Cable Car - The Lost Abbey

Not Rated.
Cable CarCable Car

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

205 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 205
Hads: 794
rAvg: 4.44
pDev: 7.88%
Wants: 2,580
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: 794
Photo of RustyDiamond
4.5/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2009 bottle. Slight chill haze golden with frothy 2 fingers of white head. Aromas of champagne vinegar, apple cide vinegar, slight horse stable, meyer lemon. Effervescent dry and lemony on the nose. Slight lemony vinegar tartness. The funk is there, but underneath it all. Very dry and tart, moreso than sour or funky. Very delicious and highly drinkable. Splendid ringed lacing in the glass with a white ring staying on top of the golden liquid. More lemon than green apple, with zesty fruity to say the least. Dry yet glossy citric lemon tart mouthfeel, with a side of dry funk. (580 characters)

Photo of dmsohyea
4.4/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle at Toronado SD, served in a tulip.

A - Pours light, orange-tinged yellow with a ton of thin, bubbly head. Probably 4 fingers. This one is certainly effervescent.

S - Wow! Tons of lemon and orange zest with a strong acidity that blows up in your face. A bit of honey, with few to no hops at all.

T - First few sips are all sweetness up front and sour on the finish. Sugary, honey sweetness right on the tip of your tongue, followed by floral lemon juice and bitterness, finishes with acid and more lemon. Some other citrus fruits can also be detected.

M - Mouthfeel is thin, but not watery. Carbonation is high, but mellows with each sip. A bit of astringency, but still doesn't feel bad on the mouth.

O - Way too expensive, but a very tasty brew. May have to bring a couple friends to drink one of these next time. (826 characters)

Photo of fiver29
3.92/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Tasted at Cleveland tasting on 8-23-08. Thanks!! Batch 2 was poured with a golden color and thin white head. Has a slight funk aroma, some citrus, and some spice. Has a medium body. Taste is tart, some fruits, and has a sweet sour finish on the back end. Overall I was expecting more from this beer. Considering the hype around it I found it did not live up to the hype. Its a solid brew, just not worth the ratings it gets here. And I wasn't the only one with those sentiments. (478 characters)

Photo of glazeman
4.03/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle at Toronado in San Diego

A: The beer pours a straw yellow color and is quite hazy. The head is fluffy white and about ¾ of a finger in size. Throughout the drink there was good head retention and nice lacing.

S: The smell was of chalky lemons with just a hint of wood/nuttiness

T: There’s a fair bit of lemons, sour, but not as much funk/earthiness as in many other wild ales. The flavor is not overwhelming by any means and has some oakiness and yeastiness up front.

M: The finish on this beer was balanced, enjoyable, and lingering. The carbonation was appropriate, as was the viscosity.

O: I was glad to have tried this, but given the exclusivity and price tag, probably won’t search it out again. It was good, but better, similar beers can be found much more easily. (787 characters)

Photo of bs870621345
4.66/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had at Toronado, gave a little to a guy sitting next to me...damn expensive but worth it.

Pours a cloudy yellow with a half inch head. Leaving no lacing and head fades quickly.

Smell is of oak, brett funk, lemons, vinegar, herbs, lactic, and bread...there is a lot going on...everything in balance and everything delicious.

Taste follows smell, each sip gives something new. Oak on the end with lemons cleaning the palate with carbonation. Vinegar, bread and brett are inital and they all carry though to the end.

Mouthfeel is moderate with good carbonation, would be excellent to pair with a burger or steak.

Overall its a great one. Price tag is high but I'm on vacation! (678 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 jale
4.7/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to Eric for letting me try this.

A: Pours yellow with minimal head.

S: Lemon tartness and great funkiness. Just like a wild should be.

T: Great initial citrus sourness followed by that nice barnyard funk. Very smooth and exactly what a wild should taste like.

M: Light body.

O: I would drink this over and over again. (334 characters)

Photo of CoolJosh
4.46/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Shared by Treyrab at our coveted Graduation Tasting.

Pours a very gold light brown that shines ever so perfectly when held up to the light. A spotty white head floats atop, which leaves slight remnants of lacing behind. Very beautiful haze, and a darker then I was expecting the body to be.

The smell contains tons of bitter lemon, and is fairly sweet. There is a lot of grapefruit in this scent as well, which is a followed by a nice orange tartness. Vanilla and horse blanket lay secondary in the background.

The taste is awesome. My palate picked out tart grapefruit, orange and lemon. The beer is a really nice dryness to it, which really plays well with all that is sweet and kickin'. This beer reminds me slightly of Sanctification, minus the cherry. It is a little bit lighter then some of the other wild ales we have tried today which deters the mouthfeel score. The dryness continues to linger well after each sip. The vanilla is very soft and hardly noticeable as sticks out most with warmth. There is also a funky cheese taste that plays well with all of the other flavors. Not to keep playing the memory game, but this also reminds me of a carbonated version of 3 Fonteinen's Dosjel with carbonation.

Really glad I got to see what all the talk is about! (1,270 characters)

Photo of OlieIPA
3.82/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

2010 edition poured from a 750 ml bottle into a Cabernet glass.

A: Body exhibits a deep yellow hue, mild lacing, and a bold white fizzy head.

S: The nose is hit hard with a strong tartness at first, but then follows through with aromas similar to banana/tropical fruit. Wood becomes more noticeable as the beer begins to warm up.

T: The flavor profile is weaker/lighter than the smell indicated earlier. Definitely has that tart/sour kick you look for within this style, but is overbearing at times. So much that it applies a harsh character that masks some of the underlying flavors. Along with that, the oak is robust as well, perhaps too much.

M: Very light in body with ample amounts of carbonation.

D: Even with some of it's harsh qualities, this beer is quite enjoyable and goes down quite easily.

Overall: A very good "sour" for sure, just not sure if it's the best. I prefer "Duck Duck Gooze" and/or "Isabelle Proximus" over "Cable Car". A must try. Cheers! (972 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 DaveJanssen
4.38/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Split a 750 mL of the 2010 vintage at SF Toronado, poured into tulips. Reviewed 12/13/2010. I had heard about the egg fart character in this batch discussed at the Toronado anniversary party and that was on my mind as i had it.

Ar: Fruity, tart cherry, raspberry, sulfur hints, very fruity, tropical fruit, citric, mild egg fart character that dissipates quickly.

Ap: Thick white head, good retention, clear gold

T: Sulfur, cherry, raspberry, lemon, tart citrus, peach/nectarine, very mild green/herbal character, very strong berry, tropical fruit, not too sour, clean malt, simple light sweetness, tangerine, floral, slight residual sweetness.

M: Thin body, high carbonation, sour but smooth, *cheesy/buttery mouthfeel

O: Very good, tons of fruit character, minimal funk, was looking for the sulfur but it is definitely there, the sulfur isn't too strong or obtrusive but it is present and is less pleasant that the dupont sulfur character, sulfur character dissipates quickly.

I like the fruit rather than funk oriented Lost Abbey sour character present in this, DDG, Brouwer's imagination, IP. I wish it had more funk but all in all a very good beer and time seems to be helping it a lot from reports i heard of this initially. (1,236 characters)

Photo of dvsbizzyb
4.32/5  rDev -2.7%
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 kajerm
4.35/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle at Toronado.

A: Straw, translucent; filmy white head with lacing tracking up the glass. Fine, champagne-like columns of carbonation. Standard for the style, but attractive.

S: Horses and vinegar, in force. Fermented fruit, calvados. No malt to be found. This is a very good thing.

T: Opens tart (I feel stupid writing that), and stays that way but with lemon (not something I've tasted in a beer like this), very muted malt in the background, apple cider as usual but less assertively than in others in the style. Finishes bone-dry. Orval-dry

M: dry, effervescent

Very good, very expensive. (602 characters)

Photo of Bubba83
4.47/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap at Toronado SD during SD Beer Week alongside the mighty Kegatron.

Appearance is pretty good, sort of a copper orange body topped with a super thin yet bright white head. Small ring sticks around and leaves a slight lace.

Can tell from the aroma that this beer is going to be sour as all hell. Smells a bit like sweet and sour sauce with some green apple highlights and sour cherry notes.

Taste is a lot of the same, sweet up front with some apricot, orange, cherry, lemon and citrus which is followed up quickly by a lingering sourness that is challenging to my palate. Stoney fruits finish it up on the swallow.

Super vibrant and poppy in the mouth, medium chewiness and pretty slick.

Drinkability was higher than I originally thought upon first sip. As you become acustomed to the sourness it goes down easier and easier until you want to just chug the whole glass. It's kind of like drinking the sweet tarts candy :) (940 characters)

Photo of Yetiman420
4.65/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The last, and least worthy, of the four from this wonderful occasion to submit my review.

An emergency beer tasting?

If it involves Cable Car, you betcha. Slightly damaged during shipping, beachbum1975 (thanks Shane!) insisted we consume it within a day or two. Forget about the ice storm and the law telling people to stay off the roads. This was an emergency of Cable Car proportions.

Shane was tight lipped about the beer. It was intended to be a gift for pwoods (Patrick). Shane's message - it's rare and worth the urgency. FtownThrowDown (Steve) rounded out the special occasion.

I requested we drink the first half blind.

Poured by Shane into an oversized red wine glass. Presented to me with a hazy straw color and beautiful golden hue. Sensory overload with aroma, color, and foam lacing. I'm guessing my pour was around 5 ounces with 1 oz going to my wife. Review from the wife; "this is good!"

The suspected shipping damage had little impact on the mild level of carbonation (or did it?). Once in a lifetime. I'll never really know. The quest is officially on.

My notes contain the standard comments on this style - tart, sour, light citrus, and dry. Looking back over my notes, two observations were made separate of the rest - thick and straight up. I observed thickness, in the form of mouth feel, that I'm not accustomed to with sours/wilds. Straight up is another story. I was searching hard for complexity in the yet-to-be-revealed rare beer. Searching too hard to enjoy. To me, Cable Car is a phenomenal balance of the wild, sour, and funky combined with light and fluffy...at a loss for words here. Smooth, easy-drinking Cable Car. On a hot summer day I could drink myself to death.

When the curtain came up, the biggest surprise to me was the barrel aspect. I suspect this may have more to do with leveraging bugs than major & noticeable enhancements to the flavor profile (think Supplication).

Like a wedding video, I'm purposely avoiding documentation on this beer because I want it to live in my memory as I remember it - a special beer that rewards beer exploration. (2,104 characters)

Photo of irv2424
4.74/5  rDev +6.8%
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. (534 characters)

Photo of SubpoenaDeuces
3.47/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Cable car Lost Abbey, 7.0% wild ale

A: Light pilsner color, mellow gold, a refined golden ambiance

S: strong sour geuze smell, crushed sweettarts and a melted fruitloops wafting

T: This beer is intimidating at first, strong smells and notes, but ultimately this is a calf that you can wrangle not without oppression. It is akin to mutton busting, something that seems difficult until you tackle the sheep, and pull its majestic fur to the ground. At its core, it is temptation with milder souring, lighter drying effects, less tanins in the grape aftertaste, and finally champagne crisp apple notes in the finish. Nothing you can't handle but an exceptional balance. It is the lovechild of gueuze and champagnes of the mild brut variety.

M: Fantastic, crisp and light, the entire experience has lemon zest and feels like a Hootie and the Blowfish Album. You can dispense this pellmell and no one will look askance. If not for the oppressive Toronado's standards, this could be something everyone could enjoy, if not for proprietary despotism. Not worth bootlegging, not worth epic trades. Just really good, but if you want to tread this road, there are more refined paths as smoothe as marble for your wanting cart.

D: Again, fantastic but competing in a league of legends. I would drink this all day, fixing my carburator, prepartying for the charity gala, snuff film exposition, you know, guy stuff. I find myself in a love hate resolution with this beer because I love what it is but I hate the air surrounding it. It feels like seeing a person with a TOOL shirt on. you love the syncopated rhythms and complex melodies, but you dislike the fanbase in general. The faux highbrow ruins what would be a fantastic experience.

Narrative: Sir Fredrick Willingsly is repossessing your car. You can't hate him for doing his job, but, without a 1998 civic DX, these pizzas arent going to deliver themselves. You hate him, with his cliche antagonistic handlebar moustache and fogged up monocle. However, his wry quips relating to Howards' End and class struggle made it all the sweeter. "And thence upon from which one has had, none shall take without" he declares with a cloud of aplomb that almost makes you lighthearted in his usurpation of your chief economic asset. He is akin to the Mr. peanut of recurring vengeance. your pocket despises him, yet you respect him for his casuistic enforcement of the law. "God speed Willingsly, dont scratch my sick mugen exhaust on the dip. Godspeed." (2,492 characters)

Photo of MrFootstones
4.47/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2010 vintage

Pours bright, hazy, yellow with a nice big head that settles into a lasting foam cap.

More funky in the aroma than the others, and less fruit character, but it's still there. Phenolic brett, stone fruit, citrus zest, tangy berry.

The citrus and peachy nectarine are still present, but they are either less prominent or I am starting to experience some palate fatigue. The main flavors are there though. Underripe peaches, various citrus peels and segments, sour candy, and phenolic brett. Slightly less refined and focused than the 2008 and 2009, but still damn good.

Good mouthfeel. Not quite as fantastic as the 2009, but more full and rich than the 2008.

This is Cable Car, and it's great. Tasting it after the 2008 and 2009, it's not my favorite, but as a sour beer it's still world class and something for brewers to aspire to. (850 characters)

Photo of abfraser
4.37/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2008 bottling, had at Toronado's Lost Abbey event earlier this month.

A: Nice hazy golden yellow with orange undertones. Thick white head, which leaves some nice lacing on the glass.

S: Lemony acidity, funky, malty bread-like aroma, nice earthiness. This is a wonderful smelling sour. You can tell this isn't going to be over the top. Nice balanced aroma.

T/M: Excellent stuff. Nice sour fruit and strong earthiness. Funk isn't over-dominant, kept in check nicely. Not too sour. Mouthfeel is medium to light bodied. Nice strong carbonation leaves a dry finish. Very refreshing.

D: Very drinkable stuff.

Overall, an excellent sour beer. Between this and the Phunky Duck that same night, I see why people believe Lost Abbey makes some great sours (I think some of their other more well-known sours are overrated, personally).

Just crazy stupid that this thing cost $50 at Toronado, though. But I was willing to split with my friends once in order to give it a try. (971 characters)

Photo of Verecund
4.17/5  rDev -6.1%
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)

Photo of Deggar
4.33/5  rDev -2.5%
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 (478 characters)

Photo of bret27
4.4/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

On tap @Toronado, appropriate glass.

Appearance: Pale orange/yellow. Surprisingly good head retention.

Smell: Tart, vinious, grapes, champagne(ish)

Taste: same as smell w/citrus tartness goodness overwelming. Spices I can't put my finger on. Cinnamony? Dry finish such as white wine or champagne. Absolutely easy drinking and delightful.

Overall: Solid, and excited to have the privilege to try it on tap for $5. (417 characters)

Photo of drewba
4.23/5  rDev -4.7%
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 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 femALEist
4.42/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap at Tornado during SF Beer week.
Cable Car 09 by Lost Abbey is an American Wild Ale aged in oak barrels and 7%. It poured a hazy straw yellow. It smelled very sour, some Chardonnay notes, citrus, oak, wood and some funk. It tasted like citrus, lemon, a hint of pineapple, oak, wood and extremely sour from start to finish with some good bitterness in there as well. It was the tartest of the evening. (415 characters)

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