Cable Car | The Lost Abbey

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Cable CarCable Car
BA SCORE
4.58/5
World-Class
Cable CarCable Car
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
The Lost Abbey
California, United States
lostabbey.com

Style: American Wild Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
None provided.

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#69
Reviews:
239
Ratings:
1,073
pDev:
7.64%
 
 
Wants:
2,704
Gots:
117
Trade:
8
 
User Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 239 | Ratings: 1,073
Reviews by DavoleBomb:
Photo of DavoleBomb
3.87/5  rDev -15.5%
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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More User Reviews:
Photo of BrotherDylan
4.74/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

750 ml cork and cage bottle at Toronado during San Francisco Beer at the Russian River tap take over. Vinnie Cilurzo and Tomme Arthur were hanging out having a beer.

This beer is really a treat. Its just the perfect American take on a classic Belgian Stye. It tasted like sour cherry lemonade. Hints of barnyard funk that were buried under the strong lemon tartness mixed with the perfect hint of cherry sourness. The oak provided an unbelievable barrel character that tied the beer together. It's truly a special beer

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Photo of Lochnessmonster
4.31/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Slightly overrated (especially for what it costs!), but it's still a fantastic beer. I actually found Duck Duck Gooze to be vastly superior to this one.

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Photo of Zaximus
4.14/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A very nice sour but count me in the camp of rarity builds some hype in this one. Plenty of other comprable sours at a far lower price point that are easier to acquire.

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Photo of gueuzedreg
4.29/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

'13 CC poured into a CS Snifter Black Friday '13

A- Deep golden color. Medium transparency, 1/4 finger lacing with medium retention.

S- Lemons, funk, yeasty goodness.

T- This is a really smooth sour. I have had better sours; perhaps I should have kept this one in the cellar for a couple years. This is also my first CC. I prefer DDG. Just preference. I get yeast>brett funk>lemon>then there is some starch product I get.

M- Very smooth. Great mouthfeel. Goes down smooth with bubbles following.

O- I think this is good, not great. I have the whole vert, so maybe if I popped open the '09 I would get a religious experience, but not yet from the '13.

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

Had this 2014 version. This beer tasted great, I'd still take duck duck over it, but man what a great beer. Great funk, great smell, great taste. I'd gladly drink this one over and over again

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.86/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a clear yellow color ale with a nice white foamy head. Aroma of funky notes with clearly identifiable sour notes with some acidic notes also noticeable is quite intense. Taste is also dominated by funky notes with some sharp sour notes, quite a bit of acidity and a short finale. Body is about average with good carbonation. I get what they are trying to do and I also get why people enjoy this but in my opinion while this is a great beer there is a lack of balance and too much acidity in the end.

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Photo of pmoney
4.78/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

2014 bottle shared in an American Wild Ale blind-tasting with two others.

I've heard a lot of comments that Cable Car is good but isn't worth what it takes to land. I disagree. It truly lived up to the hype, and was a clear winner and standout in the blind-tasting.

It's slightly hazy with a big body/mouthfeel and perfect carbonation. Loads of tangerines and mandarin oranges on the nose and taste. A nice lively and yet soft feel. Perfect acidity - not overly sour and balances well with the funk, which it had plenty of.

This is certainly a world-class beer, and I'm really happy I opened it rather than "cellaring it to death". If you have the opportunity to trade for one or try it, I recommend you do.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.72/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I have waited a really long time to try this beer, Some might say too long, But never the less, this was no easy feat to track one down. That being said I was graciously able to acquire through a wonderful west coast friend who took pity on my plea. The was a 2008 vintage bottle, served out of the cellar at around 50 degrees and poured into my darkness snifter, let the games begin.

As I pour it out, I have to admit I am a bit nervous here. Maybe it is the high expectations I have for this brew, perhaps the preconceived notions are getting to me, no matter. Pours out a very nice and cloudy orange tinted amber color. I could not see through the glass when held up to the light. Nice fizzy head rises quickly to about an inch and a half and then faded away into the night, leaving an almost bare top, well after a few minutes it was a totally bare top. Some light carbonation could be seen inside the glass and a good bit of sediment getting stirred up in the bottle.

Aroma is a tar bomb off the bat, but not enormously sour. Much more complex then then that. Light notes of citrus, orange, semi sweet notes as well coming though as it warms. Deep horse funk apparent as well now. So I go in, for my first sip of Cable Car, and I have to admit it is much more mellow then I thought it would be. Seriously though, I was expecting this deep, wretchedly sour ale and this was not the case. It was remarkably smooth, almost sinisterly so. Deep funky notes predominate, with early touches of white grapes and tart apples. Soo damn smooth though. A bit light on the carbonation in the feel, left me looking for a little more, but damn the taste is unreal. Cannot really compare it too much else. It is just amazing drinkable. The first glass went down like water for me, but half way through the second the ABV starts to kick in and I am feeling it as I type this for sure. Still though I find myself wanted to take bigger and bigger sips, it just that smooth. The finish had to be the driest I can recall with all moisture being sucked from the palate almost immediatly.

Overall wow. The taste was just out of this world. It could have used a bit more pop in the carbonation and appearence but that being said it was still unreal. Super damn drinkable and just absurd. Worth the hunt as I cannot compare it to anything else.

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Photo of FosterJM
4.42/5  rDev -3.5%
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)

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Photo of PG2G
4.68/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of jbird_1973
4.75/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of drseamus
4.89/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Served on tap at Toronado in a six ounce glass.

There aren't many beers that are hyped as much as cable car that are genuinely this good. I love me a good wicked tart beer and this qualifies. Both the aroma and the flavor are pungently tart and dry with a touch of the horse blanket. It is still pretty smooth despite the intense tartness. Perhaps a bit of apple in there also. One of the driest beer beers in the aftertaste, perhaps almost a bit too much. Overall, a terriffic beer.

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Photo of DovaliHops
4.7/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From Notes (Finally coughed up the $40 for this treat). It was worth every single penny! 2009 Vintage at San Francisco Toronado. Pours a light, golden-amber color with a medium white head. The carbonation is looking quite delightful on this beer. Scent is very funky with some intense lactic sour notes. As the beer warms the fruit really comes out. I get some sweet pear aromas, along with peach and apricot. The taste is out of this world... I went into this with high expectations, and I was not let down! Mouth puckering! Much more sour than expected. There are some sweet pear flavors with lemon and a close resemblance to Sweet Tarts candy. Mouthfeel is extremely dry and puckering on the inside of my cheeks, tongue, and roof of my mouth. Drinkability is high, as this beer is just so damn tasty! Overall, I'm just very happy this beer did not disappoint. It exceeded in all aspects. Good job Lost Abbey!

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Photo of Shilt
5/5  rDev +9.2%

Photo of jaken0ss
5/5  rDev +9.2%

Photo of thickerfreakness
4.87/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to cloudskipper for this Batch 2 bottle. Shared with bgramer last night. Pours bubbly hazy yellow with a small layer of foam on top. Aroma begins with green apples, lemon and barnyard; pineapple, wood, light banana, cobweb; musty and more funky as it warmed up. Flavor was lots of green apple, tart grapes, lemon, subtle funk at beginning; slight oaky tannins, banana, and a slight alcohol bite as it warmed; slight corn in after taste. As it got completely to room temp it was like juicy ripe pineapple and got more sweet overall. It coats the mouth with tingly bubbles and leaves a lasting impression on the palate. I absolutely loved this one; it had so many layers and subtle flavors/smells.

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Photo of BrianTheBrewer30
5/5  rDev +9.2%

Photo of Public87strain
4/5  rDev -12.7%

Photo of Dan_K
4.36/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of HopHead84
4.47/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Chris and Joey for bringing Batches 2 and 1, respectively, to the tasting we had on 7/25/09-7/26/09. We found batch 1 had gone downhill a bit so I decided to focus my notes on the current better of the two, batch 2.

The beer appears hazy orange with a small fizzy white crown that recedes after a minute.

The aroma opens up with vibrant citrus in the form of lemons, orange, and apricots mixed with just the right amount of Brett. The Brett imparts a nice level of mustiness as well as a little barnyard funk. The nose has a distinct tart quality to it.

The flavor is bursting with lemon and orange with a nice medium level of tartness. Some nice Brett notes are evident, but once the Brett doesn't impart any deep funk notes like cat piss or wet horse blanket, but rather a slight musty barnyard element that seems to accentuate the soft citrus. The finish is orange and lemon with Brett, some acidity, and a lingering sourness.

The beer is light bodied with a medium level of carbonation. The mouthfeel is dry with some acidity.

The 2007 batch has noticeably declined since I last tried it. I laughed at the thought before we opened the batches side by side, but it truly is the case. The 2008 is clearly the better of the two at this point in time.

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Photo of kstrickler
4.7/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

To start this review off I want to thank sprinkle for this delightful oppurtunity to try this beer. I have just recently gotten into sours and wild ales and I know that this was a very special treat for me to be able to try this. The intital taste is sour, but goes away with a warmth feeling. A touch of a salty taste to it, but not very predominant. This beer by far exceeded any expectations I had for it. Again very blessed to have tried this and added this notch to my belt...

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Photo of Williaar
4.5/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2014 bottle at toronado. Solid beer - tart and oaky but struggles to compete with other world class sours.

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Photo of PA-Michigander
4.5/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of jaymo18
4.75/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

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Cable Car from The Lost Abbey
Beer rating: 4.58 out of 5 with 1,073 ratings