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Cable Car - The Lost Abbey

Not Rated.
Cable CarCable Car

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
100
world-class

613 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 613
Reviews: 193
rAvg: 4.58
pDev: 8.3%
Wants: 2,294
Gots: 70 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
The Lost Abbey visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Wild Ale |  7.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: stephendr on 08-12-2007)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 613 | Reviews: 193 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ngeunit1
4.78/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured a slightly hazy golden-orange color with a finger of frothy crisp white head atop. The head faded slowly to a ring around the glass leaving behind some nice lacing.

S - The aroma is an inviting mix of sour and tart white grape and other fruit flavors. There is also some oak and vanilla as well as a nice mix of funkiness. This is one of the best smelling beers I have ever had period.

T - The beer starts off with a great mix of sour and tart white grapeish flavor. It is quite strong but not too overpowering. The oak flavor jumps in right after and starts to mellow things out a bit. By the middle of the beer, everything feels much more balanced with some vanilla and good funkiness coming through. The finish is bit again on the sour and tart with some good funkiness that linger for a while.

M - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. The beer felt very smooth with a great mix of sour and tart throughout.

D - Very drinkable. The sour and tart flavors are outstandingly balanced from start to end here. It was really a pleasure to drink this beer, regardless of the price since I felt it was really that good.

ngeunit1, Aug 28, 2011
Photo of stereosforgeeks
4.75/5  rDev +3.7%

stereosforgeeks, May 29, 2013
Photo of millerbuffoon
4.75/5  rDev +3.7%

millerbuffoon, Jan 04, 2014
Photo of threedaggers
4.5/5  rDev -1.7%

threedaggers, May 25, 2014
Photo of koopa
4.4/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2010 VINTAGE OVERALL SCORE: 4.1 A-
Consumed on 9/30/11

Appearance: 4.0 Pours a cludy dull orange tinged honey color with a 2 finger white crown full of medium sized fizzy loose white bubbles that show moderate retention and nice lace.

Smell: 4.5 Nice amount of green apple, tart lemon, faint cherries, and moderate musty funk.

Taste: 4.0 Lemon brett, flabby malt, a touch of grape essence, and a bit of maraschino cherries in the finish.

Mouthfeel: 4.0 Thin side of medium bodied with decent carbonation. A bit on the bleh side for the style but not bad at all.

Drinkability: 4.0 Goes down fairly easy but the mouthfeel and taste are flabby.

2009 VINTAGE OVERALL SCORE: 4.4 A
received in a trade with Alen thanks!
Consumed on 8/13/10 (Friday the 13th!)

Appearance: 4.5 Pours a slightly cloudy peach to pumpkin orange body with a 2 finger white crown that shows moderate retention and lace.

Smell: 4.0 Musky peaches, tart lemons, some lactic sourness, not much funk though.

Taste: 4.5 Peaches, apricots, mangos, lemon tartness, wheat tartness, green grapes, and green apple skins. A fair amount of lactic sourness, but mainly just lots of dry tartness. Very vibrant and very enjoyable.

Mouthfeel: 4.5 Light bodied with great lush carbonation.

Drinkability: 4.5 Easy drinking sour with lick your lips appeal :)

2008 VINTAGE OVERALL SCORE: 4.35 A
received in a trade with a generous BA thanks.
Consumed on: 12/20/09.

Appearance: 4.0 Pours a slightly cloudy peach to pumpkin orange body with minimal crown, retention, or lace.

Smell: 4.5 Great showing of horseblanket, musky peaches, tart lemons, and lactic sourness.

Taste: 4.5 Peaches, apricots, mangos, lemon tartness, wheat tartness, green grapes, green apple skins, and a touch of dry cherry tartness. A fair amount of lactic sourness, but mainly just lots of dry tartness. A layer of barnyard as a foundation, but predominantly about the lactic acid and loads of tartness. Very enjoyable.

Mouthfeel: 4.0 Light bodied with just enough carbonation.

Drinkablity: 4.5 Goes down easy and is good to the last drop!

2007 VINTAGE OVERALL SCORE 4.1 A-
received in a recent trade with Alen thanks!
Consumed on: 10/31/09

Appearance: 4.0 Pours a slightly cloudy peach to pumpkin orange body with a minimal yellow white crown that shows little retention or lace.

Smell: 4.5 Wonderful bouquet of peach, apricot, mango, and lemons. Lactic sourness is apparent but not overwhelming in the nose. A fair amount of barnyard and an underlying cinnamon like tingly warm.

Taste: 4.0 Peach, lemon, white grape/white wine and cherry dry sourness coming through with a tame malt belly. Leaves a fairly tart and long finish.

Mouthfeel: 3.5 Light bodied but a touch undercarbonated.

Drinkability: 4.5 This one is going down like nothing...probably because this bottle is on the decline. The flavors aren't vibrant nor is the sourness overpowering.

A let down...I can only hope to acquire a batch #2 or #3 soon.

koopa, Oct 31, 2009
Photo of SadMachine
4.75/5  rDev +3.7%

SadMachine, Aug 03, 2014
Photo of akang
4.75/5  rDev +3.7%

akang, Sep 01, 2013
Photo of Jspriest
5/5  rDev +9.2%

Jspriest, Jun 04, 2013
Photo of ADTaber
4.25/5  rDev -7.2%

ADTaber, Jan 01, 2014
Photo of IrishColonial
4.5/5  rDev -1.7%

IrishColonial, Nov 09, 2013
Photo of emmasdad
3.68/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a lightly hazy amber-brown color, with a good, white head. Funky and tart on the nose, lemon, citrus and aged leather. On the palate, a good sourness, with apples, citrus puckering wine. This one was tart and dry, with a prickly carbonation. Didn't think I'd have the opportunity to try this one, but I did, and I'm glad, though I have no intention of ever tracking a bottle down.

emmasdad, Oct 05, 2010
Photo of jsanford
4.63/5  rDev +1.1%
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!

jsanford, May 09, 2011
Photo of Floydster
4.97/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I have now had this three different times and it is definitely time to review it, I have had it on tap at Toronado in San Francisco back in August, bottle of batch two shared at a tasting a few months back, and recently 750 ml bottles of batch one and two side by side courtesy of Ian, this review is a mixture of both of those bottles which I had last week, reviewed from notes, each were poured into a tulip glass

A-Golden orange color with some highlights, thin 1/2 inch very bubbly white head, good retention for a sour and the head does not go away for about five minutes, very nice wine-like legs, some lacing at the top of the glass
S-Lemons, peaches, grassy accents, grapefruit, earthiness, other citrus, strawberries, funkiness, brett, pineapple, green apples, leather, oak, grains, herbs, light peaches, cherries, limes, and tons of tropical fruits, one of the best smelling beers of all time
T-Flavor has so many different fruits that it just sends your palate on a joy ride, starts off tart and ends that same way, has a huge underlying citrus backbone, love the grainy and rustic feel in the middle with that nice funk to go along with the sourness, that is what really separates this beer from the rest of the field, it does not blow you away with crazy amounts of tart, instead it is more balanced while still maintaining a great sour feel, never overpowers you, gets more complex as it warms and the granny smith apple flavor become awesome by the end, can go on and on about this beer's taste but hopefully this gives people a better idea of what to expect
M-Lively carbonation, medium bodied, zesty, sour, tart, citrusy, and fruity mouthfeel, taste lingers a long time but you never want it to go away
D-I could drink tons of this and I have, had three glasses when at Toronado, it is amazing because you cannot taste any alcohol and it is no lightweight at seven percent, very light on the stomach even though it is pretty acidic, this stuff is very refreshing and taste good both chilled and warm

Rating #1,300, I will admit that I have enjoyed the first batch a lot more than the second, it was more aggressively sour while the other batch was more subtle and mild, still mouth puckering though, I wish this brew was not only available at one place in the world because I would drink it all the time if that was not the case, this is worth all the hype indeed, this is truly one of the best sours I have ever had and probably will ever have, hopefully Tomme brews this for Toronado in the upcoming years because it is well worth the seven hour drive up to San Francisco to buy some, this brew is a masterpiece, cannot recommend this enough

Floydster, May 25, 2009
Photo of oldp0rt
5/5  rDev +9.2%

oldp0rt, May 22, 2013
Photo of ncaudle
4.75/5  rDev +3.7%

ncaudle, Jan 22, 2013
Photo of Hojaminbag
4.03/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Cable Car has light golden colored body with about a finger of fizzy white head. The head disappears completely, leaving behind nothing to show that it was ever there at all.

The aroma has lots of light fruits; peaches and apricots come to mind. Also a good bit of sourness and some musty, funkiness.

Cable Car is more sour than average, but it is not a tongue-attacked sour bomb by any means. The first flavors I notice are the solid amount of tartness that comes a long with a bunch of fruity notes. Once again I notice peaches and apricots, but also some generic light fruits to back those flavors up. Next a slight brett-like horse-blanket flavor that is noticeable but not as powerful as either the sourness or the fruit. After that a hint of wood and some white wine vinegar-like flavors appear for just a second.

I would probably like to see a little more carbonation in the mouthfeel, but it isn't too bad as it is.

Interesting and complex, Cable Car is a pretty good Wild Ale that doesn't leave your tongue feeling like it took a beating, but maintains a lot of sourness. With that said, I really wouldn't pay forty bucks at Toronado for a bottle. Well, if I could go back in time I wouldn't anyway.

Hojaminbag, Jan 13, 2011
Photo of Overlord
4.8/5  rDev +4.8%
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.

Overlord, Aug 04, 2008
Photo of grub
4.47/5  rDev -2.4%
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!

grub, Dec 11, 2008
Photo of nickd717
3.85/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Batch 3 on tap at Toronado for 22nd anniversary. Also had Batch 2 out of the bottle at a Toronado Belgian-inspired beer dinner. I know this is blasphemous, but I consider this beer to be very overrated and only a little above average for an American Wild Ale. I think the rarity of it plays into the high ratings a bit.

A - Slightly hazy golden color with a white head and decent lacing.

S - Funky aroma with Brett, wood, and dry white wine.

T - Very sour and funky with lots of lemon, unripe white grapes, and barrel notes. Fairly one-dimensional in my opinion and does not really stand out above other beers in this style.

M - Soft carbonation, medium body with sharp sourness on the palate and a mouth-puckering finish.

D - Well, the sourness, while not too intense, gets to be a bit much in this case, and I don't think it's all that drinkable overall. Oh yeah, and it's way overpriced at $45 a bottle.

nickd717, Sep 10, 2009
Photo of mdillon86
4.5/5  rDev -1.7%

mdillon86, Jun 20, 2013
Photo of seeswo
4.47/5  rDev -2.4%
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.

seeswo, May 27, 2011
Photo of Arbitrator
2.28/5  rDev -50.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1

2010 vintage. Chilled bottle into a glass. Got a sample at the T23 party thanks to some generous BAs. From notes.

A: Pours a cloudy, pale straw body; it is well carbonated and maintains a solid cap.

S: Sulfurous eggs. This is comically bad. It is actually an offensive odor; there is no way I am going to give this a higher score in the smell department.

T: Vinegar, tart lemon, mild hay, oak. I pick up some tropical fruit as well. This is worlds better than the nose. A bit on the sweet side, and I'd like to see this funkier instead of being a straight sour, but it's still good.

M: Well-carbonated, effervescent. Goes down quite well. Foamy in the finish.

D: $40 for this beer is idiotic. If it were outstanding, I might consider paying it; but for a beer that is a misfire out of the gate and needs time to improve (if it even does), no.

Arbitrator, Sep 04, 2010
Photo of notchucknorris
4.56/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

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

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

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

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

notchucknorris, May 28, 2013
Photo of hoppymcgee
4.08/5  rDev -10.9%
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.

hoppymcgee, Mar 12, 2010
Photo of ktrillionaire
4.68/5  rDev +2.2%
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.

ktrillionaire, Jul 11, 2011
Cable Car from The Lost Abbey
100 out of 100 based on 613 ratings.