Cable Car - The Lost Abbey

Not Rated.
Cable CarCable Car

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
100
world-class

747 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 747
Reviews: 200
rAvg: 4.58
pDev: 8.3%
Wants: 2,544
Gots: 82 | FT: 4
Brewed by:
The Lost Abbey visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Wild Ale |  7.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: stephendr on 08-12-2007

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 747 | Reviews: 200
Reviews by BeRanger:
More User Reviews:
Photo of BrotherDylan
4.74/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

750 ml cork and cage bottle at Toronado during San Francisco Beer at the Russian River tap take over. Vinnie Cilurzo and Tomme Arthur were hanging out having a beer.

This beer is really a treat. Its just the perfect American take on a classic Belgian Stye. It tasted like sour cherry lemonade. Hints of barnyard funk that were buried under the strong lemon tartness mixed with the perfect hint of cherry sourness. The oak provided an unbelievable barrel character that tied the beer together. It's truly a special beer

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.86/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a clear yellow color ale with a nice white foamy head. Aroma of funky notes with clearly identifiable sour notes with some acidic notes also noticeable is quite intense. Taste is also dominated by funky notes with some sharp sour notes, quite a bit of acidity and a short finale. Body is about average with good carbonation. I get what they are trying to do and I also get why people enjoy this but in my opinion while this is a great beer there is a lack of balance and too much acidity in the end.

Photo of gueuzedreg
4.29/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

'13 CC poured into a CS Snifter Black Friday '13

A- Deep golden color. Medium transparency, 1/4 finger lacing with medium retention.

S- Lemons, funk, yeasty goodness.

T- This is a really smooth sour. I have had better sours; perhaps I should have kept this one in the cellar for a couple years. This is also my first CC. I prefer DDG. Just preference. I get yeast>brett funk>lemon>then there is some starch product I get.

M- Very smooth. Great mouthfeel. Goes down smooth with bubbles following.

O- I think this is good, not great. I have the whole vert, so maybe if I popped open the '09 I would get a religious experience, but not yet from the '13.

Photo of warnerry
4.51/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Bottle at Toronado SD.

Pours a clear light peach color with almost one finger of white head. Head dissipates pretty quickly, but maintains a thin collar. Aromas of white grape, brett, light peach and mild funk. Funk is more pronounced in the taste, but is still on the mild side, with nice brett presence. Tart without being overly sour, with a nice white wine aspect to the taste, along with citrus, peach and nectarine. Quite easy drinking. Finish is tart and semi-dry. Mouthful is medium/light with a bit of creaminess. Nice carbonation level. I think I like DDG a bit more, but this is an excellent American wild.

Photo of badbeer
4.32/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

2007 Cable Car, batch 1

Clear golden yellow color with a slight orange hue with a quickly dissipating white head, leaving only a ring around the glass. Lactic acid and citrus in the nose. There's some funkiness to it, but I get more tropical fruit than anything else. Lightly spicy on the tongue with some barnyard funk and a little bit of tropical fruit. As it warmed in the glass, the tropical fruit remained, but more of a foot-like Brett character came through. Medium high carbonation with a dry finish. Drinkability is exceptional; easy to drink a bunch of this, though availability won't allow it. Flavors aren't all that intense, but they are refined and lead to a good drinking experience.

Photo of magictrokini
4.5/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A rare beer that lives up to its reputation. Pours hazy gold with an oily white ring. Lovely perfume nose, sour mash, brett, and butter. Quite sour up front with a rhubarb flavor. The sour slowly turns into a buttery dinner roll. Tannins and oak along with a bit of cheese show up, too. Very acidic at first, but mellows into a nicely vinuous beer.

Photo of ehammond1
4.52/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Bottle (2009)

Toronado
San Diego, CA

(Aged for 2.5 years)

Tasted side-by-side with the 2008 and 2010 vintages.

A bright, clear mixture of gold, yellow, and orange with a nicely-sized off-white head that doesn't last for long. This doesn't leave any cling on the glass, though this is indeed a nice looking beer.

This is a complete, wonderfully smelling American wild. There is lots of bright citrus (orange, tangerine, mango, and lemon) along with big levels of acidic sourness. There's some moderate funk complementing everything nicely. Very, very nice.

The flavor follows the aroma similarly, with lots of tangerine, lemon, and mango flavors, backed up by a high level of tart sourness, and mild barnyard funk. Complete and delicious, though not quite as complex as the very best within the style.

Medium bodied with moderate/high carbonation. A joy to drink.

Simply fantastic.

2008 Tasting Notes (Aged for 3.5 years):
Very little carbonation. No head, no cling. Less sour and less fruit flavors when compared to both 2009 and 2010 versions. Heavy, lifeless body. Easily, the weakest of our lineup.

2010 Tasting Notes (Aged 1.5 years):
Similar carbonation and appearance to 2009. More funk than fruit and not quite as sour as the 2009.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.7/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pale orange color to this one. Slight ring of head around it. Amazing aroma, extremely tart, funky, nothing really fruity to it, beyond what you would think to be lemon based on the sheer tartness, but nonetheless, fantastic.

Taste = sour. Lemon, slight wood notes. Its actually pretty straightforward and not complex, just massively sour, extremely dry. Extremely light body to it, never feels heavy, nor alcoholic. Shit, if you could just chill on these around the pool in the backyard. Gets better as it warms, which I didn't think was possible at first it was so good.

Expensive. Can't get a perfect overall score when you're $40 and only available at 2 bars, one of which sucks ass.

Photo of rudylaw
4.35/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My journey into sours' next stop is another long time want... '09 vintage.

Pours yellow with a large, white head.

Smells of citrus with grapes and peaches. Some vinegar with some puckering sourness.

A shockingly robust amount of citrus bombards the tongue. Mild sourness... am able to pick out those peaches and grapes I smelled. Wet hay and slight leather notes round it out. Delicious.

Perfect carbonation with some serious drinkability for a sour as it's not too sour. Amazing stuff.

Photo of glid02
4.6/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottle consumed at Toronado San Diego - been waiting a while to try this one.

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

Smells of funk - wet hay and leather is the best way I can describe it - along with good amounts of sugar-coated fruits - apricots, pears, and peaches, in that order.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Indistinct malt flavors serve as the backbone and allow funk and fruit flavors to run roughshod. A funkiness as described above permeates the flavor profile, although there's also a certain harsher (though not in a bad way) addition to the flavor profile via the oak. Ripe apricot and peach flavors are at the forefront with syrupt pear flavors lurking in the background. The ending is crisp and leaves just a hint of funkiness lingering on the palate.

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

Drinkability is great. I finished my glass very quickly and could easily have a few more. The flavors are all robust but manage to complement each other very well.

Overall this beer didn't disappoint. It isn't the best sour that I've ever had but it does come very close. Well worth the shot if you can get your hands on it.

Photo of pwoods
4.74/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Anyone that knows me knows that I've been trying extraordinarily hard to get a bottle of this. And anyone that has ever let it known that they've had a bottle knows this as well. I've offered well over $100 worth of very rare beers, many brewery only release and plenty with less than 1000 bottles made.

I've been drinking beers with Shane(beachbum1975) for the past 8-10months or so. We both trade way more than we should. We've always 'unspokenly' tried to one up one another. Well that mother fucker one upped me to end all one ups... but that doesn't mean I won't stop trying :)

This bottle was a belated Christmas gift and presented to Chris(Yetiman420), Steve(FtownThrowDown), and Me(and of course Shane), as a blind tasting for my 500th review. That bastard also just traded for a bottle of the beer I was getting him for a belated Christmas gift. What a D-Bag!

I honestly cannot express my thanks and gratitude, Shane. This was my Holy Grail beer and now my Lost Abbey bottle collection is finally complete, and what's a better way to do it than with a Tomme Arthur signed bottle of Cable Car! :D

750ml corked and caged brown bottle poured into a Duvel tulip. Shared with 3 great BAs.

A: Pours a very murky under ripened grapefruit peel color. A decent sized head forms and holds for a minute or so before falling to a few bubbles. Some spotty lacing throughout.

S: Loads of tart fruits. Lemon, orange, grapefruit, apricot, pineapple, cherries. Some astringent acids from the fruits adds to the tart and sour aromas. Funk is minimal but still lightly present with a touch of wet hay and maybe some light cider vinegar notes.

T/M: The tart and sour fruits are spot on to the nose. Lemon, pineapple, orange are more dominant with cherries and apricot or peach playing more in the back. Really a citrus explosion that is odd in that I normally experience this with loads of bitterness, which this obviously doesn't have. Funkiness is still at a minimum but still retains the wet hay and light cidery notes. I don't think it'd hurt to have some more funk. Tartness really starts to build toward puckering as it quickly warms. Some rustic woody and leathery notes form the barrels. Nice light to medium light body with perfect carbonation. Great dry finish that isn't too tart or abrasive.

D: Extraordinarily drinkable. I could drink this all day every day. The tartness and sourness doesn't linger too strong or long. Very good. Yet again, many thanks to you, Shane. You really made my day and you better watch your back when it's your turn to be given a milestone beer! And a million thanks to the one that traded this to Shane ;)

Photo of mdaschaf
4.49/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Review from notes. Huge thanks to Jay for opening this bottle up!

A: Pours a very bright golden color, very clear. No head formation or lacing, but carbonation bubbles release from the bottom of the glass.

S: Very nice aroma, lots of citrus fruits, some apricot, peach, and green apple. A sharp sour/acetic aroma, very inviting.

T: Fantastic flavor profile, has held up nicely over the years. A great acetic sourness, very puckering. Vibrant lemon, apple, peach, and apricot.

M: Light to medium bodied with moderate carbonation. A great level of sourness.

O: A fantastic AWA that has held up nicely, though not sure how much longer it will hold out. Thankful I was able to give this one a try.

Photo of nkersten
4.6/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

2007 bottle generously shared at a recent Chicago crew tasting, thanks! Pours a golden yellow with no head, some bubbles here and there. Smell is a musky spice, some lemon and acidic notes, a bit of funk. Taste is pretty amazing - tart orange, cinnamon spiciness, sour but very clean. Some mellow peaches in the finish. Mouthfeel is medium/light with a low carbonation, not too dry but finishes clean. An amazing beer, different from any sour I have had. Very, very drinkable.

Photo of augustgarage
4.64/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

2010 vintage imbibed at Toronado in SF. Poured from a caged-and-corked 750mL bottle into a tulip.

Citrine, lightly hazy body with an initially substantial ivory head which dissipates quickly but a rapid swirl promptly brings back a fizzy finger and a more lasting collar. The final pour is opaque, presumably from the yeast.

Wildflowers (pollen?), potent woody funk, plenty of "horse blanket," and orange peel in the nose. The fragrances grow ever more intense and complex as it warms.

Anchovies, kim chee, blue cheese, along with citrus on the palate. Tart and mineral heavy (almost salty) mid-palate though not bracingly sour. Very ester-heavy but not jammy. Somewhat vinuous like a good chardonnay, and lightly tannic.

Zippy, spritzy, and bright mouthfeel.

Exceptionally drinkable (despite some of my adjectives above, this really isn't an esoteric beverage), and a great beer to share with good friends.

Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.98/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2010 Vintage reviewed at Toronado's San Diego. 750ml bottle poured into 4 wine glasses. Shared with schen9303, capra12, and Christine.

A: Pours a fluffy, semi-coarse .5 finger head white head with great retention. Beer is a semi-clear light orange-ruby red. Lacing is minimal and with little stick.

S: Nose is funky with a slight Brett in the back. Notes of lemon rind, citrus, and tartness. Fruitiness is apparent and aromatic and sweet. Lacto and Brett hides behind.

T: Opens with a nice tartness and sweetness. Very fruity. Hints of lemon, unripened peach, and citrus makes this one very fruity towards the middle. Tartness comes back towards the end before finishing dry with a slight Bretty funk. Aftertaste is near non-existant.

M: Light bodied and well carbonated. Lively and coarse in the mouth. Bubbles invigorate the palate. Finish is dry with near no aftertaste.

D: Hugely dirnkable. Very balanced in every way. Tartness is present but not overwhelming and this is one of the fruitiest AWAs that I've had in a while. 7% is not high but alcohol seems nearly non-existant here. Never thought I'd say this but... worth the price!

Photo of hooliganlife
4.2/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2010 @ toronado San Fran

Pours a lignite straw yellow with a hit of haze and a nice tall fizzy head.

Lots of lemon and vinegar on the nose. Subtle malt and citrus hops. Light oak character in the back.

Taste was similar to the smell. Lots of lemon zest with a strong vinegar sourness to it. The malt character really was noticeable in the back. This really reminded me of a gueuze.

Lots of carbonation with a light body. Slight dryness.

Now that I have had this fresh, I prefer this aged. The aged 2007 seemed to have more fruit flavors where as this came across as a fresh unbalanced gueuze. Would I pay forty a bottle again? Most likely...

Photo of nickd717
3.85/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Batch 3 on tap at Toronado for 22nd anniversary. Also had Batch 2 out of the bottle at a Toronado Belgian-inspired beer dinner. I know this is blasphemous, but I consider this beer to be very overrated and only a little above average for an American Wild Ale. I think the rarity of it plays into the high ratings a bit.

A - Slightly hazy golden color with a white head and decent lacing.

S - Funky aroma with Brett, wood, and dry white wine.

T - Very sour and funky with lots of lemon, unripe white grapes, and barrel notes. Fairly one-dimensional in my opinion and does not really stand out above other beers in this style.

M - Soft carbonation, medium body with sharp sourness on the palate and a mouth-puckering finish.

D - Well, the sourness, while not too intense, gets to be a bit much in this case, and I don't think it's all that drinkable overall. Oh yeah, and it's way overpriced at $45 a bottle.

Photo of MiScusi
4.37/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Jessethehutt splurged on this bottle at Toronado, SD. Owe him bigtime. Split 4 ways.

A- golden, slightly cloudy, sudsy white foam.

S- Sour, like these lemon Quench Gum I have, only very light phenols and other funky compounds from the yeast. The acid is pretty prevalent on the nose.

T- A nice balance between sour and sweet. Not a ton of yeast character that I could detect in the taste, compared to say a Sanctification or a Cantillon Geuze. Not as dry in the finish as those either, this one finishes with a lot of sour and a little bit of sweet. Kinda like a sour candy.

M- Light, but at 7% there is some body with it. Carbonation was moderate to high, plenty for the style.

D- Tasty sour, not sure I fully understood it in my 6 oz sample to be able to rank it relative to other great sours I've had, but it was a good beer.

Photo of Alieniloquium
4.07/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 mL bottle poured into a snifter. 2012 bottle.

Appearance - Pours a hazy golden body with the briefest of white heads. Nary a collar as it settles.

Smell - Fruity acidity. Some malt and oak. Fruit is like a light grape, white wine aroma.

Taste - Sweeter than I expected. Oak is strong. White wine notes all over. Lactic sourness. Malty.

Mouthfeel - Medium heavy body. Medium carbonation. Oaky and moderate sourness.

Overall - Not a complex sour, but very well made. More than the sum of its parts.

Photo of deathcharms
5/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

09' Bottle opened for my coworker and I at Toronado SD 6/29/11. What a treat!

Pops open with a bit of a gush, but the pour smacks the head in the face and you get a pour with almost no head. Bubbles gently caress the outskirts of the bottle. It pours a golden rod yellow and is very opaque. The smell is very fruity, but not very yeasty as some American Wild Ales tend to be. The tartness is also very well toned down in this beer. The mouthfeel on this beer is very playful its not too light. A very refreshing beer! Overall this beer is a definite A+ but the drinkability of it is kind of low unless you have an in with Toronado crew.

Photo of Kegatron
4.52/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This was the 2009 vintage on tap @ the Toronado (San Diego, CA) on 11/11/09. Special tapping of the '08 and '09 during San Diego Beer Week. This was a pretty generous 8 oz pour (especially compared to what is looked like some people got of this) served in a tulip glass.

Pours a hazy rosy copper, with a thin covering of brite-white foam. Retains mostly with some froth around the edges, leaving a moderate smattering of lacing behind. Nice look here. The aroma is sharp in the nose with fruity citrus, that has a touch of acidity to it. Sugary and doughy sweetness fills out the middle portion of this, while I'm getting a good bit of slick woody barrel notes on the backend. Mostly though, this is all about that vibrant smelling fruity tartness. I could stick my nose in this all day.

The taste is straight up bright feeling citric tartness, with a touch of vinegar on the edges, but this never gets souring at any point during the glass. That same mix of sugar and bread from thh aroma gives off a cookie dough vibe, that when mixed with the citrus, has that same fantastic SweeTart character that I'm finding more and more in some of these top-grade Wild Ales. For me though, the backend of the profile on this is what makes it. Vivacious citrus notes of apricot, grapefruit, and lemon rind, that blend into a dry lingering oakiness which hangs on the tongue. Just a lovely, lovely, finish here. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, with just a beautiful feeling mellow creaminess to it that runs the whole way through the swallow. Some slippery woody slickness runs underneath but the carbonation that runs on top of it is just some of the most smooth and easy that I've felt in quite some time. It's not wonder that I'm rapidly losing liquid as I review this.

I had the opportunity to try some of the '08 next to this and I must say that I think I prefer this fresh, as the citrus is more pronounced and the funk hadn't yet started to overtake it. That said, this stuff is the real deal, and I feel very fortuitous to have been able to try this on draft. I think that there might certainly be some comparable Wilds out there that are a bit easier to get but by no mean pass this up if you get a chance to try it.

Photo of thagr81us
4.5/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this one during the 'We Want The Funk!' tasting that was graciously hosted by beermeX2! Big thanks goes out to beermeX2 for sharing this one with the group! 2010 Vintage! Served from bottle into a Mikkeller flute. Poured golden yellow with a half finger pure white head that subsided to a minimal amount slowly. Maintained excellent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma ws comprised of sweet malt, fruit, sour, and funk. The flavor was of sweet malt, sour, tart, funk, and fruit. It had a light feel on the palate with high carbonation. Overall this brew was quite excellent. My only gripe about this one was that the flavor was quite subdued... While the flavor was great it just seemed slightly watered down compared to the other offerings I have had as of late. The aroma on this however was nothing short of excellent though. How good was this one you might ask??? Myself and Kenneyho started using it as a palate cleanser at around 2AM that morning... Definitely worth the buzz that surrounds this one. Hope to try some older vintages for comparison in the future for comparison (hint hint traders).

Photo of jsilva
4.55/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Bottle shared at a tasting with some other BA's. Thanks Mutty for the chance to try this one.

2010 Vintage

A-Nice straw yellow pour with nice big white fluffy head into an allagash tulip.
S- Lemon, grass, earth, some slight horse blanket funk but really not too funky. Really crisp smell with a hint of mild sourness.
T- Very subdued tartness and super refreshing. Reminded me of a hot day and grabbing a saison or pilsner to quench the thirst but then leads into the slight funk and balanced sourness. Bright citrus fruits and lemon pepper.
M- Nice mouthfeel with med-high carbonation and really balanced dry sourness and crispness
D- Nice refreshing, light, balanced beer. This is one I could finish myself and still want more.

Photo of akorsak
4.77/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A 750 mL corked and caged bottle (Batch 1) graciously shared by the one and only spacecoyote.

A: The ale is a hazy golden color, a weizen-like melange of sediment and goldenrod. The head held up well through several glasses.

S: The aroma is funky, but not as tart as I expected. A wide array of fruits pop up throughout and add a varied sweetness to the ale.

T: Man oh man! I was expecting the utmost in tartness, the end-all be-all of face pucker, so I was mildly surprised by a reserved tartness that strikes up front and supports the the fruitiness throughout. After the mild tartness, the fruits make themselves known. Apricot, green apple and lots of grapefruit mark the fruitiness. The grapefruit is most memorable, as it is not hop-driven. The finish shows off the flavor, a tart sweetness that really bites at the taste buds. The mix of flavors is incredible, a magnum opus.

M: The mild tartness is refreshing, not so strong that you can't handle repeat sips. The tart fruit flavors are divine.

D: I almost passed out when Carl pulled this one out of his cooler. It is easily one of the most drinkable sour ales that you'll come across.

Photo of emerge077
4.47/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Another impossible bottle that had eluded me until now.
Thanks to Anwar for sharing this gem!

Review from notes, early first vintage 2007.

Into a wine glass it poured a glowing orange, with a slight haze but surprisingly some clarity as well. Visible rising carbonation, a thin ring of foam at the edges, and a ghostly wispy skim across the surface. No lace remained in the glass.

Bright fruity aroma, a blended cocktail of sweetish grapefruit, white grape, lychee, and lemon. Oaky too, with a mild spice, and some minerals.

Puckering and tart, balanced sourness, lemon, orange, and grapefruit blend seamlessly. It lingers on the palate, with traces of oak, citrus, and grape. Salivary glands kick into overdrive. Clean and quenching sourness, balanced with a good deal of wild complexity. Unique but maybe not the pinnacle sour ale from Lost Abbey. Thanks again Anwar for the opportunity!

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Cable Car from The Lost Abbey
100 out of 100 based on 747 ratings.