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Cable Car - The Lost Abbey

Not Rated.
Cable CarCable Car

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
99
world-class

217 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 217
Hads: 866
Avg: 4.49
pDev: 8.46%
Wants: 2,675
Gots: 93 | FT: 6
Brewed by:
The Lost Abbey
California, United States | website

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: 217 | Hads: 866
Photo of FosterJM
4.42/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

1286th Review on BA
Bottle to Goblet/Wine
750 Ml C/C

2008,2009,2010 Vertical @ToronadoSD

Shared with Ehammond1,Jazzpatel,GuruDel & MrHirschybar

**Scores are reflected for 2009 Vintage below**

App- Really a nice looking sour. A good mix of colors in the glass. A balance of a medium orange with some yellows and golds running throughout. Nicely carbonated as when the bottle was popped the bubbles started to creep out. Good bubble activity, a nice head and still no cling.

Smell- Very alive on the nose. Had a nice brightness with a good vibrant citrus. A bit of orange, tangerine was present. Nice burn on the big whiffs of some acidity and booze.

Taste- The bite is more pronounced on the flavor. A large sour pucker note with a bit of balanced tartness and wheaty lemon. The balance is much more present and this bottle seems to have done wonders.

Mouth- A light medium body with a fairly high prickly carbonation. A nice blending on the residual flavors of the sour and citrus more so than 08/10

Drink- Consensus of the 5 of us, that this was the best vintage. As mentioned, more alive and bright with a pleasant sour vs. funk combo.

---

2008 Vintage
App- A very deep deep golden color. A bit flat and thick looking like a mix of syrup and water. Zero cling and bubbles formed at all. (3.0)

Smell- A small impish bit of lemon on this one. Probably had the most deep smell of being old really. A small balanced acid on this nose. No fruit compared to other vintages (3.5)

Taste- Had a good flavor but could tell was past its prime. Seems like when the flavors fall you are left with just a nice base sour that plays well with adding layers of flavors too. A bit lemon remains with a bit of tart. (3.5)

Mouth- A bit thicker leading to a medium/full thickness for a sour. A low carbonation level with zero bubbles remaining. A bit of a lemon flavor remains. (3.0)

Drink- It was okay. A bit old but still retained a nice flavor. Fair to say this is past its prime at this point. (3.5)

2010 Vintage
App- This was a fuller yellow vs. 09 which had a good blend of colors. A bit light than 09 and much more than 08. A bit less bubbles than 09 as well. Still no cling though. (4.0)

Smell- This had me and the guys comparing Motherfunker vs. Filmismish while drinking these too. Its the story of Sour vs. Funk. This was the funky one of the two. Had a deeper earthy note behind it. A bit more wheat IMO. (4.0)

Taste- Smaller sour with a more pronounced funk flavor. Had much less of a bite as well. A bit more mango flavor to get to a much more rich flavor. (4.5)

Mouth- A lighter medium body with a medium carbonation. A bit of residual funk/earthy flavors. Much more tart vs. sour. (4.0)

Drink- Very tasty and much creamier than the 09. I can see this one aging very well. (4.5)

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Photo of islandboi8204
4.67/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2009 bottle enjoyed at Toronado SD.

Pours a hazy golden color with a thick white head, not much lacing.

Smells like tangy fruit, citrus and lemon zest. Lots of grapefruit, orange, nectarine and funk. Similar to a Belgian gueuze, delightful funk but not out of control.

Tastes like those chalky Vitamin C tablets with graham cracker sweetness and tart on the finish. Grapefruit, orange, lemon is prominent. I thought it would be a lot more sour from the nose, but it's has incredible balance with some oak and vanilla.

Mouthfeel is full, creamy, and rich for a sour beer.

This was incredible. I'm glad to have skipped the line at Churchill's for this. This is a great sour with lots of citrusy complexity and a great mouthfeel.

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Photo of Spider889
4.06/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by Alewatcher. Dude... you brought the shit to this tasting. Thanks man.

2009 vintage.

A - Hazy peach color with frothy white head. Produces rocky lace.

S - Light and airy at first. With a bit of warmth and time to breathe it opens into a bright spring bloom aroma. There's a lot of wonderful funk there coming from an American brewer. So many Wilds have the sourness but lack the funk.

T - There's a lovely tartness here paired with citric sweetness. Lemon and nectarine lend a fruity profile to this wild. Leaves a bitter finish. Grows very acidic over time.

M - Great carbonation, a lively brew, no doubt.

O - What an excellent beer. People say that this is the best year so far though - I'm thrilled to have had the opportunity to try this. The thing is, as good as Cable Car proves to be, it's really not necessarily any better than the readily available Russian River sours that sit on shelves within their range of distribution. With this in mind, Cable Car is a beer that lives up to the praise, but not the hype.

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Photo of BARFLYB
4.3/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

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

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Photo of MrFootstones
4.47/5  rDev -0.4%
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.

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Photo of yourefragile
4.59/5  rDev +2.2%
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.

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Photo of drgarage
4.97/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2009 Bottle at Toronado SF.

Beautiful, glowing golden beer with a flawless nose, taste, and mouthfeel. An absolute perfect sour that I recommend trying as soon as possible. It's improved since I had it when new, but I struggle to imagine it getting any better with more time, mainly because I can't imagine any sour, and maybe any beer, tasting better than this.

I've never had anything perfect. But this was.

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Photo of beerwolf77
4.6/5  rDev +2.4%
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.

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Photo of nataku00
4.42/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A 2009 bottle poured into a snifter. I'm grateful to the whomever brought this to the tasting and hope to have another opportunity to try this again as well as buy the person a drink. Clear fairly dark orange with a thin film of head on an aggressive pour. Light lacing on the glass when, but it slid quickly back into the glass, with only a few bubbles here and there.

Aroma was very balanced but complex, green apples, white wine vinegar, white grape sweetness, pears, light floral and earthiness and some funkiness as it warmed up.

Follows the nose nicely, sharp acidity at first from the vinegar like flavors, but just a nice fruitiness mid palate, green apple sweetness and tartness, sweet pears, light stone fruits, floral and a bit of wet soil earthiness. Finish was dry, with some lingering fruitiness, long enough to be satisfying without being too funky.

Light body with minimal carbonation, a slight prick of a bubble here and there, but expected for a wild ale. Very easy to drink but one to savor with how nice it is at two years old. Hopefully Toronado still has a 2010 bottle available when my birthday approaches in a few weeks as I was hoping to go open one then. Excellent beer.

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Photo of brystmar
4.29/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

2009 vintage split with Nate as part of an impromptu '09-'11 Cable Car vertical at Toronado in SF.

A: Cloudy, golden color with foamy white head and solid lace. Remains hazy as it warns, unlike the 2010.

S: Strong Brettt yeast character melds with sour fruit and bready notes. Among the best sour aromas I've had the pleasure of experiencing.

T: Fruits, oak, and Brett share the spotlight. Great blend of the three flavors. When cool, it leaves a lingering bitterness; however, after warming, its bone dry finish lingers with fruit and oak, bitterness be damned. Not sure quite why that is, but I like it.

M: Body is thin and weak, yet nicely oily. Hard to enjoy this brew's mouthfeel after the massive creaminess of the '11 Kriek.

D: Sessionable, even at $40/bottle. Although to be honest, I won't be ordering this again while there's still an available stock of '11 Kriek. Cheers!

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Photo of Brez07
4.25/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

2009 vintage. Graciously shared by Drazzamatazz. 750ml bottle, poured into an Allagash glass

A: There was only a small pop when opening the bottle. Tangerine colored. Pours with a minimal amount of head. Translucent at first, but became cloudy with the second pour (dregs)

S: Citrusy, squeezed lemons, sweet tarts. Initially I didn't get a lot of funk (it was musty if anything), but as it opened up there was a cheesy/horse blanket aroma to signal the funk had arrived

T: Fairly lemony. Reminded me of the white sweet tarts right after you eat them. Lemon rind, apricot, maybe even some oak. Pretty sour, nice level of funkiness

M: Medium bodied. Lower carbonation, which ultimately I was fine with. Dry finish

D: What can I say, this was a great beer. Very happy to have finally tried it. At first I didn't get it, but the beer eventually showed me what was up. Seek out if you like sours

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Photo of Rhettroactive
4.85/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

From 750mL bottle to stemmed wine glass at Toronado San Diego on 11/1/11. What better way to celebrate my 30th birthday then with my #1 want.

Vintage 2010

A: Like fine champagne, it's a beautiful pale 14k gold. A gentle pour yields a white 1.25 head that fizzes down to nil within moments. A surprising amount of thin, white lacing rims the glass.

S: Mild brett, which doesn't overwhelm the beer. Hints of honey, ripe green apples, medium char, a touch of white grape and lemon rind. Spectacular.

T: Unlike any Wild Ale I've had, as the balance here is unmatched. The fore comes across like a Brut Cava. As it hits the mid, the brett sneaks up and washes over the palate. And it's at this point where the beer really shows it's finesse. This is where most brett brews simply can't overcome the wild yeast. But Cable Car is unlike those said ales. Instead, the brett passes the mid and rounds into a crisp, dry finish that showcases the lightly toasted, charry oak. Without question, this is one of the top five beers I've tasted.

M: Superb. It's not too light as many in-style can be. Rather, it's creamy and textured, yet it packs a really bubbly and lively layer of carbonation.

O: Lost Abbey's Cable Car comes about as close to perfect as any brew I've ever encountered. It does everything right, with not only ease, but a deft touch. Absolutely worthy of the epic hype and them some. This brewing masterpiece easily receives my highest recommendation. Happy 30th to me!

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Photo of KickInTheChalice
4.79/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750 mL bottle into a tulip. 2009 vintage. Thanks to Dunt for bringing this out to the whale tasting.

Appearance: This has a nice hazy golden yellow color with a great compressed creamy off-white head.

Smell: The aroma is sour and funky. Lemon rind, peach, apricot, and grapefruit provide the fruity tartness, with a lot of great barnyard funk and hay.

Taste: Light pale malt flavor, and a flood of fruity sour notes. Apricot, peach, lemon zest, and some grapefruit toward the end. Lots of lactic sourness, a bit of oak, and some vinegar create a full sour flavor.

Mouthfeel: This is tart and quite acidic. Medium body with crisp carbonation. Lactic and vingeary.

Overall: The flavor is great and sour throughout, and each flavor note is so robust, I really enjoyed this beer.

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Photo of sweemzander
4.47/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750mL corked and caged bottle poured into a tulip. 2010 Vintage. Been a long time want of mine for awhile now!

(A)- Pours a clear orange color. Some white froth and lace.

(S)- A great fruity oak barrel character. An awesome acidic sourness to it as well. Some serious lemon rind in this.

(T)- Again, a great barrel oak character. Fruity, but in a strictly acidic sense. Very mild funk, but some great lemon rind and white grape fruit sour parts.

(M)- A nice carbonation level and balance. I like the acidity on this alot. The fruit is good too; even the funk. Overall, the barrel characters are very well done.

(D)- Honestly, this is a great wild ale. Worth the hype? maybe, but definitely not worth the difficulty in getting a bottle outside of Toronado; glad i didnt have to.

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Photo of litheum94
4.97/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2010 Vintage. At Toronado of course.

Murky golden body with a bone white frothy head that lingers and leaves a nice lacing.

Tons of oak aromas. Pleasant barn yard sourness. Not over done at all. Lemon and some faint fruit aromas.

Very good sourness, tart but not abusive in any way. Tons of buttery oak. Great earthiness with grass tones.

This is a great sour. So well done. I understand the hype on this beer.

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Photo of ChrisPro
4.33/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2010 vintage bottle had at Toronado on 9/5/11. Re-rate.

A - clear solid gold with a mound of white head that lasted and left sporadic lacing as I drank.

S - little must and lots of melon, peach and lemon. Subtle vanilla.

T - little sweet and then nothing but Chardonnay. Not sure about the barrels but some big peachy and grape notes dominated. Balanced sweetness and a perfectly tart finish.

M - sharp carbonation and a solid acidity. Fairly full bodied.

O - an exceptional American wild ale. This is worth going out of your way for and proof that Belgium doesn't have a monopoly on wild goodnes. Super drinkable and enough complexity to male me want more. 4.5/4/4.5/4.5/4.5

***
Bottle as part of epic sour tasting with callmemimckey.

2009 750mL bottle pours slightly hazy dark gold, decent white head.

Nose is extremely citrusy, mostly lemon, but asolid bit of earthy funk.

Taste is exceptionally tart and acidic, but still incredibly drinkable.

Finish has some citric notes, but somewhat dry earthy finish as well. Exceptional beer.

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Photo of ne0m00re
4.29/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

08/17/11- Shared a bottle of 2010 Cable Car at the San Francisco Toronado.
A: Very clear light golden with a white film and collar.
S: Nice granny smith apple, slightly solvent alcohol, floral and honey sweet with some banana. Well rounded.
T: Simple, but good. Sour sweeps into apple core earthiness. Interesting rustic bitterness... in general, it reminds me of Cantillon Gueuze without the overwhelming acidity. Good.
M: Thinner with a creamy froth.
O: Good. This is a solid gueuze, but not outlandishly good.

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Photo of ngeunit1
4.77/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured a slightly hazy golden-orange color with a finger of frothy crisp white head atop. The head faded slowly to a ring around the glass leaving behind some nice lacing.

S - The aroma is an inviting mix of sour and tart white grape and other fruit flavors. There is also some oak and vanilla as well as a nice mix of funkiness. This is one of the best smelling beers I have ever had period.

T - The beer starts off with a great mix of sour and tart white grapeish flavor. It is quite strong but not too overpowering. The oak flavor jumps in right after and starts to mellow things out a bit. By the middle of the beer, everything feels much more balanced with some vanilla and good funkiness coming through. The finish is bit again on the sour and tart with some good funkiness that linger for a while.

M - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. The beer felt very smooth with a great mix of sour and tart throughout.

D - Very drinkable. The sour and tart flavors are outstandingly balanced from start to end here. It was really a pleasure to drink this beer, regardless of the price since I felt it was really that good.

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Photo of AleWatcher
3.88/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes-- still trying to get caught up!
served in a tulip.
drewba and khazaduhm brought this bottle.

pale gold. Big bubble white head. Thick head made of big bubbles.

Really dry and funky. Some hay and horse blanket with a hint of leather.
The nose is nice, the taste is really good. It is really dry, which I like. Some soft light fruit notes come through before a wallop of tart sourness cleans it up on the back end.

The body is good, light and airy but possibly a bit overcarbed.

This is good. I'd love to drink another bottle or two of this beer-- but I wouldn't want to be the one to trade for them!

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Photo of sarro
3.47/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2010 vintage counter-pressure 15oz bottle from a keg--thanks Sean!
Pours a very hazy, dark yellow with a tiny head. On the nose I get peach, grape skin, vanilla and some oak. Initially, the taste is juicy midway through then drops off to a very tart finish. I also pick up tangerine, orange, and lemon zest. This one is very drinkable with little notice to 7% abv.
Despite the enjoyable tartness and light fruit flavors I was underwhelmed by this. I’ve heard the bottles taste better however so I’m looking forward to trying it another time.

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

Hazy golden colour with a large fluffy head. Nice lacing.

Intense, funky and tart aroma with a light lemon note. Well balanced.

Sour, lactic, slightly acetic, lemony and slightly astringent. Beautifully balanced and crafted.

Medium body with moderately-high carbonation. Good.

A really good wild ale with a balanced funk character, good tartness and solid flavour.

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Photo of Cmack15
4.42/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Having cable Car at Toronado is two awesome beer things at the same time. The beer is a lite golden color and smells of funk with hints of peach. The taste is a really nice clean sour that is well done. Your palate is totally refreshed and cleansed with each sip. I can totally see this beer going well with a salad, seafood, or any non red meat dish for that matter. Carbonation was really nice too. Just a damn good beer that is well crafted. Go to Toronado and try this now!
Cheers

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Photo of dboon
4.82/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

10 bottle shared at the LCBS 10. Golden yellow with pungent peach and horse blanket aromas. This is a sour trolly with sour peach, tart lemon, funk, and brett notes. Can’t wait to revisit this at Toronado...
Update, after flying to San Francisco and bellying up to the bar at Toronado with a bottle of '09 Cable Car; I realized that I might have just hit the apex in my pursuit of sour/wild ales!!!

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Photo of ktrillionaire
4.62/5  rDev +2.9%
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.

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

From Notes (Finally coughed up the $40 for this treat). It was worth every single penny! 2009 Vintage at San Francisco Toronado. Pours a light, golden-amber color with a medium white head. The carbonation is looking quite delightful on this beer. Scent is very funky with some intense lactic sour notes. As the beer warms the fruit really comes out. I get some sweet pear aromas, along with peach and apricot. The taste is out of this world... I went into this with high expectations, and I was not let down! Mouth puckering! Much more sour than expected. There are some sweet pear flavors with lemon and a close resemblance to Sweet Tarts candy. Mouthfeel is extremely dry and puckering on the inside of my cheeks, tongue, and roof of my mouth. Drinkability is high, as this beer is just so damn tasty! Overall, I'm just very happy this beer did not disappoint. It exceeded in all aspects. Good job Lost Abbey!

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Cable Car from The Lost Abbey
99 out of 100 based on 217 ratings.