Once upon a time, I made a bold commitment to drink everything I could possibly find from the fine folks at Port Brewing and Lost Abbey. Maybe it wasn’t really bold, but when you consider how much good beer is in the market place and how many new breweries are popping up every day, sticking to one brewery is a difficult task. To be honest, the process has been slow. Yes, when I see something really cool from Port/Lost Abbey I’m grabbing it without hesitation. Port’s Mongo IPA is a perfect example of this – Hadn’t seen it before, knew it was great, bought it and loved it. The Older Viscosity? Of course I bought that when I finally found it – Easy decision. Still, these guys make so many damn beers that it’s not always easy to lay down $8 when I’m still trying to enjoy all the other one-offs that are out there from other brewers. Well, yesterday when I was at my favorite package store I decided to just pick at random from The Lost Abbey line and hope for the best. Spoiler alert – Best…Decision…Ever…
The Lost Abbey Red Barn Ale
NOTES: 750ml corked bottle
ABV: 6.7% ABV
APPEARANCE: Dull, hazy yellow.
HEAD: Bright white, 3 fingers easy. Thick, dense, and creamy. Come to think of it, I’m pretty sure I just described the ins and outs of a twinky
LACING: Thick lacing from start to finish – Tightly knit bubbles up and down the glass.
NOSE: Green apple, spice, earthy – Everything you’d expect from a Farmhouse Ale with an additional burst of orange at the end. Flip the label over and you’ll see that it’s brewed with ginger, grains of paradise, black pepper, and orange rind. For once, I get all of that. Huzzah!
TASTE: Spicy and lemony – I guess tangy would be a good descriptor here. Yeast really comes through in the middle in the form of bubblegum esters, maybe even a slight hint of banana akin to a good Hefe. Finish is all black pepper. The taste never changes either. No one flavor over powers the other. You’d think that the peppery finish would kill the next sip but it leaves the palette and opens you up to start all over again. Tart, sweet, bitter, repeat. I could do that all night.
MOUTHFEEL: Incredibly light in body – The only thing holding this beer together is the massive head that you have to break through on every ensuing sip. Ample carbonation, but not so over-the-top that you’ve got pop rocks going off in your mouth.
DRINKABILITY: It’s tart, it’s dry, it’s spicy, it’s smooth – In a word – Complex. For all of its complexity though the Red Barn is incredibly approachable. Generally I’m all for sipping a good Belgian inspired brew, but this baby kicked before I knew what hit me. I ask you, who wouldn’t like this beer?
RATING: 4 Hops