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Cable Car - The Lost Abbey

Not Rated.
Cable CarCable Car

Educational use only; do not reuse.

214 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 214
Hads: 841
Avg: 4.48
pDev: 16.96%
Wants: 2,632
Gots: 88 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 214 | Hads: 841
Photo of thagr81us
4.5/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this one during the 'We Want The Funk!' tasting that was graciously hosted by beermeX2! Big thanks goes out to beermeX2 for sharing this one with the group! 2010 Vintage! Served from bottle into a Mikkeller flute. Poured golden yellow with a half finger pure white head that subsided to a minimal amount slowly. Maintained excellent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma ws comprised of sweet malt, fruit, sour, and funk. The flavor was of sweet malt, sour, tart, funk, and fruit. It had a light feel on the palate with high carbonation. Overall this brew was quite excellent. My only gripe about this one was that the flavor was quite subdued... While the flavor was great it just seemed slightly watered down compared to the other offerings I have had as of late. The aroma on this however was nothing short of excellent though. How good was this one you might ask??? Myself and Kenneyho started using it as a palate cleanser at around 2AM that morning... Definitely worth the buzz that surrounds this one. Hope to try some older vintages for comparison in the future for comparison (hint hint traders).

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Photo of stupac2
4.47/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had at Toronado yesterday, reviewing from notes.

Poured from the bottle into a tulip, either I was too aggressive or this beer loves to foam. The better part of the glass was white head, which receded fairly quickly (subsequent pours had significantly less head). Color is a pale yellow.

The sourness in this beer really hits you. It's noticeable from quite a distance. Beyond that there's a mild fruitiness, I can't decipher the fruit, and something odd that must be the oak. The taste is more of the same, but it's pleasantly dry, and the frutiness is muted. The aftertaste is quite oaky. Mouthfeel is standard for the style.

All in all an enjoyable beer, glad I made the journey to get it, but don't think I'd do it again.

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Photo of DavoleBomb
3.87/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle at Toronado, SF. 2010 vintage. Poured into a tulip.

3.5 A: First pour was a surprisingly clear darker yellow color. Two and a half fingers of light, frothy white head. Retention isn't too impressive and only some spotty lacing.

4.0 S: Good mix of fruity sweet and sour. Lots of tangy lactic acid with maybe a touch of acetic acid. A lot of oak and a good bit of vanilla, but only slightly tannic. Quite fruity like sweet tarts. I've heard this used for DDG, but it seems to be appropriate here as well. Wild apple, lemon, generic berry, and perhaps some peach.

4.0 T: Like the nose - a good mix of fruity and sour. Again the lactic acid is dominant with just barely any hints of acetic, though overall this is far from mouth puckering. Lemon, peach, sour green apple, and lemongrass. Again a good bit of oak and vanilla with a low tannic astringency.

4.0 M: Lighter medium body. Despite LA's reputation, this is fully carbonated and perhaps a bit too much so. Good creaminess and certainly smooth.

3.5 D: Good beer, but it isn't as impressive (at least not this vintage) as the reputation suggests. However, if nothing else, it is well balanced and highly drinkable. Good value for $20, barely acceptable for $30, but $40 is far too much after the novelty is achieved.

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Photo of Verecund
4.17/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2010 vintage opened on June 12, 2011. Bottle at Toronado.

Pours a hazy and yellowed amber with a half-finger white cap. Some lacing.

Nice citrus notes – lemon and orange – alongside light white wine vinegar, green apple, and apricot. There’s some funk, but less than I expected, really: soft farmhouse straw-like must alongside a woody and mushroomy brettanomyces bruxellensis funk.

The moderate sourness gives way to a lightly fruity, citrusy tartness. It almost resembles a cider, with its notes of white wine vinegar and lactic acidity, though it is balanced by a good bit of oak and earthy funk. A citrus/quasi-tropical fruitiness (e.g., kumquat) and bready sweetness rounds out the mid-palate.

Medium light in body with medium carbonation. There’s a pleasant dry finish following the lactic acidity. Very drinkable, though I wouldn’t object to a little more acidity, which I’m sure varies according to the vintage. Personally, I wouldn’t give up the farm for this, but wouldn’t pass up a chance to try it.

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Photo of chriswilkes33
4.5/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

At Toronado in San Diego. Poured from bottle into 10 oz tulip.

Appearance: pours hazy light yellow with nice white head.

Aroma: horses, sourness, tart

Taste: funky, tart but smooth at the same time, probably the best sour I've ever had.

Mouthfeel: perfect, this beer rivals any of thestyle from Belgium or anywhere in the world as far as I know.

Overall: well worth the 40.00 price tag when split 5 ways.

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Photo of domtronzero
3.96/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2010 vintage. Purchased at Toronado SD.

A - Very lightly hazy golden yellow colored. Big, white, long lasting head with tons of lacing. Very effervescent in appearance.

S - Tart, citrusy up front with a moderate fruity/funky aroma. Bready malts and light sulfuric aroma. Much lighter than when it was initially released last year.

F/M - Bready sweet pilsner-like malts with citrusy esters and a big, clean, lactic tart flavor. Very light sulfur. Medium bodied with moderately high carbonation. Light, prickly mouthfeel.

O - Pretty good, but not as good as previous vintages. Still an excellent wild ale, and worth seeking out.

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Photo of jlindros
4.35/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had at the huge whale-ish tasting at Chris's. Thanks to tai4ji2x for this one, a 1L swingtop growler.

Pours a light fizzy head (yay carbonation) which fades quickly over semi clear golden color.

Nose of a light tart fruity sour, lemony like fruit, other fruits as well, light golden malts and a touch of sweetness.

Taste is semi sweet with golden Belgian like malts, tart fruits, little zest and lemon, bready light funk, touch of fruit like apricot or peach, light toasty caramelized candy sugar like, light sweetness, bitter rind, finish is a little flemmy with a dry bready funk, almost no acidity, light oak and vanilla rounding.

Mouth is medium to lighter bodied, decent carbonation.

Overall great, very drinkable, light tartness, nice dry light bready funk, even has some carbonation.

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Photo of jale
4.7/5  rDev +4.9%
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 ThoreauLikeAGirl
4.59/5  rDev +2.5%
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 Devi0us
3.68/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2009 Vintage poured into a snifter. Shared this bottle at Toronado SF.

A- Pours a golden yellow wheat color. Had a 1 finger white head and good amounts lacing that chilled with us throughout the tasting.

S- Has a strong funky lemon scent. I'm not sure this is what it's supposed to smell like due to the fact that I drink darker brews.

T- Upon first sip, this BadBoy was sour. Made me wanna break some boards Bruce Lee Style. The sourness became more bearable the more I sipped and the more the beer warmed.

M- Medium bodied and smooth with the perfect amount of carbonation.
O- This reminds me alot like a shocktart. Makes your face pucker but you go back for more. The more I drink this, the better it taste. To me, this is definitely not worth the $40 pricetag. I'm glad to say I tried it but I won't be trying this again anytime soon.

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Photo of dvsbizzyb
4.32/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Shared a bottle at Toronado in San Francisco.

Appearance - Has a murky golden orange that almost glows with a white beautiful bubbly head.

Smell - Strong musty wild citrus smell.

Taste - Mild tart citrus fruits hits my palate as i sip on this. A slight sweet taste comes in the background as if a Jolly Rancher was dropped on the bottom of my glass.

Mouthfeel - Perfect carbonation with a medium body.

Overall - This was a delicious beer that challenges the taste buds with the exceptional balance of citrus sourness and superb fruit flavor.

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Photo of Reagan1984
4.75/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A huge thanks to Masterski for getting this for me and sending it along as a great surprise in a recent package. What a treat.

Poured into my tulip glass and a thin wispy bright white head forms. Does recede fairly quickly. The beer is a very bright gold/brass color. Excellent clarity. Some light spotty lacing.

Aroma is fantastic. Bright, some acidic notes, apple comes to mind. Perhaps a touch of lemon.

With the first sip I get very excited as my favorite flavor component of the roasted nuts is present. The tartness is present but with soft round edges. I’d be lying if I didn’t say I thought of Sweet Tart candies. That’s actually a good thing. The bread flavors just below the surface are fantastic. A moment of nectarine and tangerine here. Nice fruit notes. Lot’s going on. There is a salty quality to this that I didn’t expect. Seems to mix well with the nuttiness and bread like qualities. Green apple pops up now and again.

Very delicate body and a wonderful refreshing mouth feel.

This is truly a treat to drink. Believe the hype. Perhaps made even better as it’s been a while since I’ve had a sour. Just fantastic.

Thanks Alex.

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Photo of portia99
4.42/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

1L swingtop growler (2010 release) generously shared among 5 BA's by tai4ji2x at a recent tasting. Thanks Xenon! Poured into a Dogfish Head signature glass.

A - Pours very clear (surprisingly clear), thick and bubbly collar, light lacing left on glass.

S - Funk, bitter finish, limes (thanks Shogo for identifying this - was driving me crazy), horseblankets, funk, oranges and apricots.

T - Horsey, funky, bready and biscuity base, peachy, apricots, touch of bitterness, confectioners sugar, and lime.

M - Thinnish - light/medium body, medium carbonation, tart but not super sour - quite interesting combination of fruity/citrusy flavors.

O - Outstanding, great wild ale. Another one I was beginning to think I'd never get to sample. Interesting, slightly different combo of fruity flavors in a wild and balanced very well with a distinct but manageable tartness/sourness.

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Photo of seeswo
4.45/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Generously opened at DLD.

Orangy-yellow with a tiny amount of head. The nose is tart lemon with a nice funky sour smell. Like funk-spiked lemonade. The taste is like the nose - sour, funky, dry lemonade. No booze comes off at all, this beer is light and freshing. If this beer came in $9 6-packs, I would enjoy them all summer long. Really a fantastic, easy drinking sour. If you haven't enjoyed sours before, this is a really nice entry point - too bad it is so difficult to get.

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Photo of SubpoenaDeuces
3.47/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Cable car Lost Abbey, 7.0% wild ale

A: Light pilsner color, mellow gold, a refined golden ambiance

S: strong sour geuze smell, crushed sweettarts and a melted fruitloops wafting

T: This beer is intimidating at first, strong smells and notes, but ultimately this is a calf that you can wrangle not without oppression. It is akin to mutton busting, something that seems difficult until you tackle the sheep, and pull its majestic fur to the ground. At its core, it is temptation with milder souring, lighter drying effects, less tanins in the grape aftertaste, and finally champagne crisp apple notes in the finish. Nothing you can't handle but an exceptional balance. It is the lovechild of gueuze and champagnes of the mild brut variety.

M: Fantastic, crisp and light, the entire experience has lemon zest and feels like a Hootie and the Blowfish Album. You can dispense this pellmell and no one will look askance. If not for the oppressive Toronado's standards, this could be something everyone could enjoy, if not for proprietary despotism. Not worth bootlegging, not worth epic trades. Just really good, but if you want to tread this road, there are more refined paths as smoothe as marble for your wanting cart.

D: Again, fantastic but competing in a league of legends. I would drink this all day, fixing my carburator, prepartying for the charity gala, snuff film exposition, you know, guy stuff. I find myself in a love hate resolution with this beer because I love what it is but I hate the air surrounding it. It feels like seeing a person with a TOOL shirt on. you love the syncopated rhythms and complex melodies, but you dislike the fanbase in general. The faux highbrow ruins what would be a fantastic experience.

Narrative: Sir Fredrick Willingsly is repossessing your car. You can't hate him for doing his job, but, without a 1998 civic DX, these pizzas arent going to deliver themselves. You hate him, with his cliche antagonistic handlebar moustache and fogged up monocle. However, his wry quips relating to Howards' End and class struggle made it all the sweeter. "And thence upon from which one has had, none shall take without" he declares with a cloud of aplomb that almost makes you lighthearted in his usurpation of your chief economic asset. He is akin to the Mr. peanut of recurring vengeance. your pocket despises him, yet you respect him for his casuistic enforcement of the law. "God speed Willingsly, dont scratch my sick mugen exhaust on the dip. Godspeed."

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Photo of kajerm
4.35/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle at Toronado.

A: Straw, translucent; filmy white head with lacing tracking up the glass. Fine, champagne-like columns of carbonation. Standard for the style, but attractive.

S: Horses and vinegar, in force. Fermented fruit, calvados. No malt to be found. This is a very good thing.

T: Opens tart (I feel stupid writing that), and stays that way but with lemon (not something I've tasted in a beer like this), very muted malt in the background, apple cider as usual but less assertively than in others in the style. Finishes bone-dry. Orval-dry

M: dry, effervescent

Very good, very expensive.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.7/5  rDev +4.9%
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 glazeman
4.03/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle at Toronado in San Diego

A: The beer pours a straw yellow color and is quite hazy. The head is fluffy white and about ¾ of a finger in size. Throughout the drink there was good head retention and nice lacing.

S: The smell was of chalky lemons with just a hint of wood/nuttiness

T: There’s a fair bit of lemons, sour, but not as much funk/earthiness as in many other wild ales. The flavor is not overwhelming by any means and has some oakiness and yeastiness up front.

M: The finish on this beer was balanced, enjoyable, and lingering. The carbonation was appropriate, as was the viscosity.

O: I was glad to have tried this, but given the exclusivity and price tag, probably won’t search it out again. It was good, but better, similar beers can be found much more easily.

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Photo of MexicanSkittel
4.47/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had the 2009 last week at the TORO.

The pour was a slight hazy golden orange with a touch of yellow showing through. The head was limited to the lightness of the carbonation.

smelled of Lemon peel, with a hint sour wine.(yummy)

The taste was a sweet lemon with hints of oak, and yeasty bread. Almost a champange effect.

I was suprised at the subtleness of the sour effect from this beer, which after time led to a little sweet character. The finish was gentle but quite long.

Over all pretty damn tasty and can't wait to do a side by side car tasting with the 2010

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Photo of jsanford
4.64/5  rDev +3.6%
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 mdfb79
4.74/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From 04/30/11 notes. Got to try this one at Dark Lord Day thanks to Sean9689; huge thanks Sean, this was one of my biggest Wants! 2010 vintage from a swing top bottle.

a - Pours a hazy yellow color with an inch of white head and light carbonation evident.

s - Smells of sour lemons, other sour fruits, oak, earthy notes. Very nice and sour, though not overally tart. Pretty amazing.

t - Tastes of tart lemon, sour citrus, tart fruits, oak, earthy, grassy notes, and a very light mustiness. Again, absoutely amazing. Not the sourest beer I've ever had, but one of the more enjoyable sour beers.

m - Light to medium body and low to moderate carbonation.

o - Overall one of the best sours I've had; I'm really glad it actually lived up to my expectations. Had a lot of great beers at DLD and this one was probably my favorite. Lots of sour and tart lemons and while not overly sour, it's very refreshing and enjoyable. Would jump at the chance to by a bottle of this one when and if I make it out to Toronado.

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Photo of Jwale73
4.28/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A huge thanks to jedwards for sharing this beer. 2009 vintage served in a Sinners tulip. The color of this beer is really quite eye-catching. Bright tangerine in color with a loose, bright white head and a semi-hazy clarity. The head is refreshed with a gentle swirl of the glass and sheets of lacing coat the sides of the glass, gradually yielding to some strands and spots of lacing encircling the bowl. Nose is fairly subdued - tart citrus and a trace of cork. Taste reveals tart and acidic citrus fruit, a slightly salty character and the flavor of cork. Mouthfeel is light in body with an effervescence akin to champagne. This beer is so tart that it puckers the cheeks before culminating in a very dry finish. This has to be, by far, the sourest sour I've had to date. There's a lot going on here and I'm grateful to finally have the opportunity to try this beer outside of a fest.

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Photo of Urbancaver
4.7/5  rDev +4.9%
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 Imstillthegman
4.62/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed this personal whale at Toronado in San Diego. $40 a bottle. 2010 vintage.

Pours a slightly hazy pale orange. The head fills half of the Russian River tulip the server gave me to enjoy the beer out of. Slowly fading mound of bubbles due to the effervescent flow of bubbles steadily rising.

The aroma seemed to constantly change. First sniff was filled with lemon zest and sour funk. Then I started getting some orange and some oak. Up next was grassy herbs and sourdough bread. This would have gotten a 5 for aroma if something would have smacked me in the face. Lots there, but not overwhelmingly powerful.

The flavor mimics the smell quite nicely. Tart lemon, wet grass, white wine grapes, bit of wood, and some sour funk. Not exceedingly tart or sour. Nice balance for the style. Delicious!

The carbonation is very active. Prickly on the tongue throughout most of the bottle. A little drying. Overall...wow! So glad I finally got to have this one. Worth the wait.

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Photo of dmsohyea
4.4/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle at Toronado SD, served in a tulip.

A - Pours light, orange-tinged yellow with a ton of thin, bubbly head. Probably 4 fingers. This one is certainly effervescent.

S - Wow! Tons of lemon and orange zest with a strong acidity that blows up in your face. A bit of honey, with few to no hops at all.

T - First few sips are all sweetness up front and sour on the finish. Sugary, honey sweetness right on the tip of your tongue, followed by floral lemon juice and bitterness, finishes with acid and more lemon. Some other citrus fruits can also be detected.

M - Mouthfeel is thin, but not watery. Carbonation is high, but mellows with each sip. A bit of astringency, but still doesn't feel bad on the mouth.

O - Way too expensive, but a very tasty brew. May have to bring a couple friends to drink one of these next time.

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Cable Car from The Lost Abbey
99 out of 100 based on 214 ratings.