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Cable Car - The Lost Abbey

Not Rated.
Cable CarCable Car

Educational use only; do not reuse.

214 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 214
Hads: 841
Avg: 4.48
pDev: 16.96%
Wants: 2,632
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 214 | Hads: 841
Photo of bs870621345
4.66/5  rDev +4%
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!

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Photo of afksports
4.6/5  rDev +2.7%
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

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Photo of drewba
4.23/5  rDev -5.6%
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.

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Photo of rye726
5/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Excellent beer. Pretty much all I drank first night of '10 GABF. Great glowing pour, silky head. Nose is quite sour with lots of fruit and sweet malt notes. Taste is perfectly balanced. Belgianesque as usual Vinny. Cimplex and refreshing. Great stuff. Could drink any time.

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Photo of jsilva
4.55/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Bottle shared at a tasting with some other BA's. Thanks Mutty for the chance to try this one.

2010 Vintage

A-Nice straw yellow pour with nice big white fluffy head into an allagash tulip.
S- Lemon, grass, earth, some slight horse blanket funk but really not too funky. Really crisp smell with a hint of mild sourness.
T- Very subdued tartness and super refreshing. Reminded me of a hot day and grabbing a saison or pilsner to quench the thirst but then leads into the slight funk and balanced sourness. Bright citrus fruits and lemon pepper.
M- Nice mouthfeel with med-high carbonation and really balanced dry sourness and crispness
D- Nice refreshing, light, balanced beer. This is one I could finish myself and still want more.

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Photo of muttyd
4.62/5  rDev +3.1%
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.

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Photo of orangesol
4.49/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

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.

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Photo of scottfrie
4.65/5  rDev +3.8%
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.

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Photo of Hojaminbag
4.02/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Cable Car has light golden colored body with about a finger of fizzy white head. The head disappears completely, leaving behind nothing to show that it was ever there at all.

The aroma has lots of light fruits; peaches and apricots come to mind. Also a good bit of sourness and some musty, funkiness.

Cable Car is more sour than average, but it is not a tongue-attacked sour bomb by any means. The first flavors I notice are the solid amount of tartness that comes a long with a bunch of fruity notes. Once again I notice peaches and apricots, but also some generic light fruits to back those flavors up. Next a slight brett-like horse-blanket flavor that is noticeable but not as powerful as either the sourness or the fruit. After that a hint of wood and some white wine vinegar-like flavors appear for just a second.

I would probably like to see a little more carbonation in the mouthfeel, but it isn't too bad as it is.

Interesting and complex, Cable Car is a pretty good Wild Ale that doesn't leave your tongue feeling like it took a beating, but maintains a lot of sourness. With that said, I really wouldn't pay forty bucks at Toronado for a bottle. Well, if I could go back in time I wouldn't anyway.

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Photo of kbutler1
4.48/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottle. 2010 vintage. Had at Toronado San Diego! So excited. Saw this beauty behind be glass cooler and just had to have it, even at $40/bottle. Poured into a tulip glass a slightly hazed amber gold color with a nice fluffy white head that settles to a nice collar and leaves lace. The aroma is very nice, a blend of sweet grape, fruit, and a nice sourness as well. Very white wineish. Light mothfeel with a fai bit of carbonation. The taste is nice but not as sour as I thought it would be but being the 2010, I'm not surprised it hasn't fully soured up yet. Slightly sweet start like apricot gives way to some funkiness. Finishes dry like a white wine. Splendid.

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Photo of DaveJanssen
4.38/5  rDev -2.2%
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.

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Photo of DeanMoriarty
4.37/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this back in June (750ml bottle - corked and caged) at Toronado in San Diego - forgot I had reviewed this on my wife's iPhone and just found it the other day. I would normally never drop $40. on a single bottle, but it was my birthday, so I said fu*k it! Had this in a tulip glass with my wife.

A: Pours a clean golden straw-like hue with a small thin head, leaving minor amounts of lacing in my glass.

S: Real mellow, but very pleasant - green apples, sour citrus, wood and sourdough bread.

T: Major acidic sour bight - all the aspects of sourpatch kids candy minus the sugar, super woody, sour lemon and cherry, with a good yeast flavor in the finish.

M: Light-bodied, nice carbonation, champagne-like and extremely dry.

D: Easy drinker and very enjoyable. Just wish it were a little more affordable.

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Photo of rhinos00
4.5/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Going back into my notes for this one. On-tap at GABF. First beer of the night. Managed to gather a few tasters together for a solid 4 oz. review. 2009 vintage.

A- Pours a light golden color, semi-clear. Produced a half fingers width of white head that lasted throughout consumption.

S- As soon as I smelled it, I knew it was going to be a good sour. Immediately notes of sour lemons come forth. Underneath it all, a blend of apple skins, vinegar and brett are very noticeable. Nice complexity and great balance.

T- Very much like the aroma. A citric lemon flavor envelops the palate with a hint of green apples. Aside from fruit flavor, a decent amount of funk resides underneath, offering a nice balance to the beer. Finishes with a moderate amount of tartness.

M- Light bodied with a good amount if carbonation. The mouthfeel was semi-dry to dry and a perfect match for this sour.

D- Great flavors and good carbonation made this really easy to put down. The tartness was nowhere near overpowering.

Overall, Lost Abbey has failed to impress me on so many levels. However, this beer (and vintage) might be the exception. Might be one of the best American sours I have had aside from Deviation.

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Photo of pastradul
4.22/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

poured into a wine glass at toronado SDBW 2010

2010 vintage

Poured a semi-hazy straw yellow. with a nice 2 fingers of white fluffy head.

the aroma is a mild funk with some bright lemon tartness.

the taste is pretty good. Upfront you get a mixturen of sweetness... kinda lemon, citrus maybe... in the middle of the palate you get the barnyard and funk coming out a bit with some more sweetness. The back of the palate is where the tartness kicks in a hits the throught a little bit.

over all a great beer. This vintage is certainly young and needs some more time to develop and creat the tart sour flavors that are missing!

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Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.98/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2010 Vintage reviewed at Toronado's San Diego. 750ml bottle poured into 4 wine glasses. Shared with schen9303, capra12, and Christine.

A: Pours a fluffy, semi-coarse .5 finger head white head with great retention. Beer is a semi-clear light orange-ruby red. Lacing is minimal and with little stick.

S: Nose is funky with a slight Brett in the back. Notes of lemon rind, citrus, and tartness. Fruitiness is apparent and aromatic and sweet. Lacto and Brett hides behind.

T: Opens with a nice tartness and sweetness. Very fruity. Hints of lemon, unripened peach, and citrus makes this one very fruity towards the middle. Tartness comes back towards the end before finishing dry with a slight Bretty funk. Aftertaste is near non-existant.

M: Light bodied and well carbonated. Lively and coarse in the mouth. Bubbles invigorate the palate. Finish is dry with near no aftertaste.

D: Hugely dirnkable. Very balanced in every way. Tartness is present but not overwhelming and this is one of the fruitiest AWAs that I've had in a while. 7% is not high but alcohol seems nearly non-existant here. Never thought I'd say this but... worth the price!

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Photo of OlieIPA
3.82/5  rDev -14.7%
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!

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Photo of GradyS1
4.53/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- golden, hazy that all great american wilds should look like, small amount of carbonation on the head the disapears quickly

S-Funky with a good amuount of citrus to this one. A very sharp funky smell

T-Intense sharp funkyness right off the bat and intense, lip puckering sour with citrus in the finish. small hints of oak

M- despite the sourness, this is very well balanced with the small amount of carbanation rounding it off perfectly

O-Outstanding, I could drink this all day (or until I have unbearable heart burn)

Ive had this beer a number of times, A fresh bottle is about as sour as it gets IMO. I had this a few times in all vintages, I opened a batch1 about 10 months ago and remember that it was alot less sour and funky, It had supprised me how much it had faded over time.

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Photo of Damian
4.69/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Drank from a 1 pint 9.4 fl. oz. bottle
2008 vintage
Served in a tulip
Acquired in a trade with zminor

Review #550

The nearly clear, golden amber liquid was topped by a small, bubbly cap of froth. Within a few minutes, the head completed dissipated.

The aroma was simply astounding. Super funky with lots of must and barnyard character. Very oaky, leathery and "old." Tart and quite acidic with some slightly sweet, fruity notes. Green apple was noticeable, along with a touch of lemon. Some honey was also detectible.

Lots of sour funk and must also came through in the flavor profile. The brett character was really intense. Fruity. Green apple notes were apparent. Super tart and lemony on the finish with a strong oakiness. Somewhat white wine-like. Lots of acidity and yeastiness as well. As the beer warmed, the lemon character grew even stronger. Ultra crisp and dry. This wild ale definitely ranks high up there in terms of sourness.

The only somewhat disappointing aspect of this beer was the mouthfeel. It was quite thin with a fizzy, moderate effervescence.

Drinkability was impressive. The 7% ABV was incredibly well masked. Although the tartness was intense, this beer was nevertheless a real treat to sip and savor.

Cable Car is definitely one of the best American wild ales I have yet to try. I would love the opportunity to sample this again.

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Photo of nkersten
4.6/5  rDev +2.7%
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.

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Photo of emmasdad
3.7/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a lightly hazy amber-brown color, with a good, white head. Funky and tart on the nose, lemon, citrus and aged leather. On the palate, a good sourness, with apples, citrus puckering wine. This one was tart and dry, with a prickly carbonation. Didn't think I'd have the opportunity to try this one, but I did, and I'm glad, though I have no intention of ever tracking a bottle down.

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Photo of coldmeat23
4.35/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

GLASS: 7oz. Taster (Tulip/Flute combo style)
TEMP: Served to me at approx. 45 degrees
Immense thanks goes to alcstradamus for sharing this one!!!

This is a hazy yellow/straw color. It had an almost two-finger head of foam, which recedes to almost nothing after a minute or so. Basically just a surface ring, which leaves some moderate lacing down the side of the glass.

Lemons, apricots and green apples dominate. Nice hints of funkiness and some musty barnyard presence, as well. Some lactic tart notes, provide the expected tart level, but it's not quite as tart as I had expected.

Here's the tartness that I expected. Alright!
Lots of lemon tartness, along with some hints of white grapes and apricots. Light traces of green apple skins. All of this tartness is balanced by a beautifully blended level of barnyard funkiness and a slight touch of mustiness.
Very tasty.

Medium-to-almost-full-bodied, which surprised me, I admit. I expected it to be lighter, so I am very pleased by this. The carbonation is on the high side, but it's what is expected of the style. It helps this maintain a crisp and refreshing feel, yet it manages to have a slight hint of creaminess.

The initial sip was just a touch too sour to get a perfect score here. Then, with each succesive sip, the flavor becomes more and more of a friend to you. You eventually just want more and more of it. This works completely to it's advantage for sure.
This is a damn tasty bottle of beer and probably the ultimate representation of the American Wild Ale style. Not too sour, not too funky, highly drinkable.

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Photo of BTPete
4.72/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Cable Car 2009 bottle had at Toronado San Fran on 9/3/10

A: golden yellow in color. Minimal head and spotty lacing crawling around my glass.

S: huge funky tart fruit. Insane amount of citrus and funk. Certainly wild and well above expectation.

T: very rich sour flavor. A really nice fruity sour though. It start off nice and citrusy ending in a beautiful big sour dry bomb. Just the way I would love. Seriously great.

M: bright and fruity, sour and dry at end. Mouth puckering.

D: I'd drink a lot if I could (I'm not sure my stomach would agree). I feel lucky to try giving circumstances and not to lie, I tried more than once!

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Photo of RustyDiamond
4.5/5  rDev +0.4%
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.

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Photo of augustgarage
4.64/5  rDev +3.6%
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.

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Photo of djmichaelk
4.18/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

2010 vintage, at Toronado SF (of course, where else?).

A - Slightly hazy straw-yellow, with a large rocky off-white head. Nice retention and lacing.

S - Okay, so I've heard plenty of reports -- from some people whose opinions I respect -- of sulfurous odors and such. I'm happy to say that I didn't get that at all in my bottle. I also shared it with a couple of people next to me and the bartender just to make sure, and no one had that experience. Not sure if I just got a good bottle or what. Anyway, plenty of lemon, lots of barnyard funk, and a good dose of oak. Very pleasant.

T - Pucking sourness right off the bat. Lemony flavors smack you in the face, and then the vinegar takes over. Oak is all up in your face. The funkiness really dominates, and I mean that in the best possible way. The citrus cuts through it in the end. Long dry finish. Very little alcohol evident.

M - Very nicely carbonated, with almost a creamy feel at times, and at other times almost champagne-like. Light and dry.

D - After most of a bottle, this didn't faze me too much. The flavors would keep me coming back if not for the obvious cost issue.

O - Hmmm. Is this a beer that I would cross the world for? Or pay $40 for again? Well, probably not. It's too similar to several cheaper, although also very limited, beers that I have in the cellar. But is it a beer that I'm very glad to have tried? Absolutely.

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Cable Car from The Lost Abbey
99 out of 100 based on 214 ratings.