Red Barn Ale | The Lost Abbey

very good
992 Ratings
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: 390 | Ratings: 992
Photo of morimech
3.83/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear golden color with a massive head that had excellant retention before settling to a thick cap. A lot of sticky lacing is left down the glass.

Has an earthy and peppery aroma. Reminds me a bit of a good, hoppy pilsner. A touch of phenols from the yeast rounds things out.

Dry, crisp malt makes this an extremely refreshing tasting beer. Both earthy and peppery. Unfortunately the only that makes this different than a lot of German pils is the phenolic flavor from the yeast.

For a 6.7% ABV saison, this feels like a much smaller beer. Light with enough carbonation to give enough life to the beer.

Deceptively easy to drink by its flavor characteristics. One of the cleaner tasting American saisons I have had.

 727 characters

Photo of beertunes
3.48/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle poured into 10oz goblet. Poured a clean, clear medium gold color with over an inch of white head that had good retention and very light lacing.

The aroma had yeast and spice upfront, with some good, earthy base grains in the background, but the overall scent was a bit subdued. On the tongue, the flavors were bolder and more clearly noticeable. The grain provided a good, solid base for the spiciness and yeast flavors to play off.

The body was good, crisp, dry, and medium. Drinkability was very good, this was the rare instance that I didn't mind the usually hated large format bottle. Overall, a pretty nice example of the style. Certainly worth grabbing if you see it.

 689 characters

Photo of drpimento
4.68/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Wow, excellent beer! Poured at a good good temperature with a mammoth, super frothy, foamy, billowy, off-white head and lots of clingy lace. Color is a very slightly hazy straw amber with some bubble trails. Aroma upon first pouring had a fleeting perfumey, fruity, honey, mustiness that quickly was replaced by malt, yeast, herbs. Flavor's somewhat like nose, has a great bitter-carbonic tang balance with just enough sweetness to make this incredibly tasty and drinkable yet satisfying. Body and carbonation are perfect - great burps too. Finish is like flavor, of average length, and a bit boozy. One of the best saisons ever - including any Belgian.

 653 characters

Photo of smakawhat
3.81/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a tulip glass.

A somewhat murky yellow and green, with faint pinhead rising carbonation of white. Head is monstrous and large three fingers, creamy and rich. Clumps with lots of retention and chunks of lacing.

Nose brings some mild butter, but some crisp floral sensations. Faint candy sweetness. Light very hiding lemon. But the butter dominates, slight diacetyl.

Palate seems at first very wet, but then a giant malt thickness comes in with really tight and crisp carbonation. Very spritzy and extremely quinine tonic water palate with richness. Yeast crispness and rich malt feel on the finish. Sharp bite to this on first sip, with a quick bitter hop pine sensation. A real impressive mouthfeel of large/tight carbonation and also density. Flavors meld solidly, not wonderfuly though.

Overall a solid saison worth trying, I would have again easily.

 884 characters

Photo of CommanderOfAwesome
3.19/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

750 ml bottle poured into a wine glass.

A: Clear golden color. Tons of Carbonation.

Smell: Intense musty smell. I know understand the "barnyard" smell description. Also getting a big bready smell. Tad bit of spice on the nose as well.

T: Spicy, peppy fell. Getting a stong black pepper taste with a bit of citrus thrown in late. Strong dry finish. Has a bit of funk that I can't place.

M: Medium bodied, with a ton of spice and activity on the tongue.

O: Decent farmhouse, I tend to like less dry finish on my saisons.

 528 characters

Photo of rfgetz
3.87/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a slightly hazed gold, modest cap of white froth for the style. Scent is big on bready and spicy qualities, notes of citrus zest and candy sugar. Bready, peppery, zesty citrus and light sugar... missing earthy grain profile prefered in style, but still good. Medium bodied, slightly less bubbly than others, dry finish. Solid flavored saison, but lacking in authenticity.

 377 characters

Photo of afrokaze
3.92/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottled on 5/10/11, poured into Stone IRS tulip.Been meaning to try this for a long time, thanks for the random gift mom!

Pours a bright hazy orange with good 2 finger head and decent lacing. A little sediment at the bottom of the glass.

Smell is dominated by bready, clove and spicy yeast, light lemon citrus, pear, apricot, some phenols, musty barn and a hint of heat.

Mix of bready malt, light pils malt sweetness and lemon citrus, followed by clove and black pepper from yeast, apricot, pear, slight tart tang, with semi-dry finish and spicy herbal hops and rustic funk. Alcohol is well integrated but noticeable after two glasses.

Mouthfeel is substantial but not cloying, medium carbonation, finishes with some sharp tannins and lingers for a decent time after each sip.

Another new take on the versatile saision style, this one has a good backbone and demands slower sipping, but rewards with some depth and spicing that suits the yeast rather than clashing with it. Light citrus and moderate hopping set it apart but it still feels authentic.

 1,055 characters

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

First had: on tap at Capone's, Norristown, PA

Poured a hazy golden-yellow with a nice, foamy, white head; decent retention and lacing. Aroma is loaded with yeast and barnyard funk, notes of citrus and peppery spice. Taste is sweet and malty up front, hints of stone fruit, quickly replaced by yeasty funk, peppery spice, pale biscuity malts, lighter notes of ginger, citrus, and herbal hops. Light-medium body, fairly dry finish. Pretty good overall.

 451 characters

Photo of LeeryLeprechaun
4.32/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer pours a brilliant straw yellow (I was a little disappointed it was not red) with very little head and lots of rising bubbles.

The aroma is of cloves and spices, very enjoyable and complex.

The beer tastes of white pepper, spice, a little sweetness up front, a nice clean finish, some clove.

Nice medium body.

Well done overall for the style, well spiced so that you can not pick out any given spice but that they all combine to make a nice bouquet for both the aroma and taste. Very nice treat.

 503 characters

Photo of tilopud_rye
4.17/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This bottle pours a nice clear applejuice like color with a stream of carbonation bubbles rising up to a thick two finger head that eventually retains to one finger- stays a thick finger til its drank to the bottom. The smell alone is refreshing; tingly orange peel forefront with yeast and spice bitterness. A very earthy aroma that is very relaxing to enjoy. Taste has more of the yeast and spices used- but very balanced out with slight citrus sweetness of the orange peel. Feels great to drink- nicely carbonated and light in the mouth while the head foam finds its spot on the roof. The only other Saison I've ever had is Saison du Buff- the Stone collaboration. I really like that one but if I had to choose one to drink regularly it would definitely be Red Barn.

 769 characters

Photo of BeerManDan
2.63/5  rDev -33.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

When poured into a pint glass, the color was of a hazy wheat yellow, with a lot of foam and a fair amount of lace. The smell of carbonated citrus was very evident, not impressive. The taste was a load of carbonated citrus acid with a hint of lemon and not much of anything else. WAY to acidic on the tongue, palate and stomach. Big aftertaste of bitter, acidic flavor. Not a typical Lost Abbey Ale in my mind!

 409 characters

Photo of megahurts4
4.15/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Lost Abbey Red Barn
On tap at The Libertine Pub in Morro Bay, CA

Appearance: orange, large head, and some good lacing.

Smell: yeasty grain.

Taste: yeast, grain, and hop.

Mouthfeel: Medium.

This is a good brew. It is very yeasty, but seems to have more of that raw flavor.

 289 characters

Photo of StephieRaye
4.03/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aroma: Moderately spicy nose, light fruity esters, slight sourness
Appearance: Pale gold-orange hue with large rocky head that persists. Lightly hazy
Flavor: Initially earthy-spicy from yeast derived character and added spices, then fades to acidic bite that then fades to light malt background. The finish is dry and mildly bitter. Malt character is smooth and lightly sweet, but is paled by the spicy notes and crisp sourness that finally concedes to a light hop bitterness. Displays a dry, earthly, and almost mushroom-like quality with light peppery phenols.
Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation and prickly acidity.
Overall: Complex and intriguing brew with rustic charm, sourness, and brings a great american character to a traditionally foreign brew.

 769 characters

Photo of Suds
3.89/5  rDev -2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer, from a 750 ml bottle, is a cloudy, hazy, brownish-gold color. The head is thick ans staying. It's a wild and funky beer...yeasty, fruit, some sugar and spice. The taste is more balanced than expected. The taste is light, but earthy and damp. It doesn't get to sou, but is certainly wild.

 298 characters

Photo of jtierney89
3/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Another cork from lost abbey that requires a bit of teeth.

Hazy bright orange hue with a billowing white head that very slowly recedes down the sides of the glass.
Funky nose of horse blanket, spoiled fruit, earthy yeast, and snappy bubblegum. Bread thats still being cooked comes to mind as well. Slightly phenolic, touch of band aid.

Brisk effervescence. Lingering semi-sour, semi-dry finish. Unique earthy hop bitterness as well. Well blended subtle flavors of phenols, drying/bittering spices and semi-sweetness/tartness. The beer is kind of all over the place presenting lots of different flavors at different times. The flavors do all go together pretty well but this isn't your traditional funky saison. This thing has some sort of other funk going on. It's kind of like they took all of the strange flavors of a saison and based it off that. The beer finishes spicy and bitter.

The beer holds up well and is definitely unique but it's also an acquired taste for those that have already acquired quite a lot. Unique and well brewed but well... just a bit off i guess. Sweet, sour, rich, and bitter. Try wrapping your head around this beer.

 1,151 characters

Photo of evilkalla
4.46/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Serving: 750ml bottle into an ale glass.

A: Pours a cloudy, somewhat pale yellow with a quarter inch or so of head on it. Very nice overall appearance.

S: Some hints of fruitiness and funkiness, but very subtle.

T: Very interesting. The blend of yeast that was used adds a LOT of different nuances here. There is the slightest hint of funkiness inside of the expected tartness and fruitiness you would expect from saison yeast. The beer itself has loads of spiciness, pepper and lemon zest. Dry and bitter on the finish, with some hints of earthiness. Very, very nice.

M: Good.

O: I was surprised at how many layers of flavor there are in this beer. This is a very, very good saison. Definitely worth the purchase.

 720 characters

Photo of HopHead84
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


Draft at Lost Abbey.

A: Yellow gold. Nice color and good clarity with an inch of white foam. Lots of lacing.

S: Pronounced black pepper and orange peel with soft floral notes. Apple blends with pear and grains of paradise. Ginger is pervasive but well integrated.

T: Black pepper up front with earth and pear. Ginger makes an appearance with grains of paradise trailing behind. Orange peel is apparent. The finish is dry and lightly peppery with lingering apple and pear.

M: Lower medium body with upper medium carbonation.

Overall: A nice Saison. A little heavy on the ginger for me but still enjoyable.

 620 characters

Photo of Nay
4.41/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Looks exactly like Dupont's saison. Simplier, but tastier and more drinkable than Dupont's. Nicely dry, spicy, phenolic (touch of clove), hoppy bitter. Bitter orange or seeds of paradise perhaps, but not brett. Less pilsner flavor than Dupont's too (not a bad thing).

 267 characters

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

A - Cloudy orange-gold with a rocky white head that hangs around for some time, eventually settling to a thick cap while leaving spotty lacing clinging to the glass.
S - Definitely on the sweeter side of the Saison spectrum, lots of over-ripe pear, honeydew melon, honey, bubblegum, and a touch of spicy coriander.
T - More ripe pear, grainy malt, honey, and bubblegum with a much more prominent spicy white pepper and coriander character then the nose suggested.
M - Crisp and refreshing, with a spritzy, medium-thin body and sharp carbonation.
O - A solid Saison, but I prefer Lost Abbey's Carnevale to this one.

 614 characters

Photo of brewcrew76
3.8/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Slightly hazy deep yellow with a thick rocky white head that stays behind. Looks like you could float a quarter on top of it.

S - Clove, coriander, floral hops, spicy yeast, lemon zest with underlying graininess.

T - Spicy with lemon and banana, light bubblegum, floral hops, bready malts with a lingering spice finish.

M - Medium mouthfeel with fizzy, high carbonation.

D - A solid saison that drinks a bit sweet. Would like it a little drier tasting.

 460 characters

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at The Los Abbey/Port tasting room in San Marcos, CA.

Pours a slightly hazy gold with a white head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Foamy rings of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smell is of grain, citrus, spices, and yeast. Taste is of grain, spices, and yeast. There is a mild citrus zest bitterness on the palate after each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good saison with some nice aromas and flavors.

 488 characters

Photo of kojevergas
3.28/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served on-draught into a stemgoblet at the Yard House in downtown Los Angeles. Reviewed from notes. Cost was $6.75 USD plus tax and tip. Expectations were high given the brewery.

A: Pours a three finger head of slight cream, white colour, fair thickness, and great retention. Colour of the beer is a hazy lemon yellow.

Sm: Lemon esters, biscuity yeast, wheat, and maybe bretts. A mild strength aroma. Clean and inviting.

T: Yeasty, with lemon citrus esters, and a wheat foundation. Crystal malts. Clean and refreshing, but simple. Very well balanaced. Nicely built, but the simplicity is bothersome. No layering is present here. The yeast is the best aspect. Structurally sound, with the lemon coming through most on the climax. I like it.

Mf: Smooth and wet, suiting the flavours. Quite light on the palate, complementing the refreshing feel. Not too thick nor too thin.

Dr: Very drinkable. Hides its ABV well. A bit pricey on draught. Drank just grand out of a goblet. I wouldn't have it again if other Lost Abbey beers were available.

It would pair well with food.


 1,084 characters

Photo of BeRanger
3.65/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a snifter from a 22oz bottle.

A: Pours a murky/burnt orange with plenty of white colored head. Good amount of lacing.

S: Malts, Yeast, Lemon.

T: Grains, Apricot, Earthy tones with a little bit of zest.

M: Medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation, it finished pretty dry.

O: Not my favorite Saison but certainly not the worst I've had. This is my first Lost Abbey and unfortunately it's not a good start. It just didnt work for me.

 455 characters

Photo of Gavage
4.12/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: pours a clear yellowish orange color with a two finger head that slowly falls. Moderate lace develops.

Smell: yeast, a general spiciness, fruit sweetness, and a earthy tone is very easy to detect.

Taste: grass, green apples, pears, a nice funkiness, and some earthiness too. Pepper lingers late. Bitterness is nicely balancing.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied. Crisp to start, less crisp and a bit dry late. Long lasting aftertaste.

Overall: A very enjoyable saison. Loads of spiciness and funkiness to keep interesting throughout. Nice beer.

 552 characters

Photo of thagr81us
3.86/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks goes out to my doppelganger for sharing this one with me on Super Bowl Sunday as a pre-game snack! Served from bottle into a Bell’s stemmed tulip. Poured a hazy yellow-orange with a four finger pure white head that continued to grow throughout the glass. Yes, that’s right, GROW! It maintained phenomenal lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, earth, spices, fruit, and earth hop. The flavor was of sweet malt, earth, fruit, earth hop, spices, and subtle banana. It had a light feel on the palate with medium carbonation. Overall this was a fairly good brew. The look of this brew was what I would want ALL of my Saisons to look! Not much can be improved on that. The flavor however left me a little to want though. The aftertaste just hit you in the face with dirt if I am completely honest. It wasn’t bad, but definitely not ideal. Still a great beer to try if you have not done so before.

 937 characters

Red Barn Ale from The Lost Abbey
3.97 out of 5 based on 992 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.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.