Red Barn Ale | The Lost Abbey

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Red Barn AleRed Barn Ale
Very Good
1,005 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,005 |  Reviews: 395
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.

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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 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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Photo of micromaniac129
4.3/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

golden color with orange hi lights. Thick tall foam head with lite carbonation.
Tart smelling with a Beligum yeast aspect. Think along the lines of Duval.
Malty with some spiciness.
Dry and tart with a thin mouthfeel. A bit watery too, I think.
This is a good beer suitable for great summer fun.

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Photo of thedoubler55
3.78/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Clear orange color, leaves almost no head and very minimal lacing around the glass.

S - Very earthy and hints of fresh squeezed lemons.

T - Very perfumy, taste just like the smell with hints of some pears and apricots, with somewhat alcohol aftertaste.

M - Creamy with some carbonation, very dry as well at first sip.

D - Not to into Saison's but this one was not to bad.

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Photo of glid02
4.22/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at the Brick Store during the LA/Port kick-off.

Pours a hazy golden color with a one-finger white head. The head recedes into a thin layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of light pilsner malts with large amounts of mustiness and hints of grass. Also present are moderate amounts of ripe pears.

Tastes similar to how it smells, though note quite as complex. Moderately dry light malt flavors kick things off and are joined quickly by ripe pears and hints of green apples. Midway through the sip slight amounts of musty flavors work their way into things - similar to wet hay. Light herbal hops come into play near the end of the sip, carrying through to a crisp ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with solid carbonation.

Drinkability is very good. I finished my glass without any problems and could easily have a few more.

Overall I'd been passing over this beer for quite some time when in markets to which LA distributes in favor of more limited releases and now I see that wasn't a good idea. A very good example for the style and one that's well worth a shot.

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Photo of jbertsch
4.34/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Opaque straw color with a billowy white head that never goes away. Terrific lacing.
Couldn't get a ton on the aroma at first, which surprised me, but eventually smelled wheat, grassy hops and yeasty bread immediately after swirling and agitating. Tastes of grassy/straw notes, a little lemon and other spices. A bit of pepper. Mouthfeel is crisp at first, but finishes smooth. Highly drinkable.

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Photo of cpetrone84
4.15/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-pours a crystal clear golden yellow color with a thick creamy white head and sticky lace.

S-the nose has a fair bit of peppery spice and the grains of paradise are quite evident. creamy wheat aromas and some clove with a fair bit of fruity esters in the back of lemon, melon, and banana.

T-the taste is slightly less spicy and belgian inspired and a bit more fruity and sweet. still very tasty as the peppery spice and clove lie up front. the creamy wheat flavors hold in with the creamy full body and the fruits are most dominant as they take over. lemon, melons and creamed banana.

M-good full body with a great creamy texture to it. nicely carbonated, gentle but crisp and present.

D-this is a pretty tasty saison. one of the better lost abbey beers i've had. very drinkable stuff and stays towards the belgian inspiration the style originates from.

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

A - Big, clumpy head, bright white in color and clings superbly. Light and hazy golden color like of lemonade.

S - Dry straw, soil, great yeast character, though not as spicy as most saisons. Large lemon citrus element, too.

T - More assertive than expected. Sweet upfront with a somewhat biting bitterness at the end. Earthy hops, citrus and cracked peppercorns comprise the flavor.

M/D - Light, effervescent mouth feel with a dry finish. Maybe a little too much lingering bitterness, but otherwise very drinkable.

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Photo of BigMike
4.5/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a golden straw yellow. Tons of effervesence and hazy. A whipped cream like head of about two fingers tops it off leaving some great lacing behind. A very nice and traditional looking saison.

S: A nice zesty nose. lemon grassy and spicy. Some nice citrus notes and candy sweetness. Light funky barnyard in the background just after the peach notes.

T: This is one of the most flavorful saisons I've had. Bitter sweet and spicy. Lots of tangy citrus and white peppercorns.

M: A bigger and creamier mouthfeel then I'm used to in a farmhouse. Very smooth and the carbonation tickles the tongue. Very drinkable.

Overall: this is one of the better saisons I've ever had. Great flavor and mouthfeel. Refreshing and well crafted. I really like the lable picture too.

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

Poured on-tap at the Port/Lost Abbey Brewery. The beer is a hazy, yellow-gold color, with a filmy, miniscule head. There is a sweet and peppery nose on this beer, with citrus undertones. The flavor is smooth and round, with heavy pepper undertones to balance the sweet ginger and citrus flavors. The beer has a crisp finish, with the slightest little kiss of hops. There is a nice, smooth finish despite the peppery tones. The boldness of the flavors makes this a low quantity beer per sitting, but unique nonetheless.

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Photo of MbpBugeye
2.69/5  rDev -31.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I received a couple of these in the Birthday BIF. Poured into a Duvel tulip.

A- Really nice head. Perfectly dense with huge rocky chunks of lacing torn off from the rest of the mountain of foam. The beer is a glowing yellow with a good haze.

S- This is a skunky smelling beer. I could smell the skunky aroma right off the bat. Its paired with a light barny funk and lemon zest. Spices, minerals, and salt and pepper round out the nose.

T- I didnt care for the taste of this one so much. Its pretty bitter with a citrus rind and slightly medicinal cocktail. Light funk and plenty of spices.

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Photo of mikereaser
3.78/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

blind beer bif bottle #1
cork and caged 750 ml

Pours a cloudy orangish straw yellow with a big white fluffy foam that left some decent lacing.

aroma is light with some belgian spices and lemon, corriander and some sour apple

peppery, lemon zest, ginger with some nice bitter hops

crisp carbonation, dry finish with an almost tart mouthfeel

the dry finish makes it a little more difficult to drink alot of, but light and refreshing at the same time. It would be a nice summer beer. I haven't had this one, at least that I remember. I'm really curious to see what it is.
and the big reveal...

Lost Abbey Red Barn Ale
Never got a chance to try this one. Very nice indeed.

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Photo of benclimbs
3.46/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

had on-tap at The Page Divisidero In San Fran

I had this in bottle, and despite getting a flat bottle, it was much better bottle conditioned.

smell is almost non-existent in this one, a little bit of orange peel, spice and yeast...not much else though.

taste is good, but a little hop heavy and wheaty for a was very interesting though, a little citrus, a bit of peppery, savoury and sweet spice, and some sour yeasty notes, and a hoppy finish.

mouthfeel is solid...good carbo, good thickness.

overally, this beer was pretty hard to drink for a saison, it went down smooth but was just a little strange for me compared to dupont and the classics, and even other lost abbey saisons.

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Photo of mdfb79
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From 12/04/10 notes. Poured from a 750ml bottle into a pint glass.

a - Pours a murky golden color with two fingers of white head and moderate carbonation evident. Light lacing on the glass.

s - Smells of spices, yeast, light sour fruits, light citrus, and pepper.

t - Tastes of sour fruit, spices, yeast, and pepper.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation.

d - A nice saison with a lot of those classic farmhouse ale characteristics; lots of spice, yeast and pepper. Would like to have again.

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

Pour is a bright orange-yellow gold, nice head and lacing.

Smell & taste: Spicy, recognizable saison elements with lots of zippy fruit. Nice dose of hops that still taste fresh although I suspect this bottle may not be. I get orange peel zest, grapefruit, apricots and pears For some reason I can't help but think of ginger ale. Also a bit of a viognier element.

Mouthfeel: creamy, but a bit thinner and lighter than the top exemplars of this style.

Drinkability: Typical for the better beers of this style, this one is highly drinkable and enjoyable. Towards the end I notice something slightly off about the hops but otherwise I have only good things to say.

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Photo of commish374
4.03/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750mL Lost Abbey bottle, corked and caged. Poured into a tulip glass and served with Thanksgiving dinner.

A - Straw color, but bright under the chandlier in the dining room. Mostly clear with some cloudiness. Three finger head, good retention, fine lacing on the glass.

S - Nose was fainter than expected. Mild barn with citrus notes. Some spice, but not much.

T - Bready and yeasty to start. Dry and spiced (ginger, perhaps?) as it goes down. Citrus and Bitterness to finish. An excellent complement to the turkey.

M - Dry and crisp carbonation like a hard cider. Very refreshing in the mouth. Again, nicely balanced with the turkey dinner.

D - Easy. I finished the 750 by myself.

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Photo of dgfair
3.97/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750 ml bottle poured into La Chouffe tulip.

Appearance - a nice hazy dull yellow straw color with an effervescent white head that leaves lacing around the glass. A thin layer sticks around nicely throughout the glass.

Smell - this beers smells fantastic. Tons of bright flavors here...lemongrass, peppery spice, some light lemony citrus,and a nice light bready yeast.

Taste - not quite as much here as in the nose, but still very pleasant. A very nice yeasty spice appears at the forefront and is followed by some alcohol ester that is not entirely desirable. There is also a slight grassy earthiness that shows up as the beer warms a little.

Mouthfeel - a little thin, but it helps to make the beer go down very easily. The carbonation is very active and tingles as it goes down. I would probably prefer a little fuller and less active mouth on this beer.

Drinkability - s fairly drinkable saison, but i cant say that I'm dying to have another one right now. Overall, a very nice beer from Lost Abbey, but not a complete success to me.

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Photo of axeman9182
3.8/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

750mL bottle, brought home from my BBF weekend adventure and poured into my Duvel tulip.

Red Barn ranges in color from burnt goldenrod (ambient lighting) to bright lemon yellow (fully backlit), and has some, but not total clarity. The first pour yielded about three fingers of head, with so-so retention and no detectable lacing. The second pour though yielded a full extra finger's worth of pure white foam, and retention and lacing are markedly improved. I'll chalk the first pour up to maybe a slightly dirty glass and take most of my impressions from the second pour. Orange and citrus dominate the nose, though the grains of paradise and black pepper are certainly present. I can't really find any ginger though, and ditto that for any malty flavors. There's just the briefest flash of green apple sweetness, and a mere suggestion of bitterness from restrained hopping. Otherwise, this beer is a blank canvas for the yeast and spices to work their magic. Again the orange is the standout flavor, with solid support from black pepper and grains of paradise. I'm used to my saisons being fairly spicy, so Red Barn featuring citrus more than black pepper/clove is a welcome change. I'm a little disappointed that I still can't find any ginger though. A top of the line saison has a truly transcendent mouthfeel, and in this regard Red Barn falls a bit short. Even for what's supposed to be a dry beer it's a bit too thin, crossing the line into watery. At the same time the carbonation is a bit too enthusiastic. Thin and fizzy is not a good body/carbonation combo. That dings the drinkability, but just a little bit. Red Barn is a fine beer, with the prominent orange peel being an interesting twist for the style. Still, I view this as an occasional change of pace beer from some other saisons I'd probably opt for more regularly.

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Photo of TurdFurgison
4.23/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750mL Lost Abbey bottle, corked and caged. It pours a lightly hazed golden color, with a thick and dense foam, exquisite lacing. The beer smells like a classic Belgian pale ale, light esters and possibly a touch of spice. Not far from lighter Unibroue aromas too for that matter.

It tastes much like it smells, really Unibroue-ish and tasty. Light tropical fruit flavors and maybe a little peppery spice. Very nice, with a lasting peppery aftertaste. Light bodied, lots of flavor for the low ABV, extremely good.

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Photo of JRG
4.18/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle poured into a goblet...

appearance: a nice golden hue with a frothy white head... translucent at best, pretty cloudy looking.

smell: not much going at first actually... some hay and a little spiciness, and a bit of citrus hiding underneath... smell improved as it warmed- adding a peppery scent.

taste: very tasty! Much like the nose actually- peppery, citrus flavors with a hint of hay... nicely balanced, and a a little bitterness that lingers...

mouthfeel: light and refreshing, nice carbonation that creates a creaminess of bubbles on the tongue... a little dry, and that's a good thing.

drinkability: I could drink these all day... goes down very easily. I think it would be better served on a Summer day than the Novemeber evening I drank it... but great, nonetheless!

Overally, a very tasty Saison- I'll definietly have another, please! Good job!

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Red Barn Ale from The Lost Abbey
Beer rating: 3.94 out of 5 with 1,005 ratings