Cable Car - The Lost Abbey

Not Rated.
Cable CarCable Car

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BA SCORE
100
world-class

682 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 682
Reviews: 197
rAvg: 4.58
pDev: 8.52%
Wants: 2,359
Gots: 73 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
The Lost Abbey visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Wild Ale |  7.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: stephendr on 08-12-2007)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 682 | Reviews: 197 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of t0rin0
4/5  rDev -12.7%

Photo of spycow
5/5  rDev +9.2%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.16/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle pour at Woodshop 8 held at The Hermosillo in Los Angeles, CA.

2009 vintage.

Pours a murky light orange with a foamy bone head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace slowly drip into the remaining beer on the drink down. Smell is sour and tart with malt, fruit, and acidic aromas. Taste is much the same with sour and tart fruit-like flavors on the finish. There is a medium amount of acidity on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good beer that is tasty and very easy to drink.

Photo of djrn2
4.5/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of zestar
4.5/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of acurtis
4.25/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of Thorpe429
4.43/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2008 Vintage.

A: Pours a light, somewhat hazy apricot color with a nice white head and a decent amount of lacing.

S: The initial smell is quite sweet and balanced. The sourness is assertive but not at all overwhelming. Picked up quite a few notes of apricot and peach.

T: Similar to the nose in that there is a surprising amount of balance to this, unlike most other Lost Abbey sours that I've come across. Nice stone fruit flavors alongside the lactic sourness. Overall, a very nice balance, just not quite what I was expecting. Hints of orange and lemon zest.

M: Nice sourness and low carbonation.

D: Very drinkable all around for a sour. Definitely glad to finally be able to try this one out and would love to have it again, although it's definitely not quite up there with Isabelle and Veritas 004.

Photo of GRG1313
5/5  rDev +9.2%

Photo of olradetbalder
4.25/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of ygtbsm94
4.5/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of mikesgroove
4.75/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I have waited a really long time to try this beer, Some might say too long, But never the less, this was no easy feat to track one down. That being said I was graciously able to acquire through a wonderful west coast friend who took pity on my plea. The was a 2008 vintage bottle, served out of the cellar at around 50 degrees and poured into my darkness snifter, let the games begin.

As I pour it out, I have to admit I am a bit nervous here. Maybe it is the high expectations I have for this brew, perhaps the preconceived notions are getting to me, no matter. Pours out a very nice and cloudy orange tinted amber color. I could not see through the glass when held up to the light. Nice fizzy head rises quickly to about an inch and a half and then faded away into the night, leaving an almost bare top, well after a few minutes it was a totally bare top. Some light carbonation could be seen inside the glass and a good bit of sediment getting stirred up in the bottle.

Aroma is a tar bomb off the bat, but not enormously sour. Much more complex then then that. Light notes of citrus, orange, semi sweet notes as well coming though as it warms. Deep horse funk apparent as well now. So I go in, for my first sip of Cable Car, and I have to admit it is much more mellow then I thought it would be. Seriously though, I was expecting this deep, wretchedly sour ale and this was not the case. It was remarkably smooth, almost sinisterly so. Deep funky notes predominate, with early touches of white grapes and tart apples. Soo damn smooth though. A bit light on the carbonation in the feel, left me looking for a little more, but damn the taste is unreal. Cannot really compare it too much else. It is just amazing drinkable. The first glass went down like water for me, but half way through the second the ABV starts to kick in and I am feeling it as I type this for sure. Still though I find myself wanted to take bigger and bigger sips, it just that smooth. The finish had to be the driest I can recall with all moisture being sucked from the palate almost immediatly.

Overall wow. The taste was just out of this world. It could have used a bit more pop in the carbonation and appearence but that being said it was still unreal. Super damn drinkable and just absurd. Worth the hunt as I cannot compare it to anything else.

Photo of womencantsail
4.13/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2007 Vintage

A: The pour is a very hazy golden yellow color without much head and very little retention.

S: The nose is full of lactic tartness with a mild mustiness and a pleasant barnyard funk. The sourness is primarily in the form of lemon and green apples.

T: The flavor is highly sour with plenty of lemony lactic acid and a touch of vinegar. The funk is much more subdued than the nose would lead you to believe.

M: The body is light to medium with a full carbonation and a nice dry finish.

D: This particular bottle was the best of the Cable Car pours that I've had. A solid sourness and nice fruit character, but a little lacking in the "funk" department.

Photo of Knapp85
4.8/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Felt this one needed a full review. Acquired my bottle from a friend who was in the right place at the right time. A big thanks to her for scoring me a 2013 vintage of this. This beer poured out as a hazy orange gold color with a foamy white head on top. Lots of bubbles rising to the top and collecting at the surface to hold a strong retention. Decent lacing streaks down the glass with every sip. The smell of the beer is potent, it's pretty funky and rank. Basically it stinks but it's awesome for the style, it's exactly how I would expect it to smell. The taste of the beer has a sharp tartness up front which then settles into a really nice sweet grainy wheat like finish. This beer is very bold yet delicate in flavor, it's hard to explain. The mouthfeel is light bodied with a solid carbonation. The beer is very drinkable. Overall this is definitely something special and I believe it's worth seeking out at least once. I'd love to drink it again one day but I don't want to drop the money on it like I did for this one.

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4.5/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of SocalKicks
4.75/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.18/5  rDev -8.7%
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.

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

2008 vintage on tap at Toronado SF.

Appearance: Straw-colored, turbid and completely opaque, almost milky. The thin white head doesn't last long, receding to a ring after a few minutes.

Smell: Wonderfully funky; barnyard, horseblanket, rotten fruit, lemons. Absolutely full of funk.

Taste & mouthfeel: Sour, lemony and funky as hell. Acidity is low, and there's not a lot of vinegar-like flavors, which make this possibly the most drinkable sour beer I've ever tasted. The mouthfeel is bone-dry, and the finish is surprisingly clean.

Notes: Drank far too many of these on tap at Toronado's 21st anniversary party. Great stuff.

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!

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.5/5  rDev -1.7%
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...

Photo of JAHMUR
4.75/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of Kegatron
4.53/5  rDev -1.1%
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 jlindros
4.38/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had at the huge whale-ish tasting at Chris's. Thanks to tai4ji2x for this one, a 1L swingtop growler.

Pours a light fizzy head (yay carbonation) which fades quickly over semi clear golden color.

Nose of a light tart fruity sour, lemony like fruit, other fruits as well, light golden malts and a touch of sweetness.

Taste is semi sweet with golden Belgian like malts, tart fruits, little zest and lemon, bready light funk, touch of fruit like apricot or peach, light toasty caramelized candy sugar like, light sweetness, bitter rind, finish is a little flemmy with a dry bready funk, almost no acidity, light oak and vanilla rounding.

Mouth is medium to lighter bodied, decent carbonation.

Overall great, very drinkable, light tartness, nice dry light bready funk, even has some carbonation.

Photo of XmnwildX12
4/5  rDev -12.7%

Photo of oline73
4.05/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2008 bottle opened at our Lost Abbey tasting. Poured into a tasting snifter.

Appearance: Pours a clear amber color with a golden hue. The is a small amount of off white head.

Smell: A slight tartness with some lemon and a mildly herbal funk. There is more sweetness here than I expected.

Taste: A tartness that reminds me of lemon juice with some vinegar in there as well. Slightly bitter, I'm getting some aged hops. The finish is light and sour.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with tingly carbonation and a touch of dryness in the finish.

Overall: This is a very good beer, but it was missing that wow factor for me. Still quite nice and I wouldn't turn down more.

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

Huge, huge thanks to mba3243 for trading me a bottle of this brew. After being invited to taste with Beerloco and d0b I had to step up and find something worthy to bring to the table, and this gem just sort of popped up (after probably way too many pleading beermails to Mark). This was the '08 vintage (batch 2) and was served in my Kuhnhenn tulip.

A - One finger of off-white foam with lovely lacing. A pleasant hazed golden apricot color. Not the most interesting looking brew, you'd never realize what it was just by looking at it.

S - Holy funk Batman! Tons of brett, horse blanket, white wine, sour apples, oak, and notes of graham cracker sweetness. This is up there with the best Belgian gueuzes in terms of being delightfully funky but not out of control.

T - Sour apple, vinous and oaky, cider vinegar, and plenty of earthy funkiness evocative of stables, barns, and bales of hay. This is one of the rare brews where I didn't experience much drop-off from the smell to the taste. Dave astutely pointed out that it was similar to Isabelle, and after having a taste of IP late in the night I'd be inclined to agree.

M - Smooth, velvety, moderate carbonation, dry, woody finish from the oak-aging, and some of the cottonmouth tartness. There's a slight warmth that wasn't present in Deviation (which is only .57% lighter in ABV).

D - There is a touch of palate fatigue that sets in from the funk and sourness, but I'd still have few problems putting down an entire bottle. The last bit of the bottle had an almost milky consistency from the bottle-conditioning, but still tasting just as good (we weren't letting any of this stuff go to waste!).

After having landed this white whale I'm not certain I'd give up as much as I did again - however it was still worth it to try this rarity. I'm wondering how different this is from the first batch, as the rumor has it that the original recipe was never recorded and batch 2 is a "re-creation". This is a superb wild ale, it just had the misfortune of following up the sublime Deviation and paled a little in comparison. If our sour lineup was analogous to the LotR trilogy, this would be The Two Towers.

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Cable Car from The Lost Abbey
100 out of 100 based on 682 ratings.