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Cable Car | The Lost Abbey

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
99
world-class
220 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score
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BEER STATS
Reviews:
220
Ratings:
887
Avg:
4.49
pDev:
16.93%
 
 
Wants:
2,700
Gots:
94
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: 220 | Ratings: 887
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 muttyd
4.62/5  rDev +2.9%
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 augustgarage
4.64/5  rDev +3.3%
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 jsanford
4.64/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2010 vintage, shared with the girlfriend at the Toronado in San Diego.

A - Pours a clear gold with a creamy white head that dissipates to a slight ring and spotty haze.
S - Complex, Gueuze-like aromas of sour lemon juice, oak, funky horseblanket, and wet straw. Absolutely wonderful.
T - Tart and funky, with a slight sulphury quality, and big flavors of lemon juice, grains, straw, horseblanket, and a very strong oak finish that reminds me of a big, oaked Chardonnay. Excellent level of sourness, very drinkable.
M - Crisp and tart, with a medium body and moderate carbonation. Finish is very drying, with a definite tannic quality to it. Precisely how I like my Wilds, this is spot-on for my tastes.
O - Such a wonderful beer, having it at the Toronado only makes it a more memorable experience. What a night!

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Photo of jeffthecheff
4.64/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this bottle at a tasting. 2007 version.

Cable Car pours an orange gold color that looks like it would be somewhat clear, but is actually completely hazed. The head is just about non existent, and even a swirl produces only a thin wisp.

The aroma is intense, fruity, and sour. There is a little bit of cellar like mustiness to it, and only a touch of funk. Sour lemons make up most of the nose, along with a background of some peach like fruitiness. This is intense, but pleasant throughout.

The taste is impressively sour with a good, mouth puckering lemon sourness. A bit of sweetness adds a candy like complexity which is great. It reminds me of one of those powdery, sour jawbreaker type candies I used to get in gumball machines. The finish is dry and very puckering.

The mouthfeel is nice and light, with a good level of "tiny bubble" carbonation to make it refreshing and easy to drink. I would love to have more of this. I'm very glad I got to try this.

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Photo of ccnorthwest
4.65/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

This beer is a erotic sex show in your mouth. The smoothness and body are perfect. For a non fruited wild ale it's absolutely amazing. Worth the price and adventure in trying.

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Photo of scottfrie
4.65/5  rDev +3.6%
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 somabeer
4.65/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Popped and poured into Lost Abbey chalices at Toronado. It gushed after popping the cork. It was hazy golden yellow, a healthy amount of foam and good lacing. There is a strong aroma, with plenty of citrus and some nice funk. The taste is fantastic they are notes of citrus, lemon, pineapple, some nice bitterness, some oak, that hoarse blanket goat cheese flavor, the strongest flavor is the tart sourness. Its exquisite in it's balance and complexity. It has a nice carbonation and it goes down very easy. It's amazingly drinkable. you could sip it all night!

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Photo of Yetiman420
4.65/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

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

An emergency beer tasting?

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

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

I requested we drink the first half blind.

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

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

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

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

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

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Photo of bs870621345
4.66/5  rDev +3.8%
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 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 hopdog
4.67/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750ml, corked and caged bottle, shared courtesy of Phatz (thanks!, I guess I owe you my next new born).

Poured a medium and lightly hazy (darker haze as we got towards the bottom of the bottle) golden color with a smaller sized off white head.

Upon the first whiff, I was greeted with a plethora of incredible aromas that instantly put me in that 'special' place in my mind! I could smell this one all day and night long. Aromas of cherries, grapes, apples, funky, brett, light yeast, citrus, and vanilla. All the aromas melded together perfectly. I was also getting a light spiciness, maybe cinnamon.

Tastes of tart green apples, citrus, woody, light yeast and vanilla. Light and soft body.

Notes from and tasted on 10/11/07.

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Photo of deschutes_fan
4.68/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2014 Vintage
- Pours a hazy golden yellow, with some lively carb.

- Smells is bright citrus and acid with some mild barnyard funk.

- Flavor hits with juicy and tart peach, acid, oak, some funky hay and a good pucker at the end. Flavors fade from palette pretty quickly, leading the tastebuds to beg for another gulp.

- Nothing over the top here. Not the most funky, most juicy or sour, not the most complex. But it has all the features of a great sour and in beautiful harmony. A pleasure and a treat. Is it worth the price tag? Hard to say...

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Photo of GClarkage
4.68/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

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.

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Photo of lupercmda
4.68/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Had this at Toronado bar in SF tonight. Pours a golden hue which has a nice carbonation level. Smell is of sour oakiness. Taste is of lemony, oakiness with a mild acidity and a moderate sour taste. Does not overpower you with the sourness. Finish is slightly sour with a nice clean finish. I think this may be the best wild ale I have ever had. Bravo!!

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

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.

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

Huge thanks to Eric for letting me try this.

A: Pours yellow with minimal head.

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

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

M: Light body.

O: I would drink this over and over again.

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

2009 vintage thanks to seeswo. Followed by a pour off a swing top of the 2010 vintage from Sean and the Chicago crew. Thank you all for the tastes! Review is off the 2009 vintage as it was my preferred of the two.

Pours a pretty golden yellow. a bit hazy with a nice amount of white head. Smell is phenomenal. Tons of tart sour lemons with a nice grassy touch. The sour kick is very prominent but not offputting like some "overly sour" beers I've had. Tastes very mellow. Lots of tart lemon with a sourness that melds well with the rest of the beer. I could drink this all day every day. The flavour profile is predominently lemon with some nice grassy tones in the background. Overall solid mouthfeel, very drinkable. My favourite sour to date.

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

To start this review off I want to thank sprinkle for this delightful oppurtunity to try this beer. I have just recently gotten into sours and wild ales and I know that this was a very special treat for me to be able to try this. The intital taste is sour, but goes away with a warmth feeling. A touch of a salty taste to it, but not very predominant. This beer by far exceeded any expectations I had for it. Again very blessed to have tried this and added this notch to my belt...

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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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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 mikesgroove
4.72/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I have waited a really long time to try this beer, Some might say too long, But never the less, this was no easy feat to track one down. That being said I was graciously able to acquire through a wonderful west coast friend who took pity on my plea. The was a 2008 vintage bottle, served out of the cellar at around 50 degrees and poured into my darkness snifter, let the games begin.

As I pour it out, I have to admit I am a bit nervous here. Maybe it is the high expectations I have for this brew, perhaps the preconceived notions are getting to me, no matter. Pours out a very nice and cloudy orange tinted amber color. I could not see through the glass when held up to the light. Nice fizzy head rises quickly to about an inch and a half and then faded away into the night, leaving an almost bare top, well after a few minutes it was a totally bare top. Some light carbonation could be seen inside the glass and a good bit of sediment getting stirred up in the bottle.

Aroma is a tar bomb off the bat, but not enormously sour. Much more complex then then that. Light notes of citrus, orange, semi sweet notes as well coming though as it warms. Deep horse funk apparent as well now. So I go in, for my first sip of Cable Car, and I have to admit it is much more mellow then I thought it would be. Seriously though, I was expecting this deep, wretchedly sour ale and this was not the case. It was remarkably smooth, almost sinisterly so. Deep funky notes predominate, with early touches of white grapes and tart apples. Soo damn smooth though. A bit light on the carbonation in the feel, left me looking for a little more, but damn the taste is unreal. Cannot really compare it too much else. It is just amazing drinkable. The first glass went down like water for me, but half way through the second the ABV starts to kick in and I am feeling it as I type this for sure. Still though I find myself wanted to take bigger and bigger sips, it just that smooth. The finish had to be the driest I can recall with all moisture being sucked from the palate almost immediatly.

Overall wow. The taste was just out of this world. It could have used a bit more pop in the carbonation and appearence but that being said it was still unreal. Super damn drinkable and just absurd. Worth the hunt as I cannot compare it to anything else.

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Photo of csmiley
4.72/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a medium gold with some clarity. The off white head is minimal and sticks around for a minute or two before disappearing to a thin cap. Lots of lace stays in the glass.

S - Starts out with tart green apple and unripened cherry. Hints of white bread and alcohol midway. Alcohol doesn't get in the way at all. Pretty funky and musty toward the end with notes of wet hay.

T - Tart apple and cherry really pop at the start. Some oak / wood comes in about midway. Hay and grass are present as well. Might be some pale malt and honey at the end. Alcohol is warm and complimentary overall. Very nice flavor and complexity going on here.

M - Lighter bodied with a nice carbonation level that just tickles the palate. Finish is tart and persistent. Creamy and smooth overall.

D - Drinkability is very good. The strong flavors and overall complexity just keeps you coming back for sip after sip. This one goes down surprisingly easy. Lost Abbey has a winner with the Cable Car. It would be nice to see this one become more available in the future.

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Photo of BTPete
4.72/5  rDev +5.1%
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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Cable Car from The Lost Abbey
99 out of 100 based on 220 ratings.