1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Cable Car - The Lost Abbey

Not Rated.
Cable CarCable Car

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

612 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 612
Reviews: 193
rAvg: 4.58
pDev: 8.52%
Wants: 2,286
Gots: 68 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 612 | Reviews: 193 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.75/5  rDev +3.7%

HuskyinPDX, Aug 27, 2012
Photo of iL0VEbeer
5/5  rDev +9.2%

iL0VEbeer, Apr 10, 2014
Photo of TurdFurgison
4.83/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2009 version, at Toronado, so glad to finally try it. The first pour was a little hazy and light golden colored, but each successive pour was a little darker and murkier. Judging by aroma and taste, this is exactly what an American wild ale should taste like, at least in my humble opinion. Musty sour barnyard funk, some lemon, this is really not that far from some of the best gueuze I've had in Belgium. Lost Abbey may have some bad press due to carbonation issues on high gravity ales, but they absolutely have wild ales by the balls. The sour bite never infringes on my enjoyment, maybe because it's expertly crafted, or maybe because of severe acclimation to the style. It truly sucks to like something so much when you know you can't easily get it. This will always be on my WANTs list. At least there's Cantillon to hold me over...

TurdFurgison, Jan 23, 2010
Photo of Alieniloquium
4.08/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 mL bottle poured into a snifter. 2012 bottle.

Appearance - Pours a hazy golden body with the briefest of white heads. Nary a collar as it settles.

Smell - Fruity acidity. Some malt and oak. Fruit is like a light grape, white wine aroma.

Taste - Sweeter than I expected. Oak is strong. White wine notes all over. Lactic sourness. Malty.

Mouthfeel - Medium heavy body. Medium carbonation. Oaky and moderate sourness.

Overall - Not a complex sour, but very well made. More than the sum of its parts.

Alieniloquium, Jun 09, 2013
Photo of drummermattie02
4.75/5  rDev +3.7%

drummermattie02, Jan 19, 2013
Photo of Rhettroactive
4.88/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

From 750mL bottle to stemmed wine glass at Toronado San Diego on 11/1/11. What better way to celebrate my 30th birthday then with my #1 want.

Vintage 2010

A: Like fine champagne, it's a beautiful pale 14k gold. A gentle pour yields a white 1.25 head that fizzes down to nil within moments. A surprising amount of thin, white lacing rims the glass.

S: Mild brett, which doesn't overwhelm the beer. Hints of honey, ripe green apples, medium char, a touch of white grape and lemon rind. Spectacular.

T: Unlike any Wild Ale I've had, as the balance here is unmatched. The fore comes across like a Brut Cava. As it hits the mid, the brett sneaks up and washes over the palate. And it's at this point where the beer really shows it's finesse. This is where most brett brews simply can't overcome the wild yeast. But Cable Car is unlike those said ales. Instead, the brett passes the mid and rounds into a crisp, dry finish that showcases the lightly toasted, charry oak. Without question, this is one of the top five beers I've tasted.

M: Superb. It's not too light as many in-style can be. Rather, it's creamy and textured, yet it packs a really bubbly and lively layer of carbonation.

O: Lost Abbey's Cable Car comes about as close to perfect as any brew I've ever encountered. It does everything right, with not only ease, but a deft touch. Absolutely worthy of the epic hype and them some. This brewing masterpiece easily receives my highest recommendation. Happy 30th to me!

Rhettroactive, Nov 01, 2011
Photo of xnicknj
4.5/5  rDev -1.7%

xnicknj, Jan 28, 2014
Photo of jrallen34
4.1/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this 2009 bottle at dld. The beer is a murky gold not much to note. The aroma is complex starting out with lemon citrus, earthiness, and some nice tartness. The taste is the same light citrus to start some nice tart not sour notes. I had this amind veritas 003, 004 and yellow bus. It held its one but not a top wild ale.

2007 bottle thanks to Sean. Found this to be very sweet.

jrallen34, May 03, 2010
Photo of chippo33
4.5/5  rDev -1.7%

chippo33, Nov 03, 2013
Photo of thagr81us
4.5/5  rDev -1.7%
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).

thagr81us, Jun 28, 2011
Photo of AgentZero
4.2/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Yellow, really not more than a nice pale yellow, with a big white head.

S - Vinegar/wine influence, some oak, little bit grassy. Lemon, citrus, pears, light apple, round out the scent on this one.

T - Light tasting, little grassy, some peach, apricot, apple, pear, nothing overpowering, not too terribly sweet, a bit tart. This is a very solid sour/wild ale, but not the best I have had. Little bit of funk, nicely complex.

M - Light, nice bubbly carbonation. Dry finish.

D - Very drinkable, as it is happily complex and there is nothing overpowering going on here.

AgentZero, May 24, 2010
Photo of bsuedekum
4.75/5  rDev +3.7%

bsuedekum, Jul 28, 2012
Photo of DefenCorps
4.48/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Consumed at The Graduation Tasting. Thanks, Trey!

A: Crystal clear with a light, thin head that recedes rather quick. Plenty of carbonation.

S: Funky, tart, more so than Sanctification. Mild sweetness with honey. Definitely lemony in character, I really can't help compare it with Sanctification. Cheesy funk with mild floral and honey character. There's also a certain sharpness I get from the aroma that makes me think back to the other LA beer I've had that have this character - I used to think it was from the cherry skins, I'm not so sure anymore

T: Opens up quite tart and sour with clean funk. Barnyard, intense lemony sourness. Slightly more sweetness and vanilla. Finishes dry, tart and awesome. Mild acidity with a certain sharpness. Some oak and cheese. Awesome

M: Light, effervescent carbonation and excellent finish

D: Very very easy to drink a ton of this

Notes: I tried this again in July 2009, side by side with batch 1. I initially laughed at the thought of batch 1 being over the hill given it's rather young age (2 years), but sadly, it was so. On the nose, it was dank and musty, with a surprisingly woody note, reminding me of wet wood. There was also a slightly spicy character with cloves and cinnamon. On the palate, batch 1 was a lot more tannic and woody, while batch 2 was more vibrant and citrusy. Batch 1 would get 4/4/3.5/3.5/4, while batch 2 is pretty outstanding. It's gotten more sour, and is extremely enjoyable.

Update 2: Thanks to Joe (Ineedabeerhere) I got to try batch 3. Sour and funky with apple, pears, wet wood. Great stuff, this is sourer than either of the previous batches. Mildly grassy. The palate opens sour, surprisingly so with sour lemon with a mild lactic and acetic character. Almost simple in flavors, there's some grassy, fruity character with apples and peach before a dry, sour lemony finish. Great stuff (S/T = 4.5/4)

**Edit 01 July 2012**
Thanks to Chris or Jay for trading me this bottle. Shared at our Lost Abbey tasting.
The nose is very nice. Mildly melony, moderately lemony, moderate funk, earthy, loam-like, complex and very well structured. Makes me think of a real gueuze in its delicacy. The palate opens mellow, complex, funky, earthy, lemony. Very, very nice. 4.5/4.5/4.5

DefenCorps, May 21, 2009
Photo of dgilks
4.72/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hazy golden colour with a large fluffy head. Nice lacing.

Intense, funky and tart aroma with a light lemon note. Well balanced.

Sour, lactic, slightly acetic, lemony and slightly astringent. Beautifully balanced and crafted.

Medium body with moderately-high carbonation. Good.

A really good wild ale with a balanced funk character, good tartness and solid flavour.

dgilks, Aug 10, 2011
Photo of gford217
4.3/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2009 bottle, side-by-side with Toronado 20th.

Pours a clear golden yellow with a big creamy white head that hangs on for a while and leaves good lacing.

Aroma is fairly funky with some barnyard aromas and wet grass but the most dominant aroma is the light fruity sourness. Overall, the aroma is what I'd call bright - lots of light tartness with less earthy funk.

Taste is exceptional, lemon zest up front with bready malts, some fruit, maybe pears and green apples, light vinegar. Fairly funky finish but light so with some lemon. Sublime taste, super complex, more tart than funk.

Light bubbly mouthfeel, very citric and biting. Crisp and wine-like in the finish.

This is a superb American wild - well balanced but still nice and sour. I wouldn't put it in the same class as the T20, but it's still a great beer.

gford217, Dec 31, 2009
Photo of Gobzilla
4.22/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2009 bottle caged and corked

A: poured a murky orange yellow with a finger white head that had decent sticky lacing.

S: great nose that consisted of lemons apples little funk and hints of vinegar. I always wondered what this beer would smell like.

T: The taste almost mirrors the smell with lots of lemons and apples hitting the palette with fruity sourness and a slight dry finish.

M: has a medium body with good bubbly carbonation that compliments the taste.

D: chased this beer for a couple months and was not dissapointed. I could drink quite a bit of this beer if it was avaliable like that.

Gobzilla, May 01, 2010
Photo of illidurit
4.55/5  rDev -0.7%
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.

illidurit, Aug 05, 2008
Photo of francisweizen
5/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Detailed notes from my sidekick 3. Sampled on-tap and in the bottle at the Toronado 20th anniv party.

Golden. with a small white head, minimal, but nice lacing. Aromas are super funky sour barnyard like beatification on crack. Super sour almost bile like with a wonderful wild and wiley yeast portfolio. Light, buttery, and wine like. Not unlike a smooth cantillon gueuze. Probably the best gueuze like wild ale ever produced by an American brewer.

francisweizen, Apr 03, 2008
Photo of aasher
3/5  rDev -34.5%

aasher, Jan 29, 2013
Photo of Jwale73
4.3/5  rDev -6.1%
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.

Jwale73, May 09, 2011
Photo of popery
4.5/5  rDev -1.7%

popery, Dec 11, 2012
Photo of sweemzander
4.47/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750mL corked and caged bottle poured into a tulip. 2010 Vintage. Been a long time want of mine for awhile now!

(A)- Pours a clear orange color. Some white froth and lace.

(S)- A great fruity oak barrel character. An awesome acidic sourness to it as well. Some serious lemon rind in this.

(T)- Again, a great barrel oak character. Fruity, but in a strictly acidic sense. Very mild funk, but some great lemon rind and white grape fruit sour parts.

(M)- A nice carbonation level and balance. I like the acidity on this alot. The fruit is good too; even the funk. Overall, the barrel characters are very well done.

(D)- Honestly, this is a great wild ale. Worth the hype? maybe, but definitely not worth the difficulty in getting a bottle outside of Toronado; glad i didnt have to.

sweemzander, Oct 29, 2011
Photo of tectactoe
4.73/5  rDev +3.3%

tectactoe, Aug 25, 2014
Photo of whartontallboy
5/5  rDev +9.2%

whartontallboy, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of FosterJM
4.43/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

1286th Review on BA
Bottle to Goblet/Wine
750 Ml C/C

2008,2009,2010 Vertical @ToronadoSD

Shared with Ehammond1,Jazzpatel,GuruDel & MrHirschybar

**Scores are reflected for 2009 Vintage below**

App- Really a nice looking sour. A good mix of colors in the glass. A balance of a medium orange with some yellows and golds running throughout. Nicely carbonated as when the bottle was popped the bubbles started to creep out. Good bubble activity, a nice head and still no cling.

Smell- Very alive on the nose. Had a nice brightness with a good vibrant citrus. A bit of orange, tangerine was present. Nice burn on the big whiffs of some acidity and booze.

Taste- The bite is more pronounced on the flavor. A large sour pucker note with a bit of balanced tartness and wheaty lemon. The balance is much more present and this bottle seems to have done wonders.

Mouth- A light medium body with a fairly high prickly carbonation. A nice blending on the residual flavors of the sour and citrus more so than 08/10

Drink- Consensus of the 5 of us, that this was the best vintage. As mentioned, more alive and bright with a pleasant sour vs. funk combo.

---

2008 Vintage
App- A very deep deep golden color. A bit flat and thick looking like a mix of syrup and water. Zero cling and bubbles formed at all. (3.0)

Smell- A small impish bit of lemon on this one. Probably had the most deep smell of being old really. A small balanced acid on this nose. No fruit compared to other vintages (3.5)

Taste- Had a good flavor but could tell was past its prime. Seems like when the flavors fall you are left with just a nice base sour that plays well with adding layers of flavors too. A bit lemon remains with a bit of tart. (3.5)

Mouth- A bit thicker leading to a medium/full thickness for a sour. A low carbonation level with zero bubbles remaining. A bit of a lemon flavor remains. (3.0)

Drink- It was okay. A bit old but still retained a nice flavor. Fair to say this is past its prime at this point. (3.5)

2010 Vintage
App- This was a fuller yellow vs. 09 which had a good blend of colors. A bit light than 09 and much more than 08. A bit less bubbles than 09 as well. Still no cling though. (4.0)

Smell- This had me and the guys comparing Motherfunker vs. Filmismish while drinking these too. Its the story of Sour vs. Funk. This was the funky one of the two. Had a deeper earthy note behind it. A bit more wheat IMO. (4.0)

Taste- Smaller sour with a more pronounced funk flavor. Had much less of a bite as well. A bit more mango flavor to get to a much more rich flavor. (4.5)

Mouth- A lighter medium body with a medium carbonation. A bit of residual funk/earthy flavors. Much more tart vs. sour. (4.0)

Drink- Very tasty and much creamier than the 09. I can see this one aging very well. (4.5)

FosterJM, May 17, 2012
Cable Car from The Lost Abbey
100 out of 100 based on 612 ratings.