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Cable Car - The Lost Abbey

Not Rated.
Cable CarCable Car

Educational use only; do not reuse.

212 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 212
Hads: 829
Avg: 4.48
pDev: 16.96%
Wants: 2,615
Gots: 88 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 212 | Hads: 829
Photo of Shogun250
4.96/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

I actually thought this one met the hype. Crazy complex, well done beer. Hazy, light, very aromatic and the aftertaste kept going in a good way. This was even a 2014 and prob gets better with age. I had this side by side with 2013 DDG which was also top notch for me this beer was a tad more enjoyable. I am rating this however with price not in mind. When I had this next to a 375 ml CD14 it was tough to justify how much I gave up for it. No regrets definitely nice to have once. Hard to think any blond sour ale could be better.

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Photo of lupercmda
4.68/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Had this at Toronado bar in SF tonight. Pours a golden hue which has a nice carbonation level. Smell is of sour oakiness. Taste is of lemony, oakiness with a mild acidity and a moderate sour taste. Does not overpower you with the sourness. Finish is slightly sour with a nice clean finish. I think this may be the best wild ale I have ever had. Bravo!!

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Photo of weonfire
4.39/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

2008 Vintage consumed April 2015. Soft yet very nice presence of oak. Well carbonated. Had a very minimal woody nose - which i would place on its age. Certain whale status. I would say it lived up to its hype.

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Photo of ccnorthwest
4.65/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

This beer is a erotic sex show in your mouth. The smoothness and body are perfect. For a non fruited wild ale it's absolutely amazing. Worth the price and adventure in trying.

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Photo of Resuin
4.58/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours a bright gold and leaves a finger of white head. Smell is bright citrus, white wine, light malts. Taste has a good amount of acidity, citrus, light hay funk, good amount of sour. Real nice.

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Photo of deschutes_fan
4.68/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2014 Vintage
- Pours a hazy golden yellow, with some lively carb.

- Smells is bright citrus and acid with some mild barnyard funk.

- Flavor hits with juicy and tart peach, acid, oak, some funky hay and a good pucker at the end. Flavors fade from palette pretty quickly, leading the tastebuds to beg for another gulp.

- Nothing over the top here. Not the most funky, most juicy or sour, not the most complex. But it has all the features of a great sour and in beautiful harmony. A pleasure and a treat. Is it worth the price tag? Hard to say...

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Photo of ricoslim
4.99/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had at Toronado SF, worth every penny. This was just silly good. The perfect amount of tartness that I am looking for in tis style of beer. Should have bought another bottle.

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Photo of irv2424
4.74/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Drank at Toronado on 7/22. This has been on my wants list for year and finally got out to SF, didn't expect for bottles to be on sale but splurged. Overpriced at $60 but great beer and glad I had the opportunity to try it. Golden color with minimal head and a bit of haze. Aroma was less intense than expected, vinegar and white wine, decent funk. Mouthfeel is light and smooth. Taste is white wine, minimal funk, lemons and bread. Didn't get much oak. Overall great beer, steep price point but would try again if it was $25 or under.

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Photo of beertunes
3.58/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Thanks to the Tornado Seattle for opening this brew during a recent BA bottle share they hosted. Bright flavors and a crisp mouthfeel were the strong suits of this tasty treat. Maybe I'll splurge on a bottle of my own sometime!

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Photo of Deggar
4.33/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

a special treat that i was able to enjoy at the Toronado in San Francisco. Was hesitant to spend $60 & drinking by myself. It was great to try - a very solid golden sour. At $20-30 a bottle i would recommend all day long. but at $60 i would say there are many other golden sours out there that are as good or better for half the cost. Again nothing bad about this beer but price is high and its not over the top must have. but very solid and happy to get a chance to try it

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Photo of elNopalero
4.58/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2014 Cable Car. $60 in-house at the world famous Toronado.
This pouts a golden tan with light foaming. There's a clear sour cherry aroma. Wet straw and. A biting horse blanket. It's sharply tart, with an intense bite and a light funk. Dry finish. Shared this with some friends on a rare night out.

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Photo of HighLowJack
4.89/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Bottle purchased at Toronado SF. I don't think comparisons to any Belgian sours are fair, it's just a different style. To me this was a huge apple/pear bomb. Happy I had the chance to try for $60.

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Photo of iSkiCO
4.34/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

2014 bottle at Toronado SF

Tart upfront. As it warms, bread and cheese characteristics unfold. The finish is similar to a medium bodied oaked Chardonnay. For an AWA it is nice, but no where near as complex as Belgium lambics. Glad I didn't trade for this, doesn't justify it's "price"

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Photo of mrn1ceguy
4.92/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

This beer goes down perfectly, with each taste making you crave more. Smooth, mouth watering sour that has that special juicyness that few beers have. Definitely world class and standing on top.

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Photo of BrotherDylan
4.74/5  rDev +5.8%
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

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.86/5  rDev -13.8%
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.

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Photo of SportsandJorts
3.84/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: pours a nice golden orange color. a small white head with low retention and a small lacing. super hazy and nearly opaque.

Smell: vinegar, lemon acidity, white wine grapes, weak funkiness.

Taste: opens up with lemon, along with some other citruses floating in. white wine sweetness and grapes. some grainy to wheaty tastes in the middle. the end is strong on the vinegar and some funk.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied. sourness is there but never overpowering.

Overall: maybe I have odd taste in sour beers, but this one certainly doesn't blow me away. it tastes good is well done but I don't understand what sets this apart from hundreds of other sours.

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Photo of spinrsx
4.26/5  rDev -4.9%
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.

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

this is whale status, thanks to these guys for bringing the 2013 edition to gabf this year, the line was worth it, although i think the hype out shines this one a little, and i frankly took more away from the framboise de amorosa than i did from this one. still, elite level sour beer here, blonde and hazy in the look with an enormous gushing white head that never settles. the nose is lambic like, oaky and quite sour, with lemons being the leader of a fruit gang that also seems to include white grapefruit, chardonnay grapes, and orange. wheaty base is real simple, lets the funky critters shine, and shine they do. moderate body with maxed out carbonation moves a little too swiftly though the experience for me, and my two ounce pour wasnt really enough to contemplate this one the way i otherwise might, but a second dose clarified what i suspected from the first, this is one of those beers that is partially famous because its awesome, and partially famous because its a standard setter, it came before a lot of the other new wave sours that everyone loves, its a precursor to a trend, and i respect it highly in that context. the beer just didnt seem to have the depth of some others, not missing anything per se, but i expected the world here. not let down, just dont all the way get it. the fruitiness is nice, and the sourness is reserved and mature but definitely distinct. not way different from duck duck in a lot of ways, although i think this a much more highly refined brew. overall outstanding, but less compelling than i hoped for. i will have to get a bottle and give it more attention...

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Photo of drmcleod10
4.76/5  rDev +6.2%

Poured into a SP Stem. Thanks Shea for busting this out. CC '13.

A - Cloudy light straw yellow pour with a 1 finger white foam head that slowly recedes back into the glass.

S - Lemony citrus zest here, slightly reminds me of DDG on the nose here. White wine grapes. The Lemony citrus and grapes smells are the most prevalent.

T - Taste follows the nose here with loads of lemony citrus zesty notes followed by the white grape tastes as well as notes from the oak barrels.

M - Crisp, light, medium bodied and to the point, clean.

O - This reminded me a lot of DDG. If I had to choose between the two, considering the difficulty of obtaining CC, I would have to go with DDG. They are both on par in terms of taste, but the difficulty pushes me away.

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Photo of wethorseblanket
4.58/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Reviewed from notes. Shared by Richard - big thanks. 600th review.
2008 vintage, C&C 750ml bottle.

A: Pours a cloudy straw yellow under a 1/2-inch thick white head which fades quickly to the rim leaving a few spots of lace.

S: Puckering lemony zest and tannic oak with some vinous notes. Slightly dusty antique age.

T: Follows nose with bright tannins and citrus zest, vinous, must/funk, mellow barnyard bite.

M: Moderate body and semi-medium carbonation. Finishes zesty, tart, and tannic.

O: Such a treat and what a surprise. Amazed this is holding up so well. A wonderful wild ale. Only minor flaw is the lack of complexity.

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Photo of dar482
4.8/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

The beer comes in a hazy bright straw yellow.

The aroma has funky hay, apricot, dried peach, and a decent tartness.

The flavor follows of tart lemons, stone fruit and nectarine, onto a medium minus malt backbone with a medium hay funk. There's a drying and tart quality in the back.

This is up there with the best gueuze I've had. It definitely holds back on the funk unlike Drie Fonteinen and Cantillon, but has a wonderful complexities and restraint.

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Photo of Stevedore
4.58/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

750ml bottle of the 2010 vintage. Poured into a FFF/DMC taster 6/21/2014.

A- Hazy straw yellow body, cloudy and with a half finger white head. Good retention though it does become completely still-looking after a few minutes. Not much lacing. Looks very, very similar to Duck Duck Gooze.

S- Lemon zest, tart citrus, musty oak, white wine grapes, crackers, a little tart apple skin. Some vinegar. Smells so strong and aggressive, particularly the lemon and white grape must.

F- Similar to the nose. Lemon zest, white vinous grapes, musty oak, a bit of funky cheesiness. Tart apple skins add a little bit of depth. Vinegar is about 7/10, nicely sour but not abrasively so. This is very good, not complex but again, this is quite aggressive.

M- Medium in body, a bit creamy but certainly not custardy. About the right amount of carbonation, a nice pop to it. Lemon sourness on the backend makes for a nice cleansing finish.

O- Very aggressive but not as complex as Duck Duck Gooze is. In my mind, this beer is somewhere in between Beat and DDG on the spectrum of AWAs- aggressive but with a solid layer of complexity that's done very well with time. This one did not disappoint, though it's still a long-standing philosophical question as to whether it is worth what it requires to obtain a bottle of this. While I would recommend going after Duck Duck Gooze or Beatification instead of this one, please don't get me wrong- this is an excellent AWA.

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Photo of Auracom
4.06/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

What can you say? Crazy 2008 vintage share from Al, thanks so much WC big bro! 2 oz. into a glencairn at DLD 2014.

A - Nothing exciting. Plain-jane, honey colored juice with little trace of bubbles or froth.

S - Trace oak, and the age makes itself known. Not quite sawdust but more of a musty, weathered note. Vinegar, flora, champaign. Maybe a bit herbaceous. Bacteria is still kicking in some manure.

T - White wine, bitter unripened fruit adding to acidity, slightly acetic, plentiful oak tannins. It's missing balance with neither clean nor sweet fruit notes.

M - Very good. Lengthy finish, very dry, carbonation way more acceptable than it looked like it'd be.

D - It's lost some character over 6 years and not made up for it with sour development. Whereas Beatification is explosive and overbearing and DDG is fresh and focused, I find this sitting somewhere in the middle.

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Photo of Thehuntmaster
4.35/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

750ml bottle 7,0% Abv.
Served chilled in a wine glass.
2013 Vintage.

A massive thanks to Futura123 for this bottle.

Appearance: Cable Car pours a lightly clouded golden orange with a rough pour yielding a large white head. The head lasts well for a sour and leaves a few patches of lacing as it recedes.

Smell: The initial nose is quite different from what I had expected with a big overripe fruit character (white grapes and maruls) . After a few minutes the nose begins to open up with a fair amount of acidity, some musty notes, tart white grape, lemon, sweeter peach and orange, old wood, a light lactic character and some mold becoming apparent.

Taste: The flavour seems a little cleaner than the nose suggested, with far less of the overripe fruit character as well as a nice tartness and a fantastic acidity. Notes include: Tart white grapes, white wine, some sweeter stone fruits, a touch of cider vinegar, lemon, lactic, some oak, a minerally note and some old hay.

Mouthfeel: Initially the carbonation is a little too much for me (high level and quite expansive), but thankfully it settles down to a more pleasant level fairly quickly. The body has a little more heft than most wild ales at a light-medium level.

Overall: Cable Car is a great American Wild Ale, but as with so many beers it is no where near the hype. I wonder how the earlier vintages compare to the 2013.

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Cable Car from The Lost Abbey
98 out of 100 based on 212 ratings.