Cable Car - The Lost Abbey

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Cable CarCable Car

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

205 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 205
Hads: 792
rAvg: 4.44
pDev: 7.88%
Wants: 2,581
Gots: 85 | 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: 205 | Hads: 792
Photo of Georgiabeer
4.55/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this at Port Night at Toronado the week after their 21st anniversary party. This is batch #2, the 2008 one. I had a couple. Pours a totally opaque golden with almost no head and some spotty lacing. Carbonation level was fine, though. perhaps somewhat on the soft side but entirely within a normal range. The aromas are fairly light, nut a light funkinesss comes through as a does a clean sourness and a tang of brine. The taste is much more impressive and oddly addictive. There is a delicious savory component to the beer that is hard to place, but includes a tangy saltiness that really blends well with the funkiness and sour. It reminds me slightly of sprinkling salt on crab apples when I was a kid to make the sour and tannic flavors more palatable. Their is a nice soft funkiness up-front and some mellow sourness throughout. There is a bit off butterscotch here as well and a nice jolt of tannins in the finish. Complex, intriguing, and delicious. The mouthfeel is smooth and slightly tannic. I really enjoyed this on tap, but haven't tried it from a bottle yet. (1,074 characters)

Photo of illidurit
4.56/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle sampled at Lost Abbey for RBSG. Pours hazy gold with visible sediment. Head is modest and watery. Aroma is very tart with red and dark fruits, oak, and spicy sweetbread. Epic complexity. Flavors of pie spices, yeast, lemons, vanilla, apple brandy, and some funky must. Palate is dry even without a lot of carbonation. Drinkability is very good considering the tartness. (376 characters)

Photo of notchucknorris
4.57/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Finally got to try this on tap at Toronados this past weekend.

A: Pours a dark apricot color with a thin white head that disappears almost immediately.

S: Smells really incredible. Juicy red apples mixed with tart green apples and a noticeable acidity. Vanilla, lemon curd and apple pie filling as well.

T: Pretty sour right away with a big lemon warhead kick. Layers of unripe green apple and sour red cherry and just a touch of funk. Finish leaves just a touch of dryness on the tongue with a lingering sourness. Tight, prickly carbonation works perfectly in here. (570 characters)

Photo of Ineedabeerhere
4.57/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks very much to nickd717 for this bottle, I owe you man! Shared this one at the Epic tasting on 10/10, from notes.

Pours a hazy light gold color into my tulip with a small white cap. Leaves impressive lacing and has decent retention.

Aromas of lemon zest, barnyard mustiness. Over-ripened peaches and wood, I've got wood. Some lemon rind and slightly buttery. Various floral spices and a dash of vinegar. Taste follows this funkiness and acidity are in a nice balance, after an initial sweetness. In my tasting notes, I have written "transgender vaginal funkiness". I'm not sure who was experiencing that at the time, but what a wonderful descriptor.

Great mouthfeel, nicely carbonated (!) . Very drinkable and I'm glad to have the chance to try this one, but I think that I like DDG better, not to mention how much more attainable it is/was. (851 characters)

Photo of JoeMayo
4.57/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Pours a hazy straw-gold with hardly any head.

S- Dry champagne, brett, herbs, and mild notes of white pepper.

T- The first couple sips are very sour and it appears to be a ton of brett, but the complexity of the beer extends far beyond the brett. A mild funky barnyard flavor compliments the tartness without dominating at all. Notes of apricot and green apple mingle in the background.

M- Very clean finish, yet somehow the sourness lingers pleasantly behind.

D- It seems ridiculous to rate the drinkablility of this beer as no one will ever have the opportunity to try it as a session beer. (599 characters)

Photo of kevanb
4.57/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle, 2012 vintage, poured into a Lost Abbey sinners teku glass, shared with friends.

The beer pours a cloudy apricot color with a soapy white head that recedes quickly, leaving a few bubbles atop the beer, yielding a light amount of sticky lace. The aroma is lovely, lots of fresh, fleshy fruit, white grapes, light oak, pale grain, light funk and a healthy dose of acetic sour character. Fleshy fruit jumps out on the tongue, apricot, peach, nectarine with a great layer of tart white grape, chewy oak, funk with some light straw and just enough acetic sour quality to really pucker me up. The body is lively with high carbonation that really dances on the tongue. It coats the mouth well and has a lightly creamy finish with a little pickle as it goes down.

Verdict: A remarkable sour from The Lost Abbey that rivals anything being made in America currently. The fruit characteristics of this beer are remarkable and while it lacks slightly in funk and barnyard character, it is really a well rounded and balanced sour. (1,034 characters)

Photo of wethorseblanket
4.58/5  rDev +3.2%
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. (633 characters)

Photo of Stevedore
4.58/5  rDev +3.2%
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. (1,453 characters)

Photo of elNopalero
4.58/5  rDev +3.2%
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. (297 characters)

Photo of Gtreid
4.59/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to mikesgroove for the opportunity. 07 vintage. 750 ml bottle poured into my CCB tulip.

A: Hazy golden yellow color. The pour produced a small soapy head that quickly faded to nothing, and left no lace.

A: Tart green apples, lemon, slight citursy hops, and soury sweetness.

T: Sour, sweet, divine. The sour tartness balances so well with the malty sweetnes of the brew. The sourness is not over the top, it just plays so well the plethora of flavors. It finishes tart and dry with absolutley no hint of ABV.

M: Lower on the carbonation, but not in a bad way. Medium body and rather slick.

O: This is one great beer. I don't like the overpowering sourness of many wilds, but this one is just about perfect for me. I would put this at the top of the list in terms of sours. Skal. (789 characters)

Photo of yourefragile
4.59/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2009 bottle enjoyed at Toronado SF.

Pours a relatively clear golden copper color with a nice white head that hangs around and leaves light rings of lacing. Aroma is surprisingly funky and complex with lemon and green apple sourness dominating. More fruit and tart than earthiness but there is light straw and grass throughout as well. Body is very citric and crisp, full on the palate with high carbonation. Flavor start with lemon and other citrus rind, before becoming more oaky and tart with only lingering sourness. Expected to be let down by this, but was pleasantly surprised and look forward to trying other vintages. (625 characters)

Photo of ThoreauLikeAGirl
4.59/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle opened at the Toronado in San Diego.
Shared with some nice gentlemen that drove down from L.A. (thanks Justin and Mike!)

Golden yellow in color with very little head. Minimal lacing. Medium carbonation.

Aroma of sour and tart strawberries (!) and lemons. Some barnyard/hay/must that hang around with the funk.

Taste: Sour and tart lemons and citrus fruits. The flavors tingle and dance on the tongue. Very pleasant and crisp. Reminds me a bit of sweet tarts. Though i don't get much, if anything, out of the oak aging. The best american wild i have had thus far. Definitely not over-hyped.

Mouthfeel: thin bodied. Medium carbonation. Just perfect for this style. I could drink multiple glasses of this without getting sick of it. (746 characters)

Photo of Huhzubendah
4.59/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2007 vintage. Thanks to Brad for sharing this gem.

A: cloudy, straw yellow, little lacing

S: hay, barnyard funk, citrus, slight oak

T: very complex, lingering aftertaste. A great puckering sour. Not too acidic. No bitterness. I wish it was more sour, actually. Flavors blended superbly.

M: smooth and balanced, very pleasant sourness, no alcohol taste

D: A fine brew, and easy to sip, given the style. (408 characters)

Photo of glid02
4.6/5  rDev +3.6%
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. (1,271 characters)

Photo of nkersten
4.6/5  rDev +3.6%
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. (476 characters)

Photo of beerwolf77
4.6/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2010 bottle enjoyed at Toronado in SF.

A: Poured into my tulip the beer is golden yellow and moderately clear. Huge three fingers of white head fill the glass and remain. Good retention with modest lace.

S: Loads of tart and sweet intertwined with a good dose of brett. Mild funk. Just a bit of wood and attic dust. Mostly just awesome sweet and tart fruit.

T: Pleasantly tart citric fruit. Dry bretty band aid. A good amount of juicy citrus sour on the finish.

M: Medium body with loads of carbonation.

O: Fantastic! Well worth the price tag and visit to Toronado. I managed to share about 6 ounces with my wife and I honestly regretted letting that much get away. (675 characters)

Photo of tpd975
4.6/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2009 vintage. Thanks to Floydster for this one.

A: Pours a nice palish yellow hue with a very tall white head. Above average retention with a few spots of lace.

S: Wonderful aromas of citrus with mild notes of tart peaches. Yeast, vinegar, tart, and sourness... Yum.

T: Wonderful citrus up front. Acidic, but not overthetop. Mild vinegar with hints of peach, apricot, and light woody notes. There is some wet hay goodness, with hints of leather and barnyard.

M: Medium in body, snappy carbonation and the acidity bites at the tongue a bit.

N: Not overly tart or sour. Well done, and damn tasty for sure. (609 characters)

Photo of afksports
4.6/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

notes for better review to be updated when I get on my computer post vacation

2009 bottle at toronado. The bar it was brewed for.

App: hazy gold straw with tons of head that sustains great lace and a touch if cling

smell: wine barrels it has to be. funky and sweet at the same time. Fantastic sour aroma, bites the nose with a puckering sweetness

taste: heaven. Delicate, balanced, pucker that starts and finishes but somehow manages bitter too. Sweet middle body that has white grapes, dryness, complexity and tartness, touch if funk bit it doesn't last. Sooo effing smooth start to finish.

Mouth: great carb, nice body, bubble goddess

drink: forever (657 characters)

Photo of Imstillthegman
4.62/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed this personal whale at Toronado in San Diego. $40 a bottle. 2010 vintage.

Pours a slightly hazy pale orange. The head fills half of the Russian River tulip the server gave me to enjoy the beer out of. Slowly fading mound of bubbles due to the effervescent flow of bubbles steadily rising.

The aroma seemed to constantly change. First sniff was filled with lemon zest and sour funk. Then I started getting some orange and some oak. Up next was grassy herbs and sourdough bread. This would have gotten a 5 for aroma if something would have smacked me in the face. Lots there, but not overwhelmingly powerful.

The flavor mimics the smell quite nicely. Tart lemon, wet grass, white wine grapes, bit of wood, and some sour funk. Not exceedingly tart or sour. Nice balance for the style. Delicious!

The carbonation is very active. Prickly on the tongue throughout most of the bottle. A little drying. Overall...wow! So glad I finally got to have this one. Worth the wait. (978 characters)

Photo of ktrillionaire
4.62/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2007 bottle. Big thanks to Gtreid for the share, and to mikesgroove for trading this bottle to him in the first place. The brew pours a radiant golden hue and is capped with a filmy white head. My glass is quite translucent due to a careful pour. The nose is very nice, although slightly too understated for me; lemon, green apple skin, cut grass and tannic oak are the mainstay of the aroma, and it is quite similar to a mild Hanssen's Gueuze in smell. The flavor ramps up the complexity and intensity relative to the aroma, and the result is outstanding. Perfect tartness, notes of lemon juice and zest, kaffir lime, nectarine, green apple, general acidity and woody notes are observed on the palate. The feel is very smooth whilst retaining tooth, and has an unbelievably clean finish. Overall I am very impressed. Worthy of the hype. Better than DDG. Almost as good as IP. I cannot yet make a YB comparison. (911 characters)

Photo of muttyd
4.62/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

*Reviewed from notes*

2010 vintage shared with some BAs.

Crystal clear yellow pour with a big fizzy white head. Aroma is eggy, funky, and has a slight band-aid/plastic presence as well. The underlying flavor is similar to that of a saison - grainy, lemony, peppery. Flavor also consists of wood, barnyard funk, and tropical fruits. Sourness is moderate - not too offensive. Medium body and carbonation. Very dry, crisp finish.

Truly a world-class beer. (455 characters)

Photo of augustgarage
4.64/5  rDev +4.5%
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. (913 characters)

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

2010 vintage, shared with the girlfriend at the Toronado in San Diego.

A - Pours a clear gold with a creamy white head that dissipates to a slight ring and spotty haze.
S - Complex, Gueuze-like aromas of sour lemon juice, oak, funky horseblanket, and wet straw. Absolutely wonderful.
T - Tart and funky, with a slight sulphury quality, and big flavors of lemon juice, grains, straw, horseblanket, and a very strong oak finish that reminds me of a big, oaked Chardonnay. Excellent level of sourness, very drinkable.
M - Crisp and tart, with a medium body and moderate carbonation. Finish is very drying, with a definite tannic quality to it. Precisely how I like my Wilds, this is spot-on for my tastes.
O - Such a wonderful beer, having it at the Toronado only makes it a more memorable experience. What a night! (813 characters)

Photo of jeffthecheff
4.64/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this bottle at a tasting. 2007 version.

Cable Car pours an orange gold color that looks like it would be somewhat clear, but is actually completely hazed. The head is just about non existent, and even a swirl produces only a thin wisp.

The aroma is intense, fruity, and sour. There is a little bit of cellar like mustiness to it, and only a touch of funk. Sour lemons make up most of the nose, along with a background of some peach like fruitiness. This is intense, but pleasant throughout.

The taste is impressively sour with a good, mouth puckering lemon sourness. A bit of sweetness adds a candy like complexity which is great. It reminds me of one of those powdery, sour jawbreaker type candies I used to get in gumball machines. The finish is dry and very puckering.

The mouthfeel is nice and light, with a good level of "tiny bubble" carbonation to make it refreshing and easy to drink. I would love to have more of this. I'm very glad I got to try this. (968 characters)

Photo of scottfrie
4.65/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2010 vintage generously split by ipa247. You're the man Jeff! Reviewed from notes. Consumed Feb 2011.

A: Pours a hazy lemon-yellow with a couple fingers of bright white bubby head that faded into a thin scum and collar.
S: Sweeter smelling than expected, but there is still a fair amount of sweaty sock musk. I get some slight lemon but not too much other fruit notes. Smells good though.
T: Not especially sour, pretty tame really, but it's got a great sweaty citrus taste. This one is hard to tack down, but I think I taste mostly grapefruit juice and bitter grapefruit pith. Aftertaste is rather sweet. Very delicious.
M: Fizzy mouthfeel over a medium body. This one is crazy super dry, although there are no gritty tannins.
D: This one is even better than my previous LA favorite, DDG. This is extremely drinkable and just stupid good. Could be a bit more sour, but the way it is now just makes it easier for me to drink more. Thank you so much for your generosity (again) ipa247!

EDIT: Additional notes from CC Vertical, Jan 2012:
07: Notes of shit on the nose. Nothing much to the flavor anymore. Very low carbonation. Very mellow all-around. Past prime.
08: Bubblier than the 07 with more acid and more flavor as well. Lightly funky and very smooth. Drinking great!
09: Bubblier than the 08. Big acetone notes. The most tart of any, and the harshest. Still a great beer though. (1,391 characters)

Cable Car from The Lost Abbey
98 out of 100 based on 205 ratings.