Cable Car - The Lost Abbey
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Ratings: 601 | Reviews: 192 | Display Reviews Only:
4.18/5 rDev -8.7%
Batch 2; Sampled August 2008
Funky, cheesy and sour notes are quite noticeable as I pour this brew. An average pour into my large Tripel Karmeliet tulip produces an almost two finger thick, pale, white colored head that leaves some lacing on the sides of my glass. This has a little chill haze and a touch of permanent haze to it; it went into the cooler with only a slight haze. The beer is a murky, light amber color as it sits on my desk, but it shows an orangish copper hue when held up to the light. Wow, this is much more funky than I was expecting it to be, more funky than just about any other Lost Abbey brew. Ample butyric acid aromas of old, dried sweat laden blankets and cured leather are joined by funky-woody mushroom aromas, some definite farmhouse cheese notes (though this is somewhat soft), uriatic cat pee, fresh scraped lemon zest, oxidized peanuts. This is all anchored by spicy, tannic oak notes that linger in the background of the nose, but are quite noticeable once you get past the funk. Some fruitiness seems noticeable at times, but at others is drowned out by the funk; when noticed, aromas of ripe pear, white wine vinegar, hints of kumquat pith & zest, . This has a very complex, very funky aroma that has a significant, but not overwhelming oak character that seems to be a bit more pervasive than I originally thought, but as a supporting role.
The first sip is quite dry tasting, it is not quite as mouth puckeringly sour as I was expecting, based upon the aroma, but still has a nice tartness to it. My first sip definitely leaves me thinking that this needs to have a harder sourness to it. The carbonation is at a light-medium level; persistent, prickly and noticeable, but not any where near the effervescence of sparkling Gueuze (which seems to be a rarer and rarer thing now a days, even amongst the classic Gueuze producers). The flavor also seems a bit cleaner than the aroma, though it is definitely tart and funky. The acidity here seems predominantly lactic in character and reminds me of tart grapefruit, some lemon zest, a touch of vinegar-like bite in the finish. Other flavors that round things out are a slight, funky cheddar cheese note, something a bit like smoked almonds, a touch of saltiness (tied up in the previous note), a definitely tannic finish and some light, spicy oak notes there as well. This somehow picks up a perception of sweetness to it, though I don't think there is much in the way of residual sugars in this beer; it almost seems to be acidity based. Light and quaffable, this beer also hides its alcohol quite well, which makes it all that much more drinkable.
My second pour of this is a touch more yeasty, which seems to soften the tartness a bit and also adds some raw, fermented dough notes (though only just a touch) as well as enhancing a cooked bread like character (sour dough to be sure though). I easily polish off this 750ml bottle, though there is enough acidity to make my empty stomach feel a bit rumbly. Worthy of the hype that I built up in my mind? I don't know, but it is definitely worth the hype to try it. It could use a touch more carbonation as a beer like this could always use a lively carbonation in my book.
08-28-2008 18:50:19 | More by Gueuzedude
4.72/5 rDev +3.1%
08/11/07- Had on tap at the Toronado 20th Anniversary party.
Presentation- Via the tap into a tulip style glass.
Appearance- Vibrant peach-orange colored pour. Slight creamy and bubbly brilliant white head. Light lace sheets left behind. The color won me over on this beer.
Smell- A bit of lambic style funk...damp basement. Couldn't quite get which fruits were in the nose, but they were citrus and fresh.
Taste- Tremendous fresh and tart fruit basket. Tangerine, orange, cherry, apricot and lemon. Not violently sour like some Cantilion brews, but a nice tangy tart flavor like La Folie, but maybe more like Love.
Mouthfeel- Light carbonation, lingering tart aftertaste.
Drinkability- Damn I hope they decide to bottle this. Probably the winner of the night for me. One of the best sour beers I have ever had.
08-14-2007 00:47:22 | More by GClarkage
4.95/5 rDev +8.1%
Big thanks go out to FooFaa for busting this out at a recent tasting. I've wanted to try this beer for a very long time so I was really psyched to try it. Thanks a bunch Dan!
Pours a dark golden ripe banana color that is slightly murky with a one finger off-white head that quickly fades into a lasting ring. There is very minimal lacing, only small spots here and there.
Very funky aroma with some nice barnyard, horseblankety goodness. Lots of crisp golden fruits, apple, pear, grape, etc and a nice dusty earthy oak character. Just the smell of this beer made my mouth water. I literally sniffed my glass for several minutes before even taking a sip.
This beer has a perfect balance of intense puckering tart barnyard funk, horseblanket notes, slightly lactic and acidic but not too much so. Tart and sour intensity up front that settles into some beautiful light crisp golden fruit notes. Hints of apple, pear, grapefruit, light grape followed by more funky brett oaky sourness which lingers into the amazing mouthwatering finish. Very dry yet sweet and crisp with an amazing crisp dry tart puckering finish.
This is an amazing beer that for me truly lived up to the hype. It is just a perfect blend of tart/puckering sourness, crisp delicious fruit notes and a dry sweet yet tart delectable finish. This beer tasted better with each sip and my mouth was literally watering in anticipation of each sip. This is one of the most complex, flavorful sours I've ever had and I cannot recommend it any higher. I only wish I had more.
10-06-2009 02:00:34 | More by corby112
4.83/5 rDev +5.5%
Much thanks to Phatz for sharing this rarity of a gem.
Appears a hazy, light gold with a small white head that slowly fades into a mild cap. Lacing is scattered all over the glass like tiger stripes. Streams of CO2 quickly rise to the top.
Smell is of caramel, candy sugar, vanilla, barnyard, funky must, cinnamon, and cardamom, with a touch of apple.
Taste is of the mentioned aromas that meld together in a lemony zest, citrusy, sweet, funky, and tart blend that tantalizes the tastebuds into craving this different but enticing brew.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied, chewy, full of candy orange, funk, with a dryness covering the palate with citrusy zest.
10-15-2007 15:40:42 | More by weeare138
District of Columbia
4.58/5 rDev 0%
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.
12-20-2011 20:32:19 | More by yourefragile
4.5/5 rDev -1.7%
Review #100! I had to get one while I was at the Toronado in San Diego. 2010 Bottle poured into a goblet multiple times.
A - Pours pale yellow with lots of little bubbles racing up the glass into a nice pillow of half finger tall white head leaving spotty wisps of lacing down the glass.
S - Quite a bit of funky brett, lemon, and other bright citric fruits blend well with the strong funk. Pretty tart but not to the point of being overpowering. Very nice stuff.
T - Lots of sourness up front giving way slowly to a mix of strong acidic lemon and some chewy brett funk. Finish is dry with plenty of lingering sour funk. Nice and light, quite refreshing actually. It did wear me down over the course of the bottle but I think that had more to do with me drinking the entire thing myself. I would love to get my hands on a bottle of this for the cellar.
M - Medium-light body and flavor with moderate carbonation. Quite the dry feel with plenty of lingering sourness that sticks around for some time.
D - Quite high. How could I not give this a five? I drank the entire bottle in one sitting and I barely felt it. Not too tart like some of the other wild's I have had recently. Nice and refreshing. I wish this wasn't such a pain in the ass to get. I would love to have a few of these for special occasions. Quite tasty stuff for sure.
02-14-2011 06:33:53 | More by orangesol
4.6/5 rDev +0.4%
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.
09-06-2008 23:19:37 | More by Georgiabeer
4.8/5 rDev +4.8%
A 750 mL corked and caged bottle (Batch 1) graciously shared by the one and only spacecoyote.
A: The ale is a hazy golden color, a weizen-like melange of sediment and goldenrod. The head held up well through several glasses.
S: The aroma is funky, but not as tart as I expected. A wide array of fruits pop up throughout and add a varied sweetness to the ale.
T: Man oh man! I was expecting the utmost in tartness, the end-all be-all of face pucker, so I was mildly surprised by a reserved tartness that strikes up front and supports the the fruitiness throughout. After the mild tartness, the fruits make themselves known. Apricot, green apple and lots of grapefruit mark the fruitiness. The grapefruit is most memorable, as it is not hop-driven. The finish shows off the flavor, a tart sweetness that really bites at the taste buds. The mix of flavors is incredible, a magnum opus.
M: The mild tartness is refreshing, not so strong that you can't handle repeat sips. The tart fruit flavors are divine.
D: I almost passed out when Carl pulled this one out of his cooler. It is easily one of the most drinkable sour ales that you'll come across.
06-14-2008 01:40:17 | More by akorsak
United Kingdom (Wales)
4.53/5 rDev -1.1%
Poured into a Carolous chalice.
Hardly any white head from the pour. Color is a very hazed orange pumpkin hued sunset color.
Aroma: very funky and sour. Notes of honey, crisp flavors. Leather, some horse blanket, and bright fruits. This beer is making my mouth water.
Taste: Very sour and funky. Horse blanket and leather. Tart cherries and fruit flavors. Sweet honey in the finish.
Mouthfeel: Very sour and tart. Mouth pukering. Medium bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Ends a little tart but overall, very clean.
Overall, a very nice wild ale. Nice and sour, just the way it should be. I could go for a lot more of this. A very well done sour. I hope I can try a fresh one of these in a month or so when I visit Toronado.
12-17-2009 00:42:25 | More by mothman
4.33/5 rDev -5.5%
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
01-29-2012 15:49:22 | More by BARFLYB
District of Columbia
4.58/5 rDev 0%
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.
01-24-2010 18:27:15 | More by Huhzubendah
4.35/5 rDev -5%
Huge thanks to grub for providing this rare bottle, Batch 001. Day 1 of insane DrJay visit epic tasting.
Pours a hazy pale golden yellow, thick white head forms, drops a bunch of lace spots on the glass, settles to a medium sized ring, looks nice. Smell is great, very acidic, charred wood, vinegar, lemon juice, fruit, very funk, leathery, alcohol, mangoes, acidity burns the nose a bit. Taste is nice too, sour fruit up front, vinegar, wood, sour mangoes, honey/caramely malt, bread, very acidic funkiness in the finish, very sour. Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied with high carbonation, very nice, burns going down, very acidic stuff. Great sour, nice woody character, Lost Abbey can do no wrong. Thanks Russ!
12-07-2008 16:04:35 | More by Viggo
4.5/5 rDev -1.7%
Review from notes. Huge thanks to Jay for opening this bottle up!
A: Pours a very bright golden color, very clear. No head formation or lacing, but carbonation bubbles release from the bottom of the glass.
S: Very nice aroma, lots of citrus fruits, some apricot, peach, and green apple. A sharp sour/acetic aroma, very inviting.
T: Fantastic flavor profile, has held up nicely over the years. A great acetic sourness, very puckering. Vibrant lemon, apple, peach, and apricot.
M: Light to medium bodied with moderate carbonation. A great level of sourness.
O: A fantastic AWA that has held up nicely, though not sure how much longer it will hold out. Thankful I was able to give this one a try.
11-03-2012 15:18:14 | More by mdaschaf
4.68/5 rDev +2.2%
Pale orange color to this one. Slight ring of head around it. Amazing aroma, extremely tart, funky, nothing really fruity to it, beyond what you would think to be lemon based on the sheer tartness, but nonetheless, fantastic.
Taste = sour. Lemon, slight wood notes. Its actually pretty straightforward and not complex, just massively sour, extremely dry. Extremely light body to it, never feels heavy, nor alcoholic. Shit, if you could just chill on these around the pool in the backyard. Gets better as it warms, which I didn't think was possible at first it was so good.
Expensive. Can't get a perfect overall score when you're $40 and only available at 2 bars, one of which sucks ass.
05-17-2011 16:55:59 | More by Beerandraiderfan
4.47/5 rDev -2.4%
Big thanks to grub for cracking this one open. Day 1 of the 2008 Biergotter Tasting. Batch 001.
Fairly clear orange/peach colour, turned cloudy once the dregs were poured. It had a thin, whitish cap that produced thick and spotty lacing. Sharp aroma, lots of tart and vinegar character. Sort of earthy with some funk, leather and lemon zest, fruit tarts even. Very smooth. Big fruity tartness in the flavour, earthy raspberry seeds, leather, a bit juicy. It did have a solid malt base, caramel and bread, but this was really there just to provide balance for the craziness. Medium to light bodied with average carbonation, just a bit of dryness. Delicious. Very smooth and balanced, highly recommended.
12-08-2008 00:34:10 | More by DrJay
4.6/5 rDev +0.4%
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.
05-14-2010 19:07:00 | More by glid02
4.47/5 rDev -2.4%
Thanks to Chris and Joey for bringing Batches 2 and 1, respectively, to the tasting we had on 7/25/09-7/26/09. We found batch 1 had gone downhill a bit so I decided to focus my notes on the current better of the two, batch 2.
The beer appears hazy orange with a small fizzy white crown that recedes after a minute.
The aroma opens up with vibrant citrus in the form of lemons, orange, and apricots mixed with just the right amount of Brett. The Brett imparts a nice level of mustiness as well as a little barnyard funk. The nose has a distinct tart quality to it.
The flavor is bursting with lemon and orange with a nice medium level of tartness. Some nice Brett notes are evident, but once the Brett doesn't impart any deep funk notes like cat piss or wet horse blanket, but rather a slight musty barnyard element that seems to accentuate the soft citrus. The finish is orange and lemon with Brett, some acidity, and a lingering sourness.
The beer is light bodied with a medium level of carbonation. The mouthfeel is dry with some acidity.
The 2007 batch has noticeably declined since I last tried it. I laughed at the thought before we opened the batches side by side, but it truly is the case. The 2008 is clearly the better of the two at this point in time.
07-29-2009 06:33:01 | More by HopHead84
Cable Car from The Lost Abbey
100 out of 100 based on 601 ratings.