Red Barn Ale | The Lost Abbey

Red Barn AleRed Barn Ale
BA SCORE
78.8%
Liked This Beer
3.94 w/ 998 ratings
Red Barn AleRed Barn Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
The Lost Abbey
California, United States
lostabbey.com

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

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#5,174
Reviews:
391
Ratings:
998
Liked:
786
Avg:
3.94/5
pDev:
10.66%
Alströms:
-
 
 
Wants:
76
Gots:
137
Trade:
2
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 998 |  Reviews: 391
Photo of scruffwhor
4.13/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Very nice soap bubble head with awesome retention. The bubbling itself is constant and consistent in my tulip glass. The color is a harvest amber and very clear bronze.

Full on meadow and farmland melding of earth, spices, and lightly toasted pilsner malts. Earthy hops help enhance the overall earthy aroma of this brew.

Taste starts with light toasted pilsner malt, imbuing soft biscuits and crackers. The middle has an herbal spice and hop flavor that refreshes the palate, along with the awesome bubbly mouthfeel. The finish and linger are a mild earthy bitterness from both spice and hop with just a faint nuance of bread crust on the finish.

 651 characters

Photo of habanosdarklord
4.14/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

poured from a 750ml

This beer pours a nice golden amber color. The head is white in color and sticks to the glass nicely.

The first thing that comes to mind when smelling this beer is zest. Orange zest, lemon, fresh cut grass, funk, malt. There is also a slight sourness to this aroma as well. This beers aroma is great.

The taste starts out with lemon and a little bit of sour funk. Bready finish that's dry. A very refreshing beer. Smooth beer, easy drinking.

I liked this Saison a lot. Great aroma, but wish there was just a little more going on in the taste. Still, great offering from Lost Abbey.

 608 characters

Photo of mactrail
4.12/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Fragrant, zesty ale.

Beautiful amber color. Nice head in the pint glass. Creamy carbonation makes a pleasant mouthful. wonderful nose of fresh barley and toasted brioche. flavors of orange, tangerine with the bitter peel. Quite bitter lingering taste after a few sips. Crisp and tart but well balanced with the fruit and malt.

One of the better Saisons I've had. Tasted at the Pearl in Point Loma, San Diego.

 410 characters

Photo of haazer
4.04/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Served on tap at Ortino's Northside.

A- Nice creamy thick white head about one finger thick. Lasts long, settles down to a nice ring. Blotches of white lace on the glass. A nice golden color, although very clear and filtered. Reminds me a little of a BMC apparance but the head and lace.

S- Grass, barn, and a little hay greet you on the nose. Deffinitely a Belgian yeast profile in the nose, complex and sweet.

T- Pale malts start the flavor, then it gets difficult. A subdued amount of spice, which is always a good thing. A good reflection of grassy hops and citrus flavor. Those are the standouts.

M- Since drinkability is gone, I'm going to work this into the mouthfeel. This is one of, if not the most easy drinking beer. Silky silky smooth on the mouth, it makes it feel as light bodied but if you take the time to get a feel it's almost medium. Crisp finish from carbonation. Just fantastic.

O- This is deffinitely a good saison, the mouthfeel is the highlight. Would certainly have this again. Could see drinking this on a hot summer day.

 1,054 characters

Photo of cosmicevan
4.2/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a - opened bottle and filled my Lost Abbey tulip. Beer poured a transparent orange with soft steady bubbling and a generous 2 finger frothy milk shake like head with thick lacing.

s - classic saison. Earthy, citric, green grape, pare, apple, pepper and a touch of clove. Hint of sweetness.

t - much like the nose, classic saison. A bit more earthy than the nose says and a touch of bitterness. Pretty peppery and again pares, green grapes, hint of apples and a touch of sweetness.

m - medium bodied, good carbonation. finishes a bit dry and a tad bitter.

o - nicely done saison. Pretty classic...with great balance. I like a bit more sweetness and not as dry, but most in this style are like this. This is a very solid saison.

 730 characters

Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: pale hazy orange with a monsterous foamy head. Good retention with lacing.

Smell: Green grapes, orange peel, and slightly peppery.

Taste: White wine grapes.

Drinkability: light in mouth with slight fizziness.

Overall: I liked it and wife liked it too. Bottle opened with a nice pop.

 300 characters

Photo of bucklemyshoe
3.81/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

750 mL bottle at 42 degrees into a Duvel tulip.

A: It pours a cloudy amber-orange color with a huge three finger head that turns rocky late but lasts forever.

S: Orange peel, lots of floral notes, peppery spice, and coriander.

T: Orange and lemon zest, lots of spice, caramel, floral hoppiness, and light green apples.

M: It has a medium-light body with some prickliness and some finishing creaminess.

O: The maltiness is over done from what I like: lemony, peppery, and funky goodness.

 491 characters

Photo of ADZA
3.86/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Love the label of this brew and it pours a deep golden hue with beautiful carbonation that leaves behind a frothy two finger head and heaps of lacing,the smell is barnyard funk,yeasty bread and spicy herbal hops,it has a medium bodied mouthfeel which coats the mouth with tastes of tart barnyard funk,spices,orange rind and finished with a spicy hop bitterness that is somewhat tart aswell and overall its not.

 410 characters

Photo of kscaldef
3.31/5  rDev -16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Bottle opened with a loud pop. Poured into a tulip with an enormous (3 inch) head that receeds slowly leaving nice lacing. Light orange and very clear.

S: mostly just farmhouse yeast while waiting for the head to settle. A little apricot, some apple juice and lemon.

T: Very dry, with an earthiness that I didn't expect from the aroma. A little bready, and reminiscent of a pilsner. Honestly, a bit disappointing here as there's not much flavor.

M: Very dry, moderately astringent, short-ish linger. Bit of a bitter aftertaste.

O: Seems well-made, but just not so much my style of farmhouse ale. I'd like a little less dry, a little more fruity esters.

 659 characters

Photo of Nikokristiansson
4.32/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

had on tap at the brave horse tavern in seattle

a: bright yellow orange, 1/4 inch of head

s: yeast, yeast, yeast. love that smell when it comes to my Belgians. oranges, cloves, and more yeast play with the nostrils.

t: and yet more yeast. lots of citrus in this brew.

m: the tastes of oranges are tasting more like tangerine now. very complex and the different flavors are working so well together.

d: very pleasant drinkability. took my time with this one but i'm a belgian fiend so i could drink this very easily even with that 6.7% in there.

o: great belgian saison style. big fan of port brewing and lost abbey already and this just adds to that list. highly recommended to fans of belgian ales and fine ale in general.

 730 characters

Photo of Cyberkedi
3.85/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a lovely, slightly hazy amber with a very thick off-white head that hangs around for a while. Aroma is strong, fruity, yeasty and malty with hoppy and sour hints. Fruity flavor has malty and yeasty tones, as well as some hoppy bitterness and a sour undertone. Texture is quite fizzy and leaves a tingle that has a tone of grapefruit somewhat like an IPA. This beer is for sipping and savoring, not for swilling. Also, it is best appreciated by itself.

 457 characters

Photo of Chaney
3.95/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I got this one as part of an in-person trade at Sexual Chocolate Day with GatorBeerNerd. Thank Donnie!

A: Mildly cloudy (a bit cloudier as I got to the bottom of the bottle), with a ridiculously large cloud white head, but surprisingly sparse carbonation.

S: Farmhouse funkiness for sure, but with quite a bit of candy and fruity sweetness.

T: One of the sweeter farmhouse ales I've tried, and a good bit of bitterness slaps the palate on the way down as well. The coriander was definitely potent!

M: The carbonation was on the low side, but wasn't offensive. The lacing was fairly substantial and left a sticky, icky trail of bubbles on the glass. Sweet.... but not too....

O: This is one of my favorite styles, so I'm definitely very picky. While this one is not my favorite, I'd definitely drink this one again given the chance!

 837 characters

Photo of aasher
3.87/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I had to pick this one up recently while in Chicago. Anything from the Lost Abbey at 8.99 is worth trying. It pours a murky beautiful golden yellow with a three finger foamy, poofy bright white head. I'd say it's a golden honey in color. The foam takes a little while to calm down. It has multifaceted aromas. Depending on the whiff you take you'll get some yeast, bread, light pale malt sweetness, spice, citrus, or even a touch of sour. The flavor is very dry, spicy, with a light citrus finish on the verge of being bitter. It's tasty and different. It's a little light on the palate and leaves a slightly bitter citrus like after taste behind. It's solid and worth a try.

 675 characters

Photo of SkeeterHawk
4.18/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I got this beer a couple days ago at Hop City (?) in Atlanta and this particular beer was a recommendation by the guy who worked there. He seemed to really know his beer, so let's give this a shot.

Appearance: Pours, I guess, slightly hazy light golden color with a huge 3+" head of cream colored bubbles that grew at least 1/2" after the pour. There was a huge vortex of bubbles rising that was obviously increasing the head.

Aroma: Through the huge head, I get a significant amount of dry wheat and some green floral and slightly grassy hops. There is also a noticeable spice addition in here, but I am not 100% sure what it is, Coriander and maybe Lavender? Overall it is very Saison smelling, so far so good. I am getting lemon rinds a whole lot as the head is starting to fall. There is a very mild funk coming out as the beer warms up quite a bit.

Taste: The flavor is quite hoppy for a Saison and it is coming across a bit like a Tripel with the evident spice that I am picking up. The alcohol may also be contributing to the spice, so it is quite rich. The mouthfeel is medium to light with high carbonation and if it weren't for the burps, this would be a very quick drinker. The finish is pretty balanced but may be overpowered by the hops slightly in the end. The alcohol is reserved as far as warming goes, but the spice is left on the back of the throat to linger for quite some time after the sip.

Opinion: This is a pretty good beer, no doubt. It is a little bit funky, but I like my Saison's a little wilder, personally. This is personal preference. On the other hand, the total hop profile is very dominant on this beer, so I would like to try it again in a couple years so they can soften up some. It is coming across like an Imperial IPA with Belgian ingredients, but I still think that it is close to the style and I am definitely glad that I have finally tried one of The Lost Abbey's beers.

 1,916 characters

Photo of TommyW
4.33/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml into an oversize wine glass.

A- Hazy golden/orange with a sturdy, white head.

S- Smell of grass, citrus, ginger and some mild belgian yeast funk.

T- More citrus and grass with some ginger and yeast character. Not a ton of funky flavor. Overall, a little more subdued than the nose would lead you to believe.

M- Medium body with a nice, crisp carbonation.

D- Really tasty saison; enjoyed this with some crab cakes and it was a nice match.

 449 characters

Photo of impending
4.27/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml into a tulip. Pours a hazy butterscotch orange, towering frothy head recedes leaving excellent lacing.

Aroma is sweet and spicy with quiet funk underneath. Curacao and ginger, clean dirt. Superb

Taste is somewhat discordant, aspects are fleeting. Initially sweet, quickly poprocks, spices and pepper come and go. Level of the funk matches the nose. Mildly dry aftertaste evolves significantly, the end note is of bitter rind. Medium bodied, prickly yet creamy mouthfeel. Delicious at room temp.
cheers
jd

 512 characters

Photo of ehammond1
4.4/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Growler

The Lost Abbey
San Marcos, CA

A radiant and clear golden orange in color with a thin white head. Plenty of beautiful carbonation running straight up the drink. Leaves dotted lacing around the glass.

The nose is bursting first with notes of orange and lemon zest. Along with the fruit there's a floral note here as well, and of course the "farmhouse" blanket smell; oh so good!

After my first sip, I whispered to myself, instinctively and without thinking, "Oh my, this is good." When reviewing a beer I do my best to be analytical and objective, but sometimes that escapes me and instincts take over. A gut reaction of: "Oh my!" has to be a good thing though!
This seems just about perfect. The pleasant fruit flavors are the highlight, but they work best when coupled with the Belgian yeast, a touch of funk, the peppery spice, a bit of warm alcohol, all while ending extremely dry. Exceptional! Let this one warm, as the flavors really come to life as the beer comes to room temperature.
Truly terrific!

A perfect mouthfeel. Well carbonated, medium-bodied, finishes dry. Perfect.

This beer is too easy to drink; it seems like it almost doesn't want you to keep it around long enough to appreciate it for all that it is. I'm happy I had to write this review or I would have downed it a lot faster.

 1,314 characters

Photo of 05Harley
4.18/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled on 12/3/10

Purchased through High-Time Wine Cellars, Costa Mesa, Cali

Price - $7.97/bomber

Appearance: Nice big fluffy head that fades nice and slow, wow!! Pale yellow in color with no sediment. Sticky with wall to wall lacing. Did I mention the head - huge..

Smell: Grassy hops. Strong citrus presence with ginger and spices. A noticeable aroma of funk and belgian yeast as well.

Taste: Spices and yeast. Lemon, orange peel and a bite of hops. A true summer taste and brings me back to warmer times.

Mouthfeel: Creamy with a lite body and plenty of carbonation. Peppery and slightly dry & tart leaving my palate feeling zesty and clean. Reminds me of an irish spring commercial.

Drinkability: A pretty good saison and another fine offering from Lost Abbey. Not overpowering in any category and one I'll revisit during the summer months.

 854 characters

Photo of bamadog
4.2/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to ggwheeler for the hook up of this one in a recent trade. Review is from notes taken on 3/9/2011 and poured from the bottle to a goblet.

Appearance: The pour is a light coppery/lemony yellow in color and it starts with a thin 1/4 finger white frothy head that fades almost immediately to a scant skim and ring around the surface; body is pretty clear and it shows moderately soft carbonation bubbling up throughout; quite a bit of splotchy and spotty lacing is left on the sides of the glass.

Smell: Hmmm... a strange skunkiness pours out of the bottle immediately upon popping the cork and it continues to linger a bit as it sits in the glass but it begins to fade and give way to the fruit and spice; some light fruits, perhaps grapes (?) and a bit of citric fruit; a definite bit of Belgian spiciness -- cardamom, and perhaps an added dash of lemon zest; ends with a bit of a bitter hop presence lying around the citric aspects.

Taste: The skunkiness that is evident in the nose is nowhere near the taste in this beer, but it feels as if it swirled around to present itself as more of a earthy floral presence -- definitely a robust and sweeter beer than I expected - lots of big sweet malts combine with the candi sugar and spiciness that is ever so present in this style; I feel that it has a bit of California twist to it with the underlying hop presence snuck in there and it brings about the citric and juiciness from the hops themselves.

Mouthfeel: Body is of medium weight, and it's like a little dry and a little syrupy all at the same time; it dries to the roof of the mouth but the cheks and far back of the roof feels as if it's dripping; the finish is fairly thick and moderately dry.

Drinkability: An excellent beer to be sure -- great tastes, unique flavors (once the skunk fades); fairly lively body and an ABV that won't wreck anybody's palate. I think this beer would be great in the hot summer months as it comes across as very refereshing.

 1,976 characters

Photo of nickthegun12
4.45/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

the appearance is typical saison...OVERCARBONATED...hugh 5 finger head, i gotta remember to pour saisons slower, and golden hazy look...very true to style...nice nice lacing...

smell is very nice as well!...wheat....with the fresh belgium yeast come to the nose....there is also a pleasant hoppiness too...

the taste is truly where there one stands out!....very fresh....lots of hops and bittering hops too....you really don't see that too much...

the feel is right on....not as dry as i would expect

the drink ability is awesome...especially since they didn't go over the top with the alcohol

 597 characters

Photo of airheadmtrcycle
3.61/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Bottled 12/3/10

You get plenty of time to observe the appearance, as the head is huge and it takes quite a while to recede enough to take a sip. The head is not only huge, but rocky and thick. The lacing is incredible. This is only my third saison, but they all have had a similar appearance.

The beer was served just barely chilled. The aroma is malty, and lightly spiced, but the biscuit-y, earthy smell of the yeast dominates. The flavor is balanced between the sweet malts and the yeast. The spices are pretty reserved as advertised, but they're there and give the ale another dimension that tries to keep things interesting. I'd be lying if I told you I could identify the spices. There's a tad of sharpness from the alcohol which is most welcome and the finish is semi-dry. I would prefer more sharpness than I'm getting. The flavor is not boring, but not exciting either.

The mouth feel is lightly carbonated and smooth, perhaps slightly too smooth. Again, something sharper and more biting would do this ale a world of good.

The drinkability is good. The 750ml bottle almost disappeared in no time. It went well with Vermont extra sharp cheddar cheese and extra fancy giardiniera. I think it would go well with almost any food.

 1,239 characters

Photo of PhillyStyle
4.73/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

1 pint 9.4 oz bottle, Bottled 12/3/2010:

The beer pours a hazy bright orange with a huge head, white, and foamy. Excellent lacing and the head was very well retained. Ultimately settled to a cap that I would have expected on a nice stout instead of farmhouse ale.

Smells like a farmhouse ale should...a nice big aroma. Nice Belgian yeast, sweetness and spices.

Excellent flavor, exactly what I expected, a very nice Belgian malt, a hint of sweetness and some pepper.

The beer had a medium mouthfeel, excellent carbonation, extremely smooth and a nice dry aftertaste.

The beer is extremely drinkable, but I also drank the bottle over a 2 hour time period. Overall, this is an excellent beer if you like Belgian beer. This is probably the best Farmhouse Ale that I have tried.

 779 characters

Photo of harrymel
3.72/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured to NB globe

A: pours a golden straw hue with two finger medium thickness head which resolves to a decent quilt of loosely whipped egg white. Affluent lacing around edges. The rim of the beer creeps up the sides as though begging to rise. Good looker.

S: Banana, clove, over steeped black tea, herbal grassiness, lemon rinds, and the slightest hint of sweet mint. I like the subtlety and complexity of the nose here.

T: Earthy, bitter, sweet, grainy. Whispers of tea, hay, sourness. The nose is more intriguing than the taste. Tannic.

M: Initially quite slicking, the finish dries like a red wine (think cab, syrah, malbec). Steals the moisture from the palate. This makes me require another drink to replenish that initial lubrication prior to the drying. Light body with punchy carbonation. Fun mouthfeel.

D: This is a good beer. I can't say I would drink more than one in a sitting, but 750ml is not a challenge by any means. I'm just now getting into saisons, we'll see how I feel in a couple months about this one.

 1,030 characters

Photo of Janderson91
3.96/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a cloudy bright gold with a huge rocky white head. Leaves very little lacing.

S - Smell is very spicy, peppery, with some lemon and Belgian yeast.

T - Again very spicy and a lot of lemon. Slightly hoppy.

M - Mouthfeel is pretty thin with a lot of carbonation.

D - Pretty low alcohol content, very drinkable.

Not my favorite saison or Lost Abbey beer but still decent.

 382 characters

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

A: Light orange color with very faint head that has OK lacing.

S: Lightly toasted malts, with a fruity sourness that reminds me of lemons and pears.

T: Nice tart sour Belgian yeast on the tongue with a light maltiness in the background. The fruit is not detectable.

M: Medium body, very smooth and a dry finish.

D: Good saison, not overpowering in any way and really easy to drink.

 385 characters

Red Barn Ale from The Lost Abbey
Beer rating: 78.8% out of 100 with 998 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

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