Red Barn Ale | The Lost Abbey

very good
390 Reviews
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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: 991
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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Photo of Goldorak
4.03/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Peach juice colored, fine microbubbles forming a tight weave of head that held on elegantly.

Smell: Some grass, hay/barnyard, bitter orange peel, coriander. Nothing overly original, but nothing out of place and simply well done.

Taste: Solid, solid body that hits you right from the start, only to give way to the spicy, bready yeast flavors in the middle, and cuts dry with a resinous hop finale. Carbonation is just the way I like it, vivid and tingly. I'm a sucker for Saisons, this one hit all the right buttons for me.

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Photo of rajendra82
3.65/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Received in a trade from BA Dogfoodog, this Lost Abbey brown bomber was caged, corked, and had a painting of a red barn basking in a sunny summer day. The beer came out peach colored, and very cloudy, and the head atop it was craggy and durable. The smell was light and floral, and not a lot of spices were detected in the nose. Typical of the American versions of the style, earthy yeastiness was mostly absent as well. Taste was sweeter than most authentic Belgian Saisons, with floral and herbal flavors from the added ingredients attempting to balance things out. Delicious overall, but had they used a strain of yeast that ate up more of the residual sugars and dried the flavor up more, this would have been a lot more refreshing. I am thinking this beer is more of appropriate for fall than summer. Thicker than anticipated mouthfeel and carbonation was medium at best. A very charming, but off the style Saison.

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Photo of Zorro
4.2/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer is a near clear apricot colored ale with a decent white head.

The smell is sweet and spicy with a good shot of coriander in it. Beyond the obvious there is an aroma of melon in this one. This possesses a fairly strong aroma of honey and powdery yeast. This has an earthy aroma to it I wasn't sure how to describe; it is somewhere between mushroom and peat.

The taste begins sweet and spicy with a taste of cinnamon at the very start. Very quickly this becomes herbal and solidly bitter with a strong hop taste. The whole bottle drinks like this: First sip is sweet and floral and then the next is herbal and bitter, savor the after taste and then repeat.

Mouthfeel is good.

Easy to drink Saison but I don't really think that this is as good as Saison Dupont or Hennepin.

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Photo of OStrungT
4.63/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This beer pours a cloudy orange color, with a yellow tint. It boasts a thick, fluffy white head, with a slight yellow tint to it. The head fades very slowly, leaving many laces.

This beer has a citrusy aroma. I can smell some orange, and some lemon. It has a slightly grainy aroma also. I can smell some spices, like coriander, and some cloves. It has a very slight peppery hop aroma also.

This beer tastes citrusy. Mostly lemon. It has a strong spicy flavor. Cloves, coriander and ginger. It also tastes grainy. It has a sweet flavor as well. It has a slight earthy yeast flavor.

This beer is quite refreshing. It is smooth and crisp. It leaves a spicy aftertaste.

This beer would make an excelent session beer. It is smooth, and it is not too high in alcohol.

Overall: I have never been disapointed with anything that Tomme Arthur has made. This is no exception. This beer is great. Tomme should be brewing in Belgium.

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Photo of IntriqKen
3.68/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A very light clear golden elixer toped with a half finger white head that takes it time melting to very sticky lacing.
Aromas are belgium yeast, barnyard cut green hay, and soft fruits.
Mouthfeel is tingly and sharp, mostly from the tiny carbonation.
Taste is sweet at first then quickly turns crisp and sharp with a bitter citrus sort of finish.
This would be very, very refreshing on a summers day.

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

750ml bottle purchased at Julio's, Westboro, MA. Corked and caged.

Poured in a heavy glass chalice, formed a 1/2" beige head over the almost clear golden amber brew. Head falls gradually, with average lacing. Aroma is spicy, with fruity tartness tickling the nose as well. Taste follows the nose pretty well, spicy malt sweetness upfront, with a bit of fruit, and then some tartness enters and carries on through the aftertaste. Kind of muddied a bit for me. Mouthfeel is ok, a bit prickly though, and drinkability goes along in the same vein. Not quite all I expected here, but still a solid and interesting offering.

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Photo of Callenak
3.88/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Sampled at the new Lost Abbey Brewery this past weekend…

Pours a hazy light orange with a small white head with very fine bubbles. Seems like low carbonation for a saison.

Smell is pleasant, a little spice mixed with a good malt presence. Not as much fruity esters as other saisons, could have been fermented on the lower temperature spectrum for a saison.

Very pleasing and refreshing taste. A fair amount of spiciness but not overpowering, a hint of sweetness, malt and yeast.

This would be a great beer on a nice warm spring/summer day, or any day in San Diego. Wouldn't appeal to much to me in the cold desert during the winter.

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Red Barn Ale from The Lost Abbey
3.97 out of 5 based on 991 ratings.
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