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Cable Car - The Lost Abbey

Not Rated.
Cable CarCable Car

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
98
world-class

208 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 208
Hads: 813
rAvg: 4.45
pDev: 7.87%
Wants: 2,591
Gots: 88 | FT: 5
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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 208 | Hads: 813
Photo of badbeer
4.32/5  rDev -2.9%
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. (699 characters)

Photo of dvsbizzyb
4.32/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Shared a bottle at Toronado in San Francisco.

Appearance - Has a murky golden orange that almost glows with a white beautiful bubbly head.

Smell - Strong musty wild citrus smell.

Taste - Mild tart citrus fruits hits my palate as i sip on this. A slight sweet taste comes in the background as if a Jolly Rancher was dropped on the bottom of my glass.

Mouthfeel - Perfect carbonation with a medium body.

Overall - This was a delicious beer that challenges the taste buds with the exceptional balance of citrus sourness and superb fruit flavor. (547 characters)

Photo of BARFLYB
4.3/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Finally got around to trying this one. Into a mini Chimay Chalice.

Cable car has a very light appearance, the liquid appears thin and the color is a dull faded yellow with a smidgen of foam here and there, barely breaking the surface, mini streaks.

Smell is bold with a lot of fruit mixed in with horse blanket funk and hay. Lemon is by far the biggest scent I can sniff out, along with traces of pale malt. No sweetners to dull it down, nice. Not picking up any of that egg/sulfer scent that peeps were talking about.

Taste is up front with bold lemon and various similar fruit. The horseblanket/funk/wet hay is pronounced yet not over the top. Lactic sourness is there and I love it. Get some white grape taste in the end, with everything coming back together. To me, CC holds some similarities to an aged 750ML bottle of Cuvee De Castleton.

Feel is mad thin and dry which is what I look for in a great sour, so this is a winner in that arena. Bright carbonation with a lactic/lemon aftertaste and slight pale malt. I could drink a ton.

At the Alcohol level, a whole bottle of this would be a sinch to a sour lover, alas, thats never going to happen. Lost Abbey sure can brew some sours and CC is no slouch (1,213 characters)

Photo of ne0m00re
4.29/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

08/17/11- Shared a bottle of 2010 Cable Car at the San Francisco Toronado.
A: Very clear light golden with a white film and collar.
S: Nice granny smith apple, slightly solvent alcohol, floral and honey sweet with some banana. Well rounded.
T: Simple, but good. Sour sweeps into apple core earthiness. Interesting rustic bitterness... in general, it reminds me of Cantillon Gueuze without the overwhelming acidity. Good.
M: Thinner with a creamy froth.
O: Good. This is a solid gueuze, but not outlandishly good. (512 characters)

Photo of brystmar
4.29/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

2009 vintage split with Nate as part of an impromptu '09-'11 Cable Car vertical at Toronado in SF.

A: Cloudy, golden color with foamy white head and solid lace. Remains hazy as it warns, unlike the 2010.

S: Strong Brettt yeast character melds with sour fruit and bready notes. Among the best sour aromas I've had the pleasure of experiencing.

T: Fruits, oak, and Brett share the spotlight. Great blend of the three flavors. When cool, it leaves a lingering bitterness; however, after warming, its bone dry finish lingers with fruit and oak, bitterness be damned. Not sure quite why that is, but I like it.

M: Body is thin and weak, yet nicely oily. Hard to enjoy this brew's mouthfeel after the massive creaminess of the '11 Kriek.

D: Sessionable, even at $40/bottle. Although to be honest, I won't be ordering this again while there's still an available stock of '11 Kriek. Cheers! (887 characters)

Photo of gueuzedreg
4.29/5  rDev -3.6%
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. (668 characters)

Photo of Jwale73
4.28/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A huge thanks to jedwards for sharing this beer. 2009 vintage served in a Sinners tulip. The color of this beer is really quite eye-catching. Bright tangerine in color with a loose, bright white head and a semi-hazy clarity. The head is refreshed with a gentle swirl of the glass and sheets of lacing coat the sides of the glass, gradually yielding to some strands and spots of lacing encircling the bowl. Nose is fairly subdued - tart citrus and a trace of cork. Taste reveals tart and acidic citrus fruit, a slightly salty character and the flavor of cork. Mouthfeel is light in body with an effervescence akin to champagne. This beer is so tart that it puckers the cheeks before culminating in a very dry finish. This has to be, by far, the sourest sour I've had to date. There's a lot going on here and I'm grateful to finally have the opportunity to try this beer outside of a fest. (887 characters)

Photo of gford217
4.28/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2009 bottle, side-by-side with Toronado 20th.

Pours a clear golden yellow with a big creamy white head that hangs on for a while and leaves good lacing.

Aroma is fairly funky with some barnyard aromas and wet grass but the most dominant aroma is the light fruity sourness. Overall, the aroma is what I'd call bright - lots of light tartness with less earthy funk.

Taste is exceptional, lemon zest up front with bready malts, some fruit, maybe pears and green apples, light vinegar. Fairly funky finish but light so with some lemon. Sublime taste, super complex, more tart than funk.

Light bubbly mouthfeel, very citric and biting. Crisp and wine-like in the finish.

This is a superb American wild - well balanced but still nice and sour. I wouldn't put it in the same class as the T20, but it's still a great beer. (819 characters)

Photo of Sean9689
4.28/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2009, batch 3, 750ml bottle.
Poured into Duvel tulip.

A - Pours a mirky golden/light copper color. A nice, fluffy, white head quickly follows on a medium-aggressive pour. A nice, frothy, sticky lacing stays behind from the head. Once held into the light, I can see loads and loads of bubbles rise to the top of the glass from the etched "D" on the bottom of my glass. Overall, something to look at in awe and appreciate.

S - Once I popped the cork, I could smell the tart/sour notes from a couple of feet away. Once I brought the glass to my nose, it wanted to turn inside out, just as I imagine my lips will want to do in a few minutes. Musty brett, stanky cheese, lemons, barnyard funk, sweet tropical fruit. All of this combines into an awesome-smelling wild...something to sit back and enjoy for a bit before you taste, lots going on here and probably more then I can pick up.

T - Lip-puckering tart that hits you right off the bat and then mellows out into subtle lemon-esk tingle. This is so damn good, words can hardly describe it. Lots of funky barnyard/brett mixed with some semi-sweet fruity notes. Not too tart/sour which gives you a chance to delve in and enjoy some of the other flavors going on. A nice semi-sweet finish that I don't think I can recall in any other sour I've had. A very complex wild.

M - Light to medium bodied, but it sways more towards medium but not quite "medium" (sorry if I'm confusing here, hard to explain). Very full, but light at the same time. The carbonation is right-on here, a nice fizzy tickle on the tongue that helps open up the flavors. A dry finish that makes you come back for more.

D - This beer makes you sit back and appreciate it. It's easy to drink fast, but why? It's great to chill out while sipping on this from time to time. I don't want this bottle to end, but I'm glad I was able to pop this one open and enjoy. Lost Abbey, you have done it yet again! (1,919 characters)

Photo of 0110x011
4.27/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

My infinite thanks to Gouldsby for this, my White Whale. Poured into a Lost Abbey chalice.

A - Pours one shade darker than straw, with a thin white head that fades as fast as it appears. Little in the way of lacing.

S - Funky! Potent, cheesy horseblanket hits first. Citric lemon & orange zest in the back.

T - A mild, zippy tartness introduces notes of lemon, grapefruit, and tart green grape. Funk abounds, with an earthier, dirtier profile than the nose led me to expect. Oaky.

M - light bodied. A bit lacking on the carbonation; not as lively as the best sours. Oak tannin keeps it super dry.

D - I was definitely left wanting more, but not in the desperate, pining way I expected.

I had set the bar extremely high for this one, so I suppose a letdown was inevitable. A killer sour beer, but not head-over-shoulders better than other similar sours from LA or RR. If it must be checked off your "to try" list, by all means seek it out. If not, stick to the easier to find sours. (987 characters)

Photo of spinrsx
4.26/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle Shared by pushkinwow - 2012 edition - thanks!

Appearance - Gold colour with an average size white coloured head. There is an average amount of carbonation showing and there is some fair lacing. The head lasted for around 4-5 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Breads/grains, lemons, vinegar

Taste & Mouth - There is an above average amount of carbonation and I can taste breads/grains, vinegar, tart lemons - both the juice and the zest. Also some hay/straw/funky notes and a bit of a peppery spice mix.

Overall - One of the most balanced beers within this style I have had so far. Very drinkable and extremely tasty. Happy I had the chance to try it. (666 characters)

Photo of Brez07
4.25/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

2009 vintage. Graciously shared by Drazzamatazz. 750ml bottle, poured into an Allagash glass

A: There was only a small pop when opening the bottle. Tangerine colored. Pours with a minimal amount of head. Translucent at first, but became cloudy with the second pour (dregs)

S: Citrusy, squeezed lemons, sweet tarts. Initially I didn't get a lot of funk (it was musty if anything), but as it opened up there was a cheesy/horse blanket aroma to signal the funk had arrived

T: Fairly lemony. Reminded me of the white sweet tarts right after you eat them. Lemon rind, apricot, maybe even some oak. Pretty sour, nice level of funkiness

M: Medium bodied. Lower carbonation, which ultimately I was fine with. Dry finish

D: What can I say, this was a great beer. Very happy to have finally tried it. At first I didn't get it, but the beer eventually showed me what was up. Seek out if you like sours (895 characters)

Photo of drewba
4.23/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2010 bottle poured into a snifter.

A - Hazy dull yellow with a super fizzy two finger head. This recedes to a thin film with little retention and medium lacing.

S - Dry, slightly estery with lemon, grass and a ton of funk. Smells a bit farty.

T - Lots of funky grass and straw, mellow dry white wine flavors, lemon and plenty of yeast. The flavors are clean and makes for a quick drinker. This isn't as sour as it is funky, it reminds me more of a bretty saison with loads of funk. Subtle, clean, funky.

M - carbonation cleans the palate nicely, the tartness and funk doesn't linger long. The carbonation is just spot on, love it.

D - Drinks so quickly and the carbonation helps save the palate. (700 characters)

Photo of AgentZero
4.22/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Yellow, really not more than a nice pale yellow, with a big white head.

S - Vinegar/wine influence, some oak, little bit grassy. Lemon, citrus, pears, light apple, round out the scent on this one.

T - Light tasting, little grassy, some peach, apricot, apple, pear, nothing overpowering, not too terribly sweet, a bit tart. This is a very solid sour/wild ale, but not the best I have had. Little bit of funk, nicely complex.

M - Light, nice bubbly carbonation. Dry finish.

D - Very drinkable, as it is happily complex and there is nothing overpowering going on here. (573 characters)

Photo of pastradul
4.22/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

poured into a wine glass at toronado SDBW 2010

2010 vintage

Poured a semi-hazy straw yellow. with a nice 2 fingers of white fluffy head.

the aroma is a mild funk with some bright lemon tartness.

the taste is pretty good. Upfront you get a mixturen of sweetness... kinda lemon, citrus maybe... in the middle of the palate you get the barnyard and funk coming out a bit with some more sweetness. The back of the palate is where the tartness kicks in a hits the throught a little bit.

over all a great beer. This vintage is certainly young and needs some more time to develop and creat the tart sour flavors that are missing! (628 characters)

Photo of srandycarter
4.21/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Clear honey. Not much head, no lace.

S - Astringent, tart.

T - Sharp fruit, tart, tight yeast, very tasty.

M - Medium body, great balance and carb.

D - A joy to finally try at Toronado in San Diego! Wanted to pull the trigger on this years ago, but so expensive. (270 characters)

Photo of hooliganlife
4.2/5  rDev -5.6%
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... (646 characters)

Photo of tjfinkle
4.2/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2010 Bottle poured into tulip at Toronado in San Diego

Appearance- Pale straw with thick white fluffy head and nice carbonation

Smell - The first thing that I noticed right of the bat obviously was the sourness with some citrus and cherry notes

Taste - Sour cherries and some citrus just like the nose. Some have commented on a sulfuric taste/smell to this beer which I noticed a slight flavor of; however I did not find it overpowering. This is a very mellow sour beer

Mouth-Lightly puckering with nice carbonation

Drink- Easy drinking beer, especially for a sour, possibly too easy of a beer for this style. Overall a good and well balanced beer, but could have used a little more flavor. I will be interested to see how this beer matures over time in comparison to the previous vintages. (795 characters)

Photo of raveskdr
4.2/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2008 vintage. Big ups to Dyan for this one as well. Poured into my mini snifter.

A - Brownish golden hue. Bubbles dissipate quickly but there is a ton of bubbles that stick to the inside of the glass inside the beer.

S - The oak and vinuous character really stand out up front. Light lemon also intermingles.

T - There is plenty of oak up near the front. The lemony tartness follows on the back and and cuts through the middle of my tongue.

M - Very champagne-y on the tongue, despite being from 2008. The bubbles help the drinkability of the beer.

O - An extremely solid American wild. May not be super fair to put this up against everything else. It doesn't fall short, per se. It's a very very good sour. (713 characters)

Photo of cpetrone84
4.2/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pour is golden yellow with a bubbly white head. Nose has very faint barrel with hints of acetic acid, notes of leathery bret and orange peel with a nice vinous quality. Taste is very drinkable, sour white grape skins and citrus with hints of oak and vanilla. Faint leathery bret and a touch of citrus towards the back of the palate. Lighter body and strong carbonation (shocking) with a dry and lightly sour finish. Very delicate flavors and pretty well done. (459 characters)

Photo of Gobzilla
4.2/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2009 bottle caged and corked

A: poured a murky orange yellow with a finger white head that had decent sticky lacing.

S: great nose that consisted of lemons apples little funk and hints of vinegar. I always wondered what this beer would smell like.

T: The taste almost mirrors the smell with lots of lemons and apples hitting the palette with fruity sourness and a slight dry finish.

M: has a medium body with good bubbly carbonation that compliments the taste.

D: chased this beer for a couple months and was not dissapointed. I could drink quite a bit of this beer if it was avaliable like that. (601 characters)

Photo of seaoflament
4.2/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Tomme for opening a few bottles of the new batch of Cable Car (batch 2) for the RateBeer event.

Poured a golden color with minimal head...nothing too fancy but decent for the style.

Aroma of green apples on the nose, funk, sweet pale malt, yeast, sour pear, and an odd spiciness. Now, I have not encountered such a spiciness in other sour beers, this one smells like a bread or bread dough with spices. Starts to get more fruity as it warms up.

Taste of dough, spices again, ripe pear, various tropical fruits (but not too fruity), spicy bread, and sweet oak. Tastes very young and definitely needs to sit some more. Less spicy character after it warms up. Sweet cracker taste in the finish.

Slightly syrupy but soft with some carbonation in the back.

Needs to develop some more but tasting pretty good right now.

I also tried the first batch tonight but I didn't take any notes, it was definitely a bit more tart, had less of the spicy character and was a bit more yeasty. Definitely gets better with age.

***update 7-27-09****

Had the opportunity to try batch 1 (2007) and batch 2 (2008) at the "You Bring the Cheese Tasting" on July 25-26th 2009.

I was very interesting to have both vintages side-by-side. I had not tried this one since last year. The surprise of the tasting was that the batch 1 (2007) Cable Car was not doing so well.

Batch 1 had a weird tannic and muddy flavors, as well as a stronger spicy oak flavor. Batch 2 also had the spicy oak flavors and aroma but more balanced and a cleaner tartness.

Good to see that batch 2 is holding up fine and could age a bit longer, I will keep my bottle for as long as I can and see what happens. (1,676 characters)

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

2010 vintage, at Toronado SF (of course, where else?).

A - Slightly hazy straw-yellow, with a large rocky off-white head. Nice retention and lacing.

S - Okay, so I've heard plenty of reports -- from some people whose opinions I respect -- of sulfurous odors and such. I'm happy to say that I didn't get that at all in my bottle. I also shared it with a couple of people next to me and the bartender just to make sure, and no one had that experience. Not sure if I just got a good bottle or what. Anyway, plenty of lemon, lots of barnyard funk, and a good dose of oak. Very pleasant.

T - Pucking sourness right off the bat. Lemony flavors smack you in the face, and then the vinegar takes over. Oak is all up in your face. The funkiness really dominates, and I mean that in the best possible way. The citrus cuts through it in the end. Long dry finish. Very little alcohol evident.

M - Very nicely carbonated, with almost a creamy feel at times, and at other times almost champagne-like. Light and dry.

D - After most of a bottle, this didn't faze me too much. The flavors would keep me coming back if not for the obvious cost issue.

O - Hmmm. Is this a beer that I would cross the world for? Or pay $40 for again? Well, probably not. It's too similar to several cheaper, although also very limited, beers that I have in the cellar. But is it a beer that I'm very glad to have tried? Absolutely. (1,402 characters)

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

Appearance: Pours a cloudy golden body with a white, wispy head.

Smell: A funk-riddled yeasty, fruity, tart-smelling aroma of apricots, citrus, and peaches. Hint of oak.

Taste: Faint malt flavor with a touch of dough and a brief sweetness with a follow-through of the fruits lurking in the aroma. Bright acidity. Musty, earthy yeast character. Faint oakiness. Dry, tart finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Lively carbonation.

Drinkability: A very fine beer. I'm quite pleased I had the chance to try this one. (511 characters)

Photo of Verecund
4.17/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2010 vintage opened on June 12, 2011. Bottle at Toronado.

Pours a hazy and yellowed amber with a half-finger white cap. Some lacing.

Nice citrus notes – lemon and orange – alongside light white wine vinegar, green apple, and apricot. There’s some funk, but less than I expected, really: soft farmhouse straw-like must alongside a woody and mushroomy brettanomyces bruxellensis funk.

The moderate sourness gives way to a lightly fruity, citrusy tartness. It almost resembles a cider, with its notes of white wine vinegar and lactic acidity, though it is balanced by a good bit of oak and earthy funk. A citrus/quasi-tropical fruitiness (e.g., kumquat) and bready sweetness rounds out the mid-palate.

Medium light in body with medium carbonation. There’s a pleasant dry finish following the lactic acidity. Very drinkable, though I wouldn’t object to a little more acidity, which I’m sure varies according to the vintage. Personally, I wouldn’t give up the farm for this, but wouldn’t pass up a chance to try it. (1,030 characters)

Cable Car from The Lost Abbey
98 out of 100 based on 208 ratings.