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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: 2,630
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 ccnorthwest
4.65/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

This beer is a erotic sex show in your mouth. The smoothness and body are perfect. For a non fruited wild ale it's absolutely amazing. Worth the price and adventure in trying.

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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 Deggar
4.33/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

a special treat that i was able to enjoy at the Toronado in San Francisco. Was hesitant to spend $60 & drinking by myself. It was great to try - a very solid golden sour. At $20-30 a bottle i would recommend all day long. but at $60 i would say there are many other golden sours out there that are as good or better for half the cost. Again nothing bad about this beer but price is high and its not over the top must have. but very solid and happy to get a chance to try it

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Photo of bret27
4.4/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

On tap @Toronado, appropriate glass.

Appearance: Pale orange/yellow. Surprisingly good head retention.

Smell: Tart, vinious, grapes, champagne(ish)

Taste: same as smell w/citrus tartness goodness overwelming. Spices I can't put my finger on. Cinnamony? Dry finish such as white wine or champagne. Absolutely easy drinking and delightful.

Overall: Solid, and excited to have the privilege to try it on tap for $5.

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Photo of Fux
4.38/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2013 vintage
A: Orange, cloudy with no foam. Orange glints, juicy look.
S: Funky, tart and sour. Barnyard, hay and funk dominate, with also lots of fruits and a mineral scent. Also some lactiness reminding this is an AWA rather than a gueuze.
T: Taste is also tart and funky, with hay, barnyard and horseblanket. Very complex. Not at all one-dimensional as AWAs can sometimes be. The lactiness is there but more subdued and not disturbing. Quite clean actually.
M: Carbonation is ok, the mouthfeel is quite low, though. It could have been more lively.
O: Very good in the style. I did prefer Duck Duck Goose However.

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Photo of Shogun250
4.96/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

I actually thought this one met the hype. Crazy complex, well done beer. Hazy, light, very aromatic and the aftertaste kept going in a good way. This was even a 2014 and prob gets better with age. I had this side by side with 2013 DDG which was also top notch for me this beer was a tad more enjoyable. I am rating this however with price not in mind. When I had this next to a 375 ml CD14 it was tough to justify how much I gave up for it. No regrets definitely nice to have once. Hard to think any blond sour ale could be better.

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Photo of drewba
4.23/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2010 bottle poured into a snifter.

A - Hazy dull yellow with a super fizzy two finger head. This recedes to a thin film with little retention and medium lacing.

S - Dry, slightly estery with lemon, grass and a ton of funk. Smells a bit farty.

T - Lots of funky grass and straw, mellow dry white wine flavors, lemon and plenty of yeast. The flavors are clean and makes for a quick drinker. This isn't as sour as it is funky, it reminds me more of a bretty saison with loads of funk. Subtle, clean, funky.

M - carbonation cleans the palate nicely, the tartness and funk doesn't linger long. The carbonation is just spot on, love it.

D - Drinks so quickly and the carbonation helps save the palate.

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Photo of JoeMayo
4.57/5  rDev +2%
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.

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Photo of femALEist
4.42/5  rDev -1.3%
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.

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Photo of 0110x011
4.27/5  rDev -4.7%
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.

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Photo of tarheels86
4.52/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750 mL 2007 ed batch 1. This is very different from the 2009 version, which I like much better. Batch 1 has held up very well but has become more like white wine and is more sour and full of white grapes. It is bright with citrus/lemon acidity, which shares almost no commonalities with the 2009. 6/10/2010 8/4/8/5/15=4.0

750mL 2009 ed batch 3 courtesy of ucusty. There were tons of hyped beers at our Carolina sour tasting- many of them did not live up it. But this certainly did. Pours just a beautiful glowing, hazy light orange/yellow with a thin white head that leaves some spotty lace. Aroma is simply incredible: pineapple, coconut rum, papaya, cotton candy (fairly sweet) layered atop geuze notes of leather, funk, tart apples, lemon zest. Taste is sour with lacto and pedo plus a rich array of tropical fruits and a bit of spicy alcohol. Nice sweet and sour mix. Buttery, rich palate. Light to medium bodied. Just whoa. 3/23/2010 9/4/9/5/17=4.4

750mL 2010 ed batch 4 at Toronado SD. Pours a fizzy, clear, white wine color with a diminishing, bubbly white head. Moves tyo muddy, glowing orange with the yeast. Aroma is sharp geuze funk, green apple skins, lemon, key lime, moving to some really incredible sweet complexity akin to baba rhum and marzipan. Taste is soft lactic, very easy to drink with a quick, sharp sour beginning moving to long, lactic beauty. It is almost like glorified Berliner weiss it is so soft and not slap your face sour like some geuzes. Maybe a bit too much lemon. No acedic comes forth that I find with the Veritas 007. Great cotton candy character develops at it warms. 10/10/10 9/4/8/5/16=4.2

750mL 2010 ed b4 at Toronado SF. The pour is a bright yellow with a medium, white head that leaves incredibly sticky lace. Pretty much a 5/5 for sour beer where the near zero sugar content makes it tough for lace to stick. Aroma of cotton candy, caramel, pink lemonade, sour/acetic impeding funk, fresh grapefruit, lemon, and acetic spice reminiscent of Hanssen’s Gueuze, funky white wine. Taste is incredibly soft, not truly sour as much fresh and tart. Bretty earth comes into play atop a beer that exhibits a sweet and sour play on the tongue that is hard to describe with sufficiency. Fresh caramel and sweet oranges take center stage rather than lemon or vinegar. What a perennial treat. 2/4/2011 9/5/8/5/16=4.3

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Photo of paytoplay
3.95/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

08 and 09 sampled side by side toro sd during sdbw. 09 was better in almost every facet. Funk, sour, mouthfeel and complexity. a step below something like DDG. both had similar color, mouthfeel ect. 09 just smelled and tasted funkier. Very cool to try and both vintages to boot. Horse blanket, some citrus, wheat, and nice brett ect flavors. 08 was just flat in flavor and funk, maybe more mellowed. hadn't had 08 when it was 1st released so maybe on release it was like the 09 this nite. would say hold 08's if in bottle for a later date for the funk to develop with more time.

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Photo of GradyS1
4.53/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- golden, hazy that all great american wilds should look like, small amount of carbonation on the head the disapears quickly

S-Funky with a good amuount of citrus to this one. A very sharp funky smell

T-Intense sharp funkyness right off the bat and intense, lip puckering sour with citrus in the finish. small hints of oak

M- despite the sourness, this is very well balanced with the small amount of carbanation rounding it off perfectly

O-Outstanding, I could drink this all day (or until I have unbearable heart burn)

Ive had this beer a number of times, A fresh bottle is about as sour as it gets IMO. I had this a few times in all vintages, I opened a batch1 about 10 months ago and remember that it was alot less sour and funky, It had supprised me how much it had faded over time.

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Photo of raveskdr
4.2/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2008 vintage. Big ups to Dyan for this one as well. Poured into my mini snifter.

A - Brownish golden hue. Bubbles dissipate quickly but there is a ton of bubbles that stick to the inside of the glass inside the beer.

S - The oak and vinuous character really stand out up front. Light lemon also intermingles.

T - There is plenty of oak up near the front. The lemony tartness follows on the back and and cuts through the middle of my tongue.

M - Very champagne-y on the tongue, despite being from 2008. The bubbles help the drinkability of the beer.

O - An extremely solid American wild. May not be super fair to put this up against everything else. It doesn't fall short, per se. It's a very very good sour.

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Photo of GabrielM
4.77/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Notes from tasting the 2007, 2009 and 2010 vintages last weekend. Thanks again Mark! Poured into an Ommegang flute.

2007 bottle:

A - bright, crisp golden body with a quarter-inch of white head on top. Pretty decent lacing after a small swirl.

S - tons of funk, citrus and oak. Really nice nose on this one. Grass, maybe some horse blanket action, oranges and a light hint of cherry or raspberry perhaps?

T - wow, really sour and full of oak and citrus. This is my first time trying the CCs and I can see where their hype comes from. Very tart and dry with a puckering finish, yet the fruit nuances are still there.

M - sour, tart, puckering and dry. Awesome!

O - this beer is something else. Each vintage was different and special in its own way, but I'd say the '07 or '09 were the tops. I'm honestly surprised to see how well these are holding up and think they could go shoulder to shoulder with any of the Loons or 3F out there.

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Photo of pastradul
4.22/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

poured into a wine glass at toronado SDBW 2010

2010 vintage

Poured a semi-hazy straw yellow. with a nice 2 fingers of white fluffy head.

the aroma is a mild funk with some bright lemon tartness.

the taste is pretty good. Upfront you get a mixturen of sweetness... kinda lemon, citrus maybe... in the middle of the palate you get the barnyard and funk coming out a bit with some more sweetness. The back of the palate is where the tartness kicks in a hits the throught a little bit.

over all a great beer. This vintage is certainly young and needs some more time to develop and creat the tart sour flavors that are missing!

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Photo of BTPete
4.72/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Cable Car 2009 bottle had at Toronado San Fran on 9/3/10

A: golden yellow in color. Minimal head and spotty lacing crawling around my glass.

S: huge funky tart fruit. Insane amount of citrus and funk. Certainly wild and well above expectation.

T: very rich sour flavor. A really nice fruity sour though. It start off nice and citrusy ending in a beautiful big sour dry bomb. Just the way I would love. Seriously great.

M: bright and fruity, sour and dry at end. Mouth puckering.

D: I'd drink a lot if I could (I'm not sure my stomach would agree). I feel lucky to try giving circumstances and not to lie, I tried more than once!

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Photo of tjfinkle
4.2/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2010 Bottle poured into tulip at Toronado in San Diego

Appearance- Pale straw with thick white fluffy head and nice carbonation

Smell - The first thing that I noticed right of the bat obviously was the sourness with some citrus and cherry notes

Taste - Sour cherries and some citrus just like the nose. Some have commented on a sulfuric taste/smell to this beer which I noticed a slight flavor of; however I did not find it overpowering. This is a very mellow sour beer

Mouth-Lightly puckering with nice carbonation

Drink- Easy drinking beer, especially for a sour, possibly too easy of a beer for this style. Overall a good and well balanced beer, but could have used a little more flavor. I will be interested to see how this beer matures over time in comparison to the previous vintages.

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Photo of tendermorsel
3.8/5  rDev -15.2%
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??

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Photo of Cmack15
4.42/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Having cable Car at Toronado is two awesome beer things at the same time. The beer is a lite golden color and smells of funk with hints of peach. The taste is a really nice clean sour that is well done. Your palate is totally refreshed and cleansed with each sip. I can totally see this beer going well with a salad, seafood, or any non red meat dish for that matter. Carbonation was really nice too. Just a damn good beer that is well crafted. Go to Toronado and try this now!

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Photo of HighLowJack
4.89/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Bottle purchased at Toronado SF. I don't think comparisons to any Belgian sours are fair, it's just a different style. To me this was a huge apple/pear bomb. Happy I had the chance to try for $60.

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Photo of tprokop7
4.72/5  rDev +5.4%
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.

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Photo of jwolfie70
4.54/5  rDev +1.3%
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.

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Photo of dboon
4.82/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

10 bottle shared at the LCBS 10. Golden yellow with pungent peach and horse blanket aromas. This is a sour trolly with sour peach, tart lemon, funk, and brett notes. Can’t wait to revisit this at Toronado...
Update, after flying to San Francisco and bellying up to the bar at Toronado with a bottle of '09 Cable Car; I realized that I might have just hit the apex in my pursuit of sour/wild ales!!!

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