February 3, 2011


Review: Lost Abbey – Red Barn

by admin
Categories: 16C, BJCP Style, Commercial Example, Tasting Notes
Tags: No Tags
Comments: 1 Comment

Occasionally, I will try to post reviews of some of the commercial examples that I pick up.  Especially if I’m doing research for a recipe that I’m developing.  I’ll try to post them in the same format that I would use to score a beer in a BJCP competition.  Since these are my opinions and not a blind tasting, I will not be giving them a numerical score, just a range of where I think it might fit.  Feel free to agree or argue!

Since we’ve just gotten Lost Abbey/Port Brewing distribution in Georgia and since I’ve recently been thinking about saisons, I’ll start with Red Barn

Appearance: Golden orange color with a slight haze.  Thick white head with varied bubbles.  The foam laces the glass.  Bubbles rise up from the glass in thin streams similar to champagne.

Aroma: Aroma is moderately spicy with a light floral note.  Background aromas of citrus rind come up through the background.  Not really all that fruity and no sourness present.  Light ginger presence adds to the phenols.

Flavor: Spice and yeast phenolics dominate the flavor.  Not much fruitiness and no sourness or tartness.  Ginger is easily discernable and also a light taste of the grains of paradise.  Malt and bitterness seem to be in balance with a slight lean toward bitter.  Did not pick up any hop flavors.  Alchohol was not hot or solventy and finish was dry with a lingering belgian aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Body felt very light in the mouth with a nice high carbonation.  Alchohol warming was quite low.  Finish was very dry.  There was no tartness or sourness to the aftertaste.

Overall Impression: Overall, not a bad saison.  I felt that it was a little out of balance as it favored the spices and phenols and covered up and of the citrus aromas and flavors that should have been there.  It’s very refreshing and easy to drink.  I will probably by this again.  If I were scoring this at competition I would imagine it would fit into the 38-44 range.  There were no flaws present and it only needs some minor tweaking to fit within the style guidelines.  If you haven’t had this one and enjoy the Saison style, I say pick one up.



1 Comment »

  1. doug says:

    I tried this beer the other day. I’ll spare you all the details & just mention the differences since most of my comments are inline with yours.

    Mine was brilliantly clear though I did let the bottle warm up for about 20 mins before opening. Maybe there is some chill haze that I never saw…?

    You mentioned ginger and grains of paradise as noticeable – I don’t have a high sensitivity to either so my impression was a more general spice character. So I agree spicy phenolics dominate the aroma & flavor. There might be a little hop spiciness/earthiness/floral character that blends in nicely with phenolics and spice additions.

    The fruitiness was not very apparent; it was mostly a bitter citrus type (rind-like) aroma & flavor. Since you mentioned style guidelines, 16C specifically says that spices should not dominate the balance in the flavor – I think that happens in this case. However, just days ago, I had a Saison Dupont and I didn’t think it was all that fruity either. So, maybe I am looking for the wrong kind of fruity, estery character.

    Overall, I agree – this is a really great beer and I would drink it again…in quantity.

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