this style go, you can't do much better.

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Photo of ClockworkOrange
3.65/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a corked and caged 750ml bottle into my tulip glass. Appears a slightly hazy, pale amber-yellow color with about two fingers of fluffy off-white head. Minimal lacing left on the glass. Smells of mild citrus, spicy yeast, and a mild funk. Tastes of spicy, peppery yeast, lemon, and honey. A little thin in body with medium to moderate carbonation. Worth a shot if you can grab some.

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Photo of meatyard
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy pale orange with a nice white head that leaves light lacing.
The smell is a bit of banana, lemon, pineapple and funk. It's kind of nice and certainly interesting.
The taste is not quite as interesting or nice but stll complex until is warms a bit and then the flavors become more pronounced. It consists of the funk, fruitiness, some pepper, a yeasty bread like taste and light alcohol ending with a spicy bit of bitterness. There is a lot happening in this beer and it's fun tryong to recognize the various qualities.
The mouthfeel is light with a fair amount of carbonation that seems just right for this style.
Drinkability is fine especially for those who enjoy the stye. One 750ml is enough for even those people though
Everything about this beer seems just right for the style and it does it very well. A good saison for those who have a taste for them.

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Photo of GClarkage
4.48/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

11/28/06- Received in a trade with BA member Jetsbeer.

Presentation- 750ml bottle, both caged and corked. No freshness info. Poured into my St. Bernardus chalice.

Appearance- Deep dark orange coloring with a full one inch plus pock marked white head. Huge chunks and gobs of lace caress the glass. Score!

Smell- Tons or tangerine and orange nectar with some lemon rind tossed in as well. Seems very fresh smelling. A bit of some funk going on also with some spicy pepper notes.

Taste- Incredibly yeasty in the taste. White pepper goodness infuses with a fresh orange orchard. Super spicy.

Mouthfeel- Pricky carbonation. Super sharp and crisp. Gets very smooth as it hits room temp and becomes very warming.

Drinkability- One of the top american saisons I have had if not the best. Quite quenching and very drinkable. Props to Port Brewing again.

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Photo of stephendr
3.58/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750 ml. bottle- color of pale gold , with a frothy white head - nose of sour apple (green) , yeast , citrus (bright lemon zest , and orange), grass , spices , and slight candied – taste of sour grass , chalky , cobwebs , candied orange , honey and cloves - body is dry , well carbonated , and slight acidic – aftertaste of orange , yeast , and dry

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Photo of Onibubba
3.35/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

My first from Lost Abbey. Pours an almost too clear gold with a surprisingly short lived head. Whas up with that? Nice smells of very light citrus and pepper. Not much funk. Or more precisely, none. Taste is dominated by that peppery spiciness, and only the slightness sense of sweetness. Mouthfeels seems thin, and even at this low alcohol, that does make an appearance. A buddy I shared this with remarked that this does not seem done. Definately not a favorite in the Saison category for me. This almost seems a higher spiced and alcoholic Witte.

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Photo of UnionMade
4.1/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another bottle from Kristi's San Diego trip. Thanks baby!
Orangey amber, topped with a thick puff of white head. Good clarity. The head settles down quickly, diminishing further into a weak collar. Not uncommon with belgian styles. The color is quite attractive, with a soft glow about it. Very spicy aroma, the yeast apparently putting in double shifts to make this thing happen. Peppery and zesty, with a creamy malt underlayer. Some woodsy notes, maybe from hops, but it's hard to tell. Soft peachy fruit, and a bit of clovey spice/phenols. The flavor opens up with a light and bouyant texture, the carbonation tingling with fine bubbles dancing wildly. Initially mild and sweet, kinda dingy in that belgian malt way, just toasty sweetness with a bit of peachy pear fruit, then the finish rides in slightly before its cue, parading about with amusingly garish spiciness. Very peppery and clovey, achieving something akin to a winter warmer in a ginger-root/cinnamon kinda way. I wonder if this is spiced, and with what? Coriander? Kinda witbier-ish too. Strange brew. Adequate sweetness, the balance mostly served through the yeast character, with little discernable hoppage aside from a vague, flowery tint. Ends off slightly dry, with enough residual sugar to keep this just to the side of sweet. Pleasing and enjoyable, if maybe a bit heavy handed with the spiciness. It's like a saison running on jet fuel.

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Photo of ggaughan
4.07/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sampled at the Monk's Cafe Lost Abbey beer dinner a few nights ago. The beer poured a cloudy orange color with a thick, fluffy white head. The nose of the beer is citrusy (lemon, orange) and has some spice nuances also. The taste is a bit earthy and also has nice touches of the citrus and spice, maybe some corriander. This beer is very smooth and refreshing and makes for a very drinkable beer.

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Photo of EPICAC
3.93/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I had this a few days ago, but haven't had the time or energy to review it. I'd heard good things about Port Brewing Company/The Lost Abbey through various internet sources, so I picked up a bottle of their Red Barn Ale when they popped up at Downtown Wine & Spirits a few weeks ago. I let this warm to around 45º F and served it in one of my Duvel tulip glasses.

Appearance: Pours a hazy golden with a thick, rocky, off-white head that fades to a persistent film and leaves thick patches of lace.

Smell: The nose is sharp with lots of pepper and spiciness. There's also some alcohol evident. Below the spiciness is a sweet malty aroma with notes of honey and fruit. There's also some yeast and grain notes to round things out.

Taste: This beer is initially lightly sweet with some honey flavors. The center becomes tart and citric before moving into the the finish, which is a mix of peppery spice and grassy bitterness. The spiciness and bitterness provide a nice balance to the malty sweetness.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied and smooth with a tingly, prickly carbonation.

Drinkability: The spiciness is nice, but limits the drinkability on this one a bit.

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Red Barn Ale from The Lost Abbey
3.97 out of 5 based on 986 ratings.
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