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Sneak peek! BeerAdvocate magazine #104 (September 2015) featuring Leah & Oscar from Highland Brewing in Asheville, North Carolina. Learn more ...

Cable Car - The Lost Abbey

Not Rated.
Cable CarCable Car

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
98
world-class

208 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 208
Hads: 816
rAvg: 4.45
pDev: 7.87%
Wants: 2,598
Gots: 87 | FT: 4
Brewed by:
The Lost Abbey visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Wild Ale |  7.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: stephendr on 08-12-2007

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 208 | Hads: 816
Photo of MiScusi
4.37/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Jessethehutt splurged on this bottle at Toronado, SD. Owe him bigtime. Split 4 ways.

A- golden, slightly cloudy, sudsy white foam.

S- Sour, like these lemon Quench Gum I have, only very light phenols and other funky compounds from the yeast. The acid is pretty prevalent on the nose.

T- A nice balance between sour and sweet. Not a ton of yeast character that I could detect in the taste, compared to say a Sanctification or a Cantillon Geuze. Not as dry in the finish as those either, this one finishes with a lot of sour and a little bit of sweet. Kinda like a sour candy.

M- Light, but at 7% there is some body with it. Carbonation was moderate to high, plenty for the style.

D- Tasty sour, not sure I fully understood it in my 6 oz sample to be able to rank it relative to other great sours I've had, but it was a good beer. (833 characters)

Photo of abfraser
4.37/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2008 bottling, had at Toronado's Lost Abbey event earlier this month.

A: Nice hazy golden yellow with orange undertones. Thick white head, which leaves some nice lacing on the glass.

S: Lemony acidity, funky, malty bread-like aroma, nice earthiness. This is a wonderful smelling sour. You can tell this isn't going to be over the top. Nice balanced aroma.

T/M: Excellent stuff. Nice sour fruit and strong earthiness. Funk isn't over-dominant, kept in check nicely. Not too sour. Mouthfeel is medium to light bodied. Nice strong carbonation leaves a dry finish. Very refreshing.

D: Very drinkable stuff.

Overall, an excellent sour beer. Between this and the Phunky Duck that same night, I see why people believe Lost Abbey makes some great sours (I think some of their other more well-known sours are overrated, personally).

Just crazy stupid that this thing cost $50 at Toronado, though. But I was willing to split with my friends once in order to give it a try. (971 characters)

Photo of Yetiman420
4.65/5  rDev +4.5%
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. (2,104 characters)

Photo of beachbum1975
4.82/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Review # 250 - Batch # 2 (Gold "08" in bottom left corner of cable car drawing).

Check this: I shared this one DURING A LEVEL 3 SNOW EMERGENCY in Cincinnati with yetiman420, pwoods and ftownthrowdown. If this wasn't beer advocacy in its' finest moment, I don't know what is!!!

(Also, I forced all my BA buddies to review this beer, also!)

750ml brown bottle corked and caged. Cork removal was graceful... The cork had just the right amount of pressure to make a muted pop as I opened it. My notes were taken on the fly during a brief tasting in Yetiman420's FANTASTIC beer cellar/museum! Thanks, again for hosting!!!

Pours a murky, yet bright golden with orange hues. Great, spotty lacing and a white head with small, highly compacted bubbles. Average head retention leaving a nice 1/8 inch skimming of foam as I drank.

The nose of this one was an interesting and complex mix of vinegar funk up front, followed by moderately sour cherries and hints of green, tart apples.

Following the nose, the taste was a mellow blending of lemon tart, ripe green apples, light assorted citrus, sour cherries finishing with a light vinegar twang/funk. Light bodied and full flavored with ample carbonation throughout. Flavor doesn't linger long, leaving a slightly sour and dry, almost refreshing finish. Pleasantly sour (not a sour bomb like Isabelle was)...

Though my tasting history of American Wild Ales is limited, this was the smoothest and most approachable wild ale I've had so far...

Oh, and for the fella that hooked up me, pwoods, Ftownthrowdown and yetiman420 - THANK YOU (you know who you are!)!!! You can't get a much better gift for a BA friend's review milestone... (1,679 characters)

Photo of FtownThrowDown
4.85/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottle shared very generously by Shane. Enjoyed with the company of Shane, Chris and Patrick. What an evening!
Pours a very hazy, murky, light gold in color. There's a nice sheen of froth sitting atop the beer. It stays throughout the entirety and leaves webby lacing that falls as the level of beer recedes in your glass.
Smell is sour, light fruit and has many wine-like qualities. Plenty of oak and tannins appear throughout. Taste is sour, but not lip puckering sour. Very balanced and damn near perfect if not perfect. Unlike many sours that are unbalanced and so puckering that your mouth implodes, this one is amazingly balanced and dangerously drinkable. You really have to hold back drinking this beer. The quandry of thoroughly indulging in the beer and knowing in the back of your mind that these may be the last sips of this fabulous beer you ever have.
I could drink this beer all day long and never tire of it. One of the rare beers that truly lives up to and exceeds the hype. Which speaks for itself.
Big thanks again to Shane for sharing. A truly one of a kind beer, with just as amazing company and atmosphere.

Cheers! (1,139 characters)

Photo of pwoods
4.74/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Anyone that knows me knows that I've been trying extraordinarily hard to get a bottle of this. And anyone that has ever let it known that they've had a bottle knows this as well. I've offered well over $100 worth of very rare beers, many brewery only release and plenty with less than 1000 bottles made.

I've been drinking beers with Shane(beachbum1975) for the past 8-10months or so. We both trade way more than we should. We've always 'unspokenly' tried to one up one another. Well that mother fucker one upped me to end all one ups... but that doesn't mean I won't stop trying :)

This bottle was a belated Christmas gift and presented to Chris(Yetiman420), Steve(FtownThrowDown), and Me(and of course Shane), as a blind tasting for my 500th review. That bastard also just traded for a bottle of the beer I was getting him for a belated Christmas gift. What a D-Bag!

I honestly cannot express my thanks and gratitude, Shane. This was my Holy Grail beer and now my Lost Abbey bottle collection is finally complete, and what's a better way to do it than with a Tomme Arthur signed bottle of Cable Car! :D

750ml corked and caged brown bottle poured into a Duvel tulip. Shared with 3 great BAs.

A: Pours a very murky under ripened grapefruit peel color. A decent sized head forms and holds for a minute or so before falling to a few bubbles. Some spotty lacing throughout.

S: Loads of tart fruits. Lemon, orange, grapefruit, apricot, pineapple, cherries. Some astringent acids from the fruits adds to the tart and sour aromas. Funk is minimal but still lightly present with a touch of wet hay and maybe some light cider vinegar notes.

T/M: The tart and sour fruits are spot on to the nose. Lemon, pineapple, orange are more dominant with cherries and apricot or peach playing more in the back. Really a citrus explosion that is odd in that I normally experience this with loads of bitterness, which this obviously doesn't have. Funkiness is still at a minimum but still retains the wet hay and light cidery notes. I don't think it'd hurt to have some more funk. Tartness really starts to build toward puckering as it quickly warms. Some rustic woody and leathery notes form the barrels. Nice light to medium light body with perfect carbonation. Great dry finish that isn't too tart or abrasive.

D: Extraordinarily drinkable. I could drink this all day every day. The tartness and sourness doesn't linger too strong or long. Very good. Yet again, many thanks to you, Shane. You really made my day and you better watch your back when it's your turn to be given a milestone beer! And a million thanks to the one that traded this to Shane ;) (2,644 characters)

Photo of 0110x011
4.27/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

My infinite thanks to Gouldsby for this, my White Whale. Poured into a Lost Abbey chalice.

A - Pours one shade darker than straw, with a thin white head that fades as fast as it appears. Little in the way of lacing.

S - Funky! Potent, cheesy horseblanket hits first. Citric lemon & orange zest in the back.

T - A mild, zippy tartness introduces notes of lemon, grapefruit, and tart green grape. Funk abounds, with an earthier, dirtier profile than the nose led me to expect. Oaky.

M - light bodied. A bit lacking on the carbonation; not as lively as the best sours. Oak tannin keeps it super dry.

D - I was definitely left wanting more, but not in the desperate, pining way I expected.

I had set the bar extremely high for this one, so I suppose a letdown was inevitable. A killer sour beer, but not head-over-shoulders better than other similar sours from LA or RR. If it must be checked off your "to try" list, by all means seek it out. If not, stick to the easier to find sours. (987 characters)

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

Bottle sampled 09/26/08 at Night of the Funk. Pours orange with a small white head. Aroma of tart light fruits. Flavor is quite tart and sour with a nice grapey sweetness that makes this beer almost champagne-like. I got some citrus notes. Not too sour and very palatable. Awesome beer and my favorite sour thus far (rivaling Castleton, Supplication, and Beatification).
8/4/9/5/18 (4.4/5) (389 characters)

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

A rare beer that lives up to its reputation. Pours hazy gold with an oily white ring. Lovely perfume nose, sour mash, brett, and butter. Quite sour up front with a rhubarb flavor. The sour slowly turns into a buttery dinner roll. Tannins and oak along with a bit of cheese show up, too. Very acidic at first, but mellows into a nicely vinuous beer. (348 characters)

Photo of grub
4.45/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2008 Biergotter Tasting, Day 1: Sour/Wild Ales. i contributed this bottle, which i got in a trade with the always awesome fartingdog. thanks dave!

750ml bottle, corked and caged. batch 1. sampled nov 27/08.

pours hazy orangey amber with a small semi-dense white head. the head drops fairly fast and leaves no lace.

aroma is great. horse blanket. bit of leather. lemon. cider vinegar. sour cherry. grapefruit. multi-grain bread. bit of cracker. bit of nutty character too.

taste is great. tangerine. orange peel. lemon. grapefruit. light funk, less than i expected from the aroma, with a big malty base hiding underneath. multi-grain bread, cracker, light grain. bit of alcohol. bit of malt vinegar. some dark fruit too.

mouthfeel is great. medium carbonation level. just over medium body. a little fuller bodied than i expected.

drinkability is great. while the bigger body and solid malty base were unexpected, they really helped hold it together. a great balance between the funk, sourness, and malt. top notch stuff. if only i had more! (1,045 characters)

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

Big thanks to grub for cracking this one open. Day 1 of the 2008 Biergotter Tasting. Batch 001.
Fairly clear orange/peach colour, turned cloudy once the dregs were poured. It had a thin, whitish cap that produced thick and spotty lacing. Sharp aroma, lots of tart and vinegar character. Sort of earthy with some funk, leather and lemon zest, fruit tarts even. Very smooth. Big fruity tartness in the flavour, earthy raspberry seeds, leather, a bit juicy. It did have a solid malt base, caramel and bread, but this was really there just to provide balance for the craziness. Medium to light bodied with average carbonation, just a bit of dryness. Delicious. Very smooth and balanced, highly recommended. (702 characters)

Photo of Viggo
4.35/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Huge thanks to grub for providing this rare bottle, Batch 001. Day 1 of insane DrJay visit epic tasting.

Pours a hazy pale golden yellow, thick white head forms, drops a bunch of lace spots on the glass, settles to a medium sized ring, looks nice. Smell is great, very acidic, charred wood, vinegar, lemon juice, fruit, very funk, leathery, alcohol, mangoes, acidity burns the nose a bit. Taste is nice too, sour fruit up front, vinegar, wood, sour mangoes, honey/caramely malt, bread, very acidic funkiness in the finish, very sour. Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied with high carbonation, very nice, burns going down, very acidic stuff. Great sour, nice woody character, Lost Abbey can do no wrong. Thanks Russ! (716 characters)

Photo of JoeMayo
4.57/5  rDev +2.7%
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. (599 characters)

Photo of tprokop7
4.72/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Golden and cloudy, with a bit of head that fades to a thin whispy layer. Smells pretty sour, without too much barnyard funk, and with a little peach and green apple. Taste is very sour at the start, but fades to a complex and fruity finish. Carbonation is well balanced and does not detract from the beer, and it goes down smoothly. I'm lucky to have tried this after never really thinking I'd even see one, and I wish there were a chance of me tasting it again. (462 characters)

Photo of hopdog
4.67/5  rDev +4.9%
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. (734 characters)

Photo of thickerfreakness
4.87/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to cloudskipper for this Batch 2 bottle. Shared with bgramer last night. Pours bubbly hazy yellow with a small layer of foam on top. Aroma begins with green apples, lemon and barnyard; pineapple, wood, light banana, cobweb; musty and more funky as it warmed up. Flavor was lots of green apple, tart grapes, lemon, subtle funk at beginning; slight oaky tannins, banana, and a slight alcohol bite as it warmed; slight corn in after taste. As it got completely to room temp it was like juicy ripe pineapple and got more sweet overall. It coats the mouth with tingly bubbles and leaves a lasting impression on the palate. I absolutely loved this one; it had so many layers and subtle flavors/smells. (702 characters)

Photo of waltonc
4.15/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Toronado in August. This is a pretty tasty sour beer. I was very impressed. Hazy golden color with solid white head. Taste is crisp and tart, fruity, oaky, and sour. Funk is certainly present, but not excessive, which I appreciated. Considering the style, which I generally can't drink too much of, I was very impressed with this, and look forward to opening up the bottle I also purchased on Toronado's 21st anniversary night. (437 characters)

Photo of tendermorsel
3.8/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had three 2 oz tastes of this beer at the Night of the Funk. Itwas the first beer I tried as I was real excited to try this rare beer before my palette was destroyed my the the onslaught of funky beers.

It was straw yellow with white fluffy head that dissipated very quickly. Typical wild ale smells. Barnyard smells and a crisp clean nose. Not as much Brett as I would have expected. The beer was pretty mellow and drinkable. A good American take on a blended wild ale.

I will say I did feel that I was a bit let down. It was good but it by no means blew me away. This may be a beer that is real over hyped IMHO. I can think of 4-5 Belgian Geuze that I would grab before this one that are much cheaper and readily available. Maybe this would improve with age?? (767 characters)

Photo of Georgiabeer
4.55/5  rDev +2.2%
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. (1,074 characters)

Photo of Gueuzedude
4.16/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Batch 2; Sampled August 2008
Funky, cheesy and sour notes are quite noticeable as I pour this brew. An average pour into my large Tripel Karmeliet tulip produces an almost two finger thick, pale, white colored head that leaves some lacing on the sides of my glass. This has a little chill haze and a touch of permanent haze to it; it went into the cooler with only a slight haze. The beer is a murky, light amber color as it sits on my desk, but it shows an orangish copper hue when held up to the light. Wow, this is much more funky than I was expecting it to be, more funky than just about any other Lost Abbey brew. Ample butyric acid aromas of old, dried sweat laden blankets and cured leather are joined by funky-woody mushroom aromas, some definite farmhouse cheese notes (though this is somewhat soft), uriatic cat pee, fresh scraped lemon zest, oxidized peanuts. This is all anchored by spicy, tannic oak notes that linger in the background of the nose, but are quite noticeable once you get past the funk. Some fruitiness seems noticeable at times, but at others is drowned out by the funk; when noticed, aromas of ripe pear, white wine vinegar, hints of kumquat pith & zest, . This has a very complex, very funky aroma that has a significant, but not overwhelming oak character that seems to be a bit more pervasive than I originally thought, but as a supporting role.

The first sip is quite dry tasting, it is not quite as mouth puckeringly sour as I was expecting, based upon the aroma, but still has a nice tartness to it. My first sip definitely leaves me thinking that this needs to have a harder sourness to it. The carbonation is at a light-medium level; persistent, prickly and noticeable, but not any where near the effervescence of sparkling Gueuze (which seems to be a rarer and rarer thing now a days, even amongst the classic Gueuze producers). The flavor also seems a bit cleaner than the aroma, though it is definitely tart and funky. The acidity here seems predominantly lactic in character and reminds me of tart grapefruit, some lemon zest, a touch of vinegar-like bite in the finish. Other flavors that round things out are a slight, funky cheddar cheese note, something a bit like smoked almonds, a touch of saltiness (tied up in the previous note), a definitely tannic finish and some light, spicy oak notes there as well. This somehow picks up a perception of sweetness to it, though I don't think there is much in the way of residual sugars in this beer; it almost seems to be acidity based. Light and quaffable, this beer also hides its alcohol quite well, which makes it all that much more drinkable.

My second pour of this is a touch more yeasty, which seems to soften the tartness a bit and also adds some raw, fermented dough notes (though only just a touch) as well as enhancing a cooked bread like character (sour dough to be sure though). I easily polish off this 750ml bottle, though there is enough acidity to make my empty stomach feel a bit rumbly. Worthy of the hype that I built up in my mind? I don't know, but it is definitely worth the hype to try it. It could use a touch more carbonation as a beer like this could always use a lively carbonation in my book. (3,211 characters)

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

2008 vintage on tap at Toronado SF.

Appearance: Straw-colored, turbid and completely opaque, almost milky. The thin white head doesn't last long, receding to a ring after a few minutes.

Smell: Wonderfully funky; barnyard, horseblanket, rotten fruit, lemons. Absolutely full of funk.

Taste & mouthfeel: Sour, lemony and funky as hell. Acidity is low, and there's not a lot of vinegar-like flavors, which make this possibly the most drinkable sour beer I've ever tasted. The mouthfeel is bone-dry, and the finish is surprisingly clean.

Notes: Drank far too many of these on tap at Toronado's 21st anniversary party. Great stuff. (630 characters)

Photo of jwolfie70
4.54/5  rDev +2%
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. (252 characters)

Photo of illidurit
4.56/5  rDev +2.5%
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. (376 characters)

Photo of Overlord
4.77/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Huge thanks to Jwolfie70 for his incredible generosity over the weekend. Had a chance to sample this along with some other rare brews, as he cracked open his cellar (it took some cracking) to break out some of his Cable Car, Cuvee de Tomme, and other delicacies.

Pours a hazy golden yellow, maybe a hint (just a hint) of orange in there. Given the alcohol content, surprisingly long lasting white foamy head.

A funky beer, but not an overly sour one (and we had some true sours over the weekend). Oak-y, musty yeastiness, a ton of overlapping citrus and unripe fruit flavors, and overlaying it all is that funky funk, which Jwolfie70 likened to "horse manure, but in a good way." Not the description I would use, but I'll add it here.

Not the be-all and end-all of beers, but something truly unique and all-too-rare. Could drink all day. A wonderful carbonation level really lightened it up.

**Tried batch two of this. Seemed like more funk/oak, less complexity. I think the first batch was much better, and given that Tomme informed me (IIRC) that the original recipe was not retained, I can't help but think the second batch was an approximation. (1,153 characters)

Photo of seaoflament
4.2/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Tomme for opening a few bottles of the new batch of Cable Car (batch 2) for the RateBeer event.

Poured a golden color with minimal head...nothing too fancy but decent for the style.

Aroma of green apples on the nose, funk, sweet pale malt, yeast, sour pear, and an odd spiciness. Now, I have not encountered such a spiciness in other sour beers, this one smells like a bread or bread dough with spices. Starts to get more fruity as it warms up.

Taste of dough, spices again, ripe pear, various tropical fruits (but not too fruity), spicy bread, and sweet oak. Tastes very young and definitely needs to sit some more. Less spicy character after it warms up. Sweet cracker taste in the finish.

Slightly syrupy but soft with some carbonation in the back.

Needs to develop some more but tasting pretty good right now.

I also tried the first batch tonight but I didn't take any notes, it was definitely a bit more tart, had less of the spicy character and was a bit more yeasty. Definitely gets better with age.

***update 7-27-09****

Had the opportunity to try batch 1 (2007) and batch 2 (2008) at the "You Bring the Cheese Tasting" on July 25-26th 2009.

I was very interesting to have both vintages side-by-side. I had not tried this one since last year. The surprise of the tasting was that the batch 1 (2007) Cable Car was not doing so well.

Batch 1 had a weird tannic and muddy flavors, as well as a stronger spicy oak flavor. Batch 2 also had the spicy oak flavors and aroma but more balanced and a cleaner tartness.

Good to see that batch 2 is holding up fine and could age a bit longer, I will keep my bottle for as long as I can and see what happens. (1,676 characters)

Cable Car from The Lost Abbey
98 out of 100 based on 208 ratings.