Cable Car - The Lost Abbey

Not Rated.
Cable CarCable Car

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
100
world-class

777 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 777
Reviews: 205
rAvg: 4.58
pDev: 8.08%
Wants: 2,572
Gots: 82 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 777 | Reviews: 205
Photo of rudylaw
4.35/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My journey into sours' next stop is another long time want... '09 vintage.

Pours yellow with a large, white head.

Smells of citrus with grapes and peaches. Some vinegar with some puckering sourness.

A shockingly robust amount of citrus bombards the tongue. Mild sourness... am able to pick out those peaches and grapes I smelled. Wet hay and slight leather notes round it out. Delicious.

Perfect carbonation with some serious drinkability for a sour as it's not too sour. Amazing stuff.

Photo of glid02
4.6/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottle consumed at Toronado San Diego - been waiting a while to try this one.

Pours a slightly hazy golden-peach color with a two-finger white head. The head recedes into a thin layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of funk - wet hay and leather is the best way I can describe it - along with good amounts of sugar-coated fruits - apricots, pears, and peaches, in that order.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Indistinct malt flavors serve as the backbone and allow funk and fruit flavors to run roughshod. A funkiness as described above permeates the flavor profile, although there's also a certain harsher (though not in a bad way) addition to the flavor profile via the oak. Ripe apricot and peach flavors are at the forefront with syrupt pear flavors lurking in the background. The ending is crisp and leaves just a hint of funkiness lingering on the palate.

Mouthfeel is very good. It's got a nice thickness with active carbonation.

Drinkability is great. I finished my glass very quickly and could easily have a few more. The flavors are all robust but manage to complement each other very well.

Overall this beer didn't disappoint. It isn't the best sour that I've ever had but it does come very close. Well worth the shot if you can get your hands on it.

Photo of jrallen34
4.12/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this 2009 bottle at dld. The beer is a murky gold not much to note. The aroma is complex starting out with lemon citrus, earthiness, and some nice tartness. The taste is the same light citrus to start some nice tart not sour notes. I had this amind veritas 003, 004 and yellow bus. It held its one but not a top wild ale.

2007 bottle thanks to Sean. Found this to be very sweet.

Photo of Gobzilla
4.2/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2009 bottle caged and corked

A: poured a murky orange yellow with a finger white head that had decent sticky lacing.

S: great nose that consisted of lemons apples little funk and hints of vinegar. I always wondered what this beer would smell like.

T: The taste almost mirrors the smell with lots of lemons and apples hitting the palette with fruity sourness and a slight dry finish.

M: has a medium body with good bubbly carbonation that compliments the taste.

D: chased this beer for a couple months and was not dissapointed. I could drink quite a bit of this beer if it was avaliable like that.

Photo of callmemickey
4.47/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Review 500... finally!!!

2009 Vintage

A: Like golden-orange body. Thin white bubbly head. Quickly receded and left traces of lacing behind on the glass.

S: Delicate, like fruits including peaches, apricots, lemons, and green apples. Lightly sour in the nose with a nice subtle funkyness.

T: Bam. This was good. When it comes to sours I am a sucker for the lighter citric wilds (brute, temtpation, sactification, fou foune). This one is bangin. Lots of soft peaches and apricots. An acidic lemon twist and a nice sour green apple. Some subtle tart grape skins rounds out this treat.

M: Medium bodied with a gentle rolling carbonation throughout. Sweet, tart, sour and funky. This definitely a challenging workout for the tastebuds. In the end its got a nice dry refreshing quality that leaves you thoroughly satiated.

D: Yeah. This is good. Real, real good. Wish I had more. But sadly this is it.

Photo of alcstradamus
4.52/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle split by me at our pre-Dark Lord Day tasting. Thanks me! Reviewed from notes

Pours a cloudy golden color with 2 fingers of head in my small tasting glass. The aroma is intensely tart with a mixed back of fruits including lemons, pears, and apple. Exactly what I would hope for.

The flavor is very tart and dominated by white grapes and lemon. Mouth puckering-ly sour and accompanied by a light and balanced funkiness. Well rounded and integrated flavors and very tasty.

The body is medium/full and the carbonation is about perfect for the style. Overall this one met my expectations and was definitely memorable. One of the better American Wild Ales I've had the pleasure of drinking.

Photo of jeffthecheff
4.64/5  rDev +1.3%
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.

Photo of femALEist
4.42/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap at Tornado during SF Beer week.
Cable Car 09 by Lost Abbey is an American Wild Ale aged in oak barrels and 7%. It poured a hazy straw yellow. It smelled very sour, some Chardonnay notes, citrus, oak, wood and some funk. It tasted like citrus, lemon, a hint of pineapple, oak, wood and extremely sour from start to finish with some good bitterness in there as well. It was the tartest of the evening.

Photo of rpstevens
4.55/5  rDev -0.7%
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.

Photo of hoppymcgee
4.03/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

50th review! Thanks to Mike for splitting this with a couple good friends. Poured from an '08 vintage 750mL bottle into a Bruery tulip glass.

A: Ring of carbonation glows around the inner glass, light golden with a touch of caramel color, and hazy.

S: Apricots and lemons - and that's all you need. The smell intensifies as the beer warms up to room temp.

T: The perfect blend of fruitiness and funk. Wet hay, sourness, and hints of tangerine combine to create a tangy taste.

M: Smooth carbonation; light and tingly feeling hits the tongue and then the whole mouth.

D: Easygoing; not too funky or sour. I could drink plenty of this.

Overall, I found this to be right in the middle of Isabelle Proximus (funky) and DDG (fruity). I'd like to think of this beer as the definition of a sour.

Photo of womencantsail
4.14/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2007 Vintage

A: The pour is a very hazy golden yellow color without much head and very little retention.

S: The nose is full of lactic tartness with a mild mustiness and a pleasant barnyard funk. The sourness is primarily in the form of lemon and green apples.

T: The flavor is highly sour with plenty of lemony lactic acid and a touch of vinegar. The funk is much more subdued than the nose would lead you to believe.

M: The body is light to medium with a full carbonation and a nice dry finish.

D: This particular bottle was the best of the Cable Car pours that I've had. A solid sourness and nice fruit character, but a little lacking in the "funk" department.

Photo of Bubba83
4.47/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap at Toronado SD during SD Beer Week alongside the mighty Kegatron.

Appearance is pretty good, sort of a copper orange body topped with a super thin yet bright white head. Small ring sticks around and leaves a slight lace.

Can tell from the aroma that this beer is going to be sour as all hell. Smells a bit like sweet and sour sauce with some green apple highlights and sour cherry notes.

Taste is a lot of the same, sweet up front with some apricot, orange, cherry, lemon and citrus which is followed up quickly by a lingering sourness that is challenging to my palate. Stoney fruits finish it up on the swallow.

Super vibrant and poppy in the mouth, medium chewiness and pretty slick.

Drinkability was higher than I originally thought upon first sip. As you become acustomed to the sourness it goes down easier and easier until you want to just chug the whole glass. It's kind of like drinking the sweet tarts candy :)

Photo of tpd975
4.6/5  rDev +0.4%
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.

Photo of drseamus
4.89/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Served on tap at Toronado in a six ounce glass.

There aren't many beers that are hyped as much as cable car that are genuinely this good. I love me a good wicked tart beer and this qualifies. Both the aroma and the flavor are pungently tart and dry with a touch of the horse blanket. It is still pretty smooth despite the intense tartness. Perhaps a bit of apple in there also. One of the driest beer beers in the aftertaste, perhaps almost a bit too much. Overall, a terriffic beer.

Photo of drabmuh
4.47/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2007 Vintage. This beer is amazing, plain and simple.

Beer is yellow and slightly hazy. Forms large bubbles and a large but diffuse head of very large bubbles. Carbonation is steady and strong.

STRONG chardonnay like aroma. Very sour in the nose with a slight funk that becomes more obvious the more you smell.

Beer is medium to low bodied and has a slightly citric sourness to it. Nothing much in the forward but there is a definite and growing sourness in the back of the mouth. Drinkability for this beer is really high and mouthfeel is great. Lots of carbonation on the tongue contributes to the overall sourness and feel of this beer. I'm in love.

Photo of Huhzubendah
4.59/5  rDev +0.2%
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.

Photo of somabeer
4.65/5  rDev +1.5%
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!

Photo of TurdFurgison
4.82/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2009 version, at Toronado, so glad to finally try it. The first pour was a little hazy and light golden colored, but each successive pour was a little darker and murkier. Judging by aroma and taste, this is exactly what an American wild ale should taste like, at least in my humble opinion. Musty sour barnyard funk, some lemon, this is really not that far from some of the best gueuze I've had in Belgium. Lost Abbey may have some bad press due to carbonation issues on high gravity ales, but they absolutely have wild ales by the balls. The sour bite never infringes on my enjoyment, maybe because it's expertly crafted, or maybe because of severe acclimation to the style. It truly sucks to like something so much when you know you can't easily get it. This will always be on my WANTs list. At least there's Cantillon to hold me over...

Photo of TexIndy
5/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 750ml corked and caged bottle into a Duvel tulip. Opened with a loud pop and the corked rushed out of the bottle. No LA carb issues on this one. Good looking front label and good tribute on the back to the Toronado. 2009 version. It was a hazy golden yellow with massive carb streams from both the etching and throughout the beer. It had a 2 finger white head that very slowly settled into a constant foam cap fed by the carbonation. Great lacing with a lot of it sticking on the sides.

The aroma was amazing. Sour, funky, lemon and other fruits, wood and yeast. Not as much horse blanket as others but still one of the best smelling wild ales out there. Was constantly swirling it and taking huge inhales. The taste was also exceptional and followed the aroma. Great sour bite from the start that never lets up before the near eye puckering finish. Great fruity and wood balance to offset the sour. Again, one of the best wild ales out there. Mouthfeel was tart with lots of carbonation and a dryish finish.

Overall, a world class wild ale that earns all the hype and high ratings. Highest recommendation - you must try this especially if you love wild ales. A bitch to find but so worth it. Rotation - not avail in TX. Extremely rare release. If I could, I'd have a bottle constantly in my fridge and cellar. As is, I'll keep searching for a trade as well as having at the Toronado-San Diego during my soon to be annual trips out there.

Photo of gford217
4.28/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2009 bottle, side-by-side with Toronado 20th.

Pours a clear golden yellow with a big creamy white head that hangs on for a while and leaves good lacing.

Aroma is fairly funky with some barnyard aromas and wet grass but the most dominant aroma is the light fruity sourness. Overall, the aroma is what I'd call bright - lots of light tartness with less earthy funk.

Taste is exceptional, lemon zest up front with bready malts, some fruit, maybe pears and green apples, light vinegar. Fairly funky finish but light so with some lemon. Sublime taste, super complex, more tart than funk.

Light bubbly mouthfeel, very citric and biting. Crisp and wine-like in the finish.

This is a superb American wild - well balanced but still nice and sour. I wouldn't put it in the same class as the T20, but it's still a great beer.

Photo of mothman
4.52/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2007 Vintage

Poured into a Carolous chalice.

Hardly any white head from the pour. Color is a very hazed orange pumpkin hued sunset color.

Aroma: very funky and sour. Notes of honey, crisp flavors. Leather, some horse blanket, and bright fruits. This beer is making my mouth water.

Taste: Very sour and funky. Horse blanket and leather. Tart cherries and fruit flavors. Sweet honey in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Very sour and tart. Mouth pukering. Medium bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Ends a little tart but overall, very clean.

Overall, a very nice wild ale. Nice and sour, just the way it should be. I could go for a lot more of this. A very well done sour. I hope I can try a fresh one of these in a month or so when I visit Toronado.

Photo of khiasmus
4.94/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Many thanks to Wespatrick for a sample of a brew that will always stand out in my mind as one of the best. 2007 vintage.

Sunshine through the fog, a languid yellow/orange liquid that's foggy, yet light. The cloud-puffs on top linger for a moment or two, then drop away.
We've been running back and forth in the back yard, we children, pretending to attempt to catch the fog, though we know in our hearts that we have already arrived. So what can you say of the aromas? Immense lemon-citrus, a minor funk note overridden by the sheer tartness, but there's also a clean, tearful metallic rainwater note that simply makes one imagine what the angels must be taking in as they float along through the clouds in all of those old paintings...
And the flavour does not disappoint whatsoever, a mouthfeel that is clean, light, dry and bubbly, melding perfectly through the wash of flavours that are simply heavenly, the immense tartness and sour that is somehow still very, very approachable and very drinkable. The citrus notes still dominate, there's a flash of sweetness on the palate and just a touch of an old barnyard, along with the dense rainwater fog that we breathe in as we run, huffing and puffing and dreaming of heaven.
We'll continue to try to catch it, catch the fog, but we will never understand what it will be like until we're there, gleaming white robes, the airy, tearful metallic tartness that reminds of sunny fog, rainy sunshine, the most beautiful days on earth.

Photo of Kegatron
4.52/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This was the 2009 vintage on tap @ the Toronado (San Diego, CA) on 11/11/09. Special tapping of the '08 and '09 during San Diego Beer Week. This was a pretty generous 8 oz pour (especially compared to what is looked like some people got of this) served in a tulip glass.

Pours a hazy rosy copper, with a thin covering of brite-white foam. Retains mostly with some froth around the edges, leaving a moderate smattering of lacing behind. Nice look here. The aroma is sharp in the nose with fruity citrus, that has a touch of acidity to it. Sugary and doughy sweetness fills out the middle portion of this, while I'm getting a good bit of slick woody barrel notes on the backend. Mostly though, this is all about that vibrant smelling fruity tartness. I could stick my nose in this all day.

The taste is straight up bright feeling citric tartness, with a touch of vinegar on the edges, but this never gets souring at any point during the glass. That same mix of sugar and bread from thh aroma gives off a cookie dough vibe, that when mixed with the citrus, has that same fantastic SweeTart character that I'm finding more and more in some of these top-grade Wild Ales. For me though, the backend of the profile on this is what makes it. Vivacious citrus notes of apricot, grapefruit, and lemon rind, that blend into a dry lingering oakiness which hangs on the tongue. Just a lovely, lovely, finish here. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, with just a beautiful feeling mellow creaminess to it that runs the whole way through the swallow. Some slippery woody slickness runs underneath but the carbonation that runs on top of it is just some of the most smooth and easy that I've felt in quite some time. It's not wonder that I'm rapidly losing liquid as I review this.

I had the opportunity to try some of the '08 next to this and I must say that I think I prefer this fresh, as the citrus is more pronounced and the funk hadn't yet started to overtake it. That said, this stuff is the real deal, and I feel very fortuitous to have been able to try this on draft. I think that there might certainly be some comparable Wilds out there that are a bit easier to get but by no mean pass this up if you get a chance to try it.

Photo of badbeer
4.32/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

2007 Cable Car, batch 1

Clear golden yellow color with a slight orange hue with a quickly dissipating white head, leaving only a ring around the glass. Lactic acid and citrus in the nose. There's some funkiness to it, but I get more tropical fruit than anything else. Lightly spicy on the tongue with some barnyard funk and a little bit of tropical fruit. As it warmed in the glass, the tropical fruit remained, but more of a foot-like Brett character came through. Medium high carbonation with a dry finish. Drinkability is exceptional; easy to drink a bunch of this, though availability won't allow it. Flavors aren't all that intense, but they are refined and lead to a good drinking experience.

Photo of Ineedabeerhere
4.57/5  rDev -0.2%
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.

Cable Car from The Lost Abbey
100 out of 100 based on 777 ratings.