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Cable Car | The Lost Abbey

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
99
world-class
221 Reviews
THE BROS
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BEER STATS
Reviews:
221
Ratings:
899
Avg:
4.49
pDev:
8.24%
 
 
Wants:
2,700
Gots:
95
For Trade:
5
Cable CarCable Car
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
The Lost Abbey
California, United States | website

Style: American Wild Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by stephendr on 08-12-2007

User Reviews
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Reviews: 221 | Ratings: 899
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 tpd975
4.6/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2009 vintage. Thanks to Floydster for this one.

A: Pours a nice palish yellow hue with a very tall white head. Above average retention with a few spots of lace.

S: Wonderful aromas of citrus with mild notes of tart peaches. Yeast, vinegar, tart, and sourness... Yum.

T: Wonderful citrus up front. Acidic, but not overthetop. Mild vinegar with hints of peach, apricot, and light woody notes. There is some wet hay goodness, with hints of leather and barnyard.

M: Medium in body, snappy carbonation and the acidity bites at the tongue a bit.

N: Not overly tart or sour. Well done, and damn tasty for sure.

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Photo of afksports
4.6/5  rDev +2.4%
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 Gtreid
4.59/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to mikesgroove for the opportunity. 07 vintage. 750 ml bottle poured into my CCB tulip.

A: Hazy golden yellow color. The pour produced a small soapy head that quickly faded to nothing, and left no lace.

A: Tart green apples, lemon, slight citursy hops, and soury sweetness.

T: Sour, sweet, divine. The sour tartness balances so well with the malty sweetnes of the brew. The sourness is not over the top, it just plays so well the plethora of flavors. It finishes tart and dry with absolutley no hint of ABV.

M: Lower on the carbonation, but not in a bad way. Medium body and rather slick.

O: This is one great beer. I don't like the overpowering sourness of many wilds, but this one is just about perfect for me. I would put this at the top of the list in terms of sours. Skal.

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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 ThoreauLikeAGirl
4.59/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle opened at the Toronado in San Diego.
Shared with some nice gentlemen that drove down from L.A. (thanks Justin and Mike!)

Golden yellow in color with very little head. Minimal lacing. Medium carbonation.

Aroma of sour and tart strawberries (!) and lemons. Some barnyard/hay/must that hang around with the funk.

Taste: Sour and tart lemons and citrus fruits. The flavors tingle and dance on the tongue. Very pleasant and crisp. Reminds me a bit of sweet tarts. Though i don't get much, if anything, out of the oak aging. The best american wild i have had thus far. Definitely not over-hyped.

Mouthfeel: thin bodied. Medium carbonation. Just perfect for this style. I could drink multiple glasses of this without getting sick of it.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.59/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

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Photo of wethorseblanket
4.58/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Reviewed from notes. Shared by Richard - big thanks. 600th review.
2008 vintage, C&C 750ml bottle.

A: Pours a cloudy straw yellow under a 1/2-inch thick white head which fades quickly to the rim leaving a few spots of lace.

S: Puckering lemony zest and tannic oak with some vinous notes. Slightly dusty antique age.

T: Follows nose with bright tannins and citrus zest, vinous, must/funk, mellow barnyard bite.

M: Moderate body and semi-medium carbonation. Finishes zesty, tart, and tannic.

O: Such a treat and what a surprise. Amazed this is holding up so well. A wonderful wild ale. Only minor flaw is the lack of complexity.

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Photo of Stevedore
4.58/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

750ml bottle of the 2010 vintage. Poured into a FFF/DMC taster 6/21/2014.

A- Hazy straw yellow body, cloudy and with a half finger white head. Good retention though it does become completely still-looking after a few minutes. Not much lacing. Looks very, very similar to Duck Duck Gooze.

S- Lemon zest, tart citrus, musty oak, white wine grapes, crackers, a little tart apple skin. Some vinegar. Smells so strong and aggressive, particularly the lemon and white grape must.

F- Similar to the nose. Lemon zest, white vinous grapes, musty oak, a bit of funky cheesiness. Tart apple skins add a little bit of depth. Vinegar is about 7/10, nicely sour but not abrasively so. This is very good, not complex but again, this is quite aggressive.

M- Medium in body, a bit creamy but certainly not custardy. About the right amount of carbonation, a nice pop to it. Lemon sourness on the backend makes for a nice cleansing finish.

O- Very aggressive but not as complex as Duck Duck Gooze is. In my mind, this beer is somewhere in between Beat and DDG on the spectrum of AWAs- aggressive but with a solid layer of complexity that's done very well with time. This one did not disappoint, though it's still a long-standing philosophical question as to whether it is worth what it requires to obtain a bottle of this. While I would recommend going after Duck Duck Gooze or Beatification instead of this one, please don't get me wrong- this is an excellent AWA.

Re-review: 2009 vintage of Cable Car. Served in a stemmed glass 4/30/2016. Drinking this alongside a 2009 Duck Duck Gooze was a revelation. Both of these beers have aged quite well compared to their fresher components. This is still a well-rounded, aggressive wild ale, with a similar profile but more of ground peppercorn is there on the finish. Lemon and citrus, no green apple skin. Good complexity, nice oak and mellow dusty funk to it. This vintage seems to be a particularly good one or it just does well with time- may be a sign not to drink these too young.

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Photo of Resuin
4.58/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours a bright gold and leaves a finger of white head. Smell is bright citrus, white wine, light malts. Taste has a good amount of acidity, citrus, light hay funk, good amount of sour. Real nice.

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Photo of elNopalero
4.58/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2014 Cable Car. $60 in-house at the world famous Toronado.
This pouts a golden tan with light foaming. There's a clear sour cherry aroma. Wet straw and. A biting horse blanket. It's sharply tart, with an intense bite and a light funk. Dry finish. Shared this with some friends on a rare night out.

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Photo of notchucknorris
4.57/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Finally got to try this on tap at Toronados this past weekend.

A: Pours a dark apricot color with a thin white head that disappears almost immediately.

S: Smells really incredible. Juicy red apples mixed with tart green apples and a noticeable acidity. Vanilla, lemon curd and apple pie filling as well.

T: Pretty sour right away with a big lemon warhead kick. Layers of unripe green apple and sour red cherry and just a touch of funk. Finish leaves just a touch of dryness on the tongue with a lingering sourness. Tight, prickly carbonation works perfectly in here.

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Photo of Ineedabeerhere
4.57/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks very much to nickd717 for this bottle, I owe you man! Shared this one at the Epic tasting on 10/10, from notes.

Pours a hazy light gold color into my tulip with a small white cap. Leaves impressive lacing and has decent retention.

Aromas of lemon zest, barnyard mustiness. Over-ripened peaches and wood, I've got wood. Some lemon rind and slightly buttery. Various floral spices and a dash of vinegar. Taste follows this funkiness and acidity are in a nice balance, after an initial sweetness. In my tasting notes, I have written "transgender vaginal funkiness". I'm not sure who was experiencing that at the time, but what a wonderful descriptor.

Great mouthfeel, nicely carbonated (!) . Very drinkable and I'm glad to have the chance to try this one, but I think that I like DDG better, not to mention how much more attainable it is/was.

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Photo of JoeMayo
4.57/5  rDev +1.8%
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.

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Photo of kevanb
4.57/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle, 2012 vintage, poured into a Lost Abbey sinners teku glass, shared with friends.

The beer pours a cloudy apricot color with a soapy white head that recedes quickly, leaving a few bubbles atop the beer, yielding a light amount of sticky lace. The aroma is lovely, lots of fresh, fleshy fruit, white grapes, light oak, pale grain, light funk and a healthy dose of acetic sour character. Fleshy fruit jumps out on the tongue, apricot, peach, nectarine with a great layer of tart white grape, chewy oak, funk with some light straw and just enough acetic sour quality to really pucker me up. The body is lively with high carbonation that really dances on the tongue. It coats the mouth well and has a lightly creamy finish with a little pickle as it goes down.

Verdict: A remarkable sour from The Lost Abbey that rivals anything being made in America currently. The fruit characteristics of this beer are remarkable and while it lacks slightly in funk and barnyard character, it is really a well rounded and balanced sour.

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Photo of illidurit
4.56/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle sampled at Lost Abbey for RBSG. Pours hazy gold with visible sediment. Head is modest and watery. Aroma is very tart with red and dark fruits, oak, and spicy sweetbread. Epic complexity. Flavors of pie spices, yeast, lemons, vanilla, apple brandy, and some funky must. Palate is dry even without a lot of carbonation. Drinkability is very good considering the tartness.

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Photo of beerproblems
4.55/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had at Toronado (SF) yesterday, served at perfect temperature.

L: clear, brownish dark yellow

S: predominantly fresh peach and apricot.

T: apricots and peaches up front, lemon tartness in the back

F: light to medium bodied

O: tasty, but expensive. Nice to try but won't buy again. Compared to other fruited sours, there are cheaper alternatives. $80/bottle to drink on-site.

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Photo of jsilva
4.55/5  rDev +1.3%
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 rpstevens
4.55/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to mjn5036 for sharing this bottle at a recent tasting. Poured into a mini goblet. The beer pours a hazy golden yellow with a bubbly white head that leaves little lacing on the sides of the glass.

The smell is crisp sweet ripe fruits (apricots and pears), sharp alcohol, musty funky barrel oakiness, hay and a more subtle than expected lemon and green apple sourness.

The taste is much more tart than the smell, the funky oak and hay characters jump on top of the lemon zestiness and really take you for a ride right out of the gate. There is not much balance to this one, but it's not expected and not necessary. This is a sour beer.

The beer is very carbonated, which is something I really appreciate for this style. I think the carbonation compliments the sharp fruit flavors and overtly sour tones of the beer, there is a nice dry finish that leaves the palate feeling nice and clean and craving more. The crisp flavors, dry finish and well masked alcohol make this beer very drinkable.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
4.55/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

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Photo of jwolfie70
4.54/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Split a bottle with Overlord. Poured a cloudy yellow, with a fairly good white head. Smelled of sour fruit, funky horse manure and yeast. Taste was a complex balance of sour and funky, funky yeast. A truly great beer, that unfortunately is hard to get.

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Photo of RuckusDu
4.54/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Large bubble thin head. A weird orange color head. Body is cloudy. Wheat color. Aroma is the best sour I have had. Lemon, twigs, slight funk. Very delicious. A little young. Well balanced. Nice lemon tart, funk, and a little sweet. Lacto. Mouth is light carb and puckering.

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Photo of GradyS1
4.53/5  rDev +0.9%
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 Jmoore50
4.53/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks to some very generous California BA's, I was able to do a full four year vertical involving 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010. I am going to start from most recent version and work my way back.

2010 vintage
I bought a room temperature bottle of Cable Car 2010 first thing on Toronados 23rd Anniversary. I popped the cork and poured two servings. The color was closer to milky white and poured a white fluffy head that eventually left. It smelled borderline offensive, with a sulfur and egg white smell I was a little taken back by the extreme funk. I finally decided by the end of the glass compared to the other years that the smell was entirely offensive and disgusting. It tasted pretty good though, but was a bit of a let down. I later ordered a 2009 bottle and realized that this years batch was 'off' and not to par with the previous years. It tasted of extreme barnyard and must reminding me of some older Fantome beers I have consumed. It had a good carbonation and was drinkable, but the smell was distracting.

2009 vintage
After trying the 2010 vintage I suspected that something was not right and the hype surrounding this beer was for a reason. So I ordered a 2009 vintage and was pleasantly surprised by what I thought was the best year of the four. It had a great champagne color that had a nice white finely carbonated head that left pretty fast. It was oily in nature and incredible delicious. It had great lemon and grapefruit tart flavors with awesome lambic-like sourness. It just had a great lactic and pedio sourness that brought out a great tropical fruit flavor. It was highly carbonated which was perfect for this vintage, the palate was getting entertained from multiple levels. Sourness, carbonation, fruit flavors, awesome beer that I could drink multiple bottles of in one sitting. Delicious.

2008 vintage
After pairing the 2010 and 2009 vintages Nerd graciously told us that we had the 2008 and 2007 vintages to compare as well. So we got a healthy pour of each vintage, and I was surprised to learn how different they are were. The 2008 is probably tied or a little less awesome than the 2009. It has a little darker golden color with a head that leaves almost immediately. It smelled a little less fruity than it did must and horseblanket. Still owns a great flavor, really bitter orange peel with grapefruit. Peach and apricot are so fresh and upfront that it gives me reassurance that the hype around these bottles is well deserved. Again, highly carbonated with the flavors on this make it an amazingly drinkable sour.

2007 vintage.
My third favorite in the series, you could tell this one is on its way out. I would guess that a year ago this would be amazing, but right now it is a bit muddled and 'silent'. It was a lighter gold color with a head that actually lasted a second or two. It was a bit thinner than the previous two versions but surprisingly enough had a great deal of funk left. Lots of wet dog and mostly must, it was a great sour that was starting to take full circle into a 'funk' type category. It kind of had a stale basement taste, but I didn't mind at this point because I was getting deep in the inebriated category.

Thanks goes to the California and specifically the bay area crew, nerd being the king of generosity. A great day that will be remembered for days to come.

J

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Photo of ehammond1
4.52/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Bottle (2009)

Toronado
San Diego, CA

(Aged for 2.5 years)

Tasted side-by-side with the 2008 and 2010 vintages.

A bright, clear mixture of gold, yellow, and orange with a nicely-sized off-white head that doesn't last for long. This doesn't leave any cling on the glass, though this is indeed a nice looking beer.

This is a complete, wonderfully smelling American wild. There is lots of bright citrus (orange, tangerine, mango, and lemon) along with big levels of acidic sourness. There's some moderate funk complementing everything nicely. Very, very nice.

The flavor follows the aroma similarly, with lots of tangerine, lemon, and mango flavors, backed up by a high level of tart sourness, and mild barnyard funk. Complete and delicious, though not quite as complex as the very best within the style.

Medium bodied with moderate/high carbonation. A joy to drink.

Simply fantastic.

2008 Tasting Notes (Aged for 3.5 years):
Very little carbonation. No head, no cling. Less sour and less fruit flavors when compared to both 2009 and 2010 versions. Heavy, lifeless body. Easily, the weakest of our lineup.

2010 Tasting Notes (Aged 1.5 years):
Similar carbonation and appearance to 2009. More funk than fruit and not quite as sour as the 2009.

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Cable Car from The Lost Abbey
99 out of 100 based on 221 ratings.