Cable Car - The Lost Abbey

Not Rated.
Cable CarCable Car

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BA SCORE
100
world-class

682 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 682
Reviews: 197
rAvg: 4.58
pDev: 8.52%
Wants: 2,358
Gots: 73 | FT: 0
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: 682 | Reviews: 197 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

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.

Photo of dfhhead25
4.5/5  rDev -1.7%

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!

Photo of jpd7374
5/5  rDev +9.2%

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.

Photo of mdillon86
4.5/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of jzeilinger
4.75/5  rDev +3.7%

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.

Photo of Adamostella
4.5/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of greenspointexas
4.75/5  rDev +3.7%

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.

Photo of baybum
5/5  rDev +9.2%

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.

Photo of Stevedore
4.58/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

750ml bottle of the 2010 vintage. Poured into a FFF/DMC taster 6/21/2014.

A- Hazy straw yellow body, cloudy and with a half finger white head. Good retention though it does become completely still-looking after a few minutes. Not much lacing. Looks very, very similar to Duck Duck Gooze.

S- Lemon zest, tart citrus, musty oak, white wine grapes, crackers, a little tart apple skin. Some vinegar. Smells so strong and aggressive, particularly the lemon and white grape must.

F- Similar to the nose. Lemon zest, white vinous grapes, musty oak, a bit of funky cheesiness. Tart apple skins add a little bit of depth. Vinegar is about 7/10, nicely sour but not abrasively so. This is very good, not complex but again, this is quite aggressive.

M- Medium in body, a bit creamy but certainly not custardy. About the right amount of carbonation, a nice pop to it. Lemon sourness on the backend makes for a nice cleansing finish.

O- Very aggressive but not as complex as Duck Duck Gooze is. In my mind, this beer is somewhere in between Beat and DDG on the spectrum of AWAs- aggressive but with a solid layer of complexity that's done very well with time. This one did not disappoint, though it's still a long-standing philosophical question as to whether it is worth what it requires to obtain a bottle of this. While I would recommend going after Duck Duck Gooze or Beatification instead of this one, please don't get me wrong- this is an excellent AWA.

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.

Photo of oglmcdgl
4.75/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of rye726
5/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Excellent beer. Pretty much all I drank first night of '10 GABF. Great glowing pour, silky head. Nose is quite sour with lots of fruit and sweet malt notes. Taste is perfectly balanced. Belgianesque as usual Vinny. Cimplex and refreshing. Great stuff. Could drink any time.

Photo of jampics2
4.75/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of DonFrap
4.5/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of jegross2
4.93/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Reviewing the 2012 vintage of the infamous Cable Car from The Lost Abbey out of San Marcos, California. Major thank you to Kevin Fujii and Tyler Shaughnessy´╗┐ for helping me acquire this brew!

Score: 99

2012 vintage bottle served in an Upland snifter and enjoyed on 05/18/13 side-by-side with a bottle of 2010 Duck Duck Goose as part of our Chicago Craft Beer Week whales tasting. Review is from iPhone notes.

Appearance: Pours a dull golden-orange color with a thin layer of fizzy head that settles to a ring around the glass. No lacing or retention. Average golden ale-like appearance 3.5/5

Smell: Lactobacillus, vinegar, lemon, mango and a hint of tart apples. Has an imitation "Cantillon dust"-like aroma that I absolutely dig. Light fruitiness. Acidic nose. White grape too. 5/5

Taste: Mango, lemon, lacto and acidic grape. Very tart and dry. 5/5

Mouthfeel: Light-medium bodied, perfect carbonation. Big in flavor, quite tart. Juicy on the palate, dry on the finish. 5/5

Overall: Absolutely love this beer. It's bold, zesty and tart, while not being very funky. In this regard, it is my ideal sour. It could be more complex, but this brew absolutely delivers in what it brings to the table

Cost: $40 for a 750 ml bottle.

Photo of Zbeetleman
4.25/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of portia99
4.43/5  rDev -3.3%
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.

Photo of DerekMorgan
4.75/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of GABrew
4.5/5  rDev -1.7%

Cable Car from The Lost Abbey
100 out of 100 based on 682 ratings.